News Cast of October 9th:

A Buckhead Ridge man allegedly wanted to start a slaughter of mass shootings starting at Okeechobee’s Walmart, going to Okeechobee High School to kill an administrator and 14 others, and then stab 10 people to death at a church in Miami.

19-year-old Henry Horton told Palm Beach Sheriff detectives he was having multiple thoughts of mass homicide and wanted to execute them when he turned 22 years old, according to an arrest report.

He said he eventually wanted to be killed by police or starve to death.

He wanted to get back at his step mother for throwing him out of the house in North Carolina earlier this year.

Horton graduated from Okeechobee High School in May, 2022.

He also did reconnaissance at Parkland school and said he wanted to have attention or fame.

Deputies have seen written plans of the plot in a vehicle they stopped for a blown headlight in Jupiter.  The arrest report said they found a bong and the written letters after Horton gave them permission to search the vehicle.

Deputies said he wrote he wanted to gather fanatics like him, 112 of them from here to New York, and carry out mass murders at the same time at various locations.

He was Baker Acted and underwent a mental health evaluation.  Horton is being held without bond at the Palm Beach Jail.

A 21-year-old Winter Haven woman was killed Sunday morning on the Florida Turnpike at mile marker 202 near Kenansville.

The Florida Highway Patrol said she was a passenger in a north bound Hyundai sedan that was struck just before 5 a.m. 

The driver rear ended an SUV in the inside lane while speeding, the sedan then overturned striking a guard rail.

Three occupants of the sedan including the driver, all from Polk County, suffered serious injury.

A family in the SUV from Dalton Georgia with six on board, including children ages 7 and 11, suffered no injuries.

The state has no idea how many pythons are in the Everglades as they continue to spread northward and wreck havoc on the ecosystem.

Over 19,000 have been killed by state hired contractors.

Mike Kirkland with SFWMD said the pythons cause numerous problems for all kinds of critters.

“Pythons have caused significant impacts within South Florida’s ecosystems.  In natural areas we have seen a severe decline in fur bearing animals in Everglades National Park and other surrounding areas.  They are now threatening wading bird colonies.  They also carry pathogens and parasites that can cross over to other snake species.”

The water management recreation forum discussed some problems with squatters and illegal ATV use on district property north of Lake Okeechobee, especially in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.

The district just completed a day use facility and two primitive campsites for boaters on the Kissimmee River south of US 98 accessible only by boat.

Dr. Paul Gray said over the years there has been real progress in allowing more recreation on state lands.

“In the good old days when this committee first started, there were a lot of angry people in this room.  To hear how we have progressed and everybody talk to each other, we have a genuine dialogue, it is really commendable that this forum is working this well.”

This is fire prevention week in Okeechobee.

Okeechobee County fire rescue will be visiting several local schools to teach kids fire safety.

The theme this year is hoping to cut down on cooking fires.

Debra Manzo, county administrator read part of the commission proclamation which stated prevention of cooking fires start with you.

The National Fire Protection Association reported 49 percent of home fires were started by cooking equipment.  It is the leading cause of home fires.  Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires and related deaths.

Fire Chief Earl Wooten said his firemen look forward to this event each year as they get to interact with children and educate them on how to get out of a home safely.

It also is a good time to check the batteries in your home smoke detectors.