News Cast 2/23


February 23, 2024

News Cast for February 23rd:

Commissioners visit state capitol

Okeechobee County commissioners reported a successful trip to Tallahassee looking for state money.

They want more funds to expand the jail, want some water and drainage improvements and want money to improve roads.

Chairman David Hazellief said they have prioritized the jail and drainage.

Commissioners also were lobbying against term limits of county commissioners to two four year terms.

Hazellief said the state was also considering an additional $25,000 homestead exemption.

Okeechobee jailers were honored for saving the life of an inmate last July 7th.

The inmate had injured himself in his cell.

Corrections offices Ochoa, Roberts, Dryden and Rhoden, and Corporal Garcia were honored with a unit citation.

Deputy Gabe Greseth was honored with the life-saving award.

Chief Deputy Michael Hazellief said the inmate was unconscious and the cell floor was filled with a pool of blood when officers

arrived. The deputy applied a torniquet to stop the bleeding and save the unnamed inmates life.

The Florida Cracker Trail Riders reached Basinger last night on their annual trip across the state.

They had some rain and mud to deal with Sunday and spent about four hours pulling out trucks and trailers from wet pastures but have had good weather since.

Wednesday was red, white and blue day as the children on the ride helped lead them across US 27.

Michael Harrison said the ride is something people should do. He has been on 33 of these rides. He also is a minister and he performed a wedding ceremony at the Edna Pearce Lockett Estate this year.

“This route had the least amount of swamps and water. The cattle from Spain were a little more spicy. We still have some bad cows in Florida. A lot of horses and men have found that out. The horses were smaller and the cattle were smaller.”

Harrison explained the trail was the only dry trail in Florida where cattlemen could take cattle across the state to Punta Gorda and Punta Rassa to sell to Cuba.

Chelsey Knutowicz is secretary of the Cracker Trail Association this year.

This is her 19th ride on the trail.

“I love it. Every year is different. We had some ups and downs this year with getting in the mud, but everyday it is getting better.”

A couple also got married at the Edna Pearce Lockett Estate on Thursday.

Trail Boss Robert Wolfe says this isn’t the first nuptials on the trail. They changed the routine and stayed at the Lake Istokpoga Park this year rather than the wet pastures of Lorida.

The riders spent the night at the Bass Ranch on Thursday and travel across Okeechobee ending the ride tomorrow at a parade in Fort Pierce.