Group Title: Okeechobee News.
Title: Okeechobee news
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 Material Information
Title: Okeechobee news
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: Okeechobee News
Publisher: Okeechobee News
Place of Publication: Okeechobee, Fla
Publication Date: December 26, 2010
Frequency: daily
Subjects / Keywords: Newspapers -- Okeechobee (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Okeechobee County (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Genre: newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States of America -- Florida -- Okeechobee -- Okeechobee
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).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028410
Volume ID: VID01706
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
 Related Items
Preceded by: Daily Okeechobee news

Full Text

Vol. 101 No. 155 Sunday, December 26, 2010

75 Plus tax

Boating fatalities
increase ... Page 18

Man accused of
making bomb threat
against college
... Page 3

OHS honors teacher
of the year ... Page 8

Lake Levels

12.55 feet
Last Year: 13.62 feet
Scored 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 about
how to contact this newspaper.
Free Speech Free Ads

I1 1 Ill 11111
8 1 6 5 10 0002 5 2

| Gangs on the rise

Okeechobee News/Pete Gawda
Forest Ranger Orlando Genao, of the Okeechobee District, Di-
vision of Forestry, demonstrates the use of a drip torch which
burns a gasoline and diesel mixture to set a backfire to burn
combustible material in front of a wildfire.

DOF forest rangers

fight area wildfires
By Pete Gawda to prevent them. To help prevent
Okeechobee News fires, he takes part in prescribed

Fighting wildfires in Florida
is the responsibility of the forest
rangers of the Division of Forestry
Forest Ranger Orlando Genao,
based in Okeechobee, actually has
a two-fold responsibility. In addi-
tion to fighting wildfires, he works

burns and plows fire breaks.
Ranger Genao was involved in
a recent fire in Indian Hammock
that threatened several houses.
He was one of the first people to
arrive on the scene. On that oc-
casion he was in a pumper truck
See FIRE Page 5

State report shows
number of gangs
increasing statewide
By Eric Kopp
Okeechobee News
Florida Attorney General Bill
McCollum released Wednesday,
Dec. 22, the 2010 Florida Gang
Reduction Strategy Report which
indicates an increase in the num-
ber of gangs and gang members
from 2009.
While there has been an in-
crease in gang members and their
associates locally, there hasn't
been an increase in the number of

documented gangs in Okeecho-
bee County.
Okeechobee County Sheriff's
Office Detective Lieutenant Brad
Stark said Wednesday there are
currently 12 documented gangs
locally, which is the same num-
ber as in 2009. Those gangs also
include car clubs, he said.
Lt. Stark said he has docu-
mented 486 gang members and
associates this year, which is up
from 429 in 2009.
Across the state, however, the
new report suggests that gangs
are thriving in Florida-especially,
in the central and southern por-
See GANGS Page 7

Just mention Lake Okeecho-
bee to Don Fox and the biologist's
eyes light up and his excitement
level goes off the chart.
And because of that excite-
ment, along with 28 years of dedi-
cation to making the Big '0' one
of the nation's best fisheries, Mr.
Fox won the Southeast Associa-
tion of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
(SEAFWA) Director's Award for
Fisheries Biologist of the Year.
The award-given to Mr. Fox at
the SEAFWA conference held in
Biloxi, Ms., in October-covers
both fresh and salt water fisher-
The SEAFWA consists of all the
Southeastern states along with
Missouri, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico
See FOX Page 5

UKeecnoDee iNews/iric ropp
Don Fox, a fisheries biologist
in Okeechobee, recently won
the Director's Award for be-
ing named the Southeast As-
sociation of Fish and Wildlife
Agencies fisheries biologist
of the year.

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Biologist's love for

Big '0' hasn't waned
By Eric Kopp
Okeechobee News

2 Okeechobee News December 26, 2010


CarePlus Health Plans means important
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December 26, 2010 Okeechobee News

Local man accused of bomb threat

By Charles M. Murphy
Okeechobee News
A 19-year-old Okeechobee man was held
on $100,000 bond at the Palm Beach County
Jail on a charge of filing a false report of a
bomb at the Belle Glade campus of Palm
Beach State College earlier this year.
Brandon McBride, of N.W 32nd Avenue,
will be arraigned in Palm Beach Circuit Court
on Jan. 7. The original incident occurred on
June 14. He was arrested on Dec. 16 at his
home in Okeechobee.
The arrest report from the Palm Beach
County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) found that
college security had found a hand-written
bomb threat in the college's suggestion

The note said: "(Exple-
tive) this school! I'm gonna
bomb it on the 20th get
The note was appar-
ently dropped in the sug-
gestion box on June 9 and
was signed, Armando Gon-
Brandon zales.
McBride College security
watched the security video
and saw the suspect place the item into the
box. They turned the CD of the video over to
PBSO deputies.
The video appeared to show McBride
take something from the suggestion box and
walk out of the view of the camera. He re-

turned with a piece of paper under his arm,
used his shirt to cover his hand and placed
the paper into the suggestion box, the arrest
report said.
McBride was not a student at the college
but his girlfriend was. PBSO detectives met
with McBride at his home in Okeechobee
in July. The detectives said McBride claimed
he did not make any destructive devices and
did not place any at the college.
Mr. Gonzales is the ex-boyfriend of his
McBride reportedly claimed Mr. Gonzales
had phoned his girlfriend a few weeks be-
fore this incident and threatened to shoot
him. No police report was made for this al-

Brush fires continue to occupy firefighters

By Charles M. Murphy
Okeechobee News
Brush fire activity continued last week
with several small fires throughout the
county, Okeechobee County Fire Rescue fire
reports show.
Monday, firemen spent about an hour
putting out a 2.5 acre brush fire at 2640 N.E.
62nd Parkway according to Fire Rescue Lt.
Terry Parrish. The fire report said three units
and five firemen used 1,500 gallons of wa-
ter to put out mostly brush and grass. No
structures were threatened. Parrish said it

Special to the Okeechobee News/DOF
Division of Forestry firefighters have
fought several brush fires in Okeecho-
bee County this month.

"Always on Top of the Job"

Re-Roofing Specialists
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appeared that fireworks started the blaze
around 11:30 a.m. About an acre was burn-
ing when firemen arrived seven minutes
later. The Division of Forestry assisted in
putting out the flames. Firemen returned to
the fire about an hour later for a rekindle of
another quarter acre of land.
No one was injured in the fire.
According to the Division of Forestry, the
potential for wildfires this holiday weekend
and into next week has increased accord-
ing to the extended forecasts. The weekend
forecast indicates a good chance for po-


tentially dangerous fire weather conditions
statewide. Current predictions have the front
passing through the state early Sunday with
hazardous fire weather conditions persisting
into Monday.
This is not a typical December, conditions
are drier than normal and firefighters need
the public's help to make this holiday safe.
All wildfires this month have been caused
by people. Please be careful with anything
that can cause a spark. A wildfire that is pre-
vented is a wildfire that doesn't have to be

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December 26, 2010

Okeechobee News

4 Okeechobee News


Public Forum/Speak Out

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reflections from the pulpit

Speak Out has moved online, where
it is quicker and easier to share your
ideas and converse with others. Go to, click on the com-
munity name and your local or state
Public Forum. There, you can create
new topics or comment on existing
topics. What follows is a sampling of
some of the discussions currently tak-
ing place. Thanks for participating!

