News Cast 5/27

News Cast for May 27th:

Victim witness caught telling tales in shooting

A shooting victim and her teenage son may have lied about a shooting on Tuesday.

At first they claimed it was a drive by shooting and they didn’t’ know who shot the mother.

The female later admitted her boyfriend shot her inside her home.

She was treated for a wound to her neck and shoulder at Raulerson Hospital.

Arthur Lewis, 40, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

The type and caliber of the handgun used was not released.

City police noted surveillance cameras of the home were not working.

They point out that one of the camera wires appeared to be deliberately cut.

Arrest reports said Lewis agreed to show them where the shooting took place.  He claimed it was outside the home.  When investigators looked at two locations they were unable to find blood.

Blood was found on the sheets in the bedroom area, reports said.

Bond in the case was set at $100,000.

Jail trustee drawn to nicotine

James Vanover, 52, a trustee at the Okeechobee jail, was charged with escape for allegedly picking up contraband near the jail…chewing tobacco and cigarettes.

Sheriff Officials said they used video surveillance cameras to watch Vanover leave the required space he is permitted to visit during his duties.

Memorial Day to bring more boats to Okeechobee

Florida lawmen want to cut down on the number of boating accidents this year.

Last year there were over 800 boating accidents in the state, a 16 percent increase over 2019.

Part of the reason is more people own boats in Florida.

Another is outdoor activities like boating picked up during the pandemic.

Last year 79 people died in boating crashes in the state.  65 people died in 2019.

88% of the victims in boating accidents do not wear a life jacket.

Memorial Day weekend is always a busy weekend on the water.

Tyson Matthews with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offered some tips to stay safe on the water.

They include tips to wear a life jacket, keep a good lookout, bring safety equipment and don’t boat and consume alcohol.

He said Florida holds a dubious distinction in boating.

“Florida leads the nation in the number of boating accidents.  We double California, Texas and New York.  We also are number one in registered vessels and are approaching  1 million registered boats.”

Matthews said extra patrols will be out on the Lake all weekend long checking boaters.

He said some equipment is required to be on board.

“Each person on the vessel must have an approved coast guard life jacket.  A lot of this depends on the size of the vessel.  You will want two forms of communication, a fire extinguisher, a sound producing device and a coast guard approved throwable device.”

Okeechobee had one boating accident, Glades County three with one fatality, and Lake Okeechobee three boat crashes in Palm Beach County with one fatality last year.

Pahokee Commission meeting notes

Rodney Lucas was hired as interim city manager for Pahokee.  He will be paid close to $10,000 per month.

Pahokee Elite Track appealed to the city for help so they can use the high school track.

They had been using the track but district officials told them a complaint was made and they could no longer use the facility.

Acting administrator Jongelene Adams said she has to make sure the agreement is legal and the city is protected by insurance.

The commission approved the city asking the district to allow the track team to use the facility.

The commission also learned NFL Hall of Famer Ricky Jackson is pursuing new housing projects for the community.

They are also considering a grant to rehabilitate the old Pahokee City Hall.