Vol. 100 No. 43
Impact fees pay for
new fire truck
... Page 13
Community Easter Egg
... Page 14
Classifieds ..... ...... .....17, 18
Community Events....................... 6
O pinion...... . ...... ...... . ....... 4, 5
Speak Out 4
Last Year: 10.50 feet
A Sponsored By:
Pogey's Family Restaurant
1759 S. Parrott Ave.
Source: South Florida Water
Management District. Depth given
in feet above sea level
See Page 4 for information on how
to contact the newspaper.
8 16510 00024 5
Friday, April 10, 2009
50 Plus tax
County considers FPL franchise
By Pete Gawda
"If it's not thing, it's another" as
Gilda Radner's character Roseanna
Roseannadanna used to say on the
old television program "Saturday
At their meeting on Thursday,
April 9, Okeechobee County Com-
missioners considered another
source of revenue which, although
not an ad valorum tax, would be
borne by the county residents.
Commissioners discussed the
possibility of entering a franchise
agreement with Florida Power &
Light (FPL). The utility already has This 5.9 percent would be passed valorum revenue stream," the
180 franchises in the state, most directly on to FPL's customers in county attorney said.
are with municipalities, including the county. The proposed agreement was
the City of Okeechobee, about a "I see a lot of possibilities in presented by Brian Armstrong of
dozen are with counties, this but I think we need to be very Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson, a law
While the term "non-exclusive" careful," said Commissioner Ray firm specializing in representing lo-
is used in the proposed agreement Domer. If managed properly he felt cal governments. He said in effect
to refer to granting FPL the right to it could be a fair way to finance lo- the fee the county would receive
operate in the unincorporated ar- cal government, was rental for use of the county
eas of the county, there is language "What you are doing in effect is right of way and a means to pay
that allows the utility to cancel the increasing the taxes of the people the cost of regulation of the right of
agreement if a competing source of in Okeechobee County," stated re- way. In some cases FP&L poles are
electricity comes into the county, tired attorney Bill Dover. also used for cable television and
In return FPL would pay the County attorney John Cassels other purposes.
county 5.9 percent of their income looked at it differently
from electricity used in the county. "FPL is offering you a non ad See COUNTY Page 2
Woman accused of stabbing spouse
By Eric Kopp April 8, on a felony charge of aggravated ment escalated to the point that the wom-
Okeechobee News battery. She was booked into the Okeecho- an grabbed a non-serrated steak knife and
A woman was arrested and booked into bee County Jail under a bond of $10,000. stabbed her husband in the upper left arm,
the county jail after she allegedly stabbed An arrest report by Deputy Donald Ellis, the report added.
her husband during an argument. of the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office The victim was transported to Rauler-
Nelida Miriam Frost, 20, N.E. 13th Ave., (OCSO), states that Frost and her husband son Hospital for treatment, Deputy Ellis
Okeechobee, was arrested Wednesday, had apparently been arguing. That argu- stated.
Man arrested in jail on drug charge
By Eric Kopp
The situation for an Orlando man went
from bad to worse Wednesday when he was
arrested on a warrant and then arrested a
second time on a felony drug charge.
Jose Edil Vasquez, 36, Woodruff Drive,
was arrested April 8 at the Okeechobee
County Jail on a charge of possession of co-
caine. His bond has been set at $10,000.
An arrest report by Deputy Brian Cross,
of the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office
(OCSO), states that he pulled a car over
around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday because the
tag light was not working.
As the deputy was running a warrants
check he received a 'hit' on
Vasquez, the passenger in
the 1994 Oldsmobile, stat-
ed the report. The check
indicated that the man was
wanted in Osceola County
on a charge of possession
While booking Vasquez '
at the county jail, he was Jose Edil
acting very nervous and Vasquez
kept saying he had to go to
the bathroom, the report stated. When Dep
uty Cross and OCSO Deputy Corporal Timo-
thy Higgins took the man to the restroom
he asked to be left alone, but the deputies
refused to do that.
Deputy Cross said it was later learned
that Vasquez had a plastic baggie hidden
in his left sock that contained a white pow-
dery substance. When the substance was
field tested it indicated a positive result for
the presence of cocaine, the deputy's report
According to Deputy Cross, the suspected
cocaine weighed 3 grams.
Man accused of strangling ex-girlfriend
By Eric Kopp
An Okeechobee man was arrested af-
I .. .. I" I ii ; I . I .. .
Wednesday, April 8, on a charge of felony
battery domestic battery by strangula-
tion. He was booked into the Okeecho-
bee County Jail under a bond of $20,000.
According to an arrest report by Deputy
Justin Akins, of the Okeechobee County
Sheriff's Office (OCSO), Clemons found
his former girlfriend at a home belonging
to a friend on April 6, around 10:35 p.m.
Then, at some point, he put his hands
around the neck of the 22-
year-old woman and be-
gan to strangle her.
The report said a male
friend of the girl pulled
Clemons off the victim just
before she passed out.
Deputy Akins said the
woman's neck was red and
he could also see a hand Bill Clemons
impression on her neck.
The deputy's report
goes on to indicate that he received word
DeputyAkins, along with OCSO Deputy
Lieutenant Joe Ortega and Deputy Steven
McKinley, began searching for the man in
the area of the Okeechobee County Exten-
sion Office on U.S. 98 N.
Shortly after midnight OCSO Detective
Marty Faulkner and Deputy Akins found
Clemons on N.W. Fifth St.
Deputy Akins went on to state in his re-
port that when Clemons was arrested he
was not in possession of a handgun.
Woman accused of striking ex-beau
By Eric Kopp
A local woman was arrested after she al-
legedly hit the father of her child with what is
believed to be a tire changing tool.
Shemeka Voncha Pryor, 22, N.E. Third St.,
Continued From Page 1
Mr. Armstrong said the franchise
could be written to include 5.9 percent
of FP&L's income from uses of their
power poles other than for electrical
transmission. He added that the fee from
a franchise agreement could be a bond-
able revenue stream for the county.
While commissioners took no action,
from the amount of interest expressed,
no doubt the topic will be pursued fur-
Post your opinions in the Public Issues
Forum at www.newszap.com.
Okeechobee, was arrested Friday, April 3, on
a felony charge of aggravated domestic bat-
tery. She was booked into the Okeechobee
County Jail under a bond of $5,000.
According to an arrest report by Deputy
Joseph Hall, of the Okeechobee County
Sheriff's Office (OCSO), the man was at
tacked by his former girlfriend while he
played with his 1-year-old son in the living
room of a cousin's house
While the father had his son in his lap
Pryor reportedly started swinging the tool at
the man, stated Deputy Hall. To protect his
son, the man put up his arm and was struck
in the left forearm, the report added.
The man received two small cuts to his
arm, stated the report.
Deputy Hall said another women stepped
in between the man and woman, then made
Pryor leave the home.
The OCSO report does not indicate if the
baby was injured.
Okeechobee News/Pete Gawda
Up in the air
Workmen are seen on the roof the
new Hampton Inn next to the post
office. The hotel is rapidly nearing
completion and is scheduled to
open this summer.
$ ini Egg 3Hunt
*lIt'I 314i' sp Sh oo l t.1
April 10, 2009
Lake Placid man charged in Arnold murder case
By Eric Kopp Monday, Nov. 3, 2008. Mr. Arnold, who was
Okeechobee News living in Lake Placid a the
time, is a former resident of
LAKE PLACID -- A Highlands County Okeechobee County.
grand jury Tuesday returned a true bill to Mr Houchin said there
indict a Lake Placid man for the November were apparently hard feel-
2008 murder of a former Okeechobee resi- ings between the two men.
dent. He declined to say any
Juan Carlos Morales, 30, has been offi- more in regard to a pos-
cially charged with first degree murder and sible motive for the alleged
is being held without bond in the Highlands shooting.
County Jail, said Assistant State Attorney Morales is accused Juan Carlos
Steve Houchin on Wednesday, April 8. of shooting Mr. Arnold Morales
Morales is accused of killing Michael through the right eye with
Vernon Arnold, 29, around 5:49 p.m. on a shotgun at close range, Mr. Houchin said.
Local handyman charged
By Eric Kopp
A local handyman has been booked into
the Okeechobee County Jail on several fel-
ony charges including grand theft and forg-
Paul Brian Collison, 39, S.E. 33rd Ter-
race, was arrested Thursday, April 9, on
felony charges of grand theft, forgery (nine
counts) and uttering a forged instrument
(nine counts). He was also arrested on a
misdemeanor charge of filing a false report
to law enforcement. His bond has been set
Collison was arrested Thursday by De-
The following individuals were arrested
on felony or driving under the influence
(DUI) charges by the Okeechobee County
Sheriff's Office (OCSO), the Okeechobee
City Police Department (OCPD), the Florida
Highway Patrol (FHP), the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
or the Department of Corrections (DOC).
