Friday, July 30, 2004

Uner Arrested

On July 23, 2004, 44-year-old Linda Uner was arrested on charges of
aggravated assault, battery and attempted escape.

Deputies were called to the area of 672 Turtle Lane in reference to a
battery. Upon the arrival of Sheriffs Deputies, it was discovered that
there had been an apparent ongoing dispute regarding the parking of a work
truck on the lawn 656 Turtle Lane, the residence, of Ms. Uner.

Deputies spoke with Mr. Stephen Wilson who had reported that Linda Uner and
her husband had approached them in a vehicle. Wilson then stated that Uner
got out of her car and approached Mr. Wilson, shouting and striking Wilson,
she then went back to her vehicle and returned with a small handgun
threatening to shoot him.

According to Uner, Mr. Wilson has been asked on several occasions to park
his vehicle somewhere other than her lawn.

After placing Uner under arrest for aggravated assault and battery and
putting her in the rear of a patrol car, Uner was able to remove the
handcuffs and came rushing out of the back of the patrol car. She was
stopped by officers on scene and transported to the Hendry County Jail.

Uner was charged with 1 count of aggravated assault, 1 count of battery and
1 count of attempted escape. She was released on $5,000.00 bond.


Juveniles Arrested On Burglary Charges

After responding to a burglary reported to the Hendry County Sheriffs
Office, late Sunday night, July 25, 2004, Investigators arrested 14 year
old Ulises Escobedo and 13 year old Daniel Gonzalez on charges of burglary.


Sheriffs' deputies received a report of a burglary at 501 Green Tree
Apartments, while conducting an initial investigation sheriffs deputy
received information identifying two young men as the individuals that had
committed the burglary.

After Investigators with the Hendry County Sheriffs Office responded both
Escobedo and Gonzalez spoke with Investigators and willingly admitted to
their involvement of the burglary of 501 Green Tree apartments. It was
also revealed during the investigation that both Escobedo and Gonzalez
admitted to their involvement in other burglaries.

Escobedo admitted to the burglary of the Azteca Food Store on two different
occasions, a burglary to the Las Gemelas Food Store and multiple thefts of
bicycles most of which remain unreported at this time as well as burglaries
in Escobedo's neighborhood.

Gonzalez admitted to being involved in the burglary to 501 Green Tree
Apartments and a burglary to the Azteca Food Store on Cowboy Way.

Both Ulises Escobedo and Daniel Gonzalez were arrested and taken to the
Hendry County Jail. Escobedo was charged with 4 counts of Burglary and 3
counts of Criminal Mischief. Gonzalez is being charged with 2 counts of
Burglary.


Mitchell Busted On Burglaries

On July 28, 2004, Investigators with the Hendry County Sheriffs Office have
added two additional charges on Jefferson Dain Mitchell.

On July 19, 2004, in the early morning hours, an alarm was received from
the R and R Lounge. Upon the arrival of law enforcement, it was discovered
that a window had been broken, however, there did not appear to be any
signs of entry.

Later, Investigators received information that Mitchell had been involved.
Mitchell admitted to Investigators that he did go to the R and R Lounge
located on US 27, broke the window and entered the business. When Mitchell
was unable to locate any currency within the business, he fled the building.

Investigators have charged Mitchell with one count of burglary and one
count of criminal mischief. Jefferson Mitchell was arrested last week on
two counts of burglary to Joe's Pizza on Flaghole Road and two counts of
grand theft. He is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail on
$84,000.00 bond.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

LaBelle Man Arrested In Truck Theft

On Monday, July 26, 2004, Investigators of the Hendry County Sheriffs
Office arrested 35 year old, Earvile Wayne Miller of 1104 Apache Ave.,
LaBelle, Florida, on charges of Dealing in Stolen Property.

On Monday morning, July 26, 2004, sheriffs deputies were notified by
Vernon Magruda, owner of Magruda Trucking Company, of Fort Myers, that he
had received information that one of his semi tractor/trailers was possibly
at 5163 Highway 80 and was being stripped. Upon the arrival of deputies
and agriculture investigators a blue in color International semi-tractor
with a flatbed Great Dane trailer was found.

Deputies met with Earvile Wayne Miller and questioned him about the
vehicle. Miller stated that he was the driver and operator of the
equipment. Deputies then contacted Magruda who confirmed that this was
true, however, Miller had not been to work in over 3 weeks and that he had
been attempting to recover both items and had been unsuccessful.

