Okeechobee news

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Okeechobee news
Uniform Title:
Okeechobee news (Okeechobee, Fla. 2000)
Place of Publication:
Okeechobee, FL
Independent Newspapers Inc., Katrina Elsken - Publisher\Editor
Creation Date:
January 1, 2005
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Newspapers -- Okeechobee (Fla.) ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Okeechobee County (Fla.) ( lcsh )
newspaper ( sobekcm )
newspaper ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida -- Okeechobee -- Okeechobee
27.227224 x -80.830785


Additional Physical Form:
Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 91, no. 111 (Apr. 20, 2000)-
General Note:
Latest issue consulted: Vol. 91, no. 182 (June 30, 2000).

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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Copyright Okeechobee News. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
003642554 ( ALEPH )
72823230 ( OCLC )
2006229435 ( LCCN )

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018 50¢ plus ta x Vol. 109 No. 61 13.57 feetLast Year: 11.16 feet Lake Levels See page 4 for information about how to contact this newspaper. YMS honors athletes ... Page 3 Salute to the Class of 2018 inside! Meet the Merchants ... Pages 7-10 By Katrina ElskenOkeechobee News Despite rapid in”ow of runoff from the north into Lake Okeechobee since heavy rains started last week, no water from Lake Okeechobee has been released to the coastal estuaries. Due to runoff from north of the lake and direct rainfall into the lake, Lake Okeechobee rose more than 6 inches between May 15 and May 22. On May 22, the lake was at 13.57 ft. Flow to coastal estuaries is from runoff Okeechobee News/ Katrina ElskenLake Okeechobee rose more than 6 inches in the past week due to direct rainfall into the lake and runoff from heavy rainfall north of the lake. No lake water has been released to the east coast. Burglars target Treasure Island and Kings Bay ... Page 5 By Matteo TullioOkeechobee News On May 21, the third day of the trial, convicted murderer Michael Lawrence Woodbury, 42, of Windham, Maine, changed his plea to guilty as chargedŽ to the Sept. 22, 2017, “rst-degree premeditated murder of his Okeechobee Correctional Institution (OCI) cellmate, Antoneeze Haynes, when he struck Haynes repeatedly with a padlock. The penalty phase, in which Woodbury will receive either life imprisonment or the death penalty, is tentatively set to begin July 23. The trial began Thursday, May 17, with Woodbury choosing to represent himself with the presence of standby counsel Stanley Glenn and Shane Manship. Prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Florida were assistant state attorneys from the 19th Judicial Circuit, Ashley Albright and Don Richardson, and presiding over the criminal case was St. Lucie County Circuit Judge Sherwood Bauer. Judge Bauer found Woodbury competent upon waiving his right to counsel on multiple occasions throughout the trial. Woodbury objected to the multiple readings of his waiver of counsel rights as what he deemed as harassmentŽ by the state. Inmate pleads guilty to prison murder 15-year-olds suicide attempt mimicked death in Net“x series 13 Reasons WhyBy Katrina ElskenOkeechobee News As a 15-year-old Okeechobee girl prepared to take her own life on Mothers Day, two teenagers she thought were her friends were egging her on. In the week after the suicide attempt, the girls mother has pieced together some of what happened before her daughter cut her arms open and waited in the bathtub for her life to end, mimicking the narrator in the Ne”ix series 13 Reasons Why.Ž Based on information shared by her daughter and messages found on her daughters phone, the mother is starting to understand what happened ... but not why. The kids havent said why,Ž she said. The “ve teenagers „ two boys and three Questions remain about teen suicide pact Source: South Florida Water Management District. Depth given in feet above sea level Gerald LefebvreLaw Ofces of Lefebvre & Dixon763.3333Okeechobee, Florida Smartphone use linked to rise in suicides ..Page 15See MURDER „ Page 11 See PACT „ Page 14 See LAKE „ Page 11


2 Okeechobee News May 23, 2018 Today: Scattered thunderstorms in the morning, then mainly cloudy during the afternoon with thunderstorms likely. High 82F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Tonight: Scattered thunderstorms in the evening. Cloudy skies overnight. Lo w around 70F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 40%.Extended ForecastThursday: Thunderstorms. High 82F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy with showers and a few thunderstorms. Lo w around 70F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%. Friday: Cloudy with occasional rain showers. Thunder possible. High 77F. Okeechobee Forecast Help save lives by donating bloodThe need for blood donations doesnt stop for summer vacations. If you are in good health and over the age of 17, you can help One Blood ensure area hospitals have a safe blood supply ready to handle emergencies. June blood drives in Okeechobee include: € Monday, June 4, at Walmart from 1:30 to 7 p.m. € Tuesday, June 12, at Walmart from noon to 12:30 p.m. € Saturday, June 16, at Walmart from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. € Sunday, June 17, at Golden Corral from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. € Sunday, June 17, at Walmart from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. € Tuesday, June 19, at Raulerson Hospital from 2 to 5 p.m. € Tuesday, June 19, at Walmart from 6 to 7:30 p.m. € Tuesday, June 26, at Okeechobee Sheriffs Of“ce from noon to 5:30 p.m. € Tuesday, June 26, at Walmart from 1:30 to 7 p.m. € Friday, June 29, at Walmart from 2 to 7 p.m.Okeechobee City Hall to be closed for holidayOkeechobee City Hall of“ces will be closed Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day. The website,, allows you access 24/7. They will reopen on Tuesday, May 29, at 8 a.m. € The next Rise Up With the Chamber will be Thursday, May 24, and will be held in the Chamber Conference room from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. The host for the morning will be Liberty Tax Service. We will have three scheduled speakers which Mariah will post on live feed and then post their presentations on Facebook. You can “nd them at #ChamberCandidCamera. Lite morning refreshments will be served. Come and learn more about our local businesses and organizations. Its always a great early morning event, just 45 minutes. € Were excited to have the next ribboncutting on Wednesday, May 30, at noon. Please come and help us celebrate the expansion of Fast Break, located at 1505 State Road 78 W. Fast Break is managed by Chase Marsocci and, as he began to focus on growing the bait and tackle business, the need for expanding an additional 4000 square feet of retail space with so many new product lines became a necessity. Stop by and talk with Chase about booking a guided “shing trip, check out their convenience store and help us congratulate him on three generations of the Marsocci family running this business. Dont miss out on seeing all their new “shing products. € We have a new business in town, Okee Jiu Jitsu, and they will be celebrating their opening with a ribbon-cutting on June 1, at 211 S.W. Park St. at noon. This is a martial arts academy offering training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Classes are offered three days a week for children ages 5-13 and “ve days a week for adults. Master Johnny Cardona is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Their grand opening will be the next day, Saturday, June 2, with a BBQ to celebrate. Come celebrate with them on Friday, see the martial arts studio and then plan on celebrating with them on Saturday. They are looking forward in sharing their expertise. € Their signage is up, the building is ready and now comes preparation for a big celebration of the newest addition to Gilbert Family of Companies. You are invited to attend our next Business After Hours on Tuesday, June 12, at Gilbert Fleet & Commercial division located at 3550 U.S. 441 South, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Its right across from the main Gilbert Chevrolet showroom. Youll want to stop in and see their new facility and see all that their commercial division has to offer. You can rest assured that their vehicle experts will work to understand your unique business needs. The Gilbert team will be waiting to share some exciting news with us, so dont miss out on stopping by and celebrating with them. Refreshments will be served. Chamber of Commerce News


By Richard MarionOkeechobee News Yearling Middle School held its end-ofthe-year Sports Awards Ceremony on May 21 in the YMS media center to recognize athletes on the soccer, volleyball, girls basketball and boys basketball teams during the 2017-18 school year. YMS athletic director Lori Bandi spoke shortly before the ceremony and thanked all the students and parents who participated and supported the multiple sports programs this year. One of the great parts of middle school are the sports,Ž said Ms. Bandi. And being able to watch these kids play, sometimes for over three years, is really special.Ž The YMS volleyball team had an outstanding year, going undefeated through their season. The team received a banner to hang in the YMS gymnasium acknowledging their accomplishment. Volleyball coach Kellyann Campbell gave all of the credit for the undefeated year to her team. Ive been so blessed to have not only a great group of girls but a great group of parents as well,Ž said Ms. Campbell. We went 20-0 this year, but I really cant take any of the credit. These girls worked their butts off.Ž On the volleyball team, Kaitlyn Brewer w as awarded Most Improved, with Second Most Improved going to Lauren Raulerson. Kirsten Kennedy was named MVP, and the Y earling Award went to team captains Madison Hargraves and Callie Rucks. Yearling soccer coach Erick Rios, whose team was also undefeated this year, congratulated his players on a successful season. Nicolas Ramos was named Best Defensive Player Martin Mederos was named Best Offensive Player; Most Improved went to Brendon Santiago,;and Pablo Betancurt was named MVP. In boys basketball, Trey Williams was given the GPA Award, Lindon Mingo won Highest Point Total, while Vincent Fennell was awarded Assist Leader. Boys basketball coach Luke Borcherding also gave a Legacy Award to Jorge Arias, Chris Lopez, Vincent Fennel, Will Rivero and Brandon Santiago. In girls basketball, head coach Erin Perman awarded Most Improved to Mamie McCoy, Defensive Player of the Year to Justice Shanks, the Yearling Award to Brianna Johnson and MVP to Jasmine Shanks. Athletic director Bandi also announced that next year the school would return to playing in a conference, which means teams in each sport will now have their own tournament to compete in at the end of their season.May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 3 GET READY FOR SUMMERALL YOU CAN EAT SALAD BARwith your choice of Grilled Salmon € Blackened Dolphin Skewered Shrimp € Grilled Chicken Breast 11am to 3:30pmOne coupon per table May not be combined with any other offersHurry! Offer good from 5-18-18 through 6-2-18$999with Residential Commercial FREE EstimatesRoofing with the name you trust!Licensed and Insured St. Lic. CCC046939Dont make a Mistake! Call Big Lake 863-763-ROOF (7663) & REPAIRSROOFING Always on Top of the JobŽRe-Roofing Specialists€ Metal & Shingle Roofs € Flats & Leaks Repair FREE ESTIMATES863-357-3838State Lic.#CCC1327338 Student-athletes honored during YMS Sports Awards Okeechobee News/ Richard MarionThe Yearling Middle School volleyball team with their banner, which commemorates their undefeated season during the 2017-18 school year. Okeechobee News/ Richard MarionFrom left to right: Kirsten Kennedy, Brendon Santiago, Pablo Betancurt and Jasmine Shanks were all honored for their performance in volleyball, boys basketball, soccer and girls basketball, respectively. Class of 1999 raising money for scholarshipsA Class of 1999 Scholarships page has been set up on The page states: Here we are ... 20 years after walking across the stage in the OHS gym to receive our high school diploma. Its time for us to give back „ to thank our community for taking care of us, remember the friends we walked alongside of but lost along the way, and give our support to a brighter future for the students graduating OHS in 2019. Your donation will go toward scholarships that will be given to OHS seniors for both a remembrance of classmates weve lost and a celebration of furthering education from the Class of 1999 at the 2019 OHS Scholarship Night.


