Saturday, November 30, 2013

Leo J. Cavin Dies At 90

Leo J Cavin, age 90, of LaBelle, passed away November 25, 2013 in LaBelle. He was born Feb. 28, 1923 in Minneapolis, MN, to the late Daniel Patrick and the late Annette (Vigouroux) Cavin. 

He is survived by daughters: Juanita (Walt) Shirley, Cheri (Darrell) Christenson, and son: William (Janet) Cavin, brother: Bob (Laura) Cavin, sister-in-law: Geraldine (Nate) Johnson, brother-In-law: Byron Bacon, eight grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded by his wife Margie and his sister Marie (Cavin) Tooley. 

A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm at Whisper Creek RV Resort Recreation Center, 1887 North State Road 29, LaBelle Florida 33935. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be sent to Animal Rescue Inc., 463 East Lincoln Avenue, Labelle FL 33935 in honor of Leo. 

Fleeing Driver Charged After Crash With Deputy's Vehicle

Deputy Treated For Injuries At Hospital
LABELLE, FL. -- On 11/30/13 at about 12:30 am, a 2004 Ford Expedition crashed with a Hendry Sheriff's Deputy patrol car. 

The Expedition was traveling east on Cowboy Way as a 2014 Ford Taurus, a Hendry Country Sheriff's patrol car was traveling behind it.

The Expedition, driven by Ignacio Giron Arregwin, 45 of LaBelle, stopped in the roadway for no apparent reason. The deputy, Clifton George Green, 45 of Clewiston, braked but failed to stop in time. The front of the patrol car collided into the rear of the Expedition. 

After the collision, the SUV's driver fled the scene traveling about one-third of a mile to his residence. A passenger, Antonio Caballero, 49 of LaBelle was also in the Ford. 

About 20 minutes later Arregwin was apprehended by police and later charged by FHP with hit and run (felony), driving without a driver license, and stopping in the roadway. 

The deputy was treated for minor injuries at Lehigh Regional Hospital and released said FHP Trooper George Smyrnios.

ATV Driver In Critical Condition After Alcohol Related Crash

ATV Overturns - Serious Head Injuries Sustained
CLEWISON, FL. A 2012 Polaris Twin 850 ATV was traveling south on 7th Street just north of Carolina Avenue and failed to follow a right curve in the roadway, continued straight, left the roadway, entered the south shoulder and overturned. 

The driver, John Hall II, 30 of Clewiston was thrown from his vehicle and suffered serious head injuries. He was flown to Lee Memorial Hospital for immediate life-saving care. The FHP said the crash was alcohol related. Charges are pending against Hall.

Uncooperative Van Driver Arrested On I-75

FORT MYERS, FL. -- On 11/29/13 at approximately 4:21 pm, a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper conducted a traffic stop on a white van northbound on I-75 near the 142 mile marker, in Lee Co., FL. and arrested the driver after the driver attempted to roll the window up on the trooper's arm.

The driver of the van, Kevin Shirley, refused to cooperate with the trooper on the traffic stop. Mr. Shirley locked himself inside the van after attempting to roll the window up on the trooper’s arm. After being told he was under arrest, Mr. Shirley still refused to open the vehicle and exit. Troopers broke the windows to gain access to the subject. Mr. Shirley was physically taken into custody without further incident.

Traffic was backed up due to this incident, but continued to flow slowly past the scene. The subject was transported to the Lee Co. Jail. The van was towed from the scene and the scene was cleared at 6:13 pm.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Higher Thanksgiving Gas Prices As Usual

Despite earlier predictions of lower gas prices for the holidays, average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 15.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.40/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. 

This compares with the national average that has increased 5.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.26/gallon.

The gasoline marketers seem to raise prices around holiday weeks despite seemingly high inventories of available product say some observers.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 2.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 12.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has decreased 5.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 17.4 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

"The national average has seen its bounce continue in the last week across most of the nation," said Patrick DeHaan. "Some of the lows we saw just a couple weeks ago have vanished, replaced by higher digits as oil prices rallied. It will be an interesting week ahead as some notable progress emerged after developed countries came to a partial solution on Iran's nuclear ambitions. Just that action alone may result in significant downward pressure on oil prices as tough sanctions may soon be eased, allowing Iran's oil to flood an already well-supplied marketplace," DeHaan said.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Russell W. Stroud, age 48, of Fort Meade, passed away November 24, 2013 in Fort Meade.
He was born Dec. 27, 1964 in Clarksville, TN.

Survivors include his daughter: Emily Jo Stroud of Bakersfield, CA, parents: Richard W. Stroud and Patricia A. (Tyler) Stroud, brother: Justin Stroud and wife Nikki of Middleburg, sisters: Ramona Brown and husband Johnnie of Moore Haven and Britta Carver and husband Chad of Douglas, GA and grandmother, Irene Tyler of Donalsonville, GA.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, November 27, 2013, 12:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston with Rev. Phillip Williams officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m until service time at the funeral home on Wednesday.

Thomas Reeves Chipman, age 75, of LaBelle, passed away November 23, 2013 at home.
He was born Nov. 8, 1938 in Booneville, NC, to the late Thomas Raeford and the late Ann (Reeves) Chipman.

He is survived by his wife: Vicki Spence Chipman, son: Thomas (Christy) Chipman of Hollywood, FL, two daughters: Kerri (Patrick) Davies of Marianna, FL, Sally (Matt) Deroo of Lansing, MI, sister: Judy Huntington of Fort Mill, SC, five grandchildren, three nephews and 2 nieces.

A Memorial service will be held at Eastside Baptist Church, LaBelle, Nov. 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm, with Pastor Ashley Butler and Rev. John McGregor officiating.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Diana M. Hammett, age 74, of LaBelle, passed away November 22, 2013 in LaBelle.

She was born Sep. 3, 1939 in Manhattan, NY, to the late William W. and the late Katherine (Wilcox) Matthews.

She was a long time office manager, church organist, and ceramic and piano teacher and was well loved by many.

She is survived by her husband: Robert C.Hammett, three daughters: Cami Kulwicki (Dave), Kathy Lipp (Ron), Maria Niccoli Fotheringham (Michael), son: Jonathan Hammett (Malinda), fourteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Malia "Bunny" Niccoli, son Charlie Hammett and sister, Philillipa Holman.

Memorial services will be held Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Reverend Clifford Avery officiating.

Juliet Alice Jim, age 44, of Ochopee, passed away November 17, 2013 in Hollywood, FL She was born Aug. 27, 1969 in Naples, FL, to the late Rainey and the late Alice (Billie) Jim.

She is survived by one daughter: Courtney Jim, brother: Herbert Jim and sister: Lorraine Jim. She was preceded in death by her husband Michael Paul Harrell.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 9:30 am at Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation with Pastor Robert C. North Sr. officiating.

Interment will be Tuesday, November 19, 2013 in Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation.

Agnes P. McMonagle, age 76, of Fort Myers, passed away November 20, 2013 in Fort Myers.
She was born Apr. 20, 1937 in Butler Township, PA, to the late Patrick G. and the late Emma B. (Houston) Scully.

She is survived by four daughters: Maureen P. Richard (Bruce), Kathleen A. Lagana (Lou), Patricia A. Mercado (Nick), Elizabeth A. Genz, nine grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, November 22, 2013 at 10:30 am at Saint Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, Fort Myers with Father David L. Arle officiating.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Childhood Attention Deficit Disorder Rates Rising

More Than One In Ten Children Now Have ADHD

Two million more children in the United States have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and one million more U.S. children were taking medication for ADHD over an 8 year period, according to a new study led by Center For Disease Control And Prevention. 

ADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood.

According to CDC scientists, children are now commonly being diagnosed at a young age with half of children diagnosed with ADHD diagnosed by 6 years of age. Children with more severe ADHD tend to diagnosed even earlier, about half of them by the age of 4, based on reports by parents.

ADHD is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood and often persists into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention and/or controlling impulsive behaviors. 

Effective treatments for ADHD include medication, mental health treatment, or a combination of the two. 

In 2011-2012, 11 percent of U.S. children 4-17 years of age had been diagnosed with ADHD and 6.1 percent of U.S. children 4-17 years of age were taking medication for ADHD. Of the children with current ADHD, 69 percent were taking medication for ADHD treatment.
States vary widely in terms of the percentage of their child population diagnosed and treated with medication for ADHD, says the new report. The percentage of children with a history of an ADHD diagnosis ranges from 15 percent in Arkansas and Kentucky to 4 percent in Nevada.

Nearly one in five high school boys and one in 11 high school girls in the United States were reported by their parents as having been diagnosed with ADHD by a healthcare provider.

If you have concerns about your child’s behavior, complete the ADHD checklist, visit CDC's ADHD website and discuss your concerns with your child’s healthcare provider.

Photo: courtesy CDC

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pedestrian Dead After Crash On SR80

FORT MYERS, FL. --  A man died Wednesday evening at 6:03 p.m. along State Road 80 west of Royal Palm Park Road after being struck by a car.

A male pedestrian was walking northbound across westbound State Road 80 as a 2010 Kia Forte driven by Tannya Gonzalez was traveling westbound on State Road 80 in the right lane. The man walked into the path of the Kia and the front right of the vehicle struck the right side of the pedestrian causing him to somersault over the vehicle, landing face down on the roadway. 

He slid in a westerly direction to a stop on State Road 80 in the right lane.The Kia came to a controlled stop in the right lane of westbound State Road 80. 