Further investigation by deputies revealed that several components valued
at approximately $25,000.00 had been removed from the truck and trailer and
replaced with older components of lesser value.

Miller was arrested and transported to the Hendry County jail on charges of
Dealing in Stolen Property. Miller is currently being held on a $25,000.00
bond.


Monday, July 26, 2004

Clewiston Man Dead On SR80

CLEWISTON, FL. (July 25, 2004) -- An 6:40 early morning accident on SR80
east of LaBelle took the life of 41-year old Wille Dean Johnson, of 105
Pine Lane in Clewison. Johnson failed to make a the road curve near LaDeca
and flipped his vehicle several times. He was ejected from the vehicle and
was not wearing a seat belt.


Wildlife Weekly Report

WEEKLY LAW ENFORCEMENT REPORT
SUMMARY, SOUTH REGION

On July 17, Officers Kevin Losee and A.J. Maynard responded to a 55-foot
vessel that sank in Lake Okeechobee. No injuries were reported; however,
the vessel was a total loss due to the hull damage caused by grounding on
the rocks.

On July 18, Officer Kevin Losee responded to a boat accident in the Lock
Seven area of Lake Okeechobee. The investigation revealed that the victim
fell overboard and was struck by the propeller causing numerous
lacerations. He is expected to make a full recovery.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Ave Maria University In Trouble With Feds

The new Ave Maria University founded by Domimo Pizza founder Tom Monaghan is
in some trouble with the U.S. Department of Education. Department of
Education investigations have resulted in refund payments of about $300,000
from the Ave Maria College in Michigan campus "because it failed to properly
document student financial aid applications" between the years 2000 and
2002, during which time the college was under the administration of
President Nicholas Healy, who left Michigan in 2003 to become president of
Ave Maria University in Florida. The Florida campus is in similar trouble,
as they allegedly took government student aid money illegally.
Meanwhile, founder Monaghan is enduring a public relations nightmare over
his winding down of operations at his Ave Maria College in Michigan, with
parents and students protesting Monaghan's heavy handed overseeing of the
school and broken promises.
Attorney Jack Sites recently moved from Florida's AMU to the AMC Michigan
campus as the new provost, or chief academic officer, where the
twice-divorced Episcopalian has been vice president of academic affairs.
Meeting with the Michigan school's Admissions staff, Sites said he is taking
a leave of absence from AMU Florida and was brought to the Michigan campus
to implement its immediate "wind-down," even though the school's closure is
not slated to occur until 2007, the date Monaghan is telling parents will be
the closing date in order to allow current students to graduate from the
school
Chairman of the AMC Board Thomas Monaghan called a June 28 special hoping
that current AMC President Ronald Muller could be removed from office, and
replaced with Monaghan himself as interim president. The proposal that
Monaghan become AMC's president was met with strong objection by some board
members, including attorney John Kruse, who said, "with all due respect,
Tom, if you become president, it would be a major PR disaster." Monaghan,
although a multi-millionaire and major religious organization benefacto, has
no college degree.
An article in the Ann Arbor News says "Ave Maria's problems with the DOE
were further compounded when Ave Maria University in Naples, Fla., which is
legally separate from the college in Ypsilanti, drew DOE financial aid for
its students based on the Ypsilanti college's accreditation. That action is
against Education Department rules, so it is requesting return of all funds
awarded to students at the Florida school last year."
The Department of Education is continuing its investigation of the Florida
campus because it did not have a proper license from the state of Florida.
Criminal prosecution is a reported possibility. Nicholas Healy, president of
the Florida campus, confirmed that the school will have to repay about
$380,000 to the federal government. The Florida campus only has about 100
students with temporary classrooms in a former retirement home.



.


Friday, July 16, 2004

Storter Picked By Gov. Bush

MOORE HAVEN, FL. (July 14, 2004) -- Governor Jeb Bush announced the
appointment of Donna L. Storter to the Glades County Board of County
Commissioners. Storter will fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of
Commissioner Franklin Simmons. She has agreed to serve until November 8,
2004. Storter, 56, is employed with Johnson Engineering, Inc. She served
on the Glades County Board of Adjustments from 1996-1998. Storter resides
in Ortona with her husband, John Long.
Former Commissioner Simmons resigned after his arrest last month.


