News Cast 1/23


January 23, 2024

News Cast for January 23rd:

The best of the best

A veteran educator takes home the teacher of the year award for Okeechobee schools

Marcie Farrell of Yearling Middle School has worked at the school for 35 years.  Seven times she has been its teacher of the year.


She thanked her family for supporting her and all the hours she puts in at the school.

She received a $5,000 check from Mid Florida Credit Union.

Other teachers nominated this year included Elizabeth Fox Garcia of the District office, Megan Fosler of Central, Candace Bockoras of North, Sarah Kayda of Everglades, Joe Suarez of the freshman campus, Tesa Warthen of Okeechobee Achievement Academy, Jonathan Schrock at Osceola, Cary Pung at OHS, Maggie Cauley of South and Martha Cruz of Seminole.

Glades County sheriff deputies said two men were rescued from the lake in Lakeport after their boat capsized on Sunday.

Family members were able to retrieve the boat in the water.  Glades EMS treated the men at the Harney Pond boat ramp and neither was hospitalized.

An inmate at the Okeechobee County Jail charged with beating up another inmate.

56-year-old Joseph Acquaotta sent the other inmate to the hospital and also damaged a jail tablet used by inmates.

Jail officials said the victim was treated and released at HCA/Raulerson Hospital.

Acquaotto faces charges of battery on an inmate and misdemeanor criminal mischief.

The City of Okeechobee Technical Review Committee approved the expansion plans for West Lake Royal Roofing in the Commerce Park.

The 8-acre facility will include a new outdoor paved storage area, storm water improvements, and a 3,000 square foot shipping and receiving building.

Another application will also for an expansion of the manufacturing facility.

City Administrator Gary Ritter predicted this project will lead to more activity and truck traffic in the park.

The company expects to create 30 new positions.

City staff did have concerns about city streets needing to be reinforced.

Some 30 jobs will be created.

The Okeechobee County Site Plan and Review Committee approved plans for a new building to replace the old Burger King in the Winn Dixie plaza.

Slim Chickens plans to open a restaurant there.

The committee also approved a 116 foot tall communications tower on 33 acres at 5445 US highway 441 north.  It will be owned by the South Florida Water Management District.

Florida voters could get to decide if certain equipment and property used in agriculture should be exempt from ad valorem taxes.

The Senate Agriculture committee approved a joint resolution calling for the constitutional amendment.

Palm Beach Senator Lori Berman who represents the Glades wanted to know the revenue impacts from the legislation but did support the resolution in committee.

60 percent of voters would have to approve the measure before it becomes law.

Sponsor Senator Jay Collins ® said farmers are struggling to make a profit in Florida and this will encourage more production.

It could impact farm machinery, equipment and property classified as agriculture.