The man was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital and was pronounced deceased, according to FHP Trooper Cpl. Martin Hernandez, Jr. and homicide investigator Sgt. Owen Keen.

Identification of the pedestrian is pending notification of kin.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Drug Addiction Rehab Center Coming To Port LaBelle Inn?

Homeless Shelter Non-Profit Planning To Take Over Hotel To House Recovering Addicts

LABELLE, FL. -- A large non-profit organization may be planning to house drug addicts and the homeless at the 47-room Port LaBelle Inn. Applications filed with Hendry County indicate Saint Matthews House of Collier county wants to change the property from commercial hotel and agricultural use to religious and institutional use.

The property has been for sale for several years and in May a psychologist contacted local official to get their take on putting recovering addicts at the Port LaBelle Inn as part of a profit-making corporation headed by the doctor. That deal fell through reportedly over price negotiations, but now Collier County's St. Matthews House has proposed plans to use a reported multi-million dollar grant to take over the 1980s hotel and restaurant.

St. Matthews House runs homeless shelters and drug rehab facilities in Southwest Florida and took over the Immokalee Friendship House in 2008 noticing that many men, women, and children, many them migrants, had no place to sleep at night.

The Immokalee facility and other facilities of St. Matthews House may well be a model for the group's plans in LaBelle. The Immokalee center provides meals, clothing, and shelter to thousands of individuals in Collier County and is nearly always at capacity, quite often including families with young children, says the organization's web site.

"Abused women and children, migrant farm workers, convalescents, people fighting addiction, and families that recently suffered a loss of income all come through the doors of the Immokalee Friendship House."

St. Matthews House also operates "Justin's Place Recovery" serving homeless suffering from substance abuse and addiction. According to St Matthews House when "residents enter our Structured Recovery Program, they subsequently submit themselves to our rules and regulations, which in turn lead to the self-respect that comes from accountability. They must be sober and make a commitment to very specific standards and rules, and have a willingness to begin the task of rebuilding their lives. Our program offers compassionate, disciplined counseling and guidance to each resident's physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges."

Included in resident rules are a wake-up at 6 a.m. and they must be out by 8 a.m. either gainfully employed or looking for a job. Residents pay a $50/week program fee, which is the payment required to live at St. Matthew's House and all are required to make "timely payment of court fees and/or child support, if applicable."

The organization also runs Wolfe Apartments., a 46-unit transitional living complex in the Golden Gate area of Naples opened in 2003 providing a drug and alcohol-free structured community with guidance and support provided by an on-site staff. Fourteen units are dedicated to the permanently disabled with rents adjusted to their income.

"The Wolfe Apartments serves the residents who graduate from our Recovery Program as well as the homeless in our community," says the organization's web site.

Among some of the requirements for tenants, "they must have remained sober for at least six consecutive months and submit to random drug/alcohol testing and be homeless according to HUD standards" and "attend Narcotics and/or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at lest three times per week and stay in contact with sponsor."

LaBelle Hotel Changed Hands Repeatedly In Last 10 Years

The Port LaBelle Inn property, in Hendry county, is situated across the street from the Port LaBelle Marina and 100 townhouses and condos in Glades county. It has gone through numerous owners and legal action over the last decade, now owned and operated by an Ohio truck stop father and son team. The property was purchased in September 2008 for a $900,000, and after some upgrades put back on the market for a bit under $2 million.

Sales prices for the property have ranged from $715,000 in June 2003 to $4,000,000 in November 2005.

The current owner,  Ed J. Yasechko of Hubbard, Ohio runs the hotel with his son, through Port LaBelle Inn LLC. They first advertised tried to sell the hotel as senior assisted living facility without success, and most recently have run adverting to sell the hotel as a bed and breakfast inn.

Sales listings claim a 60% annual occupancy rate, at $64.00 avg daily room rate. The listing said gross revenue is $663,000 which includes $430,000 room revenue and $233,000 restaurant revenue.

With what some say is a bad location for a hotel, the customers over the past few years have primarily been road construction workers employed by out of area companies expanding State Road 80 to four lanes.

The Oxbow Grill had been leased out unsuccessfully over the years. The current owners have taken control of the restaurant but see most nights a usually almost empty dining room. A driving school leases a downstairs office space.

Hearings will be advertised and scheduled by Hendry County for public input on the proposed change in use of the hotel. Nearby property owners will also be notified by letter say Hendry officials.

(Photo: Port LaBelle Inn file photo)

Congressman Trey Radel Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Cocaine

Judge Gives Radel One Year Probation At Hearing Today
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- DEA and other federal officials today announced that U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, 37, pled guilty today in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to a misdemeanor charge of possession of cocaine.

Radel, who represents the 19th Congressional District of Florida, and has a home in Fort Myers, appeared before the Honorable Senior Judge Robert S. Tignor in Washington D.C. As a first-time offender, Radel was able to ask the Court, under District of Columbia law, to defer entering a judgment of guilty and place him on probation. 

Judge Tignor placed Radel on one year of probation. If the probation is successfully completed, the Court could then dismiss the case without an adjudication of guilt.

According to a statement of offense submitted as part of the plea, Radel came to the attention of the FBI and DEA in the fall of 2013, during an investigation into cocaine trafficking in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. 

Agents learned that Radel would purchase cocaine for his personal use and sometimes share it with others.

The statement of offense says that, on Oct. 29, 2013, Radel met with an undercover police officer at a restaurant in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C. At this time, Radel agreed to buy about 3.5 grams of cocaine from the undercover officer. 

He and the undercover officer went outside, and Radel handed over $260. The undercover officer provided Radel with a package of cocaine. Federal agents then approached Radel and the cocaine was recovered.

Radel agreed to speak with the agents about what had taken place and invited them to his apartment. There, he voluntarily admitted that he had purchased the cocaine. He also retrieved and provided to the agents a vial of cocaine that he had in his apartment.

“Drug traffickers and abusers respect no boundaries or limits and our neighborhoods and communities often pay the price,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karl Colder. “DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to relentlessly pursue these drug trafficking networks and their criminal associates at every level. They pose a direct threat to the safety and security of our community here in the D.C. metro area. We want young people to see the price people pay for drug abuse and trafficking in cases like this so they will resolve to live drug-free lives.”

“Today’s guilty plea emerges from a broader narcotics investigation that brought to light information that a sitting Member of Congress was routinely using and buying cocaine. Once this information was confirmed, law enforcement could not ignore this illegal conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen. 

“Mr. Radel’s guilty plea is similar to those entered every year by hundreds of other drug offenders in the District of Columbia who possess illegal narcotics. We appreciate his willingness to promptly accept responsibility for his conduct.”

“Today’s announcement demonstrates that illegal drugs continue to be present in our communities, and do not discriminate by age, gender, socio-economic group or profession,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave. “Along with our law enforcement partners at the DEA, the FBI remains focused on stopping the movement and sale of drugs on our neighborhood streets.”

In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge Parlave, and Special Agent in Charge Colder commended the work of those who investigated the case. They also expressed appreciation for the work of the Fairfax County, Va., Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Finally, they commended those who handled the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Nihar R. Mohanty, who is prosecuting the matter.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

J.D. Steadman Dies At 71

James Daniel (J.D.) Steadman was born to Mary Holley Oswalt and James Henry Steadman, Jr. on November 8, 1942, and spent much of his childhood with his paternal grandparents in Melbourne, Florida. 

He dearly loved his Big Mama and Papa and credited them with his appreciation for the simple things in life. When they passed away, J.D. (then 12 years old) went to live with his Aunt Frances and Uncle Glen Neal. This meant a move to Clewiston, Florida - a town that he considered home until the day that he died on November 14, 2013.

J.D. attended Clewiston High School, but preferred work as a welder, metal fabricator, and mechanic in his uncle's shop and at Shawnee Farms. 

He married Patricia Ruth Owens (known by her initials 'PRO') on November 20, 1964, and by 1972, J.D. and Pro had five children. J.D. worked on the U.S. Sugar Corporation railroad and at the PMS machine shop for over 17 years. 

In addition, he operated J.D.'s wrecker service and machine shop, and welded for Hilliard Brothers and others. 

In the early 1980s, J.D. received a commercial haul seine permit for Lake Okeechobee and began his career as a commercial fishing captain, which he remained until the time of his death. J.D. often commented that, although smooth sailing was rare, he enjoyed the tranquility of the sunrise from aboard a boat on Lake Okeechobee.

J.D. loved to hunt - anything camouflage intrigued him like a fish drawn to a shiny lure. He enjoyed hunting dove and quail with his bird dogs, and in the 1970s and early 80s, when the Hendry County Hunting Area was open, his family could be found there nearly every weekend, along with the Owens, Belcher, Kelley, Jones, and Story families. 

J.D. also enjoyed salt-water fishing and scuba diving. Nonetheless, deer hunting was one of his passions, and he would travel to Alabama and Mississippi each year to deer hunt while visiting with family. While in Clewiston, J.D. could usually be found getting his morning coffee, enjoying food and company at Dixie Fried Chicken, shopping at the pawn shop, tinkering with engines, or fishing in a canal somewhere.

While a Christian and a believer for most of his life, his faith was often tested. During his wife's battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, J.D. re-committed to his walk with the Lord while attending the Clewiston Church of God. He later joined the Pioneer Baptist Church and enjoyed the ministry of Pedro Cabrera and his church family.

