News Cast 12/20


December 20, 2023

News Cast for December 20th:

Stand with Israel

Okeechobee County commissioners approved a proclamation of support for Israel as they fight a war in the Gaza Strip.

They condemned the militant group Hamas for the surprise attack.

Commission chairman David Hazellief said he supported the proclamation.

“The majority of all Americans support this contrary to what you might see with other protests.  You can kind of ignore them and stand behind our friends.”

Businessman Steve Nelson said the media is not giving out the whole story on the conflict.

“We greatly appreciate what the county has done.  I spoke to people in the middle east.  The situation is not good at all.  We are not seeing a lot of things that the media is giving to us.  Please keep them in your prayers.”

The county also approved a 30-year lease with DML solutions for the county industrial park.  The medical waste company handles waste from HCA Raulerson and other local facilities.

The governor announced 27 grants designed to improve water quality.

The Okeechobee Utility Authority received $2.75 million.  They will use it for the Southwest Wastewater Service Area Septic to Sewer Project.

A contingent from Martin County went to the state capitol asking for support to widen 710 between Indiantown and Okeechobee.

They have design funding now, but need funds for right of way to widen the road.

Commissioner Doug Smith told the state its an important road to move goods across Florida.

“The problem is you have a 50 year old road design and it is not to the standard of what a major state road should be.”

He met with the governors chief of staff and says he got positive feed back.

“We have neighborhoods that feed directly off 710.   We have families that have lost family members on a regular basis losing loved ones on that highway.”

A Canal Point was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for running over a pedestrian in Pahokee.

34-year-old James Cole claimed he was having mechanical problems with the vehicle that day.  The Dodge Ram pickup left Bacom Point Road near Rardin Avenue and jumped the sidewalk striking 38-year-old Precious Barber.

Cole then fled the scene.  He pled guilty to manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident with death.

The Okeechobee County Planning Board recommended approval for a new mobile home park near the Martin County line on 441 right next to Blue Cypress.  The 16 acre park could include five units per acre.

The board recommended neighborhood commercial zoning on four acres at 625 South East 28th Street.

They split on rezoning of 61 acres at 921 Charles Harvey Highway for 148 homes.  They split the vote at 2-2.

Neighbors from Blue Cypress said it will impact boats on Taylor Creek and the landscape.

County commissioners have the final say on these projects.

A man burning a 9 year old boy claiming the child was possessed by a demon was shot and killed by Highlands Deputies Tuesday.

The incident on US 98 near Spring Lake.

39-year-old Richard Ham was armed with a piece of metal and hit a deputy in the head.  A taser didn’t stop his aggressiveness and the deputy shot him.  He died at the hospital.

The child had been reported missing and endangered out of Wichita, Kansas on December 6th.