News Cast for July 25th:
Lawmen find wanted teacher
A former Okeechobee High School teacher is in custody after four months as a fugitive from justice.
“Its smart unless you get caught,” Prosecutor Ashley Albright remarked upon learning of the arrest.
Omar Ayala, 31 was arrested at the Orlando airport on Monday.
Assistant State Attorney Ashley Albright said he issued a warrant for his arrest on April 19.
“Some issues came to light that he may have been notified. Law enforcement was actively trying to arrest him. Yesterday they learned he was scheduled to be on a flight returning from Mexico to Orlando and was intercepted at the airport and arrested at that time.”
Okeechobee deputies said they have help from Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection.
“He was not in custody until he landed in Orlando,” Albright added.
Ayala is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a student at the high school while he was employed there.
The charge is sexual activity with a minor when the offender is 24 years or older and the victim was 16 or 17 years old.
The charge is a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, if convicted.
Albright is reviewing the case for possible additional charges.
“The case is still under investigation. Once he’s brought here, then we will do standard state attorney hearing, meet with all the witnesses, go through the evidence and determine what charges to file.”
Ayala was due to appear in court this morning in Orlando. A bond could be set at that time. If unable to bond out he would be transported to Okeechobee for another hearing.
The Okeechobee County School Board honored teenager Julio Guerrero Junior who may have helped save a life at the high school in May.
Jon Enrico and his wife were on hand to thank Guerrero again for his actions. The student was unable to attend.
Enrico had a medical episode in the classroom, Guerrero noticed and ran to the office to get help.
Clara Enrico thanked the young man publicly.
“Telling him one more time how much we appreciate him. My husband having hard times getting to work, but he appreciates that too. Just ask everyone to pray for us as we have a long journey to go.”
Enrico has been an educator for much of his life. He had served as varsity boys basketball coach at OHS for nearly a decade.
Okeechobee County raised issues over a large storm water treatment area west of Lazy 7 towards the Kissimmee River.
Its part of an effort to store more water north of Lake Okeechobee.
They suggest land north of SR 60 in Osceola County should be used for storage.
Commissioners mostly raised concerns about flooding and homeowner insurance rates for their constituents.
The South Florida Water Management District is also looking at two reservoirs in Highlands County near Lake Istokpoga.
Commission Chairman David Hazellief said even that facility 30 miles away could flood our county.
Palm Beach deputies solve a Pahokee homicide.
33 year old Antoine Smith was shot to death last Thursday in an apartment on west 3rd Street.
Deputies say 23 year old Antrone McCants pulled the trigger multiple times and is facing murder charges.
They say the dispute was over money.