News for Wednesday, July 20th

The Division of Law Enforcement’s Boating and Waterways Section is spearheading a multi-year effort to dramatically reduce the backlog of derelict vessels currently on Florida’s waters.

These vessels cause the destruction of valuable seagrass resources and endanger marine life. They also threaten human life, safety and property as they drift on or beneath the surface of the water or block navigable waterways, posing a navigational hazard to the boating public.

The board unanimously approved changes to size and bag limits for black crappie on specific Florida waterbodies including Lake Jackson near Kenansville.

The regulatory changes remove waterbody-specific length and bag limits to revert to the statewide regulations of no minimum length limit and a 25 fish bag limit.

The Primary election will be held on August 23rd. If you are not registered in Okeechobee County and want to vote locally, the deadline to register in time for the primary election is Monday, July 25th. Okeechobee County Supervisor of Elections Melissa Arnold explains.

There is a light ballot this primary with just one local race. That is the school board race between Leslie Maynor and Christine Brennan-Bishop. Sample ballots are being mailed out soon. Arnold is excited about how this can help in the primary election.

Mason Adams, a 2018 graduate of Okeechobee High School realized a lifelong dream Tuesday when he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 13th round of the MLB Draft. Adams helped lead Okeechobee to a regional finals appearance his senior year. After graduating from OHS, Adams played two years at Florida Southwestern State College in Fort Myers and then transferred to Jacksonville University. This past season Adams was named the Friday night starter and tied for the team lead with 5 wins striking out 108 batters in 90 innings. The 108 strikeouts rank Adams 5th in school history for single season strikeouts. We will have reaction from Adams later this week.

Baron Stuart

Adams wasn’t the only Brahman that learned about his baseball future, 10 minutes after going undrafted in the draft, 2017 OHS graduate Baron Stuart learned when from feeling dejected to over the moon when he was offered an undrafted free agent contract by the New York Yankees organization.

Stuart talks about the emotional swing of going undrafted to signing with the New York Yankees organization

Baron will report to Yankees headquarters in Tampa and learn his immediate assignment.

Stuart was a three year varsity letterman going 14-5 overall with a 1.51 ERA. As a  senior Stuart went 6-2 with a .89 era. Stuart played four years at South Florida before playing for Pitt last season.

Okeechobee’s property tax roll went up by 11.73% this year. The taxable values rose by three hundred and twenty-seven million dollars.

Okeechobee Property Appraiser Mickey Bandi reported to the commissioners that home building continues at a steady pace.

Bandi says that home prices remain high.

There have been some changes in the tax base.

Bandi feel that any property tax hike will hit businesses hard.