Saturday, April 30, 2005
You probably don't want to ever see this guy in person. He's in the Hendry Correctional Institution now on numerous convictions. But this week, Miami-Dade county police have alleged he also raped multiple women and children two years ago. 30-year old Sedrick Williams will probably be looking at much more prison time if convicted.
Lock Him Up Forever?
LABELLE, FL. (April 29, 2005) -- Police in Miami-Dade county say they have
arrested a man suspected of a series of rapes there two years ago. Sedrick
Teacory Williams, 30, was arrested at the Hendry Correctional Institution
where he was serving a sentence on unrelated cases. He is now charged with
raping six women and girls, and may be later charged with an additional
eight rapes. Investigators matched his DNA samples in the state's database
with evidence in the six rapes he's been charged with. Williams allegedly
attacked his victims while they slept, breaking through windows or doors to
gain entry and caused panic in the North Dade area for nearly a year.
Williams, a small statured man of 5' 7' and 130 lbs. is serving numerous
sentences for the offenses of possession, sale, manufacturing or delivery of
cocaine, obstruction of a criminal investigation, and attempted escape.
These offenses were from May 2002 to March 2004. He was placed in prison in
December 2004 but has been in prison now three separate timesduring his
crime career, the first in 1994, serving 18 months while he was 18 years
old. He's also been in prison since then for convictions for carrying a
concealed weapon, introducing a weapon and drugs into a correctional
facility, aggravated stalking and violation of a court order, and possession
of a fake I.D.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
CLEWISTON, FL. (April 23, 2005) -- A Jupiter, Fl. eight-month pregnant woman
died when the vehicle she was a passenger in flipped into a canal along
SR80, 10 miles west of LaBelle. Angela Chinni, 34 was a front seat passenger
in a 2002 Volvo driven by Derek Cinni, 31. The FHP reports that Mr. Chinni,
westbound on SR80 was trying to avoid a turtle in the road and lost control
about 12 noon Saturday, flipping into the canal on the south side of SR80.
There are no guard rails on this section of the highway. Mr. Cinni suffered
minor injuries and was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital. 19-month old
Koby Chinni, in a rear seat child restraint, was also transported to Lee
Memorial for minor injuries. All parties were wearing seat belts.
Photo at accident scene on SR80 east of LaBelle as dozens of people attempted to save the life of an 8-month pregant woman after the vehicle she was riding in flipped into the canal. Two others suffered minor injuries and were taken to Lee Memorial Hospital.
(Photo by Don Browne)
CLEWISTON, FL. (April 24, 2005) -- Two Clewiston women died in an accident on
Flaghole Road and US27, seven miles west of Clewiston. Beverly Phillips, 38
died after failing to stop at a stop sign on Flaghole and drove into a
vehicle driven by 28 year old Frances Robertson also of Clewiston. Robertson
suffered minor injuries. A passenger in the Robertson car, Roy Blair also
sustained minor injuries.
Billie Jean Phillips, 20 of 719 Pinecone, Clewiston and a passenger in the right front seat of the Phillips' 2002 Dodge also died as a result of the accident.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Florida softshell turtle spotted at Dinner Island Ranch WMA near a canal. This female, about 18 inches long has webbed feet and spends its day basking in the sun or floating on the water. The soft shell turtle is the largest of Florida land turtles and are the oldest living group of reptiles dating back to dinosaur times. Turtles are the only toothless reptiles, although their horny beaks have sharp biting edges.
New Area Open For Nature Lovers
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is working on completing the Dinner
Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area in the southern end of Hendry County.
The 19,667 acre area is at the southern end of SR833. The highway runs from
SR80 on the north end and through Montura to the south and eventually turns
to the west into the city of Immokalee. Under progress is road building at
this time, with a mountain of stone being layed and crushed to make the
entrance roads passable in most weather. Visitors will travel several miles
through restricted areas before reaching the actual public areas. Included
in the management area is a dove field and a more or less circular road
around the main areas. A camping area has been designated along with a check
station for hunters although we didn't see signs or structures marked as
such on our latest trip. The road is not as yet well marked leaving one to
guess which way to turn and what exactly is park land and what is not. Near
the western sections are numerous canals which might prove good for fishing.
