News Cast for August 10th:

Congratulations to all of the recipients of todays Employee Service Awards presentation! The following employees have met the requirements for service awards during the quarter of April 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023:

5 years
Mr. Dakota Alfinez
Driver/Engineer Fire Rescue

Mr. Matthew Coleman
Firefighter/Medic Fire Rescue

Ms. Lakisha Gilchrist
Code Enforcement Officer III

Ms. Samantha Maursetter

Mr. Timothy Palmer

Mr. AJ Pegler


Mr. Michael Skipper


20 years
Mr. Keith Bourgault
Bureau Chief of Risk Reduction/Prevention Fire Rescue

Mr. Michael “Ty” Hancock
Planner Community Development

Let’s start learning

Okeechobee schools enjoying their first day back from summer vacation.

Assistant Superintendent Dylan Tedders said they have been working to hire new teachers.

They still need about 20 but that will depend on student counts taken in the next few weeks.

The construction will be ongoing during the year at the high school.  Most of it is east of the existing Career and Technical Education building.

Tedders said he doesn’t think the construction will impact student learning much.

“We are building behind the existing career and technical building.  Those are classes that don’t need peace and quiet.  That is the automotive and construction labs, ROTC is always active and I don’t think nursing will be impacted.”

Sheriff Noel Stephen said they have improved campus security with more detailed maps and more first responder training.

He said his office saw fewer incidents of minors and alcohol this summer but will keep watching.

“That is due to parents doing what we asked them to do.  Law enforcement does not condone it.   We work at this.  We can’t suspect what we don’t inspect.”

He said his office will continue to test convenience and other stores that sell alcohol to make sure booze does not get in the hands of children.

Congressman Scott Franklin says he’s enjoying representing the new 17th district that covers Okeechobee, Glades, Highlands, Hendry and parts of Polk County.

He said the rural district is a welcome relief from Washington, DC.

His block grant assistance act to get funds to citrus growers hurt by Ian is now in the Senate.

“We are trying to get disaster relief money out to people that need it.  That has been an eye opener.  At the local level we’d vote on Monday and see results on Tuesday.  Here it takes months and months to get things done.”

He’s also working on the farm bill for our ranchers and dairymen.

He said they even have to fight to define what is a dairy product in the bill.

He said it gets harder and harder to keep our Florida producers competitive in the world markets.

“The legislation in the past favors large producers.  We get the short end of the stick.  In trade deals, our farmers and ranchers compete with international entities that don’t have the same set of rules.  There’s a lot needed to be done to help our farmers and ranchers and we work on it everyday.”

Indiantown Realty was hired to try and help the village sell the route 710 frontage property they have.  They want to get over $3 million for the property.

They had considered it to use as a village hall.

They also continue to see more business interest in the village.

The Martin County Business Development Board said they have worked with 30 companies in the past year.  Right now 23 companies are interested in coming to Indiantown.  They could create around 2,300 jobs.

Village manager Taryn Kryzda said their tax base will be hurt with the FPL solar plant going off line.

FPL is building another solar farm north and west of Indiantown in the county.