News Cast for June 2nd:
Okeechobee gets its new high school
Governor Ron DeSantis signed the state budget today with $210 million for new special needs projects in six counties including Okeechobee.
That means Okeechobee high school will be replaced.
The local request was for $67 million.
The governor said his budget meets the core concerns of Floridians.
“It responsibly supports our law enforcement, K-12 education, students and teachers, conserves and protects our environmental and natural resources throughout the state and does so with the lowest tax burden of any state in the country.”
The budget included $625 million for Everglades restoration projects and $302 million for nutrient reduction projects.
Probing a murder
Venus Bubel 43 is held on without bond charged with killing a woman in Okeechobee.
The shooting took place Monday in Four Seasons.
Bubel was also was facing a charge of attempted murder.
Deputies continue to probe the case and have released few details.
Crash information released
A 62 year old Homestead man was killed and two Okeechobee residents were hospitalized after a T-bone crash on 441 north.
The accident was reported at 6:45 pm on Monday.
Troopers said the Homestead vehicle ran the stop sign at the intersection of route 68 east.
A pickup south bound driven by a 62 year old Okeechobee man was sideswiped.
The driver and a 65 year old female passenger were in serious condition.
Another crash Tuesday morning took the life of an unknown person near 441 and NE 106th Street.
Troopers said the victim was south bound and trying to pass and collided head on with a tractor trailer operated by a Valdosta, Georgia man.
Expect summer time traffic jams
North Parrott Avenue or US 441 north at the railroad crossing near 9th street will be closed for 10 days later this month.
Crews began site work on Tuesday for areas between 5th and 9th Streets.
The road would be closed from June 14 through the 23rd.
Corinne Burgess is handling public information for the project.
She said it will be easy to follow the detours planned.
“The detours will be very obvious. There will be law enforcement officers on hand to help.”
SWFL Roads.com can provide further information on the work.
They also plan a pedestrian cross walk and improved signage at 9th Street.
The pavement over the railroad crossing will also be smoother.
No change for Indiantown ambulance service
The Indiantown Village Council decided to stick with Martin County Fire Rescue for fire and ambulance service for the next five years.
They receive $1.5 million in federal funding from the county.
Councilmember Anthony Dowling said he supported the deal.
“In the spirit of unity and making sure we are moving forward as a municipality, I wanted to make a motion to accept the grant from the American Rescue Plan.”
Council members voted unanimously.
The money can go toward improvement water infrastructure to help fire-fighting capabilities.
Councilmember Susan Gibbs Thomas thanked the Indiantown community for being aware and being vocal by letting their wishes be known.
“I would like to thank the Martin County Cmmission for their gracious patience with us. I’d like to thank the council for seeing the common sense of the issue and listening to people in the community.”
No homes damaged in wildfire
113 acres burned after a lightning strike in western St. Lucie County on Tuesday.
The Florida Forest Service said the fire was south of route 70 about four or five miles west of Sneed Road.
No homes were threatened and there were no reports of injury.
Okeechobee County Fire Rescue said they responded to several small brush fires in recent days.
County eyes selling off motel land
Glades County Commissioners are interested in selling the old Glades Inn property on US 27.
It is assessed at over a quarter of a million dollars or $254,000.
A grocery store is desired.
Hitchcock Grocery of North Florida has shown interest.
Economic Development Council Executive Director Tracy Whirls said this is not a new issue.
“We have been in pursuit of a grocery store ever since the old U Save closed. We did an exhaustive study on the potential of recruiting a grocery store and it wasn’t always particularly promising.”
Other possible uses include a new motel or professional offices.
Commissioner Tony Whidden said they should be careful to insure a positive business or housing project goes into this location.
“I don’t know what the appropriate businesses are. I know the ones I wouldn’t want to see. Eyesores we have seen in other places like a you pull it yard.”