News Cast 9/14


September 14, 2023

News Cast for September 14th:

FDLE announces indictment

The national story of the murder of 74-year-old Gary Levin made headlines with word of an indictment in the case against suspect Matthew Flores.

Florida is now facing two Florida murder charges.

Flores was indicted in Okeechobee on first-degree murder, robbery, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charges.

Okeechobee Sheriff Noel Stephen said Flores is a very dangerous man.

“Not everybody in our society is that bad, but there is a small percentile of people that walk amongst us who are thinking like that.  We need to be on point.  Parents need to know where their kids are at. Even though we are laidback and rural here they’re still a lot of bad people that are traveling through.”

Levin is a Lyft driver and someone called for Flores to get a ride in Lake Worth.  Its believed Flores shot Levin in Okeechobee and dumped his body on the side of North East 40th Avenue and then fled in his car.

He was caught in Rutherford County, North Carolina, after a high-speed chase in the victim’s car.

FDLE Special Agent Eli Lawson said Flores was focused on getting away and would have done anything to avoid capture.

“He had a desperation to escape.  He was just on the run and constantly stole vehicles, three or four.”

“He was trying to go back to where he lived in North Carolina.  It was sad Mr. Levin picked up Mr. Flores, they departed Palm Beach county, drove in Okeechobee County where Flores murdered Levin.”

Sheriff Stephen said it is likely Flores shot Levin inside the vehicle near where the body was located off NE 40th Avenue.

Okeechobee schools proposed a teacher’s academy.

They invite those with AA degrees working in the district or working in the community, to apply.

The district will pay the $8,500 per year online tuition with Lake Erie College for the applicant to earn an education degree.

Superintendent Ken Kenworthy said this academy will fill some teacher vacancies.

“The program with Bloomberg is a way for us to grow our own staff.  If you take non-instructional people that have worked in the district for many years, and ask them about why they haven’t become teachers, most often they say I don’t have the time for it or the money for tuition.”

Human Resources Director Joseph Stanley it won’t cost much more than the district is now paying for long term substitutes.

He adds he expects to have a lot of interest from employees

“It comes down to whether or not you love kids and love working with kids.  It is impossible to teach that love.  If you have someone who is receptive and willing to learn you have an unbeatable combination.”

The US Army Corps of Engineers made no changes to Lake Okeechobee releases this week.

They have found some storage south of the lake.

Major Cory Bell said they have no plan to release any water from the lake even if a hurricane approaches.

The lake levels have not risen much in the past month.

They have considered reduction of releases out to the Caloosahatchee River.  It currently is 2,000 cubic feet per second.