News Cast 9/2

News Cast for August 2nd:

Offenders and predators put back in jail 

22 sex offenders in Okeechobee are behind bars for violating terms of their supervision. 

Most of the violations involve email or internet service not being reported, a change in address, a change in vehicles they own, and failure to report new employment. 

The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s office, probation, United States Marshal Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the city police department checked up on 1 hundred and 37 registered sex offenders and predators living here during a two week operation in August. 

Those arrested for various violations include 

Alvin Thomas, 44. 

Bruce Wilcoxon, 50. 

Curtis Demedicis, 44. 

Ernie Higginbotham, 43. 

James Simpkins, 71. 

James Yates, 65. 

Joshua Acevedo, 23. 

Phillip Whyte, 44. 

Pittman Sampson, 48. 

Ralph Nava, 80. 

Raymond Self, 63. 

William Rhoden, 57. 

Christopher Singleton, 41. 

Frank Buettner, 64. 

Hobert Lee, 59. 

Ronald Smith, 52. 

Timothy Tucker, 44. 

Thomas Dean, 33. 

John Knights II, 43. 

Jerald Huff, 50. 

George Acevedo, 56. 

The Kissimmee River could be added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System under a bill that passed through the U.S.  House of Representatives this summer. 

Congressman Darren Soto said we need to protect the resource but also the investment that has been made in the river 

‘We spent over $1 billion dollars to restore the river many years ago after a canal that was built really decimated it.” 

A three year study will be undertaken to see if the Kissimmee River should be added. 

It would add more protections for the river from growth, development and pollution. 

The Florida Highway Patrol expects heavy traffic throughout Florida this weekend, and it could get deadly. 

Last year 41 people lost their lives over the Labor Day weekend in Florida.  There were over 4,000 crashes last year. 

Lt. Indiana Miranda urges motorists to wear seat belts. 

“Seat belts only save us if we wear them correctly.  A lot of people put them behind their backs.  If traveling with children make sure they are in car seats.  Don’t let them lie across the back seat if they want to take a nap.  That is very dangerous.” 

She urges people to pay attention, obey speed limits and use caution on roads they are unfamiliar with crossing the state. 

She notes all available troopers will be patrolling the roads. 

The Moore Haven City Council cut a round-a-bout from plans to redevelop downtown. 

Supporters said it would have improved traffic flow and increase parking spaces and make the city look more modern. 

Council opted for a three way stop at Avenue J and 1st Street and no one way traffic. 

Councilmember Jan Gunn was against spending the money for a round a bout. 

“There have been businesses on that road for 100 years and we never needed a round-a-bout.  It will just be more money.” 

The council did include some beautification efforts for the downtown area. 

The state provided a $1 million grant for downtown redevelopment. 

Moore Haven Yacht Club wants to become a gated community and the city could soon be asked to vacate city streets in the neighborhood. 

They’ve had a number of thefts of golf carts and generators this summer.