Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hendry County Political Candidate List Released

Competition Rises For Hendry Political Offices

LABELLE, FL. -- Candidates for Hendry County's local political office positions are lining up for the coming November elections. About half of the open positions have yet to have qualified candidates registered, including none yet for Clerk of Court, Tax Collector, and various Commission and School Board Seats.

As usual, the Sheriff and School Board Superintendent offices seem to have the most interest for candidates. Six candidates have qualified to run for Sheriff including incumbent Steve Whidden. Three candidates are running for school superintendent, including incumbent Rick Murphy.

For the first time, the Supervisor of Elections office will have candidates running for the office since incumbent Lucretia Strickland has decided to retire after many years in office. 

The following Offices will be up for election and as of December 31st have qualified with the Hendry County, Florida Supervisor of Elections. (No name next to the office means no one has qualified yet.)

Included are phone numbers and email addresses as listed by each candidate with the elections office. (In the past we have noted the majority, if not all candidates, don't seem to respond to emails or return phone calls. Voters might wish to test each candidate's willingness to respond to an email or phone message.)

Clerk of Circuit Court

(Rep) E. Carmona, 1079 Luckey St., LaBelle, FL 33935 phone: 863-673-6029 email:
(Rep) Mark R. Chamberlain, P O Box 1180, Clewiston, FL 33440 phone: 863-983-7844 email:
(Rep) Raymond A. Van Houten, 590 Brittany Lane, LaBelle, FL 33935 email: phone: 863-944-3996
(Dem) Matthew A. Beatty, 410 E. Osceola Ave., Clewiston, FL 33440 email: phone 863-983-5959
(Dem) Steven Maldonado, P O Box 273, LaBelle, FL 33975 phone: 863-673-1971
*(Dem) Steve Whidden, 2100 Scott Rd., LaBelle, FL 33935 phone: 863-612-0678

Property Appraiser *(Dem) Phillip L. Pelletier, 1601 Fort Denaud Rd., LaBelle, FL 33935 email: phone: 863-673-3280

Tax Collector (Rep) Tom Corbitt, 199 Caloosa Estates Dr., LaBelle, FL  33935  Phone: 863-612-0868

Superintendent of Schools
(Rep) Paul Puletti, 110 Hardee St., LaBelle, FL 33935 email: phone: 863-675-5921
(Rep) Joel Williamson, 140 Evans Rd., LaBelle, FL 33935 phone: 863-675-4098 email:
*(Dem) Richard A. Rick Murphy, 1832 Red Rd., Clewiston, FL 33440 phone: 561-248-8100 email:

Supervisor of Elections 
(Rep) Kevin Drummond, 4717 Sandlewood Ln., LaBelle, FL  33935
Phone: 863-234-3480  email:
(Dem) Kim Harris-White, P O Box 661, Felda, FL 33930-0661 phone: 863-257-0070 email:
(Dem) Brenda Hoots, 580 N. Hacienda St., Clewiston, FL 33440 Phone: 863-885-1756 email:

(NPA) Rose Raulerson-Mason, 469 Maple Dr., LaBelle, FL 33935
Phone: 863-234-6401 email:

County Judge (Non-partisan) James D. Sloan, P O Box 1695, LaBelle, FL  33975

County Commission District #1
County Commission District #3 (Rep) Tristan G. Chapman, 405 Live Oak Ln., LaBelle, FL  33935
County Commission District #5
School Board District #2
School Board District #4
Hendry Hospital Authority District #1
Hendry Hospital Authority District #3
Hendry Hospital Authority District #5
Hendry Soil and Water Conservation District Seat #2
Hendry Soil and Water Conservation District Seat #
Port LaBelle Community Development District Seat #2
Port LaBelle Community Development District Seat #4
East County Water Control District Seat #1

East County Water Control District Seat #3 Joseph L. Whalen, 1402 4th St. E, Lehigh Acres, FL 33936 phone: 239-633-9423 email:

East County Water Control District Seat #5 Edward T. Weiner, 20048 Lake Vista Cir., Lehigh Acres, FL 33936 phone: 954-648-5458

Central County Water Control District Seat #2 Miguel A. Solar, 303 Camino Real Blvd, Clewiston, FL  33440  Phone: 954-471-6888
Central County Water Control District Seat #4

* Incumbent

Friday, December 30, 2011

Clewiston Man Arrested On Child Homicide Charge

22-Year Old Arrested After 2-Year Old Dies

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff Investigators arrested 22 year old, Jerrell Jamel Johnson, on charges of Negligent Homicide.

Hendry County Deputies received a call on Christmas Day, December 25, at approximately 8:30 am requesting assistance for a two year old child that was not breathing.

After CPR efforts were made by parties on scene and emergency personnel, the child was transported to Hendry Regional Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Investigators with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office conducted interviews with neighbors, family members and friends of the family.

On December 29, Investigators spoke with 22 year old Jerrell Johnson, who was caring for the children during their mother’s absence. During the course of a follow-up interview Johnson revealed to investigators additional information which lead to his arrest.

Jerrell Johnson in currently being held in the Hendry County Jail on $200,000.00 bond.

Pete's Tractor Service

Pete's Tractor Service - Alva, Florida
Land Clearing, Bush Hog, Grading, Ponds

Rancho Del Sol
23801 North River Road
Alva, Fl. 33920

Telephone: 239-728-6629, 239-823-5790 (Cell)

Pete's Tractor Service in Alva, Florida for bushhog mowing, land clearing, grading, ponds, driveways and any other type land work.

Call Pete Freud at Pete's Tractor Service for his bush hog mower for your field and farm mowing or land clearing.

Pete's Tractor Service and bushhog service for Alva, east Lee county, west Hendry county, and the Glades county area including LaBelle, Alva, and Muse.

Email for Pete's Tractor Services: Pete's Bush Hog Service - Alva, Florida

Fatal Accident On US 27 In Glades County

Motorcycle Blows Tire

MOORE HAVEN, FL.-- Seth Wyatt Garvey, 20 of Moore Haven died as a result of a crash at US27 and SR29 north of Moore Haven, Florida.

Garvey, driving a 2011 Ducati motorcycle was ahead of a 2001 Freightliner truck, driven by Larzaro Guzman, 40 of Miami which was ahead of a 2009 Volvo truck driven by Randy Wayne Graves, 49 of Canton, Georgia.

Garvey's front tire blew out, causing him to lose control, and overturned onto its left side, ejecting Garvey, the motorcycle coming to rest within the outside lane of US 27. The left portion of the Freightliner's under carriage collided with the motorcycle, before traveling over the top of it and past it.

It was undetermined whether the truck collided with Garvey. The front center portion of the Volvo truck then struck the motorcycle within the outside lane.

It was undetermined whether the Volvo collided with Garvey and came to a controlled stop partially in the inside lane and partially within the paved portion of the center median and came to a controlled stop within the
outside lane and paved apron of the roadway.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Former Glades Sheriff Roy Lundy Dies At 84

Glades Sheriff Lundy - 25 Years Of Service

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Roy D. Lundy, age 84, of Moore Haven passed away Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at his home in Moore Haven.

Lundy was the Sheriff of Glades County, Florida from 1956 to 1981. Lundy served the longest time in office of any Sheriff in Glades county.

He was born March 23, 1927 in Moore Haven, FL., the son of the late Paul Edger and the late Amy (Surgnier) Lundy.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven and a 50 plus year member of the Moore Haven Lodge 61 F. & A.M.

Lundy is survived by his two sons: Roy D. Lundy, Jr. (Sandra) of Moore Haven, FL, Jack E. Lundy (Janice) of Moore Haven, FL; grandchildren: Scott Lundy (Nicole), Brad Lundy (Leslie), Jaclyne Pollard (Dwayne); great-grandchildren; Garrett Lundy, Katelyn Lundy, Carolanne Lundy and Aubrey Pollard.

