Newscast for Friday, September 9th 2022

Farmers using the word drought 

The South Florida Water Management district said rainfall north of Lake Okeechobee is at least two inches below normal for the past few months. 

Lake Okeechobee levels are near 12.5 feet. 

John Mitnik with the District said historically there is heavier rains on the coasts than in the interior during September and October. 

“If you’re looking at future rainfall to start filling up Lake Okeechobee, the likelihood of that continues to be reduced as we move forward in time.” 

That could mean navigation problems for our fishermen this winter. 

The district did not recommend any water restrictions at this time. 

Western St. Lucie county residents continue to have concerns about a proposed mine at the M Ranch off Carlton Road. 

The operation would haul out coquina rock for up to 10 years. 

164 acres of the ranch would be used. 

The residents oppose the truck traffic and dust that is stirred up. 

Kayla Short said she worries about the future of the neighborhood. 

“The rock mine would devastate two preserves and surrounding properties.  Please consider future generations and environmental consequences to motivate you to deny this project.” 

The mine remains under county review. 

A public meeting held Thursday to get input on the new plan to resurface state route 70 east from near the main light out to 17th Avenue. 

The Florida Department of Transportation will start construction next fall. 

City Councilwoman Monica Clark said the city had some concerns but the FDOT did hear them and make some changes. 

“FDOT has had a really bad reputation in Okeechobee because they never want to listen to what we have to say.  We were mortified when they told us they were going to narrow the lanes down.” 

The lanes will remain 12 feet wide.  There was a left turn lane added at NE 3rd Avenue and medians were taken out at 13th and 16th avenues. 

In the courts. 

William Kyles was sentenced to 40 months in prison for a charge of possession with intent to sell fentanyl. 

The Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force said they found 53 small baggies of heroin in a Douglas Park home last year.   

They later tested the substances and  found the heroin was mixed with fentanyl. 

32 year old Caitlin Milton of Canal Point was charged with trying to run a man over on Lakeshore drive last July 10th

She pled no contest to battery and domestic battery charges and was sentenced to two years probation. 

The judge made her write a letter of apology to the sheriff deputies she fought with. 

Flags will fly at half mast at city hall and the court house in Okeechobee to honor the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. 

She died Thursday at the age of 96.  She had served for 70 years. 

World leaders praised her for her dedication to peace, keeping relations with the United States strong, and for her strong sense of duty.