Friday, March 23, 2018

Joseph McLeod Dies At 76

Joseph Marvin McLeod, age 74, of LaBelle, passed away March 16, 2018 in Fort Myers.
He was born March 4, 1944 in Live Oak, FL, to the late Reid Auldy and the late Lena (Jordan) McLeod. He served during Vietnam in the Army.
He is survived by his loving wife: Joyce M. (Pickles) McLeod, son: Keith Joseph McLeod (Brenda), grandchildren, Nikolas Haverkamp, Madison Benton and Timmie Joe Benton
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Shannon McLeod-Benton.
A graveside service was held Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 10:00 am at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle with Rev. Frank Deerey Jr. officiating.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Obituaries - Marcus Jenkins, Evelyn Greer

Marcus Lee Jenkins, age 77, of LaBelle, passed away March 16, 2018 in Fort Myers.
Marcus was born Aug. 28, 1940 in Clay County, Tennessee, to Hermit and Helen (Phillips) Jenkins. Marcus retired from Western Electric after 34 years. He was a member of Countryside Wesleyan Church in Alva. Marcus married Doris E. Fyffe. He was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother who will be dearly missed by everyone who knew and loved Marcus.
Marcus is survived by his loving and caring wife of 57 years; Doris Jenkins of LaBelle, sons; Douglas Jenkins of Columbus, Ohio and Michael Jenkins and his wife Diana of LaBelle, adopted daughter; Selena Waryan and her husband Frank of Minnesota; grandchildren; Thomas Jenkins and wife Liz, Jarod Jenkins and wife Jenn, Mickie and her husband Alexander Carsner; great grandchildren; William Jenkins, Alexis and Thomas Carsner, Ethan Henderson, and Isabella Brainard, brother; Russell Jenkins and sister; Dean Long.
Marcus was preceded in death by his siblings; Roy, Kenneth, Gerald, Jack, Lucille and Emma Jean.
Celebration of Marcus' life will be held at 12:00 noon, Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Akin-Davis Funeral Home LaBelle where Pastor Kevin Barnsdale will officiate. Visitation will be one hour before the service.
Evelyn Gayletona Greer, age 57, of Clewiston, passed away Thursday March 15, 2018.
She was born July 30, 1960 in Clewiston, FL, to Evelyn Yvonne (Hensley) Swindle and the late Calvin G. Swindle, Pre-deceased by a brother Charlie Swindle. Evelyn was a Care giver for the elderly employed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Survivors by her husband: Harold Greer, one son: John Calvin (JC) McIntyre of OH and two daughters: Niki Kelley and Johanna (Jason) Jones, one sister: Sherry (Timmy) Lee all of Clewiston. Grandmother of Austin, Brody and Lucy Gail Jones, Athena McIntyre, Wyatt, Cody, Bailey and Markie Greer, Fur grand Babies' Annabelle and Nate, Aunt of Sharon Rae (Daniel) Paniagua and Tyler Peacock.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 6:00pm at the New Harvest Church, with Pastor Chuck Pelham officiating.
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston

David Risner Dies At 81

David J Risner, age 81, of LaBelle, passed away March 23, 2018 in LaBelle.
He was born Feb. 4, 1937 in Wolfe County, KY, to the late George and Myrtle (Craft) Risner.
He served in the U.S. Army. He was a Minister.
Survivors include his wife: Janice (Oditt) Risner
one daughter: Judie Gibson
two brothers: Ronald Risner and Burnice Risner,
one sister: Faye Rudd
1 grandchild
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Looking Forward And Back At Theatre April 6

LABELLE, FL. -- Katie Redmond and Cindy Shough sing while musician John Wall intently reads and plays the music at rehearsals for "Looking Forward and Back," which starts on April 6. 

This production is directed by Nick Fidanza. Putting on a good show for everyone to enjoy is the main objective of the Firehouse Singers. Work is something they are not afraid of - whether it is rehearsing 2 and 3 nights a week, costuming or set preparation. 

 This year's extravaganza celebrates 25 years of entertaining! Performances will be April 6-8 and 12-15. So get your tickets by calling our ticket hotline at (863) 675-3066 or online at, and come on down and enjoy the show. Tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the door. 

The Firehouse Community Theatre is located at 241 N. Bridge Street in beautiful downtown LaBelle.

Trump's Alleged Affair With Playmate Of The Year McDougal

National News

Former Playboy model and 1998 playmate of the year Karen McDougal tells about her alleged 10-month affair with Donald Trump in 2006 and 2007 seeing him dozens of times she says, including having unprotected sex with the TV celebrity.

