Saturday, January 31, 2015

LaBelle Teen And Sister Arrested In Drug Murder Gone Bad

LaBelle High Student Arrested For Murder, Sister Arrested For Threatening Witness

LABELLE, FL. -- David Nathan Garrett, Jr., age 16 was arrested at LaBelle High School Monday and charged with the murder of Donald Avery, 17 a Lakewood High School student in the St. Petersburg area.

Garrett was living in St. Petersburg in October of last year when Avery was found bleeding from a shooting, and later died at the hospital. An investigation says Garrett met Avery to conduct a drug deal when Garrett, then a student at St. Petersburg High School, shot the teen several times with a handgun.

Garrett had three prior arrests for possession of marijuana police say, but he denied any involvement in the murder. Garrett's family moved to LaBelle shortly after the shooting. The Garrett family had lived before in Alva and in western Hendry county in Double J Acres.

Police say his sister Karissa Smock, 21 of St. Petersburg was also arrested Monday and has been charged with tampering with a witness in the first-degree murder case her brother is charged with after she allegedly threatened to kill a witness to the shooting. She has a Pinellas county arrest record in five other cases since 2012, charged with battery, assault, and filing a false crime report.

Garrett's father, David Nathan Garrett, Sr., age 39 at one time living in Alva, also appears in the Pinellas county arrest records with six arrests.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Giant Air Show Grounded By Lack Of Support

PUNTA GORDA, FL. – About to celebrate their 35th year, the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit Florida International Air Show have cancelled the annual 2015 show planned to take place March 27-29 at the Punta Gorda Airport in Charlotte County, Fl.

Several factors impaired the organization’s ability to successfully host the 2015 Florida International Air Show including the lack of a sponsor this year, as well as the lack of support from Charlotte County government, said the air show organizers. They cited problems with event permit fees to the loss of in-kind services including Fire and the Charlotte Sheriff’s Office support, to the refusal of support from the Charlotte Harbor Visitor’s Bureau to which the Air Show organization has paid significant bed tax for 34 years. Other factors cited include rising fuel and smoke oil costs for the aircraft participants, increases in insurance coverage costs, and hotel rate increases and sequestration.

“It was such a difficult decision,” said Chairman Tyler Ezzi. “We are an all volunteer organization and since it’s inception in 1981, the Show has donated more than $3.2 million in proceeds to charities throughout southwest Florida. We volunteer because we are all passionate about giving back to our local community and we love the Show.” Ezzi added, “We love bringing this high quality, unique, family-friendly event to Punta Gorda and southwest Florida. It routinely attracts more than 50,000 attendees and showcases the field of aviation, our Country’s military air support, veterans’ service, and our local community.”

Named one of the “Ten Best Air Shows in the World” by USA Today, the organization hopes to resurrect the Air Show for 2016 and is looking for additional support outside of the immediate area. “Unfortunately, the Charlotte County businesses and community do not or can not help support the Florida International Air Show to the extent we need to stay in business. As a regional event drawing tens of thousands from Tampa to Marco, and benefiting charities throughout SWFL, the future livelihood and success of the Air Show in achieving our mission of giving back depends on casting a wider net for support as a southwest Florida event.”

The Florida International Air Show organization, in a statement Friday, thanked the hundreds of sponsors, businesses, and organizations, as well as the thousands of volunteers and the school districts, who have supported and participated in the Shows over the past 34 years.

(Video: AirShow footage from 1999 featuring the U.S. Air Force B-1 Bomber)

Connie Kay Means Dies At 68

Connie Kay Means, age 68, of Clewiston, passed away January 27, 2015 in Fort Myers. She was born Jan. 12, 1947 in Clinton, IN, to the late Harold and the late Norma Jean (Wilson) Rash. 

She was a resident of Clewiston since 1972. Connie worked for many years as a cook in the Clewiston High School cafeteria. She loved taking care of her family and was a caretaker at heart.

She is survived by her sons: David (Amanda) Means of Tustin, CA, Craig (Maria) Means of Clewiston, daughters: Kimberly (Christopher) Willis of Clewiston, Annette Ezell of Canton, NC
brother: Mark Rash, sisters: Sandra Arvin and Cindy Ramirez, all of California; grandchildren: Jeremy Bryant; Chynna Bryant; Richard Miller; Tyler Miller; Brooklyn Ezell, Adriana Segura; Pedro A. Segura; Mariely Segura; Sydney Means; Ashley Means; Jacob Means, Dwight Willis and great-grandchildren: Cricket Bryant; Kaylee Yebba and Melvin Bonilla. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence "Sandy" Means III and sister: Christine Rash.

A memorial service will be held Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, 7:00 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston with Brother Richard Blount officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Cremation Arrangements by: Akin-Davis Funeral Home-Clewiston

Lake Okeebhobee Water Being Pumped Into Vast New Storage Area

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- To increase storage of freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee and help protect the Caloosahatchee Estuary, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has begun full-capacity pumping into the new Nicodemus Slough water storage area in Glades County.

Located south of Fisheating Creek on the western bank of the lake, the Nicodemus Slough project is intended to provide interim water storage until projects such as the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir are completed. In a cooperative agreement with Lykes Brothers, the District is leasing the property for an investment of $2 million a year for 8 years, with an option to extend the agreement.

To send water onto the 16,000-acre project area, four pumps are each moving 30,000 gallons of water per minute. It may take approximately six weeks of round-the-clock operations to fill the vast site. The project can store an annual average of 34,000 acre-feet of water, or about 11 billion gallons.

“Working in concert with efforts to capture water on public and private lands and move water south, Nicodemus Slough provides some relief now to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries,” said SFWMD Executive Director Blake Guillory. “The project also adds to our critical storage options in the interim while regional projects now under construction — and making progress — are completed.”

With Lake Okeechobee’s level at 14.74 feet NGVD today — about a foot higher than this time last year — the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing water out of the lake to both estuaries. In response, the District worked to accelerate construction and testing operations in order to begin full-capacity pumping several weeks early onto the Nicodemus Slough site.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lost Job? Come To Florida Says Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott today invited oil and gas industry employees laid off around the country as part of the global fallout from declining oil prices to consider living and working in Florida.

Scott said, “We welcome workers in the energy sector who may be affected by layoffs in other states to move to Florida and build a great career here. Not only does Florida offer a great quality of life with exceptional weather year-round, but we have no state income tax and a world-class education system. Our private sector is booming - we have added over 728,000 jobs in four years and we have over 269,000 online job openings. Florida is on a mission to be the global destination for jobs and we have plenty of opportunities available for families.”

