News Cast 1/22

News Cast for January 22nd:

Glades Schools closed until February

A recent increase in COVID-19 cases prompted the Glades County School district to close to in-person learning until February 1.

Students are learning online during this time.

There are about 1,500 students in Glades County Schools.  They have three schools.  Moore Haven Elementary School, West Glades School, and Moore Haven High School. The district also reported it has had difficulty hiring substitute teachers.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Beth Barfield said cases had risen substantially in the past 10 days and many students and teachers had to be sent home as a positive case or direct contact. She said while the district wants to continue in-person learning, they would rather use concern and caution for students and staff at this time.

Unemployment drops in Okeechobee

Okeechobee County had more people employed and fewer on unemployment in December according to the monthly report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Okeechobee reported unemployment of 4.4% with 16,908 people employed and 784 residents on unemployment in December.

This compared to 4.6% with 16,750 people employed and 811 residents on unemployment during November.

One year ago Okeechobee saw an unemployment rate of 2.7%.

The regional rate for December was 5.3%.  The report showed regional growth in government jobs 12.5%, or 1,003, construction 3.7%, and trade, transportation and utilities, 1.1%.

The region had eight industries report job losses.  The CareerSource Heartland region said jobs decreased overall by 420 jobs.

Glades County reported 4.2% unemployment with 5,198 employed and 226 unemployed in December.

This compares to 4.4% in November with 5,158 employed, and 235 collecting benefits.