News Cast for August 14th:

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s investigators are looking for a local woman who was reported missing Monday morning. Investigators say 19 year old Virginia Uvieyra-Sanchez was last seen walking in the Basswood section of Okeechobee County at approximately five o’clock Sunday morning. An unknown person in a gray colored car, possibly a Pontiac, stopped and Uvieyra-Sanchez reportedly got into the car. The car was last seen heading west on NW 36th Street. Uvieyra-Sanchez is five feet, five inches tall, weighs 180 pounds and she has tattoos on her upper left chest, right arm and left arm. She was last seen wearing black pants and a black shirt. If you have information on Uvieyra-Sanchez’s whereabouts, please contact the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477 if you’d like to remain anonymous.

About one million dollars. That’s the difference between the budget Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen needed and what he’ll be receiving from the county. At yesterday’s county budget workshop, county commissioners decided on setting Stephen’s budget at $19.1 million dollars. Stephen was asking for just over $20 million dollars to provide for the safety and law enforcement needs of Okeechobee County and hire new deputies, but the money was just not there to provide for his budget without affecting other county departments. Needless to say, Stephen was visibly disappointed and it’s left him at a disadvantage. Commissioner Bryant Culpepper says he’s “devastated” over the fact that the county couldn’t find the needed funding for the sheriff’s budget and believes the county should consider the county’s landfill trust fund for an answer to this problem, a fund that has nine million dollars in it and has an insurance policy over three times that (Sheriff’s Budget Workshop 2). The county also discussed the county’s transportation trust fund and the county library’s budget at yesterday’s workshop.

Three Okeechobee County juveniles will be in court once again today and they’re still pleading not guilty to charges in connection with an incident where they allegedly spat into the food of sheriff’s deputies at a restaurant they were working in last April. Prosecutor Ashley Albright says attorneys for 17 year old Molly Spearow, 17 year old Alex Armstrong and 17 year old Logan Pope presented written pleas of not guilty in court on behalf of their clients last June on charges of violating the Florida Anti-Tampering Act for Food and Battery on a law enforcement officer when surveillance camera footage at the Highway 55 restaurant caught the three juveniles spitting into the deputies’ food.  All three were released from their jobs and later arrested by Okeechobee Police. Albright says prosecutors chose to charge the juveniles as adults not just because of the seriousness of the crimes under the law, but also because of the ages of the three juveniles. All three are expected to be in court at around nine o’clock this morning. Attorneys for the juveniles, Roger Azcona and Shannon Eighmie, declined to comment.

A report of a structure fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters early Monday morning. Crews were called to the scene a little after midnight and found a mobile home that had burned earlier and there was still some smoke emanating from the home. Firefighters entered the home and found the fire had burned between the cabinets and drywall getting into the insulation of the building. Investigators say the homeowner turned on the stove earlier and caught some potpourri on fire. He walked out of his bedroom a few minutes after being in the kitchen and found the stove on fire. He put it out with a blanket and suffered second and third degree burns on his arm. His family took him to the hospital for treatment and when he returned, he found smoke inside the home and the fire was burning again, prompting him to call 911. Sheriff’s deputies arrived and put out the fire with water from a garden hose. The mobile home was completely gutted to the tune of nearly three thousand dollars. The homeowner did not have insurance on it.

An Immokalee man is dead following a vehicle accident early Sunday morning in Collier County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 45 year old Manuel DeJesus Nunez was riding his bike southbound on the west paved shoulder of State Road 29 near New Market Road West in Immokalee when a GMC Envoy SUV, driven by 34 year old Consuelo Reyes, also of Immokalee, was coming down Route 29 and for unknown reasons, entered the west paved shoulder and collided with Nunez’ bicycle. The impact sent Nunez off the bike and onto the grassy shoulder. Medics pronounced Nunez dead at the scene. Reyes was not injured but she was charged with failing to drive in a single lane. FHP is investigating.

On the arrest report:

23 year old Breanna Leigh Hart of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for contempt of court during her hearing on past drug possession charges. She’s being held without bond.

30 year old Preston Edward Arnold of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of battery and criminal mischief. He’s being held without bond.

38 year old Randy Ryan Ramirez of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. His bond is set at $15 hundred dollars.

35 year old Shaun Anthony Tedford of Okeechobee was arrested for resisting arrest and leaving the scene of a vehicle accident involving property damage. He was released after posting a $15 hundred dollar bond.

51 year old Michael Ray Raulerson of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. He was released after posting a five thousand dollar bond.

36 year old Jennifer Lea Riddle of Okeechobee was arrested for battery on her boyfriend during a domestic dispute. Her bond has not been set.

30 year old Edwin Javier Castro of Okeechobee was arrested for violating conditions of his pre-trial release. He’s being held without bond.

32 year old Ashley Moore of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past battery charges. She’s being held without bond.

28 year old Dennis Napoleon Hall of Riviera Beach was arrested for battery on his girlfriend during a domestic dispute. He was released after posting a ten thousand dollar bond.