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity developed Information about the job seeker’s work experience and education entered into the site will be forwarded to the CareerSource Florida network professionals in the region chosen by the job seeker for potential matches with available positions or future opportunities.

According to Scott, Florida’s economy continues to experience strong growth, with an annual job growth rate exceeding that of the nation since April 2012. He says all 10 of Florida’s major industries have experienced over-the-year job gains, and private sector employment increased by 225,700 jobs last year.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Trail Closing At Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will close a section of the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) near Clewiston as rehabilitation continues on the Herbert Hoover Dike, the earthen structure surrounding the lake.

The Corps will close about six miles of trail from Clewiston west to Liberty Point. The closure is necessary for public safety while work on the replacement of a nearby water control structure (Culvert 2) takes place. The trail is expected to be closed in this location from early February through most of the spring while a bypass is built.

“The safety of people walking the trail is important to us while the Corps undertakes rehabilitation of the dike,” said Steve Dunham, Chief of the Corps’ South Florida Operations Office (SFOO) in Clewiston. “We want to keep them out of harm’s way, given the amount of equipment that will be in the area. The rehabilitation of Herbert Hoover Dike is important to the safety of people living and working in south Florida.”

Contractors are using heavy construction vehicles and large equipment within all of these areas and any additional traffic on the narrow trail or dike crest poses a safety hazard for recreationists and equipment operators.

With this change, the trail will be from Lakeport to South Bay on the south and west sides of the lake, from Belle Glade to Pahokee on the southeast side, and from Canal Point to Port Mayaca on the east side.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Betty Newman Dies At 82

Betty Jean Newman, age 82, of Clewiston passed away January 22, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. She was born January 16, 1933 in Weirsdale, FL to the late John Riley Barton and the late Alice Chastain Barton. 

She was a lifelong resident of Clewiston and retired from the Hendry County School System. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Clewiston and was in involved in the Gideons International auxiliary.

Survivors include her son Greg Newman (Michi) of Atlanta, GA; brother John Barton (Elizabeth), Maryville, TN; grandchildren Yale, Anders and Lake. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles Newman; her parents, her sisters Geraldine, Joyce and Mary Alice and her brothers Loyas and Oscar.

Funeral services will be held Friday, January 30, 2015 at 11:30am at the First Baptist Church of Clewiston, FL with the Reverend Bill Derryberry officiating. 

Visiting with the family will be on Friday morning from 10:30am to 11:30am at the First Baptist Church of Clewiston. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Barbara Oehlbeck Dies At 90

Barbara Harding Oehlbeck, age 90, of LaBelle, passed away January 24, 2015 in Lehigh Acres. Born in Hickory, NC on Aug. 23, 1924, her parents were the late Nancy Lou Halsey and Glenn Wallick Harding.

Barbara graduated from Martinsville High School and attended Averett University in Danville, VA where she studied voice, creative writing and technical radio. She was the first female announcer at WMVA radio station in Martinville, VA, where she was her own engineer on her Saturday morning show, "By Request". She was also secretary, treasurer and program director for the station. In 1961 she moved to Charlotte, NC where she continued her career in radio.

In the field of news, she received numerous Associated Press awards for announcing and writing. While living in Charlotte, she also began her writing career, publishing her first book "It Wonders Me" in 1965. While she was not announcing or writing, she was in her rose garden. 

She also wrote "The Sable Palm: A Native Monarch" in 1996 and "For The Love Of Roses In Florida And Elsewhere" in 2000 and in 2008 "Mama: Root, Hog, Or Die." She also wrote many freelance book reviews and articles for Hendry and Glades county newspapers over the years from her home in rural Muse in Glades county.

She is survived by her brother: Glenn H. Harding and sister: Iva Lou H. Edwards. Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Luther Oehlbeck, M.D.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 31, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at Muse Community Center , LaBelle. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Barron Library, 461 N. Main St, LaBelle, FL 33935

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Billy Jack Wilkerson Dies At 82

Billy Jack Wilkerson, age 82, of Moore Haven, passed away January 24, 2015 in Moore Haven, Florida.

He was born May 15, 1932 in Kite, GA, to the late James Alexander and the late Lizzie Elminie (Beasley) Wilkerson. He was a supervisor for District Island Water Management for twenty-seven years. 

He enjoyed being out in the woods hunting for deer and wild hogs. He recently started to attend the Moore Haven Church of God. He married Margaret Hogan; she preceded him in death on Mary 8, 2008.

Survivors include two sons: Leroy (Sue) White of Moore Haven, FL, Lavanda (Brenda) White of Lake Placid, FL and three daughters: Brenda (Grady) Sullivan of Venus, FL, Janice (Bill) Pettersen of Tallahassee, FL, and Mary Blount of Kynesville, FL; eleven grandchildren; fifteen great - grandchildren.

Graveside service will be held Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm at Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven with Rev. Bill Pettersen officiating.

Million Dollar Fraud Charged Against Naples Man

NAPLES, FL. -- United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Jeffrey Ihm (47, Naples) with multiple counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Each wire fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. 

According to the indictment, Ihm assumed the identities of and posed as three different Roper Industries, Inc. executives. He then generated false and fraudulent e-mails and other documents in the names of Roper Industries, Inc. and Kynetic Technologies, LLC to defraud Wells Fargo Bank, causing the bank to wire him $1,064,664.74 to which he was not entitled.

In addition, he faces a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment for each aggravated identity theft offense, to be served consecutively to any wire fraud conviction. The indictment also notifies Ihm that the United States is seeking a money judgment against him in the amount of $1,064,664.74, and intends to forfeit the house located at 3343 Pacific Drive, Naples, Florida, which are both alleged to be traceable to proceeds of the fraud.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Richard Knowles Dies At 78

Richard C Knowles, age 78, of Clewiston, passed away January 23, 2015, in Clewiston.

He was born May 3, 1936, in LaBelle, FL, to the late Floyd Ferris and the late Beneda Ruth (Emrich) Knowles. Mr. Knowles married Lenora E. Howard; she survives. He was a member and attended faithfully Evangel Assembly of God Church. He served his country in the United States Army from January 1960 to March 1962. He worked as a Farm Manager for 32 years for United States Sugar Corporation.

Survivors include his loving wife of 56 years: Lenora E. Knowles, two sons: Steven "Craig" Knowles, Michael Knowles and one daughter: Carrie Jones, eight grandchildren, one brother: Keith Knowles of Clewiston, Fla. and three sisters: Peggy McGahee of Clewiston, Fla., Barbara Ann Knowles of Clewiston, Fla., Bonnie Sue Knowles of Clewiston, FL. Several cousins, nieces, nephews and other family members and friends.

