Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Boater's Death At Port LaBelle Marina

Boaters Relatives Being Sought For Death Notification

LABELLE, FL. -- A man living aboard a boat at the Port LaBelle, Florida marina apparently died of natural causes Monday, and reports say his body was found floating in the water near the docks.

Glades County Sheriff's Captain Darrell Lewis says attempts are being made to notify any relatives he may have had, but are having some difficulty finding anyone so far. Name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

Casey Anthony's Father Testifies On Suicide

Judge May Allow Suicide Letter To Enter Trial Evidence

At the Casey Antony murder trial Wednesday, George Anthony testified about his attempt to get information about his missing granddaughter from friends of daughter Casey, even if he had to do it at gunpoint.

While Caylee Anthony was still missing, Mr. Anthony says, in August 2008 he purchased a gun from a dealer and was going to confront people in an attempt to find out what happened to 2-year od Caylee, presumably using the gun to intimidate.

He said the police found out about his gun purchase and took it from him, stored in his car trunk, since he could not have gun in the same home as Casey because she was under arrest and staying at the Anthony house at the time.

Anthony was prepared to commit suicide and describe buying a quantity of beer and taking some blood pressure pills. He says he wanted to "join Caylee" and felt guilt and failure.

He had written a multi-page suicide note and called or texted relatives to say goodbye. Judge Perry will rule later if the suicide letter will be allowed into state's evidence when they present their rebuttal case. Jose Baez objected to the introduction of the letter into the court testimony during the defense case today.

The defense has also filed a motion for mistrial based on a new Florida case calling the Florida death penalty unconstitutional. Judge Perry will rule on that at a later time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How To Phone A Hendry Jail Inmate

Hendry County Sheriff Simplifies Inmate Communication

 

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden has selected a new inmate phone service provider to save labor, increase security, and enhance investigation tools.  He has recently awarded Telmate, LLC a new contract to provide inmate telephone systems and service to Hendry County Jail in LaBelle. 

 

This new service reduced the amount of administrative work that correctional officers performed passing messages from friends, family members and attorneys.  Telmate provides each inmate with one call upon booking so they can notify their family of their whereabouts and condition.  On the day of the changeover all inmates got free calls for 24 hours so they could notify their families of the new phone system and how to place and pay for calls. The software provides voicemail service whereby families and other approved outside parties (like attorneys) may leave a confidential voice message for an inmate. 

 

Telmate kiosks can been found at the Hendry County Sheriff's Office lobby in both Clewiston and LaBelle; this will allow family members and friends of inmates to deposit funds for phone calls at the county jail.  By placing a kiosk in the Clewiston sub-office it provides easier access to family members and eliminates the 30 mile drive to LaBelle.  In addition, a 24/7 toll free bi-lingual customer service line offers facility staff, inmates and family members a significant improvement for issue resolution.

 

The Hendry County Jail will be able to streamline transfers of inmates to and from Glades County Jail, which also utilizes the Telmate system.  When an inmate is released they will be issued a MasterCard debit card which is an easy-to-manage option for returning unused funds.  This program eliminates the need for facility staff to handle cash or write checks and allows released inmates access to their own money, even if they have no bank account.

 

With the new Telmate phone system, inmates will use voice verification technology along with a PIN number before each phone call.  This will protect each inmate's phone time securely by establishing identities during the call placement process.  The Telmate system makes available a tremendous number of new tools available to crack down on criminal activities by allowing live secure review of inmate phone calls. 

 

Sheriff Steve Whidden stated "under this contract, Telmate pays for all equipment, maintenance, software and infrastructure to provide inmate phone service and payment kiosks.  This includes any upgrades to the system or additions in hardware to ensure that Hendry County receives the most advanced solution possible, at no cost to the taxpayer."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Florida Gas Prices Lower - Hendry Still High

What's With Hendry-Glades Gas Prices?

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 5.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.51/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 6.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.58/g, according to gasoline price website FloridaStateGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 85.5 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 21.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 21.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 84.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

But check your Hendry-Glades prices and you should see they are still among the highest in the state. Go north to Highlands and prices this weekend were $3.37. Prices in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio were similarly priced. What's going on with Florida prices and specifically Hendry-Glades?

Jose Baez Tries To Find Casey Incompetent

Three Psychologists Exam Casey Anthony On Weekend

The attorneys for Casey Anthony and the state met in court chambers Monday morning to argue whether Casey was competent to proceed, after three independent experts, psychologists Dr. Daniel Tressler,  Dr. Harry McClaren of Quincy Fl, and Dr. Ryan Hall examined her on Saturday and Sunday.

Normally mental examinations are done before trial, leading to a belief that something new may have been alleged in her current mental state so as to allow the motion to be granted by the court for an emergency competency exam.

This is not an insanity test say legal observers, but instead testing competency to understand what is happening at trial and whether she can aid in her defense. 

A Sunday Morning News story noted Anthony is most likely a compulsive liar and may have been lying even to her attorney and if so would not be able to help in her own defense if she could not understand the importance of giving her attorney truthful, relevant information during her discussions in and out of court.

The psychological examinations would need many hours for each expert and that was why the Saturday court was recessed mysteriously. Judge Belvin Perry told the jury this morning that both sides reviewed the experts opinions and based on the reports he said "the defendant is competent to proceed."

The reports are under court seal and filed with the clerk of the court.

The Court filed into the record the emergency order appointing experts for the examinations. The motion to determine competency cannot be sealed and is public record. However, it only says the motion is based on privileged conversations between Casey Anthony and her attorneys which led to the emergency motion made in chambers Saturday morning. The transcripts of the closed Saturday hearing in the Judge's chambers are also sealed.

Although the reports are sealed speculation on why Jose Baez filed the emergency motion may be:

1. Baez will try anything he can in the way of new motions to save his client.
2. Casey Anthony has continued lying to attorneys and may be changing her story as time goes by, rendering her incapable of aiding her defense
3. She said something last week to attorneys that gave them concern for her ability to continue with the trial.

Link to previous story - Why Casey Anthony Will Walk Free

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"A Legal Issue Has Arisen" - Anthony Trial Recessed!

Another Stall In Casey Anthony Murder Trial - Something Big Coming?

After a closed door meeting with attorneys and the judge in the Casey Anthony trial, Judge Belvin Perry mysteriously recessed the court session for Saturday, only saying there was a "legal issue."

The court got off to another rocky start as the state again objected to a defense witness to be called today who allegedly broke the court's order to provide a report covering areas to which will be testified.

Handling discovery violations of Jose Baez has been getting routine for the judge, who has threatened sanctions against the inexperienced defense attorney. The judge told Baez last week that he may refer to the Florida Bar a complaint, and open contempt of court proceedings at the conclusion of this trial.

Just before 10 a.m., on the day when testimony  was scheduled to continue until 3 p.m., the judge unexpectedly announced court would be recessed until Monday morning due to a "legal issue" which had arisen.

The delay seems extraordinarily serious as many witnesses were at the court Saturday ready to testify. If there was a problem with only one or two the trial could easily continue.

