News Cast 5/24

News Cast for May 24th:

Testing for new energy

Florida Power and Light plans to build a 20 megawatt electrolyzer that produces green hydrogen energy from water. If will be a test to see if the process if cost effective. FPL Spokesperson Chris McGrath said this will be clean energy.

“It will happen soon in Okeechobee.  It is part of our four year rate plan.  That speaks to the effort of sustainability that we are embarking on.  How can we build a future that all of us can depend on, including our children and grandchildren as Florida continues to grow.”

The process would take solar energy from the Okeechobee natural gas plant and the solar energy center. McGrath said it is the type of technology that can be transformation and  It could unlock carbon free electricity 24-7. FPL parent company NextEra Energy plans to spend $65 million on the pilot project.

It could come on line in 2023 if approved by state regulators.

City fire stays active until August 15

The Okeechobee city fire department was given an extra two months before the county takes over. Okeechobee City council wanted to give firemen more time to pass their paramedics exam. Two firemen have passed their paramedic exams while four more were awaiting test results, Fire Chief Herb Smith said.

Granting them the extra two months could mean more of the firemen pass the exams so they can be hired by Okeechobee County Fire Rescue. Mayor Dowling Watford said he was willing to spend the extra $41 thousand to give firemen more time.

“It is a drop in the bucket when you look at what we will save over the next several years when we don’t have a fire department.”

Hendry and Glades County have been talking about a jail deal

Hendry County has an overcrowded jail.  They are planning an additional pod. Glades County has plenty of space in the failing Glades Detention Center that lacks federal ICE inmates. Sheriff David Hardin said his facility is the only federal facility that can handle females in Florida.

“We are the only one housing females in Florida.  We are hoping to hold onto that as long as possible.”

Hardin said they also reached out to the state prison system for inmates.

“We reached out to the DOC to see their situation.  I understand they have some prisons that need to be revamped or refitted.  That takes time and lots of money.”

A federal judge ruled against Florida in the litigation over the Biden administration policy to prioritize more danger and violent criminals at these detention centers. Congressman Greg Steube voted against a resolution that would deny any President from the power to block illegal aliens entering the nation. Steube contends things are getting worse at the US Mexican border.

“Despite the harrowing statistics we see coming from the southern border with record setting numbers of illegal crossings and  unaccompanied minors, my colleagues on the left continue to ignore and down play the actual facts.  Terrorists and COVID positive illegal immigrants have been offered unprecedented access to our country.”