Friday, April 21, 2017

Justin Roadcap - Kiwanis Thrift Store Manager

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle has hired Justin Roadcap as the new manager for the LaBelle Kiwanis Thrift Store.

Justin moved to LaBelle last July from Waynesboro, VA in the Shenandoah Valley to fulfill his role as the Associate Pastor at Bethel Holiness Church. He and his wife Cathy have four children (Caleb 13, Ethan 8, Josh 6, Faith 3.) 

Justin started managing the Kiwanis Thrift Store in February and he says that he loves being able to work with the community. Justin has a kind word for everyone and hopes folks will stop by the thrift store to say hello and to check out some of the specials at the store.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rene Curtis Pratt Presents Bees At Garden Club Apr 24

LaBelle Garden Club will meet Monday, April 24th, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Dallas B. Townsend Agricultural Center at 1085 Pratt Blvd., Labelle.

Speaker: Rene Curtis Pratt of the Famous LaBelle Honey Store. Her presentation will be about Bees & Honey. Come join the fun – Bring friends & neighbors and your questions – pictures and plants to exchange.

Refreshments served, Anyone is welcome to bring a treat for refreshments.. Bring any recipes you would like to share too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wanted: Johntavious Johnson - $1,000 Reward


Johntavious Lorenzo Johnson, 21 years of age is currently wanted in the shooting that took place Saturday morning, April 15, 2017 at approximately 1:00 am in LaBelle, Florida that left one teen in critical condition.

Deputies reported they found 18 year old Brady Walker lying on the pavement suffering from a gunshot wound.

Johnson is currently wanted on charges of Aggravated Battery and Attempted Homicide. Johnson is 5'5" and 160 lbs. He has a prior arrest record charged for fraud, concealed weapon, drugs, and loitering.

Anyone with any information regarding this shooting is asked to call the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600 or you may contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), where you may become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip leads to an arrest.

Medical Marijuana Scam Warning

The Florida Department of Health is urging Florida residents to use caution to avoid medical marijuana scams. Last week, it came to the department’s attention that there are businesses advertising free or reduced-cost access to medical marijuana and in some cases are asserting that they are the “Office of Compassionate Use” when soliciting credit card information. 

The department reports all incidents of potential fraud and scams to law enforcement, but wants to ensure residents are aware of what to avoid.

Below are tips to help protect you from scams involving medical marijuana:
The department’s Office of Compassionate Use is the only entity issuing identification cards for medical marijuana in Florida. No third party is authorized to process applications. Do not provide credit card information to any third party entity advertising the ability to obtain medical marijuana cards.
The department does not currently accept credit cards as a form of payment for an Office of Compassionate Use identification card. There is no need to ever provide your credit card information to the department’s Office of Compassionate Use.
There are seven dispensing organizations authorized to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana. These seven are the only businesses in Florida authorized to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients and legal representatives.
The Office of Compassionate Use maintains a list of physicians who have completed the required 8 hour education course. To find a qualified ordering physician clickhere.

The department updates the Office of Compassionate Use webpage regularly with accurate information. Patients and legal representatives are encouraged to visit this webpage often.

To report scams to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services call 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).

Damian Raheem, Sabrina Manzano Dead In Crash

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Damian Raheem Rivera, 21 and Amy Sabrina Manzano, 24, both of Immokalee are dead after a chase by FHP at 11:56 pm Tuesday.

A 2001 Volvo was traveling north on New Market Road in Immokalee, towards the intersection of State Road 29 at a high rate of speed. A marked Collier County Sheriff’s Office was attempting to make a traffic stop and had the emergency equipment activated.

The Volvo failed to negotiate the curve in the roadway, causing it to exit the paved portion of the roadway. As a result, the front left collided with a tree on the northeast corner of State Road 29 and New Market Road. After impact, the rear of the vehicle rotated counterclockwise causing the right side to collide with a concrete power pole also on the northeast corner of the intersection. It came to final rest, right side against the power pole, facing east.

The driver and passenger were both pronounced deceased on scene by Collier County EMS personnel. The crash remains under investigation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

LaBelle, Florida Obituaries

Linda Sue Miller, age 63, of LaBelle, born December 7, 1953 and passed away April 17, 2017. She was born to the late Merlyn and Dolores McMillan in Pontiac, IL. She had siblings Sandra Brittain, Masha Oliff, John McMillan and the late Warren McMillan. She moved to Fort Lauderdale as a young girl where she met her husband, Edward L. Miller and they were married June 27, 1970. They moved to LaBelle in 1980.

They had children Jeremiah, Cereese, Jamie and Tristan. Her family continued to grow with the addition of Jeremiah's wife, Tracy and grandchildren Blayne and Brett. The family was blessed again when Jamie married husband Caleb. More additions to the family are expected in the fall with more grandchildren from daughters, Tristan and Jamie. A great grandchild is expected to the family in October. She lived her life to the fullest and will be dearly missed.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Hilda Mae (Tillie) Patton, age 93, passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 in LaBelle, Florida. Tillie was born September 11, 1923, In Pahokee, Florida to the pioneer family of the late Gadson and Martha (Lanier) Curry. Tillie was a lifelong resident of LaBelle.

Survivors include her daughters: Vicki Patton Burke and Rhonda (Patrick) Langford of LaBelle. grandchildren: Scott (Susan) Wegscheid, Wendy (Wesley) O'Ferrell, Jada (Matthew) Fleming and Lori (Vince) Perkins, great grandchildren: Jacob (Rebecca) Parrish, Michael (Kimberly) Parrish, Christopher and Nicholas Wegscheid, Tyler, Abbie, and Macy O'Ferrell, Luke, Lance and Baylee Fleming, Jackson, Brody and Cameryn Perkins and great great grandchildren: Gavin, Christian, Emilee, Croix, Isabella and Owen Parrish.

Tillie was preceded in death by her husband: Jack M. Patton, parents: Gadson and Martha Lanier Curry, sisters: Vernell Curry and Betha Lee Johnson, brother: Odell Curry, grandson: David Wegscheid and great-grandson: Christian Wegscheid.

Funeral services will be as follows: visitation with family at Akin Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle on Wednesday April 19, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be at Akin Davis Funeral Home on Friday April 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Jay Goforth officiating. Interment will follow at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle, FL immediately following service.

In lieu of flowers, of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation to the Alzheimer's Association in memory of Tillie Patton to help conquer this disease.

James David Whidden, age 69, of LaBelle
, passed away April 17, 2017 in Fort Myers.

David was born December 24, 1947 in Moore Haven to Calvin and Charlotte Clayton Whidden. He married Linda G. Herne; she survives. He enjoyed fishing, shooting, reading and spending time with his family. He served his country in the United States Marine Corps. He was a member and attended Healing Waters Church of LaBelle. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and brother who will be greatly missed by his entire family and close friends.

He also leaves behind his children; Matthew Whidden and his wife Miranda, Jason Whidden, and Jacob Whidden and his wife Susan, grandchildren; Cort Whidden and Ashton Powers, brothers; Jeff Wiggins, Jack Wiggins, Brett Whidden, sisters; Paige McCutcheon, Holly Whiddon, Gail Henderson and Virginia Arnold.

A memorial celebration of David's life will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Ortona Cemetery Pavilion. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to be given to Doc Keen Scholarship at Moore Haven High School or the Amy Lundy Scholarship at First Bank of Clewiston.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Catherine Dianne Edwards, age 66, of LaBelle, went to be with the Lord April 16, 2017.

She was born Jan. 5, 1951 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late Harry Lee Mottaz, Sr. and the late Catherine E. (Lippincott) Mottaz.

She is survived by her loving husband: Hosea Phillip Edwards, son: Eric (Bekki) Edwards,two daughters: Desiree (Jobby) Blevins and Kasey (James) Nipper, grandchildren: Adam Edwards, Tiffani Phillips, Renae Edwards, Timothy Edwards, Zechariah Edwards, Matthew Edwards, brother: Harry L. Mottaz, Jr. (Harriet) and many other family members and friends.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of Alva with Pastors/Clergy Robert Roper, Jim Lanier, Grant Gomez and Phillip Edwards officiating. Visitation will be Thursday 30 minutes prior to service at First Baptist Church of Alva. Interment will be in Alva Cemetery. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

James Vee Lofton Sr., age 76, passed away April 16, 2017, at the Lehigh Acres Hope Hospice facility.

Born December 24, 1940, in Fort Myers Lee Memorial Hospital, Jimmy Vee is the son of the late James Vivian Lofton and the late Ida Corine Forrey Lofton Kirby.

A five generation LaBelle native, a lifetime resident of Hendry County Jimmy Vee and his dad surveyed along most of the sectional boundary lines located within Hendry, Lee and Collier Counties over many years, including extensive boundary surveys on Marco Island, oil well fields located in Felda, and in the Everglades.

