Sunday, December 30, 2018

Edwardo Medrano Dies In Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Edwardo Castaneda Medrano, 20 of LaBelle died in a crash Saturday evening while a passenger in a car traveling south on State Road 29.

Armando Castaneda Medrano, 22 of LaBelle in a 1995 Buick Riviera was driving south on State Road 29 in the left turn lane approaching Case Road as Issac Delgado, 42 of LaBelle in a 2006 Jeep Laredo was traveling north on State Road 29 at 7:35 p.m. Saturday.

The Buick turned left to travel into the entrance of the Circle K parking lot entering into the path of the Jeep. As a result, the front of the Jeep collided with the right side of the Jeep which rotated clockwise and came to final rest on the east grass ditch of S.R. 29 facing west.

The Jeep rotated clockwise and came to final rest blocking the S.R. 29 northbound lane
facing south.

Three passengers in the Jeep had minor injuries. Medrano in the Buick had minor injuries, and three of his passengers had serious injuries, while one had minor injuries.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Michael Talaman Injured In Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Dariel Risco, 22 of Tampa in a 2006 Pontiac Montana  was traveling west in the outside lane of SR-80 approaching Missouri St. as pedestrian Michael Simon Talaman was walking eastbound on the edge of the roadway.

The vehicle struck Talaman in the roadway. He was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Gene McAvoy At Audubon January 7

LABELLE, FL. -- Gene McAvoy. Hendry County Extension Director, will present an informative program “at the Hendry-Glades Audubon meeting on Monday January 7th at 7pm at the Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension located at 1085 Pratt Blvd LaBelle, FL 33935.

For information about Hendry-Glades Audubon Society, please contact. Steve Buczynski stephenbuczynski@gmail.com or Margaret England 863-517-0202.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Obituaries - Maria Velasquez-Hernandez, Lanson Ross, Marie Clark

Maria Velasquez- Hernandez, age 49, of Clewiston, passed away December 26, 2018 in Loxahatchee.
She was born May 31, 1969 in Guatemala, to the late Maximiliano Velasquez Sanchez and Juana Hernandez Perez.
Survivors include her husband: Armando Morales
one son: Alvino Velasquez
two daughters: Deanna Perez and Juanita Velasquez,
7 grandchildren
6 brothers and 1 sister
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 11:00 am at Saint Margaret's Catholic Church, Clewiston with Father Jiobani Batista officiating.
Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.
Visitation will be Friday January 4th from 7 to 9 PM at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.
Lanson C. Ross, Jr., age 82, of LaBelle, passed away December 23, 2018 in LaBelle.
He was born June 23, 1936 in Killdeer, ND, to the late Lanson C and Mabel Ross.
Survivors include two sons: Lanson C. Ross III and David F Ross,
one brother: Albert Ross
4 grandchildren1 great grandchild
He was a Minister.
Pending Memorial Service
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Marie L. Clark, age 87, of Clewiston, passed away December 20, 2018 in Lehigh Acres.
She was born Apr. 1, 1931 in Nashville, GA, to the late Walter Wesley and the late Girlieann (Mathis) Lewis. She married Herbert Clark; he preceded her in death on August 4, 1998. Marie was a lunchroom manager for many years in the Hendry County Schools. She faithfully attended First Baptist Church of Clewiston for many years, until her health declined that she was not able to attend. Marie was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister who will be dearly missed.
 Marie leaves behind her children; Julie C. Lewis, Barbara Wilke, and Herbert E. Clark, Jr, along with her only living sister; Mytrice Sutton, her loving grandchildren; Tracy Giese, Lori Murrish, Neil Clark, Robyn Clark, Alisha Pratt, Leann Grau, Brock Murphy, her ten loving great grandchildren and two great - great grandchildren. 
Marie was also preceded in death by her five sisters and four brothers.
Celebration of Marie's life took place at 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 27, 2018 in First Baptist Church in Clewiston where Pastor Roger Bradley officiated. Visitation was one hour before the service also at the church. She will be laid to rest next to her loving husband in Ridgelawn Cemetery.
Marie's family is encouraging donations in lieu of flowers made to Hope Hospice – Lehigh Acres, Florida.
Celebration arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

New Year's Waste Pickup Schedule

Please note the New Year holiday week waste pickup schedule from Hendry County waste hauler, Waste Connections:

"We will be on normal schedule Monday. Tuesday we will be closed. Tuesday’s regular scheduled pickup will be done on Wednesday; Wednesday’s regular scheduled pickup will be done on Thursday; Thursday’s regular scheduled pickup will be done on Friday; Friday’s normal scheduled pickup will be done on Saturday. Please make sure your garbage is placed out on time to guarantee pickup."

Residents with questions regarding the schedule are asked to call Waste Connections at 863-675-2481.

Unmet Needs Coalition Meets January 11

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition, established in January 2018, invites individuals, non-profits, businesses and agency representatives to attend the January 11th "First Year In Review" meeting at 1pm at the LaBelle United Way House located at 133 N. Bridge Street, LaBelle. 

