Thursday, June 30, 2016

LaBelle Bridge Over The Caloosahatchee River - Photo



Photo of the Week

LABELLE, FL. -- The State Road 29 bridge in LaBelle carries traffic over the Caloosahatchee River, connecting Hendry county to Glades county a mile north of the bridge.

The photo above has been viewed over 40,000 times on the internet and Google maps since it was published a few years ago.

Link to this and more local and area photos on Google maps.

Norman Ray Cole Dies At 43

Norman Ray Cole, II, age 43, of West Palm Beach, passed away June 27, 2016 in Belle Glade, FL. He was born October 7, 1972 in Athens, TN, to the late Norman Ray Cole and Barbara (Clark) Cole.

He is survived by his loving mother, Barbara (Clark) Cole, two brothers: Michael Wayne Cole and Gary James Cole, sister: Jennifer R. Cole, nephews; Sage Hornsby, Garrett Cole, Case Cole, Michael Cole, Jr., Chase Cole and nieces; Magen Cole, Sophia Cole, Cortney Cole and many other family members. He was preceded in death by his father, Norman Ray Cole.

Funeral services will be held Friday, July 1, 2016 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston. Visitation will be Friday one hour prior to service at Akin-Davis Funeral Home,. Interment will be Friday, July 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm in Port Mayaca Cemetery, Canal Point.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Monkey Farms Sued By Sam Tommie For Violation Of Zoning Code

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Seminole Tribe member Samuel Tommie is taking area monkey breeding facilities to court in an attempt to stop their activities alleging the facilities are a nuisance and violate the zoning code for agricultural use.

Tommie filed a case in May against BC US LLC, Panther Tracts LLC and Primate Products LLC

Tommie alleges that his home on the Big Cypress Reservation in Hendry county is affected by the activities at the breeding facilities and interferes with his cultural practices in the Big Cypress wilderness area.

John O.Sutton of Miami, attorney for BC US has responded asking the court to dismiss the case or have Tommie provide a more definite statement of his claim against the company. Joseph M. Hendry II of Lake Placid representing Panther Tracts and Primate Products is also asking the court for a more definite statement of Tommie's claims. Hendry also is asking for a stay of the proceeding pending a judgment in this week's case by three plaintiff's against Hendry County alleging the agricultural zoning (A2) on the properties does not permit breeding of thousands of wild monkey primates.

Attorney Hendry also is asking for a dismissal of the case under Florida's Right To Farm Act which protects agricultural activities from nuisance suits. Hendry claims monkeys are farm products and alleges the monkey breeding activities have been going on for 17 years.

Marcos E. Hasbun of Tampa is representing Tommie in Hendry case number 2015 CA 252. Circuit Judge James D. Sloan is the presiding judge.

More stories on Monkey Farming Controversy

Photo: Wikipedia



Monday, June 27, 2016

Monkey Farm Trial This Week - Opens Door For Elephants, Rhinos?


1000 Elephants May Be Allowed To Breed In Hendry County Says Planner

LABELLE, FL. -- The Animal Legal Defense Fund, an advocacy organization for animals, is continuing its fight to revoke permits for two new primate breeding facilities SoFlo Ag and Panther Tracts, headed to court this morning, June 27 at 9 a.m. to argue against Hendry County on behalf of three concerned residents.

The lawsuit seeking injuctive relief and a judgment brought by Carol Grey, William "Billy" Stephens, and Keely Cinkota alleges Hendry County officials’ granting of permits in 2012 and 2013 was a violation of Florida’s open government law, the “Sunshine Law” and seeks to prevent the breeding of thousands of monkeys near residential areas in western and southern Hendry County.

The three plaintiffs, through attorney Justine Thompson Cowan, of Cowan Consulting for Non-Profits in Orlando and attorneys Christopher Berry and Kelsey Eberly from the Animal Legal Defense Fund in California contend Hendry County was required to hold public meetings before approving the development of the two monkey breeding facilities. They argue county planning department staff made changes to county zoning codes to allow wild animal breeding in agricultural areas where no ordinance existed before, and did not ever give the public or nearby land owners any notice of these changes to county zoning law.

1000 Elephants? Tigers, Rhinos For Hendry County?

At trial this morning former associate county planner Sarah Catala, now running for a Hendry County Commission seat testified how the county determined that any animal can be bred on farms here, as well as current County Planner Margaret Emblidge who said because of the definition her office and county attorney Mark F. Lapp devised in October of 2015 for animal breeding, any type of animal in any number can be bred on farms in Hendry county with no notice whatsoever required to be given to nearby property owners or the public.

Emblidge told attorney Cowan there is no incompatible use of any animal on agricultural land in Hendry county. She responded when Cowan asked if rhinos or tigers, or even elephants could be raised on Hendry breeding farms without any hearings or public notice.

The non-human primate breeding facilities would potentially breed thousands of macaque monkeys to be sold to the biomedical research industry for vivisection (animal testing), are slated to be built in areas zoned for “agriculture,” usually previously reserved for raising domesticated animals and growing crops.

“The public has a right to know what is going on in their backyards,” said Stephen Wells, Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director. “Florida’s Sunshine Law was designed to prohibit exactly the kind of back-room dealings that led to Hendry County’s approval of biomedical primate breeding facilities in a traditional agricultural neighborhood without any public notice whatsoever.”

Interview with Plaintiffs' attorney Christopher Berry:



ALDF contends not only are the proposed facility conditions cruel and inhumane for the monkeys being bred, but there are dangers associated with importing exotic animals to the U.S. Possession of primates like macaques is regulated by federal and state agencies due to the threat of disease carried by these animals, including Ebola, Herpes B, tuberculosis, and parasites.

Circuit Judge James D. Sloan has disallowed any argument in court however regarding diseases from monkeys.

The trial will continue today and tomorrow at the Hendry County Courthouse, 3rd floor. The county is represented by attorneys Edward Alexander Dion of Fort Lauderdale and Mark Lapp. Dion specializes in government law and has practiced 37 years.

Links: Complaint (Amended) Filed With Court - Stephens, Grey, and Cinkota v. Hendry County, Case No. 2014-CA-633

UPDATE: The trial has ended and the parties are to provide proposed orders to Judge Sloan after which he will issue an order on the case in a few weeks. A second case against monkey breeding companies is also pending in Sloan's court.  See Sam Tommie Sues Monkey Farms

More previous stories on Hendry's Monkey Farm controversy

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Friday, June 24, 2016

Free Movies Sponsored By D.A.V.



