News Cast 1/13

News Cast for January 13th:

Glades not sure when it will get more vaccine

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced more agreements with Publix Pharmacy to handle additional COVID-19 vaccine shots.

56 more pharmacies in Northeast Florida and Collier County will have vaccine shots available.

“Hang in there.  We have vaccinated over 400,000 seniors in Florida.  That is the most of any state by a country mile,” he said.

Florida has an estimated 4 million residents age 65 and older.

Glades County vaccinated 790 people last week.

Emergency Management Director Marisa Shivers said they have no vaccine on hand to distribute today.

“The Department of Health’s phone lines continue to be overwhelmed by the volume of calls they are receiving.  Glades County Emergency Management is working with the Health Department on a possible solution to help streamline the registration and appointment process.”

They plan to provide updates at when the vaccine is available again.

“Please continue to be patient with us as we continue to work through the logistics of getting the vaccine distributed.  We are in this together and will get through this together.”

Glades County reported four new cases in the latest report released by the Florida Department of Health and Social Services

New State Attorney takes office

Tom Bakkedahl State Attorney

Tom Bakkedahl spent nearly 30 years at the State Attorney’s Office and worked his way up through the ranks to be the second in command for Bruce Colton.

He held that position since 2004.

When Colton decided to retire in 2020, Bakkedahl ran for the top job and won without opposition.

He is only the third person to hold the job in the past four decades.

Bakkedahl said he will make sure Okeechobee continues to get the resources it needs.

He praised the office for being the best in the circuit.

“I think our office is doing phenomenally out there.  Our Chief Assistant Ashley Albright has run the office for close to 14 years.  He has a close relationship with law enforcement, he is well respected and he’s dialed into the community out there,” he added.

Bakkedahl said his chief concern remains the drug and opioid problem and budget cuts.  He said when the governor cut his budget by six percent last year that was the equivalent of cutting six attorneys.

He said he will continue to lobby the legislature in 2021 to make sure his office has the resources it needs.

FDOT moves to phase two of round-a-bout construction

The Florida Department of Transportation said they will reduce traffic to one lane at the round-a-bout construction zone at 441 SE and SE 18th Terrace on January 28.

Outreach Specialist Corine Burgess said there will be traffic control devices to help the flow of traffic during construction.

The construction is expected to be completed in July.

Burgess said motorists should give themselves extra time so they can navigate through the construction zone.

Public Information Specialists Brian Rick had a hard time pushing round-a-bouts until he was nearly struck by a speeding Ford Mustang in Deerfield Beach.

He said the vehicle had to slow down because of the round-a-bout and this likely saved Rick from a serious car accident.

“Round-a-bouts do have slower speeds.  Normally a speed limit approaching an intersection is 45 miles per hour.  Round-a-bouts will slow you down.  That is where the safety benefits are yielded.”

Rick said it is also safer for pedestrians and bicyclists who always have the right of way inside a round-a-bout.