News Cast 6/15

News Cast for June 15th:

Closed mouths not helping deputies as they probe shooting 

Three people ended up with gunshot wounds Saturday night after a shooting in the 1700 block of NW 6th Street. 

Sheriff Noel Stephen said they haven’t gotten much help from those involved. 

“Not sure if we had some kind of illegal activity in the house and this was some type of robbery or burglary.  It is very difficult to solve as we don’t have a crystal ball to polish to figure out what was happening inside the home.” 

Stephen said he was glad that none of the neighbors were injured in the 11 pm incident. 

The three shot are in stable condition at Lawnwood Regional in Ft. Pierce. 

They apparently drove to the hospital in a private vehicle. 

Anyone with information can contact the sheriff’s office or Treasure Coast Crime stoppers. 

You can contact Detective Cristina Torres at (863)763-3117, ext. 5108, or you may remain anonymous and contact Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477. 

Rise Up with the Chamber – Brown Cow Sweetery: “We are excited to have Brown Cow Sweetery as our host for our first Rise Up with the Chamber since February 2020!  Time to get back to some great networking and of course a little coffee and light refreshments.  Plan on attending this early morning get together on Tuesday, June 22nd from 7:45am – 8:30am.  Mark your calendars now and don’t be late. Only 45 minutes and you don’t want to miss a minute of hearing our 3 guest speakers talk about their business and services.  I guarantee you’ll learn something new about them and what they bring to our community. Hope to see you there!” via Paulette with the Chamber

Steube gives Lake communities a boost 

Congressman Greg Steube countered the rants of fellow republican Brian Mast by stating more water needs to be kept in Lake Okeechobee.  Steube said problems will occur when the levels get too low.  “Pushing the lake levels down really, really low so there are no discharges to the estuaries can affect drinking water for Lake Okeechobee and affects agriculture around the lake.” 

Steube said a lower lake also impacts navigation, fishing, and recreational uses. 

Steube said a scientific and holistic approach is important to the new lake regulation schedule. 

He said the schedule should not benefit just one region of the state like the Treasure Coast. 

“There are a lot of problems with septic tanks in our state and a lot of them are located on the St. Lucie River and the Caloosahatchee Rivers where a lot of these algae bloom problems come from.  It should be an all systems approach to looking at these problems.” 

Two departments team up on sexual battery case 

A 27 year old Palm City man under arrest charged with sexual assault of an Okeechobee child. 

Marshall George faces two counts of sexual assault of a victim under 12 and lewd and lascivious molestation of a child on a victim under 12. 

He was picked up in Martin County by deputies last week and transported to Okeechobee to face these charges. 

Bond was set at $150,000. 

Montes De Oca ready to leave City Hall 

City administrator Marcos Montes De Oca’s last day is Friday. 

He will have worked nearly six years for the city.  The council hired Gary Ritter as interim administrator earlier this month.  Montes De Oca offered this advice to Ritter. 

“Good luck.  It is not a rainbow sitting in this seat.  There are a lot of items and issues that come to this seat.  You have to be able to make a decision quick, you have to know the impacts of those decisions.  It is not a job that you can sit on the chair and play solitaire.” 

Montes De Oca said getting the city in a more secure financial position is one of the things he’s most proud of. 

He said f unding is the biggest obstacle that faces the city. 

“We have to work on our infrastructure.  The cost of everything is going up.  The minimum wage hike will be an issue we have to start focusing on.  There are plenty of items to focus on.” 

He did not unveil his future career plans stating he has some options to consider. 

Lorida, Kissimmee River Estates face fire tax hike 

Highlands County commissioners appear to support a 7% hike in the fire assessment this year.  They could also remove the current cap per home of $115.  Churches complained at a public hearing about being charged as much as hospitals, and more than warehouses. 

Lake Placid based pastor Steve Ahrens said the hospitals can charge patients more. 

“A church can’t charge its church members more.  I rely on the donations of my congregation who are Highlands County residents who have already paid all of their taxes.  This increase could potentially become a large burden on those donations.” 

Commission Chairman Scott Kirouac said the increase will not hurt the wallet that much. 

“If you are paying $100 for fire and it goes up 7% it will cost you 58 cents per month.  That will build a fire rescue system in Highlands County.” 

The county would like to build a new fire station in Spring Lake to improve service to outlying areas of the county.