Coronavirus

Health official: 'Everybody needs to get vaccinated"

Okeechobee County lifts mask mandate.

Over $1.3 million in relief aid was distributed in Okeechobee

Local businesses received over $1.3 million in relief aid in 2020.

More than half of Florida adults vaccinated for COVID-19

With COVID-19 vaccine widely available throughout the state, more than half of the state’s adult population has received at least one dost of the COVID-19 vaccine
Community

FCC opens enrollment for new Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Starting May 12, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission opened enrollment to the new Emergency Broadband Benefit program.

Hurricane season starts June 1; Red Cross urges people to get ready now

National Hurricane Preparedness Week runs from May 9 through May 15, and the American Red Cross urges everyone to plan now for any possible dangerous storms this year.

What’s your food safety plan for hurricane season?

During Hurricane Preparedness Week, develop your action plan before a storm hits.

Meet Duke

Duke came to Trail Of Hope Animal Rescue (TOH) several months ago. Duke was found abandoned, in a cage on property in another county and TOH took him in.
Current conditions
Observed from: Okeechobee County Airport
Overcast, 70 °F
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. North wind around 5 mph. Get the full forecast
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Lake levels
13.65 feet
Last year: 11.14 feet
Depth given in feet above sea level.
Human Interest

Local veteran and family need help after a fire

A local veteran and her family are struggling to rebuild after a fire...

Adopt-a-pet event planned May 2 at Freedom Ranch

Freedom Ranch will host a pet adoption drive on May 2 from 2-6 p.m.

Fundraiser in the works for family who lost infant son

Community comes together to help a family through their bereavement.

Community theatre seeks volunteers

The Okeechobee Community Theatre is making a comeback after having to cancel their shows last season due to COVID-19.

Septuagenarian Couple flies sea to shining sea

On a wing and a prayer, a couple in their 70s flew from sea to shining sea in a 70-year-old airplane.
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Police/Fire

In the Courts

The following felony cases have been tried in court or settled without trial:

Okeechobee County commission approves $15 million line of credit for first phase of jail construction

Okeechobee County Commissioners voted Thursday to obtain a Line of Credit Banking Services from PNC.

OCSO Investigations

The OCSO investigated reports of the following crimes last week:
Weather
The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office shared this report: On the afternoon of April 1, on a small tornado touched down in the area of Okeechobee County known as Dark Hammock (NE 144th St.) No …
Schools
OKEECHOBEE- The Okeechobee County School Board recognized six teachers and staff who will be retiring at the end of the school year.
Everglades Elementary would like to congratulate its Students of the Week for the week of May 10.
He credits his success to chefs and teachers who believed in him, and he carries that forward at Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Culinary Training Academy where the summer term begins May 17...
OKEECHOBEE- Face masks at Okeechobee County schools will only be recommended, not mandatory, starting May 13.
Wildlife & Environment
WEST PALM BEACH – The South Florida Water Management District has declared May 16-22 as Water Reuse Week.
Now is the time to plan for Florida’s upcoming hunting seasons if you’re interested in applying for the FWC's alligator harvest permits
A social behavior known as the “audience effect” has long been reported among humans. From children tussling on a playground...
Government
OKEECHOBEE – How will the state’s minimum wage increase affect Okeechobee County government?
The Okeechobee Trace development will include up to 400 homes, a golf course and up to 80 golf villas.
On May 10, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance on the taxability of dependent care assistance programs...
Veterans

Local nonprofits joins forces to help veterans R.I.S.E.

The Salvation Army of Palm Beach County is proud to announce its partnership with The Grey Team, a local nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to prevent PTSD-related veteran suicides.

Veteran Bush does not let anything slow him down

Veteran Bill Bush, who is 97 years old, was born in Pennsylvania and worked in a defense plant after he graduated.

Veteran Montesi was a race car driver

Veteran Craig Montesi Sr. was born in Connecticut where his dad was in the restaurant business.

DAR presents quilt to veteran

At a recent joint meeting of the Okeechobee Chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution...
Opinion
With Florida’s 2021 Legislative Session now behind us, there has been a lot of talk surrounding Lake Okeechobee and what is being done...
The purpose of the National Day of Prayer is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance...
Agriculture
If you have ever brought home seemingly fresh produce from the grocery store only to find it wilted and moldering a few days later, Tie Liu feels your pain.
Small-scale grower operations have their advantages despite being challenged by access to large markets and limits on resources.
Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

OKEECHOBEE – The Okeechobee County Commission has designated May as Mental Health Awareness Month. New Horizons of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee requested the designation.

Store owner speaks out about burglary

After the burglary at his store, Meara warns others business owners to be careful.

Raulerson Hospital nationally recognized with an ‘A’ for the Spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

Raulerson Hospital received an “A” grade in the spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing...

Interim HealthCare has nurses on wheels

Port St. Lucie  — Nurses on wheels?
Business
OKEECHOBEE – Recently an Okeechobee resident posted a message on social media wondering which of the local businesses might be hiring
The Chamber of Commerce of Okeechobee County upcoming events for May 13, 20 and 27.
The Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce that in partnership with the County of Okeechobee, 225+ CARES Act business grants...
Traffic & Road Work

Surge in demand for gas creates localized shortages

TAMPA – The Colonial Pipeline is still down, yet Florida remains well supplied with fuel. While there is not considered to be a gasoline “shortage” in Florida, there are reports of …

No need to panic buy: Gas supply should be restored by end of this week

Long lines at the pump in some Florida cities were reminiscent of hurricane season this week, as some drivers appeared to panic over a potential gasoline shortage.

Okeechobee County Road Watch report for the week beginning Sunday, May 9

The following column is the Road Watch report for Okeechobee County for the week beginning Sunday, May 9...

Okeechobee County Road Watch report for the week beginning Sunday, May 2

The following column is the Road Watch report for Okeechobee County for the week beginning Sunday, May 2...
State

MEGA MILLIONS® Jackpot reaches $430 million

The MEGA MILLIONS® jackpot has been rolling since February 19, 2021, resulting in an estimated $430 million jackpot for the Friday, May 14 drawing!

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announces Florida’s ‘Return to Work’ Initiative

According to Employ Florida, there are more than 400,000 available jobs across the state for job seekers. Florida businesses and employers are hiring across the state...
National & World

Beset by virus, Gaza's hospitals now struggle with wounded

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Just weeks ago, the Gaza Strip’s feeble health system was struggling with a runaway surge of coronavirus cases. Authorities cleared out hospital operating rooms, …

Radical rabbi's followers rise in Israel amid new violence

JERUSALEM (AP) — In the 1980s, Rabbi Meir Kahane's violent anti-Arab ideology was considered so repugnant that Israel banned him from parliament and the U.S. listed his party as a terrorist …
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