News Cast 7/8

News Cast for July 8th:

Detectives from the Okeechobee Police Department are asking the public’s help in finding a local woman who has been missing for nearly two months. Police say 32 year old Kelley Nicole Sherman was last seen on May 10th of this year near the six hundred block of NE Park Street in Okeechobee. Kelley Nicole Sherman is a Caucasian woman and she stands five feet, two inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds. She has red or auburn colored hair, with blue eyes and light skin tone and has a tattoo on her right foot. If you’ve seen Kelley Nicole Sherman or know of her whereabouts, please contact the Okeechobee Police Department as soon as possible. If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at (800) 273-8477.

The seemingly never-ending issue of the future of fire protective services in Okeechobee was once again discussed at last night’s city council meeting. City Councilmembers have seemingly decided on moving forward with an interlocal agreement to merge both city and county fire departments. As part of this agreement, the council decided to move forward with a fire assessment study, propose to have the county reimburse the city for the use of the city’s fire station and pay for city employees to receive the needed schooling to become certified paramedics and more. While the council did choose to have an interlocal agreement, Mayor Dowling Watford, who has said he’s not in favor of merging the city and county fire departments, says putting the issue on a referendum and letting the voting public decide would be a better idea.

Okeechobee City Fire Chief Herb Smith, who has mixed emotions about the issue, says whatever the outcome, he hopes that “nobody gets hurt” specifically those who have been doing this for the city for a lot of years. The issue will be discussed amongst the county commissioners during their meeting tomorrow.

Okeechobee County residents can be tested for the Coronavirus at CVS Pharmacy in Okeechobee, 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. Wal-Mart is no longer doing their drive-thru testing program as of now.

The Okeechobee County COVID-19 information line remains open from 8am to 5pm now every Tuesday thru Saturday. This number, which also doubles as the phone number of the County Library 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. The County Library phone 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.

On the arrest report:

65 year old Mark Mongillo of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

46 year old Patrick A. Williams of Okeechobee was arrested for battery. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

30 year old Rachel Marie Herndon of Okeechobee was arrested on several counts of violating probation on previous undisclosed charges. She’s being held without bond.

24 year old Robert Edward Thompson Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license for the third time during a traffic stop. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

21 year old Jasmine Nicole Pounds of Okeechobee was arrested on battery charges. Her bond is set at five hundred dollars.

31 year old Sipriano Medrano of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of cocaine and driving on a suspended license during a traffic stop. His bond is set at $55 hundred dollars.

42 year old Lawrence Wayne Ritchie the Third of Okeechobee was arrested for trespassing. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

27 year old Ralph Na’Tavious Rash Kennedy of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

44 year old Steven Connan Kent of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

23 year old Harrison James Hemmis of Okeechobee was arrested by police for violating a pre-trial condition from a previous domestic violence incident. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.