He was preceded in death by his wife Irene Scott Lundy in 1989 and two grandchildren: Samuel David Lundy and Amy Elizabeth Lundy.

The funeral service will be held 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 30 at First United Methodist Church Of Moore Haven, 300 Avenue L. S.W., Moore Haven, FL. Rev. Charlie Watts will be officiating. Interment will be in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven.

Calling hours will be Thursday, December 29 from 6:00-08:00 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, 438 E. Sugarland Hwy., Clewiston, FL.

LaBelle's Bryan Boyle Arrested Again - Meth This Time

Boyle Arrested For Meth and Meth Pipe Possession

LABELLE, FL. -- Bryan Scott Boyle, age 35 of LaBelle, has been arrested again at his home in Port LaBelle Wednesday December 28th, this time on felony drug charges.

Boyle was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, after a search of the garage.

At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, Hendry Sheriff Steve Whidden went to 4502 Springview Circle where Boyle lives with his mother and grandmother. Boyle has been on probation since a December 15th trial.

Whidden found three other persons with Boyle, coming out from the garage area into the house, and noticed they were acting nervously with behavioral indicators that raised the Sheriff's suspicions, according to the booking report.

Boyle's mother gave written consent to search the garage after Boyle refused permission.

Whidden found in clear view two small plastic bags suspected of containing meth partially wrapped in a dollar bill, inside an eyeglass container. The meth weighted about 1.5 grams. Also found was a glass pipe with meth residue and a smaller amount of loose meth on a paper on a desk.

Another meth pipe made from a prescription drug bottle was found. It contained meth residue.

Accompanied by Deputy Cody McClelland and Sgt. George Elver, the four suspects were separated and questioned about the meth and pipes. Jaime Lee Long, aka Jamie Long, 26 of Felda and Boyle denied any knowledge of the meth and pipes.

William Ethan Cole Ragan, aka Ethan Reagan, 21 of Cypress Avenue in LaBelle, and Archie C. Thompson, 27 of Muse, said they had just arrived minutes before the Sheriff knocked on the door and both saw Boyle sitting at the desk in the garage smoking meth from the glass pipe. They signed statements attesting to what they saw.

Ragan (photo left) has a Hendry county arrest record including a December 20th arrest for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and an October 11th out of county fugitive arrest warrant.

Long has an arrest record going back to 2006, including adjudications of guilty for battery, reckless driving in 2008, and possession of drug paraphernalia, no valid drivers license, and contempt of court in 2011. She is serving a one year probation.

Boyle bonded out of jail Thursday morning, but Hendry Sheriff Steve Whidden obtained a warrant for Boyle's arrest for violation of probation.

Boyle was arrested again at his home on Springview Circle in Port LaBelle for violation of probation and Judge John Duryea, standing in for Hendry County Judge James Sloan refused bond, keeping Boyle in the Hendry jail until further notice.

Boyle, at a December 15th trial on various misdemeanor charges, told Judge James Sloan he was planning to move to Georgia and was given an opportunity by Sloan to move, get a job and "mail-in" reports to the Hendry probation office, and the possibility to have early termination of a two year probation if Boyle stayed out of trouble.

Presumably, with the new felony charges, should Boyle be found guilty, he may spend some real time behind bars.

Boyle, according to the arrest report is a German citizen, born in Stukarnashben, Germany and his last jobs were working with Revels Roofing and Protile Landscape. A google search for Stukarnashben, Germany however, finds no such place.

Update: On May 10th the LaBelle State Attorney's Office filed a notice with the court that they are not going  forward with the prosecution of Boyle on the two felony drug charges.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Clewiston's Alden Wyse Dies At 88

Worked At Kelly Tractor 68 Years

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Alden Maples Wyse, 88, widow of Walter Harold Wyse, Jr. died Saturday, December 24, 2011. She was born on October 17, 1923 in Camilla, Georgia to the late Thomas and Jewel Maples. 

She grew up in Bowling Green and graduated from Wauchula High School in 1941 and Florida State College for Women in 1945. She was a resident of Clewiston for 66 years and a long time member of the First United Methodist Church of Clewiston. She served the church as organist and Board Member and was active in the Women's Ministry. 

She joined Kelly Tractor Co. part time in 1943 and full time in 1945, remaining a dedicated and valued employee for 68 years. At Kelly Tractor, she facilitated the Kelly Foundation Scholarship Program and helped many students achieve a college education. 

She contributed to the community serving with the American Cancer Society, the Clewiston Museum, and as secretary of the Hendry Regional Medical Center Board. 
Alden is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Walt and Paula Wyse of Anderson, SC and Joe and Melinda Wyse of Lexington, KY; sister Annette Hunter of Bartow, FL and six grandchildren. 

Visitation will be 9-11 am Friday, December 30, 2011 and funeral service beginning at 11 a.m. in the First United Methodist Church of Clewiston, with Pastor John Hicks, officiating. Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. in Ridgelawn Cemetery. 

In Lieu of flowers, the family request memorial donations be made to the Alden Wyse Memorial Fund c/o the First United Methodist Church of Clewiston. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Gas Prices Steady In Florida

Hendry-Glades Gas Still Higher Than Average

LABELLE, FL. -- Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 0.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.24/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 0.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.23/g, according to gasoline price website

Prices in Hendry and Glades county are still about 15 cents higher than average. Into Highlands county prices lower to average, and on the central east coast of Florida prices are about 10 cents lower than Florida average.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 19.6 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 6.9 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 8.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 21.3 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

Victim Dies After Hendry Christmas Crash

Death Victim's Name Withheld In LaBelle Car-Tree Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- A 1997 Mazda Protege struck a tree in LaBelle, Christmas day. The driver has not been named pending notification of kin.

The Mazda was traveling south on SR 29 (South Main St.) in LaBelle at about 2:24 p.m. approaching the intersection of CR 80 A (Cowboy Way) and for unknown reasons, traveled onto the west shoulder directly in front of the Winn-Dixie supermarket located at 906 S. Main St. 

The left front of the vehicle struck a tree, the vehicle then rotated slightly counter-clockwise, and came to final rest facing south. An investigation for alcohol use is underway. The driver was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver was taken to Lehigh Medical Center.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

75 Year Old Bicyclist Injured In Hendry Crash

Bicyclist Suffers Critical Injuries In Night Crash

James Bonner, 75, on a Huffy bicycle was traveling west on SR 80 in the inside lane approaching Florida Street in LaBelle, in the center turn lane of SR 80 and entered into the inside westbound lane directly into the path of a 2005 Toyota Tundra about 6:42 p.m. Saturday, December 24. 

The driver,Todd Michael Lackey, 39 or Cape Coral took evasive action and steered right, but was unable to avoid the bicycle. The left front of the truck struck the bicycle, and the rider of was thrown off and landed on the roadway. 

The bike was not equipped with the front and rear lamps required to be operated on the roadway after sunset and an investigation is underway to determine alcohol use by Bonner. He suffered critical injuries and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital. 

