News for Thursday, July 21st

The South East Florida Honor Flight program spoke last week to the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee. The program World War 2, Korean and Viet Nam War veterans are flown to Washington DC to visit and reflect at their memorials. Every trip is escorted by a team of well trained volunteers and guardians who personally accompany this elite group of veterans throughout the Honor Flight day. The volunteers and guardians pay their own way ensuring  that 100% of the proceeds go to the mission.

Deb Arasi is a South East Honor Flight program board member and spoke to WOKC after the presentation. Hear the entire interview below.

Members of the South East Florida Honor Flight program pictured with Kiwanis members Dowling Watford (far left) and Kiwanis President Roger Azcona (far right)

It was a historic week for the Okeechobee High School baseball program with two recent graduates learning they would have the opportunity to play baseball at the professional level. 2017 grad Baron Stuart signed a free agent deal for the New York Yankees organization and 2018 grad Mason Adams was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 13th round.

Mason Adams followed a similar path of fellow OHS alum and Boston Red Sox pitcher Kutter Crawford by going to junior college for two seasons before transferring  to Jacksonville University for his final two seasons. They were even drafted in the same area Adams in the 13th round and Crawford the 16th.  Adams said his path was the right one for him.

While Adams says he always had confidence in himself, it was when he developed additional pitches that he really began to feel he could get a shot at pro ball.

Baron Stuart didn’t have to look far to find a role model for baseball. His dad Brent played baseball at Florida and was  a draft pick by the New York Mets. Baron says he leaned on his father’s experience.

It has been quite a run for Okeechobee athletes lately with Crawford cracking the Major Leagues, Evan Neal becoming the highest drafted football player from Okeechobee along with his own and Mason Adam’s accomplishments. Stuart is proud to be a part of this historic streak.

Brahman Coach Eric Kindell and his staff of Brian Morgan and Cameron Tewkesberry coached all of Crawford, Adams and Stuart. Kindell is very proud of his players’ accomplishments and tells us his reaction in hearing  that Adams was drafted.

Kindell also talks about a moment he saw great things coming for Stuart.

Both players look back fondly on their time in the Brahman Baseball program. Stuart feels like his time at OHS prepared him well for school and beyond.

Adams agreed.

While Coach Kindell is very quick to give the players all the credit, he does feel it Is the program’s job to develop and prepare their players.

The Okeechobee Economic Development Corporation recently completed a site selection inventory program. They want to have a list of properties available when developers come to town.

They also want to pursue permit ready land so the land is shovel ready when some company moves in.

They considered about 20 different areas of the county and settled on 10 sites.

The O.E.D.C could pursue things like light and heavy industrial, agribusiness, warehouses and manufacturing.

Kaylee King, the Business Development Manager for Okeechobee Economic Development Corporation talks about the recently completed site assets inventory program.

King says they would like to have about 10 shovel ready sites.

King says the inventory study focused on larger parcels.