Perry is very careful with time and not inconveniencing the jurors. To recess the Saturday session means something very big is about to happen.

Speculation On The Secrets Behind Closed Doors

1. Casey Anthony has decided to make a plea deal to accept less than a death penalty. She was reportedly crying before court started Saturday morning.
(Anthony was also openly distraught during testimony by her brother Lee Friday about Lee's not visiting Casey and Caylee in the hospital. Real emotions or not, maybe the truth is getting to her and she's ready to give up?)

2. Another witness is being called to testify by Jose Baez, violating the court's "report" orders, and the judge is contemplating excluding the witness entirely. This would be an extraordinary move and would certainly call for an appeal should an conviction be made.

3. The judge is ready to sanction Baez again for his repeated violations of court orders. Or Baez is withdrawing from the case? He has already been sanctioned and fined by the court in January.

4. Jose Baez has filed motions regarding U.S.  Department of Defense employee William Rodriquez. Rodriquez unexpectedly ended testimony for the defense after it was learned he had not received permission from the DOD to testify and allegedly could be fired from his job if he continued. Baez wants to force him back to testify no matter what?

5. The judge didn't seem angry when making the recess announcement leading to a prediction there's a plea deal in progress. Baez may be realizing the case may go farther against his client than he ever figured, and it's time to give up.

6. Witness Perjury or Jury Misconduct? Many have reported unbelief in Cindy Anthony's testimony, and an investigation may have been underway surrounding her former nursing job and time cards testified about. With the many delays and inconvenience of sequestration of out-of-town jurors (they are from St. Petersburg) there might have been occasion for a juror to have discussed the case or heard something about the case they should not have in recent days.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jose Baez Gets Grandmother To Lie?


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

Shocking Testimony From Cindy Anthony

At the murder trial of Casey Anthony, testimony was delivered by her mother Cindy, that just may save her daughter from a death sentence if the jury believes what she told them this afternoon.

Casey Anthony's mother surprised everyone when she told the jury that is was she who looked up "chloroform" on the family's desktop computer in March, 2008. She also said she looked up "alcohol" and "chlorophyll." She did strangely deny looking up "how to make chloroform" or "neck breaking," all of which appeared on a forensic search of the computer at the same time.

Prosecutors have been saying all along daughter Casey did the searches and are relying on that to get a 1st degree murder conviction. The State contends Casey looked up the term months before daughter Caylee was killed, showing this was a premeditated murder.

The prosecution relied on work time cards of former nurse Cindy Anthony showing she was at work during the time the home computer was being used. Cindy explained away that, saying she often just made up time cards that were not accurate, or the time cards were mistaken, showing she was at work when she may not have been.

She also claimed she was told by her employer to make false time cards, to only show 40 hours a week working when she really worked more.

Also, dropping another bombshell, she told the jury the oft mentioned "stain" in the Casey Anthony car trunk, was there when they first purchased the car in 2000. Prosecutors are saying the stain was from a decaying Caylee Anthony, placed in the trunk by Casey. 

Speculation

Some observers are speculating Cindy is lying in order to save her daughter from the death sentence, or has made a deal to lie for her daughter in order to not have her husband's alleged lover brought in to testify. The defense has claimed that the "lover" believes George Anthony covered up a drowning of the child.

(Video: Jose Baez gets shocking answers from Cindy Anthony about computer searches)


Why Jose Baez Uses Attorney Sims To Get Casey Off

Dorothy Clay Sims - Usually On Plaintiff's Side Fighting Expert Witnesses

Ocala, Florida attorney Dorothy Clay Sims is before the court today examining defense witnesses in the Casey Anthony murder trial, and getting off to a bad start as Judge Belvin Perry denied allowing multiple expert qualifications for her forensic toxicologist, Barry Logan.

(photo: Sims comforting crying Casey Anthony)

Sims specializes normally in working for plaintiff's attorneys as an expert in cross-examining medical experts. In the Anthony trial so far, she's been relegated to a seemingly minor role, until today.

She was unable to get the court to recognize Barry Logan as an expert in analytic chemistry, and other sub-specialties. The denial apparently put a crimp in her questioning, as the state was able to get objections regularly sustained to dozens of questions she put to Logan this morning.


According to her bio she "attended the University of Florida and helped pay for her schooling with student loans and monies saved from waitressing at Steak & Shake and packing fruit." She says she lives part-time on a sailboat.
From her biography:
"She ultimately studied international law at Oxford University and traveled throughout Europe relying upon the kindness of strangers who fed and housed her. Her budget was so limited, she realized she could not travel short of hitchhiking…so she did sometimes, surviving on food leftover by others in restaurants or donations from truck drivers and their wives - something she most definitely does not advocate."
Sims says a career change happened as she watched experts for the defense hide the truth to keep plaintiff's from winning in court, and she spent ten years learning how "defense doctors hid or mislead the evidence."  
"She traveled the nation at her own expense meeting authors of various psychological tests and interviewing them about examples of how their tests were abused in the wrong hands." says her bio.

Her experience in seeing how experts for the defense can manipulate data may be the reason Jose Baez is using her as co-counsel (besides working for no pay)

Speculation on how she can help Casey avoid of a murder conviction:

1. Expose any irregularities in expert testimony
2. Poke hole in data produced by laboratories
3. Provide the "good cop" to Baez' "bad cop"
4. Have jurors sympathize with Casey Anthony through Sims' quiet and soft demeanor
5. Sims, working for the defense, instead of her usual attack of defense attorneys may show a genuine concern for a fair murder trial

Obese Kids - A Health Concern For Parents

By Beth Fabian

Obesity Affects 17% Of All Children

On June 10, 2011 a group of Hendry CHD staff convened for a meeting about childhood obesity.  Pediatrician, Dr. Nancy Witham, is very concerned about the rising trend of obesity in children and desires to help educate the community and raise awareness about this serious problem. Dr. Witham met with the CHD group to brain-storm and share ideas about tackling childhood obesity.

Dr. Witham shared with the group some new recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  Children under the age of two should be allowed no (zero) television viewing time.  Children under the age of two should also not be permitted fruit juice, which is a concentrated sweet.  

AAP also has taken a stand against flavored waters and artificially sweetened drinks for children. Dr. Witham discussed her approach to teaching parents about growth and development.  She uses growth charts approved by WHO (World Health Organization) to track height and weight and pays more attention to trends in the measurements over time instead of the BMI percentile.  

She also stressed children in their toddler and pre-school years benefit by addressing good eating patterns, thus preventing the child from developing into an obese child by the time they begin school. Parents are encouraged to be role models for their children, by eating healthy and getting physical exercise, and allowing their children to do the same. 

Any obese child who present with a co-morbid condition, including problems such as listed above, is recommended for referral for further testing and possible treatment.  For more information about childhood obesity and prevention, good websites to visit are myplate.gov and  kidshealth.org/ .

Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex. Obesity now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States - triple the rate from just one generation ago. 