Funniest t-shirt or bumper
sticker you have seen lately
Paddle faster ... I hear banjo music.
Don't drink and blog.
You can't have everything. Where
would you put it?
You have the right to remain silent. Any-
thing you say will be misquoted, then used
against you.
When everything's coming your way,
you're in the wrong lane.
When I die, I'm leaving my body to sci-
ence fiction.
If you can't live without me, why aren't
you dead yet?
Love your enemies. It'll make 'em cra-

Don't ask
I'm not saying I know the majority of
people in the military, but I do know at least
30 or more who are serving in various armed
forces. And every single one of them say that
they know of the certain people who are gay
and it doesn't bother them. I think your sex-
ual preference shouldn't prevent you from
serving your country. And on that note, it
says a lot that they are still willing to fight
even though that means hiding who they are
as a person. I just feel everyone deserves to
be happy ... especially if you're putting your
life on the line for your country.
The ones who are worried that a gay
solider might be romantically attracted to
them and make advances are the ones who
probably have nothing to worry about.

This bill would provide illegal and de-
portable students the path to legality. Forgive
me, but isn't there already a method for for-
eign nationals to legally enter the U.S. and
legally apply for citizenship? It seems to me
that this bill should be discarded and the
laws that are already on the books be ap-

We're broke Americans. We're broke
and can't help our own seniors, veterans,
orphans, homeless, etc. But in the last few
months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile
and Turkey. Our retired seniors living on a
"fixed income" receive no aid or get any
breaks while our government and religious
organizations pour hundreds of millions of
dollars and tons of food into foreign coun-
tries. We have hundreds of adoptable chil-
dren who are shoved aside to make room
for the adoption of foreign orphans. USA, a
country where we have homeless without
shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly
going without needed meds, mentally ill
going without treatment, etc. Something to
think about.
The DREAM Act would not allow un-
documented immigrants to receive in-state
tuition. The DREAM Act also continues to
prohibit students from obtaining Pell and
other federal grants.
Many of you say that it rewards illegals
who are already here breaking the law, how-
ever, many are here anyway and are going
off to college or are serving in the military to
become productive people who contribute
back to our society. Why not allow them to
stay under the limitations of the Dream Act
and give them a path to citizenship? It is only
available to those who came here as chil-
dren and have lived here for at least 5 years.
I have met many of these types of kids in the
school system who came here illegally with
their parents and are now wanting to do
something constructive with their lives.

Lake level
It made me so sad a couple of years ago
to see the canals going through Okeechobee
so low that the boats tied to docks were sit-
ting on sand, with a four or five foot gap be-
tween the bottom rungs of the dock ladders
and to sandy bottom. Okeechobee depends
upon a healthy lake to support one of the
very few tourism-related means of bringing
revenue into our county. Bass tournaments
and other water related sports will surely suf-
fer, which then relates to a reduction of busi-
ness for our local hotels/motels and restau-
rants. What happens if the lake is reduced to
such low levels that it cannot support plants
and animals that live in/on the lake? Will we
then hear, "Oops, my bad," from the Corps?
Have there been any other options consid-
ered rather than simply initiating another set
of "pulse releases" to address possible intru-

To Reach Us To Place A Classified Ad
Address: 107 S.W. 17th Street, Suite D Call 877-353-2424 to place a classified advertise-
Okeechobee, FL 34974 meant from home.
kew ew pcobFax: 877-354-2424
Website: E-Mail:
To Submit News Billing Department
The Okeechobee News welcomes submissions E-Mail:
from its readers. Opinions, calendar items, stories To Start or Stop A Paper
ideas and photographs are welcome. Call (863)
763-3134 to reach our newsroom. Items may be Phone: (800)282-8586
mailed, faxed or e-mailed. E-mail:
The Okeechobee News is available three times a
E-Mail: week via home delivery and is on sale at rack and
store locations throughout Okeechobee County. Call
To Place A Display Ad the office to find out if your home is within our pres-
ent home-distribution boundaries.
E-Mail: Call 800-282-8586 to report a missed
newspaper or poor delivery.

A Story of Dedication

By Pastor Deborah San Martin
Resurrection Life Church
The Christmas season is a time of year
that we are wrapping things up, not only
gifts, but the things in our lives that we're
finished with as we approach a new year.
For many this is a season of reflection. We
take a look back over the year and ask our-
selves "What did I do this year? What took
my time, energy and thought life? What will
I do differently in the coming year? What will
I dedicate myself to?"
Webster's definition of dedicated is: "de-
vote to a sacred purpose; to set apart seri-
ously for a special purpose, to be devoted
or faithful."
Mary was a young virgin to whom an
angel appeared and told her that she would
conceive a son and call Him Jesus. She
questioned how this could be and the an-
gel explained it to her in the Gospel of Luke.
'And the angel answered and said to her,
the Holy Spirit shall come on you, and the
power of the Highest shall overshadow you.
Therefore also that Holy One which will be
born of you shall be called Son of God."
'And Mary said, Behold the servant of
the Lord. Let it be to me according to your
word." (Luke 1:35-38)
Those words "let it be to me," were words
of total dedication to the will of God. Did she
understand everything about the will of God
concerning this child she would bear? The
answer is no, but she began that day to walk
out the plan of God for her life.
At the birth of Jesus great things were
spoken. Mary still did not comprehend all
that was told her, but she kept these things
in her heart and when Jesus was eight days
old Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple
to be dedicated to the Lord. Here again great
things were prophesied about this baby in
her arms. 'And Joseph and His mother mar-
veled at those things which were spoken."
(Luke 2:33) Although they didn't compre-
hend everything they made a decision to
dedicate this child to God.
When Jesus was 12 he stayed behind in
the temple when Mary and Joseph left the
city. Upon realizing Jesus wasn't with them

Additional copies of the newspaper are available for
50 cents Wednesday and Friday and 75 cents for
Sunday at the office. Home delivery subscriptions
are available at $18.00 for three months.
Okeechobee News
USPS 406-160
Published 3 times a week: Sunday, Wednesday and
Friday by Independent Newspapers, Inc.
107 S.W. 17th Street, Suite D Okeechobee, FL 34974
Periodicals Postage Paid at Okeechobee, FL 34974
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
Okeechobee News
Circulation Administration
PO Box 7011 Dover, DE 19903

Advertising Director: Judy Kasten
Editor: Katrina Elsken
Circulation Manager: Janet Madray
Publisher: Tom Byrd

Our Purpose...
The Okeechobee News is published by Independent
Newspapers of Florida. Independent is owned by a
unique trust that enables this newspaper to pursue 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 stan-
dards. 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, and support of the community's
deliberation 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
conscientious journalism.
* To provide the information citizens need to make
their own intelligent decisions about public issues.

they became anxious and distressed and
returned to look for Him. They found Him
in the temple talking with the teachers, lis-
tening to them and asking them questions.
Jesus answered his mother with a question
"Did you not know that I must be about my
Father's business"?
Once again we can see that Mary did
not fully understand God's will and yet she
continued to dedicate herself to this sacred
purpose. Often we don't fully comprehend
God's will and yet like Mary we must con-
tinue to take one day at a time.
God had a plan for the redemption of
mankind and He dedicated Jesus for this
purpose. Jesus, before He was betrayed,
spent time in prayer saying, "Father, if You
are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not
My will, but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42)
Jesus prayed a prayer of dedication and
the scripture says that an angel came and
strengthened Him. Jesus was devoted to His
Father's will.
We can see that remaining dedicated is
not always an easy thing. There are tempta-
tions in life that would try to deter us from
our dedication to the will of God. Hebrews
4:15 tells us "For we do not have a high priest
who cannot be touched with the feelings of
our infirmities, but was in all points tempted
just as we are, yet without sin." Just as Jesus
was ministered to by an angel in His time of
temptation to surrender His dedication, we
too have angels who come to assist us in
our times of temptation to quit. I encourage
you to take time during this blessed season
to pray and dedicate yourself to His will and
plan for your life. God has a plan for your life
and it's a good plan filled with promise.
Have a Blessed and Joyous Christmas.


