News Cast for October 5th:
Lending a helping hand
Okeechobee County Commissioners extended the local emergency from Hurricane Ian on Tuesday.
They have been helping Arcadia and DeSoto County as they recover.
County Administrator Deborah Manzo said they accepted landfill trash from DeSoto County after the road access to their facility was cut off by flood waters.
They also delivered 1,500 cases of bottled water to Arcadia.
Commissioner Brad Goodbread delivered a tanker of potable water to a hospital in Lee County.
The county jail also lost power for a time last Thursday.
Debris collection in Okeechobee will begin on October 10.
Wind gusts reached 79 miles per hour at Lock 7 during the storm.
Highlands County suspended tipping fees at the landfill as they begin collecting debris.
They note crews will be in neighborhoods several times this month so you have time to take yard and other debris to the curb.
Ray Royce with the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association said they lost between 15 and 80 percent of the citrus crop in parts of the county.
He said ranchers saw some flooding and some tree damage to fences.
The OUA southwest service are sewer project was halted for a time by gopher tortoises.
A contractor began to clear land and found burrows and turtles.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found nothing criminal and no citations were issued.
OUA Executive Director John Hayford said construction was halted. Game and Fish looked at a criminal probe and an administrative probe.
They could levy a fine against the contractor or the OUA after the administrative probe is completed.
The utility also continues to look at the former Big Lake National Bank building, now Seacoast Bank, at 441 and SE 18th terrace for new offices.
Board member Tommy Clay said he had heard some concerns from the public about moving the offices that far out of the center of town.
The OUA also will consider new pay schedules for employees to better compete with the private sector.
Glades County Commissioners…
Learned a developer would like to bring container homes to the county perhaps to provide housing for the homeless. A site has not been confirmed.
Learned the Florida Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting October 26th to discuss the plans for a new bridge and round abouts on State Road 29 entering LaBelle.
County Manager Marcos Montes De Oca said the county sent a letter with concerns about the current Lake Okeechobee management plan.
The county also expects work on Buckhead Ridge sidewalks to being this month.
They have approved $30,000 in work to design improvements to the Buckhead Ridge Fire Station. They would like to renovate some of the existing space and add some new construction for county offices like the tax collector and property appraiser.
A 21-year-old Polk County Deputy shot and killed by friendly fire as he tried to serve an arrest warrant in Polk City.
Sheriff Grady Judd said Blaine Lane had been on the road for just over 8 months.
46 year old Cheryl Williams, wanted on drug charges, was armed with a BB gun when deputies shot at her six times striking her twice and the deputy once.
Arrests include Jonathan Lee Thomas of Okeechobee charged with striking two men with his pickup truck at Nubbin Slough Sunday morning.
Deputies said charges include two counts of aggravated battery and giving false information to law enforcement.
His bond was $40,000. One of the men struck was hospitalized at HCA Raulerson Hospital.