Lake area counties unite to support healthy Lake Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE — County commissioners from all around the big lake gathered in Okeechobee on May 7 to discuss the lake so important to their communities. About 350 area residents were in the audience at the Okeechobee High School Lecture Hall for the historic multi-county meeting. Okeechobee County Commissioner Terry Burroughs noted the Everglades system begins […]

Accurate 2020 Census crucial for representation

Although it is still just under a year away, preparations are already underway for the 2020 Census in April of next year. Every 10 years the federal government conducts a census, as required by the United States Constitution, to count every person living in the U.S. and where they reside. The data gathered from the […]

HB 107 would make texting while driving illegal

Texting while driving will soon become a primary offense in the State of Florida if a bill that the Senate recently passed is signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. If passed, this bill (HB107) would “prohibit a person from operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device in a handheld manner in a designated […]

Love bug season means insects spattered on cars

Lake Okeechobee area residents are once again dealing with the mess the swarms of love bugs hovering about roadways leave on vehicles. Actually, the pesky insects never really left. Love bugs (whose scientific name is Plecia nearctica Hardy) have a six-month life cycle. Most of their lives are spent as larva, eating decaying vegetative matter […]

Could ‘other’ lease delay EAA reservoir project? FDEP lease on 1,200 acres does not expire until 2046

A 30-year lease on property within the footprint of the planned Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) could potentially delay the project — and no one can blame the former governing board of the South Florida Water Management District this time. The first lease controversy First, let’s review the lease extension […]

Census shows state’s agriculture industries shrinking

The United States Census of Agriculture, which is conducted every five years, shows the amount of land in agricultural use is shrinking while urban development use is growing. The most recent census, conducted in 2017, was released in April. Nationwide, land in agriculture declined by 14.3 million acres in the five-year period between 2012 and […]

Lake manual to consider entire system

WEST PALM BEACH — The Lake Okeechobee System Operations Manual (LOSOM) “is simply about the management of water in Lake Okeechobee,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at the South Florida Ecosystem Task Force meeting on April 26. LOSOM does not include construction of new infrastructure, he said. “We will […]

Blue-green algae reported in waterways

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, reports are already coming in about algae bloom sightings. With those sightings come concerns about toxins. The bad news: Algae blooms have already been seen this year in Florida lakes, canals and rivers. The good news: So far, most of the algae tested in Lake […]

Low lake level puts boaters in jeopardy

CLEWISTON — The lowering of Lake Okeechobee’s level can have an effect on boaters even before it declines to under 11 feet, as the grounding of three teenage tourists’ vessel on Saturday, April 27, demonstrated. It also can dissuade even veteran fishermen from participating in an annual tournament event — the Roland Martin Marine Center […]

Trade school to open in Clewiston as skills gap widens

OKEECHOBEE — Representatives from U.S. Sugar were in Okeechobee on April 25 to speak to Okeechobee High School students about a new technical skills training program the company is starting later this year. The program runs for three years and not only are students offered a job at U.S. Sugar after graduation, they are paid […]