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.