Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Info Wanted On Hendry Death

Pearl Smith Found Dead In Vacant LaBelle House

LABELLE, FL. -- On Sunday morning at approximately 8:00 am Hendry County Deputies responded to a vacant home located at 821 W. Seminole Ave. in Labelle to investigate a reported dead body. EMS responded and attempted to revive the victim without success and subject was pronounced deceased.

Investigators identified the deceased as 44-year old Pearl Lee Smith of LaBelle.  A full investigation is being conducted by Hendry County Sheriff's Office.  Currently Investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy and toxicology reports to determine the cause of death.

The house is in the Sunset subdivision of LaBelle and according to court records owned by Joseph Aboutaan of Cape Coral and has been under foreclosure proceedings since May 2008.

Anyone with any information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Investigators with the Hendry County Sheriff's Office at 863-674-5600 or Crime Stoppers 1-800- 780-TIPS (8477).

:LaBelle's Reginald Williams Back From Iraq

In The Service - Sgt. Reginald Williams

LABELLE, FL. -- Army Staff Sgt. Reginald R. Williams is a member 2nd Heavy Equipment Transportation (HET) Company who has returned to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., after being deployed to Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, now changed to Operation New Dawn.

Williams, a motor transport operator, has served in the military for 21 years. He is the son of Lawrence and Shirley Williams of W. Sunflower Circle, La Belle, Fla. Williams is a 1989 graduate of La Belle High School.
During the 12-month deployment, 2nd HET Company members transported cargo, performed recovery missions, and provided armed security during convoy movements.  The unit performed 256 convoy operations, drove almost 3.3 million miles throughout Iraq, and transported 120,128 tons of cargo without an accident.
Operation New Dawn transitions and signifies a formal end to U.S. military combat operations in Iraq, and shifts the U.S. emphasis from predominantly military to predominately civilian as the U.S. officials assisting Iraqis in accordance with the Strategic Framework Agreement.
The three primary missions of U.S. Forces include advising, assisting, and training the Iraqi Security Forces; conducting partnered counterterrorism operations; and providing support to provincial reconstruction teams and civilian partners as they help build Iraq's civil capacity.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Disneyland Dream

In July 1956, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, won a free trip to newly-opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in a nationwide contest. This 30-minute amateur documentary film tells the fabulous story of their fun-filled, dream-come-true, family travel adventure, filmed on the scene at Walt Disney's "Magic Kingdom" by Robbins Barstow.

In December 2008, "Disneyland Dream" was named to the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Birding Tours Popular In Hendry

Thousands Visit Hendry To Watch Birds

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The South Florida Water Management District and its partners at the Hendry-Glades Audubon Society recently celebrated five years of bird-watching tours in a wetland that cleans water flowing to the Everglades. The popular trips featuring recreation on public land at Stormwater Treatment Area 5 will continue in 2011.

Audubon volunteers, with support from the District, have led 108 individual tours with more than 4,250 birders and photographers from across the world at the site in Hendry County. Stormwater Treatment Areas are the water-cleaning workhorses of Everglades restoration, and many have become renowned havens for wildlife.

More than 187 species of birds ­ from endangered Everglades snail kites to great egrets ­ and tens of thousands of individual birds have been documented at STA-5 alone. To enhance the experience at the wetland, the District constructed a multipurpose bird watching platform that is fully accessible to disabled residents and visitors.

"STA-5, 'the Birding Oasis of South Florida,' is increasing in popularity with birders and photographers of all ages. Reservations for tours are made by vacationing bird watchers months in advance," said Margaret England, President of the Hendry-Glades Audubon Society.

England and a team of volunteers lead the tours two Saturdays a month, with special events in between. They recently hosted Danish birders, and the tours earned a feature in the April 2009 edition of Birder's World Magazine.

The birding experience is not only limited to guided tours. Many Audubon volunteers and tour goers also participate in the Spring and Fall North American Migration Count, the Great Backyard Bird Count, the Big "O" Birding Festival and the Christmas Bird Count.

The latest season of tours has already begun, and trips are scheduled well into 2011.

