Tuesday, August 30, 2005

LaBelle Man Charged With Sexual Battery

Picks Up 14-year Old At Bus Stop

LABELLE, FL. -- On August 19, 2005, the Hendry County Sheriff's Office
Investigations Division received information that a 24 year old male
picked up a 14 year old female at a bus stop in the Nobles Road area of
LaBelle, then transported her to Lee County where they allegedly had
sexual intercourse. An investigation revealed that the 24 year old male
was Enrique Casiano Zuniga who resides at 1024 Mohawk Avenue, LaBelle,

The Hendry County Sheriff's Office Investigators charged Zuniga
with Interference of Child Custody, which is a third degree felony, with
other charges pending. The Lee County Sheriff's Office was notified and
Zuniga was later charged with False Imprisonment and Sexual Battery.

Charity Relief Scam Warning

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner
Charles H. Bronson is urging people to check out charities before donating
money to victims of Hurricane Katrina. There is a potential for scam
artists posing as relief agencies for the storm victims in Florida and

In Florida, most charities are required to register with the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and provide financial
information, such as how much is raised, and how much is spent on
administrative costs, fundraising and on the program services. Charities
that solicit in Florida are included in this requirement even if they are
located out of state.

The Department has received complaints in the past about organizations
seeking help for disaster victims and pocketing the money. It is difficult
to investigate these crimes because the scam artists often disappear from
an area by the time consumers realize they have been conned. Out of state
charities are especially difficult to follow up on so it's important that
people take the time to check the background of a charity prior to making a

Consumers can call the Division of Consumer Services hotline at
1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352) to verify that a charity is properly
registered or exempt from registration, find out how an organization spends
its donations, and check on the complaint history of a charity.

Charities that are located out of state and do not solicit in Florida do
not have to be registered. Bronson says people who get a phone number of
an out-of-state charity from a satellite news broadcast or the Internet may
not be able to do a background check on the organization. He encourages
consumers who want to help storm victims outside of Florida to donate to
charities that are well known and have established reputations.

We've Been Workin' On The Railroad

Arrest Made For Stolen U.S. Sugar Crossties

LABELLE, FL. (Aug. 30, 2005) -- The Hendry County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division arrested Thomas Fralix, age 44, of 3197 North West 20th Terrace Okeechobee, Florida. Sheriff Ronnie Lee said information was received that someone was trying to sell railroad crossties that were owned by the U.S. Sugar Corporation. Sheriff's Investigators initiated an
undercover operation and set up a deal to purchase several crossties.

On August 27, the Undercover Investigator met with Fralix at a location where U.S.Sugar Corporation stored their crossties. Fralix showed the Undercover Investigator the crossties and offered them for sale. Once the transaction was completed, other Sheriff's Investigators, who
were monitoring the conversation, moved in and arrested Fralix. Fralix was charged with Dealing in Stolen Property and placed in the Hendry County Jail. Sheriff Ronnie Lee was formerly the chief investigator for the U.S. Sugar Corp security department before being re-elected as county Sheriff.

Lantigua Completes Army Training

BELLE GLADE, FL. -- Army National Guard Pvt. Angel M. Lantigua has
graduated from basic combat military training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Ok.
During the eight weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission
and received instruction in drill and ceremonies, rifle marksmanship,
weapons, map reading, tactics, armed and unarmed combat, military courtesy,
military justice, physical fitness, first aid, Army history, core values
and traditions, and special training in human relations. Lantigua is the
son of Milady Henriquez of N.W. 11th St., Belle Glade, Fl.

What's Behind US Sugar Hospital Attack?

An Open Letter To Robert Coker, U.S. Sugar Corp.

(In recent months, U.S. Sugar Corp. has been in court to obtain documents
regarding Hendry Regional Hospital's financial records. Hendry county's
largest company alleges financial mismanagement at the hospital, as well as
infers inappropriate connections between one of its vendors and the
Hospital Board Chairman, Miller Couse. The hospital's largest vendor,
Physical Therapy Dynamics if owned by Couse's wife. -Ed.)

