Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Complimentary Subway Feast For Four! Scam Alert

Be Aware Of Possible Scam In Area Mail From DM & M, Inc.

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry county residents received an advertisement card in the mail this week promising a "Complimentary Family Feast for Four" allegedly from Subway, as offered from an outfit called DM & M, Inc., of 1000 Sunshine Ln,. Altamonte Springs, Florida.

From comments found on the web, it appears the company is merely getting a prospect list together to sell water conditioning products. The fine print on the offer does say you agree to be called "regarding the delivery of this gift."

The advertising card appears to be a bit misleading, looking as if you are completing a survey about Subway food products, when in fact the company really wants to sell you their water conditioning products.

Responders to the offer in Central Florida have noted DM & M does call you by phone repeatedly, but reportedly neglects to get a Subway $20.00 gift card to you even after several requests about the gift offer.

Be careful when filling out "free offer" advertising material. The offers may be bogus. Your name will certainly go on a mailing or phone solicitation list to at least one company and usually many more companies will buy the list from the original company.

Complaint about DM & M, Inc. "gift" offer: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_consumer_file/2010/02 

Two Miami Men Arrested In Hendry Marijuana Bust

Mid-Hendry County Grow House Marijuana Seized

LABELLE, FL. -- On Monday, November 22, 2010, members of the Hendry County Sheriff's Office Vice Narcotics Unit arrested 47 year old Haydee Diaz and 38 year old Albert Noda both of Miami, on charges of Theft and/or Tampering with Utilities, Trafficking in Marijuana, Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell, Possession of Marijuana over 20 grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

After receiving information of a possible grow house operation at 13573 Center Avenue in the LeDeca Area, Agents with the Hendry County Sheriff's Office made contact with Jorge Alberto Noda who resides at 13573 Center Avenue and requested permission to search the residence.  Once inside the investigators found the home to contain two sophisticated indoor marijuana grow rooms that contained a total of 30 marijuana plants, totaling 54 lbs, with a total street value of approximately $135,000.

The 1962 single family house on 5 acres, is in a remote area of mid-Hendry county south of State Road 80 and owned by Nuvia Mendez, according to Hendry county records. Both Diaz and Noda are currently being held in the Hendry County Jail on $175,000 bond.

Concealed Firearms Class In Hendry

$25 Concealed Weapons Course

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden will be will holding classes for individuals interested in obtaining a Concealed Weapons Permit.  This will be a 4 hour course which consists of both classroom and firearm range instruction. 

Classes will be held at the Hendry County Gun Range and taught by Hendry County Sheriff's Office State of Florida Certified Firearms Instructors.  Students will need to bring their own handguns and at least fifty (50) rounds of ammunition, holster (or the method in which you will plan to carry), both eye and ear protection. 

There is a $25 per person fee.  You must be at least 21 years of age to participate.  Concealed weapons applications are available at the Hendry County Sheriff's Office.

All interested citizens should contact Lt. Susan Harrelle at either (863) 674-5604 or by e-mail at sharrelle@hendrysheriff.org.  A date and time will be announced based on the number of participants and will be directly contacted by the Sheriff's Office. 

Hendry Chief Deputy Nelson Graduates

Hendry County Chief Deputy Kevin Nelson Graduates from Chief Executive Seminar

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute announces the graduation of Hendry County Chief Deputy Kevin Nelson from the Chief Executive Seminar at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in Tallahassee, Fla. The graduates represent criminal justice agencies around the state who serve in a leadership role within their agency.

"Chief Nelson is a fine example of the type of leadership needed to assist in guiding the Hendry County Sheriff�s Office in a positive and progressive manner," said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden.  "This class is an example of the type of training our employees and staff are receiving."

Chief Kevin Nelson was hired in January 2009 as Road Patrol Lieutenant supervising Patrol Sergeants and deputies.  He was promoted to the position of Chief Deputy in July 2009.  As Chief Deputy, he is the senior most manager immediately below the Sheriff and in the absence of the Sheriff assumes command of the department.  

He started his career in law enforcement in August 1980 as an auxiliary deputy with the Collier County Sheriff�s Office, becoming a full-time deputy in April 1981.  Chief Nelson retired in November 2004 at the rank of Captain. He has been a resident of LaBelle since 2003.

