News Cast 5/8

News Cast for May 8th:

A fatal crash on route 70 in Highlands County Friday took the life of a Tennessee woman.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the two vehicle crash occurred at 721 and 70 west.

A pickup truck driven by a 28 year old Cape Coral man apparently tried to make a left turn onto Nine Mile Grade and drove into the path of a west bound sport utility vehicle.

A passenger in the SUV was killed.  She was 62 years old and lived in Elizabethtown, Tennessee.

A passenger in the pickup and the driver of the SUV were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Okeechobee deputies shut down US 441 north in the area of Okeechobee Little Farms for a serious crash last night.

It happened in the 9200 block of 441 north.

A request for information with the Florida Highway Patrol was not immediately answered.

The Okeechobee County School Board revised their code of conduct.  They had a citizens committee go over the documents and held a workshop themselves.

An issue came up earlier this year as a parent and senior complained about a suspension for pepper spray.

The child was in dual enrollment at IRSC and put a small canister of pepper spray on her key chain for personal protection.  She had a long lonely drive at night and felt the need for protection.

She said she left the key chain on a desk in a classroom at OHS by accident.

The board wanted to give principals more discretion in issues like this.

Assistant Superintendent Dylan Tedders said they try to stop repeat offenses.

“Once you’ve had something happen multiple times some of that leeway goes away.  With progressive discipline it can increase the punishment and include automatic suspensions.”

They also are emphasizing stopping vaping and bullying at schools.

“You hear a lot about bullying.  We tried to define bullying the best we can.  There is legislation we have to follow.  Sometimes you cross the line from being mean to being a bully.  We document all the complaints, investigate it, and try to stop that behavior.”

Florida governor Ron DeSantis said he will sign a bill that bans China from purchasing Florida farmland.

It especially prohibits sale of land near critical infrastructure and military bases like the Avon Park Bombing Range.

DeSantis said it’s about national security.

The Glades County Commission approved the creation of a community development district to serve the new Lakefront Estates Development south of Buckhead Ridge.

The district will assess new residents there for infrastructure needs and improvements.  These assessments will be on the annual tax bill.

Commissioner Hattie Taylor said she supports the development.

“It is something new for the county.  I’m trying to look at it in a positive way.  I believe it will help our county.  Yes there are some issues that need to be taken care of but I’m ready to get on the ball and take care what we need to take care of.”

A suspected drug dealer fled a patrol car in the city during a traffic stop while handcuffed.

The officers made the traffic stop on NW 6th Avenue and immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana, the arrest report stated.

25 year old David Gardener faces a host of charges including escape, resisting arrest, sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a church, and marijuana possession.

They found various amounts of cocaine, drug parapherania, felony amounts of marijuana and a stolen handgun in the vehicle.

Gardener slipped away as officers awaited a wrecker to tow the vehicle.

Officers then got a K-9 unit to track the suspect but got about two blocks before realizing he had been picked up by a vehicle.

He was caught the next night in another traffic stop.