Group Title: Okeechobee News.
Title: Okeechobee news
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028410/01120
 Material Information
Title: Okeechobee news
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Okeechobee News
Publisher: Okeechobee News
Place of Publication: Okeechobee Fla
Publication Date: January 4, 2009
Copyright Date: 2008
Frequency: daily
regular
 Subjects
Subject: Newspapers -- Okeechobee (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Okeechobee County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Florida -- Okeechobee -- Okeechobee
Coordinates: 27.241667 x -80.833056 ( Place of Publication )
 Notes
Additional Physical Form: Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 91, no. 111 (Apr. 20, 2000)-
General Note: Latest issue consulted: Vol. 91, no. 182 (June 30, 2000).
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Bibliographic ID: UF00028410
Volume ID: VID01120
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 72823230
alephbibnum - 003642554
lccn - 2006229435
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Preceded by: Daily Okeechobee news

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KEECHOBEE


EWS


Vol. 100 No. 2 Sunday, January 4, 2009 75 Plus tax


Briefs


Hollywood musicals
at Library
lan Nairnsey, Okeechobee's
own authority on musicals,
will present four programs in
January at the library at 6 p.m.
in the Okeechobee County Li-
brary Meeting Room. lan will
talk about the composers and
their musicals and play musi-
cal selections. These programs
are free and open to the public.
The dates for the programs are:
Tues., Jan. 6-George and Ira
Gershwin in Hollywood; Tues.,
Jan. 13-Cole Porter in Holly-
wood; Tues., Jan. 20-Rodgers
and Hart in Hollywood; Tues.,
Jan. 27-Irving Berlin in Holly-
wood. For more information
call Jan Day (Fehrman) at 863-
357-9980.

Boy Scouts selling
discount cards
The Boy Scout Troop 964 are
selling Scout Honor Discount
cards. For only $20 you can
get savings of up to 50 percent
from over 200,000 locations
across the United States. Some
locations here in Okeechobee
that offer the discounts are: Big
Lake Eye Care, The UPS Store,
Beltone, Roto Rooter Plumb-
ers, and more. For more infor-
mation or to purchase one of
these discount cards call Alison
Hudson at 863-634-8628.

Library Co-op to host
open house
The Glades County Public
Library has recently become
a part of Heartland Copera-
tive (Glades, Highlands, Des-
oto, Hardee and Okeechobee
Counties). They will be cel-
ebrating A New Chapter with
an open house on Jan. 20,
from 2 to 7 p.m. Featured at
this open house, Kirby Sullivan
will describe his recent trip to
Thailand. This will be at 3 p.m.
There will be a program for
children and items for display
as well as refreshments. Every-
one is welcome to attend and
also get a new library card.

Drought Index

Current: 629
Source: Florida Division
of Forestry
Local Burn Ban: None


Lake Levels

13.97 feet
Last Year: 10.28 feet

ored By:-

Pogey's Family Restaurant
1759 S. Parrott Ave.
763-7222
Source: South Florida Water
Management District. Depth
given in feet above sea level


Index


Classifieds 9
Community Events .......... 8
Crossword 9
Opinion 4
Reflections from the Pulpit ....... 8
School News............................ 6
Speak Out 4
Weather 2
See Page 2 for information about
how to contact the newspaper.

newszap.com
Free soocil Free Ads




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Bicyclist robbed: two charged


OCSO detective
says suspects
are gang members

By Eric Kopp
Okeechobee News
Two purported gang mem-
bers were arrested Thursday eve-
ning in connection with a strong
arm robbery in the 3600 block of
N.W Sixth St.
Jonathan D. Hunt, 20, N.W.
First St., and Jose Guadalupe
Romero, 17, N.W 36th St., were


both arrested Jan.
of robbery.
Romero was
also arrested on
a misdemeanor
charge of pos-
session of mari-
juana.


1 on a charge


Both were
booked into the
Okeechobee Jonathan D.
County Jail. Fol- Hunt
lowing that pro-
cess, Romero was taken to the
Department of Juvenile Justice
Detention Center in Fort Pierce.


Miguel A. Sanchez, 18, N.W.
Fourth St., was
arrested on a
charge of pos-
session of co-
caine. Although
he was arrested
along with Hunt
and Romero, he
was not charged
with the alleged Jose
robbery. Guadalupe
Bond for Romero
Hunt and Sanchez had not been
set as of newspaper deadline.
Deputy Raul Marrero of the


Anastasini Big Top: officially opens Jan. 9


Okeechobee News/Chauna Aguilar
Local children participated in the 2008 circus act tug of war where the "strongest man"
of the circus (the center little guy) allowed two boys (left to right) Luis Rodriguez, 8,
Bias Aguilar, 9, and two girls Rebecca Brashears, 7, and Lindsey Sampson, 10, to pull
on the rope as he held on with all his strength. The Anastasini European Big Top Extrav-
aganza Circus shows will be on Friday, Jan. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Additional showings have
been added this year as follows: Saturday, Jan. 10, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday,
Jan. 11, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.


Circus is coming to town

By Chauna Aguilar
Okeechobee News
The Okeechobee Chamber
of Commerce has brought the
Anastasini Big Top Extravagan-
za Circus Spectacular back to
Okeechobee for the third year.
The Big Top will open offi-
cially open Friday, Jan. 9.
The show includes aerial
fantasy, balancing, clowns,
world champion jugglers, aeri-
al rocket stars, a comedy show,
outdoor show, dog show, mag-
ic show and thrill show.
The dogs used in the dog
show are trained by the Anas-
tasini family and all were saved
from animal shelters.
The show is being held
at the American Legion Fair-
grounds, 501 S.E. Second St., Okeechobee News/Chauna Aguilar
behind the Okeechobee City Juggling and balancing performances range from the
Fire Department. smallest balls to very large steel bar cubes which this
The Anastasini family has Anastasini performer twisted and turned around his body
been performing and present- last year. Come see the exciting skills that are on display
ing the European circus for for the new 2009 Anastasini European Big Top Extrava-
ganza Circus.
See Circus Page 5




BBQ cookoff starts Jan. 7


By Chauna Aguilar
Okeechobee News
Time is wasting for
Okeechobee barbecue cooks,
as Okeechobee Main Street's
seventh annual Top of the Lake
BBQ Affair is just around the
corner.
This year will be the second
year for the Jack Daniel's World
Championship qualifier contest
and cook spots are filling up
rapidly.
The deadline to enter the
contest has been extended to
Wednesday, Jan. 7.
This cook-off, slated for Fri-
day, Jan. 23, and Saturday, Jan.
24, at the Okeechobee Agri-Civ
ic Center, is set to draw cooks


from across the nation due to
the Jack Daniel's Qualifier sta-
tus. Competitors will compete
for prize monies along with tro
phies for each category.
Local cooks will also be
eligible to compete in the new
Amateur Backyard Cook-off
category. Trophies will be given
to the grand champion and the
reserve champion. Additionally,
there will be a trophy given out
for the most improved Home-
Boy cook team.
Prizes range from $25 to
$400.
Categories include chicken,
pork ribs, pork and brisket.
Each of these categories cost
$75 to enter. If all four catego-


ries are entered, which quali-
fies the team for the grand and
reserve champion awards, the
early entry fee is discounted to
$260 if paid in full by Wednes-
day, Jan. 7.
Entries will be accepted af-
ter Wednesday, Jan. 7, for the
full price per category only if
space is available.
Friday's events include sev-
eral competitions for sauce, ap
ple pie, anything butt and beer
can chicken. These events cost
$25 to enter. There is also the
ever popular People's Choice
category that will be held on
Saturday, Jan. 24.
See BBQ Page 5


Okeechobee County Sheriff's
Office (OCSO) indicated that
the three men were arrested
at a home on N.W Seventh St.
His arrest report indicated that a
fourth man, Fernando Seca, 20,
N.W. Seventh St., was arrested
along with the other three. Seca
was taken into custody on an
Okeechobee County warrant
charging him with violation of
probation battery and violation
of probation criminal mischief.
He was booked into the coun-
ty jail under a bond of $10,000.
OCSO Detective Sergeant Brad


Stark, who heads up his depart-
ment's gang unit, said both Hunt
and Romero are documented
gang members. Because of their
alleged affiliation, Sgt. Stark said
he has contacted the judge who
will be presiding over their first
appearance hearing.
"I left a note for the judge be-
cause this is a gang-related crime
and I asked the judge to set the
bond," said Sgt. Stark.
When asked if the two would
receive a high bond, Sgt. Stark
said "I'm hoping for it."
See Robbery Page 5


Prayers,


songs will


honor Dr. King


By Pete Gawda
Okeechobee News
The hope, equality and soli
darity promoted by the late Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. will once
again be honored by residents
of Okeechobee.
The celebration always falls
on the Monday following Dr.
King's birthday, Jan. 15. This
year it will be observed on Jan.
19.
As always, there will be a
march from Douglas Brown
Community Center to down-
town Okeechobee beginning at
9 a.m., with a parade to follow
at 10 a.m. The parade will fol-
low the traditional route from


the U-Save Supermarket north
to Park Street, then west along
the north side of Flagler Park.
In the past the event has
been marked by speeches,
prayers, songs and other per-
formances at the gazebo in Fla-
gler Park. However, this year's
events will take place at Doug-
las Brown Community Center.
Plans call for various booths
to be set up at the community
center on Jan. 19.
Festivities will begin with a
banquet at 7 p.m. on Saturday,
Jan. 17, at the community cen-
ter. The banquet speaker will
be Okeechobee resident Willie
See Dr. King Page 5


Speckled


Perch Pageant


deadline nears


By Chauna Aguilar
Okeechobee News
The Okeechobee Cham-
ber of Commerce 41st annual
Speckled Perch Festival will be
held on Saturday, Jan. 17, the
KOA Kampground Convention
Center.
The final deadline for ap
plications and fees is Monday,
Jan. 5, 2009. Applications can


be picked up at the Chamber
office, 55 South Parrott Ave.
There are now six catego-
ries for girls: Tiny Miss, 2 to 3
year olds; Little Miss, 4 to 6 year
olds; Princess, 6 to 8 years old;
Junior Miss 9 through 12 years
old; and Teen Miss 13 to 15 and
Miss Speckled Perch, 16 to 19
years old. The age groups have
See Pageant Page 5


File photo/OKMS
BBQ will be ready for the taking at the Okeechobee Main Street
seventh annual Top of the Lake BBQ Affair and Jack Daniel's
World Championship qualifier contest on Friday, Jan. 23, and
Saturday, Jan. 24. Kelly Owens (left) and Rene Mims (right)
seemed to enjoy tasting the barbecue last year.


Qtadss





2 Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4, 2009


Submitted photo/Maria Cisneros

Christmas wishes
East Coast Migrant Head Start Project-OKEE II Center would like to thank "Puro Lujo Car
Club", Rhonda Underwood, Lisa Kent and Martina Rodriguez for donating toys and mak-
ing a Christmas wish come true for the children at our center. In the top row are: Aurelio
Almazn, Jose Ayala Middle row: Susan Underwood, Martina Rodriguez, Francine Shaw,
F6lix Pineda (Santa) Elidad SantibAnez, Maria Medrano. Preschool children are: Maria A.,
Maria H., Briseida, Gabriel, Sindy, Reyna, Guadalupe, Roselyn, Ruby, Alexander, Salvador,
Rodrigo, Carlos, Tifani, Magalie, Esmeralda, Brendon.



Arnold's Wildlife gets new ride


OKEECHOBEE-An Arnold's
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
donor, who prefers to be known
only as "Chuck," delivered an
immaculate 1995 Chevrolet Sub-
urban to the center the Sunday
before Christmas.
Chuck's been contributing to
Arnold's Wildlife for a couple of
years in memory of his wife Lin-
da, who loved animals. "One of
her favorite sayings was "blessed
be the animals," he said. "She
would be so pleased to know we
are helping the wildlife center."
Sue Arnold, who owns the
center, had no idea that all of
Arnold's volunteers met up with
Chuck and the truck at the end
of her road at noon that day. The
Suburban was decorated with a
big red bow on the grille and an-
other big red and white bow on
the dashboard. The volunteers
drove into the center, with Chuck
and the truck at the rear of the
caravan.
The Suburban was front and
center as Arnold came out of
the animal hospital, greeted by a
hearty chorus of "We Wish You a
Merry Christmas," sung by Chuck
and Arnold's volunteers, and
Joey's Pizza showed up right on
time to deliver six extra large piz-
zas for the event.
"I knew Chuck was going to
donate the truck to the center,"
Sue Arnold said. "But I hadn't a
clue when, and I certainly didn't
expect such a celebration with
our volunteers. This was just
wonderful."
Sue Arnold's husband, Clar-
ence, said, "I'm proud for her.
That old truck she's been using all
these years has had the engine re-
placed and just about everything
else."
The Suburban will be used to
transport animals to and from vet-
erinary appointments, as well as
educational programs at schools,
parks and other centers.
Chuck and Linda's past


Weather


Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a
high near 81. Calm wind becom-
ing southeast around 5 mph.
Sunday Night: Partly cloudy,
with a low around 57. Calm wind
becoming northwest around 5
mph.