Teens Arrested In LaBelle

Alleged Attempted Murder/Robbery
Hendry County deputies arrested 19-year-old Joey Hamby and 18-year-old
Miguel Diaz, on charges of Armed Robbery. Last Sunday morning at
approximately 8:40 am, Hendry County Deputies were dispatched to Kuntry
Kubbard, 5479 SR 29, South, after receiving a call reporting an armed
robbery.
Upon arriving on scene deputies were told by Pedro Enriquez, that two men
wearing masks and armed with firearms entered the store demanding money.
Before leaving the store, the suspects turned and fired three times at
Enriquez. Enriquez in fear for his own safety and that of the store
employees was able to arm himself with his handgun and was able to defend
himself. No one was injured.
The suspects removed approximately $2,400.00 from the store and fled the
scene. The suspects were seen leaving the parking lot in a Lincoln LS.
Through intensive investigation, investigators and deputies were able to
locate both men and take them into custody.
Both Hamby and Diaz are being held in the Hendry County Jail and charged
with 1 cnt. Attempted Murder, 1 cnt. Armed Robbery with a firearm, 1 cnt.
grand theft, and 1 cnt of person engaged in criminal offense having a
weapon.


Arson Arrests In LaBelle

On July 11, 2004, Sunday morning at approximately 7:17am, deputies were
called to 4050 Ft. Denaud Road after receiving a call from Amanda Brown
reporting that her vehicle had just been stolen. When deputies arrived,
Brown reported to them that her mother had witnessed Jacob McDade and James
Townsend leaving her home early that morning in her vehicle, and a short
time later heard is strike a mailbox a short distance from her home. Later
in the morning investigators were asked to respond to the area of Grandma's
Grove on St Rd 80 to look into the possible arson of a vehicle that had
been identified as the belonging to Amanda Brown. A joint investigation
with the Hendry County Sheriffs Office and the State Fire Marshal's Office
revealed that the vehicle had been intentionally set on fire, and through
interviews with the suspects both individuals were placed under arrest and
taken to the Hendry County Jail.
James Roland Townsend, 20 years of age, was arrested and charged with Grand
Theft Auto. Townsend is currently released on bond. Jacob Aaron McDade,
24 years of age, was arrested and charged with Grand Theft Auto and Arson
and is presently in the Hendry County Jail.


Volunteering

Volunteers In LaBelle - Doing the Right Thing
by Barbara Marshall
Have you ever heard the term "Do the Right Thing?" This monthís volunteer
profile features not one, but seven individuals who want to remain
anonymous. They call themselves "the Robinettes," as in modern day female
Robin Hoods. The Robinettes range in age from thirty to sixty five years
old. They are parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. They just may
be your friends, co-workers or neighbors. Through their work in the
community, they come in contact with individuals who are living alone and
are on a limited income. They find joy in volunteering by providing gift
baskets and assistance with various bills to less fortunate individuals.
Items such as lotions, candles, or gift certificates are brought in by the
group. They then make up a basket and have it delivered to the person. They
have given five baskets since May to different individuals in the
community. The idea if the
Robinettes formed when they were behind someone in a local grocery store
who could not afford the whole bill for their groceries. They pooled their
money together and paid the balance of the bill expecting nothing in
return. It is these random acts of kindness that bring the Robinettes true
happiness. When asked why they want to remain anonymous, they said, "How
would you feel if you got a gift when you didnít expect it, just because
someone cared without any expectations in return? Or if it was your
birthday and you hadn't gotten anything from another person in a long time?
We just want people to know that someone cares, but we donít want them to
know who we are." The Robinettes learned about FAITH IN ACTION in Labelle
through another FIA volunteer. They decided it was a perfect partnership.
This is an example of the opportunities that are available in volunteering.
Do what you enjoy doing and help others in the process. There are no set
roles for a volunteer, and the Robinettes are living proof. If you would
like to become a FAITH IN ACTION in LaBelle volunteer or if you or someone
you know needs the assistance of a volunteer, please call Barbara Marshall
at (863) 675-1446. FAITH IN ACTION in LaBelle is a program with funding
from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Senior Connections of Southwest
Florida, Inc., a United Way partner agency, grants and donations from other
individuals and groups in our community.


