News Cast 3/11

News Cast for March 11th:

Glades Electric Cooperative will hold a different annual meeting

Instead of meeting together in person the Glades Electric Cooperative Annual Meeting this year will be a drive-thru event.

They will hold board of trustee voting and registration at the Old State Road 8 complex at 2829 Old State Road 8 in Venus on Saturday from 8-11 a.m.

Ballots were mailed in the February bills.  They include a QR code to quickly register for the meeting.

All members that register receive a $10 bill credit.  Members who bring the QR code and completed ballot will receive another $5 bonus bill credit.

Photo ID is required for members.  Business members can provide a letter on company letterhead that specifies the ballot holder is authorized to cast a ballot.

They will announce election results and present annual reports online at 2 pm on the cooperative webpage.

Last year’s annual meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19.

CEO Jeff Brewington said they have done a good job eliminating power outages in the past few years.

“That is something we have really paid attention to.  We have a 90 minute average goal to restore power.”

They’ve also purchased new equipment and continue to work to clear tree limbs around power lines.

The company has also worked with its power provider Seminole Electric to do more to embrace alternative power sources like solar.

Brewington said the cooperative actually had a pleasant surprise in 2020…growth.

“We ended the year with the highest number of meters ever just over 17,000.  That growth continues.  We are behind a lot of projects in Moore Haven that involve redevelopment.

He said details on that program can be found on the website moretomoorehaven.com”

Panther appearances a thrill for long time state employee

There have been at least two Florida Panther sitings in recent months at the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.

Park Manager Alex Creager said he saw a panther not far from the park office.

He said a volunteer spotted a panther chasing a deer near the same location.

Creager said he has worked in state parks for 10 years and has worked in some remote nature preserves.

“This is the first and only time I have seen a Florida Panther in the wild.  It was pretty astounding to me,” he said.

Creager said wildlife continues to flourish at the park.  One that isn’t welcome is feral hogs.  He said they continue to damage trails and the ecosystem.

They conducted a hunt last year and have a contract with trappers to remove hogs.

“It is not just ecosystem destruction.  When they chew up the ground they make it tough for people to hike on popular trails.”

This week, a photographer and videographer saw four panthers in the wild at the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve Park in the Everglades.