News Cast for October 1st:

For the second time in as many weeks, the Okeechobee City Council will once again be meeting tonight. This evening councilmembers will be looking to proclaim this month as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the city and they will also be looking to approve the city’s strategic plan and mission statement and adopting a resolution for school safety. The meeting will begin at its regular time, at six o’clock, in City Hall.

Speaking of the city council, at their meeting last week, councilmembers renewed their contract with an outside company for their property and casualty insurance for another two years. Councilmembers voted unanimously to approve the renewal with Ft. Myers-based Public Risk Management (PRM) of Florida for their coverage agreement. PRM Executive Director Bonnie Mims was on hand at the meeting and she says her company has a high retention of their clients, like the city of Okeechobee because their premiums and renewals stay consistent and they don’t raise rates after they secure a new client. Mims says PRM also has a great relationship with the markets like Okeechobee and it’s a great relationship they have with the city because city officials are, what she calls “very engaged”. Okeechobee has had a working relationship with PRM for twenty years and Finance Director India Riedel says PRM markets the city’s products such as liability insurance and property insurance very well.

With today being the first day of October, it’s a month not just reserved for Halloween and Homecoming in Okeechobee County, but it’s also a month for recognizing a very important issue-Domestic Violence. At their September 19th meeting, county commissioners approved a measure proclaiming this month to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Executive Director of Martha’s House Jonathan Bean was on hand for the proclamation and he says it’s great that the commissioners have once again affirmed their position in support of Domestic Violence Awareness and helping to provide services to address this issue. Bean says it’s an important issue to remember this month because it’s become such a pervasive problem that it’s almost become normalized-people saying “oh well”, or “sorry it’s happened,” or just making excuses about it. Bean says this is the time to stop making those excuses because it’s such a huge societal problem against women and girls and we all need to stand up and take notice. As part of this month, there are a couple of events happening soon celebrating women including “Walk in My Shoes” on October 26th and “Brunch and Bubbly” on November 2nd. Any questions about these events can be forwarded to Martha’s House.

An Immokalee man is dead and a Lehigh Acres man is in serious condition following a vehicle accident early Sunday morning in Hendry County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 31 year old Luis Cruz was driving a Hyundai Sonata sedan the wrong way on the eastbound lane of State Road 82 west of Calumet Road in Immokalee at around 7:15 at the same time 52 year old Bruno Borra was driving a Chevy Express van in the eastbound lane of 82. Both vehicles collided head on near Calumet Road. Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene by medics and Borra was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. The accident is under investigation.

On the arrest report:

26 year old Jared Matthew Wilson of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on several counts of dealing in stolen property, providing false ownership to a pawnbroker and fraud. His bond is set at $40 thousand dollars.

40 year old Brett Anthony Pignataro of Okeechobee was arrested for methamphetamine possession after a traffic stop. His bond is set at $25 hundred dollars.

31 year old Justin Timothy Wood of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

30 year old Theresa May Carter of Okeechobee was arrested for battery on her sister during a domestic dispute and contempt of court. Her bond is set at $750 dollars.

20 year old Justin Shane Rowe of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. His bond has not been set.

27 year old Eric Daniel Shepard of Jonesboro, Tennessee was arrested on a fugitive warrant from Tennessee for grand theft auto. He was extradited back to Tennessee.