The alleged affair took place she says after the birth of Trump's son Baron. She says she ended the affair. She told Anderson Cooper that she was in love with Trump and that he in return said he was in love with her.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Boil Water Notice For Port LaBelle Inn And Vicinity

LABELLE, FL. -- A boil water notice is currently in effect for the Port LaBelle Inn, Port LaBelle Marina, Port LaBelle Villas and Port LaBelle Villas at River Run.

All Port LaBelle water users are advised to bring drinking water to a rolling boil for at least one minute prior to consumption. The notice is necessary due to a break in a water line.

The notice is effective immediately and will be in effect until further notice. Residents with question or concerns are asked to call 863-675-5376.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Death In Crash On US27

CLEWISTON, FL. -- A driver of a 2011 Chrysler 200 was dead Monday afternoon after crashing into a truck on US27 near Airglades Airport at 2:52 p.m.

U.S. 27 (SR-25) travels northbound and southbound, but here U.S. 27 travels east and west as the Chrysler and the 1992 International driven by Cory L. Kitchen, 49 of South Bay, Fl. were traveling east on U.S. 27 in the left lane, east of Airglades Boulevard.

The car was behind the truck and was approaching at a high rate of speed when for reasons unknown, failed to slow. The front of the car collided with the rear of the truck and was lodged into the rear of the truck as the truck was pushed east before coming to a controlled stop.

Kitchen has minor injuries. Identity of the car driver is pending notification of next of kin.

UPDATE: The driver was Jessiely Aponte, 28 of Zepherhills, Fl.

Obituaries - Judson Francis, Rafael Leyva, Connie Flanigan

Judson "Rusty" Ward Francis, age 72, of LaBelle, passed away March 13, 2018 in Fort Myers.

Rusty was born Jan. 16, 1946 in Clewiston, Florida, to Judson V and Mildred (Ward) Francis. He graduated from North Fort Myers High School. He served during Vietnam War in the Army from November 10, 1965 to August 13, 1968. When he got back home he joined the VFW Post 10100, the American Legion Post 130, the LaBelle Moose Lodge, where he was a lifetime member of all three. 

Rusty was a truck driver most of his life after the military. Rusty was a loving father, brother, uncle, and friend. He will be greatly missed by everyone who loved and knew him.

Rusty leaves fond memories with his two sons; Christian Scot Francis of LaBelle and Jonathan Shane and wife Ruby Francis of North Carolina, sisters; Judy McClure of LaBelle and Becky Chastain of Fort Myers, his best friend; Judy Holland of LaBelle. And many, many lifelong friends.

Celebration of Rusty's life will be at 1 PM on March 25, 2018 at the VFW Post 10100, 20 Veteran's Way LaBelle, Florida 33935.

Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Rafael Leyva, age 99, of Clewiston, passed away March 13, 2018 in Clewiston. He was born Aug. 27, 1918 in Cuba, to the late Valentin and Ines (Arcia) Leyva.

Survivors include his wife: Marta (Chavez) Leyva, four sons: Jose (Esperanza), Valentin ( Lynette), Rafael ( Dana) and Thomas (Dianna), two daughters: Ines Maria Leyva and Maria Leyva, two brothers: Antonio and Orangel, one sister: Ada Leyva, 11 Grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren

Visitation will be Monday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Connie Sue Flanigan, age 76, of Moore Haven, passed away March 15, 2018 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Mar. 9, 1942 in Pontiac, MI, to the late Donald and Maxine (Carroll) Bull.

Survivors include a son: William J. Flanigan, a daughter: Kelli Ricker, a brother: Joseph Bull, Grandchildren, Nicholas, Alicia, James; Great-Grandchildren, James, Madelyn

She was owner of a Beauty Shop

Memorial Service is pending.

World Class Barbershop - Get Ready For Spring

World Class Barbershop Of LaBelle, owned by Hugo Vargas, invites area residents and visitors to visit the barber shop located at 216 South Main Street in LaBelle to start out the beginning of Spring this week with an expert trim or haircut.

Among services Hugo and his barbers offer are regular & scissor cuts, flat tops, shaves, and hair styling for all ages.  

World Class Barbershop is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:45 am until 5 pm and Saturday from 7 am until 2 pm. 

Phone: (863) 674-1775

World Class Barbershop is a sponsor of Southwest Florida Online.

Full Moon Hike March 31

The March Fisheating Creek Florida Trail Association Sub-Chapter “Full Moon Hike” (6 miles) will be Saturday March 31.

Carpool at 4 p.m. from Barron Park in LaBelle or meet at the Paradise Lake Trailhead Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area in Palmdale at 4:30 pm.