SCole Anthony Underhill, 26, S. Parrott
Ave., Okeechobee, was arrested April 7 by
Deputy Mark Shireman on warrants charging
him with violation of probation resisting a
law enforcement officer with violence (two
tective Susan Morrison, of the
Okeechobee County Sheriff's Of-
fice (OCSO), after local bank tell-
ers identified him as cashing the
checks in question.
Detective Morrison said the case
actually started March 28 when
Collison filed a complaint with
OCSO Deputy Cari Arnold stating
that three checks had been cashed Paul Bri;
against his bank account by an in- Collison
dividual. Collison reportedly told
the deputy that the individual had signed his
name and account number on the checks
then cashed them.
However, there was a problem with that
on an Okeechobee County warrant charging
her with amended violation of probation -
driving under the influence. Her bond was
set at $500.
Gerald Warren McMillan, 41, Okeecho-
bee, was arrested April 7 by Deputy Sgt. J.
Royal on an Okeechobee County warrant
charging him with violation of probation -
aggravated battery. He is being held without
Billy Ray Windham, 31, N.E. Eighth
Ave., Okeechobee, was arrested April 8 by
Deputy Donnie Holmes on an Okeechobee
When law enforcement arrived at Mr. Ar-
nold's home they found the man lying on his
back in the driveway to his home, said Mr.
The prosecutor said Morales was first ar-
rested shortly after the killing when investi-
gators went to his home to talk to him in No-
vember of last year. For some reason, said
Mr. Houchin, Morales kneed a deputy in the
groin and was then arrested for battery on a
law enforcement officer.
Morales was released on bond, then ar-
rested again on a charge of aggravated as-
sault and for discharging a firearm. That fire-
arm, said Mr. Houchin, turned out to be the
"The victim was in a hospital at the
time she was alleged to have commit-
ted the offense," said OCSO Detective
Ted Van Deman.
On Friday, April 3, the woman al-
leged to have stolen the checks filed
a complaint with OCSO Deputy Jo-
seph Hall. Her complaint stated that
an nine of her checks had been stolen
and cashed for a total of $1,430. The
detective's arrest report indicates that
she spoke with several bank tellers at a local
bank and they identified Collison as the per-
son who endorsed the checks and cashed
Hurst on warrant charging him with felony
petit theft. His bond was set at $2,500.
This column lists arrests and not con-
victions, unless otherwise stated. Anyone
listed here who is later found innocent or
has had the charges against them dropped
is welcome to inform this newspaper. The
information will be confirmed and printed.
same shotgun that is believed to have killed
Mr. Houchin said it has not been decided
yet if the state will seek the death penalty in
the murder case.
The murder case will be prosecuted by
Assistant State Attorney David Ward.
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ig while license suspended/revoked (two cocaine and possession of cocaine with in-
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Melissa Wise, 26, Okeechobee, was James Henry Shock, 23, Okeechobee,
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April 10, 2009
4 Okeechobee News
Public Forum/Speak Out
Speak Out has moved online, where
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Public Forum. There, you can create
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topics. What follows is a sampling of
some of the discussions currently tak-
ing place. Thanks for participating!
I would like to know how they can put
water restrictions on private wells? To the
best of my knowledge, I still own the min-
eral rights on my property. So, who are they
to say that i cant use my own water! People
with there own wells need to wise up to this!
We are not the ones who pumped all the wa-
ter out of the lake when we got it back. They
are forcing these water restrictions and still
making pulse releases from the lake. Whats
the people of okeechobees opinion, I would
love to know.
With the prediction of upcoming
droughts I would suspect this may cause
problems to the aquifer. Saltwater intrusion
due to the lack of freshwater could cause
major issues. My yard suits me fine without
watering. Course we don't live next to the
Jones' either. Never the less many a busi-
ness round here don't know we be on 2
days a week restrictions. Water away. Just
my two pennies.
I believe most private wells are in the
surficial aquifer and when you draw water
from that you're also pulling water your
neighbors might need or use. The well
doesn't know where your property line is
when it starts drawing water and I don't
think water is included in mineral rights.
We live up in Indian Hammock and
thus fall under St Johns water dist and YES
private wells are subject to restrictions.....
Why would anyone want to WASTE water
in their yards when we are heading towards
yet another dry rainy season..For our house
, having water to drink and do laundry is
more important than a green yard.. I do
however hand water my plants and the dry
spots in the yard... Our pond level shows up
the true water table and therefore we watch
the level very closely. We ALL need to pitch
in and do our part so WE all have water for
the necessities of LIFE !
No fireworks this year
I read in the paper that the city and the
county have decided not to fund any fire-
works this year and so the community fire-
works show will have to be cancelled unless
someone comes up with a good fundraising
plan very soon. In is economy, I can under-
stand not wanting to spend money on some-
thing to blow up. But it is depressing to think
of the Fourth of July with no fireworks.
Call NASA, I think they might be willing
to move the shuttle launch to Okeechobee
and blast off on the 4th.
Man, this economy... it stinks.
When they had the fireworks down at
the lake, that's when fireworks were good.
Then the powers that be decided that they
needed to justify the ag center, so they took
the fireworks away.
I thought having the fireworks at the
Agri-Civic Center was much safer. When
they had them at the lake, there was a huge
traffic problem, also people drinking beer
and setting off their own fireworks made the
crowded parking area unsafe. Then, after
the fireworks, the traffic was a nightmare. It
would take an hour or more to get out of
the parking lot. The parking is much bet-
ter at the Agri Center, and that long driveway
makes it a lot easier for people to come and
go without backing up traffic on the high-
Maybe Zambellis will still host the
Okeechobee Blast down at Okee-Tantie in
the fall as they have in the past. They put on
a terrific fireworks show as a donation to the
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Teachers losing jobs
Maybe the School Board should be
looking into the people on the top because
they are responsible for not getting rid of the
poor performing principals or the principals
with too many complaints against them.
What happened to Florida lottery help-
ing the schools, with the stakes being high?
You know a lot of people play the games.
Also my school taxes went up this year, so
this is a hard one to follow. Actually schools
taxes and non-ad were not touched only the
county portion atleast in 'chobee.
When it all boils down, it comes to the
amount of money we have to cover all we
have been covering when times have been
good. Some children may end up being
transported farther away from their homes
to be educated, as schools close. If worse
comes to worst, it could happen that there
would not be a school open close enough to
the homes of many to make it even sensible
to transport the children. I would make sure
that I had books enough on hand for the
present and future needs of my children, ac-
cording to their age so that they could con-
tinue studying at home. If we go into a ma-
jor economic collapse and then eventually
recover to build the education system back
up again, "they" would likely institute some
program of testing to determine where the
children belong, and I would not want mine
to be too far behind in their studies for their
I truly feel for the teachers and all school
employees during the next few weeks. I
think it is a shame that if the school district
is planning on cutting more, why did they
not inform those teachers prior to spring
break. At least the teachers could have had
time to regroup and possibly use the time to
find other employment for the next school
year. It is my understanding from the post-
ings that the school board will be voting on
the cuts at the next board meeting. How is
it that some have already been told that they
are not rehired for the next year?
With the economy like it is, it is inevi-
table that it would affect the school system.
They are trying to cope like the rest of the
organizations and businesses. They have a
budget like everyone else, and they have to
figure out what to do with the money they
have. Something has got to give when you
just don't have the money to operate like
you have been in the past.
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The Okeechobee News is published by Independent
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mission of journalistic service to the cites of the
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del beration of public issues
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STo help our community become a better place to
live and work, through our dedication to
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thr own intelligent designs about public issues
* To report the news with honesty accuracy
I'm feel fortunate to have my children
in this school system. I feel like it is very well
run, and when compared to other districts
that are closing schools and laying off hun-
dreds of employees, it make me appreciate
it even more. I think we should give credit
to the superintendent who is making some
hard decisions right now.
Raised in a small town?
You may have come from a small
town if: You can name everyone you gradu-
ated with; You know what 4-H means; you
went to parties at a pasture, barn, gravel pit,
or in the middle of a dirt road; on Monday
you could always tell who was at the party
because of the scratches on their legs from
running through the woods when the party
was busted; You used to "drag" Main Street;
You could never buy cigarettes because all
the store clerks knew how old you were
(and if you were old enough, they'd tell your
parents anyhow); You didn't give directions
by street names but rather by references.
Turn by Nelson's house, go 2 blocks to An-
derson's, and it's four houses left of the track
field; The gym teacher suggested you haul
hay for the summer to get stronger; Direc-
tions were given using THE stop light as a
This reminds me of the "you might be
from Okeechobee" comments. You might
be from Okeechobee if when you give direc-
tions, you refer to landmarks that no longer
exist. ("They hold the Free Fair in that field
next to where the city water tower used to
be.) You might be from Okeechobee if you
know exactly how many bales of hay your
family car can hold. If you have ever ridden
a horse through a drive-thru, you might be
Bats around here?
