News Cast 8/16

News Cast for August 16th:

Garbage pickup could improve 

Your trash bill will go up in the city of Okeechobee this year. 

City residents will get new larger trash containers. 

Jeff Sabon with Waste Management said there have been some delays in pickups in yard waste. 

“There has been some issue with larger bulk vegetative piles with the clam shell collection.   The normal smaller yard waste, there really haven’t been too many issues with that.” 

The residential rate is $366. 

Waste Management plans to have all automated trucks in Okeechobee in the next year. 

They have worked on a process to use methane gas produced at the landfill to power these trucks. 

Debby Perez with Waste Management spoke on being more environmentally friendly. 

“The new trucks will be compressed natural gas trucks which means they will burn cleaner, quieter and more efficiently.” 

The Blue Green Algae Task force has mostly been ignored by the state and the legislature. 

87 percent of their recommendations have not been fully implemented according to environmental groups. 

Newton Cook told the group that they have to lower the levels of Lake Okeechobee to save vegetation. 

“We have 500 tons of phosphorus coming into the lake every year.  You could blow this whole town up with a few pounds that go into that lake.  We are writing a rule that will guarantee we will kill the lake.” 

Environmental groups say ecological conditions have not improved despite 32 recommendations from this task force. 

A string of business burglaries were solved by Highlands County sheriff deputies. 

Two Broward County man, 44 year old Kalvin Flowers and 46 year old Roger Raysor, were alleged to have burglarized the Kissimmee River Fishing Resort across the river on route 70 on July 16. 

They could be charged with five other burglaries in Highlands and 16 other burglaries across the state. 

Lawmen tied the pair to $50,000 in stolen property and property damage. 

Osceola schools among the districts making security upgrades. 

School resource officers received more training, all will wear body cameras, schools have real time security cameras and officials continue to promote anti bullying campaigns. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Pace said it’s a new day when it comes to school security. 

“We are committed to protecting our students, our schools and our teachers.   

The state wide website Fortify Florida is available for those that suspect threats to schools and want to remain anonymous. 

Three were jailed in Immokalee after they robbed a man of $3,000, brutally beat him, and dumped him in Glades County. 

The victim may have been murdered had a passing motorist not scared off the trio near a Glades County church. 

He was taken by EMS to Hendry Regional for serious injury and later transferred to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in West Palm Beach. 

Charged in the crime are Noah Navarro, Blanca Mejia Medina and Betsy Ann DeJesus. 

An apartment fire caused about $6,600 in damage at 903 NW 17th Avenue in Okeechobee.  One resident was hospitalized for shortness of breath at HCA Raulerson Hospital. 

The cause was deemed to be an electrical short.