Okeechobee Missionary Baptist Church 4214 N. U.S. 441 w ill host a Vacation Bible School from June 4 to 9 at 6:30 to 9 p.m. each day. All ages are welcome! Okeechobee Chapter of Ladies Propel will meet Monday, June 4, at Fountain of Life Church 1302 S.W. 32nd St., at 6:30 p.m. This is a new c onversational-style series entitled, Growth.Ž There is no charge for materials. T o register, call the church of“ce at 863-763-8945. This is an internationally known group study by author Christine Caine and will continue on the “rst Monday of each month. All ladies, middle school age and up are welcome. The First United Methodist Church 200 N.W. Second St., will host a Vacation Bible School from June 25 to 29 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., for school age children from Pre-K to Fifth grade. High school students are welcome to volunteer for extra community service hours. For information, call Emily Streelman at 863-261-3933. Victory Baptist Church 500 S.W. 9th St., would like to invite the public to attend any or all of their services each Sunday. Sunday School is at 10 a.m. for all ages. Morning worship service is at 10:45 a.m. and includes old fashioned preaching and singing. The youth band consists of the piano, violin, mandolin and guitar, as well as various singing groups. Sunday evening service is at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening prayer and Bible study and kids bible club is at 7 p.m. The King James Bible is used. For information, please call 863-763-0669. Check out the Facebook page at victorybaptistokee. Northside Baptist Church 51 N.W. 98th St., will host Grief Share, a directed support group meeting every Thursday afternoon from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend. For information, call 863763-3584 or 863-447-3373. Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church 1057 S.E. 14th Ct., offers Sunday service at 11 a.m., Sunday school at 10 a.m., and Bible study on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Pastor is Bishop Maurice Alexander. Church phone is 863-467-9355, church email is Code enforcementReaders had this to say in regard to the recent story about the code enforcement hearing. € Wow, real serious crimes here ... nothing better to do but harass folks.Ž … Phil Baxter € You do realize that code of“cers are not police of“cers or deputies. They cant enforce serious crimes. Its their job to enforce county ordinances through methods like these. You may think that theyre just harassing people like they enjoy it or something. No. Youre very wrong. The ordinances were put into place by county commissioners and most have been in place for many years. These ordinances, about overgrown grass, unlicensed vehicles, etc., may seem petty to you, but in getting people to clean things like this up, they are helping raise property values, making the community look nicer, which would bring more people here and help Okeechobee to grow. Who wants to move to a town where theres nothing but junk and overgrown grass in every yard?Ž … Kyle TillmanManatees€ Watch out for manatees, especially on Taylor Creek in the no wake zone. So few manatees, so many speeding boats.Ž … Elizabeth AcardiParking€ Just a reminder that it is illegal to park anything in the striped area next to a handicapped parking spot. You cannot park a bicycle or a motorcycle there, and please dont clutter it up with shopping carts! That striped area is for unloading a wheelchair. If you block it, those with a van with a wheelchair lift for the side door cannot get their wheelchais out of the vehicle. Please show a little compassion for those who are in wheelchairs.Ž … J. Zimpel May 23, 2018 4 OPINION Okeechobee News Public Forum/Speak Out Publisher/Editor: Circulation Manager: The Okeechobee News is published by Independent NewsMedia Inc, USA. 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 margins below industry standards. All aftertax 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.Speak Out comments can be shared in several ways. Comments on local issues are welcome on the newspapers website at, in the comments section following each article. Or, you can mail or drop off written, anonymous or signed opinions at the Okeechobee News of“ce, 107 S.W. 17th St. Suite D., Okeechobee, FL 34974; or, email anonymous or signed Speak Out comments to Okeenews@ Thanks for participating in our discussion of local issues! Letter to the editorMake America great againRemember the rallying cry of the Republican Party at the last election? President Donald Trump, then a candidate, said it over and over. Make America great again.Ž His message was to take the country back, from the liberals and their agenda to make this a welfare state where everyone was controlled by the government. He was protesting the idea of a socialist economy, and proposing that we become the great, capitalist country we once were. But when I look at this country, what I see isnt so great. The term political correctnessŽ has taken on a life of its own in our country. You cant be caught saying anything negative, about anyone, ever, or you will be shamed, publicly. The current shaming, at the national level, is credited to a political aide, who said, It doesnt matter, hes dying anyway.Ž This comment was said about Senator John McCain and his opposition to a political issue in Washington, D.C. The interesting thing about that statement is that it is correct. Sen. McCain, IS in fact, battling brain cancer and will most likely die. However, this one quote, spoken in a face-to-face meeting and overheard, has been universally despised by the liberal media for more than a week. You cant turn on a television and not be told how egregious this comment was. That statement was insensitive and in poor taste, but it IS correct. Im an old guy, into my middle 60s now, and I remember when America was great. I remember when everyone wasnt so darn touchy. You could say what you meant. The world suddenly seemsŽ so much more dangerous than it was when I was a kid in rural Michigan in the 1950s and 60s. But, I really believe the world today is quite a bit safer. Law enforcement is better equipped to put away the bad guys. The difference is REPORTING and the amount of media that we are exposed to. EVERYONE now carries a phone with a camera that will capture any small thing that takes place, and with the advent of social media, it can be broadcast to the entire city, state or country. Also, the media are everywhere with the ability to edit a scene to support their point of view. Every small issue can become a national tragedy, and people are looking for their 15 minutes of fame. We are bombarded with news, fake news, comedy that makes fun of the news, and what passes for entertainment but is supposed to be news, and most cannot tell what is real and what is fake. There is very little good news to be found in the national media, as good news does not seem to increase ratings for those news outlets. Once you get away from the national news outlets, and look at the local sources, you can see that in small pockets of America, we are being great again.Ž In smalltown America, we care for our neighbors and look in on them. We cut their grass, or wash their house when they arent able. We raise money for the less fortunate and support them in their illness. As far as I can tell, America IS great, as long as you look locally. Its DIFFERENT than the great America that I grew up in but, perhaps, no less great, when you look closely. Thomas Timmons A rea churches host special events and VBS


By Matteo TullioOkeechobee News A 28-year-old Okeechobee woman was arrested Wednesday for allegedly leaving animals in the back of a truck without fresh air and water. Dominga Ascencio Baltazar-Saucedo, Northwest 98th Street, was arrested May 16 on four counts of misdemeanor charge cruelty to animals. Her bond was set at $4,000. She has since been released. Baltazar-Saucedo had been arrested April 27 also, on 25 counts of felony charges of baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal “ghting. According to an incident report by Deputy Ryane Ammons, at 11:29 a.m. on May 16, he responded to the parking lot near Goodwill, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 South, in regard to an animal complaint. Upon his arrival, Deputy Ammons spoke with the complainant, who reportedly informed him that when they returned to their vehicle heard they barking come from the bed of a truck, that was “tted with a tonneau cover and the tailgate shut. The complainant said they were concerned for the well-being of the dogs and that while on the phone with dispatch the owner, Baltazar-Saucedo, of the animals approached the vehicle and opened the tonneau cover along with the tailgate. The animals were reportedly panting in a cage in the bed of the truck. Baltazar-Saucedo then let the dogs out of the cage and the complainant provided the animals water. The report continued that at the time of the incident, the weather service indicated it was 82 degrees and the thermometer in the patrol vehicle indicated it was 90 degrees in the area. Deputy Ammons contacted animal control to conduct a welfare check on the animals as it was unknown how long the dogs had been in the bed of the truck without fresh air and water. The report concluded that Baltazar-Saucedo neglected the animals by locking them in the enclosed truck bed without fresh air or water. The animals were turned over to OCSO Animal Control Services, and Baltazar-Saucedos daughter was turned over to her sister, who arrived during the investigation. Baltazar-Saucedo was arrested, transported and booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on the aforementioned charges. W oman arrested for roosters faces more animal cruelty chargesMay 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 5 By Matteo TullioOkeechobee News The Okeechobee County Sheriffs Of“ce (OCSO) received multiple burglary reports and were alerted to suspicious incidents, a theft and a stolen vehicle on the morning of May 15. Four burglaries, three suspicious incidents, a stolen vehicle and a theft complaint came from residents in the Treasure Island area, while four burglaries and one stolen v ehicle were reported from the Kings Bay neighborhood in the morning hours of Tuesday, May15. The burglary victims from Treasure Island reported that a coach wallet and driver license were stolen from one of the victims; a wallet containing a Florida driver license, Social Security card, birth certi“cate, two credit cards and $100 cash was reported stolen from another victim; and a pair of Steiner binoculars and a diabetes insulin test kit was taken from another. The vehicle stolen from the area was a silver 2005 GMC Sierra Z71 pickup truck with a damaged rear window, possibly allowing access to someone interested in stealing the vehicle, that contained multiple drill guns, impact wrenches, extension cords, hand tools, three radio systems and an electric blower. One man had his red Craftsman tool chest with tools in it stolen from his yard outside the fence by his driveway, which he saw there at approximately 6:30 a.m. before it went missing. The four burglary victims from Kings Bay reported a missing black Chevrolet key on a Costa Del Mar key chain lanyard; a brown Michael Kors purse containing $550 and $55 from a center console; a black Beats Pill Speaker; along with another brown Michael Kors wallet, Florida driver license, Social Security card and Seacoast Bank debit card were taken from the area. The vehicle stolen was a black 2011 Kia Forte with a set of golf clubs in the trunk. Due to a lack of physical and testimonial evidence or eyewitness accounts, possible suspects, and residents not securing their vehicles, the cases are pending further information being provided. A cologne bottle was found, collected and submitted into evidence to be processed for “ngerprints from one of the victims burglarized vehicles in the Treasure Island area, and a “ngerprint was collected from the center console of another to be further examined. Another “ngerprint was lifted from the right rear passenger door of a separate victims vehicle and submitted into evidence to be evaluated as well. Fingerprints were also reported to be lifted off the trunk from one of the burglarized vehicles from Kings Bay. OCSO urges all county residents to secure their vehicles and property and to sta y vigilant of suspicious activity in an effort to deter this kind of behavior in the community. OCSO responds to slew of reported burglaries The following individuals were arrested on felony or driving under the in”uence (DUI) charges by the Okeechobee County Sheriffs Of“ce (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). € Johnathan Maurice Corde, 39, West Bay Haven Drive, Tampa, was arrested May 17 by Deputy Joel Lacerte on an Okeechobee County felony warrant charging him with sale, manufacture, delivery of a controlled substance (cocaine) withing 1,000 feet of a municipal park, community center or recreational facility and possession with intent to sell a controlled substance (cocaine) within 1,000 feet of a municipal park, community center or recreational facility. He was also arrested by Deputy Sergeant Fred Bradley on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) without a valid prescription and misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance (cannabis) without a valid prescription and resisting of“cer without violence. His bond was set at $56,000. € Anthony Gerald Vickers, 25, U.S. 441 Southeast, Okeechobee, was arrested May 17 by the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force on felony charges of purchase of a controlled substance (cocaine) without a valid prescription, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) without a valid prescription and tampering with evidence. His bond was set at $15,000. € Ivan Garrison Grif“n, 59, Northwest 12th Street, Okeechobee, was arrested Ma y 17 by the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force on felony charges of purchase a controlled substance (cocaine) without a valid prescription, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) without a valid prescription and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $11,000. € Robert Edwin Hargrave, 50, Southwest 12th Street, Okeechobee, was arrested Ma y 17 by the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance (cannabis) without a valid prescription and a misdemeanor charge o f possession of a controlled substance (cannabis) without a valid prescription. His bond was set at $10,000. € Robert Allen Pohl, 54, U.S. 441 Southeast, Okeechobee, was arrested May 17 b y the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force on felony charges of possession with intent to purchase a controlled substance (oxycodone) without a valid prescription and tampering with evidence. His bond was set at $10,000. € James Patrick Anderson, 55, 21st Street East, Bradenton, was arrested May 17 b y Deputy Joel Lacerte on an Okeechobee County felony warrant charging him with driving under the in”uence (with prior convictions) and driving while license permanently revoked. His bond was set at $30,000. This column lists arrests and not convictions, unless otherwise stated. Anyone listed here who is later found innocent o r has had the charges against them droppe d is welcome to inform this newspaper. The information will be con“rmed and printed. Okeechobee Arrest Report € Okeechobee Main Street to present the annual Art and Wine Walk on Park Street on Saturday, July 14. Save the date! € Okeechobee Main Street is gearing up for Labor Day in the Park on Sept. 2 and 3. If y ou would like to be a part of the planning, email € Quail Creek Plantation, 12399 N.E. 224th St., will host the May Main Street Mixer on Tuesday, May 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. Quail Creek Plantation is a little wooded, swamped oasis tucked away just north of town offering clay shoots. There is anything from quail hunts to turkey, and even pheasant. Quail Creek Plantation also offers big game hunting and overnight stays in one of its cottages as well as a few homes, with up to “ve bedrooms. If youve not been out to see this amazing place, you need to for this event. Mrs. Maria and her team will have the night set right to entertain and welcome everyone to Quail Creek Plantation. For more information on Quail Creek Plantation, you can visit the Facebook page at: https://www. Website: http://www.quailcreekplantation. com/index.cfm. All OKMS Mixers are an opportunity to network with other community business owners, leaders and residents of Okeechobee. Mixers are open to the public, so be sure to bring all your friends. As usual, 50/50 drawing tickets will be available and the drawing will take place at the “nal mixer of the year. Door prizes will be drawn for as well. So be sure to bring yours! € Volunteers are needed! Throughout the year, Okeechobee Main Street has many opportunities for those who want to possibly help out, take part in, or need those additional community service hours. If you would like to join the team and be part of something bigger, contact the of“ce via email and sign up at For events big or small throughout the year, volunteers are always needed. So be part of your community and help out. Join in and see what OKMS is all about and what it does for Okeechobee. Main Street Happenings Fire/Rescue offers free blood pressure checksOkeechobee County Fire/Rescue offers free blood pressure checks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at: € Fire Station #1, 504 N.W. Sixth Street, € Fire Station #2, 3511 S.E. 38th Ave., and, € Fire Station #4, 1199 N.E. 168th St. Please understand that if you stop by a station and there is no staff there, they are out on an emergency call. Please stop back later.