Before becoming sick, Jimmy Vee, also known as Pa, was an avid Hunter and fisherman and could be found in the early days of his youth raising and training bird dogs, hunting quail, dove, turkey and fishing on Lake Okeechobee, Pine Island or in the 10,000 Island with little Vee, and his close network of friends over the years and his little hunting and fishing partner, Max Thomas. The rest of the time Pa could be found in the woods, relaxing, hunting, and telling lots of old time woods and fishing stories with the best of friends and family members reminiscing the good-ole days solving most the world's problems around the camp fire.

After graduating from LaBelle High School, Class of 1959. Jimmy, joined the U.S. Army 97th Engineering Battalion (Construction), where he further broadened his surveying knowledge. After serving his country, he returned home from France in 1963 and honorably discharged in 1965. He continued to work as a land surveyor employed with Johnson Engineering founded in 1946 and starting a young family in Hendry County. In 2002, he retired from Johnson Engineering Inc. with 40 years of land surveying services.

Jimmy is preceded in death by his father James Vivian Lofton, mother Ida Corine Forrey Lofton Kirby and step father Henry Robert Kirby. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Martha Jo Moody Lofton; only child son, James Vee Lofton Jr. (Laura) and three grandchildren: Maura Lindsay, Madelyon Rae, and Max Thomas Lofton. He is survived by his brother Wayne Allen Lofton (Suzanne), his sister Martha Jayne Lofton Gourley. Jimmy Vee leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A celebration of Jimmy's life will be held Saturday, April 22, 2017, at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of LaBelle, 330 North Main Street, LaBelle Florida with Rev. Frank Deerey and Pastor Preston Long officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family has designated Lehigh Acres Hope Hospice of Lee County, 1201 Wings Way, Lehigh Acres, FL 33936, or First Baptist Church of LaBelle, 330 North Main Street, LaBelle Florida 33935 in memory of James Vee Lofton Sr.

Margarita Lugo Awarded Scholarship To Maine Workshop





Congratulations to Hendry-Glades Audubon member, Margarita Lugo, for being awarded the National Audubon Society Derick Z. Jackson Diversity Scholarship to the Six-day ornithology and educator's summer workshop at Hog Island Audubon Camp, Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week at Muscongus Bay, Maine. Muskingum Bay, Maine.

Margarita was presented with a check to help with transportation costs by Hendry-Glades Audubon and Dr. Marty Valiant.

photo: Margaret England, Margarita Lugo, Marty Valiant and Janet Falk.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Brady Walker Shot After 1 A.M Argument

LABELLE FL. -- Hendry Sheriff's office is looking for help for leads after a shooting in LaBelle, leaving Brady Walker in critical condition at the Shell gas station.

At approximately 1:02 am on Saturday morning April 15, 2017, Hendry County Deputies responded to the Shell Gas Station at 750 W. State Road 80.

Deputies reported that upon arrival they found 18-year old Brady Hamp Walker lying on the pavement suffering from a gunshot wound. Witnesses on scene reported that the victim became involved in an argument with another male, who shot him. The victim was immediately transported for medical care.

At this time, Investigators currently have a person of interest they are attempting to locate for questioning. One of the witnesses described the vehicle as a blue in color Ford Escort type vehicle.

At this time the victim is listed in critical condition. Investigators are continuing to follow up on all leads.

Anyone with any information regarding this shooting is asked to call the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600 or you may contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), where you may become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip leads to an arrest.

Photo courtesy HCSO

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Juan Monjaras Dead In Crash

Juan Carlos Monjaras, 42 of LaBelle died in an early morning crash Saturday on State Road 80 at Balsey Road in Alva in Lee county.

Monjaras in a 2007 Chevy Avalanche was westbound in the State Road 80 inside eastbound lane at 3:18 a.m.. Marc Thomas Heckler, 16 of Lehigh Acres was eastbound in the State Road 80 eastbound inside lane. The front of the Chevy collided with the front of Heckler's 2006 Toyota Tacoma. Both vehicles came to final rest near the area of collision.

Monjaras was pronounced deceased on scene by Lee County EMS personnel. Heckler had critical injuries and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital. Charges are pending said the FHP.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Walk Across Florida - Tamiami Trail

Excerpts from Bob Kranich's A Walk Across Florida
I finally arrived at the Tamiami Trail. This road officially is the 260 miles of U.S. Highway 41 from Tampa to U.S. Route 1 in Miami. There is some controversy about just who suggested the name, Tamami Trail. Two different Tampa men claim this, but it is derived from “Tampa to Miami.” After Naples the trail becomes an east-west road crossing the Everglades and forms part of the north border of the Everglades National Park. The north-south portion was begun in 1915. This portion was on higher ground and included many rough roads already in existence. The east-west portion was begun in 1923 across the Big Cypress Swamp. At that time the Everglades had only ox paths and Seminole Indian trails in existence.

People said that it was impossible to run cars across the Everglades swamp! On April 1923 Dade County land developer Captain James Franklin Jaudin started out with ten “Model-T” vehicles, 28 men and two Seminole Indian guides to prove that it was possible. They called themselves the “Trailblazers.” They were successful, but it took them 23 days. Much longer than they thought!......

Of particular interest is the type of dredge used in building the Trail through the Everglades. The Bay City Walking Dredge sits on display in Collier Seminole State Park, which is 15 miles southeast of Naples on the Tamiami Trail. This machine was built in 1924 in Bay City, Michigan. It used pulleys and sheaves to move four wooden shoes and a central base forward in a walking motion that could cover five to ten feet at a time. The machine had a one-yard bucket, a 40–foot boom and was approximately 36 feet wide. Because of its width, it could straddle the canals it made.

In 1928 when the Tamiami Trail was completed it was considered a engineering marvel. However, it seems that no one had considered the potential damage that could be caused to the Everglades. The roadway and the canal became a dam to block the water flow from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. This was very bad for the ecology of the region. Since that time, in 1990 and today, some canals have been filled, extra culverts under the highway have been built, and a few miles of the highway have been raised onto a bridge to allow additional natural water to flow into the Everglades.

There was a small store at the intersection of Turner River Road and the Tamiami Trail. I went in. I dropped my pack near the entrance and before I could turn around a guy says,

“Howdy, what can I do fer ya?”

He was the owner…..I bought a few snacks and a soda and asked him if I could look at the swamp vehicles outside.

“Them there’s called swamp buggies,” he said “and go right ahead, make yourself at home.”

I looked around outside at one of the swamp buggies as I drank my soda. It was a crazy looking contraption, with an old 4-cylinder Model A Ford engine and chassis. There were real big tires with large chains on the rear wheels. Then there was a raised-up seating area behind the driver’s seat…..

I then continued east on the Tamiami Trail.

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wesley Hansen Dies At 72

Wesley Lee Hansen, age 72, passed away April 9, 2017 at Hope Hospice. Born January 31, 1945 in Fort Myers at Lee Memorial Hospital, Wesley is the son of the late Carl William Hansen, Sr. and the late Mildred Burdette Hansen.

A true Florida Cracker; he was raised in Fort Myers, graduated from Fort Myers High School, and married his high school sweetheart – Deanna Sanders Hansen. Together, they raised a family and a bunch of orange groves.

Although LaBelle became their home, Wesley's love of Fort Myers and his attachment to his fishing buddies never let up. By sponsoring each year's Cracker Invitational fishing tournament, he and Sam Galloway kept the Tribe together. Never to be forgotten, Wesley made a positive impact on almost everyone.

An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed teaching his children how to hunt and fish. Together, he and his family spent their summers fishing in Key West. His grandchildren were the light of his life and meant the world to him. Regardless of the type of day he may have had, their voices were enough to make his world a whole lot better.

Married for 49 years, he is survived by his wife, Deanna (Sanders) Hansen; two daughters, Leigh Franco (Matt) and Missy Hansen; a son, Wesley L. Hansen, Jr. (Dana); five grandchildren, Tyler Franco (Jennifer), Kyle Franco, Madison Franco, Alyssa Hansen, and Taylor Hansen; an aunt, Dorothy Wyatt; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Julius and Betty Sanders; sister-in-law Debbie Lawson and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, and his brother, Carl William Hansen, Jr.

Having never met a stranger he leaves behind many friends and others, including lifelong friends Sam Galloway, Jr., Ben Hill Griffin III, Don Davis, Bubba Gaston, and Joe D'Alessandro – each having a story to tell.

Funeral services will be held Friday, April 14, 2017 at 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Myers, with Rev. Paul DeJong and Pastor Preston Long officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 6:00-8:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL and Friday, one hour prior to service at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Myers, FL. Interment will be in Fort Myers Memorial Gardens, Fort Myers.

In lieu of flowers, the family has designated Pace Center for Girls of Lee County, 3800 Evans Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33901 or Hope Hospice in memory of Wesley Hansen.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – LaBelle

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Take Your Trash To Transfer Stations Free April 17-22

Hendry County Special Districts will be hosting free waste amnesty days from April 17 to 22 from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in honor of Earth Day. Unincorporated residents with identification can bring accepted waste to the LaBelle Transfer station at 1280 Forestry Division Road or the Clewiston Transfer Station at 1350 Olympia Ave.

