Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Donna Keen Dies At 69

Donna Rae Keen, age 69, of Moore Haven, passed away August 18, 2016 in Moore Haven.

She was born July 20, 1947 in Clewiston, FL, to the late John Lee and the late Ila May (Dyess) Herndon. She worked as a clerk for the tax collector's office, was a licensed beautician. She was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

Survivors include two sons: Jason D Whidden and Jacob D. Whidden (Susan), Grandson, Ashton Whidden; Step-Son, Kenny Wayne Keene (Amanda); Grandson, Rylan Keene; Grandson, Parker Keene

Memorial services were held Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm at First Baptist Church Of Moore Haven, Moore Haven with Rev. Sherrill Tillery officiating. Visitation was Tuesday from 1 hour prior to service at First Baptist Church of Moore Haven, Moore Haven, FL.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chronic Health Condition Management Free Classes Sept 1

LABELLE, FL. -- Do you live day to day with a chronic health condition? Have you ever wondered if there is a program that can help you live a better quality of life? If so, then this program is for you.

It’s All About You is a six week workshop and is offered at no cost, having a proven track record for improving your health, decreasing emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations.

If you suffer from any chronic health condition, including, but not limited to diabetes, heart disease, asthma, depression, or cancer, sign up today for this fun and interactive six week workshop that will be held at Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center, starting on Thursday, September 1st from 1 to 3:30 meeting each Thursday for six weeks..

Through this program, you will learn to:

 Live with a chronic health condition
 Make smarter decisions related to healthy eating
 Understand the benefits of exercise
 More easily manage your medications

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program was developed by Stanford University and is offered
both nationally and worldwide. As a participant of this course, you will receive a comprehensive reference book entitled, “ Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” by Dr. Kate Lorig.

Please call 424-3122 today for more information and to register for this free program.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Walk Across Florida - Ocala National Forest

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

I think that this again reinforces the just down right friendliness of the people I met on my hike.

Just imagine…. this fisherman did not know me from the next guy coming down the road. Of course I looked the part of a hiker with all of the equipment. It may have helped. Nevertheless sometimes I just had to delay my trip for a great experience. It was good that I was not really in a hurry!

I got over the canal and off the bridge, then took a rest and had something to eat. I thought I must be near a Navy bombing target because silver stub nose Navy planes were streaking in overhead heading south. They would dive, pull up and circle around to do it over and over. They came in groups of two’s and three’s. They had red and green lights on their swept-back wings. What a great show!

I continued south on Highway 19. I figured that I must be getting close to the Oklawaha River. I heard an alligator bellowing, and it echoed against the trees. I crossed a river bridge and saw a sign to Johnson Field boat ramp and campsite. I was sure glad to arrive even though it was dark. I had hiked approximately 25 miles! …..

It was morning and the sunlight was filtering through the trees. A hoot owl sounded off in the distance. I got up and checked out the boat ramp….

There were a couple of house boats along the shore, one on the opposite bank and the other sunk on my side. This was a perfect opportunity to do some sketching. Later on I saw a guy working on his boat. I got to talking to him about the river and fishing. He said that he was going out later in the afternoon and invited me to go for a boat ride and fishing with him and his friends. I accepted….A couple of the fisherman’s friends, a girl and boy stopped by to talk.

Just a little past lunch, the fisherman came by and we went over to the boat ramp where he had his boat docked. His two friends were already on the boat. We launched the boat and headed up-river. From what little I know about boats, the boat was 12 foot long, looking like a flat-bottom boat with twin hulls. It went like a flash, a real thrill ride. My fisherman friend knew the river. There were many side channels. You could get lost if you didn’t know the river, partly because of its sharp bends. It was beautiful scenery, a stark contrast to the canal I had just crossed yesterday. We stopped and dropped anchor in a back channel. There the cypress and water oaks formed a towering roof 40 feet above us.

The Oklawaha River,* is a Creek Indian name for “muddy.” It is a little bit unusual because it flows north from Leesburg and then east where it dumps into the north-flowing St. Johns River…..

In the 19th and 20th centuries the river was used for steamboat transportation* from the St. Johns River mostly to the famous Silver Springs located center west of the now Ocala National Forest. In fact many famous figures traveled this way from Palatka to the springs: Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas Edison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe to name a few. These steam boats were very narrow. Many were only 18 feet wide at the waterline and 30 feet high above the water. They had to be small and have good turning capability to navigate the winding twisting river. The river is navigable for most of its length.

