News Cast for March 7th:

Flight school welcomed at the airport

Travis Schooley got support from county commissioners to expand his flight school at the Okeechobee airport.

He plans to purchase a lot of fuel and spend over $10,000 per month, increase from one to three planes, and already has 57 students flying.

It will also help the airport with more landings and more federal funds. He has already provided 2,000 flight hours, and expect over 8,000 plane landings per year.

Commissioners directed staff to help the school place signs in strategic locations to help promote themselves.

Commissioner Kelly Owens had a concern about where the signs are placed. She didn’t want to prevent restaurant customers from seeing the airport.

Commissioner Brad Goodbread, an avid pilot, said he fully supports the flight school and the direction of the airport.

“I know we have some things going on to get on the right page together. I think we can get our airport to thrive and grow. I’m glad it is local blood bringing in the flight school.”

Two fires heavily damaged a trailer and RV in Okeechobee.

The single wide trailer fire was at 1312 North West 42nd Avenue.

It had $90,000 in total losses. There were no injuries.

The RV fire was at 17426 NW 270th Street.

It appears somebody may have broken into sheds on the property and stole tools.

The state fire marshal is investigating the blaze.

A 30 month prison sentence was handed down against 22 year old Tristen Campbell. He was originally charged with sexual battery but that charge was dropped.

He pled no contest to a felony battery charge. He scored three years in prison and the maximum sentence was five years.

The case dates back to August 14, 2022. A female claimed that Campbell had forced her into sexual relations.

Okeechobee Sheriff investigators said they conducted a recorded phone call where the victim called Campbell and got him to make incriminating statements.

Okeechobee schools honored two state champion Future Farmer of America teams this year.

The Yearling agribusiness team of Levi Maggard, Ruby Keith, Kinsley Vinson and Alexis Bandi won the state title.

The Yearling vegetable judging team of Delaney Raney, Ruby Keith, Baye Williams, Kenzi Brazil and Madison Mills were also state champions.

Advisor Megan Williamson said they get tremendous support from the community in the form of seed, tools, time and training.

“The community members come in and give their time, their knowledge and help the kids in the career development event.”

She said various parts of the agriculture industry willingly give up their time to mentor and speak to students to help them grow.

“We have orange grove owners come to visit, we get tools to be able to go to the high school and work in the tool shop so they have actual hands on learning. For us, the support of the community is the part of the program, that just excels the kids.”