News Cast 5/4

News Cast for May 4th:

Legislature approves funding for new high school

$66 million for a new Okeechobee high school is included in the state’s proposed budget.

The budget is now in the governor’s hands.  He has until July 1 to sign the state budget but can also line item veto individual items.

The latest round of federal stimulus dollars could be used for the high school.

Okeechobee School Superintendent Ken Kenworthy said he has not heard any opposition from the governor’s office for the project.

He added this project is tailor made for stimulus funds.

“Those are one time dollars.  We have a project where we have hired an architect and it is only a matter of time before we had a contractor on board.  This is exactly what they are looking for in the types of projects they want to fund.  We can begin stimulating our local economy because our project is nearly ready to go.”

Kenworthy said once the district learns the funding has been approved it would take approximately 90 days to start construction.

Deputies arrest man on multiple charges

A 27 year old Okeechobee man faces a host of charges including kidnapping, Okeechobee County Deputies said.

Justin Mann was wanted for an alleged earlier incident where he was accused of pistol whipping a female and shooting a gun at her.

Deputies arrested Mann when the victim claimed she was forced to drive around Okeechobee and Fellsmere with the suspect on Friday.

They arrested Mann without incident during a traffic stop near the Kissimmee River after he had picked up firearms he owned at a nearby residence.

Other charges include possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony and tampering with evidence.

The arrest report said Mann tried to have the female contact the State Attorney and tell them that she had lied about him shooting at her and striking her with a firearm.