Monday, February 28, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Swamp Cabbage Festival In LaBelle - Saturday and Sunday
Thursday, February 24, 2011
CLEWISTON, FL. -- Taking advantage of dry conditions, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) will plant 6,000 pond apple, cypress and red maple trees to enhance wading bird habitat and restore ecosystems within Lake Okeechobee and Lake Istokpoga.
"Planting trees when water levels are low is a perfect example of turning the challenge of record dry conditions into a positive opportunity for restoration," said Ken Ammon, P.E., SFWMD Deputy Executive Director – Everglades Restoration and Capital Projects. "The trees will greatly benefit the lakes' ecosystems and attract wading birds, which are an indicator of restoration success, while also enhancing recreational opportunities."
As part of environmental restoration for South Florida, crews are adding to thousands of trees that the District has planted to benefit the environment and wildlife. Such efforts are also a significant investment in the region's economic health, as many of the restored areas serve as havens for recreational opportunities such as airboating, hunting and bird watching.
Following the driest October-through-December period since at least 1932, crews are set to start planting approximately 6-foot-tall pond apple trees along Ritta Island on the south end of Lake Okeechobee to enhance an existing native pond apple forest.
Pond apples can stand immense flooding, spending weeks at a time with their roots under water. They require rich organic soils for optimal growth while providing a resting location for wading birds such as endangered wood storks, endangered Everglades snail kites, egrets and herons. The trees can grow up to 30 feet tall and provide desirable habitat for raccoons, squirrels, birds and the endangered Okeechobee gourd. The deciduous pond apple produces an avocado-sized fruit that is sometimes called an alligator pear or alligator apple because of its rough skin.
Another planting will take place near Big Island in Lake Istokpoga, adding to the 800 trees the District planted during low water levels in 2007. An additional 600 cypress, red maple and pond apple trees will be planted on spoil islands and along the western shoreline of Lake Istokpoga.
Planting will also be done near the S-77 structure on the Caloosahatchee River by Moore Haven. The District will plant cypress trees, adding to previously planted trees in the area. Cypress trees, also capable of growing in standing water, provide desirable habitat for wading birds and the endangered snail kite.
The new tree planting effort is the latest of several similar projects across the District. Staff and volunteers previously planted more than 18,000 bald cypress, pond apple and red maple trees around Lake Okeechobee.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
An Ultra Affordable Computer For Everyone?
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Many Violations Found In Clewiston And LaBelle Restaurant Kitchens
Last year, seven restaurants were found with no required state certified food managers on staff: Jones EZ Foods, Burger King, Beef O Brady's, Palateria Los Mayos, Popeye's, Hungry Howie's, and Olivia's. This year all restaurants inspected had properly certified managers. (Olivia's went out of business and the Port LaBelle Inn has started it's own restaurant but has no inspection yet
Last year, Don's Restaurant had a food safety inspector note: "Observed presence of insects, rodents, or other pests on tables close to front door." This year the pest problem had been solved, but they still had seven violations compared to four last year.
The LaBelle and Clewiston, Florida restaurant list below includes the name, date of last inspection and number of violations found by inspectors.
Taco Bell 12/10/2010 1 critical violation
El Tarasco Mexican 1/5/2011 6 total, 5 critical
Chalkboard Deli 4/25/2011 2 critical *updated
Riverbend Motorcoach Resort 3/8/2011 2 critical *updated
Jones EZ Food 2/9/2011 6 total, 4 critical
Rodeo Grill 2/23/2011 9 critical (incl. slime in ice machine) *updated
Flora And Ella 2/23/2011 4 critical *updated
McDonald's LaBelle 2/25/2011 5 total, 4 critical *updated
Burger King 9/27/2010 1 total
Wendy's 3/4/2011 4 critical incl. slime in ice machine *updated
McDonald's Clewiston 2/2/2011 15 total 11 critical
Contreas 3/23/2010 3 critical
Beef O Brady's 2/9/2011 2 critical
Subway 1/5/2011 2 critical
Don's Restaurant 2/23/2011 8 total, 7 critical *updated
Hungry Howie's 3/8/2011 3 critical incl. slime in ice machine *updated
PALATERIA LOS MAYAS 1/13/2011 1 total
Port LaBelle Inn 5/13/2011 3 critical incl. metal shavings and crusted material on can opener *updated
Log Cabin BBQ 1/5/2011 3 total, 2 critical
Forrey Grill 2/9/2011 6 critical
Big V 3/8/2011 9 total, 8 critical *updated
Fortune Cookie 2/25/2011 11 critical (include a "full complaint" and 2 recurring violations-9 follow up inspections have been required here in last year and one-half) *updated
IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Tour the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed - a scenic wildlife and ecology park for vacationers and residents near Immokalee, Florida.
