News Cast 11/25

News cast for November 25th:

Holiday shopping is underway

A seven percent increase in holiday sales predicted nationwide.

Our Village Okeechobee will hold an event Saturday to help downtown Okeechobee businesses thrive.

Saturday is Small Business Saturday.

A recent survey found more shoppers want to spend their money at smaller businesses than before the pandemic.

Main Street said our retailers are mostly optimistic this year.

Executive Director Sherri Turgeon said they want to promote local shopping.

“I visited a couple of local shops and they do seem like they are positive and looking forward to some great returns this year.  We continue to ask people to look at local businesses, go downtown, look at some of the shops, if you need help please talk to the Chamber or Main Street to get some ideas.”

The major retailers are expected to offer bigger discounts to shoppers this year.

The Okeechobee City Board of Adjustments delayed until December 15 action on a cell phone tower project proposed at 1117 NW 9th Street.

The owners of a cell tower nearby in the county are opposing the additional tower.

Both would be competing for the same tenants to provide cell phone service.

The board did approve a massage therapist office in an existing office building at 321 NW 4th Avenue.

The Pahokee city commission

Continues to pursue a $4 to 6 million dollar hotel project

They also have a 40-unit multi-family housing project planned downtown.  The plan is to have offices on the ground floor.

They agreed to spend $56,000 on holiday events this year including the Christmas Parade on December 5th.

Mayor Keith Babb presented purple heart recipients to honor veterans during November.  The community Veteran’s Day observance was delayed due to bad weather.

23 year old Deputy Chris Taylor was identified as the law man killed in the line of duty in Charlotte County late Tuesday.

He had only been working for the sheriff’s office there for over a year and was an only child.

The driver that struck him was allegedly intoxicated.   Cassandra Smith, 30, had just gotten off probation for an earlier DUI.

Hattie Taylor will be sworn in Monday night to the Glades County commission

She said her priorities are attracting more businesses including a grocery store, and improving county fire and emergency medical services.

Taylor said she wants business growth in the county.

“It will be a learning process for me.  Our county needs fire and EMS services.  We need groceries stores and businesses.  I’d like to see more businesses open than close.  Moore Haven has empty buildings.  My concern is for the entire county.  We need a little growth to be healthy.  If you are not growing, I love the small-town feel, but we do need to grow, just a little anyways.”