Mr. Robert Coker,

Recently I received a letter signed by you posing the question of "Where is
our tax money going?" regarding the Hendry Regional Medical Center. In
your mailed letter and as well, the subsequent newspaper advertisement
posted in the Caloosa Belle you have repeatedly accused Hendry Regional
Medical Center of mismanagement of tax dollars. But, there is quite a bit
of information that you have failed to disclose.

In your letter you stated that hospital failed to make tough management
decisions and instead elected to increase the property tax rate. The key
information that you failed to include is that the hospital relies on these
property taxes to pay for medical care provided to the uninsured in our
community. According to the State of Florida's Agency for Health Care
Administration Florida Health Insurance Report release January 2001 the
district that was comprised of DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands,
Monroe, and Okeechobee counties had the highest uninsured rate in the state
at a rate of 25.5 percent uninsured. It is quite obvious where our tax
proceeds are being used given that HRMC utilizes 96% of these taxes to
fund the services provided to the uninsured. In addition, given the
increase in the population of Hendry and Glades counties, and the
proportional increase in uninsured patients, is there any question as to
how the hospital is operating at a loss and sees this loss to continue in
the future.

Additional statistics from the Health Insurance Report reveal that "only
3.0 percent of those who are insured report that their usual source of care
is the hospital emergency room, compared to 13.8 percent of those who are
uninsured. By contrast, the uninsured are less likely than the insured to
report the doctor's office outside a hospital as their usual source of care
(44.4 percent versus 68.3 percent)." Hendry Regional Medical Center serves
as a resource to those that have no other venue in which to turn. Unlike
U.S. Sugar, Hendry Regional Medical Center is not focused on the business
of making money. HRMC is focused on the business of helping those that
need help and can not find it elsewhere. This, Mr. Coker, is something
that I will gladly support with my tax dollars.

However, Mr. Coker, what I don't support are the subsidies that are
provided to "Big Sugar" companies in the United States, which are provided
from my federal tax dollars. In 1998 the General Accounting Office
reported that the approximate annual cost to consumers to help maintain you
and your Big Sugar cohort's subsidies and artificially inflated pricing was
over $1.9 billion. To add injury to insult $7.2 million was provided to
Political Action Committees, and $5.7 million in soft money contributions
were made by "Big Sugar" to the political campaigns of candidates involved
in past and present Farm Bills. In 1996 on a state level, you and your
friends spent over $26 million to support referendums and gubernatorial
campaigns to help maintain your status quo. Clearly, the arguments that
you are making regarding the alleged misallocation of the hospital's use of
tax dollars pale in comparison.

Mr. Coker, my suggestion to you and U. S. Sugar is simple; either help, or
get out of the way. The repeated attacks, court subpoenas, direct mail,
and print advertisement campaigns don't gather you favor with the same
people that are keeping you and "Big Sugar" in business: The U.S.
taxpayers. Hendry Regional Medical Center holds the distinction of holding
open the door to help those with either the least or the greatest in our
community everyday. When, Mr. Coker, in the midst of this situation can
you say that you have helped at all?

-Mr. David Prater

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Caloosahatchee River Troubles

Guest Editorial by T. W. Bill Neville

Saturday's August 13, 2005 News Press headline in the Local & State
section read as follows: "Algae e-mail rankles state officials".
Considering the "Bafflegab" she had to wade through to compile the
article, I want to congratulate Pamela Smith Hayford on her ability to
complete this assignment while holding her nose.
I know Ms Hayford to be a friend of the environment, so it must have
been with major constraint and mixed emotions as she listened to all
this "glibido", (all talk and no action), coming from those in charge of
the CaloosaBASHee river & basin.

