News Cast 10/4

News Cast for October 4th:

Still feeling the impacts

Just 47 customers were out of power in Okeechobee this morning.  222 customers remained out of power in Glades County and 2,264 in Hendry County and just over 2,100 were still out in Highlands County.

Six to eight inches of rain in the sugar fields south of Lake Okeechobee has delayed the US Sugar harvest for one week.

Okeechobee County commissioners hold a special meeting this morning to discuss the impacts of Hurricane Ian.

They have come to the aid of DeSoto County in the form of taking garbage, and sending water shipments.

Commissioner Brad Goodbread sent a truck of potable water to a hospital in Lee County.

Debris collection in Okeechobee county begins on Monday, October 10th.

State Road 70 west remains closed in Arcadia.

The Okeechobee City Board of Adjustment approved an expansion of Detox of South Florida, a residential drug treatment facility at 201 NE 6th Street.

They plan to double the size of the facility.  Currently they have 36 beds and 15 employees.

Manager James Caprio said these patients are not ordered by the court to be there and can leave at any time.

He noted they have had 55 complaints in the seven years they’ve operated.

He told the board the most serious complaint was a robbery at a local drug store back in 2015.

The city will require a fence around the facility.  The board made statements to support more drug treatment services in the community.

The board also recommended approval of rezonings and future land use changes for the former city water tower site at S

W 3rd Avenue and SW 23rd Street to residential single family and at the Primitive Baptist Church to public use.

The city would like to use the revenue from selling the water tower site to use to create a small park and church museum at PBC.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed September 22 in a fatal crash that killed two people including a child in Viking last year.

Amber Sparks filed the litigation for Zylar Crouch, a seven year old died in the crash.

The Florida highway patrol said Austin Cross also faces DUI manslaughter and other charges from the crash on June 19th, 2021 on the Peavine Trail.

All three drivers were allegedly impaired according to troopers.

The lawsuit claims Cross was negligent in his operation of the 2020 Ford F-150 and seeks damages for lost income, pain and suffering, and other claims.

Hendry County Commissioners found the money to fund two more deputies, about $160 thousand dollars.

The city of LaBelle agreed to fund two new deputies and the county four deputies

Chief Deputy Kevin Nelson said these deputies are needed as the county continues to grow.

“When we ask for something its because we need it not because we want to see new people.  We have heavy growth all over the county.”

The near $98.4 million dollar budget will see an increase in total property taxes collected of just over eight percent.

Commissioner Ramon Iglesias said the Glades Electric Cooperative announcement to add high speed internet to their customers over the next two to three years will be a game changer.

Officials said it will help attract new residents and businesses.