He is involved in the community and has served as Past Master for the LaBelle Masonic Lodge, Past President of the Rotary Club of LaBelle, member of the Board of Directors for the LaBelle Chamber of Commerce and member of the First Baptist Church of LaBelle.

The seminar met for one week each month for three months at FDLE�s Headquarters in Tallahassee.  Graduates took classes on topics such as demography, budgeting, legacy leadership, ethics, and implementing strategic change.

The goal of the Chief Executive Seminar is to prepare Florida�s Criminal Justice leadership for the challenging and changing demands of the future. Class participants study trends and events that may affect criminal justice professionals and the state and develop new leadership skills to address and manage the changes that lie ahead.

The Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, established within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and affiliated with the State University System, was established in 1990 by the Florida Legislature who recognized the need for an innovative and multifaceted approach to the education and training of criminal justice professionals. 

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden stated, "I look forward to our continued partnership as Chief Nelson and I continue working toward leading the Hendry County Sheriff�s Office forward and striving toward the betterment of our agency for our community."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shop Hendry-Glades Local Merchants

Patronize Your Local Merchants For Quality And Service

LABELLE, FL. -- Want to save time and know you will get quality service? Shop our local merchants and trades people for the best in convenience and service.

Here's our recommendations from among the sponsors of the Sunday Morning News and Southwest Florida Online!

  • Gary Peters Computer Services, email and website, phone (863) 675-7925
  • LaBelle Plumbing Corporation, phone (863) 675-1155
  • Pete's Tractor Service, email, and website, phone (239) 728-6629
  • White's Furniture and Appliances, phone (863) 675-0717
  • Ram's Used Tires, phone (863) 675-6777
  • Phillip's AC And Heating Services, phone (863) 675-2878
  • Just In Time Plumbing, phone (863) 673-6073
  • DJ's Plumbing And Water Works, phone (239) 229-6545
  • Stratonet Internet Service, website, phone (888) 382-8503
  • Your Business Name Should Be Here!
  • Sunday Morning News Advertising - Since 1996: email, phone (863) 800-0010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Alva Pilot Tells How She Won Air Race 2010

Terry Carbonell - Airplane Pilot Extraordinaire!

LABELLE, FL. -- Terry Carbonell, local pilot and winner of the Women's Air Race Classic 2010 was interviewed at the Airplane Owner's And Pilot's Association convention in California recently.

Carbonell tells how she won the 1st place $5000 prize and how she is encouraging more women to take up flying.

Carbonell lives in Alva and bases her single-engine Cessna aircraft at the LaBelle airport.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Cost Of Crime - Do We Need More Deputies?

Research Based Analyzer Answers What Happens If Law Enforcement Is Reduced

LABELLE, FL. -- "Hidden in Plain Sight: What Cost-of-Crime Research Can Tell Us About Investing in Police"  is a new report from the Rand organization that illustrates what research has found about ramifications on adding more or subtracting from current law enforcement personnel, in terms of the true cost to the community.

It has been found that violent crimes are many time more costly to the community than thefts and burglaries, and a "crime calculator" has been developed that illustrates the true cost to community of it's criminal activities, based on it's own crime statistics.

The Rand paper summarizes existing research on the cost of crime and the effectiveness of police in preventing crime. As such, it translates what is in the social-science literature, providing nontechnical descriptions that highlight the approaches and limitations of existing studies.

It also demonstrates a method for comparing the costs of police personnel with the expected benefits generated by those police in terms of reduced crime by using two proposals - one involving force expansion and one involving force reduction - to illustrate the process.

An interactive cost of crime calculator, located at http://www.rand.org/ise/centers/quality_policing/cost-of-crime.html, allows the user to see how an increase or decrease in police personnel will affect community crime costs.

The full Rand report is at: http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/2010/RAND_OP279.pdf

LaBelle City Commissioner Dies

Joseph Miller Jr. - 62

LABELLE, FL. -- Joseph Robert Miller, Jr., age 62, of LaBelle, passed away November 22, 2010 in LaBelle. He was born Jan. 8, 1948 in Hollywood, FL. Bob was a LaBelle City Commisioner for many years.

He also served on Hendry-LaBelle Recreation Board, as well as Chairperson for LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival and he was active in Little League in LaBelle both an umpire and coach. He was a Parts Salesman for many years.