Florida Lottery Here are the num-
bers selected Wednesday in the Florida Lot-
tery: Cash 3: 5-5-5; Play 4: 1-1-5-4; Fantasy
5: 3-4-9-24-25; Mega Money: 14-15-37-42
MB 18; Florida Lotto: 6-12-16-37-46-52
X 3; Powerball: 11-33-44-46-47 PB 12 x2.
Numbers drawn Wednesday, Cash 3: 0-7-3;
Play 4: 6-1-4-6.

* To report the news with honesty, accuracy,
purposeful neutrality, fairness, objectivity,
fearlessness and compassion.
* To use our opinion pages to facilitate community
debate, not to dominate itwith 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
the prominence it deserves.
* To provide a right to reply to those we write about.
* To treat people with courtesy, respect and compassion.
OF: Wtft

December 26, 2010

Okeechobee News

Quarter horse event at
Agri Civic Center Jan. 14-16
The all Florida Reined Cow Horse
Show, an American Quarter Horse Asso-
ciation (AQHA)-approved special event
will be held Jan. 14-16 at the Okeechobee
Agri-Civic Center in Okeechobee.
American Quarter Horse shows test
horses' abilities in dozens of different
classes. This special event is just for cut-
ting and working cow horse enthusiasts.
People who exhibit at an American
quarter horse show earn points that turn
into awards or cash at the end of the year.
By competing at an AQHA show, exhibi-
tors and horses also can qualify for an
AQHA world championship show, the
premier event in the entire equine indus-
Each year, AQHA approves more than
3,000 shows and special events across the
globe. For more information about the all
Florida Reined Cow Horse Show, please
contact Renee Burks, 863-763-4399. For
additional information about AQHA, visit
AQHA's web site at

Continued From Page 1

which he used to protect structures. Howev-
er, most DOF firefighting is done with a bull-
dozer and plow. Pumpers are primarily used
to protect structures, cool hot spots beside
the road and to scout out the fire area.
"We try to isolate the fire," he said. "Es-
sentially it is fuel removal." A bulldozer and
plow turn over the soil, burying vegetative
material. He also uses a drop torch to set
small fires to burn the fuel in the path of a
Rangers normally work 8 hours a day, un-
less they are fighting a fire and they are on
call at night.
Indian Hammock and Viking are the
problem areas in the county. Viking is a little
easier, Ranger Genao said because it is di-
vided up into blocks by a network of roads.
However, he said it is sometimes difficult to
locate fires there because there are no roads
into the interior areas and no street signs.
"It's probably the most challenging place
in the county," he said of Viking.
If a fire is in Indian Hammock or Viking
all three forest rangers stationed in Okeecho-
bee are sent because of the houses in both
areas. In Viking there are normally grass fires
which burn rapidly. In Indian Hammock the
fires are usually larger fuel which burns lon-
If a pasture fire is reported, normally
only one ranger is sent unless structures are
Ranger Genao said that fighting fire at
night is a lot more difficult. He said he has to
come back first thing in the morning to make
sure the fire was out. On average a one to 10
acre fire will take two hours to extinguish.
"The hardest part is trying to find the fire,"
Ranger Genao said. "Sometimes the airplane
may not be able to spot gates. The last thing
we want to do is cut fences."
However, all DOF tractors carry pliers
and fencing wire so fences can be cut and

Continued From Page 1

and the Virgin Islands. There were 17 other
biologists up for the award this year.
When Mr. Fox first rolled into Okeechobee
on Aug. 25, 1982, he was a little apprehen-
sive about his new position with the agency
now known as the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC). He was
also more than just a little concerned about
the wildlife found in South Florida.
"When I was a kid, I used to have these
fears of being eaten by an alligator. But, I
don't even pay any attention to them any
more," he said.
Mr. Fox was unsure about working on
Lake Okeechobee because it was so unlike
anything he'd ever been around in his native
"I wasn't sure," he said. "I had worked
for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Com-
mission before I came down here. But here
(Okeechobee), you have what you actually
study in textbooks.
"I'm doing what I've always wanted to
do-I'm doing what I thought I'd be doing,"
he added.
When Mr. Fox, now 55, graduated from
Science Hill High School in his hometown
of Johnson City, Tenn., he enrolled at East
Tennessee State University, which is also lo-
cated in Johnson City. He pointed out that
former University of Florida head football
coach Steve Spurrier also graduated from
Science Hill.
He then earned his master's degree from
Tennessee State in Cookeville, Tenn., and
later went to work for the Tennessee wild-
life commission. And despite his apprehen-
sion, when he got the opportunity to move
to Okeechobee and work on the big lake he
jumped at the chance.
Who wouldn't? The big lake is a fascinat-
ing and constantly-changing body of water.
"Lake Okeechobee doesn't function as
one lake-it's about five lakes in one," he
said. "I used to be on the water every day.
But, now I'm chair locked."
Still, the energetic biologist tries to get out
on the water at least once a week.
"It's hard to make a recommendation on
something when you don't know what's go-
ing on," he pointed out. "I'll go out and turn
off the boat and just listen to what's going
on. If you keep an open mind the system will
tell you what's going on, or what's not going
Mr. Fox, who is now in Habitat and Spe-
cies Conservation for FWC, smiled as he
thought back to the early '90s when Lake
Okeechobee "was strong" and the large-
mouth bass and speckled perch populations
were abundant, their habitat was thriving
and their forage was plentiful.
But his countenance quickly changed as
he recalled how, in just a few years, the fish
populations dwindled and their habitat and
forage became almost non-existent. The
big lake, although better, still hasn't totally
"The bulrush is not as thick as it used to
be and the peppergrass isn't what it used to
be-we weren't very kind to the lake in the
way we managed it," he said in an unusually
soft voice, as if he felt the lake's pain. "The
hurricanes were a big awakening to a lot
of people-we just about didn't get it (the
lake) back."
Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004