The increase in obese and overweight kids correlates directly with the lifestyle of the new generation.  Fast food is inexpensive and easy.  Children are tempted by every electronic gadget out there, increasing sedentary activity. Children are constantly bombarded with advertising for sugar and fatladen foods.  

School lunches are not as healthy as they used to be, and many students choose ala-carte items instead of the traditional school lunch.  Physical education in schools has taken a back seat, due to cost restraints and concentration on FCAT scores. Further, children are not as free to play outside at their leisure as they were years ago due to safety concerns. 

The effect of obesity causes many health problems. Some include: diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, gastric reflux, bone and joint problems, breathing problems, mental health and self-image problems, and even cancer.  The cost of health care for these children will be staggering.

The life expectancy for this generation of children is less than for the baby boomer generation. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Free Hunter Course In Moore Haven

Shooting Range And Online Course Available

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will host a free hunter safety course on Saturday, June 25, in Moore Haven.

People seeking certification must successfully complete the online portion of the course, print and bring their final Web report to the FWC course on June 25.

Students will learn about hunting laws, safe gun handling and hunter ethics/responsibility, among other topics, before taking the final test.  The course also includes live-fire instruction on a shooting range.

The location and time for this class will be given to those who register in advance by calling the FWC's South Region office at 561-625-5122 or going to MyFWC.com/HunterSafety.

            Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course before purchasing a Florida hunting license. Parents or legal guardians must accompany children under 16 years of age to all classes. To participate in the live-fire exercises, children under 18 years old must present a parental release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Tennessee Deputy Busted For Taking Unclothed Victim Photos

Deputy Tells Two Women Photos Of  Their Exposed Bodies Were Needed


The Justice Department says former Hickman County, Tennessee Deputy Sheriff Kenneth H. Smith, 43, pleaded guilty today to violating the rights of two women by photographing parts of their unclothed bodies under the false pretense that those photographs were necessary for an official investigation.   

 

While working as a deputy sheriff, Smith was assigned to investigate two domestic violence complaints.   During his investigatory interviews, Smith told the victims that he needed to take photographs of their exposed bodies to document injuries, including intimate areas of their bodies where no injury had occurred.   


Smith, abusing his power and position, lied to the victims and claimed these photographs were necessary for the police investigation and prosecution, when in fact the photos were not for legitimate law enforcement purposes, but for himself .   The victims, trusting a law enforcement officer to protect them, acquiesced to Smith's authority.

 

Smith also lied to FBI agents about sending text messages to a former female inmate in which he requested the former inmate send him nude pictures of herself, in return for Smith's help in dismissing or reducing the outstanding criminal charges against her.   


When Smith was confronted with photographs of the explicit text messages coming from his personal cell phone number, Smith continued to lie to FBI agents that he had not sent them.


Smith also pleaded guilty to making material false statements to federal investigators.   Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Todd J. Campbell.

  


A Small Bit Of Tax Relief For Florida

Water Management District Taxing Reined In A Few Dollars

Florida Governor Rick Scott today hailed his signing of legislation that will save homeowners and businesses throughout Florida $210.5 million on property taxes due in 2012. Senate Bill 2142 caps the taxes Florida's five water management districts can assess on residential and commercial properties.


What Scott hasn't said very clearly is the tax saving only amounts to a few dollars a year for the average homeowner. Typically it will save from $5 to $10 per home in 2012 depending on property taxable value.

 

Across four of the five water management districts, Scott says property owners will save an average of 30 percent on their 2011-12 property taxes. Residents will see varying levels of savings, depending on where their property is located. Property owners in the Southwest Florida Water Management District will see the greatest savings.  Savings for all five districts are as follows:

 

  • Southwest Florida Water Management District                  36% reduction
  • South Florida Water Management District                          30% reduction
  • St. Johns Water Management District                                 26% reduction
  • Suwannee River Water Management District                      8% reduction
  • Northwest Florida Water Management District                       No increase
Hendry and Glades county are in the South Florida District.

 

In addition, Scott says citizens will have more access to information about each water management district's budget.  Each district is required to provide a monthly financial statement to its governing board and make the information available to the public on the district's website.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hendry Health Department Exposes Tobacco Targeted To Kids

By Valarie James, Hendry County Health Department

Flavored Tobacco Sold In 80 Hendry Stores - Marketed Toward Youth
   
 
Tobacco companies have long denied they are targeting youth with their flavored tobacco products, but in fact a recent poll by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that one in five youth between the ages of 12 and 17 had seen flavored tobacco products or ads, while only one in 10 adults reported having seen them.  

When the FDA was given the authority to regulate tobacco products on June 22, 2009, their first act of business was banning the distribution and sales of flavored cigarettes.  This was a profound first step in protecting Florida's youth against Big Tobacco's pattern of targeting youth with their flavored tobacco products and advertisements.  

However, flavored tobacco still comes in a variety of products such as cigars, cigarillos and smokeless with flavors ranging from cool mint to vanilla to chocolate chip cookie dough.  These products have an alluring appeal and are often referred to as a gateway for children and young adults to become regular tobacco users.  

According to the FDA, young tobacco users choose flavored products because they "taste better" and are perceived "safer". 

Another way Big Tobacco is targeting youth is through product packaging.  Flavored tobacco products tend to resemble candy packaging with bright colors and bold graphics.  In a study done by the FDA, 52% of youth smokers between the ages of 13 and 18 who had heard of flavored cigarettes reported interest in trying them, and nearly 60% thought that flavored cigarettes would taste better than 
regular cigarettes. 

Glades County Commissioners Sign Resolution Against Flavored Tobacco

Sarah Litchy, of Moore Haven's S.W.A.T. reports three students from the Moore Haven Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Club asked the Glades County Commission for a resolution on candy flavored tobacco on May 10th.
.  
The students were rewarded for their hard work with a 5-0 vote in favor of the resolution. The students gathered signatures from community members, gave presentations at community events, gathered data on candy flavored tobacco in Glades County, and practiced their presentation for the County Commission many times.  

Litchy says "The students have created awareness in the community about how tobacco companies target youth with their marketing of candy flavored tobacco products. Tobacco products like chocolate chip cookie dough and honey blunt warps, grape cigars, peach Skoal, and buttercup smokeless tobacco are just a few that are available in Glades County."

Hendry Students Fighting Flavored Products

On June 10, 2011, Melissa Franco and Christina Bracciale of the Clewiston High School Students Working
Against Tobacco (SWAT) chapter conducted a presentation during the Tobacco-Free Hendry County Partnership monthly meeting.  

The young ladies presented information from a local standpoint and presented data that we currently have 84 licensed stores in Hendry with approximately 95% of those stores selling Candy Flavored Tobacco Products.  "Of the 84 licensed stores in Hendry County, 6 are located with 1 mile of our schools in Clewiston and 2 within 1 mile of LaBelle schools," stated Christina Bracciale.  

They also notified the partnership that we currently have over 500 signatures from youth and adults in Hendry County seeking a resolution to ban the sale of Candy Flavored Tobacco Products in Hendry County.  "We are not trying to keep tobacco retailers from making a living, we just want to prevent youth from beginning a very addictive and deadly habit" stated Melissa Franco.  