It brings to mind the question, "Can a person cry underwater"? If so,
then why should we expect any different results from the CORPS and SFWMD
today in "mangling" the BIG "O" and the estuaries?
Aren't they the same designated groups that created the circumstances
over 40 years ago that they now have been given unbridled authority to

Is it any wonder that dedicated officials like Richard Harvey have come
forward with pronouncements that the proposed C-43 Hendry County
reservoir will become "incubators for potentially toxic, blue-green

On the other hand, people identified only as District staffers have
countered Harvey's concerns by stating " They have looked into the issue
and the reservoir will not significantly increase the potential for
blue-green algae bloom".
DEP press secretary, Cragin Mosteller commented, " The standard for the
Caloosahatchee Reservoir is that the water leaving it can't be any worse
than that going in". Now stop and think about that bit of "bafflegab"!
Maybe she's on to something here? What if that sign appeared over every
Doctor or Dentist's office door?

Not to be topped by Mosteller's glibness our old friend Kurt
"Halfalode", regional provocateur & "bafflegabber" for the SFWMD chimed
in with this response. "We feel certain we can meet that standard".
Where I come from that's not a qualified, non-toxic response but more
like the computer terminology called "GIGO". Garbage in and garbage
out! He also felt duty-bound to stale in reference to Mosteller's
solution to controlling algae bloom in a reservoir, by saying, "Test
cells to be built this fall should verify that".
Might I suggest that I would be careful recommending "cells" in an
environment of "acts" bordering on the criminal.

As an active member of the IMPACT Group of S. W. Florida, Inc., I am
living testimony to the confrontations IMPACT has had with the CORP &
SFWMD regarding the impractical implementation of a reservoir on the
west Hendry County
Berry Groves property, while totally ignoring the utilization of a, now,
endangered, but still salvageable, world's most natural reservoir, Lake

In "bafflegab" jargon that would fall under the heading of
"Adminisphere". (Those rarefied administrative, organizational layers
above the rank & file that makes decisions that are often profoundly
inappropriate or irrelevant to the issue(s).
Most often the fallout from "adminisphere" is a rash of "Blamestorming".
(Meetings in which discussions of why a deadline was missed or a project
failed, results in blame assignment), no more, no less.
To the average citizen watching their tax dollars relentlessly
disappearing down the sewer, lt is no wonder that all they perceive is
being done is "blamestorming". That is not the point IMPACT has pursued
over the past three years, nor do we want that to be the case today.

These countless, fruitless exchanges and recriminations between
politically appointed and Civil Service lifers regarding managing facts
of nature is akin to asking a chicken how to make chicken soup.

We, at IMPACT, thru our varied membership experiences and local terrain
experts have and will continue to welcome the opportunity to negate
"adminisphere and blamestorming" and participate in an open
academic/scientific debate wherein accreditation can be shown, not
claimed, supporting reservoir versus natural impoundments.

For various. systemic reasons and underlying factors it has been shown
that taxing and management agencies do not have a sufficiently long
attention span to do science properly, or relate to local lore.

There must be a mutually-protective firewall between the practioneers of
science and politically warranted practioneers.

Because of the current system's stifling effect on the creation,
speaking, and recognition of truth, there will never be any real
solutions to our water problems unless and until funding fo
examining/reporting the problems, is fundamentally separated from the
agencies with the taxing aithority who are attempting/pretending to
implement solutions.

The attempts by the CORP and SFWMD to put a "human" face on thier
projects is only a well worn replay covering the exploitation of the
Everglades over too many decades. All of this despite their latest
efforts to appear as a more
"colorfull" group via the algae "caper'. or as one local wag was known
to call them a "A bunch of blooming idiots, trying to play GOD"!

For those of you still not convinced of the bafflegab "boondoggle", I
will close with one more definitive "bafflegab" word.
"Sarchasm": (The gap between the author of sarcastic wit and the person
who doesn't get it).

T. W. Bill Neville, IMPACT of S. W. Florida Inc.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hendry County Closed Friday!