Wear sturdy close-toed shoes, long pants and hat. Bring insect repellent, water, picnic, snacks, flashlight, and ground cover to sit on during dinner.

The plan is to enjoy Paradise Lake while watching alligators and birds, enjoy a picnic at Fisheating Creek, and watch the sunset and full moon.

After the sun sets at 7:42 p.m., the group will return to the trailhead. On the return trip the open road area will be lite by the full moon.

For the short hike from the undeveloped area to the trailhead flashlights and careful footing will be needed in a few places.

The Paradise Lake Trailhead is located on US 27 just north of where SR 29 intersects. It is only a few yards from this intersection and on the east side of US27 south of Fisheating Creek. 

Contact Deanna Filkins at 863-234-8181 (cell/text) or Margaret England or863-517-0202 (cell/text)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Clewiston Sugar Festival Entertains Thousands

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The annual Clewiston Sugar Festival wraps up this afternoon with entertainment, food, and exhibits through the streets of central Clewiston.

Thousands enjoyed the perfect weather with clear skies, looking at antique tractors and farm equipment, marveling at classic cars and trucks, tasting food, getting free goodies from U.S. Sugar and Southern Gardens; lots of rock candy, sugar cane, sunglasses, orange juice and the opportunity to win a raffle.

Scheduled each March, dozens of arts and craft vendors reported good sales among the throngs of visitors to Clewiston today. Kids had a special set up with lots of rides, rock climbing and things to burn off a bit of energy. Set this year on St. Patrick's Day, lots of wearing of the green was noted.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hit And Run Driver Sought After Crash

CLEWISTON, FL.-- An unknown vehicle and a 2015 Nissan Altima driven by Alexis Daysi Rubio, 18 of Clewiston were southbound on County Road 833 Wednesday at 7:47 p.m..

The unidentified vehicle was traveling ahead of the Nissan as a third vehicle and towed trailer driven by Christopher A. Sellers, 45 of Ft. Myers were northbound on County Road 833.

The driver of the first vehicle came to the intersection of southbound County Road 833 and Avenida Del Club Avenue and failed to yield to oncoming northbound traffic and then initiated a left turn
(east) directly in the path of the Nissan. which swerved to avoid colliding with it.

As a result, the left front of the Nissan struck the left side of the third vehicle in the southbound lane.
The first driver then continued eastbound on Avenida Del Club.

The first driver failed to return to the scene of the incident. There were no injuries.

Looking Back And Forward - April 6

LABELLE, FL. -- In celebration of 25 years of the Firehouse Community Theater, the Firehouse Singers will present a musical review called Looking Back and Forward on April 6-8 and 12-15.

Under the direction of Nick Fidanza, the Singers will perform songs from their past and will also do some songs which will be new to them. Songs from the 20s up and from every genre will be heard,

Thursday, Friday and Saturday night performances start at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon performances start at 2 p.m. Tickets can be obtained online at or by calling the ticket hotline at (863) 675-3066. Tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the door. The Firehouse Community Theatre is located at 241 N. Bridge Street in LaBelle, FL.

Front (left to right): Barbara McDowell, Sue Wild, Tina Kirby
Center (left to right): Katie Redmond, Don Dinsmore, John Wall (at piano)
Back (left to right): Barbara Dinsmore, Carolyn White,  Jesse Cuello,  Ed Soulliere, Bill Bower,  DeAnne Sawyer,  Jo Coombs,  Cindy Shough.
Not pictured: Donna Baines and Nick Fidanza.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Easter Bunny At Kiwanis Egg Hunt March 24

Free Easter Egg Hunt

Where: LaBelle Kiwanis Thrift Store
Who: Ages 3-10
When: Saturday, March 24th 9:00 – 10:00
Includes: Candy, Prizes, and The Easter Bunny!

Walking The Florida Keys - Bob Kranich

Excerpts From A Walk Across Florida

I had arrived at the Bahia Honda Park. I was thinking about a nice swim, shower, meal, and camp. It wasn’t to be, the park ranger told me. They were closed. Not to be discouraged, I crossed the road. On the other side were roadside picnic tables, with concrete roofs and an entire beautiful sand and windswept beach….all to myself! Not only that, I had the fantastic and awesome view of the Bahia Honda railroad bridge heading across to the Spanish Harbor Key with U. S. Highway No. 1 hanging precariously on top.

This is the life! I placed my pack down next to one of the picnic tables.