Drug Arrests In Clewiston

Drugs Seized In Clewiston
During the early morning hours of July 16, 2004, narcotics investigators
served two search warrants at the residence of 613 E. Trinidad Ave., and
1850 Old US 27, Lot 78, Foxbriar MHP, Clewiston, Florida. During the search
of both residences investigators located and seized various amounts of
cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia as well as US currency.
Those arrested are 38 year old, Nelson Julio Rojas, Jr., of 1850 Old US 27,
Fox Briar MHP, in Clewiston, Florida, charged with Possession of Cocaine
and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Malissa Moya, 613 E. Trinidad Ave.,
Clewiston, 21 years of age, charged with Possession of Marijuana. Lindsey
Rae Howell, 5263 Images Circle #206, Kissimmee, Fl, charged with Possession
of Marijuana. Corey Jay White, 26 years of age, charged with Possession of
Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Storter Fills Commission Vacancy

Donna Storter's statement on accepting Governor Jeb Bush's appointment to
temporarily fill the vacant seat on the Glades County Commission:

I promise to diligently make every effort to assure Glades County citizens
that the governor's confidence in me is well placed. God has blessed
America with democracy that not only brings honor and privilege, but also
responsibility, and with Glades County, also comes challenge. But first, I
would like to wish
Franklin Simmons a swift and complete return to good health. Several
issues of significant importance are facing Glades County. Landfill
negotiations are expected to conclude shortly with a signed contract
following the seated commission's June 21st acceptance in concept of Waste
Management's final offer. Another big concern is the fiscal year budgeting
process that began yesterday, and the proposed MSTU structuring for tax
assessment. The County is obligated to provide services for citizens,
balance the budget, and not overtax landowners. The jail overcrowding with
its negative impact on the Sheriff's current budget has created a dire
financial crisis. The County Clerk's funding structure has recently
changed dramatically due to State legislation. Both the Clerk and Sheriff
have mandates that must be performed, and circumstances beyond their
control and anticipation have severely impacted the solvency of Glades
County.
The recommendations of the EMS MSBU study committee have not been given
thorough nor final consideration. I support third party initial billing for
EMS services, and agency contracting for delinquent account collection. The
E911 street addressing issue needs to conclude providing for responsibility
to include authority. Instead of using two employees part-time, I support
therecommendation of putting it "under one roof".
However, I strongly feel that GPS (Global Positioning System) mapping of
Glades County is necessary to efficiently provide accurate street
addressing, but also to enhance the rapid response of emergency personnel,
as well as fire suppression and law enforcement. GPS mapping needs to be
put into practice for site designations of County owned property and roads
and for implementing technologically advanced formatting in Building,
Planning, Zoning, and Transportation as well as the County appraisal maps,
and I firmly believe the benefits will rapidly exceed the cost. Though
initially expensive, the accuracy of GPS mapping will prevent errors and
omissions that in the past have been quite expensive including lawsuits
over disputed right-of-ways.
Hopefully some homeland security or emergency management or other grants
can fund this needed service. Code Enforcement needs to be reinforced,
perhaps with a major change in its structure and operation. Adopting
mandatory garbage collection can significantly enhance the "eye appeal" of
our county and promote economic development. Economic incentive ordinances
should be in place to aid in marketing Glades County to attract desirable
industrial, commercial and business enterprise. I support contracting with
Certified Planning Consultants rather than funding a planning position that
has also required using Planning Consultants services. I do not have all
the solutions to the issues I perceive within Glades County government, but
I do know that sincere effort is being made by the Commission, County
employees and the Constitutional Officers and staff,to work together to
reduce problems and seek answers. I pledge every effort to help in this
process.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

USDA Releases Final 2003-04 Season Numbers

LAKELAND, FL (July 12, 2004) - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
released the final 2003-04 season citrus forecast, decreasing the Florida
orange crop estimate from 245 million
boxes to 242 million boxes.
The Valencia estimate was reduced by 3 million boxes, from 119 million to
116 million boxes with the Early-Mid estimate remaining at 126 million
boxes.
The decrease was "bookkeeping" in nature. End-of-season figures need to be
adjusted at the close of each season to accurately correspond with
utilization figures.
The grapefruit estimate remains unchanged at 40.8 million boxes.
Specialty fruit also remains unchanged with Tangelos at 1 million boxes,
Temples at 1.4 million boxes and Tangerines at 6.5 million boxes.
The yield for frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) remains 1.56 gallons
per 90-pound box of oranges.
USDA estimates and actual production for Florida's orange crop for the past
five seasons are as follows:
2003-04 season: USDA estimate, 252 million boxes; actual production, 242
million boxes.
2002-03 season: USDA estimate, 197 million boxes; actual production, 203
million boxes.
2001-02 season: USDA estimate, 231 million boxes; actual production, 230
million boxes.
2000-01 season: USDA estimate, 240 million boxes; actual production, 223.3
million boxes.
1999-00 season: USDA estimate, 211 million boxes; actual production, 233
million boxes.
1998-99 season: USDA estimate, 190 million boxes; actual production, 186
million boxes.


