News Cast 1/10


January 10, 2024

News Cast for January 10th:

Dylan Tedders appointed Interim Superintendent

The Okeechobee School Board accepted the retirement notice of Superintendent of Schools Ken Kenworthy and voted to name Assistant Superintendent Dylan Tedders interim Superintendent effective March 1.

Tedders intends to apply for the permanent position.

He said he is ready to take on extra responsibility.   He noted he keeps in close contact with each school already and is well versed in the new Okeechobee High School construction project.

School Board member Melisa Jahner said Tedders experience with the high school project was a leading factor in her decision to support him.

Dr. Joseph Stanley also offered to serve as interim but did not want to be the permanent superintendent.

Kenworthy is leaving the district Feb. 29 to take a job with the Florida Insurance Trust.  He has been in the position for a decade.

The school board will hold a workshop to discuss the search for a new superintendent on Friday at 1 pm.

Dairy Farmers have many priorities for the 2024 Farm Bill including a change in the pricing formula, new labeling regulations, and returning whole milk and reduced fat milk to school menus.

Congressman GT Thompson, Chairman of the US House Agriculture Committee, predicted most of the big issues will be resolved by the end of March.

He said agriculture continues to provide conservation, environmental, economic and national security benefits to the nation.

Osceola County appears supportive of efforts to store more water north of state road 60.

The South Florida Water Management District and other agencies have been studying areas along the Kissimmee River and Shingle Creek for water storage.

Congressman Darren Soto held a public meeting to discuss water quality.  He supports federal funding to drug Florida lakes that are filled with muck and nutrients.

A former Yearling Middle School coach claims his constitutional rights were violated when he was arrested last year.

The attorney for Donny Raney, Robert Watson filed a motion to dismiss the charge of authority figure soliciting romantic relationship with a student.  A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Feb. 15.

The victim was a consenting adult at the time and Watson argues the two were at separate school sites, and Raney had no control over her grades or extra curricular activities.

Watson said the Florida law is vague and does not define things like relationship of a romantic nature.

The attorney said his clients rights under the 1st and 14th amendment rights to privacy and right to freely associate with other adults were violated by his arrest.  He said this amounts to government interference in the private lives of adults.

Watson noted an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling in 2012 found a sexual relationship between an 18 year old student and adult teacher was constitutionally protected.

Watson added the legal question is whether or not the state can criminalize what would otherwise be a legal relationship protected by the US Constitution.

The victim also wrote the court asking that the charges be dropped.

The State Attorney argues the law is designed to protect students through high school graduation and compared the relationship to a prison guard and inmate.