News Cast 3/24

News Cast for March 24th:

Lake issues addressed

South Florida Water Management’s Governing Board is restless over the time it’s taking to complete the new lake regulation schedule.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced it would be studying the impacts of red tide and blue green algae from Lake Okeechobee releases.

Media outlets reporting of toxic algae in the lake this spring was in error.

District scientist Lawrence Glenn said there has been no problem with algae.

“We don’t have a bloom condition on the lake currently that we have sampled.  All of the toxins in the areas we have sampled are below detection limits of 0.2 micrograms per liter of toxins.”

The releases from the lake were suspended for a few days for tests at Port Mayaca.

Board member Charlette Roman said a pilot study should be undertaken on Lake Okeechobee, with a temporary wall put in Coot Bay to treat water there.  She liked to conduct tests to see what can be successful in improving water quality.

Board member Jackie Thurlough-Lippisch said she would support placing cameras on Lake Okeechobee to have live stream video or photos of the actual conditions on the lake.

Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman wants to slow down motorists on US 98 and route 70 headed toward Okeechobee.

They have routinely clocked motorists at 90 miles an hour or above on these roads in the past year.

The county overall has seen a sharp increase in fatal and serious injury car crashes in the past two years.

He proposed to create a new traffic unit at the sheriffs office in the 2023-2024 budget.

Sheriff Blackman said traffic impacts everyone.

“People are travelling every day.  They have to be places.  We just hope they do it as safely as possible.  Leave in plenty of time, don’t drive distracted.”

He admits it is difficult to pull motorists over safely on sections of route 70.  US 98 usually has ample shoulder for safe traffic stops.

Blackman said he also has concerns about traffic stops by his deputies when the next backup unit is 20-30 miles away.

Pahokee schools getting some public concern about bullying.

A recent arrest of two female students who fought at the high school raising concerns.

School Board member Marcia Andrews said bullying has been addressed at schools.

“A lot of the children have gone through mental health issues.   They were home, they did their best on the computer, but the computer is not a teacher.  The students struggled to make it back.  The teachers were not with them physically for two years.  We ask you to give the students time to catch up.  They have gone through a lot.”

Canal Point, K.E Cunningham elementary will soon construct a pavilion.

Pahokee high school again had a 100 percent graduation rate for the 2021-2022 school year.

Dwayne Dennard was named the high school principal of the year for Palm Beach County schools.

Farm animal issues came before Glades County commissioners during public comment at a recent meeting.

Indian Hills residents point out their subdivision regulations prohibit farm animals.

They complained they are not getting action taken by county code enforcement.

One resident has two horses they’d like to keep.

Another resident, Curtis Clay wants to keep his miniature horse.

Clay said the neighborhood is against him.

“He is smaller than a Great Dane.  He comes into the house.  He is smaller than our dogs.”

Some of the residents accused the code enforcement officer of ignoring the issue.

The issue was to come before the Board of Adjustment this month.