Friday, December 31, 2004

Hardware Store Owner Murdered In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- Daniel Woosley is the victim of an apparent murder Thursday
night on SR 29 in LaBelle. The Hendry Sheriff's office is not releasing any
information saying that is because Ronnie Lee will be sworn in as new
Sheriff at midnight tonight, replacing Steve Worley. Worley is stepping down
early after losing the November election.
In a possibly related case, James Henderson apparently escaped from the
Hendry jail a few miles north of the murder scene a few hours before the
murder. Officials say the escape was discovered when a head check was made
about 6 p.m. Thursday. The murder victim was discovered a little after 8
p.m. Thursday night at 1650 SR 29 South, a 5 acre parcel of land owned by
victim Daniel Woosley. Woosley is the owner of the Jennings Hardware Store
on North Bridge Street in LaBelle.
In another unrelated case, at 5 p.m. Friday deputies in LaBelle chased a
1997 Dodge Dakota from 1690 Pine Street eastward down Cowboy Way about two
miles and arrested without incident an Immokallee man who allegedly pointed
a rifle at a victim in LaBelle a few minutes earlier.

Hendry Sheriff's Office Unresponsive

LABELLE, FL. -- On Hendry Sheriff Steve Worley's last day in office, a
murder has apparently occured a few miles from the Sheriff's office and a
jail inmate has allegedly escaped. Sheriff Worley has agreed to step down
early and let former Sheriff Ronnie Lee take the reins as Hendry's law
enforcement chief tomorrow, January 1st.


Requests for information have gone unanswered from the Sheriff's office
regarding last night's (Thursday) murder on State Road 29, although the
department's public information officer Sgt. Susan Harrelle was notified of
the incident last night as the crime scene was investigated. NBC-2 news
from Ft. Myers also have not received any information as of 4 p.m. Friday.



Into The Future

COMMENTARY AND MUSINGS ON THE COMING YEAR by Don Browne


After a year of disasters including U.S. hurricanes and Indonesian tidal
waves and earthquakes, the future will be mostly brighter. More and more
countries will become more sensivtive to the needs of the poorest of the
poor around the world. While the U.S. economy has been "iffy" for many
people during the last several years, those who have had held onto heavy
security investments will be counted among those who will be labeled
"survivors" and profit greatly after years of market indecision. On the
other hand, those families with low incomes will find the going a bit
tougher as unemployment rises among that group and their debt in credit
cards rises, and the coming increase in interest rates will certainly put
them farther behind. If you have debt, pay it off as soon as possible,
starting with the highest interest rates you have. The average person's
goal this year should be to become debt free with the possible exception of
mortgage debt.


Murder Suspect Sought in LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry county deputies were looking for a murder suspect
driving a two-toned Ford 150 pickup truck Thursday night after an as yet
unidentified and apparently murdered individual was discovered. Hendry
Sheriff Investigator Steve Maldonado was called to 1650 SR29 South, and
north of Helms Rd. around 8 p.m. after a body was found. Numerous other
deputies were called in to secure the crime scene. A call to the Sheriff's
office was originally thought to be a report for a deceased person found,
but soon turned out to actually be a murder victim. The driver of the
truck is considered to be armed and dangerous. There was at least one
witness seeing the truck being sought. Anyone with information should call
the Hendry Sheriff's Office.


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Hold-Up Suspect Sought

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff Deputies are looking for a suspect
driving a white Ford Mustang that may have held up the Division of Motor
Vehicles office on Cowboy Way in LaBelle about 4:05 p.m. Wednesday. A
"hold-up" alarm went to the Sheriff's office and deputies were immediately
dispatched to the DMV office. The vehicle being sought, a 2-door Mustang,
may belong to a Lehigh Acres resident, William Joseph Edwards, showing an
address at 705 Henry. The suspect allegedly has a suspended license. A
"BOLO" - - be on the lookou t-- has been issued to the Lee County Sheriffs
Department.

In The Service

Air Force Airman Gabriel H. Oatsvall has graduated from basic military
training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. During the six
weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization,
and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches,
and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training
exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who
complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the
Community College of the Air Force. He is the son of Bryan and Judy
Oatsvall of Labelle, Fla. Oatsvall is a 2004 graduate of Labelle High
School.


Wildlife Enforcement Report

GLADES COUNTY



On Saturday, December 18. dispatch received a call that two Kentucky men
were sinking in a small vessel on Lake Okeechobee. Lieutenant Travis
Franklin contacted the men by cell phone and was able to get a general
location. Officers Kevin Losee and David Burnsed responded to the Harney
Pond Canal Boat Ramp, launched a vessel and began a search. The initial
location was incorrect, but using spotlights, cell phones, radios, and blue
lights the men were located. Other than being cold they were in good
condition. They were found approximately one hour from the time of the
initial report.





HENDRY COUNTY



On Sunday, December 19, Investigator Larry Ayers was contacted by the
Hendry County Sheriffs Office regarding trespassers on a hunting lease.
The landowner had encountered three men and two women in his camp and they
had taken his buggy and had hunted all over the lease. Ayers encountered
the two women first, who had the guns and hog meat and an alligator tail.
The three men were then arrested at the camp when they returned on the
buggy. All five were arrested for trespass, four for possession of
alligator, one for killing the alligator. One of the men and one of the
women were also charged with possession of marijuana under 20 grams. Under
investigation are the charges of breaking or injuring a fence and the theft
of the buggy.


OKEECHOBEE COUNTY



On the early morning of Friday, December 24, Investigator Chris Harris was
working in Viking Prairie State Park in North Okeechobee County. Harris
was following a truck as it traveled along the state park fence line when
he heard a single rifle shot from the truck. When Harris stopped the truck
the single occupant had a freshly killed 4-point deer in the back. At the
time of the stop Investigator Harris had no probable cause to believe there
was a violation. He then let the individual continue on along the fence
line. When Harris got to the spot where he heard the shot, he found fresh
blood and drag sign coming out of the park and where the fence had been
cut. Harris had Officers Jason Godwin, Justin Allen and Rich Dearborn stop
the truck as it was leaving Viking. The truck now had two deer in it, the
4-point and a freshly killed 8-point. In the meantime, the manager of the
ranch, which borders Viking Prairie, called Harris regarding a similar
situation where his fence borders Viking. After gathering evidence for DNA
from both sites and confronted with the evidence, the defendant admitted to
poaching both deer. The defendant was arrested and charged with unlawful
entry into a state park, damage to a state park, trespass by projectile and
injuring or damaging a fence containing livestock.


Watch Out For Aid Scams

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner
Charles H. Bronson is warning the public to beware of potential scam
artists posing as relief agencies for the victims of the tsunami in Asia.


"It's clear that there will be a great need for assistance for the tens of
thousands of victims of this terrible disaster," Bronson said. "But people
who want to help need to ensure their donations are going to actual victims
and not to con artists."


In Florida, most charitable organizations are required by state law to be
registered with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and
provide financial information. That information is compiled on the
Department's web site www.800helpfla.com and in the annual "Gift Givers'
Guide," a popular consumer publication which shows how much money an
organization has raised the previous year, how much was spent on program
services, administrative costs and fund-raising activities. Consumers can
also contact the Department's consumer hotline at 1-800-HELPFLA
(1-800-435-7352) to determine whether a charity is properly registered and
find out the complaint history of a charity.


The Department has received reports in past disasters -- such as wildfires
and following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 -- of
organizations seeking help for victims and pocketing the money. It is
difficult to investigate these cases because scam artists have usually left
an area before anyone realizes they have been conned. Bronson says it is
incumbent on consumers to take precautions to avoid being victimized.
Consumers may be approached over the phone, on the Internet, or through
direct mail.



Consumers who have additional questions or want to report a potential scam
should call the Department's hotline at 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352).


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Tax Relief For Floridians

Governor Jeb Bush today applauded the implementation of a new
federal tax law that allows Floridians to deduct state sales tax on federal
income tax returns. Benefiting residents of Florida and six other states
without state personal income tax, the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act,
endorsed by Governor Bush, authorizes the sales tax relief as an added
option for taxpayers itemizing deductions.


"This new law extends to Floridians the same tax benefits long enjoyed by
residents of states that tax personal income," said Governor Bush. "Allowing
residents to deduct state sales taxes on federal returns will put more money
back into the pockets of hard-working families."


Americans in most states have long been able to deduct state income taxes
from their federally-taxable income when calculating how much of their
earnings are subject to federal income tax. Since Florida and six other
states -- Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming --
have no state personal income taxes, residents were unable to claim a
similar deduction.


Beginning with the 2004 federal income tax, Florida residents can claim the
new sales tax deduction by:
* Retaining receipts from purchases of items subject to
Florida sales tax and claim the total amount of sales tax paid as a
deduction.
* Determining a standard deduction using the Internal Revenue
Service's new Optional State Sales Tax Tables as an alternative to saving
receipts throughout the year. As a supplementary benefit, Floridians may
also add any sales tax paid on a motor vehicle, aircraft, boat, home or home
building materials to the standard deduction.


Floridians wishing to take advantage of the new deduction should consult the
IRS or their tax-preparation professional. For more information on the
available deduction and to view the Optional State Sales Tax Tables issued
just last week, visit the IRS web site at www.irs.gov .