Bob was a loving & devoted husband, loving & caring father and grandfather who was also very proud of his ongoing community involvement. He will be greatly missed by all.

Survivors include his wife: Sharon Elaine(Henderson) Miller, son: Robert Scott (Teri D) Miller, daughter: Kari Miller Hamric (Lee Taylor), mother: Phyllis Miller, brothers: Edward L. (Linda) Miller and Richard Glenn (Joyce) Miller, all of LaBelle, grandchildren: Amanda Suarez, Amber Hamric, Courtney Gonzalez and Chance Taylor.

Funeral services will be held Friday November 26, 2010 at 11:30 am at LaBelle Civic Center, with Preston Long officiating. Interment will follow in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Friday from 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. at LaBelle Civic Center.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hendry-LaBelle Recreation Board.

Friday, November 19, 2010

LaBelle Graduate Finishes Basic Training

Army Pfc. Jimi D. Williams has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

He is the son of Gina Holland of N.E. First St., Cape Coral, Fla., and grandson of Ann Williams of Ute St., Labelle, Fl. Williams graduated in 2010 from Labelle High School.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Five LaBelle Homes Sold This Week

West Hendry County Homes Sales This Week

LABELLE, FL. -- Home sales are remaining steady in LaBelle. From 11/9/2010 to 11/16/2010, there were five homes sold in the LaBelle area for an average price of $122,000.

1) $39,000 on Case Road
2) $63,000 on Fort Keis Avenue
3) $299,000 on Laramie Ct (Port LaBelle Ranchettes)
4) $25,000 on Lighthouse Ct (Port LaBelle)
5) $184,000 on Shell Lane

Panther Found Dead In Hendry

13th Florida Panther Killed This Year By Vehicles

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the remains of a 4 to 5 year old male panther, were collected on 17 November 2010 on Keri Rd in southern Hendry county approximately one-half mile west of the OK Slough State Forest headquarters.

The cause of death was trauma associated with a vehicle collision. The carcass is at the FWC Naples Field Office and will be sent to the FWC Wildlife Research Lab in Gainesville for necropsy.  The remains will be archived at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

This is the18th panther mortality and the 13th road mortality for 2010.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are You Making Use Of Social Media Capabilities?

Watch live video from Don Browne - Florida on Justin.tv

How To Get Tens of Thousands Of Views In One Hour!

If you are not yet using social media to keep in contact with your friends, customers, and business prospects you are certainly missing out on the latest way to disburse news about you and your activities to a wide audience quickly.

Don Browne, publisher of the Sunday Morning News and Southwest Florida Online is one of the area's leading experts in the use of internet social media to reach a large audience quickly.

Don say's "I've found one of the best ways to reach a large audience very quickly is the use of streaming video."

"Using a simple webcam and a website to stream live video and later archive it permanently has allowed me to reach an audience of more than 3,000,000 total views seeing my video webcasts," he says.

Using simple techniques, many thousands of viewers can see a live broadcast coming from a streaming webcam. The video above showed 65,000 views in less than an hour when it was broadcast live by Don on November 13, 2010.

For one example of how a live videocast works, and how many viewers can be captured in a live video webcam broadcast, watch the video at the top of the story or click the link below to go to the video's archived page:

http://justin.tv/kq4ym/b/273777086 - Video (11/13/10) 65,000 views in one hour when originally broadcast!

Businesses may be interested in showing their store or special sales events. Real estate offices can show "open house" events as well as promote their listings. Car dealers can broadcast their latest special sale vehicles.

Don is available to help you utilize the internet's capabilities for you and your business, running advertisements for you on his broadcasts or setting up your own recorded or live streaming video that will be seen by tens of thousands each broadcast hour. email: Don Browne for information and rates.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Buckle Up For Holidays Says Hendry Sheriff

Buckle Up - Deadly Holiday Traffic Season Opens

LABELLE, FL. -- With the holidays upon us and millions of Americans hitting the roads, Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden wants everyone to arrive safely at their destinations.  We want drivers and passengers alike to remember, to Buckle Up.  Every Trip, Every Time.

"Many of us over-indulge in holiday goodies and loosen our belts a little after dinner," said Sheriff Steve Whidden.  "But remember, there's nothing that should keep you from tightening your seat belt when you get in a motor vehicle.  The potential consequences are just too great."

