News Cast for August 31st:

We have a lotto winner

A lucky winning ticket sold for the Florida lotto last night at the Town Star Store on 70 west. The Florida lottery winning numbers were 8, 11, 19, 23, 25 and 32. The payoff is $3.75 million.  It was the only winning number in the state drawing.

Okeechobee deputies have figured out the identity of the victim in a fatal four vehicle head-on crash that occurred July 30 in Dewberry Gardens.

Traffic Homicide Investigators were able to contact the victim’s family.  The family gave them a name he may have been using, or an alias.

The body was not found right away as it had been thrown from one of the vehicles and was found in the shrubs the next day by the tow company.

Okeechobee investigators are looking for the driver of the vehicle and put out a photo of the driver as he fled the scene on foot.

Anyone who has possible information on the crash or can identify this suspect can contact Corp. Adrian Rogers or Sgt. Steven Pollock at the sheriff’s department, 863-763-3117.

Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers could provide a reward for information in the case.  They can be reached anonymously at 1-800-273-8477 or

Indian River State College announced they have the deed to the old Okeechobee School for Boys campus on 441 north.  They are establishing a data center there, its first name to be Okee-One.

The college hired a consult to do an assessment on all the buildings and facilities to see if they are worth keeping.  They also have to do a cultural assessment using ground penetrating radar to see if there are any bodies left over from the boy’s school.

They plan to use college funds, state funds, grants and private investors to develop the project.

Provost Russ Brown said the use of the data center might get other businesses to research the community and what it offers to business.

“There will be a good number of jobs available.  I think it will spark interest from businesses from other areas to move here or to open up a new location.  I think we are an ideal setting for that.”

He said being an inland county could also be an asset as it is further away from strong storm impacts and provide more protection for the data they store.

“Between access to dense fiber, natural gas, and land availability for solar backup and an existing water reclamation facility for cooling, the possibility of establishing the nation’s most sustainable data campus here in Okeechobee is within reach,” shares IRSC Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Dr. Michael Hageloh.

The 205 acre complex will also provide a learning lab for IRSC students.  They will train workers for information technology and cybersecurity, electronics engineering technology, electrical power technology, HVAC, plumbing and physical security.

Hurricane Idalia became the strongest storm to everhit the Florida Big Bend region Wednesday, hitting as a category 3 storm.

Heavy flooding was reported in areas miles away like Clearwater Beach and Crystal River.

Most of the schools closed down Wednesday plan to reopen on Friday.

There have been reports of looting in areas like Steinhatchee.

Okeechobee County will go to court to collect $180,000 in lease payments owed by Bautech, a tenant in the industrial park.

The county has given the company several chances to catch up the payments even implementing a payment plan.

Commissioner Terry Burroughs said now is the time to end the lease.

“I think that we have given them a number of opportunities to bring them up to speed.  I understand all the issues they have had.  They have been before us three to four time.  Now is the time to fish and cut bait with these people.”