News Cast 5/11

News Cast for May 11th:

Changes planned for Buckhead Ridge project 

New plans for Lakefront Estates South of Buckhead Ridge include 530 acres, 85 waterfront lots, two schools and two houses of worship. 

1,300 residential units are planned. 

Engineer Steve Dobbs said they will also develop their own streets. 

“It will have a community development district to tax for storm water, the roads, and all the amenities inside the development.” 

They are also looking at walking trails and parks. 

He has not been told of any plan for a marina. 

Dobbs said they’ve already received interest from around 600 buyers and expect to market heavily in the northeast. 

He expects most residents to be full-time. 

They plan to build three roads off state road 78 west. 

Okeechobee and Glades County officials are pushing for the state to four lane route 78 west from 441 to areas south of Buckhead Ridge. 

Agriculture was hit harder by inflation than many other industries. 

SJ Miller with BMO Harris Bank spoke at a recent seminar on what agriculture can do to deal with inflation. 

“The ag sector inflation rate is about 2 ½ times what the core level of inflation in the economy is.  That is a significant headwind for agriculture.” 

Dairy prices rose by 22 percent in the US last year. 

Farm income though fell by 5 percent. 

Land values in South Florida for agriculture have greatly increased due to developmental pressures. 

Energy prices and transportation costs have been a financial burden for farmers and ranchers. 

“Nobody likes higher energy and food prices.  To a large degree the US can absorb it better than less developed second and third world countries.  When you get high food prices, you get political unrest.” 

Our Village Okeechobee hosted a luncheon to address our growing mental health problem. 

More programs are needed and patients need to get quicker appointments to get the help they need. 

Leah Suarez said their client list has gone from a few people to serving about 60 per day. 

“We need to make sure when kids ask for help we get it for them quickly.  A six to eight week gap in times for services is too long.  That is just for the assessment.  It is another four to six weeks before they see a therapist.  That is unacceptable.  We have to do something about that in our community.” 

Our Village honored Pastor Matt Bowen, his wife Tracy, and counselor Kelly Chapman as community heroes. 

Chapman works for the school board and the Hibiscus Children’s Center.  She said mental health problems are increasing in our community. 

She said people should reach out to help as a volunteer or serve as mentors in the schools. 

Bowen said he sees mental illness in his ministry. 

“Nobody is sheltered or isolated from it and everyone can do something.  Our role is not just inside the four walls of the church because we can make much more an impact outside the walls of the church by partnering with others.” 

A chase for a simple traffic infraction ended with an SUV splashing intp Taylor Creek Monday. 

44 year old Adam Mowery was apparently wanted on a local warrant and fled police. 

Okeechobee police sayid he failed to come to a complete stop and cops tried to pull him over. 

He failed to stop and drove at 50 miles per hour in 25 hour zones in residential areas, police added. 

The chase ended as he drives through the boat ramp on South East 4th Street and landed in the canal. 

Mowery swam away but was caught about a mile away four hours later. 

He was charged with fleeing and eluding police and driving while license suspended.