J.D. was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters (Diane and Della), two brothers (Bob Jones and Buddy Oswalt), and his wife Patricia. In addition to four great grandchildren and 17 grandchildren, J.D. is survived by two sisters (Barbara and Mary Jo, of GA), a much-loved companion (Vicki Snow of Oakbrook in LaBelle, FL), six daughters (Elizabeth Boykin and Andrea Snow, both of Clewiston, FL; Julie Sexton (Kyle) of Starkville, MS; Lara Romero (Elmer) of Maryville, TN; and Catrena Steadman (Carl) of Bronson, FL), two sons (James "Jaybo" Steadman, Jr. (Penny) of Eufaula, AL; and Roger Snow of Northport, FL).

The family requests that donations made in his honor be sent to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. One of J.D.'s granddaughters (Jolene Sexton) has been treated for pediatric cancer there for over five years now. During a visit to St. Jude, J.D. remembered the heavenly cartoon published at Danny Thomas' (hospital founder) death titled "Make Room for Danny!" Based on the honest and humble life that J.D. lived and the trials that he prayerfully overcame, heaven should likely "Make Room for JD!" as well.

Visitation was held from 6-8 PM on 11/18/13 at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home. Services was held on Tuesday, 11/19/13 at 10:00 AM at the Clewiston Assembly of God church, with guest pastor Pedro Cabrera officiating. Friends and family attended a gathering in J.D.'s honor at the Pioneer Community Center, after burial services were complete.

Singers Wanted For Firehouse Theatre Production

LABELLE, FL. -- The Firehouse Community Theatre is auditioning singers for the March 2014 musical production of "Thanks for the Memories: A USO Tour of WWII." 

Written and directed by Nick Fidanza, this show will recapture some of our fondest memories from the "greatest generation."  The staff is looking for people who can sing and perform music from the 1930s and 40s.

All interested candidates, should plan on attending the audition on Monday, December 2nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 1098 Collingswood Parkway, LaBelle.

Please be prepared to sing a piece of your choice. If you do not have a musical selection, Nick Fidanza will provide music at the audition.

For additional information, please contact the Theatre via email at or (863) 675-3066. The Firehouse Community Theatre is located at 241 N. Bridge Street in LaBelle, FL.

Bicyclist Dead After Crash With Truck

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL. -- A rider of a motorized bicycle died Tuesday morning about 6:09 a.m. after being struck by a truck.

Angel Howard Hoyt, 24 was driving a Huffy motorized bicycle northbound on US 41/SR45 North approaching the intersection with St. Pierre Road as Nicole Lee Prestipino, 33, driving a 2007 Ford pickup truck was southbound in the right lane on US41/SR45 South approaching the intersection with St. Pierre Road.

Hoyt made a left turn in order to proceed onto St. Pierre Road, causing the front of the bicycle driven by Hoyt to strike the left side of the Ford truck. Hoyt was ejected from the bicycle and was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

The bicyclist was not wearing a helmet and the bicycle was not displaying lights. The crash remains under investigation according to FHP Trooper R. Martin and homicide investigator CPL. M. Michaud.

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Orben Calderon, 74, passed away, November 16, 2013. 

He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 28th, 1939, the son of Orben and Elisa Calderon. Orben moved to La Belle, FL in 1985 and became an active member of the community.
Orben was an outstanding athlete; played semi-professional baseball and professional basketball in Puerto Rico. He spent most of his time coaching, umpiring and developing athletes. 

He mentored and was influential in many people's lives including inmates at The GEO Group, Inc. where he worked for the past 10 years.
He is survived by his wife, Olga V. Calderon; his brother, Peter Calderon; his children, Mariolga, Camille, Catterina, Gerry, and Keith and his four grandchildren, Natalie, Tyler, Andrea and Orben Bryce.
He was a dedicated father, grandfather, brother and friend. Always committed to helping others and will be truly missed by his family and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held this Friday, November 22, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in La Belle, FL.  

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle

Marjorie Pauline (Hand) Martin passed away on Saturday, November 16, 2013, at the Palm Terrace nursing home in Clewiston, Fla. She was born on September 8, 1933, in LaBelle, Florida. 

She was the daughter of Homer Guy Hand and Lydia Pauline Manning (Hand), and the youngest of four children. Her siblings were Imogene Hand Bryant (deceased), Homer J. Hand of Belle Glade, and Mona Rader of Clewiston. 

She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Curvin S. Martin, and her daughter, Brenda Lopez, both residents of Clewiston; her grandchildren, Robin Lopez of Orlando, and Oliver Lopez of Miami, and her great grandchildren Olivia Lopez and Lucas Lopez, also of Orlando.
Mrs. Martin was a retired banker, having been employed by the First Bank of Clewiston for many years, gladly serving its patrons. She was active in the Clewiston community and several civic organizations; however, most significant to her was the Community Presbyterian Church with which she was affiliated for many years and whose members she counted as part of her family.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 11:00 am at Community Presbyterian Church, Clewiston with Rev. Tom Slager officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to funeral service
Verna Anderson Wall, age 92, of Clewiston, passed away November 12, 2013 in Clewiston.
She was born Jan. 27, 1921 in Toccoa, GA, to James Oliver and Mamie Theodosia (Sosbee) Anderson. She married William Joseph Wall; he preceded her in death on October 4, 2003. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Clewiston for many years.

Survivors include three sons: Cary Wall and wife Faye of Clewiston Bill Wall and wife Mary of Jacksonville, Doug Wall and wife Sue of Clewiston and one daughter: Vicki Lopez and husband Bob of California, one sister: Faye Willis of Bronson, GA, nine grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

She was also preceded in death by: brothers, James W. Anderson, Rufus Anderson and one sister, Wynona Keen.

Celebration of Verna's life was at 11:00 am Friday, November 15, 2013 in First Baptist Church of Clewiston with Dr. Todd Buck Officiating. Visitation was from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2013 in Akin-Davis Funeral Home. Burial took place in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Dawson, Georgia. In Lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Gideon's.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Google Socked By States For $17 Million Over Cookies

Google Agrees To Settle With 37 States On Safari Browser Dispute

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that her office, along with attorneys general from 36 other states and the District of Columbia, entered into a $17 million settlement with Google Inc. concerning its setting of cookies on certain Safari Internet browsers. 

Through its DoubleClick advertising platform, Google facilitates the transmission of third-party advertising cookies, small files set in Internet users’ Web browsers that allow advertisers to gather information about users’ Internet browsing. 

Apple’s Safari Web browser is designed to block third-party cookies as its default privacy setting, including cookies used by DoubleClick. 

The states alleged that from June 1, 2011, until February 15, 2012, Google circumvented Safari’s default privacy settings without consumers’ knowledge and consent, enabling advertisers to set third-party cookies on users’ browsers. According to the states, these acts contradicted Google’s assurances to consumers that Safari’s default privacy settings would block such third-party cookies.

“As part of the settlement’s executive committee, my office worked tirelessly to ensure that Floridians’ Internet privacy is not compromised,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “This settlement will protect Internet users from misrepresentation.”

Google disabled this coding method in February 2012 after the practice was widely reported on the Internet and in media.

The attorneys general allege that Google’s circumvention of the default privacy settings in Safari violates state consumer protection laws. In addition to paying $17 million, Google has agreed to injunctive relief that requires it to do the following:

· Not to deploy the type of code used here to override a browser’s cookie blocking settings without the consumer’s consent unless it is necessary to do so in order to detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.

· Not to misrepresent or omit material information to consumers about how they can use any particular Google product, service, or tool to directly manage how Google serves advertisements to their Browsers.

· To improve the information it provides to consumers regarding cookies, their purposes, and how they can be managed by consumers using Google’s products or services and tools.

· To maintain systems designed to ensure the expiration of the third-party cookies set on Safari Web browsers while their default settings had been circumvented.

Florida is part of a ten-state executive committee, which includes: Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Vermont and Washington. 

The multistate settlement also includes: Arizona, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Higher Gas Prices For Thanksgiving?

Retailers Raising Prices For Thanksgiving Driving Week?

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 4.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.22/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.6 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.21/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 9.9 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 9.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 16.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 22.5 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

"Surprisingly, the decreases we've seen in the national average have all but dried up," said Patrick DeHaan. "I admit, it's a bit of a head scratcher to have seen wholesale gasoline prices perk up last week, and it's a bit premature to say we've seen the end of decreases in gas prices for the time being, so I'm hopeful that an uptick in the national average is merely temporary, but then again, this year has featured trends in prices that have all been earlier than expected," DeHaan said.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Home Visiting Program Graduates Eight Families

Families Graduate from Parenting Home Visiting Program

LABELLE, FL. -- On Monday November 4th, eight families graduated from the Healthy Families Program of the Florida Department of Health in Hendry County.

The families fulfilled the requirements by successfully completing home visits, demonstrating knowledge on their children’s development, keeping their children up-to-date with immunizations and well-child check-ups, developing and accomplishing goals for their families. Parents mastered the skills to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children to learn and grow.

Maria Ramos attended the event as a graduating parent and had this to say: “I was scared to be a parent. I didn’t know much. I learned how to change a diaper and care for my baby. I learned how to do things with my children. I think I am a better parent because of what I learned in Healthy Families.”

The families enjoyed a dinner provided by United Way and the Kiwanis Club of LaBelle. For their accomplishments, parents received a certificate of completion, first aid kits and each child received a back pack.

Healthy Families is an intensive, long-term home visiting program that empowers high-risk parents towards self-sufficiency. To learn more about Healthy Families, call 863-674-4041 ext 149.

