News Cast for July 12th:

The discussion on the future of Fire Station Number Two in the southwest area of Okeechobee County was a topic of discussion at yesterday’s county commissioners’ meeting. It’s come down to two options; either repairing the over 35 year old station or renovating it. Commissioners and Fire Chief Ralph Franklin are mostly leaning towards renovating the station; which will cost roughly $770 thousand dollars. Commissioners have instructed Franklin to speak with the state grant administrator and find out how much of the $500 thousand dollar grant the county received can be used to renovate the station because that defers some of the money the taxpayers have to pay. Franklin says also to keep in mind with this issue is the need for a second ambulance in that area. The issue will likely be brought back before the board during Franklin’s budget hearing on July 22nd.

Okeechobee County schools will soon have a vaccination program for students. At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the board voted to have the Care Dox Vaccination Program plan put into effect in county schools. Superintendent of Schools Ken Kenworthy says this plan was needed because of the overwhelming number of students entering seventh grade are forced to leave because they haven’t had their required vaccinations beforehand. This program allows for trained medical professionals to administer those vaccinations in school. While Kenworthy says there may issues with some students who aren’t getting those vaccinations because of reported allergic reactions, that decision will be left up to the parents and not students themselves. The plan was introduced to the board by Britni Manners, an account executive at Jacksonville-based Healthy Schools. Manners says this plan, which also includes administering flu shots to students, is a proven success. The plan will have flu shots available during the fall and the required immunizations for sixth graders in the spring and is completely free to parents and students. The measure passed by a three to two vote, with Joe Arnold and Amanda Riedel dissenting.

A Fort Pierce man and woman were arrested in connection with two separate shooting incidents that occurred at different times on July 4th. Police responded to the 23 hundred block of Avenue G a little after 10:20 after receiving reports of gunshots being fired. They saw a woman identified as 29 year old Keyondra Raymond holding a shotgun. Police say when they approached her, they found 12 fired shotgun shells and a warm shotgun leaning against a wall behind Redmond and she also had two shotgun shells in her pocket. She was charged and arrested with firing a weapon in public. She was booked into St. Lucie County Jail. She’s free on a $750 dollar bond.

About two hours later, Fort Pierce police were called to North 32nd Street and Avenue F after another report of fired gunshots and witnessed a group of people scatter when they arrived. Officers say a man identified as 32 year old Eddie Bell, began to walk away until he was stopped by officers. Bell, a convicted felon and known gang member, reportedly had a handgun in his pocket and a bag of methamphetamine. He was arrested on charges of weapons possession by a convicted felon, firing a weapon in public and methamphetamine possession. He was booked into St. Lucie County Jail before being released on a $22 thousand dollar bond.

On the arrest report:

26 year old Jonathan Torres of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on charges of burglary of an occupied dwelling and petit theft. His bond is set at three thousand dollars.

37 year old Philip Hawkins Hoy of Okeechobee was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident. His bond has not been set.

24 year old John David Brighton of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of synthetic cannabis. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

32 year old Daniel Devin Anderson of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court. He’s being held without bond.

35 year old Joshua S. Raynor of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of synthetic cannabis. He’s being held without bond.

36 year old Rosa Zamora of Okeechobee was arrested by police for driving without a valid license after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at five hundred dollars.

37 year old James Doheny Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for cocaine possession, driving on an expired license, and driving a vehicle with an expired registration after a traffic stop. His bond is set at $35 hundred dollars.