News Cast for July 5th:

While the fourth of July was officially yesterday, it doesn’t mean the celebration is over in Okeechobee County. There will be a celebration tomorrow at the Agri-Civic Center which will feature the Minimal Regatta; a showing of homemade boats for people to race and later on there will be a fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day. Sgt. Michael Hazellief of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department representing the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and JD Mixon, representing the Adam Bryant Minimal Regatta, helped spearhead these events and got the fee waived to use the Agri-Civic Center for the event at a commissioners’ meeting last month. Normally, the Minimal Regatta and Independence Day Fireworks events are held on separate days but Hazellief says both events will be held tomorrow as a matter of convenience for the community. The Minimal Regatta events begin at one o’clock and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6:30 with fireworks scheduled for nine o’clock.

An Okeechobee man is in county jail at this time on battery charges in connection with an incident Monday night. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 38 hundred block of NW 4th Street a little after seven o’clock after receiving reports from a woman living there that her roommate, 65 year old Bobby Jo Walker, had shoved her. Deputies were told that Walker and his female roommate were arguing over her moving out. It escalated and Walker began yelling at her then shoved her, causing her to fall backwards. She then called 911. Walker was arrested and charged with domestic battery and taken to county jail. His bond has not been set.

That was not the only one; about an hour and a half earlier, sheriff’s deputies were called to the 49 hundred block of NE 16th Court for a report of domestic battery and were told by the woman living there that she and her boyfriend, 32 year old Otis Glen Lee, were drinking outside their home and they began arguing about money. Lee then got upset and pushed her, causing her to fall back off her chair and scrape her elbow. Lee then fled the scene in his truck. Deputies found him later at his mom’s house and arrested and charged him with domestic battery. He was taken to county jail and his bond has not been set.

A Sebring woman walked away without a scratch but the same cannot be said for a Lakeland man following a vehicle accident involving three big rig trucks Tuesday afternoon in Highlands County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 58 year old Mark Tomlinson was driving a Cascadia truck northbound on Highway 27 approaching a traffic light at the intersection of Highway 98 in Sebring a little before 1:30. Tomlinson didn’t stop in time and rear-ended a KW 2600 truck in front of him, propelling that truck into a third truck and the third truck was then propelled into a Chrysler Town and Country van, driven by 81 year old Diane Mish. Tomlinson was pronounced dead at the scene by medics while Mish was not injured, as were the drivers of the other two trucks. The road was closed for a while as emergency and maintenance crews cleaned up the area. FHP is investigating.

On the arrest report:

31 year old Zachary William Cowart of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

21 year old Marcus Damian Rutherford of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of simple battery and assault. He’s being held without bond.

25 year old William Gaither Shepherd the Third was arrested for drunk driving after he was found passed out at the wheel at a fast food drive thru and given a field sobriety test. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

32 year old Robert James Leitner of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

48 year old Dawn Cheree Dowd of Okeechobee was arrested for battery on an officer and resisting an officer with violence. Her bond is set at five thousand dollars.

21 year old Quavian Aikeem Dozier of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of fraud. He’s being held without bond.

60 year old Edward Michael Johnson of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on previous charges of felonious possession of a concealed weapon, failing to appear in court and drug possession. He was released after posting a five thousand dollar bond.

29 year old Denise Marie Stout of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license. She was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

27 year old Justin Luis Rodriguez of Okeechobee was arrested by police for criminal mischief. He was released after posting bond.