The truck driver and passenger had no injuries.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011 Commentary by T. W. Bill Neville

 Please excuse my use of the word "CHRISTMAS", but that's the way It's been all of my life and since I've got the power of the moment---so shall it be, until death do us part!
To say the least, I'm feeling pretty cocky today, having just been called a "keeper" by one of my long-time friends and associates.  His point was that, suppose some morning you don't wake up, do all your family and friends know that you love them?  Even if you are not sure that they all love you, it will be worth knowing that they knew how you felt about them, and it is in that spirit that I chose to share memories of this long-ago Christmas in Indiana.
As the oldest of 3 boys growing up in Indiana, I was always in awe of the coming of Christmas and Santa's expected visit.  Being poor and I still don't know how my parents managed to always have a tree and gifts for us.  I do remember that there was always a stocking with candy, an orange, and a small toy in it.  There would always be two other presents under the tree.  One would be a toy of some kind and the other, clothing of some sort. 
When I was about 5 or 6, I overheard some older kids saying there was no Santa, and I asked my Mother about that.  She assured me that there was a Santa and if I continued being good, that he definitely would be at our house on Christmas.
On that Christmas morning, when we woke up, there in our parlor, under the tree, was a Lionel electric train set.  A steam engine, passenger car, and a caboose, riding high and dry on a circular track, with crossing signals and all on a circular track, rearing to go.  Since I was the oldest, I got to play engineer and run the controls, and I think it was all the excitement, that as we approached a crossing, I passed gas. and I said to my brother, "Did you hear me toot for the crossing?"  He couldn't pronounce his "s's very well and he said, "No, but I can ssshure 'mell the 'moke!"  It wasn't until later that I often wondered if my asking Mom about Santa had anything to do with one of our grandest Christmas's?
As I write this article, after all this time, why of all my many Christmas's, I remebered this particular one so vividly.  Maybe, other than the train, it was like something my Grandfather once told me.  He said, "Inside every older person is still a young person remembering the joys of youth, and trying to get out."
So let me leave you with this----If you see a FAT MAN--who's jolly and cute---wearing a beard and a red flannel suit----as he is chuckling and laughing away---while flying around in a miniature sleigh---with 8 tiny reindeer along---then let's face it---your eggnog's too strong!!"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gary's Computer Service


Need computer help? Contact Gary Peters by email
Visit the website of Gary Peters Computer Services in LaBelle, Florida 
Phone: (863) 675-7925

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Hiram Ballard, age 90, of LaBelle, passed away Dec. 21, 2011 in LaBelle. He was born Dec. 17, 1921 in Muse, the son the late Fait and the late Zora (Browning) Ballard.

Hiram was a lifelong resident of LaBelle. He was a member of Church of God-LaBelle and taught Sunday School for fifty years. He served in the Army.

Survivors include his wife: Beatrice(Green) Ballard, children: Joanne (Joseph Martin) Thomas, Jeanette (Dale) Small and Sam (Cyndi) Ballard, all of LaBelle, brother: Robert "Dewey" Ballard, sisters: Jackie Young, Gail Sanchez and Delores Gibson, grandchildren: Tina Limberger, Teri Marroquin, Steven Williams, Stephanie Stratton, Nerissa Williams and Bart Ballard, nine great-grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held, Sat, Dec. 24, 2011, 10:00 am at Church Of God-LaBelle with Rev. Cliff Gobble officiating. Interment will follow in Fort Denaud Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle.

David J. McGarvie, age 73, of Moore Haven passed away Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at home in Moore Haven. Dave was born July 23, 1938 in Lake Geneva, WI. He is the son of the late Floyd and the late Pauline (Miller) McGarvie.

Dave was employed by Firestone Tire and Rubber in Albany, GA for many years and then went to work for Proctor and Gamble in Albany where he retired in August 2000.

Dave was an avid fisherman, active member of the Lakeport Garden Club and all around good fellow.

He is survived by his wife: Barbara(Wilson) McGarvie ; two daughters: Dayna Rose, Dea Ingram (Dale) and one son: Derrick McCalvin; grandson, Kyle Howell and several brothers and sisters. He was preceded in death by grandson Joshua Bowles.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Lakeport Garden Club, 1591 Alligator Road, Moore Haven, FL 33471 or Hope Hospice, 9470 Health Park Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33908.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston 

Consumers Take Advantage Of Low-Cost And Free Phone Service

Free Cell Phones And Discounted Land Lines Available

LABELLE, FL. -- The Link-Up Florida and Lifeline Assistance programs help make telephone service affordable to low-income customers by giving free cell phones with free minutes or giving rebates on telephone hook-up charges and credits toward monthly phone bills. 

The programs are available to anyone receiving government assistance such as food assistance, medicaid, SSI and other programs for Florida residents with low or no income.

As of June 30, 2011, SafeLink Wireless, a free cell phone with minutes service, had 447,379 Lifeline customers, and Assurance Wireless, another cell phone provider, had 286,866. These two are probably the most popular services, as they provide one free cell phone per household, and include up to 250 free monthly minutes.

The number of eligible customers participating in the Lifeline program in Florida grew 47% during the July 2010 through June 2011 annual review period. As of June 30, 2011, 943,854 eligible customers participated in the Lifeline program. 

The five companies accounting for 918,925 Lifeline customers are SafeLink Wireless, Assurance Wireless, BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC, d/b/a AT&T Florida, Embarq Florida, Inc. d/b/a CenturyLink, and Verizon Florida LLC. 

The three largest incumbent local exchange carriers, AT&T, CenturyLink, and Verizon had 122,849, 39,524, and 22,307 Lifeline customers, respectively. The Lifeline program provide assistance in land line installation fees and monthly phone charges or free cell phones. In total, non-incumbent local exchange carrier Lifeline enrollment was 748,515 customers, which accounts for 79.3% of Florida's Lifeline customers.

Port LaBelle Crash Info Wanted

Driver & Passenger Flee After SUV Turnover

LABELLE, FL. -- The driver of a 2000 Dodge Durango and passenger fled after the vehicle flipped over about 1:30 A.M. Thursday morning at the curve on Collingswood Parkway in Port LaBelle.

The Durango was southbound on Collingswood Parkway north of SR80A, Cowboy Way and the driver failed to negotiate a curve and departed the roadway, overturning several times before coming to final rest on the east grassy shoulder of the roadway.  The driver fled the scene of the crash and is believed to have suffered injuries.

The Durango had about $10,000 in damages.

The area is dangerous as inattentive or impaired drivers speed along the 25 mph zoned highway between Cowboy Way and SR80.

Anyone with information regarding this crash should contact the Florida Highway Patrol in Fort Myers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Port LaBelle Main Electric Line Cut For 2,400 Homes

Underground Cable Drilling Company Cuts Line

LABELLE, FL. -- Power has been cut for about 2,400 homes and businesses in the Port LaBelle, Florida area. Florida Power and Light has a crew on the way to investigate.

At about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday, in near darkness, a crew of a about a dozen men were boring horizontal conduit lines underground along Birchwood Parkway in Port LaBelle to install new conduits for power lines when the rig hit the main electric power line that connects all electric lines north of State Road 80, and south into Eucalyptus Village in Port LaBelle.

Affected are Hendry and Glades county residents in Port LaBelle's Laurel Oaks Village, Eucalyptus Village and the Port LaBelle Ranchettes as well as the Port LaBelle Inn, marina, and condo and town houses at the marina.

The out-of-state drilling crew, from Jade Horizontal Directional Drilling from Massachusetts, began work on installing underground conduits Tuesday. The new lines will run along Birchwood Parkway.

Update:  FPL restored power to all sections by about 8 p.m. by rerouting power to a different line pending repair of the damaged underground line. The drilling crews left the area, presumably to take a look at the damage situation during daylight hours, while a subcontractor from FPL began digging an 8 foot trench at Springview Circle to find the broken electric main line.

While the intention was to drill underneath roadways in Port LaBelle, as is required by the Community Development District, the line break required tearing up the roadway at Springview Circle, where someone will ultimately be required to repave the road intersection to like new condition.

Video: Construction At Birchwood Parkway Cuts Power Line

Gold And Guns, Inc.
Paying Best Prices For Gold, Silver, Guns, & Other Valuable Assets
123 Riverbend Drive, LaBelle, Fl. 33935
Al Rumfelt (863) 673-0251 Phone Anytime

View Larger Map

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Brenda Lee Conway, age 65, of Clewiston passed away Sunday, December 18, 2011 at home in Clewiston. Brenda was born August 12, 1946 in Douglas, GA. She is the daughter of the late Vilous and the late Mary Lee (Taylor) Courson. 