Upcoming Birding Events:

·         February 5 – STA-5 Bird Tour

·         February 19-21 – Great Backyard Bird Count

·         March 23-26 – Big O Birding Festival

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Susan Sibbald English In Broward Prison

Former Hendry Jail Administrator Now Serving 4 Years Sentence In Broward County

LABELLE, FL. -- After receiving a 4-year prison sentence followed by 20 years probation earlier this month, former Hendry Sheriff's Captain Susan Russe Sibbald English is now at the Broward Correction Institution in Fort Lauderale. English served under former Hendry Sheriff Ronnie Lee.

English was found guilty December 9th by Judge Christie Greider of a 1st degree felony grand theft over $100,000 and falsifying a public document by a public servant. Greider admonished English during sentencing saying English violated her position of trust and authority as a officer of the law and Hendry jail administrator.

English cashed checks from the Hendry County Jail canteen account, taking over $120,000 between March 2006 and October 2008. She had earlier told investigators she took the money because her husband lost his job and to help take care of two grandchildren. She said all the money was already spent.

She was sentenced to 48 months in state prison, and restitution to the Hendry Sheriff's office of the money she stole plus $395 in court costs. 20 years of probation is to follow the prison term, and she is to pay $500 a month to the Hendry Sheriff's office for 20 years. If she pays restitution sooner, her probation may end earlier.

(photo: Florida Department of Corrections)

Florida Department of Corrections Record for Susan English: http://www.dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=14600778

Clewiston Resident Dead In Canal Crash

Hendry Canal Crash Leaves One Dead

CLEWISTON, FL. -- A crash Monday morning December 20th left Lipsie Denton, 61 of Clewiston dead after a 1999 Ford utlity van with Denton inside landed in a canal near Rogers Road and Hendry county road 835.

Lipsie was southbound on CR 835 approaching Rogers Road and a right turning curve. The vehicle failed to follow the curve to the right and continued traveling south towards a water-filled canal, entering the canal and became air bourne. The front of the vehicle struck the water and became completely submerged under the water.

A Florida Power & Light vehicle working in the area found the crash scene. The Ford was retrieved from the canal by a tow truck and Denton was discovered in the vehicle. Denton was pronounced dead at the scene.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pather Killed In Hendry County

Vehicle Collision - 21st Panther Fatality Of 2010

LABELLE, FL. -- The remains of an approximately 8 to 9 month-old uncollared male panther were collected on 12/19/2010 at 10:00 PM on Hendry County Road 846 a ½ mile south of the intersection of CR833 (north of the curve by Rocky Lake) in Hendry County.

According to Florida Wildlife Commission panther biologist, Mark Lotz, the cause of death was vehicle collision.

The carcass is at the FWC Naples Field Office and will be sent to the FWC Gainesville lab for necropsy.  The remains will be archived at the FL Museum of Natural History. This is the 21st panther mortality and the 16th road mortality for 2010.

The report said the panther had 2 testicles, no discernable cowlick (partially due to condition), but a kinked tail.  He weighed 60 pounds and was FeLV negative.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Financial Assistance For Farmers Available

Funds Available For Natural Disaster Losses

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the sign-up period for the 2009 crop year Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program begins on Jan. 10, 2011. SURE is one of five disaster programs included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 that provides assistance to farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to natural disasters.
"This program provides a tremendous amount of assistance to producers who have suffered from natural disasters, and is part of the 'safety net' designed to assist farmers and ranchers who feed America and the world," Vilsack said. "USDA encourages producers who suffered losses during the 2009 crop year to visit their local FSA office to learn more about the SURE program."

 To be eligible for SURE a farm must have: At least a 10 percent production loss on a crop of economic significance; A policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for all economically significant crops; Been physically located in a county that was declared a primary disaster county or contiguous county by the Agriculture Secretary under a Secretarial Disaster Designation. Without a Secretarial Disaster Designation, individual producers may be eligible if the actual production on the farm is less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to a natural disaster.

Producers considered socially disadvantaged, a beginning farmer or rancher, or a limited resource farmer may be eligible for SURE without a policy or plan of insurance or NAP coverage.

For more information on the 2009 SURE program, visit any FSA county office or http://www.fsa.usda.gov/sure .

