News Cast for July 16th:

The Okeechobee City Council will meet this evening and they will be presenting city clerk Lane Gamiotea with a 30 year longevity service award, approve an agreement with Okeechobee Christian Academy for the School Resource Officer Program (SRO) and they will also look to approve the maximum millage rate for the 2019-20 budget year. The meeting will be held in City Hall beginning at six o’clock.

The scheduled realignment for Route 714, otherwise known as the Martin Highway or the Martin County Grade isn’t due to take place for quite a while, but it looks as though Okeechobee County will get something done in exchange for maintaining the road once the realignment is done. At their meeting last Thursday, county commissioners voted to handle the roadway and shoulder maintenance of 714 as it comes into Okeechobee County but only if the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) installs a signal light at Highway 710 and Route 15B where 714 will be moved into Okeechobee as part of this realignment. Deputy County Administrator Louis Johnson says the need for signalization there is partly due to the amount of traffic there, but also for safety. Martin Highway is being realigned in that area where it sharply curves into Highway 710 because of the number of traffic accidents over the years. Realignment is due to begin in 2025 at the earliest.

Johnson-Signalization

Investigators from the Highlands County Sheriff’s Department say that a Lake Placid man was killed on July 4th because of a dog attack. Spokesperson Scott Dressel says autopsy reports determined that 45 year old Melvin Olds Junior’s death was caused by injuries he sustained in an animal attack while he was walking on a wooded trail in the Highway Park area of Lake Placid a little before noon. Dressel says investigations showed more than a hundred dog bites were found on Olds’ body. No other wounds were found on the body. Dressel says this was likely the work of not just one dog, but several dogs. People are being warned to not approach stray dogs. If you see one in the area, please contact the Highlands County Sheriff’s Department. District 10 Medical Examiner and Florida Fish and Wildlife assisted in this investigation.

Dressel-Dog Attack Fatality 1

Dressel-Dog Attack Fatality 2

A vehicle accident in Indian River County claimed the life of a Miami Gardens woman and caused injuries to two other women Friday afternoon. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 43 year old Tamika Moreland was driving a Ford SUV north on State Road 9 near the 146 mile marker in Vero Beach a little after three o’clock when the left rear tire on the vehicle blew out, causing Moreland to lose control of the vehicle. The SUV went counterclockwise and overturned several times before hitting a road sign and coming to rest on the grassy shoulder. Moreland and her passengers, 30 year old Jalisa Moreland of Pompano Beach and 40 year old Taryn Session of Lauderhill were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Jalisa Moreland was pronounced dead by medics at Indian River Medical Center and Tamika Moreland is in serious condition at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce. Session is being treated for minor injuries. FHP is investigating.

On the arrest report:

61 year old Robert Eugene Thompson of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for neglect and aggravated abuse of an elderly person. His bond has not been set.

33 year old Cody Dale Cooper of Okeechobee was arrested for on several counts of sexual battery on a victim under 17 years old. He’s being held without bond.

24 year old Christopher Justin Boney of Okeechobee was arrested for failing to re-deliver leased property. His bond is set at ten thousand dollars.

32 year old Rebecca Lynn Hodshon of Fort Pierce was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Her bond is set at just over $57 hundred dollars.

25 year old Holmes Eugene Boyd of Lorida was arrested for several counts of violating probation on previous undisclosed charges. He’s being held without bond.