There’s still time to comment on Lake Okeechobee level changes

OKEECHOBEE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still accepting public comments as input on the development for the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual. The public comment period has been extended to April 22. The corps plans to switch from the current Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS), which tries to keep the lake level […]

City of Okeechobee’s Town Hall meeting well received; city residents complain about double taxation

OKEECHOBEE — “I’ve been waiting for this meeting for 50 years,” said Sandra Pearce of the City Council’s Town Hall Meeting held on Tuesday, March 19. Although her comment was said with humor, the general consensus in the room was that the meeting was long overdue, and many thanked the council for taking the time […]

Meet the Firefighter: Brandon Farless

OKEECHOBEE — Introducing his beautiful baby girl, Charlie Wren, into the world was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to him, says Okeechobee County Firefighter/Paramedic Brandon Farless. He and his wife Mary have been married for two years and have three dogs. They enjoy fishing and hanging out with family on the boat […]

Bohlen wins Pahokee commission chair

Mayor Babb, Murvin returned to office PAHOKEE — The Pahokee Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, Regina Bohlen, easily won the open seat on the City Commission in the March 12 elections. She will take the seat of Commissioner Diane Walker, winning by a comfortable margin of 57 percent of the votes (430), to 31 percent […]

Corps effort to lower Lake Okeechobee level questioned

OKEECHOBEE — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to lower Lake Okeechobee in anticipation of the wet season has local community leaders concerned about the safety of the water supply. Since the start of the dry season in October, the corps has released an average of 1,000 cubic feet per second to the Caloosahatchee […]

Meet the Officer: Law enforcement is in the blood of the Pickering family

OKEECHOBEE — Howard “Sport” Pickering’s great, great grandfather, Henry Hudson Hancock, moved to the east side of Taylor Creek from the Fort Meade area in 1902. Henry Hancock was appointed justice of the peace and cattle inspector for district 6 of Tantie in 1905. In 1917 Hancock was appointed the first judge of Okeechobee County. […]

When I grow up: 7-year-old Chloe wants to handle reptiles

OKEECHOBEE — Seven-year-old Chloe Dutton thinks reptiles are really cool and wants to be a reptile handler when she grows up. Her older brother got a bearded dragon when she was young, and she has liked them ever since. Herpetologist Billy Johnson fell in love with snakes when he was about Chloe’s age. He said […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Ralph & Grace Baker enjoying life

OKEECHOBEE — It may be hard for some to believe, but Grace Baker was not always a fan of bluegrass music. When she married Ralph, bluegrass was part of the deal. Both of them had lost their spouses and Ralph had been a friend of Grace’s daughter Bev for years, but Grace had never met […]

Bass Pro working on Okee-Tantie plans

OKEECHOBEE — Bass Pro is still working on plans for development of the Okee-Tantie recreation area, according to a report given at the March 14 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission. County administrator Robbie Chartier said she met with a Bass Pro representative last week and saw some preliminary plans. She said they have had […]

President budget falls short in CERP funding

OKEECHOBEE — Federal funding for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) once again has come up short. In 2000 Congress authorized CERP as a framework for restoring, protecting and preserving the greater Everglades ecosystem. CERP was to be a 50-50 partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Florida, with the […]