Friday, May 27, 2016

Tourist Development Council Offers To Fund Marketing Efforts

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Tourism will offer matching marketing support to those desiring to market their program, event or festival outside of Hendry County to garner attendance from tourists. This program is envisioned to help projects get off the ground or expand so that these projects eventually will succeed without the financial assistance of the TDC marketing program.

The objective of Hendry County Tourist Development Council grant program is to provide matching marketing support for innovative and collaborative ideas to drive tourism to Hendry County that generate quantifiable overnight stays and/or large scale economic impact.

The TDC may help match advertising and promotional expenses in media that runs outside of Hendry County in conjunction with an activity or event or promotion to increase the number of overnight visitors to Hendry County. Examples are: printing and distribution of promotional pieces prior to the event or exhibit including creative design, printing, copying, ad placement cost and distribution of direct mail and creating an internet web site promoting the event or activity linked to the TDC’s website to increase participation, attendance and awareness of the event and to generate hotel room nights and spending throughout Hendry County.

Deadline for submission is Friday, July 15, 2016.

Panther Released In New Big Cypress Home

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- A two year-old Florida panther is now back in the wild at its new home in Big Cypress National Preserve. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and National Park Service staff successfully released the panther Wednesday afternoon near Gum Slough in the southwest corner of the Preserve.

The panther was originally captured by the FWC and USFWS on April 12 at the Farm Worker Village neighborhood, near Immokalee in Collier County. Based on observations of the panther’s behavior, including evidence that pets and feral domestic cats in the neighborhood had frequently been preyed upon by the panther, as well as the specific layout of thick vegetation in and around Farm Worker Village, a decision was made to remove and relocate the panther as a safety precaution and as a form of aversive conditioning intended to change the panther’s behavior.

Once captured, FWC staff transported the panther to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo where it received multiple health assessments, primarily to ensure that it did not test positive for feline leukemia. Zoo veterinary professionals gave the panther a clean bill of health and determined it was ready to be returned to the wild in a more remote area.

Biologists believe the panther was dispersing from its mother, attempting to find a suitable home range. With the release of the male into the Preserve the main threats it continues to face are being killed by another territorial male in the vicinity or being killed by vehicle collision as it continues to roam to find a suitable home range.

The FWC and USFWS staff are working with residents of the Farm Worker Village to prevent future conflicts with Florida panthers. Biologists have made numerous site visits and have held multiple meetings at the Village to provide information about steps residents can take to reduce risk and to deter panthers and bears from lingering in the area. The FWC and USFWS are also working with the property manager to address overgrown vegetation in and around the neighborhood.

Jail Transport Van Hits Cow In Early Morning Crash

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- A cow in the middle of US 27 near Moore Haven was killed when hit by a Sheriff's jail transport van Friday morning about 6:03 a.m.

A 2006 Ford Econovan, a marked Hendry County Jail transport van was northbound on US 27 (SR25) in the inside lane south of CR720, south of Moore Haven in Glades county as a small cow was standing in the middle of US 27 northbound lanes.

The cow dashed or darted west across the northbound US 27 lanes towards the grassy median but the front left corner of the van collided with the cow. The van was driven to a controlled stop in the paved median north of the area of collision.

The cow was deceased.

There were no injuries to the van driver, Zorone Octavie Evertette, 39 of Clewiston.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Safe Phone Zones For Florida's Memorial Day Weekend Drivers

June 1 marks the first anniversary of Safe Phone Zones in Florida. In 2015 GEICO sponsored Safe Phone zones in Florida’s 64 Rest Areas, Welcome Centers and Turnpike Service Plazas as “Safe Phone Zones”. 

This provides a place where drivers can safely and conveniently use their phones and other mobile devices for calling, texting, navigating and accessing mobile apps.

This Memorial Day weekend more vehicles are expected on our highways, and the Florida Department of Transportation reminds motorists to avoid distracted driving. 

Obituaries - Stanley Jones, Kathy Veale

Stanley Jackson Jones, age 96, of LaBelle, passed away May 16, 2016 in LaBelle.

He was born Aug. 5, 1919 in Okeechobee to the late Thomas Jackson and the late Virginia (Raulerson) Jones. Stanley was a veteran of the Army and served during WWII. He worked for many years as a commercial fisherman.

Survivors include sons: Howard Jones and wife Sharon, Lloyd Jones and wife Mae and Robert Jones, daughters: Hazel White, Paula Laka and husband Henry and Linda McCormick and husband Brad, numerous grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Gertie Mae Jones in 2014. A memorial service will be held on a later date. Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Kathy J. Veale, age 68, passed away at home May 22, 2016. She was born March 26, 1948 in South Haven, MI, to the late Hubert E. and Edna D. (Brooks) Hall.

Kathy was a resident of Clewiston since 1971, until moving to LaBelle three years ago. She was the librarian at the City of Clewiston Library. Kathy loved to read, garden and spend time with family.

She is survived by her loving husband of 43 years, Allan R. Veale; two daughters, Michele Lewis Wright (Marshall) and Dawn Veale Gonzalez (Ernesto); honorary son, James Vickers; sisters, Glenda O'Bannon, Barbara Revels, Diane Kuntz and Peggy Miller; grandchildren, Tyler, Thomas (Tiffany), Jordan, Nicholas, Jacob, Michael and Nathan and many other family members and loving friends. She was preceded in death by her brother Danny Hall, her brother Wayne Hall and her son, John Daniel James Lewis.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 10:00 am at First Christian Church, LaBelle with Pastor W. T. Maddox Jr. officiating. Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6:00-8:00pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.