did so much damage to Lake Okeechobee
that it is still struggling to become healthy
again. Mr. Fox said the wave action was so
strong from those two storms that the muck
from the south end of the lake was picked
up and deposited on the north end. The lake
bottom on the south end is now sand, while
it's mud around the north end.
"In 2004, the north end got trashed by
Frances and Jeanne. Hurricane Wilma then
trashed the south end the next year. The per-
fect storms-excuse the cliche," he said.
Although the fish populations were in
bad shape prior to the storms, those three
hurricanes almost spelled total disaster for
the big lake by destroying miles and miles
of habitat. Without habitat and forage, fish
populations plummeted.
While doing trawl samples in 2004, Mr.
Fox said they found warmouths that had
been carried to the middle of the lake with
the wave action.
"They were just going with the flow," re-
called the biologist. "We found more shrimp
than fish out in the middle and we were
trawling up palm trees in the middle."
Because of the storms Lake Okeechobee
was now nearing its demise.
Then came two years of drought that
exposed miles and miles of lake bottom to
the searing South Florida sun. Which, said
a beaming Mr. Fox, was just what the lake
"We couldn't have asked for anything
better," he said. "The drought let the mud
dry up, let the seed beds germinate and, as
a resource manager, that's what had to hap-
Another ecological disaster was also
occurring at this same time-other areas
of South Florida were needing water. And
where would be a better place to get this
water than Lake Okeechobee?
"When we started using the lake as a
reservoir is when we had the ecological im-
pacts. The lake wasn't designed to be used
as a water supply reservoir," pointed out
Mr. Fox. "There are a lot of people in South
Florida who don't care about the lake-they
just care about the water."
But today, and because of people like Mr.
Fox, Lake Okeechobee is well on her way
to recovery. Although the crappie popula-
tions are still low, the panfish populations
are growing.
And the bass? "The bass population
is back, as far as I'm concerned," he said.
"It's going to be ugly out there next year-in
terms of being a bait fish out there."
But getting the 730-square-mile lake
back has not been easy for Mr. Fox. Many
people doubted him and, in some instances,



Today: A 20 percent chance of show-
ers before 1 p.m. Partly sunny, with a high
near 65. Northwest wind between 10 and 15
mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around
32. Northwest wind around 10 mph.

Extended Forecast
Monday: Sunny, with a high near 63.
North northwest wind around 10 mph.
Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 62.
North northwest wind around 5 mph.

blamed he and his fellow biologists for the
lake's woes.
"There were times in 2000 when I felt I
was out on a limb and getting sawed off ev-
erywhere. I was catching it from the inside,
outside-everywhere. It was pretty tough,"
he said with sadness dripping off every
word. "But, a couple of people started to
see how bad the lake was and we started to
get some help." And while he's proud of his
work, finally getting a workable lake regula-
tion schedule in place is his proudest feat.
"We can actually manage things in a real-
time manner," he said, with excitement re-
turning to his voice. "You let the system tell
you what to do-that's the most important
"I've seen it (the lake) at the top and I've
seen it at the bottom. There have been times
I just didn't want to go out there-it made
me sick. But, it's turned around and the lake
schedule has a lot to do with that," added
Mr. Fox. "I'm glad to see the lake now has a
voice in how it's managed."
While he's had to turn much of the day-
to-day operations on the lake over to young-
er biologists, who he affectionately refers to
as "his kids," Mr. Fox has no intention of re-
tiring. He says he doesn't "idle too well" and
he wants to keep helping Lake Okeechobee
as long as he feels like he's making a differ-
ence. "The lake is very unique. This is really
a neat place to do what I do for a living,"
he said. "When I don't get excited about it,
that'll be one of the signals to get the rocking
chair pulled up."
And it's very obvious to anyone dealing
with Mr. Fox today that because of his excite-
ment, and love for the big lake, that rocking
chair can remain in storage.

Okeechobee News December 26, 2010


Obituaries should be submitted to
the Okeechobee News by e- mailing Customers may also
request photos and links to online guest
books. A link to the obituaries is available at
www.newszap. com.
D. Faye Regets, 81
OKEECHOBEE D. Faye Regets, age 81, died
Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, at Lawnwood Re-
gional Medical Center in Ft. Pierce.
She had been a resident of Okeechobee for
the past 26 years and
attended Okeecho-
bee Christian
She was the
youngest and the
last surviving of nine
Her interests in-
cluded cooking, fish-
ing, reading and
She was preceded
in death by a great-
grandson, Ashe Marlowe.
Survivors include her husband of 22 years,
John S. Regets; daughters, Della Faye Waldron
of (i... 1, i, Menla (Fred) Marlowe of Leba-
non, Ky.; grandsons, Wesley Marlowe of Kevil,
Ky., Daniel Marlowe of Bowling Green, Ky.;
granddaughter, Andrea Marlowe of Chicago, Ill.;
great-grandson, Stone Marlowe of Kevil, Ky.;
step-daughter, Mary Beth Rodd of Boca Raton;
step-grandson, Mark Rodd of Chuluota, Fla.;
step-granddaughter, Carol Rodd of N.C.; step-
great-granddaughter, Hayden Grace Rodd of
Chuluota, Fla.
Visiting hours will be held Monday, Dec. 27,
from 10 a.m. to noon with the service at noon at
Buxton-Seawinds Chapel at Abundant Blessings
Church. Interment will follow at Evergreen Ce-
All arrangements are under the care and direc-
tion of Matthew and Paul Buxton of Buxton-Sea-
winds Funeral Home & Crematory, 4550 Hwy.
441 N., Okeechobee, FL.

Community Events

Lodge holds Sunday breakfast
The Masonic Lodge, at 107 N.W 5th Ave.
will hold a breakfast on Sunday, Dec. 26,
from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., for $6. Eggs, bacon,
sausage, grits, pancakes, biscuits & gravy,
juice and coffee will be served. Public is
welcome and carry outs are available. The
Lodge holds their breakfast every second
and fourth Sunday of the month.

Church presents
Round Pen of Lfe
Church of the Nazarene, 425 S.W 28th
St., will present Wild horse Ministries'
program Round Pen of Life on Saturday,
Jan. 8, at 1:30 p.m. Bring a lawn chair and
watch Paul Daly take a altered horse that
has never been ridden and train this horse
in two hours. A barbecue luncheon will
be served from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. prior to
the presentation. A freewill offering will be

Ester Marie Thompson
OKEECHOBEE Ester Marie Thompson, of
(',.... ii..l, passed away peacefully at the
(,i.... i, .... Health Care Facility on Wednes-
day, Dec. 22, 2010.
She was born in Meadow, S.D., on Dec. 8,
The family moved
to Hot Springs, S.D.,
in 1927. She later
met her husband,
Clinton E. Thomp-
son at the VA hospi- .
tal. They married in
Custer, S.D. on July
2, 1932. --,
Ester moved to
Buckhead Ridge, in
1992 living near her
sister and
brother-in-law, Jack and Bernice Law.
Ester loved gardening, music, painting and read-
ing. She loved to travel and attended several Eld-
er Hostels learning new things. She visited 48
states and Norway where he roots are.
Mrs. Thompson was preceded in death by her
parents, Carl and Ella Ostby; brothers, Arnold
and Lyle Ostby and her husband, Clinton E.
She is survived by her sister, Bernice Law
(Jack) of Buckhead Ridge; niece, Janine Wesley
of Libby, Montana; nephew, Terry Law of
Brooker; grand niece, Sabrina Shoup of Lanta-
na, and William Shoup of Ventura, Calif.
Memorial services will be 4 p.m. Thursday,
Dec. 30, 2010, at Buckhead Ridge Christian
Church with Pastor Tim Welborn officiating.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Okee-
chobee, PO Box 1548, ( '... i. I. ,, FL 34973.
Friends may sign the .-i. ,il .... at www.bas-
All arrangements are entrusted to the loving
care of Bass ( i.. i i ....- Funeral Home and
Crematory, 205 NE 2nd ST, (',ii,,,i,,, Fl

Sign guestbooks at

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

fObimy Nodei, dickk on your community,
- = Illlli al,0


B- '- Accept no Substitutes 1 *

Serving our hometown
Matthew P Paul M.
Buxton, LFD community for over 30 years Buxton, LFD