Preceded in death by his: parents, daughter: Lorrie Knowles, sister: Darlene Tatum, brothers: Floyd Ferris Knowles; and David Knowles.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 10:00 am at Evangel Assembly Of God, Clewiston with Pastor Gary Corley officiating. Interment will be Tuesday, January 27, 2015 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation will be Monday from 06:00-08:00pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Shawn Brooks Dies In Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Shawn Lindsey Brooks, 41 of Clewiston died in a crash Friday morning.

A 2007 Dodge Nitro was southbound on County Road 833 as Brooks for an unknown reason failed to
maintain control of the car which exited the paved portion of the roadway and entered onto the west shoulder.

The front of the vehicle struck the shrubbery located on the west shoulder and came to final rest facing southwest, entirely within the shrub line. Hendry County EMS pronounced Brooks deceased on scene at 10:58 a.m. She was not wearing a seatbelt and there was no airbag deployment in the car. The FHP says a test for alcohol use is pending.

Charles Huff Dies At 62

Charlie Huff, Jr. died January 13, 2015 at age 62. He was born on January 5, 1953 to the late Charlie Huff, Sr. and Ida Lou Huff in Webb, Mississippi. 

Charlie lived in Florida for almost 50 years, and worked as an agriculture and commercial truck driver.

He leaves to cherish his memories a loving and devoted family, his wife Lillie Feagin Huff of LaBelle, FL, children: Charles Steve Owens Huff of Clinton, NC, Michael Ray Huff (Lila Huff) of Fayetteville, NC, Richard Jerome McKenzie of Baton Rouge, LA, Faye Q. Feagin (Anita Feagin) of Davenport, FL, Cassandra A. Ricks of Warren, MI, Carlene Joseph of Lehigh Acres, FL, Lisa McKenzie of Cape Coral, FL, Cleo Johnson (Ray Johnson) of Lehigh Acres, FL and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, brothers: McKinley Pickett of St. Louis, MO, Calvin Huff of Atlanta, GA, John Eddie Huff of Bradenton, FL, Tom Huff of Okeechobee, FL and Edward Triplett (Dorothy) of Lehigh Acres, FL.

He was preceded in death by his father, Charlie Huff, Sr., mother, Ida Lou Huff, sister, Mabel Huff, brothers, Robin Lee Huff, Sr. and Johnny Triplett.

Visitation will be Saturday, January 24, 2015, 11:00 am - 1:00pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Leslie Ann DeLeon Dies At 24

Leslie Ann DeLeon, age 24, of LaBelle, passed away January 19, 2015 in Fort Myers. She was born June 20, 1990 in Clinton, NC, to Genaro DeLeon, Jr. and Trinidad (Olivarez) Perez.

She is survived by one son: Andreas DeLeon and one daughter: Za'Niya Willis, father: Genaro DeLeon, Jr., mother: Trinidad (Olivarez) Perez, two brothers: Genaro DeLeon, III, Daniel DeLeon and two sisters: Delilah DeLeon, Valerie DeLeon. She was preceded in death by her son, Jayden Jordan.

Visitation will be Friday from 02:30 pm - 04:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL. Interment will follow in the Fort Denaud Cemetery.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Record Number Of Florida Panthers Killed Last Year

Sierra Club Looks For Support To Protect Remaining Panther Population
NAPLES, FL. -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just announced that a record-breaking number of endangered Florida panthers were killed in 2014.

The Sierra Club of Florida said in a press release today asking supporters' help to petition the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service saying "What little habitat remains for this endangered species is under constant siege from development, oil drilling and mining. The development on their habitat creates a profound threat to their survival and led to the death of 33 Florida panthers last year."

The panthers once roamed throughout the Southeastern U.S. -- from Arkansas to Florida. Now, fewer than180 can be found in just three Florida counties.

"As their habitat disappears, the panthers are forced to survive in smaller areas, leading to more aggression between cats as they try to protect their territory. And, as more development leads to more and more roads running through their habitat, even more are killed by cars: 76% of the Florida panthers killed in 2014 were hit by cars."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the power to grant critical habitat designation to the lands that are essential to the continued existence of an endangered species and a "critical habitat" designation would protect Florida panthers by requiring federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on any actions they carry out, fund or authorize on the panther habitat, to ensure these actions don't destroy or harm the area. It would also halt federal permits that aid developers who want to take over the panther's dwindling habitat and give them their best chance of survival. 

The Sierra Club took legal action to try to force the USFWS to provide critical habitat protection to Florida panthers, but the court decided the decision is up to the USFWS.

I-75 Death In Three Car Crash

NAPLES, FL. -- Elisabeth Tanjeloff, 64 of Sarasota, FL died in a crash today on I-75 near mile marker 64. The crash closed the interstate for hours as investigations were held.

Tanjeloff in a 2007 Nissan was traveling eastbound on I75 as 2013 Kia and 2012 Chevy truck towing an empty boat trailer were traveling westbound on I75. Tanjeloff lost control and began swerving within the eastbound lanes, then crossed the grass median and entered the westbound lanes.

As a result the front of the Kia struck her within the eastbound lanes, the front of the truck then struck the rear of the Kia. The Kia and the truck then veered into the north side grass shoulder and struck a chain-link fence.

The truck came to final rest on its right side facing west only after it struck and broke a power pole located within the north grass shoulder. The Kia came to final rest upright resting against the chain link fence.

Tanjeloff's vehicle came to final rest within the center of the westbound lanes. She was pronounced deceased on scene, the driver of the Kia, Kelsey Cardenal, 20 of Boca Raton, FL and passenger Aaron Gould, 22 of Boca Raton, FL were both med flighted to Lee Memorial Hospital.

The driver of the truck, Sean Doyle, 24 of Coconut Creek, FL was taken to Naples Community Hospital with serious injuries.

Westbound traffic was closed at I75 and US 27 due to the extent of the crash scene and due to the close proximity of the unstable power pole and power lines. The westbound lanes were reopened at 3:10 pm.

Sex Offender Charged Again With Child Porn Distribution

FORT MYERS, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that an indictment has been returned against Daniel Edward Palmer, 37 of Port Charlotte, charging him with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

According to the indictment, Palmer distributed child pornography images and videos to an undercover FBI Task Force Agent over an Internet peer-to-peer network between the dates of March 30, 2014 and July 8, 2014. 

A federal search warrant was subsequently executed at Palmer’s residence and all computer-related items were seized. A forensic analysis of the evidence revealed over 300 images and videos of child pornography. 

Palmer is a registered sex offender stemming from a 2009 conviction for possessing child pornography.

Swimming Beach Reopens After Bacteria Cleared

ALVA, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has reopened the swimming beach at W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area on the Caloosahatchee River.