The Okeechobee News had an article
about bats (the flying, bug-eating kind) re-
cently. Are there bats around here? I've nev-
er seen any.
There are lots of bats around, look just
at sunset and you can see them flying some-
times. I heard there was a "bat survey" done
recently by some bat group (not the one
with Robin in it) and they found some rare
bats out near the Kissimmee River.
Don't touch them unless you want to
go through the rabies treatment.
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fearlessness and compassion
STo use our opinion pages to facilitate community
debate, not to dominate it with our own opinions
* To disclose our own conflicts of interest or
potential conflicts to our readers
STo correct our errors and to give each correction
to the prominence it deserves
* To provide a night to reply to those wewnte about
* To eat people withourey, respect and compason
April 10, 2009
April 10, 2009
Letters to the Editor
I am writing to warn my neighbors in the
Everglades School area to be alert regarding
their pets and their children.
My friend and neighbor called me re-
cently and asked me to come over to look
at his cat. She was dragging her leg around
the house. This is an older, overweight very
shy cat. She stays in the general area of her
home and does not wander around far. He
took the cat to the vet and was told that she
was shot with a 22 caliber rifle. Her front leg
is shattered and part of the bullet imbedded
into her foreleg. This had to have happened
sometime around Monday, March 30.
We live within yards of Everglades El-
ementary School. Obviously some moron
is shooting a rifle in a highly populated resi-
dential neighborhood. Bad enough he shot
a defenseless cat, but he could have shot
someone's child cutting through the woods
or walking the street.
The cat's owner was scheduled to leave
for a vacation to Germany. I did counsel him
to call the police to report it, don't know if
he ever did.
I am sure whoever it was doing the shoot-
ing intended to get the cat but a stray bullet
could have gotten anyone in a residential
And worse, if it is teenagers, they are
walking around with a loaded weapon look-
ing for trouble. Whoever it was took an aw-
ful chance in that area.
I want whoever did it to know we are
aware and the cat lived. If the shooter reads
this -- the cat is alive but in pain and medi-
Be grateful you didn't accidently shoot
someone's child. What goes around comes
around. Your turn will come.
Debra A. Martin
Most of you have heard or read that ef-
forts are under way in the Florida Legislature
to again cut funding for community mental
health services across our state. To say these
services are vital and are lifesavers to Flo-
ridians with mental health needs is an un-
derstatement. Florida cannot afford to lose
cost-effective alternatives. Should these cuts
materialize, Florida will undoubtedly spend
more for prisons/jails, hospitals, forensic
units and other deep-end services.
Tops Take off Pounds Sensibly #669 meets at 9 a.m. at the First United Methodist
Church, 200 N.W Second St. The public is invited. Anyone interested in a sensible approach
to losing weight and becoming a part of a caring group is welcome to come and see what
we are all about. For information, contact Ollie Morgret at 800-932-8677.
Just for Today Club of Okeechobee, 101 N.W Fifth Street, Okeechobee, (Behind
Napa Auto Parts) NA. Sickest Of The Sick 8 p.m. The Just for Today Club of Okeechobee is
not affiliated with any 12 step fellowships.
AA. meeting from noon until 1 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 200 N.W
Second St. This is an open meeting.
AA. meets from 8 until 9 p.m. at the Church of Our Saviour, 200 N.W. Third St. This is
an open speaker meeting.
Compulsive overeaters are invited to a weekly meeting. Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
meets at the Okeechobee Presbyterian Church, 312 N. Parrott Avenue on Fridays, 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.
Restoration ministries meets the second Friday of each month to help with addictions,
depression, etc., at 7 p.m. For more information call Miss Kathy at 863-357-9083.
Worship in Song at the Living Word of Faith Church of Okeechobee, 1902 S. Parrott
Ave., on the second Saturday of the month beginning at 6 p.m. There is no charge to attend
and all Christian singers and musicians are welcome to take part. For information, contact
the church at 863-763-6869; Pastor Lee Minton at 863-763-3373; or, Sister Yvonne Price at
Teen Talk from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Jesus Holy Ghost Crusade Mission, 1401 N.E. Park
St. Every teen is invited. Topics of education include: AIDS; free HIV testing; STDs; personal
issues; domestic violence; abstinence; abuse of drugs; sex abuse; plus, educational materials
and prevention tools. Call 863-634-9340 or 863-357-6248, for information.
Just for Today Club of Okeechobee, 101 N.W Fifth Street, Okeechobee, (Behind
Napa Auto Parts) AA. weekend noon; NA. Sickest Of The Sick Group 7 p.m.; NA. No-
where Left To Go Group open discussion 8 p.m. The Just for Today Club of Okeechobee is
not affiliated with any 12 step fellowships.
AA. meeting from 8 until 9 p.m. at Okeechobee Presbyterian Church, 312 N. Parrott
Ave. It will be a closed discussion.
The Society of Young Magicians will meet from 10 until 11 a.m. at the First United
Methodist Church in Avon Park. For information, call Dick Laneau at 863-467-9540 or 727-
The Living Word of Faith, 1902 S. Parrott Ave., gospel music sing at 6 p.m. For
information call 863-763-6869.
It is a long established fact that commu-
nity based supports work and are also very
Florida still ranks 48th out of 51 in per
capital spending for mental health treatment,
and the National Alliance on Mental Illness
just recently down-graded Florida's mental
health system from a C to a D. We are head-
ed in the wrong direction.
As I've said many times, funding com-
munity mental health and substance abuse
services is simply smart policy!
I strongly encourage anyone who reads
this letter, on behalf of those we serve to
join me in urging Governor Crist and state
lawmakers to not cut funding for mental
health and substance abuse services.
John B. Romano
President/CEO, New Horizons of
Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast
VFW Post 9528
says thank you
VFW Post 9528, VFW Ladies Auxiliary
and the VFW Men's Auxiliary would like to
graciously thank all the sponsors and indi-
viduals who helped us put together a very
successful "Casino, VFW Style" evening at
our Post Home in Buckhead Ridge. Proceeds
will go to the Children And Families In Need
Fund through the Ladies Auxiliary.
A special thanks goes to all the people
on the committees of the VFW Ladies Aux-
iliary and the Men's Auxiliary for all their
hard work in putting this event together.
Our sponsors were Brighton Seminole Ca-
sino, Morgan Furniture, Tires Plus, KOA Golf
Resort, Okeechobee Country Club, Spring
Lake Golf Resort in Sebring, Home Depot,
WinnDixie, Good Spirits Lounge, Margie's
Cookies, W&W Hardware Co., the Stitching
Post, Hungry Howie's Pizza, Jersey Mike's
Subs, the Landing Strip Cafe, Joey's Pizza,
Sue's Place, CVS Pharmacy, the Donut Con-
nection, Pueblo Viejo Mexican Restaurant,
Travel Lodge Suites, Mid Florida Hardware,
Ding a Ling Deli, the Oil Can, Gizmo's Pizza
and Subs, the Tire Zone, Five Guys Restau-
rant and the many people who anonymous-
ly donated gifts and prizes for a good cause.
We would also like to thank all those
important people who volunteered their
time and energy to this great cause and we
apologize but there are too many names to
mention individually. We would also like to
thank those people from the Big 0 RV Park
and Moose Lodge 2417 that helped with
their time and donated materials to make
this a big success; everything you have done
is greatly appreciated. If we have inadver-
tently missed anyone please know that we
thank you also.
For those who donated non-perishable
foods for the poor, homeless and needy, we
thank you. Two cases of food was collected
and donated to the mission.
Hope to see you next year!
Commander VFW Post 9528
Virginia Goetz, President,
Tom Barr, President,
VFW Men's Auxiliary
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. South southeast wind between 10 and 15
Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 64. South southeast wind between 5
and 10 mph.
Saturday: A 20 percent chance of showers after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near
89. Southwest wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. Northwest wind around 5 mph.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Northeast wind around 5 mph.
Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 64. East wind between 5 and 10 mph.
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Okeechobee News 5
Okeechobee News April 10, 2009
on education grant
The Okeechobee County School Board
will conduct a public hearing on participa-
tion in the Indian Education Formula Grant
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 9:00 am in Room
302 at 700 SW 2nd Avenue. The purpose of
the meeting is to explain the goals of the
2008-2009 grant and activities associated
with the Title VII program. Any questions
or comments please contact Leslie Lundy at
462-5000 ext 259.
VA Health Care
The Dept of Veterans Affairs has received
increased funding to alleviate some of the
restrictions on Priority Group 8 enrollment.
