News Cast for August 9th:

Picture below: WPBF News 25 at 8:00 p.m. last night, our friend, Miss Yasmine Julmisse, speaks with Sheriff Noel E. Stephen and some other local folks about our hometown celebrity, Mr. Daryl Croft. He is being recognized for his dedication to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office as a School Crossing Guard for the last five years and as a dedicated “UMP’ within the community for the past 40 years. Proud moment for all of us; congrats MR. Croft.

Okeechobee schools still hiring teachers

Okeechobee schools had 54 teacher vacancies at the beginning of summer.  Today the vacancies are closer to 20.

They continue to do interviews and have some in the process of being hired. Superintendent Ken Kenworthy said the teacher shortage impacts every district in Florida.

“We have seen the 50s before.  We are waiting on 10-12 to finish up certifications.  Teachers will be returning back who have worked for us before.  We also have about a dozen that are in the application phase, with being checked up, and conditional employment offers have been made.”

He said they have had some success with hiring foreign teachers and that remains a possibility in the future.

They also are hiring substitute teachers.

The first day of schools is Thursday.

US 441 was closed at the Osceola Okeechobee line this morning due to a head on collision near Yeehaw Junction, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Migdalisis Garcia said.

The crash was just south State Road 60.  A southbound vehicle apparently went out of control, entered the north bound lane and caused the collision.  The driver of the south bound vehicle was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center for injuries.  Occupants of the other vehicle were not transported.

Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Orange Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell this morning.

Judge Andrew Bane has been appointed to take her place. Worrell has come under fire from law enforcement for dropping 43 percent of the cases presented to her.

Two Orlando police officers were shot by a career felon she failed to keep in jail.  Another career criminal shot and killed three people, including a television news reporter last winter. DeSantis said the community and public safety was at risk and that his move is lawful and appropriate.

“I have no doubt that today’s decision is consistent with the rights and laws of Florida.  We had a right to act, but we also had a duty to act due to this dereliction of duty.”

Worrell called it an act of tyranny and planned to seek re-election on her own merit anyways.  She said crime is down in Orange County thanks to her office.

“This is a smoke scene for the DeSantis failing presidential campaign.  He needed to get back in the media in a positive way so I am red meat for his base of voters.  He will have accomplished that today and he will get national and international TV coverage.  He has single handedly destroyed democracy in the state of Florida.”

Five people to be prosecuted for drug trafficking charges.

Sheriffs K-9 Ricco said to have found 3 kilos in a pair of vehicle traffic stops.

The Okeechobee Narcotics Unit searched a home at 203 NW 6th Street and found more drugs, paraphernalia, and nearly 2,000  grams of marijuana.

Florida veterans must apply for veterans from the PACT Act today. 

The bill provides benefits to veteran exposed to burn pits, agent orange and other toxins as they served.

It includes Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq and Afghan veterans.

Congressman Maxwell Frost said veterans have been short changed.  He’d like the department of defense to be audited.

Nationwide veterans have qualified for $1.8 billion from the PACT Act.

The city of Moore Haven set the tentative millage at .435, they are also contemplating raising garbage and water rates this year. 

Mayor Clay Browning urged his colleagues to just raise one or the other this year.

Council approved a permit to allow 16 farm laborers to live at 204 North West 10th Street.

Another excessive heat warning today in Okeechobee.

Glades County emergency management director Marisa Shivers said even boaters and those outdoors recreating, need to take precautions, like brining plenty of water and staying in the shade.

Temperatures reached 116 degrees on the heat index Tuesday.