News Cast 2/16


February 16, 2024

News Cast for February 16th:

The annual Cracker Trail Ride comes through Okeechobee next week.

This year is the 37th annual ride. It begins Saturday in Bradenton and travels through Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee and St. Lucie County.

The Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday proclaimed February 17 through the 24th as Cracker Trail Week.

County commissioner James Satcher read part of the proclamation.

It stated the ride commemorates a return trip from Bradenton to Ft. Pierce made by cattlemen who drove scrub cattle to Punta Gorda and Punta Rassa for sale to Cuba back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

178 had signed up this year as of Tuesday.

The riders will not stay on a ranch in Lorida this year due to wet pastures but will stay at Istokpoga Canal Park on Wednesday night. They will hold a whip cracking contest.

A couple on the ride will get married at the Edna Pearce Lockett Estate on Thursday around lunchtime.

Trail Boss Robert Wolfe said cowboy poet Doyle Rigdon will entertain the riders on Thursday night at the Bass Ranch on 700A.

They also plan to induct Mike Adams into the Florida Cracker Trail Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Friday.

The riders take part in the annual Ft. Pierce Cracker Day Parade on Saturday.

Glades County did their best to lobby for Lake Okeechobee releases this week and got their wish.

The Army Corps starts the releases Saturday.

Commissioner Tony Whidden said they are harming the lake’s health with all this water.

“That lake is meant to fluctuate and that is what we were promised when the dike was built. Most of us knew it would be turned into a reservoir.”

He explained the high water kills the plants that filter the water.

“We are just killing it off. It is a big draw to Glades, Hendry and Okeechobee. It is what brings people to us and we are destroying it.”

Chairman Tim Stanley asked residents to write letters to congress to get support for the releases to continue.

He said he thought they would mandate evacuations in Lakeport and Buckhead Ridge this summer if a hurricane approach and the lake remains this high.

Okeechobee County sheriff deputies said they recovered over $5,000 in stolen items after a group of men allegedly stole scrap from a yard in Basswood.

Among the items recovered were a stove and grill, a refrigerator and various metal and tin.

Facing grand theft charges are Cody Maupin and Justin Wilson of Okeechobee.

Cell phone video from a witness in the case helped identify the suspects, deputies said.

The village of Indiantown named Taryn Kryzda permanent village manager removing the interim title.

They also created a parks and recreation board as they look to create new programs.

Mayor Susan Gibbs Thomas announced she is running for Martin County Commission District 3 against incumbent Harold Jenkins.

Gibbs Thomas reported a recent case of pargo, an illness that impacts dogs and urged dog owners to get their pet vaccinated and to keep them away from strange dogs.

The council also honored the House of Hope on their 40th anniversary. They help provide food and clothing for the needy in the community.