Monday, April 30, 2018

What Happened At Commission Meeting April 24

LaBelle, Fla. – The following is a highlight of the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting held on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at the Commission Chamber in LaBelle, Florida.
·         Proclaiming May 2018 as Older Americans Month, Kristen O’Donnell, Area Agency on Aging in Southwest Florida - The Board of County Commissioners of Hendry County Florida does hereby proclaim May 2018 to be Older Americans Month. We urge every resident to take time during this month to recognize older adults and the people who serve them as vital parts of our community.

·         National Public Works Week - The Hendry County Board of County Commissioners designate the week of May 21 - 27, 2018 as National Public Works Week. We urge all our people to join with representatives of the American Public Works Association and government agencies in activities, events and ceremonies designed to pay tribute to our public works professionals, engineers, managers and employees and to recognize the substantial contributions they make to protect our national health, safety, and quality of life.

·         National EMS Week - The Board of County Commissioners of Hendry County, Florida declared May 20 to May 26, 2018, as "EMS Week" in Hendry County, Florida and the Board urges all residents to express their appreciation for the people, facilities and technologies that make trustworthy, reliable healthcare possible in our community.
  • CPA18002, Hendry County Board of County Commissioners, Annual Adoption of the Capital Improvement Schedule ( FY 2017-2022) of the Capital Improvements Element – The Board approved the adoption of the Capital Improvement Schedule for FY 2017—2022. The Capital Improvement Schedule can be found here .

  • Amendment to Hendry County Code of Ordinance; Chapter 1-14.5, Noise Control, Specifically Section 1-14.5-1, Definitions – Continuance –The Board approved staff’s request for a continuance of the public hearing on the amendments to the Noise Control regulations to May 22, 2018, in order to have more time to work with AIA on how to address noise from on Airglades Airport facilities.

  • Consideration of Increasing Amount of County Administrator’s Approval for Emergency Repairs – The Board approved staff’s request to increase the County Administrator approval for emergency repairs to from existing $24,999.99 threshold to $40,000. Recently an emergency repair that was more than $20,000 but less than $40,000 was needed for the jail facility. Quotes were received however the low quote was still over the' existing $20,000 threshold. Due to the schedule of board meetings being twice per month and certain times of the year being once per month, certain emergency repairs that run over $24,999.99 must wait for BOCC approval before work can be done.

  • Health Department Temporary Space Lease with Royal Companies – The Hendry County Health Department was damaged during hurricane Irma resulting in staff being displaced and scattered in available office spaces throughout the County while the Health Department building is repaired. Royals Company has offered a space allowing staff to work under one roof with a year lease. The Board approved the lease with a review after 6 months.

  • Helms Road Extension – Traffic Signals, Phase IIIa & IIIb, Shane Parker, Public Works Director – The Board agreed Agree to the two conditions requested by FDOT regarding the installation of traffic signals at the intersections of Helms Road Extension with SR29 and SR80 which are: 1) The signals will be in continuous flashing mode until traffic counts warrant the signal(s) to be in operational mode.  2) Actual traffic counts will be conducted by the County's consultant or FDOT. And 3) the BOCC will support and acknowledge that the traffic signals will remain in flash mode and will not become operational until actual traffic counts warrant the conversion to operational mode. Helms Road is expected to open to the public by September 2018.

·         Commissioner Byrd is looking to piggy-back off of the City of Clewiston’s ordinance on golf carts so that there is consistency throughout the area. Commissioner Turner would like to see the ordinance implemented in his district as well. Commissioner Byrd also reminded everyone that the Brown Sugar Festival will take place on Saturday, May 5 in Harlem.

·         Commissioner Harris would like to see sidewalks on both sides of State Road 29 south as well as on Cowboy Way from Alice Street to State Road 80. Commissioner Harris is also concerned about the creeks and ditches being cleaned of debris before the rainy season begins. Commissioner Harris also mentioned the Hendry-Glades Unmet Needs Coalition which serves residents of the area who are still suffering from hurricane related damages. For more information on the coalition, please call (561)516-2103 or send an email .

Glades County Fire Updates

Palmdale, FL –  Over the weekend, County and State Firefighters suppressed three large wildfires in western Glades County. Hurricane Irma toppled over many large pine trees in Glades County increasing the size, complexity and intensity of all of these wildfires due to widespread destruction of vegetation.  

