News Cast 12/15

News Cast for December 15th:

Downtown optimistic about shopping numbers 

Okeechobee’s downtown businesses expect to have a banner year for Christmas shopping.
Okeechobee Main Street President Angie Griffin reported brisk crowds for their ‘Small Business Saturday’ and the annual Christmas Festival and lighted parade. 

Griffin said as a store owner she has been seeing more customers downtown. 

“Small business Saturday was a great kickoff.  It has been great ever since.  I think it will be good for everybody this year.” 

An Okeechobee man was held in jail on two charges for allegedly pointing a .40 caliber firearm at people in Playland Park. 

Okeechobee deputies said 40 year old Willie Jones Junior was involved in an argument with another man when he brandished the firearm amongst several people. 

Deputies said no shots were fired. 

Jones is a convicted felon. 

He was arrested during a traffic stop. 

A stolen Porsche showed up in an Okeechobee driveway. 

Deputies received an anonymous tip that the vehicle, worth more than $246,000 was located in a driveway in the 8300 block of 441 southeast. 

40 year old Brandon Mitchell was held on felony charges. 

He allegedly tried to tamper with the vehicles GPS system to avoid being detected. 

He was found hiding inside a local home.   

Deputies said he tried to park the vehicle in an area to avoid detection. 

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords campaigned in Florida for US Senate candidate Val Demings. 

She spoke at the victims of gun violence memorial in South Florida. 

Giffords said the spike in gun violence is a national crisis. 

Giffords was shot in 2011 in Tucson, Arizona and left permanently disabled. 

A mother of a student involved in the Parkland High School shooting massacre also spoke at the event. 

Demmings a former police chief in Orlando wants to require universal background checks for those buying guns. 

She says as a police officer she remembered the terrible damage done by gun violence, not only to victims, but their families. 

Demmings is opposed by incumbent US Senator Marco Rubio.