Find out how non-profits, businesses, and individuals are helping and plan to help those who are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Irma. in Hendry and Glades County. 

For information Contact: 239-433-7560 E-mail: hgunc@unitedwaylee.org

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Day Crash Kills Four

cLAKE PLACID, FL. -- The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a two vehicle head on crash on State Road 70 and County Road 721 in Lake Placid. The crash site is about 13 miles east of US27 at the bend in the road.

The crash occurred at approximately 12:24 pm on today’s date, resulting in four confirmed fatalities. State Road 70 is currently closed in the vicinity of the crash, it is anticipated the road closure will be for several hours.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m: Troopers continue to investigate the multiple fatality two vehicle crash on State Road 70 in Highlands County. Additional details will be provided later this evening.

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: A Buick male driver with a female passenger was traveling westbound in the eastbound lane overtaking other westbound traffic on State Road 70 west of County Road 721 approaching a left curve.

UPDATE December 28: The passenger in the 2011 Buick Lacrosse was Maggie Lara, 46 of Okeechobee. Both occupants of the Buick were wearing seat belts. The driver's identity is still being confirmed according to the FHP.

Judy Mounts, 56 of Port St. Lucie in a 2006 Toyota XA with passenger Destiny Franz, 16 of North Fort Myers was traveling eastbound on State Road 70 east of State Road 721 approaching a right curve (same curve as the Buick). As a result, the front of the Buick collided with the front of the Toyota in the eastbound lane.

The Buick overturned into the ditch on the south side of roadway facing a southwesterly direction and became engulfed in flames. The Toyota was redirected in a southwesterly direction, and came to final rest facing a northwesterly direction.

The driver and passenger in the Toyota were both killed and the FHP says they were not wearing seat belts. It is unknown if the driver and passenger in the Buick were wearing seat belts. The FHP says it is unknown at this time whether alcohol was a factor in any of the four persons in the crash.

Positive identification of Driver and Passenger of the Buick remain under investigation. If anyone has any information regarding the occupants of it or the crash please contact the Florida Highway Patrol at 239-938-1800.

Crash scene photo courtesy of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Obituaries - Marie Clark, Lewis Woomer, Paula House

Marie L. Clark, age 87, of Clewiston, passed away December 20, 2018 in Lehigh Acres.
She was born Apr. 1, 1931 in Nashville, GA, to the late Walter Wesley and the late Girlieann (Mathis) Lewis. She married Herbert Clark; he preceded her in death on August 4, 1998. Marie was a lunchroom manager for many years in the Hendry County Schools. She faithfully attended First Baptist Church of Clewiston for many years, until her health declined that she was not able to attend. Marie was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister who will be dearly missed.
Marie leaves behind her children; Julie C. Lewis, Barbara Wilke, and Herbert E. Clark, Jr, along with her only living sister; Mytrice Sutton, her loving grandchildren; Tracy Giese, Lori Murrish, Neil Clark, Robyn Clark, Alisha Pratt, Leann Grau, Brock Murphy, her ten loving great grandchildren and two great - great grandchildren.
Marie was also preceded in death by her five sisters and four brothers.
Celebration of Maire's life will take place at 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 27, 2018 in First Baptist Church in Clewiston where Pastor Roger Bradley will officiate. Visitation will be one hour before the service also at the church. She will be laid to rest next to her loving husband in Ridgelawn Cemetery.
Marie's family is encouraging donations in lieu of flowers made to Hope Hospice – Lehigh Acres, Florida.
Celebration arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Lewis A Woomer, age 81, of LaBelle, passed away December 15, 2018 in Lehigh Acres.
He was born Aug. 24, 1937 in Point Pleasant, WV, to the late Ronald and Mildred (Durst) Woomer.
Survivors include his wife: Bernice (Newberry) Woomer, three sons: Lewis Woomer, Bob Woomer and Roger Woomer, 4 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild and brother: Jimmy Woomer.
Memorial services are pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Paula Strickland House, age 62, of Bushnell, FL passed away December 14, 2018 at Cornerstone Hospice.
Raised in Immokalee, FL, she lived the last 32 years in Bushnell. Paula was a devoted Christian, a USF grad, and loved teaching at Lake Panasoffee Elementary School for over 20 years.
She is survived by her loving husband of 43 years, Ken, her son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Nicole, her grandson, Gabriel and her brother, WH Strickland (Dora).
Funeral services were held Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 10:30 am at First Baptist Church of Linden in Webster, FL, with Pastor Keith Johnson officiating. Visitation was 30 minutes prior to the service. Interment was in Linden Cemetery, Webster, FL.
In lieu of flowers the family asks for contributions to be made to the Cornerstone Hospice Foundation at 2445 Lane Park Rd., Tavares, FL 32778, or by phone at 888-728-6234.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Lights In LaBelle




LABELLE, FL. -- Some of the outstanding Christmas lighting displays this year can be found at Grandma's Grove RV Resort on SR80 west of the Walmart, at LaBelle City Hall in downtown LaBelle and at the K&M Drug Store in LaBelle.