The Tobacco-Free Partnership of Hendry County and SWAT are seeking a communitywide resolution to ban the Sale of Candy Flavored Tobacco Products in Hendry County.  The same resolution will be sought from the County, Clewiston, and LaBelle cities.  

Having the city and countywide ban will provide a communitywide network of support and collaboration.  The TFP, SWAT and the department of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) will collaborate to bring the necessary trainings to the County Commission, City Commission, Tobacco Retailers, and community at large.  

For More Information And Free Presentations

If you would like a presentation for adult audiences from the Hendry County SWAT on Candy Flavored Tobacco or you would like to receive any other SWAT tobacco trainings or to join the Tobacco-Free Partnership of Hendry County please contact Valarie James at 863-674-4056 ext 128.  

Hendry County - What's In This Photo?

No-Prize Contest!

LABELLE, FL. -- A Hendry County, Florida community organization is the proud recipient of this mystery. Be the first to name the individuals in this photo and investigate just what the two pictured here are celebrating. A fabulous Sunday Morning News no-prize to the winners!

Florida Asks Sanctions Against Jose Baez

New Defense Witness Provokes State Again

Florida Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton asked Casey Anthony's trial Judge Perry to sanction defense attorney Jose Baez for filing another late expert witness report.

Baez has routinely provided incomplete reports to the state, disregarding court orders to have expert witnesses list containing opinions or areas of testimony experts will cover in the court.

The latest proposed witness, Richard Eikelenboom, Ashton told the court, is going to testify about body fluids on the carpet sample, and DNA on duct tape which was not contained in reports filed before the trial but was filed June 19, 2011.

Baez told the Judge he filed a report in December about the witness testifying about crime scene analysis and DNA. Shorts Caylee Anthony was wearing when found and the bag she was found in were tested by the defense for "low copy" DNA. where very small amounts of DNA can be studied.

Low copy DNA has not been accepted as evidence by the courts in Florida.

The judge prohibited testimony about DNA fluid in the car trunk from this witness, and will read the jury some instructions about Eikelenboom's testimony, and said he won't sanction Baez, but won't "shut the door" on attorneys coming before the judge in the future to determine the expertness of future witnesses.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clewiston Man Graduates From Officer Candidate School

ln The Service - Michael Sirmans

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Michael D. Sirmans graduated from the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker, Daleville, Ala., and was appointed to the rank of warrant officer one.
    
Sirmans completed an intense six-week course conducted in a very demanding, rigorous, high-stressed, and deadline-required environment.  The candidate received training in leadership skills, Army customs, doctrine, tradition, and tactics, drill and ceremonies, professional ethics, physical fitness, time-stress-people management skills, decision making, delegation and personnel skills, and numerous other military academic subjects.  Students gain experience in leadership to attain higher responsibility while maintaining professionalism and quality work performance and standards required of career warrant officers.  

Additionally, candidates develop and hone skills relevant to an Army at war, skills required to effectively operate and survive on today's ever-changing battlefield operations against global terrorism.
    
Warrant officers continue to further their training through technical and tactical certification.  As the officers gain progressive levels of expertise and leadership, they operate, maintain, administer and manage equipment, support activities or technical systems throughout their Army career.  They are highly specialized technical and training experts in their career specialties whom provide valuable skills, guidance and expertise to commanders and organizations.  Warrant officers serve in the Regular Army, National Guard or Reserve to fulfill their military service obligation.
    
The warrant officer is an air traffic and air space management technician with 12 years of military service. He is the son of Carrie M. Sirmans of Della Tobias Ave., Clewiston, Fla. His wife, Rosalyn, is the daughter of Varretta Davis of Broadmeade Drive, Houston, Texas. Sirmans graduated in 1997 from Clewiston High School.

Jose Baez Argues Unfairness - Gets Schooled Again

Judge Recesses Court And May Exclude Baez Witnesses And Report Baez To Bar

The murder trial of Casey Anthony resumed at 9 a.m. Monday, although not with the jury in attendance. Attorneys were bickering again, and Judge Belvin Perry "schools" Barz again. The Judge mysteriously recessed court at 11 a.m. until Tuesday, the jury having never entered the courtroom.

Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton told the judge he would be bringing a motion for sanctions against Jose Baez because Ashton says, Baez provided yet another incomplete expert witness report that doesn't show fully what opinions and conclusions the expert will be testifying about.

The state delayed testimony this morning by arguments from the state for recalling Dr. William Rodriguez Tuesday instead of Monday, to give the state a chance to go over his deposition transcript, the depo having benn taken at the last minute Saturday, when Baez produced the witness without a complete report given to the state.

Jose Baez argued that there should be no delay in bringing Rodriquez back, and charged the state was playing games, further arguing  his displeasure of being threatened with contempt of court charges from the Judge.

Judge Belvin Perry clearly is upset with delays in the trial caused by the attorneys, chastising both sides today, and ordered all attorneys to be in court at 8:30 a.m. daily and be prepared for a full Saturday on court.

He wants attorneys to be present for any arguments needing to be heard outside the jurt. Perry warned he may even start the trial with the jury present at 8:30 a.m. if the attorneys don't want to "act professional."

"All this is going to stop or you will be working some fierce days," said and calm but angry Perry.

Perry schooled Baez again about rules of the court regarding expert testimony. Baez argued it was unfair for him to provide full reports of expert witnesses' opinions saying it was "obvious" what the expert would testify about. Baez also said the prosecution had an opportunity to take depositions of the witnesses but elected not to.

Perry had to explain to Baez, that he has made two orders to provide full reports and said the attorneys may not be "understanding" what he has been requiring since there have been violations made. 

Baez was ordered on January 6, 2011 to provide compete reports of expert "opinions or their conclusions," Perry reminded Baez again today. The purpose of depositions are to expound on opinions given in the reports, told Baez., saying depositions are not to be a replacement for a report.

"The orders are quite clear to me. The court does not make threats The court simply enforces rules," said Perry.

Perry, warned that "exclusion" of expert witness from the trial might be a remedy for Baez' failing to follow court orders. The judge also said the Florida Bar may be dealing with Baez' court behavior after the trial. A referral by a judge to the Florida Bar, a very serious action, may result in sanctions or even disbarment of an attorney.

The attorneys met in chamber with the Judge for about an hour and then the Judge with the assent of the attorneys mysteriously recessed the court until Tuesday.


Florida Gas Prices Lower But Hendry's Still High

Hendry County Still One Of Highest Priced Gas Counties

LABELLE, FL. -- Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 3.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.57/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.66/g, according to gasoline price website FloridaStateGasPrices.com.

But the nearby Alva Citgo has the best price in the Hendry-Glades county area at $3.69, while the LaBelle Citgo's price is a dime higher at $3.79. The Circle K on State Road 29 South has LaBelle's lowest price at $3.73 and the LaBelle BP station has gas priced at $3.74.