LABELLE, FL. -- Commander Robert Schall, of Chapter 144 Disabled American Veterans dropped by the Family Film Fest last Tuesday to give their sponsorship check.

Tuesday at 1:00 pm & 3:00 p.m. showings. July 5 Alexander, and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, July 12 The Peanuts Movie

The movies are completely free thanks to business sponsors like the D.A.V.  There is a snack area for those that would like to buy candy, and popcorn, the money earned goes to Real Life Children’s Ranch.

The 35th Summer Movie Fest is located 135 Fraser Avenue, in the LaBelle Assembly of God chapel, Everyone is welcomed. Groups of 25 or over please call to reserve you a place. Contact 675-0900 or e-mail labelleone@hotmail.com

Pictured: Command Robert Schell and Pastor Clifford Avery

Tom Davanzo And Bob Fedyna Guilty In Biodiesel Fraud

$40 Million Scheme Defrauds Investors And Government

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Thomas Davanzo, of Estero, Florida, and Robert Fedyna, of Naples, Florida, pleaded guilty today for their participation in a multi-state scheme to defraud biodiesel buyers and U.S. taxpayers by fraudulently selling biodiesel credits and fraudulently claiming tax credits, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida.

Davanzo and Fedyna operated several shell companies that were used to facilitate the scheme. As part of the scheme, Davanzo and Fedyna operated entities that purported to purchase renewable fuel, on which credits had been claimed and which was ineligible for additional credits, produced by their co-conspirators at Gen-X Energy Group (Gen-X), headquartered in Pasco, Washington, and its subsidiary, Southern Resources and Commodities (SRC), located in Dublin, Georgia. They then used a series of false transactions to transform the fuel back into feedstock needed for the production of renewable fuel, and sold it back to Gen-X or SRC, allowing credits to be claimed again. This cycle was repeated multiple times.

In addition, both Davanzo and Fedyna laundered the proceeds of the scheme through various shell entities. Davanzo and Fedyna established bank accounts in the names of shell entities. Funds were cycled through these shell companies’ bank accounts to perpetuate the fraud scheme and conceal its proceeds.

Davanzo and Fedyna also directed and participated in the generation of false paperwork designed to create the fa├žade that the renewable identification number (or RIN, a serial number used to track biodiesel credits) created and claimed by co-conspirators were legitimate. The paperwork included false invoices from Gen-X or SRC to shell entities, which purported to show sales of renewable fuel, false invoices from shell entities to Gen-X and SRC, which purported to show the purchase of feedstock and false bills of lading, which purported to show the transportation of fuel and feedstock by tanker truck.

From March 2013 to March 2014, the co-conspirators generated at least 60 million RINs that were based on fuel that was either never produced or was merely re-processed at the Gen-X or SRC facilities. The co-conspirators received at least $42 million from the sale of these fraudulent RINs to third parties. In addition, Gen-X received approximately $4,360,724.50 in false tax credits for this fuel.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Environmental Protection Agency -Criminal Investigation Division, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sara C. Sweeney and Megan Kistler and Trial Attorney Adam Cullman of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.

Dana Mark Lilley Dies At 57

Dana Mark Lilley, age 57, of Chicago, passed away June 23, 2016, in his brother's home with his loving family surrounding him.

He was born Apr. 10, 1959, in Salisbury, MD, to William S. and Jeanette Jones Lilley. Mr. Lilley married Miguel Caballero. He worked as a District Manager for many years.

Dana is survived by his loving husband; Miguel Caballero of Chicago, his caring parents; William and Jeanette Lilley, Maryland, his adoring brother David Michael Lilley, Sr and his wife Lisa of LaBelle, his caring sister; Deborah J. Moretti and her husband Rick of Felda. Many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

Dana was a wonderful husband to Miguel, loving and caring son, brother, uncle and a delightful friend who will be greatly missed by everyone who loved him.

Celebration of Dana's life will be held Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. in Akin-Davis Funeral Home with Deacon Sam Lee officiating. Cremation arrangements are being handled by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – LaBelle.

A Walk Across Florida - Bob Kranich


True Stories By Bob Kranich From A Walk Across Florida

“Lake City, we’ll be there in ten minutes.”

I was jarred awake by the bus driver’s announcement.

We took the ramp off Interstate 75, stopped, and turned right...taking off with a roar. I looked around. It was dark inside except for the faint glow from a few instrument lights on the driver’s dash board. A couple of passengers were starting to stir. I could hear the rustle of packages. Not many had got on board back at Tampa. Looking out the window, Lake City, Florida was very dark, only an occasional dim street light. We pulled into a small station and parked. There was that sudden sound…ssswiisshh, the air brakes make as the driver shut it down.

I followed a couple of people down the aisle and then the steps. I immediately noticed the dampness in the air. The fog was being cut by the yellow light of two downward facing street lamps over the combination waiting room, snack bar and ticket counter. There were bugs flying around buzzing and bumping into the two lights in an attraction craze. It appeared that three busses had converged here simultaneously. Because of that there were a few more customers here than at the Tampa station I had left at 12 AM. I glanced up at a clock over the door. It was 4:05 AM. We had made very good time. My driver unloaded a few pieces of luggage and some newspapers, and before I could get his attention, he went inside.

Where is my pack? The bus was not going to leave until I got it! I could see through the window, while I guarded the bus, that my driver was talking to his fellow drivers, leaning on the food counter and drinking a cup of coffee. In a few minutes he came out and stood by the door of his bus. I made my move, armed with my baggage claim check.

He was surprised, “They didn’t say anything about it in Tampa!” he exclaimed.

We went over to the outside center of the bus. He reached down and turned a handle which opened the compartment. He pulled the door up. I could see in.

“There!” I proclaimed, as I pointed to my new red pack.

He pulled it out, set it on the sidewalk, and took my claim check.

To the amazement of all, I slipped it on, and headed down the street towards the bus line’s competitor, a few blocks away. I noticed that there was only one other business open at this time of night. A gas station on the corner was all lit up but no one seemed to be moving about.

The dampness was now turning into a misty fog and it floated down and reflected in the occasional street lights. It was pretty in an eerie sort of way. I shivered. It was getting real cool!