Traveling to Port LaBelle there are more very impressive displays of lights in the Oak Haven subdivision (Oak Haven Drive), Laurel Oaks on Springview Circle and the Ranchettes on Frontier Circle, all three communities off Birchwood Parkway in Port LaBelle, five miles east of LaBelle.

If you know of more displays in the area, post a reply/comment message here and we'll add them to the list and possibly take some videos of the best ones.

Please subscribe to the YouTube video channel to get notifications of new videos.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

United Way Gets Grant For Hurricane Damaged Homes

LABELLE, FL. -- The Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition and United Way of Hendry and Glades have received a grant from the American Red Cross which has allocated $500,000 for repairing and/or rebuilding Irma-damaged homes in Hendry and Glades Counties.
The Unmet Needs Coalition has already identified the homes that have been damaged by Irma and how the funds will be used.  This determination was done through the Needs Assessments in September by World Renew. The homes will be bought up to safe and habitable standards, as well as remediated for mold if needed.
The Unmet Needs Coalition provides financial assistance, resources for supporting mental and emotional health needs of children and families, and physical assistance for unmet needs after all other resources have been exhausted.  The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee serves as the fiscal agent for the Unmet Needs Coalition.
“The United Way of Hendry and Glades deeply appreciates the grant we have been awarded from the American Red Cross.  This is an opportunity for the people of Hendry and Glades Counties to receive the help they desperately have needed since Hurricane Irma made landfall in September 2017. By having identified homes that have the upmost need, we can insure that the funds will be used wisely,” said Cliff Smith President of the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Julie & Wayne Wilkins Tell Christmas Story

Candlelight Communion Service and Christmas Story

LABELLE, FL. -- The Wilkins family, Julie & Wayne have been selected for this years telling  of the Christmas story on Monday December 24 at 7 PM. 

The service will begin with Christmas carols and the story of Christmas as told by Julie and Wayne Wilkins. Following the story candlelight communion will be served. 

The annual Christmas chocolates will be passed out following the service.

LaBelle Assembly of God is located at 139 Fraser. Dor more information call 675–0900. The public is invited.

Hendry Government Office Holiday Closing Dates

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County government offices will be closed Monday, December 24, 2018 thru Tuesday, December 25, 2018 for the Christmas holiday.

County offices will resume regular business hours on Wednesday, December 26, 2018.

Hendry County offices will also be closed Monday, December 31, 2018 thru Tuesday, January 1, 2019 for the New Year’s holiday.

County offices will resume regular business hours on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Holiday Photo Of The Week - Winterfest Boat Parade



FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. -- The annual Winterfest boat parade in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. kicked off Saturday evening with hundreds of boats and yachts festooned with holiday lighting traveling the waterways of Fort Lauderdale.

Photo courtesy Joe Shook/YouTube

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Kid's Day At Kiwanis Store

LABELLE, FL. -- On December 8th, kids has a great time shopping at the LaBelle Kiwanis Thrift Store. 

The store was open that day for kids only as parents patiently waited outside enjoying complimentary coffee, hot chocolate and cookies while the kids shopped. 

LaBelle High School Students that are Kiwanis Key Club members helped to wrap the presents so that parents couldn't peek at what the children had selected for them.

Annual Christmas Bird Count

Two Hendry County Christmas Bird Counts.

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Volunteer counters, compilers, and photographers are welcome at the Hendry County Christmas Bird Counts. The  12th Annual Hendry-Glades Audubon CBC at STA 5/6-Clewiston (FLSO)  will be held on Saturday December 29 , 2018 at 7 am. 

Meet at the STA 5/6 Blumberg Road Gate.  The Deer Fence Entrance is closed for ongoing construction.
The  2st Annual Okaloacoochee Slough/Spirit of the Wild (FLOS)  Christmas Bird Count will be held on Thursday  January 3, 2018. Meet at 7 am at the Keri Fire Tower on CR 832.
To volunteer to join a count team contact: Margaret England cell/text 863-517-0202 orsta5birding@embarqmail.com  

