News Cast 4/23

News Cast for April 23rd:

Sheriff thanks trio for giving child a second chance

Okeechobee Sheriff Noel Stephen honored three adults with special sheriff recognition awards today for helping to save the life of a small child earlier this year.

Five children were on board a utility vehicle or UTV in a southeast neighborhood when it overturned trapping the youngest child underneath.

Cristman Bottari, Jose Navarrete, and Sara Notman sprang to the rescue and helped the child.

Bottari and Navarrete helped remove the vehicle while Notman provided CPR and revived the child.

Notman is a physician’s assistant in Okeechobee.

The child was hospitalized and was able to recover from her injuries.

Bottari said his daughter alerted him to what happened and he just wanted to help a neighbor.

“We coined the term Chloe Strong.  We enjoy watching her play with her brothers and sisters and get to be kids,” he added.

Notman said she thought at first that the accident had killed the child.  She is now just glad to see the little girl alive and playing with her family, “It is honestly, amazing.  I live right behind them.  Getting to see her play is a gift.  Most children don’t survive things like that.”

Driver critical after crash

A collision between a Ford hauling a trailer and a Toyota sent one driver to Raulerson Hospital in critical condition on Wednesday night.

The accident happened in Lakeport in the 13000 block of State Road 78, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said the driver at fault didn’t have a license and was cited for careless driving.

Both drivers were transported.

Okeechobee Deputies assisted by helping the Glades ambulance get to the hospital quicker by providing an escort from the county line.

A major development proposed

JW Turf Farms has proposed the Okeechobee Trace Project.  339 acres could be developed as a planned unit development at 747 South West 48th Avenue.

The project goes before the Okeechobee County Planning Board Tuesday night at 6 pm.   The public hearing is held at the Health Department Auditorium at 1728 NW 9th Avenue.

The proposal includes 400 single family homes, 50 to 80 villas, eight acres of commercial uses, a golf course and other recreational amenities.

The project would require a change in zoning from residential single family and agriculture to planned development.

The Board of County Commissioners is expected to vote on the rezone request on May 13.