News Cast for January 28th:
An Okeechobee man is dead after a vehicle accident involving two motorcycles Sunday afternoon in Glades County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 60 year old Dale Reiss was riding a Honda C103 motorcycle east on State Road 78, about a mile east of Gun Club Drive in Moore Haven a little after 3:15 when the driver of another motorcycle, 77 year old James Thomas Ruttan of Michigan, was also headed east on 78 just ahead of Reiss’s motorcycle. As Ruttan was slowing down to turn right into a vacant parking lot, Reiss didn’t slow down in time before rear-ending Ruttan’s bike. The impact from the collision ejected Reiss from his bike and he ended up on the paved shoulder of the road. Ruttan and his female passenger were also ejected from their bike. Reiss was pronounced dead at the scene by medics and he reportedly was not wearing a helmet. Ruttan was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce for treatment of serious injuries. His passenger was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Both were wearing helmets. The accident is being investigated.
Okeechobee County Commissioners have made life a bit easier for fire and emergency medical technicians (EMT) who want to go through paramedic training. At their last meeting on Thursday, commissioners gave the green light to revise the County Fire Rescue On-Duty Paramedic School Program Policy by eliminating the worry that students have of paying for the training. County Fire Chief Ralph Franklin says under the old policy, students getting paramedic training would have to pay for their own tuition and once they finished training, they would only get a portion of their money back. Now, paramedic training students register for their classes and once they finish and achieve the needed passing grades and they get their fee statements, the training school invoices the county and the students get fully reimbursed. Franklin says this addresses the need for more paramedics not just here, but nationwide. Fire and EMS personnel here in Okeechobee County will likely receive their paramedic training at Indian River State College (IRSC). Franklin says he has three in the program right now, and three more will begin next month.
Investigations are underway for a domestic dispute that led to the unfortunate shooting death of a Sebring man during the early morning hours of January 19th in Highlands County. Highlands County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 92 hundred block of Bridle Path in Sebring shortly before five o’clock and arrived to find 43 year old Dustin Alexander Nealis reportedly heavily armed and presenting an active threat according to Spokesperson Scott Dressel. Dressel says deputies were forced to use deadly force against Nealis. Dressel says it’s a tragedy for both law enforcement and Nealis’s family. The on-scene deputies were not injured in this incident. Dressel says Nealis had prior brushes with the law, including past charges for domestic violence. It’s being investigated by officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). It’s not known as to what led to this dispute.
We’re in the dry season now and that means it’s the time of grass fires. A report of one such fire caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters a week ago Sunday evening. Crews were called to a home on the 29 hundred block of NE 62nd Parkway shortly before 6:30 and arrived to find a burn pile measuring 15 by 20 feet. Firefighters say the homeowner showed them a burn permit but he did ask firefighters with help in extinguishing the burn pile. Crews used about five hundred gallons of water to get the fire controlled, which they did in just under an hour. The burn pile consisted mainly of heavy fuels such as large logs and tree stumps. There was no one hurt and no structures damaged.
On the arrest report:
44 year old Robin Stoner Fairbanks of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for drunk driving, two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. Her bond is set at $12 thousand dollars.
36 year old Leonel Alvarez-Sanchez of Okeechobee was arrested for use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol in a public place and resisting arrest. He was released after posting a $15 hundred dollar bond.
38 year old Johnny Lee Walker of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of trafficking stolen property. His bond has not been set.
25 year old Morgan Scott Tibbett of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of driving on a suspended license. He’s being held without bond.
31 year old Carmelo Velez Junior of Okeechobee was arrested on a Pasco County warrant for battery. He was released after posting a bond of just over five thousand dollars.
60 year old Peter John Krosofsky of Okeechobee was arrested for violating conditions of his pre-trial release. He’s being held without bond.
20 year old Kysell Marquise Merritt-Richardson of Okeechobee was arrested for prowling. He was released after posting a $750 dollar bond.
32 year old Corey Anne Delange of Okeechobee was arrested by police on a local warrant for past charges of resisting arrest. Her bond is set at a thousand dollars.
39 year old Senon Anselmo Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license and driving without a valid registration. His bond is set at three thousand dollars.