There it was. The small bus station had only one night light and an old baggage cart out front. Faded, chipped paint, iron wheels...even so, I knew that the cart’s wooden bottom would be easier and somewhat softer to sit on than the concrete curb. It wasn’t long before just sitting there, inactive, brought a chill clear through to my bones. Shivering, I zipped open the bottom flap of my pack, dug into the clothing part, and brought out my hooded cotton sweatshirt.

Still sitting there, I now started to process my situation. Lake City was 32 miles south of the Georgia border. I had ridden up here mostly on I-75 from Tampa. Occasionally the bus would go over to 441/41 which sometimes paralleled I-75 to stop at a town. From here the Greyhound I had been on would resume its travels, but instead of going north, it would change direction and take highway 41 northwest to Valdosta, Georgia. I needed to go north on 441 to the Georgia border, which brings me to what I was doing at this Trailways bus station. This system had a bus that went straight up 441 north. This was the way I needed to go to get to the border.

So here I sat, 5 AM and nothing happening.

The bus station wasn’t even open!

I wandered over to the lit-up gas station. An attendant was inside at the desk, head on his hands.

“Sir, what time does the bus station across the street open?”

“Not until 6 o’clock this morning,” he said, looking up sleepy-eyed.

I went back to the Trailways station, sat down on the cart, took a snack from my pack, ate it and then laid down. I’m sure I looked like an old tramp sleeping there on that cart.

I drifted off. (I had hoped no one would come by and hit me over the head!)

I was awakened by a car’s headlights and the crunchy sound of the gravel in the drive. As I sat up and rubbed the sleep from my eyes, I noticed that there was no let-up in the fog. In fact it had become worse!

“I’m sorry sir,” the newly arrived attendant said, “the next bus won’t be until 2 o’ clock this afternoon! How about a cup of coffee?”

“No thank you ma'am, I guess I had better be going.”

I had been here long enough. I’m not going to wait another 8 hours! I would try to use the educated thumb as I headed north through the town. It sure was deserted. There were only ghostly outlines of the buildings. They loomed up on either side of me as the fog drifted about……...

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or Amazon.com


Kiwanis And Aktion Club For Adults With Disabilities

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Kiwanis Sponsors Aktion Club, the only service club for adults with disabilities

At a recent LaBelle Kiwanis meeting, members heard a message from Rob Crowder, the Kiwanis Aktion Club Administrator of the Florida District. He has been the Aktion Club Administrator for 5 years. His wife, Mary Crowder assisted him with the presentation; they live in Lakeland.
Aktion Club is the only service club for adults with disabilities, with more than 12,000 members worldwide. 

Aktion Club allows members to develop initiative and leadership skills in serving their communities while enabling their integration into society. There are over 35 Aktion Clubs in Florida and the LaBelle Kiwanis Club is proud to sponsor a club in LaBelle.

The members of Kiwanis Club of LaBelle recognize that individuals with disabilities want to take an active role in solving problems and meeting needs of the world around them and the club proudly announces a new club member as well as a new Aktion Club Administrator, Mary Pringle. Natalie Linares will be the Assistant Advisor to the Aktion Club.
Aktion Club: Motto: Where development has no disability. Vision: To develop competent, capable, caring leaders through the vehicle of service. Mission: To provide adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative, leadership skills and to serve their communities.
Pictured left to right: Mary Pringle-Hendry County Aktion Club Administrator, Nikki Yeager-President of LaBelle Kiwanis, Rob Crowder- Kiwanis Aktion Club Administrator of the Florida District and Mary Crowder-Rob’s wife and active Kiwanis member from Lakeland.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Obituaries - Alva, LaBelle, Moore Haven, Clewiston

Pamela Clark Tanner, age 61, of Alva, passed away June 18, 2016 in Cape Coral. Pamela was born Feb. 19, 1955 in Elma, NY, to the late Nelson and the late Genevieve (O'Dell) Clark. Pamela married William J. Tanner Oct. 2, 2010.

Pamela is survived by her loving husband, William “Bill” Tanner of Alva, children: Heather Edwards and her husband Brian and their children, Dane and Logan Edwards, Jason Clugston and his wife Kim and their children Shark and Celia Clugston, Josh Tanner and his children: Elizabeth and Savannah Tanner, Nikki Black and her husband Larry and her children; Jacob Jones, Justin Jones, Jaycie Jones, Jaymie Jones and Breanna Milan, brothers; Danny Clark and his wife Mary, Doug Clark and his wife Georgette, Jeff Clark and his wife Laura, Darryl Clark and his wife Carol, John Clark and sister; Diane Steinhoff.

The funeral service will be held Thursday, June 23, 2016, 11:00 a.m. at Lighthouse Sanctuary in Alva with Pastor Norman Walker officiating. Interment will follow at Alva Cemetery. Visitation will be held for 1 hour before the funeral service at Lighthouse Sanctuary on Thursday. Pallbearers are Justin Jones, Jason Clugston , J.P. Duncan, Dane Edwards, Bryan Edwards and Larry Black, Jr.

In lieu of flowers, Pamela’s family would appreciate donations in her name be given to Hope Hospice.

Betty Lou Timgren, age 86, of Clewiston
, passed away June 18, 2016 in Clewiston. She was born June 8, 1930 in Stanberry, MO, to the late Paul and the late Iva Elma (Jennings) Emrich.

She is survived by her son: Kenneth "Timmy" Timgren, his wife Meloni, daughter: Donna Gaile Sparks, her husband Donald, sister: Ruth Hileman, son-in-law, Dyoll Turner; grandchildren, Kenneth Turner, Karson Turner, Sara Sparks, Meghan Sparks, Donald Bruce Sparks, Jeffery Rudd, Mason Timgren, Zachery Timgren; great grandchildren, Ashlie Kuhl, Harley Turner, Dalton Maloy, Wyatt Sparks, Clayton Sparks, Kaitlyn Rudd, Abbie Rudd; great-great grandchildren, Kaylien Kuhl and Paisley Turner.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Kenneth "Tim" Timgren, Sr., daughter: Katherine "Cricket" Turner, grandson: Kevin Turner, brothers: Robert "Sonny" Emrich, Paul Emrich, Jr. and sister: Mary Taylor.

