News Cast 11/1

News Cast for November 1st:

Lake Okeechobee changed

The rainfall from Hurricane Ian sent record amounts of water toward Lake Okeechobee in the past month.

South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Drew Bartlett said 789,000 acre feet of water went into the Kissimmee River.

Dr. Anna Watchneka said unprecedented flows entered Lake Okeechobee exceeding 21,000 cubic feet per second in the days following the storm.

The district is expecting a dryer than normal winter and don’t plan to send releases to the east coast.

They will send water to the west coast when environmentally beneficial.

District officials said the threat of algae blooms today is near non-existent.

Officials are predicting algae bloom problems next year.

A FEMA Disaster Recovery Center opened in Moore Haven this weekend.

The hours are 9 am to 6 pm until further notice.

FEMA spokesperson LaTanga Hopes said they have no schedule for when they will leave.

“The doors are open.  These are friendly people and we want to process applications.  We are here to help.”

Glades County residents are eligible for temporary housing assistance and individual assistance.

75 new homes will be built in Lorida at Spring Lake.

The developer will reduce the size of the golf course from 36 to 27 holes and use about 20 acres for the new homes.

Highlands County Commissioners also will consider allowing two chickens per property in residential areas.

Planner Melony Culpepper said part of the county currently allows chickens.

County Attorney Sheri Sutphen said there is a growing trend to allow chickens in Florida as many want to have fresh eggs.

A drug suspect overdosed after deputies said they found 121 grams of methamphetamine in his vehicle during a traffic stop east of Okeechobee.

Travis Flint of Lake Placid got treatment at HCA Raulerson Hospital after he was transported by Okeechobee County EMS.

The vehicle was stopped in the 1000 block of SR 70 east.

Flint was charged with methamphetamine trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of oxycodone, and driving with a suspended license.

Christopher Martin is one of five candidates vying for three seats on the Okeechobee City Council.

He recently participated in a forum at the Okeechobee Freshman Campus.

Handling growth, city finances, improving services, and downtown improvements, were among the topics discussed.

Martin said people don’t have the money to relocate to Okeechobee.

“I agree that our parks are beautiful but they are not putting any money in our community.  We need to find something that families can actually do here and want to do here.”

He wants to add more attractions to attract more families and visitors.

He said he wants to bring real change to the city government.

A tractor trailer was struck by a freight train in Glades County Monday after it ran through the caution light Monday.

The accident at US 27 and Boar Hammock Ranch Road south of Palmdale.

The driver faces citations.  There were no injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating this crash.

A suspicious fire caused $18,000 in damages at 973 NE 32nd Avenue.

Okeechobee county fire rescue said the single wide mobile home was vacant at the time .

There were no injuries reported in the blaze.

The State Fire Marshall was investigating this fire.

The Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force arrested Troy Lamar Booker (42 ) for the sale of Fentanyl and Possession of Fentanyl with intent to sell after an investigation into Booker revealed he was actively selling illegal narcotics in Okeechobee County.

During his arrest, Booker was searched, and three bags of suspected Fentanyl were found in his pants pocket.

After Booker’s arrest, Narcotics Task Force members, along with our Special Response Team, served a probable cause narcotics search warrant at his residence, which is located at 2695 N.E. 11TH Court, Okeechobee, Florida. 34972.

During a search of the residence, the Narcotics Task Force located in Booker’s bedroom more bags of suspected Fentanyl, Marijuana, a digital scale, and drug paraphernalia.

Booker is a six-time convicted felon. Booker was just released from the Okeechobee County jail one year ago for Sales of a controlled substance.

The sheriff said this search warrant is the second for fentanyl this week; there will be more.