News Cast 8/7

News Cast for August 7th:

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s officials are investigating a shooting that took place late Tuesday night. Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Michele Bell says deputies were called to the 53 hundred block of Highway 441 in reference to the shooting. They arrived at the scene and found a man who had been shot. Okeechobee County Fire and Rescue personnel were called to the scene and transported the victim to Raulerson Hospital for treatment. The name of the victim and the status of his injuries are not known at this time, nor is the motive known for his being shot. There is also no word yet on whether or not the perpetrator or perpetrators have been taken into custody. If you have any information on this case, please contact the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department as soon as possible or contact the Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers if you’d like to remain anonymous. Their number is 1-800-273-8477. Sheriff’s investigators are treating it as an isolated incident.

One out of 170 thousand is usually not very good odds if you’re looking to win something, specifically the lottery. But in this particular case, someone from Okeechobee County faced those odds and did win. Yearling Middle School Teacher Krista Stanley was chosen from 170 thousand teachers in the state of Florida and came out on top to be named Florida Teacher of the Year. The 25 year old  Stanley says it was “an incredible feeling” to receive this honor and she was not expecting it at all and is “honored and humbled” to be in this position and is excited to represent educators in the state. Governor Ron DeSantis congratulated Stanley via a video call through social media, saying she is a “role model for not only students but to her fellow education leaders”. Hearing that, Stanley says she was “speechless”. Okeechobee County School Superintendent Ken Kenworthy says he and most of Stanley’s peers are just as excited for her receiving this prestigious honor. By receiving this award, Stanley will take a year-long sabbatical from teaching at Yearling Middle School and travel the state doing speaking engagements with other state educators. This is the first time in 22 years that an Okeechobee County schoolteacher has received this honor. Stanley, who has been teaching for four years, was inspired to be a teacher through members of her family who also teach.  

Okeechobee County is knocking on the door of the four-figure mark in the number of positive COVID-19 cases. As of yesterday morning, courtesy of the Florida Department of Health, the number of positive cases in Okeechobee County is at 989 since March, with seven fatalities. 985 people diagnosed with the virus are local residents and their ages range from zero to 94 with the median age of the patients being 36. 90 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. 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 a reported 510,389 reported positive cases of the Coronavirus since March and 504,768 of them are FL residents. The state’s death toll stands at 7,747 with 29,131 people hospitalized.

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.

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers are investigating an accident that claimed the life of a 53 year old LaBelle woman Tuesday afternoon in Hendry County and seriously injured four others. FHP officers say a 49 year old LaBelle man was driving a pickup truck east on State Route 80 about a mile from East Cowboy Way in LaBelle during some heavy rain at around five o’clock when he lost control of the vehicle. The truck went off the road and onto the median where it later overturned and the 53 year old woman, who was the front seat passenger, was ejected from the truck. On-scene medics declared the woman dead from her injuries. The driver and the other three passengers, a man, a woman and a ten year old boy, all from LaBelle, were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Due to Marsy’s Law, the names of the people involved in the accident will not be made known to the public.

On the arrest report:

27 year old Zachary Scott Voss of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. His bond is set at $58 hundred dollars

26 year old Brianna Katherine Fulwider of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during her hearing on past charges of trespassing. Her bond is set at $25 hundred dollars.

19 year old Daniel Morgan Phillips of Okeechobee was arrested for robbery by sudden snatching without using a firearm and violating probation on undisclosed charges. He’s being held without bond.

19 year old Dillon Jason Hill of Okeechobee was arrested for contempt of court during his arraignment hearing on past charges of possession of a concealed weapon and discharging the weapon in public. He’s being held without bond.

30 year old Chad Allen Nesselhauf of Okeechobee was arrested for attempting to use someone else’s identity without consent. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

19 year old Jacob Michael Hickman of Okeechobee was arrested on seven counts of violating probation on past charges of burglary, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, theft of law enforcement equipment and dealing in stolen property. He’s being held without bond.

51 year old George Gerald Katevas of Okeechobee was arrested by police for driving without a valid driver’s license and giving a false name to law enforcement after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a one thousand dollar bond.