News Cast for April 30th:
Demand slows for vaccine
Demand for the COVID 19 vaccine is way down in Okeechobee.
43 people showed up for shots on Tuesday at the Okeechobee Ag Center. Over 400 shots were available.
The health department got on the phone and was able to vaccinate five or six buses filled with migrant workers.
They plan to try and get out into the community more to give out vaccine.
The county has vaccinated 18,956 residents. There have been 3,964 total cases of the virus.
The positive test rates have dropped to 3.95%.
Ware found guilty of murder
A Glades County jury found Artavistus Ware guilty of six charges related to the murder of Mario Hughes.
Ware was convicted of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, counts of tampering with a witness, solicitation to commit first degree murder, and burglary to a dwelling.
The trial began April 19 before Circuit Court Judge James Sloan.
A date for the penalty phase of the case has yet to be set.
Ware was accused of having Mario Monroy Hughes murdered on Jan. 31, 2014. Hughes was shot to death in his Moore Haven, Florida home days before he was scheduled to testify against Ware in an upcoming drug case, and agents believe Ware had him killed to keep him from testifying.
Even without the testimony of Hughes, Ware was convicted on the drug charges and sentenced to 17 years in prison. He was serving his sentence at Calhoun Correctional Institution in Blountstown.
Keep pushing for economic development
The Okeechobee County Development Corporation was approved to receive $250,000 from the county.
They want to have more industrial buildings ready for companies.
They note lots in the county and city industrial parks are not shovel ready for companies to move in.
President Bert Culbreath said they’d also like to see the county acquire the former Okeechobee Boys School from the state for industrial development.
They are continue to push for high speed internet for these companies.
They suggested the county could renovate or build a new industrial building in the industrial park to help efforts to attract businesses.
Culbreath said the demand for land for companies wanting to relocate to Florida has never been higher.