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Glades Wildlife Enforcement Activity

LAKEPORT, FL. -- On Thursday, December 9, Officers David Burnsed and Kevin
Losee were on water patrol in Lake Okeechobee when they returned to the
Harney Pond boat ramp. They noticed a white van pulling a trailered boat,
leaving the ramp. They saw that Officer Burnsed's tires on his vehicle
were decompressing as well as the tires on his boat trailer. Officer Losee
stopped the passengers in the white van at the nearby gas station. One of
the passengers was found to be in possession of a knife that appeared to
have axle grease on the blade. The subject was subsequently arrested for
criminal mischief.


Glades County - COPS - On Thursday, December 9, Officers Greg Louque and
David Burnsed led the Christmas parade on the Caloosahatchee River in
Moore Haven.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Former Clewiston Doctor Arrested

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Clewiston
Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Broward
County State Attorney's Office announce the arrest of a former Clewiston
doctor accused of kidnapping and sexual battery. FDLE Special Agent Scott
Gibson and investigators with the Louisiana State Penitentiary arrested Dr.
Daniel Phillip McIntire Jr., 48, currently residing in Ruston, La., Tuesday
at approximately 2:50 p.m. at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola
when he showed up for a job interview for the position of prison physician.
McIntire is charged with one count of kidnapping and 11 counts of sexual
battery victim helpless/incapacitated.


FDLE began investigating the allegations against McIntire at the request of
the Clewiston Police Department in August 2003. McIntire was practicing
medicine in Clewiston when police received information that the doctor
allegedly drugged and sexually battered at least two female victims.
Shortly after the investigation began McIntire left his practice in
Clewiston and moved to the Palatka, Fla. area where he practiced medicine in
Hawthorne. McIntire fled Florida after a search warrant was served at his
residence in Palatka. Police have recovered video evidence documenting the
alleged attacks.


The FBI was contacted when it was learned by investigators that McIntire
left the state. The FBI obtained a warrant for Unlawful Flight to Avoid
Prosecution (UFAP) and joined in the search for McIntire. McIntire's medical
license is as an osteopathic physician and shows a mailing address in
Ruston, LA. He was first licensed in Florida in 1996 and has previous
disciplinary complaints registered against him with the state of Florida.
The Sunday Morning News had previously published McIntire's history of state
disciplinary action in past stories.

McIntire is being held in the West Feliciana Parish jail in Saint Francis,
La. awaiting extradition back to Florida.

The investigation is on going and special agents are asking anyone who might
have information regarding this case to contact FDLE Special Agent Scott
Gibson at 1-800-226-2028.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Central Elementary Winners!

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Central Elementary School in Clewiston recently held its
9th Annual Turkey Trot. Pictured above are the first place winners in each
grade (Pre-K to 5). Front row, left to right: Keithavius Pass, Esperanza
DeSantiago, Tamarian Mixon, Jesse Paniagua, Zaylyn Negrete, Alvin Freeman,
and Elizabeth Minero. Back row, left to right: Kiana Hardy, Byron Thomas,
Maury Skinner, Alex Mireles, Diana Hernandez and Zoya Negrete. Not
pictured: James Bess, Andrew Patrick, and Stephanie Velazquez. (Photo
courtesy of Don Munch)



The Clewiston Central Elementary School winners in a recent athletic competition. The physical education teacher at CES is Don Munch.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


LABELLE, FL. -- An 8 a.m. accident at Collingswood and Cowboy Way in Port LaBelle left one dead and at least one serious injury. Details are pending an FHP accident report and notification of kin. The area was closed to traffic for several hours while investigators worked the accident scene.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Consumer Holiday Charging Hits Record

LABELLE, FL. -- Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, Americans will
charge nearly
$108 billion in retail purchases on general-purpose credit/charge cards,
signature debit cards, and store credit cards, about 6.2% more than 2003.
According to CardWeb.com's(R) CardTrak(R) service, consumers will rack up
$2.6 million per minute on payment cards during the 29 shopping days. On
average, households with at least one credit or debit card, will charge
$1,285 between the holidays. This does not include groceries, gasoline,
restaurant, and travel expenses.

The busiest full week is expected to be December 13-19 when
Americans should charge more than $27 billion of retail sales on payment
cards, or roughly one-fourth of the total sales anticipated during the
holiday season.


Holiday spending may add about $6 billion to overall revolving credit
in January. Last year Americans added $5.4 billion to revolving credit in
January and $4.5 billion in January 2002. Approximately 60% of the $86.4
billion expected to be charged to major credit cards and store credit cards
during the holiday season will likely be paid-off in full, and without
interest charges, during the January billing cycle. Therefore, about $35
billion in retail charges on general-purpose credit cards and store credit
cards may accrue some interest next year.


Friday, November 26, 2004

Debris Pickups Ending

LABELLE, FL. -- Friday, December 3, 2004, will be the last day for
Hurricane debris pickup in Hendry County. Hendry County storm related
debris pick up will end Friday, December 3rd. No debris will be picked up
after this date. It will be the responsibility of the property owner to
complete any debris removal after this date. For further information
contact the Emergency Management office at 863-612-4700 or 863-983-1594.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Moore Haven 1st Mayor Nominated For Hall of Fame

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Governor Jeb Bush will announce by December 10, 2004
the 2004 inductees into the Florida


Women's Hall of Fame from the list of ten finalists selected by the


Florida Commission on the Status of Women. The Governor will select up


to three women for induction into the Hall of Fame, which recognizes


and honors women who, through their works and lives, have made


significant contributions to the improvement of life for women and for


all citizens of the state of Florida. The Commission has determined


that the following nominees exemplify the great diversity of women's


contributions to Florida life.


One local nominee is Marian Horwitz of Moore Haven who was elected mayor in
1917, in an era


when women were prohibited from the right vote or hold office. The


progressive town of Moore Haven specifically extended election


privileges to women in their charter, leading the way to Marian's


nomination. After becoming its first mayor, she worked tirelessly


through the state's Chamber of Commerce to obtain better roads and more


direct water routs for the developing city. The efficiency with which


she conducted herself led to national recognition by the Literary


Digest, which honored her as the Duchess of Moore Haven.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Okeechobee Scenic Trail Opens

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Outdoor enthusiasts today have 62 more miles of natural
Florida to explore around the liquid heart of Florida. Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Colleen M. Castille joined federal,
state and local officials to cut the ribbon on more than 60 paved miles
along the 110-mile Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail.



"This unique trail increases access to the great outdoors and one of Florida
's treasured liquid gems," said DEP Secretary Colleen M. Castille. "While
traversing picturesque landscapes, the trail takes bikers, hikers and
horseback riders through rural Florida, bringing economic benefits to the
surrounding communities along the trail."



The 110-mile Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail circles the second largest
freshwater lake in the contiguous United States. The trail is located atop
the Herbert Hoover Dike, which surrounds the lake providing flood protection
and scenic lakeside views.



The new paved trail runs 26 miles between the Port Mayaca and Okeetantee
Park at the Kissimmee River, and another 36 miles from Alvin Ward Park to
City Park in Pahokee. Signs along the trail direct outdoor enthusiasts to
environmentally and culturally significant points of interest.





Under construction since 2002, the $13 million trail takes users through
communities at the heart of Florida's agriculture industry including
Clewiston and Belle Glade. The hiking, biking and equine trail affords
opportunities for viewing wildlife such as herons, egrets and a variety of
wintering waterfowl. The area surrounding the lake also has a rich history
of inhabitants dating back to the Creek and Seminole Indians in the 18th and
19th centuries.



The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail is a partnership between DEP, the Florida
Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Trails
Association and local partners. In 1993, portions of the trail were
designated as part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, one of only eight
national scenic trails in the U.S.




More than four thousand miles of trails cross Florida's diverse landscape
through rural and urban areas. Over the last five years, the State added
nearly 450 miles of trails to its system of greenways and trails. Each year,
the state invests $4.5 million through Florida Forever to purchase land for
future trail areas and build and maintain Florida's greenways and trails.




The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail is a partnership between DEP, the Florida
Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Trails
Association and local partners. In 1993, portions of the trail were
designated as part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, one of only eight
national scenic trails in the U.S.




More than four thousand miles of trails cross Florida's diverse landscape
through rural and urban areas. Over the last five years, the State added
nearly 450 miles of trails to its system of greenways and trails. Each year,
the state invests $4.5 million through Florida Forever to purchase land for
future trail areas and build and maintain Florida's greenways and trails.



The 110-mile Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail circles the second largest
freshwater lake in the contiguous United States. The trail is located atop
the Herbert Hoover Dike, which surrounds the lake providing flood protection
and scenic lakeside views.



The new paved trail runs 26 miles between the Port Mayaca and Okeetantee
Park at the Kissimmee River, and another 36 miles from Alvin Ward Park to
City Park in Pahokee. Signs along the trail direct outdoor enthusiasts to
environmentally and culturally significant points of interest.



Under construction since 2002, the $13 million trail takes users through
communities at the heart of Florida's agriculture industry including
Clewiston and Belle Glade. The hiking, biking and equine trail affords
opportunities for viewing wildlife such as herons, egrets and a variety of
wintering waterfowl. The area surrounding the lake also has a rich history
of inhabitants dating back to the Creek and Seminole Indians in the 18th and
19th centuries.




The Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail is a partnership between DEP, the Florida
Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Trails
Association and local partners. In 1993, portions of the trail were
designated as part of the Florida National Scenic Trail, one of only eight
national scenic trails in the U.S.



More than four thousand miles of trails cross Florida's diverse landscape
through rural and urban areas. Over the last five years, the State added
nearly 450 miles of trails to its system of greenways and trails. Each year,
the state invests $4.5 million through Florida Forever to purchase land for
future trail areas and build and maintain Florida's greenways and trails.