Friday, December 14, 2018

'Buzzy' The Drone - Tip For New Drone Owners


Follow Buzzy the Drone!Getting a drone for the holidays? The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “Buzzy the Drone” will help you learn the do’s and don'ts of being a responsible drone operator and flying your new purchase safely.
Too many times, we at the FAA hear sad stories about what happens when inexperienced flyers take their drone out for its first flight. Sometimes a nasty tree will jump right into your flight path. All too often, the drone gets scared and flies away if you let it out of your sight. And upset neighbors may knock on your door if you fly over their backyard while they’re outside.
Buzzy, a whimsical four-rotor drone, can help you avoid being “that guy or girl.” Buzzy uses simple but effective rhymes to convey important safety tips, such as:
“When Buzzy Goes Out for a Flight, the Number One Rule Is Keep Buzzy in Sight.”
You can follow Buzzy’s adventures on FAA social media such as TwitterInstagram and YouTube.
Buzzy’s messages are the latest in the FAA’s continuing efforts to make sure everyone follows the rules for safe drone operations. You can find details on the Agency’s extensive unmanned aircraft website.
Buzzy and all the other drones say “thanks” in advance for keeping them safe, sound, and above the ground!
The second Buzzy The Drone video on what altitude to fly (not above 400') is here.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Forrey Drive Repaving Completed And Road Opens

LABELLE, FL. -- Forrey Drive from State Road 80 to E. Cowboy Way is now open. 

Southern Striping Solutions, LLC, a Hendry County Road & Bridge contractor, along with its subcontractors, recently completed a roadway project on Forrey Drive which included milling and resurfacing of Forrey Drive from Sate Road 80 to E. Cowboy Way. 

This project began in early September 2018 and is now 99% complete. The contractor will return to finish miscellaneous sodding and final striping in the near future. 

The roadway may be shut down intermittently to accommodate various activities to reach final completion of the project. 

Motorists are asked to PLEASE TRAVEL WITH CAUTION through this area when workers are present. 

For the safety of the motorist and residents of Hendry County, we ask that all be mindful of the posted speed limit on the newly reconstructed roadway.

Hendry County is grateful for the support of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for fully funding the project; without this partnership, the project would have not been possible.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Animal Control Changes In Glades County

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Effective tomorrow December 13, 2018 at 8am Glades County Animal Control will no longer be under Public Safety but will be transferred to the Road Department located at 4883 E SR 78 Moore Haven.

To report any animal control issues including: lost dog/cat, animal surrender, paying a fine, dog/cat bite report, request a trap, ask about a previous complaint or any other animal control issues please call Nancy at 863-946-0771 or email gcac@myglades.com.

Please change all contact information for animal control to the above.

Obituaries - Margie Nichols, Elidia Cisnero, Martin Waldon

Margie S. Nichols, 94 of LaBelle, passed away December 9, 2018 in LaBelle.

She was born Nov. 28, 1924 in Burlington, NC, to the late Charlie Jackson and Bertie (Andrews) Straughn.

Survivors include one daughter: Dee Snow
3 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild

Pending Memorial Service In North Carolina. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Elidia H. Cisnero, age 84, of LaBelle, passed away December 7, 2018 in LaBelle.

She was born July 7, 1934 in Alamo, TX, to the late Juan and Leocadia (Rubio) Herrera.

Her children include: Felix Gonzalez, Rudy Gonzalez, Sofia Gonzalez, Max Gonzalez- Predeceased, Solia Rodriguez, Pam Ramirez, Margarita Gallegos, Amelia Banda, Ramiro Gonzalez, Humberto Gonzalez, Robert Gonzalez, Alyce Rhodes, and Jose Gonzalez. Many Grandchildren, Great-Grandchildren, and Great-Great- Grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday December 15th 2 PM at First Christian Church, LaBelle with Pastor W. T. Maddox Jr. officiating.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Martin Keith Waldon, age 30, of Clewiston, passed away December 5, 2018 in Clewiston.

Keith was born May 25, 1988 in Pahokee, FL, to Martin Craig and Connie (Gilliam) Waldon. He worked as a heavy equipment operator. He enjoyed fishing, and spending time with family and friends. He was a loving son, father, brother, grandson and uncle who will be missed by everyone who loved him.

Keith leaves behind his son; Blake Waldon, parents; Connie Scott and her husband Gene, Craig Waldon and his wife Mona, brothers; Ryan Woodard, Aaron Waldon, paternal grandmother; Mavis Waldon, maternal grandfather; Carl Gilliam, nephews; Brody Klebba and Cutter Waldon.

Celebration of Keith's life was held at 12 noon, Tuesday, December 11, 2018 in Belle Glade Church of God, 301 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. E Belle Glade, Florida with Rev. David L. Ferrell officiating, where visitation was one hour before the service. Burial took place in Ridgelawn Cemetery.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ronald Reese Killed In Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Edward William Cross, 66 of Hendry County was traveling north on SR-29 Monday as Ronald William Reese 54 of Hendry County on a 2006 Honda scooter, was coming to a stop northbound on SR-29 and CR-78 directly in front of Cross' 1997 Dodge pickup truck.

Cross failed to stop causing the front of the truck to collide with the rear of the scooter.

Cross came to a controlled stop on the east shoulder of SR-29. The scooter was pushed to
the east shoulder and Reese was knocked off the scooter and landed on the east shoulder.

