News Cast 10/14

News Cast for October 14th:

An alternate way to travel 

Amtrak proposed a plan to greatly increase rail service in Florida. 

Okeechobee would benefit with five trains per day coming through on the way to Orlando, Tampa and Miami. 

Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said they plan expansions around the country. 

There has been an increase in rail travel as we come out of the pandemic. 

She cited the environmental benefits in south Florida with fewer vehicles on the road and less emissions or pollution. 

“This gives people more options to travel by rail especially in the growing metropolitan areas around Florida.  The Silver Star provides service in Okeechobee.  This train could allow you to travel to Miami, Washington, DC and New York.” 

Amtrak requested $75 billion from congress for the expansion over 15 years. 

Congressman Greg Steube said he is against giving Amtrak more money. 

“Amtrak is going bankrupt and they already have received $150 billion in various infrastructure bills.” 

Okeechobee County capped the audience for the Count Down to New Years at 15,000 spectators.  

They capped the attendance at the Music Fest to 40,000. 

Ticket sales have been brisk for Music fest at Sunshine Grove in March. 

County Planner Bill Royce saod he thinks the county is ready for the event.  He said they have held meetings with various agencies like the Sheriff and Fire-Rescue to plan the event. 

Tickets for the County Down to New Years Event is scheduled to begin next week. 

Glades County schools approved a tax decrease this year with a near $28.7 million dollar operating budget. 

They also approved a new contract with teachers. 

Superintendent Dr. Beth Barfield said there was 100% support in the union. 

They increased the starting salary of teachers to $47,500. 

They also named Charles Dailey as the new principal at Moore Haven Junior Senior High School.