Burial- Cremation ~ Shipping ~ Monuments

All Pre-arrangments Honored from Other Establishments

863-357- SAVE (7283)
4550 Hwy 441 North, Okeechobee

(Abundant Blessings Church)

Bill Hays
Feb. 1,1941 Dec. 28, 2009

Ask anyone, he was a man
among men,
Great husband and son and
friend 'til the end.
He had the kindest heart, he'd give
all he had,
SHe was patient and caring, and a
wonderful dad.
He was born one of three, he was at home on the sea,
Over twenty years in the Navy, he loved his country.
He could fish like a pro, even started a club,
Teaching adults, and then youths, what he loved.
Outdoors in the woods, riding 'round in the truck,
Nothing quite brought a smile like a big trophy buck.
When he retired, he worked 18 more years,
He just couldn't stop, he couldn't sit still.
We are blessed to have known him, and cherish him so,
Until the Lord calls us home and it's our time to go.
He mentored our youth, and changed many lives,
And now our lives wiill never, ever be the same.
We love you and miss you!
L Charlie, Colleen, Jody, Brian, Sherri and family and friends

Okeechobee News

December 26, 2010


December 26, 2010

Okeechobee News

Continued From Page 1
tions of the state.
The gang reduction strategy also provided
for the state to be divided into seven regions,
with each containing a Regional Gang Re-
duction Task Force. These task forces were
then tasked to bring the anti-gang message
to each community and to document gangs,
their members and their associates.
Last year, the Office of the Attorney Gen-
eral Gang Assessment group documented a
total of 1,100 gangs in Florida. The state was
broken down into three areas-north, cen-
tral and south. The number of documented
gangs in each area was: north 221, cen-
tral 422 and south 457. The report also
indicates that there were a total of 31,334
documented gang members and associates
in 2009.
In Region VI, which includes Okeecho-
bee County, there were 86 documented
gangs with 3,073 verified members and as-
sociates. There was another 2,252 people
with suspected gang affiliations.
It should be noted that only law enforce-
ment agencies in 60 of the state's 67 coun-
ties made their numbers available for that
This year's report shows that there are

now 1,403 documented gangs in the state.
The total number of members and associ-
ates also increased to 56,200. According to
the 2010 report, law enforcement agencies
from all 67 counties responded with their
The purpose of the state's strategy report
is to develop a set of metrics to measure
gang activity, based on the numbers gener-
ated by each county in the state.
"The survey representation of each coun-
ty in our state is a major step in Florida's fight
to eliminate gang activity," said Attorney
General McCollum in a press release. "From
this point on, Florida will have an accurate
baseline to detect our state's progress in re-
ducing gang affiliated crimes."
Since 2007, the Attorney General's Office
of Statewide Prosecution has charged more
than 170 gang members, with 110 of those
being sentenced to a total of more than 950
years in prison.
One of the strategy's most notable suc-
cesses came in 2008 with the arrest and
conviction of 12 members of the Third Shift
Gang. This gang was responsible for control-
ling the drug trade throughout the Manatee
County area.
Those 12 gang members were sentenced
to a total of 223.5 years in prison.
In 2008 Attorney General McCollum,
Statewide Prosecutor Bill Shepherd, Senator
Jeff Atwater (R-North Palm Beach) and Rep-

resentative William Snyder (R-Stuart) put to-
gether strengthened anti-gang legislation in
House Bill 43 and Senate Bill 76.
Some of the provisions included in those
bills were: provisions that targeted gang
kingpins by making it a first-degree felony
punishable by life in prison for directing
criminal gang activity; provisions to strength-
en witness protection laws; provisions to
prohibit the use of electronic communica-
tions to further criminal interests of gangs;
provides for civil injunctions against con-
victed gang members who associate with
other gang members or associates; provi-
sions for a first-degree felony punishable by
life in prison for a gang member, who is also

a convicted felon, to possess a firearm; and,
provisions to make it a third-degree felony
to intentionally cause, encourage, solicit or
recruit a person to become a gang member
that requires-as a condition of member-
ship or continued membership-the com-
mission of any crime.
Region VI is chaired by Manatee County
Sheriff Brad Steube and includes the coun-
ties of Okeechobee, Charlotte, Collier, DeSo-
to, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee
and Sarasota.
Lt. Stark is the chair for the Okeechobee
County Gang Task Force.

Can you outshoot a cattlewoman?

Okeechobee Cattlewomen will hold a
Sporting Clay Fun Shoot 100 Targets at Quail
Creek Plantation, Okeechobee, on Saturday,
Jan. 8, 2011. Start time is 8:30 a.m. Awards
are sponsored by Farm Credit Associations
of Florida:
Trophies will be given to top two teams,
top two individuals, second to last individu-
al, and top ladies and youth.
The overall winner of "Can You Out Shoot
a Cattle Woman" will receive a special gift.
There will also be raffle drawings includ-
ing a shotgun drawing (sponsored by Joe

Marlin Hilliard) with tickets for $10; door
prize drawing with tickets for $1; and a 50/50
Green Bird drawing with tickets for $5.
Proceeds from the event will benefit
Florida Cattle Women, Inc., educational and
youth programs and their scholarship fund.
For information call Melissa S. Montes
De Oca at 863-634-7712; Wendy Petteway at
863-781-3986, or Quail Creek Plantation 863-
For registration form visit: http://www.

Court denies local man's 'stand-your-ground' appeal

By Charles M. Murphy
Okeechobee News
Clarence Dennis will continue to serve a
five-year prison sentence for felony battery
after the Florida Supreme Court ruled this
month that he had been denied a pretrial
hearing on his 'stand-your-ground' claim in
Okeechobee County.
Dennis was convicted of felony battery af-
ter he had a fight with a woman in a Douglas
Park residence. He contended that he was
acting in self defense because the victim had
hit him in the head with a beer bottle in an

August 2006 domestic altercation.
Dennis claimed the victim was injured
during the struggle by the broken bottle. He
was originally charged with attempted mur-
der, but that was later reduced to aggravated
Dennis filed two motions and both
claimed he was immune from prosecution
because his actions were a justifiable use of
The State disputed his claims in the case.
Dennis was convicted of felony battery at
Records show the judge did read a de-

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tailed explanation of self defense to the jury
before they began deliberations.
The 4th District Court of Appeals upheld
the conviction in 2009.
While the Supreme Court said an error
was made in not allowing Dennis a pretrial
hearing, they found the error was harmless
and did not contribute to the conviction.
Defense witness George Daniels testified
that the victim had initiated the confronta-
tion by striking Dennis with the beer bottle.
Dennis also testified on his own behalf. The
State also presented witnesses that chal-
lenged those testimonies.

