News Cast 11/14


November 14, 2023

News Cast for November 14th:

Congressman raises questions about electric vehicles

Florida 18th District Congressman Scott Franklin said he is concerned about the onslaught of electric vehicles.

He said China is benefiting immensely from these vehicles as they produce most of the worlds supply of minerals used in batteries.  These include manganese, cobalt, graphite, lithium and nickel.

He notes it will also start to reduce gas stations and make it harder to get gas for the average consumer.

He notes these vehicles can’t be used during power outages and hurricanes meaning more bottlenecks on roads leading out of the state.

Electric vehicle supporters said they are better for the environment and air quality.

The House Science and Technology Committee addressed an incident where the US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm had her staff stand in a parking space with an electric charger, preventing the public from using it.  The incident happened in Grovetown, Georgia in June.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission named Officer Elisha Cernuto as the Shikar Safari Club law enforcement of the year.

She was praised for her work fighting boating under the influence and for making several arrests.  She also investigated two major night hunting cases in the region.

The annual python challenge resulted in 209 snakes being harvested this year.  The winner was Paul Hubbs who harvested 20 snakes and earned $10,000.

Two staffers at the Hungryland Wildlife and Environmental area near Indiantown were praised for saving the life of a motorists whose vehicle drove into a canal.

The FWC is still studying whether to reimplement a bear hunt in the state.

Kate McFall of the Humane Society said we have to do a better job of educating the public about bears and trash.  She noted there are a lot of new residents moving into bear country who are not aware of the need to secure trash.

The cost of the new Moore Haven elementary school has gone up.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Beth Barfield said its mostly due to inflation.  The original estimate was $34 million and now is $53 million.

They have asked the state legislative delegation to help support more funding from the state in 2024.

Dr. Barfield said the project will bring in new revenue to the economy over the next two years.

The district would like to open the new school in August, 2025.

On November 10, 2023, Sergeant C. Daigneault placed Stephen Barton DOB 5/20/87, under arrest for making threats to “blow up” a business located at 100 NW Park Street; Walgreens.

While the clerk was grabbing the packs of cigarettes that Barton requested, he stated, “get that one or I’ll blow up the store.” As the clerk motioned to ring up the packs of cigarettes, he stated you don’t need to do that, I don’t need to pay.” Barton went on to state he was going to “blow up everything” if she did not give him the cigarettes. Due to Barton having a duffle bag, the clerk was in fear he was capable of following up on the threat.  

While Barton was being held for further investigation, he continued his threat by stating in front of Officer G. Kelly that he was “going to blow up everything.” Sergeant Daigneault, after following a series of questions, determined Barton was possibly under the influence of an illegal narcotic.

After the arrest, Officers searched the duffle bag and found no bombs or weapons of mass destruction. Barton was transported to the Okeechobee County Jail without further incident.