News Cast 8/10

News Cast for August 10th:

Students return to school 

School buses, teachers, and students are back at it in Okeechobee. 

The school bells rang for the first time this morning to kick off the 2021-2022 school year. 

The Okeechobee Sheriff’s office will be putting more attention into school zones and passing school buses this week. 

Spokesperson Jack Nash said motorists should take more precautions as they get used to seeing school buses again. 

“Prepare yourself for a little extra drive time because you are going to start seeing school buses.  Slow down when you see them.” 

Nash said hefty fines can be handed out for those that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus. 

City council liked the plans but not the cost 

The architect working on cattlemen’s Square and Flagler Park improvements downtown suggested plans that will cost $1.17 million for just one park. 

Mayor Dowling Watford said he objected to the price tag. 

“It was way over anything we could have imagined.  We just want something a little simpler that fits in with the community and the lifestyle here.” 

The cattlemen’s sculpture going into the improved park is being funded by private and community donations. 

The Flagler Park Design Review Committee was asked to meet later this month and revise the plans. 

Could litigation be filed over lake regulation schedule 

Lee County could sue to the US Army Corps of Engineers over the latest Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule. 

They said they will get more water than they want. 

Commission Chairman Kevin Ruane urged his colleagues to consider all of their options which include legal remedies. 

“I would like the board to have every option available to us and not limiting anything in our tool box, including legal things we need to challenge this.” 

Commissioners admit it will be a uphill battle to sue to the federal government. 

Florida chiefs release report on improving police 

The Florida Police chiefs association released a report with recommendations on how they can improve policing and relations with communities. 

The created a special committee to study ongoing issues. 

St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said this guidance can help all police departments no matter the size. 

It urges police to be more transparent, urges officer’s to better explain their actions to those they come in contact with in the field, and listen to what people have to say. 

Dr. Randy Nelson said building a marriage between police and the community will be rewarding. 

“Communities of color and minorities have low trust in police.  It will take time.  Building this marriage takes work.”