News Cast 8/23

News Cast for August 23rd:

Polls open for primary 

Only 12.6 percent of registered voters in Okeechobee have voted already for today’s primary. 

The supervisor of elections reported 2,716 ballots had been case. 

We have one local race for school board to be decided today. 

Okeechobee voters also have a say in the major party nominees for governor, attorney general, US Senate and agriculture commissioner. 

We also have five candidates running for congress. 

Glades County voters elect one county commissioner and a school board member while also selecting a republican candidate for another commission seat. 

Okeechobee City Council approved a rezoning to commercial for a proposed restaurant on the east side of the road in the 1000 block of South Parrott Avenue. 

They also reviewed plans for the butterfly garden park and Settlers Park. 

The plan is for six to eight bronze sculptures to honor the first settlers in Okeechobee. 

Future park plans include one to honor the Seminole Tribe and another Speckled Perch and the fishing industry. 

The city also made some budget reductions by cutting fuel costs. 

The council reduced the tax rate to the rollback rate that means the amount of local taxes collected this year will equal the amount collected last year. 

Finance Director India Riedel told council they rely heavily on state revenue forecasts when they put together these budgets. 

Still no firm plan to improve the intersection of Martin Grade and 710. 

They have looked at straightening out the curve on the grade for over 10 years. 

Martin county commissioner Ed Ciampi said the intersection is also dangerous due to a lack of lighting. 

One property owner balked to a plan to take more right of way on the grade. 

A plan to straighten out the grade and have it connect to 710 at SE 126th Boulevard appears to be replaced with one to reduce the sharpness of the curve and have traffic still go to the same spot. 

 Jobless rates declined to 3.2 percent in Okeechobee and 3.5 percent in Glades County last month. 

537 people collected benefits in Okeechobee and 173 in Glades County. 

Labor economist Adrienne Johnston had some reasons on why the state economy is booming. 

“Business friendly practices and no income taxes along with an increase in population has been the reasons for our strong economy.” 

Around the region St. Lucie had 3.4 percent, Osceola 3.9 percent and Highlands 4.6 percent unemployment in July. 

A two vehicle crash claimed the life of a 53 year old Naples man on State Road 80 at Hendry Isles Boulevard. 

The victim was in a sedan driven by a 62 year old Clewiston woman that pulled into the path of an east bound van Monday afternoon.  The driver suffered serious injury.