The swimming beach on the Caloosahatchee River in Alva was closed temporarily due to elevated levels of enterococcus bacteria. Recent test results indicate that the water quality at the swimming beach meets the safety criteria recommended by the Florida Department of Health and the area is safe for swimmers. The public is welcome to enjoy the beach and many other amenities available at the recreation area.

“Public safety is always our top priority,” said George Melanson, natural resource manager in the South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston. “Test results confirm that bacterial levels are no longer elevated and we have been cleared to reopen the swimming beach for the enjoyment of our visitors.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the leading provider of recreation on federally-managed lands in the United States and a founding member of the National Water Safety Congress, committed to promoting safe water practices.

What's In McDonald's Fries? - Here's The Truth

19 Ingredients In French Fries Says Imahara

Mythbusters' Grant Imahara investigates ingredients in McDoanld's fries in a video series as McDonald's tries to improve transparency and gain trust from it's customers. McDonald's has been soliciting questions from customers on it social media sites including YouTube and attempting to answer them. The promotion is called "Our Food. Your Questions"

(Editor's note: I asked McDonald's why they don't have iodized salt in it foods, as iodine is a necessary nutrient. Iodine is not in the salt at their stores but is in standard table salt from the grocery store. McDonald's acknowledged my question and responded they would research it, but never did answer the question.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Obituaries - Joan Hill, Margaret Edward

Joan A Hill, age 82, of Clewiston, passed away January 16, 2015, in Clewiston.

She was born Oct. 16, 1932, in Danville, VA. She married Ted L. Hill, Sr; he preceded her in death on September 11, 1989.

Survivors include two sons: Troy and wife Marla Davis Hill of Wellington, FL, Ted L. Hill, Jr. of Clewiston, FL four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Joan was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend who will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

She was Certified Nurse's Aide for over 32 years.

Graveside service will be held Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 11:00 am at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Interment will be Thursday, January 22, 2015 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.

Margaret Edward, age 88, of LaBelle, passed away January 18, 2015 in Lehigh Acres.

She was born July 15, 1926 in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies to the late Festus and the late Victoria (Thomas) Edward. She was a former resident of England, New York and has lived in LaBelle since 1980. 

She went to nursing school in England and attained a Bachelor's Degree while living in New York. She spent her entire working life as a nurse. During her retirement in LaBelle, she volunteered with the Salvation Army and Hope Hospice. 

She was a member of Grace Baptist Church in LaBelle.

She is survived by a step sister: Sybil Francis-Simpson of Bronx, NY

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 10:00 am at Grace Baptist Church, LaBelle with Pastor Jeffrey Zimmerman officiating. Interment will follow in Fort Denaud Cemetery in LaBelle.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dump Truck Driver Bails, Truck Drives Into Tree

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Oliver U. Hernandez-Godin, 23 of Bonita Springs, Florida was operating a dump truck northbound on I-75 (State Road 93) north of County Road 840 (Alico Road) within the center lane when he failed to maintain control and as a result guided the truck onto the eastbound shoulder of the roadway and subsequently across the northbound entrance ramp from County Road 840 (Alico Road).

Prior to entering onto the east shoulder of the entrance ramp, he decided to jump from the cab to separate himself from the truck. The dump truck now driverless continued on the east shoulder traveling in an easterly direction through a barbed wire fence coming to final rest upon a tree.

Godin was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries and has been charged with careless driving.

Gas Prices Still Falling In Florida

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 8.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.12/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.05/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 125.8 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 39.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 39.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 124.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is dimming as gasoline prices have nearly caught up with the drop in crude oil prices,” said Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “Last week saw a rally in oil prices Wednesday, before caving again Thursday, then rallying again Friday- a sign that perhaps we've seen a bottom in oil prices, and perhaps thus a bottom in gasoline prices as well."

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oscar Morales Dies In Crash Into Trees

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Oscar Lopez Morales, 29 of Naples died as the result of a crash into trees Monday morning about 8:03 a.m. in Hendry county.

Morales' 2001 Toyota Echo was traveling south on CR858 north of Oil Well Rd. and drifted onto the west shoulder and over corrected which caused it to travel back across both lanes of travel and onto the east shoulder.

The FHP says Morales failed to recover the vehicle's path of travel which caused it to collide with 2 trees.

Morales expired as the scene due to the received injuries. The crash investigation is pending said the FHP.

Celebrate Catfish At Buckhead Ridge Festival

BUCKHEAD RIDGE, FL. -- This years' Buckhead Ridge Catfish Festival is being sponsored by the Buckhead Ridge Volunteer Fire Department to raise money for the department.

The Catfish Festival 23rd year will be Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 9:00am - 3:00pm at the Buckhead Ridge Fire Department (Behind the Station in BHR Park)

Bring a lawn chair and enjoy:
*Home of Big Blue & Lil Blue
*Catfish (includes baked beans, slaw and a dinner roll)
*Sounds of Country
*Ladies Auxiliary bake sale & hot dogs
*50/50 raffles for cash every 30 minutes
*Door prizes given every hour
*Different craft booths
*Big $500.00 raffle drawing held at the Speckled Perch Festival March 6, 2015 at 2:00pm

Gate entry fee:$7.00
(includes dinner, serving begins at 10am)

30076 E State Rd 78, Buckhead Ridge

Richard Porter Dies At 75

Richard Elbert Porter, age 75, of LaBelle, FL passed away after a long illness January 12, 2015 in LaBelle. He was born April 10, 1939 in Ithaca, NY, to the late Francis Martin Porter and the late Mitta Margaret (Van Ostrand) Bennett. 

He was a veteran of the US Marine Corps. Richard worked many years as a machinist for the NCR Corporation in Ithaca, NY and retired 10 years ago at the Fort Myers Newspress. He was an excellent mechanic and carpenter and he loved helping people build whatever was needed. He was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather.

He is survived by his wife: Erlinda Maria(Fernandez-Santillan) Porter of LaBelle, daughters: Susan Yorkey of LaBelle, Patricia (Bruce) Burke of Lake Worth, FL, sons: Richard Porter of Ithaca, NY; Brian (Danielle) Porter of Cortland, NY and William Porter of Newfield, NY, brothers: Francis (Mary) Porter, Raymond Porter, Allen (Deborah) Porter, Leon (Mary) Porter and Douglas Porter, grandchildren: Kaleigh, Steven, Keonna, Matthew, Megan, Caleb, two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews that truly loved him.