Many parts of the Oklawaha River’s natural beauty are as they were when the Seminoles roamed and hunted years ago. One will see semi-tropical forest along the sides of the river. The forests are filled with maples, bald cypress, palmettos and pines of all types. In fact, it is so wild that one may see many animals such as bobcats, deer, otters, wild boar, black bear and turkeys. There are also plenty of fish, small mammals and birds.

However we did not catch any of those plentiful fish….

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

Obituaries - Frank Billie, Jamie Navarro, Suzanne Long

Frank J. Billie, age 91, of Clewiston, passed away August 16, 2016 in Clewiston. He was born in Collier County, FL, to the late John Billie and the late Margaret Dixie.

He is survived by two sons: Mitchell Cypress and Timothy Billie, four sisters: Alice Billie, Nina Billie, Elizabeth Tiger and Ollie Tiger Balentine, two granddaughters and many nieces and nephews and other family members.

Funeral services were held Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 10:00 am at Big Cypress First Baptist Church, Clewiston with Rev. Paul Buster officiating. Interment was Thursday, August 18, 2016 in Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Jamie Navarro, age 48, of Clewiston, passed away August 16, 2016 in Fort Myers.

He was born Nov. 10, 1967 in Puerto Rico to Juan and Francisca (Rodriguez) Navarro. Jamie worked as a Sheriff Deputy for many years, then later he worked as a juvenile counselor for a few years.

Survivors include one son: Jamie Navarro, father; Juan Navarro, mother; Francisca Sanabria, three brothers: Carmelo Navarro, Raul Navarro and Johnny Navarro, and two sisters: Maria Navarro and Lourdes Navarro.

Celebration of Jamie's life will be held Monday, August 22, 2016 at 11:00 am in First United Methodist Church, Clewiston with Pastor Jeff Smith officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation will be Monday from 1 hour prior to service in First United Methodist Church, Clewiston, FL.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Suzanne L. Long, age 69, of LaBelle, passed away August 18, 2016 in Lehigh Acres. She was born April 27, 1947 in Denison, TX, to the late Harold Alvin and the late Lois Marie (Gillum) Shoemaker.

She is survived by her loving husband: Garry R. Long and two brothers: Danny Shoemaker and Tim Shoemaker.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Urologist Robert Scappa Paying $250,000 Settlement

Robert A. Scappa, D.O. has agreed to pay $250,000 to the government to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by causing claims to be submitted to federal health care programs for laboratory tests that were not medically necessary.

Scappa was a urologist practicing as part of Scappa Urology, which was a division of 21st Century Oncology, LLC. 21st Century is a nationwide provider of integrated cancer care services that is headquartered in Fort Myers. As part of its business, 21st Century employs and affiliates with physicians in specialty fields such as radiation oncology, medical oncology, and urology. 

The allegations that doctors affiliated with 21st Century were ordering unnecessary FISH tests were originally brought in a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private parties to bring suit on behalf of the government and to share in any recovery. 

The whistleblower, a former medical assistant who worked for David Spellberg, M.D. at Naples Urology Associates, which was also a division of 21st Century Oncology, will receive $37,500 as her share of this recovery. This amount is in addition to a $3.2 million share she will receive as the result of the $19.75 million settlement previously reached with 21st Century Oncology.

The settlement announced today resolves allegations that Scappa caused to be submitted claims to Medicare and Tricare for fluorescence in situ hybridization, or “FISH,” tests that were not medically necessary. FISH tests are laboratory tests performed on urine that can detect genetic abnormalities associated with bladder cancer. Medicare does not consider a FISH test reasonable or necessary unless it’s used to monitor for tumor reoccurrence in a patient previously diagnosed with bladder cancer or unless, after performing a full urologic workup, the physician has reason to suspect that a patient with hematuria (i.e., blood in the urine) may have bladder cancer.

In January 2009, Scappa began referring all of the FISH testing ordered by him to a laboratory owned and operated by 21st Century. He was paid bonuses by the company based, in part, on the number of FISH tests he referred to 21st Century laboratory. The settlement is based on Scappa’s ability to pay.