Brenda had a great love for many, she was a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend. She loved to spend her time playing computer games, horseshoes and around a campfire with friends and her husband. Much of her time was spent with her sons and their children as well as her great grandchildren. 

She was always there if anyone needed her with a hug, a smile or just an open ear. She loved the holidays when everyone came together to her home where she cooked the meals.Brenda will be missed by many who's lives she was a part of, but most of all her family who will keep her in their hearts. 

She is survived by her husband: Donald Edward Conway two sons: Darryl Moore of Clewiston, FL, Arnold Moore (Angie) of Clewiston, FL; two brothers: Carl Courson, Jerry Courson; she also has four grandchildren: Christina Moore, Joshua Moore, Courtney Moore, Kelsie Moore and three great grandchild: Alisya Mata, Adrian Mata Jr. and Joshua Moore Jr. and a host of other relatives. 

She was preceded in death by husband Guido Mazzina, brothers Larry Courson and Donald Courson. 

The funeral service will be held 1:00 pm on Thursday, December 22 at Evangel Assembly Of God, 350 South Berner Road, Clewiston, FL with Pastor Gary Corley officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery. Calling hours are Wednesday, December 21 from 6 to 8 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Glades Library Offers Free Online Education Classes

Great Things At The Glades County Library

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades County Library now offers many of the newest releases of books available for loan on a 14-day basis.  These include some of the most popular titles and most popular authors.  Also, there are new DVDs available.
I'm Austin Moorhouse, a writer and member of the Friends of the Library and I would like to share with you some of the activities, events and opportunities with your Glades County Public Library.  Did you know that the library offers free educational courses?
Yes, I said free education!  You can't ask for more than that.  But, that isn't all.  You can use the computers at the library or using your Glades library card, you can sign up for these courses online through the Heartland Library Cooperative and do your studies on your own home computer at your leisure and at your own pace.   

The library now has Universal Classes in 41 different major areas of study.  Within each of these areas there are numerous courses for business, pleasure and continuing education.  Some of these courses offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for those of you who need them to maintain your licenses and certifications. 
You may get more information from your Glades County Public Library or online from the Heartland Library Cooperative.
Also, check out our new "self checkout" machine at the library.  You may check out two books with the Automatic Self-Checkout using only your library card.

Residents of Hendry County may go to their local library and request a reciprocal borrow sticker to be placed on their Hendry County Library card and this will entitle them to privileges at the Glades County Public Library. The resident with a reciprocal sticker must physically come in to Glades County Library in order to provide the necessary information to be entered into the Glades library system. This is a one-time required visit.

If a resident of Hendry County works in Glades County, they may apply directly for a Glades library card.

-submitted by Austin Moorhouse

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winn-Dixie Stores Merge With South Carolina Chain

Smaller Chain Bi-Lo Takes Over Florida Grocery Chain
BI-LO and Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. have announced that the companies will merge to create an organization of approximately 690 grocery stores and 63,000 employees in eight states throughout the southeastern United States.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, BI-LO will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Winn-Dixie stock in the merger. Winn-Dixie shareholders will receive $9.50 in cash per share of Winn-Dixie common stock, representing a premium of approximately 75% over the closing price of Winn-Dixie common stock on December 16, 2011.

On November 21 Winn-Dixie officially emerged from Chapter 11 protection with $725 million in exit financing as a new company and with a new Board of Directors and on November 22 new shares of Winn-Dixie stock begin to trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange on a “when-issued” basis under the ticker symbol WINNV.

A Special Committee of the Winn-Dixie Board of Directors, comprised of eight independent directors, and advised by independent financial and legal advisors, negotiated the transaction and recommended it to the full Board. The full Board unanimously approved the agreement and recommends Winn-Dixie shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.

“This transaction with BI-LO provides Winn-Dixie shareholders with a significant cash premium for their shares. We believe this transaction is in the best interests of our shareholders,” said Peter Lynch, Chairman, CEO and President of Winn-Dixie.

The transaction is currently expected to close in the next 60 to 120 days, subject to the approval of Winn-Dixie shareholders and other customary closing conditions, including expiration of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The transaction is not subject to any financing condition.

Following the completion of the merger, Winn-Dixie will become a privately-held, wholly owned subsidiary of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie’s common stock will cease trading on the NASDAQ.

Until the merger is complete, both BI-LO and Winn-Dixie will continue to operate as separate companies.

Following completion of the merger, it is anticipated that the companies will continue to operate under the BI-LO and Winn-Dixie banners that their customers have come to trust.

BI-LO and Winn-Dixie do not currently expect any store closures as a result of the combination. The combined company’s executive management team structure and headquarters location will be decided as the companies move closer to finalizing the transaction; however, it is expected that the combined company will maintain a presence in both Greenville and Jacksonville.

Founded in 1961 and headquartered in Greenville, S.C., BI-LO operates 207 supermarkets, including approximately 116 in-store pharmacies, in North Carolina, South Carolina,Georgia and Tennessee. The Company employs approximately 17,000 people.

Founded in 1925 and headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, Winn-Dixie operates approximately 480 retail grocery locations, including approximately 380 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. The Company employs approximately 46,000 people.

Glades Youth Honored For Saving Life

Two Honored For Life Saving Actions At Crash Scene
MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades County honored two of its youth at a recent Glades County Commission meeting December 13, 2011 for doing the right thing.

Kelsey Ahern was given an award for getting her brother Collin and sister Chloe out of a submerged vehicle that had flipped over in a canal. Kelsey is the sixteen year old daughter of Robbie and Kell Ahern of Moore Haven.

Teale Humphries was given an award for performing CPR before 1st responders arrived at a scene. Teale Humphries is the eighteen year old daughter of George and Tammy Humphries of Moore Haven.

Both young ladies responded to the two separate incidents in a heroic manner putting the life of someone else above their own safety concerns. Glades County wanted to award them for their bravery in doing the right thing in such difficult emergencies.

“When people do the right thing or shine brighter than others they deserve to be acknowledged for their dedication and outstanding performance. I truly believe it encourages others to be the best they can be and go above and beyond everyday in whatever they do. I am very proud of Kelsey and Teal having the courage to step out of their safety zone to do the right thing,” said Angela Snow Colegrove of Glades County Emergency Management.

Glades County would like to thank the following for their donations for the young ladies: Rainbow Gardens, Toby Keith Fan Club, Domino’s Pizza in Clewiston and Mike Byrnes Jr. MMA Fighter.

Quit Smoking Free Classes

Nicotine Replacement Therapy Free In LaBelle And Clewiston

LABELLE, FL. -- Two free "Quit Smoking Now" classes are opening in Hendry County.  Registration is required to join the classes at the Hendry Regional Medical Center in Clewiston on Wednesdays for six sessions January 4, 11, 18, 25, and February 1, 8. All classes start at 5:30 pm. 

More classes will be offered at the Hendry Convenient Care Center in LaBelle on Wednesdays for six sessions beginning January 11, 18, 25, and February 1, 8, 15. All classes start at 6:30 pm. 

FREE Nicotine Replacement Therapy for those eligible. For more information or to register contact Angelica Pena at 863-902-3019.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Teddie K. Harrison, age 78, of Clewiston, FL passed away Dec. 15, 2011 in Clewiston. He was born Mar. 5, 1933 in Roane County, TN, the son of the late Moses Callaway Harrison and the late Emma Harrison. He served in the Army. He was a former resident of Indiana

He is survived by his sister: Vada Ewald of Shakopee, MN, sister-in-law, Lila Lee Harrison of Clewiston, FL and nieces & nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Eddie, James and Gordon and sisters: Verne and Shirley.

