Friday, November 28, 2014

Man Dead After Being Struck By Four Vehicles

Two Hit And Run Vehicle Sought After Killing Pedestrian
LABELLE, FL. -- Jose Jesus Hijar Sanchez of Arcadia died of injuries after being struck by multiple vehicles Thanksgiving night while he walked along State Road 29 near C Street in LaBelle. Two vehicles fled the scene.

A 2012 Kia Sportage driven by Leo Curry, 72 of Ft. Lauderdale, FL was traveling north on State Road 29 just past C Street in Hendry County as Sanchez was walking in a westerly direction and attempted to cross over State Road 29 about 6:27 p.m. Thursday . 

He walked into the car's path of travel as the driver braked, but was unable to avoid a collision. The vehicle's left front struck Sanchez who was thrown in a northwesterly direction onto the southbound travel lane of State Road 29. 

He was then struck by an unknown vehicle that was traveling south on State Road 29. Vehicle 2 did not stop and continued traveling south on State Road 29. After the collision the Kia veered to the right and struck a guardrail on the east paved shoulder. 

A 2003 Honda Civic driven by Susan Worthington, 28 of Clewiston, FL was traveling south on State Road 29 when the driver observed Sanchez lying in the southbound travel lane and she steered to the left, but was unable to avoid also striking him. 

Her vehicle's right side tires struck him. 

A fourth vehicle was traveling south on State Road 29 where it also struck Sanchez, and continued traveling south on State Road 29. 

Sanchez was pronounced dead at the crash scene at 6:42 p.m. by paramedics with Hendry County EMS. No further descriptions of vehicle 2 and vehicle 4 are available. If anyone has any information regarding the hit and run vehicles, please contact the FHP Ft. Myers District or *FHP.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Objectors File Against U.S. Sugar Giant City Plan

A state agency released a blistering 24-page rebuke of a proposed massive city in the Everglades while environmentalists renewed calls for the state to purchase sugar land to send water south.
More than 5,000 protest dirty water, not sent south,
but to the Indian River Lagoon in the summer of 2013.  

Among 34 major objections to the project, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO) report called U.S Sugar’s proposal “vague,” with “no assurances of natural resource protection,” and puts “significant urban development” in an area without flood protection.
The proposed 67-square-mile city called “Sugar Hill” includes 18,000 residential units and more than 25 million square feet of commercial development southwest of Lake Okeechobee on land vital to Everglades Restoration.
The FDEO report comes on top of two also highly-critical responses from state environmental agencies. The South Florida Water Management District recommended against the plan saying it threatened Everglades Restoration, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection wrote it “does not adequately protect against adverse impacts to important state resources, including the Florida Everglades.”
The report was surprising because the FDEO is essentially an economic development agency that Governor Scott created to replace the Department of Community Affairs, the growth management agency he dismantled. The report also comes amid news reports that U.S Sugar has been taking Florida politicians, including the Governor Scott, on hunting trips to the King Ranch in Texas.
The Sugar Hill project has been widely condemned by the environmental community. Sierra Club and allies held simultaneous rallies and press conferences opposing the city and urging the state to buy sugar land instead.
Environmentalists want land bought now

The proposed city reinforces the need to buy sugar land now. The U.S Sugar land purchase of 2010 enabled 26,000 acres to be purchased with an option for the remaining 153,000 acres. The next deadline of October 2015, allows a block of 46,800 acres to be purchased at market prices. Much of the land lies within the Sugar Hill proposal. If Sugar Hill were approved, the land would be immediately more valuable as land slated for development rather than agricultural uses, making it more difficult for the public to acquire.

Governor Rick Scott has repeatedly ignored deadlines to buy sugar land. Last year he allowed the state’s exclusive rights to buy US Sugar land to expire. He opposed U.S. Sugar’s purchase as a candidate in 2010.

The enormity and grave consequences of this sprawling city cannot be overstated. It would wall off the Everglades from half of its overland water source – Lake Okeechobee. It would also end efforts to purchase the next parcel of sugar land for restoration – either for direct use or through swaps with other sugar lands farther east.

The final rejection of this city will serve as a wakeup call.  A restored Everglades and healthy estuaries require more sugar land. Governor Scott and his appointees at South Florida Water Management District should lay the groundwork for the purchase now.

U.S. Sugar has until May 1, 2015, to revise and resubmit the Sugar Hill city plan. The deadline to purchase 48,600 acres is Oct. 12, 2015.