Gene McAvoy Co-Authors New Study

Hendry Extension Agent - Ethnic Foods Coming Opportunity For Farmers?

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry county agricultural extension agent/director Gene McAvoy was part of a group who recently studied possibilities for farmers to profitably grow ethnic foods.

McAvoy and nine other vegetable farming experts examined the potential for expansion of production of ethnic crops on the U.S. East Coast by commercial farmers from a market-first and economic perspective based on consumer demand.

A survey of consumers from four ethnic groups showed that the ethnic crops in greatest demand are as follows: Chinese­Baby Pak Choy, Oriental Eggplant, and Smooth Luffa; Asian Indians­Bottle Gourd, Indian Eggplant, and Bitter Melon; Mexicans­Chili Jalapeno and Tomatillo; Hispanic­Aji Dulce, Batata, and Pepinillo/Bitter gourd.

Results of the study have important implications to assist local growers in deciding to produce ethnic crops, said the new study.

See the article from the December issue of Journal of Extension: http://www.joe.org/joe/2010december/rb2.php

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shop Your Hendry-Glades Local Businesses

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 Local Business Name Here!
  • Sunday Morning News Advertising - Since 1996: email, phone (863) 800-0010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is Your Teen A Marijuana Smoker Or Drinker?

Kids Prefer Pot To Cigarettes - One In Five 12th-Graders Smoke - One In Four Heavy Drinkers

According to the latest survey by the National Institutes Of Health, the rate of eighth-graders saying they have used an illicit drug in the past year jumped to 16 percent, up from last year's 14.5 percent, with daily marijuana use up in all grades surveyed, according to the 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey.

For 12th-graders, declines in cigarette use accompanied by recent increases in marijuana use have put marijuana ahead of cigarette smoking by some measures. In 2010, 21.4 percent of high school seniors used marijuana in the past 30 days, while 19.2 percent smoked cigarettes.

Among high school seniors, 23.2 percent report having five or more drinks in a row during the past two weeks, down from 25.2 percent in 2009 and from the peak of 31.5 percent in 1998. In addition, 2010 findings showed a drop in high school seniors' past-year consumption of flavored alcoholic beverages, to 47.9 percent in 2010 from 53.4 percent in 2009. Past-year use of flavored alcohol by eighth- graders was at 21.9 percent, down from 27.9 percent in 2005.

The survey, released today at a news conference at the National Press Club, also shows significant increases in use of Ecstasy. In addition, nonmedical use of prescription drugs remains high. Overall, 46,482 students from 396 public and private schools participated in this year's survey.

"These high rates of marijuana use during the teen and pre-teen years, when the brain continues to develop, place our young people at particular risk," said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "Not only does marijuana affect learning, judgment, and motor skills, but research tells us that about 1 in 6 people who start using it as adolescents become addicted."

"The increases in youth drug use reflected in the Monitoring the Future Study are disappointing," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "Mixed messages about drug legalization, particularly marijuana, may be to blame. Such messages certainly don't help parents who are trying to prevent kids from using drugs."


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Time In Port LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- You can tell it's Christmas in LaBelle. Residents in Port LaBelle's Laruel Oaks traditionally put up some large light displays at Holiday time. The video above shows only a few of the decorations this year on Springview Circle in the community.

At nearby Healing Waters Family Life Center on Birchwood Parkway and State Road 80, an elaborate "drive-through" live nativity display took place this weekend. (Video: Brendon Banda played "Joseph" and Rachel Wimberly "Mary" in the live nativity scene.)

Got some nice Christmas video we can publish here? Send your Youtube link to us!

8 Homes Sold In LaBelle Area

LABELLE, FL. -- From 11/16/2010 to 12/7/2010, there were 8 homes sold in the LaBelle area for an average price of $102,625.