Sunday, November 21, 2004


Glades County, Fl. -- Over Fisheating Creek. A canoist's paradise. Custom Photography by: Don Browne

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Holiday Food Safety Tips

LABELLE, FL -- With Thanksgiving just days away, Florida Agriculture
Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today reminded state residents to follow a
few food safety tips to avoid turning a holiday celebration into a case of
food-borne illness.


"Everybody enjoys holiday meals, and with a little care, nothing will mar
the pleasure of the celebration," Bronson said. "But food safety measures
are particularly important, especially with the variety of foods being
served and the number of helpers in the kitchen."


An estimated 76 million people contract food-borne illness in the United
States each year, and about 5,000 such cases are fatal. Young children,
pregnant women, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are
the most vulnerable for contracting such illness.


Before you cook, make sure to:


-- Clean and sanitize cooking equipment.


-- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before beginning to
prepare the food.


-- Keep raw foods away from cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination, and
make sure that raw meat juices never come in contact with salads and
vegetables.


-- Defrost the turkey in the refrigerator, or if time is short, it can be
defrosted under cold running water in a matter of hours. But never defrost
the bird at room temperature as bacteria can rapidly grow on raw meat at
room temperature.


State and federal food safety officials stress that the turkey should be
cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, and a food
thermometer should be used to verify the temperature. While many people
cook stuffing inside the bird, officials suggest that it be cooked in a
separate pan because there is no guarantee that the stuffing will reach 165
degrees at the same time as the turkey.


Leftovers should be refrigerated promptly and should sit out no more than
two hours after coming out of the oven.


In The Service

Army National Guard Pvt. Pedro Ramirez has graduated from basic combat
training at Fort Knox, Ky.
During the nine-week training, the trainee received instruction in
drill and ceremony, weapons, rifle marksmanship and bayonet training,
chemical warfare, field training and tactical exercises, armed and unarmed
combat, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid,
and Army history, traditions, and core values.
Ramirez is the son of Maria and Pedro M. Ramirez of Avalon Ave.,
Labelle, Fla.
He is a 2004 graduate of Labelle High School.


Immokakee Fire Ants Attacked

IMMOKALEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today
announced that a biological control program to control imported fire ants
is being initiated in Immokalee and Sarasota.


"Imported fire ants can deliver painful bites, and we're pleased to be part
of the team that is addressing their growing population in Florida,"
Bronson said. "The insect that is being reared in our Biological Control
Rearing Facilities is a small fly that packs a powerful punch to these
ants."


The program currently under way in Immokalee is a cooperative effort. It
is being administered by Professor Phil Stansly of the University of
Florida's Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture funds the Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services' Division of Plant Industry in Gainesville to produce and
distribute the flies. The Division of Plant Industry's Bureau of Methods
Development and Biological Control serves a valuable function in applying
biocontrol technology by working out mass-rearing and release techniques.
The division has environmental specialists stationed throughout the state
to monitor the effectiveness of biocontrol programs.


Phorid fly releases began in north central Florida in 1997. By fall 2002,
the phorid fly population had expanded coast to coast in northern Florida
and southern Georgia. While it is likely that the population of imported
fire ants has decreased in these areas, it will take three to four more
years to accurately measure the impact. As flies become available through
the rearing process, Bronson said he hopes to continue the release program
throughout Florida, including another release tentatively scheduled for
later this month in Sarasota.


The program, based on research by Sanford Porter, an entomologist with the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, introduces South American phorid flies, a
natural enemy of the imported fire ant, to the United States. The flies
inject their eggs into the fire ants. When an egg hatches, the maggot finds
its way into the ant's head, where it grows for two to three weeks before
secreting a chemical which causes the ant's head to fall
off. The maggot eats everything in the head capsule, then uses it as a
pupae case. The phorid flies eventually emerge from the decapitated ant
heads to seek out their host species, the imported fire ant. The phorid
fly presents no threat to people, animals or plants.


The Immokalee program will last for approximately 10 days with the flies
being released daily over excavated ant mounds. In that time, a sufficient
number of ants should be parasitized (meaning the flies' eggs have been
deposited in the ants), so that establishment of the fly population is more
likely.


Imported fire ants, which differ from a less common native species of fire
ant, were accidentally introduced into the United States from South America
70 years ago and have had a major impact. The ants are capable of multiple
stings which inject venom that raise white pustules on skin. The ants also
cause crop and equipment damage, livestock losses and soil erosion
problems, and are particularly dangerous on playgrounds, lawns, golf
courses and pastures.


Efforts to eradicate these ants have been ongoing for more than 50 years.
However, their range continues to expand and they have spread to most
southern states. There are poisons available that kill them on contact or
by ingestion, but these poisons also kill many non-target ants and other
beneficial insects. Unlike poison, using the phorid fly is safe for
people, animals and crops.


Sunday, November 14, 2004


Aerial Photo - The Laurel Oaks community in Port LaBelle, Fl. Custom photography available from Don Browne

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Rural Counties Get Grants

LABELLE, FL. -- Governor Jeb Bush today awarded Florida's Heartland
Rural Economic Development Initiative, Inc. (FHREDI) a $100,000 Regional
Rural Development Grant to promote economic improvement initiatives.
Governor Bush designated this rural south central region of Florida as one
of three "Rural Areas of Critical Economic Concern" in 2001.


"Through their strategic focus and hard work, FHREDI has proven to
be an outstanding partner with the state, helping to promote and increase
viable economic programs and initiatives in Florida's heartland region,"
said Governor Bush. "I am pleased to provide this rural development grant
to the organization to further their efforts to enhance that base."


FHREDI is a regional economic development organization serving
several rural communities in south central Florida to include DeSoto,
Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands and Okeechobee counties, as well as the
Glades Communities of Pahokee, Belle Glade, South Bay and Immokalee. The
organization works within the region to promote job creation, business
retention, relocation, expansion and overall economic initiatives. In the
aftermath of the recent hurricanes, FHREDI partnered with the Governor's
Office and Enterprise Florida, Inc., to administer the small business
emergency "Bridge Loan" program, facilitating $1,750,000 in short term loans
(up to $25,000 each) to small business owners in the region that incurred
physical damage as a result of the storms.


"FHREDI is making real progress for our region and this grant will
help us raise it to the next level," said K.S. (Butch) Jones, Glades City
Commissioner and Chairman of FHREDI. "I send my heartfelt appreciation to
Governor Bush and his staff for seeing our potential and partnering with us
to realize it, in part through providing this grant today."


The Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development oversees
the state's rural economic development initiatives. Since taking office in
1999, Governor Bush has worked diligently to put rural Florida on a more
competitive footing with the rest of the state. Among the many rural-based
initiatives, Governor Bush created the "Rural Areas of Critical Economic
Concern" which provides rural areas with greater access to the state's
economic and tourism development incentive programs.


Sebring Motel Charged

SEBRING, FL - Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner
Charles H. Bronson today took legal action against a Highlands County motel
owner for engaging in price gouging by charging at least three Florida
residents who sought shelter as Hurricane Charley blew ashore August 13
more than double the price he was charging just days earlier.


A lawsuit filed in Highlands County Circuit Court charges Marvin Patel and
Vibhuti Patel, the owners of a Budget Inn Motel in Sebring, with price
gouging and employing unfair and deceptive trade practices in the operation
of their motel.


Authorities claim that the Patels charged numerous Florida residents
between $85 and $95 a night for a room in their facility as evacuees
scrambled to find shelter - up from $35 to $45 a night they were charging
before an emergency was declared by Gov. Jeb Bush on August 10.


"We find this kind of activity unconscionable, preying on our citizens in a
time of need," Bronson said. "Price gouging is not only reprehensible, it's
illegal."

The case was triggered by three consumer complaints to Bronson's office's
toll free hotline - 1 800 HELP FLA (435-7352) - and each of the three
victims is cited in the lawsuit. But when investigators began working the
case, they found that many other Floridians were also charged the inflated
price, Bronson said.


The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting the defendants from inflating
their normal prices during a state of emergency, restitution to all
evacuees who were overcharged during their stay at the motel, fines of up
to $10,000 for each violation of the unfair and deceptive trade practices
statute and civil penalties of $1,000 each for every instance in which
price gouging occurred.


Today's action comes on the heels of two arrests made recently by Bronson's
Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement in connection with price gouging
investigations. In two separate incidents, defendants were charged with
organized scheme to defraud for charging homeowners who were impacted by
the storm exorbitant prices to repair or clean up storm-damaged houses.


Saturday, November 06, 2004

Bryanat Sugar Plant Closes

CLEWISTON, FL -- U.S. Sugar Corporation today
announced plans to modernize and automate its sugar processing facilities in
Clewiston and close its Bryant Mill. With state-of-the-art and highly
automated equipment, the resulting 38,000 tons-per day facility scheduled to
come on line in phases over the next three years will be among the largest
in the world.


"Unfortunately, one of the consequences of increased trade, automation and
new technology will be the loss of 300-350 jobs in our sugar processing
operations," Bob Buker, Executive V.P. said.


Scheduled to be in full operation in October, 2007, U.S. Sugar's modernized
sugar processing facility will be completely integrated with its refining
operations at the Clewiston site. The Bryant Mill facility, built in 1962,
is scheduled to close in early 2007. Severance packages for all those whose
jobs are eliminated with this consolidation will be a subject of discussion
in the upcoming union negotiations.