Veterans previously denied VA health care
due to excess income might now be eligible.
The new provision requires the veterans in-
come not to exceed the Geographic Means
Test Threshold (GMTT) by 10 percent and
goes into effect June 2009. Veterans whose
applications were submitted prior to Jan 1,
2009 andwere disapproved due to the GMTF
will have to re-submit in order to be consid-
ered for the new provision. For further infor-
mation or to re-submit, contact the County
Veterans Services Officer, Betsy Grinslade, at
FOE 4137 hosts children's
The FOE 4137 Ladies Auxiliary, 9985 Hwy
441 North, will host a children's Easter party
on Saturday, April 11, from 2 until 4 p.m. for
children ages 0-16. Children must be signed
up in advance. For further information call
Nutrition class to be held
Dr. Edward Douglas will teach a CRA Nu-
tritional Analysis Class on Monday, April 13
at 5:30 p.m. at Douglas Chiropractic and Fit-
ness Center. For more information call 863-
Babysitter's Training Class
The Okeechobee Service Center of
the American Red Cross will be holding
a Babysitter's Training class on Monday,
April 13. Time: 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the
American Red Cross, Okeechobee Service
Center, 323 N. Parrott Ave. Cost: $40. Prereq-
uisite: Youth Ages 11 through 14 yrs. of age.
For more information or to register, please
call (863)763-2488 as space is limited. Lunch
will be provided and participants will receive
their Red Cross certification card the day of
the training as well as the Babysitter's Train-
Support group hosts seminar
The Okeechobee Autism Support Group
will hold a teacher/counselors/supporters
seminar on April 15 at 3 p.m. Contact Cath-
leen Blaire for more information at 863-462-
5000 ext. 256.
Prom Dress Rescue 2009
Now in our third year, we stand ready to
start the "gathering of the gowns." All gowns
can be dropped off at the high school gate-
house, for your convenience anytime during
school hours. The fitting of the gowns will
be April 15, 16, and 17, in the media cen-
ter at the high school, during school hours.
For more information call Pam Chesley at
863-946-2736 or 863-634-7158.
Preschool holds open house
Parents of youngsters, who will be eligible
for kindergarten during the 2009-10 school
year are invited to a kindergarten open house
at Peace Lutheran Preschool and Kindergar-
ten. Parents may examine the curriculum,
view the classroom, and meet the teacher
from 3:30 until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April
15. Peace Lutheran is located at 750 N.W
23rd Lane. Appointments may be made on
individual basis for those who cannot attend
by calling the school office at 863-763-7566.
Refreshments will be served.
Healthy Start Board of
The Board of Directors of the Okeecho-
bee Healthy Start Coalition will meet on
Wednesday, April 15 at 11:30 a.m., in their
office, located at 575 S.W 28th Street, within
the New Endeavors School Building. This
meeting is open to the public. For more in-
formation please contact Executive Director,
Kay Begin at 863-462-5877.
IRSC to host 'Credit repair'
The Entrepreneur Development & Cor-
porate & Community Training Institutes @
IRSC, Small Business Development Center
@ IRSC, the Economic Council of Okeecho-
bee and the SBDC @ Florida Gulf Coast
University cordially invite you to a FREE
seminar, "Restoring your credit," on
Thursday, April 16, from 11 a.m. until
1 p.m. at the Williamson Conference and
Educational Center, IRSC Dixon Hendry
Everyone is invited to attend the FREE
"Learn @ Lunch" seminars. Please feel free
to bring your own lunch. Seating is limited.
You must RSVP to attend. To register go to
the CCTI website @ www.irsc.edu/ccti.
IRSC presents 'Around the
Around the World in Eighty Minutes,"
April 16-18, at 8 p.m. and April 18, at
2 p.m. McAlpin Fine Arts Center, IRSC Main
Campus, 3209 VirginiaAvenue in Fort Pierce.
The IRSC Wind Ensemble features the rich-
ness and beauty of music around the world.
Tickets are $12. Call the IRSC Box Office at
Obituaries should be submitted to
the Okeechobee News by e-mailing
firstname.lastname@example.org. Customers may also
request photos and links to online guest
books. A link to the obituaries is available at
Jesse K. 'Doe' Roller, 82
OKEECHOBEE Jesse K. "Doc" Roller, age
82, of Okeechobee died April 8, 2009.
Born Oct. 6, 1926 in Bennettsville, S.C., to Pete
and Carol Lee Roller, he
came to Okeechobee over 65
He was the Produce Man-
ager at the A & P and then
owned and operated Doc's
Refrigeration. He loved to
feed the birds at the lake.
Mr. Roller is survived by his
son, Timothy Roller (Ter-
rie) of Okeechobee;
two daughters, Sylvia D'Avanzo (James) of San
Dimas, Calif., and Tammy Jo Clark (Terry) of
Stuart; eight grandchildren, Nicky D'Avanzo,
Jammie Shedden, Tiffany Roller, Charlie Bendel,
Lindsey Roller, Kailee Clark, Paige Roller and
Chloe Clark; and four great-grandchildren, Ken-
nedy D'Avanzo, Jessica D'Avanzo, Donovan
Byrnes and Jesse James Shedden.
Private family services will be held at Lake
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to
the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan
Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, Ill. 60601-7633.
Friends may sign the guestbook at www.bas-
All arrangements are entrusted to the loving
care of Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home and
Crematory, 205 NE 2nd ST, Okeechobee.
Clifford Cletus Betts Sr.
IDEAL, Ga. Clifford Cletus Betts Sr., of Ideal,
died April 6, 2009, in Crisp Regional Hospital,
Cordele, after an extended illness.
Mr. Betts was a decorated World War II vete-
ran, retired U.S. Civil Engineer, retired Postmas-
ter from Okeechobee, Fla., and has been a
pastor for the past 17 years.
He was married to Mary Eldred Reeves for 49
years until her death.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Joyce Collier
Betts; son, Clifford C. Betts Jr. of Okeechobee,
Fla.; daughter, Rose Mary Ayers (Steve) of Dou-
glasville; son, Lloyd W. Betts (Jeanette) of
Mauk; son, George M. Betts (Marilyn) of Powder
Springs; step-daughter, Marie Staupe (Mike) of
Oglethorpe; stepson, David Stafford of Cordele.
He has 17 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchil-
dren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral service was held April 9, 2009 at Gray
Funeral Home in Union Springs, Ala. Services
were conducted by Rev. Curtis Curtsey of Baker-
fieldBaptistChurch, Montezuma. Burial followed
in Sandfield Cemetery, Pike County, with Gray
Funeral Home directing.
Kristine Alicia Wolff Davis, 53
OKEECHOBEE Kristine Alicia Wolff Davis,
of Okeechobee, died Monday, April 6, 2009, in
Washington, D.C. She was
Born Nov. 18, 1955, in Co-
lumbus, Ohio, she had been
a resident of Okeechobee for
over 40 years.
She was preceded in death
by her parents, James and
She is survived by her
husband of 21 years,
Jeffrey Dean Da-
vis Sr. of Okeechobee; children,
Jennifer Rebecca Gray of Ft. Myers, Amber Ni-
colle Gray of Lake Havasue, Ariz., Jeffrey Dean
Davis Jr. of Ft. Pierce, Jessaka Deann Starr of
Okeechobee, and Janie Denice Davis of Port St.
Lucie; grandchildren, Faith Brown of Ft. Ogden.
Ayden James Starr, and Matthew Starr, both of
Okeechobee; sisters, Karen Charest, and Karla
Parriott, both of Okeechobee; brothers, Karl
Wolff of Columbus, Ohio, Kurtis Wolff of Cum-
ming, Ga., Kevin Wolff of Jacksonville, and Kyle
Wolff of Asheville, N.C.
The family will receive friends from 2 p.m. un-
til time of service at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11, in
Buxton Funeral Home Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may
be made to the Buxton Funeral Home, 110 NE
5th Street, Okeechobee, to help with funeral ex-
penses. Condolences may be made at
All Obituaries now include Oni0ne Gestbooks
where family and friends can shae reflections,
remembrances and condolences.
April 10 April 16'h
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April 10, 2009
Man charged with assault
Two charged in bar fight
By Eric Kopp
An Okeechobee man
was arrested after he al-
legedly tried to run over
another man during an
Christopher Lee Br-
ishke, 22, U.S. 441 S.E.,
was arrested Tuesday,
April 7, on a charge of
aggravated assault with Christopher
a deadly weapon. He Lee Brishke
was booked into the
Okeechobee County Jail under a bond of
Officer Ryan Holroyd, of the Okeecho-
bee City Police Department (OCPD), stated
in his arrest report that Brishke and anoth-
er man became involved in a heated verbal
exchange in the yard of the man's home
on S.E. 13th Ave. just before midnight
Monday, April 6.