LABELLE, FL. -- Although no emergency has been declared due to the coming
storm, all Hendry county governenment offices will be closed in Hendry
county Friday, including the Hendry county schools. The only government
offices open will be the Hendry County Health Department, mainly because
they are a Florida State agency with state employees. Glades county schools
will be closed as well Friday due to the storm which may affect the area
with heavier than normal rainfall.

Hendry County Property Tax - Giant Increase

Port LaBelle Vacant Lots - Four-Fold Tax Increase

LABELLE, FL. -- The majority of Hendry county property owners can expect an increase in their property taxes, in some cases a jump in taxes of nearly four times last years. Owners of Port LaBelle vacant lots can expect the average tax to rise from last year's $94 to about $360 for 2005 taxes. And that doesn't include the assessments due to the Barron Water Control District, Fire MSU, and the Port LaBelle Utility System which may add another $52 for a typical quarter acre vacant lot.

For the last year or so, mostly out-of -county buyers have been bidding up prices for Port LaBelle lots. Sales prices have soared from a few hundreds dollars to $60,000 for some recent sales. Accordingly, the Hendry property appraiser has increased all Port LaBelle vacant lot values from last year's $1500 to $3000 values to this years $11,000 to $12,500, a record breaking increase in one year. Most likely, taxes for 2006 will see another four-fold increase in property taxes for Port LaBelle vacant lots because the tax assessor values property as of January 1st each year. Port LaBelle is Hendry county's largest subdivision (See http://members.aol.com/browne/portlabelle.html ).

County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the budget September 13 with a final hearing on September 27 to finalize the millage rate for property owners. Even if they lower the rate from the current 9 mils to a lower rate, property owners will not see any taxes going down from last year. Because Hendry county real estate taxable values have increased nearly 10% from last year, that gives the county 10% more money to collect from property owners. As a political move, commissioners will promise to "lower the millage rate" hoping the public doesn't realize they still are paying more taxes than the previous year because their taxable property value has increased. Even homesteaded properties increased in taxable value 3%, the maximum allowed under Florida's "Save Our Homes" amendment. Non-homesteaded real estate increased in taxable value an average of nearly 10% from last year.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

LaBelle Real Estate Sales

LABELLE, FL. -- During the first two weeks of August there were 19
properties sold in in the LaBelle area for an average price of $185,684.
The highest price was $600,000 for a home on South Hall St. in LaBelle.
$375,000 was the price for a Caloosa Drive home located north of the river
while the lowest priced parcel sold for $48,000, a vacant lot on Dolphin
Circle in Port LaBelle

Seminole Tribe Claims $4M Fraud, Etc., Etc.

Tribal Troubles Effects Widespread, Defense In One Case By LaBelle Lawyer

BIG CYPRESS, FL. (Aug. 20, 2005) -- The Seminole Tribe of Florida filed suit in 2002 in Broward Circuit Court against its former operations manager and three other ex-employees for allegedly using a computer services company and fake invoices to defraud the tribe of more than four million dollars. The tribe wants assets they claim were wrongfully diverted to be placed in a trust for the tribe's 2,800 members.

The tribe says that the former employees made illegal personal gains by installing software on the tribe's gambling machines to gain profits for themselves, and used tribal funds to help pay for a hotel in Nicaragua and to try to start an offshore Internet gambling website without tribal permission.

Although not named directly in this suit, Federal authorities have been investigating former Seminole chairman Chief James E. Billie for several years on alleged corruption charges. His signature allegedly appears on invoices for millions of dollars worth of computer services that the tribe says were not authorized by the tribal council. The money was reportedly paid to a company set up in Belize by Tim Cox, Billie's operations manager, and Danny Wisher, a tribe computer consultant.

Cox is a former Georgia police officer who lost his state law enforcement certification after reportedly being accused of lying. Cox and Wisher were fired by the tribe after a tribal internal audit. A federal investigation culminated in a criminal trial of three tribe employees, including Cox, in December 2002 but all were acquitted. 

A federal judge dismissed the "$4 million suit" in January 2003, saying the court had no jurisdiction.