Hendry County will accept yard waste with the requirements that no single branch is larger than four feet long and four inches in diameter. Construction debris including lumber, shingles, drywall, glass, tile and wire will be accepted. Other acceptable waste includes white goods and furniture such as washers, stoves, water heaters, sofas, mattresses and chairs.

“Earth Day is all about promoting environmental awareness and boosting recycling efforts,” said County Administrator Charles Chapman. “Here in Hendry County, this is important to us so that we can continue to work together in keeping our communities clean and beautiful."

Amnesty days are part of an ongoing effort from Hendry County to provide opportunities to clean up properties and dispose of household waste at no cost to residents. This includes residents that live in outlying areas and have limited access to dispose of waste in the most environmentally conscious way. Residents with question can contact Hendry County Special Districts at 863-675-5252.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Charlie Ewell At Audubon April 17

On Monday April 17 at 7pm Charlie Ewell will present an informative program “Spring Bird Migration ” at the Hendry County Extension Dallas Townsend Building located at 1085 Pratt Boulevard in LaBelle. 

Charlie is High School Gifted Resource Specialist, Lee County (FL) School District. He is recognized in the birding community for his volunteer work Lee County Bird Patrol Coordinator, Birding Trip Leader, Reviewer for eBird, Christmas Bird Count Compiler , Volunteer Guide STA 5/6 trips, and is active in local and state birding organizations. 

For information about Hendry-Glades Audubon or STA 5/6 Bird Trips contact Butch Wilson 863-983-2870 or Margaret England 863-517-0202 email:sta5birding@embarqmail.com

Assembly Of God Invites All to Easter Musical

Easter Sunday April 16th, the community is invited to the musical, “The Spirit Says Arise' ”. This musical will be held at LaBelle Assembly of God. The time of the program is 11:00 a.m. 

The congregation will share is reading scriptures from the Book of Acts. Solos and duets will be sung through out these Bible verses. There will also be a men’s choir and a women’s choir. 

Some of the music will be, Come Alive, (Dry Bones), Love Crucified Arose, Rise Again, At Calvary, We Believe and others. Everyone is invited. 

LaBelle Assembly of God is located on Fraser Avenue across from The Edward Upthegrove Elementary School. For more information, call 675-0900 and ask for Kathy. Hope to see you there. Happy Easter!



Sunday, April 09, 2017

Obituaries - Frankie Tiner, Mary Lee Nourse

Mary Lee Nourse (nee Knox), age 86, of LaBelle, Florida and formerly of Columbus, OH, passed away peacefully at her home in LaBelle, Florida on April 3, 2017.

Born April 4, 1930 in Middletown, Ohio. A life-long Roman Catholic, Mary Lee's childhood was spent in Middletown where she attended primary and secondary school. From a very young age she had an affinity for dancing; receiving formal instruction in Ballroom and Contemporary Dance. Regularly participating and succeeding in local and regional dance competitions.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in Business from the College of Mount Saint Joseph, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1952. After graduation she moved to Columbus, Ohio and was employed as a Buyer for Lazarus Department Stores. It was there she met her husband, Thomas R. Nourse. The couple was married on May 18, 1953 in Middletown, Ohio.

Mary Lee continued to work for Lazarus for several years. In 1964, as department head for the Toy Deparment, she delivered Lazarus's first ever million dollars in annual toy sales. She was the assistant store director for the then newly opened Lazarus Store at Westland Mall when she left the company to spend more time with her family.

Mary Lee was deeply involved in the activities of St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Parish and School in Columbus, Ohio. She was instrumental in starting the Parish Bingo and the Country Fair, fundraisers still held today. Her fundraising expertise was also provided to St. Charles Preparatory School. She was President of the Lincoln Village Women's Club and The Lincoln Village Resident's Association. Mary Lee was active in the business and social leadership at Oakhurst Country Club and the West Franklin County Republican Club.

Relocating to LaBelle, Florida in 1992 after Tom's retirement, Mary Lee became active in the Aqua Isles community and later in the renovation and opening of the Port LaBelle Golf Club & Hotel. When not working on her many interests, she enjoyed cruising throughout the Caribbean.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas and her younger brothers Thomas Paul and Richard. She is survived by her children: Jeffrey (Jo Ann), Ruthie (Mark) and Robert (Kathryn). Her grandchildren: Laura, Jennifer, James, Alexander and Elizabeth and great grandchildren: Madalyn, Lillian and Charlotte and many other family members and friends in Florida and Ohio.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Frankie L Rimes Tiner, age 58, of LaBelle, passed away April 2, 2017 in Hope Healthcare in Lehigh Acres.

Frankie was born September 4, 1958 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late Delmar H. and the late Faye (Williams) Rimes. Frankie married Larry Tiner. Frankie enjoyed being with family and friends. She was a wonderful woman who will be greatly missed by everyone who loved and cared for her. She worked as the office manager for Immokalee Middle School for many years.

Frankie leaves behind her husband; Larry, sisters; Bonnie Starr and her husband Dusty, Lisa Rimes, one Aunt Laura June Wilson, many nieces, a nephew, many extended family members and close family friends.

A celebration of Frankie's life was held on Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the arena of LaBelle Rodeo Grounds with Pastor Frank Dana officiating. Interment was Thursday, Apr. 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in Fort Denaud Cemetery. Donations can be made to Frankie's Kids Scholarship fund at Immokalee High School 701 Immokalee Dr., Immokalee, Florida 34142.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Wanted! Young Actors At Theatre

LABELLE, FL. -- Looking for young actors! The Firehouse Community Theatre, Inc. is looking for kids from 6 to 16 years of age to try out for the Children’s Summer Play: “Murder at Crooked House”.

Kristin Green will be the director. Two auditions are scheduled:

April 10, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and April 15, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Auditions will be held at the Firehouse Community Theatre, Inc., 241 North Bridge Street, LaBelle

Club Tours Port LaBelle Inn Gardens





LABELLE, FL. -- The LaBelle Garden Club met April 3rd at 6 p.m. at the Port LaBelle Inn for a tour of the St. Matthews garden and macadamia nut tree farm. 

The regular club meeting is to be delayed one week, since the LaBelle Garden Club and the community were invited to tour the vegetable gardens at the Port LaBelle Inn on Monday. 

The fruit & vegetable gardens are planted and maintained by the St Matthew’s rehab program at the Inn. Everyone will be treated to fresh, organic garden treats prepared by the kitchen crew.

The pubic and everyone were welcome to come to the Port LaBelle Inn to visit and pick vegetables from the garden.

Photo courtesy Nikki Yeager

Monday, April 03, 2017

Swing Into Spring With United Way

United Way of Hendry and Glades is getting ready to “Swing Into Spring,” at its annual fundraiser on April 29th. It will be held at RiverBend Motor Coach Resort, with an evening of great food, entertainment and live and silent auctions.

A dinner of prime rib will be served, with games and the live auction following the dinner. Auction prizes include: an Everglades adventure package, a two night stay at the ‘Tween Waters Resort on Captiva, a deluxe wine basket and much more.

Last year, the event raised approximately $14,000 for the United Way of Hendry and Glades. For additional information, sponsorships or tickets, contact Lisa Sands at (239) 433-7559. Tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance.

The funds raised for the United Way go to help the 27 local United Way Partner Agencies including, Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT), Hope HealthCare Services, Harry Chapin Food Bank, The Salvation Army, and Children’s Advocacy Center. All funds raised in Hendry and Glades Counties support programs in Hendry and Glades.

Robert Cram Dies In ATV Crash

Robert Cram, 55 of Hendry county died in an ATV crash Sunday at 5:22 pm in Montura in rural Hendry county.

FHP investigators responded to a single vehicle, single occupant traffic crash resulting in one confirmed fatality in Hendry County. A four-wheeled ATV was traveling west on the south grass shoulder of Montura Avenue approaching the intersection of South Coral Street at moderate-to-
high speed.

The ATV ramped up a shallow grade approaching the cross street, became airborne, then overturned onto the roadway, arriving at final rest west of South Coral Street and south of Montura Avenue.

The operator of the ATV was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced deceased at the scene due to injuries received from this crash. Anybody with information about this crash is asked to contact FHP.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Obituaries - Bryan Herndon, Margaret Lessing

Bryan Craig Herndon age 29 of Alva, Florida passed away on March 27, 2017. He was born 4-16-87. He survived by his parents Susan and Gerald Herndon of Alva Florida

His son Kayden and the love of his life Rachel Naylor, his brothers Michael Herndon, Shannon, Darin, and Casey Watson, grandmother; Sylvia Hill of Labelle, many Aunts and Uncles, cousins and friends. Bryan loved hog hunting and catching that big Bass he never kept. Bryan spent his childhood racing BMX and loved the lifetime friendships he made.

He is preceded in death by his grandmother; Cecile (Shrimp) Wieland, grandfather; Benjamin Frazier, grandfather; Curtis Herndon

Celebration of Life will be Thursday March 30th at Alva Church of God. Visitation will at 3:00 services at 4:00. Graveside will follow the celebration.

