News Cast 12/6


December 6, 2023

News Cast for December 6th:

The governor Ron DeSantis proposed the Florida’s Future budget of just over $114.4 billion dollars.

It includes a record amount of education funding.

Teacher salaries will go up by $1.25 billion.

DeSantis points out Florida is ranking high in education and the economy when compared to other states.

The budget also includes $1.1 billion in tax breaks and $409 million in reduction for homeowners insurance rates, about 5 percent per home.

The budget includes $550 million for Everglades Projects and $50 million to help farmers meet total daily maximum loads for nutrients with projects north of Lake Okeechobee.

A Glades County man, Brandon Benavidez was sentenced to five years in jail for burglary, grand theft, criminal mischief and petit theft charges.

The 25-year-old was accused in September 2022 of breaking out a window to a home in Moore Haven on Avenue E.  He allegedly stole $30 in change, a 2012 hyundai sedan, a gallon of milk and a box of cookies.

He also crashed the vehicle in South Bay totaling it.

Glades County deputies said Benavidez called the owner of the vehicle and left a voice mail where he confessed to the crime.

The city of Okeechobee was criticized for taking down the veterans banners so quickly and replacing them with Christmas lights.

Veteran Greg Maynard said some residents were upset the banners were only up a few days.

“They wondered why the banners were put up two days before Veterans day and then taken down the next week.  They felt a little disrespected.  I told them I don’t know the answer.  Maybe somebody was a little ambitious to get the holiday started.” 

“They wonder why we paid $60 for a banner and it just stayed a couple of days.”

Mayor Dowling Watford said the banners did come down quickly.  He wants to work closer with Main Street to get the banners up in mid October next year.

The city has been renovating the old fire station for new offices.  They hope to harden the building so it serves as an emergency operations center.

The city also approved a request from Main Street to add covered picnic benches and tables a Cattlemen’s Square Park.

Glades County will close county offices for three hours tomorrow.  Staff will be attending the funeral for long time county commissioner Donna Storter Long who passed away last Friday.  The office will be closed from 9 am until 12:30 pm.