News Cast 9/28


September 28, 2023

News Cast for September 28th:

Community mourns fallen officer

An off-duty Okeechobee police officer died in a car accident west of Arcadia Tuesday night.

Jason Chapman worked for Okeechobee police for two years and served over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as a decorated solider.

He served in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait.

The 45-year-old was visiting family in Tampa and died on the way home in a head on collision.  He was in his private vehicle.

Three women in a sport utility vehicle, all from Pinellas County, were seriously injured.

A memorial was placed on the law of the police department with the officer’s patrol unit for the community to pay their respect.

On Friday September 29th, Okeechobee City Police Officer Jason Chapman will be returning home from Desoto County. His motorcade will arrive during the lunch hour on Highway 70 West.

We encourage the public to show support for our Officer as he makes his way to Buxton Funeral Home. Updates on time of arrival will be posted on the OCSO Facebook page.

Okeechobee County approved a near 154 million dollar operating budget.

They continue to keep the tax rate at 8 mills.  The amount of property taxes collected will increase by 6.85 percent.

The tax base rose this year to $3.6 billion.

An Okeechobee man originally charged with fentanyl trafficking was sentenced to 10 months in jail.

David Garrett also had his driver’s license suspended for six months.

He admitted to purchasing crack cocaine and fentanyl in West Palm Beach.

The traffic stop on May 3 near 15A and 441 resulted in the seizure of four grams of crack and 4.6 grams of fentanyl.

Susan Gibbs Thomas was reappointed mayor and Angelina Perez will serve as Vice Mayor in Indiantown.  Both came in tight 3-2 votes on the split council.

The commission also approved the Village Market and delicatessen project on 710.

Indianwood residents had raised concerns about traffic congestion.  A new road and red light just west of this project could help the situation.

The village approved a total budget of just over $9 million that will lead to a 12.9 percent increase in the amount of property taxes collected for village services this year.

Councilmember Carmine DiPaolo emphasized caution in spending noting Martin County has budget woes.

“The county commission has an $8 million shortfall.  It is a challenging time.  The coming years are going to be tough.  Village staff is doing a good job watching our dollars and cents.”

Glades County got little to no response from Buckhead Ridge on a survey to see if there is interest in mandatory garbage pickup.

The county received a $375,000 grant from the state to design and plan a new sheriff’s administrative business.

Commissioners are supportive of an agreement to allow the Seminole Tribe to pay for improvements needed for 721 between Lakeport through the reservation to accommodate the new casino.