News Cast 8/17

News Cast for August 17th:

Narcotics task force at it again 

Two Treasure Coast residents were caught in a drug net. 

They allegedly came to Okeechobee to sell three grams of fentanyl for $4,800. 

Charged are Gerard Roundtree, 27 of Stuart and Zegery Reeves, 29 of Fort Pierce. 

The deal went down in a grocery store parking lot.  Roundtree tried to flee on foot but was run down. 

Reeves tried to drive off but was arrested in the 1000 block of SW 4th Avenue. 

87 grams of fentanyl, 12 grams of ecstasy, some cocaine and prescription pills were seized. 

Roundtree was held on $610,000 bond facing charges that include possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, trafficking in fentanyl and resisting arrest without violence. 

Reeves was charged with trafficking in ecstasy, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine, tampering with evidence, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence.  His bond was $231,000. 

Big Dog Ranch Rescue and Shining Horse Farm and Sanctuary of the Acreage is coming to the aid of Okeechobee when it comes to the need and desire for a no kill animal shelter. 

This month, Trail of Hope on US 98 announced they would be closing their doors due to a lack of volunteers and revenues. 

Shining Horse director Leanne Witt explains some of the programs and services they offer and want to bring to Okeechobee. 

“We only take urgent dogs at risk of euthanasia and work to rehabilitate them and get them adopted.  Our same plan would be in place for the Okeechobee facility to work with dogs at risk and other providers for veterinary services.” 

They are willing to lease a short term property but want to purchase a permanent home in the next six to eight months. 

You can get more information on their programs at www.shininghorse.org 

The village of Indiantown to receive $54,000 less in ad valorem revenues this year. 

They have been improving water and sewer service. 

Councilmember Janet Hernandez praised their public works department for the efforts they have made. 

They also plan to spend $50,000 on a parks master plan and are designing $7 million in drainage improvements in the downtown business district along Warfield Boulevard. 

The village received close to $3.5 million in federal stimulus aid. 

They approved a minor home repair program for residents where the village can provide some funding 

Two Polk County residents were charged with fentanyl trafficking in Okeechobee. 

Victor Salas, 28 and Saide Cerullo, 23 were stopped for an equipment violation on SE 40th Avenue after a slow speed chase. 

26 grams of fentanyl, and a small amount of cocaine, three grams of methamphetamines,  and over 30 pills were also seized in the vehicle. 

Passing with flying colors is Okeechobee County Administrator Deborah Manzo. 

She earned the equivalent of a 92 in her annual performance evaluation.  The evaluation score was 4.55 on a scale of five. 

She was granted a three percent raise retroactive to the current budget year and a four percent cost of living raise for the coming budget year. 

She earned $139,000 in her first year in the job. 

Commissioner Brad Goodbread said Manzo has been fantastic for the county. 

“Well you say you can’t give anybody all fives because nobody performs that way. I gave you perfect scores because you go way above and beyond, hours at night, weekends.  I did not see any weaknesses whatsoever.  I appreciate your hard work.” 

Commissioner David Hazellief praised Manzo for putting together an excellent staff noting that many of the department heads have been hired by Treasure Coast governments. 

Manzo said she has really enjoyed working in Okeechobee and appreciates her staff. 

“I plan on being here and I enjoy what I’m doing.  I thank you for all the challenges you’ve given me and I continue to grow.”