Funeral services will be held Friday, June 24, 2016 at 10:00 am at Evangel Assembly Of God, Clewiston with Pastor Gary Corley officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation will be Thursday from 6:00-8:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Robert Leon Cochran, age 35, of Clewiston, passed away June 18, 2016 in West Palm Beach. He was born Jan. 6, 1981 in Clewiston, FL, to the late Robert D. and the late Kristy Eleanor (Endicott) Cochran.

He is survived by his son: Robert Leon Cochran, Jr., daughter: Alisia Kaye Cochran, two brothers: Robert D. Cochran and Bennie R. Cochran, and three sisters: Lisa Clark, Artis Martin and Darby Miles.

A memorial service will be held Friday, June 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, Clewiston with Pastor Jeff Smith officiating. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Lucia Norma Garcia De Aloma, age 69, of Clewiston, passed away June 18, 2016 in Clewiston. She was born July 6, 1946 in Villa Clara, Cuba to the late Francisco Garcia and the late Leobigibla Boco Alcantara.

She is survived her son: Alex Alberto Garcia and four daughters: Marcel Torrez, Zulema Garcia, Mabel Del Nodal and Susana Garcia and eleven grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Oreste De Aloma Ruiz.

A graveside service will be held Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 11:00 am at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston with Father Jiobani Batista officiating. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Kathleen C. Boyer, age 86, of Clewiston, passed away June 19, 2016 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Dec. 4, 1929 in Kalamazoo, MI, to the late George and the late Clara (Crowe) Arnold.

She is survived by five daughters: Teri Mills, Nyla Merrill, Cherri Cucchi (Joe), Carolyn Hester (Robie) and Marti Sparks (Tony), sisters: Ester Slack (Junior) and May Arnold, eighteen grandchildren and many great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband John Lowell Boyer.

Kathleen (Kitty) was a member in Hendry County's First Responder program and Ladies Auxiliary with Hendry County Station 4. Kitty worked for years in the bakery at Winn Dixie (Clewiston and then Belle Glade) before retiring to spend her summers in Illinois and winters in Florida.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm at the Montura Fire Station. Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston.

John Robert Shelton, age 78, of Moore Haven, passed away June 20, 2016 in Clewiston. He was born July 11, 1937 in Kentucky to the late Johnny Rhea Shelton and the late Elizabeth (Baldwin) Shelton.

Survivors include his wife: Janet (Baker) Shelton, Children: John Robert Shelton, Donald Ray Shelton, Cheryl Jean Shelton, Teresa Ellis, Scott McIver Shropshire, Shawn Shelton, Brittney Shelton, Christopher Shelton, Mark Shelton, Amanda Shelton, Tiffany Anthony , Turner Anthony , Jordan Tyler, R.J. Pavlinovic and Justin Shropshire and six great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held Thursday, June 23, 2016, 3:00 pm at Ortona Cemetery Pavilion, Moore Haven with Rev. Sherrill Tillery officiating. Interment will follow in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven. Visitation will be Thursday, 2:30 p.m. at Ortona Cemetery Pavilion.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Ruth Magdalene Faith Thornton died June 20, 2016 in Clewiston, Fl. Ruth was born on September 3, 1923.

Ruth was a faithful and loving wife of 69 years to Joseph D. Thornton, deceased, of J.D. Thornton Nurseries of Clewiston. Both were Clewiston residents.

Ruth was a loving mother to Ronnie F. Thornton, deceased son. Ruth is survived by her daughter Lillian Elizabeth Barnhardt Thornton of St. Augustine, Florida and son George "Buck" Thornton with wife Barbara Thornton of J.D. Thornton nurseries of Clewiston. She is also survived by grandchildren Natalie Thornton, Simon Thornton, Jeremy Thornton, Nicole Barnhardt Nettles and great granddaughter Lillian Grace Nettles.

Ruth traveled from her home town of Lincoln, Nebraska during WWII. She met Joe in Florida, where they immediately feel in love and a year later were married. Ruth was well known in Clewiston for her reputation as a "blessed soul" whose heart was kind, caring and truly loving to all she met. Her children adored her and lovingly called her mother and mom. Her grandchildren and great grandchild called her Oma, their "sweet as pie" grandma.

Ruth was a faithful pillar and lifetime member of First Christian Church of Clewiston. Ruth changed the lives of all who she came in contact with by her gentle voice and steadfast faith in her Lord Jesus Christ. To a great many in the community, along with her family, Ruth Thornton will never be forgotten. Her memory lives on in all she so generously touched with her love and care.

A viewing was held at First Christian Church Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm.

The family will celebrate the life of Ruth Thornton in a church service at First Christian Church of Clewiston, 201 N. Francisco Street, Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 11:00 am. Food and fellowship will follow immediately after the church service in the adjoining Fellowship Hall. Pastor Gary Folds will be officiating the service for Mrs. Thornton.

Robert Cheney Charged In Teen Murder


LABELLE, FL. -- Robert Cheney has been arrested in the murder of a teenager in 2015. Collier County Detectives arrested Cheney in connection with the January 2015 shooting that left one teenager dead and another injured in Golden Gate Estates in Collier county..

Robert Kevin Cheney Jr., 22, of LaBelle, faces charges of third-degree murder and attempted third-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 21, 2015, shootings of Marcos Aleman, 17, and Michael Stallone, 18, both of Golden Gate Estates.

Meliton Cruz, 17, of 1412 Carson Road, was already in the Collier County jail on charges of second-degree murder with a firearm and attempted second-degree murder.

Detectives say Cruz shot the victims as they were sitting in their vehicle around 10 p.m. in the 2300 block of 50th Avenue Northeast. Aleman died at the scene. Stallone was able to exit the vehicle and obtain help from nearby residents. Stallone provided deputies with Cruz’s name and a vehicle description.

During their investigation detectives obtained additional information and physical evidence linking Cheney to the crime.

On Monday the CCSO Homicide Section obtained a warrant for Cheney’s arrest. That same day Cheney was arrested on the Collier County warrant when he showed up to the state Probation office in LaBelle. Cheney was living in a mobile home at 250 Trader Road in LaBelle.

Cheney had been arrested in Collier county in March for four drug related charges of marijuana and controlled drugs.

He was booked into the Hendry County Jail. His bond was set at $760,000.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Father With The Brown Shoes - Bill Neville

Commentary by T. W. Bill Neville

Once upon time in a fit of rage, resentment, and outright, malicious, malfeasance, "Cain", while he was still, "Able", piloted a research program leading to the creation and observance of what we call "Father's Day", to this day. In more recent times, my "sons" used to scurry home to watch the modern day version, called "ALL MY CHILDREN!!"

Maybe that's not the way you remember it, but give me the benefit of the doubt, as I, as always seem to be the GUY, in a room of BLACK tuxedos, wearing the "BROWN" shoes.

That goes for my use of the word "PARENTOLOGY" as a categorical attempt to shine a light on what's happened in the past few years to the role and, even the "need" for a FATHER. Maybe it's my astigmatism that makes it difficult for me to fathom the elimination of the "family" as an institution of worth and merit. It's like an alphabet soup of "mores", with choices of "same" sex marriage, single mother families, and a "transsexual" extravaganza of multitudinous dimensions and circumstances.

I entered the "Father" characterization in 1952, as a 24 year old, "nookie" rookie, and graduated in 1961, as a full "fledged" Father of five fantastic sons, who made us very proud. Blessing us with 10 grandchildren and, to date, 6 great grandchildren, including our first set of twins.

My motive in writing this article today, is to set the stage for my article on the 19th which will be the official Fathers day and coincidentally, not by request, the FIRST anniversary of the death of our Matriarch of 65 years, Mrs. Betty Neville. Until, we meet again, on Fathers day, congratulations TO any and all of those who are still resisting the "attacks" on the "SANCTITY" of "ONE" man and "ONE" woman MARRIAGE, and the "FAMILY" way of LIFE!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Kiwanis Supports Education - Adult Scholarships

LABELLE, FL. -- The LaBelle Kiwanis Club is accepting applications for adult scholarships through July 4th. The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle believes in education and awards annual scholarships to adult students which are selected by the club's scholarship committee. Applicants will be contacted and interviews will be scheduled. Recipients will be announced by the end of July. 

The scholarships are designed to recognize and support exceptional students looking to achieve higher education. The scholarships are applied towards the student's tuition.
Applications can be picked up at the Kiwanis Thrift Store which is located at 155 S. Bridge Street or print out the application from the LaBelle Kiwanis Website at: .http://labellekiwanis.com/scholarships.html
You can return completed applications to the Thrift Store or mail to PO Box 2161, LaBelle, FL 33975 to the attention of "Scholarship Committee".

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lewis Joy Dies In Motorcycle Crash

FORT MYERS, FL. --  Lewis Joy died Tuesday at 3:47 p.m. in a motorcycle crash in Lee County on Joel Boulevard.

Lewis Joy, 25 of Lehigh Acres was eastbound on a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle in the inside lane on Joel Boulevard in excess of the posted speed limit while approaching the intersection of Joel Way.

Walter Curll 87, of Lehigh Acres in a 2012 Mitsubishi Gallant was making a left turn onto Joel Boulevard from Joel Way. The front of the motorcycle struck the rear left of the car. The motorcycle was redirected in a southeast direction. Joy was thrown from the motorcycle at impact, and succumbed to his injuries on scene.

The Mitsubishi rotated counterclockwise and came to final rest facing southeast in the westbound lanes of Joel Boulevard in the intersection of Joel Way.

Curll and passenger Dolores Curll, 87 had serious injuries and were taken to Lehigh Regional Hospital.

No charges were filed said the FHP.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sheriff Receives Donated Vehicles And Deputy Salary For A Year


LABELLE, FL. -- Sheriff Steve Whidden and the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office are very excited about the very generous donation provided by the H.E. Hill Foundation. The H.E. Hill Foundation has donated a new Ford F150 pickup truck, a Polaris ATV Four Wheeler, a trailer and the yearly salary for a deputy to patrol the Montura Ranch Estates full time.

Sheriff Whidden said, “We are very grateful for the generous support from the H.E. Hill Foundation to add additional patrol to the Montura Ranch Estates Community and help protect and serve this area better.”

Dr. Hill left the bulk of his estate to The Howard E. Hill Foundation, Inc., with the primary goal of helping individuals who are classified as gainfully employed, but has middle to low incomes, in Western Palm Beach, Hendry and Glades Counties, obtain affordable housing. While the primary purpose of the foundation is geared toward housing, the foundation recognizes that a strong community supports the residents within it.

Jennifer Earnest, Vice President of the H.E Hill Foundation said, “H E Hill Foundation, Inc. is happy to provide the funds for the necessary tools to assist the Hendry County Sheriff's Office to enhance the quality of living for the Outstanding Community of Montura Ranch Estates. We are excited about this endeavor and would like to encourage the citizens of Montura to cooperate through partnerships with HCSO as well, to ensure its success. "

Pictured: Sheriff Steve Whidden, Jennifer Earnest, VP H.E. Hill Foundation, Deputy Chris Norwood, and Barbara Boswell, President H.E. Hill Foundation with the truck, Polaris and trailer donated.

Jennifer Black New Community Relations Manager At U.S. Sugar

CLEWISTON, FL. -- U.S. Sugar announced the addition of Wellington resident Jennifer Black as its new community relations manager.  She will assist in general communications, work with our local officials and be responsible for local corporate community activities such as coordinating U.S. Sugar’s local contributions activities, local tours in conjunction with the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce, corporate golf tournaments as well as participating in Sugar Festival events and other special projects in the community. 

“We’re excited to welcome Mrs. Black to our community and to our Public Affairs team,” said Judy Sanchez, senior director, corporate communications and public affairs.  “As an avid equestrienne, she’s been a part of the western Palm Beach County community and we look forward to bringing someone with her agri-business background and experiences even further west to enhance our community relations efforts.”

“This is an opportunity for our company as well as our community to let others know what a sweet place we have here,” Sanchez said.  “Jennifer Black will be a great asset in enhancing our community relations efforts through expanding local tours and social media messaging.”

A Florida native born in Key West, Black grew up in Wellington, Florida.  Prior to joining U.S. Sugar, Black was an integral part of the planning and management team for the Palm Beach International Agricultural Summit, an original event showcasing Palm Beach County agriculture that drew more than 1,100 participants.  Black also has experience as a systems supervisor for a global logistics firm and social media manager for an American design company.  She is a licensed real estate agent in Florida.