In Clewiston the best price is $3.73 at Chevron and highest at Marathon at $3.82.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 92.5 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 24.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 19.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 92.7 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Jose Baez May Be In Contempt Of Court


Watch live video from Don Browne - Florida on Justin.tv
Judge Will Deal With Baez' "Ambush" Testimony - Failure To Follow Court Order

Judge Belvin Perry Saturday morning threatened Casey Anthony defense attorney Jose Baez with sanctions including contempt of court for not following a Court Order about witness testimony. This is not the first time inexperienced attorney Baez has been "schooled" by the Court.

Baez brought William Rodriquez to the witness stand to refute prosecution witness testimony regarding the placement of the duct tape found on Caylee Anthony's skull and other matters.

Rodriquez is a forensic anthropologist with the Department of Defense's Medical Examiner Office and a co-founder of the Tennessee "Body Farm" where studies are made on decomposing bodies.

Rodriquez was making opinions to the jury that were not found in his final report, violating the Judge's orders that all opinions made in court must be contained in a report provided to all parties before the trial. The Judge's intention was to prevent trial "by ambush" where one side would be surprised by unanticipated questioning of witnesses.

The Judge quickly sent out the jury, and then harshly chastised Jose Baez for intentionally not obeying the Judge's orders. Judge Perry said Baez picked and chose which court orders he wanted to follow, and indicated there were going to be possible sanctions and a remedy formed so as to punish Baez, but on the other hand not be unfair to his client Casey Anthony for disallowing important testimony from this witness.

(Video: Judge "Schools" Jose Baez Again, Threatening Contempt Order)

Witness Rodriquez' testimony was ordered stop testimony for today and will be brought back Monday after the prosecution has a chance to depose him, to see what he is going to testify about.

Judge Perry told Baez he will consider sanctions, including contempt of court, at the conclusion of the trial. Baez had been sanctioned by the Court January 6, 2011 for willfully introducing testimony that was not in witness reports.

Friday, June 17, 2011

National Data Research Center - A Scam?

Beware Of Yellow Postcard Mailing

LABELLE, FL. -- If you receive a mailing hailing "2011 Important Medicare Information" from Dallas, Texas with an offer to receive "a comparison that outlines the companies, plans and costs in your area," what you get may surprise you.

What they really are doing, and not disclosing anywhere on the card, is selling your name and the personal information you disclose to them to third party insurance and annuity companies. The post card asks for your date of birth, month turning 65, phone, and spouse's birth date.

National Data Research Center (N.D.R.C.)  has received many complaints, and government agencies have been watching them for years. The Dallas Better Business Bureau says the company is based in Melissa, Tex., and lists its owner as Ronald Morgan. The BBB says Acc-U-Lead also does business under Lead Room, United States Senior Service Inc. and USSS.

The company also sends similar mailings as "2011 Senior Income Tax Update."

The company will sell your data to others for up to $19 per lead.

The Social Security Administration ordered Acc-U-Lead and several related companies to stop another series of mailings directed at seniors. It also ordered the companies' founders to pay $200,000 to the Social Security Administration. That case alleged that Acc-U-Lead and its related companies sent misleading solicitations to seniors designed to obtain sensitive personal information. 

Since the card does looks to some like an official document including two American flags on the corners, the card does have a small-print disclaimer saying "not affiliated with any government agency or Medicare."

The company website with price lists where they offer to sell leads obtained from the post card mailings: http://4rmleads.com/insurance_annuity.html

Lord Of The Flies? Casey Anthony Defense Continues

Bug Doctor Testifies At Casey Anthony Trial About Flies And Pigs

Reminiscent of the classic 1963 movie Lord of the Flies fight scenes, a fist fight broke out in the early morning line of spectators waiting to get into court. Later, a handful of spectators were removed from the courtroom for sleeping during testimony.

The state and Jose Baez got into a heated verbal fight over today's witness testimony, the state receiving the judge's displeasure over the "editorial comments" made between the attorneys.

Ironically, this morning's court testimony was from a fly expert.

Forensic entomologist Dr. Timothy Huntington was defense attorney Jose Baez' witness Friday morning for the Casey Anthony murder trial, and seemingly caught the prosecution by surprise, as the questioning by Baez was underway..

The court went to sidebar many times and excused the jury from the courtroom to hear arguments between the prosecution and Jose Baez over what would be permitted to be heard from Huntington today.

The Nebraskan professor-forensic insect specialist testified about measuring the life of flies. Lengthy explanations were made to the 12-member jury about the stages of insects growth from pupae, maggots, and metamorphosis to adult size.

Huntington testified he had "years and years of experience watching animal and humans decompose."

Huntington described how he grew flies in six Nebraska car trunks containing pig carcasses.  He told the jury about how flies were able to get into the closed trunk to feed on the pigs. 

Huntington displayed photos and diagrams to explain the life of blowflies to the jury.  

Blowflies show up as soon as minutes after the death of an animal to feed on it, being very sensitive to the odor or decay, said Huntington.

Demonstrating how flies can get into a car, but then die inside it, seemingly not being able to find a way out and showing graphic photos of maggot activity on the pigs after 10 days in the trunk, the prosecution objected to his expertise on some subjects, and asked for numerous sidebars with the judge to limit the testimony.

Lengthy objections were made by the prosecution while the jury was out, as the state attempted to preclude Huntington's testimony on anything unrelated to bugs, including human decomposition and body fluids stains.

Smiling Jose Baez looked confident during a pause as Judge Belvin Perry looked over previous days' insect expert witness testimony to decide if Baez could continue on the line of questioning about decomposition and stains, Baez arguing the prosecution witnesses were allowed that testimony.

Huntington told the Judge he had told Jose Baez that he didn't think there was evidence of a decomposing body in Casey Anthony's car, having looked only of photos, because there was not enough body fluids left in the carpet, adding a "professional cleaner" would have had to clean the car to remove those fluid stains.

The prosecution was never told about Huntington's opinion statement to Baez on the Anthony car stain, nor did it appear in his final report, leading the prosecution to object to this line of questioning before the jurors.

The Judge ruled Baez was allowed to continue asking Huntington's opinion, adding that the jury can find for themselves if they consider Huntington's testimony on decomposition and body fluids as "expert."

Huntington told the jury, the flies found in the Anthony car had "no forensic value," as he claims they are so common, they would be expected to be found in any bag of trash or garbage, in contrast to the prosecution's testimony that the flies found were commonly seen in decomposing bodies.

Update: In the afternoon session Prosecutor Jeff Ashton tore into Dr. Huntington's morning testimony, fairly well demolishing the defense expert. Ashton got Huntington to admit there's a great difference between a study of pigs in a car trunk, and a 2-year old child wrapped in a blanket, inside two garbage bags, and then inside a laundry bag.

Ashton also demolished the defense expert's theory that the flies in the trunk were attracted to containers full  of chewing tobacco spit, and food in the trash and not decomposing Calley's body. Huntington was shown the actual evidence for the first time, instead of photos he had seen, and discovered there actually was no food or spit in the actual trash evidence.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

LaBelle Animal Rescue - Cabinet Shoppe Foreclosed

Where Will Diane's Dogs And Cats Go?

