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 […]

Multiple drug arrests were made this week

On March 13, six people were arrested on drug-related charges by members of the Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force after they utilized one or more confidential sources. According to the reports, the source has proven reliable in the past and was searched prior to the operations to ensure he or she had no weapons, cash or […]

Support groups offered for mental wellness

“Do you have concerns about your child’s mental wellness?” This is the question asked by The Okeechobee Children’s Mental Health System of Care, and if your answer is yes, the group offers many ways to help. On the second and fourth Mondays each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m., they offer Mental Wellness Support groups for elementary […]

Man seriously injured in golf cart crash (updated)

An Okeechobee resident was critically injured after reportedly driving a Club golf cart into the path of an oncoming vehicle on U.S. 98 in Sebring on Tuesday, March 5 at approximately 12:20p.m. 27-year-old Phillip Kinzie was allegedly traveling south across U.S. 98 North from the driveway of the Circle K gas station on U.S. 27 […]

School buses may soon have cameras to catch illegal passers

TALLAHASSEE — State Rep. Emily Slosberg, has introduced a bill to the Florida Legislature allowing districts to install cameras on school buses to record drivers illegally passing stopped buses. The districts would then have the option to use these videos to send citations to anyone who was filmed passing a stopped bus. The cameras would […]

Meet the firefighter: Justin Hazellief

Delivering his own son was probably the most exciting thing that Okeechobee County Firefighter/Paramedic Justin Hazellief has ever had the opportunity to be a part of and he described it as the most amazing feeling in the world. Although as a paramedic, it was the third delivery he had participated in, that one was different […]

Palm Bay man killed in traffic accident

A Palm Bay man was killed early Monday morning, March 11 after reportedly entering the path of oncoming traffic. 26-year-old Jose Emilio Reguero was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Blazer on County Road 68 when he initiated a left turn onto U.S. 441 South and entered the path of a 2006 Chevrolet traveling Northbound. Mr. Reguero’s […]

When I grow up: Willie wants to play football

  Willie Jones wants to be a football player when he grows up. He likes to play football because it is fun. He thinks it would be cool and he likes being on a team. Willie is 7 years old. Football comes naturally to 17-year-old Blaine Keathley, and that’s one of the reasons he loves […]