News cast for March 11th:

Okeechobee Schools add career programs

The Okeechobee School District plans to add six vocational programs for students.

The programs include outboard marine technician, data, criminal justice operations, principles of teaching, entrepreneurship, and principals of agribusiness and management.

Vocational director Daryl Roehm said its important for Okeechobee to diversify its workforce.

“We are having areas we have covered before for career choices. I think a lot of these new offering will hit some of those areas from teaching, to business, to artificial intelligence, to outboard marine and criminal justice. We didn’t have these programs available for our students.”

Roehm said there has been an increase in the number of kids earning industry certifications.

He noted the graduation rate for those in vocational programs is way higher than the state average, or 95 percent.

All of the current class offerings are full. They range from nursing to animal science and services, aquaculture, automotive maintenance and repair, building and construction design, digital design, technical agriculture operations, agriculture

communications, introduction to fire-fighting, and public safety communications.

The Okeechobee City Council discussed permanent food trucks and current regulations.

Vice Mayor Monica Clark suggests that some of the older food trucks are safety hazards and more inspections need to be done.

The council also discussed the state requiring more personal and financial from elected officials, something lawmakers tried to tweak in Tallahassee this year.

Many officials have resigned across the state due to making more personal financial information public record.

Troy Scott pled no contest to charges of loitering and prowling and resisting arrest without violence and received 60 days in the Okeechobee County Jail.

He was 17 years old when he bludgeoned to death with a rifle, 87 year old Valentine Meserve on August 5, 1985.

The Florida Supreme Court held those under 18 can’t serve life in prison. Scott was resentenced to 65 years and was released from prison after serving just over 35 years.

Scott was arrested near the Publix on 441 south in Okeechobee when he ran from deputies on a bicycle. He said he welcomed arrest because jail was a better life than living on the street.

Highlands County imposed a four-month moratorium on all mobile home park applications. They will be working on new regulations. Those already under review can continue to be considered.

Commissioner Don Elwell told his colleagues that he supports looking at and improving mobile home trailer park regulations. He said there are some things that need to be fixed.

Allowable densities, the distance that separated units and improving drainage are three of the proposed changes.

Marcus Theriot wins the Okeechobee Cowtown Rodeo PRCA rodeo.

He wins $3,625 dollars and won the tie down roping in 7.9 seconds and won the team roping with Cole Curry with a time of five seconds flat.

Tim Murphy won the bareback with a score of 81.

Joe Cook won the steer wrestling with a time of 3.9 seconds.

Brandon Lansford won the saddle bronc riding with a score of 82.5.

Chloe Gray won the barrel racing in 15.58 seconds. Chase Wimer won the bull riding on Lover Boy with a score of 82 points.

There was close to $49,000 in payouts this year to the cowboys and cowgirls who competed.

A kayaker suffered an injury overnight on the Avon Park Bombing Range about four miles south of their boat ramp on the Kissimmee River. Okeechobee County, Highlands County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted in the search. They used GPS and flashlight to locate the injured kayaker and return them to the boat ramp for treatment. The injuries were considered non-life threatening.