Reese died from injuries from the crash.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Leonard Tompkins Dies At 87

Leonard G. Tompkins 84, of Alva, FL passed away December 2, 2018 in Alva.
He was born Aug. 12, 1934 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to the late William Nelson and Mildred Sarah (Shattraw) Tompkins. He was one of 6 children: William, Barbara, Mildred, Leonard, Douglas and Brian.
Leonard was married to his beloved wife Kathleen Mae for 60 years, they had 3 children: Gerald Edward, Jeannette Barbara, and April Theresa.
He has 12 grandchildren: Lance, Tracy, Denise, Cory, Samantha, Jamie, Michael, Stephen, Lee, Tammy, Denica, and Jeffrey; as well as many great and great-great grandchildren.
He was the proud owner of a cabinet business for 35 years and served Lee, Collier, and Charlotte counties.
He was a kind and gentle soul loved by all and will be sorely missed.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

Helms Road Extension Opens In Spring

LaBelle, Fla. – The Helms Road Extension project, a four-lane highway extending from State Road 80 west of LaBelle to State Road 29 south of LaBelle, is funded 100% by FDOT and is nearing completion.

The project contractor, AJAX, is currently preparing the base of the final 2 lanes of roadway for paving. Paving of these lanes is estimated to commence within the first two weeks of December 2018.

With life safety being the top priority for local officials, the road will not be open to the public until the traffic signals are installed.

Installation of the traffic signals is expected to occur within the first quarter of 2019.

The 10-foot wide multi-use path was completed on November 2, 2018.

Residents with questions, concerns or requests for action regarding roads, ditches or other Hendry County maintenance items, please call (863) 675-5222.

Tai Chi Class Begins January 8

LABELLE, FL. -- The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) is offering a free health and wellness program, Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention, in LaBelle. The eight-week workshop starts Jan. 8, 2019 and continues through Feb. 28. The class is designed to help older adults manage relieve arthritis pain and stiffness and improve balance and movement.

Class size is limited and advance registration is required. Workshops will be presented on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Hope Connections L.J. Nobles Center (475 E. Cowboy Way, LaBelle, FL 33935).

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among seniors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, one in four seniors fall each year. High fall rates among older adults are the result of physiological changes, including a loss of balance, muscle strength and stability issues. Data from the Florida Department of Health indicates that falls accounted for 2.6% of senior deaths in Southwest Florida in 2016.

“A lot of older adults are afraid of falling and begin to limit their activity because of that fear,” explains Sherry Young, Health & Wellness Coordinator at AAASWFL. “Less activity leads to less independence and in many cases, poorer physical health. Our health and wellness workshops help restore confidence and independence for seniors.”

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is a basic beginner falls prevention workshop consisting of 12 Tai Chi movements. Funding for Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is provided through the Older Americans Act title III-D and administrated through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

For more information or to register for the eight-week Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Preventionworkshop, call Sherry Young at 866-413-5337 or email sherry.young@aaaswfl.org.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Micheal Martinez At Kiwanis

LABELLE, FL. -- On Tuesday, November 20th, the LaBelle Kiwanis Club was honored to have Michael Martinez as a guest speaker. He graduated from LaBelle High in 2015 and is currently a senior at West Point. He is the youngest of 3 children whose parents immigrated from Mexico. 

He is the first college graduate in his family. He emphasized West Point values of "Duty, Honor, and Country" to very proud LaBelle Kiwanis members. 

 Michael, Army bound and a math major will graduate as 2nd LT. Noting the Academy started in 1802 by President Thomas Jefferson, Michael was nominated for West Point by Senator Marco Rubio. 

Upon graduation, he will have 2 months before reporting to his first assignment in Missouri. His commitment to West Point will be 5 years of military duty. Congratulations to CDT CPT Michael Martinez, 2BN PDO, 1st Regiment.

Hospital Swing Bed Program In Hendry County

Clewiston, FL – When patients recovering from a hospital procedure no longer need acute care but are not quite ready to go home, the Swing Bed Program at Hendry Regional Medical Center allows them to receive extended skilled nursing care without the need to change facilities. This unique program acts as a bridge between the hospital and home, offering peace of mind to both patients and their families and allowing a more comfortable recovery.

Swing Bed is designed for patients covered under Medicare who have been admitted to the hospital for at least three days and are not quite ready to go home. Patients may not be ready to be discharged for a variety of reasons, including not having the healthcare resources at home to take care of themselves.
A Swing Bed doesn’t actually swing physically, but it swings in the way Medicare reimburses for the care provided to the patient. With Swing Bed, the hospital can “swing” a patient’s level of care from acute to skilled rehabilitation. If acute care is needed again, the patient can be “swung” back, meaning there is no need to change facilities.