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8 Okeechobee News December 26, 2010

Okeechobee High School

names Teacher of the Year

Okeechobee High School's Teacher of
the Year for the 2010-2011 school year is
Carey "Butch" Pung.
Mr. Pung graduated from Okeechobee
High School after moving here from Van
Wert, Ohio. He went to Indian River Com-
munity College before transferring to the
University of Florida.
Since graduating in 1995, he's been teach-
ing right here at the high school. He says that
there is no profession more noble than edu-
cation, and he chose this career so he could
work with people. Mr. Pung says the most
rewarding part of being a teacher is that "I
Got It" reaction when the students grasp a
concept he is teaching, pass a certification
exam, win a contest, or simply remember
where they saved a file the day before.
Mr. Pung has had a number of titles since
his tenure at Okeechobee High School: Busi-
ness Teacher, Girls Basketball Coach, Boys
and Girls Cross Country Coach, Department
Head, Web Designer, Newspaper Advisor,

and Yearbook
Mr. Pung
is deeply en-
trenched in this
school, and his
students will
tell you he's a
teacher who
uses strategies
and instruction-
Carey Pung al practices that
allow them to
understand the material. He plans creative
and exciting lessons for his students. His
dedication, enthusiasm, creativity, and car-
ing for his students shows every time you
walk into his classroom. His students are
actively engaged, smiling, and having fun all
while getting a quality education. Mr. Pung is
highly organized and pays attention to detail.
He takes pride in completing tasks ahead of
schedule and with care and precision.

Be a Lucky Dog.*

*(or cat)

AR reward
Alexis Garcia is not sure if he will paint the window or Usiel Cardenas during
an Accelerated Reader celebration at Seminole Elementary School.

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December 26, 2010 Okeechobee News

Special to the Okeechobee News/SEM
Students of the Week
Seminole Elementary Students of the Week for the week of Dec. 10, are Brian
Garcia, Florentino Cabrera, Daniel Duran, Andy Castellanos, Maria Sanchez-
Virto, Jose Zepeda, Kylee Smith, Victor Bucio, Chaundrea Wingfield, Jesus
Toribio, Gabriela Delgado, Logan Dunn, David Montoya, Maria Sotelo, Laurin
Jackson, Carmen Gomez, Augustus Pollock, Jordan Wilson, Bryan Reyes,
Alejandro Delgado, Jimmy Bigford, Javier Hernandez, Kayla Alderman, Kim-
berlee Marquis, Allen White, Ashley Sparkman, Montasia Daniels, Liz Rivas,
Casie Vinson, Angel Limon, and Jo'Dejah Sewell.

Adult Softball and Flag Football Winter Leagues forming
Registration for Adult Softball and Adult Flag Football is being conducted from Mon-
day through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., at the Okeechobee Recreation Depart-
ment, 640 N.W 27th Lane (in the Sports Complex). All interested managers, players and
officials are encouraged to attend an organizational meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at
the Civic Center. The softball meeting is at 6:30 p.m. and the flag football meeting is at
7 p.m. Participants must be 18 years or older to participate. Team fees must be submit-
ted by the entry deadline. Checks can be made payable to "B.O.C.C." (Board of County
Commissioners). Adult Softball (Co-ed League Only) team fee is $325; Deadline is Friday,
Jan. 28. Adult Flag Football, team fees are men-$350; women-$325. Deadline is Fri-
day, Feb. 4. For more details, call the Recreation Department at 863-763-6950.

Special to the Okeechobee News/CES
Students of the Week
Central Elementary is pleased to announce the names of Students of the
Week for the week of Dec. 10, including: kindergarten students, Casey Per-
ry, Alondra Godinez, Abraham Bonilla, Kaitlyn Freeman, Anthony Madrigal,
Teona Edourd; first graders, Bryant Rassmusen, Autumn Hartman, Milagros
Santibanez, Cody Smith, Brandon Collins, Alex Maxwell, Amber Martinez;
second grade students, Savannah Brown, Ke'Vin Floyd, Andrea Ramirez, Au-
drey Jenkins, Katie Syples; third grade students, Joshua Bonilla, Bryan Leal,
Brianne Perry, Marli Slone, Juan Torres, Darian Deck; fourth grade students,
Qwanaza Dingle, Jesus Mojica, Paislea Plant, Anali Carmona, and Mariah

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December 26, 2010

Okeechobee News

I Okeechobee 3261 US w.41S

.. . .... ...... ::, o f .:.... .: ::::................ .. ........... . .

Okeechobee News 11




c'HI'eYepLE' lee

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Special to the Okeechobee News/SEM
VSA Music
For eight weeks, Seminole Elementary students from Ms. Kenney, Ms. Mar-
quis, and Mrs. Sickels classes are participating in an arts-in-residence Music
and Movement program provided by VSA Florida. The students, under the
direction of the artist Ms. Lauren Green, use music and movement to tell a
story. Headquartered at the University of South Florida, VSA Florida provides
various cultural programs through inclusion.

Special to the Okeechobee News/SES
Students of the Week
Congratulations to the Students of the Week at South Elementary School for
the week of Dec. 6-10. They are: Kendra Patterson, Levi Ferrell, Emma Hick-
ox, Lyndsey Jarriel, Ryker Waddell, Austin Wright, Sabine Guerra Rios, Gavin
Andrews, Brianne Yates, Brian Burton, Elizabeth Muniz, Iris Celestino, Zach-
ary Pattison, Amy Trent, Samiah Villalpando, Cynthia Cortez, Tracy Bronson,
Ashley Travieso, and Robert Muniz.

special to Ine ukeecnoDee ieews/ioivi
School Related Employee of Year
Congratulations to Emily Gaucin, paraprofessional at Seminole Elementary,
as she was selected by the staff to be this year's School Related Employee
of the Year.

Special to the Okeechobee News/EES
Students of the Week
Everglades Elementary students achieving excellence in the classroom for
the week of Dec. 13-17 include: kindergarten students, Derrell Davis, Antonio
Ramirez, Zane Hawk, Rayne Rallis, Peyton Vonderau; first grader, Victoria
Garcia; second grade students, Jennifer Martinez, Ricky Urbina, Roberto Es-
pinoza Garcia, Jace Selph, Chance Mohr, Liliana Rodriguez; third graders,
Kolby Yingling, Justin Roberts, Ernesto Delira, Donald Padgett, Victor Her-
nanadez, Tyler Tucker, Yousef Hamad; fourth grade students, Destiny Deese,
Zachary Brown, Brooke Brazil, Reganne Beach, Enrique Velazquez and fifth
graders, Austin Guerrero, Sky Druckenbrod, Bailey Hansen, Elena Pedro,
and Rosalio Elias. Congratulations to our many outstanding students.

Okeechobee News

December 26, 2010 December 26, 2010

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Quantity rights reserved.

Okeechobee News

December 26, 2010

Phone assistance available for some low-income consumers

Low-income consumers in Florida may
qualify for assistance programs that will
reduce the cost of initial telephone installa-
tion and basic monthly service, according to
a recent announcement from CenturyLink.
The company is spreading the word about
the programs so consumers who potentially
qualify for the services may apply for them.
The assistance programs, known as Link-
Up and Lifeline, are available to qualifying
consumers in every U.S. state (territory and
commonwealth). Link-Up helps consum-
ers pay the initial installation costs of get-

ting telephone service. The amount of the
discounts varies by state and reduces up to
one-half of the initial hook-up fee, up to $30,
for qualified households. Lifeline provides
certain discounts each month on phone bills
for qualified subscribers.
Qualifications for participation also vary
by state. States with their own programs
have their own criteria. In states that rely
solely on the federal program, the sub-
scriber must participate in any one of the
following programs: Medicaid, food stamps,
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Fed-

eral Public Housing Assistance or the Low-
Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(LIHEAP), Head Start, the National School
Lunch Program's Free Lunch Program, Tem-
porary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
or if the household annual gross income is
at or below 135 percent of the federal pov-
erty level.
Residents of American Indian and Alas-
kan Native tribal lands may qualify for an
additional $25 of enhanced Lifeline support
monthly and up to $70 of expanded Link-Up
support beyond current levels. An individual

living on tribal lands may also qualify for
Lifeline and Link-Up discounts if he or she
participates in one of the above programs
or the Bureau of Indian Affairs General As-
sistance or Tribally Administered Temporary
Assistance to Needy Families.
To find out more about the Lifeline and
Link-Up programs, log on to the site. Individuals living in a Centu-
ryLink service area should call 800-366-8201
or visit: www.centurylink.con/lifeline to in-
quire about eligibility.

