News Cast for January 11th:
Manatee rescued from Moore Haven Canal
A crew from South Florida Water Management and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helped to rescue a 1,300 pound manatee from a canal near Moore Haven. A video of the rescue was placed on You Tube. Wildlife Biologist Natasha Warraich said the manatee had become stranded near Lake Hicpochee.
20 people worked to free the manatee. It was relocated to the Orange River in Ft. Myers.
The SFWMD routinely performs wildlife rescues like this. Volunteers also assisted in the effort.
No worries at Okeechobee High School
Okeechobee County Deputies will be training this week at OHS. New deputies will train with school resource officers on campus. The Sheriff’s Office said there will be a large number of law enforcement vehicles on the campus. They wanted to let the public know that there is no cause for concern.
Drug trafficker arrested in Glades County
A lengthy investigation led to the arrest of a 26 year old Moore Haven man on several felony charges Friday. Glades County Sheriff David Hardin said Roytone Smikle, was the subject of an investigation into the sale of illegal narcotics. Deputies conducted a search of a Moore Haven residence and allegedly found 27.8 grams of oxycodone, 390 grams of methamphetamine, and 173 grams of marijuana.
Smikle was charged with trafficking in oxycodone, trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of oxycodone with the intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a place of worship, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a place of worship, and operation of a drug house. Smikle was held without bond at the Glades County Jail to await a court appearance.
Vandal causes problem at City Park
Okeechobee Police said a vandal repeated did damage to the restrooms at Centennial Park. The city decided to close the restrooms to everything but permitted events. Major Donald Hagan said it was disheartening to see the damage to the new facility.
Hagan said it is difficult to solve crimes like this because surveillance cameras are not allowed inside restrooms. The restrooms are open for events that receive a city permit.
Tractor and train collide near South Bay
A female operating a tractor in a field near the 1000 block of Southshore Village Drive, was found deceased Saturday after she apparently pulled the tractor onto the tracks and was struck by an oncoming train. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said the death occurred on private property. The female operated the tractor parallel to the train and made a right turn to enter the railroad crossing as the train approached. The train operator said he blew the horn for about 30 seconds but the tractor did not move.