Under the federally funded Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program), Swing Bed services are fully covered by Medicare for the first 20 days. When care is required past the first 20 days, Medicare becomes a co-insurance that pays for a portion of the service.
As part of the Swing Bed Program, patients recovering from an acute condition have access to 24-hour skilled nursing services, including nursing, wound care and physical therapy.
Patients can be admitted to the program for a variety of reasons, especially for extended care following extensive surgery such as a hip replacement or open-heart surgery, neurological disorders such as stroke and generalized weakness due to certain chronic conditions.
A referral from a physician is required for the Swing Bed Program when it is determined that skilled care will be needed. The Swing Bed Coordinator then arranges admission to the program. The program also accepts patients from other facilities so they can recover close to home.
Patients can remain in skilled care as long as there is a documented need for that level of care. Care plans must be developed with a physician at the beginning of the stay that establishes progressive goals of recovery

Brad Cornell At Audubon December 10

LABELLE, FL. -- Brad Cornell will present a program “Wood Storks, Wetlands and Water” at the Hendry-Glades Audubon meeting on Monday December 10 at 7pm, at the Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension located at 1085 Pratt Blvd LaBelle, FL 33935.

Brad Cornell currently is Southwest Florida Policy Associate for both Audubon of the Western Everglades and Audubon Florida, a joint position he has held since summer, 2005, and for the regional organization since 2001. 

 He works on land use, wetlands, coastal habitats, and Western Everglades restoration issues to protect and recover imperiled species, especially the Florida Panther, nesting shorebirds, Corkscrew’s Wood Storks, and Marco Island’s Burrowing Owls. 

 He has degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Texas at Austin and played trombone for the Naples Philharmonic for ten years prior to joining Audubon. Brad and his wife Martha have two native Floridian children, one in graduate school and one in high school.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Marvin "Ralph" Harrell Dies At 80

Marvin "Ralph" Harrell, 80 years old 4th generation Floridian. Born on August 21, 1938 in Frostproof, Florida. He was raised in Belle Glade and settled in LaBelle in 1977. He was an avid outdoorsman, he loved hunting and fishing and being outdoors, also he loved to golf. In later years he enjoyed running his birddogs especially his special dog Star. He was a retired chemical and seed salesman.
He is preceded in death by his father and mother; Marvin and Mildred Lyles Harrell. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years Bettie (Evans) Harrell, son; Kevin Harrell and his wife Amy of LaBelle, daughter; Saundra Lynn of Okeechobee, grandchildren; Kathryn and Kevin Harrell, Jr, Alicia King of Mount Dora, Dawn Lynn of Wildwood, Jessie Bauerly of Indiana, and 10 great grandchildren.
He was the best father, but even a more wonderful grandfather and will be greatly missed.
The world lost a very fine man on November 27, 2018.
Celebration of Marvin's life was celebrated at 2:00 p.m. Friday, November 30, 2018 in Akin-Davis Funeral Home where Mr. Robbie Hull officiated. Burial took place in Fort Denaud Cemetery. Visitation was from 6-8 pm Thursday evening.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Two Indicted On Cocaine And Murder Charge

FORT MYERS, FL. -- United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Robert Lee Ward (50, Fort Myers) with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and tampering with an informant by killing him. 

The indictment also charges Dalton Kelvin McGriff (49, Fort Myers) with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. 

The drug conspiracy charge is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison. The tampering with an informant by killing offense is punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or death. 

The Justice Department will later determine if it will seek the death penalty in this particular case.

According to the indictment, from approximately 1996 to November 2018, Ward and McGriff conspired with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere. 

The conspirators sold cocaine in and around Fort Myers, Panama City and elsewhere, and killed or threatened to kill suspected informants in furtherance of the conspiracy. The indictment also alleges that Ward aided in the killing of a confidential informant on January 7, 2013, in Fort Myers.

World AIDS Day December 1

As the Florida Department of Health unites with partners worldwide in observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, the department reaffirms its commitment to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Florida and helping connect individuals who are positive with lifesaving treatment and services. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the observance of World AIDS Day, and the national theme is "Saving Lives through Leadership and Partnerships.”

"World AIDS Day is an important time to join our partners in showing our support for people living with HIV/AIDS and to remember those we have tragically lost to the disease,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. 

"The department remains fully committed to reducing HIV transmission, but we also take today to recognize the crucial efforts of our more than 100 partner organizations statewide. Together, we have made significant progress, but there is still much we can do to ensure every Floridian knows their HIV status and to help people living with HIV/AIDS lead long, healthy lives.”

Over 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, but one in seven HIV-positive people do not know they are living with the disease.

Florida is a national leader in HIV testing. We have made great strides in prevention, early identification and treatment, however there is still much work to be done. In an effort to reach the goal of zero new HIV transmissions and reduced HIV-related deaths, the department is focusing on four key strategies:
  • Implementing routine screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, especially among high-risk populations.
  • Providing immediate access to treatment for the newly diagnosed as well as retaining HIV-positive persons in the care system, with the ultimate goal of getting HIV-positive persons to an undetectable viral load.
  • Improving and promoting the use of PrEP and nPEP as prevention strategies to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.
  • Increasing community outreach and awareness about HIV, high-risk behaviors and the importance of knowing one's status.
There are currently 45 Test and Treat sites operating in Florida. With early diagnosis, individuals can begin appropriate treatment and care resulting in better health outcomes. Receiving antiretroviral therapy as quickly as possible after diagnosis improves the health of persons living with HIV and can eventually lead to undetectable viral loads, which reduces the chance of transmission to others.