Pictured: Arlene Bettencourt, Advisory Committee Member, Diane Brown, Family Support Worker, graduating parent, Maria Ramos and daughters, Abigail and Angelica

Musical Duo Entertain At Hilliard Ranch

A Night of Gratitude and Entertainment

CLEWISTON, FL. -- On November 14th, the trustees and staff members of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation hosted an “Evening of Gratitude” event at the Hilliard Ranch/Cottage in Clewiston.

The evening included delicious hors d’oeuvres and fabulous performances given by singer Zack Dobbins and pianist Yasuhiko Fukuoka in appreciation of donors and the communities they serve and to announce the recent donation of $50,000 to the Hendry County Library System.

Zack is the son of Pat Dobbins, the Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties. 

Zack has been deemed by Grammy-nominated song-writer Earl Wilson Jr, “perhaps the most passionate singers of his generation.”  Zack is happy to now call Ft Myers and New York City as his home and has traveled extensively for his work as a conceptual artist, singer and actor. 

Zack was the youngest adult cast member in the world premiere of Elton John’s show called “Aida”.

Yasuhiko (Yaz) Fukuoka is a composer, pianist and music arranger. He has played at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York as well as many other venues in the United States.

“The entertainment was absolutely phenomenal” said Arlene Bettencourt, President for the Kiwanis Club of LaBelle and the Manager of the United Way Office in Hendry and Glades.

-photo and article courtesty of Brenda Barnes

Teen Driver And Passenger Dead In Crash

Nissan Hits Pole After Taking Curve At High Speed

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL. -- Kassandra Sedore, 19 of Punta Gorda and Anthony Buffington, 23 of Punta Gorda died after a crash at Tribune Blvd. near Poindexter Avenue early Saturday morning at 12:20 a.m.

Sedore, driving a 2010 Nissan Versa was traveling east on Tribune Blvd. around a curve at high speed when for unknown reasons lost control and began to rotate clockwise. The vehicle traveled out of control on the south shoulder and struck an FPL utility pole with it's left side.

Sedore and passenger Buffington were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, said FHP Trooper Richard Munoz and homicide investigator Juan Quintana.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Motorcycle Crash Leaves Driver Dead

LAKE PLACID, FL. -- Robert Brian Hargrove, 51 of Lake Placid, Fl. died of injuries after a motorcycle crash that occurred Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

Hargrove was westbound on Catfish Creek Rd. near Lake Placid when his 1999 Harley Davidson motorcycle ran off the road onto the north shoulder where it struck palmettos and scrub oaks and then continued west on the shoulder in soft sand.

The cycle then collided with a wire fence and overturned, coming to rest on it's top facing northeast on the north shoulder, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Hargrove was ejected during the crash and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers by air. He died Friday at the hospital. A blood alcohol test is pending said the Florida Highway Patrol.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

19,000 Acre Water Storage Project North of Lake Okeechobee

Restoration site will store and treat stormwater runoff before it enters the big lake

The South Florida Water Management District today approved an investment to advance a restoration project in Highlands County that will store water and reduce nutrients and storm water runoff before it enters Lake Okeechobee.

Strategically located in a 19,000-acre watershed northwest of the lake, near U.S.27 and State Road 70, the project comprises three shallow above-ground impoundments. Together totaling approximately 1,200 acres, the impoundments will hold stormwater that would otherwise flow directly into canals leading to Lake Okeechobee.

The $2 million investment approved today — along with funding by project partners that include the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Istokpoga Marsh Watershed Improvement District, Highlands County and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services — advances the project to the next step, which is final design and construction of the first impoundment.

"This is a continuation of efforts by the Department and the South Florida Water Management District to restore Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades with the support of Governor Scott," said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. "Additional water storage and cleaner water are critical to the restoration of Lake Okeechobee."

At 308 acres filled 3.5 feet deep, the first impoundment will hold approximately 900 acre-feet of water. This is equivalent to about 450 Olympic-size swimming pools or about 100 American football fields, without end zones, covered with 9 feet of water.

Scientific study and computer modeling have shown the project, combined with the use of best management practices on local farms, could reduce 70 percent of the phosphorus and 60 percent of the local stormwater runoff flowing into the Harney Pond Canal, which flows into Lake Okeechobee and ultimately the Everglades.

By storing and treating water bound for the lake, the project helps meet key objectives of the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program. The program is designed to improve the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of water into Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie watersheds by building on and consolidating numerous restoration efforts into a broader approach focused on restoring the entire Northern Everglades system.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Man Dead After Being Run Over By Truck

FORT MYERS, FL. -- A man died after being struck by a truck Wednesday morning about 8:55 a.m.

Carlos H Diaz Trimino, 53 of Cape Coral was traveling in a 1994 Frieghtliner truck westbound on SR-78 (Northeast Pine Island Road) in the outside lane as Patrick Joseph Coady, 58 of Cape Coral was on the north paved shoulder of SR-78 with his disabled vehicle.

For unknown reasons Coady walked or stumbled into the outside lane of westbound SR-78 in the immediate path of the truck. The truck driver attempted evasive action by braking and steering to the left, but was unable to avoid hitting Coady, subsequently running over him.

The truck and Coady came to final rest in the outside lane of westbound SR-78. Coady was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital where he died.

FHP Trooper Vazquez and homicide investigator Cpl. Gissendaner said charges are pending.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Othar Allinson Crawford III "Sonny", 60, of Clewiston, Florida, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, November 8. 

Sonny was born in McComb, Mississippi on November 18, 1952. He and his family moved to Belle Glade, FL in 1963, where he graduated from Belle Glade High in 1970. He moved to Clewiston in the late 1980's and married Eleanor "Lorie" Crawford in July of 1989. 

Sonny followed a career path in the construction industry where he worked for Rio-Bak Corporation of Wellington. The family would like to express their gratitude for Rio-Bak's support throughout Sonny's illness.

Sonny is survived by his mother, Leola Crawford, wife, Lorie Crawford, brother, Mitch Crawford (Christine), brother, David Kinlaw, brother Dennis Kinlaw, son, Jeremy Crawford (Annie), daughter, Jessica Peterson (Darrell), son, Josh Crawford (Stephanie), son, Holden Crawford and grandchildren, Mason Crawford, Aiden Peterson, Kanner Crawford, Jackson Crawford and Blake Peterson. He was predeceased by his father, Othar Allinson Crawford Jr.
A celebration of Sonny's life will be held on November 14, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church located at 331 West Osceola Avenue, Clewiston, FL 33440. A public viewing will be held at 12:00 pm with a service to follow at 1:00 pm. The burial ceremony will be held at Ridgelawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hope Hospice, 9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33908.

Blecker Morgan Callin, age 97, of LaBelle, passed away Nov 9, 2013 in LaBelle. He was born Sep. 21, 1916 in Shreve, OH, to the late Moreland and the late Maude Morgan Callin.
He joined the U.S. Navy after Pearl Harbor. Blecker retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1970 after 40 years of service. He was a resident of LaBelle since 1991 and loved being on the water.

Survivors include his wife: Ruth Lenora(Hodgkins) Callin, step sons: Ian (Lisa) Sands and Daniel Sands, nephews: Brett Callin, Tommy Neismith; Billy Neismith; and Buddy Neismith; niece: Cada Moyer and sister in law: Betty Callin and many friends & members of the retired Army Corps of Engineers. He was also preceded in death by his first wife: Luceil Priscilla Callin and brother: Bruce Callin.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at First Christian Church in LaBelle with Pastor W. T. Maddox Jr. officiating.  Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gasoline Prices Heading Lower For Christmas?

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 3.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.18/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.20/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 15.5 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 8.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 17.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 26.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

"Gas prices across many communities are now the lowest since they've been since the Libryan crisis in February of 2011. Nearly 15% of all stations in the U.S. are now selling gasoline under the psychologically important $3/gal level," said Analyst Patrick DeHaan. 

"Last year on this date saw just 1% of stations selling under that level, so motorists aren't doing too shabby. States that saw the largest declines last week were Montana, Ohio, and Indiana, all where prices declined at least 15 cents per gallon. Several stations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which features the cheapest gas in the U.S. are selling at a mere $2.45/gallon, a number so low that had you said that just six weeks ago, motorists would have been shaking their heads in disbelief. 

Prices nationally could drop to as little as $3.05 a gallon by Christmas," DeHaan said.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Alcohol Related Crash Injures Two

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Alexandria S. Olsen, 19 Of Fort Myers is in critical condition at Lee Memorial Hospital after crashing into an SUV driven by Noah B. Milgrim, 24 of Fort Myers at 11 p.m. Friday night.

Olsen, driving a 2002 Toyota Celica was traveling south on Michael G. Ripp Parkway as Milgrim in a 2008 Toyota 4 Runner was traveling north on Michael G. Ripp Parkway. For unknown reasons, Olsen crossed the grass median and collided into the front left of the SUV with the front left of the Celica.

Both drivers were not wearing their seatbelts. Both drivers were transported to Lee Memorial Hospital and are in critical condition. This crash remains under investigation, and according to the FHP, Olsen was under the influence of alcohol. All charges are pending the completion of the investigation, said FHP Trooper Manuel Smyrnios.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Hager Lowe Dies At 89

Hager O. Lowe, age 89 was born on April 22, 1924 in Zolfo Springs, Florida to the proud parents of Leonas and Dorothy Geiger Lowe. He was one of seven children. He attended University of Florida for a short while, and then served his country proudly twice; once during World War II and once during the Korean Conflict, both in United States Army Air Corps. 

