News Cast 6/4

Tickets go on sale for Okeechobee Music Fest 2022

The Okeechobee Tourist Development Council said it is thrilled at the news that the Okeechobee Arts and Music Fest will return next March 3-6.

It will be the fifth event at Sunshine Groves off Dark Hammock Road.

It has brought thousands of visitors to Okeechobee.

It also brings world-wide media attention.

TDC Executive Director Sherry Turgeon said it has always had a positive economic impact on the area.  She said she was not surprised by the announcement and had been working with the organizers.

Turgeon said hotel stays are down this year but there is reason for optimism.

“We have seen a downturn.  Hopefully with things turning around and more vaccines, the businesses promoting their opportunities and Main Street and the Chamber reaching out, we hope to gain some ground and get some new activities started for the new season.”

LaGrego hearing enters second day

We should know the sentence this morning for impaired driver Joseph LaGrego.

He is charged in the fatal wreck after the Okeechobee Music Fest in 2017 that claimed two lives on Berman Road.

Caroline Alfano, a student at the University of Florida, and Nichole Scherten of Germany, died.

LaGrego entered a guilty plea to six felony charges including DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide on Thursday.

He was reportedly driving 117 miles per hour when he rear-ended several stopped vehicles at the intersection of route 710.

The guideline sentence is just under 24 years.

Troopers use patience and technology to solve crash

It took some 14 months but a hit and run accident has been solved in Moore Haven.

A 92 year old woman riding a golf cart was seriously injured in the accident on Avenue R at South West 3rd Street last April.

Ty’rig Hallback was charged this week with leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury and property damage.

Lt. Greg Bueno said this was criminal because they couldn’t talk to the driver at the crash scene.

“We located the person.  When we do we hope they will be upfront and honest.  We also have to be able to place that person behind the wheel.  That again takes evidence for it to be proven in court.”

They also were able to link the vehicle to the golf cart and were assisted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime laboratory.

Authorities may have motive in slaying

The motive behind the Memorial Day slaying of a 39 year old Okeechobee woman may have been jealousy.

Affidavits for probable cause show the accused killer, Venus Bubel, 43, had been following her ex-boyfriend around and had confronted his now girlfriend on North East 9th Lane in Four Seasons.

Bubel was also charged with shooting at the victim’s sister as she stood in the yard.  The second victim was not hit.

There was also video evidence collected at the scene that appeared to show how the events transpired.