News Cast June 19th:

He wasn’t welcome

Two teens and an adult female said a man tried to break into a residence on SE 36th Avenue by taking out a window air conditioner and climbing through the window, with gun in hand.

20-year-old Joseph Bennett denied he had a gun.  Okeechobee Sheriff Deputies said they did not locate a gun at scene or on the suspect or in a vehicle they stopped.

They were able to locate the vehicle he was in on surveillance cameras close to the scene.

No shots were fired and no one was injured. 

Bennett faces five felony charges that include child abuse and burglary with an assault.

Bond was $1 million.

Highlands County Commissioners agreed to let their burn ban run out tomorrow.

The rains from last week lowered the drought index after a month of large brush fires in the county.

Okeechobee County Commissioners showed support for some backyard chickens.

They directed staff to make some suggestions.    They don’t want any roosters.  The change would only impact residential areas.

Commissioner Brad Goodbread said they should allow a certain amount of chickens.

The county also approved an amendment to the grant of $2.1 million to expand the airport parking lot.

Avcon will design the work and the parking lot is expected to be done by next June.

Okeechobee schools had 605 students attending summer school this year.

The lunchrooms and volunteers continued their meal program for kids with over 1,100 prepared and delivered during the first few days.

Superintendent Dylan Tedders said they have a regular bus route around Okeechobee getting the meals out to kids in need.  He said the program began during COVID and was a huge success and volunteers wanted to continue the effort.

They have four buses taking regular routes.  They stop at various schools, local churches, and in Basinger and Fort Drum Monday through Friday during the summer.