News Cast 12/20

News Cast for December 20th:

Lakefront development triples in size

The Glades County Planning Board recommended approval of changes to the Lakefront Estates development south of Buckhead Ridge.

The density increased from 400 homes to 1,300 housing units, single family homes, with some town houses and multi family.

Glades County Manager Marcos Montes De Oca said they also plan some more commercial uses including a grocery store and restaurant.

“The commercial area will include those types of stores.  I don’t know who they have contracts with yet.”

The plan calls for 242,000 square feet of commercial space.

The state will require three turn lanes on SR 78 for the project.

Montes De Oca said they will also be adding fire and EMS services to serve the area.

“We will expansion the Buckhead Ridge Fire Department.  It will give us the ability to provide services to this development and any new development in Okeechobee County.  This helps out both areas.”

The newly renovated Buckhead Ridge annex will also accommodate other Glades County offices.

The Board of County Commissioners today were expected to approve a purchase of the former Seacoast Bank building in downtown Moore Haven to use for the sheriff’s administration.  They could have it ready for 2024.

The administrative offices will remain at the existing location into 2023.

The asking price for the bank is  $525,000.

School resource officers won’t have to go too far to train.

The National Association of School Resource Officers plan to make the Indian River State College Fort Pierce campus their permanent training site.

The classes could begin next summer and have 30 to 35 officers.

The campus will also include various training facilities like an indoor tactical building, a mock village, mock classrooms and training simulators inside the Public Safety Training Complex.

The facility also has an indoor firing range, less lethal training area, a virtual training simulator, urban village and extensive classroom and conference spaces.

Director of Operations Mac Hardy said officers have to get to know teachers, staff and students better in today’s climate.

“Getting to know students that are having trouble, mental health issues, who need support and a trusting adult in their life.  When there is a crisis, they understand the situation a lot better than a responding officer coming in from off the street.”

In the courts, felony charges related to fentanyl and ecstasy trafficking were dropped against 30 year old Zegery Reeves of Fort Pierce.

An Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force Operation August 11th netted 87 grams of fentanyl, over seven grams of cocaine, and 12 grams of ecstasy.

Charges remain against a second suspect 38 year old Gerald Rountree of Stuart.

Officers said Reeves drove off when officers moved in and was chased to SW 4th Avenue.  He allegedly fled on foot before being apprehended in possession of illegal drugs.

Both men are convicted felons.