Friday, July 31, 2015

Tim Wilder Files Suit After Firing For Sexual Harassment

Former Dothan, Al. School Superintendent Sues After Sexual Harassment Allegations

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Timothy Wilder is suing former employer, the city of Dothan, Alabama school district after he was fired as school superintendent after a complaint by another school employee for alleged sexual harassment.

Timothy Wilder is on Glades County Schools Moore Haven Junior-Senior High School page as the school principal,

Wilder was terminated November 14 in a unanimous vote by the school board after the Dothan school board's attorney presented what was described as inappropriate text messages from Wilder to various recipients.

The school system's former public relations director and grant writer Torrie Ethridge reportedly testified that she resigned from her job because of harassment by Wilder, and said he related a graphic description of a dream of a sexual encounter in a gas station bathroom he allegedly had about her.

Wilder says he was terminated on a "mere allegation" and said the board did not due a full investigation, not giving him a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

Wilder had been on the Dothan City School board in the 1990s previous to his position as Superintendent of Schools. He was Superintendent of Schools for Gulf County, Fl in 2004-2010, following his father who was also Superintendent of Schools. His wife was employed by the Dothan school system as a teacher.

Glades county, Fl. Superintendent of Schools, Scott Bass is a 1994 graduate of Troy University in Troy, Alabama.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dale Thompson Dies After Crash

Dale K. Thompson, 51 of LaBelle, Fl. died as a result of a crash Thursday at 5:43 a.m. in Port LaBelle on Eucalyptus Blvd.

A 2007 Toyota Cruiser was traveling southbound on SE Eucalyptus Boulevard as Thompson failed to negotiate a right curve. The vehicle then crossed the centerline of the roadway and entered the northbound lane of SE Eucalyptus Boulevard, then departed the roadway. 

The front of the vehicle then began to yaw to the right, then struck the guardrail on the south grassy shoulder. As a result, Thompson lost control as the vehicle continued southwest across a concrete culvert surface. Thompson was then ejected as the vehicle overturned on the south grassy shoulder (west of the canal).

The vehicle came to final rest overturned on it's right side facing northeast. Whether alcohol was a factor is pending investigation said the FHP.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Seniors Get Help In Rural Counties

LABELLE, FL. -- More than 200 Hendry and Glades seniors are receiving boxes of nutritious food each month after enrolling in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program coordinated by Hope Connections, the state-appointed Lead Agency for Aging Services in Hendry and Glades Counties, and their community partners, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida and United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties.

Through the program, seniors will receive a box of canned fruits and vegetables, juice, dry beans, rice, peanut butter, cereal and other food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture at monthly distributions at the partner agencies including Hope Connections Centers in Moorehaven and Clewiston, the United Way House in LaBelle, and Harlem Garden Apartments in Clewiston.

“The Hope Connections program serves as a safety net for those who need our help,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope HealthCare Services. “Partnerships with other organizations, as well as donations, help Hope Connections meet the increasing community need and address senior hunger in Hendry and Glades counties.

Hope Connections, a program of Hope HealthCare Services that provides at-home senior support, provides more than 25,000 meals each year to underprivileged seniors in Hendry and Glades counties through home delivery and social meal centers. The program also offers services such as transportation to pharmacies and grocery stores as well travel to and from the Connections Centers. Light housekeeping and counseling is also provided. 

The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of 150 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly. Over 1 million pounds of food are distributed by the Harry Chapin Food Bank monthly. For each $1 donated, the food bank can distribute $6 worth of food and groceries. Last fiscal year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 18.4 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at $31.1 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 15.3 million meals to people in need.

For more information about supporting Hope Connections, call 239-482-4673. Individuals or groups interested in volunteering to help at the monthly distribution points can call863-675-1576 for more information.

Photo: Volunteers Reygen Livingood and Jada Jenkins load foods boxes destined for seniors

Planned Parenthood Investigated For Baby Body Part Selling Allegations?

Governor Rick Scott announced today that he has asked the Agency for Health Care Administration to immediately begin investigating the 16 Planned Parenthood offices in Florida that perform abortion procedures to ensure they are in full compliance with the law.

Governor Rick Scott said, “The videos coming out about Planned Parenthood are deeply troubling to say the least. It is against the law for any organization to sell body parts. I asked AHCA Secretary Liz Dudek to begin immediately dispatching staff from their licensure office to evaluate the 16 Planned Parenthood offices in Florida that perform abortion procedures to ensure they are in full compliance with the law. 

"If a Planned Parenthood office is not following the law, we will move quickly to take legal and regulatory action against them. We hold our healthcare organizations in Florida to the highest standards of safety and we expect them to fully comply with the law at all times.”

'Home' Business Plans $300 Million Fuel Facility Investment Says Governor

Will This Distribution Project Ever Get Off The Ground?

LABELLE, FL, -- Florida Governor Rick Scott announced this week that a company named Florida Fuel Connection will establish a petroleum product logistics and distribution facility in Hendry County, near the city of LaBelle.

The Hendry County and other proposed South Florida facilities will receive and distribute petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel according to the company and Scott.

A quick search for the history of the CEO and the company turned up some interesting facts that may lead to some uncertainty.

According to Florida Secretary of State corporate records Florida Fuel Connection LLC is owned by Armbrust Aviation Group, Inc. of Palm Beach Gardens, Fl. which is in turn owned by John and Pauline Armbrust.  The couple also owned Aviation Fuel Associates, Inc. until it went out of business in 2007. 

The Armbrust's operate the company out of their home at 8340 Steeplechase Drive in Palm Beach County.

John H. Armbrust, CEO of Florida Fuel Connections LLC, last year changed his mind about investing in a Fort Pierce fuels distribution facility and said he was not going to St. Lucie County because of government officials’ reluctance to dredge the port to make it deeper. He then turned his attention towards pitching officials at the Port of Jacksonville.

Florida Fuel Connections on it webpage says it is supported by "strategic infrastructure partners - CSX Corporation TRansportation and South Central Florida Express, Inc." 

South Central Florida Express is a short line railroad operated by U.S. Sugar and has Clewiston officers including Malcom Wade, Kenneth McDuffie, and Elaine Wood.

Louisiana state officials and Armbrust also this week claims Florida Fuel Connection LLC will make a $75 million capital investment to build a petroleum terminal and rail transportation facility in East Feliciana Parish, near the Mississippi River. That project is said to create 50 new jobs at an average annual salary of $70,000.

Governor Scott said about the LaBelle proposed project, “We are excited to announce that Florida Fuel Connection has chosen Hendry County as the best place to launch their business and create new jobs. Over the past four years, we have worked hard to create a pro-business environment that encourages growth and innovation so companies like Florida Fuel Connection can succeed. We will keep working to make Florida the number one state in the nation for businesses to grow and create jobs for our families.”

Scott said the project will create nearly 300 construction jobs over a 14 month period and 50 full-time jobs, with a capital investment of more than $300 million. FFC projects to add a second facility in South Florida in 2017.

Read more here:

“Florida’s rail infrastructure, unique location and pro-business climate made it a strong candidate for this project,” said John H. Armbrust, CEO of Florida Fuel Connection. “We used a comprehensive process to determine the most efficient, cost effective, safe and reliable infrastructure system to meet the expectations of Florida’s petroleum product suppliers and end-users. The Hendry and South Florida locations provide us with the necessary resources to build these logistics facilities, and will allow us to meet customer fuel demands more efficiently and safely than ever before.”