News Cast for August 23rd:

County don’t want employees to wait in line

Okeechobee County Commissioners said they want to improve services at their employee clinic operated by the Treasure Coast Medical Associates.

The Urgent care clinic is at 305 NE Park Street, but also is open to the community, not just public service employees. Commissioner David Hazellief said that can cause hard feelings because by contract county employees are to get immediate attention no matter how long others in the community are waiting.

He suggested an entrance dedicated to public service employees only.

“Kind of embarrassing to us when they tell us to come on back and tell other people to take a seat.”

Brandy Adams is Director of Business Development for TCMA.  She said they want to provide quicker care that is less complicated.

“We want to get to the root cause of the issue due to the delay in health care and that is really getting you in the door.  We don’t want just smoke and mirrors.”

She suggested the county negotiate for a clinic devoted only to public service employees.

She said TCMA wants to be a partner with the county.  They have added telehealth and have added a mental health clinical psychologist.

A thief broke into two parked cars during Mass at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Sunday morning. City police said it happened around 10 am.  The thief stole purses after breaking out the windows to the vehicles.

Later at a local restaurant the thief broke into another vehicle of a church parishioner and stole that purse that contained the church offering.

Cops said $7,780 dollars was taken.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jack Boon at 763-5521.

Glades County schools has seen an unprecedented increase in student enrollment.

Superintendent Dr. Beth Barfield said they may have to stop enrollment from students coming from Hendry County and limit it to a lottery selection. West Glades School is now at 95 percent capacity.

“We are seeing growth like never before.  Up until this year we were able to accept students from Hendry County.  We are at the point where we have to start turning them away only on a lottery or waiver basis, we have to make sure we can educate that lives in Glades County before we reach out to our neighboring districts.”

The dangers of THC in products sold to children in the state brought out at a recent round table discussion hosted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

993 Florida kids were exposed to high potency hemp in the past year with many requiring medical care and or hospitalization.

Dr. Justin Arnold with Tampa General Hospital said the packaging is a concern as it appears to attract children.

“Kids will go to school, share some gummies with their friends, and not tell them, and we end up with 3-4 kids going to the hospital.  We also see packages left at home not out of reach, and children will come across it, and there’s a very good chance they will get into it.  These products have multiples doses of THC.  It is very easy to get a high dose of these products and get very sick.”

The state checked stores in all 67 counties including Okeechobee this summer and removed some 83,000 products that are dangerous to children. The state raised the age to purchase these products to 21.  They also want to limit or prohibit marketing and advertising of these products.