The Board of Directors of the Skip Bryant Memorial Fund would like to take this opportunity to thank the community and all supporting businesses that sponsored or donated to the 21 years of successful golf tournaments. The Board also thanks all participants and volunteers that helped annually. All of these people made it possible for the fund to award (61) children of law enforcement/firefighters with scholarship assistance in the amount of $200,640.00. These same efforts offered aid, in their time of need, to (85) law enforcement/firefighter families in the amount of $94,231.91. The fund has been awarding scholarships and aid funds since 1992 when it was formed. It is names in honor of Skip Bryant who died in the line of duty November 8, 1991.
The Board voted to change the operation of the fund to only include aid in their time of need, to law enforcement/firefighter families. In the past several years, the fund-raising part of the effort has become increasingly labor intensive. In order for the fund to still remain in operation, scholarships will no longer be awarded. The annual golf tournament will not take place. But the fund is still tax deductible and will accept donations. Fund-raisers will occur from time to time as needed. The Board will still operate and meet as usual making decisions on aid disbursements.
Current scholarship recipients will receive a two semester payout. This will give them a year to look for and obtain other scholarship assistance. Sheriff May was quoted as saying that this was very generous and he had not heard of this being done by any other organization.
Current Board members are Sheriff Paul C. May, Undersheriff Noel Stephen, Okeechobee City Police Chief Denny Davis, CPA Mike Costopoulos, and Virginia (Ginny) Bryant. On behalf of the current Board members, we would like to thank each and everyone for their continued support of the Skip Bryant Memorial Fund. Questions, concerns or suggestions can be directed to these individuals.
W/M; DOB: 2/12/69; 6'5"; 232 lbs.
BROWN HAIR; BROWN EYES
6835 SE 88 TRAIL
OKEECHOBEE, FL 34974
Carpenter was convicted of two counts- Att. Sexual Battery on Minor and Lewd & Lascivious Victim Less Than 12 YOA, Offender Over 18 YOA, on 3/21/2012 in Dade County, Florida. The victim was a minor. If you have any questions regarding this bulletin, contact Michele at the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office at 763-3117, extension 5100 or website http://www.fdle.state.fl.us
A Breath of Fresh Air For Pets in Okeechobee County
The Wag'N O2 Fur Life Program allows first responders across the country access to critical equipment that can save a pet's life. Pet Oxygen Masks are necessary to resuscitate animals suffering from smoke inhalation. Unfortunately, most municipalities across the country don't allow their first responders to purchase equipment for non-human life support.
The Okeechobee County Fire Rescue in Okeechobee, Florida, was lucky and so are the residents and pets of Okeechobee now. An anonymous donor sponsored the department through the Wag'N O2 Fur Life Program, in memory of Bill Hays and Jerry Curry.
Undersheriff Stephen stated, "Once again our community's generosity amazes me and makes me proud to be from Okeechobee. A wonderful contribution for a recognized need."
Since its inception, the O2 Fur Life Program has provided more than 5,400 pet oxygen mask kits to Fire, EMS & Police Department across the United States and Canada. The organization also provided training materials to help with the seamless deployment of this new pet life saving equipment.
"We're quickly finding out just how great of a need this is," explains Ines de Pablo, President and Founder. "Dryer fires, furnace fires, pets knocking candles over with their tails, you name it, fires are started because of it. We were shocked to find that most fire departments aren't equipped to save your pet's life in an emergency. These pet oxygen masks can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, hamsters, alpacas, wolves and many more species and are reusable."
Pet oxygen masks can be purchased directly by first responder in the U.S. and Canada. Rescue units that are not budgeted to acquire the kits and/or have difficulty finding community support can apply for assistance to acquire pet oxygen mask kits through the Wag'N O2 Fellowship Program. The Wag'N Fellowship Program uses donated monies to distribute pet oxygen masks nationally to organizations in need. Wag'N is also committed to helping communities raise enough money to sponsor local departments.
Included in each Wag'N O2 Fur Life Pet Oxygen Mask Kit are a set of three pet oxygen masks and corresponding oxygen tubes(22mm), laminated instructions to remind first responders of necessary resuscitation steps, a kennel lead, two "Pet Oxygen Masks On Board" decals for display at the station and on emergency vehicles, one instructional DVD, two Animal Incident report (AIR) Forms, as well as two electronic files used to train emergency personnel – all wrapped up in a handy Wag'N O2 Fur Life carry bag that can also be used to contain small animals.
De Pablo explains, "We're making great strides, but we've still got a lot of work to do. Our goal is to make every community across the country aware of the solutions that will help save the lives of pets and serving law enforcement K9s."
Okeechobee County K9 Officers Retire
Two of Okeechobee's finest-- and furriest--have retired from the department. Of the six K9 Officers at the Sheriff's Office, two are leaving active duty. K9 Officer Rex and K9 Officer Ruby are now retired.
Officer Rex is retiring after more than 9 years with the department, after an extremely successful career with his handler, Detective Rick Voss. Rex has had a productive career in both drug and suspect apprehensions. Rex together with Detective Voss, made hundreds of narcotic arrests and have seized well over $10,000.00 in US currency. He also assisted in more than thirty criminal apprehensions which also included nine bites. Rex will join the Voss family as their pet upon his retirement.
Officer Ruby has worked with her handler, Cpl. Donald Ellis, for the past ten years and has had a productive career in assisting with numerous narcotic and criminal arrests related to narcotic finds.
Officer Ruby will spend her retirement as Cpl. Ellis' family pet.
The bond between a handler and K9 partner is inexplicable. While deputy partnerships are clearly important, that between a K9 and his officer take on a different dimension.
The Working Dog
My eyes are your eyes,
to watch and protect you and yours.
My ears are your ears,
to hear and detect evil minds in the dark.
My nose is your nose,
to scent the invader of your domain.
And so you may live,
my life is also yours.
Sheriff May said of the retirements, "We appreciate all that K9 Ruby and K9 Rex have done for the Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Okeechobee County. Together they have apprehended some really bad people and stopped a lot of dope from being sold on the streets, sometimes to our children. I thank Detective Rick Voss for K9 Rex and Cpl. Don Ellis for K9 Ruby. They will be almost impossible to replace. I wish them the very best in their retirement and hope that their retirement is a long one."
FUGITIVE IN CUSTODY IN POUGHKEEPSIE, NY
45-year old Conrad Anthony Thitchener AKA Michael Anthony wanted in connection with raping a woman on December 23, 2013, is now in custody in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Thitchener had been wanted for questioning in the case, but left Okeechobee County on January 2, 2014. Warrants for four counts of Sexual Battery, Kidnapping and Battery were issued for his arrest.
On May 13, 2014, Thitchener was taken into custody by the Poughkeepsie Police Department in conjunction with the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. Circumstances surrounding his apprehension are unknown at this time.
Thitchener will be extradited to Okeechobee, Florida, at a later date to face these charges.
No further information to be released at this time.
Sheriff Paul May said of the arrest, "I am very happy that this man is in police custody and I appreciate the cooperation of the Poughkeepsie Police Department, the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. I have confidence that our criminal justice system works and this man will be put away for a long, long time."