News Cast for October 30th:

Picture below: “Celebrating our Employees!!! 🏆
At today’s BOCC meeting, our Board honored the following employees who met the requirements for service awards from July 1, 2023 through September 30, 2023:
5 Years:
Ms. Pauline Daniel – Extension Office
10 Years:
Ms. Tiffany Gould – CIP Department
Mr. Matt Hopkins, Fire Rescue
Each employee is dedicated and talented in their profession, and we are honored to have them as a part of our team!
Congratulations to everyone on your Employee Service Awards 👏👏🏆
(Pictured L to R): Chair Hazellief, Pauline Daniel, Comm DeCarlo, Tiffany Gould, Comm Burroughs, Comm Goodbread, Administrator Manzo (not pictured Matt Hopkins)”

City honors police officer and family

The Okeechobee City Police Department and Okeechobee City Council honored the memory of officer Jason Chapman at their last meeting.

City police chief Donald Hagan wanted to come up with a way to honor the officer’s contributions and give something to his family.

He presented what is called a shadow box.  It includes the officer’s badge, handgun handcuffs and also other memorabilia.

Officer Chapman was killed in a crash in DeSoto County on September 26.  He was also a highly decorated military officer.

The council agreed to hear a presentation on a medical waste project at a meeting in November.

A bio medical facility owned by David Ramden showed interest in purchasing land in the city commerce center this summer.

At the time the council had concerns about odors and impacts on neighbors.

The council appointed James Shaw as regular member and James Murray as alternate member on the city planning board.

They also agreed to purchase five new Dodge Chargers for the Police Department from Garber Chrysler Jeep in Douglas, Georgia for $38,000 per vehicle.

They also approved the permit for the First Baptist Church Community Fall Festival on October 31 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

FFA students can still raise farm animals for shows in residential areas of Glades County.

The county planning board held several meetings and their recommendation on this issue was approved by county commissioners.

The county also wants their state delegation to oppose term limits for county commissioners.

They are also working on a new code enforcement form that no longer requires the alleged violator to sign the form.

Commissioner Tony Whidden said he understands the public is upset about code enforcement.

“When you are stacking trash next to somebody’s property you are making a junk yard.  The cars you can’t get rid of and make a profit.  These fiberglass boats and yachts stacked up on property in the city limits, nobody will pay for those things, they are just going to sit.”

In the courts two shooting suspects pled no contest and were sentenced for an incident at a Whispering Pines trailer park on November 11, 2021.

64-year-old Oscar Acosta Lanza was sentenced to 676 days in the county jail.

He was sentenced by circuit judge Rebecca White.

The second suspect Oscar Acosta Padilla was sentenced to two years in prison on felony charges with credit for time served.

A third suspect, Dilmer Acosta fled the scene and remains at large.

Okeechobee County Sheriff Deputies said the three broke into the victim’s trailer at 1546 NW 36th Street, removed Carlos Maldonado and shot at his feet with a firearm.

The deputies said the victim suffered wounds to his legs and feet that appeared to be caused by ricochets.

A shooting on 10th Street in Buckhead Ridge last Thursday being investigated as a suicide, according to the Glades County Sheriff’s Department.

Clewiston High School Football Coach Andrew Powell decided to cancel the final football game of the year versus Okeechobee on Friday. 

Clewiston players got into a fight with Inlet Grove players after a game on Oct. 20.

Powell said his decision was supported by the Clewiston High School administration, the leadership of Hendry County schools and the Florida High School Athletic Association.

Powell said the FHSSA investigation is ongoing.

“I want my team, my school, and my community to know that the behavior exhibited by my team last week during and after the altercation, will not be condoned.  As the leader of my football team, I will continue to strive to uphold a standard of excellent that will allow my team to shine in a positive light.”

Powell said he would use this experience as a powerful moment to teach, educate and develop the young men he is blessed to be able to coach every day.

Okeechobee will finish the season with a winning record, 5-4.