Ann Marie Hughes Thornton, 85Okeechobee „ Ann Marie Hughes Thornton died peaceably at home on May 22, 2018. She was born July 16, 1932, in Detroit, Mich. to John and Violet (May) Hughes. She was a resident of Okeechobee for the last 38 years. Ann was a former member of the Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile Mariah Ladies and the Shrine Temple Ladybugs. She was a member of the Okeechobee Garden Club and she enjoyed painting as a hobby. She is survived by her loving husband of 68 years, John William Thornton, Sr.; son, John William Thornton, Jr. of Greenville, Miss.; daughters, Susan Carol of Okeechobee, Judith Ann of Deland, Shirley Marie of Winter Springs, Nancy Lynn of Titusville; and a sister, Shirley Mae Zent of Orange City. A memorial service will be held at a future date. In lieu of ” owers memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Okeechobee, P.O. Box 1548, Okeechobee, FL 34973. Those wishing to leave a message of condolence may sign the register book at www. All arrangements are entrusted to the direction and care of the Buxton, Bass and Conway families of the Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home, 400 North Parrott Avenue, Okeechobee, Florida, 34972.6 Okeechobee News May 23, 2018 Martin Harr y S etzer, 51 O KEE C HOBE E „ Mart i n Harry S etzer d i ed Ma y 21, 2018. He was born June 7 1966 i n S t. Louis Mo. to Gran v ille and Gloria (Mar tin) Setzer. A resident o f O kee c h ob ee sin c e 1979, he was a con struction supervisor. He loved ridin g his motorcycle, boating, “shin g and skiin g. Mr. Setzer was preceded in death by his father, Granville Setzer; and brother, Kenn y Se t zer He is survived b y his mother, Gloria Clase, of Okeechobee; brothers, Gary Setzer ( Barb ) of St. Louis, Mo., and Butch Setzer ( Cathy ) o f Okeechobee; sisters, Jean Holloway, Na n c y Shellington, both of St. Louis, Mo., Mar i lyn Kluegel, o f Okeechobee, Kelly Freeman ( Mike ) of Noble, Okla., and Connie Yates ( Tracy ) of Okeechobee; signi“cant other, J anet Chivari; and a host o f nieces and neph e w s N o serv ic es w i ll b e hel d. Those wishin g to leave a messa g e of condo lence ma y sign the register book at, w ww. O keechobee F m All arran g ements are entrusted to the d i rec t ion and care of t he Bux t on & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home 400 North Pa r rott A venue Okeechobee Florida 34972 Harr y Edgar Hubble, Jr., 87 OKEE C HOBE E „ Harr y Edgar Hubble, Jr. d ied Ma y 20, 2018. He w as born Nov. 29 1930 in Indiana p olis, Ind. to Harr y E dgar Hubble, S r. and Hilda (Dara) Hubble. He proudl y served our countr y in the United States Arm y d urin g the Korean W ar. He was ret i red Indiana State Police Of f f “cer. A resident of Okeechobee since 1998, he enjoyed antiquing. Mr. Hubble was preceded b y his wife of 52 y ear, Sally Ann Hubble He is survived b y his wi f e o f eight y ears, C ath y Wolford, of Okeechobee; sons, Larr y H ubble ( Cind y) of Cape Coral, Trac y Hubble, and Robert Hubble both of Martinsville Ind. ; dau g hters, Patricia Lon g ( Bill ) of Indiana, and L isa Hubble, o f Estero; nine grandchildren; numerous g reat g randchildren; sister, Doro thy Matthews, o f Indiana; stepson, Michael Reid, o f North Carolina; and stepdaughter, J ohanna W y nn ( Freddie ) of Winter Haven. Memorial services will be 2 p .m. Wednes da y Ma y 23, 2018 at Okeechobee Presb y teri an Church with Pastor Lo y Mershimer o f“ c i at i ng Memor i als may be made to O keechobee Presb y terian Church, 312 N Parrott AVE, O keechobee FL 34972, or Hos p ice o f O keechobee PO Box 1548 Okeechobee FL 349 7 3 Those wishing to leave a message o f co n dolence may sign the register book at, w ww .O kee c h ob eeF u ner a lH o me .co m All arrangements are entrusted to the direc t ion and care of t he Bux t on & Bass O keechobee Funeral Home 400 North Par rott Avenue Okeechobee Florida 34972. Tommy Tifton Rucks, 87 OKEE C HOBE E „ Tommy Tifton Rucks, a li f elong dairy f armer, passed away peace f ull y at his home in Okeechobee, Ma y 19, 2018 surrounded b y h is f amil y and loved ones. In addi t ion t o his l oving wi f e and best f riend, Bett y Rucks; h e i s surv i ved by h i s t hree children, Tomm y R ucks Jr. ( Pamela ) Keith Rucks ( Susan ) and Robin Sims ( Allen ) a ll o f Okeechobee; grandchildren, Tomm y R ucks III (Lindse y ) of Altamonte Springs, Kimberly Clark ( Brian ) of Ringwood, N.J., Laura Altman (Shane) Chase Rucks Jar e d Sims ( Hannah ) and Keith D. Rucks all o f O keechobee; two g reatg randch i ldren, Blake A ltman and Murphy Jane Sims; along with his beloved nieces, Kathr y n Murph y Vivian Lee; a nd special f amily member, Cathy Yates. T omm y was preceded i n death b y h i s pa r e nts, Hobert and Jenc y Viola (Sall y ) Rucks; his si ster, Joann Rucks Lee; and h i s son, W i ll i am J ose p h Rucks. Tommy was born in Ti f ton, Ga. on August 19, 1930 to Hobert and Jenc y Viola (Sall y ) R ucks. He was raised in Miami on his f amilys d airy f arm. A f ter graduating high school he a ttended the Universit y of Florida. Tomm y en t ered into the United States Nav y in 1953 the s ame y ear he married the love o f his li f e, Bett y Stokes. The cou p le would have celebrated t heir 65th wedding anniversar y this coming O ctober. Tomm y has been a resident of Okeechobee a nd a member o f First Ba p tist Church since 1975. I t is here where his t hree children s t ill operate H.W. Rucks and Son Dair y a busi n ess which Tomm y and his father co-foun d e d in 1 955. Tomm y was an avid Florida Gator f an as w ell as a Bull Gator for 27 y ears. He served as P resident o f Independent Dairy Farmers Asso ciation f or 14 y ears as well as on the board o f SunTrust f or 16 years. He cof ounded United F eed Co-o p with Robert K. Butler & Theo Ber m an in 1979 where he served as Presiden t for 3 1 years. Tommy loved his f amily, li f e and the Lord. He lived his life t o t he fulles t which was made evident in his many worldly travels with his wife and lifelon g travel companions, Red a nd Reda Larson. He enjoyed summers at his home in Jackson Hole, W y oming with wi f e Betty and cousins Neil and Rita Rucks. He s p ent the rest of his time in Okeechobee where he took great joy in trips to and f rom t he dair y and United Feed Co-op as well as a dmirin g his Birds o f ParadiseŽ Tommys legacy will f orever live on, not onl y in the hearts of his famil y and friends but in t he commun i ty and F lor i da da i ry i ndustry as a whole. He served as a beacon of stren g th, moral i ty and love to all that knew h i m, and we were all made better b y his presence. Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Buxton and Bass Funeral Home ( 400 N. Parrott Ave. ) from 4 to 7 p.m. Massonic s ervices will be at 6 p .m. The funeral service will take place at the First Baptist Church o f Okeechobee (401 SW 4th Street) on Thur s da y Ma y 24, 2018 at 10 a.m.; graveside ser v ice and reception to follow. Memorials ma y b e made to Hos p ice o f Okeechobee, P.O. Box 1 5 48 Okeechobee FL. 34973 Those wishin g to leave a messa g e of cond o lence may s i gn the reg i ster book at, m A ll arran g ements are entrusted to the d i r ec t ion and care of t he Bux t on & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home 400 North Par rott Avenue Okeechobee Florida 34972. Jo h n Ro l an d Pennin g ton, 73 OKEE C HOBE E „ John Roland Penn i ngton died May 20, 2018. He was born Dec. 2, 1944 in C hattanooga, Tenn. to C larence and Flossie ( Jackson ) Pennington. H e prou dly serve d our c ountr y in the United States Nav y A resident o f O kee c h ob ee sin c e 2013 he was a me m ber of New Life Angli can F ellowsh ip i n Lake P lacid, President o f the Re p ublican Club, and the Vietnam Veterans A ssociation. He also w orked man y y ears with the Bo y Scouts, at tainin g the position o f Unit Commissioner. He began the Victor y Baptist Church Bus Ministr y a nd traveled f or man y y ears doing Missionar y w ork wi t h From t he Hear t Minis t ries. Mr. Pennington was preceded in death b y his siblin g s, David, Linda, and Norma He is survived by his wi f e o f 17 years, Gerri P ennington, of Okeechobee; six sons, Ja son Pennington ( Sandy ) of Lake City, Matt P ennington, o f San Francisco, Cali f ., Jerem y P ennington ( Andrea ) of Pennsylvania, John Tarrt (Karen), of Wilmington, N.C., Robert Tarrt ( Cindy ) of Laurel Hill, N.C., Mark Tar rt (Joan), of Sprin g “eld, Mass.; numerous g randchildren, g reatg randchildren, nieces, a nd nephews; brothers, Albert Pennin g ton ( Edna ) of Forest Park, Ga., and Bill Pennin g ton (Connie) of Okeechobee ; and sister Gin ger Peterson ( Carl ) of Fa y etteville, Ga Visitation will be 12 p .m. until services at 2 p.m. Thursda y Ma y 24, 2018 at Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home wi t h Pas t or J ohn Glenn of“ciatin g. Memorials may be made to Vietnam Vete r a n Association 2821 NE 5th Trail Okeechobee FL 34972, or Hos p ice o f Okeechobee, PO Box 1 548 Okeechobee FL 34973. Those wishing to leave a message of con dolence ma y sign the register book at, w ww .O kee c h ob eeF u ner a lH o me .com All arrangements are entrusted to the d i rec t ion and care of t he Bux t on & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home, 400 North Par rott Avenue, Okeechobee, Florida, 34972. Obituaries Obituaries should be submitted to the Okeechobee News by emailing Customers may also request photos and links to online guestbooks. A link to the obituaries is available at Search millions of obituaries from more than 650 newspapers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom


May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News € 2018 Meet Your Merchants 7 She has years of experience successfully buying and selling homes in the local market. She knows the neighborhoods, schools, market conditions, zoning regulations and local economy. Shell do the legwork, keeping you upto-date with new listings and conditions as they impact the market. She is a full-time real estate agent „ anything less and youd be short changed. Shell use her connections throughout the mortgage industry to get you the best deals possible. Youll be her only client in the real estate transaction. Shell guide you through the complexities of buying and/or selling a house, eliminating hassles and stress. As a standard business practice she previews homes as they become available, keeping you apprised of market conditions as they evolve. She wont waste your time „ w hen an offer is made, shell require acceptance or a counter offer within 24 Top 10 Reasons Vicki Anderson is the Real Estate Agent for you! Vicki S. Anderson, Licensed Real Estate BrokerVice President, Okeechobee Board of Realtors Vicki Anderson 863.634.4106 Eric Anderson863.634.4107Selling Your Home?Let Us Show It in the Best Light.Shelly DoylePersonal Assistant863.801.3119shellydoyle@ymail.comServing ALL Your Real Estate NeedsYour Top Realty Company in Okeechobee21442 E. SR 78 „ Buckhead Ridge Okeechobee, FL 34972 For all of our listings, please visit to 48 hours Youll have the advantage of personal, one-on-one attention as well as her dynamic web and e-mail resources Vicki invites you to contact her to talk about your home buying and/or selling plans. Call her at the of“ ce, 863.634.4106, or send her an email at vic_anderson@ Shell set up a time to meet that is easy and convenient for you. If youre not ready to meet in person, please tour her website, located at www.andersonrealty. com. Shes sure youll “ nd the resources there useful and helpful.


