News Cast for November 6th:

Officials from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) came to Indian River State College in Okeechobee County yesterday in a workshop session to gather feedback from the public on a water quality monitoring project for bodies of water in the state. This monitoring project was put into effect by the state legislature in 2016 when they passed a water bill directing the water management district to establish one in accordance with the Works of District Rule or Chapter 40E-61, because of the potential of high levels of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from the ocean that can get into bodies of water such as Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchie and St. Lucie Rivers, leading to the growth of algae blooms. Steffany Olsen, a science supervisor for the SFWMD, says this system will be a big help. Former Okeechobee City Councilman Gary Ritter spoke at the workshop and he says while these workshops are important for the sake of the state’s bodies of water, he hopes that the governing board will hold to the legislative mandate in lieu of wanting more regulatory authority and change that direction. There will be more workshops on this issue throughout the month of November in areas such as Stuart, Ft. Myers, Kissimmee and West Palm Beach. Any further information can be found at the water management district’s website at www.sfwmd.gov.

A well-known business in Okeechobee County was the recipient of a special award last week. Gilbert Ford of Okeechobee was the winner of the 2018-2019 Farm Bureau Advantage Dealer of the Year Award. This award is given to the Ford dealer who has worked successfully and cooperatively throughout the year with their local county farm bureau and has shown excellent customer service toward its members. JD Mixon, Director of Operations of Gilbert Ford, says it was exciting and an “absolute honor” to receive this award and it’s great to help people in the agricultural field and promote farm bureau discounts and offers. Mixon says putting customers first is probably why they were chosen for this award. The award was presented to Mixon and Gilbert Ford at the Florida Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Orlando last Wednesday night.

A report of a mobile home fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters early Monday morning. Crews were called to the 25 hundred block of 63rd Street just after 1:45 and were told by dispatch while they were en route that sheriff’s deputies had already put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. Crews arrived and didn’t find any visible fire in the mobile home but they did find a power strip plugged into the wall and it had a burned end on it which likely caused the fire. Crews stayed behind for the better part of 45 minutes to clear the area of smoke and shut down power to the home and remove the insulation from the burned electrical outlet. No one was hurt. Total damage is estimated at around one thousand dollars. It remains under investigation.

On the arrest report:

39 year old Wendy Ann Snow of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. Her bond is set at $250 dollars.

38 year old James Michael Kendall of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. His bond is set at $35 hundred dollars.

42 year old Tavares Whitehead of Okeechobee was arrested for trespassing. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

49 year old Tammie Renee Crawford of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. She was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

45 year old Telly Salvolas Andrews of Okeechobee was arrested for animal cruelty. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

18 year old Dylan Gage Jacobs of Okeechobee was arrested for assault and criminal mischief. He was released after posting a three thousand dollar bond.

23 year old Maria Isabel Jaimes of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. She was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

18 year old Dakota James Hart of Okeechobee was arrested for disorderly conduct. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

48 year old Rogelio Soto Rodriguez of Okeechobee was arrested for driving without a valid driver’s license. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

31 year old Arturo Casas of Okeechobee was arrested for petit theft and disorderly conduct. His bond is set at $15 hundred dollars.

40 year old Shannon Kieley Spears of Okeechobee was arrested on a Clay County warrant for failing to pay child support. Her bond is set at $15 hundred dollars.

56 year old Geneva Guyton of Okeechobee was arrested for domestic abuse and disorderly conduct following an argument with her neighbor. Her bond is set at $1750 dollars.

56 year old Raul Navarro Tejada of Okeechobee was arrested by police for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

21 year old Chastity Lorraine Harmon of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during her hearing on past charges of cannabis possession and driving without a valid license and violating probation. She’s being held without bond.

24 year old James Glenn Spiva of Okeechobee was arrested for obstruction. His bond is set at $250 dollars.