The Seminole Tribe has reservations in Hendry at Big Cypress and in Glades county at Brighton as well as gambling facilities in Tampa, Immokalee, and Ft. Lauderdale. The Hard Rock Casinos in Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale reportedly net over $50 million a month in gambling and hotel profits. 

Donald A. Orlovsky, of the Kamen and Orlovsky, P.A. law firm from West Palm Beach is the tribe's attorney. Steven J. Polhemus, a LaBelle attorney was representing the defendants.

This is just a sample of the type of litigation the tribe has been involved in for many years as a result of the huge gambling operation initiated at the tribal properties around the state year ago. Former Chief Billie had been accused of sexual harrassment and the case against him was also later dropped. 

After the 2002 fraud case was dismissed another suit was filed against Billie and Cox claiming the two transferred $30-million of the tribe's money to an investment account without permission alleging tribe money was diverted to a jet, a hotel in Nicaragua and an Internet gambling company. Do the effects of gambling's big money never end?

Update: In January 2014, Steven Polhemus, attorney for Dan Wisher notes that Wisher was "completely exonerated and the Judge specifically found that there was no evidence of wrongdoing."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Visit Your Local Airport

LABELLE, FL. (August 19, 2005) -- If you're looking for a reason to hang
out at your local airport, today is National Aviation Day, today,
providing the perfect opportunity. "Great strides have been made in
aviation since Orville Wright's first flight in 1903. Today general
aviation aircraft range from light sport aircraft like the Piper J-3 Cub to
personal jets like the Eclipse 500," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "In
America, we also have a unique freedom that keeps GA efficient and
affordable, so we certainly have many reasons to celebrate National
Aviation Day." National Aviation Day was first observed in 1939, but why on
August 19? It's Orville Wright's birthday. Celebrate the day by arranging
a $49 introductory flight through Be A Pilot ( http://www.beapilot.com ).
You can also become a mentor to a student or potential pilot through AOPA's
Project Pilot ( http://flighttraining.aopa.org/learntofly/project_pilot/ )
initiative, which offers a wealth of free resources for mentors and
potential pilots alike.

Arrest Made In Stabbing

CLEWISTON, FL. (Aug. 19, 2005) -- The Hendry County Sheriff's Office
Criminal Investigations Division has arrested Mary Nell Sanders age 54 of
1151 Della Tobias Avenue in Clewiston for Aggravated Battery with a weapon.
According to Sheriff Ronnie Lee, the victim was at home when the attack
occurred and was treated by Hendry County EMS and due to the severity of
her injuries was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital in Ft. Myers for
further care. Sanders was booked into the Hendry County Jail.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Port LaBelle Water Contaminants Exceeds Standard

High Contaminants and High Water Prices In Port LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection
enforcement section says the Port LaBelle Utility System is exceeding
contaminant standards once again for trihalomethanes (TTHM). TTHM readings
in the Port LaBelle water are about 20% over the maximum contaminant levels
allowed by the Department. The Port LaBelle water customers are receiving
94.97 micrograms per liter of water while the Department allows a maximum of
80 micrograms per liter. Port LaBelle has been exceeding allowed maximum
levels for several years.

TTHMs are byproducts of disinfecting drinking water. The Department warns
that some people who drink water containing excess TTHMs over many years may
experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system,
and have an increased risk of cancer. They say it is not an immediate risk
but until the problem is corrected, say customers of the Port LaBelle
Utility System may wish to use commercial bottled water or water treated by
home treatment devices that are certified to reduce TTHMs in drinking water.

