News Cast for Tuesday, September 6th 2022

Another road tragedy 

A nine year old girl from Okeechobee died in a head on collision on route 78 south of Buckhead Ridge on Sunday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

An SUV pulling a trailer was south bound and crossed the center line colliding with a north bound sedan about 2:20 pm on Sunday. 

The drivers, both from Okeechobee, suffered minor injury. 

The driver of the SUV was a 30 year old Okeechobee man. 

The driver of the sedan was a 46 year old Okeechobee woman, troopers said. 

A 77 year old female in the sedan was in serious condition. 

The Florida highway patrol is investigating the crash. 

The press release said all of the occupants of the sedan were properly buckled up. 

Okeechobee County Commissioners mulled over a ban on bio char facilities. 

They don’t mind if you burn plants and yard waste. 

They don’t want you to burn sewage and sludge. 

Chairman Terry Burroughs suggested the outright ban. 

“If they want to put this is a neighborhood we will still have the same result with people opposed.  Why don’t we just say we don’t want this and eliminate it?” 

A facility proposed on route 710 in Sherman gained the ire of residents worried about odors and impacts to water and air quality. 

Commissioner David Hazellief said his biggest concerns were odors  

“If we go green, if America can afford it, recycling is certainly a good thing.  I don’t oppose the recycling of yard waste.  The burning is what I’m opposed to.  I don’t know why we have to burn things.”   

Conservation easements purchased by the state for two Okeechobee ranches, were approved by the Florida Cabinet. 

It will cost the state just under $9.8 million. 

Some 4,250 acres in north Okeechobee to be conserved is known as the Kissimmee St. Johns River Connector. 

Supporters said it will help many bird species, panthers and other animals. 

The Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation applauded the move. 

Jason Lauritsen said there still are issues with panthers attacking cattle. 

“That is not going away.  It is an issue that more energy and attention needs to be given.  Florida ranchers appreciate the panther but also understand the need for depredation of calves as a financial burden.” 

The state also preserved two ranches in Highlands County, the Hendrie Ranch in Venus and 1,800 acres of the Buck Island Ranch east of Lake Placid. 

Belle Glade City Manager Dr. Robert Reese got mixed reviews on his performance. 

Commissioner Kenny Berry complained Dr. Reese was the best at communicating. 

“I’ve been asking for information that I’m not getting as a commissioner.  The transfer of money and the moving of money is a concern.  I want to see some accuracy.” 

The Mayor Steve Wilson and Vice Mayor Joquin Almazan gave him satisfactory reviews. 

The city also required land lords to give tenants 60 days notice if they plan to evict them or raise their rent. 

Two Sarasota residents are charged with burning a raccoon alive and leaving it in a dumpster. 

It happened in a business area of the city. 

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt Huffman says he created a new animal cruelty division to fight an increase in these types of incidents. 

“We will bring all the power of the sheriff’s office into this investigation.  This is the wrong place to commit a crime like that.” 

The father and daughter face aggravated animal cruelty charges.  They were caught after they posted a video of the incident on line.