Extended Forecast
Monday: Mostly sunny, with a
high near 81. North wind around
5 mph becoming calm.
Monday Night: Partly cloudy,
with a low around 57. Calm wind
becoming south around 5 mph.
Tuesday: A 10 percent
chance of showers. Partly cloudy,
with a high near 82. South wind
between 5 and 10 mph.
Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy,
with a low around 60. South wind
between 5 and 10 mph.
Wednesday: A 40 percent
chance of showers. Mostly cloudy,
with a high near 77. Southwind 10
to 15 mph becoming west. Winds
could gust as high as 25 mph.
Wednesday Night: A 20 per-
cent chance of showers. Partly
cloudy, with a low around 49.
West northwest wind between 5
and 10 mph.

Lotteries
The Florida Lotto Numbers
selected Thursday are: Cash 3:
2-0-7; Play 4: 0-5-6-7; Fantasy 5:
6-7-16-24-29. Numbers selected
Friday are: Cash 3: x-x-x; Play 4:
X-X-X-X.


Submitted photo/Anton Silva III

Incredible Choir
The 62 members of the Okeechobee Community Choir representing 19 local churches
recently presented their 10th annual Christmas Cantata, "One Incredible Moment," at the
United Methodist Church. From light to right in the front row (seated): Glenda Fulwider,
Arleen Fanter, Marlene Burns. Annemay Kelso, Joy Kidwell, Elsie Landers, and Sydney
Thacker. In the second row (standing) are: Nicolle Wood (Narrator), Michael Hayes (Ac-
companist), Sandy Perry (Director), Patty Cook, Jane Frey, Faye Haverlock, Ann Edwards,
Les Snider, Katelin Johnson, Dr. Trini Garcia, and Rev. Loy Mershimer, guest soloist. In the
third row are: Chris Sufficool, Wynnefred Shephard, Erin Ellinger, George Clement, Lister
Goble, Betty Clement, Becky Fleeger, Laura Mae Evans, and Betsy Cheney. In the fourth
row are: Deanie Burke, Beverly Rowland, Kathryn Wilkinson, Steve Walker, Justin Allen,
Cecile Doyle, Becky Williamson, and JoAnne Snelling. In fifth row are: Victoria Williams,
Dale Bryant, Christine Jones, Mike Brooks, John Olsen, Kevin Kinnaird, Carolyn Burrell,
and Marty Grondin. In the sixth row are: Anton Silva III, Kenny Resmondo, Sharon Suits,
John Burrell, Keith Abbott, Norma Entry, and Diana Heil. In the back row are: Reid Ellinger,
Michael Hutchison, Rahl Wilkinson, John Sufficool, John Koepke, Willard Suits, Mike Zi-
erden, Chris Askeland, Dave Fanter, & Andy McKillop (original poem). Not pictured: Jane
Dowling, Louise Dowling, Floyd Driggers, Lonnie Kirsch, Natalie Moody, Donna Williams
and Rev. Steve Wegmann.


Pic 32
Submitted photo
Chuck affixes the Arnold's Wildlife signs to the Suburban.


contributions to the wildlife cen-
ter include an anesthesia machine
and a generator for the animal
hospital.
Arnold's Wildlife Rehabilita
tion Center is a 501 (C) (3) non-
profit, educational-based wildlife
care facility that operates solely
on donations. The Center is
dedicated to bringing people and


wildlife together to develop com-
munity awareness of the value of
Florida wildlife.
Its ultimate goal is to rescue,
rehabilitate and return recovered
animals to their natural habitat.
Animals unable to return to the
wild are provided a permanent
home at the Center.


Okeechobee News
Punished by Independen Newsuapers Inc.


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Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4, 2009 3



NTSB: doomed airplane was overweight


By Charles M. Murphy
Okeechobee News
The National Transportation
and Safety Board said a pilot's
failure to maintain an adequate
air speed while maneuvering at
low altitude contributed to a fa-
tal plane crash on March 13.
Four people died in that crash
in western Martin County.


The NTSB final report re-
leased Monday said the plane
also carried too much weight,
and that an inoperative stall
warning horn failed to alert the
pilot in the final moments before
the plane crashed into a cow
pasture killing the pilot and three
others.
The report stated the plane
carried 862 pounds in fuel, pas-


sengers and baggage during the
doomed flight.
Killed in the crash was the
pilot, Jeffrey Rozelle, 36 -- the
co-owner of Kemper Aviation in
Lantana Airport.
A group of researchers from
Florida Atlantic University were
also killed. They were Gareth
Akerman, 33, of Halifax, Nova
Scotia, and FAU students Phil


Heidemann, 43, and Damion
Marx, 35.
The plane had taken off from
the Okeechobee County Airport
on the morning of the crash.
The group, aboard a Cessna 172
S, departed the airport just after
8 a.m. and crashed about one
hour later. They were doing re-
search on wading birds in the
Lake Okeechobee area.


The NTSB said in flights like
this the stall warning horn is an
important mechanism thatwarns
the pilot if he is flying too slowly.
The safety board found that the
device had fractured internal
parts and corrosion which was
in contrast to the plane's main-
tenance records that claimed the
device was working properly.
The last recorded speed of the


plane was 53 mph which was
not fast enough for the wings to
maintain life. The plane dropped
300 feet to the ground in a mat-
ter of seconds, the report added.
The families of the crash vic-
tims have filed wrongful death
lawsuits against the owners of
the plane.


County jail inmate arrested trying to escape


By Eric Kopp
Okeechobee News
A Miami man in the Okeecho-
bee County Jail on burglary and
grand theft charges was arrested
again after he reportedly tried to
escape his confines.
Alejandro Perez, 45, N.W 12th
Terrace, was arrested Thursday,
Jan. 1, on felony charges of at-
tempted escape and criminal
mischief over $1,000. His bond
has been set at $15,000.
Perez was being held in the


county jail on
$46,000 bond
after being ar-
rested Dec. 16
by Sgt. Clif Gill
of the Okeecho-
bee County
Sheriff's Office
(OCSO). Perez Alejandro
was charged Perez
with burglary
of an occupied dwelling, grand
theft and possession of burglary
tools. He was also charged with
the misdemeanor of loitering and


Law Enforcement Calls


Law Enforcement Calls
The Okeechobee County Sher-
iff's Office received the following
calls from Wednesday, Dec. 24,
through Thursday, Jan. 1:
Dec. 24
assault in the 11000 block of
N.E. 51st Court
larceny in the 3200 block of
S.E. 18th Court
Dec. 25
assault in the 4600 block of
N.W. 11th Drive
larceny in the 10000 block of
S.R. 78 W
burglary in the 2700 block of
N.E. 11th Court
rape on N.W First Ave.
Dec. 26
theft in the 6000 block of
U.S. 441 S.E.
burglary in the 1200 block of
N.E. 70th Ave.
theft in the 3500 block of
N.W 12th Ave.
Dec. 27
burglary in the 900 block of
N.E. 28th Ave.
burglary in the 2800 block of
N.E. Fifth Trail
vandalism in the 4200 block
of S.E. 23rd Court


fraud in the 3000 block of
N.E. Seventh Lane
Dec. 28
burglary of a vehicle in the
9200 block of S.R. 78 W
burglary of a vehicle in the
9200 block of S.R. 78 W
burglary of a vehicle in the
9200 block of S.R. 78 W
burglary in the 3700 block of
U.S. 441 S.E.
sexual battery on U.S. 441
N.
burglary in the 3300 block of
N.W Fourth St.
burglary in the 200 block of
N.W Eighth Ave.
theft in the 1500 block of
S.R. 70 E.
Dec. 29
fraud in the 2900 block of
S.E. 39th Lane
fraud in the 3300 block of
S.W 18th St.
larceny in the 4200 block of
S.E. 28th St.
burglary in the 1800 block of
S.E. 29th St.
burglary in the 2100 block of
S.E. 27th St.
identity theft in the 800 block
of U.S. 441 S.E.


prowling.
Officer Belen Reyna of the
Okeechobee City Police Depart-
ment (OCPD) arrested Perez on
Thursday after the inmate report-
edly tried to break out a window
and escape from the jail, stated
the officer's arrest report.
The officer's report states that
he was sent to the jail around
12:33 p.m. after being contacted
by a correctional officer. The re-
port goes on to state that pictures
and video surveillance showed
Perez trying to break out the win-



Dec. 30
burglary in the 2800 block of
N.E. Fifth Trail
larceny in the 2700 block of
N.E. 64th Drive
burglary in the 5600 block of
N.E. Third Lane
larceny in the 3400 block of
N.W. 24th Ave.
fraud in the 1200 block of
N.E. 14th Ave.
burglary in the 1900 block of
U.S. 441 N.
larceny in the 2400 block of
N.E. Sixth St.
fraud in the 2800 block of
U.S. 441 S.
vandalism in the 4100 block
of U.S. 441 S.
burglary in the 500 block of
N.E. 17th Ave.
Dec. 31
vandalism in the 500 block
of N.W 23rd Lane
vandalism in the 2900 block
of N.W 10th Terrace
theft in the 900 block of N.E.
15th Ave.
assault in the 3000 block of
U.S. 98 N.
Jan. 1
larceny in the 14000 block of


Perez was arrested Dec. 16
after he reportedly broke into
a home on Eagle Bay Drive and
took an estimated $1,200 in jew-
elry.
OCSO Detective Rick Durfee
said the man apparently gained
entrance to the home by prying
open a window at the back of the
house.
Not long after he entered the
home, said the detective, the
young couple who live there re-
turned home to eat lunch. Detec-


N.W. 252nd St.
larceny in the 4000 block of
U.S. 441 S.E.
burglary in the 7400 block of
N.W 87th Court
Editor's Note: Only calls dealing with
either a felony or a potential felony
are entered into this column.


tive Durfee said as the couple en-
tered through a back door, Perez
left via the front door.
Shortly after sitting down to
eat lunch they discovered their
bedroom had been ransacked
and some jewelry was missing,
the detective continued. Perez
also broke into a locked closet,
added the OCSO investigator.
After OCSO deputies had re-
sponded to the home a neighbor


told the deputies they had seen a
man throw a bag to the ground.
The bag, containing a hammer,
was found a short time later.
Detective Durfee said a pair
of gloves, apparently dropped by
Perez, was also found.
Perez was later found hiding
behind some houses across the
street and was placed under ar-
rest by Sgt. Gill without further
incident.


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I he tollow-
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Sexual Predator Notice


The Okeechobee County Sher-
iff's Office is disclosing this infor-
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and protection. This information
is not intended to increase fear:


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This bulletin should be used
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Citizen abuse of the information
to threaten, intimidate, or harass
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ways lived in
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Stevan Suarez, 41, of 3603 S.E.
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4 OPINION Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4, 2009