The Port LaBelle Utility System is run by the Hendry County government and
has one of the highest water rates in the state. Hendry County's property
taxes including the various special district fees, are also among the
highest in Florida.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Clewiston Cocaine Bust

CLEWISTON, FL.(August 15, 2005) -- Sheriff Ronnie Lee announces that
another cocaine drug salesman, Jesus Sanchez age 41 of 1806 Matthew Loop
Road east of Clewiston was apprehended by the Hendry County Sheriff's
Office Criminal
Investigations Division for the sale of cocaine. The arrest is the result
of a joint investigation by the Hendry County Sheriff's Office and City of
Clewiston Police Department. Sanchez was booked into the Hendry County Jail
under a $25,000.00 bond on August 12, 2005

Friday, August 12, 2005

New Hospital Board Member

LABELLE, FL. (Aug. 11, 2005) -- Governor Jeb Bush today announced the
following appointment to the Hendry County Hospital Authority of Carl
"Jack" Neitzke, 67, of Alva, a subcontractor with Gulf Citrus Properties,
to succeed Randal Bengston, for a term beginning August 12, 2005 and ending
November 7, 2006. Bengston was recently elected Mayor of LaBelle.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Clewiston Gets Grant $$

CLEWISTON, FL. -- (Aug. 11, 2005) -- Governor Jeb Bush today awarded a
Rural Infrastructure Fund Grant for $500,000 to the City of Clewiston to
assist in the development of the Clewiston Commerce Park. The grant will
assist with the construction of infrastructure improvements to extend
water, wastewater, storm water retention and utility lines to the commerce
park. This project supports local economic development, including the
location of Terrafarms, an agri-business that cultivates vegetables and
foliage using a proprietary soil mixture. Terrafarms will create 100 new
full-time, non-seasonal jobs in Hendry County. The project will be located
within Hendry County's Enterprise Zone.

In addition to the Rural Infrastructure Fund Grant, Governor Bush today
also awarded the City of Clewiston an Economic Development Transportation
Fund (or "Road Fund") grant in the amount of $1.5 million. The grant will
be used in conjunction with the TerraFarms project to assist in the
extension of Arroyo Avenue by an estimated 3,200 linear feet and the
realignment of a flood canal and storm water runoff facilities required by
the extension.

Recently, the City of Clewiston acquired 185 acres of property from the
United States Sugar Corporation. The property is located in the southwest
quadrant of the city and includes the abandoned Clewiston Public Airport
and two contiguous 40-acre parcels. The City is developing this newly
acquired parcel as a commercial subdivision, "Clewiston Commerce Park,"
with an estimated 24 lots of varying sizes. One prospective tenant,
Terrafarms, plans to locate new operations on one of the 40-acre parcels
within the Commerce Park. Funding from a State Rural Infrastructure Fund
grant, as well as a Road Fund grant, will assist the City in developing the
site and providing necessary infrastructure to spur the location of

The City of Clewiston, which applied for the Rural Infrastructure Fund
Grant and the Road Fund, is developing plans for additional recruitment
projects. The $500,000 rural grant and the $1.5 million Road Fund Grant
will fund a portion of the $3,447,924 infrastructure project that will
extend water, wastewater, and storm water retention and roadway
improvements. The City has applied to the Federal Economic Development
Administration to fund the remainder of the project. The supporting
infrastructure will facilitate $4 million in capital investment by the new

"The financial assistance provided by the Rural Infrastructure Fund and the
Road Fund plays a significant role in our effort to develop the Clewiston
Commerce Park. These funds support the recruitment of Terrafarms and
position the city to open the commerce park for numerous other business
development opportunities as well," stated Mali S. Chamness, Mayor of
Clewiston. "We are truly excited about Terrafarms bringing 100 new,
year-round jobs which will utilize the skills of the existing workforce.
These grants will have a dramatic effect on the city's ability to create
new jobs and improve the local economy."

Belle Glade Gets State Help

BELLE GLADE, FL. -- (Aug. 11, 2005) -- Governor Jeb Bush today awarded a
Rural Infrastructure Fund Grant for $490,000 to the City of Belle Glade to
assist in the development of the Belle Glade Business Park. The grant
provides funding for the construction of infrastructure improvements to
extend water, wastewater and road improvements to the addition of the
commerce park, Phase II. The addition is expected to spur business
development in the area, including supporting the location of Harmack
Company, Roth Farms, Inc., Anytime Farms and Cypress Coolers, Inc. The
four businesses will create an estimated 117 new jobs.