8 Okeechobee News € 2018 Meet Your Merchants May 23, 2018 Call Gerald Lefebvre Law Ofces of Lefebvre & Dixon763.3333Okeechobee, Florida Jerry Lefebvre is a Florida Bar Board Certi“ed Civil Trial Attorney who limits his practice to personal injury and wrongful death cases. Jerry received his Juris Doctoris degree from Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg in May 1976. Jerry was an Assistant Public Defender in Key West, and then an Assistant State A ttorney in Fort Pierce before moving to Okeechobee in 1982. As a prosecutor he tried many misdemeanor and felony cases including murder, sexual battery, burglary and DUI. For the last 20 years he has limited his practice to negligence actions including personal injury and wrongful death cases. Jerry has obtained million dollar v erdicts in Okeechobee County, Florida; St. Lucie County, and Martin County. In 2012, a Martin County, Florida jury returned a $44 million dollar verdict in favor of his clients in a case against a Chinese company which manufactured a defective linked chain. In 2014, Jerry was selected as one of the 25 initial inductees into the Jury Verdict Hall of Fame by the Daily Business Review as a result of that jury verdict award of damages. Jerry was selected as a Super Lawyer in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014. One of Jerrys proudest accomplishments is that he was able to place the establishment of the Okeechobee County Children Service Council on the Okeechobee ballot in 1990. The referendum passed, and Mr. Lefebvre was appointed Chairman of the council by Governor Lawton Chiles in 1991. He served as Chairman for 10 years. Mr. Lefebvre strongly supports local charitable and educational groups and also strongly supports youth athletic activities. His beautiful Spanish styled law of“ce has been located at 1910 South Parrott Avenue since it was built in 1999. It is located across the street from the WalMart Super Center. The public is welcomed to visit his of“ce during normal operating hours. Free telephone consultations are available to anyone at anytime. Jerrys of“ce number is 763-3333Local attorney has busy personal injury practice Opening Doors is What We DoResidential Agriculture Commercial (863) 763-2104 Se Habla EspaolDavid Hazellief Broker (863) 610-1553 Sharon Prevatt (863) 634-7069 Lucy OlivarezCarmen Guerrero 1200 South Parrott | Century 21 Hazellief & Prevatt „ Opening doors is what we doCentury 21 Hazellief & Prevatt has been serving Okeechobee and the surrounding areas since 1980. Buying and selling property is a major undertaking and important decision, especially in todays real estate market. We understand this, so whether you are selling, buying or simply investing, we will provide y ou with the very best service every step of the way with our experienced agents. Our clients bene“ t from our knowledge, integrity, and a wealth of experience and thorough understanding of the real estate market. We strive to provide the highest quality service to you and make the process a rewarding experience. Just stop by our of“ ce located right off Hwy 441 or, for your convenience, you can search all of our listings in the MLS in real time on our website, just like we would. Visit us at If you see something you like, you can always give us a call and schedule a showing! Experience the peaceful tranquility that Okeechobee has to offer. So if you are looking for a place to raise a family, re-locate or even retire, Okeechobee is the place! Let us help you because “Opening doors is what we do!” Hablamos Espaol y le podemos ayudar a encontrar la casa que usted busca.


May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News € 2018 Meet Your Merchants 9 46 7-1 5 4 5 *See y our independent American Standard Dealer for complete pro g ram eli g ibilit y dates, details and restrictions. Special nancin g oers OR instant rebates from $100 up to $1,000 v alid on qualif y in g equipment onl y Oers var y b y equipment onl y All sales must be to homeowners in the United States. Void where prohibited. See y our independent American Standard Dealer for complete pro g ram eli g ibilit y dates, details and restrictions. Special nancin g oers valid on qualif y in g equipment onl y All Sales must be to homowners in the United States. Void where prohibited. **e Wells Far g o Home Pro j ects credit card is issued b y Wells Far g o Bank, N.A. an Equal Housin g Lender. Special terms appl y to qualif y in g purchases char g ed with approved credit. e special terms APR will continue to appl y until all qualif y in g purchases are paid in full. e monthl y pa y ment for this purchase will be the amount that will pa y for the purchase in full in equal pa y ments durin g promotional (special terms) period. e APR for Purchases will appl y to certain fees such as a late pa y ment fee or if y ou use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Puchases is 28.99%. If y ou are char g ed interest in an y billin g c y cle, the minimum interest char g e will b e $1.00. is information is accurate as of 3/13/2018 and is sub j ect to chan g e. For current information, call us at 12-800-431-5931. Oer expires 6/30/2018 U P T O $1,000 IN S TANT REBATE 0%* F O R 36 M O NTH S** OR APR 0 0 The Comfort ZoneAsk The ExpertThe summer of 1976ƒ. Our country was celebrating its bi-centennial! That was the summer that my dad introduced me, to the world of air conditioning ohŽƒ. It wasnt v ery glamourous, crawling around and into attics, but I was now an InstallerŽ and ductwork was soon to be my specialty! I turned 16 years old later that year; little did I know that what I was doing that summer to help dad & earn a little spending money was going to turn into a lifes passion. Not only that but to be able to support myself and my wife along w ith raising a family has been quite rewarding! Somewhere between that “ rst summer and celebrating my 34th season in business for myself, I have become a bit of an expert in residential/light commercial cooling and heating. Websters de“ nes Expert as Special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.Ž Man, do I have the experiences to go along w ith training! I took the Florida state exam for air conditioning contracting in June of 1984 and went into business for myself that summer. Ive seen many changes in our industry in that 35 + years of being involved in this trade recently, most notably, the phasing out of R-22 refrigerant and replacing with R-410a Equipment ef“ ciencies that have fairly recently soared from 10 S.E.E.R to 14 S.E.E.R and higher, into the 20 Seer range and beyond. The use of control & printed circuit boards, in lieu of a relay or contactor. Evenƒ the old reliableŽ round Honeywell Thermostat that we came to symbolize with central air conditioning has been replaced with newer electronic versions. No longer referred to as thermostats, but rather System Controllers.Ž Needless to say, the world of central air conditioning is changing! If youre not sure what your needs may be, or just have general questions concerning your A/C Systemƒ why not Ask An Expert.ŽBud Mixon Real Estate Group, LLC The team that goes the extra mile! When it comes to buying and selling y our home, you want someone you can trust. You want an agent who listens; someone who understands y our unique needs and will work with y ou to help you meet your goals. Broker Lori Mixon and her team at Mixon Real Estate Group are with y ou every step of the way. They provide each and every client with the personalized attention they deserve. Lori and her Team are involved in the Okeechobee community. She is a member of Okeechobee Mainstreet, Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee and an active member of the Okeechobee Board Of Realtors, having served as President and currently a Director on the Board. BUYING OR SELLING … LETS MAKE IT HAPPEN! When you are ready to buy or sell, turn to Okeechobees TOP Residential Specialists. Our TEAM of professionals are committed to marketing and selling your home or property. We offer 3-D Virtual Tours and well as Aerial Photography. When buying your “rst home, vacation home or dream home, we make it happen! OUR PRIORITIES ARE SIMPLEƒ THEYRE YOURS!Ž Call us today or stop by our of“ce so we may meet you, so we can develop a plan to make your real estate dreams, a reality! Visit our website at MIXON REAL ESTATE GROUP : Your Trusted Real Estate ProfessionalsŽ 1306 SW 2nd Street Okeechobee, Florida 34974 Of“ce: 863-763-6000 CALL US TODAY!


10 Okeechobee News € 2018 Meet Your Merchants May 23, 2018 863.763.3134 or € Subscribe: /okeechobeenews Print.Web.SocialKeeping you informed of all local news on all multimedia platforms Community Service Through Journalism Okeechobee News is top source for local informationBy Katrina ElskenOkeechobee News The Okeechobee News Okeechobees hometown newspaper since 1914 is Okeechobees oldest continuing business. The newspaper of“ ce is at 107 S.W. 17th Street, Suite D. The website is The newspaper also has a popular Facebook page with more than 16,000 followers. Since 1915, the Okeechobee News has celebrated Okeechobees accomplishments, pointed out the problem areas, and documented the communitys own history, week after week, without fail. The Okeechobee News survived the Great Depression and more than one recession. The newspaper kept publishing through hurricanes and ” oods. The Okeechobee News even managed to keep publishing a newspaper when its own of“ ces burned to the ground. The print edition of the newspaper is published thrice-weekly, with editions on W ednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The newspaper is also available online as an e-edition. The newspapers website is updated seven days a week, providing the community with daily news. The business started in 1914 when the postal permit was “ rst obtained. A postal permit was necessary not only to deliver the papers out of town, but also to establish the paper as a newspaper of record, authorized to run legal advertisements such as government notices. The Okeechobee community needed a newspaper of record, as community leaders had big plans for the area. In 1915 they would put the City of Okeechobee on the map as an incorporated city. Two years later, Okeechobee County would be established. To help organize the community, the Okeechobee Call began in 1914 with a series of ” iers similar to a newsletter, printed on 8 x10 paper. Actual publication of the broadsheet edition of the newspaper did not begin until 1915, with the “ rst edition hitting the streets on July 1, 1915. While the newspaper has changed names over the years, it has been published under that same original postal permit for 103 years. The newspaper has changed owners many times. But what has maintained constant for more than 100 years is a dedication to community service and to giving Okeechobee community members the local news and information they need to make decisions in their everyday lives. The Okeechobee News was a weekly newspaper from 1915 until 1981. The day of the week that it was published varied. Independent News Media Inc. (then called Independent Newspapers Inc.) acquired Sunshine Newspapers in 1978. In November 1981, the newspaper began to publish twice a week. Seven years later, the paper added a Sunday edition. From Sept. 14, 1992 until 2008, the Okeechobee News was a daily newspaper with seven editions a week. The paper survived the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 without missing a single edition. When the newspaper of“ ces were left without electricity, staffers hauled computer equipment to an employees home in order to meet the deadlines. But the paper could not maintain daily publication in the face of an economic storm. After the housing boom went bust in 2008, there was no longer enough advertising to support a daily newspaper and the Okeechobee News returned to three days a week publication. The Okeechobee News is part of Independent News Media, which has newspapers in Florida, Delaware, Maryland and Arizona. Independent News Media is an organization dedicated to community journalism. It does not have shareholders or an owner. INI pays taxes like for-pro“ t companies, but is 100 percent owned b y a non-pro“ t journalistic trust that allows all after-tax pro“ ts to be reinvested in the companys community service mission. INI gives each community the best newspaper it will support. Over the years, the newspaper has had a number of slogans including, The only newspaper in Okeechobee County,Ž Home of the Speckled Perch Festival,Ž and Its News. Read It.Ž


