News Cast 2/13

News Cast for February 13th:

Okeechobee County Commissioners will meet this morning and they will be looking to declare this week as 211 Helpline Awareness Week and Foster Family Appreciation Week and next week as Through With Chew Week and they will also receive a presentation from AVCON, Inc. regarding the County Airport’s Conservation Easement and the next steps for the airport’s development. The meeting will be held in the commissioners’ chambers in the Historic County Courthouse beginning at nine o’clock and it’ll be streamed live on the commissioners’ website.

An issue not well known to the general public, but one plaguing small, independent pharmacies is price gouging on prescription medication and it will be the subject of a press conference today. Stacey Nelson, whose family owns Okeechobee Discount Drugs, says there’s a need to have drug pricing reform in Florida because it is affecting taxpayers. Nelson says there needs to be regulations placed on Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) who work directly with health insurance companies and control the drug market in a monopolistic way. For example, you can go to a local pharmacy to have a prescription filled and it may cost over three hundred dollars but if you go to a well-known pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens, the cost may be as low as twelve to fifteen dollars. The PBM’s are owned by Walgreens and CVS. While it seems like you can go where you want to get your prescription filled, some don’t have that choice. Nelson says if people get their prescriptions filled someplace where they’re not supposed to go, they face paying a stiff penalty. The press conference will be held at Okeechobee Discount Drugs on the two hundred block of SW Park Street at one o’clock. Sheriff Noel Stephen is expected to be a guest speaker.

A Sebring man is dead after a vehicle accident Sunday evening in Highlands County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 22 year old Riley Carrington Thompson was riding a bicycle southbound in the right portion of the southbound lane of Hallmark Avenue near Fillmore Avenue in Lake Placid a little after 6:30 when a Hyundai Elantra sedan, driven by 32 year old Jocelyn Megan Parris of Lake Placid, was heading southbound on Hallmark Avenue right behind Thompson’s bicycle. For unknown reasons, the front of Parris’s vehicle rear-ended Thompson’s bike, causing him to be ejected from it and propelling him onto the grass shoulder of the road. Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene by medics. Parris was not injured in the accident. It remains under investigation.

A hearty congratulations goes out to 37 year old Clewiston resident Pierina Ramirez Santel as she became the state lottery’s newest millionaire this past Monday. Florida Lottery officials say Santel claimed the first two million dollar top prize from the Holiday Luck Scratch-Off game at Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee. Santel requested a one-time, lump sum payment of just over $1.5 million dollars. The winning ticket was purchased from Mary Lou’s General Store in Clewiston. The retailer will receive a bonus commission of four thousand dollars just for selling the winning ticket.

On the arrest report:

62 year old Lee Eugene Cockfield of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for drunk driving and use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol after a traffic stop. His bond is set at $15 hundred dollars.

33 year old Jose Adan Rangel-Olivera of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on undisclosed past charges. He’s being held without bond.

21 year old Mateo Shemar Vasquez of Okeechobee was arrested on a warrant from Martin County in connection with the revoking of a pre-trial release. He’s being held without bond.

47 year old Orlando Santa Ana Garcia of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on undisclosed past charges. He’s being held without bond.

56 year old John Cooper Rohrer of Oak Hill was arrested on a warrant from Volusia County for not paying child support. His bond is set at just under six hundred dollars.