News Cast 1/2


January 2, 2024

News Cast for January 2nd:

Highway Patrol investigate fatal crashes

A collision between an SUV and a petacycle resulted in a fatality in southeast Okeechobee Thursday just after 6 pm.

The Florida highway patrol said the accident happened on US 441 southeast near 96th Street.

The victim on the cycle was a 57 year old Okeechobee man.  The driver of the SUV was a 53 year old Okeechobee woman.

The man died at the scene. 

The SUV driver told troopers she was trying to pass the cycle on the left when he made a left hand turn in front of the SUV.

An Okeechobee man struck and killed a bicyclist in DeSoto County.

The Florida highway patrol said the 43-year-old man was north bound driving a van on US 17 and struck the 40-year-old Wauchula man, who at first glance, appeared to be at fault.

The bicyclist was headed north bound on the inside paved shoulder and then entered the inside travel lane and was struck by the front of the van.

Troopers are continuing to investigate.

Three people went to the hospital in Glades County after a three vehicle crash on state Road 78 near Duda Road on Thursday.

A sedan driven by a 24-year-old Clewiston woman crossed the center line and struck a truck head on.

The driver, a 35-year-old Moore Haven man and a 5 year old girl were taken to Hendry Regional Medical Center with serious injury.

The truck driver, a 24 year old Okeechobee man was unhurt.

Debris from the first collision also damaged a tractor trailer.

Alligator hunting opportunities could be expanded.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission proposed special use permits for five hunters so they can hunt in any management unit at any time.

Right now hunters can only use one management area to hunt and also hunt for just one week out of the month long hunt.

Each hunter still can harvest up to two alligators.

FWC Alligator program director Brooke Talley listed the pros and cons of the new hunt opportunity.

“The primary benefits of this new opportunity is greater flexibility, access to multiple alligator hunting units, hunting during the entire hunting season, and the option to apply multiple times for the permits so the odds of being drawn would be greater.”

She added potential negatives include the application fees are non refundable and there will be a limited number of permitees.

The permits will be drawn at random and cost $250 for Floridians and $750 for out of state hunters.

The governor and cabinet approved the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program priority list for 2024.

The state cabinet approved the $8.2 million purchase of development rights for the Syfrett Ranch that covers 2,100 acres in Highlands and Glades County.

Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson spoke to Southeast Ag Net about the value of this program

“Cows keep Florida green.  Sometimes we forget that farmers are the first environmentalists.  We think about our wildlife corridor and rural and family lands all ties together.  It protects our wildlife, our aquifer and our food source.  We are proud to be apart of all that.”

258 farms, ranches and forests were being considered with some 178 new projects for this year.

A public hearing was held in late 2023 in Okeechobee to get input on the list.