LABELLE, FL. -- Clewiston's First Bank is foreclosing on two North LaBelle commercial properties housing Animal Rescue of LaBelle, Inc., a "no-kill" dog and cat shelter owned by Diane Sheppard, and next door, Peter Sheppard's cabinet manufacturing shop. 

The animal shelter has dozens of cats and dogs available for foster care or adoption. Mrs. Sheppard has operated in the Hendry-Glades county area for over two decades using her own funds, loans, donations from the community, and help of volunteers to care for the animals. Unlike traditional animal shelters, Mrs. Sheppard does not euthanize the animals, but cares for them until adoption or fostering.

Animal Rescue of LaBelle, Inc was registered with the IRS as a non-profit in 1993. The 2006 IRS form 990 showed assets of $11 and income and expenses of $65,498. In 2007 assets were listed at $10,000 and income of $50,211. In 2009 income was $61.234.

The shelter's IRS filing for 2010 shows $38,856 income, and expenses $39,009. Expenses included $11,490 for salary, $900 for building maintenance, and $26,619 for "other." Assets were $7,722. (See link below for 2010 IRS Tax Forms Filed)

The 2010 "balance sheet" (actually an expense report) filed with the IRS shows the "other" expenses included $5,184 for mortgage, $4,800 for autos, $8,670 for food, $1,668 for utilities, $1,450 for vet, $1,325 for cleaning mat, $1,104 for cell phone, $804 for phone, and $756 for interest and bank charges.

The IRS form says 200 dogs and 110 cats were saved from "certain death" in 2010 by the shelter, and noting not as many as in past years because of dramatically reduced donations due to the recession.

Hendry Circuit Court records reflect Eurotex The Cabinet Shoppe, Inc., a dissolved corporation of Peter Sheppard, obtained a $122,000 first mortgage from First Bank in September, 2008 on the cabinet shop and animal shelter property, and apparently stopped making payments about August 2009 on a remaining principal amount of $121,108.

A lis pendens was filed in November 2009 against the property, at which point the bank filed foreclosure and refused any further payments from Sheppard.

Why Were Mortgage And Auto Expenses On 2010 IRS Filing?

Because Animal Rescue does not own the property, there should be no expenses for a mortgage. If there were no mortgage payments made in 2010 (First Bank had a mortgage against Eurotex, the actual property owner, and Eurotex reportedly made no payments to the bank in 2010), we wonder why Sheppard shows $5,184 for "mortgage expenses" and similarly because Ford Motor Credit has two judgments this year against the shelter, why is $4,800 for "auto" expenses given to the IRS as shelter expenses?

Animal Rescue of LaBelle, Inc. and Peter C. Stockwell have a final judgement against them by Ford Motor Company Credit LLC filed May 11, 2011 for $20,000, and a second final Judgement by Ford filed June 2, 2011 for $7900.

Hendry records indicate Peter Sheppard's company bought the property for the cabinet shop at 703 N. Bridge Street in November, 2004 for $65,000 from Harold P. Curtis. The lot containing the animal shelter was originally purchased by Animal Rescue of LaBelle earlier but deeded to Eurotex Inc. in August 2002.

Since then, interest, late fees and attorney costs have brought the amount owed to the bank to $144,200 as of September 2010. A foreclosure sale was first scheduled for October 22, 2010, and then moved to May 26, 2011 but postponed again.

The sale of the two commercial properties is now scheduled for the Hendry Courthouse at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 29, 2011.

2010 IRS Form 990 Income Tax Filing - Income and Expenses for Labelle's non-profit animal shelter

Update 6/29/2011: The foreclosure sale took place and 1st Bank is the highest bidder. Apparently the defendant filed two appeals to the District Court of Appeals. The certificate of title from the Clerk of the Court should issue to 1st Bank in 10 days, after which the bank will be able to take possession with the assistance of the Sheriff if necessary.

Casey Anthony's New Witness Vasco Thompson

Mystery Witness Called - Claimed To Have Made Calls To George Anthony

A late addition to the defense witness list in the Casey Anthony murder trial in Orlando, Florida is convicted kidnapper Vasco Dagama Thompson (photo left). 

Thompson reportedly made four calls to George Anthony, father of Casey on July 14, 2008.

George Anthony's attorney, Mark Lippman, put out a press release Wednesday denying Mr. Anthony ever knew or talked with Thompson.

The convicted felon served time at the Marion Correction Institution after a 17-year sentence resulting from an Orlando area kidnapping committed in July, 1987. 

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Thompson, now 52 years old, was released from prison in November, 2004 and then lived in Jacksonville.

Update: Thompson held a news conference June 17 saying he doesn't know George Anthony or never called him. He said he didn't have the phone number claimed by Jose Baez' defense attorneys to call Anthony in July, 2008, but got the phone later in January 2009.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cindy Anthony Testifies Again Against Daughter Casey

Final Prosecution Witnesses Testify Tuesday

On what was expected to the the final day of witnesses for the prosecution in the Casey Anthony murder trial, Cynthia Anthony, mother of Casey, testified regarding the length of her hair over the years, duct tape and some missing items from the home, including white canvas bags, after Casey moved out in June, 2008.

A Winnie the Pooh blanket was missing and a Teddy Bear, she said, items that later turned up as evidence in the trial. Prosecutors also were making it clear that Cindy's hair was not the same as the hair that later showed up in Casey's car.  The white laundry bag was where the murderer placed Caylee's body.

Prosecutors say the hair found in Casey's 1998 Pontiac was Caylee's, and the dead tot's body was in the car for several days. DNA found in the hair sample can be identified as being from any of the Anthony females, Caylee, Casey, or Cindy.

Cindy was in Los Angeles on December 11, 2008 when Caylee Anthony's tiny skeleton was found and the same day a search warrant of the Anthony home was executed by Orange County deputies.

An Ohio manufactured-brand duct tape found in the home was stored in the garage, she said, and could have been also used in the "command center" during the search for Caylee. The tape, she said was also used by George Anthony on the gas can. 

The defense is trying to tie the duct tape, found on Caylee's skull, and the gas can to Mr. Anthony. The prosecution says the duct tape may have covered the child's mouth and possibly the nose as well, suffocating her.

The final questioning was about the "Big Trouble" shirt Caylee was wearing in a photo with Casey, and later found with her remains in the woods. Cindy began crying as she told the jury she first saw the shirt photo in a deposition after Caylee was discovered.

Cindy reportedly mouthed "I Love You" in the direction of Casey as she left the witness stand. No reply from Casey was seen.

Defense Case To Begin Thursday June 16

The prosecution will formally rest it's case against Anthony, after a short session, on Wednesday morning, after which the defense will have an opportunity to argue a motion of acquittal for their client. Numerous defense motions for mistrial have been denied by the Judge.

