News Cast 10/14

News Cast for October 14th:

Franklin working with FEMA

Congressman Scott Franklin said the federal government is doing a good job helping the state recover from Hurricane Ian.

FEMA crews continued to visit Okeechobee neighborhoods like Taylor Creek Isles, and Treasure Island on Thursday.

The county also received a donation of tarps from AmeriHealth Caritas Florida.  They were distributed to property owners whose roofs were damaged in the storm.

Franklin told News Max that there are plenty of resources coming to Florida from Washington.

“The programs are there, the resources are there, it just getting them to the people affected the most.”

He urged the federal government to remove red tape and bureaucracy so the funding can get out quickly to affected areas.

Glades County will also see aerial spraying for mosquitoes weather permitting today.

The Florida Department of Agriculture will be conducting the spraying.

Officials reassured residents the treatments are completely safe.

A 60 year old Lorida man was tragically killed when he tried to help a disabled motorist on County Road 621 Wednesday night.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the victim got out of his pickup just south of Godwin Road and was walking in the southbound lane when he was struck by a van driven by a 64 year old Lake Placid man.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, troopers said.

A Moore Haven man, Ricky Harrell was sentenced to seven years in prison and five years probation Thursday for shooting to death his grand father, Peter Matusiak, on February 22.

Some kind of argument occurred at a residence on Palm Avenue.

Glades County Sheriff Deputies said Harrell claimed he acted in self defense when the 75 year old victim came at him in an aggressive manner.

The charge of first-degree murder was reduced to manslaughter this summer.

Harrell pled no contest to the charge.

The Okeechobee Masonic Lodge recently presented $250 checks to one new teacher at each of Okeechobee County Schools.

Superintendent of Okeechobee Schools Ken Kenworthy said he appreciated the gesture.

An Okeechobee man was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

34-year-old Mitchell Ellis allegedly led city cops on a high-speed chase that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour last September 21st.

Ellis reportedly ran stop signs, and rode against oncoming traffic south bound in the north bound lanes of US 441 before crashing the motorcycle.

Cops said they found a loaded .38 caliber revolver near where the motorcycle crashed.

The Okeechobee Blood Round Up is set for November 19th and 20th.

Organizer Raye Deusinger spoke to the Kiwanis Club about the event, now in its 17th year.

She said it takes a lot of hard work to put the event together.

“The amount of time volunteers put in to get this going is extensive.  It takes us four months to do the preparation to put on the round up.  I’m very grateful to the volunteers that take the time and make the effort.”

She said Okeechobee has donated about 6,000 pints of blood during the 17 year history of the event.

The Glades County Board of Commissioners recently adopted their tax rate and budget for the year.

$39.8 million could be spent, with $18.3 million to be on capital projects.

The property taxes collected will increase by 14.4 percent mostly due to an increase in the tax base.

Commissioners gave employees an 8.5 percent pay raise.

They spoke extensively on the raise amounts over a two month period.

Commissioner John Ahern spoke about whether the county could afford these raises.

“Everybody is different on how they look at it, how much we can afford and how much the taxpayers can afford too.”

Chairman Tim Stanley said he did not expect an 8.5 percent raise next year unless inflation is really bad.

The new pedestrian bridge on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail crossing Harney Pond in Lakeport is now open.

A Broward County jury sentenced Nikolas Cruz to life in prison for the Parkland high school slaying of 17 students.

One juror supported life and two others joined her in a 9-3 vote. 

The jury recommendation is binding and Cruz will be sentenced November 1st.

Lori Alahdeff lost her daughter, Alyssa during the shootings.  She said the death penalty should have been an easy decision for the jury.

“This should have been the death penalty 100 percent.  17 people were brutally murdered on February 14, 2018.  I sent my daughter to school and she was shot eight times.  I am so beyond disappointed and frustrated with this outcome.”