Wednesday, May 3rd WOKC Newscast (AUDIO INCLUDED)

Social media costing schools

Okeechobee schools will take up a contract with a law firm to join a lawsuit against social media companies at their meeting on May 9th.

Superintendent Ken Kenworthy said the costs to districts from social media threats and bullying is significant.

He’d like to see the district repaid for the costs of administrative time.

“Costs associated with activities we are trying to deal with every day, as a result of Snap Chat, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms that allow the venue for name calling, threats and the like.

School officials said social media can also distract and affect a student’s concentration hurting their academics.

They also see the need for mental health counseling.

Okeechobee deputies investigating a death near the train tracks.

They have not released the name.

The man was found bleeding near the railroad tracks just after 10 pm last night.

Deputies said it appeared the victim had been struck by a passing train.

He was found by a resident of NE 16th Avenue.

Okeechobee police officer Garrett Kelly was awarded the Outstanding Patrolman Award by the Treasure Coast 10-13 Club.

He was honored for rendering first aid to a citizen in need of medical attention.

10-13 is a group of retired New York City Police Officers.

The state legislative session is winding down this month and the Okeechobee Democratic Party says the republican majority is going too far to take away the powers of local government.

Ben Bolan spoke to the county commission about some concerns they have.

He said the county wouldn’t be able to deny land use changes for infrastructure reasons.

The state could also limit impact fees imposed by counties.

Bolan said another bill would require permit reviews to last under 10 days limiting a local governments time to review the merits.

The Indiantown Village Council will meet Thursday to decide if they want to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the Brightline Train.

The bridge over the Okeechobee Waterway in Stuart is closed for the next three weeks and many boats won’t be able to head west.  That will impact Indiantown’s marine industry and other areas on the route.

Joe Walsh is owner of the Indiantown Marine Center.  He expected to see less business for the rest of May.

“When that bridge is closed you can’t get under that bridge with a 26 foot boat with a t-top on it.  That impacts thousands of people on the other side of that bridge.”

He said it would be in the best interest of the tax base and the future of Indiantown to join the lawsuit.

Indiantown also honored Bruce Butler who is retiring after 25 years working as pastor of the Family Worship Center.