Cremation will take place at Caloosa Crematory in LaBelle, FL. Memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society in Teddie's name.

David J. Crabtree, age 71, of Okeechobee passed away Wednesday, December 14, 2011 in Okeechobee, FL. David was born February 29, 1940 in Horatio, AR. He is the son of the late Henry Eagle and the late Lillie (Dixon) Crabtree.

He is survived by his five daughters: Peggy (Mitch), Tammera (Luis), Karla (Jeremy), Vicki (Bruce) and Bridgette; one son: David Wayne (Lynda); three sisters: Altamae, Ruth (George) and Valerie; one brother: Jimmy; fifteen grandchildren; seven great grandchildren and Life Partner, Marie Pittman of Okeechobee, FL.

The funeral service was held 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 at Ortona Cemetery Pavilion, 12870 W. SR 78, Moore Haven, FL. Interment will be in Ortona Cemetery.

Calling hours were Saturday, December 17, 2011 one hour prior to service at Ortona Cemetery Pavilion.

Raymond E. Huebner, age 67, of Clewiston passed away Tuesday, December 13, 2011 in Clewiston, FL. Mr. Huebner was born June 6, 1944 in Belle Glade, FL. He is the son of the late Eugene and Evelyn (Boree) Huebner.

He is survived by his one son: Ronnie Shawn Huebner; his mother Evelyn (Boree) Huebner; one sister: Barbara J. Fricke of Clewiston, FL; he also has 1 grandchild Robby Shane Huebner.

The funeral service was held 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 16 at Saint Martin's Episcopal Church, 207 North W.C. Owen Ave, Clewiston, FL with Rev. Samuel Thomas Ph.D. officiating.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa Making Phone Calls To Friends And Family

Free Calls To Santa Or Santa Will Call Anyone You Know

LABELLE, FL. -- Santa wants you to reach out to him (after all, reindeer are only so-so conversationalists). 

If you or your family members have a special request for Santa, you can call him right from Gmail* and leave him a message at his Google Voice number: 855-34-SANTA. 

Santa won't be able to return messages himself—it’s a busy time of year for him—but he's promised to keep us up to date on happenings in the North Pole day by day.

You also can create and send a unique, customized phone call from Santa to anyone you know, from your nieces and nephews to old college friends, over the phone (to U.S. numbers only). 

Listen to a sample phone call, and send a message of your own from

Friday, December 16, 2011

Florida Bear Advice - Don't Run!

LaBelle has had several bear sightings in the last several weeks, one in the city and one in Laurel Oaks in Port LaBelle. What to do if you spot a bear? Here's some advice from the winner of the Florida Wildlife Commission's recent video contest.

Justin Burt, a student at Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee and his "Be Bear Aware" video was chosen as the Statewide winner of the FWC's Florida Black Bear Public Service Announcement Video Contest.

Florida high school students were asked to create a short PSA video to raise awareness and educate the public on black bear issues they think people need to know. FWC received 17 entries from 10 schools, with over 90 students participating in the competition. 

For information on Florida's bears, please visit .

(Video: FWC "Bear Aware" public service announcement)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

IRS Filing Tax Liens In Hendry County

Internal Revenue Liens - Past Due Tax Notices Filed At Courthouse

LABELLE, FL. -- The Internal Revenue Service continues going after individuals and businesses in Hendry county, filing liens at the LaBelle courthouse, giving public notice that taxes have been assessed, and in some cases payments demanded, but are still unpaid .

Some prominent Hendry businesses and individuals can be found among the filings. Liens filed by the government amount to a 1st lien against the individual or business, ahead of any other liens. Most are filed against small business owners for income tax, and businesses for failing to pay business and employment taxes.

Among the 2010 assessments in Hendry county, the IRS says is past due and owing, a lien for $15,227 against Azteca Montura in Clewiston, located on CR833.

Darren N. Smith, a Clewiston rental real estate owner has a 2010 lien for $306,594 due for income taxes not paid in 2003.

Azteca Mexican Food, Inc. on Cowboy Way in LaBelle was assessed $31,299 for unpaid taxes.

RKO Industries, Inc. in LaBelle owed 2009 taxes in the amount of $18,617. The long closed Rodeo Grill LLC in LaBelle owes $22,579.

Among the IRS liens filed in 2011, Donna M. Maddox of LaBelle owed $36,015 in back taxes from 2006 to 2009. Charles C. Pelham Jr., of Clewiston had two liens filed, one for $90,474 and another for $83,406.

RKO Industries, Inc. of LaBelle had another lien filed against them in 2011 for $63,804.

The Howell Ranch LLC, and the estate of Paul C. Roberts have an Estate tax lien for $423,000 and  $535,516 on a second parcel of land owned by the estate.

Charles C Pelham Jr. and Karen P. Pelham had another lien filed in 2011 for $15,076 for past due taxes for 2007-2009. Harold R. and Alicia L. Keen of Clewiston owed $42,314 for back income taxes.

Dixie Fried Chicken, owned by Laverne & Anita , Inc. owes taxes for 2010 in the amount of $6,828. Hendry Glades Sunday News, Inc. owes $26,352 in back taxes from 2005 to 2009.

WAFH of Clewiston, Inc. owner of Kentucy Fried Chicken owed $14,274 for taxes not paid in 2011.

LaBelle Petroleum, Inc. had a lien filed 11/21/11 for an unreported amount, and Dixie Fried Chicken in Clewiston had another lien filed 12/6/11 for an unreported amount.

In 2010 the IRS recorded 68 liens against Hendry tax payers. In 2011 the number of liens filed by the IRS increased slightly, as of December 15th, to 78.

Update: Karen Howell responds about the IRS lien for the Howell Ranch: "... the $423,000.00 was elected under section 2032A and in fact is money that I do not owe, but money that is saved by keeping my land under the same agriculture use as used in the estate. I am not, and have never been past due in paying the IRS or anyone else money."

According to the IRS lien titled "Notice of Federal Estate Tax Lien"  filed at  the tax, including any costs, interest and penalties is deferred. The lien at: , is a Notice of Federal Estate Tax Lien and is a "lien for the special valuation  elected under section 2032A..." We apologize for any misunderstanding of the Federal Estate Tax Liens filed against the two Howell land parcels.

Busy Week In LaBelle Real Estate -21 Homes Sold -1 Bankruptcy

More Hendry Homes Selling - Large Landowner Goes Bankrupt

LABELLE, FL. -- While real estate is not fully back to pre-2007 days, this week's latest homes sales shows some improvements with 21 homes closed in the LaBelle area of Hendry county, while a large landowner files for bankrupcy.

In distressed real estate, about 640 acres of land and excavated lakes on Church Road in southern Hendry county, almost went to sale for back taxes Thursday. Lake Trafford Independent Baptist Church, Inc., a non-profit located at 1207 Carson Road in Immokalee owes $507,000 in back taxes to Hendry County on it's vacant acreage on the Hendry/Collier county line.

But just before a tax sale was to be held Thursday morning at the Hendry courthouse, Delta Aggregate LLC bought the property, then filed bankruptcy, staying the sale until the Federal Bankruptcy Court gives permission for a sale. Delta had a lien against Lake Trafford Independent Baptist.

The president of the church organization is James Frederick Jr. who also is president of another non-profit, Steps To The Future Children's Home, Inc. located at the same Immokalee address.

Carl Gee, with a Georgia address is listed as a director of the Children's Home. A same name Gee, with a LaBelle address is the owner of Earth Vision Landscaping LLC, of Dellwood Terrace in Port LaBelle. Earth Vision was dissolved in September 2007.

