News Cast 6/3

News Cast for June 3rd:

A 46 year old Okeechobee man is dead and several others injured following a vehicle accident in Okeechobee County on Monday night. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say the man was driving a sedan eastbound on State Route 70 at the Mile 117 Post just after 8:45 when a pickup truck, driven by a 28 year old Okeechobee man, was coming from behind and attempting to pass the sedan. FHP officers say the right front side of the pickup truck collided with the left rear side of the sedan. The impact caused the pickup truck to overturn and end up in the grassy median while the sedan also overturned and end up on the shoulder of the road. On-scene medics declared the 46 year old Okeechobee man dead and his three female passengers, ages six, 12 and 32, all from Okeechobee, were taken to area hospitals for treatment of serious injuries. The 28 year old pickup truck driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Names of the people involved in the accident are not being released due to Marsy’s Law. It remains under investigation.

For the third day in a row, the intersection of Parrott Avenue and Park Street in Okeechobee was the scene of a demonstration yesterday. As many as twenty people showed up at the intersection despite the heat and heavy rain to protest the unjust death of Minnesota native George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. Okeechobee resident and nurse Amber Sewell, who organized the demonstrations says as much as she loves the numbers of people participating, she wishes more law enforcement would participate.

Another Okeechobee resident, Keith Goodbread, brother of Okeechobee County Commissioner Brad Goodbread, showed up at the protest and he says those participating have been making their message heard the right way, peacefully.

There will be another demonstration at the same intersection, Parrott Avenue and Park Street, today at 5:30. There will also be a march from Douglas Park to the center of town on Saturday.

The number of positive cases for the Coronavirus in Okeechobee County is at 85 as of yesterday. 84 of those 85 people diagnosed with the virus are local residents and their ages range from 6 to 87 with the median age of the patients being 35. Ten of the patients have been hospitalized. Those who have tested positive are being cooperative with the county and their health providers and going through the routine contact tracing. Along with fever, coughing and shortness of breath, other COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for now include chills, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat and a sudden loss of sense of smell or sense of taste.

As of yesterday, Martin County has 680 positive cases of the Coronavirus with ten fatalities, Hendry County has 446 reported cases now with 16 fatalities, Glades County has 61 reported cases with one fatality, Highlands County has 132 cases with nine fatalities, Osceola County has 709 positive cases with twenty fatalities and Palm Beach has 6,219 cases with 351 fatalities. There are now 57,447 reported cases of people who have tested positive for the Coronavirus in the state; 56,001 of them are FL residents. The state’s death toll stands at 2,530 with 10,412 people hospitalized.

Along with the Wal-Mart parking lot on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7am to 9am each day, Okeechobee County residents can be tested for the Coronavirus at the Okeechobee County Health Department, the emergency room at Raulerson Hospital or by contacting Florida Community Health Centers at (863) 763-7481. You must meet certain criteria before you can be tested and you need to make an appointment. If you’re not sure if you fit the criteria to be tested, please call the county health department and they’ll let you know for sure. These testing sites are available on weekends.

The Okeechobee County COVID-19 information line remains open from 8am to 5pm every Monday thru Friday.  This hotline is manned by live personnel and callers can ask about county updates on the Coronavirus and what is being done. The hotline will not address questions about the virus itself or medical questions. County Fire Chief Ralph Franklin says while the hotline is still active, it won’t be a hotline for very much longer (Franklin-COVID 19 Hotline Changes). The library number/hotline related to county updates on the Coronavirus is (863) 763-3536. Any questions related to the virus itself, please call the Okeechobee Health Department at (863) 462-5800 or the 24/7 Department of Health hotline at (866) 779-6121.

Remember, the key to avoiding the Coronavirus is good personal hygiene. Washing your hands for at least 20-30 seconds with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol in it is recommended. Avoid touching your eyes or face with unwashed hands. Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet away from someone when greeting them and not shaking any hands. Avoid shopping at peak hours and use delivery services instead.  Avoid places where there are 10 people or more.

If you need further information about the virus and recommendations for preventing it, please log on to the Department of Health at floridahealth.gov or the Center for Disease Control at cdc.gov.

Okeechobee Police are on the lookout for a runaway teen girl, missing since Monday. Police say the girl is 16 years old, is Hispanic, stands five feet, three inches tall and she weighs 180 pounds. She has brown eyes and black hair and she was last seen wearing a red shirt and blue jeans ripped in the front. If you have any information on her whereabouts please contact the Okeechobee Police Department as soon as possible.

On the arrest report:

23 year old Korvette Mamie Billie of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on three out of county warrants stemming from undisclosed charges. Her bond is set at $30 thousand dollars.

22 year old Quavian Aikeem Dozier of Okeechobee was arrested for battery by strangulation during a domestic dispute. His bond is set at six thousand dollars.

20 year old Andrew Nathaniel Perez of Okeechobee was arrested for petit theft. He was released after posting a one thousand dollar bond.

31 year old Samantha Lynnette Ziegler of Okeechobee was arrested on battery charges. She was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

60 year old Philip Walter La Force of Okeechobee was arrested by police for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

25 year old Destiny Marie Shreves of Clearwater was arrested for possession of cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and controlled substances without prescriptions with intent to sell them near a place of worship. Her bond is set at $271 thousand dollars.