News Cast 12/16

News Cast for December 16th:

Child found covered in bruises 

An Okeechobee woman was charged with chaining a child to a dresser repeatedly. 

Deputies said the child had bruises around his ankles and legs. 

A concerned citizen came into contact with the child near NW 6th Street and US 98 and called law enforcement after the child said they were being held against their will. 

42 year old Ma Diocelina Orozco Zepeda said she had trouble controlling the child who has behavior and anger issues. 

She said the child is constantly running away and she felt she had no other options. 

She was charged with one count of child abuse and bond was set at $2,500. 

51 year old Kimberly Peaden was charged with child neglect after her child claimed she was driving impaired and dropped her off at a local retail store. 

The 11 year old went into the store to get assistance. 

Okeechobee Fire Rescue asked the public to use extra care during the holidays when they decorate their home. 

Candle use is discouraged. 

Live Christmas trees need to be constantly watered. 

Make sure your lights are in good shape. 

Chief Ralph Franklin had this advice for outdoor lighting. 

“Make sure the wiring doesn’t have broken wires.  If there is any doubt, purchase new.  Make sure your ladder is in good shape and you have good footing.  Also make sure you are clear of any power lines when you are on the ladder.” 

Franklin also reminds cooks to keep an eye on their ovens and stoves as they get meals prepared. 

Two industrial projects headed toward approval in Okeechobee. 

98 acres at 5800 state road 710 could be turned into a recycling plant. 

The applicant said he planned to create well paid jobs. 

The second project is located on 256 acres located on 70 west just west of NWest 38th Terrace. 

The applicant wants to develop an agriculture mill and assorted uses. 

County commissioners will take up the rezoning applications on January 6th

The planning board recommended approval to the industrial projects after public hearings this week. 

Highlands County planners recommended a rezoning for an eco-resort near Lorida. 

The 16 acre project is located on US 98 near Lake Istokpoga Park Access Road. 

The plan includes eco tours, an education facility, event venue, a farm to table restaurant, and general store. 

A Lee, Florida angler won the Phoenix Bass Boat from the Florida Trophy Catch program. 

James Bernard won the boat in a random drawing held this month at the Bobby Lane Cup Youth Fishing Tournament. 

Brandon Barlow said they do a great job promoting the catch and release program so these trophy catches can happen. 

Drew Duteller with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation commission said this program is working to help the bass fishery. 

A Glades County ambulance was destroyed in a fire. 

The fire occurred as they responded to a call. 

Nobody was hurt in the incident and there was no patient in the ambulance. 

Public Safety Director Angie Colegrove said they are getting a back up unit today from Okeechobee County. 

County Manager Marcos Montes De Oca said they are looking to see if the warranty will cover the loss.  Another option is insurance funding. 

The Board of County Commissioners approved a purchase of a new ambulance for just under $210,000. 

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.