Seminole Casino Brighton celebrates 30th Anniversary

Celebrating 30 years in business, Semi-
nole Casino Brighton has announced that
it will offer the following Seminole Player's
Club promotions during January 2011:
30 winners will be guaranteed every
day in January for a share of $93,000 in cash.
(30 winners win $100 each from 12:30 p.m.
until 5:30 p.m. daily).
30-cent chicken wings in Josiah Restau-
rant daily in January. Dine in only. Special of-
fer available in January for all New Player's
Club Members.
$30 Free Play for new members joining
the Player's Club in January.
Players must be 21 and over and a mem-
ber of the Seminole Player's Club that's fast,
easy and free to join.

Turnkey Concepts, an architectural firm
in Lake Worth, was in charge of the reno-
vations. Now the casino can offer a total of
more than 365 slot and gaming machines,
two new $5 Royal Match 21 electronic
blackjack machines with seating for 10 play-
ers, and seven poker tables (four of which
have just been added). Forty new gaming
machines have also been newly installed,
with titles including: Sex and the City, Jack-
pot Bonanza, I Dream of Jeanie, The Price
Is Right, Goldfish Tournament, Power Strike,
and Ladybug.
Josiah Johns, father of the current general
manager, Marty Johns, opened the casino as
high stakes bingo parlor in November, 1980

in a little red barn that housed a feed store
and beauty salon.
The casino's popular bingo room with
more than 400 seats will serve as the venue
for the invitation-only afternoon celebra-
The Seminole Casino Brighton is lo-
cated in the Brighton Indian Reservation,
17735 Reservation Road in Glades County,
about 35 miles from downtown Okeecho-
bee. From Okeechobee, take State Road 70
west to SR 721 and turn left (south) or take
state Road 78 west to SR 721 and turn right
(north). For more information, call toll- free
866-2-Casino or 863-467-9998. Or visit www.

Special to the Okeechobee News
A new bar is just one of the many ren-
ovations completed at the Seminole
Brighton Casino.

Rr 13 8/9

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December 26, 2010

Okeechobee News

Okeechobee News

December 26, 2010

Chandler named membership director

for the Florida Trucking Association

Mary Lou Ra-
jchel, president
and CEO, Florida
Trucking Associa-
tion announces
the appointment
of Teresa Chan-
dler as Member-
ship Develop-
ment Director.
In this new po-
Teresa Chandler sition, Ms. Chan-
dler's responsi-
bilities include
increasing the membership base in the
state of Florida, recruit and maintain current
members, provide communication to FTA
members, organize fundraising and educa
tion event for 2011, develop a member dis-
count program and attend FTA council and
committee activities and events.

Children's Ranch yard sale
For the last two weeks of 2010, Real
Life Children's Ranch yard sale will be
open Tuesday Friday from 9 a.m. to 2
p.m. Starting in 2011, the yard sale will be
open Wednesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 2
p.m. Real Life Children's Ranch is on U.S.
Highway 441 S.E.

FA *ff 1-

Ashley Furniture
I804 E. North Pak Street

The new FTA membership development
director comes to the association with 20
years of sales and marketing experience.
"I am excited to have Teresa's experience
as a part of our team" said Ms. Rajchel. "The
FTA has 75 years of experience in the indus-
try and I'm confident that Teresa will help
our members and prospects understand the
value of their membership" she added.
Ms. Chandler has served her local com-
munity in many volunteer roles. She is cur-
rently on the board for the YMCA of the
Treasure Coast, YMCA Advisory board of
Okeechobee, Founder of the Okeechobee
Teen Program, serves as a volunteer to the
Main Street Organization, CASTLE, Okeecho-
bee Cattleman's Assoc. and March of Dimes.
Ms. Chandler was also selected as the 2009
Woman of Distinction in the Okeechobee
Business Community by the American Busi-
ness Women's Association.
The Florida Trucking Association serves

the entire state of Florida by distributing
information on truck laws and regulations,
provides safety management information
and training, works with the Florida Depart-
ment of Transportation on needs for hauling
Florida's commerce, maintains liaison with
the American Trucking Associations and
other state trucking organizations. The FTA
works with local, state and federal agencies
to keep them abreast of needs and goals of
the trucking industry. The FTA also provides
representation before the Florida Legislature
and state agencies concerning enactment
of laws and regulations governing trucking
and related allied industries. For more infor-
mation on the Florida Trucking Association,
Inc., please contact Teresa Chandler @ P.O.
Box 3161, Okeechobee, FL 34973-3161, Tel:
863-801-4996 or

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December 26, 2010 Okeechobee News

AT&T expands mobile broadband coverage

AT&T has announced the activation of
two mobile broadband cell sites in Indian-
town and Okeechobee. The sites are part
of AT&T's continuing network investment
to support growing demand for advanced
mobile devices and applications. With mo-
bile broadband speeds, AT&T customers
can surf the Web, download files faster, and
enjoy the very latest interactive mobile ap-
The new Martin County cell site is ex-
panding coverage along 1-95 from Gatlin
Boulevard south to Martin Highway and in
the areas surrounding the 1-95 Becker Road
In Okeechobee County, 3G technology
has been added to a site on State Road 98
to provide mobile broadband coverage
between Fort Drum and Okeechobee and
northern Okeechobee to Fort Pierce.

The new sites are one part of AT&T's
ongoing efforts to extend the nation's fast-
est mobile broadband wireless network, ac-
cording to expert, independent testing.
"Supporting mobile broadband growth
is our No. 1 investment priority," said Rich
Guidotti, vice president and general man-
ager, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets
for South Florida. "These network upgrades
are examples of our commitment to deliver
the best, most advanced mobile broadband
experience for our customers."
Since the start of the year, AT&T has
activated 12 new cell sites in Miami-Dade,
Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and
Indian River counties; upgraded four sites to
3G in Broward, Palm Beach, Okeechobee,
and Miami-Dade counties; and added more
capacity to more than 230 cell sites in Palm

Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe
Additionally, AT&T recently upgraded 3G
cell sites nationwide to High-Speed Packet
Access (HSPA) 7.2. Future plans include an-
other upgrade to HSPA+ technology at the
end of this year followed by the initial deploy-
ment next year of LTE, the next-generation of
wireless technology. These advancements,
when combined with an ongoing initiative
to increase the number of high-speed back-
haul connections to cell sites, are a part of
AT&T's strategy to provide customers with
an enhanced mobile broadband experience,
both today and in the future.

