News Cast 8/24

News Cast for August 24th:

Voter turnout 21.3% in Okeechobee 

Christine Brennan Bishop won the Okeechobee School Board race 

She received 3,238 votes to Leslie Maynor’s 1,459 

She said it was a hard campaign. 

“I worked a lot.  This process started in April.  I worked all summer knocking on doors and standing on the street corner for two weeks.  I was tired but I went anyway.  I put my heart and soul into this because I believe I can help our community.” 

She said she wants to advocate for Okeechobee and one of her first priority is getting more funding for our schools noting Okeechobee gets less per student than many other districts. 

Donna Storter Long lead a close race over Jeff Barnes to be reelected to the Glades County commission. 

Only four votes separated the two, 985 to 981. 

Mail in ballots  post marked on Tuesday had yet to be counted. 

Hattie Taylor won a commission primary and Kimberly Clement won the school board race 

In Indiantown two incumbents were defeated Anthony Dowling and Mayor Jackie Clarke. 

Winners were Carmine Dipaolo, Angelina Perez and Susan Gibbs Thomas 

Leatha Mullins and Deborah White won circuit judge races 

Charlie Crist won the state Democratic party nominee for governor. 

Scott Franklin won the primary for congress. 

Mitch Smeykal is retiring as emergency management director for Okeechobee County. 

He lauded improvements in technology and facilities for the emergency operations center. 

He said each hurricane season brings new challenges. 

He noted the new generator is now in place to make Indian River State College the special needs shelter for the county. 

He’ll remain a reserve for FEMA. 

They have added a planner and are in the process of hiring mitigation specialists for emergency management. 

Glades County reduced the taxing unit for the sheriff by 1/10 of a mill this year. 

3 mills will result in about the same revenue. 

Sheriff David Hardin said he’s cut food, medical and other costs as they lost a federal contract for inmates. 

He is still working on a contract with the state to provide inmates. 

The regular millage is just under nine mills. 

Hardin said he is about 50 percent staffed in road patrol with eight full time deputies. 

The Okeechobee County Board of County Commissioners 

—Learned Charles Duncan is the new manager at the airport. 

–They also approved rezoning applications to allow a warehouse off route 70 in Four Seasons and administrative rezones to allow 67 new residential lots in Basswood and near the former Okeechobee Golf and Country Club. 

Engineer Stefan Mathis told the county they are working on a solution to the Larkee Lake canal issue by creating a special taxing unit. 

The county will ask the legislature for $15 million to help with the jail expansion costs.