New website gives advice on proper diet for Americans
The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week unveiled MyPyramid..com, a new
symbol and online interactive food guidance system. "Steps to a Healthier
You," MyPyramid's central message, supports President Bush's HealthierUS
initiative which is designed to help Americans live longer, better and
healthier lives. MyPyramid, which replaces the Food Guide Pyramid introduced
in 1992, is part of an overall food guidance system that emphasizes the need
for a more individualized approach to improving diet and lifestyle.
MyPyramid incorporates recommendations from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines
for Americans, which was released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in January. The Dietary
Guidelines for Americans provide authoritative advice for people two years
of age and older about how proper dietary habits can promote health and
reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. MyPyramid was developed to carry
the messages of the dietary guidelines and to make Americans aware of the
vital health benefits of simple and modest improvements in nutrition,
physical activity and lifestyle behavior.
The MyPyramid symbol, which is deliberately simple, is meant to encourage
consumers to make healthier food choices and to be active every day.
Consumers can get more in-depth information from the new Web site,
MyPyramid.gov, so that they can make these choices to fit their own needs.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council will hold a workshop meeting
at the LaBelle Civic Center at 10 a.m. Friday, April 22. The agenda is about
the Four Corners area development. The area is in the far northwest section
of Hendry county where Hendry county meets, Glades, Charlotts and Lee
counties. The Planning Council seems to do little advertising of its
meetings and this is probably the first and maybe only time the have met in
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Some 57 million workers in America say they would join a union
tomorrow if they could. Today, a bill was reintroduced in both
houses of Congress that would level the playing field for
workers trying to form unions. It's the bipartisan Employee Free
Choice Act and it could make a world of difference for working
people trying to gain a voice on the job. A link to urge your members of
Congress to support it is here:
The bill is being introduced into the 109th Congress by Sens.
Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Reps.
George Miller (D-Calif.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.).
The Employee Free Choice Act says when a majority of employees
in a workplace decide to form a union, they can do so without
the bitter war employers now wage to block them. Every 23
minutes a worker is fired or discriminated against for
exercising the basic freedom to decide whether to form a union.
On paper, U.S. labor law and international standards give
workers the legal right to form unions--but in the real world,
employers block that right day after day. So 57 million workers
who want the benefits of union membership can't get them.
The Employee Free Choice Act is an approach to
restoring workers' freedom to form unions. It would require
employers to recognize the union once a majority of workers
signed cards authorizing union representation. It also would
provide for mediation and arbitration of first-contract disputes
and authorize stronger penalties for employers that violate the
legal rights of workers seeking to form unions and negotiate
By the time Congress adjourned last year, 38 senators and 210
U.S. representatives had signed on as co-sponsors of the
Employee Free Choice Act.
LABELLE, FL. -- Small farmers in Florida face a variety of issues and
challenges and with less resources available to them than larger farms,
they can be at a competitive disadvantage. With small farms representing
over 90% of farms in Florida, ensuring their success is vital to the
agriculture industry in the state. The UF/IFAS and FAMU have created a
website (http://smallfarms.ifas.ufl.edu) that specifically addresses the
needs of small farmers.
"The website was developed to make small farm information accessible in
one location." said Bob Hochmuth, the Multi-County Agent at the UF/IFAS
North Florida Research and Education Center in Suwannee Valley. "Small
farmers may be seeking information on getting started in farming or
considering one of many alternative enterprises and it is all pulled
together in one site to make the search easy."
