News Cast for October 30th:

This is just a reminder that if you have a concern regarding the schools in Okeechobee County, tonight is your time to express that concern. The Okeechobee County School Board will be holding a town hall meeting this evening and it’s a time for the general public to come in and express significant concerns regarding the schools in the district. School Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says the idea for this came up when he and the board members took part in a master board training provided by the Florida School Boards Association to find ways to work better as a team, be more effective and more transparent. Kenworthy believes that much like recent town hall meetings held by the city council and Sheriff Noel Stephen, this could be quite successful. Some issues Kenworthy says might be expressed by the public tonight include student achievement and transportation. However, Kenworthy stressed that this is not going to be a problem solving meeting like a workshop but rather a time for the board to listen to the public’s concerns. The town hall meeting will begin at six o’clock tonight in the Freshman Campus Auditorium. This will be the school board’s first ever town hall meeting.

A week from this coming Thursday morning will be a very special day in Okeechobee County with the opening of a brand new building. County commissioners will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house to celebrate the grand opening of the new county Public Works Facility. It will be the new home of the County Public Works Department and Road Division. Donnie Oden, Director of Facilities Maintenance and Development Services says it’s a “long time coming” for this building considering that they’ve been working in a trailer for quite a while and they were “due for a new building.” Oden says this building will be different than previous ones because it’ll be backed up with its own generator. Commissioner Bryant Culpepper says the building only took about five or six months to build and the credit for that goes to Oden and his involvement on a very personal level with this project. The grand opening of the new Public Works facility will begin at 8:15 on November 7th and it’ll be located on the eight hundred block of NW 2nd Street.

A report of a structure fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters Sunday afternoon but it turned out to be a bit different kind of fire. Crews were called to the two hundred block of NW 9th Street a little after 4:10 and actually were told by Okeechobee City firefighters that it was actually burning feed. Crews got it controlled in about ten minutes with no one getting hurt and no reported damages. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

An Okeechobee woman was arrested Saturday evening on several charges in connection with an incident involving her neighbor. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the five thousand block of SE 44th Street just after 6:30 after it was reported by the neighbor that 52 year old Maryann Puglia walked out of her home with a tray full of cat litter and poured it on her neighbor’s car and began yelling racial slurs at her in reference to her Hispanic ethnicity. Deputies arrived at Puglia’s home and found her walking away and she was not responsive to deputies’ commands to stop. They followed her into her home and told her she was under arrest for criminal mischief but she was screaming profanities at them and at one point grabbed a pair of scissors and was resisting arrest. She had to be held down for deputies to handcuff her. Puglia also kicked one of the deputies in the shin. Puglia was arrested and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest along with criminal mischief. She was booked into county jail and released after posting a six thousand dollar bond. She’s also liable for the $350 dollars in damages she caused to her neighbor’s car.

A boating accident claimed the lives of a Port Salerno woman and a one year old girl this past Sunday night in Martin County. Martin County Sheriff’s investigators say 29 year old Paige Barrett and the one year old girl were part of a six person group that were out on a boat in the waters at Sandsprit Park in Stuart when it apparently crashed and Barrett and the one year old girl were ejected from the boat a little after eight o’clock. A search was engaged after emergency and marine unit crews arrived and Barrett and the one year old girl had been unaccounted for. Barrett and the one year old girl were eventually found unconscious and taken by EMS crews to an area hospital for treatment. Attempts to revive both were not successful and Barrett and the one year old girl were pronounced dead by medics an hour later. Marine Unit deputies found the other people that were on the boat and they were not injured. The incident is under investigation.

On the arrest report:

31 year old Ryan Joseph Bosold of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for driving without a valid license and possession of the controlled substance methylone without a prescription after a traffic stop. His bond is set at four thousand dollars.

35 year old Cory Lee Shaw of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of criminal mischief. He’s being held without bond.

50 year old Lasene E. Pack of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest after she was stopped by deputies regarding a possible warrant out on her. Her bond is set at $95 hundred dollars.

32 year old Elias Ponce Junior of Okeechobee was arrested on a capias warrant for drunk driving after a traffic stop for the fourth time. He was released after posting a five thousand dollar bond.

26 year old Joshua David Grossman of Okeechobee was arrested for domestic assault. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.