From 12/6/2011 to 12/13/2011, there were 21 homes sold in the LaBelle area for an average price of $76,381. The homes (lowest priced are mobile homes) included:

1)$145,000on6th Ave
2)$45,000onAmanda St
3)$20,000onAvalon Ave
4)$30,000onAvalon Ave
5)$33,000onCase Rd
6)$72,000onCounty Road 78
7)$15,000onFort Center Ave
8)$265,000onFort Denaud Rd
9)$33,000onFrancis Ct
10)$49,000onKell Mill Blvd
11)$210,000onLive Oak Ln
12)$10,000onMarion Ave
13)$95,000onNiles St
14)$7,000onNoble Pine Dr
15)$52,000onPalm Ave
16)$335,000onRiverbend Dr
17)$23,000onSeminole Ave
18)$10,000onState Road 29 S
19)$52,000onS Hickory St
20)$73,000onSW Tradewinds Cir
21)$30,000onW Palomar Cir

LaBelle Kindergarten Kids Carol At Courthouse

10th Year Of Hendry Kindergarten Kids Courthouse Visits

LABELLE, FL. -- Supervisor of Elections for Hendry County Lucretia Strickland and School Board Superintendent Rick Murphy helped host a morning at the Hendry Courthouse for LaBelle kindergarten students.

This is the 10th years the young students have marched to the Courthouse during Christmas season, wishing all a Merry Christmas in song.

Led by teachers and Sheriff's deputies, dozens of tykes marched to the Courthouse to join in Christmas celebrations and have some fruit punch with Supervisor Strickland and singing some Christmas songs.

(Video: Kids marching from Courthouse and "Merry Christmas" from Elections Office Staff!)

UES And LES music teachers: Ms. Shupte and Mr. Conner

Hendry's Boyle Agrees To "Get Out Of Town" To Avoid Jail

Judge Sloan Gives "Out Of State" Probation To LaBelle Man After 22 Jail Bookings

LABELLE, FL. -- Bryan Scott Boyle appeared in Hendry County Court this morning to plead guilty.

Through his attorney he asked Judge James D. Sloan to accept a plea agreement between himself and the State Attorney's Office, essentially giving him a "get out of jail card" if he leaves town.

Perhaps singing "Georgia On My Mind" to himself, Boyle was in court in LaBelle Thursday morning  for trial and sentencing on four driving related charges and failure to appear.

Boyle, the son of the city of LaBelle's Superintendent of Public Works Michael A. Boyle, after a lengthy record in Hendry county including numerous misdemeanor and felony arrests going back to 1993, may shortly be headed to Georgia.

In a thinly disguised, but probably legal plot to get repeat offender Boyle to leave Hendry county and Florida, the State Attorney's office in consultation with Hendry Sheriff Steve Whidden agreed with Boyle's public defender to propose an unusual plea agreement to County Judge James Sloan.

Sheriff Whidden watched this morning's proceedings from the courtroom's visitor seating. Boyle's Port LaBelle neighbors have been after the Sheriff to do something about Boyle's and his escapades at the normally quiet Laurel Oaks neighborhood.

The court agreement allows Boyle to escape 60 day's jail time in return for six months probation on each of four charges for a total of two years probation. 

The kicker is, Boyle said he's moving to Georgia, and the court agreed to allow Boyle to report to Hendry probation by mail from Georgia, and Boyle will be considered for early termination of probation if he gets a job in Georgia and stays out of trouble.

Although it's unconstitutional to force anyone to leave the jurisdiction or state as a condition of sentencing, or probation, this legal maneuver persuades Boyle to go to Georgia for the chance to avoid a 60 day jail sentence, and enables early termination of Hendry county probation if he gets a job in Georgia. 

The State Attorney's office says it will not object to early termination if he does as agreed.

Boyle additionally, by moving to Georgia gets "mail-in" probation terms where he doesn't have to physically report to a Hendry probation officer.

During sentencing Sloan admonished Boyle of "consistent and persistent disregard" for rules and noted there comes a time "where it's not just shrugging my shoulders." Sloan told Boyle because of his lengthy record he could be prosecuted for a felony if he keeps messing up.

Sloan told Boyle he will get an automatic 90 day jail sentence if he violates traffic laws or terms of probation. Boyle will pay $803 in court costs and fees plus $500 on his failure to appear charge, jail time was suspended.

Boyle can still appeal the Judge's jurisdiction and sentence within 30 days. Boyle was finger printed and left the courtroom, a free man, except for the probation terms.

After Boyle had left the courtroom, Judge Sloan made informal comments to attorneys how it was illegal to force offenders out of state, but pointed out in the 1970s, Miami officials had been caught putting vagrants and other undesirables on buses headed for distant destinations.

Boyle's Last Ride To Georgia
Hendry Sheriff Steve Whidden last captured a fleeing Bryan Scott Boyle October 5th after a run through the rural streets and fields of Port LaBelle..

Sheriff Whidden, accompanied in the squad car by his father visiting from Groveland, Florida, was led on a chase by much arrested Boyle as Whidden was attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Boyle.

The arrest made the 22nd jail booking for Boyle, and the eighth time booked into the Hendry jail in 2011.

His last prior arrest was September 30. Boyle was arrested again on charges of violating restrictions on his driver's license, and additionally for failure to appear in court on a previous charge.

Leading the Sheriff over ditches and through the greenbelts of Port LaBelle, Boyle stopped at 8001 Sherwood Circle in Port LaBelle where he was placed under arrest.

Boyle's truck was confiscated and towed. Boyle was released from jail within hours of his last arrest, a typical scenario for Boyle.

The home is occupied by Harriet F. Green, AKA Harriet Smith, Harriet Hunter, and Kit Green. Green, a friend of Boyle, was arrested April 26th on charges of possessing a firearm by a convicted felon.

She's due in court January 19th for a case management conference before Circuit Judge John Duryea.

Well-worn truck tracks in the empty lots next to and at the rear of the Green residence indicate a lot of truck traffic backing up to the back yard of the 2,082 square foot home, as if this was not the first time Boyle had been driving his one-ton white flatbed truck here.

Boyle lives with his mother, Susan Lynn Kennedy, aka Susan K. Denning at 4502 Springview Circle in Port LaBelle, the scene of an April, 2011 arrest of his friend John Robert Munson for probation violation. (Video of Munson's arrest.).

Munson was given six months in jail. Munson is the son of pharmacist John K. Munson, who formerly owned Hendry two county drug stores and is now owns a store in Highlands county in Lake Placid.

Kennedy, like her son, has a long arrest record of 16 bookings into the Hendry jail in the last 9 years. Her next court date is January 18, 2012 before Judge Sloan on violations of driving restrictions.

$135,000 Damage In Glades Truck Crash

MOORE HAVEN, FL. --  A 53-year old Palm Coast, Florida man speeding on U.S. 27 overturned causing $135,000 damage to his trailer rig.

Jon Michael Randall, driving a 2009 Volvo truck and towed trailer (tractor/trailer combo) were southbound on US 27 (SR 25) when the vehicle failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway.  

He traveled partially onto the west grassy shoulder and then overcorrected and lost control of the truck and towed trailer.  It overturned and came to final rest in the outside lane of SR 25. Randall had no injuries, and was wearing a seatbelt.  

He was charged with speeding too fast for conditions on the curve.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gold Seller Alert - "Road Show" Hits LaBelle

New Company Offers To Buy Gold Silver & Antiques "As Seen On TV"

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry and Glades county, Florida residents may have received a color brochure in the mail this week advertising the "Original Roadshow Gold, Silver & Antique" event "as seen on TV," according to the large direct mail piece.

However, despite the perhaps misleading advertisement, the company Gold Coast Refining LLC of Boca Raton, Florida appears to be a less than three-month old outfit, having filed for incorporation with the Florida Secretary of State in September of 2011.

