News Cast 12/12


December 12, 2023

News Cast for December 12th:

School Grades released

Okeechobee and Glades County schools remained C districts in 2023.

The Florida Department of Education released school grades on Monday for the 2022-2023 school year.

In Okeechobee, North and South Elementary improved from C to B schools.  Everglades went from a B to a C and Yearling from a C to a D.  Okeechobee High School went from a C to incomplete.

In Glades County, Moore Haven elementary went from a C to a D.  West Glades remained a B school and the Brighton Charter Our Way school remained an A school.

In Indiantown, Warfield was a C school and Indiantown Middle was a C.  Indiantown High school earned a D.

Law enforcement might have had writer’s cramp from all the citations they’ve been writing.

The state citation stats showed a slight decrease in criminal, non-criminal and non-moving infractions in 2022.

3,815 citations were written in 2022 the most common being speeding 199, no license 292 citations, and revoked or suspended license 312.  157 times motorists were cited for running stop signs. 

The sheriff wrote 1,917 tickets and city police 1,508 last year.

Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Greg Bueno said families need to talk to one another about safe driving habits.

He described speeding as a long term problem for short term gain.  He noted drivers only get away with violations for so long before luck runs out.

In must rural counties, troopers are permanently assigned to patrol those areas and try to be visible as possible.

Glades County lawmen wrote 3,024 citations in 2022 and 4,952 citations in 2021.

Okeechobee reported 199 DUI arrests last year.

The Florida Sheriffs Association legislative priorities for 2024 are tougher penalties for juveniles who use guns during crimes and for adults who lure children into sexual activity.

The association also wants more state resources for officer wellness.

Glades County schools will pursue the guardian program.

They apply for a grant to train and equip 10 teachers and staff at various schools.

Superintendent Dr. Beth Barfield supports gun rights. She recently took a tour of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.  She says the Parkland shooter could have been stopped before he ever came on campus.

“The Sheriffs office went to his home 40 times.   He had over 55 referrals.  There is a lot we can do prior to.  It is not just about having a gun, but we have to be safe.”

Sheriff David Hardin wanted to stick to law enforcement being armed on campus.  He said he prefers using teachers and staff to using volunteers.

“It is not that I’m against the guardian program it is just not my first choice.  I would have the school resource officer program add an additional deputy if budgets were no consequence.”

Hardin said school employees are going to be at work unless something dramatic happens while volunteers are not required to be at work.

He was unsure when the state will decide on the grant.