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News Cast for January 3rd:

Traffic death results in arrest

Work by the Okeechobee County Sheriff and police department led to an arrest for a fatal pedestrian crash.

Erika Smith was killed on December 11th by an alleged drunk driver near SE 5th Street and SE 16th Avenue.

The driver Cameron Runyon is accused of fleeing the scene and leading deputies on a high speed chase that night.

The pickup was chased up 441 north to the Boys School before it stopped.

Runyon was facing charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement.

 His bond was set at $375,000.

Residents in western St. Lucie County are concerned about a mine being proposed for six months this year by RuMar.

The county also recently approved sending to the state a proposed 8,600 home housing project located south of route 70.

Planner Cory Benton said the planning board recommended against this project.

He said the board said it was too much development too soon after changes to the urban services boundary.

He said the board recommended the density be reduced to one unit per acre.

Commissioner Cathy Townsend said she understands the opposition coming from agriculture for these new housing developments.

“I support McCarty Ranch and everything they do because that is what I grew up with.  I struggle with this because I know the impacts it could have on them and other neighbors in the agriculture community.”

Cattlemen and ranchers said once the new residents move in they will start complaining about their cows and farming operations.

Okeechobee schools will ask the state legislature to support new funding for career and technical education programs.

Superintendent Ken Kenworthy said the board expressed an interest in having the lobbyist work on expansion of programs.  He said they will reach out to the local legislative delegation for support.

The first building to be built in the new high school construction will be the career and technical education building.

“Career and technical is an area where a lot of funding appears to be available (from the state of Florida).  We’d like to expand the building and house some additional programs.”

A 45 year old Moore Haven man died in a motorcycle accident on Monday in Hendry County.

The accident was reported at 12:50 pm on US 27 southbound at Flaghole Road.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the motorcycle ran into the back of an SUV that had begun to slow down due to traffic ahead.

The victim was not wearing a helmet.  None of the occupants in the SUV were injured.