News for Tuesday, July 19th

The South Florida Water Management District approved a near three million dollar contract with Interlaken Inc to stabilize the canal bank at Uncle Joe’s Fish Camp in Glades County. Hurricanes and tropical weather eroded the canal banks over  the past several years. The contractor will repair and stabilize the north and south banks and dredge and reconstruct a drainage ditch. The hauling of materials will be done before the Army Corps resurfaces a section of route 720 that has been damaged by heavy trucks.

In other SFWM news:

Director of Water resources division for South Florida Water Management District Lawrence Glenn reported that lake levels remain below normal and toxins have been reduced this year.

Mark Perry with the River Coalition reported that the lake estuaries are healthier this year.

Drew Martin with the Sierra Club was opposed to a land swap to allow homes in Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee. Some 1200 homes are planned. Martin says we need to preserve agriculture where possible.

For over thirty years, the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee has held a school supply drive to benefit the Real Life Children’s Ranch of Okeechobee. This year the event will be held on August 4th during their weekly meeting. Project Chairperson Dowling Watford tells us why the club has taken on the project for so long.

Real Life Children’s Ranch exists to provide a Christian residential group home that cares for boys and girls who have been abused, abandoned, and/or neglected. The children typically range in age from five to seventeen.

In addition to what the club collects, Watford says an anonymous member will match the donations up to $1000.

Watford says that the club is accepting donations from the public.

Real Life Children’s Ranch Executive Director Mark Mayer will attend the August 4th  Kiwanis Club meeting to accept the donation to the club and speak about Real Life Children’s Ranch.

The Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee is a service club that works to improve the lives of the youth of Okeechobee County. The club meets every Thursday at noon in the back room of Lakeside Grill. All guests are welcome. If you would like more information about the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee or would like to donate to the Real Life Children’s Ranch School Supply Drive, please like and message the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee Facebook Page. 

The Indiantown Village Council took no disciplinary action against manager Harold Brown for failing to follow policies. Brown was criticized for taking five months to notify the council he had provided extra salary or benefits to two employees, outside those allowed in the personal records.

Council member Susan Gibbs Thomas says the policy requires written notice in seven days.

Village Manager Harold Brown offered and apology for no written notice.

Gibbs Thomas says Brown should be held accountable and that the manager failed a test.

Brown had several council members support him.

Vice Mayor Anthony Dowling says the village is short staffed and this is a waste of time.

Council member Janet Hernandez and Mayor Jackie Clarke also voiced support for Brown.