News Cast 6/28

News Cast for June 28th:

An ATV accident in Viking sent two people to the hospital. 

Okeechobee county sheriff deputies said a 29 year old man from Delray Beach and a 31 year old man from Boynton Beach were flown to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center on Saturday morning. 

The accident reported near NW 256th Street. 

The ATV overturned just after 11 am. 

Deputies said neither man was wearing a safety helmet.

There was no immediate update on their condition. 

An Okeechobee man faces drug trafficking charges and accusations he drove like a lunatic. 

Nathan Starcher, 22, reportedly reached speeds of 100 miles per hour on 710 during a rain storm.

He allegedly crashed a Volkswagen into a rock boulder and fire hydrant at the intersection of Everglades Boulevard and kept going. 

He was located later walking on SE28th Street.  Just over 15 grams of methamphetamine was seized.

Deputies said one passenger in the car went to the emergency room for minor injury.  Bond in the case was set at $66,500

No injury in trailer fire

$16,000 worth of property and personal damage was reported after a trailer fire on Sunday Afternoon on NE 12th Lane in Four Seasons. No one was injured and the damage was confined to one bedroom. Both Okeechobee County Fire Rescue and Okeechobee City firemen responded. The cause was listed as an electrical malfunction.

Crews were on the scene for five hours. The American Red Cross was dispatched to assist the family.

Buckhead Ridge housing project moves along

The Glades County Board of County Commissioners approved the annual review of the Glenn Harvey housing project proposed south of Buckhead Ridge. The original proposal was 500 homes.

Steve Dobbs, engineer on the project, said they do have a contract to sell the property.

The entity interested in owning the property would like to develop up to 1,500 homes.

Dobbs said he thinks this project will be marketable.

“I think it enhances the Bass Pro project as people come down and visit the project, this project is adjacent to that.  People may want a house here and his project will attract people to come in.  There are 85 waterfront properties.  It gets you to the rim canal, to the lake and to the ocean.  You can go anywhere by boat from your back yard.”

Dobbs said much of the past six months has been working on permits from South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Okeechobee planners approve affordable housing project

An affordable housing project has been proposed at 250 NW 23rd Lane in Okeechobee. The Okeechobee County Planning Board approved a special exception for the project after a public hearing last week. The developer is applying for $5 million in grants from the state.

Realtor William Tomlinson said people need places to rent in Okeechobee.

“It is a huge need.  I’m in the real estate business here locally and I receive calls each day for people looking to rent and I have nowhere to send them to.”

BOCC signs agreement for sidewalks

New sidewalks will help kids walk to Seminole Elementary school. The Okeechobee Board of County Commissioners approved an agreement to receive state funding for work on NW 30th Street and NW 46th Avenue.

Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs had questions about why these sidewalks earned priority over others. He said he didn’t remember the BOCC voting on the sidewalks and placing them on the five year plan.

Commissioner David Hazellief said he felt this would enhance the neighborhood.  He noted it would connect Basswood to the school and allow for pedestrians to cross U.S. 98.

Cause of plane crash revealed

Engine failure and pilot error were listed as the cause of a 2019 plane crash that left five people dead in Lake Okeechobee.

The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) said they could not determine the cause of the engine failure.

The plane piloted by Eduard Mulet, 45 crashed near Pahokee.

The widower of a woman killed in the crash sued the pilot’s estate and companies associated with Mulet.

The lawsuit raised questions about whether Mulet violated his flight plan and his flying certification by getting paid to transport the group of four attorneys.

The plane missed the runway at Pahokee airport and crashed into the Lake.

One logbook entry found prior engine problems with the plane.

News briefs

Two of the five finalists for the Glades County Manager position are Marcos Montes De Oca, the former Okeechobee city administrator, and former Highlands and Glades County Manager June Fisher.

The Glades County Board of County Commissioners was scheduled to discuss the five finalists at a meeting Monday night.