Black and her husband are part of the equestrian community in Wellington.  Horseback riding is a lifelong passion.  She also enjoys world traveling, canoeing and exploring the outdoors and educating others on animal welfare issues. 

Black has a master’s in Agribusiness from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Administration from Lynn University.  She graduated with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma in Sweden.  She has volunteered with The Open Door and Mentors for Teen Mothers.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Consumer Alert - Bruno Air Conditioning


FORT MYERS, FL. -- 27-year old air conditioning business owner Louis Joseph Bruno IV buys lots of radio time for weekend hour-long early morning radio shows, and frequent daily spot ads featuring $29.95 air conditioning maintenance checkups by his four-year old Bruno Air Conditioning of SWFL.

Bruno wants to sell you maintenance contracts, "Bruno Signature Series" air conditioners, mold protection units, surge protectors, and do all your electrical and plumbing work. And they love to take your air conditioner system apart and clean all the components.

But before you give anyone your business that may take thousands of dollars from your pocket, it's a good idea to do a bit of checking on the company through the BBB and other references. We did, and found some interesting facts.

According to the BBB, Bruno Air Conditioning is not accredited and it's rating was revoked in November 2015 by the Better Business Bureau. The BBB says "On 11/18/2015 this company's accreditation in the BBB was revoked by the BBB's Board of Directors due to failure to eliminate the underlying cause of complaints on file with the BBB."

The BBB says Bruno had 30 complaints made to them in three years, and 23 in the last 12 months, including 20 complaints about service and products, six about sales and adverting, three about billing and collection, and one about guarantees.

The BBB said, "BBB has received a pattern of complaints from consumers alleging that the business misdiagnosed or misrepresented issues related to repair or replacement, which lead to higher costs or estimates for the consumers. Additional complaints allege issues with the quality of service performed when the business is repairing or installing an air conditioner."

"In July 2015, BBB sent a request to the business to address this pattern and what actions the business has taken to help eliminate the causes of complaints. The business does not believe that it has a pattern of complaints, and stated that it believes in being upfront and honest with its customers about issues or potential issues their air conditioning may have."

Despite the BBB accreditation revocation and complaints, Bruno's website still carries the "BBB Accredited Business" logo.

In further checking their air conditioning contractor license, Bruno Air had a complaint (#2014006671) filed with the Department of Professional Business Regulation February, 13, 2014 and a citation was filed May 8.

Bruno also advertises they want your electrical and plumbing business. Their electric division sells house surge protectors, and the plumbing section sells drain cleaning.

Bruno does not personally have a state plumbing or electrical license, but instead uses the licenses of others who are not owners of Bruno's company. Consumer protection experts say use caution hiring companies using licenses of other people who are not actual owners of the company.

Bruno uses a non-owner of his company, John P. Cordone as the qualifying agent for his new plumbing contracting service. Cordone has a complaint (#2015052414) filed with the DPBR for unlicensed activity December 3, 2015 and was issued a notice to cease and desist December 17. He did get a license a short time later on January 8, 2016. Cordone has his office address at a 3-bedroom home in Cape Coral.

Bruno uses a non-owner Stephen Mohrbacker, as the qualifying agent for electrical contracting. Mohrbacker has been licensed as an electrical contractor since September 2014 at a 4-bedroom home office in Naples and has operated SGM Electric Service LLC since 2014.

What Do You Get For $29.95?

Responding to an ad for an AC check up, what one of Bruno's employees will try to sell you after the radio advertised $29.95 checkup is a yearly maintenance agreement and in some cases a Bruno "Signature Series" air conditioner unit, a home surge protector, cleaning of the air handler coils and fan and maybe new ducts. Chances are Bruno admits, you'll end up writing a check for a lot more than $29,95.

Bruno says 82% of customers visited buy a maintenance agreement, with 70% renewing for "life." He claims on his recorded weekend radio show to sell 300 to 500 maintenance agreements each month.

Despite the $29.95 radio offer, additional service charges can be expected for disassembling and cleaning coils and fans with a chemical spray, and for new parts and equipment installed.

It's not clear if Bruno's technicians are paid on commission, as most air conditioning company's techs are actually sales agents. Bruno does say he hires people with no experience from the hospitality industry, hotels and restaurants, and trains them at his "Bruno University."

Bruno claims his 170 employees make 300 home visits a day in scores of yellow trucks with a Polar Bear graphic on the side. In addition to the Fort Myers office, his website shows offices covering Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, and the Villages. His taped radio shows are apparently broadcast statewide, with cut ins for each market naming the area of service coverage for that station.

He says he has a 1% to 1 1/2% complaint rate and hires only those who pass drug and national criminal record checks. He's very careful about hiring. Bruno claims that one of the trades taught in prisons is air conditioning and says although ex-cons deserve a second chance, he doesn't hire them. He does like to hire people who are "customer oriented" from restaurants and hotels and train them at his "Bruno University." No air conditioning experience necessary.

His website claims his air conditioning "technicians are all NATE Certified" but a check online at the website North American Technician Excellence, a certifying organization in Arlington, VA, did not show Bruno Air Conditioning in Fort Myers listed, although six other local air conditioning companies were listed. Nonetheless, Bruno's website displays the NATE logo along with the BBB logo.

He says his company buys between $10 and $15 million in parts and supplies each year and trains his employees at "Bruno University."

Bruno promises a one and a half hour visit with a chemical wash of the outside condenser unit which he says will save $200 in electric bills every year. The technician will be checking electrical components, (usually the electrolytic capacitor, a $35 wholesale device, which can fail), check the inside air handler unit drain line which can get clogged and spill water, check and clean the coils, check the blower fan wheel for dust and clean it with chemicals at extra cost along with disassembling the coils at extra cost, check the inside electrical connections (again an inexpensive electrolytic capacitor). You may be asked to install a surge protector, and a UV light unit to kill mold.

The technician will check the duct size, explaining if ducts are undersized your unit will not last as long as designed since it will be running twice a long. You can expect to be told there's mold growing and should be eliminated. And sold an ultraviolet light system, basically one or more UV light bulbs. The UV light bulbs need to be replaced when they burn out at several hundred dollars a pop. Experts say that the ultraviolet systems are not needed. New-Press story on UV light complaint and Bruno.

