News Cast for October 27th:
Special to WOKC News: “Carol Marker attended the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Gala over the weekend. She was nominated for Athlete of the Year for Special Olympics although she didn’t get the award it was a great honor to be selected as a finalists. Special Olympics has over 60 thousand athletes in Florida. She plans to continue to work hard and represent Okeechobee with pride. She wants to thank everyone in Okeechobee for the continued support she receives.”
Agriculture trying to recover
5,800 cattle ranches and 24 dairy farms in the state suffered damage from Hurricane Ian.
Couple that with the damage to row crops and citrus trees and the total amount of damage to agriculture could approach $1.9 billion dollars.
The Florida Department of Agriculture released a preliminary report on the damage.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is seeking a federal disaster declaration to provide loans and other relief to farmers and ranchers.
Beef cattle ranches lost 250 head. Close to 257,000 calves were stressed by the storm. An estimated 1.6 million acres of pasture suffered erosion and flood damage.
200 dairy cows died in a dairy in Myakka City.
The report said 24 dairy farms suffered damage estimated at $8.5 million.
Commissioner Fried called the damage significant in many Florida counties including Okeechobee and Glades as the damage exceed 30 percent loss to one or more crops.
The FEMA disaster recovery center continues to serve Okeechobee this week.
Denise Whitehead said other agencies are also available to assist at the Okeechobee County Public Library daily from 9 am until 6 pm.
She was a guest on the WOKC morning show with Billy Dean.
Whitehead told listeners, why not go by and see if you are eligible for assistance.
The small business administration and the state food stamp program were among the other programs available at the DRC.
Jobless rates continued to drop in Okeechobee last month.
Okeechobee had 2.8 percent unemployment with 115 more people in the work force last month.
Okeechobee had a labor force of 17,746 workers.
Glades County also saw 37 more people in the work force a total of 5,220. Glades had a jobless rate of 2.9 percent in September.
Labor economist Adrienne Johnston said private industry jobs continue to increase in the state with an over the year increase of 5.8 percent.
Around the area Highlands had 4.1 percent, Hendry County 4.8 percent, Martin 2.4 percent, Osceola 3.2 percent, Palm Beach 2.6 percent and St. Lucie 3.1 percent.
35 year old Robert Montesano of Indiantown was charged with installing secret cameras in the bedroom of a female friend.
Martin County Sheriff Deputies said the camera took 34,000 images and 1,490 videos of the female violating her privacy.
He has been charged with two counts of video voyeurism.