As part of our strategic efforts to eliminate HIV in Florida, the department is currently working to make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication available at no cost at all of the 67 county health departments (CHDs). 

Currently, 43 CHDs offer PrEP services with the objective to implement PrEP services in STD or Family Planning clinics for all CHDs by the end of 2018.  PrEP is a once-daily pill that can reduce HIV-negative individuals' risk of acquiring HIV.

PrEP should be used in conjunction with other prevention methods, like condoms, to reduce the risk of transmission

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking PrEP daily reduces the risk of contracting HIV by more than 90 percent.

Patients can obtain up to a 90-day supply of PrEP through their local CHD STD and Family Planning Clinic. Some CHDs may offer PrEP through specialty clinics. View the department's PrEP Locator to find a PrEP provider in your area.

Every CHD offers high-quality HIV testing services, but you can also locate HIV counseling, testing and referral sites by visiting KnowYourHIVStatus.com or texting your zip code to 477493.

For more information, call the Florida AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437; en EspaƱol, 1-800-545-SIDA; in Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Tax Deductions For Tree Damage

OKEECHOBEE, FL - 2018 was another record year of hurricanes and fires, which have inflicted huge economic losses to timber landowners as well as homeowners with landscape trees. The good news is that landowners may be able to deduct eligible losses on their tax returns, which is an extremely important part of the relief and recovery efforts. There are two ways landowners can find out if they can claim timber damages from hurricanes or fires on their taxes.

Forest Taxation Webinar held on December 7, 2018 at 1pm will focus on the new tax law changes that Congress passed in 2017 that affect the casualty loss deductions starting in the 2018 tax year. This webinar will help timber owners, as well as home owners, who suffered timber or landscape tree damages with their tax reporting.

In addition, the USDA Forest Service has published guidelines to help timber owners and home owners understand the deductions for timber or landscape trees damaged from casualties. Income Tax Deduction on Timber and Landscape Tree Loss from Casualty (PDF, 172 KB) was written by National Timber Tax Specialist Linda Wang, who provides customer service and assistance to landowners on tax and estate planning issues.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests, provides management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests, while protecting homes, forestland, and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.

Obituaries - David Bull, Elizabeth Helms, Alice Arthur

David M. Bull, Jr., age 87, of Alva, passed away November 24, 2018 in Alva.
He was born June 1, 1931, to the late David M. and Dahlia (Lee) Bull. David was a lifetime Alva resident and was selfless in service to his church and community. A lifelong member of Saint Luke's Church in Ft. Myers, he participated in the choir, vestry, search committees, diocesan committees and as church treasurer. He worked for Woodmen of the World for many years and was a cattleman and farmer. A longtime board member of the Alva Cemetery and the Alva Library Association, he served on many other associations and boards through the years. He graduated from University of Florida in 1956 and was an avid Gators fan to the end.
He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Connie, two sons: Allen Bull (Cindy) and Richard Bull (Pam), and two daughters: Katherine Howard (Steve) and Nancy Anne Derums (Matthew), grandchildren: Steven Jesse Howard (Saylah), Andrew David Howard, Elena Camille Bull, Jenny Bordeaux and great grandchild Jesslynn Howard.
Requiem mass will be held Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 10:00 am at Saint Luke's Church, Ft. Myers with Father Philip D. Read, II. officiating. Interment will follow at Alva Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Luke's Church, 2635 Cleveland Ave., Ft. Myers, FL 33901
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.
Elizabeth "Carol" Helms, 77 of Ortona, FL passed away Nov. 19, 2018 at Hope Hospice in Lehigh Acres, FL.
Carol was born in Ft. Meade, FL, Feb.4,1941, the daughter of Bascom Franklin Poole and Edrice Inez (Rivers) Poole.
She was preceded in death by son, Thomas Lee Hunter. She is survived by children, Frankie Binkley, Joel O'Neal (Tina), Marie Jaeger (Bruce), William O'Neal, Sharon Hendricks, and Terenia Fitzpatrick (Timothy), brothers, Jerry Poole, James Poole and sister Debbie Poole. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Carol worked hard to take care of her children until she became disabled. She loved to cook and play on her computer. She liked to sit on the porch with a cold "near beer" and reminisce. She loved the Lord in her own way and she will be sadly missed by family and friends.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Alice V Arthur, age 70, of Clewiston, passed away November 13, 2018 in Clewiston.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Veteran Related Tax Exemptions Available

 MOORE HAVEN, FL. --- We just recently celebrated Veterans Day by showing our gratitude to the service men and women who sacrificed much to ensure that our great nation remains free.
Florida voters have recognized the sacrifices made by America’s brave soldiers by approving several property tax exemptions to qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses.
If you qualify for one or more of these exemptions please contact your property appraiser's office.
  • Disabled Veteran - An ex-service member disabled at least 10% in war or service connected events.
  • Veteran Service-Connected Total & Permanent Disability or Wheelchair Confined
  • Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran Who Died in the Line of Duty
  • Veteran age 65 and Older with a Combat-Related Disability – This is in addition to any other Veteran’s property tax exemption.
  • Deployed Military Exemption – Deployed during the last calendar year outside the United States, in support of a designated operation.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call, email or visit your property appraiser's office.
 