A memorial service will be held to celebrate his life Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm in the the Memorial Chapel at Hope Healthcare Services, 1201 Wings Way, Lehigh Acres, FL. With Pastor Larry Jinks of First Baptist Church, St. James City, FL officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Octagon Wildlife Sanctuary, 41660 Horseshoe Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33982.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Giant Reservoir Planned Near Caloosahatchee River

Water Storage Area Will Protect Estuary
LABELLE, FL. -- With funding support from the Florida Legislature, the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board today approved a contract to begin early construction on the site of a future Everglades restoration reservoir near the Caloosahatchee River in western Hendry county. The work will provide critical water storage in the Caloosahatchee basin and help to protect the downstream estuary.

Today’s contract award is the first of three construction contracts that will be issued using an $18 million investment from the Florida Legislature to complete significant work on the project.

The first step, an approximately $2 million contract with Mitchell & Stark Construction Co., Inc., includes:

· Demolishing existing features such as buried pipes, culverts and above-ground facilities at the storage site, a 3,500-acre impoundment approximately 15,000 feet long and 100 feet wide.

· Construction of a berm, approximately 3 miles in length, to provide the northern boundary for the impoundment. The height of the berm will range between 3 and 8 feet and provide a maximum storage depth of 4 feet.

“This work allows us to deliver some of the key benefits of the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir before it is fully funded and constructed,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Daniel O’Keefe. “Every step we take to increase water storage means increased benefits to the river and estuary—and to the residents who depend on this vital ecosystem.”

The C-43 reservoir project, a component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, was authorized last year by Congress in the Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014. It will one day hold approximately 170,000 acre-feet of water to be used during dry periods to help maintain a desirable minimum flow of fresh water to the Caloosahatchee Estuary. During the rainy season, the reservoir will store excess stormwater and regulatory releases from Lake Okeechobee, helping to prevent excessive fresh water flows to the estuary.

Since 2012, the SFWMD put the reservoir property to use with emergency water storage of summertime rainfall. Temporary pumps and levee improvements helped to capture approximately 4.2 billion gallons of water that would have otherwise flowed to the river.

Following this effort, engineers determined that early construction work on key features at the C-43 reservoir site could create up to 5,000 acre-feet of semi-permanent storage for the region, or the equivalent of 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Eventually, this storage site will be integrated into the full-scale reservoir project.

For more information on projects to protect and improve the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary, visit

Steven Francis Dies At 89

Stephen E. Francis, age 89, passed away January 11, 2015 in LaBelle. He was born Oct. 17 1925 in Guaratarro in the Maracas District of Trinidad and Tobago to the late Adella Francis and Willis Steeple.

His is survived by his wife: Leonora B. Francis; Siblings: Luke, Maxx Richard and Irma Steeple; sons: Jose Carlo B. (Katherine) Francis, William B. (Elizabeth Hempel) Francis, Stephen C. (Valerie) Francis Jr; daughters: Patricia (John) Idun, and Lystra Clifford; Grand Children: Nicole Brown, Karen Idun, Jonathan Idun, Patrice Clifford, Renee Francis, Shara Francis, Ethan Francis; Great Grand Children: Trevor Brown, Kelis Brown, Amari Brown, Paiten Clifford.

The memorial service will be held Thursday, January 22, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle with Pastor John McGregor with visitation from 10:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Glades Health Department Seeking Accreditation Review

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- On Thursday, January 22, the Florida Department of Health in Glades County will receive a “Site Visit” from the Public Health Accreditation Board.

The purpose of the site visit is to allow for review by peer public health practitioners and to verify the documentation submitted to PHAB by the health department. This is an opportunity for the site visitors to ask questions and request further explanation in support of the accreditation review.

Public Health Accreditation is a process to measure health department performance against standards, and reward or recognition for those health departments who meet the standards.

Accreditation through PHAB provides a means for a department to identify performance improvement opportunities, improve management, develop leadership, and improve relationships with the community. The process is one that challenges the health department to think about what business it does and how it does that business. 

The Florida Department of Health has applied for accreditation as a single agency to include Central Office and all 67 County Health Departments. The accreditation standards address the array of public health functions set forth in the ten Essential Public Health Services.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Obituaries - Killmon, Layman, Jacques

Bentley Carson Killmon, age 82, born on July 7, 1932 to Blanche and William Carson Killmon, passed away January 8, 2015 in LaBelle, FL 

Two brothers, Jackson and Emerson preceded Ben in death. Ben was married to Bea Killmon of Clewiston and they lived in LaBelle.

Bentley had three children: Ural Carson Killmon of North Carolina, Brittany Nieves of Clewiston, Jennifer Killmon Hudson (deceased), four step children: Kim Daugherty of Deleware, Sean Scheffler of Clewiston, Mary L. Redish of Georgia and J. Scott Scheffler.

Ben grew up in Norfolk, VA and entered the Navy at a young age. After serving in the Navy during the Korean War he enrolled in Piedmont Flight School in Norfolk, VA. From there he went to serve as a pilot and navigator for Pan American Airlines for twenty-five years. He retired from United Airlines in 2000 making a total of thirty-four years flying. He flew all over Latin America

A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 17, 2015, 2:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Butch Wilson officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Caloosa Humane Society in LaBelle

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Mary Marchell Layman, age 46, of Clewiston, passed away January 10, 2015 in West Palm Beach. She was born Oct. 22, 1968 in Newport, TN, to the late Herbert and the late Mary Elizabeth (Sliger) Layman.

Survivors include her son: P.J. (Jenna) Washam, daughters: Amanda Lynn Washam and Angela (Stephen) Washam , all of Clewiston, brother: James Layman, sister: Kimberly Roberts
and eight grandchildren.

A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held at the home of Angela Washam, 208 Pine Lane (Flaghole) Clewiston on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 12:00 noon.
Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Marc Anthony Jacques, age 32, of Fort Myers, passed away January 9, 2015 in Fort Myers.
He was born December 22, 1982 in Plantation, FL.

Marc loved anything to do with computers, he loved to teach and help people with computer problems. He always had a smile for everyone he met. He was the kind of person that would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He built synthesizer boxes for music call Atari Punk Console.

Marc is survived by his parents, Alana (Cascio) and James Bartley Maloney, grandparents, George and Lucille Jacques; grandmother, Virginia Maloney and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Marc is also survived by his loving cat Sabrina. Marc was preceded in death by his birth father Marc Yves Jacques. Marc was loved by everyone and will be greatly missed.

A gathering of family and friends will be held on January 19, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Alva United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 21440 Pearl Street, Alva, FL 33920.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Gas Prices Still Falling But Not That Much Here

Don't Buy Gas Here? Prices 20-30 Cents Higher

LABELLE, FL. -- Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 7.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.22/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.12/gallon.