At some point the man's father told Br-
ishke to leave. Brishke and the older man
argued briefly, added the report, then Br-
ishke got into his 1997 Ford Explorer and
began to drive away.
Officer Holroyd said Brishke then re-
portedly stopped his SUV and put it in re-
verse. As Brishke backed up he increased
his speed and allegedly tried to back over
the older man, stated the officer's report.
The man jumped into a ditch to avoid
being hit, the report added.
Shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, deputies
from the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Of-
fice found Brishke on S.E. 36th Ave. and
detained him until Officer Holroyd arrived
and placed him under arrest.
Local teens accused
f 'jumping' vehicles
By Eric Kopp
Two teenagers have been accused of
"jumping" cars in the Taylor Creek Isles sub-
division during the early morning hours on
Tuesday, April 7.
"Jumping" is a street term that is used
when referring to the act of breaking into
Arrested were Shane Matthew Taggart,
17, S.W 21st St., and Altis Quandarius Crow-
ell, 17, S.W 22nd St.
Taggart has been charged with the felo-
nies of burglary and grand theft. He was
also arrested by Deputy Justin Akins, of the
Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office (OCSO),
on a misdemeanor charge of resisting a law
enforcement officer without violence.
Crowell, who was arrested by OCSO
Deputy Cari Arnold, was arrested on a felony
charge of burglary of a conveyance. He was
also arrested on a misdemeanor charge of
resisting a law enforcement officer without
After being booked into the Okeechobee
County Jail, both teens were released into
the custody of their parents.
Deputy Akins stated in his report that a
victim on S.E. 31st. St. heard someone out-
side his home around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday.
When the victim went outside he saw two
males inside his vehicle. When the victim
yelled at the intruders they began to run
south on S.E. 18th Terrace.
Taggart was later apprehended while hid-
ing in a canal on S.E. 33rd St., but Crowell
managed to escape, stated Deputy Akins'
The deputy said a .22 caliber handgun,
a Garmin GPS system and an unspecified
amount of change was found in Taggart's
Deputy Akins went on to state in his re-
port that both teens wore gloves and alleg-
edly targeted unlocked vehicles.
Deputy Arnold stated in her arrest report
that Crowell turned himself in at the sher-
iff's office around 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday. Her
report indicates that Crowell's mother had
been tipped off by Deputy Akins that her son
may have been involved in the burglaries.
Tuesday morning Crowell's mother got
him out of bed and took him to the sheriff's
office "... to turn himself in for committing a
crime," stated Deputy Arnold's report.
Although the two teens reportedly gained
entry into vehicles up and down both S.E.
32nd St. and S.E. 31st St., neither report indi-
cates how many vehicles were burglarized.
Volunteers needed to represent children in court
Volunteer Guardians ad Litem give a voice to children who are victims of child
abuse and are involved in court proceedings. Training involves thirty hours and will
be held at our Saint Lucie West office on various days. You can be that voice for an
abused child! The Guardian ad Litem Program needs Volunteers to represent Abused
- Abandoned & Neglected Children in Saint Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeecho-
bee Counties! They deserve a voice! For dates and times of all training please contact
Pattra Dodd at 772-871--7225.
By Eric Kopp
A police officer received minor injuries
when hit with pieces of a shattering beer
bottle as two men fought in a bar.
Arrested were Juan Agustin-Lopez, 26,
Okeechobee, and Pablo Arias-Saliano, 38,
N.W. Fourth St.
Agustin was charged with the felony of
aggravated assault, and the misdemeanors
of resisting a law enforcement officer with-
out violence and disorderly conduct. He was
booked into the Okeecho-
bee County Jail under a
bond of $3,250.
Arias was arrested on a
felony charge of throwing
a deadly missile and a mis-
demeanor charge of dis-
orderly conduct. His bond
was set at $1,250. 1
Police arrest reports Juan Agustin
indicated the two men be- Lopez
gan fighting when Agustin
allegedly tried to steal a cell phone clip be-
longing to Arias.
According to an arrest report by Sergeant
Russell Cale, of the Okeechobee City Police
Department (OCPD), he and three other of-
ficers were conducting a walk through at the
El-Amigo's Bar on S.W Second St. around
12:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. As he was walk-
ing through the bar a beer bottle was thrown
and struck a wall near him. When the bottle
hit the wall it shattered and he was hit in the
face and wrist with pieces of glass.
When he turned in the direction of where
the bottle was thrown he saw Agustin break
a beer bottle on the table
and then move in the di-
rection of another man
(Arias), stated Sgt. Cale's
Sgt. Cale stated he or-
dered Agustin to stop but
he continued towards Arias
so he deployed his taser
Pablo Arias but only one probe hit the
OCPD Officer Scott
Morgan then deployed his taser and both
probes struck Agustin. After being hit with
the probes Agustin went to the floor, where
he was placed in handcuffs.
Fellow OCPD Officer Chad Troutman
then placed Arias under arrest.
The report states Sgt. Cale received some
small scratches to the left side of his face and
a small cut to his left wrist. OCPD reports do
not say if the officer received medical atten-
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April 10, 2009
Okehoe News April 10, 2009i
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April 10, 2009
Easter egg hunt set for Saturday
By Chauna Aguilar
A free Easter Extravaganza is planned for
Saturday, April 11, at the Rec Park on North-
west Sixth Avenue between Los Cocos and
the County Skate Park from noon to 3 p.m.
The event will be hosted by the Okeecho-
bee County Parks and Recreation and the
Visiting Nurse Association (VNA).
This event is free to all and will have
games and activities for all ages at various
booths. The egg hunt is set to begin at noon.
There will be other Easter events such as a
bunny sack race, egg-on-a-spoon race, water
balloon toss, egg toss, and more.
The Parks and Rec department and the
VNA are happy to give back to the commu-
nity with this Easter Extravaganza. Come out
and enjoy the fun.
In addition, the VNA will be holding their
first VNA Family Sports Day in the City Park
located in front of their offices located at 208
S.E. Park Street on Saturday, April 18, from
11 a.m. until 3 p.m. This event is free to the
public with free refreshments for the first 50
There will be free clinics for football,
baseball, basketball and soccer. D.R. Daniels
and Gordie Peer will be on hand for roping
demonstrations throughout the day as well.
Kids of all ages can have fun at this fam-
ily day with a kids zone with bounce houses
and other booths with various games and
By visiting all of the booth stations one
can have a chance of winning two tickets to
see the Miami Dolphins play next season.
The VNA is also giving back to the com-
munity by having their mobile clinic, Flor-
ence Nightingale Express, to give free school
physical by their Advanced Registered Nurse
Practitioner. They will also have additional
dates for free physical on July 16, and 13,
from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The Visiting Nurse Associations of Ameri-
ca (VNAA) is the national association of non-
profit Visiting Nurse Agencies (VNAs) and
home healthcare providers who care for and
treat approximately 4 million patients annu
ally. Their mission is to support, promote
and advance the nation's network of VNAs
who provide cost-effective and compassion-
ate home healthcare to some of the nation's
most vulnerable individuals, particularly the
elderly and individuals with disabilities. Their
services include advocacy, education and col
elaboration. They also provide members with
products, resources and the support they
need to accomplish their nonprofit goals.
VNAs represent the largest network of
nonprofit providers of influenza vaccine-
over 1.5 million flu shots per year. VNAA
works hard to educate, advocate and col-
laborate on issues facing home healthcare.
For more information contact the VNA at
863-357-2197. Donations accepted to benefit
the VNA Foundation.
Postyour opinions in the Public Issues Forum
at www.newszap.com. Reporter Chauna Aguilar
can be reached at email@example.com.
Habitat House progress continues
One experienced roofer and a group of volunteers dried-in the roof of Habi-
tat's fifth project in Playland Park on April 4. Big Lake Roofing owner, Mark
Ronkko brought workers to supervise and help with the roof as other volun-
teers "wrapped" the house with protective paper insulation. Electrical wiring
and rough plumbing have been completed, but workers are still needed for
the continuing project. Next workday is Saturday, April 18. Time off will be
taken on April 25, for participation in Habitat for Humanity's Softball Tour-
nament at the Sports Complex. Further information is available at 863-357-
Humana has been serving people just like you with Medicare for over 20 years, and currently
provides coverage to more than 3.5 million people with Medicare across the country.
We offer a variety of plans to suit your needs Medicare Advantage health plans and Medicare
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So call us today for a personal consultation in the convenience of your home:
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Guidance when you need it most
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c0006_GH222617C1 TC 04/09
April 10, 2009
12 Okeechobee News April 10, 2009
Golf tourney to benefit mission trip
By Teresa Mataushek
Looking for something fun, that will also
help someone? Head on out to the Okeecho-
bee Golf and Country Club on Saturday, April
18, for a 4-person scramble golf tournament.
