Friday, November 17, 2017

Susan Kelsoe Dies At 62

Susan La'Raye Kelsoe, age 62, of Clewiston, passed away November 14, 2017 at Hendry Regional Medical Center.

She was born June 30, 1955 in Clewiston, FL, to the late Byrl Dean and Gloria Maureen (Platt) Ingram Sister of the Late Frank "Bubby" Ingram and a Great Grand Son Samuel Vaughn .

She worked for with her husband in the produce business as the Controller since 1999. Survivors include her husband: Lee A "Leon" Kelsoe, two sons: Lee Kelsoe and Neal Varnum, and one daughter: Jessica (Eric Crain) Kelsoe, Also survived by 8 grandchildren: Brittney Proffit, Meagan, & Corey Kelsoe, Laice, Lauryn, Leeana Varnum, Caylin Dupree and Kendal Smith, also 7 great grandchildren and A Sister Connie Ingram of Clewiston.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 11:00 am at First United Methodist Church, 331 W Osceola Ave. Clewiston with Pastor R. Rod Ruby officiating.

Interment will follow in Ridgelawn Cemetery. Visitation will be Monday, November 20, from 6:00-8:00pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home.

Kiwanis Tree Sale And Kids Shopping Day Coming

 LABELLE, FL. -- The Kiwanis Key Club Students of LaBelle High School and the Kiwanis Builders Club Students of West Glades School will have their annual Christmas tree sale fundraiser starting the day after Thanksgiving! Trees sales will continue until they are all sold.
Your purchase helps to support the leadership development of the students of our local Key Club and Builders Club.
Stop by the LaBelle Kiwanis Thrift Store to choose the perfect tree for your family and don’t wait too long…the trees go fast!  The LaBelle Kiwanis Thrift Store is located at 155 S. Bridge Street in LaBelle. Trees will be priced according to size.

Kids' shopping day will be 8:00 til 10 Saturday December 9 for ages 4 to 12 at the Thrift Store.

Debris Pickup Through November 19

LABELLE, FL.-- Contractors will be completing their final pick-up of woody debris Sunday, November 19.  Residents still needing woody debris picked up need to have all debris placed within 6 feet of the curb in a 35 gallon can, plastic bags or tied in bundles not to exceed 40 pounds. Items tied in bundles are not to exceed 4 feet in length and 4 inches in diameter.

Alternative pick-up options are available for a fee.

Residents who place woody debris out for pick-up after Sunday will need to check with their franchise hauler regarding pick-up requirements.

Contractors will continue pick-up of construction and demolition debris until further notice.

For questions regarding debris pick-up in Hendry County, please call (863) 675-5222.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Key Power Driving School - Fraudulent Testing

LABELLE,FL. -- The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has issued a final order terminating its agreement with Key Power Driving & Traffic School, Inc.naming contract signers Dwayne House and Felix “Walter” Mir as operating a third-party commercial driver license (CDL) testing company with locations in Miami and LaBelle conducting fraudulent testing of commercial truck drivers at the two schools. 

House is a prominent real estate owner and developer in Hendry County 

During an investigation into third-party CDL testing sites in Florida, the department found that Key Power Driving School’s practices posed an immediate, serious danger to public health, safety and welfare.

Individuals tested by Key Power on or after January 1, 2017, will be notified by the department that they must be retested by a compliant third-party CDL testing administrator. If individuals fail to be retested within 60 days of receiving the notification, their CDL will be cancelled.

During the investigation, conducted in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the department learned that Key Power violated its agreement with the state and conducted fraudulent testing activities such as omitting vital portions of the required three-part skills test and manipulating testing data on CDL skills test score sheets. With department representatives on-site, the pass rate for tests dropped significantly, from 60 to just 11 percent, which is a key indicator that Key Power may have given passing scores to individuals who had not taken the test, not completed mandatory portions of the test or had not performed required driving maneuvers.