In lieu of flowers donations, please contribute to a fund that has been set up at First Bank Fort Myers for his son Kayden. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

Margaret Lessing, age 90, of LaBelle, passed away March 28, 2017 in Lehigh Acres.

She was born Dec. 1, 1926 in Bruceville, IN, to Steve and Anna (Sharkedy) Takash. She worked as a Title Clerk for many years. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and sister. She will be greatly missed by her entire family.

She leaves behind her loving children; Brian Lessing and Carole Schroeder, grandchildren; Kenneth, Valarie, Joseph, several great grandchildren, sister; Anne McKinley and brother; Andy Takash.

A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at Christ the King Lutheran Church in LaBelle on April 8, 2017 with Pastor Nick presiding.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Speed Limit Increase From 30 To 50 MPH On CR830

HENDRY COUNTY, FL. -- The following is a highlight of the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners meeting held on Tuesday, March 28th at the LaBelle Commission Chambers.

CONSENT

· Speed Regulation on CR 830 & CR 830A: A request was made by Commissioner Wills to evaluate the speed on CR 830 and CR 830A in Felda for a possible speed increase. Staff conducted a speed analysis during a twenty-four hour period on January 19th and field inspection on March 20th. The existing posted speed limit on both road is thirty (30) miles per hour. The analysis was conducted at three locations on CR 830 and one location on CR 830A. Based on the analysis staff recommended the speed limit be increase to 50 miles per hour except in curves where it should be increased to 35 miles per hour. The Board approved the staff to increase the speed limits on CR 830 and CR 830A to 45 mph maximum with the speeds depicted in the map for curved areas and other areas of concern.

STAFF REPORTS

· Solid Waste MSBU: The County contract for the collection of disposal of solid waste and recyclable materials expires on September 30, 2017. The current contractor for solid waste is Progressive Waste Solutions. Per the contract, the duration of the franchise was for seven (7) years. The County has the option with the current contractor to renew the contract for additional seven years. The Board approved staff to work with Progressive Waste Solutions to renew the contract with amendments and bring those options back to the board at a future board meeting for final approval. Potential amendments could include pricing options for: larger recycling containers, two day a week trash pickup, and one day a week track pick up.

Glades County Message Alert System Now Active

Glades County, Fl— Glades County is now working with Everbridge, the worldwide leader in unified critical communications, to keep residents, staff and emergency personnel safe and informed with quick and reliable emergency notifications and public service announcements. The County will begin using Everbridge Resident Alerts to communicate with citizens and businesses during emergencies and other critical events. Residents are encouraged to register immediately to receive these alerts:

http://www.alertgladescounty.org

Glades County will use the Everbridge emergency notification system to alert residents about a variety of events, ranging from severe weather, fires, floods and other emergencies, to more routine announcements, such as road closures and water utility maintenance. Messages will be sent to residents on their preferred contact paths—cell phone, SMS, home phone, email, fax, pager and more—to ensure real-time access to potentially lifesaving information. Residents listed in the county E911 database have been automatically subscribed to alerts by phone, but Everbridge allows citizens to self-register, provide additional contact information or opt out.

Glades County is committed to ensuring public safety, community awareness and emergency response. To uphold this, when critical information and public service announcements are available, we will reach out to our residents as quickly and reliably as possible. AlertGlades allows the county to disseminate information across all types of devices, ensuring residents have access to real-time public information when they need it the most. Any weather alerts our citizens sign up for will automatically be received to them through the National Weather Service.

**All white and yellow page phone book numbers have already been added in the system.**

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Healthy Eating Taught To Students

A collaboration effort of the Florida Department of Health, Sodexo Food Services and Upthegrove Elementary School has resulted in the start of new healthy nutrition program. Student in grades Kindergarten and First Grade are being taught the importance of 5-2-1-0. Five fruits and vegetables a day, 2 hours or less of TV or Computer time, 1 hour each day of physical activities and 0 sugar sweeten drinks. Students will also learn about different types and preparation methods of fruits and vegetables. They will also lean about the fruits and vegetables that are locally grown here in Florida. Students will then be given an opportunity to try a wide variety of the fruits and vegetables during the program. In addition to trying the new foods the students will also have the opportunity to have the same foods to select from during school lunch.

According to studies by the Center for Disease Control, since 1980, the percentage of children who are overweight has more than doubled, while rates among adolescents have more than tripled. In recent years, several weight-related conditions that were observed primarily among adults have been increasingly diagnosed in young people. For example, 10 years ago type 2 diabetes was almost unknown among young people, but now accounts for nearly 50 percent of new cases of diabetes among children or adolescents. An estimated 61 percent of overweight young people have at least one additional risk factor for heart disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Being overweight as a student is also associated with social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem.

It has been shown that, children and adolescents who are overweight are more likely to become overweight or obese adults. Obesity in adults is associated with increased risks of premature death, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and many other health problems.

Pictured: Kevin Long, RN and School Health Nurse, from the Florida Department of Health presents the 5-2-1-0 Program to students at Upthegrove Elementary School

Students Present Talents At Festival

Drug Free Hendry County held their 5th annual Talent Show in Clewiston on March 17, 2017 as part of the Friday Night Sugar Festival. Both Hendry & Glades’ high schools hosted talent shows weeks prior, which served as an audition for Drug Free Hendry Talent Fest. 

The first, second, & third place winners from each school, LaBelle High School, Clewiston High School, & Moore Haven High School were invited to compete at the main stage on Friday, March 17, 2017. 

$500 were awarded to the first place winner of the Drug Free Talent Fest and he was invited to perform Saturdayat the Clewiston Sugar Festival on March 18, 2017.

This year’s first place winner for the Drug Free Hendry County Talent Fest was Isaiah Young of Clewiston High School, who performed a dance to “Rolodex.” Jaime Hingson from Moore Haven Junior Senior High won second place, who sang, “Rock me Mama like a Wagon Wheel” with her guitar, and third place winner was Isaac Cadena from LaBelle High School, who sang “Come Fly with Me”.

The participants included Isaac Hernandez & Keianna Summers, from Clewiston; Emily Schwarz, from LaBelle, and Araya Lennon & Lacy Green, from Moore Haven. All participants did an outstanding job and showed the community that they are living positive.

Drug Free Hendry is proud of all the contestants that participated and performed in the Drug Free Talent Fest and for the students’ decision to stay drug free.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Shirley Fielder Dies At 81

Shirley R. Fielder, age 81, of Clewiston, passed away March 23, 2017 in Fort Myers.

She was born Jan. 6, 1936 in Grady County, GA, to the late Daniel Stevens and the late Bernice Lee (Gainous) Royals. Shirley worked as Assistant Librarian at the Harry T. Vaughn Clewiston Public Library and was a member of First Baptist Church of Clewiston and Clewiston Garden Club. She was an avid reader & loved gardening.

Survivors include her son: Hinnard Raymond (Ray) Williams, Jr., (Marty), Pt. St. Lucie, daughters: Sherri Lynn Williams Green (Edward), Pelham, GA and Sandra Lee Williams Montgomery (Jim), Apopka, sister: Mary R. Culbreth (Tank), Pelham, GA, step children: Terrel (Anna) Fielder, Moore Haven, Lizann (Donnie) Shaw, Clewiston and Lynn (Sam) Briefman, Clewiston, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, aunts: Lillian Ferrell and Edna Barbee, both of Cairo, GA and nephew: John Neil Williams, Ellabell, GA.

She was also preceded in death by her husband: James A. Fielder, Jr., stepson: Robert Fielder and niece: Lisa Fender.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 30, 2017, 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Clewiston with Pastor Mike Brennan and Rev. Edward Green officiating. Interment will follow at Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven. Visitation will be Wednesday, March 29 from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston.

Billy Murphy Tells Tales April 6

Billy Murphy, well-known spinner of tales about living in a Florida in a time not so long ago that many of us remember well but maybe not the way Billy does and tells what he remembers, will tell a tale or two about what it means to be a Florida Cracker at LaBelle Heritage Museum's Thursday, April 6, Program Meeting starting at 7 o'clock. 

 Billy grew up and went to school in Alva but now lives in LaBelle with his wife Lana, a member of both LaBelle's Rider Family and also Felda's Aylor Family.

Regulars and guests are asked to enter the 1911 William H. Poole Building from the back door as the front door will not be accessible due to the foundation stabilization, building renovation, restoration and new ADA handicap access made possible by our Special Category Historic Preservation Grant from the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation. 

Kinfolk, neighbors and friends are used to coming in the back door and all are welcome at the program. LaBelle Heritage Museum is located at 360 North Bridge Street with parking available immediately across the street at Harold Curtis Honey Company courtesy of Rene Curtis Pratt. Be sure to tell Rene how much you appreciate her being such a good neighbor by providing extra parking whenever LaBelle Heritage Museum has an evening program.