Smokey Bear Contest

LaBelle, Florida -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is
encouraging children to help celebrate Smokey Bear's 60th birthday by
entering a statewide birthday card contest.

Smokey Bear, who turns 60 on August 9, 2004, is a nationally recognized
wildfire prevention icon.

The Florida Division of Forestry is sponsoring a birthday card contest for
children living in Florida who have not yet entered the sixth grade. To
enter, children should design an original birthday card of any size
depicting Smokey Bear and a fire prevention message. Cards should be mailed
to: Florida Division of Forestry, Forest Protection Bureau, 3125 Conner
Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

Cards will be judged on originality, design and overall effectiveness of
the fire prevention message. One winner will be chosen on August 9 from
each of the four regions of Florida (Panhandle, North, Central and South
Florida). Each winner will receive a three foot tall stuffed Smokey Bear
and four one day, one park admission tickets to any theme park at the Walt
Disney World Resort in Orlando. Tickets have been provided through the
support of the Walt Disney Company. The four winning cards will also be
posted on the Florida Division of Forestry web site. Second- and
third-place prizes will also be awarded. For full contest rules and mailing
address information contact your local Division of Forestry office or visit
http://flame.fl-dof.com. Cards need to be postmarked by July 28th to
qualify.

During the early years of the National Fire Prevention Campaign, Walt
Disney permitted the Ad Council to use Bambi on the first wildfire
prevention poster. The campaign was so successful that the Ad Council
decided to develop an animated animal character to use as the permanent
wildfire prevention symbol. The Smokey Bear campaign was created by the Ad
Council in 1944. Smokey Bear became the living wildfire prevention symbol
in 1950 when a tiny bear cub was found badly burned from a wildfire on the
Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. The Smokey Bear campaign is the
longest-running public awareness campaign in Ad Council history and is
credited with reducing the number of acres lost annually to wildfires from
22 million to 4 million in the United States.


Sunday, July 11, 2004

State Goofs On Felon List Again

It's back to the drawing board for the elections offices around the state.
Seems the state made another error on the list just releases. They didn't
include Hispanic felons on the list. The list is overwhelmingly Democrats,
while Hispanic voters in Florida tend to be Republican.
"Not including Hispanic felons that may be voters on the list ... was an
oversight and a mistake," Gov. Jeb Bush said. "And we accept
responsibility and that's why we're pulling it back." Gov. Bush said the
mistake occurred because two databases that were merged to form the
disputed list were incompatible.
The problem in compiling the list was unintentional and unforeseen, said
Nicole de Lara, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Glenda Hood.
"Nevertheless, Supervisors of Elections are required to uphold their
constitutional obligation" and will find other ways to ensure felons are
removed from the rolls, Hood said in a statement.
Florida is one of a few states that automatically bars convicted felons
from voting unless they successfully petition for their civil rights to be
restored.


At The LaBelle City Commission

by Donna Storter
LaBelle City Council Meeting July 8, 2004 The main agenda items were
the public hearings on four parcels being annexed into the city. They are
all between Live Oak Lane and Fort Denaud Road, owned by the Royal family,
deeded as Three R Company and LaBelle Land Company. Several adjoining
property owners appeared with questions concerning the zoning of the
parcels, and were assured that the annexation did not change the existing
zoning of the parcels, that any changes would require public notice and
meeting. Applicant Derrick Royal stated that no firm plans exist for the
properties but they were bought for investment. All four parcels were
approved for annexation. The neighbors were concerned that some type of
convenience store business would come in and destroy the neighborhood. The
Royals have the area Burger King franchise. The city adopted an amended
tree ordinance which will allow Public Utilities Director to make
determination of condition of tree to see if it qualifies for permitted
removal. The measuring of trees will now be from 4-1/2 inches from the
ground with caliper measurement at that point being 12 inches or less as
the maximum size a tree can be removed without a permit. It also included
the recommendation that live oaks be used as tree replacements (rather
than water oaks).
Discussion followed at length considering the request of a real estate
auction company's request to use the Civic Center for auction sale of
Gerber Groves. The unwritten city policy has been the building is not for
rent for any retail sales and only not-for-profit clubs or entities could
use it for sales events. Some concern was setting a precedent that would
invite other retail uses such as flea market. They decided they may need
to have their code review committee consider this issue. Finally it was
agreed to rent the building for the auction at the highest use rates.