- article from Sierra Club Florida

Free Swamp Heritage Festival December 6

The 4th annual Swamp Heritage Festival on Saturday 12/06 from 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center, 33000 Tamiami Trail East in Big Cypress (2 miles east of SR 29) with storytellers, musicians, authors, artists & special guest Clyde Butcher

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Neo-Naz White Sentenced After Gruesome Threats

Threats To Kidnap, Rape And Kill Land William White A Prison Cell 
ORLANDO, FL. -- U.S. District Judge John Antoon, II today sentenced William A. White (38, Roanoke, VA) to 17 years and 6 months in federal prison for sending interstate threats with the intent to extort and using personal information without lawful authority in furtherance of a crime of violence.

According to evidence presented during the trial, in May 2012, White, a self-professed neo-Nazi, sent a number of e-mail threats to kidnap, rape, and kill the recipients’ family members, including children and grandchildren

Threats were sent to Lawson Lamar, who was State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida at the time, Judge Walter Komanski, and a Federal Bureau of Investigation task force agent. 

The threats listed the home addresses of the officials, and specifically named some of Mr. Lamar’s grandchildren as targets. Separate threats were also directed to Mr. Lamar’s son, as well as to United States District Judge James C. Turk, who had presided over White’s previous case in the Western District of Virginia.

His sentence will be served consecutive to a 92-month federal sentence that White is currently serving in a separate case that was prosecuted in the Western District of Virginia. A federal jury in Orlando found White guilty on September 12, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vincent S. Chiu and James D. Mandolfo.

Two-Thirds Of People With HIV No Longer Receiving Health Care

Only 3 in 10 people with HIV have the virus in check
New study finds that two-thirds of Americans with virus not in check have been diagnosed,
but were no longer in care

Just 30 percent of Americans with HIV had the virus under control in 2011, and approximately two-thirds of those whose virus was out of control had been diagnosed but were no longer in care, according to a new Vital Signs report published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The HIV epidemic continues to threaten the health and well-being of many Americans – with more than one million people living with the disease in the U.S. and 50,000 new infections each year.

Today’s study also found that viral suppression increased with age, with young people significantly less likely than older age groups to have their virus under control – only 13 percent of people aged 18-24 were virally suppressed, compared to 23 percent among those aged 25-34, 27 percent among those aged 35-44, 34 percent among those aged 45-54, 36 percent among those aged 55-64, and 37 percent among those aged 65 and older. The researchers attribute the disparity in large part to the fact that fewer than half (49 percent) of 18- to 24-year olds with HIV have been diagnosed, underscoring the need for more HIV testing in this population.

“It’s alarming that fewer than half of HIV-positive young adults know they are infected,” said Eugene McCray, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “Closing that gap could have a huge impact on controlling HIV – knowing your status is the first critical step toward taking care of your own health and avoiding transmission to others.”

The new study underscores the importance of making sure people with HIV receive ongoing care, treatment, and other information and tools that help prevent transmission to others, as well as the need to reach more people with HIV testing. Among those whose infection was not under control, more than three times the proportion (66 percent) were no longer in care as had never been diagnosed (20 percent).

When used consistently, antiretroviral medication can keep HIV controlled at very low levels in the body (known as viral suppression), allowing people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives and reducing the likelihood they will transmit HIV to others. Treatment has been shown to reduce sexual transmission of HIV by 96 percent, and U.S. clinical guidelines now recommend that everyone diagnosed with HIV receive treatment, regardless of their CD4 cell count or viral load.

"For people living with HIV, it’s not just about knowing you’re infected – it’s also about going to the doctor for medical care,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Key to controlling the nation’s HIV epidemic is helping people with HIV get connected to – and stay in – care and treatment, to suppress the virus, live longer and help protect others.”

The new study estimates that of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV in 2011, 70 percent did not have their virus under control. Among the nearly 840,000 people who had not achieved viral suppression:
66 percent had been diagnosed but were not engaged in regular HIV care,
20 percent did not yet know they were infected,
4 percent were engaged in care but not prescribed antiretroviral treatment, and
10 percent were prescribed antiretroviral treatment but did not achieve viral suppression.

The percentage of Americans with HIV who achieved viral suppression remained roughly stable (26 percent in 2009 vs. 30 percent in 2011).

“There is untapped potential to drive down the epidemic through improved testing and treatment, but we’re missing too many opportunities,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention. "Treatment is crucial. It is one of our most important strategies for stopping new HIV infections."

Current initiatives to promote HIV testing and treatment include innovative partnerships to make HIV testing simple, accessible and routine; programs to help health departments identify and reach out to infected individuals who have fallen out of care; and public awareness campaigns to urge testing and encourage people with HIV to seek ongoing care.