“The correlation between DHSMV presence at testing sites and extreme pass-rate fluctuation indicates rampant manipulation of information and data,” stated Robert Kynoch, Director of Motorist Services. “The department is committed to ensuring that Florida’s commercial drivers are properly trained and tested and will not tolerate any disregard for public safety.”

“Driving a commercial vehicle is a tremendous responsibility and privilege, and the proper administration of knowledge and skills testing for drivers is critical to maintaining safety on Florida roads,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “The revocation of DHSMV’s agreement with Key Power demonstrates our commitment to ensuring appropriate testing standards are maintained in the pursuit of A Safer Florida.”

DHSMV is responsible for compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations and Florida Statutes and does so by monitoring all third-party administrators and third-party testers who administer the CDL skills test to more than 500,000 CDL drivers in Florida. DHSMV maintains agreements with more than 150 private and governmental third-party CDL testing administrators throughout the state. Anyone with information about fraudulent or unsafe practices conducted by any third-party CDL testing site in Florida should immediately contact the CDL Help Desk at (850) 617-2606.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Obituaries - Eplin, Ethridge, Clark

Ann E Eplin, age 89, of LaBelle, passed away November 15, 2017 in Lehigh Acres. She was born July 11, 1928 in Printer, WV, to the late Kenna Ray and the late Etta (Nelson) Byrnside.

Survivors include two sons: Don Eplin and Jerry Eplin, and three daughters: Brenda Williams, Judy Van Natter and Ruby Eplin, Great-Grandchildren, Many; Great-Great Grandchildren, Many; 15 grandchildren. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Patricia Ethridge 82 of Clewiston died Monday 11-13-17 at Hospice of Palm Beach County, born March 16, 1935 in Long Island New York to Mary Walton and Patrick Wade, married to Walter Ethridge Feb, 14. 

She was a kindergarten teacher and mother of six. She loved spending time with her family and friends. 

She is survived by her sons Ernie B. Gurganious of Grand Junction CO. Walter C. Gurganious of Clewiston Fl. Daughters Janet L. Blair of Clewiston Fl. Tina M. and son in law John Jensen of Lakeland Fl. Angela M. Sutton of Clewiston Fl. Patricia has 21 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren. 

She is proceeded in death by her parents, husband Walter Ethridge, and two sisters and a brother. Daughter; Debra Todd, granddaughter; Debra M. Carithers, grandson; Charlie C. (Gator) Kellar Jr., great grandson; Dustin C. Patterson and three son in laws; Larry A. Todd, Paul D. Sutton, and Ronald Blair.

A grave side service will be held at Ridgelawn Cemetery. Wed. Nov. 22 at 1:30p.m. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Ray Parker Clark, age 76 passed away at his home with his three children and wife by his side on November 8, 2017 in Clewiston, Fl. He was born in Winter Haven, FL, to Jack R and Coley (Bowers) Clark. 

The family moved to Clewiston when he was in the fourth grade. He married Marion Gale Bembry in 1963. He went to work for United States Sugar Corporation after he graduated from High School until 1973 at which time he went to work for Evercane Sugar Refinery. He retired from Evercane Refinery in 2000. Ray was a dedicated fan of the Clewiston Tigers and rarely missed a Clewiston Tiger game. He coached Pop Warner football in Clewiston for 15 years.

In later years after retirement he enjoyed spending time at his beloved campground, "the RiverBend Campground” in Hiawassee, Ga. He will be forever remembered as a quiet man who led by example. He was a loving caring husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and uncle who will be greatly missed by his entire family and all of his friends.

His is survived by his very loving wife of fifty four years, Marion Gale Clark of Clewiston, children: Stephen Clark, Shawn Grooms and Carson Clark, brother: Pat Clark, sister, Sharon Coots and her husband Raymond. Four grandchildren, Erica and Micah Grooms, Caela and Alyssa Clark and six great grandchildren. He also had several nieces and nephews that he loved very much.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Coley Clark and one brother: Michael Clark.

A memorial celebration of Ray’s life was held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2017 in Evangel Assembly of God Church. Cremation arrangements were handled by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – Clewiston.