City councilmen attend their final meeting

OKEECHOBEE — The Dec. 18 City Council meeting was the final meeting for Councilmen Noel Chandler and Gary Ritter as they move on to the next phase in their lives. Mayor Dowling Watford presented them each with plaques and keys to the city, but Councilman Chandler was quick to quip, “You know they’re gonna change […]

Burroughs re-elected commission chair Coquina workshop postponed; increase in towing fees proposed

OKEECHOBEE — Terry Burroughs was re-elected as chairman of the Okeechobee County Commission at its Dec. 6 meeting during the board’s annual reorganization. Kelly Owens was elected first vice-chair. Brad Goodbread was elected second vice-chair. In other business: • The board postponed the workshop meeting with the Coquina Water Control District Board of Supervisors. At […]

Cattle drive sculpture planned for Flagler Park

OKEECHOBEE — At their Nov. 27 meeting, Bridgette Waldau, Main Street’s Arts and Culture Alliance Director, asked the Okeechobee City Council for permission to begin working toward the placement of a cattle drive art project in Flagler Park #5. According to Ms. Waldau, the project was inspired by her visit to the Brownwood Villages near […]

Okeechobee to test 4-way stop on Fifth Avenue

OKEECHOBEE — On Dec. 17, the City of Okeechobee will begin a test of a 4-way stop at the intersection of South Park Street and Fifth Avenue (also known as Osceola Avenue) (in front of Okeechobee Utility Authority building), Mayor Dowling Watford announced last week. The traffic light will flash red in all directions and […]

Festival plans draw complaints from local restaurant owners

OKEECHOBEE — The owners of Big Tasty’s and Jersey Mike’s restaurants spoke at the Nov. 27 Okeechobee City Council meeting raising their concerns about food trucks and vendors being allowed to sell food in the park during festivals, which they believe takes away their business. Both owners said they employ people and pay taxes and […]

Know the law before burning yard waste

OKEECHOBEE — Often residents desire to burn yard waste but aren’t sure if it is legal to do so. According to the Florida Forest Service, it is legal to burn yard waste without a permit as long as there are no city or county restrictions in effect at the time and you meet certain restrictions: […]

Little house not allowed on the Prairie

OKEECHOBEE — At the Nov. 20 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission, a property owner complained that he purchased a 1.25 acre lot on the Prairie (aka Viking) only to later learn he cannot put a single wide trailer on the property. He said he had also been offered a FEMA trailer, but was told […]

Prairie residents disagree on ATV use

OKEECHOBEE — Problems out on the Prairie are not new. In June 2017, the previous board of Coquina Water Control District (CWCD), the quasi-government agency for the Prairie, signed a five-year interlocal agreement with the sheriff of Okeechobee County to enforce traffic control in the district and to rid it of outsiders tearing up its […]

Sheriff Stephen is asked to investigate deputy

OKEECHOBEE — Sheriff Noel Stephen received an unusual letter from the Owens Law Group this week asking for a formal investigation into the alleged abusive practices of Deputy Bryan Holden toward the land owners in the Viking Estates, also known as the Prairie. The letter states the Owens Law Group was retained by Coquina Water […]

Okeechobee County seeks answer for Prairie controversy

OKEECHOBEE — At their Nov. 20 meeting, Okeechobee County Commissioners agreed to set up a workshop meeting with the Coquina Water Control Board to look for ways to restore peace on the Prairie (also known as Viking Estates.) Sheriff Noel Stephen told commissioners that recent develops have been a “cause for concern.” He said a […]