Newscast for September 13th 2022

County searches for answers

The Okeechobee Board of County Commission this year appointed an Affordable Housing Committee.

They have been working on a local housing assistance plan.

Items to be discussed include waiving fees for applications, an inventory list of local housing available, rental assistance and changes to the SHIP program.

Joy Jarriel told the committee said they get a lot of applications for home purchases and home repairs.

“The majority waiting to be served are ones with emergency repairs.  It is difficult to get those cases processed due to problems with the supply chain and the limited contractors we have in Okeechobee.”

Committee member Annette Hartman said they need more facilities like Okeechobee Commons that provides 34 units for senior citizens.

Jarriel said assistance can be a waiting game for many applicants.

“We have quite a few waiting to move forward.  If they are in purchase assistance they are waiting to find something affordable.  If they are in rehab they are waiting for contractors to bid or for the work to be completed.”

There next meeting of the committee is Thursday afternoon.

An inmate died at the Okeechobee County Jail on Monday.

Okeechobee Deputies have not released further information.

The governor activated the national guard to fill positions in prisons across the state.

$31 million was funded in the state budget this year for the costs associated to deployment.

State Democrats oppose the plan as they claim the national guard is not equipped or trained for this kind of work.

Rep. Fentrice Driskell said guards face a lot of violence in prisons.  She recalled an incident where an inmate sharpened a toothbrush handle to stab a guard.

The Department of corrections has increased begining pay to $20 an hour and $41,600 annually in an effort to hire and retain more guards.

A single vehicle accident took a life in Glades County Monday afternoon.

The Florida highway patrol said an 82 year old Port Charlotte man died on US 27 at East Yuan Road.

The vehicle was headed north bound in a sedan when the vehicle went out of control at 3:40 pm, crossed the median into the south bound lanes, entered a ditch, went airborne over a canal and landed in a field.

Glades County EMS pronounced the man dead at the scene.

The Belle Glade City Commission heard a report from the US Army Corps of Engineers on curent projects like the Lake Okeechobee Management Plan.

Jacksonville District Commander Lt. Colonel Jamie Booth said the plan will be better for Belle Glade.

“It moves away from a constraint based operating schedule to keep the lake lower due to the stability of the dike to a more benefits based schedule.”

The cities concerns included ample water supply for residents and agriculture, and getting people and companies in the glades jobs and economic impacts from the various Corps projects like the Herbert Hoover dike and Everglades restoration.

The FBI and Seminole Brighton Police made two arrests for dog fighting on the reservation.

Court records show Emerson and Drayton Billie were arrested after an investigation into several armed burglaries and a shooting on May 22.

They secured a search warrant for a cell phone that allegeldy showed the suspects fighting dogs on the reservation.

Both suspects pled not guilty at recent arraingment hearings.