Clewiston Student In Law Competition

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Clewiston native Julia Metts led a team of Stetson
University College of Law students who went undefeated and won the 2004
Tournament of Champions in Los Angeles. The competition, sponsored by the
National Institute for Trial Advocacy, invites 16 teams from the nation's
elite trial advocacy programs to compete against each other. Since the
competition's creation in 1989, Stetson has won five titles, more than any
other school. "It's incredible for the school," Metts said. "Wins like
this let people know why we are ranked among the best in the country."


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Hendry Votes Bush And Other GOP

LABELLE, FL. -- Despite registered Democratic Party voters outnumbering Republicans by almost two to one, Hendry county voters almost overwhelmingly voted in a Republican slate Tuesday. With the vote not yet compiled in full on the Supervisor of Election website, all Republican candidates were shown to be voted in except for two County Commissioner seats that will still be held by Democratic incumbents, Bo Pelham and Bill Maddox, Jr.

The Hendry Sheriff race was won by former Sheriff Ronnie Lee taking back his position from incumbent Steve Worley. Two sisters, Pauline New Born (D) and Suzanne Harper (R) both lost their bids respectively for State Legislature and County Commission.

Night Hunters Cited

LABELLE, FL. -- On Monday, October 25, Investigator Larry Ayers and Officer
Jesse Lee from the Florida Wildlife Commission worked a night hunting
detail on County Road 832 and County Road 833. The two officers observed a
vehicle operating without lights on CR 832 while utilizing a spot light.
The suspicious vehicle turned around several times. When the vehicle
started south on CR 833, Officer Lee performed a vehicle stop and checked
five subjects from Miami dressed in camouflage. The subjects were in
possession of a .22-caliber rifle and a small pistol. Officer Lee cited
all five subjects for possession of a gun while shining a light at night
and the driver was also cited for driving without the use of headlights.


Hendry Voters March To Precincts

LABELLE, FL. -- Voters are streaming into polling precincts today in
probably what will turn out to be an historic presidential election. In
Hendry county, probably the most watched and commented on race is between
former Sheriff Ronnie Lee (R) and incumbent Steve Worley (D). Observers says
Worley has the advantage being the incumbent and being Democrat. However,
Worley may have to overcome news of recent suspensions of a significant
portion of his deputies over a shooting incident.


The supervisor of elections office in Hendry shows 17,144 registered voters
in what is a mostly rural county. Democrats outnumber Repulicans almost two
to one. Registered to vote are 9,688 Democrats to 5,279 Republicans. 1,700
have registered with no political affiliation and 477 with "other." All 23
precincts save one in Hendry have a majority of Democratic Party voters.

Electoral College Has Last Say

The procedure for electing a president is spelled out in Article II of the
U.S. Constitution. Each state is entitled to a number of electors equal to
that state's representation in Congress (Senate plus House members). Since
each state has two senators and at least one Representative, every state has
at least three electors. Currently California has the largest number of
electors: 55. The electors meet in their respective state capitals in
December of each election year to cast their votes for president and vice
president. These electors, who together form the electoral college, are the
ones who actually elect the president. If no candidate gets a majority of
the electoral vote, the House of Representatives elects the president, with
each state having one vote. This happened in 1800 and again in 1824.
At least one commentator predicts the presidential election will be handily
won by Kerry-Edwards gaining about 294 of the needed 271 electoral votes
needed.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

17 Arrests In Clewiston

A joint effort between the Hendry County Sheriffs Office and Clewiston
Police Department, in an effort to curve the drug related activities in
eastern Hendry County and within the city limits of Clewiston, netted
seventeen arrests on drug related charges.


Narcotics Investigators and officers with the Clewiston Police Department,
coordinated a motel "buy-bust" operation by using an informant that
organized drug buys at a local motel, in which drug dealers would respond
to a designated room to sell a predetermined amount of drugs to the
Sheriffs Office informant. Once identification of the seller was made, an
arrest warrant was requested.


On October 28, 2004, representatives from both Hendry County Sheriffs
Office and Clewiston Police Department came together, and as each
individual was contacted and returned to the same location, law enforcement
authorities placed them under arrest charging them on drug related crimes.
As a result additional unrelated arrests were made for Prostitution and
drug user sales that were made by undercover officers.


Sheriff Worley stated, "The success of this operation is just one example
of the inter-agency working relationship and support, that continue to make
efforts such as this successful. We are making every effort to curve the
drug problems in Hendry County".


Those arrested in the motel "buy-bust" are:


Lewis L. Dozier, 29 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one
count Sale of Crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a church, one count
Possession of Cocaine within 1000 feet of a church, one count Possession of
Marijuana u/21 grams


Omer Jermaiah Rotelli, 20 years of age, Wellington, Florida, charged with
one count Possession of Cocaine within 1000 feet for a church, one count
dealing in stolen property.


Karen Pinter, 49 years of age, Lake Worth, Florida, charged with one count
Possession of Crack Cocaine.


Erica L. Hallback, 31 years of age, Moore Haven, Florida, charged with one
count possession of marijuana under 20 grams within 1000 feet of a church


Dennis Lucien Mayer, Jr., 33 years of age, Sanford, Florida, charged with
one count possession of marijuana under 20 grams.


Michael Alexander, 47 years of age, Lake Worth, Florida, charged with one
count Possession of Crack Cocaine.


Tafarya Williams, 20 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one
count of Possession of marijuana under 20 grams.


Theophilus Brooks, 22 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one
count of Possession of Marijuana under 20 grams.


Charles S. Stewart, 45 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one
count Sale of cocaine within 1000 feet of church, one count possession of
cocaine, one count possession of schedule 2 narcotic (Endocet).


Becky Renee Treece, 27 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one
count Possession of paraphernalia.


Sedric S. Lawson, 20 year of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one
count Conspiracy to sell cocaine within 1000 feet of church, Possession of
handcuff key, and driving while license suspended.


Allen Leo Akers, 37 years of age, Glen Daniel, West Virginia, charged with
one count of Possession of Marijuana under 20 grams, one count of
Possession pf Drug Paraphernalia.


Odexter Freeman, Jr., 25 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged within,
one count Possession of Marijuana under 20 grams, Warrant for sale of
cocaine within 1000 feet of a church.


Manuel Mejia, 21 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one count
sale of cocaine within 1000 feet of church, 2 counts Hendry County Warrant
sale of Cocaine.


Charles Allen Cobb, Jr., 24 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with
one count Sale of Cocaine within 1000 feet of a Church, one count
Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and four outstanding
Hendry County Warrants.


Jesus Vega-Guerrero, 31 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one
count solicitation of prostitution.


Alberto E. Collins, 22 years of age, Clewiston, Florida, charged with one
count Burglary, one count Felony Criminal Mischief, two counts Battery, one
count Possession of Marijuana under 20 grams.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Citrus Tax Ruled Unconstitutional

LABELLE, FL -- Following the prior rulings of the U.S.
Supreme Court, five federal courts of appeal and more than seven federal trial
courts, the Second District Court of Appeal today affirmed the ruling of a
lower
court striking down a tax producing more than $30 million imposed on citrus
growers to fund the Florida Department of Citrus generic advertising program.
The tax represents two thirds of the Department's annual budget.


Eight major citrus growers filed the suit about two years ago, claiming
that the
tax, imposed on each box of citrus produced, is used to fund multimillion
dollar
generic advertising campaigns they disapprove of and say "does more to help
sell Brazilian oranges than Florida orange juice."


A circuit court in Polk County earlier ruled that that tax was unconstitutional
because it forced growers to pay for generic advertising (speech) over which
they have no control. Since that time, the Department of Citrus settled a suit
by the Brazilians on the same issue by making the tax voluntary on foreign
producers. It remains mandatory on Florida growers, however.


The Second District Court of Appeal upheld the Circuit Court decision saying in
effect that the tax of up to 20 cents per box violated the growers' First
Amendment rights and amounted to unconstitutional compelled speech. Following
numerous federal courts who held beef, pork, mushroom and other generic
tax-funded ad programs unconstitutional, the court rejected the DepartmentÂ’s
argument that the box tax is part of a more comprehensive program governing
citrus production and marketing.


The Department of Citrus has stated under oath that its generic advertising
benefits imported juice from Brazil as well as domestic juice produced in
California and the Southwestern United States. But those growers are not
subject to the tax.


"All of the theories the Department of Citrus has asserted to save this
unconstitutional tax have failed," said McMahon, "The Department has spent
great
effort to litigate this case in the media and continues to spend the growers'
tax money unconstitutionally."


If the ruling stands, the eight growers will seek $16 to $17 million in refunds
from the Department. That amount is growing at the rate of about $3 million a
year. The growers said they additionally would seek a permanent injunction
against further collection of the tax. Other growers not a part of this
litigation could file similar suits and collect refunds.


This victory by the growers could be a severe blow to the Department of Citrus
if it were forced to end the box tax and get out of the advertising business.
Two-thirds of the agency's $65 million budget comes from the box tax and 80
percent of their budget is dedicated to advertising.


McMahon said, "The growers want to continue to fund some of the non-advertising
activities of the Department of Citrus and were pleased that the research
activities of the Department were not included in the current court opinion.
They believe an opportunity exists for the Florida Legislature to
reorganize the
Department of Citrus."