The defense's case, led by attorney Jose Baez, will begin on Thursday, June 16 according to Judge Perry. Baez was asked by the Judge if he wanted to begin Wednesday, but declined. Whether Casey Anthony will testify in her own defense is still in question.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Florida Gas Prices Continue Falling This Week

Hendry County Fuel Still High Priced

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 4.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.61/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.71/g, according to gasoline price website FloridaStateGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were $1.01/g higher than the same day one year ago and are 29.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 23.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands $1.01/g higher than this day one year ago.

Lowest price in the Hendry-Glades area is in Lee county at Citgo on State Road 80 in Alva at $3.69. Driving into Hendry county the lowest price is at BP in LaBelle at $3.79.

Death In Hendry Three Vehicle Crash

Clewiston Woman Dead In Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. - A three car crash at U.S. 27 and State Road 80 left a Clewiston woman dead at 5:25 p.m. Sunday, June 12, 2011.

Mona Lou Boland, 72, driving a 1995 Chevy SUV and passenger James David Boland, 49, both of Clewiston were northbound on US 27 (SR 25) while Cleopatra Contreas, 40, of Clewiston was driving a 1993 Toyota Corolla was southbound on US 27.   

Rodney David Buckhanan, 25 of Clewiston with passenger Megan Elizabeth Lucas, 25 of Clewiston and Cadence Swanson, 3 came to a stop eastbound on SR 80 for a 
stop sign at the intersection of US 27.   

Boland failed to yield to oncoming southbound traffic on US  27 and turned left into Contreas' path.   The front of Contreas' vehicle struck the right side of Boland's vehicle in the outside southbound lane of US 27.  

Contreas' vehicle was redirected into the eastbound lane of SR 80 and struck the left side of Buckhanan's vehicle.   Boland spun counterclockwise and came to final rest in the outside southbound lane.  

Buckhanan moved forward and Contreas rotated and traveled in a counterclockwise motion across the southbound lanes of US 27, and struck a sign post and came to final rest on the paved portion of the center median.   

Buckhanan came to a controlled stop on the west grassy shoulder south of the intersection.  Contreas suffered fatal injuries. She was not wearing a seat belt. Boland had minor injuries.

Charges are pending investigation.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Health Caution Statement - Caloosahatchee River

Caution For Swimming, Fish Eating - Caloosahatchee River

 

The Hendry and Glades County, Florida Health Departments are recommending caution of exposure for humans, pets, or livestock to the waters of the Caloosahatchee River for the next few weeks.

 

A toxin produced by Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) has shown up in preliminary tests which can cause harm to fish, animals and humans when swallowed. This blue-green algae is also known to reduce the oxygen levels in the water as the algae bacterium decomposes resulting in fish kills.

 

At this time, the Hendry and Glades County Health Departments have not received any information that the toxins in the Caloosahatchee River have reached harmful levels. However, the Health Departments are recommending that people in the communities avoid eating fish from the river if dead fish are floating on the surface, in addition to avoiding ingestion (swallowing) the river water.

 

The World Health Organization reports that humans can be affected with a range of symptoms including skin irritation, stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pain, blisters of the mouth and liver damage. 


Swimmers in waters containing the cyanobacterial toxins may suffer allergic reactions such as asthma, eye irritation, rashes, and blisters around the mouth and nose. The toxins can also affect the kidneys.

 

There are two toll free hotlines available for people to report fish kills or illness associated with blue-green algae:

 

Fish Kill Hotline (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission) 800-636-0511

Human Illness (Florida Aquatic Toxin Hotline) 888-232-8635

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Mattie Juanita Bush, age 93, of LaBelle passed away Sunday, June 5, 2011 in Lehigh Acres, FL. Mattie was born March 23, 1918 in Alva, FL. She is the daughter of the late Jack Alderman and the late Jessie Estellena (Platt) Green.

She is survived by her two sons: William Jerry Bush of LaBelle, FL and Donald Larry Bush of LaBelle, FL; grandchildren: Randy (Debbie) Bush, Dwaine (Sandra) Bush, Jennifer (Timothy) Barron, Heather (Tom) Herrera, Kimberly (Lynn) Lyols, Lisa Rene Bush, Sonja Lynn (Dave) Lusk, William Donald Bush; great grandchildren: Justin Bush, Steven Bush, Seth Bush, Tara Wurster, Jessica Barron, Alainee Herrera, Mallory Herrera, Noah Herrera, Arania Bush, Zachary Lusk, Jeri Lyn Lusk, Sonja Rene Bush and Kristin Bush; great-great grandchildren: Frankie Wurster, Penny Wurster and Marie Bush; sister: Corrine Motyl and many nieces and nephews.

Mattie was preceded in death by her husband William Donald Bush in 2004.

The funeral service was held at 11:00 am on Thursday, June 9 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL with Pastor W. T. Maddox, Jr. officiating. Interment in Fort Denaud Cemetery. 


Donald Fred Howard, Sr. age 75, of LaBelle died June 6, 2011 in LaBelle. Fred was born October 8, 1935 in LaBelle, son of the late Seth A. Howard and the late Winifred (Langford) Howard. He worked for Hendry County as a heavy equipment operator for many years until his retirement.

Survivors include his children: Donald Fred Howard Jr. and wife Deborah, Erie Bruner and Seth Lewis Howard and wife Felisha, grandchildren, Libby Peacock, Melissa Saxon, Michael Howard, Shawn Keen and wife Robyn, great-grandchildren: Hayden Saxon, Mallory Saxon, Abby Keen, Leeah Peacock, Emily Peacock, Tanner Williams, Easton Robinson, Conner Robinson, Kinderah Robinson, brother: Wayne Howard (Carolyn), sisters: Linda Cleghorne (Jerald) and Sandra Thomas (Jimmy), sister in law: Ethelene Howard and a host of other family and friends. He was predeceased by his wife, Louise Howard and brother: Robert W. "Pee Wee" Howard.

A graveside service was held Friday, June 10, 2011, 10:30 am at Fort Denaud Cemetery in LaBelle with Seth Howard and Pastor L.W. Howard officiating. Interment followed in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle 

Betty H. Newsome, 76, of Fort White, FL, previously a longtime resident of South Bay, FL, passed away on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in Gainesville, FL, following a short battle with cancer.

Preceded in death by her husband, Jack W. Newsome; mother, Mattie Miller and son, Andrew Newsome. Betty, along with her husband, Jack, owned Sawgrass Restaurant in South Bay for some 20 years.

Survivors include two daughters, Bridgette Kipp (Mark) Syrie, Clewiston and Dixie Newsome of Fort White, FL; sister, Linda Miller Cone, Thomasville, GA; six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Saturday, June 11, 2011, at Evans-Carter Funeral Home in High Springs, FL, (386) 454-2444. Funeral services will be Monday, June 13, 2011 at 2:00 PM at Akin-Davis Chapel in Clewiston, FL. Burial will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clewiston.