Election Results of Amendments 1 & 2:
Amendment 1: Homestead Exemption Increase (DID NOT PASS)
Amendment 2: Permanent Cap on Non-homestead Property Assessment Increases (PASSED)

-Submitted by Lori Ward, Glades County Property Appraiser

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Kiwanis KId's Day At Thrift Store December 8

LABELLE, FL. -- Please bring children ages 4-12 years to the LaBelle Kiwanis Thrift Store (155 S. Bridge Street) to do their own Christmas Shopping for their parents and/or grandparents! On December 8th from 8:30am to 10am, the store is open just for the kids!

 They can buy quality gifts for their family members on a friendly budget! Help the kids make a list and give them a little shopping allowance and they will be assisted by a Kiwanis member while the adults wait patiently outside. 

LaBelle High School Kiwanis Key Club and Kiwanis members will be wrapping each Christmas gift.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Brad Cornell At Audubon December 10

LABELLE, FL. -- Brad Cornell will present a program “Wood Storks, Wetlands and Water” at the Hendry-Glades Audubon meeting on Monday December 10 at 7pm, at the Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension located at 1085 Pratt Blvd LaBelle, FL 33935.

Brad Cornell currently is Southwest Florida Policy Associate for both Audubon of the Western Everglades and Audubon Florida, a joint position he has held since summer, 2005, and for the regional organization since 2001. 

 He works on land use, wetlands, coastal habitats, and Western Everglades restoration issues to protect and recover imperiled species, especially the Florida Panther, nesting shorebirds, Corkscrew’s Wood Storks, and Marco Island’s Burrowing Owls. 

 He has degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Texas at Austin and played trombone for the Naples Philharmonic for ten years prior to joining Audubon. Brad and his wife Martha have two native Floridian children, one in graduate school and one in high school.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Cesar Becerra At Museum December 5


LABELLE, FL. -- Noted South Florida historian and "Everglades Evangelist" Cesar Alejandro Becerra will be the guest speaker at LaBelle Heritage Museum's December 5 program meeting at the Dallas B. Townsend Agricultural Center, 1085 Pratt Boulevard, LaBelle 33935, starting at 7 o'clock in the evening. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. There is no admission charge and everyone is welcome.

Becerra will share behind-the-scenes insights into the journey of Robert and Tracey Moehling and their iconic Robert is Here, 19200 SW 344th Street, Homestead 33034, on the edge of the Everglades National Park in Deep South Miami Dade County. Becerra will delve into the soil and soul of this South Florida landmark to show that not all fruit stands are created equal and, perhaps, promote members of his audience to plan a day trip to find out for themselves just what is so special about Robert is Here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Drug Free Hendry Gains Award For Service

Drug Free Hendry County was awarded the Category 1- 5 Star Award through Central Florida Behavioral Health Network. To be a 5 Star, the organization must achieve 95% or above. The category is determined based on the total number of outcome measures each must satisfy in their contract. 

Both Andrea May and Edwin Melendez of Drug Free Hendry attended the 5 Star Award luncheon in Sarasota where colleagues from all over gathered and listened to inspirational messages from a dynamic lineup of guest speakers. 

 The keynote speaker at the event was Senator Darryl Rouson, who has championed the cause of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the Florida Legislature. 

 Rouson told a very powerful story about his own personal experiences with addiction and how he became the successful man that he is today. 

 Also, the “Kick-off” for the day was a special guest from the National Football League (NFL), “Ike” Alama Francis. Ike explained his own story of inspiration and what his foundations are doing for our young people in Florida communities.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Deminke Shantell Hall Dies In Crash

Deminke Shantell Hall, 24 of Belle Glade was traveling south on US 27 (State Road 25) at Coffey Rd. at 10:17 a.m. Monday, when she exited the roadway in an easterly direction and began traveling in the center grassy median and over-corrected in a southwesterly direction, re-entered US-27 and crossed over the southbound lanes.

She then entered the west grass shoulder of US-27,  then lost control of and re-entered the southbound lanes of US-27. The 2006 Ford-250  overturned and ejected onto the roadway.

The truck came to final rest in the outside southbound lane of US-27.

She was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Passenger Deminke Joshua Hall, 18 of Pahokee was transported by Glades County EMS to Hendry Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

Deminke Shantell Hall was not wearing a seatbelt, but the passenger was, according to the FHP.