News Cast for March 8th;

Schools ready for eclipse

The partial solar eclipse may be visible as early as 1:45 pm and may not conclude until 4:15 pm. This is during the regular dismissal times for Okeechobee Schools.

In a letter sent home to parents. Interim Superintendent Dylan Tedders urged them to let their child know it is dangerous looking directly at the sun without some kind of protection.

Schools will limit movement outside during today’s eclipse. School buses may be a little behind dropping off kids at the elementary level as they follow rainy day dismissal procedures. They encourage parents to pick up their kids at bus stops. They can also sign out kids early starting at noon.

Law enforcement also is worried people will be looking at the eclipse while driving and not paying attention to the road, or pedestrians.

Which Career Source is better for Okeechobee County?

Commissioner Brad Goodbread requested the county look at joining the Treasure Coast region and leave the Heartland.

He’d like a commission workshop at some point to bring out information on the pros and cons of the move.

Goodbread said he thinks Okeechobee belongs in the Treasure Coast region.

“We are physically closer. That is where everybody closes for trading, marketing and shopping. A lot of people go that way for work. It is not an assault on the Heartland Career Source or the job they are doing. This is a thought I’ve had and desire I had since election to make Lake Okeechobee a bigger, more permanent part of the Treasure Coast.”

Career Source said they are a state wide organization and all the regions provide the same service.

Goodbread said most Okeechobee residents would rather live, work and shop on the Treasure Coast than Sebring.

There is growing pessimism that the 2023 Farm Bill will make it through Congress this year.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack was scheduled to discuss the bill before the House Agriculture committee.

Our Congressman Scott Franklin is working on a bill to make community block grants available to agriculture and is pushing to receive funding for farmers and ranchers impacted in Central Florida by Hurricane Ian last year.

Franklin said he doesn’t expect a lot of substantial legislation to get approved during this election year.

Glades County is going in a new direction when it comes to code enforcement.

They eliminated the county position and instead will hire a private company to provide the service.

County Manager June Fisher stated she thought it would be a more efficient system and less expensive.

Resident Stu Taylor predicted this will cost the county more because the private firm will want to make a profit on the deal.

The US Army Corps of Engineers suspended indefinitely all releases from Lake Okeechobee to the east coast on Friday.

They had stopped releases for two weeks on March 30.

Releases to the west coast will continue.

Authorities said they think they can get Lake Okeechobee to a comfortable level before the hurricane season begins.