He worked as a warehouse supervisor for United States Sugar Corporation retiring in 1991. Hager was a survivor of the 1928 Storm in Clewiston; he was interviewed a few times by the Weather Channel. He was a long time member of Evangel Assembly of God Church in Clewiston. 

He met and married the love of his life; Wilda "Penny" Davidson, they made Clewiston there home and raised their family. Penny met Jesus on March 14, 2011.

Hager is survived by his children: Martin and his wife Deborah of Royal Palm Beach, and Patricia "Kay" and her husband E.J. of Ellisville, MS, six wonderful grandchildren and five precious great grandchildren, and one brother Glen L. Lowe of Moore Haven.

Hager went to meet Jesus, his wife; Penny and the rest of his family on November 7, 2013. He will be greatly missed by his entire family who loved him very much.

Celebration of Hager's life will be conducted on Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. in the Evangel Assembly God Church with Pastor Gary Corley officiating. Visitation Saturday evening from 6-8 in the Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston. Burial will take place immediately after the celebration service in Ridgelawn Cemetery, also in Clewiston.

For LaBelle Dog Lovers

LABELLE, FL. -- There's a big beautiful Bloodhound mix named Orion at Caloosa Humane Society. He's been there for awhile even though many people have admired him. 

He's seemingly starting to go a little kennel crazy say kennel staff and a big dog for a kennel stall. So if you're able to spread the word that this big beautiful dog has a pressing need for a good forever home, he would appreciate it. By the way, he reportedly does not like livestock.

In The Service - Mark Ryl-Kuchar

LABELLE, FL. -- Army Reserve Pvt. Mark A. Ryl-Kuchar has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.
Ryl-Kuchar is the son of Anthony Ryl-Kuchar of North Webster, Ind., and grandson of Henry Ryl-Kuchar of La Belle, Fla.

How Fast Food Restaurants Market To Kids

Less Than 1% Of "Kids Meals" Meet Nutrition Standards

A new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the nutritional quality of fast food and how restaurants market their foods and beverages to children and teens.

The report examines 18 of the top restaurant chains in the U.S., and updates a similar report released in 2010. On average, U.S. preschoolers viewed 2.8 fast food ads on TV every day in 2012; children aged 6-11 years viewed 3.2 ads per day; and teens viewed 4.8 ads per day.

Fast food restaurants continued to target black and Hispanic youth, populations at high risk for obesity and related diseases, say the researchers.

A total of $4.6 billion was spent on all advertising by fast food restaurants in 2012. This was an 8 percent increase over 2009. McDonald's spent 2.7 times as much to advertise its products as all fruit, vegetable, bottled water, and milk advertisers combined.

Less than 1 percent of all kids’ meal combinations met recommended nutrition standards.

Researcher say that while some improvements have been made, there is more work to be done to improve the overall nutritional quality of fast food.  Additionally, the researchers call for fast food restaurants to stop targeting children and teens with marketing that encourages frequent visits to these restaurants.

Friday Video Week In Review

Southwest Florida Online publisher Don Browne in an informal review and commentary on this week's events. ( )

Crackdown On Southwest Florida Unlicensed Contractors

21 Individuals Cited For Having No Contractor's License
CAPE CORAL, FL. -- The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation this week announced the conclusion of a week-long sting targeting unlicensed contractors in the Cape Coral area. 

Working together with the City of Cape Coral local licensing department, investigators identified 21 individuals through advertisements and consumer complaints who were publicly offering to perform professional services that require a state of Florida license. 

The operation was part of ongoing local and statewide efforts to protect and educate Florida’s consumers on the dangers of doing business with unlicensed individuals.

The following individuals were issued a Cease and Desist Notice for offering or advertising to perform contracting work without a license:

Robert Cicarelli, 28, Ft. Myers;
Thomas M. Moore, 44, Cape Coral;
Keith W. Nichols, 57, North Fort Myers;
Omar Alvarez, 57, Ocala;
William W. Lawry, 63, Cape Coral;
Edwin J. Castro, 43, Cape Coral;
Joseph Merola, 27, Cape Coral;
Troy Nelson, 50, Cape Coral;
Mark Addy, 52, Cape Coral;
Bruce Anthony, 78, Cape Coral;
Michelle Waldron, 33, Cape Coral;
Stacey Ray Abernathy, 53, Cape Coral;
Rick Vontoc, 56, North Fort Myers;
Tommy J. Bivona, 54, North Fort Myers;
Gerald T. Snow, 54, Fort Myers;
Robert Barter, 67, Fort Myers;
Joe Baker, 58, Fort Myers;
Lorn Bovill, 49, Cape Coral;
Samaroo Keshore, 40, Cape Coral;
Marc Miller, 36, Cape Coral;
Robert Reinert, 55, Fort Myers

Each individual as well as the information which resulted in the issuance of the Cease and Desist Notices will be forwarded to the local State Attorney’s Office.

Unlicensed activity occurs when an individual offers to perform or performs services that require a state license and the individual does not hold the required license. Florida law sets specific rules and guidelines for obtaining professional licensure, and the people who have met these requirements are held to professional standards. Consumers can verify professional licenses online at

Unlicensed activity is illegal and can result in misdemeanor or felony charges if an individual is convicted. Floridians should report any suspected unlicensed activity by emailing or calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1-866-532-1440. The individuals involved in the sting operation will be referred to the local state attorney’s office for criminal prosecution.

County Kicks Off Healthy Me Program For 2014

Community Wants To Lose 2,014 Pounds In New Year

LABELLE, FL. -- The Hendry-Glades Health Department is commencing a new program to help residents lose weight and start a new healthy lifestyle in 2014. Titled the "Healthy Me Year" counties around Florida will compete to lose pounds and improve healthy by healthy eating, lifestyle, and exercise.

73% of Hendry county residents are overweight or obese, according to statistics from the Health Department. 71% do not eat the needed minimum five servings daily of fruits and vegetables. While 70% do not meet minimum physical exercise recommendations of 30 minutes daily.

The first community to join the Healthy Me program is the City of LaBelle, making an official proclamation this week to join, encouraging the loss of 2,014 pounds in the year 2014 among all the participating agencies and businesses in the area.

Eat With The Governor For $60

Florida Governor Rick Scott Speaking To Hendry Republicans
LABELLE, FL. -- The Hendry County Republican Party will be holding its annual Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Friday November 15, 2013 at the River Bend Motor Coach Resort on Rt. 80 just West of LaBelle. The keynote speaker will be Governor Rick Scott.

The Riverbend Motor Coach Resort will hold approximately 150 people and it's expected the tickets to sell out quickly, said Ron Zimmerly Hendry, County Republican Executive Committee Chairman.

Tickets are $60 each and includes a hand carved prime rib dinner.

Other local committee persons expected to attend will be Linda Corbitt,  Hendry County REC Vice-Chair; Margie Nelson, Hendry County REC Secretary;  Karan Roach, Hendry County REC Treasurer; Steve Nisbet Hendry, County State Committeeman; and Kristina Kulpa, Hendry County State Committeewoman

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Want To Adopt A Boa Constrictor Or African Grey Parrot?

Florida Allowing Experience Pet Folks To Adopt Exotic Animals Next Week

Are you an experienced pet owner interested in adopting an exotic species? Do you know how to safely care for pets such as a boa constrictor, leopard gecko, African spurred tortoise, African grey parrot or sugar glider, and are you capable of a long-term commitment to their upkeep? 

The FWC is looking for adopters with the knowledge and expertise to care for exotic pets. Adopters must have an understanding of the natural history and safe caging requirements for the animals they are interested in adopting.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Southwest Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area are offering qualified adopters the chance to take home exotic species turned in by those who no longer can keep these pets.

Qualified people can take advantage of an opportunity to adopt these animals at the Exotic Pet Amnesty Day on Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Collier Regional Park in Naples.

Exotic Pet Amnesty Days encourage owners to turn in their exotic pets without cost or penalty and discourage the release of nonnative species into the wild.

“We encourage people who would like to own nonnative animals to be responsible pet owners and fully understand the commitment before purchasing or adopting one. These animals may live for a long time, many over 10 years,” said Jenny Novak, who coordinates the FWC’s Exotic Pet Amnesty program. “People should not bring one of these animals home without understanding the level of responsibility and long-term commitment.”

“Releasing exotic pets into the wild is a major pathway to exotic species causing harm to Florida’s native wildlife and habitats,” Novak said. “Often, pet owners don’t understand the difference between native and nonnative species or don’t realize the possible effects of releasing a nonnative species. Releasing exotic species is also illegal in Florida. This event offers a legal, ethical option for pet owners who can no longer take care of their pets or no longer wish to keep them.”

A veterinarian will examine each animal, and every attempt will be made to place healthy animals with qualified adopters. 

Anyone interested in adopting can download the application forms at There is no fee for becoming an adopter. Adoption applications must be received by Nov. 14 to be processed in time for this event.

Exotic Pet Amnesty Day is free and open to the public. Live animals will be on display, and this is a chance for people to talk to experts about proper care of exotic pets. Also, this event will be held in conjunction with the Florida Panther Festival.

Veterans Day Activities In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- The LaBelle High School Veterans Day Ceremony will be Friday, November 8, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. in the LaBelle High School Auditorium. School will be closed on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11th.

The ceremony will be presented by the LaBelle High School National Honor Society who invite all Veterans, their family and friends to honor Veterans for their service and dedication. A sit-down pancake breakfast will follow in the Cafeteria.

The annual Hendry Veterans Day Ceremony will be Monday, November 11, 2013 at 11:00 a.m at the Veterans Park across from the Hendry Courthouse, presented by the Veterans of the American Legion & VFW.