It will start at 8 a.m. (Air Horn Start.)
All proceeds from this tournament will go
towards the First United Methodist Church
youth mission trip to London, England this
Cost per team is $200, includes free lunch.
By Chauna Aguilar
The Kiwanis Club of Okeechbee will hold
their 37th annual Easter Sunday Pancake
Breakfast on Sunday, April 12, at a new lo-
cation this year at the Cowboy's BarBQ and
Steak Co, located at 102 S.W. 14th Street
from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m.
The breakfast costs $5 per person and
includes pancakes, Larson's Whole Hog
Sausage, fresh squeezed Hazellief orange
juice, coffee, chocolate gravy, strawberries
and whip cream. There will be fun for the
kids this year at the Pancake Breakfast with
egg games and even a magician Dewayne
Hill who will wow the patrons at Cowboy's.
This year there will also be many prizes
given out throughout the breakfast of gift
certificates, gift baskets, etc. as well as draw-
ings for some high end items that were do-
nated by the community.
All funds from the pancake breakfast
to help support the youth of Okeechobee
County through programs such as college
scholarships and mini-grants for teachers.
Find a Kiwanis member to get your tick-
ets or visit Riverside or Seacoast bank to pur-
chase your $5 tickets and support the youth
Post your opinions In the Public Issues Forum
at www.newszap.com. Reporter Chauna Aguilar
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be
for first, sec-
Third place l
team $200. outdoors
There will sare your .nes and photos
be several for this column by e-mail to
different prizes. They are as follows: Hole-
in-one Car; longest drive $100; Closest to
the hole $100; and Longest putt $100. In
addition to the games there will be a 50/50
drawing, Mulligan's, Hole-in-one prizes,
Bull's Eye Chance and more.
Lunch will be provided at First United
Methodist Church after the tournament is
over. They will start serving lunch at 12:30
All teams must be registered and paid in
full by 7:45 a.m. the day of the tournament.
Please make all checks payable to United
Methodist Youth Fellowship. To register a
team or for more information please call
Pastor Jim Dawson at 863-763-4021.
If you would like to share any information with
the Okeechobee News about an outdoors event,
or if you have a suggestion on something you
have seen or would like to see in the outdoors
column, please emall Teresa Mataushek at
email@example.com, call 863-763-3134.
We welcome all news, comments and tidbits on
outdoor activities, nature inspired hobbies and
Dr. Randall Mims and Darryl Boney present Dan Byrd with a Remington Mod-
el 1100 shotgun at the Okeechobee Youth Livestock Show. The Okeecho-
bee FFA Alumni Association wishes to thank everyone for their support. The
funds will be used to benefit FFA Chapters in to Okeechobee County School
K F -
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We are pledged to operate
our newspaper as a public
trust. Fairness is extremely
important to us.
We admit our errors
promptly and we don't
"bury" the corrections. (If
error appears on the front
page, that's where we print
Sometimes people don't like
what has been written about
them. In those cases, we offer
a "right to reply" and allow
them to tell their own side of
How are we doing?
Let us know by mailing
call your editor.
April 10, 2009
By Pete Gawda
The residents of the City of Okeechobee
will soon be able to see a tangible benefit
of impact fees. Impact fees will be used to
replace the fire department's 38-year-old
At their meeting on Tuesday evening,
April 7, the Okeechobee City Council agreed
to pay $72,936 to Emergency Vehicles of
Texas for a new brush truck. Since the in-
ception of impact fees the city has received
a total of $68,943.41 for seven projects. The
difference will come from the city's capitol
projects improvement fund.
Impact fees are paid by developers to
compensate for the impact their develop-
ments will have on the infrastructure. Sepa-
rate impact fees can be charged for specific
area of infrastructure. The city chose to
impose impact fees for law enforcement,
fire protection and transportation. The im-
pact fees from the seven projects in fiscal
years 2007/08 and 2008/09 break down into
$4,844.41 foradministrative fees,$126,299.80
will help pay for new city fire truck
for law enforcement, $29,781.80 for fire pro-
tection and $18,087.40 for transportation.
According to India Riedel of the city's
finance department, impact fees from the
other three impact fee accounts were bor-
rowed to be used for fire protection. Within
the next five years, impact fees collected for
fire protection will be used to repay the oth-
er three accounts.
Although the school board and county
government both collect impact fees, those
entities have not used their impact fees yet.
However the county is planning to use im-
pact fees to help pay for the new radio sys-
tem for the sheriff's office.
In another fire department related issue,
the city council voted to eliminate the re-
cently imposed $10 fee for the annual safety
inspections for businesses. The cost of the
inspection will be covered by the fee for
business licenses. However, there will be a Okeechobee News/Pete Gawda
charge if re-inspections are necessary. The City of Okeechobee Fire Department will soon be replacing this 1971 Ford
Postyour opinions In the Public Issues Forum at brush truck with a new brush truck thanks to action by the city council at their
wwu.newszap.eom. Reporter Pete Gawda can meeting on April 7.
be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seniors to Let tax break from cit News in Brief
By Pete Gawda
Low income senior citizens in the citywill
benefit from a new tax break. Thanks to ac-
tion taken by the Okeechobee City Council
during their Tuesday evening, April 7, meet-
ing the homestead exemption for certain se-
nior citizens was increased.
With no discussion, the council passed
an ordinance providing for an additional
$25,000 homestead exemption for city
home owners 65 years of age and older
whose household income does not exceed
$25,873. That income figure will be adjusted
annually according to the consumer price
At the March 17, council meeting, city
administrator Brian Whitehall stated that 80
to 90 households would be affected by the
ordinance and that it would have an $11,000
to $12,000 impact on the budget.
After almost an hour's discussion the
council decided to table action on a pro-
posed sign ordinance. The ordinance pro-
vides for definition of signs, sets require-
ments for permitting and maintenance of
signs, provides for exempted, temporary
and prohibited signs and signs for commer-
cial and residential areas. However, there are
still several unanswered questions. One of
those questions is what to do about people
who get around the billboard ordinance by
regularly parking vehicles with large adver-
tisements in the downtown area.
The council held the first reading and set
April 21, as the final public hearing date for
an ordinance giving local vendors prefer-
ence when bids are solicited.
Turning to board appointments, the
council reappointed Jamie Gamiotea and
Frank Irby to the code enforcement board
with terms to end April 30, 2012. Rev. Randy
Huckabee was moved from alternate code
enforcement board member to regular
member with a term to end April 30, 2011.
Allison Murphy was appointed an alternate
member of the board with a term to expire
April 30, 2011
Dawn Hoover and Osiel Luviano were
reappointed to the planning board/board of
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1 p.m. Enter on the east side of the
building. No appointment is neces-
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documents and 2007 tax return. For
more information, (do not call Amer-
ican Legion Hall) call 863-357-1694.
adjustments/design review board with terms
ending April 30, 2012. Phil Baughman was
appointed alternate board member with a
term ending April 30, 2012.
The mayor proclaimed the month of
April to be Water Conservation Month and
the week of May 17-23, to be National Public
Works Week in the city.
In other action the council received a
report of "clean" and "unqualified" on the
2008 fiscal year end audit from Debbie Brad-
"You did really well," stated Ms. Bradley.
Postyour opinions in the Public Issues Forum at
www.newszap.eom. Reporter Pete Gawda can
be reached email@example.com.
Ted Schiff, M.D, Dwayne Montie, D.O., Mark Leach, R-PA, Adult and Pediatric
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Planning department fees to increase
By Pete Gawda
The cost to developers for rezoning, spe-
cial exceptions, land development regula-
tion amendments and site plan review is
about to go up dramatically.
At their meeting on Thursday, April 9
Okeechobee County Commissioners ap-
proved an updated fee schedule for the plan-
ning department. Only three commissioners
were present as Commissioner Margaret Hel-
ton had health problems and Commissioner
Clif Belts' father recently passed away.
Planning official Bill Royce presented the
updated fee schedule. The present fee sys-
tem dates back to the 1990s. Mr. Royce said
his staff looked at fee schedules of surround-
ing areas and the amount of time involved
on the county's part in various activities. He
said the new fees more accurately reflect
the county's costs. If a service has to be
contracted out, the applicant would pay the
difference between the fee and any contract
cost. Most fees went up at least 100 percent,
many even more. The fee for installation of
a used dwelling unit went from $75 to $600.
Mr. Royce said a lot of staff time is involved
in processing those applications.
Commissioner Joey Hoover, who served
for several years on the planning board, said
many of these increases seem like a lot of
money, but he added that a lot of staff work
is involved in processing permits.
"For many, many years we have been
way too cheap," he asserted. He said that
in many cases developers were surprised at
how cheap the fees were.
