News Cast 12/14


December 14, 2023

News Cast for December 14th:

At our school board meeting we had the opportunity to introduce our new apprentice teachers “Okeechobee’s Emerging Educators’ we are very proud and excited to see what they will bring to their classroom and to the district! Our apprentices: (L to R)

Cora Morrissey; Keisha Dobbins; Anthony Bates; Shalina Betts; Ashley Brennan; Marilyn Cordero

School superintendent leaving district

The Okeechobee School Board got the rare news that there Superintendent of Schools is leaving.

Ken Kenworthy worked his way up through the ranks from the early 1990s beginning as a teacher and ascended to the top job.

His last day is Feb. 29.  He will take a risk management position for the Florida Insurance Trust.  He plans to remain living in Okeechobee.

Kenworthy recommended the board hire an interim superintendent until a permanent successor can be hired.

He said he felt there were administrators in the district now that can handle the permanent position.

The school board is likely to appoint an interim superintendent.  They have scheduled meetings on January 16th and 30th.

The board also learned from an audit that school resource officers need to sign in each day at school campuses.  They also plan to install vape sensors in bathrooms to try and cut down on student vaping problems.

A 90-year-old man was battered in a vehicle at Oasis Village.

Okeechobee County Sheriff Deputies said it was a fight amongst roommates.

James Gruber is accused of grabbing away the car keys and with forcible taking of $30 in cash.

Charges include grand theft motor vehicle, burglary with an assault or battery in a vehicle and robbery by sudden snatching.

Bond was $125,000.

The victim started honking the horn on the vehicle to get the attention of neighbors and get help.

In the courts a 66-year-old Glades County man was sentenced to five years’ probation for child abuse charges.

Michael Wilson was originally charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12.

The Glades County Sheriff’s Office investigated the complaint beginning on December 15, 2021 when a child came forward and claimed she was touched inappropriately.

Okeechobee County has its chance before the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board today.  They have opposed the creation of the lower Kissimmee storm water treatment area in west Okeechobee.  They’ve worried about bugs, mosquitoes, flooding issues and flying planes.

The last governing board meeting was in Osceola County where they focused a bit on a water storage and treatment project on the El Maximo Ranch near Yeehaw Junction.

The public private venture temporarily stores water from the river.  It is called a dispersed water management project.  They broke ground on the project in 2022.

Executive Director Drew Bartlett said they do treat the water further north.