Saturday, April 19, 2014

AARP Smart Driving Course - Save On Insurance

LABELLE, FL. -- Hope Connection, at 475 East Cowboy Way will host the AARP safe driving course on Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 9 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.

You will learn: Defensive driving techniques; Proven safety strategies; New traffic laws /Rules of the Road. Upon completion, receive a multi-year discount certificate on your car insurance.

Lunch- 30/40 Minutes -Bring a bagged lunch.

Register for the class by calling 513-532-3431- Alameda Harper; Price: $15 AARP Members/ $20 Non-Members - Pay by check day of class.

Future classes may be offered at this location as demand dictates.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guilty Plea In Bridgestone Price Fixing Scandal On Auto Parts

A former Bridgestone Corp. executive has agreed to plead guilty and to serve 18 months in a U.S. prison for his role in an international conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids of automotive anti-vibration rubber parts sold in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today. 

To date, 33 individuals have been charged in the government’s ongoing investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry. Additionally, 26 companies have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty and have agreed to pay a total of more than $2.29 billion in fines.

According to the one-count felony charge filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in Toledo, Yusuke Shimasaki, along with co-conspirators, engaged in a conspiracy to allocate sales of, to rig bids for, and to fix, raise and maintain the prices of automotive anti-vibration rubber parts sold to Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. – more commonly known by its brand name, Subaru – and certain of their subsidiaries, affiliates and suppliers, in the United States and elsewhere.

According to the charge, Shimasaki participated in the anti-vibration rubber conspiracy from at least as early as January 2001 until at least December 2008. During that time period, he was employed by Bridgestone as a sales manager, an executive vice president at Bridgestone APM Co., in Findlay, Ohio, and as a general sales manager. According to the plea agreement, in addition to serving time in prison, Shimasaki has also agreed to pay a $20,000 criminal fine and to cooperate in the department’s investigation. The plea agreement is subject to court approval.

Bridgestone manufactures and sells a variety of automotive parts, including anti-vibration rubber parts, which are comprised primarily of rubber and metal, and are installed in suspension systems and engine mounts as well as other parts of an automobile. They are installed in automobiles for the purpose of reducing road and engine vibration. On Feb. 13, 2014, the Department of Justice announced that Bridgestone had agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $425 million criminal fine for its role in the conspiracy. On April 15, 2014, Yasuo Ryuto, Isao Yoshida, two former executives of Bridgestone Corp., and Yoshiyuki Tanaka, a current executive, were indicted their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices of automotive anti-vibration rubber parts.

Shimasaki is charged with price fixing and bid rigging in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million criminal fine for individuals. The maximum fine for an individual may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

Southbound Lanes On I-75 Closed After Vehicle Damaged Bridge

FORT MYERS, FL. -- An excavator traveling southbound on Interstate 75 in Lee County struck the Tice Street Overpass earlier today. The overpass has been inspected and the two outside lanes of southbound Interstate 75 at the Tice Street Overpass are currently closed awaiting repairs of the overpass.

It is anticipated that the two lanes will remain closed until 6am Thursday. The two inside lanes remain open.

Drivers should be aware of potential delays as they travel south on Interstate 75 in the area of the Tice Street Overpass.

The Florida DOT issued this advisory today as well:

Two southbound lanes on I-75 just north of Luckett Road (exit 139) will remain open to traffic while crews repair three beams damaged in a traffic incident about 9:30 a.m. today. Right lanes southbound on the interstate in this location are closed. The westbound shoulder on the Tice Street overpass will remain closed until crews complete all repair work.

Bridge damage is minor and repair work should finish early Friday morning. This afternoon crews are removing loose concrete from the overpass and then will begin patching outer concrete on three beams. Crews will continue repair work tonight/overnight. Right lanes will reopen to traffic at 5 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, April 17, and stay open all day. Right lanes will close again at 9 p.m. tomorrow night and remain closed until overpass repair work is completed (by 5 a.m. Friday, April 18).

Next week during nighttime/overnight hours crews will remove and replace interstate pavement damaged from this incident.

Hunter Course Free At Sheriff's Range

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will host a free hunter safety course on April 26, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Hendry County.

Participants must successfully complete the online portion of the course prior to attending and bring the final Web report to the FWC course on April 26. The form does not have to be notarized.

Students will learn about several topics including hunting laws, safe gun handling and hunter ethics/responsibility before taking the final test. The course also includes live-firing instruction on a shooting range.

The class will be held at the Hendry County Sheriff's Office Shooting Range, between Clewiston and LaBelle. The address is 700 Witt Road, near the Pioneer Plantation Community.

Participants can sign up at or by calling the FWC’s South Region Office at 561-625-5122. A link to the online part of the course and a statewide schedule of hunter safety classes are available at

Parents or legal guardians must accompany children under 16 years of age to all classes. To participate in live-fire exercises, children under 18 years old must present a parental release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised).

Obituaries - MacKenzie, Davis, Pepitone

Phyllis A. MacKenzie, age 78, of LaBelle, passed away April 13, 2014 in LaBelle.

She was born April 6, 1936, in Harrisburg, Illinois, to the late James and the late Juanita (Bennett) Pankey. Mrs. MacKenzie married James Lownds.

Survivors include her husband of 21 years: James Lownds, son; George "Butch" Archie and wife Denise, daughter; Ronda Mosher and husband Ralph, daughter; Cherri Labadie and husband Tim, grandchildren; Joshua and Jessica Archie, Melissa and Rachel Labadie, brother; James Pankey, Jr.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend to all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.

Geraldine W. "Jerie" Lippincott Davis passed on to paradise on April 11, 2014. She was 81 years old. She was born in Alva to one of the early settling families.

She is preceded by her parents Claude and Mary Lippincott, husband Bill Davis, bothers Duane and Dale Lippincott. She is survived by her five loving children; daughters Mary Walden and Rebecca Hanley, sons William, Kenneth and Michael Davis, her sister Rosemary McCoy and other loving family members.

Jerie will always be remembered as a loving mother, devoted wife and a beautiful caring person.
A memorial service for family and friends will be held Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm at Alva United Methodist Church.

Wayne D. Pepitone, age 67, of LaBelle, passed away April 10, 2014 in Fort Myers.

He was born Feb. 15, 1947 in Brooklyn, NY, to the late Anthony S. and the late Thelma R. (Hicks) Pepitone. He served in the United States Army and received a Purple Heart for his service during Vietnam from 1966 to1972.

He is survived by son: Michael W. Pepitone (Jennifer) of LaBelle, FL and daughter: Toni M. Kirksey, brother: Anthony J. Pepitone (Debbie), grandchildren: Morgan Pepitone, Michael A. Pepitone, Kaitlyn Jaser, Karen-Ann Kirksey and Alex Kirksey.

Military honors were held Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 11:00 am at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida.