Saturday, April 30, 2016

President At White House Correspondent's Dinner 9:30 PM

Don't Hold Politicians To Any Promises Or Schedule

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Another annual "Comedian In Chief" dinner with President Obama should be a rewarding evening of entertainment and barbs by the President. Scheduled to begin live Saturday at 8 P.M. or as soon as Hollywood’s hottest stars, members of the press, famous athletes, and major political players get finished with their chicken dinners.

The speeches were delayed as dinner began later than scheduled. ( Skip to 54:00 in the video when introductions of the panel is made, go to 2:08:00 when Mrs. Obama presents awards, to 2:27:00 for spoof video of Obama's Presidency, and to 2:33:00 for Obama's comedic comments. )

Comedian Larry Wilmore co-hosted the event and spoke following Obama's comments.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Paula Martin Dies At 61

Paula Lynn Martin, age 61, of LaBelle, passed away April 27, 2016 in LaBelle. She was born Aug. 14, 1954 in Castine, Maine to the late Llewellyn and the late Barbara (Rice) Eaton. Survivors include her husband of thirty-two years: Christopher John Martin,

Children: Andrea (Marvin) Martin, Richard (Janette) Martin, Victoria Martin, Danielle (Keith) Grossman and Tanya (Arthur) Canales; brothers & sisters: Michael (Christine) Eaton, Norman (Judith) Eaton, Rosemary (Almont) Haskell, Luanne (Jeffery) Moore and Virgil (Kim) Eaton, eight grandchild and special friends: Brenda Adams and Samantha Hawkins.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Lynette Eaton.

The Funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, LaBelle with Father Dave Baugh officiating. Interment will follow in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Monday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Winn-Dixie Upgrades - Grand Re-Opening Thursday

LABELLE, FL. -- With a fresh coat of white paint and red and white striped awning on the outside, new checkout counters, freshly finished flooring and a rearranged floor plan, Winn-Dixie on Main Street LaBelle is completing a remodel of its LaBelle store in response to requests from customers for an improved shopping experience.

As part of the grand opening ceremony and to officially re-introduce the community to the new and approved store, a ribbon cutting took place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 28 at the store located at 906 S. Main St. in LaBelle hosted by store manager Norbert Colon. 

Southeastern Grocers, LLC. CEO and President Ian Mcleod (photo below) attended the re-opening along with other company representatives from around the state. Mcleod, originally from Scotland has been associated with turning around groceries around the world including Australia and Canada and took over the Southeastern Grocers head position about a year ago.

Shoppers will immediately notice the enhancements throughout the new and improved store, including:
- New fa├žade signage and a fresh, contemporary color palate and modern store signage inside
- Newly updated farm-fresh produce department set on ice daily for improved quality and freshness
- Improved deli and bakery featuring 50 bakery products baked fresh in store
- Expanded wine department including more than 500 varieties of wine
- Updated floral department with a fresh, new look and a wide variety of new products arriving daily
- Continued commitment to fresh quality and outstanding service

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. is a subsidiary of Southeastern Grocers, which also owns BI-LO, and Harveys, and is the second-largest supermarket chain in the Southeast based on store count. Founded in 1925, Winn-Dixie employs more than 40,000 associates who serve customers in more than 500 grocery stores, 145 liquor stores and 390 in-store pharmacies throughout the five southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Link to photos and video of grand opening

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Roger Obodich Dies At 69 - Former Labelle Coach

Roger R. Obodich, 69, died Thursday, April 21, 2016 in Fort Myers. He was born in Barberton, Ohio on December 7, 1946 and had been a resident of Fort Myers since 1957.

He graduated from Fort Myers Senior High School, class of 1964 and Florida State University in 1969 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Management. While at Florida State, he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Seminole Boosters, a member of USMC Platoon Leaders School and an avid Florida State Seminole fan. After graduation from Florida State, he served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.

He was a teacher and coach at LaBelle High School and a Lee County Deputy Sheriff. In 1978, he began his career in the construction industry working for several large residential builders all over the U.S. until 2004, when he started Roger R. Obodich, Inc. and Market Street Properties, developing land, marketing property and General Construction during his career. He loved the outdoors at his hunting club in Alabama, and fishing in Southwest Florida.

Survivors include his wife, Deborah, her children: Bryan Miller of Fort Myers and Keista Ransom (husband, Wayne) of Tampa and grandchildren: Tiessa Hulsinger (husband, Caleb) of Fort Myers, Kwasi and Zaden Ransom. Also surviving are his two canine buddies, Jake and Bailey and many lifelong friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Ethel Obodich.

Memorial ceremonies will be conducted at 11:00 AM Saturday, April 30, 2016 in the chapel of Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, 1589 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33907, 239-936-0555, followed by military honors conducted by the V.F.W. Immediately following cemetery services, a reception will be held in the Colonial Family Center of Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution to the Humane Society of Southwest Florida or a charity of your choice will be welcomed.

Monday, April 25, 2016

CenturyLink Increases Internet "Fee" 100% Again This Year

CenturyLink Doubles "Fee" Without Notice To Customers
Notice your bill from CenturyLink higher this month compared to last month? CenturyLink has doubled what they call the "Broadband Cost Recovery Fee" from $1.99 to $3.99 for all it's customers. With at least five million broadband customers, CenturyLink just gained an additional $10,000,000 income without any notice to customers about the fee increase.

The company also doubled the fee last in April 2015 from 99 cents to $1.99, again without telling customers in advance or explaining afterward why it's raised.

CenturyLink is well known for what are commonly called "junk fees," added on to bills but not disclosed in advertising. Most people did not seem to notice their April 2016 internet bill went up one dollar.

CenturyLink in the past has said in defense, "Internet cost recovery is a new monthly recurring charge which is applied to all consumer and business HSI lines in service. It helps cover the costs associated with building and maintaining the internet network."

Most customers would think that building and maintaining the internet network is part of their job and should not be subject to a hidden add-on fee that is not disclosed to customers in advertising.

But, the company easily gets away with it and seems to not be violating any laws unless one might call the low rates shown in ads false advertising because the rates promised are not what the customer is billed for later.

Family Fun Day At Moore Haven City Park April 30

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- At the Moore Haven City Park, 299 Riverside Drive from 10 am to 3 pm join county agencies for games, prizes, and check in with various organizations there to answer questions you or your family may have about any disaster, emergency or services offered in Glades County.

Exhibits and Activities Including: Emergency Management, Sheriff’s Office, Department of Health, Fire Department, FDEM’s Professor Tinkermeister, Home Depot, Florida Forest Service, National Weather Service – Miami, Department of Environmental Protection, IFAS, Area Agency on Aging (SHINE), Moore Haven Mosquito Control, Dr. B Good Clown, Free Car Seat Fitting, Free Fire Extinguisher Class, Florida Community Health Center- Blood Pressure and Glucose Check, Florida Fish and Wildlife, American Red Cross, FDOT

Free raffle at the top of every hour. Must be present to win. Bounce House sponsored by Kiwanis Builders Club at West Glades School.

Audubon Meets May 16 - Alaskan Eagles

LABELLE, FL. -- The May 16 Hendry-Glades Audubon program "Haines Alaska, Eagle Festival" will be presented by Mary Giddens and Sandy Woodall.

This free event will be held Monday May 16 at the Hendry County Cooperative Extension Dallas Townsend Building located at 1085 Pratt Blvd. in LaBelle at 7 p.m.

Everyone is invited to a covered dish dinner at 6:30 pm before the program. . Bring your favorite side dish or dessert to share. HGAS will provide ham and baked chicken.

Trail Association Meets Thursday

LABELLE, FL. -- The Fisheating Creek Florida Trail Association Sub Chapter will meet meeting Thursday April 28 at 6 p.m. at Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall 310 Campbell Ave. LaBelle.

Bring youR calendars and help plan the summer and fall activities for FEC/FTA. Deanna Filkins will present a program on her adventures on the Florida National Scenic Trail.

The Florida National Scenic Trail is a congressionally designated National Scenic Trail. It is approximately 1,300-miles long and is intended to offer a continuous, permanent non-motorized recreation opportunity for hiking and other compatible activities. 

Over its length, it showcases the incredible biodiversity, history, and rich culture of Florida. Its termini lie in Gulf Islands National Seashore to the North and Big Cypress National Preserve in the South.
There is renewed interest in camping, hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing by FEC/FTA chapter members and guests. New and renewing families, adults or youth who return their completed applications during the meeting will receive a membership discount.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Robert Weinland Dies In I-75 Four Vehicle Crash

FORT MYERS, FL.-- Robert Gilman Weinland, 79 of Sarasota died in a crash on I-75 at mile marker 130 Tuesday afternoon in Lee county at 1:14 p.m.

Weinland in a 2015 Chrysler Town and County minivan was traveling southbound on I-75 in the outside center lane. as Runny Mederos, 49 Miami  was traveling southbound on I-75 in the outside center lane, behind Weinland. Zachary Adam Kureth, 24 of Naples was traveling in a 2003 Dodge Caravan southbound on I-75 in the outside center lane. Thomas Joseph Curley Jr., 49 of Mount Dora was traveling in a 2006 Ford F-250 southbound on I-75 in the inside lane.

Weinland changed lanes from the outside center lane, onto the inside center lane, then back onto the outside center lane. Kureth took evasive action and swerved right onto the outside lane, then changed lanes back onto the outside center lane and reduced speed. Weinland then reduced speed drastically in front of Mederos who applied the brakes but could not stop in time. As a result, Medero's vehicle's front end struck Weinland's vehicle's end and then traveled forward causing it's front end to strike
Kureth's vehicle's rear end. Weinland then traveled onto the inside lane and Curley swerved left but could not avoid hitting Weinland's vehicle's front end then struck the truck's right rear tire.

Weinland's vehicle then rotated clockwise and came to final rest in the inside center lane, facing north.  Weinland was deceased on the scene. Weinland's passenger Gisela M. Weinland, 75 had minor injuries.

George Lewis Gray Dies At 92

George Lewis Gray, age 92, of LaBelle, passed away April 16, 2016 in Lehigh Acres.

He was born Apr. 14, 1924 in Dunlap, TN, to the late Parker and the late Alice (Smith) Gray. He served in the Army. He resided in both Tennessee and Florida for many years.

Survivors include his daughter: Sheron Jones (Carroll) of LaBelle, FL, brother: Max Gray, sister: Brownie Johnson, grandchildren: Lori White and Brett Jones, great-grandchildren: Tyler Jones and Jacob Jones, nephews: Jerry, Dennis, Mike, Roger, Roy and Johnny and niece: Bobbie, Lana and Sherrie. He was preceded in death by his wife: Sheila "Teeny" Gray and great-grandson: Nate White.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 10:00 am at the Ortona Cemetery Pavilion, Moore Haven with Rev. James Daniels and Dennis Edgar officiating. Interment will follow at Ortona Cemetery.

Sean Mulvey Dies In Motorcycle Crash

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL. -- Sean Mulvey,19 of North Port, FL died in a crash Monday at 8:54 P.M. in Charlotte County.

A 1998 Chevy Cavalier driven by Joshua Robinson, 19 of Port Charlotte, Fl was stopped facing south in the left turn lane on Toledo Blade Boulevard at the intersection of Hillsborough Boulevard.

Mulvey on a 2008 Suzuki motorcycle was northbound in the inside lane on Toledo Blade Boulevard as the car began to make a left turn towards Hillsborough Boulevard directly in front of the cycle. Robinson began to brake and overturned as the motorcycle continued traveling northbound while overturning, and the passenger side of the car was struck by the motorcycle.

The car rotated clockwise and came to final rest facing southwest in the intersection. The motorcycle came to final rest on its right side facing west in the intersection. Two passengers in the car had minor injuries. Mulvey was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Charges are pending investigation by the FHP.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Terry Meeks Dies In Motorcycle Crash

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Terry E. Meeks, 60 of North Ft. Myers died in a motorcycle crash Saturday afternoon about 4:30 p.m.

Passenger Lorena Marie Fillmore, 49 North Fort Myer suffered serious injuries after a 2011 Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling north on McGregor Boulevard approaching the intersection of Gladiolus Drive and a 2013 Ford Taurus, driven by Robin William Baker of Fort Myers, was in the left turn lane of southbound McGregor Boulevard intending to turn onto eastbound Gladiolus Drive.

The motorcycle and the Ford collided in the intersection. The Ford traveled east and struck a 2014 Cadillac ATS driven by Alain Allard of St. Augustin De Desmaures, Quebec.

The driver and the passenger were ejected from the motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was transported to HealthPark Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. The passenger of the motorcycle was transported to Lee Memorial in serious condition. The driver of the Ford and the driver and passenger of the Cadillac were not injured.

The crash is under investigation by the FHP.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Uninstall Apple QuickTime Says Homeland Security Office

The government's Homeland Security office is recommending uninstalling Apple's QuickTime for Windows software. Developed decades ago to play .mov video, and it's not longer needed while security vulnerabilities have been found in the program.

Computer systems running unsupported software are exposed to elevated cybersecurity dangers, such as increased risks of malicious attacks or electronic data loss. Exploitation of QuickTime for Windows vulnerabilities could allow remote attackers to take control of affected systems.

Apple will no longer be providing security updates for QuickTime for Windows, leaving this software vulnerable to exploitation. Computers running QuickTime for Windows will continue to work after support ends. However, using unsupported software may increase the risks from viruses and other security threats. Potential negative consequences include loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of data, as well as damage to system resources or business assets. The only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.

Uninstall QuickTime 7 from Control Panel, as you would other programs on your PC. When following Microsoft's instructions for uninstalling programs, choose QuickTime 7 as the program to uninstall.

Or use Windows Search to find “Uninstall QuickTime,” and start the process that way.

Obituaries - Raul Grimaldo, Gladys Stanford

Raul "Rudy" Grimaldo, age 70, of LaBelle, passed away April 10, 2016 in Lehigh Acres. He was born Feb. 24, 1946 in Encinal, TX, to the late Cixto Castillo and the late Manuela Grimaldo.

Rudy was a baseball and football coach for more than 20 years and was known as coach Rudy to many kids in LaBelle. He also loved to fish.

He is survived by his loving wife: Carmela (Espinosa) Grimaldo, two sons: Raul Grimaldo, Jr. (Vicki) and Eric Grimaldo (Danielle), grandchildren: Manny, Joshua, Dixon, Dayne, Kaden, Jenna and great grandchildren, Addison, Braelynne and Kynsley.

Rudy received a lung transplant over fifteen years ago and the family would like to express the importance of organ donation, because it allowed them to have another fifteen years together.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 10:30 am at Life Ministries Church, LaBelle with Pastor Jorge Rodriguez officiating.

Gladys Bessie Stanford, age 95, of Moore Haven died on April 12, 2016 in her daughter's home with her family at her side.

She was born Dec. 23, 1920 in Riverview, FL, to James F and Bessie (Fussell) Sweat. She married James B. Stanford; he preceded her in death on October 17, 1995. She worked as a switchboard operator for United States Sugar Corporation for many years. She was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great-great grandmother and sister who will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Gladys leaves behind three daughters: Janice Hamburg of Clewiston, FL Phyllis Butler of Columbus, GA and Sandra S. McClenithan of LaBelle, FL., one brother: James C Sweat of Riverview, FL and one sister: Velma Newman of Riverview, FL., elven grandchildren, many great grandchildren, and many great-great grandchildren.

She is also preceded in death by her son; Dale Broward Stanford who passed away on March 13, 2015.

Celebration of Gladys' life will be held Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 10:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Pastor Charley Watts officiating. Interment in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven. Visitation will be Saturday from 10a.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Roger Bille Dies In Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Roger J. Billie, 59 of Clewiston is dead after a crash Thursday night at 7:01 p.m. in Collier County. An unidentified 32-year old femaie also died in the crash.

John F. Robbins, 39 of Clewiston was driving a 2006 Ford 250 traveling westbound in the westbound lane of CR-846 west of CR-858. For unknown reasons he lost lost control of the truck which veered onto the eastbound lane. Robbins over-corrected the steering causing the vehicle to yaw in a northwest direction, then traveled across the westbound lane and onto the north grass shoulder of CR-846.

The left side collided with the embankment on the shoulder and vaulted in a northwest direction and overturn into the wooded area on the shoulder coming to final rest facing north on the shoulder with it left side against the trees.

Billie and a second occupant were ejected when it overturned. Both were pronounced deceased at the scene as a result of the crash. Robbins suffered critical injuries and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital.

The crash is under investigation by the FHP.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Panther Captured At Farm Worker Village

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- On April 12, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service captured a Florida panther that has been frequenting a neighborhood near Immokalee in Collier County.

Residents in Farm Worker’s Village reported frequent sightings of panthers in close proximity to their homes and that several pets had gone missing. Panther biologists visited the site and confirmed panther activity in the area. They also found evidence that small animals in the neighborhood including pets had been preyed upon by a panther.

Biologists monitored the situation by installing trail cameras and confirmed the presence of at least two panthers. The FWC and USFWS staff made numerous site visits and held multiple meetings at the Village to provide information about steps residents can take to reduce risk and to deter the panther from lingering in the area. The FWC and USFWS are working with the property manager to address overgrown vegetation in and around the neighborhood.

On Tuesday, April 12, biologists set traps and successfully captured a young male panther they were targeting. This panther was the one documented most frequently on the trail cameras. The panther will be initially held for a health exam. Once it is confirmed the panther is healthy, the plan is to return it to the wild in a more remote location.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Shivani Benimadhu Dies In Crash On US41

NAPLES, FL. -- Shivani Benimadhu 22, of Palm Bay, FL died in an early morning crash on U.S. 41 in the Evergades east of Naples.

Hardeep Singh Mander, 28, of Bakersfield, CA, driving semi-tractor and trailer combination was westbound about 5:41 a.m. Tuesday on US 41 in the Everglades near Big Cypress Swamp 2 miles east of 11 Mile Road in Collier county as a box truck was eastbound on US 41 with several of its passengers in the box compartment.

As the vehicles approached each other the semi drifted left and crossed over the center line. The left front struck the left front of the box truck in a side-swipe type collision. After impact, the semi crossed the eastbound lane of US 41 and came to rest facing southwest in the wooded south shoulder where it caught fire.

The left side of the truck box compartment was opened by the collision and the truck crossed the westbound lane of US 41 and stuck the guardrail that parallels the north side of the roadway. This secondary collision caused the two injured passengers of the truck to be ejected from the vehicle and into the canal along the north shoulder of US 41. It came to final rest facing east and against the guardrail. 

The passenger, Shivani Benimadhu in the semi was transported to Physicians Regional Hospital on Collier Blvd where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Passenger in the truck Vecente Vasquez Gordillo, 21 and Raul Gonzalez, 26 of  Immokalee, FL were seriously injured.

A non-criminal citation was filed against the semi driver, Hardeep Mander for failure to maintain a single lane.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Football Great Will Smith And Mental Illness In America

Commentary By Glenn Mollette
The alleged shooting death of New Orleans football great Will Smith by Cardell Hayes is tragic. At this point we have not heard all that happened with a car accident that turned into Hayes shooting Smith six times and also Smith's wife.

Hayes sued the city of New Orleans in 2005 after police killed his dad Anthony Hayes. His dad was shot nine times by NOPD officers after he reportedly lunged at one of the officers with a knife. Hayes and his sister later sued the city of New Orleans and settled for an undisclosed sum.

Ironically Smith was having dinner with one of the NOPD officers earlier on this same evening, Billy Ceravolo, who was involved in shooting Hayes' father in 2005. 

Initial reports believe the most recent shooting had nothing to do with the 2005 shooting and that this was an accident that turned into road rage.

Was Hayes bitter, resentful with caustic feelings toward the NOPD? Why would we think otherwise?. Regardless if his father lunged at one of the police with a knife they still killed his daddy. Hayes believed that the officers could have better handled his dad on that day with a stun gun but that the altercation did not have to end up lethal, according to the lawsuit that was filed and settled.

Was Cardell Hayes a loose canon driving the streets of New Orleans with a gun? This could have been anybody who had ruffled his feathers, got in his way or had a disagreement with him. On this day, very sadly, it was football great Will Smith.

Too many people are behind the wheels of cars with mental illness. Too many of them are carrying guns. They have had life altering events. They carry bitterness, a lot of anger and a finger on the trigger. The right or wrong scenario ends up lethal. This is not an excuse for mentally unbalanced people but reality. After such an event that Hayes went through with his dad he had severe problems. None of us know when we step out of a car to talk to someone after a car accident what we will encounter. We don't expect to be shot and neither did Smith.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness states the following information: Over 61 million Americans experience mental illness in a given year. About one in 17 live with a serious illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Serious metal illness costs Americans over 193 billion dollars in lost wages every year. More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders. Approximately 26 percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46 percent lives with severe mental illness and or substance use disorders. The statistics are startling. Check out NAMI on the web for more information.

A lot of people are battling mental issues in our country. People aren't shot in movie theatres, schools, churches, and at traffic accidents because we are such a mentally well nation. We have a lot of problems in this country. Mental illness cannot be put on the back burner.

Glenn Mollette is an American Syndicated Columnist and Author. He is the author of eleven books and read in all fifty states. Enjoy Books By Glenn Mollette at

Wind Rips Roof Off Home On Bridge

LABELLE, FL. -- Michael Iglesias happened upon this incident on the LaBelle Bridge as a mobile home roof flies away.

He says,  "I happened to pull out my cell phone to record this mobile home being moved across the bridge in LaBelle when the wind picked up and ripped the roof off of the mobile home sending parts of it over the side of the bridge."

Courtesy: YouTube/labellemike

Glades Inn Total Loss After Fire

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- The Glades Inn in Moore Haven was destroyed by fire Sunday night. Firefighters from Hendry and Glades county worked the blaze until Monday morning.

Glades County Sherriff’s Office Dispatch was notified on April 10, 2016 at 5:25pm that a fire was spotted at the Glades Inn. Central District firefighter arrived on scene and was able to put the fire out by 7:20 pm.

Glades County Sherriff’s Office was notified at 2:00am April 11, 2016 that a fire was spotted at the Glades Inn. When Central District (Moore Haven) arrived the north side of the building was engulfed
in flames. This eventually spread to the entire building. The structure has been considered a total loss.

Buckhead Fire Department, Ortona Fire Department and Lake Port Fire Department assisted. Mutual Aid was called with Clewiston Fire Department, LaBelle Fire Department and Seminole. 

The State Fire Marshall was on scene to do an investigation into how the fire started. The flames were contained by 7:15am.

What's New At LaBelle Kiwanis

LABELLE, FL. -- Margaret England was the guest speaker at a recent Kiwanis meeting. She was excited to present information about a Kiwanis Club of LaBelle sponsored program called Kiwanis "Bring Up Grades" (BUG)

Bring up Grades, or BUG is a program designed to provide recognition to elementary grade students who raise their grades into an acceptable range and maintain or continue to raise them form one grading period to the next. Recognition includes being placed on the school's Bug Honor Roll, a pizza, ice cream or other food-themed party; and presentation of certificates, pins and other giveaways.

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle is currently sponsoring the Kiwanis BUG program at LaBelle Elementary School, Upthegrove School and West Glades School. They will soon be adding Country Oaks School.

A presentation was recently held at LaBelle Elementary School on April 8th. The LaBelle Elementary BUG recipients were presented their certificates, pencils, buttons and stickers in each individual class. 33 students received awards.

On Tuesday, April 12th the Kiwanis BUG awards will be presented to Upthegrove Elementary School at 11 a.m. There will be 86 students receiving awards.

Photo: Sandra Taylor-Principal LaBelle Elementary; and LaBelle Kiwanis members Mary Bartoshuk, Mary Ruth Prouty, Nikki Yeager & Margaret England

Costa Rica Program April 18 At Audubon

LABELLE, FL. -- The April Hendry-Glades Audubon program, “Costa Rica Adventure” will be presented by Julie Jeffers, Hendry-Glades Audubon Board Member. 

This free event will be held Monday April 18 at the Hendry County Cooperative Extension Dallas Townsend Building located at 1085 Pratt Blvd. in LaBelle at 7 p.m. 

 Celebrate Spring by donating books, photographs, and other items that can be repurposed to the free raffle drawing to be held for meeting participants at the end of the meeting. For information contact Butch Wilson 863- 983-2870 or Margaret England (863) 674-0695.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Todd Buchanan Dies In Midnight Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Todd W. Buchanan, 52 of Clewiston, FL was southbound on Pioneer Plantation's 21st Street in central Hendry county, negotiating a curve to the right Sunday morning about 12:10 a.m..

His 1998 Chevrolet Siverado truck traveled off the roadway to the left grass shoulder. Buchanan over steered and lost control of the truck which continued traveling southbound in the grass shoulder while rotating clockwise.

The truck continued sliding southbound sideways with the tires digging into the dirt, causing it to overturn onto its left side. Buchanan was partially ejected from the vehicle and was pinned under the truck at final rest. He was was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The FHP says he was not wearing a seat belt and alcohol use as a factor is pending.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Obituaries - Brenda Miller, Dorothy Herring

Brenda Leigh Miller, age 54, of Buckhead Ridge, passed away April 2, 2016 in Okeechobee.

She was born Apr. 24, 1961 in Troy, OH, to the late Walter and the late Betty (Kerr) Wilcher. She married Thomas Miller. Brenda worked for many years as a head cashier at U Save Grocery Store before they closed.

Survivors include her husband of 35 years: Thomas Miller, daughter; Kristi Miller, son; Joseph Miller, three sisters: Joyce Miller and her husband Cecil, Pam Miller and Marsha Adkins and her husband Jim, one brother; Ray Wilcher one grandchild. Countless nieces, nephews and close friends.

Funeral services were held Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston with Pastor Jill Duval officiating. Interment was in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.

Visitation was Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Dorothy E. Herring, age 92, of Clewiston, passed away April 5, 2016 in Clewiston.

Dorothy was born on June 7, 1923 in Alamo, Georgia to Harry T. and Ruth Inez Ussery McAfee, Sr. She married Melvin C. Herring; he preceded her in death on November 22, 1989. She was a member of Church of Latter Day Saints. She started working for B&B Grocery Store 1954 and later U-Save grocery store as a manager until she retired in 1988.

She leaves behind her daughter; Gale Clark of Clewiston, five grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren, one sister; Irma Jean Sprouse of Jacksonville, Florida.

A gathering of family and friends will be held at 2:00 p.m. April 23, 2016 at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 601 NE Avenue B, Belle Glade, Florida.

She is also preceded by her daughter; Linda Rose Barton, along with many brothers and sisters.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

David Phinney Dies At 60

David Allen Phinney, age 60, of LaBelle, passed away April 2, 2016 in LaBelle.

He was born Jan. 28, 1956 in Minneapolis, MN, to the late Lloyd Helmer and the late Yvonne (Essig) Phinney.

He is survived by his daughter, Candus, brother; Lester and sisters; Sandra, Cathleen and Shirley.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Make A Wish "Walks For Wishes" Saturday

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Make-A-Wish Southern Florida will host its first Walk For Wishes 5K Walk/Run in Clewiston on Saturday, April 9, at Sugar Festival Field, 110 W. Osceola Ave., Clewiston. 

The event will raise money for Make-A-Wish Southern Florida to provide the wishes of local children battling life-threatening medical conditions.

Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., followed by the 5K walk/run at 8:30 a.m. A Family Fun Day with food, a bounce house, games and exhibits will run from 9 to 11 a.m. U.S. Sugar is a sponsor of the event.
Families that have been served by Make-A-Wish Southern Florida will be in attendance at the event.

Make-A-Wish Southern Florida grants a wish every 16 hours and has granted more than 10,000 wishes since its inception 31 years ago.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Save-A-Lot Brocolli Cuts Recalled

LABELLE, FL. -- Alimentos Congelados, S.A. (Pinula) is voluntarily recalling 1,800 cases of Wylwood Frozen Broccoli Cuts because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. 

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The Frozen Broccoli Cuts were distributed to stores in the following states: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The affected Frozen Broccoli Cuts, a product of Guatemala were distributed in poly bags under the following label and code:

· WYLWOOD Fresh Frozen Broccoli Cuts, NET WT. 16 OZ (1 LB), UPC5193300110, with bag code: A25335P and A15335P

The company has not received any complaints in relation to this product and is not aware of any illnesses associated with the product to date.

The recall was the result of retail package of Frozen Broccoli Cuts being tested by the State of Ohio Department of Agriculture. The Frozen Broccoli Cuts had tested positive for Listeria Monocytogenes. The company has ceased distribution of Frozen Broccoli Cuts, and is fully cooperating with regulatory agencies.

Consumers who purchased the Frozen Broccoli Cuts are urged not to consume this product and throw it away. Consumers requiring refund or with questions can contact the company at 1-800-888-4646 and ask for Consumer Affairs Monday thru Friday between 8:00AM and 5:00 PM EST.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Scam Alert - Fake Publishers Clearing House Phone Calls

Millions Of Dollars Going To Jamaican Scammers In PCH Scam

LABELLE, FL. -- In what appears to be a nationwide scam going on in recent months, elderly are receiving calls from so-called representatives of Publishers Clearing House, announcing that the call recipient has won a PCH sweepstakes prize.

But, after gaining the confidence of the senior citizen who is looking forward to millions in cash, thousands of dollars weekly for life, and a new automobile, the man on the phone says the winner has to send $500 to collect the winnings. The "winner" is also told they have to send funds for taxes on the new vehicle, and it must be paid first before the car can be delivered.

The senior is also notified not to tell anyone about the phone calls or their "winnings." This tactic keeps any family or friends unaware of what's going to happen over several weeks, while thousands of dollars in funds are being sent to various addresses around the country.

Then, once the senior has sent the preliminary payments, the caller now say a payment of many thousands has to be sent to cover the income taxes that are owed for winning the car. If the senior complains they don't have the money, all sorts of hard sell persuasion come to the fore, "You don't get nothing for nothing," one caller said. The senior is told to use credit cards to get cash advances. One 93-year old senior was told they have her income tax records and know she has more money.

Victims of this fraud typically have lost $15,000 to $22,000 before getting wise to the scam. By then it's too late.

The Publishers Clearing House scam, according to authorities, is coming from Jamaica, with phone calls from cell phones that are hard to trace with male scammers that are very friendly, convincing, and without any foreign accents.

Warning: Calls to certain area codes - Part of the Jamaican scam involves the victim being asked to make calls to an 876 area code. This long distance phone scam causes consumers to inadvertently incur high charges on their phone bills. Consumers usually receive a message telling them to call a phone number with an 809, 284, 649, or 876 area code in order to collect a prize, or find out information about a sick relative, etc. The caller assumes the number is a typical three-digit U.S. area code; however, the caller is actually connected to a phone number outside the United States, often in Canada or the Caribbean, and charged international call rates. Unfortunately, consumers don't find out that they have been charged higher international call rates until they receive their bill.

Other area codes to watch out for are 473 and 268. The calls to those area codes may cost $20 up front and $9 for each additional minute. Scammers typically call, let the phone ring once and hope they get a call back to rack up the high per minute charges.

The real Publishers Clearing House says, "US Government officials, the US Postal Inspection Service, police and law enforcement agencies around the country, as well as The Federal Trade Commission are all working together to combat the rise in scams coming out of Jamaica. It is a difficult and arduous task as these cross-border, trans-national scams are among the hardest crimes to investigate and prosecute as there is no face-to-face interaction. But we are all fighting back together."

PCH says never pay anyone a fee. taxes, insurance, handling or shipping charges or any other funds to collect a prize from any contest or sweepstakes. If anyone contacts you by phone asking to send a fee, hang up immediately. PCH does not call winners by phone but actually arrives at the winner's home just as seen on the commercial, for prizes of $10,000 or more, or sends a certified letter to winners of lesser prizes.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Alezandre Almarel, Casandra Garcia Injured In Motorcycle Crash

NAPLES, FL. -- Alezandre Almarel, 19 of Arcadia, FL and passenger Casandra Garcia, 17 of Naples, FL were seriously injured in a motorcycle crash Saturday morning at 12:20 a.m. in Collier county.

A Suzuki GSRX motorcycle was southbound on CR-31 (Airport Pulling Rd) in the left lane, north of YMCA Dr. and entered the left turn lane for YMCA Dr.

The driver attempted to change from the left turn lane to the left lane, but was traveling too fast, said the FHP. The driver failed to maintain control of the vehicle which began to slide and rotate counterclockwise. The right side struck the curb of the center median and the cycle began to overturn and came to final rest facing north in the grassy median.

Both were transported to Naples Community Hospital. Charges are pending said the FHP.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Obituaries - Stanton-Barton, Thompson, Pequeno

Theresa M Stanton Barton, age 90, of Clewiston, passed away March 26, 2016 in Clewiston.

She was born on September 2, 1925 in Westboro, Mass. She was raised Catholic. She married Matt Stanton, Sr; he preceded her in death on March 31, 1967. She then married Loyas Barton; he preceded her in death on July 30, 2012. She was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great – great grandmother and Nanny to many people who were not related to her.

Theresa leaves behind her son; Matt Stanton and his wife Amy of Clewiston, two stepsons; Rudy Barton and his wife Rhonda of Portland, Oregon and Phillip Barton and his wife Mary Faith of Clewiston. Grandsons; Matt, Chris and Mark Stanton, step grandchildren; Gregory, Jillian, and Colin Barton, several great-great grandchildren and many other close friends and family members.

Celebration of Life visitation was held 6-8 Thursday, March 31, 2016 in Akin-Davis Funeral Home.

Kirby Layne Thompson, age 60, of Sanford, Florida passed away March 28, 2016 in Sanford.

He was born Dec. 13, 1955 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late Douglas "Skeeter" and Lynda (Small) Thompson, Jr. He worked in construction for many years. Kirby served his country in the United States Air Force for four years. He lived in the Frostproof, Florida area for many years.

Survivors include his mother; Lynda Rider-Smith and step father Tommy Smith of LaBelle, sister; Denise Thompson Wins and husband Larry of LaBelle, brother; Douglas Thompson and wife Kandi of Rancho Cordova, California, sister; Danna Thompson Crawley and husband Jim of Chandler, Arizona, uncles; Dennis Small and wife Royce, Dale Small and wife Jeannette all of LaBelle, longtime best friend; Sandy Emmert of Sanford, great nephew; Douglas Thompson and wife Kristen and their four children all of California, step-brothers and sisters; Gail Thompson, Mary Pearl Thompson, Pat and Patricia Thompson and Ruthie Thompson.

He was predeceased by his father; Douglas "Skeeter" Thompson of Immokalee, aunt; Lorae Small Morris of Wyoming.

Celebration of Kirby's life will be held Friday, April 8, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Rev. Frank Deerey, Jr, officiating.

David A. Pequeno, Sr., age 65, of LaBelle, passed away March 29, 2016 in Fort Myers.

He was born Sep. 9, 1950 in Donna, TX, to the late Andres Valdez and the late Antonia A (Aguirre) Pequeno. Mr. Pequeno married Teresa De Jesus Sifuentes. He was an agricultural harvester and crew leader for many years.

He was a loving husband, father, son, grandfather, brother who will was loved and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Survivors include his wife: Teresa Pequeno, two sons: Miguel Pequeno and wife Felica and David Pequeno, Jr and wife Christy and one daughter: Esmerelda Cavazos and husband Armando of LaBelle, FL three brothers: Guadelupe Pequeno, Jess and Alex Pequeno and four sisters: Juanita Pequeno, Isabelle Pequeno, Virginia Pequeno and Elizabeth Villarreal and husband Romeo, thirteen grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 10:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Monday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Musical Revue At Firehouse Theatre Tonight

LABELLE, FL. -- The Firehouse Theatre in LaBelle is featuring a 1960s Musical Revue April 1 through April 3 and again next weekend April 7 through the 10th.

Produced and directed by Nick Fidanza, the 20 Firehouse Singers perform well-known songs from the Age of Aquarius, with guitar, and piano accompaniment by John Wall and Sally Gillespie.

Thursday night was the final dress rehearsal with an audience of about 50 attending. Choreographer Jeni Dyess did an admirable job with her assistants in presenting entertaining dance movements by the cast. All went well during the two hour performance with a few minor glitches, including forgetting to sing an additional verse of one song.

We felt sorry for pianist and musical director John Wall having to turn his photocopied single-sided sheet  music every few bars of music with one hand while playing the music with the other, and even more uncomfortably turning the music backwards several pages for a new verse.

Best performance of the night: Watch for senior citizen and expert cookie master Julia Beals' appearance in Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, the 1960 Brian Hyland hit tune.

And speaking about Beals, we vote her for best "stage presence," thoroughly enjoying herself and putting her all into each minute of the entire show. Best "untrained" voice, listen for tall guy with glasses Jack Neitze in a brief solo.

Best missed comedic moment: Letting my imagination run rudely wild, during Strangers In The Night, picture in you mind the duet female/male singers in a squirrel and bear costume.

Lots of hard work by stage manager Terri Lazar and crew, lights, sound, curtain, painters, and set design folks led to an entertaining 120 minutes last night.

Corporate sponsor: Rotary Club of LaBelle.
Tickets: $14 in advance, $16 at door