While seat belt use is at a record high of 85% nationwide, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle.  According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on any given day about 38 passenger vehicle occupants who are not buckled up are killed in motor vehicle crashes. 

In 2008 alone, nearly 13,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways.  It is estimated that nearly one third of these lives could have been saved if they had been properly belted.  NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle up are teens; young adults; males; nighttime riders; motorists traveling on rural roads, and individuals traveling in pickup trucks.

"Sadly, the holidays, which for many are the happiest time of the year, is also one of the deadliest and most tragic," said Sheriff Whidden. 

Hendry County Law Enforcement officers will be cracking down on seat-belt violators after the law was changed last year to allow citations solely for people who don't buckle up.  Sheriff Whidden wants to remind everyone "the goal is simple; we want to get more drivers and passengers to buckle up day and night."

"No one wants to have to start the holidays off wrong with a ticket," said Sheriff Steve Whidden.  "But we would rather issue a citation than have to notify a family member about the death of a loved one that could have been prevented by wearing a seat belt."  A ticket for not wearing your seatbelt could cost you $113.00 not having a child properly secured in a child restraint could cost you $163.00 and three points against your driver's license.

The 2010 Thanksgiving holiday campaign will run from November 21 – 30.  "I want to remind everyone that wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.  Wearing a seat belt costs you nothing, but not wearing it could cost you a ticket or worse…your life," said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three LaBelle Home Sales - Wide Range

Few Sales But Wide Range Of Prices

LABELLE, FL. -- From 10/26/2010 to 11/9/2010, there were three homes sold in the LaBelle area for an average price of $105,000. The property sales prices were:

1) $25,000 on Citrus Street in LaBelle
2) $60,000 on Ramrod Circle in Port LaBelle
3) $230,000 on Turtle Lane in LaBelle

Nature Walk At Hickey's Creek

Guided Walk through Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park.

LABELLE, FL. -- Join North American Butterfly Association members on a walk through Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park on Friday, November 19th at 9:30 a.m. This 1.8 mile (approximate 2 hour) trail walk will take you through scrubby flatwoods, hardwood hammock and an oak-palm forest.

The park is located about 8 miles west of LaBelle on State Road 80 in Lee County.

Walk begins at the parking lot with a rest half way at the amphitheater and will return along the creek crossing the bald cypress bridge proceeding back to the parking lot. Information about plants, butterflies and birds will be provided. Terrain may be slightly rough and wet.

Good walking shoes recommended. Please bring water, sunscreen, rain gear and bug spray. A courtesy notification that you plan to attend or join for lunch following the walk would be appreciated. Nick Bodven (239) 694-2108 shandys@embarqmail.com Or Gayle Edwards (239) 826-4103 mreds025@aol.com

Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park encompasses 862 acres. This wildlife preserve, co-managed with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, consists of a variety of native plant communities including palmetto-oak scrub, pine flatwoods and seasonal wetlands. Views of scenic Hickey's Creek can be enjoyed from trails and overlook areas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glades' Fisheating Creek Dredging Found Illegal

Illegal Dredging At Fisheating Creek

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- According the the Audubon of Florida, a contractor for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was caught last year illegally dredging a channel through part of Fisheating Creek in Glades County. In a news release Audubon said:

"Last summer, Audubon of Florida Executive Director Eric Draper learned from the South Florida Water Management District that a Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission contractor had dredged a channel through a section of Fisheating Creek known as Cowbone Marsh.

Fearing that the dredging would disturb the largest migratory stopover of Swallow-tailed Kites in North America, and concerned by reports that a massive amount of water was draining out of the marsh, Draper wrote to FWC objecting to the project. A copy of the letter was sent to federal agencies, which subsequently issued a cease and desist order and then a restoration order.

Audubon supports a settlement agreement negotiated by the state many years ago providing for navigation of Fisheating Creek by canoes and small boats. However, no one ever imagined that navigation would become a 20-foot-wide dredged channel to allow two large motorboats to pass.

In fact, the settlement agreement specifically prohibited dredging. Dredging any wetland or creek without a permit is illegal.

Audubon is also working to restore the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee. One of the ways to do this is to slow the flow of polluting water from upstream sources to Lake Okeechobee. The 20-foot-wide dredged channel does the opposite, by increasing rapid flow to the lake, and bypassing the filtration and natural nutrient uptake potential of Cowbone Marsh, increasing the potential phosphorus loading of Lake Okeechobee.