The website provides links and other resources for small farmers
including, how to get started, enterprise budgeting, business planning,
financing grants, and much more. Farmers using the site can select topics
on enterprises of special interest to them, including aquaculture, cut
flowers, livestock, and organic farming. Each topic includes information
on production, marketing, and economics as well as other appropriate links.
Input from small farmers and allied organizations, identifying issues
critical to small farmers, such as access to profitable markets, business
skills development, accessible technical information, and alternative
crops and enterprises, was used to help design the site. Input from
counties throughout Florida identified the need for small farm educational
programs to be developed.
Monday, April 18, 2005
LABELLE, FL. -- Earth Day will be celebrated at LaBelle's Barron Park from
12 pm to 4 pm on Saturday, April 23. The annual celebration will be the
fifth of its kind, inviting community groups, schools, churches, agencies,
individuals to display how they benefit the environment. A "Thank You Tree"
will display names of contributors to the event. For more information
contact Lois at 675 3940. Barron Park in on the Caloosahatchee River on
Sunday, April 17, 2005
LABELLE, FL. -- A new corporation has leased the old Belmont Woods Medical Center in LaBelle, now named HealthFlorida Medical Centers, LLC. Featuring large news advertisement the last few weeks, the company claims to have full service medical practice for area residents in the landmark building on South Main Street. The neat professional office building, owned by L.J. and Geraldine Nobles has been mostly empty on and off for years with a variety of medical services sometimes available.
The Florida Secretary of State's office shows that in addition to the HealthFlorida company which filed new corporate organizing papers with the state this year, the address also houses also new corporate company names Therapedix LLC, HealthFlorida Systems LLC, HealthFlorida Medical Management LLC, and HealthFlorida Diagnotic Center LLC.
All of these limited liability corporations are set up soley by Margarita M. Grishkoff and in some cases along with Christina Pertierra (aka Cristina) who shows also a Ft. Myers address. Pertierra has been associated with forming numerous failed medical companies and investment schemes in the Miami area since the 1990s and has at least one new company registered there this year.
Another partner in HealthFlorida Medical Management is Jorge Recarey of pricey Key Biscayne in Miami who also has had dozens of medical and investment companies go in and out of business since the 1980s in the Cuban neighborhoods of the Miami area. According to a website at http://www.iraqtimeline.com/1986.html, Recarey reportedly is a brother of Miguel Recarey who committed the largest Medicare fraud in history with his International Medical Centers, Inc. in Miami. The company was put out of business in 1987 by the courts after the gigantic medical fraud was discovered.
It was alleged by Miguel Recarey's associates that the medical company was financed by the Miami mafia don Santo Trafficante. Miguel was indicted for illegal wiretapping and bribery and left the country for safe haven in Madrid, the same day he received an "expedited" $2.2 million income tax refund from the IRS. Jorge Recarey, according to the article was reportedly a CIA asset, and the brother's medical company was largely staffed by CIA veterans and "shady members of the Cuban-American community."
In a complicated business arrangement, the medical company's offices were associated with now Governor Jeb Bush when he had real estate businesses in Miami. Bush was reportedly paid $75,000 to lobby with Health & Human Services head Margaret Heckler to obtain a special Medicare waiver for International Medical Centers.
Meanwhile, LaBelle's new medical center partner Margarita Grishkoff has a lengthy history of presumably failed business enterprises over the last decade, including various property management companies, a finance company, medical consulting companies, and a law firm, all operating out of the Miami area. For a few years she had a law office next to the Dade Count Courthouse with the firm of Grishkoff, Goldberg, and Druks but the firm was dissolved by the Secretary of State's office for failing to file an annual report. Grishkoff is listed on a website (www.clr.org/fl.html ) as having reportedly commited attorney misconduct while she worked as a lawyer in South Florida. The Florida Bar says she is no longer listed as a member of the bar in Florida and is not now allowed to practice law.
