News Cast 6/8

News Cast for June 8th:

Trying to stop scams

Sheriff Noel Stephen and the Florida Attorney General’s office have created a seniors versus crime initiative in Okeechobee. Seniors have routinely been targeted in many phone scams, by contractors and even auto repair mechanics. Marty Jacobson, with the Attorney Generals Office, was a guest on the WOKC morning show with Billy Dean

He said he was impacted personally by a crime against a relative who is a senior citizen.

“The mortician stole his gold dental work out of his dead body for $463.  I learned about more crimes in that industry.  I was offered a job with the Attorney General and have become the Zorro of seniors versus crime.”

The program was formed in 1989 by the US Attorney General and the American Association of Retired Persons.

It is designed to use retired citizens to educate Floridians on consumer fraud and help in consumer investigations.

Heartland focuses on job training

Education and job training efforts were a focus of a recent session of the Florida Heartland Region of Economic Opportunity Board of Directors. Hardee County recently received an $8 million endowment to provide scholarships to workers to use to get training. Indian River State College was getting money for an Okeechobee job training center.

Provost Russ Brown said the facility could come on line soon.

“We just got additional money from the state for an advanced work force training facility.  It is a $24 million facility that is fully funded.  It is something we are excited about.  It will allow us to teach technicians in a variety of industries.”

OUA early morning calls were necessary

The OUA didn’t win many fans with early morning phone calls last week due to a precautionary boil water notice.

Executive Director John Hayford said in a case like this they wanted to get the information out immediately.

“It is better than letting folks consume the water if there was a danger and notifying them after the fact.”

A power problem caused a drop in pressure in the system.

The OUA has been testing water they get at Lock 7 for the water plant.

Hayford said the tests show nothing to be overly concerned about.

The OUA gets the water from the lake.  A simple treatment process that lasts about 15 minutes makes the water safe for consumption.