But in Hendry and Glades county, Florida prices are still 20 to 30 cent higher than Florida average prices. Although prices are falling, they historically don't fall as much as surrounding counties including Lee where prices are always much lower and in line with the rest of Florida. Motorists can drive out of the county and save several dollars on a fillup.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 117.7 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 42.9 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 48.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 118.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

Friday, January 09, 2015

$6 Million Scammed From Investors In Gravel Pit

PUNTA GORDA, FL. -- U.S. District Judge John E. Steele has sentenced Anthony Michael Defeo, 49 of Punta Gorda) to nine years and two months in federal prison for wire fraud. The Court also ordered him to forfeit $5,736,680, the proceeds of the wire fraud, and pay restitution to his victims in the same amount. He pleaded guilty on July 15, 2014.

According to court documents, Defeo solicited victim investors who thought they were investing in an opportunity involving a gravel pit and fill dirt to be used by road construction companies for improvements on Interstate 75 in the west coast of Florida. 

Defeo used companies that he controlled to obtain the victims’ money. He misrepresented to victim investors that he had lucrative contracts and purchase orders with a legitimate corporation engaged in asphalt paving, grading, and related services for roadway and civil construction projects. 

Rather than using the money as represented, Defeo fraudulently diverted approximately $6,280,580 in monies from investors for his own purposes. He failed to repay the investors.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey F. Michelland.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

David Simpson On Birding Next Monday Night

LABELLE, FL. -- Learn how eBird has changed hundreds of people birding habits for the better during a lively program by David Simpson on Monday January 12 at 7 p. m. at the Cooperative Extension, Dallas Townsend Building 1085 Pratt Blvd. in LaBelle. 

Ebird can help you learn birds and make your birding more fun, says David Simpson, a lifelong resident of central Florida, where he has been birding for over 25 years. He has over 25 years of experience leading tours, both through his previous job as a ranger at the St. Sebastian Buffer Preserve, as well as at festivals including the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and the Big "O" Birding festival

In addition to birds, he is familiar with all aspects of Florida wildlife and has an extensive knowledge of native plants, snakes, frogs, and many other critters you encounter in Florida. He is the current holder of many American Birding Association records, including Big Year (both first and second place for Florida) and Big Day (current holder of 10 monthly records in Florida).

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Bernard Ahern Dies At 87

Bernard E. "Bernie" Ahern, 87 passed away Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at Gulf Coast Medical Center, in Fort Myers, Florida. 

Bernie lived in Moore Haven, FL, for 18 years, where he was owner-operator of Ahern's Texaco Service Station with his brother Bob. In 1966, he and his family moved to North River Road, in Alva, FL. They established their home on the property his wife's family had homesteaded in the late 1800's. 
He received his AA from Edison Community College. Bernie was a rancher, as well as worked at a sawmill and a local auto garage. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Bernie was born January 12, 1927 in Frankfort, Kansas, to John T. Ahern and Anna Hessel Ahern. He was preceded in death by three brothers and four sisters. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Hellen Hasley Ahern, his son Robert B. Ahern and his wife Martha Flint Ahern. He is also survived by three Grandchildren, Christy Liscum (David Hornsby), Robert Ahern, II (Kell), and Elaine Langley (Beau), 9 Great grandchildren and 3 Great-great grandchildren.

A memorial service celebrating Bernie's life will be on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at Lighthouse Sanctuary, 19850 Palm Beach Blvd, Alva, FL 33920. The family visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m., with services at 11:00 a.m.

Cremation Arrangements by: Akin-Davis Funeral Home-Fort Myers.

The family requests in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to the Moore Haven High School Scholarship Organization (MHHSSO), P.O. Box 795, Moore Haven, FL 33471 or the scholarship organization of your choice. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

10 Year Sentence For Child Pornography Offender

FORT MYERS, FL—United States District Judge John E. Steele has sentenced John J. Hanlon, Jr., 22 of Ft. Myers to seven years in federal prison, followed by ten years of supervised release, for distributing and possessing child pornography. 

He pleaded guilty to the charges in October 2014. According to court documents, between June 12, 2013, and July 14, 2013, Hanlon distributed videos depicting child pornography to an undercover FBI task force agent using an Internet peer-to-peer network. 

A federal search warrant was obtained for Hanlon’s residence and all of his electronic media-related items were seized. Forensic analyses of the seized items revealed more than 800 images and videos depicting child pornography.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fort Myers Resident Agency. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tama Koss Caldarone.

New Year For Tai Chi Quan - Moving For Better Balance

Tai Chi Quan Classes Offered At Nobles Senior Center

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle's Senior Center on Cowboy Way will once again host a free 25-session class in Tai Ji Quan, popularly known as Tai Chi for anyone age 50 or over.

The 12-week, twice weekly class will start January 13 and be held on Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. at the L.J. Nobles Senior Center in LaBelle. Registration is required and class size is limited. Only those who are aged 50 and above and who can attend all 25 class sessions should register because of limited space. Call the toll free elder helpline at (866) 413-5337 to register.

About Tai Ji Quan

Tai Ji Quan, "Moving For Better Balance" (pronounced Tie Jee Chuan) is a program for older adults developed by Dr. Fuzhong Li of the Oregon Research Institute and recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as an evidence based program to develop balance skills and prevent falls through a combination of twice weekly group classes and daily home practice of eight coordinated Tai Ji Quan movements.

Participants will learn balance skills, good body alignment, and eight coordinated movements in a gentle and flowing motion.

Requirements: age 50 or older, able to walk (canes and walkers are ok), interested in improving balance, flexibility, and strength, able to attend all Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. sessions from January 13 through April 7, and willing to practice daily outside class.

The program is sponsored through a grant by the Florida Department of Health and administered by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida. Don Browne is the certified Tai Ji Quan - Moving For Better Balance instructor.

Watch a Video: Click: Tai Ji Quan Moving For Better Balance - demonstrated by two LaBelle 2014 participants

Monday, January 05, 2015

Healthy Weight 'Champion' Communities Named

The Florida Department of Health is recognizing 65 communities, including Hendry County as the 2015 Healthy Weight Community Champions. Between August and December 2014, local governments were invited to submit best practice policies they have implemented in their jurisdictions over the year.

"The health of Florida's children, adults, and families improves with local solutions,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "The number of recognized counties and municipalities for 2015 has nearly doubled from last year and shows the continuing commitment of local governments to shape healthy communities.”

The Community Champions program is part of the Department's Healthiest Weight Florida initiative. Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, not-for-profit organizations, businesses and entire communities to help Florida's children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living.

