News Cast 10/13

News Cast for October 13th:

COVID cases continue to decline 

There was a good response to the monoclonal antibody treatment offered Sunday at the former Okeechobee Surgical Center. 

The group plans to come again this Sunday and offer more treatments. 

The case count at 17 for this week. 

Vaccination rates are at 50 percent. 

Health Department Director Brett Smith said the current trends look good. 

“It is my theory that we are seeing herd immunity.  So many people have gotten it.  So many have gotten vaccine.  After the holiday we usually have a huge spike.  We had a spike after Labor Day but it wasn’t a huge spike.” 

Smith said we could see the vaccine in pill form before long. 

“Merck is working on a pill and is seeking FDA emergency approval.  It should highly increase the number of people that are vaccinated.  I think it will get approval.  The cases have been hugely successful.” 

Police charge man in violent domestic dispute 

Steven Miller, 43 of Okeechobee was charged with felony battery and drug charges after a domestic fight in Fort Pierce on October 10. 

Fort Pierce Police said Miller battered two females including a child, strangled them, and threatened to burn their house down. 

The child was a reported runaway from Polk County. 

Police said Miller fled the scene on foot and eluded them for a time.  They had officers watch the home and Miller was arrested when he returned to the home allegedly in possession of Suboxone strips. 

Sheriff names new Chaplain 

A new chaplain was named at the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office. 

Jim Garner is Co-Pastor at More to Life Ministries. 

He has been a pastor for 35 years.  He replaces Rick Giles who retired. 

Garner said he focuses a lot on counseling and services not only to the deputy or corrections guard but the entire family. 

“I will try to give these guys a lot of grace.  I will be there for them.  If I can help them, their wives and their children, that is what I want to do.” 

Garner said a chaplain can really make a difference. 

“I have pastored for 37 years.  One thing you learn after all this time is you don’t earn anything it is all the grace of God.” 

The state legislature this year approved legislation to allow the sale of largemouth freshwater bass for food. 

They haven’t allowed the sale of freshwater bass since 1990. 

The ban was designed to protect and conserve the species and prohibit the take of wild fish. 

Some are concerned about protecting the genetics of wild stocks. 

Fish and Game Commissioner Gary Lester said he was disappointed the law passed. 

“We have been talking about catch and release for years.  We did a lot to affirm it is an iconic sport fish in the state.  I’m concerned that we will lose that.”