In his opening statement, Mr. Richardson described the injuries Haynes sustained during an altercation with Woodbury in their cell: Several brain hemorrhages and bruises, broken jaw bone and 11 lacerations to the torso. More than a dozen lacerations and abrasions to the extremities. Almost every rib in his body was fractured, a fractured sternum, broken “ngers and toes, and one missing tooth, root and all.Ž The medical examiner later testi“ed that the injuries sustained by Haynes certainly wouldŽ have been consistent with those caused by a padlock used to strike the victim. He said the injuries included 21 lacerations and abrasions to the face and skull area, 11 lacerations and abrasions to the torso.Ž The medical examiner also testi“ed that the cause of death to Haynes was determined as blood loss from severe amounts of physical trauma, consistent with torturing and extreme amounts of suffering.Ž Mr. Richardson quoted a reported statement by Woodbury according to a witness, Call me Phoenix! Call me Phoenix! Im in control now, Im in control! You try to come into this cell and Ill kill him and Ill kill the “rst of“cer who comes in.Ž Mr. Richardson also recited Woodburys audio-recorded statements to Haynes in the cell to the jury, I know it hurts, I know it hurts, its called torture! Welcome to the house of pain, it actually exists, its on the ninth level of hell, I used to run it.Ž Woodbury used his opening remarks to tell the jury his version of events. This case is “rst and foremost, from my perspective, about how my cellmate, Haynes, attempted to rape and sexually assault me while asleep in my bed in the middle of the night,Ž he said. This case is secondly about how I reacted to Haynes rape attempt in a way that ultimately led to his death.Ž He said that he and Haynes apparently got off on a bad foot initially and that he thought things were smoothed over after he provided coffee to Haynes in the preceding days. Long story short, he took my kindness for weakness, which happens in prison all the time. At about 2:30 a.m. to 3 a.m., I feel a hand on my upper leg and groin area. I struggled to wake up, then slapped his hand away upon coming fully awake.Ž Woodbury then told the members of the jury that Haynes was supposedly telling him to roll over, as he attempted to sexually assault him. I jumped off the bunk and put on my boots. Haynes thinks Im going to kick on the door to summon the cops in the of“cers station to tell on him. I take his boots and launch them at his head. One hits him in the shoulder, the other bounces behind the locker, and I tell him Put on your boots and prepare to defend your life, you played, now you gonna pay.Ž Woodbury said Haynes did not know how to respond, comparing it to a matador charging a bull,Ž or a gazelle now biting on the lion,Ž stating it was too much for Haynes. Woodbury then said that as Haynes went to get the boot from behind the locker, I thought, Im not giving this dude a fair “ght, at all. I then proceeded to kick him in the face like a 50-yard “eld goal that wouldve been good from 60. We had another “ght after that. In short, I went berserk. Yes, I used excessive force. Yes the punishment did not “t the crime, I admit that freely, but is it premeditated “rst-degree murder? No, this is me going berserk and staying in a form of berserk. I just couldnt stop; this case is ultimately about Haynes attempt to rape me.Ž A witness called by the state testi“ed to leaving the Florida Department of Corrections because of the experience, responding to the attack from Woodbury on Haynes. Mr. Albright asked the witness, At some point did he ask you if you thought he was crazy?,Ž to which the witness responded, Yes, after he would hit him (Haynes), he would ask, Am I crazy? At that time I told him No, I dont think youre crazy, I think youre misunderstood and not understanding whats going on. He said, Oh, so you dont think Im crazy? He then raised three “ngers, wiped the back of the other inmates head covered in blood, sat down on his locker, licked his “ngers and said, Am I crazy now?Ž The witness then stated that Woodbury repeatedly hit Haynes in the back of the head and blood would squirt over the walls.Ž He said Woodbury hit Haynes more than 50 times. A witness from Okeechobee Correctional Institution testi“ed that Woodbury said, Go get me a white shirt (supervisor); we have a hostage situation ... I have the power now,Ž and that Woodbury, appeared frantic.Ž Another OCI witness said, I tried to tal k to inmate Woodbury and he responded, Im not talking to no sergeant. I heard a thud and he stated to me, That was because of you,Ž striking Haynes as Woodburys requests were not being met. A nearly two-hour-long video was played for jury members in conjunction with the states “nal witness, who spent much o f the time during the incident speaking with Woodbury. The witness said Woodbury had barricaded the cell door: Its like taking a broomstick handle in a sliding glass door track. It is really a poor design from when the prison was built.Ž According to the witness testimony, Woodbury asked to be transferred back up north to New Hampshire and was aware o f the camera operators recording him when he addressed them and then struck Haynes. Woodbury took the stand and claimed that the barricaded door claim by OCI was a maneuver to cover the mistakes made b y the agencys personnel during the incident. I put them in a bad position,Ž Woodbur y stated of having Haynes hostage until the tactical cell teams arrived for the extraction. After he “nished his testimony on the stand, Woodbury then pleaded guilty, avoiding cross-examination by the prosecution.May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 11 SPONSOR LEVEL DONATION Valedictorian Level $1,000 Scholar Level $750 … $500 Honors Level $250 Friend of Grad Night $100 Proud Parents $25 How can you help?To DONATE FUNDS please make your tax-deductible check payable to Our Village Okeechobee (EIN:47-3944280). Checks can be mailed to CenterState Bank Attn: Tabitha Trent at 2100 South Parrott Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34974. Please write GRAD NITE 2018Ž in the memo line of your check.For questions about donations, contact Tabitha Trent at 863.763.5573 or email her at To DONATE PRIZES and other items to give away, please contact Magi Cable at To VOLUNTEER your time, please contact Leah Suarez. Email her at lsuarez40@ Volunteers are needed for everything from setup to cleanup, hosting games, serving food, and security. To DONATE FOOD please contact Samantha Durrance by email at 2018 Grad Night CelebrationMay 25 at Skate and PlayGenerously Sponsored by Seminole Tribe of Florida Grad Night Sponsored by: MURDERContinued From Page 1 It takes about 12 billion gallons of water to raise the lake level by 1 inch. Heavy freshwater ”ow to the coastal estuaries has been due to local basin runoff. Flow through the St. Lucie Lock on the C-44 Canal was about 1.5 billion gallons on Sunday, May 20. On Monday, May 21, about 1.7 billion gallons went through the lock. Caloosahatchee River ”ow through the Franklin Lock was about 1.5 billion gallons on Sunday and about 1.8 billion gallons on Monday. Local runoff is also blamed for the high levels of bacteria in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. On May 18, the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County issued a swimming advisory for the following river locations: € River Park Marina-North Fork of the St. Lucie River; € Veterans Memorial Park-North Fork of the St. Lucie River; € Westmoreland Tract Canoe LaunchNorth Fork of the St. Lucie River. According to the St. Lucie County Health Department, the sample results found higher than normal levels of enteric bacteria. Potential health risks for those who ingest or come in contact with the water include upset stomach, diarrhea, eye irritation and skin rashes. Swimming in the waters is not recommended due to an increased risk of illness at this time. Enteric bacteria inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals, and their presence in recreational waters is an indication of fecal pollution. The bacteria may come from stormwater runoff, pets, wildlife and human sewage.The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County will continue the advisory until results are satisfactory. Sampling is scheduled for Tuesday, May 29. LAKEContinued From Page 1


12 Okeechobee News May 23, 2018 Employment Full Time Employment Full Time Employment Full Time Employment Full Time A cc o untant II F DOH-Okeechobee Count y M-F, 8-5. A c counts Payable professional level accountin g S t a te he a lth ins u r a nce a n d FRS retirement. S ubmit a pp lication to: O KEECH O BEE-ACC OU NTANT-II6 4 00 17 6 4 EEO/AA/VP Em p lo y er Public Notice Public Notice P U BLIC N O TIC E T he County Coalition for Responsible Mana g ement of Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries and Lake Worth La g oon will hold th e i r Lake Coalition Meetin g June 01, 2018 at 10:00 a. m in the “Jud g e W illiam L. Hendr y Courtroom” at the Historic Courthouse, 304 N.W. 2nd Street, Okeechobee, Florida P lease take notice and be advised that if an y p erson desires to a pp eal an y decision made b y the Coalition with res p ect to an y matter considered at this meetin g such interested person will need a record of the proceedin g s, and for such purpose may need to ensure a verbatim record of the proceedin g s i s made, which record includes the testimon y and evidence u p on which the a pp eal is to be based. Ka rs o n T u rner a s Ch a irm an County Coalition for Responsible Mana g ement o f La ke O keech ob ee a n d St. L u cie a n d C a l oo s a h a tchee Est ua rie s S haron Robertson, Clerk B oard of Count y Commissioner s Okeechobee Count y Florid a /s/ Paula Poskon/ De p ut y Clerk 262561 ON 5 / 23 / 2018 Hendry County BOCC is seeking applications for a full-time yy yy Residential g Building Inspector. gp pp pp Applications must be received at the Human Resources gp gp pp pp Department, 640 South Main Street, LaBelle, FL 33935. A complete job p, p, p os ti n g an d a ppli ca ti on f orms are ,pj available on the Hendry County website pgpp pgpp at yy y Hendry County is a VP, EEO/AA, DFWP employer and participates in E-Verify. yy,/, yy,/, I n di v id ua l s nee di n g ass i s t ance i n th e pyppy pypp application process should contact the g g C oun ty H uman R esources p p department at 863-675-5352 y y CUSTOM COMBINE OPERATORS (8) Temp/Full-time positions (5/15/18 to 7/5/18) @ Hanover Foods Delaconditions, locate electrical lines and obstacles, completes empl period. Return transport Deskto p Su pp ort Technicia n D escri p tion: The Okeechobee Count y Clerk’s S enior Communit y Health Nurs i n g Superv i sor T he re g istered nurse 12-month position s u p ervises school health and school based dental sealant pro g ram for the FDOH S ubmit a pp lication to : p//jy EEO/AA/VP Em p lo y er Auctions A U CTI O N E ver y Frida y & S aturday ni g hts at 5:30 9 17 SW P a rk St. ( Behind Eli’s Western Wear ) Quality Consi g nments Acce p ted. Wa tf o r d A u cti o n 1 0 % B P 863-697-8906 AU1843 AB1583 Auctions W e B u y E st a te s Anti q ues, Collectibles, H ousehold, Tools, Jewelr y and etc. Call 863-697-8906 Employment Full Time B U F O RD BAIT IS L OO KING F O R MO TIVATED INDIVID U AL T O D ELIVER BAIT & T ACKLE IN S OU TH C ENTRAL FL. MUS T HAVE C LEAN D RIVING REC O RD C O NTACT HERBERT 6 1 5 2 1 0 2555 Okeechobee Christian Academy is seeking a highly motivated, professional certified teacher who promotes rigor, excellence, and Christian values in the area of high school math for the 2018-2019 school year. A willingness to enhance the existing team atmosphere while maintaining an attitude of ambition is a must. Applications may be acquired in the Okeechobee Christian Academy office, located at 701 S. Parrott Ave. Okeechobee, FL. Call the office with questions (863) 763-3072. Business Opportunities NOTICE Independent Newspapers will never accept any advertisement that is illegal or considered fraudulent. In all cases of questionable value, such as promises of guaranteed income from work-athome programs if it sounds too good to be true, chances are that it is. If you have questions or doubts about any ad on these pages, we advise that before responding or sending money ahead of time, you chec k with the Better Business Bureau at 772878-2010 for previous complaints. Some 800 and 900 telephone numbers may require an extra charge, as well as long distance toll costs. We will do our best to alert our reader o f these charges in the ads, but occasionally we may not be aware of the charges. Therefore, if you call a number out of your area, use caution.


