News Cast for October 4th:

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023, Officer Jason Chapman, ID#23, will be laid to rest with full honors at the Okeechobee Evergreen Cemetary.

The funeral procession will start at Oakview Baptist Church (Northwest Exit/Entrance – SW 28th St.) and proceed from the parking area to the intersection of Hwy 441 and Wolff Rd. (Parrot Ave./Hwy 441) moving northbound through Okeechobee to NE 39th Blvd. There, the possession will turn east and follow the roadway to the entrance of Evergreen for internment.

The departure time from the service to Evergreen is slotted from Noon to 1 p.m. You can expect traffic intersections to be blocked throughout the route during this time.

Please be prepared for a longer-than-normal procession, as law enforcement agencies from all over the state and elsewhere will attend to support the family.

If you would like to show your support for our sister agency, the Okeechobee City Police Department, their family, and Jason’s family, please do so. We suggest lining up on 441 North between Wolff Rd. / 441 N. Intersection and the Okeechobee High School for the procession.

Again, please be prepared to stop for an extended timeline during the Noon-1p.m. procession as we lay our brother to rest from SW 28th St., through all intersections on Hwy441 North to NE 39th Blvd. We will post this again this evening and tomorrow morning

More hiccups in Okee Tantee

An option to buy the Okee-Tantie Recreation Area by Bass Pro is coming up in November.

The latest hurdle is some buried oil or fuel drums found in an environmental inspection.

Okeechobee County agreed to pay $24,000 for phase two environmental studies on the property.

County Attorney Wade Vose said it is in the best interests of the county to make sure the issue is closed before a sale is made.

“They don’t have documentation that they are absolutely sure that nothing ever happened.  It is really incumbent on the county in any event, whether we are selling it to Big Cedar or anybody else, that needs to be resolved because it would never get sold to anyone.”

The commission directed staff to look at closing restrooms and the amphitheater at the facility in advance of a sale.

County Crews have been working to clean up trash on the property.

The county also gave Bautech USA until October 13th to catch up lease payments for the business in the industrial park or face eviction.  They are said to owe $195,000.

Mayor Dowling Watford called for a moment of silence to open the October 3 City Council meeting to remember police officer Jason Chapman and his family.

The funeral is today at Oakview Church.  The procession is expected to tie up traffic on 441 at lunch time today.

Several intersections will be shut down from Wolff Road or 28th all the way north to Cemetery Road.

They ask well-wishers to line up a Wolff Road and in front of the high school.

The traffic impacts are likely between noon and 1 pm today.

Law enforcement from across the state have come to honor officer Chapman.

An engineer estimates it will cost $5 billion to remove the muck in lake Okeechobee.

Supporters said they need to start talking about this option and get it on the radar of state officials who would pay most of the bill.

The engineers estimate there are 7.9 million cubic yards of muck in the lake.

Stuart city commissioner Merritt Matheson and the River Coalition hosted a presentation on the plan saying they want the muck removed.

“We as a board don’t endorse anyone means of muck removal at this point.  We wanted to have this discussion.  Clearly it is needed to get water management to talk about it, to get our board talking about it and get the Corps of Engineers to start talking about it.  The question is how do we address the next phase of cleaning up Lake Okeechobee.”

The Glades County $43 million budget was adopted by commissioners.  They plan to spend about $17.5 million on capital projects this year.

I-tech Glades has added a culinary program and have breakfast and lunch menus available to the public.

The commission also authorized the OUA to apply for a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to provide better water and sewer systems for Buckhead Ridge and Lakefront Estates.  They are applying for $15.5 million.