County Seeking Media And Tourism Officer

Hendry County is seeking candidates who have a passion for the community. The CMT position’s primary goal is to communicate to our residents, media (traditional/social) and potential visitors about what is happening in our County. The successful candidate will possess leadership, storytelling/communication and common sense skills and abilities.

The CMT duties are apportioned with 50% of duties are to provide administrative and leadership support services to the Tourism Development Council. The remaining 50% provides community and media relations services for the County Administrator’s Office. Duties include the development and implementation of marketing and communications initiatives to encourage tourism in Hendry County, and provide information about Hendry County government to the public, county employees, and the media. This position interacts with a variety of local and regional organizations. This position serves as the official Public Information Officer and will be expected to respond- to and serve-in a declared emergency with media relations support. This position coordinates the fulfillment of public records requests. Lastly, this position provides support and interacts with the Hendry County legislative delegations and lobbying teams as needed.

Office Location: Primary office location is in the Administrative Office Complex at 640 South Main Street, LaBelle, Florida. Due to the nature of the position, some assignments may require work/service days out of the office. Expected percent of travel is less than 20%.

Office Hours: The position is salaried. Typical office working hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Schedules are flexible due to the requirement to work nights and weekends as needed in the course of the duties assigned. The position is expected to attend all Board of County Commissioners meetings, workshops, special meetings and community events. The position also serves in the Emergency Operations Center during declared emergencies.

Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, Marketing, Business and/or Public Administration or a comparable relevant field. A minimum of two years of experience in governmental, not-for-profit or private sector business performing comparable duties is desired. Graduate degrees are preferred, but not required. Possession of ICS/NIMS Public Information Officer certificates are preferred but not required.

Starting Salary: $36,000 annually plus full county benefits (Florida Retirement System, health, dental, vision, annual leave, sick leave, paid holidays, etc.).

How to Apply: Interested parties may apply by submitting a completed Hendry County Board of County Commissioner’s Job Application, cover letter, resume and no more than three (3) professional references to the Human Resources Office at 640 South Main Street, LaBelle, Florida 33935.

Panther Kittens Found In Charlotte County

BABCOCK RANCH, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has verified the presence of at least two panther kittens north of the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida. These kittens are presumed to be the offspring of the first wild female panther documented north of the river since 1973.

Using trail cameras, biologists have monitored male panthers on various public and private lands north of the Caloosahatchee River for several years. In 2015, biologists collected a photo of what appeared to be a female panther in the FWC’s Babcock Ranch Preserve Wildlife Management Area in Charlotte County. They deployed additional cameras in the summer of 2016, and captured more images of what they believed to be a female panther.

“This is good news for Florida panther conservation,” said Kipp Frohlich, deputy director for the FWC’s Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. “Until now, we only had evidence of panthers breeding south of the Caloosahatchee. These pictures of a female with kittens indicate there are now panthers breeding north of the river.”

“Early this year, the cameras captured images of a female that appeared to be nursing,” said Darrell Land, FWC panther team leader. “For many years, the Caloosahatchee River has appeared to be a major obstacle to northward movement of female panthers. This verification of kittens with the female demonstrates panthers can expand their breeding territory across the river naturally.”

“This is a major milestone on the road to recovery for the Florida panther,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. “We are mindful and appreciative of all the many partners and cooperators who have supported panther conservation efforts over the years leading to meaningful moments like this.”

The FWC works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure panther conservation on both private and public lands. Staff also work to continue building support and cooperation among private landowners who maintain working landscapes and ranches that provide important habitat for panthers.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Immokalee Pioneer Days Festival




IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Annual celebration of the area's pioneer heritage in Immokalee, Florida. Cowboys drive cattle up Main Street to the Robert's Ranch Museum where displays and food are available as well as an antique and a classic car show.

Celebrate Immokalee is a three-day event that combines the pioneer spirit and rich agricultural history of Immokalee with the diverse community it is today. A cattle drive along Main Street Saturday, March 25th led by Clint Raulerson and featuring Eastern Indian Rodeo Association Sr. Queen Ms. Allegra Billie, EIRA Jr. Queen Ms. Madisyn Osceola, and their court and Miss Rodeo Palm Beach County Caleigh Anderson. 

The drive will lead to the Roberts Ranch, a National Register of Historic Places listed farmstead operated as a Collier County museum, located at 1215 Roberts Ave W., Immokalee.

Events include food, family games, dancing, and live entertainment on the main stage interspersed with cheering, clogging, and skits. Dance to the mix of Caribbean, Country, Hip Hop, Salsa, Bachata and Up Town Funk by Spin City DJ with live performances by Zoe Ness, K4C Band, Danny Boy, Caribben Groove, and local talents. 

Other attractions include Track to Trail Thoroughbreds rescue with two ex-race horses, family games, autograph signing from home-grown NFL players, a Blue Ribbon Cake & Pie Competition, antique cars from Cool Cruisers car club, arts & crafts vendors, and the winners of the Little Mr./Mrs. Immokalee competition. A family carnival alongside the event opened on Friday night (5-10PM) and runs through Sunday.

The Celebrate Immokalee Festival is organized by the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Roberts Ranch Pioneer Museum, Collier County Parks & Recreation, and the Immokalee Community Redevelopment Agency. Sponsors: Coconut Point Fort, Lipman Family Farms, Spin City DJ, and Track to Trail Thoroughbreds.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Gymnasium Named In Honor Of James E. Hart

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Harlem community is coming together to rename the Harlem Gymnasium in honor of Reverend James E. Hart. The Hendry County Board of County Commissioners approved the request and the renaming ceremony will take place on April 1, 2017

Queenie Williams sent a request in February 2016 to the Board of County Commissioners to rename the gymnasium after Reverend James E. Hart. The request received overwhelming support from the community residents including a petition signed with over one thousand names.

Reverend Hart was known as a pillar of the community and felt we have an obligation to help each other. He spent decades of his life managing, restoring and preserving the Gymnasium. The Gymnasium was more than a place for activities under his management, but also a safe haven for Harlem’s youth and a place to gather and share memories.

“Under his management, the Gymnasium was more than just a place for activities, but a “safe haven” for many of Harlem’s youth, as well as a place to gather and share memories of times long gone,” stated Williams. “The residents of Harlem are honored to have a man that was born and raised in the community, have his name on one of its most treasured buildings."

Reverend Hart was known to the community as a public servant, community role model and mentor. He helped establish Mad Dads, which provides activities to the youth of the community during the summer. Reverend Hart also helped to coach Pop Warner Football, was a SAC committee member at Eastside Elementary School, ran a youth ministry at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church and established a prison ministry for inmates at Glades Correctional Institution.

“Hendry County is such a wonderful place due to the individuals who give back tirelessly to their communities,” stated Charles Chapman, County Administrator. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to recognize Reverend Hart for his passion for the Harlem Community and honor his legacy through this ceremony and renaming.”

Reverend Hart was considered a father figure to many of the youth in the community. His goal was to inspire them to become smart and respectable young men. He encouraged the young adults of the community to work hard to achieve their goals.

The renaming of the Harlem Gymnasium to the Reverend James E. Hart Gymnasium will take place on April 1, 2017 at 11:00am-5:00pm located at 968 Harlem Academy Ave, Clewiston.

Garden Club Meets April 3

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Garden Club Meets April 3rd – 6 p.m.

The regular meeting will be delayed one week, since the LaBelle Garden Club & the Community are invited to tour the Gardens at the Port LaBelle Inn on Monday, April 3rd, at 6 p.m. 

The Fruit & Vegetable Gardens are planted and maintained by the St Matthew’s program. Everyone will be treated to fresh, organic garden treats prepared by the kitchen crew.

The pubic and everyone is welcome to come to the Port LaBelle Inn,Monday, 6 p.m. April 3rd.

Preventing Stolen Mail - Free From USPS

HENDRY COUNTY, FL. -- The United States Postal Service is offering a way to check what mail is being delivered to you each day in order to confirm your mail before it arrives at your mailbox.

Participate in this new USPS® service enhancement test and get images of the mail that will be placed in your mailbox each day. Black and white images of your actual letter-sized mail pieces, processed by USPS® sorting equipment, will be provided to you each morning. 

Flat-sized pieces, such as catalogues or magazines, may be added in the future. Participation is limited to certain ZIP Codes™ at this time. See the FAQs for more details.

The service appears to be available now for Clewiston, but not LaBelle. Check your zip code to see if you can sign up for the service here: https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Obituaries - Hendry and Lee County

Calton Henry Lo Hing, age 91, of LaBelle, passed away March 17, 2017 in Oakbrook Nursing Home. He was born April 20, 1925 in Skeldon, Guyana, to the late Cecil Dyer and Eldora Lo Hing. 

Calton worked as a bookkeeper for many years in NewYork and was a man of many skills, including having a long career in the electrical and electronics industry. Calton was well travelled, having lived in England, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

Calton is survived by his faithful companion, Janet James, of LaBelle, FL

Father of: Hazel, Joannie, Richard, Patsy, Alva, Kim and Howard. He was preceded in death by his son, Carl.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 3:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Pastor Vivian Humphries officiating. Visitation will be held prior to the service at 2:00pm.

