News Cast 10/19

News Cast for October 19th:

The next step for boy’s school

Indian River State College will take over the effort to get the Boys school property back for Okeechobee.

They would also likely manage the property.

There’s talk of developing a business park and or data center there.

Water Management wants some of the property, up to 400 acres, for water treatment and storage.

Commissioner Brad Goodbread said he supports having the boys school property under local control.

“As long as we get it to do something with and have a positive use for the citizens here that is what matters.  I’d rather the ownership be in the hands of the college rather than the state.”

IRSC plans to talk with the governor and his administration to try and secure the county.

A bill to bring the land back to the county didn’t get far in the legislature last year.

The governor asked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare a fisheries disaster in Florida from Hurricane Ian.

The state has offered no interest to fishing captains and fishermen.

The fishing industry has a $10 billion annual economic impact in the state.

Captain Daniel Andrews of Captains for Clean Water said the storm has caused a water pollution disaster in Southwest Florida.

“The environmental consequences of this storm are absolutely unbelievable.  We haven’t seen the actual impacts but we will over the next several months.”

The state says at least 5,000 boats were damaged or destroyed.  The storm also closed roads and waterways and led to a shortage of bait, power outages, and many large impacts on the fishing industry.

The Okeechobee City Council debated the goals of code enforcement.

Some members said they are discouraged it takes so long to see properties cleaned up.

Some don’t like major reductions in the amount of fines.

Councilmember Bobby Keefe questioned why police officers aren’t code enforcement officers.

“When we moved code enforcement to the police department that was highlighted as one of the big benefits that all police officers in the state are de-facto code enforcement officers.  They can hand out citations.  Was that just fluff thrown in our face a few years ago.   Police officers are not citing people.”

A prison guard at the level 10 juvenile facility entered no contest pleas to filing a false police report and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Five charges related to battery on a client at the facility were dropped in the agreement.

Henry Futch was employed at the Everglades Youth Academy.  Its alleged he let six clients beat up one client he didn’t like on July 16th of 2021.

He allegedly paid the other clients with marijuana and black and mild’s.

He was sentenced to two years’ probation.