News Cast for the month of March 13th:

An Okeechobee woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison and five years on probation for killing a child getting on a school bus.

22-year-old Ariana Colon was found guilty at her trial in January on vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident charges.

The crash occurred on September 23, 2021 in Fort Pierce.

Hugo Concha, is attorney for the family of the victim, 10 year old Yesenia Rodriguez Gonzales. He said he’s troubled the driver didn’t turn herself in for 10 hours and suggested she may have been using drugs or alcohol.

He said the car was going 46 miles per hour and never slowed down.

“She saw the school bus, she saw the lights on, she saw the stop signs but this defendant intentionally disregarded all the signs, being fully aware that the bus was there, and she testified and calculated risk to pass the school bus.”

Colon gave a statement in court where she took full accountability for the crash and apologized to the family.

“I ask for some kind of chance and I will tell you it won’t be taken for granted. I ask the family to forgive me and know that I am truly sorry.”

The state had asked for 45 years in prison, the maximum sentence.

The scoresheet called for a sentence of 18 years and six months in prison.

A man who competes in Olympic weight lifting saw a gator attacking his middle size dog in a Moore Haven canal.

77 year old Art Awe Warters said he jumped on the back of the gator and wrestled with him to release the dog. He was treated at the emergency room and the dog was fine.

Awe Warter said he acted like his child was being attacked.

The FWC did not relocate the gator and euthanized it.

The OUA heard the results of a salary and benefits study provided by Evergreen Solutions.

They’ve been looking at pay hikes to do a better job of attracting and retaining employees.

Robert Williamson told the board that they should expect wage hikes for the next three to five years. He said they have taken some steps already to make salaries competitive.

He noted the cost of living continues to go up while housing is getting less and less affordable for workers.

He noted COVID-19 also led to an increase in both public and private industry salaries.

A 49-year-old Miami man, Walter Suarez, is charged with stealing mail from Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee County mailboxes.

Martin County deputies said video from a sheriff’s helicopter showed the thefts last week.

They were able to locate a garbage bag filled with mail in a vehicle they stopped on Pratt Whitney Road.

Suarez allegedly possessed over five items of personal IDs in the garbage bag.

He claimed he had just found the garbage bag and that he was just traveling as an Uber and Lyft driver.

A Glades County man allegedly led deputies on a long high- speed chase from Palmdale to Lakeport.

18-year-old Aundre Baker allegedly reached speeds of 130 miles per hour.

Deputies said he had four children in the vehicle.

The father of the children called Seminole Police to assist when Baker allegedly refused to stop.

Charges include four counts of child abuse and fleeing and attempting to elude police.