Mr. Royce presented a comparison be-
tween what some developers actually paid
in the past and what they would pay under
the new fee system. Home Depot actually
paid $2,500 in planning department fees.
Under the new fee system they would have
paid $7,200. Royal Concrete Concepts paid
$16,500. Under the new system they would
pay $36,500. The Oaks at Shannons Cross-
ing, a 100 unit multifamily housing develop-
ment, paid $1,800. Under the new system
they would pay $6,000.
There was some discussion about the
proposed temporary use permit fees for
such things as fairs, carnivals, circuses and
Christmas tree lots. Therefore, those fees will
remain the same. The remainder of the new
fee schedule will go into effect May 1. The
fee schedule includes fees for the engineer-
ing department that would be collected by
the planning department at the time other
applicable fees are collected. It also includes
fees for the fire/rescue department for the
review of site plan applications.
Commissioners also approved a com-
pletely rewritten animal control ordinance.
The 15-year-old ordinance was brought
into compliance with current state law. It
also increased fees and defined the num-
ber of animals allowable based on the size
of the property. In order to be considered
a nuisance, a dog's barking now must last
for only 20 minutes instead 40. The method
of writing citations has been cleaned up to
make it more effective.
The board also spent some time discuss-
ing a memorandum of agreement with the
sheriff's office dealing with fire/rescue med-
ics serving on the sheriff's special response
Concern was expressed about insurance
liability. Therefore the matter was tabled in
order to allow staff to investigate insurance
In other action, the board:
tabled any action on resolving a collec-
tive bargaining impasse with the union rep-
tabled unto April 30 consideration of
the use of the Okeechobee County Agri-Civic
Center for Jan. 30, 2010 Health and Safety
scheduled a public hearing on April 30
to consider abandoning an alley in Douglas
tabled discussion of the options con-
cerning the new emergency operations cen-
tabled until April 30 confirmation of the
appointment of Frank Byars as road mainte-
nance director; and,
Approved reduction of a code violation
lien from $37,400 to $4,000 because of ex-
ral OR AMA
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April 10, 2009
Rotary Club members learn about turkey calls
By Chauna Aguilar
Rotarians learned about turkey calls thiw
week. Jim Smith, a game caller businessman
from Pennsylvania who began his own busi-
ness after getting hurt on the job in 1959, was
the guest speaker at their Tuesday meeting.
Rotarian Dr. Manny Garcia invited Mr. Smith
to speak to Rotarians. Dr. Garcia travels to
competitive shooting events where he met Mr.
Smith many years ago.
I a&0 ~
According to Dr. Garcia, there are four spe-
cies of turkeys in North America, the Eastern,
Merriam, Rio Grande and the Osceola which is
only found in Florida.
There are more turkeys now in the U.S.
than there were when our forefathers came
to this land mainly due to organizations like
the National Turkey Federation who strived to
maintain the native American Turkeys.
Mr. Smi be th began the game call business by
calling for fox back in Pennsylvania. He would
catch an actual fox and then use that real fox
to call more to be caught. He thought of the
idea of recording the sounds of the animals on
45 RPM records and they would literally bring
them out into the woods to call foxes.
Due to his inability to get a patent because
it was not allowed to patent an animal's sound,
he began to start building devices from various
materials such as wood, slate, ceramic, etc.
to imitate the sounds of gobblers. Most game
callers make two to three different sounds.
Through the years he has made many different
kinds, some that take two hands to use, one
hand and even one that you put in your mouth
to make the call.
Turkeys have impeccable hearing according
to Mr. Smith, as well as eyesight. They can hear
the calls up to a half mile away if the conditions
are right. Calls are typically used in conjunction
with decoys to attract the turkeys while the
hunter is waiting for the gobbler to arrive.
Both Jim Smith and Jim Kemp travelled
to Florida from Pennsylvania courtesy of Re-
gina Hamrick and Jim Harvey. They represent
Smith's Game Calls and J-Hook Calls respec-
tively. Two turkey callers were donated to the
American Cancer Society auction will be held
in the coming months.
Post your opinions in the Public Issues Forum at
www.newszap.com. Reporter Chauna Aguilar can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
wit co frec room
$1500 per mot
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Okeechobee News/Chauna Aguilar
Jim Kemp (left) and Jim Smith (middle) were Invited by Rotarian Dr. Manny Gar-
cia (right) to speak to Rotarians about turkeys and their expertise, game calls.
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April 10, 2009
6 Okeechobee News
WISHES YOU A BLESSED EASTER
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Water Conservation Month AND
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April 10, 2009 Okeechobee News 17
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Healh/Disabiity Services Coordinator Seasonal Po-
sition (6 to 9 months)
ECMHSP is now accepting applications for Health/Disablity
Services Coordinator in a Migrant Head Start Program.
Responsible for ensuring that children and families have a
source of continuous and accessible health care. Assumes
lead role in the implementation of Health, disability, Men-
tal Health and Dental Services at the center in collabora-
tion with Family Services Coordinators. Assumes primary
responsibility for services for children with disabi ties at
center. Preferred: License Practical Nurse Certified Medi-
cal Assistant, or Associates degree in health related field
and one year experience working with young children, in-
dudng children with disabiltes, and families. Eperience
in community services. Supervisory experience. Bilingual
(Sp/Eng or Creole/ Eng). Accepted: High School Diplo-
ma/GED and approved formal Health Credential or 45
contact hours of formal training in a health related field.
Experience working with young children, induding chil-
dren with disabilities. Experence in community services.
Supeisoy exrence preferred. Starting sala
$466.40 to $490.0 weekly Personal Leave andemploy-
er-matched retirement plan.
Closing date: 4/13/09
Send resume/letter of interest or apply at:
1003 NW 2nd Street
Okeechobee, FL 34972
EOE, ADA, License # C190K0014
For more listings,
DEE'S MINOR REPAIR
& Pressure Washing
Cool Sealing, Painting,
Carpentry Much More!
No ob Too Big or Small.
License # 5698 & #1126
? NEED HELP ?
CALL GEORGE CARTER
Painting, Repairs, Carpen-
JACK'S TOP SOIL
Fill Dirt/Shell Rock I
& Bob Cat work. I
For more listings,
DOUBLE STACKED- Wash-
er/Dryer $400 OBO
SAVAGE 7mm Rem Mao,
boet action md A11
Bushnell High Contrast
Scope $450 (863)697-6095
AMER BULL DOG PUPS 2f,
om, Beautiful, great per-
sonal'ties shots & wormed,
FLORIDA ART A.E. ck-
us, H. Newton, A. Hair, G.
Buckner, Hlghwaymen Big
For more listings,
MISSOURI FOX TROTTER -
Beautiful Gelding. For more
info. call 863-634-5406
CANAL FRONT Furnished
2BR, 1BA, screen porch,
boat dock & lift, hardwood
floors thr out, DW,
W&D. Includes Lawn Care,
water & satellite TV $850
1st & sec. (863)467-7528
FOR RENT 3/2 great
neighborhood In SW sec-
ion. $1175 mo + sec
ILAWN CARE SERVICE Free estimates, mowing, weed
eating, edging, sod installation and more! Call Codyl
For more listings,
IN TOWN 2/2 very dean,
w/d, lawn maint induded,
$800 + $300 sec. Call
OKEECHOBEE 2 br, 2 ba,
privacy fence. All apps,
new tile carpet
86344 7-0925 or
dean, 2 BR, 2 BA, W/D
hook-up, patio, privacy
fence, no pets $690 mo.,
1t last + $500 sec. dep.,
free garbage and lawn
mait. (4 -3424 or
Buying a car? Look in
the classifieds. Selling
a car? Look in the
TAYLOR CREEK CONDO
1BR/1BA, 1st floor, fur-
nished, pool & tennis, boat
dock, rec room, very nice.
TAYLOR CREEK CONDOS -
1BR, 1BA, Fumished. $650
mo. + $350 sec. dep.
FURNISHED DUPLEX -
2R, 1BA, 1 car garage,
W&D, DW, Ceiling fans
every room, front & rear
porch, tile floors through
out, Located in Kings Bay.
Includes lawn care & gar-
bag. $775 first & sec.
IN TOWN Clean 2.5 BR,
1BA, w/W&D hook up,
lawn serve. Non-sk. env.,
Small pet ok. $750 mo. +
$500 sec. 941-504-3954 or
KINGS BAY, Furnished 1BR,
1BA duplex, 1 car garage,
W&D, tile floors rough
out, ceiling fans in every
room. Includes, lawn care
& garbage. $675 1st &
sec. (863) 467-7528
LEAVE THE CITY Live in
the country! 3/2 Share 20
acres. Horses welcome'
Call BuZZ (772)201-8230
Rim Canal. Pool & Dock. Fur
nished w/Bedding, Unens &
Rent to own or sell 3/1 CBS,
new roof, newly renovated
COUPLE NEEDS HOME FOR
RENT- 3/2/2, with pool, 1
t, in Okeechbee We
ve ref s (863)484-2492
LOOKING FOR 20 -30
ACRES TO RENT with
For more listings,
5 Acres- 5 minutes north of
town off 441, cleared
080' or up to 12 X 80
)4 79 Call for Imatn
For more listings,
A 55+, 2BR/2BA Mobile
Home in Indlanwood, 2
w/d, $550 mo. or sale
$25,00. (772)341-66 17
BEST VALUE IN TOWN!
