Okeechobee County Commissioners will have their regular meeting this morning for the last time in June and they will consider a request from the Catholic Charities of the Palm Beach Diocese regarding waiving a fee to use the C. Scott Driver Facility for a hurricane preparation and recovery event next month and they will also be looking to accept a bid for the future Property Appraiser, Tax Collector and Driver’s License Building. The meeting will begin at nine o’clock in the Historic Courthouse and it’ll be streamed live on the commissioners’ website.

Last week, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department lost two veteran officers in Brad Stark and John Rhoden to retirement and now the Okeechobee Police Department has lost an officer of their own to retirement. Veteran police officer Jack Boon retired last week and he was honored at last week’s city council meeting for his thirteen and a half years on the force by receiving a certificate of retirement. Boon cited various injuries he’s received on the job and doctor’s advice as reasons to retire from law enforcement. Boon will be staying on the force on a part-time basis while opening his own detective agency; doing something he always enjoyed as a cop-detective work. Boon began his law enforcement career after his military service by working with police departments in Jupiter Island and Stuart before coming to Okeechobee. He came to work here because of the “family atmosphere” that Okeechobee provided.

While one veteran officer has ended his law enforcement career with the Okeechobee Police Department, another one is just beginning his career. Officer Ramon Liberato was officially sworn in as the newest Okeechobee Police Officer at last week’s city council meeting. Liberato says he “feels good and happy” to be a part of the family and city he grew up in and he’s looking forward to a long career with the department. Liberato says his interest in being a police officer and helping people came about as a young man growing up in Okeechobee. The twenty year old Liberato says his first order of business as a police officer is getting to know the community better.

An Okeechobee man is facing a host of charges in connection with an incident early Saturday morning. Sheriff’s deputies on road patrol stopped a Jeep SUV, driven by 54 year old Thomas Elton McClain, near the 12 thousand block of Route 441 North a little after one o’clock for not having lights on the boat trailer he was hauling. As deputies were taking McClain’s license, they smelled alcohol on his breath and noticed an open container filled with a liquid which was an alcoholic beverage. A field sobriety test proved McClain was drunk and he was also driving on a suspended license. As he was brought to the county jail, he kicked an officer in the leg, adding a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer to his drunk driving and driving on a suspended license charges. He was released after posting a $35 hundred dollar bond.

A burning area near a location where a fire destroyed a barn six days ago caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters Tuesday afternoon. Crews were called to the 13 thousand block of SE 42nd Street a little after 4:30 after receiving a report of smoke and flames. They arrived and found an area measuring two by four feet behind the destroyed barn that was burning. Investigators say the area had small tires and some rubble burning. Crews got the fire controlled in about twenty minutes while using about 250 gallons of water to put out the blaze. No one was hurt and no other structures damaged. It’s under investigation.

On the arrest report:

59 year old Thomas Pooley of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for battery on a person over the age of 65. He was released after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.

46 year old Edward Presley Barsh Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during his hearing on past moving violations. He’s being held without bond.

31 year old Justin Allen Driggers of Okeechobee was arrested for battery for the second time. He was released after posting a five thousand dollar bond.

32 year old Casey Lynn Stoltz of Okeechobee was arrested for forging checks from someone else’s bank account. Her bond has not been set.

23 year old Kenya Alexus Adams of Okeechobee was arrested for battery on her girlfriend and false imprisonment during a domestic dispute. Her bond has not been set.