One of the promised gimmicks to bring sellers in to the Port LaBelle Inn for seven days is a claim of "50% more than the pawn and jewelry stores are paying." Included prominently on the ad is a scratch to win feature to win a flat screen tv or a Walmart gift card.

The outfit makes the claim "we own our own refiners, so cut out the middleman" as the reason they can pay 50% more than pawn or jewelry stores. The "refinery" and home office of Gold Coast Refining appears to be located in a modest middle class home at 429 NE 32 Street in Boca Raton, owned by Jessica and Phillip Hoylman. Jessica is one of the company owners.

The ad's fine print indicates everyone has a 100% chance to win a gift card "while supplies last" and a one in 9,372 chance for the TV. The big "BUT" is you must sell some gold to win a prize, otherwise you get a "consolation prize."

How the 3-month old company is claiming to be the "Original Roadshow" we can't figure, although the popular History Channel's Pawn Stars show, featuring the Harrison family's Gold & Silver Pawn Shop based in Las Vegas, is doing their own "road show" style traveling tour throughout the U.S. and Canada, buying gold and antiques.

The Florida company, Gold Coast Refinery LLC is owned by Sean McNamara of Fort Lauderdale, and Jessica Lynn Hoylman of Boca Raton. Hoylman has owned several apparently failed used auto type businesses in the past, including Super Auto Liquidation Events LLC, Sales Promotions USA , and Vintracker of Florida LLC.

Responding to how the wording in the company's direct mail advertisement was chosen, Holylman says "I used the word 'Original' because it wasn't taken. 'As seen on TV' is used because we have done commercials."

Gold, silver and antique sellers might be advised to get a second or third appraisal before selling their valuables to an unknown company.

Update: As of April 2013, Jessica Hoylman and Phillip W. Hoylman are defendants in a four-year old foreclosure suit against them brought by BAC Home Loans Servicing LLC. Phillip Hoylman, was reportedly a car salesman. Jessica Hoylman filed papers for a new company, East Coast Refining in April, 2012, working again out of her under foreclosure home in Boca Raton.

Tobacco Companies To Pay $6.25 Million Settlement

Six Million Dollars To Support Online Tobacco Industry Document Library
The country’s two biggest tobacco companies have agreed to improve public access to internal tobacco-industry documents and to pay $6.25 million into a court fund that will go to support the country’s largest online collection of tobacco documents, the Justice Department announced today.

The agreement resolves a dispute between the tobacco companies and the United States about the online document databases that the court ordered in 2006. The court ruled then that Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and other cigarette companies had suppressed internal documents, information and research, as part of a broad campaign to deliberately deceive the American people about smoking’s health effects, nicotine addiction, manipulating cigarette design to increase addiction, light- and low-tar cigarettes and marketing to youth.

The agreement is part of the United States’ landmark case against the country’s largest cigarette companies, filed in federal court in Washington. The settlement is with Philip Morris USA and its parent Altria Group, and with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

As a result, the court ordered the companies to provide public access to all documents they turned over in all smoking-and-health lawsuits in the United States for the next 15 years, through online document websites and through a hard-copy archive known as the Minnesota Depository.

The agreement requires Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds to pay a total of $6.25 million into a court fund over the next four years. The court fund will turn the money over to the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF), which runs the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library,

The UCSF collection went online in 2000, and provides Internet access to more than 13 million internal tobacco company documents, many of them originally revealed during lawsuits against individual tobacco companies. 

Researchers have published hundreds of peer-reviewed articles about the tobacco industry’s actions and internal knowledge, based on documents uncovered in the UCSF collection.

“To prevent future wrongdoing, the court ordered the tobacco companies to make all documents they disclosed in certain types of lawsuits publicly available for the next 15 years and to pay more than $6 million to maintain the document database,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. 

“This agreement helps make sure that these documents will be accessible to researchers, journalists, students, lawyers, the government and the public at large – anyone who is interested in learning more about the defendants’ efforts to mislead consumers about the effects of smoking.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Carol E. Gaure, age 67, of LaBelle passed away, Dec. 10, 2011 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Oct. 15, 1944 in Okeechobee. 

Survivors include her daughters: Sarah Jimenez and Judy Graham of LaBelle, Sheila Mace of Palmdale, son: James Mace of Ft. Myers, two brothers, three sisters, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service will be held Sat., Dec. 17, 2011, 3:00 p.m. at International Christian Fellowship in LaBelle with Pastor Sammy Co officiating. Cremation Arrangements by: Akin-Davis Funeral Home-LaBelle 

Georgina Kaye Grasshopper Bert, age 36, of Clewiston passed away Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at Clewiston, FL. Georgina was born April 17, 1975 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She is the daughter of George and Dale (Jumper) Grasshopper. 

She is survived by her three daughters: Katherine Joyce Bert, Juli-Anne Jumper, Johnnie Sue Russell; two sons: Roderick George Bert and Kylen Jas Jumper; her father George and mother Dale (Jumper) Grasshopper; two brothers: Jason Grasshopper and Joseph Grasshopper and Fiance Johnny Russell. 

The funeral service was held 1:00 pm on Saturday, December 10 at Big Cypress First Baptist Church, CR 833 (Big Cypress Reservation), Clewiston, FL with Pastor Joshua Leading Fox officiating. Interment was in Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation. 

A Memorial service will be held on December 17, 2011 in Tahlequab, Oklahoma. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston 

John William Drake, age 84, of Clewiston passed away Monday, December 5, 2011 at Cape Coral, FL. John was born August 8, 1927 in Nashville, TN. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe C. Drake, Sr. and Winnie (McGlothlin) Drake and brother Henry Drake, Sr. He is survived by his wife Emily (McLain) Drake; two sons: John Robert Drake (Diane) of Belleview, FL and William C. Drake (Kelly) of Clewiston, FL; one sister: Ettie Laurie Crossland (Aaron) of Kearny, AZ and one brother: Joe C. Drake, Jr. (Wanda) of Riverton, WY and five grandchildren. 

He was a resident of Clewiston for 59 years and owned and operated Drake's Dairy west of Clewiston. He served in the Navy during World War II from 09/05/1945 to 08/18/1946 and the Korean War from 11/06/1950 to 03/07/1952. He was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Area Ribbon and the World War II Victory Medal. 

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Clewiston. He was a 50 year Perpetual Member and Past Master of Sugarland Lodge 281 F. & A.M. He was a 32 degree Perpetual Member of Valley if Ft. Myers Scottish Rite. He was an Honorary Member of Moore Haven Lodge 61 F. & A.M. and a member of Moore Haven Chapter 116 Order of the Eastern Star. He was a member of Lake Okeechobee Scottish Rite Club. 

He served on the Board of Directors of Glades Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc. 

The funeral service was held 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 9 at First United Methodist Church, Clewiston, FL with Rev. John Hicks officiating. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hendry County Office Furlough Closings

County Employees On Furlough Holiday Week

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County offices (Board of County Commissioners, Administration, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, and Supervisor of Elections) will be closed from Monday December 19th, through Thursday December 22, 2010 due to an employee furlough.

The Clerk and Court Administrative office (pre-trial case management, probation, teen court/drug court and juvenile arbitration programs) will maintain regular business hours on December 19th through December 22nd. 

All County offices will be closed December 23rd and December 26th in observance of the Christmas holiday.  All offices will be open for regular hours on Tuesday, December 27, 2011. 

All County offices will be closed on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 in observance of the New Year holiday.

LaBelle Museum Welcomes Holiday Visitors

Historic Hendry House Welcomes Holiday Visitors

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Heritage Museum volunteers will welcome holiday visitors to the historic Captain F. A. Hendry House at the west end of Fraser Street on Monday, December 19, Tuesday, December 20, and Thursday, December 22, from 6 to 8 o'clock in the evening.

