Be extra wary of mosquito bites as heat lingers

OKEECHOBEE — The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County reported Wednesday, Oct. 17, that its sentinel chickens in communities near Lake Okeechobee have tested positive for West Nile virus. Confirmation of the virus’s presence in Pahokee followed earlier reports that it had been found in Belle Glade and Jupiter Farms, as well. Although […]

FDEP answers questions about algal blooms

What is blue-green algae? Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, is a type of algae found naturally in freshwater environments. This algae is a microorganism that functions like a plant in that it feeds through photosynthesis and derives its energy from the sun. Blue-green algae can be found all over the world, and occur in Florida’s freshwater […]

Childhood depression: may be more than a passing phase

OKEECHOBEE — How often have we looked at the past through rose-colored glasses, reminiscing back to the days of childhood as a time of freedom and ease? We recall with fondness the joy of holidays, the excitement of school field trips, and the simple adventures of zipping down a warm metal slide or hanging from […]

Study links phones to increase in teen suicides

A research study published in November 2017 in “Clinical Psychological Science” indicated that the combination of “smartphones” and social media could be linked to the increase in depression and suicide among teenagers in the United States. The researchers noted a sudden increase in teen depression, suicide risk factors and suicide rates starting in 2012. Teenagers […]

Mother posts video about teen suicide pact in Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee mother posted a tearful video online Wednesday, warning others about a teen suicide pact, and asking all teenagers to report it if one of their friends talks about taking their own life. The parents were alerted to their daughter’s suicide attempt when an Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) deputy came to […]

More Okeechobeeans becoming ‘food-insecure,’ food bank says

OKEECHOBEE — While more affluent people on the Treasure Coast face higher food costs than do Okeechobee County residents, more of the people living here are becoming “food-insecure” and falling deeper into poverty, according to the Treasure Coast Food Bank’s report of new study data released this week. Feeding America is the nation’s largest hunger […]

Nutrient load reduction is key to reducing toxins in water; Who is to blame for 2016 toxic algae bloom? Point the finger at yourself.

OKEECHOBEE — “The future is blue-green,” Dr. H. Dail Laughinghouse IV told those gathered April 18 Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Indian River State College Williamson Center. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your point of view, and on the amount of cyanobacteria present. Without cyanobacteria, there would be no life on earth. But […]

Children’s mental health system needs community support

OKEECHOBEE NEWS – Are you concerned about children’s mental health? In light of recent events in our nation, children’s mental health is a discussion that should be taking place in all communities, including ours. A Children’s Mental Health System of Care is being implemented in Okeechobee County, and we need your input to make it […]

Learn the early signs of late development in your child

OKEECHOBEE – It’s devastating to hear that your child isn’t developing as expected. Well-meaning family, friends and even your pediatrician will say things like, “She’s not even 2 yet; she’ll catch up,” and, “He’s not talking because you baby him too much” or “Let’s just wait and see where he is developmentally in six months.” […]

Austim awareness month: What is autism?

April marks the beginning of Autism Awareness Month. So let’s start the awareness! Autism is a complex brain-based disability. Because of this it can be very hard for those of us without autism to understand why people with autism do what they do. We are all born with the ability to easily learn basic skills […]