The growers who have filed suit include Graves Brothers Co., Evans Properties
Inc., Southern Gardens Groves Corp., The Latt Maxcy Corp., Fellsmere Joint
Venture, Oak Hammock Groves, Ltd., Silver Strand III Partnership and Barron
Collier Partnership.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Hendry Deputy Under State Investigation

LABELLE, FL. -- Resigned Hendry Deputy John Childers has been notified that
a Hendry Sheriffs Office Internal Affairs Department investigation has been
forwarded to Tallahassee to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's
Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission for review. The Criminal
Justice Standards and Training Commission Board will determine if
punishment will be forthcoming after an arrest incident involving Childers.
The Board, after its findings, may file a written reprimand, issue a
probation, or suspension of certificate, or possibly revoke his Florida Law
Enforcement Officer Certification.


Burglar Suspect Nabbed

LABELLE, FL. -- Investigators with the Hendry County Sheriffs Office have
arrested James Daniel White on numerous counts of Burglary, Grand Theft and
theft on October 5, 2004.

Investigators were able to determine that White was involved in committing
a number of burglaries in the western portion of Hendry County.

He is currently in the Hendry County Jail charged with four counts of
burglary, three counts of grand theft and two counts of theft. He is being
held without bond pending additional charges.


More Hendry Drug Busts

LABELLE, FL. -- In the early morning hours of Friday, October 15, 2004,
Narcotic Investigators and deputies with the Hendry County Sheriffs Office
executed a Search warrant at 425 Broward Ave., in LaBelle. Mario Martinez
and Benjamin Gallegos were taken into custody on drug related charges.


Once investigators entered the residence a search revealed drug
paraphernalia and as well as various quantities of marijuana and cocaine.

Mario Martinez was arrested and charged with one count of Possession of
Cocaine with intent to Distributed, one count Possession of Cocaine, one
count Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, one count of
Possession of Marijuana over 20 grams, and one count of Possession of Drug
Paraphernalia. He is currently being held at the Hendry County Jail on
$56,000.00 bond.


Benjamin Gallegos was arrested and charged with one count of Possession of
Marijuana under 20 grams, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Gallegos
was released from the Hendry County Jail on October 15, 2004 on a $2,000.00
bond.


Friday, October 15, 2004

Sheriff Releases Statement On Shooting

I have a duty and a responsibility as your Sheriff to dispel the numerous
rumors and misstatements of facts regarding the officer involved shooting
on September 22, 2004. As your Sheriff I have wanted to keep all of you
thoroughly informed about the circumstances of September 22nd, however it
is important that you, the citizens understand that a criminal
investigation is on-going by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and
the State Attorney's Office, and I, as Sheriff have limitations placed on
me by law to not do or say anything that jeopardizes this on-going
investigation.


It is important to provide our citizens with additional information
that has been revealed to date. I have conducted a departmental
administrative review and determined that our deputies acted appropriately
in their efforts to protect the public as well as themselves. They
complied with our departmental policy, and the laws of the state of Florida.


On September 22nd, eight deputies were involved in one way or
another in the pursuit of a vehicle that was being driven by the lone
female suspect. I have reason to believe that she was under the influence
of alcohol and cocaine. FDLE is expected to submit formal charges as soon
as the final lab results are received by the Florida Highway Patrol, who is
investigating the traffic crash aspects of this case.


The driver fled the scene of an automobile crash here in LaBelle
with no apparent regard to the injuries that may have occurred to other
persons involved. Our deputies attempted to stop the suspect, which law
enforcement officers are obligated to do. The suspect driver ran off the
road into the median on a couple of occasions causing the deputies to run
for their life. She refused to stop, which necessitated that the
deputies continue their pursuit. During the ensuing pursuit, the suspect
made a sharp u-turn through the median traveling east back toward LaBelle,
after first having fled westbound. Several deputies attempted to stop her
vehicle with "stop sticks". Although, the deputies were able to flatten
one tire, this suspect continued to drive for several miles, sometimes
traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of SR-80. During the pursuit
the driver intentionally struck the occupied patrol vehicles several times
with a manner of force to pen two deputies in their cars, placing them in a
life-threatening situation.


I personally responded to the scene of this incident and arrived
just moments after the driver was stopped. I personally assure you that
medical assistance was administered to this suspect immediately following
the termination of this pursuit and is the reason she is alive today.
This suspect has an extensive criminal record and was driving a large 7,200
pound SUV that day after her driving privilege had been revoked. If she
had been obeying the law and had not been behind the wheel that day, this
incident would have never happened.


It is my belief, as your Sheriff, that my deputies did everything
within their power to lawfully stop this recklessly fleeing driver to
prevent her from entering a crowded intersection and causing serious
bodily injury or death to an innocent person or a family.
This was a no win situation for the deputies. They could not allow
this violent criminal to continue placing more lives in danger. There
were limited options available to stop this suspect who was utilizing her
motor vehicle as a deadly weapon. Four of the deputies were forced to stop
her from further endangering the public and the officers. As we all know,
automobiles kill people everyday, especially when used intentionally as a
deadly weapon.


The deputies' response to this level of force, while unfortunate,
was in response to the suspect's placing our deputies and the public at
risk. The action of the deputies was necessary and justified.

I am aware that FDLE has submitted an affidavit which supports
felony criminal charges against this suspect to the State Attorney's
Office, and that the State Attorney is awaiting receipt of all pertinent
evidence, including video of the pursuit and subsequent shooting, before
making its final determination. When this video and other evidence are
released, I am confident that there will be no doubt that our deputies
conducted themselves properly.


Finally, I assure you as your Sheriff that the good men and women
of the Hendry County Sheriff's Office will continue to protect and serve
the citizens of our community.



-Steve Worley, Sheriff of Hendry County


Hendry Candidates Night

Your Opportunity To Get Acquainted And Ask Questions Of The Candidates:


Labelle High School Auditorium, Tuesday October 19 7:00 Pm



Clewiston High School Auditorium, Thursday October 21 7:00 Pm


Co-Sponsors: LHS Student Govrnment And Chs Student Government And Impact
Of S. W. Florida

Impact--(Involved Motivated People Advancing Civic Thought)


Thursday, October 14, 2004

Okeechobee Farmer Wins Award

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson and the
Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation today announced the
agricultural leaders who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in February
2005 including Frank "Sonny" Williamson Jr. of Okeechobee, Fl.


A successful citrus grower, rancher and aquaculturist, Frank "Sonny"
Williamson Jr. is among Florida's most progressive farmers. He is arguably
Florida's -- and the nation's -- premier agro-ecologist. A visionary
leader, Williamson understands that farmers must protect and preserve the
natural environment in order to sustain their industry. For the last 25
years he has become increasingly committed to promoting responsible
environmental stewardship.


A fifth-generation Floridian, Williamson was born in Clearwater on December
15, 1929. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in
agriculture, he went to work on his father's ranch, Williamson Cattle
Company, in Okeechobee. He devoted the first 25 years of his career to
Williamson Cattle, building it into one of the state's largest cattle
producers. The company now owns more than 10,000 acres in Okeechobee
County, as well as land in Alabama. Its holdings in Florida include over
1,000 acres of citrus and 2,500 heads of cattle. In Alabama it operates 48
ponds that cover 1,200 acres and produce more than 9 million pounds of
catfish each year. Not only is Williamson Cattle one of the largest and
most diversified farms in the Southeast, it is also a model for economic
and environmental sustainability.


Ever mindful of agriculture's interface with the natural environment,
Williamson is a firm believer that agricultural decisions should be made
based on sound science. To that end, he has been a tireless supporter of
agricultural and environmental research. In the 1990s as a governing
member and chairman of the South Florida Water Management District, he
persuaded the district to fund agro-ecology research conducted by the
University of Florida on Buck Island Ranch at Archibold Biological Station
in Lake Placid. Today he is leading research efforts at the UF/IFAS Indian
River Research and Education Center Aquaculture Demonstration Project.


Williamson has gained a high level of respect among agriculturists,
environmentalists and urban leaders and is known for his moderation and
fairness. Lending his leadership skills to a diverse array of industry
groups and conservation groups, he displays an uncanny ability to mobilize
people to make rational decisions and work together toward a common goal.
He has held leadership positions with the Okeechobee County Farm Bureau,
the Okeechobee Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Florida Chapter of
The Nature Conservancy, the Florida Cattlemen's Foundation and the
University of Florida SHARE Council.

Williamson is one of seven national winners of the 2004 National
Cattlemen's Beef Association National Environmental Stewardship Award,
presented by the Resources Conservation Service of the USDA. His special
talents as a negotiator and mediator were recognized by the Florida
Conflict Resolution Consortium in 2000 when he received the Ninth-Timer
Powers Dispute Resolution Leadership Award. In 2003 he was named the
Lancaster Sunbelt Farmer of the Year from Florida. That same year he
received the Commissioner's Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award
from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the
Florida Environmental Stewardship Award from the Florida Cattlemen's
Association. He has been named an honorary member of Future Farmers of
America as a result of his ongoing support of the organization.


Williamson's progressive vision has helped keep agriculture strong and
viable in Florida. He will be long remembered for his efforts to improve
agricultural management to sustain the industry and protect the natural
resources on which it depends.


Williamson lives in Okeechobee with his wife, Betty. They have three grown
children, Wes, Kim and Karen


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

17-year Old Found At Tampa Motel

LABELLE, FL, -- Investigators with the Hendry County Sheriffs Office were
notified late Tuesday evening, that Hillsborough County authorities located
Maria Ramos and placed Victor Resendiz into custody.
The pair was located at the Red Roof Inn on Busch Blvd in Tampa.

It was reported Monday morning that Maria Ramos might have been abducted
according to witnesses, as she was on her way to the bus stop. It was
reported that Resendiz exited his vehicle grabbed Ramos and forced her into
a 1995 Honda Civic, that he was driving.


