News Cast 12/2

News Cast for December 2nd:

A short time ago, School Resource Deputies received a complaint involving a child with a gun at Seminole Elementry.

The child and weapon, a bb/pellet gun, were found, and both are secured. There is no active threat or injuries to report.

As the situation continues to develop, we will release the information.

Again, the situation is over. Due to some great information and the fast reactions from our deputies, the child and weapon have been secured.

We wanted this information to be out, so there was no panic from families with children at this school.

A more extended version will be posted later when the investigation is complete to include any pending charges.

Attached is a photo of the actual BB gun on the student.

Money for new OHS still being sought 

Okeechobee Schools set a list of priorities for state lawmakers for the 2022 legislative session. 

They would like around $16 million to pay for cost increases on the new Okeechobee High school due to inflation and more expensive building materials. 

The state budget this year provided close to $67 million for the new school.  That was based on 2019 construction costs. 

They also would like class sizes increased to at least 20 students. 

Superintendent Ken Kenworthy said the board also supports ending the Florida Standards Assessment tests. 

He also wants reduced certification and training requirements for first year teachers. 

Child abuse complaints have increased during the pandemic. 

Caroline Vinyard said a new child advocacy center in Port St. Lucie should open early next year. 

They expect the center to help fully investigate child abuse cases around the region. 

There are more than 3,000 allegations of child abuse investigated each year in the circuit. 

Caroline Vinyard said kids will be interviewed one time at the center about the alleged abuse to reduce the trauma of having to tell the story over and over again. 

“Every day that we don’t have a center means a child is not getting the services they need and deserve.” 

A Highlands County man pled no contest to five felony charges related to child pornography. 

Cody Colding originally was charged with 278 different criminal charges. 

He allegedly downloaded images from Ireland, England and other countries. 

The Venus man received a sentence of six years’ probation as a youthful offender. 

It’s alleged some of the images were required while he stayed at the Fisheating Creek Campground in Glades County. 

Glades County approved a near $192,000 plan to preserve and protect county records. 

The firm Kofile will digitalize all the records. 

Some county records have had water damage, others were burned in a fire since the county was formed. 

In some cases there is only one copy. 

The record update will impact records from 1921 to 1988. 

Trae Scism with Kofile said Glades County doesn’t have the records some large counties have. 

The company would provide a truck to pick up the records and provide all security needs. 

The process is expected to take five months.