News Cast 11/4

News Cast for November 4th:

Guilty as charged 

A Louisiana man was convicted of driving impaired when he collided with a sedan in Lakeport killing two men. 

A Glades county jury heard testimony over two days in the Benjamin Desjardine case before returning a verdict Wednesday afternoon. 

He was convicted of two counts of DUI manslaughter and three counts of DUI involving property damage and injury. 

The Florida Highway Patrol said the driver had a blood alcohol level two times the legal limit at the time of the crash. 

The crash on 721 on January 4, 2018, claimed the lives of 71 year old Robert Yales and 55 year old Michael Furrow of Lehigh Acres. 

The debris in the road led to another injury. 

20 year old Tracy Cypress had gotten out to help the injured and was struck by a car and critically injured. 

The sentence hearing was scheduled for December 16 before Glades County Judge Jack Lundy. 

The new Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule was pushed back a couple of weeks. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville got some pushback from the east coast and Treasure Coast on the proposed plan. 

They objected to more lake water coming into their waterways. 

The west coast had earlier been upset on the amount of potential lake discharges. 

The Florida Congressional delegation met over water quality issues in Washington, DC on Wednesday. 

Congressman Brian Mast said lake Okeechobee waters have a huge impact on the state. 

“For congressman Greg Steube’s districts it is a main source of drinking water.  For Cong. Alcee Hastings former district it clogged up marinas and waterways.” 

Mast said more focus must be placed on cleaning up the water that enters Lake Okeechobee. 

Congress is proposing to spend $5 billion more on Everglades restoration projects. 

Highlands County commissioners agree to refinance a bond issue to expand the county jail. 

The project will cost just over 10 million.  The interest rate will be 1.5%. 

Commission Chairman Scott Kirouac said it is a good long term financial decision. 

“To lock in a low interest rate is encouraging because we don’t know what the economy and inflation will do.” 

Sheriff Paul Blackman said all of the commissioners took an interest and toured the jail to see the issues they are having. 

“We will keep you guys informed on the progress and where our citizen’s money is being spent.” 

Martin county deputies say they have a person of interest in a fatal stabbing. 

They are looking for 20 year old Romeo Francisco-Francisco for the death of 21 year old Manuel Souy Perechu. 

The two had some kind of quarrel at the Blue Moon Bar on Warfield Boulevard that spilled out into violence on the street. 

Another man was also stabbed but he survived, deputies said. 

The nation and state needs commercial truck drivers. 

One figure is 100,000. 

The House Agriculture committee discussed issues with the supply chain. 

Ed Sinko with the Independent Grocers Association said larger grocery chains have had a distinct advantage over smaller ones, especially in rural areas. 

“The pandemic has exposed a growing problem.  The largest power retail buyers use their economic power to pressure suppliers and extra concessions on wholesale prices.  Smaller grocers can’t get the same promotional prices and loses access to popular products.  That puts them at a disadvantage when they are trying to compete.” 

Growers and agriculture are dealing with higher operation costs due to increases in costs of labor, materials, equipment and fuel.