The house was the last LaBelle area residence of Captain Hendry and his wife Ardeline Ross Lanier Hendry prior to failing health necessitating a move to their Fort Myers home where both died in 1917.

The Fraser Street home built for the Hendrys by brothers Ben Franklin Magill and James Madison Maginll in 1914 and is the only remaining physical link to Francis Asbury Hendry's 50-odd years in the Upper Caloosahatchee Valley where he named a small settlement in the late 1880s "LaBelle" in honor of two of his six daughters, Laura Jane and Carrie Belle.  

Laura married Charles Waddy Thompson, and several of their Thompson, Williams, and Taylor descendants live and work in the LaBelle/Felda area.  Belle married Edward L. Evans, and a number of their Evans and Alderman descendants continue to live in the Fort Myers area.  

Hendry's sprawling Fort Thompson ranch house and his first LaBelle house built in 1902 along the river on the east end of LaBelle, and after the sale of his Fort Thompson holdings to E. E. Goodno are a fading memory to all but a handful of longtime LaBelle residents.

Driving directions to the Hendry House for those not familiar with its location is to turn north from Hickpochee Avenue (State Road 80)  at the Log Cabin Barbecue onto Hardee Street, proceed two blocks until Hardee dead-ends at Fraser Street, then turn left onto Fraser.  The entrance to the Captain F. A. Hendry House is a short block west at the end of Fraser Street. 

There is no admission charge to the Hendry House during this special holiday open house; however, all donations to LaBelle Heritage Museum will be appreciated.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Danger In Balloon Releases Say Wildlife Officials

Balloons May Endanger Wildlife Says FWC

As people gather together for occasions that make the holidays bright, remember that releasing balloons may be harmful to wildlife, says the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The FWC wants event and meeting organizers and other Floridians to be aware of a law prohibiting the release of more than nine lighter-than-air balloons within a 24-hour period.

Instead of releasing balloons this holiday season, the FWC suggests groups use more environmentally friendly ways to celebrate events such as New Year's Eve and football bowl games.

The release into the atmosphere of large numbers of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases poses a danger and nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals. Balloons released in Florida almost inevitably end up in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean or other water bodies. Wildlife, especially sea turtles, mistake balloons for food, and strings attached to balloons can entangle birds and other animals.

There are exceptions for balloons released indoors, scientific or meteorological balloons released by a government agency or under government contract, or hot air balloons recovered after launching.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Health Care Owners Sentenced To 50 Years

$87 Million Restitution Ordered By Judge - Longest Sentences Ever In Medicare Fraud

The owner of a fraudulent Miami-area mental health care company, American Therapeutic Corporation (ATC), was sentenced today to 35 years in prison for orchestrating a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Judith Negron, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King in the Southern District of Florida. Judge King ordered Negron to pay more than $87 million in restitution, jointly and severally with her co-defendants. Negron was also sentenced to three years of supervised release following her prison term. 

Two other owners of ATC, Lawrence Duran and Marianella Valera, were sentenced in September 2011 to 50 and 35 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in the scheme. These sentences are the three longest prison sentences ever imposed in a Medicare Fraud Strike Force case.

On Aug. 24, 2011, after a six-day trial, a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida found Negron guilty of 24 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and structuring to avoid reporting requirements.

Evidence at trial demonstrated that Negron, along with Duran and Valera, masterminded and executed a scheme to defraud Medicare beginning in 2002 and continuing until they were arrested in October 2010.

Evidence at trial established that the three owners submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare through ATC, a Florida corporation headquartered in Miami that purportedly operated partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) in seven different locations throughout South Florida and Orlando. 

Negron and her co-conspirators also used a related company, American Sleep Institute (ASI), to submit fraudulent Medicare claims.

According to the evidence at trial, Negron, Duran, Valera and others paid bribes and kickbacks to owners and operators of assisted living facilities and halfway houses and to patient brokers in exchange for delivering ineligible patients to ATC and ASI. In some cases, the patients received a portion of those kickbacks. 

Throughout the course of the conspiracy, millions of dollars in kickbacks were paid in exchange for Medicare beneficiaries, who did not qualify for PHP services, to attend treatment programs that were not legitimate PHP programs, so that ATC and ASI could bill Medicare for more than $205 million in unnecessary or illegitimate services.

Evidence at trial demonstrated that Negron signed kickback checks to patient recruiters whose only jobs at ATC were to provide patients from halfway houses or assisted living facilities. Evidence at trial also established that Negron and others caused the alteration of patient files and therapist notes for the purpose of making it falsely appear that patients being treated by ATC qualified for PHP treatments and that the treatments provided were legitimate PHP treatments. 

Negron has been in federal custody since her conviction. A top manager, Margarita Acevedo, was sentenced in September 2011 to 91 months in prison.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Virginia Belle Adams, age 92, of Clewiston died Sunday, December 4, 2011 at Lane Purcell Hospice House of Sumterville, FL. Virginia was born May 17, 1919 in Arkoma, OK. She is the daughter of the late Roland and the late Lula (Unknown) Slaten. She married Harold Drexel Adams. She was predeceased by her husband, Harold Drexel Adams on 01/15/1985.

She was a homemaker for many years. She was a member of Evangel Assembly of God Church for many years.

She is survived by her two daughters: Betty Cason, Katherine (husband Darrell) Connell and one son: Gary W. Adams; grandchildren: Cindy, Rhonda, Brett, Amanda Adrianna, Audra and Courtney; great grandchildren: Darcey, Jessica, Christopher, Taff, Katie, Emily,
Natalie, Jared, Austin and Jacob and one great-great grandchild Kaiden.

The funeral service will be held 1:00 pm on Friday, December 9 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, 438 E. Sugarland Hwy., Clewiston, FL with Rev. Gary Corley officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston on Friday, December 9 at 1:45 pm. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, December 8, 2011 in Akin-Davis Funeral Home.

Akin-Davis Funeral Home of Clewiston Handled the arrangements.

Wanda Nydia Loutsenhizer, age 84, of LaBelle, FL, passed away, Monday, December 5, 2011 in LaBelle. She was born November 27, 1927 in Hagerstown, MD, the daughter of the late Robert and the late Lula (Long) Minear.

Wanda was raised and lived in Trafford, PA for many years. She married The Rev. Fred M. Loutsenhizer and they traveled to and lived in many different places, wherever his ministry led. She was a published illustrator for her drawing of a book of reptiles for a college textbook.

She is survived by her son: Frederick Morrow Loutsenhizer Jr. of LaBelle, daughters: Bille Lou (Peter) Stilphen of LaBelle and Bonnie Lee (Wayne) Krabbenhoft of Knoxville, TN, sisters: Wanetta Camp of Trafford, PA and Yvonne Weyant of Flagler Beach, FL grandchildren: Lisa (David) Rinehart, Laurie (John) Welsh and Wayne Krabbenhoft III and great-grandchildren: Michelle, Dawson, Camas, Alivia, Bethany, Elijah and Jordan.

She was predeceased by her husband: The Rev. Fred M. Loutsenhizer and brother: Robert Minear Jr.

A memorial service will be held on a later date. Cremation Arrangements by: Akin-Davis Funeral Home-LaBelle

Betty June Baumeyer, age 87, of LaBelle died Monday, December 5, 2011, at Hope Hospice-1201 Wings Way of Lehigh Acres, FL. Betty was born December 15, 1923, in Oaktown, IN. She married Charles Baumeyer. She was retired.

She is survived by her husband: Charles Baumeyer, step-children; John, David, Christy and Judy; six grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.

Cremation arrangements were handled by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle, Florida.