News Cast 2/17

News Cast for February 17th:

State balks at ME funding

The four counties of the Treasure Coast are lock step in their support of a new medical examiner’s facility.

Indian River State College has donated land at the Fort Pierce campus.  The counties will pay $1 per year to lease the land.

The governor vetoed $1 million from the state last year to help design the facility.

Assistant County Administrator in St. Lucie County Alfonso Jefferson said each county has agreed to pay their portion of the design costs.

““Everybody has agreed to pay their percentage.  That is the historical way that we have funded the medical examiner. Each county contributes a portion of funds toward the ME operation.”

Okeechobee would pay over $1 million of the costs.  The percentage is based on case loads in each county handled by the medical examiner.

Senator Gayle Harrell said she supported the state money to design the facility.  She noted in the past the state has not helped counties with their medical examiners building.

“It is totally a county responsibility.  There has been only one instance where the state paid.  It was a very poor area in North Florida and the state agreed to help with the planning, design and engineering.  We hope this sets a precedent and we can come behind it and get some dollars.”

A Pahokee mother wants help in trying to find her missing son.

Johnny Worthen went missing last September 20.

Palm Beach Deputies searched in the Sand Cut area but were unable to locate him.

Shatoria McKay asked the city commission of Pahokee to help her in her search.

“You are put in these chairs for a reason.  I’m not asking for any money but you have sources that you can give me.  My son will be missing for five months.  I need help, I’m asking you, and it comes from the bottom of my heart.”

A march will be held this Sunday at Martin Luther King Park in Pahokee at 2:30 pm to gain awareness about the missing man.

The Florida Farm Bureau admits it is not as lucrative to be in farming today.

Only a small percentage of our farms and ranches gross over $100,000 in a year.

23 percent are losing money.

The average farmer gets only 8 cents out of every dollar for the agriculture product he produces or grows.

President Jeb Smith said there is more anti agriculture sentiment out there than ever before.

“Some are frustrated by slow moving vehicles on public roads.  Some complain about the dust and the smoke and some are infuriated by some of the aromas created by production agriculture.  Some that don’t like these inconveniences would like to see agriculture eradicated or at least subdued.”

He noted agriculture is better for local governments than single family homes.

“For every dollar generated by residential revenues,  the counties and schools pay $1.29 in direct services, thereby creating a deficit.  In comparison, for every dollar generated by agriculture, the county and schools only pay 25 cents in direct services.  The dollar created by agriculture services leaves 75 cents for local government, thereby creating a surplus.”

Bernie Schultz of Gainesville took the lead at the Bassmasters Elite series on Lake Okeechobee on Thursday.

He caught 28 pounds 11 ounces.

Scott Martin of Clewiston was in second place.  He was at 25 pounds 11 ounces.

Martin said he has seen high levels on the lake before and that may have helped.

“Well it sure was a blessing.  I prepared this week and didn’t find a whole lot.  I got some clues on what might happen.  I went with my gut this morning and it paid off.  I hope we have three more good days of fishing.  My Lord and savior blessed me a ton today and I couldn’t do without him.  It was a great day.”

The weigh ins are open to the public each day at Scott Driver boat ramp around 3:30 pm.