Monday, March 27, 2017

County Seeking Media And Tourism Officer

Hendry County is seeking candidates who have a passion for the community. The CMT position’s primary goal is to communicate to our residents, media (traditional/social) and potential visitors about what is happening in our County. The successful candidate will possess leadership, storytelling/communication and common sense skills and abilities.

The CMT duties are apportioned with 50% of duties are to provide administrative and leadership support services to the Tourism Development Council. The remaining 50% provides community and media relations services for the County Administrator’s Office. Duties include the development and implementation of marketing and communications initiatives to encourage tourism in Hendry County, and provide information about Hendry County government to the public, county employees, and the media. This position interacts with a variety of local and regional organizations. This position serves as the official Public Information Officer and will be expected to respond- to and serve-in a declared emergency with media relations support. This position coordinates the fulfillment of public records requests. Lastly, this position provides support and interacts with the Hendry County legislative delegations and lobbying teams as needed.

Office Location: Primary office location is in the Administrative Office Complex at 640 South Main Street, LaBelle, Florida. Due to the nature of the position, some assignments may require work/service days out of the office. Expected percent of travel is less than 20%.

Office Hours: The position is salaried. Typical office working hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Schedules are flexible due to the requirement to work nights and weekends as needed in the course of the duties assigned. The position is expected to attend all Board of County Commissioners meetings, workshops, special meetings and community events. The position also serves in the Emergency Operations Center during declared emergencies.

Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, Marketing, Business and/or Public Administration or a comparable relevant field. A minimum of two years of experience in governmental, not-for-profit or private sector business performing comparable duties is desired. Graduate degrees are preferred, but not required. Possession of ICS/NIMS Public Information Officer certificates are preferred but not required.

Starting Salary: $36,000 annually plus full county benefits (Florida Retirement System, health, dental, vision, annual leave, sick leave, paid holidays, etc.).

How to Apply: Interested parties may apply by submitting a completed Hendry County Board of County Commissioner’s Job Application, cover letter, resume and no more than three (3) professional references to the Human Resources Office at 640 South Main Street, LaBelle, Florida 33935.

Panther Kittens Found In Charlotte County

BABCOCK RANCH, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has verified the presence of at least two panther kittens north of the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida. These kittens are presumed to be the offspring of the first wild female panther documented north of the river since 1973.

Using trail cameras, biologists have monitored male panthers on various public and private lands north of the Caloosahatchee River for several years. In 2015, biologists collected a photo of what appeared to be a female panther in the FWC’s Babcock Ranch Preserve Wildlife Management Area in Charlotte County. They deployed additional cameras in the summer of 2016, and captured more images of what they believed to be a female panther.

“This is good news for Florida panther conservation,” said Kipp Frohlich, deputy director for the FWC’s Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. “Until now, we only had evidence of panthers breeding south of the Caloosahatchee. These pictures of a female with kittens indicate there are now panthers breeding north of the river.”

“Early this year, the cameras captured images of a female that appeared to be nursing,” said Darrell Land, FWC panther team leader. “For many years, the Caloosahatchee River has appeared to be a major obstacle to northward movement of female panthers. This verification of kittens with the female demonstrates panthers can expand their breeding territory across the river naturally.”

“This is a major milestone on the road to recovery for the Florida panther,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. “We are mindful and appreciative of all the many partners and cooperators who have supported panther conservation efforts over the years leading to meaningful moments like this.”

The FWC works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure panther conservation on both private and public lands. Staff also work to continue building support and cooperation among private landowners who maintain working landscapes and ranches that provide important habitat for panthers.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Immokalee Pioneer Days Festival

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Annual celebration of the area's pioneer heritage in Immokalee, Florida. Cowboys drive cattle up Main Street to the Robert's Ranch Museum where displays and food are available as well as an antique and a classic car show.