Ann Porterfield Dies At 91

Ann Lorraine Porterfield, age 91, of LaBelle, passed away November 5, 2013 in LaBelle, Florida.

She was born Oct. 11, 1922 in Starke, FL, to the late Adam Lee and the late Clara (Calhoun) Taylor. She married Paul Martin Porterfield; he proceeded her in death on July 21, 1985. She and Paul owned and operated Porterfield Oil Distribution Company in LaBelle for over 55 years.

Her parents A. L. and Clara Taylor moved to LaBelle when she was a toddler and Mr. Taylor was hired as head cashier at the Bank of LaBelle in the mid-1920s. He later operated the Standard Oil Bulk Plant on the corner of Highway 80 and Hall (Carlisle) Street until his death. 

Ann Loraine and her husband Paul Porterfield took over the bulk plant after her father's death and moved in to the industrial park on State Road 29 just south of town. Ann Loraine and Paul were parents of two children, Paula who survives her and Lloyd who passed away several years ago. Paula's husband Ralph Bischel worked at the family-owned bulk plant until his death..

Survivors include one daughter: Paula Porterfield Bischel and grandson Loren Bischel both of LaBelle.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

A graveside service will be at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 13, 2013 in Fort Denaud Cemetery with Pastor L.W. Howard officiating. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 in Akin-Davis Funeral Home.

The family of Mrs. Porterfield would like to thank all of the Hospice nursing staff and caregivers for the wonderful care and concern shown to her during her illness.

Hyer Larsen Dead At 84

Mr. Hyer P. Larsen of LaBelle, Florida passed to a better place on November 5, 2013. 

Born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey in 1929, Hyer graduated from high school at the age of 17 and joined the United States Army. Following basic training, he was assigned to the Korean Peninsula prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Completing his enlistment, Mr. Larsen returned to the United States and entered Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. While a student at Duke, Hyer competed on the varsity basketball team as a Duke Blue Devil, an honor he would cherish for the remainder of his life. 

While at Duke, Mr. Larsen joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps as a marine recruit. Unexpectedly, Mr. Larsen was recalled to active duty as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He served a second tour on the Korean Peninsula, this time under combat conditions. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds suffered during combat .
Returning from Korea, Mr. Larsen re-engaged his studies at Duke. After graduation, Mr. Larsen was first employed by AT&T in New Jersey. He soon recognized that a 9 to 5 corporate job was not his cup of tea. 

Having an entrepreneurial mindset, Mr. Larsen began a very successful career in various enterprises, including ownership of a liquor store, a restaurant, a marina and culminating in several very successful automobile dealerships in both New Jersey and North Carolina.
It was in New Jersey that Mr. Larsen began his love affair with boating. An avid boater, at various times he owned more than a dozen power boats ranging from small runabouts to large Hatteras motor yachts. An accomplished seaman, his boating adventures ranged from the waters of Canada, to the Bahamas and many trips between New Jersey and Florida.
When Mr. Larsen retired to Florida, he became a resident for many years at the Lighthouse Colony Condominiums in Lighthouse Point. He was an active member in his condominium association, often serving as President or in any capacity where his service could be used.
Mr. Larsen is predeceased by his first wife Doris. He is survived by his present bride and boating companion Patricia "Bailey" Larsen, his daughters Carter Ann Rollins of New Bern, North Carolina and Stacey Larsen of Malabar,FL, his step-daughter Teresa Barrett of Green Cove Springs, FL, grand-daughters Lacey Brisson and Alexis Larsen, grandsons Peter Rollins and Talbot Larsen and great grandson Blake Larsen.
A memorial service celebrating Hyer's life will be held at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle, FL on Saturday, November 9th at 2:00 PM.

Passenger Killed As Car Flees From Trooper

High Speed Flight From FPH Ends With One Dead - Two Injured

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Kyla Dion Nesmith, 40 of Fort Myers is dead after a crash in Fort Myers on busy US 41. Nesmith was a passenger in a 1997 Chevy Cavalier, and died after a high speed chase about 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the Chevy in the area of US-41 and Broadway for illegally tinted windows. The vehicle failed to stop, fleeing northbound on US-41 at a high rate of speed.

As the vehicle fled northbound on US-41, the Trooper discontinued the attempt to stop the vehicle. Moments later it lost control crossing over the raised median of US-41 and overturned onto the southbound lanes of US-41 south of Sanibel Blvd.

While overturning, it struck the front of a 2005 Toyota Tacoma. The Chevy came to final rest on the southbound lanes of US-41, overturned on its roof, just south of Sanibel Blvd. The passenger Kyla Nesmith was deceased on scene, and the driver critically injured.

The driver of the Chevy was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital. The driver of the Toyota truck, Paul, Robert, Jenkins, 42 of Cape Coral suffered minor injuries.

Nesmith and the Chevy driver were not wearing seatbelts according to Trooper Sherry Rongish and homicide investigator Corporal Jeff Rongish.

Update: The identity of the 27-year Chevy driver had been withhteld, due to pending next of kin notification. He has now been identified at Shannon Omar Mitchell of Orlando.  On November 28 he was released from the hospital and arrested for vehicular homicide, possession of cocaine, fleeing to elude and suspended drivers license.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

New Results For Bisexual Men And HIV Transmission To Females

HIV Infection Risk From Bisexuals To Females Lower Than Expected
The number of HIV positive men who have sex with both men and women is likely no higher than the number of HIV positive heterosexual men, according to a U.S.-based analysis by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers. The finding challenges a popular assumption that bisexual men are responsible for significant HIV transmission to their female partners.

“Some observers have exaggerated the idea of viral ‘bridging’ – where a bisexual man contracts HIV from another man and then transmits it to a female partner. But, at least in the U.S., the data supporting the extent of this is quite limited,” said Mackey R. Friedman, Ph.D., M.P.H., of Pitt Public Health’s Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, who led the research.

The recent analysis estimates that there are approximately 1.2 million bisexual men in the U.S., of whom 121,800 are HIV-positive. That estimate aligns with CDC estimates for HIV infection in male heterosexuals and intravenous drug users.

The research, which will be presented today at the American Public Health Association’s 141st Annual Meeting & Exposition in Boston, builds a case for federal investment in research on HIV prevalence among bisexually behaving men.

Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not report on HIV data specific to bisexually behaving people, though it does report data on homosexually and heterosexually behaving people, as well as injection drug users.

Dr. Friedman and his colleagues reviewed over 3,000 scientific articles to obtain data on HIV prevalence and risks among men who have sex with men only and men who have sex with men and women.

The bisexually behaving men were only 40 percent as likely to be infected with HIV as the homosexually behaving men. The researchers propose that this is because the bisexually behaving men reported lower rates of unprotected receptive anal intercourse, the biggest risk factor for HIV transmission among men in the U.S.

Dr. Friedman, who has conducted HIV prevention and research for more than 15 years, believes that while bisexually behaving men may have a lower risk profile than homosexually behaving men, their HIV burden still warrants the development of targeted interventions.

“The HIV infection risk that bisexual men pose to their female partners has likely been overstated,” said Dr. Friedman. “However, that doesn’t mean that HIV-prevention campaigns targeting bisexual men and their male and female partners aren’t needed. HIV does exist in the bisexual community, and national, bisexual-specific data collection, research, and HIV prevention and care delivery are necessary to ameliorate this population’s HIV burden.”

Additional collaborators on this research are Chongyi Wei, Dr.P.H., Mary Lou Klem, Ph.D., Anthony Silvestre, Ph.D., Nina Markovic, Ph.D., and Ron Stall, Ph.D., all of the University of Pittsburgh.

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Carolyn Gertrude Howard, age 74, of LaBelle, passed away November 4, 2013 in Fort Myers.
She was born July 20, 1939 in New London, CT, to the late Lighty Hill Collins and the late Gertrude (Flowers) Collins. Carolyn was a member of American Legion Post#130 Auxiliary and the Moose Lodge in LaBelle. She worked as a school bus driver for many years in LaBelle and also was a deputy for the Hendry County Sheriff's Dept.

Survivors include her husband: Wayne Howard and sons: Lynn (Louise) Howard and Shorty (Robin) Howard, all of LaBelle, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Darrell Wayne Howard.

A graveside funeral service will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 10:00 a.m. at Fort Denaud Cemetery with Pastor W.T. Maddox, Jr. officiating. Interment will follow in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be at graveside for 1 hour prior to the funeral.

James Adam Barfield, age 19, of Felda, passed away November 2, 2013 in Lehigh Acres. He was born March 19, 1994 in Fort Myers, FL, to James E. Barfield (Linda) and Teresa A. (Corbitt) Atkins.

He is survived by his father: James E. Barfield (Linda), mother: Teresa A. (Corbitt) Atkins, brother: James Matthew Barfield, two sisters: EmmaRaye Barfield, Madison Schaaf, paternal grandparents: James F. and Mary Alice Barfield; maternal grandparents: Peggy and Steve Whidden, many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 11:00 am at Community Harvest Worship Center, LaBelle with Pastor Byron Hendry officiating. Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Wednesday from 05:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be sent to: Hendry County 4H "Meat Judging",
P.O. Box 68, LaBelle, FL 33975.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Motorcyclist Dies In U.S. 27 Crash

Andy Vega, 24 of Sebring died of injuries after a crash with a SUV on U.S. 27 south of Sebring Tuesday evening.

A white 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by Jose Valdonvinos, 48 of Lake Placid was eastbound on Lake Josephine Drive. The motorcyclist with an unknown year Suzuki GSXR was southbound in the southbound inside lane of US-27.

