News Cast 5/11

News Cast for May 11th:

Groundbreaking ceremony at the Okeechobee High School!

Cops staying busy

Okeechobee city police said its been a busy four months with more traffic enforcement and more trespass complaints.

Police Chief Donald Hagan said his patrol unit and detective bureau are now fully staffed.

They are trying to hire one police dispatcher.

They have written and given warnings to over 1,250 motorists and investigated 163 automobile accidents.

Hagan was asked why so many vagrants are in Okeechobee.

“A lot of them are either kicked off the train or get off the train.  They hang out behind businesses and we are trying to combat that and having the officers get out of cars, start  walking around these businesses, where we know we are having a problem.”

A traffic stop for speeding uncovers 4.6 grams of fentanyl.

David Garrett and Larry Adams of Okeechobee face drug trafficking charges.

The traffic stop happened near 710 and South East 86th Boulevard.

During interviews with the suspects deputies said they learned the pair had gone to West Palm Beach to pick up drugs and then deliver them to Okeechobee.

Deputies said four grams of crack cocaine were also located.

The Indiantown Village Council won’t join the lawsuit with the marine industry over the Brightline train.

The train has caused the bridge over the Okeechobee Waterway in Stuart to be closed for much of this month.

Once the train starts running this summer to Orlando, the bridge will be up as many as 50 times per day.

This has the marine industry concerned.  They predict it will discourage people from sailing or boating down the Okeechobee waterway due to the time delays.

Dan Romants with the Indiantown Marine Center said a lot is at stake not only for Indiantown but points west.

“Commercial property and business on the west side of the FEC railroad draw bridge on the Okeechobee waterway from Stuart, through the waterway, to the west coast of Florida, is at risk.”

While the council voiced support for the lawsuit they noted they have many projects ongoing and higher priorities.  They did pass a resolution unanimously that supports the Indiantown marine industry.

Ground was broken this morning for the new Okeechobee High School.

They expect a big crowd for the event which begins at 9 am.

Okeechobee County parks and recreation said the splash pad at the sports complex is making progress.  They are also developing a fitness trail there.

They are currently working on the site preparation for the splash pad.

Parks and Recreation Director Denise Whitehead said they are getting some grants to bring projects to town.

She noted over 1,000 children took part in Okeechobee County recreational programs last year.

“A lot of communities don’t understand the impact of 4-H.  People are astounded that we have 25 clubs and such involvement from 4-H.  603 members, 25 clubs, 38 club leaders.  Just those registered members have a vast impact on the overall community.”