News Cast for March 25th:

County still working on drug abuse problem

Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network gave a presentation on the various drug treatment programs they are offering in Okeechobee.

They also assist in operating the local drug court.

They treated 762 local residents last year.

The report showed 17 were sent to recovery centers in the last six months of 2023, and 103 were treated for substance abuse during that time.

Commissioner Terry Burroughs said part of the recovery process has to be employment but also safe living conditions.

“It is a difficult subject because we get into the NIMBY rule where nobody wants it in their back yard and I appreciate that.”

The Okeechobee Board of County Commissioners learned Waste Management will soon deliver two large garbage cans to all their customers in Okeechobee.

The commission approved a proclamation for National Music in our school’s months for March.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will issue another 100 alligator harvest permits this year.

The permits can be filled anytime between August 15th and December 31st.

It will be an annual program.  The alligator population is considered healthy in the state.

Hunter Rob Upthegrove said this could lead to more large gators being harvested.

“It will make a great opportunity.  A lot of tags get turned back in because everyone is after the big one.  This is way into December when a lot of the alligators are laying on the shore.  You will see the big guys that you don’t get to see during the other times.”

A 25-year-old Moore Haven man arrested after a traffic stop turns up 21 ounces of marijuana.

Glades County Sheriff deputies said Emmanuel Nunez was clocked at 86 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. 

The arrest report said when deputies approached the vehicle they smelled a strong odor of marijuana.

Nunez was charged with felony possession of marijuana, and possession with the intent to sell marijuana.  His bond was $8,500. 

The Indiantown Village Council refused to change their land development regulations to encourage gated communities.

Village Council member Carmine DiPaolo said people like living this way and they add to the tax base.

“We don’t have that language in there that we discourage gated communities.    They bring the big money houses and they bring the taxes along with it.”

Councilmember Janet Hernandez said gated communities are not prohibited.

“Discourages is a slightly negative word but it is not like no.”

DiPaolo noted 86 percent of the village tax base is Florida Power and Light and they need to add more expensive housing to add to the tax base.