Speak Out/Public Forum
Speak Out has moved online, where it is quicker and
easier to share your ideas and converse with others. Go to
www.newszap.com, click on the community name and your
local or state Public Forum. There, you can create new
topics or comment on existing topics. What follows is a sam-
pling of some of the discussions currently taking place.
Thanks for participating!
OBAMA: This is about Obama I see where he wants to take away
our Amendment rights, take away our gun rights. If you remember
back in 1936 when they said "we will take away the guns from our
people and we will have a much safer nation. "That was Adolf Hitler
and they had a much safer nation didn't they? And in England they
banned all of the guns and the crime rate tripled in stabbings. So if
they take away our guns will it make them feel better to be beat to
death, stabbed or run over by a car? Will it make them all feel better?
How many people are killed by drunk drivers every year? Or killed by
drunk drivers and guns. If they want to ban something, ban alcohol.
It doesn't matter what you ban, you can always find a way to kill a
person.
HOMES: I was wondering how many homes in Okeechobee had
Christmas lights and decorations stowed away, but could not afford
to put them out? Is there any way the FP&L could offer these people a
Christmas discount so that Okeechobee could really light up?
OBAMA: This is about Obama, they keep calling him the first Af-
rican American president. Well what about his white side? Isn't he
50/50? His father was black. His mother was white.
FIRE TRUCKS: How can the city justify having their fire trucks
just driving around through the community wasting gas, taking Santa
around through the neighborhoods. We are in a recession, we need
to be saving money. And we justify a 3 percent pay raise for the county
employees. We are wasting money this way. I think someone needs
to come up with how to justify wasting money this way.
POST: There was an article in a paper from the coast about a
water increase of up to $30 in Jupiter, the people there are irate. My
water bill is over $60 per month and I live by myself in Okeechobee.
Has anyone pointed out the problems with our utility system?
MERRY CHRISTMAS: I was wanting to know what happened
to everybody saying Merry Christmas to everybody. Now it's Happy
Holidays. Ain't that a wonderful thing, taking Christ out of Christmas
and replacing him with a fat man in a red suit.
SCHOOL SYSTEM: This is in reference to the school system and
the sports department. In my opinion, teams in Okeechobee should
not be playing teams on the coast. They should be playing teams like
Lake Placid, Sebring, Avon Park, possibly Wachula. This is the con-
ference they ought to be in. They shouldn't be playing teams on the
coast that have high schools three times as big as Okeechobee. They
play all year round, there is no competition there, they are lucky to
win one game at any sport. So why doesn't somebody who can take
control here, get Okeechobee in the right conference to play sports
so they will not be humiliated and disappointed at almost every game
they play, especially at the Middle School levels.
LAKE LEVEL: I see where people are again complaining about the
lake level and that the water managers are letting the lake go down.
Don't people understand that it is normal for the lake to go up and
down? This is not a lake like you have up north. It has its own ecosys
tem that needs high and low water levels. When the water is low, the
areas around the lake dry out and seed banks germinate. Then the
vegetation start to grow. When the vegetation is growing well, then
the lake needs slightly higher levels to flood these zones, so that the
fish can now use this submerged vegetation as spawning habitat. The
key is that the water should not be so high that it completely covers
the vegetation as then the vegetation will die. The submerged plants
still need sunlight. If the lake is kept at the same level year round, the
fisheries will die.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE: Okeechobee is going to start a new league.
It's going to be called The Okeechobee Parental Whiners and Criers
League, that's for all the parents that cry and whine about the league
their child has to play in and the distance they have to travel and the
rest of the things some of these parents complain about. The only
ones I don't hear complaining are the children -- they go out and play
the best they can. Some parents need to get a life.
COUNTY: Is there a good reason the county is so slow in re-filling
the vital position vacated by Mr. Gray -the last really excellent airport
head administrator. They have applications, which at least one was
by a potentially new county resident with vast experience in admin-
istration and industrial development. Okeechobee -- a great place for
families.
TIPS: Thank you for the Christmas tips in S.W Treasure Island,
Four Seasons, Dixie Ranch, Basinger, Hillbilly and Rick. Thank you
from Waste Management.
SURVIVING: Surviving right now it is tough. I have a job, working
60 hours a week, but since I'm paid by commission and sales are very
slow I have been late on rent, and have come very close to becom-
ing homeless. This month's rent will be late again, and actually have
no idea when I will get it. Christmas came from the Dollar Tree. I eat
very cheap. Make a pot of chile or a meatloaf and eat it all week. One
meal a day. I could qualify for assistance, but pride keeps me from
applying. These are tough times, but what does not kill us makes us
stronger. We just have to hang in there, and hope for change to come
soon.
PAY CHECK: I wonder how you will feel come hurricane season
and those same underpaid employees are the ones you are calling to
help you? I hate to tell you this but county work is not that big of a
pay check on a good day! Yes, I work for a county government -- not
Okeechobee but near enough to feel their pain. We didn't get a cost
of living increase this year. Next year doesn't look any better. Yeah we
get paid soooo very much that I qualify for food stamps on my full
pay check. So before you go casting these guys out as greedy, perhaps
you should cash that check yourself? We work long dangerous shifts
in the storm season for that same pay check --not a penny more. We
don't come in, we show up. We are the cops that you call when you
are afraid in the night. We are the firemen you call when your loved
one is in danger. You really should reconsider your opinion.
JAIL: This is so true. Try working in a jail when it loses all power,
high risk cells are wide open because the generator just failed and
you are just stuck. You have to go to all manual locks, which means
going into every cell and locking it yourself. Meanwhile, you are
leaving the dorm wide open for hostile takeover. Underpaid? That
is an understatement. No water, no lights except for flashlights, and
no power also means no communications. The county should have
given a bonus just for having to deal with that situation and not losing
the jail. Which goes to further show what an exceptional staff this
county does have. Obviously their interpersonal skills go above and
beyond. But they do not deserve a better raise? And we need to rush
right into preserving the old courthouse. How much money have they
already spent there? We need to support our county workers. They
are the grease on the wheels that churn this county, and they do an
excellent job.
COMMISSIONER WHERRELL: Who will be his replacement?
Who do you think will throw their hat into the ring? I won't mention
a name but someone I know was considering it today. How will it be
decided, by special election or appointment?
EDITOR'S NOTE: The replacement will be picked by Governor
Crist from a list of applicants.
MARVIN WHERRELL: When I found out about this, I felt like I
had been hit in the stomach. I loved talking to this man. He had a
great sense of humor, had a passionate heart for Okeechobee and
loved sports. I will miss vou man.


Guest Commentary


Medicaid Reform:
Yet another barrier
to care
By Toni Waters Woods
On Thanksgiving Day 2006, my
father, James "Buzz" Waters, was
waiting to be disenrolled from the
Medicaid reform pilot program in
Duval County so that a high-risk
cardiologist in Alachua County
would see him.
Jacksonville cardiologists re-
ferred my father to the Alachua
doctor because apparently there
was not a high-risk cardiologist
in the Duval County Medicaid re-
form program. This wait proved
to be fatal.
Before Medicaid reform my fa-
ther would have been able to im-
mediately make an appointment
and be seen by the cardiologist in
Alachua county.
Two years ago the state intro-
duced a pilot program to North
Florida and Broward county that
required more Medicaid recipi
ents to join Medicaid HMOs. Pro
ponents of the pilot claimed that
Medicaid Reform would result in
increased choices of health plans
and providers. But by forcing
more Medicaid patients into Med
icaid HMOs it has instead created
new barriers to care. In fact, pa
tients are now unable to access
specialists who accept Medicaid
but are outside reform plan net
works without experiencing un
necessary and sometimes fatal
delays. Because the specialist


my father needed to see was not
part of Duval County's Medicaid
reform network, he had to waste
precious time going through the
disenrollment process before he
could even make an appointment
with the out of network high risk
cardiologist. New Medicaid plan
enrollments only start at the be
ginning of the month. As a result,
the time frame for effectuating
disenrollment from a plan is a
frustrating and ludicrous obstacle
for high-risk patients who have
immediate needs that cannot
wait. My father didn't make it to
Dec. 1. He died on that Thanks-
giving Day, Nov. 23.
Examples like my father's high-
light the problems with forcing
more high-risk Medicaid patients
into Medicaid HMOs. Which is
why I'm concerned when I hear
the state is considering expand
ing the pilot program to the entire
state. Medicaid reform in the state
of Florida is not working for many
patients. "Reform" has not only
failed to solve the old problems,
but it's created a slew of new
ones. The reform program's lim-
ited provider networks put people
with complex illnesses at risk.
There are many documented
stories like my father's about pa-
tients stuck in a spiral of red tape
and rules that have led to further
medical complications. Reading
these stories is heartbreaking at
times. A letter sent last year to the
Florida Medicaid director from
Florida CHAIN and Florida Legal
Services highlighted many of the


Counseling Corner


Helping reduce
the trauma of a
family move
By the American
Counseling Association
Summer is usually the busiest
time of the year for family reloca-
tions, an event that's bound to
bring high levels of stress for your
children.
For children, moving can mean
a real sense of loss related to
friends and all the familiar places
being left, as well as a great deal
of anxiety about the unknowns of
that new home.
You can start minimizing such
issues by explaining why you're
moving. Simply repeating that
they'll "love the new house"
won't mean much, but explain
ing that the move will mean be-
ing closer to family or giving you a
great new job helps them under-
stand why this is happening.
You also want to acknowl-
edge your child's feelings of loss.
They can include the loss of "best
friends" (a major issue for most
youngsters), sports and teams
they've grown accustomed to, or
the end of a teen's romantic rela-
tionship. While you want to reas
sure your children that there will
be new friends and activities to
discover, you also want them to
know you understand their feel-
ings and you care about the loss
they're experiencing. Expect a lot
of tears and plan on giving lots of
hugs and reassurance.
A little pre- and post-move
planning can also make things
easier. Start by sharing informa-
tion about the new town so it isn't
all a great unknown. Chamber of


commerce brochures, pictures
of your new house, and a town
map with your house as well as
schools, parks, malls and movie
theaters all marked can help kids
feel less anxious about what is
coming. At the new house, first
open boxes you specially marked
when packing that contain some
of your children's favorite things.
Having familiar posters, photos
and toys in their new rooms will
make them feel at home faster.
A new pet for the new house
can also be a great distraction
with a real settling effect, even if
it's just a goldfish.
Making unpacking low stress
also helps. Keeping yourself and
your children relaxed and enjoy-
ing the new experience is more
important than how quickly
boxes are emptied. Take time
with the kids to explore your new
neighborhood, to go by the new
school and to locate things to
make life enjoyable (where is the
pizza joint and ice cream shop?).
Moving to a new home is nev-
er easy, but with a little planning,
understanding and support you
can make it a much less stressful
experience for your children.
"The Counseling Corner" is
provided as a public service by
the American Counseling Associa
tion, the nation's largest organize
tion of counseling professionals.
Learn more about the counseling
profession at the ACA web site,
www.counseling.org.


Okeechobee News

Our Purpose...
The Okeechobee News is published by Independent Newspapers of Florida
Independent is owned by a unique trust that enables this newspaper to pur-
sue a mission of journalistic service to the citizens of the community. Since no
dividends are paid, the company is able to thrive on profit margins below
industry standards. All after-tax surpluses are reinvested in Independent's
mission of journalistic service, commitment to the ideals of the First


Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,
ation of public issues.

We Pledge ...
* To operate this newspaper as a
public trust
* To help our community become a
better place to live and work,
through our dedication to consci-
entious journalism.
* To provide the information citizens
need to make their own intelligent
decisions about public issues.
* To report the news with honesty,
accuracy, purposeful neutrality,
fairness, objectivity, fearlessness
and compassion.
* To use our opinion pages to facili-
tate community debate, not to
dominate it with our own opinions.
* To disclose our own conflicts of
Interest or potential conflicts to our
readers.
* To correct our errors and to give
each correction to the prominence
it deserves
* To provide a right to reply to those
we write about
* To treat people with courtesy,
respect and compassion.


and support of the community's deliber-


Advertising Director: Judy Kasten

News Editor: Katrina Elsken

National Advertising: Joy Parrish

Circulation Manager: Janet Madray

Independent Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Smyth, Chairman
Ed Dulin, President
Tom Byrd, Vice President of
Newspaper Operations
Katrina Elsken, Executive


MEMBER
OF:


Okeechobee News 2007
For More Information See
At Your Service On Page 2


problems patients were having. A
woman with diabetes was denied
coverage for her insulin, goes into
diabetic shock and almost dies;
a man with severe mental illness
ended up in the hospital because
of coverage denied for his medica-
tions; a child with disabilities was
unable to access critical therapies
because of a lack of providers.
There are many policy argu
ments on all sides of the Medicaid
reform issue. But we should listen
closest to those who must navi
gate the complex maze of rules
that Medicaid reform has put into
place: the patients.
In a report from the Agency
on Health Care Administration,
it says Medicaid reform "seeks to
improve the value of the Medicaid
delivery system." I do not believe
that happened in my father's case
and I do not believe that the value
has been improved for many of
Florida's citizens, whether pa-
tients or taxpayers.
Managed care companies
require profits and increasing
amounts of reimbursement from


the state. These needs are difficult
to reconcile with the health care
needs of high-risk and very sick
Medicaid patients.
Notably, in recent months
managed care companies threat-
ened to leave the program but
changed their minds only when
the state gave in to their demands
to reduce proposed cuts from
5 percent to 3 percent. Decent
health care should be not be
judged by the balance sheet, but
by the health of its patients.
One step in the right direction
would be to permit emergency
disenrollment procedures for
Medicaid patients needing to ac-
cess care not available through
reform plans. Those protections
were not in place for my father.
Florida certainly should seek
greater choices, access and flex-
ibility for its Medicaid patients,
but it should do so by reworking
the fatally flawed reform program
first, not by expanding it.
Woods is a resident of Duval
County.


Community Calendar

Sunday, Jan. 4
AA. meeting from 7:30 until 8:30 p.m. at the Church of Our Saviour,
200 N.W Third St. It will be an open step meeting.
A.A. open 12 step meeting from 7:30 until 8:30 p.m. at the Church
of Our Savior, 200 N.W. Third St.
Just for Today Club of Okeechobee, 101 N.W Fifth Street,
Okeechobee, (Behind Napa Auto Parts) A.A. weekend noon meeting
Open Discussion. The Just for Today Club of Okeechobee is not affili-
ated with any 12 step fellowships.

Monday, Jan. 5
Just for Today Club of Okeechobee, 101 N.W. Fifth Street,
Okeechobee, (Behind Napa Auto Parts) NA. Sickest Of The Sick Open
Discussion at 7 p.m. The Just for Today Club of Okeechobee is not af-
filiated with any 12 step fellowships.
AA. meeting will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the First United
Methodist Church, 200 N.W Second St. This will be an open meeting.
Okeechobee Model Airplane Club will meet at the Peace
Lutheran Church, 750 N.W 23rd Lane at 7 p.m. For information,
contact Robert Rosada at 863-467-5440.
Okeechobee Senior Singers meet at 9:30 a.m. atthe Okeechobee
Presbyterian Church, 312 North Parrott Ave. Everyone who enjoys
singing is invited. For information or to schedule an appearance for
your organization or group, contact Marge Skinner at 863-532-0449.
Artful Appliquers is a recently formed chapter in Okeechobee.
This chapter meets at the Turtle Cove Clubhouse, 10 Linda Road,
Okeechobee on Mondays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Turn left at the
Moose lodge and go around the curve just past the church. Bring a
lunch and join us for a fun day of applique. Everyone is welcome. For
more information please contact Karen Graves at 863-763-6952.