Bruno is a partner in a biocide company, Biocide USA that will take care of the "mold." Cleaning of coils and blower fans seems to be a large part of Bruno's service profits.

Bruno says he started out at 17 as a helper at a small air conditioning company and now runs one of the fastest growing air conditioner companies in Florida.

Operating as Bruno Air Conditioning of SWFL, a fictitious name for Louis Bruno LLC, on Crooked Creek Lane, in a very large 3-bedroom home in Gateway, Louis Bruno started the Fort Myers business as a 23-year old in September 2012. It appears that he has since moved from that location even though no other address appears for the company on the Secretary of State records.

He bought the assets of Air Genie, owned by Gene Slade, a Bonita Beach company with negative consumer reports and a "D-" rating from the BBB . Some customers complained of over aggressive sales tactics and overcharges for service. Slade now operates Air Ninja LLC. Bruno appears to be following some of the same business practices. See Ripoff Report from former employee of Air Genie.

Louis Bruno LLC now owns the Air Genie company at 4395 Corporate Square, Naples.

The Lipman Connection - Tomatoes And Air Conditioning

The Florida Secretary of State shows Louis Bruno IV a partner with Larry and Arby Lipman in Biocide USA LLC in Cape Coral. The Lipmans also partner with Bruno in ALLLLB Holdings LLC and LJ Stolli LLC at the same South Cargo Court office.

Larry Lipman is the retired CEO and son of the founder of Lipman Produce, Immokalee, the nation's largest producer of tomatoes for the fresh market. Lipman, 68, reportedly bought a 20 percent stake in Bruno's company and one of the investors in the building that houses the Bruno offices. Larry's son, Arby Lipman 27, is one Bruno's friends.

Louis Bruno LLC, the parent company is located at 28731 South Cargo Court #5, Bonita Springs.

Links:

Bruno Air BBB webpage for complaints and BBB Alert
Air Genie BBB page
Check NATE certified technicians by ID here
Check NATE certification by zip code here
BBB Accredited Air Conditioning Contractors

Photo: Google/Bruno Air advertising photo

Friday, June 10, 2016

Obituaries - Clinton Perkins, William Edwards, Jr.

Clinton Harmon Perkins, age 81, of Palm Springs, passed away June 2, 2016 in Palm Springs.

He was born June 2, 1935 in Offerman, GA, to the late Abe P. and the late Carrie F. (Franklin) Perkins.

Survivors include his brother: Vernon Perkins, sister: Geraldine Davis, adopted son and daughter: Aaron Cocuzzo and Angela Gauthier, son: Gary Perkins, daughters: Patricia Fayles and Angela Perkins, grandson: Brian Taylor, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Linda Taylor

A graveside funeral service was held Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 10:00 a.m. at Fort Denaud Cemetery with Pastor Wm. Ashley Butler officiating. Family and friends went in procession at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from Akin-Davis Funeral Home, 560 E. Hickpochee Av, LaBelle, FL 33935 to Fort Denaud Cemetery, 1170 Cemetery Rd, LaBelle, FL 33935.

William Lee Edwards, Jr., age 86, of Fort Myers, owner of Edwards Custom Meats, passed away June 4, 2016 in LaBelle. He was born Dec. 14, 1929 in Moore Haven, FL, to the late William Lee and the late Grace (Walden) Edwards, Sr.

Survivors include his wife: Dorothy Joyce (Alderman) "Dottie" Edwards, sons: Kenny (Beverly) Edwards and Michael (Linda) Edwards, daughter: Susan (Kevin) Bryant, brother: Orville Edwards, sister: Margie Zimmerman, grandchildren, Jami (Frank) Biliter, Dan Walters, Brandon Edwards, Kason Edwards and Melissa Diaz; Great-Grandchildren: Madison Biliter, Jacob Biliter, Dalton Walters, Chloe Edwards, Jaden Edwards, Jacob Edwards and Donovan Diaz

He was preceded in death by his son, Donald Edwards

Funeral services will be Saturday, June 18, 2016, 11:00 a.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle with John Martin officiating. Interment will follow in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Arcadia. Visitation will be held 1 hour before services at Satruday at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle

Car Wash For Scott Perry's Kid's Fossil Camp

LABELLE, FL. -- Get your car washed on Saturday, June 18, at AutoZone on South Main Street and help a LaBelle boy or girl between the ages of 10 and 14 years attend a one week fossil camp to be held Monday through Friday from 8 o'clock in the morning until 3 in the afternoon the weeks of July 11, 18, and 25. 

Trained amateur -- in the very best sense of the word amateur -- archaeologist and paleontologist Scott Perry will be on hand with his car wash crew to answer questions you may have about the one week camps. The morning sessions at LaBelle Heritage Museum will include actual class time and learning how to preserve fossil specimens collected during the afternoon "digs" which may include wading in the water and digging in the mud since many sites are accessible only by boat.

Your donations will help lower the $150 per camper registration fee for the 30 to 45 kids attending this informative and very interesting hands-on adventure of a life time. The registration fee includes collecting tools, wholesome snacks, and boat expenses. Each camper will be expected to furnish a personal bag lunch.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Democrats Meet June 18 In Clewiston

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Hendry County Democrats will meet at Clewiston's Harlem Civic Center on 7th St off Georgia Avenue on Saturday, June 18th at 9 o'clock in the morning to learn about qualifying as Precinct Committee Members for the county's ten election precincts for the next four years. 

Each precinct is entitled to one committeeman and one committeewoman, who must be registered Democrats living and voting in that precinct. 

Precinct 1 in Clewiston and Precincts 2 and 3 in LaBelle are entitled to an additional pair of precinct committee members based on the number of registered Democrats in those precincts.

Democrats attending the meeting will also learn what they can do to increase the voter turnout at both the August Primary Election and the November General Election as well as the importance of encouraging their family members, friends, and neighbors to sign up for Vote By Mail which makes voting more convenient now that Hendry County has gone from 24 precincts to 10 precincts.

Hendry County's Democratic Party candidates for local offices have been invited to appear at the meeting to let the voters know more about themselves. 

There are no Democrats currently running for Hendry County's State Representative or State Senator. Dr. Alina Valdes is running for Congressional District 25, the only U S Congressional District that will represent Hendry County. It is hoped that she will be able to attend and meet more Hendry County Voters.

