News Cast for November 5th:

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) will be holding the first of a series of workshops in south Florida beginning this morning and their first stop will be right here in Okeechobee County.  The SFWMD board members will be addressing the water quality conditions in Lake Okeechobee as well as the Caloosahatchie River and the St. Lucie River. The meeting will be held in the Williamson Center of Indian River State College (IRSC) beginning at ten o’clock. It is open to the public.

The arrival of new information regarding the possible location of an Okeechobee woman, who has been missing for over twenty years, got the attention of Okeechobee County Sheriff’s investigators last spring and re-ignited a search. Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen says the restarted search into the whereabouts of Robin Flynn began in April when his department received information that her body might be found at the Four Seasons Subdivision in East Okeechobee County where she once lived. The restarted search, which lasted over six months and included excavation of the land, unfortunately did not reveal any sign of her. The then 23 year old Flynn disappeared in December of 1998 following a “physical altercation”, according to family. Stephen, a member of the sheriff’s department during the time this case began, remembers the exhaustive efforts put in to finding the missing Flynn (Stephen-Flynn Whereabouts 1). Stephen thanked members of the Peace River K-9 Rescue Association, FDLE Crime Lab and other agencies involved in this restarted search. The Sheriff’s Department continues to follow up on any leads in Flynn’s disappearance and if you have any information regarding this case, please contact the sheriff’s department.

While Halloween was the time of scary and crazy costumes and trick or treating, there was also a scary moment that took place during the morning hours following a domestic dispute and it unfortunately ended in tragedy. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 21 hundred block of SE 40th Avenue a little after nine o’clock after the caller said his 23 year old son Branden Tyler Masiero had taken one of his firearms and began walking down SE 40th Avenue. Deputies arrived and tried to convince Masiero to put the weapon down but could not and Masiero fatally shot himself. SE 40th Avenue, also known as Everglades Avenue, was closed to traffic during the incident and caused a lockdown of nearby Everglades Elementary School. School Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says the school was under a “yellow lockdown” where students and faculty could remain in the school but could not go outside until the lockdown was lifted. Kenworthy says a great deal of thanks goes to the sheriff’s department for their efforts during this situation. No students or faculty were hurt in this incident. The road closure and lockdown were lifted sometime before noon.

A report of a dumpster fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters on the night of Halloween. Crews were called to the 35 hundred block of Highway 441 South a little after six o’clock, the site of a tractor supply company, and found two dumpsters, one of which was burning. Firefighters say store personnel tried putting out the fire themselves with fire extinguishers but to no avail. Crews got the fire controlled in about a half hour while using about two hundred gallons of water to put the blaze out. Investigators say the dumpster was heavily damaged to the tune of $15 hundred dollars. No one was hurt in the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

On the arrest report:

31 year old Michael Alton Murphy of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of cocaine and driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a six thousand dollar bond.

62 year old Robert Owen Hendershot of Okeechobee was arrested on a local capias warrant for failing to obey a law officer’s order to stop. His bond is set at $25 hundred dollars.

43 year old Brian Steven Benefield of Okeechobee was arrested for second degree petit theft for the third time. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

43 year old Roy Lee Melvin of Okeechobee was arrested for battery and criminal mischief. His bond is set at four thousand dollars.