News Cast 2/3

News Cast for February 3rd:

Cold Weather shelter opens tonight

A freeze warning forecast for Okeechobee has prompted local officials to open a cold weather shelter in Douglas Park tonight.

The county and the American Red Cross plan to open the shelter at the Douglas Brown Community Center at 826, NE 16th avenue at 7 pm tonight.

Lockdown of the shelter will be at 10 pm.

City Council set special election date

A special election will be held on May 4 to fill one seat on the Okeechobee City Council.

The seat was to be held by Russ Cale who resigned in December.

Wes Abney has agreed to serve in the seat until the election.

Candidates who would like to qualify for the election can do so at the City Clerk’s Office between February 8 at 12 noon to February 12 at 12 noon.

The candidate elected will serve a four year term until January 6, 2025.

Alleged cocaine trafficker jailed in Okeechobee

The Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested an Okeechobee man after he allegedly sold 28.6 grams of powder cocaine to an undercover detective.

Isac Hernandez-Hernandez, 49 of Playland Park was held on $100,000 bond at the Okeechobee County Jail.

The arrest report said the alleged sale occurred on September 11.  The transaction was recorded via audio and video sources.

Hernandez was arrested without incident on January 29.

Hernandez admitted to illegally crossing the Mexican border into the United States in 2009 during a voluntary statement to authorities.

Law enforcement claim Hernandez was attempting to gather all his money in attempts to flee the country when he was arrested.

County Administrator search down to five candidates

The Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners cut from 21 to five the number of candidates under consideration to become the next Okeechobee County Administrator.

The finalists include Deborah Manzo, Town Manager of Lantana, Christopher Rose, Office of Management and Budget Director for the City of Miami, Stanley Hawthorne, the former Assistant Administrator for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Wade Sparkman, Business Manager for Broward County, and Lawrence Johnson, the current Assistant Administrator for Okeechobee County.

The board will invite all five candidates for in person interviews.