Promise Zone? Here's Hoping Promises Come True

LABELLE, FL. – On Monday, President Obama announced Hendry County, in partnership with the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, as part of the President’s Promise Zone initiative. 

Some of the goals of the Promise Zone include developing markets for locally grown fresh food, promoting eco-tourism, redeveloping transportation and manufacturing infrastructure, and reducing violent crime with a focus on human trafficking and drug intervention.

The Southwest Florida Promise Zone is planned to be a collaborative, evidence-based approach putting citizens and local leaders at the center of federal solutions.

The Promise Zone designation is a federal-government initiative in partnership with state and local governments and community partners to reduce poverty, create jobs and promote economic development in rural Southwest Florida. This initiative will help Hendry County implement strategies uniquely suited to our area, expanding educational opportunities, increasing economic activity, improving community infrastructure, leveraging private investment and improving public safety.

The Southwest Florida Promise Zone covers all of Glades and Hendry Counties in addition to the northern section of Collier County including the rural community of Immokalee, north to Hendry County border. Promise Zones will receive priority access to federal investments that further their strategic plans, federal staff on the ground to help them implement their goals, and five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers and strengthen the capacity of the Promise Zone initiatives. Promise Zone designations will have a term of ten years and may be extended as necessary to capture the full term of availability of the Promise Zone tax incentives if enacted by Congress.

The Southwest Florida Promise Zone will further a strategic plan focused on improving the quality of life and providing new opportunities for residents in a region with a young population, low cost of living, and an abundance of developable land; but with a high unemployment rate (15.65 percent). Home to 76,438 residents and with a poverty rate of 31.2 percent,

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Dorothy Williams Dies At 72

Dorothy K. Williams, age 72, of Alva, passed away May 30, 2016 in Fort Myers.

She was born November 25, 1943 in Rahway, NJ, to the late Michael Kisslan and the late Eleanor (MacMillian) Kisslan.

Dorothy attended St. Joseph's Catholic Church School while living in New Jersey. At 12 years of age the family moved to Florida. She went to Rogers Junior High School then graduated from Fort Lauderdale High School. Her first job was working at Southern Bell as an operator.

Dorothy was married to Walter on July 25, 1964 and was with the love of her life for 55 years. While living in Davie they became a family with Michelle, Shawn and Natalie. They moved to Alva in 1973. She loved raising her children in the country and her grandchildren too. Shane, Tevin and Briana were the bright spot in her life. Dorothy welcomed everyone into their home and made sure they were all well cared for.

She is survived by her husband: Walter C. Williams, children: Michelle Elizabeth Williams, Shawn James Williams and Natalie Dayle Williams, grandchildren: Michael Shane Williams, Tevin James Williams, Briana Dayle Williams, sister: Dayle Zwart, brother-in-law Jack Zwart, niece, Kimberly Dayle Zwart and nephew, Christopher Zwart.

A memorial service was held Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Fort Myers.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Walmart Live 2016 Shareholder Meeting And Entertainment



Watch Late Late Show's James Corden hosting Walmart's Annual Shareholders and Associates Meeting live video online, held on June 3, 2016 in Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, Ark.

What to look for: A carpool Karaoke with Walmart's CEO on the way to pickup groceries and deliver personally to Corden, and big name entertainment throughout the day including Nick Jonas among many others.

Walmart is pushing hard this year to keep on top as the world's largest grocery store and promoting online shopping for all lines of products. Groceries can now be ordered online and picked up in 40 U.S. markets (with a $50 minimum purchase in most locations.)

Donna Turner Dies At 68

Donna Marie Turner, age 68, of LaBelle, passed away at home May 29, 2016.

She was born June 3, 1947 in Miami, FL, to the late Floyd and the late Helen Louise (Wood) Frow.

She is survived by her loving husband: Donald R. Turner, children: Donald Ray Turner, Jr. (Tracy Smith Turner), Connie Turner (John Kovarik), Harold Lee Turner and Ernest William Turner, brother: Charles Frow, ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother, Johnny Frow.

A memorial service will be held Monday, June 6, 2016 at 11:00 am at Church Of God - LaBelle.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Loose Hog Leads To Marijuana Arrest Of Ermelio Quinta

71 Plants Found After Search Of Trailer On Case Road

LABELLE, FL. -- On May 26, 2016 at approximately 10pm, Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call about a 600 lb. hog loose in the 1200 block of Case Road of LaBelle. Once the hog was located the deputies made contact with the owner, 52 year old Ermelio Marquez Quinta.

While deputies were helping get the hog back onto its own property, they smelled the odor of live marijuana coming from a semi trailer on Quinta’s property. The trailer had power cords and water running to it, as well.

Sheriff’s Deputies made contact with the HCSO Narcotics Detectives to investigate. Due to the items found and the smell coming from the trailer, the Narcotics Detectives obtained a warrant to search the trailer. Quinta had a title for the trailer in his name and the trailer was on his property. When the deputies entered the semi trailer they found 71 live marijuana plants. The estimated street value is over $200,000 for the plants found.

Quinta was arrested and booked in the Hendry County Jail on charges of Trafficking Marijuana, Cultivation of Marijuana, and Possession of Structure for Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, along with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Quinta was released on a $75,000 bond on May 29, 2016.

Cameron Mayhew Injured At School Bus Stop

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Cameron Michael Mayhew, 16 of Fort Myers was critically injured after being hit by a car this morning, June 1 about 5:47 a.m.

Zackery H. Treinen, 23 of  Cape Coral was traveling in a 2015 Chrysler southbound on Pine Ridge Road as a Lee County school bus was traveling northbound on Pine Ridge Road. The school bus stopped and extended its stop signal arm at the entrance to the Bombay Lane (entrance to the Coastal Estates Community) for a bus stop.

Mayhew was standing on the west side of Pine Ridge Road at Bombay Lane. Upon the  school bus stopping, Mayhew attempted to cross the southbound lanes of Pine Ridge Road. The driver of vehicle failed to stop for the stopped school bus, and as a result the right front of vehicle struck the pedestrian in the southbound lane of Pine Ridge Road.

Treinen was charged with failure to stop for a school bus.

UPDATE: Mayhew was pronounced deceased on 6/2/16. The above charge against Treinen will be amended from involving serious bodily injury to death which will carry a mandatory court date.