News Cast 1/25

News Cast for January 25th:

A traffic fatality shuts downs 441

The Florida Highway Patrol reported a 75 year old Port St. Lucie man was killed early Wednesday after a near head on collision on 441 north just north of NW 290th Trail.

Troopers said a 2019 Chevrolet SUV was headed south bound on 441 when for unknown reasons, drove into the north bound lane and collided with the drivers side of a tractor trailer.

The SUV overturned and landed on the west shoulder of the road.  The truck overturned and stopped on the east shoulder of the road.

The truck driver, a 38 year old man from Miami, was not injured.

The victim died at the scene.

Troopers continue to investigate.

The Okeechobee Soil and Water Conservation Board  gave a grant to the Okeechobee Future Farmers of America and School Board to construct two barns at our middle schools.

FFA Advisor Brian Trimble said the board wrote the grant and wanted to do everything they could to help our schools.

Both schools got the same amount to put up the barns.

“It really helped us get things we really wanted and we didn’t have to wait for them,” he added.

“These will also be a classroom.  The front half is a 40 by 28 foot concrete pad.  We can put a big screen TV out there to have an interactive classroom outside.  That class could be held outside and get back into mainstream agriculture.   The industry is losing a lot of students that aren’t in mainstream ag.  We’d like to spark that interest back up.”

The FFA will also host the national student officers of the organization this Thursday and Friday.  They plan to visit Okeechobee High School and other schools on Friday.

President Joe Biden signed into law the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act that impacts the Kissimmee River.

The US Department of the Interior will not be studying the river to see if it applies for programs.

The river must be free flowing and possession one or more outstandingly remarkable values.  These can include natural, cultural or recreational resources that are unique, rare, or exemplary.

Central Florida Congressman Darren Soto thought that studies on the river should have been done during the 30 years that the river was being restored.

Soto said the federal government did tremendous damage to the river when it was straightened in the 1950s leading into Lake Okeechobee.

“The restoration of the river is nothing short of epic.  The water that sustains the Everglades is a divine miracle.”

The program does open up some programs for private landowners to voluntarily take advantage of to help with water quality, conservation, and wildlife.