News Cast for August 11th:

Business looks to expand

West Lake Roofing is working with the city to purchase land in the commerce center.

City Manager Gary Ritter said the business is expanding, “They are in the process of buying two more lots at our commerce center.  They will expand their production line and it looks like they will hire another 30 employees.”

Ritter said he is also working with a Miami business who manufacture concrete buildings.  They would like to purchase three other lots in the commerce center.

FDLE Agents and Wauchula police helped to return accused killer Matthew Flores to Florida from North Carolina on Tuesday.

He will face a murder charge from a shooting January 24th there that took the life of Jose Carlos Martinez.

Flores is also a person of interest in an Okeechobee slaying of 74 year old Gary Levin, a Lyft driver from Palm Beach Gardens.

Local prosecutor Ashley Albright said eventually Flores will face some kind of charge in Okeechobee.

“HE definitely will be charged.  As far as a time frame on it, we are working things out with Hardee County.  The time frame is not definite but he will be charged in Okeechobee.”

Albright said he intends to present the case to a grand jury at the appropriate time.

A teenager from Hardee County faces two counts of attempted murder and improper exhibition of a firearm in the shooting of a 16 year old boy from Okeechobee.

Cameron Lee Rios got into an argument at an outdoor party in Leisure Lakes near Lake Placid.  He then started to wave the pistol in front of the crowd.

Lawmen said he ended up shooting into the crowd striking two people.

The 16 year old remains hospitalized from a gunshot wound to the torso.  A 19 year old woman from Sebring was shot twice in the shoulder and ankle and has been released from the hospital.

The Highlands County Sheriffs Office said several eye witnesses came forward and picked Rios out of a lineup.

The National Hurricane Center expects an above average hurricane season.

Forecaster Matthew Rosencrans said the surface water temperatures in the northern Atlantic Ocean were the highest they’ve been since 1950, some 1.3 degrees above normal.

They are predicting between 14 and 21 named storms, and 6-11 hurricanes.

There has already been five named storms and one hurricane so far this year.

Highlands County residents want the county to improve county road 731 through Venus.

Linda Kelly said ruts and potholes along with washed out sections of road have been caused by wind and rain and truck traffic.

Kelly said the plan to resurface it in 2026 is too far off.

“You got semi’s coming from every direction hauling stuff from a compost plant.  These people aren’t familiar with Venus, they are driving on these roads, wide open because they think they are in the middle of nowhere and they can do that.  It is dangerous and I’d like to see something done sooner.”