News Cast for March 26th:

Troopers investigate fatal crash

A tractor trailer driver was hospitalized with serious injury and an SUV driver killed in a head on collision on state road 70 Monday morning.

The Florida highway patrol said the accident occurred west of US 27 at County Road 17.

The tractor trailer driven by a 33-year-old Okeechobee man was headed east bound and crossed the center line and struck the west bound SUV.

The SUV driver, a 60-year-old woman from Venus, died at the scene.

Troopers shut down the road for several hours to conduct the investigation and clean up the scene.

The Florida Commission on Offender Review denied parole for David Delap this month.

An investigator for the commission issued a report that said Delap’s life sentence should be reduced.

Prosecutor Ashley Albright said the investigator looks at the inmate’s behavior while in prison and whether or not they took classes to better themselves.

‘They tend to be more on the lenient side and they look at well he hasn’t been in trouble in the last 50 years in prison.  It has no bearing on the horrible murder this victim went through.”

Albright argued that Delap remain in prison and said life was the appropriate sentence.

Delap killed Paula Etheridge on June 30, 1975, after abducting her from a local laundry mat.

He sat on Florida’s death row for years before the sentence was commuted to life in prison.

Delap was convicted at two trials of first-degree murder.  The first conviction was thrown out on appeal.

The first trial was held in Okeechobee and the second in Orlando.

House Bill 3 that prohibits kids under 14 from having social media accounts, was signed into law by the Governor.  It gives parents the option to allow their kids, ages 14 and 15 to have accounts.

Senator Erin Grall sponsored the legislation.  She said social media has become an invader in our homes.

“Parents for too long have abdicated our responsibilities.  There is now this babysitter in our homes.  This babysitter has done of the hopes and dreams you have for your children but has the ability to take them all away.”

She pointed to growing behavioral and mental health problems among kids along with a rising rate of suicides among teens.  She also points out predators are always online looking to victimize our kids.

13 unlocked vehicles were burglarized over the weekend at Villa Margaret.  The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office said change, wallets and other items were taken in these incidents. 

Deputies remind listeners to please lock your vehicles.

The operators of Amaryllis Gardens, a farm worker housing project in Pahokee, have received $662,000 in funds to make repairs and improvements from Palm Beach County.

44 units will be improved.  Some will get new roofs and windows.

Manager Greg Hyson said the money comes from a long term loan and other sources.

“There is $1.85 million available to put into improvements at the property that are much needed.”

He asked the city to cooperate and improve the neighborhood around this complex.

The complex is for low and very low income families.