A Florida rancher has been convicted of letting cows starve to death over several months. A Hendry County jury found Robert David Starkweather, guilty Friday of 12 counts of aggravated animal cruelty, according to court records. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 26. The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office agricultural crimes unit responded to a LaBelle pasture owned by Starkweather in March 2018 following reports of a downed cow, prosecutors said. Deputies reported finding 13 dead cows and 131 emaciated cows and calves. The animals were taken from the property. Starkweather failed to provide adequate food, water, and medication to the animals, prosecutors said during the trial. He also ignored signs over a four-month period that the cows were in distress and suffering from malnutrition.
Faith in his area rewarded Matt Robertson with his biggest limit of the B.A.S.S. Nation Southeastern Regional tournament on Lake Okeechobee and delivered the winning three-day total weight of 59 pounds, 14 ounces. Committing all three days to the south end of Lake Okeechobee, Robertson said he stayed in a 600-yard area the entire time. For his victory, Robertson, the angler from Kuttawa, Ky., who became a fan favorite for his onstage antics during LAST year’s Bassmaster Classic, earned $5,000 and a spot in the 2020 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship on Pickwick Lake.
The Glades County School System will be looking for a new school superintendent as their longtime current superintendent, Scott Bass, announced this past week that he will be resigning to take the job of Deputy School Superintendent at the Indian River County School System. Bass resigns his post after seven years on the job and he takes with him 25 years of experience working in the Glades County School System as a teacher, coach and administrator. To some, going from school superintendent to deputy school superintendent would be a step down but Bass says it’s a chance to work with a larger school district and his experience, coupled with new Indian River County School Superintendent, David Moore, who helped make Miami-Dade County schools better, is a challenge he couldn’t pass up. Bass says his successor should be someone who has an understanding of the “big picture” because it impacts not just students and faculty but the community itself, where schools are the “lifeblood” of Glades County (Bass 1). Bass, a native of Alabama, will serve his last day on February 17th. An interim superintendent will be chosen sometime before that and a permanent superintendent will be left up to the voters in the next election. Bass says he’ll miss the relationships with students and parents the most, some of whom he taught during his time in the Glades County School System.
Gun rights would be expanded at churches and other places of worship and for local government officials in Florida who want to carry firearms at meetings under two bills approved by a House committee Tuesday. Members of the House Criminal Justice Committee cited several shootings around the country as they supported the bills, including one last month in which security volunteer Jack Wilson fatally shot a man who opened fire in a Texas church, killing two. While Florida doesn’t prohibit guns in churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, many religious organizers worship on properties that also contain schools, ranging from preschools to universities, and guns are banned in those places.
A head on collision between two vehicles has taken the life of 2 Okeechobee residents last night. 26 year old Ty Huff and an unnamed 80 year old female were travelling on SR 70 in Okeechobee, when for unknown reasons the vehicles collided head on. Both drivers succumbed to the injuries caused by the crash and were pronounced deceased on scene. This case is still pending investigation, so it is unknown if alcohol was a factor.