Maria Ramos Still Being Sought

LABELLE, FL. -- During the late night hours, Investigators with the Hendry
County Sheriffs Office have received information that 17 year old Maria
Ramos and 19 year old Victor Resendiz may be in the Hillsborough / Pasco
County area.

Investigators are working closely with authorities in Hillsborough County
and are continuing to follow up any and all leads concentrating their
efforts in the Tampa area.

Anyone with any information please contact local law enforcement, or the
Hendry County Sheriffs Office at (863) 674-4060 or Crime Stoppers at
1-800-780-8477.


Monday, October 11, 2004

Gov. Bush Applauds Tax Deduct For Florida

GOVERNOR JEB BUSH
Regarding Passage of Federal Tax Relief Legislation


TALLAHASSEE - "I applaud the bi-partisan action by Members of Congress to
provide tax relief for Floridians. The provision passed today allows
Floridians to deduct sales tax on their federal income tax returns for the
next two years. The move will save the average Florida taxpayer
approximately $300 each year, for a total of $730 million in annual relief
statewide.


"Florida is grateful for the continued support of our federal partners,
especially the strong advocacy of our state's congressional delegation."



Victor Resendiz, 19, also known as Victor Guerro and Victor Figueroa, is being sought in connection with the possible abduction of 17-year old Maria Ramos this morning. Contact the Hendry Sheriffs office with any information.

The Hendry County Sheriffs office is looking for 17-year old Maria Ramos, possibly abducted this morning in LaBelle at Calhoun Street and Bryan Avenue.

Assistance Wanted In Possible Abduction

LABELLE, FL. -- At approximately 7:05 am this morning deputies with the
Hendry County Sheriff Office received a report of a possible abduction at
Calhoun Street and Bryan Avenue.

Witnesses reported that 17-year-old Maria Ramos was walking toward the bus
stop when they saw her ex-boyfriend,19-year-old Victor Resendiz, pull up
next to her in a 1995 Honda Civic Delsol, black in color, with star rims.
Witnesses stated that he pulled up next to her and attempted to speak with
her, however, she continued walking toward the bus stop, he then got out of
his vehicle and grabbed her, forcing her into the car. Witnesses reported
that Ramos was shouting and appeared to be placed in the vehicle by force.
The vehicle was last seen headed westbound on SR 80.


It has been discovered that Resendiz also uses the name of Victor Guerro
and Victor Figueroa, date of birth, 11-06-1985, 11-06-1984 and 07-08-1978.
Suspect
Resendiz is a 19-year-old Hispanic male approximately 5'6" with
mustache.Last seen wearing yellow shirt and black pants and brown Lugz shoes


Victim Ramos is a 17 year old Hispanic female approximately 5' - 5'1" -
Requires prescription lens known to wear both glasses and contacts lens.
Last seen wearing Black shirt with the silver or gray letters JNCO, long
gray or white pants. Ears pierced once



Suspect vehicle
1995 Black Honda Civic Delsol - possible convertible - Chrome Star rims
White letters on back window - Tuner Passion - tag number J45CVH
This vehicle has currently been reported stolen as of 11:46 am
October 11, 2004


It is reported that suspect, Resendiz has just returned from Virginia and
has relatives that live there and may be returning or Tampa where Resendiz
may be employed. Resendiz has multiple arrests for DUI and giving false
name to law enforcement. Resendiz has a Florida Drivers License Number
R253-860-84-406-0, which is currently suspended


Anyone with any information please contact the Hendry County Sheriffs
Office at (863) 674-4060 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).


Hendry Schools Could Receive $1M From Gambling

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County could receive an additional $1 million in
supplemental education funding as a result of Amendment 4, according to an
official estimate by the Florida School Boards Association. Amendment 4, a
statewide initiative on the Nov. 2nd ballot, would authorize
Miami-Dade and Broward counties to hold separate elections on whether to
allow slot machines at seven existing parimutuel facilities in South
Florida. If slot machines are subsequently approved by local voters, the
revenue generated from this taxed, regulated and licensed gaming could
provide at least $438 million in its first year to public education spending
statewide.




The Florida School Boards Association estimates Hendry County could receive
$1,251,545 in the first year alone. The FSBA used the FEFP (Florida's
Education Finance Plan) to estimate the
lowest amount each school district would receive if voters in Miami-Dade and
Broward Counties approve Amendment 4.

"Amendment 4 can make a significant difference for our kids," said Wayne
Blanton, Executive Director of the Florida School Boards Association. "The
money each county could receive would go a long way to improve the quality
of education for all Florida's students."



"Good schools cost money and passing Amendment 4 is a great first step
towards generating the funds our schools desperately need," said Jim Horne,
Florida's former Education Commissioner. "This money can help give children
in Hendry County the tools they need to compete in the global market. The
new revenues from Amendment 4 could provide students with their own laptop
computers, enhance teacher salaries, or fund new science labs."



The projected distribution for each of Florida's 67 counties and a full text
of the Florida School Boards study are available for viewing at the YES for
Local Control Campaign's website at www.yesforlocalcontrol.com.


Alico Shareholders Offered High Price

LABELLE, FL. -- Two Massachusetts real estate firms have bid over $50 a
share to buy out LaBelle's large agribusiness company, Alico. This would
represent about a 100% gain in stock value from only a year ago. Alico's
largest shareholder now is Atlantic Blue, controlled by three of the
sisters of Ben Hill Griffin III, the late chairman and CEO of the company.
The sisters gained control of the company from their brother after a legal
battle several years ago. Alico owns citrus and ranch land throughout the
area, and sells to developers as the Southwest Florida area expands into
housing development and commercial shopping areas. Alico has been a large
force in developing rural areas into commercial development. In Hendry
county, they have been keen on sponsoring laws to favor tax breaks for
business and development of educational facilities and the development of
the county airports.


Grapefruit Grower Expecting Higher Prices

LABELLE, FL. -- With crop damages running high throughout the state after
high winds blew fruit off trees, Hendry county grapefruit grove owners may
reap a windfall this season if prices rise. Central Florida growers have
lost about 80% of their crops due to Hurricanes Francis and Charley.
Grapefruit has been a money loser for several years statewide due to over
production and lower demand from consumers. Florida growers expected a
2004-05 crop of about 38 million boxes which was low enough to put supply
and demand back in synch. But the expected crop should be only about 13
million this season. The last time a grapefruit crop was that low was in
1937. Hendry county has about 5770 acres of grapefruit, and suffered
substantially no crop losses due to the hurricanes last month.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Author Giving Free Lecture

"When Bad Things Happen to Good People" Author Returns to Fort
Myers. Hope Hospice again presents internationally acclaimed writer and
speaker Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of international best
sellers and award-winning inspirational and motivational books, is
returning to Fort Myers to make a free presentation to the public on
Monday, October 18. The event is presented by Hope Hospice.


"Rabbi Kushner's appearance here last year was a huge success, and
we are delighted to host his return at this time," said Hope Hospice
President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. Kushner's presentation will
focus on two of his best-known books, When Bad Things Happen to Good
People, and The Lord is My Shepherd. "When tragedy comes into a life
or a community, people ask, 'Why me?' Rabbi Kushner brings positive
and reassuring answers drawn from his own experience," Beckwith said.


Harold S. Kushner is Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in the Boston
suburb of Natick, Massachusetts, after serving that congregation for
twenty-four years. He is best known as the author of When Bad Things
Happen to Good People, an international best seller. The book has been
translated into fourteen languages and was recently selected by members
of the Book of the Month Club as one of the ten most influential books
of recent years.


The late-October event is Hope Hospice's lead-in to National Hospice
Month in November. Books will be available for purchase and the Rabbi
will sign them after the presentation.

The presentation, free and open to the public, will take place on
Monday, October 18 at 7 PM at the Harborside Event Center.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Letter From Sheriff Worley

I would like to take this time to address the citizens of Hendry County
regarding the incident which occurred on Wednesday, September 22, 2004,
which unfortunately resulted in an officer involved shooting and comment on
the rumors that have become rampant throughout the county.


As several of our officers were involved in this incident I made the
immediate decision to contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
(FDLE). I felt that it was imperative to have this incident investigated
by an independent agency that remains independent from this department and
has the resources available to adequately investigate.


This incident is very complex and has been diligently pursued by FDLE.
Statements have been taken from all the officers involved as well as
witnesses on the scene and others who have been able to provide pertinent
information.


To reiterate, this pursuit became a very dangerous situation for not only
the officers but the public as well. I would like to take this opportunity
to address some of the rumors that have surfaced. There was no child in the
vehicle; the suspect driver was the only occupant. Remarks such as ramming
the car, - use of a vehicle in such a manner is considered a deadly
weapon; they already shot her tires out, etc. Some of these are rumors and
some are fact, however, many people whether in Hendry County or any other
county for that matter, have only been given the general facts of the case,
to reveal any more information would compromise the integrity of the
investigation and to remain fair, to not only to those involved, but the
suspect and the citizens of this county, we are restricted to the amount of
information that can be released, as much as I would like to share all of
the facts of the case, BY LAW I am prohibited from doing so at this time.


I have complete confidence in knowing that the FDLE will evaluate the facts
as they have found them and present any and all findings to this agency and
the State Attorneys Office. I will then look forward to answering all of
your questions regarding this matter.


As Sheriff, my concern is not only for deputies and administrative staff
but the citizens of whom I serve in this county. Based on the findings of
the investigation I will take any administrative actions that may be deemed
necessary.