Adolfo Rodriguez, age 84, of LaBelle
, passed away March 17, 2017 in LaBelle.

He was born Apr. 22, 1932 in Uvalde, TX, to the late Sisto Rodriguez and Julia (Carabajal) Rodriguez. Adolfo was a resident of LaBelle for the past 61 years. He was a longtime employee of both Caloosa Motors and Langford Ford and was a member of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.

Survivors include his sons: Robert (Sue Baker) Rodriguez of Ft. Myers, Sixto (Terra Lord) Rodriguez of LaBelle, and Adolfo (Veronica) Rodriguez, Jr. of Texas, daughters: Julia Rodriguez Howard (Kenny) of LaBelle and Lupe Taylor (Mark) of Moore Haven, one brother, four sisters, ten grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife: Mary Jane Rodriguez and Infant Daughter, Frances Rodriguez.

Funeral Services will be held Thursday, March 23, 2017, 10:00 am at Our Lady Queen Of Heaven Catholic Church, LaBelle. with Father Chester Domaszewicz officiating.

Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle.

Bobbie Jo Cline, age 81, of LaBelle, went to be with the Lord March 17, 2017 in LaBelle.

She was born May 1, 1935 in LaBelle, FL, to the late Adolphus and the late Tomsie Katherine (Howard) Rimes.

She is survived by her husband: B.S. Cline, daughters: Sara Townsend, Kathy Christian, Sallie Jo Brown, sister: Laura June Wilson and grandchildren: David and Amanda. She was preceded in death by her parents: Adolphus and Tomsie Rimes, brothers: Oran (Punk), Delmar, J.L. (Jaybird) and Mickey Rimes, sisters: Laverne Nordgren, Earnestine Guy, Janet Fussell, Evalee (Ted) Burke, Jean Murray and Elgin Shore.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Rev. Frank Deerey Jr. officiating. Visitation was one hour prior to service at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle. Interment was in the Fort Denaud Cemetery.

Roy Louis Curry, Sr., age 73, of LaBelle, passed away March 18, 2017 in Lehigh Acres.

He was born June 23, 1943 in Fort Myers, FL, to Mack and Nettie Marie (May) Curry. He graduated from LaBelle High School in 1961. Mr. Curry married Sharon Brooks. He proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1961-1964 – he was a member of 101st Airbourne Division. He owned and operated Roy's Crane Service for over 23 years, ironically after retirement he worked part time with the State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission as a check station operator at Fisheating Creek WMA during hunting season.

Roy enjoyed hunting, fishing, and sitting around a fire telling hunting and fishing stories. Roy was a family man and was so very proud of his children and grandchildren.

Roy is survived by his loving wife of 49 years: Sharon (Brooks) Curry, daughter; Cheryl Henderson and husband Scott, son; Roy, Jr. "Bubba", grandchildren; Ashley Curry and Thomas Henderson and numerous nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, brother; Edward Curry, sister; Frances Doll, and granddaughter Lia Henderson. Roy will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, March 24, 2017 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Pastor Jim Dana officiating. Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle with Rev. Ronnie Brooks officiating at the graveside committal. Visitation will be Friday one hour prior to the funeral service at Akin-Davis Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, Roy's family has requested that a donation in Roy's name be given to Hope Hospice.

James "Jimmy" Flynn was a 2nd generation Floridian, an endangered species! Born and raised in Alva, Florida. God made him a very special person with many talents. He holds a very special place in each one of our hearts and they are for different reasons.

He graduated from Alva High School in 1939, Tampa Business College, and Seminary. He played basket-ball (state champs) played tennis, even drove the school bus. He was state boxing champion, cattleman, cowboy, constable, cast-netter, raced horses, & even a clergy. Jimmy Flynn was a "man-ly man" the real life John Wayne in person. He was always singing and playing his harmonica, and a true Bible scholar. He loved the Lord! Jimmy was always positive, and never gave up. His sister, Opal, said Everybody loved Jimmy!

He is survived by one sister, Opal Scombordi/Vero Beach, Fl. , 6 children, 22 grandchildren, 40 great-grand-children, and 14 great-great grandchildren.

Visitation is Saturday, March 25, 2017, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm at Alva Church of God 21520 Park St. Alva, Fl. 33920. Service will follow at 2:00 pm at Alva Church of God. Interment will be at Alva Cemetery.

Mary Nell Christian Cusker, age 87, of LaBelle, peacefully passed away March 20, 2017 just before her 89th birthday of March 26, 1929. She was the child of pioneer families in Southwest Florida, the daughter of Charles M. and Mary Violet Poole Christian.

She is survived by her daughter; Mary Lee Cramblit of Glenview, Illinois, her son; David Condon Lee, III of Northfield, Illinois, her granddaughter; Salesian Sister Brittany Lee Harrison, FMA of New Jersey, another granddaughter; Jeanette Davis, her great grandson; David Van Arsdall.

Mary Nell was to be told the morning she passed away that she has a great-great granddaughter; Josalyn Jane Hecht of Kentucky born to Blake Edward Harrison and Katie Evans on March 13, 2017 in Lake Villa, Illinois.

A graveside service will be conducted on Monday, March 27, 2017 at 10:00 in Fort Myers Cemetery.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Ethel J. "Jackie" Taylor, age 84, of Felda, passed away March 20, 2017 in her home in Felda.

Jackie was born Nov. 23, 1932 in Mayo, Florida to John and Winnie (Land) Osteen. She married Stancil Taylor; he preceded her in death on January 12, 2010. She was a homemaker and she loved spending time with her family.

Jackie is survived by her son; Larry Taylor and his wife Jean of Plant City, daughters; Kathie Fleming and husband Jeff of Felda, Becky Polk of Plant City, grandchildren; Logan Polk, Jason Taylor, Amy Taylor. Brothers; Tommy Osteen and Sammy Osteen, three sisters; Jeannie, Janice and Sue.

Graveside service will be at 4:00 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2017 in Felda Cemetery.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Walk Across Florida - The Big Cypress

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich
In the beginning of this chapter I recommended for an excellent and fantastically concise history of central, southeast, southwest and southern Florida one must read The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas. This book will take you through the geology, the early explorers, the development, the almost total destruction of the water source for this area, the Everglades, and the battle to save it.

Since there never was an extensive geological survey on the results of drainage, and no realization that the Everglades, River of Grass” was a ecological system, the balance of nature was upset. This brought about too much water, too little water, intrusion of salt water into the mainland, loss of fresh water wells, dying cypress trees, changing vegetation, drying out of the muck land, fires burning the dry muck, the runoff of phosphorus and chemicals from the cattle and vegetable farms, and loss of animal and bird populations. The Everglades were dying.

Mrs. Douglas’s book takes you through the slow and arduous trail back to Everglades preservation. During her entire book she never mentions anything about herself. I believe she only had the well-being of Florida and the Everglades in mind.

I was leaving the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation and could see that I was heading into the Big Cypress Swamp. The road ended and straight ahead was a canal going south. Right next to it was my way across these glades. A huge dragline was parked alongside the canal. There was a rough marl (clay and calcium carbonate) road along the canal dredged by this great dragline. The road was made up of “Miami limestone” with occasional bits of brain coral in it. It is a misconception of both the early scientists and even many people today, to think that lower Florida is an old coral reef. I, too, was one of those until I read Mrs. Douglas’ book.

All I had to do was walk along this road. The Native American men I had talked to at the first store I had stopped in had told me about this canal. They knew just what they were talking about. There was also some shell mixed in with the limestone, and because it was raining the road was real sticky. All I had to do was walk along this road. I continued along just on the grass, keeping a lookout for snakes.

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

Monday, March 20, 2017

David Mullins Speaker At Easter Service



LABELLE, FL. -- This year's speaker selected for the annual Easter Sunrise service in Barron Park, April 16 at 7:00 am is David Mullins. Local church pastors will be sharing in prayer and Scripture readings during the service as well.

Pastor David Mullins, Senior Pastor started as pastor of Carlson Memorial Methodist Church in July of 2016. He a native Floridian, originally from Tampa, and has lived all but 7 years of his life in some part of Florida. 

 He’s a graduate of University of South Florida, where he majored in Interdisciplinary Social Science, and got his Masters of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has been married to his wife Bobbi since 2000, and their twins keep them mighty busy when not at church. 

 David’s passion is to see Christians grow deeper and deeper in love with God and their neighbor, and for the church reach beyond the walls, and make a difference for Christ in the surrounding community.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Obituarires - Claudia Wilson, Lorraine Miller

Lorraine Webster Miller, age 63, of LaBelle, passed away March 16, 2017 in LaBelle.

She was born Mar. 19, 1953 in Boston, MA, to the late Lawrence Stanfield Webster and the late Audrey Louise (Glover) Webster He was also preceded in death by her brother: Lawrence Stanfield Webster, II.

