News Cast 3/2

News Cast for 3/2:

School district buys pond and sells school

The Okeechobee School Board approved the sale of the Basinger School for $11,500.

Assistant Superintendent Dylan Tedders said there wasn’t much the district could do with the old building.

“The building is dilapidated and in the center of someone else’s property.  It just made sense to get that off our books.”

The pond north of the high school will handle the extra water that will drain off the property once the new high school is built.

“Water has got to go somewhere, and that is part of the problem with the need for a new school.  That will be access to work that pond and also work some water flow on the south side of the campus where they have the bonfire now.”

The district also has been hiring new bus drivers for training.

At last report four potential drivers were being trained.

The ground breaking for the new high school was scheduled for May 11th at 9 am.

The school board also set an April 24th workshop to discuss the student code of conduct.

The schools also received a $5,000 donation from the Aileen S. Andrew Foundation to provide extra curricular activities for students.  They used the money to fund the graduation bash and for transportation.

Art student Maya Seder won the Art in the Capitol contest for Okeechobee.  Her portrait will hang in the capitol building for the next year.

Glades County manager Marcos Montes De Oca tendered his resignation in February.

He will go to work for the Seminole Tribe of Florida Utility Department.

“It was with a heavy heart that I brought you this letter.  It was not something I went after.  It is something that got put in my path and its not something I’m going to look past.  I still consider Glades County home.”

A search is now underway to find a successor.

June Fisher, the deputy manager in DeSoto County, turned down the job.

The county reported progress on the cleanup at the Calusa Lodge property in lakeport.

Over two dozen mobile homes and some vehicles along with a large amount of debris has been removed.

Commissioner Tony Whidden said he doesn’t want this to reoccur at the park.

“My fear is that facility still has the same management.  We will be cleaning it up at county expense and he will be bringing it right back in.  Old campers and trailers will be brought in, that tenant leaves and we’ll be back cleaning up again.”

The Florida Forest Service expects an active wild fire season.

The rains in the fall helped vegetation grow and has provided more fuel for spring fires.

Already some large fires in northern Okeechobee have impacted traffic and visibility on US 441.

Forestry Supervisor Dave Grubich said there is already a threat of lawn fires in Okeechobee.

“Pay attention to your catalytic convertors and your mufflers and your blade strikes.  If your lawn is bone dry and you are cutting it.  Chances are you will hit a rock sooner or later it will cause a spark and cause a fire.  I’ve seen equipment damaged and mowers burned because it is that dry.”

Okeechobee County Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Marshall Jessica Sasser said they have responded to more wild fires in recent weeks.

She had these fire prevention tips for your property and home.

“Keeping things neat trimming trees, and regular maintenance of your property is the best thing.  Inside your home don’t overload certain outlets, and having smoke detectors installed, so you are aware if something is going on.”

Expect traffic to pick up for Okeechobee Music Fest today, especially roads north and east of Okeechobee.

The sheriff said Dark Hammock Road and Berman Road will have the most bottlenecks.

A pedestrian was struck and killed walking on the sidewalk in Pahokee Wednesday afternoon.

Palm Beach Sheriff Deputies said James Cole was driving a Dodge Ram that left the roadway and struck and killed Precious Barber on Bacom Point Road.

Deputies said Cole then fled the scene.  Charges are pending.