News Cast for June 18th:

BOCC signs off on government restructure plan

Okeechobee County government is restructuring a little bit.

Long time department heads Justin Nelson and Denise Whitehead were promoted to assistant county administrators.

Nelson will serve over infrastructure and transportation and Whitehead over community development and community services.

County Commissioner Terry Burroughs supported the changes and said it would help with efficiency.

County Administrator Deborah Manzo suggested the changes.

10 women rescued from a reported human trafficking ring. All here from Latin American countries.

The Attorney General Ashley Moody created a new state wide task force of law enforcement agencies trying to combat trafficking from those crossing into the country illegally.

The new state hotline to report tips about human trafficking to 1-855-FLA-SAFE.

Moody is critical of the federal government policy not to have tips handed down to law enforcement for deportment and criminal charges.

She refuted federal claims we can’t arrest ourselves out of this problem.

She noted human trafficking is committed by evil people who are extremely cruel and controlling.

The City of Stuart asked the Environmental Protection Agency to set stricter water quality standards in the state.

They have been after closing the St. Lucie canal for all water releases from the lake.

LOSOM is expected to do that and also reduce releases to the west coast.

The water managers want to hold more water in the lake and also in a new reservoir known as LOCAR in Highlands County.

City commissioner Troy McDonald said this was all caused by blue green algae problems.

He mentioned Toledo, Ohio was impacted by blue green algae in Lake Erie and had to provide bottled water for 600,000 citizens for several weeks due to a recent outbreak.

Five officials won re-election in Glades County last Friday, school board member Jean Prowant and four constitutional officers, Tax Collector Gail Jones, Supervisor of Elections Aletris Farnam, Property Appraiser Lori Ward and Clerk of the Courts Tammi Simmons.

Voters still will decide on four county commission races this year, one school board race, elect a county judge, a school

superintendent, a sheriff, and two members of the Moore Haven City Council.