Tuesday, Jan. 6
Rotary Club of Okeechobee meets each Tuesday at noon at
Golden Corral Restaurant, 700 S. Parrott Ave. The meetings are open
to the public. For information, contact Maureen Budjinski at 863-484-
0110.
Just for Today Club of Okeechobee, 101 N.W Fifth Street,
Okeechobee, (Behind Napa Auto Parts) NA. Nowhere Left To Go
Group Open Discussion at noon. NA. Sickest Of The Sick Group Open
Discussion. The Just for Today Club of Okeechobee is not affiliated
with any 12 step fellowships.
New A.A. Meeting in Basinger: There is now an A.A. meeting in
Basinger on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Basinger Christian Brethren
Church on 700-A, north off U.S. 98. Beginners are welcome.
New Beginning's meeting of Narcotics Anonymous will be
held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. at Believers Fellowship
Church, 300 S.W. Fifth Ave. It will be an open discussion meeting. For
more information call Monika Allen at 863-801-3244.
Al-Ateen meeting will be held at the Church of Our Saviour, 200
N.W Third St., at 7 p.m. For more information, please call Amy at 863-
763-8531 or Dan 561-662-2799.
Al-Anon meeting will be held at the Church of Our Saviour, 200
N.W Third St., at 8 p.m.
A.A. Closed discussion meeting from 8 until 9 p.m. at the Church of
Our Savior, 200 N.W Third St.
Family History Center meets from 1 until 5 p.m. at the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 310 S.W. Sixth St. Anyone interested in
finding who your ancestors are is welcome to attend. There is Census,
IGI (International Genealogical Index), Social Security Death Index
and military information available. For information, call The Family
History Center at 863-763-6510 or Richard Smith at 863-261-5706 for
special appointments.
Gospel Sing every Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m. The public
is invited to participate with vocal and/or instrumental music. For
information, contact Douglas Chiropractic Center at 863-763-4320.
Widows and Widowers support group meets at 7:30 8 a.m.
at the Clock Restaurant, 1111 S. Parrott Ave., for breakfast. For
information, June Scheer at 863-634-8276
The Gathering Church Overcomers Group meets at 7:30
p.m. in the fellowship hall, 1735 S.W 24th Ave. This is a men's only
meeting. For information, call Earl at 863-763-0139.
The Okeechobee Lions Club meets at 7 p.m. at the Golden
Corral Restaurant, 700 S. Parrott Ave. Anyone interested in becoming
a member is welcome. For information, contact Elder Sumner at 863-
763-6076.
Bible study at the Living Word of Faith Church, 1902 S. Parrott
Ave., at 7 p.m. Informal and informative discussions bring many Bible
truths to life. The public is invited.
Grief and Loss Support Group meets every Tuesday at 10 a.m.
at the Hospice Building, 411 S.E. Fourth St. Everyone is welcome. For
information, contact Brenda Nicholson at 863-467-2321.
Community Country Gospel will meet at 7 p.m. at the church
next to Douglas Clinic on North Park St. Any individual or group that
enjoys old time gospel music is invited to participate. For information,
contact Dr. Edward Douglas at 863-763-4320.
A.A. meeting will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the First United
Methodist Church, 200 N.W Second St. This will be an open meeting.
The First United Methodist Church, 200 N.W. Second St., will
be hosting God's Time -a morning of free organized Christian
activities that includes play, instruction and interaction for parents
and their pre-school children. The event will be held each Tuesday
from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Child care will be provided for infants
during the class. For information, call 863-763-4021.
Haven of Rest Church, 2947 S.W. Third Terr., holds meetings
for persons with alcohol and drug related problems at 6 p.m. For
information call 863-357-3053.
Compulsive overeaters are invited to a weekly meeting, Overeaters
Anonymous (OA) meets at the Okeechobee Presbyterian Church,
312 N. Parrott Avenue on Tuesdays, 6 until 7 p.m. (Use 4th Street
entrance.) Overeaters Annonymous is not a diet club. There are
no dues, fees or weigh-ins. The only requirement for membership is a
desire to stop eating compulsively. For more information call Loretta
at 863-763-7165 or 863-697-0206.
The Lighthouse Refuge Support Group is for women who are
hurting, homeless or been abused. They meet on the first and third
Tuesday of every month from noon until 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church,
401 S.W. Fourth St., and on the second and fourth Tuesday of every
month from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. at the Red Cross, 323 N. Parrott Ave.
For more information call Donna Dean at 863-801-9201 or 863-357-
2106.





Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4, 2009 5


Robbery
Continued From Page 1
Normally, he said, bonds are
suggested by the arresting officer
and are determined by a bond
schedule provided by the state.
According to Deputy Marrero's
arrest report, Hunt and Romero
apparently grabbed a man who
was riding a bicycle in the 3600
block of N.W. Sixth St. around
9:50 p.m. The report states the
two young men also pulled the
victim into some nearby woods
and robbed him of $160 cash.
The report states that Romero
straddled the victim's neck and
"punched him viciously several
times in the face."
Deputy Marrero went on
to state that Hunt was telling


Circus
Continued From Page 1
generations. They have been in
the United States for 27 years but
are originally from Milan, Italy.
They currently reside in Engle-
wood. They travel all over the
United States bringing their Eu-
ropean Circus to entertain the
citizens of many towns along the
way.
This year's show is an all new
performance with new routines
sure to wow the audience as it did
in years past.
Some of the performances
at the circus include hula-hoop
tricks with multiple hula-hoops,
and a Chinese version of juggling
involving a double cone shaped
prop called a diabolo which con-
sists of a spool that is whirled and
tossed on a string tied to two sticks
held one in each hand. Multiple
diabolos can be spun on a single
string which makes a huge variety
of tricks possible using the sticks,
string and various body parts.
They also use the Chiffon,
which is a long piece of mate-
rial that the performer climbs
and does various aerial stunts by
wrapping the material around


Dr. King
Continued From


Romero to punch the victim and
that while the victim was being
beaten Hunt took the money, all
in $20 bills, from the victim.
The victim then took the dep-
uty to the house on N.W. Seventh
St. where Deputy Marrero found
the four young men.
None of the money was found,
the report added.
Sanchez was charged with
cocaine possession after Deputy
Marrero saw a plastic bag con-
taining a residue on the arm of a
chair in which Sanchez was sit-
ting. The deputy said the residue
was field tested and indicated a
positive result for the presence of
cocaine.
The report goes on to state that
while the deputy was searching
Romero he found a clear plastic
bag containing a green leafy sub-

their arms or legs.
The Anastasini European Big
Top Extravaganza Circus Spec-
tacular has all the makings for an
exciting show for all ages.
Opening night is Friday, Jan.
9, at 7:30 p.m. Additional show-
ings have been added this year as
follows: Saturday, Jan. 10, 4 and
7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 11, at
2 and 6 p.m.
Tickets are on sale at the
Okeechobee Chamber of Com-
merce, 55 S. Parrott Ave.
Ringside box seats are avail-
able for $25 for adults and $15
for children under 12, with 80
ringside seats available per show;
Mezzanine Family Tickets, two
adult and two children, for $25;
general admission seating is avail-
able for $12 for adults and $7 for
children under 12.
There is no charge for infants
or very small children who do not
take a seat.
There are $2 coupons available
that can be applied to all tickets
except the ringside box seats.
Tickets are available through
the Chamber of Commerce or
at the door on a first-come, first-
served basis.
For information, call the
Chamber of Commerce at 863-
763-6464.

Welch. Other details will be publi-
cized as they become available.
According to Mrs. Bertha Bo-
swell, of the Okeechobee Im-


File photo
In 2007 this man came to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day wearing
a T-shirt bearing the likeness of the day's honoree.


BBQ
Continued From Page 1
The Jack Daniel's World
Championship Invitational Bar-
becue held in Lynchburg, Tenn.,
is a by-invitation-only event with
U.S. competitors limited to the
following criteria: there is no en-
try fee for the competitors; invita-
tions are sent only to the grand
champion of qualifying contests;
no "pass downs" are allowed;
every U.S. team invited must earn
its way in the competition; inter-
national teams are encouraged


to compete but may not include
U.S. members; an orientation is
held for international teams; and,
experienced barbecue cooks and
ambassadors are on site through-
out the week preceding the con-
test to answer any questions.
Friday's local events include
several competitions from 6 un-
til 7:30 p.m. for sauce, apple pie,
anything butt and beer can chick-
en.
Entertainment will be provid-
ed on both Friday night and Satur-
day. Okeechobee Main Street will
be serving beverages for all ages.
On Friday night beginning at


stance. The substance, when field
tested, indicated a positive result
for the presence of marijuana.
According to court records
Hunt, who is also known by the
moniker of Brother, went before
Circuit Court Judge Lawrence
Mirman on Nov. 20, 2008, and
entered a plea of no contest to a
charge of burglary of a structure
with assault or battery.
Judge Mirman adjudicated
him guilty and sentenced him to
one year, eight months and 23
days in the county jail. However,
after being credited with the time
he'd already served, Hunt was re-
leased.


Pageant
Continued From Page 1
changed this year and separated
the categories to narrow the age
groups.
Categories for boys are Tiny
Mister for 3 year olds and Little
Mister for 4 and 5 year olds.
Admission fee for the pageant
is $5 for 12 year olds and up. The
parents of the contestants will re-
ceive free admission.
The Chamber is also accept-
ing applications for the Speckled
Perch Parade. The parade will be
held on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 10 am.
Applications are available at the
Chamber office.
The 40th annual Speckled
Perch Festival will be held Satur-
day and Sunday, Feb. 9-10.
Applications are also avail-


able for the 40th Annual Speck-
led Perch Festival. The Chamber
welcomes all non-profit arts and
crafts vendors and retail busi-
nesses to join them for their event
in Flagler Park. A reservation fee
of $75 for non-profit arts & crafts
booths and can include bake sale
items.
The fee for non-profit food
booths is $171.20. A reservation
fee of $100 is required for retail
booths for promotion of sale of
retail items. The fee for commer-
cial food vendors is $ 267.50. This
fee is collected at the time your
reservation is made. Rules do ap-
ply and are available at the Cham-
ber office.
With the 2008 festival being
the 40th anniversary of the Speck-
led Perch Festival there are new
events and activities in the works
to make this year a monumental


event. While being held in a dif-
ferent month and without the
support of the rodeo goers will
be new territory, the chamber is
prepared to do additional pro-
motional advertising in order to
make the event a success for the
chamber and for the other local
businesses and vendors involved.
For more information about
the Speckled Perch Pageant,
Speckled Perch Parade or the
Speckled Perch Festival contact
the Chamber at (863) 763-6464.
Remember to have your applica-
tions and money turned in to the
Chamber for the pageant by Tues-
day, Jan. 8.
Post your opinions in the Public
Issues Forum at www.newszap.com.
Reporter Chauna Agullar may be
reached at cagullar@newszap.com.


'l I1 T [ M 11 lI. I IIl I I'.TTI i 114 iI[ I


newszapecom
Free Speech Free Ads


Okeechobee News/Chauna Aguilar
This Anastasini European Big Top Extravaganza Circus per-
former balanced on three cylinders during their circus event
last year. Come see what he has in store for this year


provement Association, there is
still one more planning meeting
to be held to finalize details.
According to Wikipedia, the
free encyclopedia, Dr. King, (Jan,
15, 1929 April 4, 1968) was a
clergyman, activist and promi-
nent leader in the American civil
rights movements.
In 1964, Dr. King became the
youngest person to receive the
Nobel Peace Prize for his work to
end racial segregation and racial
discrimination through civil dis-
obedience and other non-violent
means.
In 1983, then-President Ronald
Reagan signed a bill creating a fed-
eral holiday to honor Dr. King. He
was posthumously awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom in
1977 and the Congressional Gold
Medal in 2004.
Post your opinions in the Public
Issues Forum at www.newszap.com.
Reporter Pete Gawda can be reached
atpgawda@newszap.com.

7 p.m. and Saturday at noon, the
cook teams will be vending their
foods. There will be a variety of
foods available that will include
a variety of foods such as roasted
corn.
On Saturday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m.
the people's choice tent will be
open where individuals can pay
$5 to taste as much as they desire
from each team that enters that
category. They must then select
the best pork butt and the respec-
tive cook will win that event.
For information about the
event, call Toni Doyle at 863-357-
MAIN.


Selit quik with

an onle dassiied ad!


Your





is our


Some newspapers seem to take pleasure in the bad news. Not us.


We do print "bad" news. (It IS newsworthy when things go
wrong, and citizens need to know about problems.)


Still, we give most of our attention to good news the kind you
clip and tape to your refrigerator door. (This isn't difficult. The
vast majority of what happens in our community IS good.)


How are we doing?


