News Cast 6/30

Okeechobee City Police has had a very busy 2022 just halfway through the year. They have responded to twenty-six hundred complaints and two hundred fifty-five car crashes this year. They have also written or issued warnings for over thirty-three hundred traffic violations.

Police chief Donald Hagan says they have issued over three thousand traffic violations to date

Hagan says it has been an active year for traffic violations.

As with most of the country, Hagan says that finding employees has been difficult. They currently have openings on road patrol.

Hagan says they are losing officers due to salaries.

City Council is trying to increase the starting pay of officers. The Sherriff recently received over eight hundred dollars to increase the starting pay of deputies to forty-five thousand. The governor is working to add revenue to next year’s budget to increase the pay of city police officers across the state.

In Glades County, commissioners heard from Ortona volunteer firemen that they need funding to repair the station.

Volunteer David Heflin had this complaint.

Heflin says the fire station has roof problems and is leaking.

County Manager Marcos Montes De Oca says the county has the funding to repair the fire stations.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce wants to stomp out childhood poverty in the state. A summit was held in Orlando in May to discuss the issue.

Dawn Murray, Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Florida Department of Children and Families spoke on a pathway to prosperity.

CEO Mark Wilson of the Florida Chamber says many are better off getting benefits than going to work.

Wilson says salary levels are often misleading when qualifying for public assistance.

Dawn Murray says the state does a great job in getting benefits, but it can do more.

On the arrest report:

Austin Keith Cross was arrested and charged with a third-degree felony reckless driving causing serious bodily injury. Bond is set at $10,000

Darla Celeste Graves of Okeechobee was arrested and charged with a class 3 felony possession of amphetamine. Bond is set at $2500

Nicholas James Richardson of Okeechobee was arrested and charged with 2 counts of drug possession including a class 3 felony possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor possession/use of drug paraphernalia. Bond is set at $5500.