News Cast 5/17

News Cast for May 17th:

Suspects actions threaten lawmen

A hostile crowd threatened Palm Beach Deputies as they arrested an Okeechobee man.

Jalen McKelton, 25,  faces charges of carrying a concealed firearm, an AR-15 assault rifle, driving with a suspended license, resisting arrest, and threatening police.

He was pulled over for driving a vehicle with too dark window tint a violation of Florida law on Rardin Avenue.

Deputies said he refused their directions, became verbally abusive and that his actions drew a crowd that became aggressive and hostile to police.

He also was accused of verbally threatening to kill the officer as he was transported to the Palm Beach County Jail.

Glades case involves alleged abuse

Charges of child abuse and neglect have been filed against two Glades County residents. The 14 year old victim claims she was abused. The suspects said they were only disciplining her.

The juvenile was reported missing off the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation and located in Hollywood earlier this month. The case centered around four photos that showed the victim suffered from facial trauma. Charged in the case are Crystal Marr and Shawn Osceola.

A developer’s promise

Okeechobee County Commissioners approved the rezoning needed for the Okeechobee Trace Project. Close to 400 acres south of route 70 west could be developed into new homes, villas, trails, some commercial uses and an executive golf course. Local realtor Brandon Tucker assured commissioners this project will become reality.

“I think we have a great opportunity and a great location to provide a quality community, one that will actually get built.

We look forward to bring a great asset to Okeechobee County that will be a lot of ad valorem taxes and other benefits to this community.” 400 single family homes and up to 80 villas are proposed in the current plan.

Finding places to store water

The County Coalition for Lake Okeechobee talked about finding ways to store more water north of the lake. They also talked about not blaming agriculture for all our water woes. Palm Beach Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said US Sugar didn’t cause these problems.

“It is not a sugar company that caused this.  It is everything.  We need to stop blaming.  We need to be adults, sit around the table, talk, and find solutions.”

Osceola County is looking at projects to store more water before discharges get into the Kissimmee River. The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board also paved the way for another storage and treatment area at the former Rio Ranch on 70 west.  Up to 2,500 acres could be used to store and treat water.

Glades supports fire and EMS deal with Hendry

Glades County Commissioners approved a conceptual deal for fire and ems services with Hendry county to serve areas north of LaBelle. The final details need to be worked out but Hendry provides a full time ambulance and Glades County a full time fire truck and crew at a station to be built at State Road 29 and Pollywog Crossover Road.

Former LaBelle fire chief Josh Rimes said Glades should make sure Hendry holds up their end of the bargain.  That means Hendry creating a fourth full time ambulance crew.

“I think this is a great plan if we can get that commitment for a fourth unit.  Let’s at least get firefighters out there.” The concern raised was Hendry needed to add another ambulance because Glades didn’t want them pulling that ambulance away all the time for Hendry County calls.

Pahokee names interim manager

Pahokee city commissioners hired Rodney Lucas to serve as interim city manager. Lucas will be paid about $10,000 per month until a permanent manager is found. Lucas worked for the City of Bunnell as Community Development Director.

He said he likes the economic potential of Pahokee, “I love your location and there are a lot of things that can be done with the marina.  I understand agriculture is a $1.3 billion industry.  We just need to tap that potential through marketing.” Lucas said he was interested in becoming permanent city manager.