The properties sold included:

1) $30,000 onBennett Ave
2) $40,000 onDolphin Cir
3) $69,000 onFort Simmons Ave
4) $25,000 onSena Ln
5) $31,000 onTeak Ln
6) $485,000 onE Fort Thompson Ave
7) $120,000 onN Riverview St
8) $21,000 onW Palomar Cir

Friday, December 10, 2010

Belle Glade Woman Farmer Honored

Woman Of The Year In Agriculure - Ann Holt

BELLE GLADE, FL. -- Ann Holt, a partner in Twin H Farms of Belle Glade, has been selected to receive the "Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award" for 2010.  The award, now in its 26th year, recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. 

It is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida State Fair Authority.  The award will be presented on February 10, 2011, during the opening-day luncheon at the Florida State Fair in Tampa.

Ann Holt was born in Lake City in 1947.  For more than 40 years, she and her husband, Tommy, have been raising sweet corn, with Ann taking care of the business side of the farm and Tommy managing the growing operation.  Today, Ann and Tommy harvest nearly 2,000 acres of sweet corn in Belle Glade.  They also grow cotton, peanuts, and sweet corn on 3,000 acres in South Georgia. 

Despite the daily demands of running the family business, Ann Holt is active in numerous agricultural associations and non-profit groups.  She's a leader in the agricultural community.  Her mission is to educate Florida's urban residents about the benefits farming brings to the state.

Holt was the first woman ever elected president of the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau.  Under her leadership, the Farm Bureau began regularly hosting farm tours for visiting legislators and other government leaders.  These tours emphasize growers' contributions to the local economy and the environment.

In 2007, as president of the Farm Bureau, Holt initiated Palm Beach County's annual Farm-City Week Luncheon and Farm Tour.  Farm-City Week emphasizes the value of the rural-urban partnership and the interdependence of farmers and consumers.  The annual luncheon and farm tour are great opportunities for agricultural and business leaders to meet and discover common ground. 

Holt is a tireless ambassador for Florida agriculture.  For years she has promoted the sweet corn industry at such events as the South Florida Fair and the Produce Marketing Association Annual Meeting.  She has spearheaded many events in her community to help "city folks" get to know area farmers and their products. 

By far the most popular is the annual Florida Sweet Corn Fiesta, which Holt launched in 2001.  A public festival celebrating the spring growing season, the event takes place at the South Florida Fairgrounds and features live music, food, and corn-shucking and -eating contests.  Managed and run entirely by volunteers, the festival educates Palm Beach County residents about the quality of the area's sweet corn.  It also raises money for agriculture education and local food banks.

Holt is an outspoken advocate for agriculture and the rural way of life.  She has organized and participated in countless meetings and trips to Tallahassee and Washington to present the views of farmers and ranchers to legislators.  She was a longtime member of the Ladies of the Lake, an organization created by farmwomen around Lake Okeechobee for the purpose of giving voice to the concerns of area farming families.  She was also a charter member of Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE), a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping farmers attain profitability in farming. 

Holt is a strong supporter of agriculture education and serves on the South Florida Fair's Scholarship Committee.  She has worked with FFA and 4-H and is an Agriculture Literacy Day volunteer.

During the holidays, Holt helps organize food and toy drives to benefit the underserved farming communities around Lake Okeechobee.  She is the driving force behind the annual Hungry for Golf Tournament, which benefits the area's food banks.  In addition, she organized the West Palm Beach County Farm Bureau to help raise funds for the new state-of-the-art hospital that opened in Belle Glade in 2009. 

In recognition of her years of service, Holt has received many awards and honors.  In 2008 she was named Woman of the Year by the Florida Agri-Women.  In 2004 her family was named Farm Family of the Year by the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau.

Ann Holt and her husband, Tommy, live in Wellington and continue to farm in the Belle Glade area.  They have two grown children, Thomas Holt Jr. and Karina Holt Rothenberg.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Hendry Former Deputy - 4 Year Prison Sentence

Henry Jail Administrator Forced To Pay Back $120,343.35 To Sheriff's Office

LABELLE, FL. -- Former Hendry County Sheriff's Deputy and Hendry jail administrator, Susan Russe Sibbald English appeared before Circuit Judge Christine Greider Thursday morning, pleading no contest to two felonies and asked for a delay until after Christmas for sentencing.

