Thursday, January 19, 2017

Severe Weather Exercise January 25

HENDRY COUNTY, FL. -- The 2017 Severe Weather Awareness Week will be held January 23 - 27, 2017. The goal of Severe Weather Awareness Week is to promote preparedness by all Floridians for all types of hazards. On Wednesday January 25th, 2017 around 10:10 am, Hendry County Emergency Management will participate in the largest community Tornado Drill in the State of Florida.

This mass tornado drill event was originally started and hosted by Seminole County Emergency Management. This is the second year for this event, and it has garnered participation from state and local community leaders throughout Florida.

Historically, January to April marks the time of the year in which the most deadly tornados have impacted the State of Florida. Florida is recorded as one of the top locations in the country for tornado frequency, often occurring due to the colliding of coastal sea breezes and approaching cold fronts.

This year, the plan is to involve the schools and healthcare facilities to ensure preparedness planning for tornados in order to protect our most vulnerable populations. Hendry County Emergency Management would like for you to be a part of this event.

On Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 around 10:10 am a NOAA weather radio will play a special alert advising participants to locate their tornado safe area and practice their tornado plan. Participants will also receive alerts via the Prepare Hendry mass notification system. At that time, participants should locate a safe area wherever they happen to be. A safe area is the lowest level floor in the most interior room possible without windows (a closet, a pantry, an interior hallway, etc.).

Once in the safe area, participants should snap a selfie and post it in Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hash tags: #tornadodrill as well as #preparehendry. Let’s take this opportunity to make preparedness a fun activity.

“Severe weather can strike anywhere and with little to no warning. Living in Southwest Florida, residents must be prepared to protect themselves and their loved ones at a moment’s notice. Hendry County Emergency Management works hard to provide useful information to our residents in a timely manner through multiple means, but ultimately, your safety depends on you taking the right protective action at the right time. Information is power,” said Emergency Management Director Brian Newhouse.

“A great way to stay in the know and to stay safe is to sign up for free alerts of all kinds through Hendry County’s mass notification system known as ‘Prepare Hendry’, and by following us on social media. An additional free resource that is excellent is the FEMA mobile app available from your favorite app store.” Added Newhouse.

To register your home telephone, cell phone, and email address with the Prepare Hendry emergency alert system use this link:

or text HENDRYFLA to 88877 from your cell phone

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

James Whobrey Dies At 40

James Michael Whobrey, age 40, of LaBelle, passed away January 14, 2017 in LaBelle.

He was born Dec. 24, 1976 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late James Cornell and Helen (Royalty) Whobrey. He was a self-employed small engine mechanic for many years. He was a loving son, father, brother, uncle to all of his family and he will be greatly missed.

Survivors include one son: Jordan Whobrey of LaBelle, FL, mother; Helen Whobrey of LaBelle, three sisters: Debbie White, Paula Cockram and Tammy Landrum, many aunts, uncles and extended family members and close friends.

Celebration of James' life will be held at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, January 19, 2017 in Ortona Cemetery Pavilion with Pastor Lester Grant and Pastor Nathan Campos officiating. Visitation will be from 10 am to 12 noon on Thursday in Akin-Davis Funeral Home.

Heritage Museum Programs

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Heritage Museum is pleased to present eminent Chautauqua performer Phyllis McEwen's portrayal of Florida African American author Zora Neale Hurston in a Special Speaker Program made possible by the Florida Humanities Council at LaBelle High School on Wednesday, January 25, at 7 p.m. Since LaBelle High School students will be attending, general admission seating is limited -- to insure you have a seat, please register for a free seat by going to our website for your FREE seats.

Jim D. Hull's popular "Wild Cow Hunting" will be continued at our regular February 2 program meeting at the Felda Community Center at 7 o'clock. He expects Ronnie Raulerson and Kirby Lee Williams to join him "the Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise."

We have two programs in mid-February made possible by grants from the Florida Humanities Council. On Wednesday, February 15, Janie Gould and her program "When Manatees were Sea Cows" will be presented at LaBelle Heritage Museum at 7 o'clock.

The following evening, Thursday the 16th, another eminent Chautauqua performer and scholar Ersula Knox Odom appears at Hendry-Glades Center, FSW State College, 1092 East Cowboy Way, in a Special Black History Month Program "Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Comes to Life" highlighting the life of the founder of Bethune Cookman University and member of FDR's "Black Cabinet" ~ admission to both programs is FREE.

The 22nd Old Timers Dinner is set for Thursday, February 23, at LaBelle Civic Center with Woody Hanson and Billy Murphy serving as joint MC/Live Auctioneers. Advance tickets are available online at if you are using a credit card. For cash or check reservations, please contact Pat Johnson at (239)910-1538.

To round out the month of February, we are repeating last year's "Caloosahatchee Excursions" on both Swamp Cabbage Festival Saturday and Sunday, February 25 and 26, with boat tours at 8:30 and 11 in the morning and 1:30 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Tour guides aboard M/V River Queen (which now has restroom facilities) will include Amy Bennett Williams, Scott Cooper, Margaret England, and Joe Thomas. Advance tickets are $30 and available online at Again, for cash or check reservations, please contact Pat Johnson at (239) 910-1538.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Babcock/Webb Wildlife Area Event Saturday

PUNTA GORDA, FL. -- For families and others looking for outdoor opportunities this weekend, the state’s original wildlife management area has ample offerings. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will host a free public event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Fred C. Babcock/Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area, 29200 Tuckers Grade, Punta Gorda, Florida 33955. 

The event will honor the 75th anniversary of Babcock-Webb’s creation, which launched the state’s vast WMA system.

Attendees can take a hayride with a biologist, cast a line at a kids’ fishing clinic, participate in archery and shooting sports activities, develop kayaking skills and learn about conservation at various hands-on exhibits. There will also be exciting displays, including an FWC law enforcement K-9 demonstration. Food trucks will be on-site as well.

The WMA system is one of Florida’s greatest natural treasures. Babcock-Webb was established in late 1941 in Charlotte and Lee counties. By the 1960s, there were 28 WMAs. Today the FWC is the lead manager or landowner of over 1.4 million acres, and works in partnership with other public and private landowners on another 4.5 million acres. These healthy habitats are essential to Florida wildlife – both common and imperiled species. The FWC uses its scientific expertise and a comprehensive ecological approach to manage a variety of wildlife while encouraging public access to these wild lands.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Honoring Seniors At MLK Day

LABELLE, FL. -- Lois James at Alton "Kid" Jones Park Monday for MLK Jr. Day in Ford-Sunset Park.