“The extra vegetation on the forest floor adds more fuel for the wildfires,” explained Forest Area Supervisor Joe deBree. “In addition, the downed hurricane vegetation can pose a hazard to firefighters, the equipment can get wedged on snapped trunks and limbs. Fortunately, no homes were threatened on any of these wildfire, so firefighters had the time to assess each wildfire thoroughly and contemplated strategies to safely combat the abundance of dried out hurricane debris.” 

Lightning has been eliminated as a caused to all three of these wildfires. If the public has any information on the origin of these wildfire, please contact your local Florida Forest Service at (863) 467-3221.

In Muse Community 50-acre Beehive Wildfire
Sunday’s Beehive Wildfire was located west of the Saturday’s Gallberry Wildfire. With westerly prevailing winds, the Beehive Wildfire merged into the Gallberry Wildfire.

County:      Glades – west of Kirby Thompson Road, South of Loblolly Bay Road
Reported:   04/29/2018 16:37   
Contained   04/29/2018 19:57
Fire Cause:  Under investigation  
Evacuations/Road Closures/Threats/Injuries:  None

Northwest of LaBelle – 94-acre Gallberry Wildfire
County:          Glades – South of Loblolly Bay Road and West of Kirby Thompson Road
Reported:       04/28/2018 14:56
Contained:     100% at 04/28/2018 16:19
Fire Cause:     Under Investigation
Evacuations/Road Closures/Threats/Injuries:  None

Ortona – 200-acre Ortona Eucalyptus Wildfire
County:          Glades  -West of US 27 and Wayman Road
Reported:      04/28/2018 16:38
Contained:    100% at 04/28/2018 19:35
Fire Cause:     Under Investigation
Evacuations/Road Closures/Threats/Injuries:  None

Agencies on Scene:
Glades County Fire Department and Florida Forest Service

If you live near nature then you can be at risk for wildfire danger.  Take the time to remove anything that will burn from your roof and gutters.  That includes pine needles, leaves, small twigs, and palm fronds.  Be sure there is nothing flammable against the sides of your home.  Be sure to use plants that are not highly flammable around your home.  Keep the area within 30 feet of your home picked up, mowed, and watered within the guidelines of local water management.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

'Garden Party' With Ken Ryan

BABCOCK RANCH, FL. -- Master Gardener Ken Ryan instructed several dozen invited guests in how to make an organic vegetable garden at the Babcock Ranch community garden Saturday morning.

Earlier in the morning guests were treated to a tour of the new model homes scattered over the new city in Charlotte County where over one hundred homes have already been sold during the first year of the new development on State Road 29.

After, Ryan's presentation, Slater's Goods and Provisions catered a lunch for the guests under a white tent at the community garden center.

Glades County Fires Suppressed Saturday

PALMDALE, FL. -- Glades County and State Firefighters suppressed two large wildfires burning approximately 294-acres in Glades county Saturday. Downed hurricane vegetation, lower relativity humidity, and shifting high winds created high intensity fire behavior with trees torching, long-range spotting and fire burning across water. 

Glades County Fire Department was essential in suppressing fire-brands; dead leaf litter on fire that was carried by the wind up to ¼ mile ahead of the main fire.  

The Florida Forest Service utilized a firefighting bulldozer with plow to encircle the wildfire and create a containment line. The bulldozer’s plow removed vegetation (fuel) and left a strip of bare soil that stop the spread of the wildfire.

Northwest of LaBelle – 94-acre Gallberry Wildfire
County:          Glades – South of Loblolly Bay Road and West of Kirby Thompson Road
Reported:       04/28/2018 14:56
Contained:     100% at 04/28/2018 16:19
Fire Cause:     Under Investigation
Evacuations/Road Closures/Threats/Injuries:  None

Ortona – 200-acre Ortona Eucalyptus Wildfire
County:          Glades  -West of US 27 and Wayman Road
Reported:      04/28/2018 16:38
Contained:    100% at 04/28/2018 19:35
Fire Cause:     Under Investigation
Evacuations/Road Closures/Threats/Injuries:  None

Agencies on Scene:
Glades County Fire Department and Florida Forest Service

The recent hurricane has increased the complexity and intensity of wildfires due to widespread destruction of vegetation in our area, caused by down trees, snapped trunks and limbs, and stripped away leaves. Residents can help firefighters by preventing any future wildfires and creating a 30-foot area around their house cleared of dead vegetation. Large landowners can bush-hog or roller chop to help reduce the copious amounts of fuels.