18 Okeechobee News May 23, 2018 Public Notice Public Notice IN THE NINETEENTH J U DICIAL CIRC U IT C OU RT IN AND F O R O KEECH O BEE C O UNTY, FL O RIDA C ASE N O 2 0 1 5 CA 171 C FS PROPERTIES, INC., a Florida Cor p oratio n Plaintiff, v s LLOYD W. HULCOLM, an individual, and an y unknown heirs, dev i s ees, creditors, g rantees, and other unknown persons or unknown s pouses claimin g by, throu g h and under LLOYD \V. HULCOLM, an individual, Defen d ant s N O TICE O F F O RECL O S U RE SALE NOTICE IS HEREBY G[VEN, pursuant to a Summary Final Judgment of Fore e closure dated Ma y 10, 2018, entered in Civil Case No. 2015 CA 171 of the Circuit Court of OKEECHOBEE County, Okeechobee, Florida, wherein CFS PROPER R R T IES, INC., is the Plaintiff and LLOYD W. HULCOLM, et al. are defendants, I will s ell the property described below to the hi g hest and best bidder for cash, in the Okeechobee Count y Judicial Center, 312 N.W. 3rd Street, Jur y Assembl y Room, 2nd Floor, Okeechobee, Florida, at 11:00 a.m. on the 20th da y of June, 2018, the followin g described property as set forth in said Final Jud g ment, to wit: T HE WEST O F THE WEST O F THE N O RTH O F THE S OU TH OF TRACT 28, SECTION 10, TOWNSHIP 34 SOUTH, RANGE 33 EAST, O KEECH O BEE C O UNTY, FL O RIDA, ACC O RDING T O THE PLAT THERE O F REC O RDED IN PLAT B OO K 4, PAGES 3 A-D, INCL U SIVE O F THE O KEECH O BEE C OU NTY P U BLIC REC O RDS. ( 1-10-34-33-0A00-0028-I ) T HE WEST O F THE EAST O F THE N O RTH O F THE N O RTH OF TRACT 18, SECTION 22, TOWNSHIP 34 SOUTH, RANGE 33 EAST, O KEECH O BEE C O UNTY, FL O RIDA, ACC O RDING T O THE PLAT THERE O F REC O RDED IN PLAT B OO K 4, PAGES 3 A-D, IN C LUSIVE OF THE OKEECHOBEE COUNTY PUBLIC RECORDS. ( 12 2-34-33-0A0000018-B ) T HE EAST O F THE EAST O F THE S OU TH O F THE N O RTH O F TRACT 05, SECTI O N 27, T O WNSHIP 3 4 S O UTH, RANGE 33 EAST, O KEECH O BEE C O UNTY, FL O RIDA, ACC O RDING T O THE PLAT THERE O F REC O RDED IN PLAT B OO K 4, PAGES 3 A-D, IN C LUSIVE OF THE OKEECHOBEE COUNTY PUBLIC RECORDS. ( 12 7-34-33-0A0000005-H ) T HE WEST O F THE WEST O F THE N O RTH O F THE N O RTH O F TRACT 06, SECTI O N 26, T O WNSHIP 3 4 S O UTH, RANGE 33 EAST, O KEECH O BEE C O UNTY, FL O RIDA, ACC O RDING T O THE PLAT THERE O F REC O RDED IN PLAT B OO K 4, PAGES 3 A-D, IN C LUSIVE OF THE OKEECHOBEE COUNTY PUBLIC RECORDS. ( 12 6-34-33-0A0000006-D ) Any person claimin g an interest in the surplus from the sale, if any, other than the p ro p ert y owner as of the date of the lis p endens must file a claim within 60 da y s after the sale D ated this 10th da y of Ma y 2018. S HAR O N R O BERTS ON Clerk o f the Circ u it C ou rt B Y: S a n d r a L. Creech D e p ut y Clerk R Charles Ervin, Es q ., Attorne y for Plaintiff, CFS Pro p erties, Inc., 4 67 U.S. Hw y 27 North, Lake Placid, FL 3385 2 T el: 863-465-7715, Fax: 863-465-7791 F loridaBarNo.: 0180300 In accordance with the Americans Disabilities Act, persons needin g a re a s onable accommodation to participate in this proceedin g should contact Corrie Johnson, ADA Coordinator, no later than seven days prior to the proceedin g at 250 NW Countr y Club Drive, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34986, 1.772.807.4370 w ithin two workin g days of your receipt of this NOTICE:. If hearin g impaired, contact ( TDD ) 1-800-955-8771, voice im p aired, 1-800-955-8770. 262764 ON 5/23,30/2018 IN THE CIRC U IT C OU RT O F THE NINETEENTH J U DICIAL CIRC U IT IN AND F O R O KEECH O BEE C O UNTY, FL O RIDA G ENERAL J U RISDICTI O N DIVISI O N C ASE N O l 7 0000 29CAAXMX N ATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC D/B/A CHAMPION MORTGAGE COMPANY, Plaintiff VS T HE UNKN O WN HEIRS, BENEFICIARIES, DEVISEES, GRANTEES, ASSIG N E ES, LIEN O RS, CREDIT O RS, TRUSTEES AND ALL O THERS WH O MAY CLAIM AN INTEREST IN THE ESTATE O F IRVING WEINSTEIN, DECEASED; JAY W EINSTEIN A/K/A JAY ALPERT WEISTEIN; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA O N BEHALF O F THE SECRETARY O F H O USING AND URBAN DEVEL O PMENT; P ALISADES COLLECTION, L.L.C, et al. Defendant ( s ) N O TICE O F F O RECL O S U RE SALE N OTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to a Final Jud g ment of Foreclosure dated A p ril 17, 2018, and entered in 17000029CAAXMX of the Circuit Court o f the NINETEENTH Judicial Circuit in and for OKEECHOBEE Count y Florida, w herein NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC D / B / A CHAMPION MORTGAGE COM P ANY is the Plaintiff and THE UNKNOWN HEIRS, BENEFICIARIES, DEVISEES, GRANTEES, ASSIGNEES, LIEN O RS, CREDIT O RS, TRUSTEES AND ALL O T H E RS WH O MAY CLAIM AN INTEREST IN THE ESTATE O F IRVING WEINSTEIN, D ECEASED; JAY WEINSTEIN A/K/A JAY ALPERT WEISTEIN; UNITED STATES O F AMERICA O N BEHALF O F THE SECRETARY O F H OU SING AND U RBA N D EVELOPMENT; PALISADES COLLECTION, L.L.C. are the Defendants, Sh a ron Robertson as the Clerk of the Circuit Court will sell to the hi g hest and best bidder for cash at the Okeechobee Count y Judicial Center; Jur y Assembl y R oom, 2nd Floor, 312 Northwest 3rd Street, Okeechobee, FL 34972, at 11:00 AM, on June 20, 2018, the followin g described property as set forth in said Final Jud g ment, to wit: L O T 49 O F RIVER O AK ACRES, ACC O RDING T O THE PLAT THERE O F RECORDED IN PLAT BOOK 5, PAGES 48 AND 49, PUBLIC RE CO RDS O F O KEECH O BEE C O UNTY, FL O RIDA. Pro p ert y Address: 13072 SW 144TH PARKWAY OKEECHOBEE, FL 3497 4 Any person claimin g an interest in the surplus from the sale, if any, other than the p ro p ert y owner as of the date of the lis p endens must file a claim within 6 0 da y s after the sale Dated this 25th da y of A p ril, 2018. S h a r o n R ob erts on As Clerk o f the C ou r t B Y: S a n d r a L. Creech As De p ut y Clerk IMP O RTANT AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT. If y ou are a p erson with a disabilit y who needs an y accommodation in order to p artici p ate in t his proceedin g you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact Corrie Johnson, ADA Coordina t or, 250 NW Countr y Club Drive, Suite 217, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986, (772) 807-4370 at least 7 days before your scheduled court appear r r a nce, or immediately upon receivin g this notification if the time be f ore the scheduled appearance is less than 7 days; if you are hearin g or voice im p aired, call 711. 260475 ON 5/23,30/2018 AIR CONDITIONING FURNITURE EMORY WALKER CO. INC. Air Conditioning & Refrigeration 24/7 SERVICE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS 208 SW 5TH Ave. OkeechobeeServing the Lake Area for 50 Years! CAC042747 CAC057219863-763-6742 WANTED TO BUY Elliotts Pawn Shop419 W.S. Park St. € 863.763-5553W e B u y S c r a p G o l d S i l v e r a n d C o i n s ATTORNEYS Rebecca Boldt Hamilton, P.A. REBECCA H. BOLDT, Esq. RICHARD W. SEYMOUR, Esq. 863-467-1894 MARKETING SERVICES Air Conditioners U SED A / C UNITS F O R SALE Good Condition, man y s izes and t yp es a v a il ab le. 46 7-1 5 4 5 Quality A/C & Heatin g BEAUTIFUL, NEWLY REMODELED, 2BDRM ON LARGE LOT, SCREEN ROOM, COVERED CONCRETE PATIO, SHED & CARPORT OVERLOOKING PRIVATE LAKE $875.00/ MO. PLUS SEC. 863467-2784 TIRED O F STAYIN G IN A M O TEL, WO RKIN G IN OU R AREAF U LLY FIRNI S HED 1 a n d 2 BEDR OO M PR O PERTIES. W EEKLY OR M O NTHLY RATES AVAILABLE ( 863 ) 4 6 7-4 3 71 Commercial Property TREASURE ISLAND 2100SQ. FT. METAL BUILDING 2 ROLL UP DOORS BEHIND LAKESIDE CARWASH. $1,000/MO. YEARLY LEASE, FIRST-LAST+ SEC. CALL TAB 863610-1027 Lots Sale LAKE ACCESS Taylor Creek Isles 8th Lot from Taylor Creek Water, Sewage, Electric. Beautiful Trees. Good Seawall. Culvert. 2524 SE 30th $52,500. 561-253-8700, jeffcopper@ Mobile Homes Rent F U RNI S HED 1 BD / 1BA MOBILE H O ME L O CATED O N KISSIMMEE RIVER IN Q UIET CO MM U NITY INCL U DED SMALL PET WELC O ME( 863-447-0742 ) Mobile Homes Rent FOR RENT MOBILE HOME COMPLETELY FURNISHED $800.00 MONTHLY INCLUDES ELECTRIC AND WATER, NO PETS. 1ST, LAST & $500.00 DEPOSIT CALL 916-504-1186 FOR RENT WEEKLY, MONTHLY OR LONG TERM, 2BD/1.5BA IN ANCIENT OAKS $250.00 WEEKLY RATE CALL 954-242-7612 Campers / RVs W ante d al l T r a vel T railers, Motor Homes and Fifth Wheels. An y Condition, Cash p aid o n the s p ot Call 954-789-7530 Autos Wanted AAA Auto AnalysisAll makes, all price ranges. We buy cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Established 1981. 772-260-9707 Public Notice IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE NINETEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, FLORIDA Case No: 47-2018-CA-000075-AXCARRINGTON MORTGAGE SERVICES, LLC, Plaintiff, vs. GEORGE CHARLES MORRIS, III; et al., Defendants. NOTICE OF ACTION TO: Dorothy E. Morris 200 NE 81h Ave Okeechobee, FL 34972 Unknown Spouse of Dorothy E. Morris 200 NE 8th Ave Okeechobee, FL 34972 LAST KNOWN ADDRESS STATED, CURRENT RESIDENCE UNKNOWN and any unknown heirs, devisees, grantees, creditors and other unknown persons or unknown spouses claiming by, through and under the above-named Defendant(s), if deceased or whose last known addresses are unknown. YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED that an action to foreclose Mortgage covering the following real and personal property described as follows, to wit: LOT 26, RIVER RUN RESORT, ACCORDING TO THE PLAT THEREOF, AS RECORDED IN PLAT BOOK 6, PAGE 18, OF THE PUBLIC RECORDS OF OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, FLORIDA. TOGETHER WITH A 1986 HOMES OF MERIT MOBILE HOME WITH SERIAL NUMBE R FLHMBC095-21051-A&B, AND LABEL/SEAL NUMBER FL A318217 & FLA 318218 has been filed against you and you are required to serve a copy of your written defenses, if any, to it on Blake Bonsack, Esq., Lender Legal Services, LLC, 201 East Pine Street, Suite 730, Orlando, Florida 32801 and file the original with the Clerk of the above-styled Court on or before 30 days from the first publication, otherwise a default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in Public Notice the Complaint. WITNESS my hand and seal of the said Court on the 10th day of May, 2018. If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact Court Administration, 250 NW Country Club Drive, Suite 217, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986, (772) 807-4370 at least 7 days before your scheduled court appearance, or immediatel y upon receiving this notification if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than 7 days; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711. SHARON ROBERTSON CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COUR T BY: Arlene Nealis Deputy Cler k 262151 ON 5/23,30/2018 LE G AL N O TICE Pub lic A u cti o n will b e hel d a t Johns Towin g Service stora g e lo t l o c a te d a t 7 0 4 N o rthe a st 2nd Avenue, Okeechobee, F lorida 349972 on JUNE 8, 2018 at 9:00 A.M. Pursuant to Florida Statute 713.78 for u npaid towin g and stora g e char g es. Year, make, model a n d VIN a re a s f o ll o ws. 1 994 D O D G E RAM VAN VIN# 2 B7HB 2 1Y 6 RK1471 56 200 1 KIA O PTIMA VIN#KNAGD126815073855 T erms of sale are cash, and no checks will be acce p ted. S eller reserves the ri g ht o f b e s o l d in “As Is” c o n d iti o n w ith no g uarantee’s. 2 63861 ON 5 / 23 / 2018 Public Notice P U BLIC N O TICE A p ublic auction will be held at BMJ Towin g Inc. a t 414 S ou th P a rr o tt Av e nue, Okeechobee, Florida 34974 on FRIDAY THE 8th D AY OF JUNE, 2018 from 1 0 : 00 -11: 00 A.M. P u rs ua nt to Florida statute 713.78 for u npaid towin g and stora g e. Year, Make, Model & Vin’s as f o ll o w s 200 1 H O NDA O DYSSEY W A GO N 2 HKRL185X1H589163 1 994 F O RD E 350 VAN 1 FBJS31H8RHB76317 T erms of sale are cash, and no checks will be acce p ted. T he seller reserves the ri g ht No ref u n d s will b e m ad e. S a i d au t o m ob iles will b e s o l d in “ AS IS” with no g uarantees. 263725 ON 5 / 23 / 2018 Administration of Estates IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE NINETEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, FLORIDA PROBATE DIVISION CASE NO.: 2018-CP-000078 Case No.: 472018CP000078CPAXMXIN RE: the Estate of RUBY NELL HALL, Deceased, NOTICE TO CREDITORS The administration of the estate o f RUBY NELL HALL, deceased, whose date of death was August 30, 2017, is pending in the Circuit Court for Okeechobee County, Florida, Probate Division, the address of which i s 3 1 2 NW 3 rd S tr e et, 0 k e e ch ob e e, F l o r i d a 3 4 9 7 2 Th e n a m e s a n d addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative’s attorney are set forth below. Administration of Estates All creditors of the decedent and other persons having claims or demands against decedent’s estate on whom a copy of this notice is required to be served must file their claims in duplicate with this court WITHIN THE LATER OF 3 MONTHS AFTER THE TIME OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE OR 30 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF SERVICE OF A COPY OF THIS NOTICE ON THEM. All other creditors ofthe decedent and other persons having claims or demands against decedent’s estate must file their claims with this court WITHIN 3 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THIS NOTICE. ALL CLAIMS NOT FILED WITHIN T HE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH IN SECTION 733.702 OF THE FLORIDA STATUTES WILL BE FOREVE R BARRED. NOTWITHSTANDING THE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH ABOVE, AN Y CLAIM FILED TWO (2) YEARS O R MORE AFTER THE DECEDENT’S DATE OF DEATH IS BARRED. The first publication date of this notice is: May 16th, 2018. Personal Representative: WANDA SALTSMAN 912 Greenwich Road Lafayette, IN 47905 Attorney for Personal Representative: COLIN M. CAMERON, ESQ. 2 0 0 N. E. 4 th Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 (863) 763-8600 Fla. Bar No. 270441 262146 ON 5/16,23/2018 IN THE CIRCUITCOURT OFTHE NINETEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, FLORIDA PROBATE DIVISION CASE NO.: 472018CP000077CPAXMX IN RE: ESTATE OF: BARBARA P. MILLER, Deceased, NOTICE TO CREDITORS ( Summary Administration) TO ALL PERSONS HAVING CLAIMS OR DEMANDS AGAINST THE ABOVE ESTATE: You are hereby notified that an Order of Summary Administration has been entered in the estate of BARBAR A P. MILLER, deceased, date of death January 26, 2018 by the Circuit Court for Okeechobee, Florida, Probate Division File No. 2018-CP-000077, the address of which is 312 NW 3rd Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34972; that the total value of the estate is $00.00 and that the names and address of those to whom it has been assigned by such order are: Administration of Estates Name Address Larry T. Miller, Jr. 112 Oak Ridge Ave., Mt. Olive, NC 28365 Michael P. Miller 147 Faith Lane, Mt. Olive, NC 28365 ALL INTERESTED PERSONS ARE NOTIFIED THAT: All creditors of the decedent and persons having claims or demands against the decedent’s estate other than those for whom provision for full paymen t was made in the Order of Summary A dministration, must file their claims against the estate in duplicate with this Court WITHIN THE TIME PERIODS SET FORTH IN FLA STAT.733.702. A LL CLAIMS NOT SO FILED WILL BE FOREVER BARRED. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER APPLICABLE TIME PERIOD, ANY CLAIM FILED TWO (2) Y EARS OR MORE AFTER THE DECEDENT’S DATE OF DEATH IS BARRED. The date of first publication of this Notice is May 16th, 2018. Person Giving Notice: LARRY T. MILLER, JR. 112 Oak Ridge Avenue Mt. Olive, NC 28365 Attorney for Person Giving Notice: COLIN M. CAMERON, ESQUIRE Florida Bar No.: 270441 200 N.E. Fourth Avenue Okeechobee, FL 34972 (863) 763-8600 Email: 262147 ON 5/16,23/2018 Search obituaries nationally at READING A NEWSPAPER...leads you to the best products and services.


