News Cast for October 3rd:

Fatal crash on 441 north

A fatal crash claimed the life of 74-year-old Gregory Close of Okeechobee on Friday.

Okeechobee County Sheriff deputies said Close was driving a south bound 2020 Jeep Wrangler and failed to maintain his lane, drifting into the north bound lane and colliding with a north bound 2014 Chevrolet pickup truck.

Two occupants of the pickup, a 65-year-old female and a 25 year old female passenger from Okeechobee, were not injured.

The accident occurred about a half mile north of the intersection of NE 131st Lane.

The Avon Park Bombing Range is conducting an updated compatible use study.

Okeechobee County is one of the seven jurisdictions being studied.

The range continues to be a valuable tool for national defense.  F-35 training has continued to increase in recent years from various air force bases like Moody, Homestead, Patrick and MacDill.

Director of Operations Buck McLaughlin expects more use at the range.

“We see a lot more traffic coming into the range.  That will increase the noise.  How do we accept that new mission and do it safely.”

There is a three mile buffer from the range that limits growth and heights of buildings.

In Okeechobee the range is buffered most by the Kisimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.

Jennifer Codo Salisbury with the Central Florida Regional Planning Council said they work well with farming operations to limit impacts.  They also work well with Okeechobee and the nearby Kissimmee Prairie Preserve.

“We have seven jurisdictions that may be impacted by the range.  That can be sound, you may hear the jets coming in, the closer you get you may feel the ground moving.  Also, the closer you get to the installation the great accident potential, so public safety is a top priority.  Another priority is protecting the military mission.”

Archeologists found a 4,000 year old canoe in the Kissimmee River on the bombing range in recent months.  One of the storms uncovered the silt and a fishermen noticed it in the river late last year.  A special facility in Washington DC is working to restore the canoe and trying to preserve that piece of history.

The Okeechobee city technical review committee approved an alley abandonment connecting two parcels for possible development

The 15-foot alley is located just west of 441 south between SW 17th Street and 18th Street.

The committee also continued until November the site plan review of the new Culvers Restaurant planned on route 70 east.

A large crowd turned into a riot at a youth football game in Pahokee.

At one point the crowd may have thought there was a man with a gun on the field, one eye witness said.

Palm Beach deputies said they were forced to use pepper balls to scatter the crowd during two separate fights.

Resident Elea A’Giza-Dean asked deputies to show more of a presence at these games.

“That situation could have gotten really bad, really fast.  I’m not saying it’s the fault of law enforcement, because it takes all of us, it takes staff, coaches, parents and everybody.  The actions of the individual that caused it was a person not from Pahokee.  I think when deputies show a presence it does make a difference.” (863)357-3225

1480 NW 25th Drive Okeechobee Florida

Looking for your Best Friend check out your local animal shelter or rescue group. You will never meet a better loyal furry friend. All animals are spayed or neutered and up to date on shots, microchipped. They come with their own Unconditional Love all ready in them and they are ready to share with you. So come and do a meet and greet at Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Service They will be looking for you. Hope to see you soon

Please spay and neuter your animals and if you can help someone else please do a single act of kindness is never wasted or forgotten