News Cast for October 8th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners will meet today after a nearly three week hiatus and they will be presenting awards to county employees and they will also discuss the conclusions drawn with people they’ve interviewed for the soon to be vacant county attorney post and determine which method is best for the county and rank those that were interviewed. The meeting will begin at nine o’clock this morning in the Historic County Courthouse and it’ll be streamed live on the commissioners’ website.

Besides the county commissioners, school board members will also be meeting tonight where they will proclaim the week of October 21st as School Bus Safety Week and they will also discuss their agreement with the city for the School Resource Officer (SRO) program. The meeting will be held in the school board office beginning at six o’clock.

Speaking of the county commissioners, at their last meeting on September 19th, they gave the go-ahead to execute an Interlocal Agreement between Okeechobee and Highlands County to share their Regional 911 Emergency Backup Systems. County Fire Chief Ralph Franklin says this agreement, which includes Okeechobee and Highlands County Commissioners and Sheriff’s Departments, means that if there’s an issue with our area’s 911 system, calls can be relocated to Highlands County’s 911 systems as if Okeechobee’s system was still working properly. It also gives both counties the ability to assist each other and physically go there to use each other’s resources. Franklin says this formal agreement between both counties is new but it has been in the works for some time. This agreement will cost about $100 thousand dollars and it’s paid for mainly by the state’s E-911 fund. Franklin says there will be some discussion in the near future as to how to physically put this into effect.

A report of a mobile home fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters Thursday night. Crews were called to the 14 hundred block of NW 98th Street a little before 9:30 and arrived to find a single wide mobile home completely covered in flames. Firefighters say sixty percent of the roof had collapsed by the time they arrived. About 35 hundred gallons of water was used to get the fire controlled and they did so within about five minutes with no one getting hurt. Investigators say while no cause of the fire was formally determined yet, they suspect it was the work of illicit drug activity considering the mobile home was unoccupied at the time. Total damage to the mobile home is estimated at $11 thousand dollars in property and contents. It remains under investigation.

On the arrest report:

21 year old Jeffrey Alan Bernhard of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of the controlled substance Xanax without a prescription, drug paraphernalia, and a concealed weapon after deputies responded to a suspicious incident. His bond is set at eleven thousand dollars.

66 year old Virginia Ann Kroner of Okeechobee was arrested on 17 counts of animal cruelty when several mistreated and neglected dogs and cats were found in her care by Animal Control officials. Her bond has not been set.

48 year old Tanya Renee Huggins of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drug possession charges. She’s being held without bond.

56 year old Ricky Evans of Fort Lauderdale was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $750 dollar bond.