Let us know by mailing feedback@newszap.com or calling your
editor.


KEECHOBEE NEWS


Community Service Through Journalism


newsapticom
- 1161 5pooch It cc US -





6 Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4,2009


U.S. Peace Corps


needs good teachers


Peace Corps is recruiting quali-
fied teachers for numerous univer-
sity assignments around the globe.
Currently, there is a high demand for
skilled teachers with classroom and
teacher training experience in China
and Mongolia. Peace Corps education
volunteers placed in China and Mon-
golia will introduce innovative teach-
ing methods and encourage critical
thinking in a variety of classroom
settings throughout the country. They
may also work in curricula or materi-
als development, and train teachers
in conversational English, academic
subjects, or instruction methodolo-
gies.
Patrick Sansbury, of Spartanburg,
SC, has been serving in China for four
months. He said, "The opportunity to
teach here is an amazing one and I
would advise any teacher to apply
for Peace Corps in China. You get to
work with highly motivated students
who want to improve their English to
obtain a good job and to support their
families."
As part of its on-going effort to
bring more skilled and experienced
volunteers to the field, the Peace
Corps is reaching out to mid-career
and retiring teachers who are consid-
ering new alternatives to traditional
retirement.
"For my Chinese students, one
of my primary goals is instilling con-
fidence in them," said Megan Smith,
of Taylor, S.C., who previously taught
primary school in Iowa and South
Carolina. "Most of them have the
tools and knowledge necessary to
speak English, but many are still quite
terrified of doing it."
The most competitive candidates
have: a minimum of three years of
classroom experience; advanced de-
grees in teaching, education, TEFL,


12 days of Christmas
Mr. Stanley's 4th grade class of North Elementary present-
ed "...And a Groundhog in a Pear Tree" on Tuesday, Dec. 16
at 6 p.m. Mr. Stanley is very proud of all his students for all
their hard work, working so well together and for doing a
fabulous job. Characters included: Fish April Fool's Day,
Tee Nine Feb. 29, N.Y.D. New Year's Day, Calla Valen-
tine's Day, Whistle Groundhog Day, June Father's Day,
The Junettes June's hench-chicks and finally 12 Agents -
One for each of the 12 days of Christmas. Settings: Hallway
in Calendar Castle and The Grand Ballroom. The play was a
lot of fun with great humor. The students were very excited
to perform for their parents, teachers and classmates. Mr.
Stanley would like to thank following people, who helped
to make the play possible: Bonnie Roehm, Glenna Rucks,
Elizabeth Stanley, Debbie Raulerson, Holly Sizemore, Jack-
ie Hilyer, Kacey Hackett, Alicia Walker and everyone else
involved in making the program a huge success. Congratu-
lations to all of the students for a performance well done.


English, primary or secondary educa-
tion, or linguistics; or teacher trainer
experience. Other relevant experi-
ence includes working with adult lit-
eracy programs or writing for literary
magazines or newspapers.
Countrywide, China has a short-
age of 500,000 English teachers. In
1993 the first group of eighteen Peace
Corps Volunteers were sent at the
request of the Chinese government.
Volunteers participated in a pilot proj-
ect engaged in English education at
the university level. Fourteen years
have passed and English education
continues to be the top priority for the
universities in China
Currently 114Volunteers are teach-
ing English in more than 62 universi-
ties, including five medical colleges
and four vocational colleges. Peace
Corps Volunteers are known as "U.S.-
China Friendship Volunteers" to their
students and colleagues. Volunteers
teach English at colleges and univer-
sities within four regions of Western
China: Sichuan, Guizhou, Gansu, and
Chongqing.
The Peace Corps/Mongolia pro-
gram began with an English educa-
tion project in 1991 and has expand-
ed to include Volunteers working in
numerous sectors directly relevant
to national development priorities. In
July 2005, President Nambaryn Enkh-
bayar and Prime Minister Tsakhiagiyn
Elbegdorj both expressed their desire
for increased numbers of Peace Corps
Volunteers in Mongolia.
Since 1961, over 190,000 Volun-
teers have helped promote a better
understanding between Americans
and the people of the 139 countries
where Volunteers have served. Peace
Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens
and at least 18 years of age. There is
no upper age limit.


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SES winter carnival a success!


South Elementary's Winter
Carnival was a great success! The
students enjoyed the booths, the
adults enjoyed the Silent Auction
and everyone enjoyed the delicious
food. This week the PTO of South
Elementary would like to thank the
following businesses and individu-
als for their support of the Silent
Auction: Staffords, Y Drive Thru,
Communities in Schools, Hungry
Howies, Bealls Outlet, Marble Slab,
Accardi-Milrot Dodge, National City,
Linda Cotton, Gloria's Sween n
Bloom, Shoe Box, Mary Paulson,
Freida Stiles, Aaron's Furniture,
Okeechobee Feed, Home Depot,
Double G Enterprises, Trends Tan-
ning and Hair, Flower Petals, Eli's
Western Wear, Joe's Barbershop,
Rustic Ranch, Plaster Play Time,
Gilbert's Chevrolet, Superior Muf-
fler, The Tropics, Custom Graphics
and Design, Sandra Pearce Photog-
raphy, Everglades Farm Equipment,
Pahokee Palms, Tractor Supply,
Soaps and Scents, Badcock, Don's
Appliances, Cowgirl Diva, Daniels
Plumbing, Okeechobee Office Sup-
ply, ARS Power Sports, Car Quest,
The UPS Store, Maximum Tanning,
Suzie's Hallmark, Countryside Flo-
rist, Curves, Garrad Bait and Tackle,
Dianne Litteral, Okeechobee Coun-
ty Extension Office, and Dorothy
Rucks. The PTO will list all those
who donated food or volunteered
their time in next the next South El-
ementary article.
Gulfstream Natural Gas System
provides grants through their Wil-


liams Homegrown Giving program.
South Elementarywas awarded this
grant to purchase document read-
ers and projectors for classroom
use. Yamileth Duetcher served as
liaison between our SAC and Gulf-
stream Natural Gas. Her husband,
Shawn Duetcher, sponsored our
grant application.
The students who were recog-
nized as Student of the Week for
the week ending Dec. 19, included:
Alex Walker, Drina Aguilar, Tristan
Sweat, Jay Krall, Jadene Garcia,
Josie Carter, Shelby Warren, Cole
Carpenter, Jesus Denova, Haley
Land, Austyn Scruggs, Tracy Bron-
son, Daniel Arellano, Matthew Hud-
dleston, Naimah Campbell, Selena
Tagle, Jesus Gomez, Nelly Alman-
za, Taylor Hammack, Jessica Del-
gado, Justin Hunter, and Dakoda
Garelick.
The Students of the Month for
December included, Aliany Garcia,
Xander Blackwood, Yesenia Leon,
Jay Krall, Matthew Arnall, Josie
Carter, Dillon Hill, Janixza Lopez,
Jesus Denova, Anselmo Garcia, Lo-
gan Etherton, Rainne Kasik, Noah
Torres, Cristian Rios, Jennifer Cen-
ter, Bailie Shurley, Brittany Snow,
Nathan Center, Maricela Bucio, and
Caitlan Seffield.
Teachers return from Winter
Break on Jan. 5. Students return
on Jan. 6. Friday, Jan. 9, is Tie Day
for Spirit Day. Students can wear
any type of tie to show their school
spirit!


Online Guestbook
All Obituaries now include Online Guestbooks
where family and friends can share reflections,
remembrances and condolences.



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If You Can't Come to Us, We'll Come to You!


Se Habla Espanl 863-824-6776
titleandlegalservices@yahoo.com 1138 South Parrott Avenue


Submitted photo/South Elementary

Students of the Week
The students who were recognized as Student of the Week
for the week ending Dec. 19, included: Alex Walker, Drina
Aguilar, Tristan Sweat, Jay Krall, Jadene Garcia, Josie Carter,
Shelby Warren, Cole Carpenter, Jesus Denova, Haley Land,
Austyn Scruggs, Tracy Bronson, Daniel Arellano, Matthew
Huddleston, Naimah Campbell, Selena Tagle, Jesus Gomez,
Nelly Almanza, Taylor Hammack, Jessica Delgado, Justin
Hunter, and Dakoda Garelick.


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A i;m 14 L i1mijj


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Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4, 2009 7


For individual and business e-File, 2008 is a record breaker


WASHINGTON Individual
taxpayers e-filed almost 90 mil-
lion tax returns during 2008, an
increase of more than 12 percent
over the prior year. Of the 155
million tax returns filed, about 58
percent were filed electronically.
"More people with home com-
puters and businesses embraced
electronic filing this year," said
IRS Commissioner Doug Shul-
man. "Every year, more people
realize that electronic filing is the
safe, accurate way for taxpayers
to complete their taxes and get
faster refunds."
Tax returns filed
by individuals
While the total number of
returns has increased by 23 per-
cent during the past decade, the
number filed electronically has
increased by 206 percent.
Year Total Returns e -
Filed Returns Percent of total
e-filed
1999 125,900,000
29,349,000 23.31%
2000 128,430,000


Okeechobee: The Accident
Law Offices of Philip DeBerard is
proud to announce that Bonnie
Kinchen, CPCFPRP and Rosanna
Schachtele, RP, paralegals at the
law firm have become Florida
Registered Paralegals upon the
completion of The Florida Bar As-
sociation's Registered Paralegal
program's educational, training,
and work experience require-
ment program.
Under the direction and super-
vision of Attorney DeBerard, an
active member of the Florida Bar,
both professionals performed
specifically-delegated, substantive
legal work for which the Bar As-
sociation member is responsible.
There are currently 2.469 Flori-


35,412,000
2001 130,
40,244,000
2002 13 1,
46,892,000
2003 13 1,
52,944,000
2004 1 3 2,
61,507,000
2005 133,
68,476,000
2006 136,
73,255,000
2007 140,
79,979,000
2008 155,
89,886,000


27.57%
965,000
30.73%
728,000
35.60%
557,000
40.24%
200,000
46.53%
933,000
51.13%
071 ,000
53.84%
188,000
57.05%
490,000
57.80%


This year, almost 27 million
returns were filed by individu-
als from their home computers,
up from 22.6 million last year a
19 percent increase. Filings from
home computers accounted for
30 percent of all returns e-filed
by individuals. Even though in-
dividual tax filings were spurred
to unprecedented levels by the
economic stimulus payments,
the percentage of those e-filed in-
creased to 58 percent.


Rosanna Bonnie
Schachtele Kinchen
da Registered Paralegals.
The Accident Law Offices
of Philip DeBerard, www.flain-
jurylawyer.com proudly prac-
tices in the area of Personal In-
jury & Wrongful Death serving
Okeechobee, Stuart, Jupiter and
Fort Pierce.


Chamber Chatter


The Christmas Festival and
lighted parade held in Flagler
park was a success. I would like
to thank the City Council for mak-
ing this possible. Also Mr. Donnie
Robertson and his crew for being
so helpful. Thank you to the City
Police and Lt. Donald Hagan for
all your help at the parade and
Jenny Pung at Waste Management
for the spot lights and trash cans.
Sheriff Paul May, I appreciate all
the help that you provide for the
clean up after the festivals. Also,
Okeechobee News thank you for
getting our information out to the
public. Finally thank you to all the
vendors that participated in our
event. Putting on a festival is a lot
of hard work, I could not have
done it without your help. Our
Christmas parade was awesome!
I have received so many compli-
ments from the spectators on
how wonderful the floats were. I
know first hand how much time it
takes to make a float and we had
some of the best! I was told that
our parade was far better than the
coast. Next year we will judge the
floats, so we can give recognition


to the ones that really made an ef-
fort.
I would also like to add that
my very own "Santa's Angel Net-
work" was a success! We were
able to provide gifts for 53 fami-
lies. Thank you to Jeanette and
Craig Miller with "Blake's Toy Ca-
per," Rim Ditch Toy & Poker Run,
Dollar Tree, Dollar General and
all of the individuals that donated
gifts for the families. Okeechobee
may have grown but we still have
a tight knit community when it
comes to generosity. Our next
event is our Third Annual Anasta-
sini Under the Big Top Circus. This
family-owned circus provides a
first rate class act that children and
adults enjoy. Each year the Anas-
tasini family adds something dif-
ferent to the circus. This year they
will have four elephants and box-
ing kangaroos in their act. I hope
you all attend this event. Also kids
are invited on Thursday, Jan. 8, at
11 a.m. to watch the elephants eat
Domino Pizza for free! It is going
to be great! We hope you all have
a safe and Happy New Year!