The City of Belle Glade developed a 100-acre industrial park (Phase I) with
financial support from Palm Beach County, a federal grant, a state
appropriation, and its own resources. With Phase I at capacity, the city
is actively pursuing the development of Phase II, an additional 49.95

The City of Belle Glade which applied for the Rural Infrastructure Fund
grant on behalf of the project, is developing plans for additional
recruitment initiatives. Coupled with federal funding, the $490,000 grant
will fund a portion of the $2,186,731 infrastructure project, which will
facilitate $12.6 million in new private sector capital investment.

"The Rural Infrastructure Fund grant will play an integral role in our
effort to develop Phase II of Belle Glade's Business Park," stated Steve B.
Wilson, Mayor of Belle Glade. "The new, non-seasonal jobs will utilize
the skills of the existing workforce and offer year round employment.
Grants such as this have a dramatic effect on our ability to develop our
business community and will greatly enhance its attractiveness to other

Friday, August 05, 2005

LaBelle Drug Arrests

LABELLE, FL. (AUG. 5, 2005) -- Sheriff Ronnie Lee announces that the Hendry
County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division served a search
warrant at 808 Manatee Avenue in LaBelle where they recovered crack
cocaine, drug paraphernalia and $2,591.00 in U.S. currency.

As a result the following arrests were made: Billy Smith, Jr. age 33 of 808
Manatee Avenue LaBelle was charged with, possession of cocaine, possession
of cocaine with intent to sell/deliver and possession of drug
paraphernalia, Mark Diez Brown,age 31 of 929 Caloosahatchee Avenue LaBelle
was charged with, possession of cocaine and possession of drug
paraphernalia, Jermaine Feagin age 30 of 890 Lincoln Avenue LaBelle was
charged with possession of paraphernalia. All three men were booked into
the Hendry County Jail.

New School Enrollment Climbing

MOORE HAVEN, FL -- Glades School Superintendent Aldrich reported to the
Glades County Commission this week that West Glades Elementary School north
of LaBelle has already enrolled 334 students for the 2005-2006 school year,
and has applied to the state for Special Facilities for funding the
construction of an additional 12 classrooms, to establish up to 500
student-stations. Accommodation for the swift growth has included
classrooms held in media centers and administrative offices. The
addition is expected to cost $3.5 million. Mr. Aldrich noted Glades school
officials from the earliest planning of West Glades anticipated this
growth, but the Special Facilities group could not justify it without
growth records of prior enrollments, which became available at the
completed end of the WGES's first year, 2004-2005.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

What Are Glades Commissioners and Cliff Miller Up To?

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Following up on a story we did here on July 26 about Glades County purchasing three internet domain names from former County Manager Cliff Miller, a Sunday Morning News reader indicated that the county commissioners voted to buy domain names "GladesCountyFl.gov" "GladesCountyFl.net" and "GladesCounty.gov" from Miller for $1,000.

We checked and found Miller had recently registered the name "GladesCountyFl.net" and registered it for one year with an online registry company GoDadddy.com on July 25 of this year, showing a registration to him at his presumed apartment at 100 Oxbow Drive across from the Port LaBelle Marina." The one-year registration with GoDaddy reportedly cost Miller only $8.95.

GladesCounty.org is owned by DSTR Holding, Inc. of West Palm Beach so presumably this is not what the county bought from Miller. We are stumped by "GladesCountyFl.gov" since it is our understanding that only Federal entities can own a "gov" suffix and there is no such site on the internet when we checked.

We are still wondering why Glades county, through its Commissioners, felt it necessary to buy any internet domain names at all from Miller, and especially from a former county employee. Glades county already has an existing website at MyGladesCounty.com which could serve as its website, or the county could register many other similar "GladesCounty" names at GodDaddy.com for $8.95, just like Miller presumably did just last week.