News Cast for July 2nd:

It may have been official before, but now it’s really official thanks to the Okeechobee County Commissioners. At their meeting on Thursday, the commissioners officially gave the green light to the Tourist Development Council (TDC) to sign a contract with Information Matrix to begin filming a documentary on Okeechobee. TDC Coordinator Sharie Turgeon says this documentary will showcase the county as not just a place to vacation but also a place to live, work and raise a family. Okeechobee was officially chosen for the project during the week of June 17th. Needless to say, Turgeon is quite excited over this development. Once finished, the documentary will be televised on public broadcasting in between programs on major networks and will be hosted by Oscar nominated actor Laurence Fishburne. It should be completed hopefully within the next five or six months and it will cost about $27 thousand dollars to film.

Turgeon-Documentary Begins 1

Turgeon-Documentary Begins 2

Recently, the local chapter of the Kiwanis Club met for their monthly meeting and they had as their special guest Megan Smith. Smith was appointed president of the Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) last May. Smith discussed how the recently formed EDC will help bring economic development to the county and some industry to the area; something it’s sorely needed for years and hopefully prevent young people from leaving the county to seek gainful and meaningful employment. Smith recently held jobs in chambers of commerce and business development in Perry, GA and Gulf Stream, AL and in Washington, DC she worked for a financial management division for federal protective services. Smith says what brought her to Okeechobee was the fact that the EDC is a new endeavor. Smith says her biggest challenge is getting the word out to people and businesses in the state that Okeechobee is a place to bring their businesses. She’s excited over the prospect of seeing the county grow economically.

Megan Smith 1

Megan Smith 2

Okeechobee County firefighters had a vehicle fire to contend with a week ago Monday. Crews were called to the 33 thousand block of Highway 441 North and found a Dodge flatbed truck and trailer completely covered in flames. Crews got the blaze extinguished in a few minutes with no one getting hurt. Investigators say the owner of the truck was traveling north on Highway 441 when he smelled smoke. He pulled over to determine where the smoke was coming from and when he opened the hood of the truck, the engine was covered in flames and it eventually spread to the rest of the truck. The truck owner tried extinguishing the fire himself with a fire extinguisher but he was unsuccessful. Exact cost of damages to the truck and its contents is not known at this time. However, the trailer was not damaged in the fire. It’s under investigation.

A Jensen Beach man is in critical condition at this time following a vehicle accident this past Thursday afternoon in Martin County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 24 year old Michael Small was riding a motor scooter south on an unnamed road parallel to US Highway 1 approaching an intersection at SE Sunset Street in North River Shores a little after three o’clock. Small was riding the scooter at a high rate of speed towards the intersection when a Dodge Ram pickup truck, driven by 26 year old Ryan Carter of Stuart, was approaching the intersection from SE Sunset Street. Small didn’t stop at the stop sign at the intersection and he collided head on with the pickup truck on its front left side. The impact caused Small to be thrown off the scooter. He was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach for treatment. Carter was not injured. The accident is under investigation.

On the arrest report:

19 year old Cody Clayville of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on warrants from Martin County for possession of cannabis. He’s being held without bond.

23 year old Michael Aaron Collins of Okeechobee, an inmate at the county jail, was arrested for battery on detention deputies. He’s being held without bond.

47 year old Jason Joseph McNash of Rochester, NY was arrested for reckless driving. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.