News Cast 3/3

News Cast for March 3rd:

Narcotics unit working overtime

The Okeechobee Sheriff’s Office cutting off some illegal drugs flowing into town this week.

Two South Florida men were caught in an undercover operation at a Posey’s Corners convenience store.

Nicolas Hirrira, 25 and 22 year old Nicolas Lugo Murcia both face drug trafficking charges.

The narcotics unit said they found 28.6 grams of illegal drugs related to methamphetamines in the vehicle

The bond for both suspects were $150,000.

A traffic stop on NE 120th street jailed 29 year old Ryan Cruz of Coconut Creek.

He allegedly had trafficking amounts of ecstasy and felony amount of cocaine.  A sheriffs K-9 located the drugs.

He was stopped after he allegedly ran a stop sign.

His bond was $300,000.

The city of Okeechobee delayed for further review a proposed apartment complex that included six duplexes, two single family homes and a parking lot.

The proposed site is on 4.25 acres between NE 2nd and 3rd Avenue and NE 3rd and 5th Streets.

Building official Jeffrey Newell said there were too many questions unanswered to approve it.

“You are asking us to approve something when the planner has questions.  As far as I’m concerned this application is incomplete.”

The site plan and review committee were concerned about the number of bedrooms per unit and questioned whether this would be dormitory housing and not a single family use.

The city planning board also chose Dawn Hoover to continue as chairman.

The city did approve a paved storage area for Westlake Royal Roofing in the city commerce park on 3.2 acres.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission increased from $30 to $50 per gator the state stipend for gator trappers.

The gator trappers reported they’ve been losing money with the program.

Chairman Rodney Barretto supported increasing the stipend.

“When a trapper is called out he does not have a 100 percent success rate.  He comes out, says hey where is the alligator.  He’s told we saw it here and we saw it over there and he plays a game.  The second time out he’s losing money and the third time out he’s really losing money.”

Trappers said the price for gator meat is still high but the market for gator hides is not what it used to be.

The commission directed staff to further increase the stipend in future budget years.

The federal government was urged to support the widening of Canoe Creek Road between St. Cloud and Kenansville.

Osceola County also urged congressman Darren Soto to do something about high-speed internet.

Soto says rural broadband will be a focus again this year.

County Manager Don Fisher said 13 miles of the road could be widened as development increases out of St. Cloud.

A 34 year old Okeechobee woman, Amy O’Connor faces two cases of drug sales from last October.

She allegedly sold methamphetamine during a narcotics operation and faces multiple felony charges.