News 3-12-2020

While the Coronavirus has prevented people from traveling, that is not the case for some middle school students in Okeechobee County. County School Board members met with Yearling Middle School officials regarding the students’ trip to Washington, DC that and the board decided to leave it in the hands of the students’ parents as to whether or not they should go on this trip. Yearling Middle School Principal Dave Krakoff says as much panic as the Coronavirus has caused worldwide, it hasn’t caused all that much with students or faculty at Yearling because it isn’t the first time they’ve experienced a panic about a virus but they are taking needed precautions. A total of 44 students were scheduled to go on this trip and they left at 2:30 Wednesday morning. They will visit Gettysburg, PA as well as Washington, DC. Parents who didn’t allow their children to go had their money refunded.

Parents in the City of Clewiston are upset and still frantic following a shooting in the city which spawned a lockdown of all schools in the area. Calls flooded the news desk with accusation that school administrators lied to parents saying the lockdown, which was called based on real events, was “just a drill.” We reached out to Dr. Robert Egley assistant superintendent of schools and he says he looked into it. Dr. Egley says administrators are briefed on what the principal wants them to say and trained in how to mitigate panic in emergency situations. He says all the proper procedures were taken as far as he knows, and he was not able to substantiate the claims.

As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, Walmart stores are taking precautions as well. We reached out to our local media relations department and they released this statement: we are monitoring this situation daily and we will watch what’s happening locally and adjust business operations and policies as needed. They say their stores are cleaned daily, which includes using sanitizing solutions in high-touch, high-traffic areas and are pursuing easier ways to sanitize shopping carts. The retail giant says they will work to keep our stores stocked and prices fair. Lastly, the store says a new policy is in place to provide additional flexibility for associates to stay home if they are not feeling well or are affected by the virus. Officials want to remind customers about pickup and Walmart.com. and other delivery options that may be available.

A 34-year-old Clewiston man is still in custody following a shooting last week. Miguel Waters, nicknamed Head, was arguing on the phone with the victim, whose name we will not release, as she sat in Robert’s hair salon on Bond Street in Clewiston, according to the police report. Witnesses say Waters walked into the salon and opened fire. The victim was shot in the leg before escaping out of the back door. She was transported for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Waters was located within the hour by Clewiston Police Department in an area on West Trinidad where he hid in shed. He is currently being held at the Hendry County jail on a litany of charges including aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and battery amongst others. Bond is set at $304,000.

The Department of Health announced eight new cases of COVID-19 in Florida, seven of which are residents of the state. The following is a compilation of Florida residents diagnosed in Florida: Manatee with 2 cases, 4 cases in Broward, 2 in Lee, 2 in Volusia, Hillsborough, Santa Rosa Charlotte and Okaloosa Counties all have 1, and as of last night, new cases include Collier County with 3, Pinellas with 2, and Pasco County with 1 resident diagnosed with COVID-19.