   That night I put my plastic tarp down right on the sand of the beach and slept on top of my sleeping bag. There was a delightful wind all night and no mosquitoes. In the morning I walked along the newly washed beach. There were shells of all colors, a Portuguese-man-of-war lying in the damp sand, and a mystery: Footprints in the sand. I never did see or hear anyone. I went for a great swim and as luck would have it, I found a shower stand at one end of the parking area. A little breakfast and I was off back to the road- side in front of the huge bridge. As I waiting for a car to take me over my last hitch-hike, I pondered my previous days total mileage, 22 miles hiking, plus 16 additional miles that were hitchhiking.

This Bahia Honda Bridge over Bahia Honda Channel is the really big one, as far as height is concerned. The water here is the deepest, 24 to 35 feet. The piers were built the same way and looked similar to the seven-mile bridge piers, but they were larger and taller. By using Pratt and Parker Camelback  trusses the engineers were able to reduce the number of concrete pilings from 64 to 34. This bridge was one of the last items to be completed in 1912, just in time for Flagler to ride his railroad from Miami to Key West. After the 1935 hurricane, the highway was completed in 1938. In the case of the Bahia Honda Bridge, it was too much trouble to widen the actual trusses so they built the highway on top of them. As a tribute to Flagler’s engineering team and workers, not one of the F.E.C. Railway bridges was ever damaged by hurricanes.

Back in the 1900’s this railroad was a tremendous engineering feat built by steam engines, intensive man-labor and unsophisticated tools by today’s standards. In fact it was even called the 8th wonder of the world. Today the bridges and road have been replaced by projects that dwarf the original railroad and later highway.

A Department of Environment Protections Office of Greenways and Trails is working together with the Florida Department of Transportation and Monroe County to build a 106 mile Hiker-Biker trail from Key Largo to Key West. They are hoping to use the old bridges and roads where possible. People will be able to travel the route that I did with ease; however, there will be a much greater population surrounding them.

I put my thumb out and immediately a car slowed down  and stopped. It was an elderly man and his wife in a station wagon. They were going to Key West to spend a couple of days. I told them what I was doing in the brief time I had, only one mile. We went out on that narrow bridge built on the top of the railroad bridge trusses. I figured that we were approximately 40 feet above the water, and then we went up again another 10 feet at the longest truss which was in the middle of the crossing. It may not seem a lot at today’s standards but on that narrow road it was impressive. They dropped me off as soon as we got across. I thanked them and they continued on.

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Obituaries - Luisa Rodriquez, Phyllis Moore

Luisa Rodriguez, age 94, of Lehigh Acres, passed away March 8, 2018 in Lehigh Acres.

She was born Aug. 25, 1923 in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, to the late Francisco and the late Isidora (Castro) Zayas.

Survivors include four sons: Ernesto Rodriguez, Domingo Rodriguez, Carlos Rodriguez and Daniel Rodriguez, and three daughters: Dalila Rodriguez, Nestali Velez and Aida Rivera, one sister: Maria Zayas, twenty grandchildren, forty-two great grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Ernesto Rodriguez in 2010.

Funeral services were held Monday, March 12, 2018 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle. Interment was Monday, March 12, 2018 in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Visitation was Monday from 1 hour prior to service at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Phyllis Diane Moore, age 74, of Clewiston, passed away March 10, 2018 in West Palm Beach.

She was born Oct. 19, 1943 in Easton, MD, to the late George Simpson and Helen Irene (Mullikin) Gordon. Mrs. Moore was a Nurse's Assistant for years. Wife of the Late Kenneth Moore. Mother of the late Charles Ray Kline and Bonnyne Hernandez

Survivors include two sons: George Kline and Jon M. Moore, and two daughters: Linda Allen and Debbie McDuffie. Also survived by thirteen Grandchildren and eighteen Great Grandchildren

Memorial services will be held Friday, March 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston with Pastor Troy Ezell officiating. Friends may call one hour prior to service.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Kenji Roy On Hiking Zion National Park March 22

Kenji Roy, “Solo Hikes, Zion National Park Area”
LABELLE, FL. -- Adults, Youth and Families are invited to attend the Fisheating Creek Florida Trail Association meeting and program by Kenji Roy at 7 pm on Thursday March 22 at the Carlson United Methodist Church Annex (House on west side of church property. facing Riverview Drive). The church building is at 310 Campbell Street LaBelle, FL 33935

Kenji will present his adventures as a solo hiker at Zion National Park, Narrows and Angels Landing, Antelope Canyon, Upper and Lower Horseshoe Bend, an Havasou Falls. Kenji loves to make impromptu trips and had no reservations while hiking which created unique ad-hoc experiences which included learning the value of carrying enough water

Friday, March 09, 2018

How To Lower Medicare Costs

Clewiston, FL (March 9, 2018)— Medicare beneficiaries looking for ways to save money on health care are invited to attend a free seminar on Wednesday, March 21.  The Florida B. Thomas Library will host “How to Lower Your Medicare Costs” from noon until 1:00 p.m. at the Florida B. Thomas Library (formerly the Harlem Community Library) which is located at 1010 J Harlem Academy Ave. in Clewiston. No registration is necessary.

