News Cast 4/18

News Cast for April 18th:

County eager to get started

The dream of Big Cedar Lodge continues along at a snail’s pace.

The development of the Okee Tantie Recreation Area has been lengthy with a federal easement to deal with, plenty of studies, surveys and permits and the lack of sewer service.

Bill Heitz told the county commission the company has to make a decision on their option June 15th.

Heitz said in the mean time they continue to work on plans

“We will refresh phase one, we made a decision on that, that will decide whether phase two is necessary.”

The county offered any and all resources to try and help the project move along.

A road rage incident on the Florida turnpike near Yeehaw Junction Monday afternoon.

One round was allegedly shot into the drivers side door of a pickup truck.

22 year old Zion Waller of Leesburg was facing a host of charges including three counts of attempted murder and reckless driving.

Two adults and a five year old child were in the victim’s car.

Waller claimed they also shot at him but no weapon was found in the victim’s vehicle.

A trooper said he witnessed two vehicles chasing after one another on the turnpike.  Speeds reached near 100 miles per hour.

The trooper made a traffic stop and learned about the shooting that occurred further south in either Okeechobee or St. Lucie County.

The Florida house will vote on a bill that could help deal with our increase in biosolids that come from municipal sewer plants.

They want to provide grants for municipalities and counties to convert the waste often spread on land into more environmentally friendly fertilizer.

Beth Able with the Audubon Society of Florida told the house committee this will help water quality.

Moore Haven City Council was chided by its attorney for talking and giving directions to employees outside of meetings.

Attorney Steve Ramuni said in a city manager form of government, the council needs to go through the manager Larry Tibbs.

“I have heard a lot of complaints from a gamut of individuals about the councils interaction with employees on a day to day basis and my concern is we are going to get sued.”

Ramunni said it doesn’t take much for a lawsuit to be filed

“Quite honestly from what I’ve heard, I’m surprised that we haven’t been sued already and each of you named as individual defendants.”

A seven-year sentence in prison and a $105,000 fine imposed on Tracy Mercer of Okeechobee.

A Polk County chase in a stolen vehicle led to the vehicle crashing on US 98 near Bartow.  32 grams of methamphetamine, and a 12 gauge shotgun with 56 rounds of ammunition was located in the truck.

Mercer is a convicted felon, he pled no contest to a host of charges including armed trafficking of methamphetamines, grand theft auto, fleeing and attempted to elude, resisting arrest and weapons charges.