A local group that has long pushed for navigation on Fisheating Creek has criticized Draper and Audubon and claims that dredging did not take place, only removal of vegetation. However, state and federal agencies determined that the activity was dredging, required a permit and was not legal.

Audubon respects local advocates for Fisheating Creek and has allowed staff scientist Dr. Paul Gray to sit on the Fisheating Creek Advisory Committee. However, we will blow the whistle on activities that harm the environment regardless of who is behind them."

Friday, November 05, 2010

Ragged Flag Over LaBelle

Flag Needs Replacing At Florida Community Bank

LABELLE, FL. -- Seen flying in front of the Florida Community Bank on North Bridge Street in downtown LaBelle is this worn and torn U.S. Flag.

No word on how long it's been in this condition, or when it will be replaced by bank management.

We hope it may be taken care of sooner than later.

(Update: Flag was replaced November 10th.)

Bullied In School - More Common Than You Think

50% Of Students Report Bullying Someone

According to a new study by the Josephson Institute of Ethics (the largest ever undertaken of the attitudes and conduct of high school students), half of all high school students (50 percent) admit they bullied someone in the past year, and nearly half (47 percent) say they were bullied, teased, or taunted in a way that seriously upset them in the past year. The study reports the responses from 43,321 high school students. The margin of error is less than 1%.

"If the saying, 'sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never harm me' was ever true, it certainly is not so today," said Michael Josephson, founder and president of the Institute and a national leader and radio commentator on ethical issues. ""nsults, name calling, relentless teasing, and malicious gossip often inflict deep and enduring pain," he added. "It's not only the prevalence of bullying behavior and victimization that's troublesome. The Internet has intensified the injury. What's posted on the Internet is permanent, and it spreads like a virus – there is no refuge. The difference between the impact of bullying today versus 20 years ago is the difference between getting into a fist fight and using a gun."

The Institute's study also found that one-third (33 percent) of all high school students say that violence is a big problem at their school, and one in four (24 percent) say they do not feel very safe at school. More than half (52 percent) admit that within the past year they hit a person because they were angry. Ten percent of students say they took a weapon to school at least once in the past 12 months, and 16 percent admit that they have been intoxicated at school.

"The combination of bullying, a penchant toward violence when one is angry, the availability of weapons, and the possibility of intoxication at school increases significantly the likelihood of retaliatory violence," Josephson said.

What can parents do? Three online surveys to determine whether one's child is being bullied, whether one's child is a bully, and whether parents are doing all they can to prevent bullying can be found at CharacterCounts.org/bully-quiz.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hendry/Glades Election Results - 2010

Al Perry And Darrell Harris Win Hendry Races, Donna Storter Long In Glades County

LABELLE, FL. -- The Tuesday November 2nd, 2010 election results in Hendry County resulted in Al Perry (R) with 1,055 votes and Dwight Clinton Hatfield (D) with 672 votes for County Commission District 4. (3 Precincts voting)

District 2 County Commission votes results ended with Darrell R. Harris (R), the incumbent with 1,062 votes and Andy Herrero (D) with 359 votes. (5 Precincts voting)

Port LaBelle Community Development District Seat 1: Nancy V. Imhoff, 68 votes and Patti Ashley, 60 votes.

Port LaBelle Community Development District Seat 3 Suzanne Gee, 41 votes and Jeff E. McGirt, 82 votes.

Port LaBelle Community Development District Seat 5 Shannon L. Craft, 81 votes and Margaret Pass, 41 votes.

In the Glades county Port LaBelle CDD races: Ashley had 53 votes, Imhoff 101 votes. Gee, 71 votes and McGirt 85 votes. Craft had 82 votes, Pass 75 votes.

In Glades county, Donna Storter Long (R) retained her County Commission seat with 1,920 votes over Deborah K. Simmons' (D) 839 votes.

Hendry School Board Levy of .25 mills: Yes- 2,413 votes, No- 3,392 votes.

The Hendry county voter turnout was 6,655 (41%) of the total 16,156 registered Hendry voters.
In Glades county, the turnout was 2,814 voters (42%) of the total 6,339 registered voters.

(Note: previous posting Tuesday at 8 p.m. did not include a Hendry county absentee and 1 precinct ballot recount. Above totals are now correct. )