News Cast 9/15

News Cast for September 15th:

Exclusions inched up in Okeechobee schools this week. 

The last three days listed showed 27 exclusions on September 9, 35 on September 10, and 119 on September 13. 

Superintendent Ken Kenworthy himself is recovering from COVID. 

Assistant Superintendent Dylan Tedders said Kenworthy continued to work from home and is doing well. 

“Nothing will keep him down he is the energy bunny.  He’s anxious to get back and see all the people and seeing this system run.” 

The Okeechobee numbers for last week included 377 new cases, a 29 percent positive test rate, and a vaccination rate of 47 percent for those over 12 years of age. 

Okeechobee had 217 new vaccinations. 

Glades County reported 43 new cases, a positive test rate of 31.4 percent, and a 50 percent vaccination rate.  78 people were vaccinated in the past week. 

Law enforcement has active period 

Two motorists suffered minor injury after a four vehicle accident Tuesday morning on route 70 in Highlands County near the Kissimmee River Fishing Resort. 

Troopers said the accident occurred near Shellcracker Loop. 

It was a chain reaction crash involving two pickups, and two tractor trailers. 

One of the pickups overturned and landed in a field.  The road was closed for a couple hours. 

The FHP said a 29 year old West Palm Beach man and a 34 year old Stuart man suffered minor injury. 

All four of the drivers wore seat belts. 

The truck drivers were from Ft. Pierce and Pennsylvania. 

The road was shut down for several hours due to a fuel leak. 

This morning at 7:30, State Road 70 was shut down at Bear’s Den after another vehicle crash. 

Arrests of note 

Connie Sue Cox, 56 is charged with selling crack cocaine to a confidential source near Alderman Park in Douglas Park last October. 

She was held in jail on $120,000 bond. 

Authorities said Cox was charged with possession and possession with the intent to sell cocaine within 1,000 feet of the park. 

A marked volunteer vehicle for the Glades County Sheriff’s Office involved in a single vehicle crash. 

Troopers said the 85 year old female driver put the vehicle in reverse. 

It wound up crossing 8th street and striking a metal fence.  She was not hurt. 

Something out of wild police chases from the accounts of Okeechobee’s Police Department. 

City police said a motorcyclist fled from them after a traffic violation near the Post office in the early morning hours. 

The chase lasted for several minutes and for over 10 miles. 

It ended up reaching speeds of 115 miles per hour.  It went through residential streets, parking lots, a field, a city park and ended in the 3500 block of 441 south. 

Cops said the operator, Mitchell Ellis, 34, had a loaded gun, was a convicted felon, and had no motorcycle endorsement. 

He also drove south bound in the north bound lane of 441 for about three miles before crashing while trying to jump the curb into a field. 

Glades Superintendent excited about future 

Glades County Schools are recovering from the COVID spike that sent 5th graders home at West Glades School for over a week in August.   

Superintendent Dr. Beth Barfield said she wants to keep things as normal as possible this year.   

“We are truly excited about this school year.  We know the effort will take all hands on deck.  Students and staff were glad to start the year.  We spent a lot of time making sure students got individual assistance.” 

She noted they have been hiring teachers who travel 30 miles or more to work there. 

They had been interested in hiring history teachers. 

Barfield said they are seeing more students as families from Dade and Broward County move to the county. 

She said they hope to improve academic achievement this year especially in reading science and math.