Saturday, February 24, 2018

LaBelle's Big Weekend Festival Feb 24-25



LABELLE, FL.-- The 2018 Swamp Cabbage Festival Parade kicked off Saturday morning to start the beginning of the annual festival in the park. Thousands lined Bridge Street this morning at 10 a.m. with the traditional parade, but  not so traditionally going in a reverse direction from decades of parades of the past.

This year featured among the usual politicians, elected officials, and floats, trucks, and swamp buggies from area businesses and organizations, the Budweiser 8-hitch team of Clydesdale horses.

Two days of food vending and musical acts continue this afternoon and Sunday in Barron Park along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River on Bridge Street in LaBelle.

Schedule of Events 

Saturday, February 24th
Mickey Foster – MC of Entertainment
6:00–7:15 am – Registration for Caloosa Humane Society’s 5K Swamp Stomp
7:30 am - Caloosa Humane Society's 5K Swamp Stomp 
8:00 am – Barron Park Opens for Vendors
9:00 am – Park opens to visitors
10:00 am – Parade starts
8:30 am – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
11:00 am – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
11:30 am – Opening Prayer & National Anthem
11:45 am – Grand Marshal, Pioneer Family Intro
12:00 pm – Showtime Cloggers
12:30 pm – Roger Jokela
1:15 pm –2018 Queen & Princess Intro / Performances & Parade Awards
1:30 pm – Unforgiven Band
1:30 pm – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
2:15 pm – Neon Summer
3:00 pm– Joe Mobley
3:30 pm – Chris MacArthur and the Florida Cracker Boys
4:00 pm – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
4:15 pm – Country Rhythm Cloggers
5:00 pm – Darryl Worley
Park Entertainment ends 6:30 pm
7-10:30 pm – Hendry County Cattlemen’s Rodeo-Rodeo Grounds
9:00 pm-1:00 a.m. – Cattlewomen’s Dance – LaBelle Civic Center

Sunday, February 25th8:30 am – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
9:00 am – Park opens to visitors
10:00 am – Press On
10:30 am – Roger Jokela
11:00 am – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
11:15 am – 2018 Queen and Princess Intro & Performances
11:30 am – Ayla Lynn
12:15 pm – Sugar Lime Blue
1:00 pm – Hendry County Cattlemen’s Youth Rodeo
Hendry County Rodeo Grounds
1:00 pm – The Dance Company
1:30 pm – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
2:00 pm – 64 to Grayson Gospel Band
2:45 pm – Athletic Ambitions
3:15 pm – Tru Country Band
4:00 pm – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront

Penny Sweeney Seriously Injured In Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Penny Jo Sweeney, 59 of Moore Haven  was eastbound on State Road 80 (Hickpochee Avenue) at Hardee St., in the inside lane driving a 2016 Kia Optima as Alexandra Obregon, 33 of Moore Haven was westbound in a 2008 Honda Civic at 8:21 p.m. Friday.

The Honda began to decelerate in the left turn lane of State Road 80 as Sweeney began traveling partially in the inside and left turn lanes of State Road 80. As a result, the left front of the Kia struck the left front of the Honda in the left turn lane of State Road 80.

Collision impact with the Kia caused the Honda to rotate counterclockwise. The Kia came
to rest in the left turn lane. The Honda came to rest partially in the left turn and (westbound)
inside lanes of State Road 80.

Sweeney was later transported by Hendry County EMS to Hendry Regional Medical Center in Clewiston. She is in stable condition. Obregon had minor injuries.

Sweeney was charged with failure to maintain single lane.

Friday, February 23, 2018

A Walk Across Florida - Bridges Through The Keys

Excerpts From A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

As I sat my pack down near the road to look around, a VW van came by with a bunch of real hippies in it, hollering,

“Hey need a ride?” I waved them on.

I looked around the bridge abutment. It had the original railroad foundations and railroad track being used for a railing. I was inspecting all this on both sides of the highway,….

….In length, this bridge was the big one. Here I am sitting on Knights Key. In 1908 it was the end of the line, with a dock built far out in the water for ocean steamships to load passengers and freight heading to Key West, Cuba and even the Panama Canal. It took two years to build these facilities and was finished and available for regular service in February of 1908. This dock had a post office, hotel and custom’s office. It could handle two complete trains at one time and the Flagler steamships. These facilities were used until the rest of the bridges and line were completed to Key West in January of 1912.

The seven mile bridge construction was divided into 4 parts. These were Knights Key, Pigeon Key, Moser Channel and Pacet Channel bridges. Knights, Pigeon, and Moser were steel-girder spans on top of vertical concrete foundation piers. Some of the foundations were 28 feet below the waterline. These spans were formally called deck plates and were mostly 80 feet long. In the center of the Moser Channel section was a 253-foot swinging steel truss bridge for Atlantic to the Gulf ship traffic. The Pacet Channel bridge was a series of 210 spandrel arches similar to the Long Key viaduct I had just crossed. The seven-mile bridge took two years to build.