Nominations Sought

Woman of Year In Ag Nominations Due
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson
announced that nominations are being accepted for the 2004 "Woman of the
Year in Agriculture" award. The award, now in its 20th year, recognizes
women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.
Those nominated for the award will be judged by a panel familiar with
Florida agriculture. The award will be presented in February at the
opening-day luncheon of the 2005 Florida State Fair in Tampa.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which sponsors
the event, has sent nomination forms to agricultural organizations around
the state. The deadline for submitting nominations to the Department is
November 1, 2004. Nominations remain active for two years; after that time
they must be resubmitted in order to be considered.
For more information about the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture" award
including screening criteria and biographies of previous winners, or to
obtain nomination forms, call Richard Gunnels at (850) 488-3022 or visit
http://www.florida-agriculture.com/marketing/awards.htm.


Glades County Commission

by Donna Storter
Glades BCC MSTU Workshop July 8, 2004 - Legal counsel from Nabors,
Giblin & Nickerson made a presentation to the Commission concerning the
ordinances prepared by NG&N and recently adopted by Glades County that puts
in place the option of using a taxing method of Municipal Services Taxing
Unit (MSTU) for funding the Emergency Medical Services budget and the
Sheriff's law enforcement budget. She named the timeline (rapidly
approaching deadlines) for implementing the MSTU methodology, and reminded
the Board that the City of Moore Haven must be notified of the intent and
if they concur, they have to consent by adopting a similar ordinance.
All taxing exemptions currently on ad valorem assessments would apply to
MSTU assessment, and approximately $138,000 would have to transfer from
general fund to cover the exemptions for County and institutional
properties if the EMS budget goes to MSTU. MSTU can be used for all the
law enforcement or EMS budgets, or as a hybrid with only part MSTU and the
rest ad valorem. The County's annual budget is $7 million. 42% of
the general funding now goes to the Sheriff's budget. 50%-60% of the
Sheriff's policing services are provided within the incorporated limits
of the City of Moore Haven. With the implementation of Article V on
July 1st, State income for Clerk's office for judicial services will reduce
income by $235,000.
Several citizens voiced concern and objection to the MSTU because it
increases net taxes as ad valorem cannot be reduced when MSTU is used.
Tommy Todd, CEO of Glades Electric Coop, first expressed dismay and
frustration on the negligence of the Board in dealing with this situation
earlier to avoid the same last minute actions as taken last year, and
failure to follow the reasonable recommendations of the Special Special
Committee (Chaired by John Tallent) when it completed its study (months
ago) of the EMS funding thru MSBU. Alvin Ward named ways to save the
County money, as the Committee cited one way to save was to go from three
ambulance units to two units in the County, one of those being provided by
the Seminole Tribe and stationed at Brighton. He defended the Board's
year-long activity on this issue, stating that all slots had been opened
and it was now decision time. NG&N continued with similar discussion on
funding the Sheriff's budget for MSTU, stating that if the City of MH
chooses not to use MSTU for law enforcement funding, then a study would
have to be done of the Sheriff's expenditures to determine the amount
budgeted for police protection/service to the incorporated area of MH.
Same timeline/deadlines apply. The intent of the City must be determined
before the millage is set for the MSTU. The same deadlines apply.
Because this was a public workshop, no official action was taken. The
Board invited all citizens and taxpayers to attend the budget workshops
meetings beginning July 14th.