For Rent: 2/1 apartment
Unit newly remodeled. Locat-
ed 12 miles north of Okee-
chobee on Equestrian Ranch.
Monthly water, trash & lawn
maintenance included. No
Pets! $495 Move in spedal.
CABIN 1/1,$525. MO +
Sec & elec also 1/1 RV,
BHR $400 mo. + Sec A elec.
55+ Comm (863)763-7164
DWMH 2BR/2Bath on east
side of town. $850 mo st,
last & Sec. (863)697-8836
FT. DRUM 1st time rental,
beautiful D/W on 5ac. Ft
Drum creek/pond in back
$1000 dep. $750 mo.
OKEECHOBEE 2br, Iba
with large back porch &
front perch on la scenic,
wooded, fenced lot. $800
mo. Also a 1 br, Iba $500
mo. Call 863-634-3451
TAYLOR CREEK ISLES 2/2
furnished on water w/dock.
cluded. No pets. Adults on-
ly. $1000 mo. + $500 sec.
dap. Call 954-260-1933
MOVE TO YOUR LAND
Mobile Home An els
Join all the people who
say, "I sold it in the
Older 5t wheel 2/3 BR
w/lg addition, on Taylor
Creek. 55+ Rverbend Park.
GREAT DEAL $7000
PARK MODEL -35' Trailer,
Come see, Make offer. Fi-
an RV Park, 6500 Hwy 441
SElot 20. Okee.
For more listings,
HONDA SHADOW 750 -
2005 Very Low miles, Great
For more listings,
CHEVY LUMINA -1997,
LOADED, NEW TIRES,
135K MILES $1600
FORD WINDSTAR 1999,
Needs work, $1200 or best
LINCOLN MARK VII, 1990
96k miles, owner, good
cond. $4000 firm call from
18 Okeechobee News April 10, 2009
F250 EXT. CAB -1988, 7.3
lltre diesel, 1 ton, rear &
gooseneck ball $2200
Shop from a gift catalog
that's updated regularly:
EZ GO W/4"lft, stereo,
-,-- tr-- -closed,
*, ,i .,. ..ni r trade
for pontoon tri
FORD F150 1999, Auto,
a/c, long bed, v6, good
2003 60,000 miles, Used
not abused. Well main-
tained. 7 passenger Air
bags, anti-lock brakes,
pl, V-6, a/c, auto, P/I
For more listings,
IN THE CIRCUIT COUR
OF THE NINETEENTH 3UDICU L
CIRCUIT, IN anD rO
Fie No. 2008-CP-157
IN RE' ESTATE OF'
GEORGE L CLAy J.,
NOTICE m CREDITORS
PUBLIC NOTICE, , ,
CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTING
A CITY ORDINANCE
0 i i i i .- ,r i-, , ,_.
n l r .. ,:...i-- D..
DONNA H. LEE, et a ,
NOTICE OF ACTION
. . i
YOU ARE NOTIFIED that an ac-
tion far orrelosure of Mortgage on
the following de-rbed property
LOT 34 OF TREASURE ISLAND,
UNIT 10, ACCORDING TO THE
PLAT THEREOF RECORDED IN
PLAT BOOK 5, PAGE 22 PUB-
LC RECORDS OF OKEECHO-
BEE COUNTY FLORIDA.
TOGETHER WITH A MOBILE
HOME, PERMANANTELY AF-
FIXED AND STATED THERE-
TO, UPON THE REAL
By. rle Nea ls
7 0 deputy Clerk
,, ,,, y l. .. : ,,
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
NINETEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
Case NO.: 2009-CP-071
IN RE THE ESTATE OF
Time to clean out the
attic, basement and/or
garage? Advertise your
yard sale in the classi-
fieds and make your
clean up a breeze!
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT,
NINETEENTH JUDICIALL CIR-
CUTTINAND FOR OKEE-
CHOBEE COUNTY, FLORIDA
CASE NO,: 209 DR 132
IN RE: The Maiage of
CHIIRANIVI BHARATH JAN-
DISSOLUTION OF ARIAGE
and HANNAH 3ESSIIE FRACIS
I undetnd at I am
swearing armng under
INTH CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
IN AND FOR OKEECHOBEE
Case No.: 09-DR-100
DONNA LYNN ORTI,'
JOSE ARMED ORRTm,
314as ON 3/27,4/3,10,1/9.,
IN THE CIRCUIT OF THE 19TH
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORI-
IN AND FOR
Cse z200 CA 000111
,r e o, m er, o
o, ."oo ,l, ot
Howefendao you find a job
in today's competed r
toe market' In the
2009 e classic
2007, ,laFck ,n
How do you find a lob
in today's competi-
tive market' In the
of the declassified
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF HE
NINETEENTHI JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR OKEECHOBEE
Cae No. 200-DR-121
TO KRISTNA R SARGENT
A Dep Cplerk
314057 ON 03/20,27;:04/03,009
Syndicated Content P
Available from Commercial News Providers"
Lady Brahmans finish off Moore Haven Terriers
By Charles M. Murphy W l-
Okeechobee News -,
It took more than a week, but the softball
game between Okeechobee High School
and Moore Haven High School is finally over
with Okeechobee putting it in the win col-
Last Tuesday a thunderstorm cancelled
the game in the middle of the fourth inning
with the game scoreless. The two teams
resumed action almost a week later and
Okeechobee finally broke through on of-
"We were edgy in the beginning, but
things went quickly," Okeechobee Coach
Kim Hargraves said, "All I said was we don't
score, they don't score. I just kept beating
that into their heads over and over. Once we
started to string hits together we're pretty
much unstoppable. The girls do a good job
of jumping on that train together."
A big defensive play helped get Okeecho-
bee going after five scoreless innings. Macy
Randolph and Emily Navarro singled in the
fifth to give the Terriers a scoring threat.
However Okeechobee's Sam Harrell got
stingy on the mound with consecutive strike-
outs of Kendra Murphy and Kristin Bembry.
She retired Jessica Echols on a grounder to
second to end the threat.
Harrell also got in trouble in the sixth as
she allowed a slap single to Kara Anderson,
the Terriers speedy catcher. Ashanti Shep-
hard followed with a sinking line drive to
left that appeared destined to be a base hit.
However, Emily McCullough hustled and
made a nice running grab in short left field.
She wheeled and threw to first to double up
Anderson for a key double play.
"That was huge, it got our offense ready
to go," Hargraves stated.
Okeechobee put five hits together in the
sixth inning to finally score against Jessica
Echols. Naomi Stevens opened the frame
with a double to left field. It appeared to
be a routine single but Stevens kept going
and slid under the tag by Navarro in a close
play at second base. Ashtyn Brown singled
Stevens home, and Taylor Douglas put run-
ners on first and third with a bunt single. Mc
Cullough reached base on a fielder's choice
to make it 2-0. Navarro threw home to try
and get Brown at the plate, but the throw
was late. Courtney Wilson put the finishing
touches on the win with a long homerun
over the center field fence, the first of her ca
reer. She measured the blast at 280 feet.
"It felt amazing. I didn't even feel that I hit
the ball. It was just gone when I hit it," she
said, "Moore Haven was tough. I didn't think
they'd be that good. We came out and did
our thing, like we know how to do."
Wilson said the team's success at the
Kissimmee Classic against some top teams
have given the teams confidence that they
can play with anyone. Moore Haven is a
playoff contender in their classification this
Macy Randolph had a double and a single
to lead Moore Haven. Ashtyn Brown made a
diving stop to rob Navarro of a hit in the sev-
enth inning. She switched to short stop after
starting the game at second base.
v-a---uuve ,iw ne .- ... .
Samantha Harrell blanked Moore Ha- Okeechobee News/Charles Murphy
ven on consecutive Tuesdays, and got Naomi Stevens slides in ahead of the tag by Emily Navarro of Moore Haven dur-
one victory, ing the sixth inning Tuesday.
UKeecnoDee News/unaries Murpny
Taylor Douglas legs out a bunt hit, a key
play in the Brahmans five run sixth.
Emily Navarro fields a grounder dur-
ing Tuesday's Moore Haven game in
Courtney Wilson is congratulated by teammates and Coach Heather Stillians
after Tuesday's homerun.
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