News Cast 8/27

News Cast for August 27th:

MR. ALEXANDRE HAS BEEN LOCATED!!! AT 7:15 THIS MORNING, HE WALKED UP TO THE RANGER STATION AT THE KISSIMMEE RIVER STATE PARK. HE IS IN GOOD HEALTH AND WILL BE TURNED OVER TO FAMILY MEMBERS – per OCSO

Okeechobee County Commissioners will be meeting this morning and they will have their weekly discussion on the status of the Coronavirus in the county. They will also be looking to approve a proclamation to this year’s Okeechobee “Chobee Dirtbags” 10 and under baseball team and they will be discussing a proposed amendment to the county’s land development regulations. The meeting will be held in the Historic County Courthouse beginning at nine o’clock. The meeting will be streamed live on the commissioners’ website. Seating will be limited due to social distancing guidelines.

Sticking with the Okeechobee County Commissioners for a moment, during their last meeting, they gave the go-ahead to Okeechobee County Director of Facilities Maintenance and Development Services Donnie Oden to award the bid of replacing the roof at the Okeechobee County Library to Clewiston-based Clyde Johnson Contracting and Roofing, Inc. Kresta King, the Okeechobee County Library Director, says this couldn’t have come soon enough considering that the library’s present roof is in terrible shape and has been for a year. King says it’s been so bad that they had over twenty blue tarps deployed in the library last year alone. The new roof will also include the removal of the skylight that was built in at the same time the roof was installed in 1999. King says that the added bonus of the library’s new roof is that anything the county spends on the library, the county gets grant funds back from the state.

The new roof will be metal and King says that will be a major upgrade to the current roof, which is filled with multiple valleys and barrel tiles; not ideal weather-wise in this state. The project will likely start later this year and will cost just over $215 thousand dollars. Oden could not be reached for comment.

Okeechobee County once again has two more additions to their number of positive COVID-19 cases but we were also hit with another fatality. As of yesterday morning, courtesy of the Florida Department of Health, the number of positive cases in Okeechobee County is at 1,210 since March, with one fatality to add to the list, making the total now 14 fatalities. 1,206 people diagnosed with the virus are local residents and their ages range from zero to 94 with the median age of the patients being 38. 126 county residents have been hospitalized. Those who have tested positive are being cooperative with the county and their health providers and going through routine contact tracing according to Okeechobee County Health Department spokesperson Tiffany Collins.

Along with fever, coughing and shortness of breath, other COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for include chills, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat and a sudden loss of sense of smell or sense of taste.

Also as of yesterday morning, there are 608,722 reported positive cases of the Coronavirus in the state since March and 602,113 of them are FL residents. Florida’s death toll is at 10,733 along with 37,404 people hospitalized.

Officials from the Florida Community Health Centers, Inc. say that beginning this morning, there will be a free drive-thru and walk up testing for COVID-19. This testing site is located at the former Okeechobee Surgery Center on the 16 hundred block of Highway 441 North. Okeechobee residents will be tested regardless if you have medical insurance or not. If you have medical insurance please bring a copy of your insurance card, all others need to bring proper identification. There is no age limit. The testing will begin at eight o’clock this morning and continue until noon today. The testing will be done every Tuesday and Thursday mornings from eight o’clock until noon until further notice.

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:

51 year old Timothy Keith Hull of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for contempt of court during his hearing on past drunk driving charges. He was released after posting a five thousand dollar bond.

29 year old Juan Manuel Nieves of Okeechobee was arrested on two counts of violating probation on undisclosed charges. He’s being held without bond.

35 year old Sheena Marie Holycross of Okeechobee was arrested for trying to defraud someone. Her bond is set at five thousand dollars.

26 year old James Laton Edison of Okeechobee was arrested for grand theft auto. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

38 year old Michael David Krause of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drunk driving charges. His bond is set at $25 hundred dollars.

26 year old Danielle McKynzee Kymanda Edwards of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during her hearing on past petit theft charges. She’s being held without bond.

22 year old Oneisha Lashae Brown of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drunk driving charges. She’s being held without bond.

23 year old Maria Elizabeth Sanchez of Okeechobee was arrested by police for driving without a valid license after a traffic stop and on a local warrant for the same charge from a previous occasion. She was released after posting a fifteen hundred dollar bond.