News Cast for June 28th:

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The Okeechobee City Council urged the OUA to communicate better when they will be impacting roads and driveways.

The city heard from residents who couldn’t leave their driveways for medical appointments and hadn’t been given any advanced notice, due to OUA work.

They also turned down proposed permit rate hikes.

Vice Mayor Monica Clark noted the county recently increased the price of permits for a single family home from $5,700 to $8,000.

“There is going to be an uprising among the contractors of this community over these increases.”

The council approved a consumer price index increase for garbage collection this year.  Waste Management will soon be delivering new 96 gallon bins for city residents.  Three bins will be provided for trash, recycling and yard waste.

Okeechobee will have fireworks again this year.

The Fraternal Order of Police will put on the show July 4th at 9 pm at the Ag Center.

They get generous donations from Waste Management and Florida Power and Light to put on the show each year.

Chief Deputy Michael Hazellief said they get a lot of support to put this event on.

Zambelli has some local ties and give the community a lower rate.

“We consider them a partner because they always come through for us.  Rain or shine.  It has flooded some years but we still had a great fireworks show.  They are hard working and true professionals.”

Okeechobee deputies able to recover a John Deere lawn tractor valued at $95,000.

Two local men are facing charges of grand theft auto, 28 year old Wesley Summerall and 31 year old Brandon Pitt.

Witnesses said they saw the tractor riding on the roadway on NE 120th Street.  The tractor was found on south Berman Road.

The Lorida community celebrated as the school house was designated an historic site by the state.

The school has been used as a community center, and now is the home of Harvest house.  It opened in the 1920s. 

It has been in the community nearly 100 years with the first class in 1926.

It was rebuilt after hurricane damage in the 1930s and classes resumed until 1955.

Three former students were able to attend the ceremony, Edgar Stokes, Elsie Ann Smith, and Sara Etta Johns.

Michael Waldron said after sitting empty for years it became a community center for the community.

Waldron said the event was a proud moment for those that attended the school.

“They are very proud to say they attended school there.  A lot of them have a lot of stories about that school about having to walk to school, having to ride horseback to school, skipping school.  Just a lot of stories were shared.”

Most of the former alums are in their 70s and 80s.

He said Lorida has always been agriculture based.  His relatives came here in the 1830s.

“A lot of people moved in the Lorida, Basinger, Fort Basinger area in those days and there are numerous people with old names that attended that old school.”

By Taylor