The presentation will feature professionally trained counselors of the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program.  The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE program provides free, unbiased information and assistance for Florida Medicare beneficiaries year-round as they carefully evaluate their health care options.  SHINE is administered locally by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida.  

At the March 21 presentation, attendees will receive detailed information on financial assistance programs for Medicare beneficiaries and learn about the new Medicare cards which will begin distribution in April.  SHINE will also be available to answer questions after the presentation.

For more information about the “How to Lower Your Medicare Costs” presentation, or to receive one-on-one Medicare counseling assistance from SHINE, individuals may contact The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida at 866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER). For a listing of SHINE counseling sites and public events in our area, visit

Weather Spotter Training March 31

LABELLE, FL. -- Free Training: Basic/Advanced for SKYWARN®. Trained spotter reports from volunteer weather reporters provide vital “ground truth” to the National Weather Service. They act as eyes and ears in the field for the NWS. 

Spotter reports help validate meteorologists issue with timely, accurate, and detailed warnings by confirming hazardous weather detected by NWS radar. 

Spotters also provide critical verification information that helps improve future warning service.

To register for free class Saturday March 31, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p,m. contact:

Roberta Thomas
Hendry County Emergency Operations Center
4425 State Road 80 LaBelle, FL 33935

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Linda Cochran Dies At 98

Linda M. Cochran, age 98, of LaBelle, passed away March 6, 2018 in the Oakbrook Nursing Home, LaBelle.

Linda was born September 27, 1919 in Youngstown, OH to the late Luther Evans and Gwendolyn (Jones) Evans. She moved to Miami, Florida as a young girl. Later she met and married Jimmy Cochran and they moved to LaBelle, Florida in 1961. She worked side-by-side with Jimmy in his land development, and sometimes farming business until his death in 2001. Linda loved being a Mother, Grandmother, Great and Great-Great Grandmother and to many others just "Nana".

Survivors include her son: Ronnie Cochran, daughter: Gwen Newell, grandchildren: Julie Raulerson (Donnie), Kenny Cochran (Bridgette), James Cochran (Danna), Tracy Newell, Chad Newell (Kathi) and Greg Newell (Nila), great grandchildren: Ashley, Morgan, Cutter, Brilee, Taylor, Jadan, Easton, David and Caitlyn, great-great grandchildren: Brayden, Mackenzie and Grayson. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years Jimmy Cochran, parents, five brothers, one sister and daughter-in-law: Sharon Cochran.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 9:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Rev. Frank Deerey Jr. officiating. Interment will be Saturday, March 10, 2018 in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Dry Weather Burning Ban In Effect

LaBelle, Fla. – A burn ban is now in effect for unregulated fires for all of Hendry County as dry weather conditions impact the area.

An unregulated fire means any outdoor fire, other than a cook fire, which is not permitted by a governmental agency. Outdoor fires include, but are not limited to, bonfires, campfires or burning of yard debris.

Those who violate the burn ban can be subject to a civil fine or charged with a misdemeanor based on the nature of the violation.

To obtain a burn permit for commercial or contractor services only, contact the Florida Forest Service at 239-690-8001.

To report a burn ban violation, contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 863-674-5600 or Hendry County Code Enforcement at 863-675-5247.

The burn ban is in effect until further notice.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Obituaries - John Wilkie, Rosalina De Las Rivas

John A Wilkie, age 84, of Clewiston, passed away March 3, 2018 in Lehigh Acres. He was born June 8, 1933 in Barbados, to the late Hamblin and Aureen (Ince) Wilkie.

He was a Liaison Office for the Caribbean Government. Survivors include his wife: Barbara (Clark) Wilkie, one son: Hans (Joy) Wilkie, two daughters: Lori (Rick) Murrish and Tracy Giese, one sister: Daphne Clarke, Grandchildren, Joshua Clark, Katlynn Frazier, Hayse Wilkie, Kameron Frazier, Aaron Murrish, Kendra Johnson, Zoe Wilkie, Great-Grandchildren, Caleb Ryan Clark; Sophia Rose Martinez, and several Nieces & Nephews

Memorial Services will be held March 26, 2018 with the family receiving friends from 10 to 11AM, Service at 11AM at the First Baptist Church, Clewiston with Dr. Todd Buck officiating.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Rosalina De Las Rivas, age 52, of Clewiston, passed away March 4, 2018 in Clewiston.

