News Cast 1/19


January 19, 2024

News Cast for January 19th:

Two men on small paddle boards travelled 34 miles on Lake Okeechobee to raise awareness and support for the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

The temperatures were 40 degrees that morning as the duo took 11 1/2 hours to go from the Kissimmee River to Lake Harbor.

Mason Gravely said it was a very clear and calm day on the lake with few boats and few alligators.

“Things went according to plan.  We went out there without a motor, wanted to cross the mighty Okeechobee with human power only and no support boat.  A lot of people thought we were crazy without a boat.  We thought it was a cool idea.  We picked a very calm day on the lake and that helped make it possible.

Gravely, 33, had only a 14-foot inflatable paddle board and his colleague 32-year-old Jordan Wolfram of Lakeland had a hard board 12 feet long.

He said he could hear airboats from miles away and a few gunshots from duck hunters but saw only a handful of other boats.

He said he thinks this is the first paddle board expedition around the lake, having heard of a kayaker doing it and another man using a raft to cross the lake.

A jail inmate was the cause of the uproar in Moore Haven Wednesday.

35-year-old Quinton Pete somehow escaped the exercise area in the jail downtown around 12 noon on Wednesday.

He then was spotted walking on school property, and tried to steal a vehicle at the post office.  He then ran across US 27 before returning to a business and finding a truck running in the parking lot.

Sheriff David Hardin said this left an opportunity for Pete to flee.

“An unattended vehicle is never a good thing to leave running.  We tell our people here if you like it, lock it.   This can happen anywhere, it happened here.  I’m very proud of the way my people responded, and the school.  Our partnership worked just as it should.  Kudos to my staff who were able to apprehend the buy and did so in a safe manner.

The stolen truck was likely totaled in a crash in Palmdale with a second vehicle.  No serious injuries occurred.

Pete will face numerous charges that include escape, attempted car jacking, grand theft auto, fleeing and attempting to elude police, and throwing a deadly missile at law enforcement officers.  Its alleged he started to throw tools from the truck at the pursuing deputies.Another chase on New Years Day 2020 ended in a plea deal and prison sentence in Okeechobee.

Alexander Munch, 31 led Okeechobee police on a wild chase driving east bound in the west bound lanes of 70 east over the overpass, forcing vehicles off the road.

Police caught up to him near NE 24th Avenue after he drove through a gate, and struck a trailer and a mobile home.

Authorities also found $4,000 in suspected drug cash along with 362 grams of methamphetamines, 108 grams of cocaine, and small amounts of molly and ecstasy.

Munch had no prior criminal history.

The Lakeport community association will be hosting their annual Sour Orange festival on Saturday.

All the events begin at 10 am at the community building.