News Cast 4/21

News Cast for April 21st:

A pleasure trip for 7 people turned into a boat rescue on Lake Okeechobee Tuesday

Glades County Sheriff Lt. Gary Johnson says the airboat sunk in an area known as the Buckhead Marsh at about 10:30 am Tuesday morning. 

They found some of the occupants in the 7 feet of water  while others sat on top of the overturned vessel. 

There were no injuries reported.

The group had come from West Palm Beach with friends from Colorado when they ran into difficulty. 

Okeechobee getting a new police chief

Okeechobee city Council accepted the retirement notice of Police Chief Robert Peterson last night.

He ran into some health problems and will retire at the end of August. Peterson said he had heart surgery in January after he went for a routine physical and was diagnosed with heart problems.

“I made five years and that is what I promised them.   I’m under a contract to retire August 31.  The council has the opportunity to reappoint me for a time.  We had that discussion and I was willing to stay on as long as they wanted to have me.”

That was before the health problems came along.

Peterson endorsed his second in command Donald Hagan to be his successor. Hagan has served at the rank of major. The council named Donald Hagan Assistant Chief immediately.

Peterson said Hagan has been a part of the major decisions in the department for five years and is ready to take over. Hagan would be the first chief to be born and raised in Okeechobee in many years. Hagan said he’s glad the department won’t have to wait four months for a decision on who will lead it.

“I’m glad they showed me the support.  Staff is all excited they won’t have to wonder what is going to happen.  Last time when they went through the application process the staff was very stressed because they didn’t know what they were going to get.”