I want to thank the citizens who have remained nonjudgmental during this
time and have continued to be supportive and shared that view with others.
I respectfully request that we all remain patient until the final outcome
of this investigation and remain unbiased pending the completion of the
investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


-Sheriff Steve Worley, Hendry County


Friday, October 01, 2004

7 Deputies On Leave After Incident

LABELLE, FL. -- After completion of interviews conducted by the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement, Sheriff S. Worley has releasing the names of
the officers involved in the Wednesday evening vehicle pursuit that
resulted in an officer involved shooting. Those officers involved in the
confrontation, their age, and years of service to the Hendry County
Sheriffs Office are as follows:


Lt. Chad Schipansky, 38 -10 years service

Sgt. Jamie Thorpe, 26 - 5 years
service

Sgt. Andrew Drew, 36 - 6 years service

Sgt. Curtis Clay, 30 - 8 years service

Investigator Steven Maldonado, 40 - 4 years service

Deputy Martin Meyer, 30 - 7 years service

Deputy Perry Short, 35 - 7 years service

Deputy David Gallegos, 37 - 2 years service


All Deputies are currently on paid Administrative Leave and receiving
professionally conducted critical incident debriefings.

The names listed above are those who have been placed on paid
administrative leave pursuant to Department Policy and Procedure,
regardless of their involvement in the incident.


Hendry County Employee Arrested

LABELLE, FL. -- On September 30, 2004 Narcotic Investigators of the Hendry
County Sheriffs Office arrested 50 year old, Jose Serrano for Possession of
Zanex without a prescription (illegal purchase). Investigators were able
to obtain information that a Hendry County Social Services worker was
making illegal purchases of Zanex, a controlled substance obtained legally
only by prescription.


A confidential source made telephone contact with Serrano and offered to
make a sale of Zanex to him. Serrano agreed and requested that the
informant meet with him at his office located in the Hendry County
Courthouse. Upon the arrival of the informant he and Serrano left the
office and went into the hall where the transaction took place. In
exchange for the 20 Zanex pills, Serrano gave the informant $3.00 stating
that he would pay the informant the remaining balance the next day with WIC
vouchers.
After witnessing the sale, Narcotic Investigators placed Serrano under
arrest charging him with Possession of Zanex without a prescription,
(illegal purchase). At this time he is currently being held in the Hendry
County Jail on $5,000 bond.


Health Officials Visit Glades County

Just following Hurricane Jeanne, Florida Department of Health Secretary
John O. Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., and Elder Affairs Secretary Terry
White had the opportunity to visit Okeechobee and Glades counties -- areas
that have been impacted by Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne within
six weeks.

"These beautiful rural counties have been ravaged by this year's storms.
Small, humble communities have exhibited great resilience in the face of
giant challenges," Agwunobi said. "The state and federal government will
do everything they can to help these friends, families and neighbors as
they rebuild in the heart of our state."



Terry White, Secretary of Elder Affairs, reassured storm victims: "Elders
living in communities impacted by this hurricane season have some of the
greatest challenges and will be rebuilding for some time. Elder Affairs is
working to address the needs of Florida's revered elder population so that
these communities can begin to heal."



Agwunobi and White first toured an Okeechobee special needs shelter at the
Okeechobee County Health Department building. Meeting with County Health
Department Administrator Mike Hill, Environmental Health Director Ed Trent,
Nursing Director Connie Thacker along with other health department staff
and shelter volunteers to reassure health workers and residents of
continuing support from the state and its partners during the hurricane
relief effort. They also visited with clients of the special needs shelter.



A young man named Tyler led Agwunobi's tour of the shelter. Tyler
volunteers at the shelter assisting the staff with delivering meals,
bringing in water to flush the toilets, cleaning and helping to tuck the
clients into bed each night.



Agwunobi and White then visited the Buckhead Ridge in Glades County, of
which 80 percent of homes sustained major damage. They met with Emergency
Management Director Ken Howard, Glades County Health Department Director
Dr. Martha Valiant and Nursing Director Patricia Dobbins, emergency medical
services personnel, Red Cross volunteers, and residents to assess the
impact of the storm and the community's anticipated needs during recovery.
While visiting residents of Buckhead Ridge, White was able to work with
AARP to secure four generators for homebound elders with health conditions
that depend on electricity.



Agwunobi, a pediatrician by training, met 1-month old Jacob William Dixon,
who was born just after Hurricane Frances. Jacob's grandmother, Carolyn
Conrad, who delivered him, was rocking Jacob as his mother caught some
much-needed sleep while her newborn napped.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Okeechobee Man Charged In Unfair Pricing

The Florida State Attorneys Office has charged with overpricing generators
to strom victims, John Charles Mikell, 47, and his
22-year-old son John Tate Mikell. They traveled to the Santa Rosa County
town of
Milton and sold Contractor brand generators from a pickup truck and horse
trailer parked on a roadside. The men sold 22 generators for $650 each,
more than double their retail price. The Mikells obtained the generators on
consignment from a friend, Frank DeCarlo, 46, who was to receive a share of
the proceeds from each generator sold. J.C. Mikell lives in Williston in
Levy County, J.T. Mikell lives in Archer in Alachua County, and DeCarlo
lives in Okeechobee in Okeechobee County.


Investigators for the Attorney General's Office observed the Mikells
on September 20 as they sold generators at the intersection of State Road
90 and Mary Street in Milton. A large sign indicated a selling price of
$650. Investigators determined that the manufacturer's suggested retail
price for that model generator is $299.99, meaning the price offered for
the generators was more than double the retail price


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

You Are A Floridian If...

Your Street has more than 3 "NO WAKE" signs posted.

You're considering upgrading your 16" to a 20" chainsaw and you know what
"Bar chain oil" is.


You're thinking of getting your wife the hardhat with the ear
protector and face shield for Christmas.

-Thanks to JTH


Monday, September 27, 2004

Boil Water Orders -Schools Opening

Various agencies are recommending the boiling of drinking water after
electrical pumps went out after electrical failures in the Hurricane Jeanne
strike areas.


A Boil water notice for Flaghole Area of central Hendry County, served by
South Shore Water has been issued Monday. Residents are asked to bring water
to a rolling boil for 2-3 minutes before consumption. Residents will be
advised when the boil water notice is lifted.


In other neighboring counties, Indiantown residents also have a boil water
order as well as Belle Glade.

All Hendry County public schools will be open Tuesday, September 28.


Hendry County Open and Recovering

Although the eastern portion of Hendry county is still recovering from the
storm in the Pioneer, Montura, and Clewiston areas, much of the county is
open and working. The county clerk offices in LaBelle are open, although the
Health Department is closed and schools countywide are closed. There was a
night time curfew in the eastern portion of Hendry including Clewiston since
the first night of the storm. The Special Needs shelter in Clewiston is
open. Eastern Hendry county residents are looking for generators and people
to help yard cleanup.

In other nearby areas, the Sebring airport is closed along with east
coast airports of Vero Beach and Sebastion Municipal. The Lake Wales airport
has been closed since the first storm last month. Northern portions of
Glades county near Buckhead Ridge shows damage to the majority of mobile
homes there. The emergency shelter is open there.
Radio broadcasts to listen for damage reports and recovery info: WAFC in
Clewiston, 99.5 FM, on the east coast with a good radio and outside antenna,
850 AM and 1290 AM.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Hendry and Glades Get High Winds Again

LABELLE, FL. -- Although Hurricane Jeanne went ahore near Stuart, Fl.,
Hendry and Glades county were not spared high winds for about 10 hours
Saturday night and Sunday morning. Phones and electric was down countywide,
Clewiston probably hardest hit, with only a few gas stations and stores with
electric to serve customers.


The Sunday Morning News
for Hendry and Glades county was delayed being published on the internet
because of phone and intenet line problems and will be online about 3:30
p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Latest Jeanne Predicted Landfall

LABELLE, FL. -- The latest projections from the National Weather Service
show Hurricane Jeanne's eye making landfall around 2 a.m. Sunday near Ft.
Pierce with winds at 125 mph. The storm track has been moving slighly north
of the last prediction this morning and moving slightly faster. At 2 p.m.
Sunday afternoon the storm should be around Floral City which is south of
Inverness near the west coast of Florida with winds at 65 mph.

Attorney Arrested On Drug Charge

LABELLE, FL. (Sept. 25,2004) -- On September 23, 2004, the Hendry County
Sheriffs Office arrested Derek Michael Tyler for Possession of Zanex
without a prescription. Mr. Tyler is a practicing attorney in the City of
LaBelle. Mr. Tyler was arrested during a recent undercover operation
conducted by Investigators of the Hendry County Sheriffs office during a
motel "buy bust".


Two Shot In Robbery

On September 22, 2004 at approximately 2:20 am, Investigators with the
Hendry County Sheriffs Office arrested 18-year-old Miguel DeAngelo Waters,
and 17 year old Walter Thicklin, who had been taken into custody on
September 21, 2004, for their involvement in the September 16, robbery and
shooting at the M & M Supermarket, located at 901 Kentucky Ave., in
Clewiston, Florida.


On September 16, 2004 at approximately 8:26pm, Hendry County deputies
received a 9-1-1 call reporting a robbery and shooting at M & M Supermarket
located at 901 Kentucky Ave., Clewiston, Florida.


Upon the arrival of deputies, two victims were found suffering from gunshot
wounds. Both victims were transported to Lee Memorial Hospital and were
listed in stable but guarded condition. It was reported to Investigators by
one of the victims, that two male subjects entered the store demanding
money, and then fired at the two store employees. The suspects then fled
the area with an undisclosed amount of money.


