News Cast 2/19

News Cast for February 19th:


Trail ride arrives in Okeechobee

120 cracker trail riders made it to Okeechobee on Thursday.

It’s the 34th annual ride that retraces the steps of cattlemen taking their stock to market in Bradenton.

Trail boss Suzanne Parks said the ranchers stuck together for safety purposes.  They had to deal with Seminole Indians, cattle rustlers and bandits, and even the Union Army.

The ranchers were paid with Spanish gold and tried to stick together on the return trip to avoid bandits.

She said they had some weather delays on Sunday and Tuesday but have avoided any other problems.

The group had lunch at the former Edna Pearce Lockett Estate, spent the night at the Bass Ranch in Basinger, and rode across Okeechobee on Friday to the Adams Ranch in St. Lucie County.

The ride had newcomers this year from as far away as Germany.

More pregnancies reported in Okeechobee

The pandemic has meant more pregnancies in Okeechobee.

The Healthy Start Coalition said people were home bound for didn’t have a lot of options to pass the time.

Executive Director Andrea Medellin said many of the pregnancies were unplanned.

The county averages between 480 and 520 births per year.

The initial data showed a 14% increase in pregnancies for 2020.

At the same time pre-natal care took a hit as the OB at the Florida Community Health Center gave their notice.

The center directed patients to travel to a provider in Fort Pierce, Medellin said.

That would be a hardship for those that are low incomes and don’t have access to transportation.

Dr. Ruel Stossel, who also specializes in high risk pregnancies, has agreed to continue and expand his services into Okeechobee to fill the gap.