Free File
During 2008, taxpayers with an
adjusted gross income of $54,000
or less, or about 70 percent of
individual taxpayers, had the op-
tion of choosing to e-file for free
through IRS Free File, a partner-
ship between the IRS and some
software manufacturers. Almost
4.8 million tax returns were filed
through Free File, an increase of
24 percent over last year's total of
almost 3.9 million returns.
Refunds: Direct
Deposit and IRS.gov
Set Records
More taxpayers chose to re-
ceive their refunds through direct
deposit during 2008. The agency
made 66 million direct deposit
payments in 2008, up 8 percent
from 61 million payments at the
same time in 2007.
Overall, the IRS issued 107 mil-
lion tax refund payments in 2008,
up almost 2 percent from 105
million refund payments for the
same time in 2007. As of Oct. 31,


the average refund for 2008 was
$2,400, up 4 percent from $2,309
at the same time in 2007.
IRS.gov
The IRS Internet site, IRS.gov,
continues to be a convenient
source of federal tax information
that consumers can trust, and the
site's popularity continues to in-
crease. As of Oct. 18, IRS.gov had
been visited 329,367,883 times.
Tax Returns e-Filed
by Businesses
Businesses also broke e-file re-
cords during 2008 by filing almost
2 million corporate and partner-
ship income tax returns, an in-
crease of more than 50 percent
over the prior year. Partnership e-
filings saw the steepest increase.
Large partnerships, those with
more than 100 partners, e-filed
more than 27,000 returns during
2008, up 156 percent compared
to the prior year's total.
Corporations and partnerships
e-filed 1,944,421 tax returns dur-
ing 2008, up 50 percent from last


Mortgage changes give retirees silver lining


You have to look hard to find
good news in today's economic
outlook, but for retirees, changes
to the Federally-Insured Reverse
Mortgage are making this holiday
season brighter.
All ages are feeling the pinch


of the downturn in our economy,
which is especially true for retir-
ees who are vulnerable to the im-
pact on their retirement income.
In a recent poll of Americans
60 and over, 92 percent classify
the current state of the economy


as "headed for" or "in the midst
of" a downturn, and 53 percent
feel the current economic condi-
tions are the worse they have ever
experienced.
As many as 87 percent of re-
spondents to the MetLife Mature
Market Institute poll indicated that
they are curtailing their spending,
with 70 percent cutting back on
essentials such as food and trans-
portation.
As families gather together to
celebrate the holidays, there is an
opportunity to ease much of the
fear and stress related to financial
concerns for senior members.
New regulations under the
Housing and Economic Recov-
ery Act (HERA) have made great
improvements to the Federally-
Insured Reverse Mortgage.
A reverse mortgage enables
homeowners 62 and older to con-
vert the equity in their home into
cash for any purpose. The best
part is that there is no repayment
for as long as the homeowners
live in their home. Credit and in-
come are not used to qualify, and
Social Security and Medicare ben-
efits are not affected.
On Nov. 6, the Department of
Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) increased a single national
loan limit for reverse mortgages
to $417,000, up from the previ-
ous limits ranging by county from
$200,160 to $362,790. This new
higher loan limit is expected to in-
crease the number of retirees who
qualify for a reverse mortgage,
and to enable existing reverse
mortgage borrowers to refinance
their reverse mortgage to receive
more money from their home.
In addition, HUD has capped
the fee reverse mortgage lenders


may charge to $6,000, which will
put more money in the pocket of
senior homeowners.
For retirees who now lease a
home and would like to become
a homeowner, on Jan. 1, 2009,
HUD will allow the use of a re-
verse mortgage to buy a home.
This includes the purchase of ex-
isting one-to-four-unit properties.
Retirees could purchase a duplex
or four-unit property, live in one,
and rent out the other units to
supplement their retirement in-
come.
"There is no doubt that retir-
ees are being adversely affected
by today's economic conditions,"
Steven Brooks, Senior Loan Offi-
cer at First Liberty Mortgage said.
"We are able to structure the
reverse mortgage so that it best
serves the needs of our senior
client by receiving a lump sum
up front for immediate needs,
monthly payments to cover ongo-
ing expenses, and a line-of-credit
to draw from for unexpected or
larger expenses."
For many retirees who previ-
ously did not qualify for a reverse
mortgage because their existing
mortgage balance was too high
or they were renting a home, you
may now be able to qualify.
To learn more about reverse
mortgages and how the new reg-
ulations affect you, contact First
Liberty Mortgage. They provide
a free reverse mortgage informa-
tional package and confidential
estimate by calling them toll-free
at 800-642-3188 or by visiting
www.mytreasurecoastloan.com.


year's total of 1,294,475. The to-
tal number for e-filed returns that
were not filed by individuals was
3,365,757, up 65 percent from
last year's total of 2,172,753. This
number includes forms e-filed by
exempt organizations.
[Filing Season Statistics, be-
low:]
2008 FILING SEASON STATIS-
TICS
Cumulative through the weeks
ending 11/02/07 and 10/31/08
Individual Income Tax Re-
turns 2007 2008 %
Change
Total Receipts 139,272,000
155,490,000 11.6
Total Processed
138,647,000 154,241,000
11.3
E-filing Receipts:

TOTAL 79,979,000
89,886,000 12.4
Tax Professionals


57,420,000
9.6


62,959,000


Self-prepared 22,559,000
26,927,000 19.4
Free File 3,853,813
4,774,894 23.9
Web Usage:
Visits to IRS.gov
198,049,375 329,367,883
19.7
Total Refunds:
Number 105,147,000
106,780,000 1.6
Amount ($Bil) 242.805
256.264 5.5
Average refund-$2,309
$2,400 3.9
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number-61,444,000
66,338,000 8.0
Amount ($Bil) 165.759
180.498 8.9
Average refund$ 2 6 9 8
$2,721 0.9


SGMAC
Pritchard's GMA


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DREAMCATCHER REALTY
Maureen Kleiman, Lic. Real Estate Broker 863-357-5900


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Okeechobee News/Chauna Aguilar

Communities in Schools
Sharon Vinson (right) accepted a check on behalf of Jill
Rogers (not pictured) and the Commuinties in Schools
from the United Way's Terelle Peterson (left) and Melody
Hodges (center) to help them continue their services in
Okeechobee County.


Hazellief & Prevatt Realty Co.
David Hazellief 863-610-1553 Betty Hazellief 86310-0144
Sharon Prevatt s 863-634-7069 Dee Reeder' 863-610-2485

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CHOOSE LOVE


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8 Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4,2009


Community Events


Red Cross class
dates slated
The Okeechobee Branch of
the American Red Cross will be
holding the following the follow-
ing Health & Safety classes in
January: Tuesday, Jan. 6 First
Aid Basics at 6 p.m. Wednesday,
Jan. 14 Infant/Child CPR/AED at
6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20 Adult
CPR/AED at 6 p.m. All classes are
held at their Branch office located
at 323 N. Parrott Ave. To register,
or for more information call 863-
763-2488.

Glades County
officials sworn in
The County Commissioners
and newly Re-Elected County Of-
ficials of Glades County will hold
their Installation Ceremony on
Tuesday night, Jan. 6, 2009 at the
Doyle Conner Center at 7 p.m.
County Commissioners Butch
Jones; District 1, Paul Beck; Dis-
trict 3, and Bob Giesler; District 5,
along with Sheriff Stuart Whiddon,
Clerk of Courts Joe Flint, Property
Appraiser Larry Luckey, Tax Col-
lector Gail Jones, and Supervisor
of Elections Holly Whiddon will
be sworn into office. Everyone is
cordially invited to attend

BHR VFD
Winterfest 2009
Winterfest 2009 in Buckhead
Ridge will be held on Jan. 31.
There will be catfish, cotton can-
dy, popcorn, crafts, music and

Reflections
from the
Pulpit
By Rev. Ed Skiba
Chaplain, Big Lake Hospice
Pray Without Ceasing
When I sit down to write
about theological issues, I always
pray and ask for God's perspec-
tive and not mine. Doctrine and
dogma can be catalysts or can
be points of division within the
church. What seems readily obvi-
ous to one segment of the church
can seem vague and uncertain
to another segment. Many times
differences of opinion are formed
around what we want scripture
to say rather than what it actually
says.
Some of us choose one version
of the Holy Bible as the only iner-
rant version. Some of us choose
to see the same Holy Bible as
little more than a "guideline" by
which we should live. Some have
even changed the wording to fit
their perspectives. God has given
us His divine revelation in these
sacred texts and we use them to
manipulate and distort His will
for our lives. He has generously
revealed Himself to us and we try
to tell Him who He is.
How do we know what is
right and what is wrong about
our spiritual understanding and
perspective? If we attempt to de-
termine our spiritual direction by
intellectualizing God's Word, we
will be able to form a secularly
comfortable perspective that we
can neatly fit into a prefabricated
corner of our lives. It won't inter-
fere with what we really want to
do, and we can pull it out and use
it for reference whenever we feel
like it ... or not!
If, on the other hand, we listen
to Paul's admonition in 1 Thessa-
lonians 5:17 which states ..."pray
without ceasing" we will find our-
selves in a place where God's will
for our lives, and His intentions
in His scriptures, become a clear
and integral part of who we are.
We all lead busy lives in which we
can't be constantly on our knees
in prayer. What Paul was saying
is that we should have such an in-
timate relationship with God that
allows Him to know our thoughts
and needs before we even ask,
which He does anyway. More im-
portantly, by that relationship, we
should know God's desire for our
lives without even having to think
or ask about it.
I believe we, as people, put
too much emphasis on the ap-
pearance of spirituality and not
enough on the practice of it. There
is a great difference between reli-
gion and relationship. It's the dif-
ference between intellectualizing
God's Word and internalizing it.
God wants us to be so open and
receptive to His will that it doesn't
matter what version of the Bible
we read, the Holy Ghost's inspira-
tion of God's will in the scripture's
words will reach to the center of
our being and we will understand
God's perfect will for our lives.
Understanding God's will for us
and accepting it are two separate
issues. We'll talk about our ac-
ceptance of God's will next time
I write.
Have a blessed New Year.
Know that God loves you and so
do I.


more. For more information, call
863-532-9015 or John at 863-467-
8220. Anyone interested in rent-
ing a booth for Winterfest 2009,
please call John at 863-467-8220
or 863-532-9015.

Chamber announces
Speckled Perch dates
Okeechobee Chamber of
Commerce has announced the
dates for the Annual Speckled
Perch event and Beauty Pageant.
The pageant will be held Jan. 17
at the K.O.A. Convention Center.
Applications are available
at the Chamber of Commerce.
Deadline for entry is Jan. 5.
Applicants must be residents
of Okeechobee. A $75 non re-
fundable fee will be required with
each applicant.
New divisions for this year's
pageant are:
Tiny Mr. & Tiny Miss Speckled
Perch Ages 2-3
Little Mr. & Little Miss Speckled
Perch Ages 4-6
Speckled Perch Prince Ages
-6-8
Jr. Miss Speckled Perch Ages
-9-12
Teen Miss Speckled Perch -
Ages 13-15
Miss Speckled Perch Ages 16-
19

DAR to meet
The National Society, Daugh-
ters of the American Revolution
has changed its regular meeting
place from the Oakview Baptist
Church to the Okeechobee Coun-


ty Public Library. We will nor-
mally be meeting on the first Sat-
urday of each month September
through May but for the month of
January ONLY we will be meeting
on Jan. 10, the second Saturday
at the library.

Raulerson Hospital
presents "Ladies
Health Day."
On Jan. 20, from noon until 1
p.m., a "Ladies Health Day" lun-
cheon will take place at Indian
River State College in the Raul-
erson Hospital Auditorium. The
Raulerson Hospital Auditorium
is located in the new Williamson
Conference and Education Cen-
ter at 2229 N.W Ninth Avenue at
IRSC. The guest Raulerson Hospi-
tal staff physicians will be James
Bradfield M.D., Board Certified
Gynecologist, Albert Bravo M.D.,
Board Certified Gastroenterologist
and Internal Medicine, and Philip
Moyer M.D., board Certified Gen-
eral/Vascular Surgeon and Diplo-
mate American Board of General
Surgery. The seminar will cover
many of the new gynecology and
health care services that are now
being offered for women of all
ages and the new "State of the
Art" surgical procedures that are
opening up regularly at the hos-
pital. Reservations are required.
Please R.S.VP. to Bill Casian at
863-824-2702. Only 100 seats are
available for this event.


ETERNITY

IS A LONG TIME

TO BE W N.I G

Okeechobee News/Pete Gawda
How long is eternity?
His House Church of the Nazarene urges us to consider
our choices carefully.


I I- I I 1111 ,



newszap.comR
Free Speech Free Ads


Softball plans
tryouts for season
The Okeechobee High School
softball program will hold try-outs
for 9th thru 12th graders on Jan.
8 and 9 from 3 until 6 p.m. at the
OHS softball field. Any interested
athletes must have a physical to
participate in the try-out. Physi-
cal forms can be picked up from
the main office at OHS. If you are
playing another sport at OHS and
would like to try out or have any
questions pertaining to try-outs
please contact Coach Kim Har-
graves at 863-634-6322 as soon as
possible.

