News Cast 2/7

News Cast for February 7th:

Lake Coalition talks future of lake Okeechobee

The South Florida Water Management District is looking north of the lake for above ground storage.

They want between 900,000 and 1.3 million acre feet of storage.

Jennifer Reynolds said they also are looking at a reservoir north of the lake.

The governing board is expected to hear the proposal on February 9.

The plan would require federal funding in the 2024 water bill.

The lake coalition heard many local governments in the area are planning for septic to sewer projects.

Among those is neighboring Highlands County.

Dawn Ritter said they are having concerns about water quality with algae blooms in the winter months.  They are considering county wide septic to sewer projects.

The US Army Corps of Engineers said they expect to finish the environmental impact statement for LOSOM, the new lake Okeechobee regulation schedule, in March.  They said they also expect to see final approval in June.

The ground breaking for the Everglades Agriculture Area reservoir is planned for February 22.

An alleged fentanyl dealer behind bars in Okeechobee.

Freddy Mott the third was held on $121,000 bond.

He allegedly sold $40 worth of fentanyl in an Okeechobee parking lot on February 1st.

The narcotics task force also seized some methamphetamine from the suspect.

Indian River State College is seeing a large increase in enrollment this year.

College wide enrollment was up nine percent in the fall and another 7.5 percent in the spring.

The college also continues to push hard for getting the former Okeechobee School for Boys property.

Pruitt campus Provost Andy Treadwell said it is a big priority for them and they have high hopes of getting it through the legislature this year.

South Florida water managers want a portion of the property while the Okeechobee Utility Authority would like the piece they use for their waste water treatment plant.

Pahokee Middle High School principal Dwayne Dennard has been named the Palm Beach County Schools Principal of the year.

The school set records for graduation rates last  year.

50 motorcycles took part in this years Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches Ride around the lake hosted by Hendry County.

The event has been going on for nine years.  All the proceeds raised go to benefit the ranch that tries to help at risk youth in the state.

The event has raised close to $20,000 over the years.