Survivors include her son: Robert Lawlis Murphy of LaBelle, brother: David Nelson Webster of Seminole, sisters: Diane Louis and Linda Hays, both of Titusville, granddaughter: Reina Lucia Murphy and grandson: Tommy Bernard Cisnero.

A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held Tuesday, March 21, 2017 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Claudia A. Wilson, age 99, of Clewiston, went to be with the Lord, March 16, 2017 in Clewiston.

She was born Oct. 16, 1917 in Grand Island, FL, to the late Harvey and the late Anna Lorene (Milton) Acuff. 

Claudia moved to Clewiston with her husband Parker in 1947. She was a dedicated nurse and worked with the Seminole Indians for 15 years and opened the first state clinic on the reservation. She retired from the Health Department after 32 years and continued to volunteer at WIC for over 20 years. She loved her orchids, swimming pool and treasured her family and friends.

She is survived by her son: James K. Wilson (Sally) of Franklin, NC, daughter: Jan Ezell (Don) of Ormond By The Sea, FL, grandchildren: Jimmy Wilson (Tammy), Jennifer Betts (Ben), Nicki Wilson, Renee Ferriby (Ronnie) and great grandchildren: Jimbo, Parker, Ben and Ethan. She was preceded in death by her husband: Parker T. Wilson, brothers: Till Acuff, Warren, Jackie Acuff and sister: Jean Acuff.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, Clewiston 102 East Ventura Avenue with Pastor Jeff Smith officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to service at First United Methodist Church, Clewiston. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Smiley Hendry Dies At 84

Smiley Hendry, age 84, of Moore Haven, passed away March 12, 2017 at home.

Smiley was born Sep. 12, 1932 in Glades County, FL, to the late Abe and the late Bertie (Whidden) Hendry. Smiley proudly served his country with the United States Army in the Korean Conflict. Smiley worked as a commercial fisherman for many years. Smiley and his wife, Rebecca led the fight to keep Fisheating Creek open to the public, winning the battle on June 27, 1997.

Survivors include his children; Tina Green, and Smiley Hendry, Jr. Four grandchildren; Clarissa and Joel Hendry, Tansy Ewing and Hannah Ertl and seven great grandchildren; Sebastian and Anyah Lopez, Bristal, Jalynn and Audrey Hendry, Ashlyn Ewing and Landon Ertl.

Smiley is preceded in death by her wife of 54 years, Rebecca "Becky: Hendry.

Graveside service being presided by his family was held in the Pavilion of Ortona Cemetery on Friday afternoon at 2 pm, with military rites being conducted by the United States Army.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

FP&L Gets New Solar Facility Permissions In Hendry

HENDRY COUNTY, FL. -- The following is a highlight of the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners meeting held on Tuesday, March 14 at Clewiston City Hall including hearing on FP&L's applications for electrical generating facilities and a 957 acre solar energy center.

· Text Amendments to the Hendry County Comprehensive Plan (CP): For more than a year the Hendry County Planning and Community Development Department has been working on changes to the CP. These changes include creating a user friendly document for the public by moving the data and analysis portions to a separate document. The document also takes all of the CP amendments over the past few years and adds them in the correct order and place, which required renumbering the entire document. The BOCC approved adoption.

· CPA 16-003 & CPA16-004: Applicant requested amending the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element text to add a sub-area policy, and to amend the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map by changing the land use from Agriculture (AG) to Electrical Generating Facility (EGF). The applicant, Florida Power and Light (FP&L), made a presentation about the project: Hammock Solar Energy Center. The center, located in LaBelle, will be a 957 acre unmanned solar energy center. The facility will generate the equivalent of powering 15,000 homes. Construction will last approximately 6-10 months and create 200 jobs. The center is expected to open in First Quarter (Q1) 2018. The BOCC approved submittal to the State for review.

· CPA16-006 & CPA16-007: Applicant requested a Text Amendment to the Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element to amend the Electrical Generating Facility access location standard, add a specific sub-area policy to allow solar powered facilities, and change the future land use designation from Agriculture (AG) to Electrical Generating Facility (EGF). The applicant, Florida Power and Light (FP&L), made a presentation about the project: Hendry Clean Energy Center. The project will keep over 50% of the acreage in conservation; the remaining portions will be utilized for solar power, and a natural gas power plant. Construction is expected to take 11 years and create 185 jobs each year. The project is estimated to generate $31.8 million in ad valorem taxes each year when in operation at build out. The BOCC approved submittal to the State for review.

STAFF REPORTS

· Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Application: ATIO USA, LLC, an advanced aluminum smelting operation, has brought forth a proposition to bring their manufacturing and headquarters operation to the City of Clewiston. The project includes a projected $25.778 million dollar capital investment, the hiring of 39 employees over a one year period carrying an average annual wage of $46,377 and would commence within 6 months. The BOCC approved staff to develop an ordinance causing an Ad Valorem Tax Exemption of 5 years maximum, with a sliding scale tax abetment consisting of 40% year 1, 30% year 2, 20% year 3, and 10% the remaining 2 years. The ordinance must comply with public advertising requirement and will be scheduled for a public hearing at the Tuesday, April 11, 2017 Board of County Commissioner’s meeting at 5pmin Clewiston City Hall. If the Board approves the ordinance the tax abatement will be awarded.

· East Recreation MSBU Summer Camp MOU with YMCA and Approval to Hire a Par Time as Needed Summer Camp Counselor. The BOCC approved the MOU with YMCA to host a 10 week summer camp located in Harlem for $35 per child per week and the hiring of a Camp Counselor for the 13-18 year old camp in Harlem. The camp is open to all youth of Hendry County, and scholarships for those in need may be available. The YMCA camp includes meals for youth, weekly field trips, swimming lessons and other amenities.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cold Weather Shelter Open Tonight In LaBelle, Fl

LaBelle, Fla. – Hendry County will be opening the Cold Weather Emergency Shelter in LaBelle tonight (March 15) at 6:00 pm at the United Way House, located at 133 N. Bridge Street in LaBelle.

The shelter will be open until 7:00 am Thursday, however if there are no guests in place by midnight, 12:00am, the shelter will close and volunteers will be sent home.

The forecasted temperatures in Clewiston are not expected to trigger the temperature/wind chill threshold needed to activate a shelter.

The shelter is being staffed by local Hendry County Emergency Management volunteers and the America Red Cross.

“It is our responsibility as a community to reach out to those in need. The shelters are open to anyone who needs a warm place to stay, including those without adequate heat in their homes,” said Brian Newhouse, Hendry County Emergency Management Director.

Kaleb James Arrested In Deputy Shooting


CLEWISTON, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the name of Kaleb James, arrested in the March 9 shooting of a Hendry County Deputy.

The investigation revealed that Hendry County Deputy Moorehead and two other deputies were conducting a business check in the front of M&M Grocery at 944 Kentucky Ave., in Clewiston, Florida. 

The Deputy had attempted to make contact with a man that fled upon the arrival of law enforcement. During the follow-up investigation by Moorehead, shots rang out striking the deputy.

The Deputy suffered non-life threatening injuries from a gunshot wound to the left arm. The Deputy has since been released from the hospital.

Investigators arrested and charged 21 year old Kaleb James of Clewiston with Attempted Murder, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Violation of Probation. James is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail with no bond.

James had prior Hendry county arrests in 2015 and 2016.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Glades Public Safety Teams Trained In Cardiac Support




GLADES COUNTY, FL. -- On March 8 2017 Glades County Public Safety renewed their ACLSEP training which is good for 2 years. The Advanced Cardiac Life Support for Experienced Providers course is designed for Paramedics, RN’s and Physician’s for treating a cardiac patient before they go into cardiac arrest or looking for the under lining cause of cardiac arrest and treating the cause. 

Glades Public Safety has participated in this since it started in 2005 by the American Heart Association. 

 The instructors were Dr. Lemmons, Glades County Medical Director; Gini McCain, RN; Martian McDowell & Rich Billian, Lehigh Fire; Tim Barrett, Sanibel Fire; Bob Jones Glades County Public Safety.

All of Glades County Paramedics and Nurses from Raulerson Hospital Emergency Room attended the 8-hour course.

Glades County Paramedics also had training on the new automatic CPR compression equipment. This equipment will help save precious time during cardiac arrest calls and give the crews more time to focus on treatment with 100% accuracy on compression.

Glades County Fire Dept. Provides Aid In Area Fires



 MOORE HAVEN, FL. --Glades County Fire Department provided Mutual Aid support March 5th and 6th in response to the wildfire in LeHigh Acres. 

Firefighter Gerald Watson Jr and Scott Russell responded with Brush Truck 19.

They also provided Mutual Aid to Hendry County on March 6th in Pioneer when another wildfire broke out. 

Volunteers Jimmy Summeralls and Jacob Heflin from the Ortona Volunteer Fire Department also provided support to Pioneer.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Obituaries - Cranford Herring, Louise Billie

Cranford B. "Jack" Herring, age 89, of Clewiston, passed away March 11, 2017 in West Palm Beach.