The SUV stopped at the stop sign on Lake Josephine Drive at US-27 and then entered the intersection. As it's  front entered the median, Vega's vegucke struck the left rear of the SUV.

The Chevy rotated counter clockwise and came to rest in the median facing north. The Suzuki came to rest in the southbound inside lane of US-27 facing south.

Vega was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center where he expired from his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Charges are pending investigation reports Trooper Jay Spencer and homicide investigator Cpl. Louis Smith.

Pedestrian Dead After Attempted Crossing Of Busy Street

FORT MYERS, FL -- A pedestrian was killed during rush hour traffic as he attempted to cross busy U.S. 41.

A 1995 Dodge pickup truck was traveling southbound on US 41 approaching Sanibel Blvd in the inside lane at about 9:04 a.m. Tuesday when a pedestrian was crossing the southbound lanes of US 41 from the west grassy shoulder in a easterly direction.

Due to traffic in the other lanes, the driver, Chris Lawrence Spoke, 51 of Cape Coral could not see the pedestrian, Domingo Cuevas Hernandez, 35 of Fort Myers, approach before entering the vehicle's path. 

As a result, the front right of the vehicle struck the pedestrian. After impact, the pedestrian was thrown into the center lane of southbound US 41. The vehicle came to a controlled stop in the inside lane of southbound US 41. The pedestrian was pronounced deceased on scene.

No charges are likely to be filed, said the FHP.

Help When You Need It Over The Internet Says Google

Getting And Giving Help Over Live Google Video Introduced Today - Lots Of Free Help Too

What if getting help for a computer glitch, a leaky pipe, or a homework problem was as easy as clicking a button? What if you could connect via real-time video to a music teacher or a yoga instructor from the comfort of your home? What if you could get someone knowledgeable to get you “unstuck” when you really need it?

Google is announcing Helpouts—a new way to get and give help over live video. There are currently thousands of people participating with many free. A search will find lots of scheduled Helpout that are without cost, while others charge either per session or per minute.

Google says it's goal is to help people help each other. "We want to use the convenience and efficiency of the web to enable everyone, no matter where they are or what time it is, to easily connect with someone who can help."

Google say help might be a quick answer to a problem you’re having right now, like how to fix your garage door, or how to remove a computer virus; or it might be guidance completing a project, like building a deck. It might be learning a new skill, like how to speak conversational French or how to draw cartoons; or it might be general advice on how to improve your fitness or your writing (I could use this right now).

With Helpouts, you can choose who you get help from based on their qualifications, their availability, their price, their ratings and reviews. You can connect instantly or book in advance. You can get help from individuals or from brands you already know and trust, like Sephora, One Medical, Weight WatchersRedbeacon (a Home Depot company), and Rosetta Stone

Once you’re in a Helpout, you can do more than just talk—you can share your computer screen, collaboratively edit a presentation, or record your Helpout, just like can be done now on Google Plus Hangouts On Air. And if the experience doesn’t meet your expectations, Google offers a full money back guarantee.

Google Helpouts are starting small and only in a few categories today. The number of people giving help on Helpouts and the type of help available will grow over time they say. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

James S. Eden, age 92, of LaBelle, passed away October 29, 2013 at Hope Healthcare Services in Lehigh Acres. He was born May 18, 1921 in Akron, OH, to the late Adam Ferdinand and the late Mae (Stanhope) Erdenberger. He served during World War II in the Army. James graduated with a Pharmaceutical BS from Ohio Northern University in 1943. He married Genevieve Rothe Oct. 8, 1943.

He was a Master Mason and member of Adoniram-Joppa Lodge #517 F& AM and a member of Portage Country Club and Sharon Country Club, all in Akron, OH. He was President and Chairman of Independent Drug Co, Talmadge, OH and was Past President of Summit County Pharmaceutical Association, Akron, OH. James also was a member of the Rotary Club of Akron, The Blue Coats, served as a volunteer with the American Red Cross and was an amateur HAM radio operator.

He was a resident of LaBelle since 1991. While in LaBelle, he was a member of Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, The LaBelle Rotary Club and LaBelle Heritage Museum.

Survivors include two sons: James S. (June) Eden Jr. of Ravenna, OH, John (Gloria) Eden of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, nine grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren and four great-great Grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Genevieve in 2012.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, November 7, 2013, 2:00 p.m. at Episcopal Church of The Good Shepherd, LaBelle with Rev. David Jackson and Rev. Alan H. Kelmereit officiating. Military Honors will be conducted by American Legion Post #130-LaBelle.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Dr. Tampa, Fl 33607. Attn.: Office of Development.

Harold Lee "Bubba" Stacy, Jr., age 43, of LaBelle, passed away October 28, 2013 in LaBelle.
He was born Feb. 17, 1970 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late Harold Lee and the late Ruby Earline (Hall Ballard) Stacy, Sr.

He is survived by two sisters: Carmen Guijosa (Juan), Martha "Whoadie" Helton, grandmother, Jewel Ballard; nephew, Juan Guijosa; niece, Ana Guijosa; nephew, Adam Guijosa; niece, Stefani Guijosa; nephew, Christian Guijosa; niece, Amberli Guijosa; nephew, Angel Guijosa; companion, Cynthia, daughter; Ashley and son; Jose. He was preceded in death by his father; Harold Lee Stacy, Sr., mother; Ruby Helton, stepfather; C.W. Helton and grandfather; Perry Ballard.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Pastor Mitchell Wills officiating. Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Tuesday from 1 hour prior to service at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Johnson & Johnson To Pay $1.2 Billion After Four Whistleblower Suits

Allegations Of Unlawful Marketing Practices On Anti-Psychotic Drugs

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that Florida, 39 other states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government reached a global settlement with New Jersey pharmaceutical manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to resolve civil and criminal allegations of unlawful marketing practices to promote the sales of their atypical antipsychotic drugs, Risperdal and Invega. 

J&J and Janssen allegedly promoted, marketed, and introduced Risperdal and Invega into interstate commerce for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and for uses that were not medically indicated. Once the FDA approves a drug as safe and effective, a manufacturer cannot market or promote a drug for an “off-label” use, i.e., any use not specified in the FDA-approved product label.

Under the terms of the civil settlement, the companies will pay more than $1.2 billion to the states and the federal government. Florida will receive more than $18.6 million of this settlement.

"This $18 million recovery reflects our hard work to protect Florida's taxpayers and to ensure that Medicaid funds are preserved for the neediest among us," stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

The settlement resolves four qui tam, or whistleblower, lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under the provisions of the federal False Claims Act and similar state False Claims statutes. 

In addition, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will plead guilty in federal court to a criminal misdemeanor charge of misbranding Risperdal in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. As part of the criminal plea, Janssen has agreed to pay $400 million in criminal fines and forfeitures.

The states contend that during the period January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2005, the companies promoted Risperdal for off-label uses, made false and misleading statements about the safety and efficacy of Risperdal, and paid illegal kickbacks to health care professionals and long-term care pharmacy providers to induce them to promote or prescribe Risperdal to children, adolescents and the elderly when there was no FDA approval for Risperdal use in these patient populations. 

The states further contend that from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2009, the companies promoted Invega for off-label uses and made false and misleading statements about the safety and efficacy of Invega. The manufacturers’ alleged unlawful conduct caused false and/or fraudulent claims to be submitted to or caused purchases by government funded health care programs, including the state Medicaid programs.

As part of the global resolution, the companies will enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, which will closely monitor the company’s future marketing practices.

Will Gas Prices Continue Downward Trend?

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 3.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.22/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has fallen 3.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.26/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 17.9 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 7.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 12.8 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 24.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

"The downward movement in national gasoline prices has continued for yet another week, thanks to a fall in commodity prices," said Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Oil prices continue to shed value, leading the way to lower gasoline prices. Five states- all in the nation's midsection- are now seeing their average prices under $3/gallon: Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas, and motorists in those states certainly have a "there's no place like home" advantage," DeHaan said

Irene Davis Dies At 82

Irene M. Davis, age 82, of Clewiston, passed away November 1, 2013 in Hendry Regional Medical Center after a brief illness.

She was born Dec. 8, 1930 in Conshohocken, PA, to Stanley and Barbara Stralkowski. She married Jackson E. Davis; he preceded her in death on March 15, 1999.

She worked for Sugarland Ranch for several years. Irene and Jackson owned and operated the Clewiston Napa Auto Parts Store for many years. She was a longtime member of Saint Margaret's Catholic Church. She met Jackson in Pennsylvania while working for a radio station and he was in the Navy.

Survivors include one son: John A. Davis (Maryann) of Nokesville, VA and one daughter: Cynthia Bowden (Barney) of Clewiston, FL Sister-in-law, Martha Rodriguez and five grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, November 4, 2013 at 10:00 am in Saint Margaret's Catholic Church, Clewiston, with Father Jiobani Batista presiding. Interment will be Monday, November 4, 2013 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation was Sunday from 6-8 p.m. in Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Dead Ex-Husband Was Suspect In Gruesome Murder Case

Decapitated Woman Found In Sugar Cane Field - Ex-Husband Apparent Suicide Today

Note: This story contains graphic crime scene descriptions and may  be disturbing to some readers.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL. -- Albert Thomas Lambert, 52 and former husband of the murdered victim Kimberley Lindsey was to have been arrested and charged with her death. But, Sunday Lambert was found dead of a drug overdose in Miami. Lambert was to be arrested for 1st degree murder and burglary of a dwelling.

