News Cast for July 10th:

Less algae in Lake Okeechobee

The US Army Corps of Engineers planned no changes to releases from Lake Okeechobee this week.

No water will be going out the St. Lucie and small releases out the Caloosahatchee.

The lake level at 14.75 feet.  The lake rose by one inch in the past week.

The corps said the algae levels on the lake have been reduced by recent rains.

Col. Jamie Booth said rainfall amounts have been reduced since the beginning of June.

Booth said they don’t plan any major releases for awhile.

“I’m looking more toward late August, September where I would have concerns in an above average wet season we may have to look at releases.  Right now I don’t think we are close.”

Last year at this juncture the lake was 22 inches higher.

A lot of teaching vacancies in area schools this summer.

Over 100 vacancies in Highlands, 40 in Glades and over 50 teachers had to be hired this summer in Okeechobee.

The Glades County School Board is interested in the county reinstating impact fees for schools.

Board member Crystal Drake wants the schools to consider an ROTC leadership program.

She said it has worked well at other local schools.

The district would also like to see more students take advantage of programs at the I tech program in Moore Haven.

Dozens of speakers talked about building up the Florida workforce at a chamber of commerce event.

There are 60 applicants for every 100 open jobs in Florida.

The Florida chamber wants the state to have to 10th largest economy in the world by 2030 and that means more skilled workers.

Chamber President Mark Wilson said we must improve the education standards in our state and focus on the improvement of reading scores.

He said 50 percent of students reading at grade level is not a good sign for our schools.

Rep. Kaylee Tuck said the legislature is expected to focus more on workforce training in the 2024 session

“I think it will be a focus and workforce will be a major topic headed into the next year.  How do we create a more available and robust work force will be a topic for sure.”

She thinks the parental choice bill signed into law providing scholarships of $8,500 per student to attend private schools, will help the situation.

By Taylor