News Cast 6/9

News Cast for June 9th:

Lake Okeechobee schedule closer to finish line

The US Army Corps of Engineers is getting close to a final decision on the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule.

In recent developments, Congressman Brian Mast sent the Corps a letter urging them not to consider input from the consultants hired by the Lake communities.

Okeechobee Mayor Dowling Watford said Mast continues to mislead the public.

“Congressman Mast does not like agriculture.  I guess he doesn’t like to eat.  He blames agriculture for everything and it is very unfortunate.”

Watford said the consultants hired by the lake communities know their stuff and the lakeside communities have a right to comment on the proposed lake schedule.

Pahokee arrest for child pornography

A 67 year old Pahokee man was charged with 57 counts of child pornography possession.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Deputies have been investigating the case of Dennis Foy Pollard since last September.

He was held on $500,000 bond.

Retired State Attorney helps solve cold case near Okeechobee line

St. Lucie Sheriff Deputies said they have solved a cold case homicide from 1987.

Rocky Taylor was murdered in a citrus grove off route 70 near the old Dead Man’s Curve.

Police suspected his boyfriend all along, Michael Aiken.

He died of cancer in 2015.

Detective Paul Taylor said the main problem was the inability to identify the victim as there was no ID, and friends couldn’t identify him or his clothing after the crime.

“The clothing he wore on the decomposed body were shown to his friends.  Nobody could identify it and the case kind of dead ended on them.”

Retired State Attorney Bruce Colton has donated his time to help the Sheriff’s Office with some of these cases.

“Mr. Colton is really knowledgeable.  He is familiar with these cases and the people involved.  He said some of the crime scene people and detectives he’s worked with for years,” Taylor added.

Family DNA samples were taken in Texas recently and the laboratory matched the DNA to Rocky Taylor.

The family held a celebration of life for Rocky soon after they received the news.

Florida agriculture to increase in importance

The future of agriculture was a key topic at the 2021 Ag Tech Expo in Florida.

Vice President of the University of Florida Institute for agriculture and natural resources J. Scott Angle said the demand for Florida agriculture is going to increase.

He said farming will continue to have labor problems.

“In Florida our labor force, particularly migrant labor is disappearing.  There are a lot of reasons for that.  It is going to happen.  We have to find ways to replace labor whether American or foreign born labor.”

The world will have to produce more food over the next 50 years then they have in the last 10 thousand years with fewer resources and less environmental impacts.

“This is a part of the country where additional food production is going to have to happen.  We must do it more efficiently and we will have fewer resources to do it.  Technology is the only way we can meet these global challenges,” he said.