Thursday June 24, 2021

Charles Murphy of our sister station WOKC in Okeechobee, says the area saw 70 more crimes in 2020…a total of 1245. Crime in the county rose 8.9 percent and just under 5% in the city. There were 4 murders last year. The most common crime included burglaries and thefts. Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen says drugs continue to be the biggest crime problem. Okeechobee county had 1640 arrests overall, down from 2100 in 2019. 

Crime stoppers of Palm Beach County is searching for James Bonner. His last known address is W. El Paso Avenue in Clewiston. He is wanted for 4 counts of attempted burglary, criminal mischief and other burglary and trespassing charges, as well as petit theft. If you have any information on the whereabouts of James Bonner, contact crime stoppers of Palm Beach County.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Tuesday closing a loophole in Florida’s sexual offender registration law. The loophole allowed a person convicted of a sex crime to forgo registering as a sex offender, because they didn’t pay a court-ordered fine. In 2020, a judge ruled that Ray La Vel James of Tampa, who spent 12 years in prison after being convicted of molesting two girls at a public pool, didn’t have to register as a sex offender because the law states registration isn’t required until a sentence is completed and he technically hadn’t completed it because he still owed money; a fine that was part of his sentence. Currently, a person convicted of a qualifying sexual offense must register as a sexual offender upon release from a court-imposed sanction.

After a 15-month layoff due to the pandemic, the cruise industry is getting ready to set sail. Although the CDC can no longer enforce vaccine requirements, if you’re planning to be part of the open seas, you’ll have a few guidelines to follow. Take Royal Caribbean, for example. Their website says, that for Freedom of the Seas trips departing in July from Miami, the company “strongly” recommends all guests 16 and older be fully vaccinated. At check-in, cruise passengers will be asked to provide their CDC vaccination card. Royal Caribbean passengers who are vaccinated, do not face any additional testing requirements. However, the company says if a passenger cannot provide documentation, then they will be considered unvaccinated and must undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense of $136 and follow additional health protocols. Royal Caribbean said there will be venues and events restricted to vaccinated guests on Freedom of the Seas cruises. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests are required to wear masks indoors unless they are seated and actively eating or drinking.

New legislation will require public universities in Florida to survey students and staff annually about their beliefs to assess “viewpoint diversity” on campuses, according to the governor’s office. DeSantis has suggested budget cuts could be imminent if universities and colleges are found to be “indoctrinating” students. Gov. DeSantis signed the legislation in an effort to promote intellectual diversity on campuses, according to a statement. The legislation, which goes into effect July 1, also aims to ensure students are being shown ideas that they “may disagree with or find uncomfortable.” The measure was among three education bills signed by DeSantis Tuesday. Other measures included an expansion of civics education for K-12 schools, including instruction about the perils of communist and totalitarian governments.