14 Okeechobee News May 23, 2018 Walpole Feed & Supply Co. Hwy 98 N. Okeechobee 763-6905 Round Horse Hay Bales $ 63 The Okeechobee News will be closed Monday, May 28 for Memorial Day Deadline for the Wednesday, May 30 edition Display Advertising.......3 p.m. Friday, May 25Have a Safe Holiday! CAC057219 Offer expires 6/15/2018. *On a qualifying system purchase. Lennox system rebate offers range from $150 to $1,700. Some restrictions apply. One offer ava ilable per qualifying purchase. See your local Lennox dealer or for details. **Valid through 05/30/2018. See your local dealer for details. Financing available to well quali“ed buyers on approved credit at a 0% APR for 72 months, with equal monthly payments. No down payment required. You may prepay your account at any tim e without penalty. Financing is subject to credit requirements and satisfactory completion of “nance documents. Any “nance terms advertised are estimates only. Normal late charges apply. See your Truth in Lending Disclosures for more information. 2018 Lennox Industries Inc. Lennox Dealers are independently owned and operated businesses. with purchase of a Lennox home comfort system.GET UP TO$1,700 IN REBATES*UP TO 72 MONTHS 0% INTEREST FINANCINGRegular maintenance keeps your home comfort system running smoothly. Call for a checkup today. COOLING & HEATING PRO TIP OR20% OFF CHECKUP.** (863) 208 SW 5th Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34974 Okeechobees Longest-Established Lennox Dealer Since 1975 girls „ in the suicide pact are ages 14 and 15, she said. They were students at the Okeechobee Freshman Campus and Okeechobee High School. They made a pact to run away together and change their identities, or if they were unable to do that, to kill themselves, the mom explained. The “ve claimed to be seeking a future that didnt involve adults telling them what to do.Ž On the morning of May 13, as the rest of the family enjoyed a quiet Mothers Day, the 15-year-old girl was messaging the two boys in the pact and sending them videos on SnapChat. Apparently, one of the boys was calling her weakŽ and sel“shŽ and urging her to prove she would actually kill herself. The boy let our daughter send a video of herself. She took a pencil sharpener apart to get the blade out,Ž she said. She then sent a video of herself slicing her arm open. After cutting both arms open from the w rist almost to the elbow, the girl continued to text with the boys, the mother continued. In the texts, she complained that its taking too long ... its not like on 13 Reasons.Ž One of the boys called 911, and the deputy got to the house in time to alert the parents. The 15-year-old was rushed to the emergency room, and then transferred to a mental health facility. She is now home, recovering from her wounds and is in therapy. The other four teens in the pact were identi“ed and their parents warned. The mother said the texts make it obvious her daughter was using 13 Reasons WhyŽ as the template for her suicide. Other than the type of blade used, my daughter did everything the girl in 13 Reasons did,Ž she said. Her texts also reference the show. The mother said she did not give her daughter permission to watch the Net”ix series, but she knows parents cannot control everything teenagers see online. Im angry that show is out there, and even more angry there is now a season two,Ž she said. Why even put these shows out there and put it in her mind to try to kill herself the way it is done in this show?Ž The mother said she believes shows like 13 Reasons WhyŽ glorify teen suicide. They should be glorifying kids who speak up,Ž she said. Since the mother posted her video on Facebook urging others to speak up if they hear a teenager talking about wanting to die, she has heard from many parents who lost a child to suicide or whose children attempted suicide. She plans to start a support group for parents who have gone through this heartbreaking experience, and to encourage everyone to speak out and speak up about teen suicide. None of us asked for this,Ž she said. But we have to pull together to try to save the next kid.Ž This is a crusade I didnt ask for,Ž she continued. But it is one I am taking on.Ž The Net”ix public relations department acknowledged receipt of the Okeechobee News email in regard to this story, but did not respond to the newspapers questions. PACTContinued From Page 1 A uxiliary will serve dinnerThe VFW Auxiliary will serve a goulash w ith salad and dessert dinner on Wednesday, May 23 at Post 9528, 29012 State Road 78 W. All proceeds will bene“t Florida military veterans in distress. For information, call 863-467-2882.Legion serves tacosAmerican Legion Post 64, 501 S.E. Second St., will serve margaritas and tacos from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 23. The grill will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entertainment by Jay runs from 3 until 6 p.m.BHR VFW serves dinnerThe Buckhead Ridge VFW Post 9528, 29012 SR 78 W., will serve dinner on Friday, May 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The menu will include grilled boneless rib eye steak, grilled pork tenderloin, fried “sh and shrimp, baked and french fried potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, fried onion rings, salad and desert. All proceeds will go to homeless veterans. For information, call 863-467-2882.Softball sign ups openSummer adult softball sign-ups are underway. Friday, May 25 is the team sign-up deadline at the Parks and Rec of“ce, 1718 N.W. Ninth Ave. Monday, June 4, is the “rst tentative game of regular season. For information, visit their Facebook page or call 863763-6950.Legion will host dinnerOn Friday, May 25, come and enjoy dinner at the American Legion, 501 S.E. Second St. Everyone is welcome. Dinner will be “sh, shrimp or chicken and french fry baskets, for a $6 donation and is served from 5 until 8 p.m. with music from 6 to 9 p.m. For information, call 863-763-5309.Singles will hold potluckThe Christian Singles potluck dinner will be held at the Gathering Church, 1735 S.W. 24th Ave., Friday, May 25 at 6 p.m. For information, call Mollie at 863-763-7195. Community Events Brought to you by: Lic#CAC053793 • Lic#CFC022585863.763.6461 Plumbing • AC Septic