Arrangements are under the care of Evans-Carter Funeral Home, High Springs, FL. and Akin-Davis Funeral Home


George W. Davis 81, of LaBelle, Fl., former Hendry County Engineer, passed away Thursday June 9, 2011.  The Davis family is having a small get together in his honor on Sunday, June 12 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Port LaBelle Inn.  About 15 hours prior to George’s death, his younger brother died.  Survivors include sons Greg and Gary Davis.  Arrangements by National Cremation and Burial Society.

Inez Couch of LaBelle, Fl. Inez was the assistant to Dallas Townsend, Hendry Agricultural agent for many years. She was very involved in the 4H program. She passed away Thursday, June 9th, 2011. 

Visitation will be from 6 p.m.to 7:30 p.m.Thursday June 16 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home. Service at 7:30 p.m.



On June 13, 2011, Virginia Cantu also known as "Bea" to all her family and friends, she won the fight against breast cancer and left us with a smile on her face. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. Her smile will always be remembered. She was the biggest Miami Hurricane fan and she truly loved watching the girl's play softball.

She is survived by her three daughters: Mercedes Cantu, Vanessa Cantu and Rumor Cantu with their father Valdomero Cantu; mother: Rosa Marroquin; father: Frank Marroquin; sister: Frances Canales (Adan); brother: Frankie Marroquin (Kimberly); nieces: Priscilla Jo Canales, Tiffany Canales, Elanee Marroquin and Brandynn Marroquin; nephews: Zane and Zander Marroquin; paternal grandfather: Tony Marroquin and maternal grandmother: Margarita Vasquez.

She will be missed but never forgotten.

Calling hours will be on Friday, June 17, 2011 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle.

The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 18, 2011 at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, LaBelle, Fl, with Father Chester Domaszewicz officiating. Interment will be in the Fort Denaud Cemetery. 



Jamie Francis Boyce, age 26, of Immokalee passed away, Saturday, June 18, 2011 in Jacksonville, FL. Jamie was born November 22, 1984 in Fort Myers, FL. She is the daughter of Julian Francis and Ferrie L. (Elrod) Boyce.

She is survived by her mother; Ferrie L. Boyce, father; Julian Francis Boyce, brother; Stephen M. Gerstman, sisters; Nicole A. Hannoud and Julie Gerstein, nephews; Justin Gerstman, Kyle Pierce, Elliot Pierce and Julian Gerstein, Nieces; Morgan Pierce and Lilly Pierce, uncle; Gene Boyce.

The funeral service will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at First Baptist Church of Immokalee, with Pastor Dennis Norvell and Pastor Bronc Flint officiating.

Visitation will be Wednesday, June 22, 2011 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm at First Baptist Church of Immokalee, Immokalee, FL.  Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle 

Men Dying Five Years Sooner Than Women

Risk Of Heart Disease Greater And Prostate Cancer A Factor 


Studies have shown that men are still dying nearly five years earlier than women. This difference is even more pronounced for African American men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in addition to a shorter lifespan, men are almost twice as likely as women to die of heart disease.

 

Risk factors for heart disease can include: •High Blood Pressure • High Cholesterol • Strong Family History • Smoking • Diabetes

Another health issue for men includes prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting men. Prostate screening can save lives. Men can start getting screenings around the age of 40, although many men wait until they are much older to get the screening. Treatment for prostate cancer varies. It can depend on how old you are, how sick you are, or how advanced the prostate cancer is at the time of diagnosis.  Men should pay attention to their bodies and should not be afraid to get regular check ups with their healthcare providers.

Men can be safer, stronger, and healthier by taking daily steps and getting care when needed. Improving men's health is not limited to a doctor's office or a hospital; it starts at home with individuals and families taking steps to live safer and healthier lives.


June is recognized as Men's Health Month and the week of June 13-19 is recognized as National Men's Health Week (the week leading up to and including Father's Day). This is an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular check ups, medical advice, and early treatment for disease and injury.

Why Casey Anthony Will Walk Free - Baez' New Defense

Casey - A Non-Treatable Psychiatric Disease?


While the defense has yet to present it's case, Jose Baez on behalf of accused child murderer Casey Anthony is certainly going to present a novel set of circumstances in an attempt to keep his client out of prison next week when his defense portion of the trial begins.

(photo: Dorothy Clay Sims comforts Casey Anthony)

Anthony goes into the defense portion of the trial with one big advantage, she's a proven liar. She's gotten away with it for a long time, some say learning from her father. George Anthony has been accused of being a liar by his ex-wife, according to Dr. Drew Pinsky on his nightly cable tv show.

Here's what we speculate Baez could say next week:

1. Casey is a pathological liar, reinforced over the years by father George Anthony
2. A pathological liar uncontrollably makes up lies bearing no semblance to reality and are even harmful to themselves
3. Casey lied to attorney Baez, confusing him, making a strategy of defense to confront her accusers impossible
4. There is no medical or psychological treatment for pathological liars
5. It is cruel and unusual to criminally punish anti-social behavior that has no current treatment
6. Anthony cannot be convicted criminally for lying because of the unusual untreatable condition she has
7. Anthony cannot be convicted of murder because reasonable doubt has been shown at trial
8. Anthony should be committed to a psychiatric facility for study and treatment, should treatment ever be available
9. A mistrial should be declared due to Anthony non-cooperation with her attorney, and his confusion resulting from her lies

About Pathological Lying - Pseudologia Phantastica
According to Dr. Charles C. Dike, of the Yale University School of Medicine's division of law and psychiatry in a June 2008 article from Psychiatric Times, there is no universal consensus in the psychiatric community on the definition of pathological lying (PL). It is said to be characterized by a long term history of lying for which no psychological motive or external benefit can be discerned.

This fits easily with Anthony's behavior of lying which made no apparent sense, and had no benefit for her as she made up an imaginary babysitter, imaginary job, led investigators to an imaginary office at Universal Studios Florida, and on and on.

Pathological lies appear purposeless, often self-incriminating and damaging to the liar, making the lies seem to others incomprehensible, says Dike. He says ordinary lying is goal directed to gain external benefits but PL is just the opposite, with no apparent benefit to the liar.

Dike says PL is relatively obscure although it was first observed in the medical literature a century ago and termed "pseudologia phantastica."

He says letters from "mental health professionals, attorneys, and individuals around the world describe similar characteristics in people they know—excessive lying, easily verifiable to be untrue, mostly unhelpful to the liar in any apparent way, and even possibly harmful to the liar, yet told repeatedly over time."

There is yet no psychological test for PL, or much research which confounds efforts to define and understand it and define it as a mental disorder.

Prevalence of PL in the population is unknown, but a study of 1000 repeat juvenile offenders found a prevalence of close to 1%. The average age at onset of the lying behavior was 16 and the average age at discovery was 22. The intelligence quotient (IQ) was found to be average or slightly below average, with significantly better verbal IQ than performance IQ; and a history of brain abnormality in 40% of the cases, characterized by epilepsy, abnormal electroencephalographic findings, head trauma, or infection.

If PL as a disorder can be established in an individual it would cause concern for the degree of responsibility of a pathological liar when their lies lead to criminal behavior, says Yale's Dr. Dike.