News Cast 5/9

News Cast for May 9th:

Gator hunting expanded 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission expanded hunting hours for gator season from 17 to 24 hours per day. 

They also will allow air bows with restraining lines to be used to take gators. 

Phil Walters told the commission he doesn’t see a problem interacting hunters with tourists or leisure boaters. 

“This is liberty.  We all work for the citizens of Florida and they like choice, that is liberty.  As far as more people on the water, there won’t be much hunting during the day.  We should be proud of our hunting heritage.  If it weren’t for hunters and conservation there wouldn’t be animals out here to hunt for the people to complain about.” 

Carla Wilson said she worries it will impact tourism. 

“I’m concerned about the damage to recreational boating it may cause.  It would easily kill an afternoon to have a family out boating on the lake interrupted by a violent gator killing or to see a bloody alligator hanging off the side of a boat.” 

27 arrests were made in Southwest Florida on drug charges. 

Glades and Hendry County sheriff deputies contributed to the investigation by a regional task force known as Net Force, created by the State Attorneys office. 

Sheriff David Hardin said drugs continue to impact every community in Glades County. 

“We see cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl and some pill problems in different areas.  I think drugs are in every community in Glades and every county.  We are blessed we have a small population and fewer incidents of drugs.” 

Okeechobee will be in a new congressional district next year. 

We will help elect the congressman in District 18. 

Lakeland based congressman Scott Franklin, a republican, is running for re-election in this district. 

Our State House representative Kaylee Tuck will remain over Okeechobee and Glades County. 

She defended the governor’s maps for congressional districts. 

“This process only happens once per decade.  Just because its different doesn’t mean its bad, doesn’t mean its wrong, its just different.  Our process was thorough, it was open, it was constitutional and it was good.  This map is a good map.” 

34 year old Julie Ann McClure reported her daughter missing…a toddler…last Thursday. 

Okeechobee Deputies said while the child was found shortly after they arrived In a neighbors yard, McClure was more happy to hear about them finding a family pet. 

Deputies said the yard was filled with brush and bee hives and allege the mother had smoked marijuana. 

She was charged with felony child neglect 

32 cadets at the Okeechobee High school ROTC program got volunteer hours by helping out the city. 

They cleaned up the band stand and also worked in Flagler Park number 4. 

The city council also approved a contract with Shenendoah General Construction Company to line city pipes along 4th Street. 

Public Works Director David Allen said this is an over $800,000 investment in city infrastructure. 

He said it will increase the lifespan of the pipe. 

The city is nearly complete with Cattlemen’s Square site preparations. 

The cattle drive sculpture itself is expected to be delivered in early June.