Robin Delgado, a public relations and
marketing veteran with more than 22 years
of experience on the Treasure Coast, has
launched a new venture, RDC Robin Del-
gado Consulting.
RDC offers creative marketing, strategic
thinking, brand consulting, advertising and
public relations. The firm will offer clients
the personal attention, follow-through and
award-winning results that have earned
Robin a reputation for solid, goal-oriented
results. RDC's approach is to convert a cli-
ent's vision into a workable blueprint for ac-
tion through compelling, creative solutions.
Founder Robin Delgado has been re-
sponsible for brand development, strategic
marketing, and public relations for many
prominent clients. Commenting on her new
venture, she said, "My mission is to develop
highly valued brands for my clients by offer-
ing them experience, consistency, quality,
and creative marketing and public relations
Over the years, Robin has helped many
local businesses and charities, developing
long-standing relationships, loyal clients,
and an invaluable network of friends and
colleagues. If you would like to learn more



(863) 763-2334 (863) 801-9497 CELL
P.O. Box 1074, Okeechobee FL, 34973
1039 S.E. Everglades Blvd Okeechobee


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about RDC Robin Delgado Consulting,
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December 26, 2010

Okeechobee News

Two Okeechobee men charged in July burglary

By Eric Kopp
Okeechobee News
Two Okeechobee men have been ar-
rested and jailed for their alleged connection
with the July burglary of a Kissimmee River
Estates home.
Cory Ray Jenkins, 21, Brynwood Lane,
was arrested Oct. 6 by Highlands County
Sheriff's Office (HCSO) Deputy Dennis Wil-

liams on felony charges of dealing in stolen
property and giving false information to a
His alleged partner in the break-in, James
Hart Cyr, 21, N.W 151st Terrace, was ar-
rested Friday, Dec. 17, by Deputy Steven
McKinley of the Okeechobee County Sher-
iff's Office (OCSO). Hart was arrested on a
Highlands County warrant that charged him
with the felonies of burglary of an unoccu-
r Okeechobee News/Eric Kopp

Have it your
- way? No way!
Employees of the Okeechobee
County Sheriff's Office gave this
sign to Sheriff Paul May to hang
over the door at the Okeecho-
bee County Jail. The sign-a
warning to inmates that being in
jail was not going to be a piece
of cake-was put in place Thurs-
day afternoon. The sign, along
with a commemorative sheriff's
badge, was given to Sheriff May
Sat the department's holiday lun-
cheon Thursday, Dec. 23.

Okeechobee Arrest Report

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).
Brandon Clinton Pitt, 18, S.W 28th
St., was arrested Dec. 22 by Detective Mark
Shireman on charges of grand theft-auto
and dealing in stolen property. His bond was
set at $12,500.
Kenneth Andrew Crawford, 18, S.E.
19th Terrace, was arrested Dec. 22 by De-
tective Mark Shireman on a charge of deal-
ing in stolen property. His bond was set at

235 f 01
CalI o Te i e -

i 311 iiild
2619 W. Caa Stot

Miguel A. Aguirre, 59, S.R. 78 W,
Okeechobee, was arrested Dec. 22 by Depu-
ty Jason Hickman on an Okeechobee Coun-
ty warrant charging him with obtaining a
controlled substance by fraud (two counts).
His bond was set at $3,000.
Nathan Siefert, 24, Devonwood Court,
Palm Bay, was arrested Dec. 22 by Deputy
Patricia Massung on an Okeechobee County
warrant charging him with violation of pro-
bation robbery. He is being held without
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.





.- 2257 Hwy 441 N.


pied dwelling, burglary of
a structure (two counts)
and grand theft. He was
also charged with giving
false information to a law
enforcement officer and ,
criminal mischief-both i
After Cyr was taken into Cory Ray
custody in Okeechobee Jenkins
County, he was taken to
the Highlands County Jail in Sebring. Infor-
mation on the HCSO web site indicates that
he is being held on a total bond of $21,750.
An arrest report by Deputy Williams indi-
cated that Cyr broke into the home on July
21st and took a television. He then broke into
a shed on the property and took a pressure
washer and shop vac, continued the report.
Cyr then hid the television in a neighbor's
shed, stated the HCSO deputy.
The pressure washer was then report-
edly taken to an Okeechobee pawn shop

on July 22nd where it was
sold by Jenkins, stated a
report by OCSO Detective
Bryan Lowe. The detective
said Jenkins was paid $75
for the pressure washer
4. and that he split the money
with Cyr.
James Hart According to Detective
Cyr Lowe, the men needed the
money to buy prescription
The detective went on to say that the tele-
vision and shop vac have been recovered by
Deputy Williams.
Court records show that on Tuesday, Dec.
14, Jenkins went before Okeechobee Circuit
Court Judge Robert Belanger and was found
guilty of the two felony charges filed against
Judge Belanger sentenced Jenkins to six
months in the Okeechobee County Jail, to
be followed by three years of probation.

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December 26, 2010

December 26, 2010 Okeechobee News 17

Onlinefor4 weeks- 400 words+ 4 photos

Submit Your Free Online Classified Ad Today at WWW.NEWSIARCOM Click on Classifieds Absolutely FREE!
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make offer or call

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For more listings,
go to

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JANUARY 8, 2011 @ 9:00AM
1990 HONDA
VIN# JHMEE2751LS011648
1986 HONDA
VIN# JHMAF5331GS007123
374610 ON 12/26/2010

I would like to inform you that I
will no longer be practicing in
Okeechobee after January 31st,
2011. Your medical records can be
obtained at your request at Rau-
lerson Primary Care (202 NE 2nd
Avenue Suite 3 & 4, Okeechobee,
Florinda 34972. Telephone
374611 ON 12/26/2010

Fact Book:
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School Information Guide :


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FWC concerned about increase in boating fatalities

As the year draws to a close, 2010 has
proved to be a tragic one for boating acci-
dents. So far, there have been 76 boating fa-
talities, a 24-percent increase from this time
last year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Con-
servation Commission (FWC) wants Florida
boaters to reverse this trend.
"The most unfortunate part about these
statistics is boating fatalities are usually
preventable," said Capt. Tom Shipp of the
FWC's Boating and Waterways Section.
While the FWC patrols Florida's water-
ways and strongly promotes boating safety
year-round, this year's higher number of fa-
talities prompted an increased emphasis on
prevention. At least 41 of the 76 deaths were
due to drowning, and the FWC has some ad-
vice about that.
"One of the best ways to prevent a
drowning is simply to wear a life jacket,"
Shipp said. "Boaters don't always expect to
find themselves in the water, but if they do, a
life jacket can save a life."
There is a variety of life jackets available
to boaters. New styles are much smaller,
lighter and more comfortable to wear than
the traditional vest-style life jacket.
"The 'belt pack' is worn around the waist.
A 'suspender' style is also available," said

Brian Rehwinkel, outreach coordinator for equipment before embarking, and don't age to take a boating safety course. To find a
the FWC's Boating and Waterways Section. drink and operate a boat." course or more boating safety information,
"These types of life jackets are inflatable, visit or call 850-488-
and some models ac- The FWC also encourages boaters of any 5600.
tivate automatically if
the wearer falls into
the water."
While a few un-
usual accidents have
occurred this year,
the majority are simi-
lar to those of recent
years. They involve
boaters failing to pay
attention to their sur- *.r1
roundings, neglecting a
to wear life jackets .
and operating at high
"We strongly urge
boaters to follow safe
boating practices,"
Shipp said. "Pay at-
tention to the weath-
er and your surround-
ings, make sure your
boat and motor are in
good working condi-
tion, check all safety Special to the Okeechobee News/FWC
An FWC officer checks boaters to promote safe boating.

_____________________ I

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