2015 Healthy Weight Community Champions:

Alachua County
Broward County
Calhoun County
City of Apalachicola
City of Archer
City of Bradenton
City of Cape Coral
City of Clearwater
City of Coconut Creek
City of Crescent City
City of Deerfield Beach
City of Doral
City of Fernandina Beach
City of Ft. Lauderdale
City of Ft. Walton Beach
City of Hawthorne
City of Jacksonville
City of Jasper
City of Lakeland
City of Largo
City of Live Oak
City of Madison
City of New Smyrna Beach
City of Newberry
City of Oakland Park
City of Orlando
City of Ormond Beach
City of Oviedo
City of Palm Coast
City of Panama City
City of Pensacola
City of Perry
City of Pinellas Park
City of Plantation
City of Port St. Joe
City of Safety Harbor
City of Sanford
City of St. Cloud
City of Tallahassee
City of Tampa
City of West Miami
City of Weston
City of Winter Haven
City of Winter Park
Collier County
Columbia County
Gulf County
Hamilton County
Hendry County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Jefferson County
Liberty County
Marion County
Nassau County
Polk County
Putnam County
Sarasota County
St. Johns County
Town of Pembroke Park
Town of Penney Farms
Town of Pomona Park
Town of Ponce Inlet
Town of White Springs
Wakulla County

Bacteria Concern Closes River Swim Area

ALVA, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has closed the swimming beach at W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area on the Caloosahatchee River near Alva due to concerns about water quality.

“Public safety is always our primary concern, so we have temporarily closed the swimming beach at the W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area,” said George Melanson, natural resource manager in the South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston. “We will let the public know as soon as possible when we are able to reopen the beach for their enjoyment.”

The closure was recommended by the Florida Department of Health after routine water test results returned with elevated levels of enterococcus bacteria. The Department of Health re-sampled water in the swim area this morning, and results should be available tomorrow.

For information on the W.P. Franklin Lock and Visitor Center, call 239-694-5451. Additional information can be found online at and then clicking the “Recreation” icon or

Lloyd Kentish Dies At 86

Lloyd Marlowe Kentish, age 86, of Lehigh Acres, passed away December 29, 2014 in Lehigh Acres. 

He was born Feb. 14, 1928 in Montego Bay, Jamaica to the late John Wesley and the late Marion E. (Collins) Kentish.

He is survived by his loving wife, Norma Leonie (Jackson) Kentish, son: David Kentish of NJ, five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, one sister and son Lloyd Kentish, Jr.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 11:00 am at Episcopal Church of The Good Shepherd, 1098 Collingswood Pkwy, LaBelle with Rev. Alan H. Kelmereit officiating.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

New Fish And Wildlife Director For Florida

This week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission welcomed a new law enforcement director, Col. Curtis Brown.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Brown worked his way up within the FWC. He began as an officer in Hendry and Collier counties in 1991 then worked as an investigator, lieutenant, captain and major throughout the state, even earning the agency’s Officer of the Year award his fourth year on the job.

Brown succeeds Calvin Adams Jr., who served as director of law enforcement since May 2013 and is retiring.

Brown, who is known among his colleagues at the FWC and partner agencies for his passionate dedication to conservation, will oversee more than 1,000 employees in the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. He’ll direct their efforts to protect Florida’s valuable natural resources and to provide public safety on state lands and waters.

Some of his many notable accomplishments include working with state and federal partners on several large-scale commercial poaching investigations, developing the FWC’s Internet Crimes Unit and helping coordinate the agency’s strategic plan initiative. Brown has also been instrumental in improving the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Reward Program.

“I am honored and humbled to be accepting this position,” Brown said. “But it is not about me. I’m looking forward to representing each of our officers and other staff members as we work together to do what’s best for the natural resources and people of Florida. Our officers have a unique role as ambassadors for conservation, honoring the public trust while enforcing regulations for fishing, hunting, wildlife, boating and more.”

10 Year Old Dies In I-75 Crash

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Roberto Lopez Jr., aged of Tampa died after a crash Sunday morning on I-75 south of Alico Rd in Lee County.

A 2004 Chevy Trailblazer driven by Roberto Lopez Sr., 55 of Tampa  was traveling north on I75 (SR 93) approaching the 127 MM in the inside lane (left lane) when the vehicle had a tread separation and Lopez lost control of the vehicle.

As a result, it started to rotate and it traveled onto the median of I-75, slid into the shoulder and began to overturn.

It overturned over the center cable barrier, into the southbound lanes of travel, overturned several more times, ejecting the child from the vehicle and came to rest across the inside and center, southbound lanes of I-75.

The child was ejected north of the vehicle to the median shoulder. The child was transported to Lee Memorial as a trauma and later died at the hospital as a result of his injuries.

I-75 southbound, inside and center lanes were closed for approximately 2 hours for the investigation. Charges are pending investigation.

Lopez Sr. and passenger Madelin Nunez, 44 of Tampa were in serious condition at Lee Memorial Hospital.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Ludie Jordan Dies At 95

Ludie Mae Jordan, age 95, of Clewiston, passed away January 2, 2015 in Clewiston.

She was born in Ashland, Alabama on May 31, 1919 to William C. and Emma Lee (Richardson) Golden. Ludie and her family moved from Ashland to Vienna, Georgia when she was a small child. 

She attended school in Vienna and graduated from college. She married Elbert Jordan January 1, 1944. They moved to Clewiston in 1946 and started a family. 

She was a teacher in Georgia and for the Hendry County School Board for over 30 years, retiring in 1978. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Clewiston and of the Clewiston Garden Club. She was preceded in death by her brother Orbrey Golden on September 1, 2002, and husband Elbert Jordan on March 23, 2005.

She is survived by her loving son Michael Jordan and his wife, Maureen of LaBelle, her loving grandchildren Christopher Jordan and his wife Tina, Kelley Dupree and her husband Michael, and four great grandchildren Katie, Ethan, Dylan, and JT.

Visitation will be Tuesday, January 6, 2015 from 6-8 p.m. in Akin-Davis Funeral Home. Another visitation followed by a funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, January, 9, 2015 in Brannen-Nesmith Funeral Home in Vienna, Georgia located at 1411 East Union Street Vienna, Georgia. Burial will take place in Vienna City Cemetery, Vienna, Georgia.

Joint funeral arrangements are being handled by Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston and Brannen-Nesmith Funeral Home in Vienna

Calvin McIntosh Dead In Motorcycle Crash

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Calvin Lee McIntosh, 64 of Sanibel died in a crash on McGregor Blvd, Sunday morning about 9:53 a.m.

