Guest Commentary: Raises for teachers was complicated issue

OKEECHOBEE — My name is Jill Clericuzio Holcomb, and I am an Okeechobee County School Board member. I would like to clarify the vote denying a raise for school employees that took place on April 9, 2018. This was a difficult decision that was not based on whether teachers and support staff deserve a raise, […]

Participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

By Jennifer Dillard USDA In 2016, Ohio corn and soybean farmer Roger Winemiller lost two of his three children to drugs. Roger is not alone. Last year, over 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose. At almost 174 people each day, this is more than the number of Americans who died in a car accident […]

Journalist retires: ‘It’s been a good ride’

OKEECHOBEE — To quote Dandy Don: “Turn out the lights. The party’s over.” When the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback would try to sing that refrain at the end of a Monday night NFL contest, I never thought that it would ever have anything to do with me. Heck, after having a long conversation with Uncle […]

Lake Okeechobee is rising — why can’t they send the water south?

When the sun rose on Monday morning, we could see Hurricane Irma’s immediate damage — homes damaged or destroyed, roads flooded, massive trees toppled, power lines down. But the hurricane’s aftermath continues to threaten South Florida as the water left by the storm drains south into Lake Okeechobee. Before the storm, the lake was around […]

Hurricane recovery will take time, patience and community spirit

As the Okeechobee community recovers from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma, the Okeechobee News staff has done our best to keep our readers up to date with the latest information about the local community.  As we report the news, some community members are questioning the reasons behind some decisions made by officials. Why didn’t […]

For some, sheltering close to home makes sense

OKEECHOBEE — It’s all the waiting that really gets on your nerves. We knew days ahead that the hurricane was coming to Okeechobee. We watched the “cone of uncertainty” and the “spaghetti plots” on TV. Which one to believe? Would it hit us or not? Finally, we realized the hurricane called Irma was so large, […]

Craft Fair in the Woods at Freedom Ranch has come to its end

OKEECHOBEE — Thank you for visiting and supporting the Craft Fair in the Woods at Freedom Ranch for the past 10 years. What started out as a place to support my passion for crafts turned into a big event that supported over 100 vendors and their passion. It has been a great experience from day […]

LOWP plan could cut harmful Lake Okeechobee releases to Treasure Coast estuaries

OKEECHOBEE — Why are ‘environmentalists’ ignoring the importance of storage and treatment north of Lake Okeechobee? I have been writing about Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee and Everglades water quality issues for 30 years. For at least that many years, scientists have known the phosphorus levels going into the lake are too high. Unfortunately, in the […]

SB10: Some questions for Senator Joe Negron

OKEECHOBEE — Like approximately 1,000 Lake Okeechobee area residents, I was at Pahokee High School on the evening of March 17 for a community meeting with Florida Senate President Joe Negron. I was early enough to obtain a ticket for a seat in the auditorium — which held less than half of those who turned […]

Attention Weather Channel: Lake Okeechobee is not toxic

OKEECHOBEE — Last week the Weather Channel posted an online video called “Toxic Lake: The Untold Story of Lake Okeechobee.” Like many people in the Big Lake area, the false, derogatory and unfair allegations in the video made it difficult for me to watch. The first time, I had to turn it off because I […]