News Cast for September 6th:

With our minds and hearts on the residents of the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian’s devastation of the island earlier this week, members of Okeechobee County are stepping up to help. JD Mixon of the Gilbert Family of Companies is working with a Bahamian native to help get much needed supplies to the Bahamas. Kent Bethel, from Man O War Cay on the Abaco region of the Bahamas, says there will be a barge going out to the Bahamas tomorrow and what is needed right now is to fill that barge with lots of building materials such as plywood. Bethel says tools like chainsaws and small generators are also needed. The plywood does not have to be brand new. You can drop off materials to go on the barge at any Gilbert family-owned company in Okeechobee County and also at Big Lake Boating Center and the Chamber of Commerce. Mixon says if you are a business owner, your business can also serve as a drop off location. If you have any further questions, please call (855) 999-1924. It’s best to get these materials to a drop off location before the end of today in time to get them to the barge which will head to the Bahamas sometime tomorrow.

Thanks to a ruling by the Okeechobee County Commissioners, a large area near the county airport will soon have a new, much needed business. At their meeting yesterday, the commissioners unanimously approved the sale of buildings on the 25 hundred block of NW 16th Boulevard to Bautech USA, Inc. following a request for proposal. Bautech was founded by Sergio Brahl in his native Guatemala in 2004 and they make specialty products, for mitigation purposes and erosion control such as retaining walls, tunnels and bridges. Most of the materials Bautech uses come from several countries throughout the world, specifically Italy. Brahl says he chose Okeechobee for his business because of the centralized location in Florida, the growing economy and the nice people here but also because the site was ready-made for his business. Besides most of Latin America and now Florida, Bautech USA also has locations in Georgia, Texas and Delaware. Airport Director Adam Hied says he’s ecstatic because this business will mean work for twenty to thirty people. Brahl hopes to start his business in Okeechobee by the beginning of next year.

An Okeechobee woman’s fortunes will be changing for the better today thanks to the selfless work of the community. 64 year old Gloria Sims, who is legally blind, was evicted from her mobile home last month but as of this morning, she’s the new owner of a new travel trailer that she will be moving into. The idea to help Sims originated from Commissioner Bryant Culpepper, who was contacted by Sims. Sims found a trailer she was interested in and through a go fund me account, enough money was raised by members of the community to purchase the trailer for Sims. Culpepper, who is his words is very passionate about helping people, says it made him feel good to do this. Sims also got her medical benefits back from Senior Services, which she lost when she and her dog were evicted from her former mobile home.

For the second time in just three days, a Clewiston man is dead following a vehicle accident in Palm Beach County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 29 year old Antuwan Lavaro Smith was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck south on the outside lane of Route 27 in Belle Glade a little after eleven o’clock Sunday night when for unknown reasons, Smith lost control of the truck causing it to veer off the road and collided with a guardrail. The impact caused the truck to mount the guardrail and flip over the railing, ejecting Smith from the truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Two nights earlier, 34 year old Nathaniel Stinson of Clewiston was killed in a multi-vehicle accident on Route 15 in Belle Glade. Both accidents remain under investigation.

On the arrest report:

46 year old Samuel Smedley of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for drunk driving for the second time following a traffic stop and field sobriety test. He was released after posting a $15 hundred dollar bond.

38 year old Jack Edwin Jernigan of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $55 hundred dollar bond.

41 year old Sean Michael Eisenhart of Okeechobee was arrested for trespassing. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

33 year old Jeffrey Thaddeus Barber of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

50 year old James Rufus Vanover of Okeechobee was arrested for public disorderly intoxication. He was released after posting a $750 dollar bond.

44 year old Brian Lee Smith of Okeechobee was arrested for battery at a gas station. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

23 year old Collin Timothy Henderson of Okeechobee was arrested for harvesting palmetto berries without a permit. His bond is set at $250 dollars.

52 year old Joseph Harley Davidson Acquaotta of Okeechobee was arrested for violating a domestic injunction after making verbal threats against his mom while under the influence of illegal drugs. He’s being held without bond.

34 year old Bradley Justin Sheltra of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

25 year old James Edison of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a valid license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $250 dollar bond.

35 year old Keri Lynn Childers of Fort Pierce was arrested for assault on a law enforcement officer following a report of a domestic dispute. Her bond is set at two thousand dollars.

41 year old Lavoski Emmanuel Sloan of Fort Pierce was arrested for violating parole. He’s being held without bond.

27 year old Kentron Fowler of Clewiston was arrested on a Palm Beach County warrant for violating probation. He’s being held without bond.