Click on video above for a tour of the park
C.R.E.W. has dozens of geocaches (hidden containers located by GPS) hidden in South Florida's largest intact watershed. There are 5,000 acres in the CREW Marsh to explore on miles of trails and a primitive campsite.
The CREW Marsh Hiking Trails are open to the public from sunrise to sunset every day. Trail maps are available at the trailhead located at 4600 Corkscrew Rd., 2 miles south of State Rd. 82 or 18 miles east of exit 123 off I-75
Sunday, February 20, 2011
LABELLE, FL. --The LaBelle Heritage Museum closed on the purchase of the 1911 William H. Poole building at 360 North Bridge Street on the 14th of February, 2011. Over the years the Hendy county building has served not only as the Poole store and residence but also as a church, the O'Ferrell "Honey House," and, more recently, the office of LaBelle Real Estate Company prior to former Mayor of LaBelle Sharon Craichy's illness and death.
According to Museum president Joe Thomas, the building will be remodeled to fit the needs of LaBelle Heritage Museum -- housing museum exhibits on the first floor and using the second floor for office space and research purposes. The property is large enough that plans are to move the H. A. Rider home and office building and set them up as "snapshots in time" -- a home representative of the seond quarter of the 20th century and a small town lawyer's office.
The rotary steam turbine that Edward Christopher Warren, an associate of the renowned Niola Tesla, designed and installed in the Herreshoff yacht Navette, built for J. P. Morgan in 1901, after he purchased it in 1938 will also be moved at the same time the Rider structures are.
"360 North Bridge Street is more visible and accessible than the museum's current location," said Thomas. "And also has the advantage of being in one of the few areas in LaBelle where people walk because they want to walk. More people will see the LaBelle Heritage Museum as they stroll by and, hopefully, will become museum visitors if the museum can increase the hours it is open," Thomas added.
For the time being, however, LaBelle Heritage Museum will remain at 150 South Lee Street. Still needed are Friends of the LaBelle Heritage Museum to volunteer to serve as docents on Thursday and Friday afternoons. Please contact the Museum if you are willing to volunteer to become a docent.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Join the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the Hendry-Glades Audubon Society and thousands of avian enthusiasts
across the nation for the 14th annual Great Backyard Bird Count.
Each year, "citizen scientists" submit checklists to help researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y., and the National
Audubon Society study and protect birds.
Florida has ranked first among participating states and provinces in reporting the most birds. Clewiston, just south of Lake Okeechobee, was among the top 10 localities in reporting the greatest number of individual birds in 2008, 2009 and 2010. During the 2010 count, participants turned in more than 97,300 checklists online, observed 603 species and 11.2 million individual bids in the overall count.
While anyone can join the count from their own backyard or park, the SFWMD and Hendry-Glades Audubon will take birders on three separate days to an Everglades Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) in Hendry County that has become nationally known as a bird watching spot. STAs are the water-cleaning workhorses of Everglades restoration. They have also become renowned havens for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
The gate at STA-5 is located on Blumberg Road in Hendry County, 12 miles south of the intersection of Blumberg and County Road 835. Blumberg Road ends at the gate after 10 miles of asphalt and 2 miles of dirt.