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

LaBelle Felons On Election List

Local Felons On No-Vote List
LABELLE, FL. (July 7, 2004) -- The Florida Divison of Elections has
released a list of "potential" convicted felons to county Supervisor of
Election offices, mandating the local offices verify if the names on the
list should be disqualified from voting or should be removed from the list.
Florida is one of a few states that automatically bars convicted felons
from voting unless they successfully petition for their civil rights to be
restored. Here are names of LaBelle registered voters apprearing on the
list. If your name appears and you believe it is in error, contact the
Supervisor of Elections office.
Michael W. Brown, Davis Street; Gene William Anderson, 3013 E. Briarwood
Cir.; Deborah Schroeder Bell, 4008 Teak Ln.; Oscar J. Blue III, 900 W
Hickpoochee Av.; Charles E. Deer, Lincoln Av.; Ronald P. English, Country
Meadows; Tex J. Elkhatib, Bryan Av.; Ernesto A. Franco, Swallow Av.; John
E. Fowler, Palm Av.; Thomas Fagin, Collier Av.; Curtis W. Hill, Edison Av.;
L.C. Harris, 889 Edison Av.; Link C. Howard, 415 Broward Av.; Daniel Harry
Kulick, Broward Av.; David F. Kaidor, 1110 Ivan Blvd.; Scarletha A. Lewis,
730 Spencer Rd.; Fabian Lopez, Loblolly Bay Rd.; Christopher Lawrence, 3-3
Gaulding MHP; Gary Leon Litaker, Seminole Av.; Joe McClellan, 889 Edison
Av.; Sakura Mitchell, Kissimmee Av.; Alan K. McDaniel, Sunset Trail; John
K. Munson, 1145 Riverbend Dr.; Ricky A. Pleas, 851 Suwannee Av.; Jessie E.
Posey, Dolly Av.; Donna Lynne Renfroe, 1214 Nobles Rd.; Bobby J. Robinson
Jr., Caloosahatchee Av.; Dorothy Deloris Robinson, 320 Martin Luther King;
Charles R. Reinbott Jr., 73 S Riverview St.; Johhny Lee Siplen, Edison
Av.; Oscar Salazar, Spanish Tr.; Samuel Simmons, 795 Kissimmee Av.; Juan
Santos, Loblolly Rd.; Paul A. Shoff, Maddox St.; Thomas W. Sullivan, 1055
Lillian St.; Kenneth P Stanchi, 4030 Ft. Adams Av.; J.B. Stokes, Martin
Luther King,; Kathleen C. Stift, Lantana Ln.; Lamar James Talamantez, Ford
Av.; Melvin R. Thomas, 480 Martin Luther King; James Leon Thomas, 4031
School Cir.; Stanley R. Williams, 1020 Wallen St.; Ricky Williamson, C Rd.;
Jerrry Aubrey Walston, 4001 Collingswood Pkwy Unit 32


Rudd Gets Life For Sex Crimes

Convicted of serial rape against child
SEBRING, FL. (July 2, 2004) -- A Highlands County Judge sentenced 46 year
old Wayne Stewart Rudd to life in prison after his conviction of seven
counts of raping a child aged under 12 years old. The rape occured 20 years
ago. Rudd, already a convicted sex offender, will be eligible for parole in
25 years.
The victim, now 27 years old lives in Nebraska and Rudd told the Judge he
had not seen her for 20 years. Evidence in the case came from a controlled
phone call made by the victim to Rudd while Detective John Chess listened
in. Rudd admitted during the call that he had sex with her and blamed
himself adding that he had gone through therapy after a successful
prosecution against him for another sex victim. Rudd was convicted in Lee
county previously for two charges of a lewd act on a child younger than 16.
Rudd had lived in Ft. Myers and has relatives in the Hendry county area.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Florida Wildlife Commission Arrests

This report represents some significant events the FWC handled over the
past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division
of Law Enforcement.
SOUTH REGION
Okeechobee County
Officer Jason Godwin was patrolling the rim canal near the
Okeechobee-Martin County line when he observed a vessel operating without
navigation lights. After stopping the vessel, Officer Godwin noticed the
operator displaying signs of impairment. Further investigation led to the
subject's arrest for BUI. He was transported to the Martin County Jail
where he refused to provide a breath sample.
On June 25, Investigators charged two more suspects with illegal sales of
freshwater game fish. This is part of an ongoing investigation on Lake
Okeechobee involving the sales of large quantities of freshwater game fish
to undercover agents. The two suspects were charged with six counts of
violations including unlawful sale of freshwater game fish and commercial
license violations. To date, this investigation has resulted in almost a
ton of seized freshwater game fish and one vehicle being forfeited to the
FWC.
Glades County
On June 29, Officers Jesse Lee and Tim Sweat responded to an alligator
attack on the Brighton Indian Reservation. A subject was fishing at a pond
on the reservation when a four-foot alligator attacked his dog. While the
man was rescuing his dog, he sustained minor injuries to his hand.