Hospice holds
yard sale
Hospice of Okeechobee will
host a Huge three-day, first of the
year yard sale at the Blue Volun-
teer Building, next to The Ham-
rick Home (411 S.E. 4th Street) on
Thursday, Jan. 8 from 8 a.m. un-
til 2 p.m. Friday Jan. 9, 8 a.m. un-
til 2 p.m. and Saturday Jan. 10 8
a.m. until noon. Many new items
available all monies raised will
go towards patient care here in


Okeechobee, including services
provided at The Hamrick Home.
For information, call Cathy at 863-
467-2321.
Memorial service
to be held
A memorial service to cel-
ebrate the life of Murray C. Yates,
who passed away on Friday, Aug.
29, 2008 at the age of 77, wll
be held on Saturday, Jan. 10 at
the Okeechobee Moose Lodge,
159 N.W 36th St. It will begin at
2 p.m. Murray was a member
of the Loyal Order of the Moose
from 1965 until his death. He was
a Legionnaire, Past Governor and
Fellow within the lodge. Family


and friends are invited to attend.
Main Street
Mixer planned
Okeechobee Main Street will
kick off the New Year with their
first monthly mixer of the new
year hosted by Raulerson Hospital
on Tuesday Jan. 13. The January
mixer will be held at the Rauler-
son Company Care Office in the
blue top building just north of the
hospital at 1930 Hwy 441 North.
Main Street Mixers are a night of
networking, refreshments, door
prizes and a chance for you to
win the Mega 50/50 at the end of
the year, so invite a friend and join
us.


Sales:
Monday
at 12 p.m.

Tuesday
at 11 a.m.


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Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4, 2009 9


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Important Information Please
read your ad carefully the first
day it appears. In case of an
inadvertent error, please noti
fy us prior the deadline list-
ed We wil not be responsible
fr or more than 1 incorrect
insertion, or for more than the
extent of the ad rendered val-
ueless by such errors
Advertiser assumes responsi-
bility for all statements, names
and content of an ad, and
assumes responsibility for any
claims against Independent
Newspapers. All advertising
is subject to publisher's
approval The publisher
reserves the right to accept or
reject any or all copy, and to
insert above the copy the word
"advertisement" All ads
accepted are subject to credit
approval. All ads must conform
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never knowingly accept any
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considered fraudulent. in all
cases of questionable value,
such as promises of guaran-
teed income from work-at-
home programs or other offers
to send money in advance for
a product or service -we
advise you to check with the
Attorney General's Consumer
Fraud Line at 1-800-220-5424,
and/or The Better Business
Bureau, 800-464-6331 for pre-
vious complaints
Auctions 105
Car Pool 110
Shar a ride 115
Card of Thanks 120
In Memoriam 125
Found 130
Lost 135
Give Away 140
Garage/Yard Sale 145
Personals 150
Special Notices 155
900 Numbers 160



DOG female, black, vic. of 98
& 70, near Speck Restaurant
on Christmas Day Call to
describe (863)697-8656


TERRIER MIX male, black,
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w/red rabies tag, vie of SE
8th Ave. (863)467-9272
Family Pet, REWARD
Find it faster. Sell it sooner
in the classified


Tall Guy- Secure, Profes., To
meet Attractive Gal or Cou-
ples for Dining, Traveling,
etc Call (863)946-3123


READING A
NEWSPAPER,,
saves you money by
providing information
about best buys.

No wonder newspaper
readers earn more!


Employment -
Full-Tme 205
Employment -
Medical 210
Employment -
Part-Time 215
Employment
Wanted 220
Job Information 225
Job Training 227
Sales 230




HEALTHCARE
SPECIALIST
Lincare, leading national res-
piratory company seeks
Healthcare Specialist. Re-
sponsibilities Disease Man-
agement Program, clinical
evaluations, equipment set-
up & education. Be the doc-
tor's eyes in the home
setting RN, RRT, CRT li-
censed as applicable Great
personality with strong work
ethic needed. Competitive
salary, benefits & career
paths Drug Free Workplace,
EOE. Please fax resume to
Angel, 863-763-5191 or call
(863)763-7337

Financial



Business
Opportunities 305
Money Lenders 310
Tax Preparation 315




NOTICE
Independent Newspapers will
never accept any advertise-
ment that is illegal or con-
sidered fraudulent. In all
cases of questionable val-
ue, such as promises of
guaranteed income from
work-at-home programs if
it sounds too good to be
true, chances are that it is.
If you have questions or
doubts about any ad on
these pages, we advise that
before responding or send-
ing money ahead of time,
you checkwith the Better
Business Bureau at
772-878-2010 for previous
complaints.
Some 800 and 900 telephone
numbers may require an
extra charge, as well as
long distance toll costs. We
will do our best to alert our
reader of these charges in
the ads, but occasionally
we may not be aware of the
charges. Therefore, if you
call a number out of your
area, use caution.

Love the earth Recycle
your used items by
selling them in the
classified.


Legacycome

Search obituaries
nationally at
htp://www.legaocy.com


,V-W CASTLE
ASTE The Parenting
CASTLE 1Professionals
Support our fight for the prevention of child abuse
Call (863) 467-7771


Health Foods
Vitamins, Minerals

Nature's Pantry
417 W S Park St (863) 467-1243


Services



Babysitting 405
Child Care Needed 410
Child Care Offered415
Instruction 420
Services Offered425
Insurance 430
Medical Services435



DEE'S MINOR REPAIR
& Pressure Washing
Cool Sealing, Painting,
Carpentry & Much Morel
No Job Too Big or Small.
(863)467-2917
or (863)261-6425
License # 5698 ~

? NEED HELP ?
CALL GEORGE CARTER
Painting, Repairs, Carpentry
Power Washing
FREE CONSULTATION
(863)763-4775



JACK'S TOP SOIL
Fill DirtiShell Rock
& Bob Cat work.
Call 863-467-4734

Merchandise



Air Conditioners 505
Antiques 510
Appliances 515
Appliance Parts 520
Beauty Supplies 525
Bicycles 530
Books & Magazines535
Building Materials540
Business Equipment 545
Carpets/Rugs 550
Children's Items 555
China, Glassware, Etc. 560
Clothing 565
Coins/Stamps 570
Collectibles 575
Computer/Video 580
Crafts/Supplies 585
Cruises 590
Drapes, Linens & Fabrics 595
Fireplace Fixture 600
Firewood 605
Furniture 610
Furs 615
Health & Reducing
Equipment 620
Heating Equipment/
Supplies 625
Household Items 630
Jewelry 635
Lamps/Lights 640
Luggage 645
Medical Items 650
Miscellaneous 655
Musical Instruments 660
Office Supplies/
Equipment 665
Pets/Supplies/
Services 670
Photography 675
Plumbing Supplies 680
Pools & Supplies 685
Restaurant
Equipment 690
Satellite 695
Sewing Machines 700
Sporting Goods 705
Stereo Equipment 710
Television/Radio 715
Tickets 720
Tools 725
Toys & Games 730
VCRs 735
Wanted to Buy 740



LARGE ANTIQUE Coffee Table
$250. One small antique end
table $50. (863)763-5501


RINGER WASHER Antique, in


working order
(863)467-4449


$100 Firm


LARGE KENMORE refrigerator-
Black side by side, Indoor
ice/water dispenser $275
(863)532-9789



RECLAIM THE
GARAGE! CLEAN OUT
THE CLOSETS!
STOP PAYING FOR
MINI-STORAGE!
A SUPERIOR SHED
WILL MAKE IT EASY
FOR YOU IN 20091

INSTANT APPROVALS
WE FINANCE AND
DELIVER YOUR SHED

(863)983-8106


STORKCRAFT ASPEN BABY
CRIB -
3 in 1 crib with drawer & mat-
tress $100 (863)763-7983


THREE MCDONALDS Train
Sets, Still in boxes. asking
$150. Also 20 Piece Teapot
collection $250
(863)763-5501







Lamps $17, 100 Barstools
$39 up, 50 Desks $97 up,
3Pc Dropleaf Dinette $197,
50 Table and 4 Chairs $397
up, 200 Recliners $297 up,
50 2pc Sofa & Loveseat
sets $687 up, 50 TV Ent.
Centers $167 up, 2 Pc
Queen Bed set $297 up, 50
4Pc Bedroom sets $387 up,
3Pc Livingroom tables
$97up, 100 headboards
$79 up






WHITE BROYHILL-BR Set,
King headboard,Dresser
w/mirrorArmlour $350 for
all (863)532-9789


WOOLEY SHED -14 X 22 A/C
Auto garage door, paid
$9500 will sell for $5000
Neg (863)697-3108
Love the earth Recycle
your used items by
selling them in the
classified.


YORKIE 2 12 week old fe-
males with papers and shots
$800 Firm, Ready to go!
(863)467-0218


SWAMP BUGGY-Palm Beach
Style 350 Auto, 400 Turbo
Trans, Offset 12x24 Tractor
Tires $4500 (863)447-5456


IfT7 1 11 1il mil 1 l
* Key West I/I Furnished cottagee Dade County Pine Hardwood
Floors adorable wrap around porch on Taylor Creek
* Gorgeous setting on Taylor Creek, 2bd/lba, fully furnished, washer
dryer. Huge fenced in backyard-oncrete boat ramp.
',' i ~~I i I


LARGE 73' MITSUBISIH- Rear
Proection bought in 2005,
moved too large for living
room, excellent cond, great
picture & sound $800 cash
only call to see, great
Christmas gift
(863)801-4367
Shop here first!
The classified ads


Rentals



Apartments 905
Business Places 910
Commercial
Property 915
Condos/
Townhouses Rent920
Farm Property -
Rent 925
House Rent 930
Land Rent 935
Resort Property -
Rent 945
Roommate 950
Rooms to Rent 955
Storage Space -
Rent 960



IN TOWN 2/2 very clean,
wid, lawn maint included,
$800 + $300 sec
(863)634-3572
STUDIO APT Furn, full bath &
kit, use of deck/boat house
for small boat, heated pool,
incl elec/cable $850 me, 1st
& sec, suitable for retirees
(863)357-1566 rent month.
VIKING/PRAIRIE Efficiency.
Very clean! $600/mo. In-
cludes utilities No pets Call
561-329-8205



KINGS BAY- 2/2 All Applianc-
es $800 mo (836)634-9521
OAK LAKE VILLAS #17- 2/2,
Irg bdrms, W&D incld,
$800/mo, s, last & $500
sec. (863)467-5965
TAYLOR CREEK CONDO
1BR/1BA, furnished or unfur-
nished, pool & tennis, boat
dock, very nice. $700/mo. +
sec. deposit. 561-324-4902 or
561-582-8693


BHR LAKE ACCESS 2/1 Im-
maculate, Furn, $500 mo an-
nually, $650 me seasonal,
No pets/smokers, one room
apt $400 mo. Annualy.
(863)763-6086
BUCKHEAD RIDGE 3/2, 2 car
garage, W/D, Screened
porch w/Hot tub, Pets OK,
$1200/mo (863)634-5236
OKEE. 2br/1ba, unfurnished
duplex $550/mo + $550
dep 3624 SE 35th Ave
(239)707-5155
OKEE: 3/1 on / ac. Renovat-
ed, laundry, C/A/heat, screen
porch, carport $925 mo, 1st
mo & dep Call 305-458-8659
OKEECHOBEE, 3br, 2ba, with
garage. C/Ar. Lazy 7 area.
1st, last & sec.
863-467-2541
OKEECHOBEE- 4br, 2ba, in
city limits, looking for re-
sponsible renters w/refs. Re-
duced $1000/mo+ Dep only
needed (863)634-9139


MOORE HAVEN- Furn. rm,
A/C, Dish Satellite, Movie
channels, Util incl $125 wk
$125 Sec dep (863)946-0355



WATERFRONT: 2BR, 1V2 BA
Treasure Island Fenced yd
$765 mo (772) 359-6584
mardelvar@comcast.net.


