News Cast for June 13th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners meet this morning and they will issue a proclamation honoring members of the local 4-H Sharp Shooters and Lake Okeechobee Air Boaters Association for their cleanup efforts at the lake and they will also select five community citizens to serve on a committee for the evaluation and ranking of architectural services for the proposed jail renovation and expansion project. The meeting will be held in the Historic County Courthouse beginning at nine o’clock and it will be streamed live on the commissioners’ website.

Speaking of the commissioners, at their last meeting, they gave the green light to enter into an agreement with Orlando-based engineering firm AVCON, Inc. to help with the removal the conservation easements and wetland mitigation that has long been a barrier in the development of the Okeechobee County Airport. Airport Director Adam Hied says this is “very big” for the airport in terms of future development and the commissioners’ decided to help pay just under $35 thousand dollars for AVCON’s services. Part of AVCON’s fee will come from the county’s transportation funds while the airport will pick up the rest of the tab. Hied says it’s money that will be very well spent. Hied says this will not only benefit the development of the airport, but Industrial Park as well.

The Okeechobee County School Board met on Tuesday night, the first meeting since the school year ended last month and the issue of school security was a topic of discussion. Superintendent Ken Kenworthy discussed a plan depicting possible funding sources for the current system in county schools, which is having school resource officers (SRO’s) in each school with the recently enacted Guardian Program as a backup to the SRO’s. The issue will be discussed again as part of a workshop next week. Kenworthy also discussed different methods of school security such as a school safety officer and/or a school security guard. Kenworthy however says the current system; SRO’s and the Guardian Program, is the solution because it not only helps the sheriff’s department in the long run, it’s also what parents have come to expect in county schools. The funding issue for school security will be discussed as part of a workshop Monday night at five o’clock in the Historic Courthouse. Public is invited to attend. Kenworthy believes a funding method will be achieved in that workshop.

A report of a vehicle fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters Tuesday afternoon. Crews were called to the 16 thousand block of Highway 441 North at three o’clock and arrived to a truck hauling a roll off with the brakes on fire. Crews needed to pull the truck onto 168th Street to keep from blocking traffic and extinguished the blaze in about ten minutes, well before the fire could spread to other parts of the truck. No one was hurt. Damages are estimated at about a thousand dollars. Sheriff’s deputies arrived and deemed the truck unsafe to drive so a tow truck was called in to haul it away. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

On the arrest report:

50 year old Louise Ann Perkins of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill. Her bond is set at five thousand dollars.

24 year old Cristian Ignacio Santos of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during his hearing on past charges of driving on a suspended license. He was released after posting a two thousand dollar bond.

26 year old Devin Allen Rexroad of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of drunk driving. He’s being held without bond.

26 year old Kayla Tarbell of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of grand theft auto and false imprisonment. She’s being held without bond.

76 year old Margaret Ann Rounds of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during her hearing on past charges of battery and resisting arrest. She’s being held without bond.

22 year old Shane Michael Jensen of Largo was arrested for fleeing and eluding law officers during a high speed pursuit. His bond is set at $35 thousand dollars.

30 year old Clervil Clenor of Belle Glade was arrested for driving on a suspended license with knowledge of it after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.