Contact Margaret England of Hendry-Glades Audubon. (863) 517-02021 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
- Removing 3 feet of muck from the lake bottom during 2004 - 2007
- Removing 2 feet of muck from the near shore areas during 2009 - 2010
- Restoring native fisheries
- Developing a Watershed Protection Plan to reduce nutrients
Restoration of Lake Trafford will not end with the completion of dredging. Other plans to maintain the health of the lake include:
• Re-establishing native submerged aquatic vegetation, such as Vallisneria, through littoral plantings
• Monitoring the long-term health of the lake using water quality parameters (dissolved oxygen), environmental indicators and the recovery of native fish communities
• Promoting additional studies to develop best management practices to control nutrient runoff and minimize growth of invasive aquatic vegetation
At one time, the lake was sand bottomed. However, nutrient runoff in the watershed resulted in a shift from native aquatic vegetation to dense mats of hydrilla, an invasive exotic plant. The hydrilla has been controlled using herbicides, however, dead plant material accumulated on the bottom of the lake, releasing nutrients, triggering algal blooms and impacting prime habitat for native fish species.
The District began the first phase of dredging Lake Trafford in 2004, with a focus on its center, completing the project two years later. A second muck-removal effort began in November 2006 for the near shore area and, after being placed on hold because of drought conditions in 2007, was completed recently.
Monday, February 14, 2011
LABELLE, FL. -- After an extensive investigation Hendry County Sheriff's Sgt. Shawn Reed arrested 31-year old Lasheka Lavette Mitchell of Clewiston, Florida on charges of Theft, Exploitation of the Elderly, and several charges of Fraud.
An 86 year-old victim contacted the Hendry County Sheriff's Office after noticing a number of charges to his bank account. It was later determined that Lasheka Mitchell had accessed the victim's bank account and had made unauthorized purchases. It was discovered that Mitchell would purchase items and then request an additional amount of cash be returned to her.
On February 10, 2011, Lasheka Mitchell was arrested on charges of Grand Theft, Exploitation of Elderly, and numerous counts of Fraud. Mitchell is currently being held in the Hendy County Jail on $27,000 bond.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
What To See In February!
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Saturday, February 05, 2011
One Of Southwest Florida's Largest Free Art Festivals
FORT MYERS, FL. -- The River District is hosting the 2011 Artfest along the harbor and waterfront in downtown Ft. Myers this weekend.
Hundreds of artists and food vendors led color to the city streets Saturday. Restaurants in the business district were pleased to see the large crowds show up, patronizing their establishments after a few hours of looking over the exhibits.
(Click on video to play.)
Hall City: Glades Ghost Town - A Land Boom Gone Wrong
LABELLE, FL. -- Advertised by a Chicago minister in the early 1900s, LaBelle Park, and a subdivision called "Hall City" was to be a paradise for Northerners who were persuaded to part with cash, ultimately purchasing thousands of real estate lots in a section of land north of LaBelle.
According to ghost town historian Mike Woodfin, the area of what is now western Glades county, just a mile east of State Road 29, was home to many who bought land there, but the Great Depression halted the growth of the town. "Hall City was developed in the early 1900's by a preacher from Chicago, Dr. George F. Hall. In the early years Hall City boasted as many as 100 residents but by the 1920's the development had been abandoned."
Friday, February 04, 2011
LABELLE, FL. -- The Henry County Tobacco-Free Partnership invites the public to a meeting on Tuesday February 15th at 4 p.m. at the Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church, 310 Campbell Street, LaBelle.
Discussion well include the most recent Student Social Norms Survey results from the schools, receive updates on the tobacco issue from the local and state level and discuss program strategies for the upcoming program year. For more information please contact Valarie James at 863-674-4041 ext 128.
The Drug Free Hendry County Coalition meeting is immediately after, starting at 5 p.m. We will be having a local parent tell a personal story about the battle with prescription drug abuse in her family and how they are overcoming the addiction now. For more information please call Bianca Ross at 863-674-4041 ext. 143
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Comedy Theater In LaBelle - Lots Of Fun!
LABELLE, FL. -- The Firehouse Community Theatre presents its fourth selection for the season Moonlight and Magnolias by Ron Hutchinson. The comedy is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.
This adult slap-stick comedy takes place in 1939 Hollywood when movie producers were kings. This fictional account of the events surrounds the filming of "Gone With The Wind." Three weeks into production, the director quits and production is stopped. David O. Selznick locks script doctor Ben Hecht, the new director Victor Fleming and himself in his office to rewrite the screenplay. (The play uses adult language.)
Show dates: February 4th, 5th, 11th & 12th at 7:00 pm and February 6th and 13th at 2:00 pm. Call the box office at (863) 675-3066 or email email@example.com. 241 N. Bridge Street in downtown LaBelle.