The company's medical director is Dr. Jose J. Villar, M.D. who got his medical degree at the Superior Instutute of Sciences in 1977 in Cuba. He obtained a masters of public administration in healthcare and policy degree there, and obtained his U.S. license to practice medicine in 2000. He is currently registered with the state as having an office in South Miami near the South Miami Hospital. The state of Florida Department of Health says he carries no malpractice insurance and is required to either post a sign or give notice to his patients of not being covered by insurance.
Update: The companies in LaBelle founded in January 2005 went out of business in September 2006 according to the Florida Secretary of State office. The Florida Department of Revenue filed tax liens against Health Florida Systems LLC for failure to pay taxes as due for 2005 and 2006. It also was co-owned by Pertierra and Grishkoff and went out of business in September 2006.
Numerous other medical companies were set up in Miami after 2006 by "Cristina" Pertierra and went out of business after about a year.
"Christina" Pertierra set up a new medical business in Miami in June 2011 called Accountable Care Medical Group of Florida, Inc. with John Ward and Evaldo Dupuy which is still in business.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
LABELLE, FL. -- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Charles Bronson says he is pleased the Florida Supreme Court
has issued a ruling in a citrus canker eradication compensation case that
has been before the justices for more than two years.
Bronson says the case, Patchen vs Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Services leaves intact the court's previous opinion which upheld
the constitutionality of the citrus canker eradication program. The
Florida Supreme Court ruling also upholds section 581.1845, which was added
to the statute to provide compensation to eligible homeowners. The court
pointed out that the 2002 statute "clearly intends that the petitioners be
included within the homeowners covered by section 581.1845 (2)." The
plaintiff in this case, Brian Patchen is eligible for a $100 Shade Florida
voucher for the first citrus tree removed and $55.00 cash payment for every
subsequent tree removed from the property.
The Supreme Court ruling overturned a decision from the 3rd District Court
of Appeals that indicated residential citrus trees within 1900 feet of
infected ones were not due compensation. It also sends the case back to a
trial court for further proceedings.
"The Department has a constitutional duty to eliminate plant pests and
diseases from Florida," Bronson said. "Legal delays and hurricanes have
resulted in the spread of this terrible disease and we must focus our
efforts on eradication. The courts are the proper venue for any additional
interpretation of this ruling."
The Department in cooperation with the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) has been involved in the citrus canker eradication
effort since 1995. Citrus canker is a bacteria which causes premature
fruit and leaf drop, weakens citrus trees making them more susceptible to
other diseases and scars the fruit.
The Department anticipates completing the eradication of all known infected
and exposed citrus trees by July of next year. Once eradication is
declared, a two year waiting period is required before citrus can be
replanted. The CCEP has removed more than 720,000 residential citrus trees
and more than 3.2 million commercial trees during the eradication effort.
CLEWISTON, FL. -- Robert Dolson, president and chief executive officer at
U.S. Sugar Corp. will retire Oct. 31, when his five-year contract expires.
Dolson took over the job in 2000 and automated its Clewiston mill. The
company, primarily controlled by the Mott Foundation, has been downsizing
through layoffs and attrition since 2000 although cleverly has kept its
Hendry County property tax abatements on its mill property for promising the
county to add new jobs over the last several years, saving the company
thousands of dollars at the expense of Hendry county taxpayers.
The company will close its Bryant Mill near Pahokee by early 2007. The
company produced 690,000 tons of sugar during this year's harvest. Its
Southern Gardens Citrus subsidiary produces more than 120 million gallons
of orange juice a year and farms about 196,000 acres in Palm Beach, Glades
and Hendry counties.
Judge's Error Allows Him New Trial
MOORE HAVEN, FL -- 29-year old Cedric Frazier, convicted two years ago for
trafficking cocaine and possesion of marijuana and sentenced 15 years, is
now eligible for a new trial after the Fourth District Court of Appeal found
an error during his Broward County circuit court jury trial. During jury
selection the prosecutor got a Jamaican native women released from jury duty
by the judge arguing Jamaica "is known to be a high area for narcotics..."