Saturday, July 03, 2004


Signs of the times: Getting tired of illegal campaign signs? Signs are allowed only on private property with owner permission yet just about every political candidate including Glades Sheriff Jim Rider's helpers insist on placing signs on public rights-of-way.

Port LaBelle "businessman" Roberto Gutierrez charged for growing a boatload of marijuana in his South Edgewater Circle home. Anonymous tipster got him nabbed.

Busted In Port LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. (July 2, 2004) -- Acting on an anonymous tip regarding a
marijuana growing operation, Hendry County Sheriffs narcotic Investigators
responded to 4056 S. Edgewater Circle in the Port LaBelle community.
While there Investigators located and seized an indoor marijuana growing
operation yielding 48 mature marijuana plants approximately 4' in height
with an approximate street value of $120,000.00. The plants were fully
budded and ready for cultivation. The sole occupant of the residence was
identified as 40-year-old Roberto Gutterrez.
Once inside the residence investigators found a portion of the living
quarters had been altered to accommodate the operation. A 15'x20' addition
had been built onto the rear of the garage and contained an elaborate
indoor marijuana grow operation. The grow area was fully equipped with a
sophisticated hydroponic grow system consisting of electricity and water;
the floors and ceilings were fully covered with insulation board. The room
contained a number of high wattage lights, a separate air conditioning
system, and numerous transistors, breaker boxes and electrical plugs
necessary for this type of operation.
Roberto Gutterrez was arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana,
possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and possession of drug
paraphernalia. Gutterrez is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail
on a $5,000.00 bond.
In the past three and half years narcotics investigators with the Hendry
County Sheriffs office have uncovered six grow house operations in Hendry
County seizing an estimated $1,500,00 in illegal drugs, during Sheriff
Worley's administration.
Sheriff Worley stated, "The continued support and cooperation of the
community has contributed to the overall success of our goal in addressing
the problem of drugs in our County. It was my goal while running for
office and continues to be my goal and that of the Hendry County Sheriffs
Office to confront the problem of drugs and the affect that it has on the
residents of our county. We deeply appreciate the public's support".


Friday, July 02, 2004

Family Caregivers

Support for Family Caregivers
by Barbara Marshall
The caregivers who are often the most taken aback by their role are those
who never see it coming. Children may be concerned about the deterioration
of the health or financial situation of their loved one, but are perhaps
unwilling to see what may lie ahead.
You can be a caregiver without living with your loved one. There are
factors to look for to see if you need to intervene or offer assistance.
Keep in mind that you do not have to be ìthe bossî or take over the
situation. Guidance from a financial planner or other in-home service
coordinator may be what is really needed. Talking to your loved one and
facing a situation together, allowing them to keep their self worth and
dignity, can be the best assistance you could ever give them.
You can help your loved one remain independent and in their own home. Some
focus points may be:
-Talk with your loved one to find out what she needs and what she will
accept. How do they manage money, clean, shop, and get around?
-Organize information and keep notes on conversations. Keep track of your
loved one's medical condition and prescription drug information.
-Keep a list of community resources in their area, such as adult daycare,
transportation companies, social service agencies, and home health
agencies.
-Establish a network of support for your loved one (friends, relatives,
neighbors, and physicians.)
-Don't be afraid to ask for assistance from local volunteer agencies or
hire help if it is needed and available.
-Keep in regular touch with your loved one. Record any changes you sense in
their personality or ability to function day by day.
Are you a caring for a loved one 60 years of age or older? You are welcome
to attend the Family Caregiver Support Group. Support groups are held each
month. The next group will take place on July 14, 2004 at 5 p.m. in Labelle
at the L. J. Nobles Senior Center 21, 2004 at 5 p.m. at the Clewiston
Senior and July 28, 2004 at 5 p.m. at the Moore Haven Senior Center. For
additional information contact Barbara Marshall at (863)675-1446.


Two Die On US27

CLEWISTON, FL. (June 30, 2004) -- 57-year old Marcelina Alverdez and Jamie
Alverdez, both of 1782 Melissa Rd, Clewiston died after their vehicle
attempted to cross US27 at Evercane Road, running into a truck. The driver
of the truck suffered minor injuries.