News Cast 12/22

News Cast for December 22nd:

Traffic enforcement can continue in Coquina 

The Florida 4th District Court of Appeals denied the appeal from the Coquina Water Control District trying to prevent the sheriff from enforcing the law on private roads in the Viking Property. 

Sheriff Noel Stephen said this makes everyone safer and also protects property rights.  He said it costs his office when complaints are made and often six to eight deputies are sent to the prairie on calls. 

He said ATVS, golf carts and other illegal activity continues to occur up and down Viking roads. 

“It has always been a problem.  Folks who live in other areas of the state own an acre and a quarter there.  The land was sold and marketed that they can buy and acre and run the entire five by five mile area as their own.  There is over 500 homes up there down there now.  When people venture out of the isolated areas into the more populated area it just creates problems.” 

Business recruitment and working to get the Okeechobee School for Boys campus back in the hands of the county continue to be the focus of the Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation. 

Frank Irby told the County Commission that work continues on the boys school with Indian River State College and South Florida Water Management. 

The county would like to create an industrial opportunity on the campus. 

Rep. Kaylee Tuck filed a bill that would have the state return the property to the county on Tuesday. 

She also filed a bill for the state to provide $5 million to the county to demolish buildings on the site and prepare it for development. 

County Commissioner Brad Goodbread said he would like to see part of the campus devoted to a training facility for our youths to learn trades like welding, mechanics, refrigeration, airconditioning and plumbing. 

Stay safe behind the wheel and stay alert. 

That’s the message from law enforcement leaders across the state for the holiday season. 

More traffic will be on the roads this week and fatal crashes remain a problem in Florida. 

Attorney General Ashley Moody said drivers have to know the situation. 

This month is National Impaired driving prevention month. 

“Never drink and drive and don’t let friends drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.   Designate a driver or call a cab or ride sharing program.  It is not just revelers that should be cautious.  All drivers have to be aware of the increase in reckless driving especially at night.” 

The US Department of justice was asked to oversee the Pahokee municipal election in March. 

City Attorney Gary Brandenburg said voter fraud is alive and well in Pahokee. 

“Election fraud exists here.  If you look at the history of the voting in the city of Pahokee, it is quite a pity.” 

He said churches that take part in ballot harvesting could lose their non-profit status. 

He said the Supervisor of Elections replaced all of the former local poll workers with her own people for the March election.