News Cast for March 15th:

Farmers and ranchers will get help in finding housing for workers.

Instead of having to go off the farm, they can construct housing right there without local interference.

David Hill with the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association said farmers have to have housing if they want to have crops. He noted farms have to make a profit to remain in business.

“Conservation easements are great but if he is not making a profit he is going to sell his land to a developer. I’m all for easements I’m more for staying in business. We send off people that want to sell our property weekly if not monthly. I tell them to go away. My plan is to farm but you can only do that if you are profitable.”

The legislature approved the bill sponsored by representative Kaylee Tuck and it is now on the governor’s desk. Both conventional and mobile homes would be allowed. If the housing is not used for a year it must be removed.

A father shot and killed his 23 year old special needs son and then turns the gun on himself at Advent Health in Sebring Thursday.

Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman said the father went to the hospital to try and get help for his son. They were in a mental health room when the father fired two shots into the air. Two staff members then fled the room. Authorities said it is believed the father then shot the son and turned the gun on himself.

Deputies had also responded earlier to a verbal confrontation between the father and son as he tried to get him out of the vehicle to get help. Blackman said there was nothing to indicate the father was being violent or planned this.

The hospital was on lock down for about 10-15 minutes.

Taking someone’s life or taking your own life is never the answer. That is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

“If anyone out there needs help you can call 988 and get some help on the line. You can call the sheriff’s office and we will be more than happy to send someone there and work with you through this problem.”

A cocaine trafficker trying to smuggle the drug into Okeechobee Correctional received three years in prison,

Royality Stevenson of Tacoma, Washington, also was fined $50,000.

Guards intercepted her as she entered OCI on October 16, 2022. 120 grams was seized.

A second suspect, Arionna Mitchell possessed 60 grams of cocaine, she was sentenced earlier to four years and a $50,000 fine at a hearing in 2023.

There will be no court case or eminent domain effort over the Chalo Nitka Grounds. The school board and economic council worked out a deal to give the schools 50 feet of property for the new Moore Haven Elementary School. The EOC now is the lease holder and the lease lasts 99 years. They will cooperate in letting athletic teams use the fields when appropriate and hold the proper insurance coverage.

A woman missing since 1982 had been located deceased in Indian River County since that time, officials announced this week.

The body had been found on September 1, 1982 in a canal in western Indian River County and had gone nameless.

Genetic testing of the DNA resulted in a match to one of her siblings. The woman was identified as Evelyn Horne Townsend.

Sheriff Eric Flowers noted they didn’t have a lot to go on in the homicide case 43 years ago.

“A day or two before her body was discovered we had a call of a semi truck on fire out on SR 60. That incident was the item we looked at for 40 years.”

He said while this should develop new leads and suspects, he thinks those involved in the homicide are likely deceased.

Family members said they were shocked to hear the news, they were once told the body had been dumped in Tampa Bay.

Her daughter Debra Townsend Dubois said she was glad to have closure.

“15,079 days passed with her on my mind. For 41 years and birthdays I wondered whether my mother was okay and if she was dead or alive.”