Appearing with her attorney Amira Dajani Fox, the judge accepted English's plea deal with the state today after an earlier deal was denied by the Judge. English said she wanted a sentencing delay in order to see her ailing father who was to visit Florida for Christmas. Judge Greider denied the delay.

English was found guilty today by Judge Greider of a 1st degree felony grand theft over $100,000 and falsifying a public document by a public servant. Greider admonished English during sentencing saying English violated her position of trust and authority as a officer of the law and Hendry jail administrator.

English cashed checks from the Hendry County Jail canteen account, taking over $120,000 between March 2006 and October 2008. She had earlier told investigators she took the money because her husband lost his job and to help take care of two grandchildren. She said all the money was already spent.

She was sentenced to 48 months in state prison, and restitution to the Hendry Sheriff's office of the money she stole plus $395 in court costs. 20 years of probation is to follow the prison term, and she is to pay $500 a month to the Hendry Sheriff's office for 20 years. If she pays restitution sooner, her probation may end earlier.

The maximum sentence English could have received was 30 years in prison on the Grand Theft charges, and 5 years on the Misconduct Felony charge, said Judge Greider.

The state's prosecutor, Mr. Plattner, declined to ask for restitution of monies spent by the state to investigate and prosecute English. Platter also told the court he had "no position whatsoever" about the court granting a delay in sentencing until after Christmas as requested by English.

At a previous hearing the Judge refused a proposed plea deal, for which English and state Prosecutor Plattner agreed for her to serve 23 months in prison, and be on probation for 20 years, paying back $120,343.35 at $500 a month for 20 years. English also asked the judge at that hearing to delay sentencing until after the holidays.

English. until today out on bond, was fingerprinted and taken into custody by Hendry county deputies at the conclusion of the 20 minute plea and sentencing hearing.

More stories on Susan English: http://swflorida.blogspot.com/search?q=susan+english

(Video above: Susan English Questioned By Judge, Sentenced And Taken Into Custody - 15 min.)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

12 Hendry Arrests In Traffic Stops On SR29

1 In 33 Drivers Arrested In Friday Night Stops

LABELLE, FL. -- On Friday night, December 3, 2010 between the hours of 11:00 pm and 3:00 am Saturday morning, December 4, 2010 Sheriff Steve Whidden,  and Hendry County Sheriff's Office Deputies assisted by the Department of Transportation conducted a DUI Sobriety Checkpoint near the intersection of Case Road and State Road 29 South in LaBelle.

According to the Sheriff's office 208 vehicles were stopped. Arrests were made to 6 drivers without a valid driver's license, 2 for possession of over 20 grams of marijuana, 2 for possession of alcohol by a minor, 1 for driving with a suspended or revoked license, and 1 for possession of a forged license.

More traffic checks will be made during December says the Sheriff's office.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Hendry And Glades Business Tax Delinquents

Clewiston Inn - Delinquent In Taxes

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Revenue received authority from the 2010 Legislature to publish a list of the names of taxpayers who have large unresolved tax liabilities. These taxpayers have tax liens against them and tax warrants filed against them and have failed to pay or arrange to pay their debt, despite repeated attempts by the Department to collect the amount due.

In Hendry County, E.E. Cruz Enterprise, Inc., doing business as Nick's Country Store of 6480 Flaghole Road has six warrants against him for a total of $37,543 owned in back taxes. Big Lake Hotels LLC doing business as the Clewiston Inn owes $58,369 to the state in back taxes.

In Glades County, Joseph Hernandez of 699 S. Highway 27 in Moore Haven owes $21,834 to the revenue department for three tax warrants, Cassie Williams of 3025 Ortona Locks Rd. SW owes $11,020 and Moore Haven Package and Lounge Inc. owes taxes in the amount of $21,118.

The names were selected according to the following criteria:
  • Taxpayers who have unsatisfied tax warrants or liens totaling $100,000 or more, and
  • In counties where no taxpayer has warrants or liens totaling $100,000, the two taxpayers with the highest amount of warrants or liens are included.
Taxpayers who are in bankruptcy, who have entered into and are current on a stipulated payment agreement, or who have in place a payment agreement with the Department, are excluded from this list.

The warrant or lien is a public record filed with the Clerk of Court or other government office in the county where the taxpayer is located.