She was born Aug. 8, 1965 in Los Angeles, CA, to the late Ismael and Alina (Gonzalez-Debeche) Valladares

Survivors include her husband: Jose De Las Rivas, daughter: Jennifer De Las Rivas. mother Alina (Gonzalez-Debeche) Valladares.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Moore Haven United Way - Harry Chapin Food Pantry

When: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Time: 3:00pm-5:00pm
Where: Moore Haven United Way House
Address: 200 2nd Street, Moore Haven, FL 33971

Why: Come get to know the community services that
are available to you and your family.

Also, food distribution provided by Harry Chapin
Food Bank Mobile Pantry.

Marcus Hallback Dies In Crash Into Building

Marcus Hallback, 22 of Moore Haven was traveling west in the grass lot of 1225 Latum Bell Street, north of Latum Bell Street on a 2018 Yamaha motocross motorcycle Monday at 11:19 a.m.

The vehicle continued west and was approaching the Community Center Building. For unknown reasons, Hallback lost control and separated from the vehicle. He then collided with the east side of the Community Service Building.

Due to injuries sustained, he was pronounced deceased on scene. He was not wearing a helmet.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Montura Fires Under Investigation - No Homes Damaged

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Hendry County Emergency Management and local fire departments along with the Hendry County Sherriff’s Office and authorities from the State and neighboring counties have the fires in Montura Ranch Estates contained to nearly 100% Sunday.

Avenida del Sur has been reopened. No homes were damaged in these fires.

Residents are asked to continue avoiding the area if possible. If travel thru this area is necessary, please do so cautiously as some fire crews remain on site.

Hot spots were expected to burn throughout the night but these should not concern residents as they are in the contained area.

All residents of Hendry County are asked to be mindful of the current dry conditions in the area.

Please limit burning and use caution while mowing lawns, driving ATV’s and other activities that may produce a spark and have the potential to ignite fires.

The current cause of these fires is still under investigation.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Elyssa Amber Willis Dies At 19

Elyssa Amber Willis, age 19, of Felda, passed away March 2, 2018 at home with her family around her.

Elyssa was born on September 4, 1998 in Fort Myers, to Kenneth and Laura Taylor Willis. She graduated from LaBelle High School, attended Central Church of Christ in LaBelle. She enjoyed hunting with her father, Kenneth and enjoyed going to the beach with her mother, Laura. Elyssa was a loving daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter, and friend who will be dearly missed by everyone who loved and cared for her.

Elyssa leaves fond memories with her mother Laura Oliver and step-father; Will, father Kenneth Willis and step-mother Diane Devonshire, step-brothers; Anthony and Bryan Cornejo, paternal grandparents; Roy and Margie Willis, maternal grandmother; Patricia Hicks and maternal step-grandfather; Bill Oliver, aunt; Shelly Nesbitt and uncle; Bret Nesbit, cousins; Tyler Nesbitt and Weston Nesbitt, and countless friends and extended family members.

Celebration of Elyssa's life will be on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Central Church of Christ, 60 Hendry Street LaBelle, where Minister Steve Hildebrand will officiate, visitation will be one hour before service. Burial will be in Felda Cemetery immediately after the celebration of life.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Fires Closes Montura Estates Streets

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Hendry County Emergency Management and local fire departments along with the Hendry County Sherriff’s Office and authorities from the State and neighboring counties are responding to fires in the area south of Avienda Del Sur in Montura Ranch Estates.

Avienda Del Sur is currently closed from the intersection of Avienda Del Sur and Sendero St. to the intersection of Avienda Del Sur and Kennel St.

Residents should NOT attempt to go toward the fire for their own safety and the safety of the authorities.

Hendry County will continue to send out updates as they become available.

Goat Hanging Out In LaBelle - Photo of the Week

LABELLE, FL. -- One may not be surprised by what they see in the city of LaBelle. Here's an interesting visitor climbing the tree across from the Goodwill Store in the shopping center on South Lee Street Sunday afternoon.

Photo courtesy Barbara Whelan

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Louis Dixie Jim Dies At 81

Louis Dixie Jim, Sr., age 81, of Clewiston, passed away March 1, 2018 in Clewiston.

He was born Oct. 1, 1936 in Collier County, FL, to the late Buffalo Jim and the late Susie (Dixie) Jim.

He is survived by his daughters: Jennifer Jim, Rosie Jim, Kaniah Jim, brothers: Stephen Jim, Noah Jim, sisters: Mable Jim, Violet Jim, nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son: Louis Dixie Jim, Jr, daughter: Tina Lee Jim and sister: Lottie Jim.

