News Cast for September 10th:

An Okeechobee woman is dead following a vehicle accident early Sunday morning in Highlands County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 28 year old Brooke Lee McCormick was driving a Ford Contour sedan south on Route 98 approaching a curve to the left near Route 721 outside the Fort Basinger Trailhead in Lorida at around 2:20 when she failed to slow down adequately before entering the curve. McCormick ended up driving off the roadway, causing her to go through a ditch, strike a fence and overturning in a pasture. McCormick was partially ejected through the windshield as the car came to a final rest overturned. She was pinned under the front portion of the car. McCormick was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Her passenger, 24 year old Michael Ray Ward of Okeechobee, was treated for minor injuries. The accident is being investigated.

For the first time since the new school year began last month, Okeechobee County School Board members will be meeting tonight. One item that will surely be of interest is the final vote they will be taking on the idea of having classroom teachers be eligible for the Guardian Program, which allows for school personnel to carry firearms to protect students in the event of an emergency like Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School nearly two years ago. Board members will also be having public hearings on their proposed millage rate of just over six mills and their proposed budget of just over $77 million dollars before adopting both for this fiscal year. The meeting begins at six o’clock in the school board office.

Also meeting tonight will be the Okeechobee City Council, and like the school board, they will also discuss their proposed millage rate of just over seven mills and their proposed budget of $7.6 million dollars for the next fiscal year in their first public hearing. The council will also look to approve a contract with an outside company for the purchase of six new security doors for just under $22 thousand dollars. That meeting will begin at a special time this evening, which will be five o’clock, in City Hall.

The issue of Hunger Awareness is an important issue all over the world and it’s no different here in Okeechobee County. With that, the Okeechobee County Commissioners unanimously approved the month of September as Hunger Action Month in the county at their meeting last week. Representatives of the Treasure Coast Food Bank were on hand to accept the proclamation. Jade Alexander of Treasure Coast Food Bank says this is the time to bring awareness to those who are fighting hunger in the community and people should be taking the time this month to take some action to join the fight against hunger. Gary Porter, another representative of Treasure Coast Food Bank says to emphasize the importance of Hunger Awareness this month, one thing people are being asked to do is wear orange this Thursday. Alexander says what people need to realize this month is that we’re blessed and on the flip side, hunger is a solvable issue and we can stop it from happening. For more information, you can log on to

A Connecticut-area man is dead and a Port St. Lucie man is in serious condition following a vehicle accident early last week in Martin County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 75 year old Roque Martinez was driving a Dodge van north in the center lane on Highway 95 near the 98 Mile Post at around 6:30 in the evening when the driver of a Lexus SC-300 coupe, 40 year old Samuel Bell of Martin County, was changing lanes into Martinez’s lane of travel. The front of Bell’s car struck the rear of Martinez’s van, causing the accident. Martinez was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce for treatment. Martinez’s passenger, 62 year old Thomas Furtado, was pronounced dead at the scene. Bell was not injured. The accident is being investigated.

On the arrest report:

51 year old Derrick James Hollis of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation on past charges of driving on a suspended license. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

57 year old Clifford Lawson Knight of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. His bond has not been set.

26 year old Ralph Henry Bucchheit the Fourth of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence after a traffic stop. His bond is set at $21 thousand dollars.

33 year old Rageive Chris O’Brien Heaven of Sebring was arrested on a warrant from Highlands County for violating probation on past charges of reckless driving and driving without a valid license. He;s being held without bond.

27 year old Johnny Lewis Hunter Junior of Belle Glade, an inmate at the county jail, was arrested for battery on a fellow inmate. He’s being held without bond.