The list will be updated every 30 days. The current list was posted on December 3, 2010.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Clewiston Man Dead - Hit By Auto

Auto Hits Pedestrian In Clewiston

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Bipinchandra A. Patel, 67 , a pedestrian, was northbound, attempting to cross US 27, west of West Arcade in Clewiston, in an area where it is illegal to do so, according to the Florida Highway Patrol report, and was struck by a car while attempting to cross the street.

The accident happened about 6 p.m. Friday, December 3rd.

Johnny Jones, 58 was west bound on US 27 in a left turn lane when his 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis hit Patel. Patel was transported to Hendry Regional Medical Center, where he died as a result of his injuries. Jones had no injuries.

An investigation is pending on whether alcohol was a contributing cause regarding Patel.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

LaBelle's Angelica Ramirez Basic Training Grad

In The Service

LABELLE, FL. -- Army Pfc. Angelica A. Ramirez has graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla.
During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission and received instruction and training exercises in drill and ceremonies, Army history, core values and traditions, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, rifle marksmanship, weapons use, map reading and land navigation, foot marches, armed and unarmed combat, and field maneuvers and tactics.
She is the daughter of Renato Ramirez of Greentree Drive, Labelle, Fla. Ramirez graduated in 2010 from Labelle High School.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Should I Get An HIV Test?

Answers to HIV Questions On World AIDS Day

LABELLE, FL. -- Today, December 1st is World AIDS Day. In the United States, over one million people are estimated to be living with HIV infection, and approximately one in five of those are unaware of their infection.

Do you need an HIV test? The Hendry County Health Department offers free confidential testing.

The following are behaviors that increase your chances of getting HIV. If you answer yes to any of them, you should definitely get an HIV test. If you continue with any of these behaviors, you should be tested every year. Talk to a health care provider about an HIV testing schedule that is right for you.
  • Have you injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles, syringes, works) with others?
  • Have you had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB), or a sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis?
  • Have you had unprotected sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions?
If you have had sex with someone whose history of sex partners and/or drug use is unknown to you or if you or your partner has had many sex partners, then you have more of a chance of being infected with HIV. Both you and your new partner should get tested for HIV, and learn the results, before having sex for the first time.

For women who plan to become pregnant, testing is even more important. If a woman is infected with HIV, medical care and certain drugs given during pregnancy can lower the chance of passing HIV to her baby. All women who are pregnant should be tested during each pregnancy.

For more information and where testing is available
- http://hivtest.org

Hendry Agriculture Thefts Increasing

Gene McAvoy Warns Farmers and Ranchers To Be On Alert

LABELLE, FL. -- Perhaps it is an indication of the hard economic times, or folks looking for some quick cash for Christmas but whatever the reason, growers around SW Florida are reporting a rash of thefts of agricultural chemicals in the past few weeks.  

Gene McAvoy, Hendry County Extension Director says several reports of thefts have been received affecting growers between LaBelle and Clewiston in which chemicals valued at over $500,000 have been stolen.

McAvoy says many of these thefts have the appearance of inside information in that thieves seem to know exactly where to go and which storage structures to target.  Locks provide little or no defense in that some hefty locks have been cut. In at least one case, thieves removed jugs of chemicals from packing boxes leaving behind the empty boxes in an effort to conceal the theft for some time.

Tips To Prevent Theft:

Growers are advised to keep farm entrances and storage areas locked and maintain surveillance.  Lock up all chemicals, they are essentially like cash money for a thief.

Locate chemical storage well away from access roads.

Request that chemicals be delivered on the days you need them and not before.

Return excess chemicals to the chemical distributor. Not having a stockpile of chemicals in your shed you will decrease the opportunity for theft.  As thieves have shown they can easily overcome locks - decreasing inventory and having chemicals delivered as needed is probably the best defense. 

Consider installing alarms on chemical shed doors or windows.

Buy only from reputable dealers and do not be tempted to buy "cheap" chemicals from unknown sources - you are only supporting a thief and you may be next.

Look out for your neighbor and report suspicious vehicles and activities to the Sheriffs' Office.