But Defense attorney Sidney Fleischman argued for the black woman juror,
since she was the only potential juror at the time who is black, like his
client. The appeals court said the trial judge was wrong when he ruled to
dismiss the juror. Frazier has been in custody for more than two years in
Moore Haven Correctional but now could be released on bond pending a new
The circuit judge in Broward county has reportedly been cited for 13
violations of judicial rules in previous cases.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Aerial Photo - Pioneer Plantation in Hendry County, Fl. This rural subdivision is one of the most popular for families looking for peace and quiet. Photo taken by Don Browne looks east. Hendry Isles Blvd. runs left to right in center while Homestead Ave. is at left of photo running from top to bottom.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Wal-Mart Chief Scores Bigtime Even With Controversy
The AFL-CIO has just released the 2005 version of the Executive
PayWatch website and database. Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott presides over a
company that just settled
legal cases involving child labor violations (for $135,540) and
hiring undocumented immigrants as janitors (for $11 million).
Scott's company still faces a massive sex discrimination class
action suit and numerous legal actions accusing the company of
forcing hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart employees to work "off
Wal-Mart's in the hot seat for closing down a Canadian store
rather than bargain with workers who voted to form a union. A
former executive is accused of cheating on expense
reimbursements to fund secret union-busting projects, according
to The Wall Street Journal. Wal-Mart pays employees too little
to keep a family of four out of poverty--and because of low
wages, high costs and corporate manipulation, fewer than half of
Wal-Mart workers have company health care coverage. CEO Lee
Scott got a 2004 pay package worth almost
An average worker would work 901 years to match Lee
Scott's take for 2004 alone.
Scott is just one example of gigantic CEO pay--and he's not even
at the top of the list of overpaid corporate execs. That spot is
taken by Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, who raked in
$109 million in total compensation last year.
In 2004, the average CEO of a major company received $9.84
million in total compensation--a 12 percent increase over 2003,
compared with the inflation-ravaged 3.6 percent raise the
average worker got.
Critics say Every dollar these CEOs are overpaid is a dollar that could be
going to shareholders--including working folks saving for their
retirement or to put a child through college. That's why union
pension funds are taking on runaway CEO pay right in the
boardroom with shareholder proposals to limit stock options and
tie CEO compensation to performance.
Visit AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch. See what CEOs
are taking home, how your pay compares.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Aerial Photo of Clewiston, Fl. by Don Browne. Looking south from over Lake Okeechobee, this is the western portion of the city. Wal-Mart and the old K-Mart buildings are in the center and at top, the old airport which is now part of the country club and golf course. See Hendry and Glades County Aerial Photos for more local scenes from the sky.
LABELLE, FL. -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today
announced today that April 10 - 16 is "Wildfire Awareness Week" in Florida.
Designated by the Florida Cabinet in 1999, Wildfire Awareness Week is
observed each year during the second week of April, a time when the state
typically experiences an increase in the number and severity of wildfires.
So far this year, the level and distribution of rainfall has kept the
number of wildfires relatively low. However, the state has just begun what
is normally its driest period - April and May.
"Even though we have had an unusually wet spring, I encourage all
Floridians to be very careful with any outdoor fires," Bronson said.
Florida has a 12 month wildfire season because as little as two weeks
without rain at any time of year can result in forests and homes being
threatened by wildfires. The most active part of the year is December
through June. The greatest numbers of wildfires typically occur in
February, when killing freezes leave grass and brush dry and ready to burn,
but the largest wildfires usually occur in April and May, when much of
Florida experiences a spring drought.
This year, firefighters will have to deal with another factor that
threatens to make wildfires more difficult to control - the thousands of
dead trees uprooted by last year's hurricanes.