A graveside service will be held Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 11:00 am at Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation with Rev. Paul Buster officiating.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Airglades Airport Sale - What's Going On At Hendry Commission

LaBelle, Fla. – The following is a highlight of the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting held on Tuesday, February 27 at the County Commission Chamber in the Hendry County Courthouse in LaBelle, Florida. Among the items of note was the proposed sale of Airglades Airport to a private corporation subject to FAA approval.

  • ITB #2018-04- Delinquent Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Advertising for 2017 – The Board approved the selection of the Hendry-Glades Sunday News as the publisher for delinquent real estate and personal property taxes for 2017 and authorized the Tax Collector to enter into a contract with the newspaper.

  • Amendments to Background Screening Ordinance – The Board approved an amendment to the background screening ordinance that will better capture the positions that are required for fingerprinting in accordance with background screening policies. 
·         Planning and Community Development Department Activity Report (Building and Code Enforcement Activity Planning) – The Board asked Planning and Community Development staff to provide GIS maps to give an overlay of the Departments current status and future plans for development.

  • Purchase of Parcel in Monutra Ranch Estates – The Board approved the contract and authorized the Chairman to execute any other documents necessary to effectuate the purchase of 580 S. Cabbage Palm Street. The original asking price was $13,500. After some negotiations, the owner and County staff agreed upon $11,750 with the County paying all closing costs, with the exception of recording fees for any documents necessary to cure title, 50% of Sugar Realty's commission and Sugar Realty's data storage fee. Commissioner Turner requested to see the County staff’s long-term plan for the Montura community.

·         Purchase and Sale Agreement with Airglades International Airport, LLC for Airglades Airport – The Board approved the purchase and sale agreement with Airglades International Airport, LLC for Airglades Airport. This agreement is subject to the approval of Federal Aviation Administration.

  • Greg Finer of Crossroads Behavioral Health updated the Board on their current status. Crossroads has terminated their contract with Central Florida Behavioral Health effective March 9, 2018. Crossroads will remain in the community and looks forward to supporting the new providers, Center for Progressive Excellence, coming to Hendry County.

  • Commissioner Byrd requested staff compose a letter on behalf of the BOCC expressing the County’s condolences to Marjory Stoneman Douglas staff and students.
Commissioner Byrd also asked staff to review the terms regarding the honorary naming of buildings and whether or not the names are effected in the case of a rebuild. Commissioner Turner added that there should also be a clause stating names can be removed due to inappropriate actions or behavior by the namesake.
·         Commissioner Turner mentioned Hendry County Administrator, Charles Chapman’s meeting on Friday, March 2, 2018 with Glades County Administrator, Paul Carlisle and the Southwest Florida Community Foundation Staff to discuss the Hendry-Glades Training Center in Moore Haven. The Commissioner emphasized his desire to see a part-time director position and full-time administrative assistant position as soon as possible in the Center.

The Commissioner also asked staff to perform clean-up work at Ridgelawn Cemetery as well as look at adding elements to make the cemetery more visually attractive. Commissioner Turner added that residents need more information on what the County’s responsibilities are in terms of graveside maintenance and what is expected of the loved ones.

·         Commissioner Wills would like to see more aggressive efforts on cleaning out ditches in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season. The Commissioner mentioned that some residents are still putting horticulture debris out for pick up despite the fact that the debris pick-up process has ended.

Sheriff Wants To Arm School Staff With Concealed Guns

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden this morning outlined his plan to put handguns in the area's schools. Hendry county has schools in LaBelle and Clewiston and Superintendent of Schools Paul Puletti says the idea is going to take extensive working out the details and first must go through the School Board to see if they want to fund the plan, which proposes to have the school system pay for the guns and training of school staff.

Puletti says putting concealed weapons in the hands of teacher may be problematic because of the teacher's union and says some teachers may not want to take on that role in any event.

Sheriff Whidden says he proposed the idea to Puletti after the February 14 student deaths in Broward County.

The video above is the first 15 minutes of a 33 minute press conference. The final minutes includes some important questions from the news media attending; NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, Southwest Florida Online. View the video here

Video by Don Browne

Kathie M. Freud Dies At 65

Kathie M Freud, 65 of Alva, passed away March 1, 2018 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Nov. 7, 1952 in Manitowac, WI, to the late Edward and the late Lois J (Brewer) Wehousen.
Survivors include her husband: Peter Freud, one brother: Glen Wehousen, one sister: Bonnie Wehousen
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Sheriff Steve Whidden Proposes Arming Teachers

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry county Sheriff Steve Whidden has proposed a plan to arm county school teachers or staff with guns to protect students. He says after the recent Broward county school shooting, he realized "our school children were not safe."