Celebrate Immokalee is a three-day event that combines the pioneer spirit and rich agricultural history of Immokalee with the diverse community it is today. A cattle drive along Main Street Saturday, March 25th led by Clint Raulerson and featuring Eastern Indian Rodeo Association Sr. Queen Ms. Allegra Billie, EIRA Jr. Queen Ms. Madisyn Osceola, and their court and Miss Rodeo Palm Beach County Caleigh Anderson. 

The drive will lead to the Roberts Ranch, a National Register of Historic Places listed farmstead operated as a Collier County museum, located at 1215 Roberts Ave W., Immokalee.

Events include food, family games, dancing, and live entertainment on the main stage interspersed with cheering, clogging, and skits. Dance to the mix of Caribbean, Country, Hip Hop, Salsa, Bachata and Up Town Funk by Spin City DJ with live performances by Zoe Ness, K4C Band, Danny Boy, Caribben Groove, and local talents. 

Other attractions include Track to Trail Thoroughbreds rescue with two ex-race horses, family games, autograph signing from home-grown NFL players, a Blue Ribbon Cake & Pie Competition, antique cars from Cool Cruisers car club, arts & crafts vendors, and the winners of the Little Mr./Mrs. Immokalee competition. A family carnival alongside the event opened on Friday night (5-10PM) and runs through Sunday.

The Celebrate Immokalee Festival is organized by the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Roberts Ranch Pioneer Museum, Collier County Parks & Recreation, and the Immokalee Community Redevelopment Agency. Sponsors: Coconut Point Fort, Lipman Family Farms, Spin City DJ, and Track to Trail Thoroughbreds.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Gymnasium Named In Honor Of James E. Hart

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Harlem community is coming together to rename the Harlem Gymnasium in honor of Reverend James E. Hart. The Hendry County Board of County Commissioners approved the request and the renaming ceremony will take place on April 1, 2017

Queenie Williams sent a request in February 2016 to the Board of County Commissioners to rename the gymnasium after Reverend James E. Hart. The request received overwhelming support from the community residents including a petition signed with over one thousand names.

Reverend Hart was known as a pillar of the community and felt we have an obligation to help each other. He spent decades of his life managing, restoring and preserving the Gymnasium. The Gymnasium was more than a place for activities under his management, but also a safe haven for Harlem’s youth and a place to gather and share memories.

“Under his management, the Gymnasium was more than just a place for activities, but a “safe haven” for many of Harlem’s youth, as well as a place to gather and share memories of times long gone,” stated Williams. “The residents of Harlem are honored to have a man that was born and raised in the community, have his name on one of its most treasured buildings."

Reverend Hart was known to the community as a public servant, community role model and mentor. He helped establish Mad Dads, which provides activities to the youth of the community during the summer. Reverend Hart also helped to coach Pop Warner Football, was a SAC committee member at Eastside Elementary School, ran a youth ministry at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church and established a prison ministry for inmates at Glades Correctional Institution.

“Hendry County is such a wonderful place due to the individuals who give back tirelessly to their communities,” stated Charles Chapman, County Administrator. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to recognize Reverend Hart for his passion for the Harlem Community and honor his legacy through this ceremony and renaming.”

Reverend Hart was considered a father figure to many of the youth in the community. His goal was to inspire them to become smart and respectable young men. He encouraged the young adults of the community to work hard to achieve their goals.

The renaming of the Harlem Gymnasium to the Reverend James E. Hart Gymnasium will take place on April 1, 2017 at 11:00am-5:00pm located at 968 Harlem Academy Ave, Clewiston.

Garden Club Meets April 3

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Garden Club Meets April 3rd – 6 p.m.

The regular meeting will be delayed one week, since the LaBelle Garden Club & the Community are invited to tour the Gardens at the Port LaBelle Inn on Monday, April 3rd, at 6 p.m. 

The Fruit & Vegetable Gardens are planted and maintained by the St Matthew’s program. Everyone will be treated to fresh, organic garden treats prepared by the kitchen crew.

The pubic and everyone is welcome to come to the Port LaBelle Inn,Monday, 6 p.m. April 3rd.