News Cast for October 31st:

The Chapman family would like to thank the Okeechobee community for the outpouring of love and support from our hometown and local businesses. Words cannot express our heartfelt gratitude. What was displayed on 9/29/23 and 10/4/23, is truly an honor and unmatched anywhere else in our minds and hearts. Okeechobee displayed comradery, unity, love, and respect for Air Force Veteran/Police Officer, Jason Chapman. A true American hero at home and abroad. We have the best hometown, and the reason we continue to live here

Prison Guard arrested on felonies

A corrections guard at Okeechobee Correctional took a bribe from an inmate to smuggle in alcohol, officials said Monday.

That’s the allegations against 28-year-old Enly Cyril of Fort Pierce.

He allegedly brought in two bottles of tequila last December 22nd.

He said he used his sisters Cash App to receive the funds.

Cell phone evidence seemed to suggest other transactions like $500 for a Wi-Fi box, $1,200 for one bottle and $1,450 for one bottle, according to the arrest report.

The charges included unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, introduction of contraband into a state correctional facility, and unlawful use of a two-way communications device.

Glades County requested the state delegation to support lower levels in Lake Okeechobee, $5 million to expand the Moore Haven Treatment plant, and $12 million to dredge more of the Moore Haven canal.

Chairman Tim Stanley also pushed for funds to build a new multi-use facility in Palmdale.

The existing building is in a state of ill repair and needs replacement.  The county requested $3 million.

The building could hold meetings and community events, continue to serve as the voting precinct during elections, and be a supply center after hurricanes.

The county also asked the Department of Transportation to finally finish the paving of the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail.

They also asked for support of a $15.5 million loan for a sewer treatment plant to serve NE Glades County.

Lake Okeechobee won’t get much relief this winter.

The desired lake levels of 12.5 feet probably won’t be reached.

Col. Jamie Booth of the US Army Corps of Engineers said the lake won’t get low enough for long enough.

“We like to get well below 12.5 feet for 60 days or more to have a beneficial impact on germination and more recruitment of sub aquatic vegetation.  We are pretty high in the schedule, over 16 feet and expect an El Nino this winter.”

The El Nino weather pattern is expected to bring above average rainfall this winter.

An Inspector General report criticized former Pahokee city manager Greg Thompson for purchasing two all-terrain vehicles from the city.

They criticized the process and how the sale was handled.  They said he improperly benefitted from the sale.

Commissioner Sarah Perez admitted hiring Thompson was a bad move.

“I take responsibility for voting to bring him in.  I did not know nothing about no ATVs nor did I bid on it nor did I have anything to do with it.  I take responsibility for hiring him.”

A train and a tractor trailer collided on US 27 in Palmdale Monday morning around 10 am.

Palmdale kids were about 30 minutes late getting home from school last night.

The truck driver failed to stop for the train with the crossing gate lowered and signals activated, slammed on the brakes, struck a guard rail and the number two car on the train.

The driver, a 43-year-old man from Vero Beach suffered minor injury.  Eight train cars were derailed.

The train engineer, a 39-year-old man from Clewiston was unhurt.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the cleanup process remains ongoing.  The road remained closed at the crossing at Boar Hammock Ranch Road.