May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 15 Family-Owned & Operated, OHCF has been Providing Rehab & Residential Care to Okeechobee & the Surrounding Communities Since 1984 € Rehab, Physical, Occupational, Speech & Out-Patient erapy € Long-Term Nursing Care Available 24/7 € Secure Dementia and Alzheimers Memory-Care Wing € Delicious Meals € Fun & Stimulating Activities Five-Star Rated We Love to Care! Okeechobee Health Care Facility1646 U.S. Highway 441 North 863-763-2226 Recognized as one of Americas top surgeons105 NE 19th Drive • Okeechobee, FL 34972 863.623.4486 (voice) 863.623.4487 (fax) Now featured in the Wednesday edition of the Okeechobee News: articles pretaining to health-related topics To run your medical eld-related ad on this weekly, informative page, please call our sales staff at 863.763.3134 For the health of it! For the health of it! By Katrina ElskenOkeechobee NewsA research study published in November 2017 in Clinical Psychological ScienceŽ indicated that the combination of smartphonesŽ and social media could be linked to the increase in depression and suicide among teenagers in the United States. The researchers noted a sudden increase in teen depression, suicide risk factors and suicide rates starting in 2012. Teenagers who spend “ve or more hours a day on a smartphone are 71 percent more likely to have risk factors for suicide, the study found. In a December 2017 interview on National Public Radio about the study, author Dr. Jean Twenge of San Diego State University said adults and teens should limit their time on social media on their phones to no more than two hours a day. I think a great rule for both teens and adults is to try to keep your use at two hours a day or less. And then you put that phone down, and you spend the rest of your time on things that are better for mental health and happiness, like sleeping, seeing friends and family face to face, getting out and exercising. These are all things that are linked to better mental health. So if you use the phone to facilitate those things rather than stand in their way, thats a good way to go,Ž she stated in the interview. The study was based on survey questionnaires from more than 500,000 teenagers in the United States and statistics kept by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The same nationally representative anonymous surveys have been conducted since 1991. The study found spending more time on social media is linked to unhappiness and depression. Researchers also found that spending more time engaging in in-person social interaction, exercise and sports decreased depression. The researchers found: In two nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents in grades 8 through 12 and national statistics on suicide deaths for those ages 13 to 18, adolescents depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide rates increased between 2010 and 2015, especially among females. Adolescents who spent more time on new media (including social media and electronic devices such as smartphones) were more likely to report mental health issues, and adolescents who spent more time on nonscreen activities (in-person social interaction, sports/ exercise, homework, print media, and attending religious services) were less likely. Since 2010, iGen adolescents have spent more time on new media screen activities and less time on nonscreen activities, which may account for the increases in depression and suicide. In contrast, cyclical economic factors such as unemployment and the Dow Jones Index were not linked to depressive symptoms or suicide rates when matched by year.Ž CDC data shows that suicide rates among teens have risen sharply since 2010. While teenage boys are at higher risk o f suicide than girls, the suicide rate among girls is rising more sharply. The suicide rate for males ages 15-19 increased by 30 percent from 10.8 per 100,000 population in 2007 compared with 14.2 in 2015, according to the CDC. The suicide rate for females age 15-10 more than doubled, from 2.4 per 100,000 population in 2007 to 5.1 in 2015. Study links phones to increase in teen suicides Special to the Okeechobee News Feeling tired is a common complaint people express. Sometimes the self-description morphs into I feel tired all the time,Ž and experts say thats when extreme tiredness becomes better known as fatigue. Fatigue, when someone lacks energy and feels exhausted mentally or physically, can negatively affect performance at work, family life, and social relationships. Often, it is not a medical issue but one that can be reversed by a lifestyle change. People would be amazed at how much energy theyd have and how much better theyd feel if they treated themselves better,Ž says Dr. Raj Gupta, founder of Soul Focus W ellness Center and author of Wellness Center Solution: How Physicians Can Transform Their Practices, Their Income and Their Lives. We all have busy lives, but there are simple ways to not let your schedule overwhelm you and make your health suffer as a consequence.Ž Stress, Dr. Gupta says, can lead to fatigue symptoms such as a craving for sweets and salty foods, dif“culty sleeping and irritability. He suggests “ve ways to “ght fatigue and regain energy: € Run on the right fuel. A busy lifestyle can lead to fast food or carry-out. Therefore, preparation is important, Dr. Gupta says. Your energy and production are directly proportional to how you fuel your body,Ž he says. Always be thinking about what you will be eating later. Ideally, your diet should consist of eating approximately “ve times a day with a combination of complex carbohydrates „ fruits and veggies „ and lean protein.Ž € Cut caffeine, add water. Research indicates too much caffeine causes fatigue in some people. The stimulation wears off and more caffeine is needed to produce the feelings of energy and clear-headedness. Dr. Gupta recommends cutting back on all things containing caffeine „ coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks. Also, water should be the preferred liquid. A person is recommended to drink half their weight in ounces per day,Ž Dr. Gupta says. You can be dehydrated and not even know it.Ž € Stop burning the candle at both ends. Dr. Gupta says fatigue is often directly related to sleep deprivation. When you sleep is when most of your healing takes place,Ž Dr. Gupta says. Without enough sleep, your immune system breaks down. Its recommended you get six to eight hours of sleep per night.Ž € Get regular exercise. Dr. Gupta stresses that no matter how busy people are, the y need to make time for exercise on a regular basis, ideally for 20to 30-minute sessions a minimum of four times per week. Regular exercise helps regulate your mood, makes you sleep more soundly and erases the little mistakes in our diet,Ž Dr. Gupta says. € Body adjustments. The body can come more alive with a chiropractic alignment that provides proper functioning. Chiropractic adjustments to the spinal column relieve the pressure of a choked or pinched nerve caused by the rotated vertebra,Ž Dr. Gupt a says. A chiropractic adjustment increases ones vitality and turns up their energy.Ž Fight fatigue in your everyday life and get energized


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May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake 17 Congratulations toShelby Kirton, Chandler Pearce, Taylor Jordan, Zachary Busbin, Chance Hickman & the rest of the 2018 graduating class!www.AG98TrailerSales.com265 US-98 Okeechobee, FL 34972 AG98 Trailer Sales Sales863.763.3033Parts & Services863.763.3555Fax863.763.3035(863) 467-1691 • Fax: (863) 467-7674 Graduation Keepsake


18 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake May 23, 2018 Olivia Marie Burnette2018It was never easy but you dared not to give up. Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go. Set out each day believing in your dreams. Remember you are and always will be our sunshine. Congratulations! We are so proud of you. Love you always, Mom and Dad Congratulations, Preston! I am so proud of you and I can’t wait to see what your future holds! I hope your senior year was everything that you hoped for. I am so proud of you for making it to Districts and Regionals for golf this year and being awarded the Brahman award for golf! You have a bright future ahead of you and with perseverance and determination you can conquer anything! with God all things are possible!” Matthew 19:26 We love you so much! Love Jay, Paige and LJ We are all very proud of you & your accomplishmentsLove you, Pop, Mimi, Mom & all of your family Congratulations, OHS Cla 2018 Oicers Shelby Kirton, Artha Jonassaint, Rodolfo Juarez IV, Merydian Causier and Julia DuPree


May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake 19 ngatin, ae!Class of 2018 S h Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.We Love You, Dad, Mom and Alex Congratulations, Sierra! Your character, intelligence, strength and courage have carried you through! I am so very proud of you.I love you, Nana OHS Cla 2018 Sua Cum Laude Artha Jonasssaint Cristian Rios Daniel Groso Princess SalvaLatin for “with highest honor,” Summa Cum Laude is awarded to graduates in the top 1-5% of their class


20 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake May 23, 2018 Hats off to the Class of 2018 for a job well done! We wish you all the best as you begin the next chapter and work toward your future goals.Good Luck! CHOICE AUTOMOTIVE & CUSTOM EXHAUST 863.467.6633704 NE 2nd Ave., Okeechobee TRANSMISSION SOLUTIONS863.763.6696704-B NE 2nd Ave., Okeechobee Congratulations Grads!Thanks to our GAL Superheroes for helping our teens graduate!To volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem Program, call 772-871-7269. Be a VOICE for a Child! OHS Cla 2018 Magna Cum Laude Allec PereiraAllen Pereira Antonino Garcia-Alvarado Emma Flowers Jillian CrosbyJulia DuPreeMerydian CausierSaul Estrada


May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake 21 Looking forward to your future endeavors Love Always, Grandma & Grandpa OHS Cla 2018 Cum Laude Chandler PearceHailey SpearowJulissa HernandezNickolas Montero Sarah McNittSavannah LongberryShelby KirtonTyra Smith


22 May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake May 23, 2018 23 Class Flower: Class Song: “The show goes on” By Lupe Fiasco Class Quote: “Chase your dreams, but always know the road that leads you home.” By Tim McGraw


24 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake May 23, 2018 Mark Allen Lanning 2018 Graduate of OHS Heather Lynn Garcia 2018 USF Graduate with a Masters Degree 4.0 GPACongratulations Mom, Dad and family She walks across the stage with a Diploma in her hand and a Smile as bright as Sunshine on her face. Youre such a beautiful blessing, A source of joy and pride, And a gi to make the World a better place. Part of paying the price is the willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. It comes from a declaration that you are going to get it done no matter what it takes, no matter how long it takes, no matter what comes up! Congratualtions 2018 Graduates I hope all of you will continue to strive to accomplish your lifetime goals. OHS Cla 2018 Homecoming King and Qun Courtesy photo/ Sandra Pearce PhotographyTyra Smith and Miguel Raya


May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake 25 It is our CHOICES that show what we truly are far more than our abilities Albus Dumbledore Congratulations Zachary! Love, Mom & Dad Congratulations! We are so proud of you!Love, Grandma, Papa, Mom, Dad and Family Tanner Lewis Conrad Shelby Lynn Kirton Cla 2018 Mr. & Mi OHS Artha Jonassaint and JaJuan Cherry


26 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake May 23, 2018 Congrats to the best babysitter!Thank you for all you do for me! Love, JackJanelle Markham SPONSOR LEVEL DONATION Valedictorian Level $1,000 Scholar Level $750 … $500 Honors Level $250 Friend of Grad Night $100 Proud Parents $25 How can you help?To DONATE FUNDS please make your tax-deductible check payable to Our Village Okeechobee (EIN:47-3944280). Checks can be mailed to CenterState Bank Attn: Tabitha Trent at 2100 South Parrott Ave., Okeechobee, FL 34974. Please write GRAD NITE 2018Ž in the memo line of your check.For questions about donations, contact Tabitha Trent at 863.763.5573 or email her at To DONATE PRIZES and other items to give away, please contact Magi Cable at To VOLUNTEER your time, please contact Leah Suarez. Email her at Volunteers are needed for everything from setup to cleanup, hosting games, serving food, and security. To DONATE FOOD please contact Samantha Durrance by email at 2018 Grad Night CelebrationMay 25 at Skate and PlayGenerously Sponsored by Seminole Tribe of Florida Grad Night Sponsored by:


May 23, 2018 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake 27 C gratulati s! Cl s 2018 Zachary Jackson and Nicholas Amiet Lauren Ashton Coffey & Zachary BusbinLove, Laurens Mom & Zacharys MomCongratulations,“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 JACKSONVILLE, Fla. … Floridas high school graduation rate has reached a 14y ear high according to data released earlier this year by the Florida Department of Edu cation. Floridas statewide graduation rate rose to 82.3 percent, an increase of 23.1 percentage points since 2003-04. Governor Rick Scott said, I am proud to announce that Floridas high school graduation rate has reached a 14-year high. We w ant every Florida student to have access to a world-class education so they can suc ceed in the classroom and their future careers, and that is why my recommended Securing Floridas Future budget includes historic funding for education for the sixth consecutive year, including signi“cant in v estments for teachers and students in our K-12 system. I look forward to working with the Legislature during the upcoming session to make sure our students have the resourc es they need to continue to build on this accomplishment for years to come.Ž Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said, I am thrilled to celebrate our states students and educators on this monumental accomplishment. Excelling in high school opens doors to opportunities that provide students long-term bene“ts, and Floridas steady increase is promising for our states and students futures.Ž Floridas graduation rates vary by race/ ethnicity, but all groups have increased their graduation rates over the last year. The subgroups with the highest percentage point increase over the last “ve years are as follows: The statewide graduation rate among Black or African American students increased by 10.2 percentage points over the last “ve years, rising from 64.6 percent in 2012-13 to 74.8 percent in 2016-17. The statewide graduation rate among Hispanic students increased by 6.4 percentage points over the last “ve years, rising from 74.9 percent in 2012-13 to 81.3 percent in 2016-17. The statewide graduation rate among students with disabilities increased by 13.7 percentage points, rising from 52.3 percent in 2012-13 to 66.0 percent in 2016-17. The statewide graduation rate among economically disadvantaged students increased by 9.8 percentage points, rising from 67.0 percent in 2012-13 to 76.8 percent in 2016-17. Floridas high school graduation rate rising


28 Okeechobee News 2018 Graduation Keepsake May 23, 2018 Brady, Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go. Congratulations on your well deserved success. We love you, Mom, Mr. Keith, Tyler, Courtney & Laekyn Okeechobee News/ Richard MarionDirectors AwardAt the Okeechobee High School Bands annual banquet on May 19, Jazzmyn Lara was given the Directors Award for her dedication, loyalty, discipline, and leadership in the band program.Okeechobee News/ Richard MarionJazz AwardAt the Okeechobee High School Bands annual banquet on May 19, Daniel Grosso was given the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award in recognition of his outstanding musical achievement and incredible dedication to the program.Okeechobee News/ Richard MarionJohn Philip Sousa AwardAt the Okeechobee High School Bands annual banquet on May 19, Saul Estrada was given the John Philip Sousa Award for his superior musicianship and outstanding dedication.