Monday, December 11, 2017

Post Disaster Recovery In Hendry-Glades

The Glades/Hendry County Disaster Recovery Group

By Austin Moorhouse

FEMA, with the assistance of Glades County Emergency Operations Center and the Hendry County Emergency Operations Center are joining forces to establish a community-based long-term recovery program for our two counties.  Long-term recovery is the period following a disaster (in this case Hurricane Irma) when the affected community and its residents return to a new normal state of living.  A Long-term Recovery Group is usually established by the community, often with outside assistance, in order to help its most vulnerable residents through the recovery process.   This group continues to coordinate services after FEMA is no longer able to provide continued disaster relief services.
Many other counties in the State of Florida are either in the process of establishing these community-based voluntary organizations for disaster recovery or they already have a community-based long-term recovery programs.  The Glades /Hendry County Disaster Recovery Group needs volunteers from our communities to help case managers coordinate the necessary services for those families with unmet needs. 
The mission of the Glades/Hendry Long-term Recovery Group is to support households and businesses impacted by disaster to recover and rebuild.  The aim of this group is to strengthen and streamline disaster coordination by sharing information, facilitating dispersal of funds, resources and other services in coordination with federal, state and local authorities and agencies.
The recovery group is made up of ordinary citizens who are willing to spend a little of their time and/or talent as well as representatives from faith-based, civic, nonprofit, government, business and other organizations (such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and United Way) to assist individuals and families as they recover from a disaster.  The sole purpose is to match disaster-caused needs with community resources to help families recover.

An organizational meeting will be Wednesday, December 13th at 1 pm at the Hendry Emergency Operations Center.
For further information and meeting times interested parties may contact Marisa Shivers at the Glades County Emergency Operation Center at 863-946-6020.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

6 Ways To Avoid Holiday Overindulging

Dr. Mao On Healthy Holiday Lifestyle Celebrating
As soon as December starts, the holiday party season begins - your office fete, a friend’s white elephant gift exchange, and let’s not forget family gathering together with tablescapes fit for a feast.
Then, just when you think you couldn’t possibly pop one more snowflake cookie in your mouth New Year’s Eve comes along and insists you spend another night celebrating the welcoming of 2018.
By January 1st, you feel that the holidays are both a blessing and a curse. It is so easy to get sucked into the lure of overindulging during the festivities.
So, if this year you want to save yourself from jolly excess and food comas, look no further. Dr. Mao is going to share what he does when he’s faced with an abundance of treats. He’s got six festive tips to get you through the holiday hump so you can make the most of a happy and healthy season of celebration.

-courtesy Dr. Mao Shing Ni and Infinichi

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Teacher Maria Rivera-Magana Arrested

Teacher Charged With Selling Drugs To Students

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer, Chad Pelham, placed 35 year old Maria Otilla Rivera-Magana  under arrest on several drug and neglect charges upon leaving Clewiston Middle School.

School Resource Officer Pelham had been contacted by emergency room medical personnel on Friday, December 1, 2017, in the evening hours.  They reported to him that two middle school students had complained of being ill and reportedly admitted to smoking marijuana they had purchased from a permanent substitute school teacher at Clewiston Middle School.

Deputy Pelham began to investigate the claims made by the students.  Contact was then made with School Administration and the Hendry County Narcotics Division where it was arranged to make a purchase from the teacher.

On Friday, December 08, 2017, Deputies arrested Rivera-Magana on several charges:  Two counts of Possession of Synthetic Drug, with Intent to Sell within 1000' of a School, Two counts Possession of Marijuana within 1000' of School, Two counts Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell within 1000' of a School, Two Counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Two Counts of Interference with  and Two counts of Neglect of a Child.  Additional criminal charges are pending.

“I commend Deputy Pelham and members of the Narcotics Division.  We cannot and will not allow this behavior to continue on our school campuses”, said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden.  “The School district and administrators were very cooperative and without their support in this case, it could have been more difficult to make this arrest occur”.  Whidden went on to say, “one of the advantages we have here is the overwhelming cooperation and working relationship between the Hendry County School District and the Sheriff’s Office, for which we are grateful”.

Rivera-Magana was transported to the Hendry County. Jail Rivera-Magans went to first appearances this morning and the judge set a $100,500 bond. She is currently being held by jail personnel in Hendry County..

Friday, December 08, 2017

Bridge Closing For Repair December 12

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Road & Bridge Department will be performing routine maintenance on the Fort Denaud Bridge and will temporarily close Fort Denaud Bridge Way to vehicular traffic on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 from 9 a.m. until noon.

Motorists are asked to PLEASE TRAVEL WITH CAUTION.

The closure is necessary in order to keep the bridge in proper working condition by performing routine maintenance.

Please seek an alternate route if possible and allow extra time to reach your destination. If travel thru the work zone is necessary, please do so carefully.

Residents with questions or concerns can contact the Hendry County Engineering Department at 863-675-5222.

The Lower Keys - Walking Across Florida

Excerpts From A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

Between Upper and Lower Matecumbe Keys was a causeway. It was the original Florida East Coast Railway fill, and there were three short bridges to allow the tides to flow through at the channels. Not too far out on that causeway was another, smaller causeway that went south about a quarter of a mile to Tea Table Key. Tea Table was just one of many, many keys...

These innumerable Keys were mostly formed by a coral outcrop stopping a mangrove seed. This cigar shaped seed drops off its parent and then floats vertical. Usually its roots are partially grown, are on the bottom, and will float until it is stopped and caught by something sticking out of the water. 

Over time sand and sediment will collect and this begins the process of Key building. The red mangrove is the species most prevalent in the Florida Keys. Its roots slow down tidal water and build its own environment. As they grow, their roots and branches provide a protective area for all kinds of water birds. The roots also provide a habitat for many kinds of marine fish and animals. Their leaves are able to process salt water into fresh by an osmotic process. Mangrove plants have many uses such as tea, medicine, wood for boats because it is water resistant, furniture, houses, charcoal, and dyes...

I crossed the three bridges over Tea Table, Indian Key and Lignumvitae channels. I then came to a new establishment at the north end of Lower Matecumbe Key. The sign said:
New Establishment, Toll Gate Inn

A man was standing out front, and as I walked up, he said, “Hey it’s getting late, if you want, you can camp here tonight. Just set up camp out back of the inn and use the showers back there and the dock and swimming area.”

Came to find out he was the new owner. I thanked him, and we talked for a few minutes. He was a very interesting person and said that he was a  swimming instructor as well as an innkeeper.
I went around back, set up my camp, took a refreshing swim and then a shower. What a great favor for a tired hiker!

In the morning, as I was picking and packing up, here came the innkeeper and his helper with some coffee for me.  Now I didn’t drink coffee but I sipped it and listened to him as he warned me,
“Don’t hike the bridges, it will be best to ride over them.”

I told him that I would take that into consideration and be very careful. That seemed to satisfy him.
 I hiked the three and one half  miles through Lower Matecumbe Key. I was back on a causeway for about a mile and a half, then a short bridge over Channel No. 2.

After crossing Channel No. 2, I sat down to rest. I watched a couple of birds drying their wings as they too sat on pilings that were at the start of my first long bridge. It was a mile across Channel No. 5. from where I sat on Craig Key. I also could see that it was a very, very long distance.

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