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 […]

Who’s to blame for the Treasure Coast algae bloom?

OKEECHOBEE — Want to know who is to blame for the massive algae bloom on the Treasure Coast? Turn on the news and you’ll see people blaming the Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District. But both are government agencies following the water management policies set by elected officials or in the […]

Think of it as ‘Hurricane Music Festival’ of 2016

OKEECHOBEE — In less than a week, tens of thousands of visitors will pour into Okeechobee County for the first Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival. It’s exciting for Okeechobee to be the location of a major music festival, but like any unknown, it’s also a little scary. Something big is going to happen, but we don’t […]

If it’s on the internet, it must be true … right?

“The story was on the internet. Why wasn’t it in the newspaper? People deserve to know about this!” stated the  message left on my voice mail. I was glad the caller left a name and call back number. Often people who appear to be upset leave messages on my office voice mail and don’t realize […]

Remembering Hurricane Katrina makes me #ChobeeProud

OKEECHOBEE — This week I noticed some Okeechobee community members are using #ChobeeProud on social media when they make comments about positive news about Okeechobee County. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, remembering Okeechobee’s response to that storm, I am #ChobeeProud.

If you lived South Florida in 2004 and 2005, you will remember the historic storms we faced. The Hurricane Season of 2004 brought four famous storms Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Two of those storms — Frances and Jeanne — tore Okeechobee apart, downing power lines, toppling trees and tearing roofs off homes.