News Cast 1/30

News Cast for January 30th:

An horrendous crash kills four near Moore Haven

Three adults including a pregnant woman were killed in Glades County early Sunday morning.

The head on collision was allegedly caused by a wrong way driver on US 27 just south of County Road 773.

Killed were a 28 year old Fort Lauderdale woman, who was a passenger in a Lexus SUV, and two occupants, a man and a woman in a Jeep Compass.

The Lexus was north bound in the south bound lanes causing the head on collision just after 1 am.

The Jeep burst into flames and troopers said it has been difficult to identify the two occupants.

The crash remains under investigation.

The federal government is trying to further control water on farms and ranches, looking at ditches and pasture ponds.

Farmers said this is going to be expensive for them to hire biologists and lawyers trying to stay in compliance so they can produce crops and graze cattle.

Alex Barnett said water regulations are designed for navigable waters.

“As a farmer we don’t have the time or the money to wait on a permit every time we do work near a pond or a ditch, whether its on the side of the road, or in one of my farm fields.”

A US Supreme Court case, the Sackett Case, is expected to rule on how far the federal government can go under the Clean Water Act.

Martin County has agreed to push the state to improve state road 710.

They want to see the highway widened to four lanes between Indiantown and Okeechobee.

The state is putting in a turn lane at Tommy Clements Street in February.

Chief Deputy John Budensiek said they just can’t reach drivers to be safe.

“Regardless of how many tickets we write or how many interviews we do in the press, there still is just a lack of communication with the people that are traveling through the area.”

The main problem with the section of road in Martin County is little to no shoulders.

Budensiek said SR 710 is not the deadliest road in Martin County but due to the speeds, most of the crashes that occur there, are very serious.

He added it also remains dangerous on CR 714, known as the Martin Grade due to wildlife and little to no shoulders.

Okeechobee businesses, service groups and non-profits again were generous helping our teachers.

The Okeechobee Education Foundation helped administer $31,000 worth of mini grants for teachers.

South Elementary kindergarten teacher Jennifer Burk said her kids loved getting the extra cash.

“They are always so excited because they know they are getting more goodies, and things that are interactive that they can play with.  It is just play for them but they learn so much while they are playing.”

South Elementary Principal Lonnie Steiert said they received a lot of grants at the school and she  thanked her teachers for the effort they put in.

“We appreciate the fact that they are so dedicated.  It takes extra time to write the grant.  We ended up with over $12,000 at South.  That is all about the teachers, their dedication, and what they do.  We are blessed to have so many dedicated teachers here at South.”

Executive Director Alaina Barron and Okeechobee School Superintendent Ken Kenworthy visited each school in the district to hand out the grants.

“The kids are really excited.  We love going into the classroom and getting the kids involved.  I think sometimes the kids are more excited about the balloons.  They do love it.  We explain to them what the grant is for and thank the teacher for filling out the grant and what it brings to the classroom.”

Donors this year included the Altobello Family Foundation, South State Bank, Delta Kappa Gamma International Society, Gay Carlton, Glades Electric Cooperative, Jill Holcomb, the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee, the Okeechobee battlefield friends, Sumner Engineering, Family Dentistry of Okeechobee, Leslie Lundy, Brennan Eye Care, Okeechobee Cattlewomen, the Rotary Club, Brandi Watford Photography, Career Pathways, the Okeechobee Community Theatre, Doris Entry, and Ken Kenworthy.