News Cast for October 2nd:

The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department is issuing an overdose alert as seen by the recent reports of drug overdoses in the county. Sheriff’s deputies responded to eight overdose cases this past weekend. Of those eight calls, deputies responded to the same address three different times within two days and Narcan, a life-saving medication used during an opioid overdose, was used to revive those who suffered from the overdoses. Sheriff Noel Stephen says the recent spike in overdoses can be traced to potent heroin or other narcotics that is mixed with fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid that gives an already powerful drug a massive kick, enabling the user to experience a “high” they’ve never experienced before. Stephen says in his thirty plus years as a law officer in Okeechobee County he’s dealt with lots of cases involving all sorts of drugs, but none of it compares to this. Stephen says it’s going to take a collaborative effort on law enforcement, local politicians and the public to find a solution to this problem. He’s recommending stiffer penalties for people who sell these drugs and encouraging citizens to help develop information on these drug dealers and getting county commissioners to find alternate funding sources to fund more deputies to get a handle on the problem.

The city of Okeechobee will be getting a rather large donation from one of its longtime residents and it’s not money. At their meeting last night, city councilmembers voted unanimously to accept a donation of an American Flag and Flagpole from Gil and Marie Culbreath and it’ll be placed in Flagler Park. JD Mixon of the Gilbert Family of Companies, made the presentation on behalf of the Culbreaths and he says the family has several businesses in town and much of their success has been from their love and respect for the community and they were looking for ways to give back. The flag measures 15 by 25 feet and the flagpole will be sixty feet high and it’ll have LED lighting so it can be seen at night. Mixon says once the flag and flagpole are installed in Flagler Park, it will be quite a prominent sight for visitors coming into town. The installation of the flag and flagpole will cost the city about twenty thousand dollars and it should be done in the next sixty days. Mixon says there will also be a monument installed to honor Colonel Richard Ellis “R.E” Hamrick and his wife Annie, for their contributions to the community. Gil and Marie Culbreath were not available for comment on this story.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a stolen pickup truck last seen this past weekend. Deputies say it’s a 2001, two door, red colored Chevrolet 1500 pickup with an extended cab. It’s slightly lowered and it has a scorpion sticker on the top right corner of the tailgate. It has 18 inch black rims with chrome Chevrolet emblem on them, faded paint, dual exhaust and slightly tinted windows. It has a Florida license plate reading #IL57RB. It was last seen Saturday afternoon in the 28 hundred block of NW 46th Avenue. If you have any information on this stolen truck, please contact the sheriff’s department.

A schoolteacher from Hendry County was arrested on Friday and is facing charges of possession of a weapon on school property. Officials from the Hendry County Sheriff’s Department say Lisa Horton, an English teacher at LaBelle High School, was arrested after school officials found out she brought a gun onto school property. Officials say Horton told a colleague she has a carry a conceal weapon permit and she carries a gun with her to and from school. A school resource officer (SRO) at LaBelle High then found the gun in Horton’s car and secured it. According to a Florida statute, a license issued under this section does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any school, college, or professional athletic event not related to firearms, any elementary or secondary school facility or administration building.  No decision has been made as of yet regarding Horton’s employment status with LaBelle High School. No one was hurt in this incident.

On the arrest report:

62 year old Corveda Smith of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation on previous charges of possession of drug paraphernalia. She’s being held without bond.

25 year old William Gaither Shepherd the Third of Okeechobee was arrested for driving with a revoked license and possession of the controlled substance Vyvanse without a prescription after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a bond of just over $52 hundred dollars.

33 year old Robert James Leitner of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during his hearing on past charges of driving without a valid license. He’s being held without bond.

19 year old Payge Blair Parsley of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a valid license and fleeing and eluding law officers following a high speed pursuit and traffic stop. She was released after posting a three thousand dollar bond.

56 year old Curtis Scott McDugald of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

32 year old Charles Anthony Robert Bloom of Okeechobee was arrested for drug paraphernalia after deputies were checking out a suspicious incident complaint. His bond is set at $750 dollars.

48 year old Enrique Lazaro Zarate of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. He was released after posting a two thousand dollar bond.

37 year old Michael David Krause of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

38 year old Edgar Ivan Velasquez of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a valid license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

45 year old Lisa Ann Pennington of Okeechobee was arrested by police for leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a valid license. She was released after posting a $65 hundred dollar bond.

21 year old Darkevious Darklon Malek Moreland of Okeechobee was arrested following a traffic stop on a local warrant for violating probation on past drug possession and driving without a license charges. He’s being held without bond.

24 year old Lavonta Kendall Spivey of Okeechobee was arrested for habitually driving on a suspended license following a traffic stop. She was released after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.

26 year old Danielle McKenzie Shelton of Okeechobee was arrested for petit theft at Wal-Mart. Her bond has not been set.

32 year old Elmer Campos of Okeechobee was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $750 dollar bond.

20 year old Keagan Shiloh Rummage of Port St. Lucie was arrested on charges of battery, disorderly conduct, possession of a concealed weapon and resisting arrest after fighting with another man. He was released after posting a two thousand dollar bond.