News Cast 11/2


November 2, 2023

News Cast for November 2nd:

Donations help VFW

VFW Post 10539 in Treasure Island dedicated a new flag pole Wednesday.

Commander Gary Bailey said it was a community project with several donations even of the flagpole itself and the concrete pad.

He said the flagpole was donated by a Shrine Temple in Starke, Florida.  The concrete pad was installed by CWR at no cost.

The Buckhead Ridge VFW 9528 also provided financial help.

He noted it would be a source of pride for the post and likely will last 30 years.  They raised the American flag and the flag to recognize prisoners of war during the dedication ceremony.

He noted the flag is the only one in town with a bald eagle on top.

“It symbolizes not only us but the country too.  It is for the whole community.”

Bailey thanked his Post for all the work they do in the community.

“We always have activities at the post.  We have the voice of democracy patriots pen and teacher of the year awards, we have a food drive motorcycle run on Saturday, its constant.  I love it, that is what we are supposed to be doing.”

The pole was dedicated to all the veterans, police officers and first responders who gave their life in service to our nation and communities.

“It was a community effort.  We had the concrete donated and that saved us a lot of money.  Everybody stepped forward.”

 Martin County staff will work on a deal to donate 44 acres at the Agri-Plex in Indiantown to the fair board.

They are working in bringing the fair to Indiantown in the next few years.

Most of the acres will go toward parking.

Fair Board Executive Director KC Mullen Ingram said the land would accommodate parking for 5,000 vehicles.

“We have the ability to start out right today and make sure the fair is designed properly for generations to come, not just for today and tomorrow, but for 50 years from now.”

Okeechobee County was among the featured presenters at the Central Florida Regional Planning Council meeting in Okeechobee.

County Administrator Deborah Manzo spoke on the progress in the Big Cedar Lodge project, the data center and industrial project at the former Okeechobee School for Boys, and new housing developments coming like the Midtown Project (600 homes) on Charles Harvey and the Davani Project (4500 homes) north of Whispering Pines and Basswood.

Manzo also spoke on our healthy tourism industry in Okeechobee.

“We welcomed nearly 3 million visitors in the past year, 1.6 million over the previous year.  Some of the activities that brought people here is the freshwater fishing, bird watching, shooting sports, hiking and biking.”

An Okeechobee man riding a bicycle while masked was arrested Monday in Treasure Island.

A fellow bicyclist spotted him wearing a clown mask and wig just after 7 am on SE 34th Avenue.

Steven Mills faces a misdemeanor charge.

Assistant State Attorney Ashley Albright said the law dates back to the Jim Crow era and the Ku Klux Klan.

He said other laws since have enhanced the penalties for masks used in other crimes like armed robbery.

He spoke in generalities about the law and not specifically the case.

“Just riding a bike with a mask would not be illegal.  We will look into the case.  There was an anonymous caller about a suspicious person that had scared them. We would have to prove he was intentionally out there trying to scare or harass someone for his conduct to be criminal.  I don’t know specifically if that applies to this case or not.  I’m not commenting about this case just the law in general.”

The charge also had nothing to do with the mask mandates during COVID-19.

Albright said it is legal for parents to accompany children for trick-or-treating.

“The statute is only aimed at persons over 16 wearing masks that conceal their identity in public.  The newer version of the statute adds requirements that they are doing so to threaten, intimidate or harass someone, to cause an insurrection or a riot, think about the things that were going on back in the 1950s with the KKK, that is really what the statute is aimed at.”