Real Estate



Business Places -
Sale 1005
Commercial
Property Sale 1010
Condos/
Townhouses Sale1015
Farms Sale 1020
Houses Sale 1025
Hunting Property 1030
Investment
Property Sale 1035
Land Sale 1040
Lots Sale 1045
Open House 1050
Out of State -
Property Sale 1055
Property Inspectionio60
Real Estate Wanted1065
Resort Property -
Sale 1070
Warehouse Space 1075
Waterfront Property 1080



Brand New Construction -
4BR/2BA, Near lake access
on Hwy 441,2 car garage &
storage, big lots w/space for
garden, all credit considered,
$149,900
Call (520) 360-1893
















CROOKED CREEK
Corner Lot. 2.2 acre, $95K
OBO Call Cell
772-530-2095
or 863-467-6399



SPENCER TENN-3.9 ACRES In
Hawk's Bluff Subdivision,
Best Bluff lot available lot
154 go to www.vist-
and.com for more info.
$102 500 (561)743-2093



WANT TO BUY Small house
with apartment or Duplex
Cal (863)467-7996

Mobile Homes



Mobile Home Lots 2005
Mobile Home Parts 2010
Mobile Homes Rent 2015
Mobile Homes Sale 2020






(863)763-4892 or
863 763-5419 Anytime



BEST VALUE IN TOWN! For
Rent 2/1 apartment Unit
newly remodeed. Located
12 minutes north of Okee-
chobee on Equestran
Ranch Monthly water, trash
& lawn maintenance includ-
ed. No Pets! $495 Move in
special. M-F (863)467-2982


We are now able to do all phases
of mechanical work. Full time
mechanic on duty. Stop by and
give us a try!!!!
ST. LUCIE BATTERY & TIRE
198 US Hwy 98N Okeechobee (863) 357-2431 www.slbt.com


PublicNo ic 5


I u li oic


NOTICE OF MEETING OF THE
COQUINA WATER CONTROL DISTRICT
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS FOR COQUINA WATER CONTROL DISTRICT WILL
HOLD A MEETING ON WEDNESDAY JANUARY 14, 2009 AT 9 00 A M AT THE CO-
OUINA WATER CONTROL DISTRICTS FIELD OFFICE, 17429 NW 242ND STREET
OKEECHOBEE, FL A COPY OF THE PROPOSED AGENDA MAY BE OBTAINED UPON
REQUEST FROM THE UNDERSIGNED IF ANY PERSON DECIDES TO APPEAL ANY
DECISION BY THE BOARD WITH RESPECT TO ANY MATTER CONSIDERED AT
SUCH MEETING THAT PERSON WILL NEED A RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS
AND FOR SUCH PURPOSES THAT PERSON MAY NEED TO ENSURE THAT A VER-
BATIM RECORD OF THE PROCEEDINGS, WHICH INCLUDES THE TESTIMONY AND
EVIDENCE UPON WHICH THE APPEAL IS TO BE BASED, IS MADE ANY PERSON
WISHING TO SPEAK AT THE MEETING MUST HAVE THEIR NAME AND TOPIC
PLACED ON THE AGENDA ONE WEEK BEFORE THE DATE OF THE MEETING ALL
PROPERTY OWNERS WITHIN THE DISTRICT ARE INVITED TO ATTEND
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, PERSONS
NEEDING A SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION OR AN INTERPRETER TO PARTICIPATE IN
THE PROCEEDINGS SHOULD CONTACT THE DISTRICT'S OFFICES BY CALLING
1863)763-4601 AT LEAST TWO &2 DAYS PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE MEETING
NOTICE COQUINA WATER CONTROL DISTRICT HAS AN ONGOING AOUATIC
SPRAYING PROGRAM, DISTRICT WIDE
WILLARD M BYARS
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
17429 NW242ND STREET
OKEECHOBEE, FL 34972
(863)763-4601 OR (863)634-3166
305312 ON 1/409


MOBILE HOMES FOR RENT
1, 2 & 3 Bedrooms
Low Deposits &
Reasonable Payments
863-983-3554
OKEE 2/2, Very nice w/lot!
9317 SE 57th Dr., $55K or
$700/mth 772-597-2098 or
561-234-6470



BANK REPO'S
MOVE TO YOUR LAND
Mobile Home Angels
561-721-2230
-MOBILE HOME SALES-
Huge 4BR/3BA
32x80 Set up on Your
Lot -$550 Monthly
800-330-8106 or
863-467-6622
MOBILE HOMES
Need your mobile
home moved? We have
28 years experience.
Call for your Free Quote!
(863)983-8106
OKEE 2/2, Very nice w/lot'
9317 SE 57th Dr, $55K or
$700/mth. 772-597-2098 or
561-234-6470.
OKEECHOBEE Db Wide, on
canal, elec boat lift, Ig at-
tached Util Room, Ig Util
shed, golf car, furnished, Exc
condo 1307 S Parrot, #40,
Riverbend Mob Home Pk,
(217)652-1238
ON CANAL 24x48, 3BR, 2BA
2 Screen rms, 3 sheds, car-
port River Bend Park Lot 37
$42,500 (863)467-4712
Grab a bargain from your
neighbor's garage, attic,
basement or closet in
today's classieds.

Recreation



Boats 3005
Campers/RVs 3010
Jet Skiis 3015
Marine Accessories 3020
Marine Miscellaneous3025
Motorcycles 3030
Sport Vehicles/ATVs 3035



AIR BOAT-STOSSELL HULL,
Decked over, with trailer, as
is, no motor or prop $3000
OBO (863)763-7174
OPEN BOW BOAT, 17 Ft w/
Trailer $300 FIRM
(863)763-0812


MOTORHOME-32 Ft. 1999
Coachman-Gas Generator,
Slideout, Good Cond. 21k
miles $28,000 OBO Can be
seen at 2347 SE 32nd St
TOe (863)824-6799 or
561-662-6576

TRAIL-LITE BANTAM '99 -
Kitchen & Bathroom, 26'
w/Fold Out Ends. Asking
$4000 (863)467-0031


YAHAMA DIRTBIKE-2006
TTR-125, used very title,
great cond. Big Wheel,$1800
OBO $350 in extras
(863)763-5229
Grab a bargain from your
neighbor's garage, atbc,
basement or closet in
today's classifieds.


LU


ia


YAMAHA BANSHEE 2000, 4
Wheeler, lots of upgraded
parts, also have spare parts.
$4000 Neg 863-781-1358
Robert

nutomohiles



Automobiles 4005
Autos Wanted 4010
Classic Cars 4015
Commercial Trucks 4020
Construction
Equipment 4025
Foreign Cars 4030
Four Wheel Drive 4035
Heavy Duty Trucks4040
Parts Repairs 4045
Pickup Trucks 4050
Sport Utility 4055
Tractor Trailers 4060
Utility Trailers 4065
Vans 4070




EZ GO Used, Good condition,
charger, $900 or best offer,
(863)697-1350


F150-1998 New Motor, New
Tires, Runs Great $5000
OBO (863)763-7174
GMC JIMMY- 1990 Full size
4x4, lift kit, big tires, runs
great $3000 OBO
(863)763-7598


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Health Care


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10 Okeechobee News, Sunday, January 4, 2009


March of Dimes: Premature births at crisis level


The United States is failing hun-
dreds of thousands of its youngest
citizens on the day they are born,
according to the March of Dimes.
Florida faces a crisis level of pre-
mature births that is driving up
health care costs and special edu-
cation budgets; preventive action
is needed starting now.
In the first of what will be an
annual Premature Birth Report
Card, the nation received a "D"
and not a single state earned an
"A," when the March of Dimes
compared actual preterm birth
rates to the national Healthy Peo
ple 2010 objective. The grade of F
indicates how far Florida, with a
preterm birth rate of 13.8 percent,
is from the Healthy People 2010
objective of 7.6 percent of all live
births. Latest available data (2005)
show that the national preterm
birth rate is 12.7 percent.
The only state to earn a "B"
was Vermont. Eight states earned
a "C," 23 states earned a "D," and
18 states plus Puerto Rico and the
District of Columbia got failing
grades of "F."
"It is unacceptable that our na-
tion is failing so many preterm ba
bies," said Jennifer L. Howse, PhD,


president of the March of Dimes.
"We are determined to find and
implement solutions to prevent
preterm birth, based on research,
best clinical practices, and im-
proved education for moms."
In addition to providing state
rankings, the March of Dimes Pre-
mature Birth Report Card analyzes
contributing factors and preven-
tion opportunities, including rates
of late preterm birth, smoking,
and uninsured women of child
bearing age. In Florida, the rate of
late preterm births is 9.8 percent,
the rate of women smoking is 19.7
percent and the rate of uninsured
women is 27 percent.
"The Report Card illustrates
the importance of ensuring every
pregnant woman in Florida has
access to health coverage, and it
further stresses the value of smok-
ing prevention and cessation,"
said Charles Mahan, MD, March
of Dimes Prematurity Campaign
Chair. "Specifically regarding the
uninsured, next year, the March
of Dimes will be advocating
against proposed cuts to Medic-
aid income eligibility for pregnant
women from 185% to 150% of
the Federal Poverty Level (from


$39,220 to $31,800 for a family of
four)." In addition to these issues,
the March of Dimes will continue
to include the protection of new
born screening and birth defect
surveillance programs amongst
its advocacy priorities."
The Report Card also calls for:
Expanded federal support
for prematurity-related research
to uncover the causes of prema-
ture birth and lead not only to
strategies for prevention, but also
improved care and outcomes for
preterm infants.
Hospital leaders to voluntarily
review all Cesarean-section births
and inductions of labor that occur
before 39 weeks gestation, in an
effort to reverse America's rising
preterm birth rate. The review
should ensure that all c-sections
and inductions meet established
professional guidelines.
*Policymakers to improve ac-
cess to health coverage for wom-
en of childbearing age and to sup-
port smoking cessation programs
as part of maternity care.
Businesses to create work-
places that support maternal and
infant health, such as providing
private areas to pump breast milk,


Okeechobee News/Chauna Aguilar
United Way helps My Aunt's House
Judy Watts (center-left) and her husband Wendy Watts (left) accepted a check for My
Aunt's House from the United Way's Roslin Brown (center-left) and Terelle Peterson (left)
to help them continue their services in Okeechobee County of providing clothing to needy
families as well as school supplies and Christmas gifts.




;41






Submitted photo/Okee Substance Abuse Coalition
Above left, Sheriff Paul May (center) donated $1,500 to the Okeechobee Substance Abuse
Coalition to further their work in the community. John Glenn (left) and Jim Vensel (right)
accepted the donation on behalf of the Above right, Jeri Wilson (center) donated $100 to
the Okeechobee Substance Abuse Coalition to further their work in the community. John
Glenn (left) and Jim Vensel (right) accepted the donation on behalf of the OSAC which
meets the second Tuesday of each month at the United Methodist Church, 103 N.W. Fifth
St. Visit www.okeechobeehope.org for more information or call 863-357-HOPE (4673).


access to flextime, and informa-
tion about how to have a healthy
pregnancy and childbirth.
Nov. 12, marks the nation's
Sixth Annual Prematurity Aware-
ness Day, a time when the March
of Dimes mobilizes volunteers
and parents to draw attention to
premature birth (birth before 37
weeks gestation), which affects
more than 530,000 babies each
year in the United States. Prema-
ture birth is the leading cause of
newborn death and a major cause
of lifelong disability.
In this election year, the March
of Dimes invites all Americans to
help send a message to our new
President and to federal and state
lawmakers by signing the 2008
Petition for Preemies at mar-
chofdimes.com/petition.
The purpose of the Petition and
the Report Card is to raise public
awareness of the growing crisis of
preterm birth so elected and ap-
pointed officials will commit more
resources to address this problem
and policymakers will support de-
velopment of strategies that ben-
efit mothers and babies.
The Report Card also is sup
ported by the American Academy
of Pediatrics, the Association of
Women's Health Obstetric and
Neonatal Nurses, the National
Business Group on Health, the
American Benefits Council and
dozens of other businesses and
maternal and infant health orga-
nizations.
The March of Dimes says that
in 2009, Report Card grades will
reflect state actions taken that
have the potential to reduce pre-
term birth rates in future years.
Preterm birth is the leading
cause of death in the first month
of life in the United States. The
preterm birth rate has increased
more than 20 percent since 1990
and costs the nation more than
$26 billion a year, according to the
Institute of Medicine report issued
in July 2006.
Babies who survive a prema-
ture birth face the risk of serious
life-long health problems includ-
ing learning disabilities, cerebral
palsy, blindness, hearing loss, and


other chronic conditions including
asthma. Even infants born just a
few weeks too soon have a greater
risk of breathing problems, feed-
ing difficulties, temperature insta-
bility (hypothermia), jaundice and
delayed brain development.
The March of Dimes is the
leading nonprofit organization for


pregnancy and baby health. Its
mission is to improve the health of
babies by preventing birth defects,
premature birth and infant mor
tality. For the latest resources and
information, visit marchofdimes.
com or nacersano.org.


HAPPY NEW YEAR



Call to schedule your FREE consultation!

Take Advantage
Of Our Current Special

50% Off Program Fees*

Check Out Okeechobee's Own

Joe P Margaret I


SI -
1001bs & Still Dropping!
. .- Physicians
i WEIGHT LOSS
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Financing Available

414 S. ParrottAvenue I Suite B I Okeechobee


SpealI sAvairlle~orAbmieodinly


TRAUE OS


DEMAOLG


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863-467-9555
1924 US Hwy. 441 N


Vero Beach
772-778-7782
1155 35th Lane, Suite 202


Jonathan Sanders, M.D., J.D.

www.tcdermatology.com


FELLOW OF THE
AMERICAN SOCIETY
FOR MOHS SURGERY


BOARD CERTIFIED BY
THE AMERICAN BOARD OF
DERMATOLOGY


Ricardo J. Quintero-Herencia, MD

Green Green Day
Sf f Medical
Say Oncology

& Hematology of

T8 Fort Pierce &

SOkeechobee

Specializing in evidence based medicine for the
treatment of cancer and blood disorders
Combined Chemotherapy and Radiation
Therapy treatment
Medicare/Medicaid assignment accepted
Consulting and Free Second Opinions
Regarding Cancer
-All insurance plans accepted and filed
Courtesy transportation provided

Now Accepting New Patients

Se Habla Espaflol

1231 N. Lawnwood Circle 1006 N. Parrott Avenue


Fort Pierce, FL 34950
(772) 460-5501


File photo
Okeechobee County Firemedics performed demonstrations at last year's Health and Safety
Expo which will be held at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009.


Okeechobee, FL 34972
(863) 357-4138


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