News Cast for October 18th:

Okeechobee will gets there say

The South Florida Water Management District relented in part to allow Okeechobee County officials to address them on the Lower Kissimmee Stormwater Treatment area project.

They will be placed on the December 14th Agenda.

Still to be resolved is if they can make a power point demonstration like district staff get to do.

Commission Chairman David Hazellief said he was disappointed that the Lake Okeechobee Coalition did not support us in fighting the 3,000 acre project.

“I would have the thought the coalition would have made their decision then.  The district had all the commissioners sold before the meeting.  What they were told I don’t know.  They were not concerned in a project that would be detrimental to Okeechobee.  I know there are a lot of promises going around and I don’t know what they were promised.”

The project on State Road 70 west near the Kissimmee River is designed to remove phosphorus and nutrients from the water before it reaches the lake.

Commissioner Brad Goodbread said after 40 years water management should realize dairies, cows and agriculture have not been causing the problem.

“WE have spent 40 years and put 40 dairies out of business, blaming it on them and blaming cows.  Everybody has figured out these are ill-fated decisions yet they are made nonetheless.”

Nearby residents are concerned about birds impacting planes landing and taking off from nearby air strips, impacts on a local tree farm that employs 40 people and what might be an added risk of flooding.

St. Lucie County Commissioners renamed a portion of Okeechobee Road to honor Kyle Patterson, the FWC Senior investigator killed in a head on collision last year near the Fairgrounds.

Board clerk Vera Smith said the state of Florida allowed the designation.

The resolution said the other driver was impaired at the time.  The Tampa Bay woman was driving east bound in the west bound lanes.

Patterson’s widow and children and former FWC officer colleagues were on hand for the presentation.

This is School Bus Safety Week.

Each day in the US there are 21,000 traffic violations involving school buses or school zones.

In Florida last year there were 3,000 traffic crashes involving school buses.

Okeechobee Schools Transportation Director Brent Stuart said there was a recent accident on 441 north due to a motorist failing to stop for a school bus dropping off students.

He noted new state laws will help make school buses safer.

“We will soon be installing cameras on the side of buses to detect those infractions.  At some point law enforcement will be able to watch the videos, figure out who that person was, and ultimately stop this from happening.”

The citation for passing a stopped school bus is between $165 and $265.