News Cast 3/29

News Cast for March 29th:


The Okeechobee County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee will meet Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. at the Okeechobee County Historic Courthouse in the Judge William L. Hendry Courtroom, Room 270, 304 NW 2nd Street, Okeechobee, Florida 34972.

The meeting agenda will be a discussion on the Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP).

This Meeting is open to the public.

City happy where there at

The city of Okeechobee hosted a town hall meeting that included a state of the city address by administrator Gary Ritter.

He said the city has made great improvements in the past year in infrastructure, enacted better policies and plan to renovate  city hall.

He also highlighted the downtown park plan and improvements made to the business district.

He said the Cattlemen’s square project is a testament to the city, its history and community support.

The Okeechobee Police Department announced several promotions.

They include new Sgts. Jessica Francis, Cody Daigneault and Detective Aurelio Almazan.

New officers hired included Brandy Drapal, Dalton Pitts, Garret Kelly, Derek Nails, Alexis Bieger, John Penfield and Jason Chapman.

The department also honored detective James Pickering who retires March 31st after 17 years of service.

Jeff Sumner with the Economic Council told the city they support efforts to get tax abatements for affordable housing projects.

Our congressman Scott Franklin is focused on getting federal dollars for our ranchers and growers that were impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole last year.

He introduced the Block Grant Assistance Act that provides the USDA secretary the authority to provide block grants for agriculture.

Phyllis Fong is the USDA inspector General.  She said these block grants have worked in Florida in the past and would again.

The city of Pahokee urged the contractor of the Barfield highway reconstruction to cut down on dust.  Residents complain about dust on their vehicles and homes.

There’s also a concern of people driving too fast through the construction zone.

The city of Moore Haven sent a letter to Moore Haven Commons demanding they address ongoing maintenance problems.  It is a low cost housing supplemented by the federal government located off US 27.

The city also able to hire a mechanic again to fix city vehicles and equipment.

They also continued to discuss ongoing code enforcement issues including the need for more trash dumpsters for certain city businesses.

Okeechobee City Police said a 64 year old man died inside his car at the Walmart Super Center on March 22.

A passerby noticed something amiss with the vehicle and urged police to do a welfare check.

They found the body in a decomposed state.

An autopsy was performed and that showed the man died of natural causes, Det. Savannah Yates said.