After receiving numerous tips, investigators were able to locate and take
into custody Waters and Thicklin. Miguel Waters is currently in the Hendry
County Jail charged with Armed Robbery, Aggravated Battery with a Firearm
and an outstanding warrant for Failure to Appear for Assault, his bond
currently stands at $70,000.00. Walter Thicklin was charged with one count
of Escape, one count Criminal Mischief, one count Grand Theft, one count
Robbery and two counts Principle to Felony attempted murder and one count
felony by wearing a hood/mask or other device. Thicklin is currently being
held in a Juvenile Detention facility.


How To Know It's Hurricane Time

Top 10 Reasons Hurricane Season in Florida is Like Christmas


10. Decorating the house (boarding up windows)

9. Dragging out boxes that haven't been used since last season (camping
gear, flashlights)

8. Last minute shopping in crowded stores

7. Regular TV shows pre-empted for "specials"

6. Family coming to stay with you

5. Family and friends calling from out-of-state

4. Buying food you don't normally buy ... and in large quantities

3. Days off from work

2. Candles


And the number one reason Hurricane Season is like Christmas ..


1. At some point you know you're going to have a tree in your house!

-Thanks to JTH



Glades County Evacuations

Glades county will order at 11 am a mandatory evacuation of Buckhead
Ridge...Lakeport...and Moore Haven including all mobile homes. Glades county
shelters will open at 2 pm.


Hendry and Collier counties will be announcing evacuation orders and
opening of shelters later today. at the very least evacuation of mobile
homes
will be urgently recommended.

Jeanne Landfall Predictions

LABELLE, FL. -- While not sticking their neck out too far in Hurricane
Jeanne predictions, at 5 a.m. Saturday the National Weather Service said the
storm may be at the Port St. Lucie area about 2 a.m. Sunday morning and then
by 2 p.m. over the Leesburg, Florida area. Winds are expected at east coast
landfall at about 120 miles per hour and inland Sunday afternoon at 85
m.p.h.


Florida residents with a good AM band radio, especially with an outside
antenna can pick up Radio Bahamas reports at 810 khz for ongoing storm
action as the hurricane passes through the islands today. In South Florida,
listen to continuous reports from 850 khz from Palm Beach, and 1290 khz from
the Stuart area. Short wave radio listeners from anywhere in the eastern and
mid-west U.S. can tune in continuous amateur radio reports from the
Hurricane Watch Net at 14.325 mhz on single side band, and the Marine Nets
on 14.300 mhz. The Watch Net passes information from hams in affected areas
to the Hurricane Center in Miami.

Jeanne To Visit Florida Today

LABELLE, FL. -- As Hurricane Jeanne approaches the Florida east coast the
National Weather Service is issuing warnings for inland counties and
especially the areas around Lake Okeechobee:


ALL AREAS OUTSIDE PROTECTION OF THE HOOVER DIKE...INCLUDING RITTA...TORRY...
AND KREAMER ISLANDS AS WELL AS MARINAS AND DOCKS IN THE BELLE GLADE AND
PAHOKEE
AREAS...CAN BE EXPECTED TO FLOOD. THE HOOVER DIKE PROTECTS INHABITED AREAS
TO
MORE THAN 30 FEET.


OVER INLAND AREAS OF PALM BEACH...BROWARD...GLADES...AND HENDRY
COUNTIES...WINDS
WILL FREQUENTLY GUST TO TROPICAL STORM FORCE...39 MILES PER HOUR...BEGINNING
SATURDAY AFTERNOON...WITH SUSTAINED TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS LASTING FROM
SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING. FREQUENT GUSTS TO HURRICANE FORCE
WILL
OCCUR OVER INLAND AREAS...ESPECIALLY LAKE OKEECHOBEE AND WESTERN PALM BEACH
COUNTY...FROM MIDNIGHT SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH MID MORNING SUNDAY. SUSTAINED
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ARE POSSIBLE OVER LAKE OKEECHOBEE...ESPECIALLY IF THE
CENTER OF JEANNE MOVES FARTHER SOUTH. THE WINDS WILL SLOWLY DIMINISH SUNDAY.


The storm is now over Abaco Island in the Bahamas and moving to the north of
Grand Bahama Island latter today. Winds are 105 mph with hurricane winds out
to 70 miles.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Bush Meets With Island Leaders

TALLAHASSEE - Jeb Bush met with leaders in storm affected island countries
today and issued this statement: "I am deeply saddened to hear the news of
the rising
death toll in Haiti as a result of recent flooding associated with Tropical
Storm Jeanne. The last several weeks have seen devastation throughout the
Caribbean region as a result of the sometimes destructive forces of nature.
Being hit this summer by three major hurricanes with a fourth possibly on
the way, Floridians understand the tragedy that can come from these types of
natural disasters. Our hearts go out to those who are suffering in Haiti
and other parts of the Caribbean during these trying times.


"Yesterday, I met with the Consul Generals of the Bahamas, the
Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, and Jamaica. These officials gave me a
full briefing on the damage inflicted upon their respective countries by
recent storms. Their suffering and needs are great, but friends are ready
to help.

"My office has been working closely with the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of State, and various
non-governmental organizations, including the Florida Association for
Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas, Inc. (FAVACA), and
Americas Humanitarian Logistics Relief Team, a private sector relief effort
bringing together more than 50 Florida-based companies, to address the
issues of disaster response for our neighbors in the Caribbean.


"USAID has already mounted a major relief effort to assist Caribbean
countries rebuild from recent storms - providing over $2 million in
humanitarian assistance to the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica,
and the Bahamas. And USAID has just announced that an additional $2
million, as well as much needed emergency supplies, are being made available
from the U.S. government for Haiti's disaster recovery efforts. We applaud
this response and look forward to better days for our Caribbean friends and
neighbors."


Animal Owners Requested To Prepare

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner
Charles H. Bronson is urging people who may be impacted by Hurricane Jeanne
or any emergency to make plans for their animals well before the storm
prepares to make landfall.


Bronson's Division of Animal Industry website
http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/ai provides extensive information for owners
of large and small animals who may be in harm's way. The website has
information on disaster preparedness for animals, emergency animal
sheltering, emergency housing for horses, a list of hotels that accept pets
and a link to websites that list pet-friendly motels.



The Division of Animal Industry, in conjunction with a host of public and
private partners, assists in animal rescue and evacuation, coordinates
direct veterinary care, provides emergency feed and water to livestock and
small animal shelters, and coordinates receipt and distribution of small
and large animal feed, animal crates, fencing, and animal health supplies
in areas impacted by hurricanes and other disasters.

"It is better for everyone if animal owners know where they can take their
pets before they need to evacuate," Bronson said. "We have many animals
still separated from their owners as a result of the previous storms and we
need to take steps to prevent this from happening."


Hendry County - Here We Go Again...

Hurricane Jeanne appears to be headed for Florida, the 4th major storm in
six weeks to race across the peninsula. Likely effects to be felt on the
east coast Saturday. From the Hendry County Government information office:


The Hendry County Hurricane Jeanne Information Center will be activated 1:00
pm on Saturday, September 25, 2004. Phone Numbers: (863)675-5392 in La
Belle, and (863)983-1594 in Clewiston

The following Shelters will be opened Saturday September 25, 2004:



Clewiston Middle School 3:00PM


La Belle Middle School 3:00PM



Special Needs Shelters



VFW in La Belle 3:00PM


John Boy Auditorium, Clewiston 12:00PM



Shelteree's are responsible for eating before coming to the evacuation
centers and for their water, food, medical and bedding requirements while
staying in the evacuation centers.


7 Deputies Involved In Shooting

LABELLE, FL. -- At the request of the Hendry County Sheriff's Office, the
Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating an officer involved
shooting in Hendry County. FDLE was contacted by the Hendry County
Sheriff's Office on Wednesday and were advised that numerous law
enforcement officers were
involved in a pursuit, which ultimately ended in the shooting of a suspect.


According to initial reports, at approximately 6:35 p.m. a hit and run crash
occurred at the intersection of State Road 80 and State Road 29 in LaBelle,
Fla., and was reported to the Hendry County Sheriff's Office. The suspect
driver in the crash fled the scene and was spotted a short time later by
Hendry County deputies. A pursuit began with the suspect fleeing officers
westbound on State Road 80. Three officers attempted to stop the suspect.
The suspect continued west on SR-80 without stopping for more than three
miles. Four additional Hendry County officers joined the pursuit.
Disregarding the deputies' commands to stop, the suspect reportedly turned
and headed east on State Road 80 back into the city of LaBelle. Deputies
were able to get the suspect stopped near the intersection of Martin Luther
King and State Road 80. During the stop, an incident occurred and the
deputies fired at the suspect.


The suspect, Deanne Hall (DOB 4/28/1977) is listed in critical condition at Lee
Memorial Hospital. No Hendry County Sheriff's deputies involved in the
incident were injured. FDLE special agents will be conducting interviews of
the deputies involved and of other possible witnesses to both the shooting
and the pursuit.


Due to the ongoing, active nature of this investigation, no further
information will be released at this time. Once the investigation
concludes, FDLE will present its findings to the State Attorney's Office
20th Judicial Circuit.


Thursday, September 23, 2004


Catherine Martini arrested for the murder of her 79 year-old boyfriend Arthur Daigle who lived at the Meadow Lake Campground in Ortona, Fl. in Glades county.