News Cast 1/5

News Cast for January 5th:

Opinions keep coming in on the lake. The new Lake regulation schedule has its supporters and its doubters. The Lake Coalition had mixed reviews. 

Most of the concerns were being keeping the lake higher, more often.  Eva Velez with the US Army Corps of Engineers told the group that she doesn’t’ think there will be a lot of times the lake is held at higher water levels. 

“The lake will be about half a foot higher on average.  It is not stacking water on Lake Okeechobee in comparison to the current schedule.” 

Chairman Carson Turner made the claim that the water will be stacked longer in the lake. “We all know the variables on why we need to do that from time to time.  We are anxious in my community to see how it all plays out for the health of Lake Okeechobee.” 

A double wide trailer fire is being investigated in Four Seasons. Okeechobee County Fire Rescue responded to the blaze Monday afternoon on NE 11th Way. 

They found the trailer completely involved in flame. The State Fire Marshall is investigating. There was no power hooked up to the home and it was vacant at the time. 

The Martin County Commission has listed traffic safety as a priority in 2022. 8,800 motor vehicle crashes have occurred there since 2018 with 44 traffic fatalities. 

Western Martin County has had its share of fatalities on 710 and Martin Grade. County Commissioner Ed Ciampi said there’s been some crazy driving going on. 

“We can all sit and tell stories about the crazy things that we see.  It borders on jokes and humor.  I saw these people driving on the sidewalk.  I count this issue as one of the most important things.” 

He called for the state to improve the intersection on 710 at SW Tommy Clements Street. They also want traffic to slow down in residential areas. 

He said he is dismayed that it takes the state up to six years to make improvements to roads. 

A plea deal reached in a 2018 murder in Glades County.  Collis Crow agreed to plead guilty to a manslaughter charge in the death of Haroldman Lopez. 

He also agreed to cooperate with authorities in an ongoing investigation. 

In return he will be sentenced at a later day to 11 and a half years in prison at a later date. 

Large mouth bass can soon be part of the menu. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission followed the lead of the legislature who passed a bill allowing bass to be sold for food. It is supported by aquaculture, but opposed by some fishermen. 

FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton said the genetics of wild bass will be protected. 

Anglers worry this will hurt the state program of catch and release and reduce trophy fish in Florida lakes like Lake Okeechobee. 

FWC Board member Gary Lester said he felt it would put a strain on the bass population. 

“Turning this into an agriculture product undercuts the whole culture we’ve created of catch and release in this state.  That program, with 21 million people living here now, is very important to maintaining and keeping this fishery, as it is with all of our species.”