Kimberley Lindsey's headless body was found in a sugar cane field in eastern Hendry County by cane field workers. It was later found that her fingertips had been removed.

According to Palm Beach County Sheriff's Detective Raymond Goncalves, Lambert is the former husband of Mrs. Lindsey and together they had three children. Their divorce was finalized in November, 2012.

Dr. Albert Thomas Lambert, MD was a Emergency Medicine Specialist, with 22 years of experience and practices in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Nuclear Medicine. He was a 1987 graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine.

The two were still going through court hearings over alimony and child support. Lambert was refusing to present the required documents to the courts in regards to child support and alimony issues, say investigators. 

In a court hearing on Friday, October 25th, 2013, Lambert told the presiding Judge, that he would either “disappear or go to jail” before he paid anything.

Concern Raised After Lindsey Did Not Show Up For Work

On October 28th, 2013 the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to check 8214 154th Court North, Palm Beach Gardens for Kimberly Lindsey, a school nurse at Bak Middle School.

A coworker of Lindsey advised that Lindsey went away over the weekend and traveled to see her daughter at the Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Florida but had not showed up for work.

A deputy arrived at the home at noon and found Lindsey's car in the drive but she was not home. A check with the phone company found her last call at on October 27 at 6:38 p.m. and the last text message at 7 p.m. to her daughter.

Palm Beach Deputy Bush came back to Lindsey’s residence later that day with a neighbor of who had a key to the residence but Deputy Bush discovered that the door was shut, but unlocked. A bag containing clothing was discovered inside the residence on the kitchen counter, which appeared to be from the weekend trip. 

Downstairs was Lindsey’s purse, which contained money, keys, and her Florida driver’s license. 

Blood Found In Victim's Bedroom And Car
In the master bedroom, the bed was missing the sheets and comforter. There was a blood-like smear at the headboard area of the bed. A bra and green t-shirt were found at the foot of the bed. Inside of the bra was what appeared to be a blood-like substance. The green shirt is the same shirt worn by Lindsey when she left Ft. Myers, which has been confirmed through recorded interviews with her daughter. 

Just outside of Lindsey’s bedroom door, a small amount of blood was discovered on the floor. A small amount of blood was discovered on the wooden bannister (which leads downstairs) and on the second floor platform on carpeted floor just above the banister. Blood was located on the floor inside of the garage and on the other side of the garage door. 

Parked outside of the residence was a 2001 Silver Toyota Camry registered to Albert Lambert and driven by his and Lindsey’s daughter.

Several blood-like substances were located on the rear bumper just under the Florida tag and along the inside lip of the rear bumper and trunk door. Investigators noted that the area of the blood is consistent with a bloodied object or person being placed inside of the trunk and the trunk door pushing down, causing the blood to seep through the cracks when the car was in motion.

Lambert's Daughter Had Spent Weekend With Him
According to the youngest daughter, age 16, she had spent the weekend of October 26, 2013 and October 27, 2013, at her father’s house. During this time, her mother Lindsey was visiting her sister Sophia Lambert in Fort. Myers. 

On Saturday, October 26th, the daughter and Albert Lambert drove the Toyota Camry to Northlake Auto Spa and got it cleaned and detailed there. After the Camry was cleaned and detailed, they drove the vehicle back to Albert Lambert’s residence and the daughter spent the remainder of night at the residence. 

Investigator say the vehicle was not loaned out to anyone and Albert Lambert remained in the residence for the rest of the night as well.

On Sunday morning, the daughter went to the community pool at about 10:30 AM and returned to Albert Lambert’s residence at about 12:00 PM. At about 1:00 PM, Albert Lambert left the residence in his black Mercedes to run errands and the daughter stayed to complete homework assignments. 

At about 5:30 PM Lambert returned home. At about 7:20 PM, father and daughter decided to go to Pollo Tropical to get dinner. They drove in separate cars, because his daughter needed to return and complete her homework. Albert Lambert told her that he planned to go to Walmart after getting the food.

Upon purchasing their food from Pollo Tropical, she returned home in the Toyota Camry and Albert Lambert went to Walmart in his Mercedes Benz to purchase t-shirts and clothes hanger. 

She returned to the apartment at about 8:20 PM and parked the Camry outside in a parking spot. At about 8:50 PM, Albert Lambert arrived with only clothes hangers in his hands. They ate together and the daughter went to her bedroom at about 9:30 PM and shut her door. Albert Lambert also went to his room. She remained in her room doing homework until falling asleep at about 10:30 PM. 

Investigators say her keys to her Camry were on the dresser when she fell asleep. At about 5:00 AM, she was awoken by Albert Lambert who told her to wake up and get ready for school. Albert Lambert left for work at Raulerson Hospital located in Okeechobee. 

The daughter entered her vehicle, which was parked in the same spot as the night prior and drove to school. She was later contacted by school staff and told that her mother had not shown up for work. She was asked if she knew her whereabouts, she said that she did not know. 

She left her school and drove the Camry to her mother’s house and parked on the driveway on the west side of the residence. The Camry remained untouched and in this same position until it was examined by Sheriff’s Office Investigators later that day.

Detectives Make Contact With Lambert

On Monday, October 28th, 2013 at approximately 7:54PM, PBSO Investigators attempted to make contact with Albert Lambert at his home located at 4161 South US Hwy 1, apartment K2 in Jupiter, Florida. His 2008 black Mercedes convertible vehicle was not located at any of the parking spots near the residence.

An investigator tried to call Mr. Lambert at 8:47 PM but received no answer, and left him a voicemail.

On Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 at 4:02AM, a text message from my PBSO issued cell phone to Lambert’s cell phone asking for a call back.. At 11:15 AM, a text from Albert Lambert’s cell phone was receive which read, “Who is this?”

At approximately 11:17AM, a reply was sent back, “Det. Goncalves from the Sheriff’s Office.” At 11:17AM, Albert Lambert called back and it was explained the detective was investigating the whereabouts of his ex-wife, Kimberly Lindsey, and wanted to see if he had any information.

Albert Lambert explained that he was leaving his office in Broward County, Florida and driving home and stated he would meet with Investigators at PBSO Headquarters. After this phone conversation, Lambert then sent a text message at 12:50 PM stating that he spoke with his brother and that they both thought that Albert Lambert would rather speak to an attorney first and that he “did not do anything wrong.” 

Lambert sent additional text messages stating that he would be speaking to an attorney before speaking with investigators. 

At 4:19 PM, a call from attorney Josephine Barone told the detective she is representing Albert Lambert and that she would consult with him and get back later with the detective.

Lambert Buys Gun And Ammunition
On Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, information was received and confirmed that Albert Lambert purchased a Charter Arms .22 caliber pistol from Gator Guns and Pawn in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 9th, 2013. He returned to Gator Guns & Pawn on October 19th, 2013 and obtained the gun, ammunition and a cleaning kit.
Follow-up interviews with Lindsey and Albert Lambert’s daughters were conducted on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, in Wellington, FL. The silver 2001 Toyota Camry was parked in front of the residence where they were staying and was subsequently towed from Wellington for further investigative processing to the PBSO Impound Lot. 

Victims's Headless Body Found In Cane Field

On Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 at approximately 1:50 PM, the detective received an email from a PBSO Criminal Analyst in regards to a body located in Hendry County, Florida. Further contact with Investigators in Hendry County revealed that the body of a headless white female was discovered in a canal. 

The fingertips had also been removed from this body, and there was a defect at the center of the chest which later turned out to be a gunshot wound.

On Thursday, October 31, 2013, an autopsy was conducted on the female’s body in Lee County, with
PBSO Det. K. Smith present. A .22 caliber projectile was recovered from the female’s chest. Also, retrieved by Det. Smith was a purple top bottle of blood taken directly from the headless female.

On Thursday, October 31, 2013, a search warrant was executed on the Toyota Camry at the PBSO headquarters and Lindsey’s residence. 

On Thursday, October 31, 2013, at about 1624 hours, Albert Lambert was seen on video surveillance entering and exiting his residence. He was seen carrying clothing on hangers and what appeared to be a blue sports bag. He was accompanied by a white female who was later identified as his sister, who resides at 2101 Coral Gate Drive, Miami, Florida.

On Friday, November 1, 2013, the detective was notified by the PBSO forensic laboratory scientist, that the blood source taken from the headless human body recovered in Hendry County is a positive match to the blood source recovered from the bumper and the area of the inside latch of the Toyota Camry. 

The blood was positively identified to be that of Kimberly Lindsey through DNA comparisons. 

$2000 Transferred To Daughter's Account By Lambert
Further interviews were conducted with Kimberly Lindsey’s and Albert Lambert’s daughters at PBSO Headquarters and it was determined Albert has been texting and calling his daughters more frequently since the disappearance of Lindsey, Albert has transferred funds into one of the daughter’s account for about $2,000 and states via text messages that he will add more. 

Also discovered during the interviews, Albert Lambert has spare keys in his possession for both the Toyota Camry and Kimberly Lindsey’s residence. In addition, his daughters advise that Albert Lambert also has knowledge of the alarm code for Kimberly Lindsay’s residence, and they have witnessed him using it to gain entrance to the residence in the past.

On Saturday, November 2, 2013, a search warrant was executed at Albert’s residence. During the search several articles of clothing and a blue towel containing a blood like substance were collected.

The PBSO says the murder case would have been cleared by the arrest of Albert Lambert for the murder of his ex-wife. He had been under surveillance but died of an apparent overdose before police could arrest him.