"Dead and dying trees and shrubs from the 2004 hurricanes and tropical
storms are now additional fuel for wildfires," Bronson said. "We could
have severe wildfires for several years to come because of the massive
amounts woody debris in our forests and wildlands."
Forestry officials are especially concerned that homeowners disposing of
hurricane debris may accidentally cause a wildfire.
"Escaped debris fires are a frequent cause of wildfires in Florida,"
Bronson said. "If you still have leaves and other debris from the 2004
storms, first consider using the lighter organic material for mulch, then
set larger pieces aside for curbside pickup if it is available. If you
still have debris to burn, contact the local office of our Division of
Forestry so you know how to burn safely and legally."
Since the beginning of the year, about 1,100 wildfires have burned
approximately 13,000 acres in Florida. Forty eight structures burned as a
result of the wildfires and 341 structures were saved. During the
disastrous wildfire season of 1998, 4,900 wildfires burned more than
506,000 acres and destroyed 330 structures.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Simmons has for years been active in developing governmental contacts in Hendry county to allow more land and industrial development, and lead the charge to get tax exemptions for large manufacturing companies to add employees in the county. Simmons also helped form a quasi-governmental local development agency that is primarily funded by the Hendry Board of County Commissioners. His salary at Alico as chief financial officer was $167,000 last year and when stock options and other incentives are included topped $211,000.
Locally, parishoners prayed for the Pope at LaBelle's Queen of Heaven Catholic Church on Bridge Street in LaBelle. (photo right) Roman Catholicism is the largest church denomination in the U.S. and second in the world (after Muslims). The Church at Rome named Apostle Peter the founder of the church and the first Pope in 42 A.D. and he was martyred in Rome in 67 A.D. and ultimately was canonized as a saint.
Friday, April 01, 2005
LABELLE, FL. -- Governor Jeb Bush and Lt. Governor Toni Jennings today
announced the winners of this year's Governor's High School All Star
awards, which recognizes Florida students who exemplify excellence in
Florida's public schools.
The All-Stars program, now in its sixth year, honors one high school junior
from each school district in Florida. The students are selected for their
demonstration of leadership qualities and academic excellence: Academic
Performance - Earns at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale,
Behavior - Discipline record consistent with good deportment, Leadership -
Participates in co-/extra-curricular activities such as athletics,
enrichment programs and school clubs, Community Service - Involved in
volunteer, mentoring and civic activities.
To ensure the most qualified and deserving students were selected,
school districts convened a panel comprised of at least one teacher, one
administrator, one parent, one community member and two high school seniors
to determine the junior who best met the state criteria.
This morning, Lt. Governor Jennings and K-12 Education Chancellor Jim
Warford addressed the All-Star students on leadership and the value of
receiving a quality education in the House Chamber. Governor Bush also
hosted a luncheon at the Governor's Mansion and later held a roundtable
discussion for the students. The All-Stars visited the Capitol,
participated in a mock senate session and received a signed photo of the
Governor and an award certificate.
The Governor's All-Stars in our area are Pavan Patelin Glades county and
Matthew Williamsom in Hendry. Congratulations to both!
LABELLE, Fl. (March 31, 2005) -- Alico, Inc., one of Florida's largest
agribusiness companies operating in Central and Southwest Florida, and with
approximately 141,000 acres in real estate holdings, announced today that
the Company has entered into a contract to sell approximately 280 acres of
citrus grove land located south of Labelle, Florida in Hendry County for
$5.6 million, or $20,000 per acre. The transaction is scheduled to close in
October of 2005. The Company will retain operating rights to the grove until
"This property is close to the area where Alico owns and maintains a 50 acre
greenhouse operation known as Alico Plant World, and is an area of expanding
growth and development. We felt that this was an opportune time to market
this land," Alico CEO John Alexander said today. "Alico will continue to
assess these market opportunities."
The company is involved in various operations and activities including
citrus fruit production, cattle ranching, sugarcane, sod production, and
forestry and main office is in LaBelle.