A 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, driven by Driver of Alton Lee Travis, Jr., 45 of Lehigh Acres was traveling north on McGregor Blvd (CR-867), east of Punta Rassa Rd, in the outside lane as McIntosh was traveling north on CR-867 east of Punta Rassa Rd in the inside lane, riding a 2001 Harley Davidson Sportster.

Travis changed lanes in front of the motorcycle as it braked and laid the motorcycle on its side, colliding with the rear left of the truck. Travis and his passenger had no injuries.

Charges are pending investigation.

Adopt A New Pet - Daisy At The Caloosa Humane Society

LABELLE, FL. -- Here's Daisy, one of the dogs at the Caloosa Humane Society in LaBelle. She's available for adoption. The Society welcomes visitors and volunteer to pet and walk the cats and dogs Monday through Saturday at the shelter on Platt Blvd, just south of the the Health Department.

(Thanks for over 814,000 views to our YouTube channel. Please subscribe to the channel to get updates of new videos and comment on a few of the 513 videos there. -Editor)

Hit And Run Driver Kills Motorcyclist On I-75

NAPLES, FL. -- Motorcyclist Robert Colantonio, 49 of Naples was fatally injured by a hit and run driver on I-75 Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

An unidentified driver and Colantonio were both traveling south on I75 (SR 93) southbound at the 116 MM. The hit and run driver was traveling in the inside lane (left) , and Colantonio's 2001 Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle was traveling in the outside lane (right).

The unknown driver changed from the inside lane to the right lane behind the motorcycle at a faster
rate of speed and the driver failed to reduce speed to avoid a collision and struck the rear portion of the cycle with its front portion which continued south and came to final rest on the southbound paved shoulder of I75.

The unknown driver fled the crash before authorities arrived. A witness described the hit and run vehicle as a four door silver, gold or dark color sedan with major front end damage and clear windows driven by a white male.

Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has any knowledge as to the identity / location of the hit and run driver and/or vehicle, is asked to contact the Florida Highway Patrol and Trooper Wright at 239-938-1800 .

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Man Dies In Crash On State Road 80

ALVA, FL. -- Sari Alfadil, 19 of Fort Myers died as a result of a crash Saturday afternoon on State Road 80 near Alva involving a forklift traveling at slow speed on the four-lane highway.

A forklift driven by Nathanial Thompson, 56 of Fort Myers and a 2002 Chevy Blazer driven by Alfadil were traveling eastbound about 2:22 p.m. on the outside lane of SR 80 east of Bateman Road.

The forklift was directly in front of the Chevy. Both were traveling at a speed very slow for the roadway that was being traveled.

Richard Long, 51 of Okeechobee was traveling eastbound on the outside lane of SR 80 approaching the location of the forklift and the Chevy but could not observe the two vehicles traveling at an extremely slow rate of speed until very close to the rear of the Chevy.

Long attempted to avoid the Chevy by maneuvering to the left but a collision could not be avoided. Subsequently, the front portion of his vehicle collided with the rear portion of the Chevy driven by Alfadil, which was propelled in an east direction as it rotated clockwise.

The left side of the Chevy then collided with the rear portion of the forklift which came to rest facing east while occupying the eastbound outside lane of SR 80, east of Bateman Road.

The forklift then rotated counter-clockwise, as it traveled slightly southeast, then overturned and came to rest facing north in the south grass shoulder of SR 80, east of Bateman Road. The forklift driver and Long had no injuries.

Charges are pending investigation.

Sharon Newton Dies At 72

Sharon F. Newton, age 72, of LaBelle, passed away December 23, 2014 in LaBelle. She was born July 21, 1942 in Camp Douglas, WI, to the late Virgil and the late Veronica Fredrickson.

She is survived by three sons: Thomas E. Newton of LaBelle, FL, David Newton, Robert Newton, one brother: Joe Fredrickson, one sister: Kaye Showalter and grandchildren: Angela Newton, Chelsea Christian, T.J. Newton and Justin Newton.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Friday, January 02, 2015

10 Year Old Critical In ATV Crash

LABELLE, FL. --  Sebastian Gonzalez, 10 of Weston, Florida was critically injured in an ATV crash with another 10 year old in Hendry County Friday afternoon.

Nicola Ferraro, 10 of Miami, FL was traveling west on private property at the Lazy Springs ATV Park in far southern Hendry county when  for unknown reasons the ATV she and Gonzalez were riding overturned, subsequently ejecting both.

Gonzales was transported by helicopter to Lee Memorial Hospital in Critical condition, then flown to Tampa Children's Hospital.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Son Beheads Mother With Ax Flees On Bicycle

New Year's Eve Gruesome Murder

OLDSMAR, FL. -- Christian Jose Gomez has been charged with beheading his mother on New Year's Eve in Pinellas County, Fl.

The Pinellas county Sheriff's office said on December 31, 2014 at approximately 7:22 PM Mario Gomez called 911 telling dispatchers his mother, Maria Suarez-Cassagne, was killed by his brother and the brother had cut her head off. 

Deputies arrived on scene and met Mario in front of the residence then made sure no one else was inside. They located Maria’s body outside of the residence near the garbage cans. Mario advised Deputies his brother Christian had left the residence. Deputies immediately set up a perimeter in the area to look for him. 

Another caller phoned 911 with information on a suspicious person riding a bicycle in the area. Deputies observed the subject riding a bike at approximately 7:57 PM near 1802 Driftwood Circle. They attempted to stop him. He did not stop and a brief foot chase ensued and Christian Gomez was taken into custody by deputies.

During interviews with the Pinellas Sheriff's Detectives Christian admitted to the murder.

The murder weapon, an axe, has been recovered, they said.

Christian has been charged with 1st Degree Murder and is currently in the Pinellas County Jail. The incident occurred at 1924 Sheffield Court, Oldsmar, Fl.

The investigation continues said a press release from the Sheriff.

Two Injured In New Year's Day Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Dannee Gene  Billie, 21 of Tampa and Cedrick Isiah Brown, 19 were injured this morning in a crash in south Hendry county.

Billie was driving a 2013 Cadillac Escalade northbound on County Road 833 at 9:22 a.m.. Suddenly the vehicle began traveling partially on the east grassy shoulder and partially in the northbound lane. She over corrected and as a result lost control.

The SUV began traveling northwest across both lanes of County Road 833,  then departed the roadway and struck a barbed fence on the west grassy shoulder, and overturned several times before coming to final rest in a field west of the roadway.

Bille and Brown were then ejected from the vehicle. Billie was transported by Air Rescue Eight Five to Broward North General. Brown was transported by Miami Dade Rescue to Kendall Trauma Center in Miami.

Billie is in critical condition. Brown is in stable condition. Cbarges are pending an investigation by the FHP