News Cast 1/12


January 12, 2024

News Cast for January 12th:

Drug dealer goes to prison

The effort to reduce drug operations and drug houses in Okeechobee resulted in two convictions on prison sentences.

Terence Byrd, 54, received four years in prison and his co defendant Alonza Palmer received three years behind bars and a $50,000 fine.

Byrd pled no contest to charges of possession with the intent to sell marijuana and cocaine.

He was arrested after an Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force search on April 13, 2021 at 1202 NE 11th Street.

The arrest report stated that investigators located 86 grams of powder cocaine, 72 grams of crack cocaine, 552 grams of marijuana and ingredients commonly used to cook cocaine.

The original charge of trafficking was reduced to possession charges.

Byrd scored 41 months in prison.

The Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners recognized and honored members of the Okeechobee FFA teams that competed in the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis last fall.

Jenna Larson, Luke Larson, Lily Larson, Lila Bishop, Sophia Caves, Josh Larson and Brady Williamson as well as coaches Travis and Colleen Larson and team advisor Jared Prescott all were honored at the commission meeting.

Okeechobee won first place in the career development team event.  It was the first time a Florida team had won the contest.

Okeechobee also got high marks for the dairy animal evaluation and nutrition team.

The Board issued a proclamation to recognize the 4-H judging team as they placed 7th in the national competition, the Eastern National Horse Judging Competition in Kentucky.

Students honored included Alyssa Cortez and Emily Hilderbrand of Okeechobee, Lindsey Dillahay of Indian River County, and Maci Cerasole of St. Johns County.

The county received a $200,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to assist in the costs of relocating the basketball courts at the Douglas Brown Community Center.

The county will likely plant landscaping to provide a buffer between the basketball courts and the children’s playground.

Former Okeechobee City firemen Lalo Rodriguez was honored for saving a home during a fire on Avenue E in Moore Haven.

Rodriguez, who now works for Glades County Public Safety, crawled under the home to find the flames, and was able to put out the blaze before serious damage was done.

Fire Chief Larry Factor wants to bring more training, more classes for the community like a paramedics class, and more outreach and education efforts to the county.

He also plans to pursue more grants to provide the equipment they need.

Factor has 34 years of experience work in fire rescue.

“I want to make our residents safe and I want our fire fighters safe.  I want to get out in the community to show them we are here.” Factor said teamwork can make dreams happen and with the collaboration and support from the county manager, county commission and public safety director Angela Snow, he expects to get a lot accomplishe