News Cast 1/4

News Cast for 1/4:

Snow comes to Florida 

Temperatures dipped into the 40s around Okeechobee last night as Florida saw snow for the first time in three years. 

Walton and Okaloosa County both reported flurries Monday morning. 

Okeechobee County fire rescue urges listeners to keep their fire places cleaned and to be careful with space heaters during cold snaps. 

One tip is to make sure the space heater has a cut-off switch were it to be tipped over or land on its side. 

Fire Chief Ralph Franklin said he does not expect a huge increase in calls when he tabulates the 2021 data. 

“We had a little bit of an increase in calls.  A lot of that is due to COVID.  Fire responses ran about the normal average for our department.” 

He said things are drying up out there which could mean some additional wild fire activity in early 2022. 

An Ocala man was locked up in Okeechobee on several felony charges over the holiday weekend. 

29 year old Rayburn King was facing charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, battery, resisting arrest and fleeing and attempting to elude police. 

An affidavit to explain the arrest was not immediately available. 

His bond was set at $86,000. 

The Moore Haven City Council will pursue a rate study on electric rates. 

They have not increased the rates in years and meanwhile costs of maintenance and equipment has gone up, Mayor Brett Whidden said. 

The council meets tonight for the first time in 2022. 

One item for 2022 is interest in a lease of the city marina. 

Captain Cook of Uncle Joes Fish Camp runs an airboat tour on Lake Okeechobee. 

He’s interested in working with the city on plans like a bait shop, renting boat slips, fishing equipment, small rentals of bicycles and scooters, and airboat tours. 

“It could be profitable for both the city and myself.  I just need a base to work out of.” 

The city will also seek state grants to help fund the downtown redevelopment project. 

The Okeechobee Historical Society plans to expand hours at the county museum. 

The facility is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of US 98 and NW 18th Street. 

They will open one Saturday each month thanks to volunteers. 

The Board of County Commissioners also approved a waiver of permit fees at Douglas Brown for the annual Martin Luther King Junior celebration. 

This year four days of activities are planned including a culture program on Friday night, a Gospel music program on Sunday, the annual banquet, and a community fun day on Monday, January 17th

Mayor Dowling Watford thanked the county for their recent commitment of funds for the cattle drive sculpture at cattlemen’s square.