News Cast 7/19

News Cast for July 19th:

I was only defending myself 

Former OHS boys basketball coach DeMetre Riles will not face criminal charges for allegedly possessing a firearm on campus.  Riles resigned after the incident.  He said the reports about the incident were inaccurate and that the victim lied. 

“I am not afraid to tell the truth.  If it gets me in trouble then I have to be held accountable.  When I tell the truth and you believe a lie, that is when I have a problem with the system.”  Riles said the reports on the incident were inaccurate. 

“I was the one that called the police.  I was the one who gave a statement.  I was not hiding anything.  I was the one to be held accountable.  I was straight up about everything.  Other people like to tell their side of the story and like to lie.  I always stand on my integrity and hold people and myself accountable and responsible.” 

Prosecutor Ashley Albright said his office reviewed the case and found no crime was committed.  He said Riles was within his rights. 

“You can carry a firearm in your vehicle based on constitutional rights unless the district has a written policy that has persons waive that right in exchange for student or campus parking privileges.” 

Albright said no charges will be considered or formally filed.  

“I did meet with the investigators.  We went over the law and we all reached the same conclusion.” 

School Board reviews corporal punishment policy 

Okeechobee schools do not plan to hire another Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.  Dr. Pat McCoy recently was assigned to lead Yearling Middle School.  Assistant Superintendent Dylan Tedders said this was a mutual decision. 

“Dr. McCoy and the Superintendent got together and decided it was what was best for Yearling Middle School.  She is up for the challenge.  She is excited to work with that staff and she knows Yearling has always been a gold mine.  A lot of great things have happened there.” 

Tedders said other administrators will take over the duties McCoy held at the district office. 

The school board also heard a presentation on the districts corporal punishment policy. 

The school allows parents to come on campus and impose discipline. 

It has only happened 10 times in the past three years. 

OHS bass fishing club continues to have success 

Four members of the OHS Bass Fishing Club qualified for the National High School finals. 

The finals will be held on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee from July 29 through the 31st

The members are Lapp Durrance, Trent Nelson, Hunter Daniels and Josh King. 

Coach Billie Ellerbee was asked what advice he gives these anglers. 

“Go fish your strengths.  Don’t try to do something that you are not used to doing.  Some of the fishing up there is ledge fishing and we don’t have ledges on Lake Okeechobee, so that is not strength of there’s.” 

He and the boys were honored by the school board. 

He thanked all the captains that donate their time and resources to help the program. 

He said the kids were excited to compete in the nationals. 

“They will have three days of practice and then the tournament will proceed.  Right now the lake is off limits.  No one is allowed on the lake that will be fishing in the tournament, not even the captains.” 

City attorney’s days could be numbered 

The Pahokee city commission debated an agenda item to fire City Attorney Bernadette Weeks. 

The item was not on the agenda and the commission debated whether to add it at the meeting on July 14. 

The item could be added to the July 28th agenda. 

Commissioner Sarah Perez was not happy with the decision to delay the item. 

“No it is not going to happen, you’re not going to keep getting away with this crap,” she said. 

Mayor Keith Babb said Perez was out of order and said he would politely to leave the meeting if she continued.  

Weeks said she was surprised by the effort to oust her from the position.   

She said she has worked hard and has the interests of the city at heart.