All 11 county schools have deputy resource officers. But, Whidden explained in a video, each deputy's rifle is in a locker during their duty. 

Volunteer teachers will be given a psychological test, background check, and a drug test, and sent through tactical active shooter training. They will be sworn in as special deputies and be kept anonymous, Whidden said of the plan.

Video link

Obituaries - Nancy Long, Roy Navarro

Nancy Long, age 75, of LaBelle, passed away February 27, 2018 in LaBelle.

She was born June 23, 1942 in Tabor City, NC, to the late D.C. Spivey and the late Nellie C. (Thompson) Spivey.

She is survived by her son: Ronald Preston Long, Jr. (Dawn), daughter: Brandi Johnson, grandchildren: Brianna Armstrong, Ethan Armstrong, Billy Ray Johnson, Ronald Preston Long III, Tanner Hayden Long, Ellyse Kathleen Long, great grandchildren: Brannley Armstrong and Zoey Johnson, brother: Ben Spivey, sister: Nell Juarez and sister-in-law: Beverly Anne Long.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 11:00 am at Don's Steak House, 93 Hall St., LaBelle, FL 33935. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Roy Allen Navarro, age 31, of Clewiston, passed away February 26, 2018 in Clewiston.

He was born Dec. 28, 1986 in Pahokee, FL Survivors include one son: Dustin Tate Navarro, two daughters: Roxanna D Navarro and Savanah Navarro, Mother Janie (Perez) Walker, Father Ramon Navarro, Brother: Richard Navarro

Memorial services will be held at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston Time and Date are pending.


Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Lake Okeechobee Prescribed Burn March 2

Moore Haven, FL– The Florida Forest Service in collaboration with South Florida Water Management District, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be conducting a prescribed burn on Friday, March 2, 2018, weather permitting. The prescribed burn will consist of approximately 7,000 acres of dried-out marsh on the rim of Lake Okeechobee between the Indian Prairie Canal north to the Pearce Canal. Access to the navigational trails through the marsh, may be limited temporarily during the burn for safety reasons.

“Prescribed burns play a critical role in enhancing the safety and effectiveness of wildfire response, reducing wildfire risk, and safeguarding people and property,” explained Forest Area Supervisor Joe deBree, Florida Forest Service. “In 2017, firefighters responded to seven wildfires on Lake Okeechobee that burned approximately 2,400 acres. Wildfires like these have the potential to threaten homes and lives, impede visibility on the highways and tie-up firefighting resources. However, under the right weather parameters with adequate equipment and resources, Friday’s organized prescribed burn can protect the public’s safety while improving ecosystem health.”

Prescribed burning around the shallow-water portions of Lake Okeechobee can improve the breeding and feeding grounds for fish, waterfowl, wading birds, the Everglades snail kite, and other wildlife populations. Fire removes the dead aquatic vegetation that would otherwise settle to the bottom of the lake and decompose, covering up the natural sandy bottom, making it difficult for new aquatic plants to grow. In addition, fire enables more sunlight to reach the lake bottom, allowing the spread of a more diverse mix of plants on the lake by thinning out fast-spreading cattails that block sunlight.

In order to minimize the smoke impact on nearby towns and roads, prescribed burns are conducted when weather conditions are suitable. The final decision to burn is made daily, after reviewing the Predicted Fire Weather Forecast.

Consumer Protection Week Webinar March 7

National Consumer Protection Week is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights, spot fraud and make better informed decisions. This year, NCPW is March 4 through 10.

In recognition of NCPW, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Consumer Services will host a free webinar on March 7, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST), titled Protect Yourself from Fraud, Deception and Unfair Business Practices. The webinar will highlight the division's role in registering businesses and ensuring that they comply with their statutorily mandated requirements. It will also clarify the consumer complaints mediation and enforcement process, the fair rides inspection process, the division's role in tackling the use of credit card skimmers at gas station pumps, and provide information on various other consumer protection topics. Consumers can register for the webinar by visiting For additional information on the webinar, please contact Alexander Warmka at or 850-410-3665.

The Division of Consumer Services is the state's clearinghouse for consumer complaints, information and protection. The division regulates various businesses, such as: motor vehicle repair shops, charitable organizations, pawnbrokers, health studios, sellers of travel, intrastate movers, professional surveyors and mappers, sweepstakes/game promotions and telemarketers. In addition, the division protects consumers and businesses from unfair and unsafe business practices across a wide range of market sectors, including gasoline, brake fluid, antifreeze, liquefied petroleum gas, amusement rides, and weighing and measuring devices.