One of the main work camps was Pigeon Key which was about one mile out from Knights Key. Its facilities took care of 400 workers during the bridge construction between 1908 and 1912. Today many of the original work camp buildings are preserved, open to public and administered by the Pigeon Key Foundation and Marine Science Center. One can go out to them by walking or biking on the old bridge or by boat.

As I sat there looking out, I could see the vertical concrete bridge piers heading out to Pigeon Key. The steel girder spans were on top of these piers, and the water pipe was attached to the side of the girders. It was installed by the U. S. Navy in 1941. The only water in the Keys was from rain. That rain was collected from the metal roofs of houses and buildings and channeled to storage areas. These storage areas were called cisterns and were usually made of reinforced concrete or metal. Even the early Indians stored water in open wells. During and after the railroad was being built, water was hauled to the Keys in tank cars. When the Navy installed the pipeline the Florida Keys Aqueduct Commission paid one-third of the expenses.

Enough of this sitting, I decided. I might as well get on with it, another hitch-hike. After all, if it was too dangerous to walk the one and two mile Long Key bridges, seven miles was out of the question!

I stuck my thumb out and the next vehicle stopped. It was a couple of boys in a VW car, and this time I made sure I said,

“Thanks guys, I only need a ride across this seven-mile bridge.”

As we were crossing, three girls in a red sports car convertible came up alongside. That meant they were passing us on this narrow two-lane bridge. The guys and girls started talking and they said something about pulling off on the other side of the bridge. That was good for my request, and before I knew it we were on the other side. They pulled up right behind the girls’ convert’, got out, and sprinted right over. I pulled my pack out of the back, hollered thanks to a couple of guys who were obviously distracted, and went on my way.

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or Amazon.com

Rebecca Cisneros Dies At 65

Rebecca R Cisneros, age 65, of LaBelle, passed away February 17, 2018 in Clewiston.

She was born Aug. 6, 1952 in Celina, OH, to the late Atanasio and Cruz (Torres) Rodriguez.

Survivors include her husband: Ismael Cisneros, three daughters: Erica Novoa ,Soledad Cisneros, and Rebecca Cisneros, 8 grandchildren, and Brothers and Sisters.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Enjoy Yourself At the 2018 Swamp Cabbage Festival

LABELLE, FL.-- Here's the schedule of events for the 2018 Swamp Cabbage Festival this week:

Tuesday, February 20th6–9 pm - SCF Street Fest on Fort Thompson
Eli Mosley Band. Vendors and Food available.

Thursday, February 22rd6-10 pm - Old Timers Dinner (Heritage Museum),
LaBelle Civic Center

Friday, February 23rd8 am-8 pm – Barron Park Opens for Vendor Setup
7-10:30 pm – Hendry County Cattlemen’s Rodeo-LaBelle Rodeo Grounds

Saturday, February 24th
Mickey Foster – MC of Entertainment
6:00–7:15 am – Registration for Caloosa Humane Society’s 5K Swamp Stomp
7:30 am - Caloosa Humane Society's 5K Swamp Stomp
8:00 am – Barron Park Opens for Vendors
9:00 am – Park opens to visitors
10:00 am – Parade starts
8:30 am – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
11:00 am – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
11:30 am – Opening Prayer & National Anthem
11:45 am – Grand Marshal, Pioneer Family Intro
12:00 pm – Showtime Cloggers
12:30 pm – Roger Jokela
1:15 pm –2018 Queen & Princess Intro / Performances & Parade Awards
1:30 pm – Unforgiven Band
1:30 pm – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
2:15 pm – Neon Summer
3:00 pm– Joe Mobley
3:30 pm – Chris MacArthur and the Florida Cracker Boys
4:00 pm – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
4:15 pm – Country Rhythm Cloggers
5:00 pm – Darryl Worley
Park Entertainment ends 6:30 pm
7-10:30 pm – Hendry County Cattlemen’s Rodeo-Rodeo Grounds
9:00 pm-1:00 a.m. – Cattlewomen’s Dance – LaBelle Civic Center

Sunday, February 25th8:30 am – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
9:00 am – Park opens to visitors
10:00 am – Press On
10:30 am – Roger Jokela
11:00 am – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
11:15 am – 2018 Queen and Princess Intro & Performances
11:30 am – Ayla Lynn
12:15 pm – Sugar Lime Blue
1:00 pm – Hendry County Cattlemen’s Youth Rodeo
Hendry County Rodeo Grounds
1:00 pm – The Dance Company
1:30 pm – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront
2:00 pm – 64 to Grayson Gospel Band
2:45 pm – Athletic Ambitions
3:15 pm – Tru Country Band
4:00 pm – River Cruise Heritage Museum, Barron Park Riverfront

Park Entertainment ends 4pm

-Courtesy LaBelle Chamber of Commerce