He was born Mar. 24, 1927 in Moultrie, GA, to the late Theron and the late Velma M (Smithwick) Herring. Worked for US Sugar for 44 years in Accounts Payable. Jack loved working in his yard.

He is survived by his loving his wife: Ona L. (Lewis) Herring, son: Wren Herring and one daughter: Belinda (John) Herring, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his son, Blake Herring, and brother, Edward Lee Herring

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 10:00 am at United Methodist Church, Clewiston with Pastor Jeff Smith officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be sent to: Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Avenue, West Palm Beach, Fl. 33407. Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Louise B. Billie, age 79, of Clewiston, passed away March 12, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale.

She was born Feb. 17, 1938 in Collier County, FL, to the late Jimmie Billie and the late Alice T. (Osceola) Billie.

Survivors include one son: John Billie, Jr. and four daughters: Irene Jimmie, Almira Billie, Lorraine Billie and Carol B. Osceola, three brothers: Russell Osceola, Howard Osceola and Jimmy Osceola, two sisters: Jenny Osceola and Juanita Osceola, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other family members.

She was preceded in death by her son, Gene Jimmie and sisters, Mary B. Larkins and Theda Osceola.

A graveside service will be held Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 9:30 am at Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation with Rev. Salaw Hummingbird and Rev. Paul Buster officiating.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Parkinson's Group Meets At Hope Connections

LABELLE, FL. -- Hope Connections hosts a Parkinson’s Disease Work Group on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 1:00 p.m at the LJ Nobles Senior Center in Labelle (475 East Cowboy Way[beside the airport).

The first half hour focuses on a “Tai Chi” program specifically geared toward those living with PD and those caring for persons with PD. Exercising participation is voluntary and some choose to exercise while sitting in a chair.

The second half hour of our meeting is an open discussion as a group and often focuses on specific topics that impact the lives of persons living with PD. 

For more information about the group call 863-675-1576 or just come as a walk-in to the next meeting.

Joshua Ingram Dies In Fiery Crash

Joshua Michael Ingram 27, of Clewiston died in a crash Sunday morning at 2:56 a.m, in central Hendry County, Fl.

His 2008 Ford F-150 was northbound on Flaghole Road approaching Surrency Road. Ingram failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and drove onto the north shoulder where the truck struck a tree and caught fire.

He was pronounced deceased on scene by Hendry County EMS personnel. Pending are tests for alcohol as a factor, said the FHP.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Paul Gray Presents Everglades Birds March 20

On Monday March 20 at 7 pm Dr. Paul Gray, Florida Audubon’s Okeechobee Scientist, will present an informative program “Everglades Birds and Restoration” at the Hendry County Extension Dallas Townsend Building located at 1085 Pratt Boulevard in LaBelle.

Dr. Paul Gray is a Science Coordinator for Audubon Florida's Everglades Restoration Program. He has been with Audubon for 22 years and working in and around Lake Okeechobee since 1988.

Paul provides technical support for Audubon policy teams in issues ranging from water quality, water management, agricultural best management practices, and ecosystem and bird conservation issues. His talk will cover the amazing diversity of birds in the Everglades region and our efforts to protect and enhance their numbers.

Paul’s educational background includes a BS from the University of Missouri, an MS from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1993, working on Florida's Mottled Duck in the Okeechobee region.

Memoriam - Maria Birmingham

In Memory of Maria Cristina Birmingham, January 22, 1920 - March 7, 2017.
Viewing will be at Hodges Funeral Home Friday, March 17th 5 PM to 7 PM. Funeral Service Saturday, March 18 10 AM at Good Shepherd 1098 Collingswood Parkway, Port LaBelle with Fr Guerrier and Fr Alan Kelmereit and interment at Lee Memorial Park, Fort Myers, FL. followed by reception provided by her family at Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park, Fort Myers, FL.
Arrangements under the direction of Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park, Fort Myers, FL.
Maria was a member of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church LaBelle, FL Her husband Bramwell 'Bram' Birmingham is in a nursing home,

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Obituaries - Jackie McClenithan, Billy Elkins

Jackie H."Buddy" McClenithan, age 78, of LaBelle, passed away March 3, 2017 in LaBelle. He was born Mar. 14, 1938 in LaBelle, FL, to the late Zoria N. and the late Beulah (Fussell) McClenithan.

Survivors include two daughters: Connie (Demetrio) McClenithan Galaviz and Jackie Lynn (Johnny) Mullins both of LaBelle, brother: Zoria "Punkie" McClenithan, sister: Glenda Welch, eight grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren.

A graveside service was held Friday, March 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle with Chaplain Bill Stevens officiating. Visitation was one hour prior to service at the Fort Denaud Cemetery.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Billy James Elkins, age 62, of Moore Haven, passed away March 4, 2017 in Moore Haven.

He was born Sep. 19, 1954 in Jacksonville, FL to the late Hansel Ulmer and Rosie (Whitney) Elkins. Mr. Elkins married Linda Stapleton. He served his country in the United States Army. He is a wonderful caring man who will be missed by his loving wife and family. He was a very patriotic man in that every time he went to a flea market, he would purchase an American flag. He was a very giving man, he always made sure to give every visitor to his home a little something before they left.

He leaves behind his loving wife; Linda of Moore Haven, caring mother; Rosie, children; Linda Elkins, April Elkins, Amber Elkins, sister; Ronnie Breiling, brother; Phillip Elkins, grandchildren; Serenity, Leah, RJ and Julia.

Celebration of his life was held Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven with Pastor Don Murray officiating. Interment was Wednesday, March 8, 2017 in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven. Visitation was Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Nikki Yeager Chairs Museum Committee

LABELLE, FL. -- Nikki Yeager will chair LaBelle Heritage Museum's 2017 Nominating Committee and will report its recommended slate of one-year officers and a three-year director at the local group's April 6 Program Meeting. 

Elections will be held at the May 4 meeting with Installation to take place at the Annual Membership Meeting and Potluck Dinner in early June.
The officers and one director whose terms expires are not subject to term limitations. They are: president, Joe Thomas; vice-president, Keitha Daniels; secretary, Lucy Guy Welch; treasurer, Ron Zimmerly; and, director, T. A. "Tommy" Smith. The returning directors are Patricia Newell Johnson and Martha Ray Humphries.

Anyone personally interested in running for a LaBelle Heritage Museum office or wanting to recommend a candidate is asked to contact Nikki Yeager (239)564-2005 by April 3 at the absolute latest.

Friday, March 10, 2017

What's Happening At Kiwanis

The LaBelle Kiwanis members were given a presentation on March 7th about Child Abuse Prevention by Vanessa Fischel-Healthy Families Program Manager for the Florida Department of Health, Lisa Sands-United Way Manager Hendry/Glades, and Lucinda Kelley - Director, ESE and Student Services for Hendry County Schools. 

The speakers also promoted an upcoming event to raise awareness for child abuse prevention; the “Prance for Prevention” 5K event to be held on April 12th. 

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle is sponsoring this event by providing t-shirts to the first 50 participants in the 5K.
In lieu of a registration fee, donations of diapers and/or new children’s socks or sneakers to support our youngest and most vulnerable residents is greatly appreciated.
In order to register for the event, please contact the Department of Health in LaBelle at 863-674-4041 and mention the Prance for Prevention 5k. Please provide your first and last name and t-shirt size.

$1000 Reward In Deputy Shooting

CLEWISTON, FL. -- A Hendry deputy was shot and at this time Hendry County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the shooting that occurred last night in Clewiston, Florida.

Further investigation has revealed that Deputy Jayson Moorehead was ambushed by an individual while out of his vehicle at 944 Kentucky Ave. Investigators are continuing to follow up on leads that are coming in regarding the shooting.

“We are very fortunate he wasn't seriously injured," Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said. We're still investigating, and will do everything we possibly can to bring about an arrest and conviction.

Investigators are questioning a second man who may have information leading to the arrest of the shooter.

If anyone has any additional information regarding this shooting to call the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600 or you may contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), where you may become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip leads to an arrest.

UPDATE:

Investigators with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office have arrested an individual on charges of Attempted Murder in the shooting of Hendry County Deputy Jayson Moorehead.

Investigators are continuing to follow up on information they are uncovering. This is an ongoing investigation and they are not releasing the name or photo of the individual.



Daniel Neff Dies In US27 Crash

MOORE HAEN, FL. -- A 2015 Dodge Journey driven by Daniel Neff, 52 of Englewood was eastbound on S.R. 78 at US 27 at 7:04 pm Thursday as Micheal Folsom, of Clearwater driving a Ford pickup truck was southbound on U.S. 27. Neff made a left turn into the inside (left) lane of southbound U.S. 27 and began to travel northbound in the southbound lanes.

This action caused the front of the Dodge to strike the front of the Ford. After impact, both vehicles were redirected into the median of U.S. 27.

Neff was pronounced deceased at the scene. Folsom passenger Eric Otradovec, 25 of Valrico had serious injuries.