News Cast 6/22

News Cast for June 22nd:

Okeechobee woman dies in crash

A deadly crash occurred on State Road 710 at South East 59th Boulevard late Saturday. The Florida highway patrol said improper passing and speed are suspected to have contributed to the crash.

A 54 year old Holiday man, now hospitalized in serious condition,  was allegedly trying to pass another vehicle while west bound and collided head on with an east bound vehicle.

The 54 year old  was the lone occupant of the car. A 27 year old Okeechobee man and two residents of Rushville, Indiana were hospitalized and a 25 year old Okeechobee woman was killed in the second vehicle.

The road was closed for hours to conduct the investigation.

Rate payers divided on higher FPL rates

Comments were mostly split on whether the Public Service Commission should approve a near 20% rate hike for Florida Power and Light over the next four years. Opponents said now is not the time to put more pressure on Floridians who have just pulled themselves out of a pandemic.

Geneva Klaus said Floridians simply can’t afford a rate hike right now.

“Over 650,000 people in Florida are behind in paying their FPL bills.  I would ask what will happen to those people?  Why are the rates increasing when they can’t afford the current rates?”

Robert Shef Wright said FPL will build things they don’t need with the additional revenue.

“It is the duty of FPL to provide safe and reliable service at the lowest possible cost.  That is its job.  The evidence in this case shows that FPL’s request, the largest in Florida history, would give it way more money than it needs to do its job.”

Opponents said the profits of FPL would increase to $2 billion per year under this proposal.

Supporters said FPL provides great customer service, is active in the community it serves and provides great cleanup and restoration work after storms and hurricanes. Shea Catrell said rates shouldn’t be the only way to judge a utility.

“When we just quality of service rates are not the only thing we should look at.  We should look at reliability, customer service, storm readiness and response and security.”

Hearings continued today before the Florida Public Service Commission.

Congressional candidate campaigns in the Glades

A congressional candidate has come to the Glades looking for support.

The 20th congressional district special election is scheduled for next January 11th.

The seat was vacated in April when long time congressman Alcee Hastings passed away.

Emmanuel Morell said he supports more programs for the poor and a 15 dollar minimum wage.

He also would like student loan debt forgiven.

“It is an idea whose time has come.  I run on a black agenda and a poor people’s agenda.  I want forgiveness of student loans.  When I graduated from college I did not come out owing an arm and a leg.  Today our kids come out owing an arm and a leg.  It is time for this to end.”

Morell recently campaigned in Pahokee.