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 millionacres 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

For questions about burn authorizations and wildfire prevention, please contact your local Florida Forest Service:
Martin County (772) 221-4045;    Saint Lucie County (772) 468-3915;  Indian River County (772) 778-5085;
Glades County (863) 674-4000;    Highlands County  (863) 655-6407;   Okeechobee County (863) 467-3221

Friday, April 27, 2018

What's Happening At Firehouse Theatre

LABELLE, FL. -- April showered the Firehouse Community Theatre stage with song by the Firehouse Singers. FIREHOUSE FAVORITES/LOOKING BACK AND FORWARD directed by Nick Fidanza had audiences tapping their toes and snapping their fingers. Nick retired from the Musical Revue at the end of this production, the Firehouse Community Theatre wishes him all the best and are hopeful that he will come out of retirement in the future. 

The Firehouse Singers are NOT retiring, just a brief hiatus, look for them at events around town and of course the Toys for Tots toy drive/fundraiser in December.
As May approaches the Firehouse stage will spring to life with ALMOST, MAINE, a dark comedy co-directed by Joel Hawkins and Maureen Doucette. This production is the Off Bridge Street Production and not part of the regular season. Play dates are May 4th & 5th at 7pm, May 6th at 2pm and May 11th & 12th at 7pm , May 13 at 2pm.

Through volunteers the theatre is able to continue providing theatre production as well as events in the community. Seeking directors, actors, actresses, stage managers,  set construction, tech support and more! If you or someone you know have a special talent to share, let us know!
Many have made donations to help the Firehouse Community Theatre purchase an AED. Wait, what is an AED? It's an Automated External Defibrillator that in the event of a medical emergency can save lives.  We are still accepting donations to acquire this life saving device. 

Coming soon to the Firehouse Community Theatre: This season the Firehouse Community Theatre will offer 2 Summer Youth Programs. These Summer Youth camps offers area children the experience of live theatre. 

The first Summer Youth Program will be for the "older kids" ages 10 to 16. THE GREAT AMERICAN TALENT SHOW directed by Kristin Green. Play Dates are June 14th, 15th &16th at 7pm and
 June 18th at 2pm.

The second Summer Youth Program will be for the "younger kids" ages 5 to 10. MONSTER IN THE CLOSET directed by Kylie Bancroft and Valerie Shough. REGISTRATION/AUDITIONS for this production will be Monday May 21 at 7pm at the Firehouse Community Theatre. Play dates are: June 29th & 30th at 7pm and July 1st at 2pm.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Dr. Kai Fu Chow Retires After 36 Years

LABELLE, FL. -- Thursday afternoon, patients and friends of Dr. Kai Fu Chow celebrated his retirement after 36 years serving the LaBelle area at his office on South Main Street in the LaBelle Medical Center complex.

Photo: Dr. Chow (at left) and friends celebrate

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jon Stucki Arrested On Heroin Trafficking Charge

LABELLE, FL. -- Jonathan Stucki and two others were arrested for drug trafficking and other related charges after a search warrant was served Tuesday at Stucki's residence on North Hickory Street in LaBelle.

At approximately 5:00 am on Tuesday, April 20, 2018, a Narcotics Search Warrant was served at 110 North Hickory St.,  LaBelle which resulted in the arrest of three people.

Once entering the residence they found 46 yr old Jonathan David Stucki, 35 yr old Jason Dallas Prince and 39 yr old Melissa Sutton.
Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, along with Special Response Team, and Criminal Interdiction Units completed a thorough search of the home.

Recovered from the residence was 9.7 grams of Heroin with most packaged for individual sale in small glassine baggies, 8.36 ounces of liquid Hydrocodon in prescription bottles with the labels scraped off, Cocaine, and marijuana, all with a total street value of nearly $11,000 

Numerous paraphernalia items to include a glass pipe with crystal meth inside, and $691.00 cash was located in close proximity to the heroin. The majority of the drugs were located in the bedroom shared by Ms Sutton and Mr. Stucki.

Stucki was arrested and booked in the Hendry County Jail on charges of Violation of Probation, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Controlled Substance w/o Prescription, Possession of Marijuana, Trafficking in Heroin, Trafficking in Hydrocodon, and Use of Two Way Device to Facilitate Felony, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Stucki has a long list of 13 arrests since 2012 including theft, robbery, drugs, and weapons charges. Stucki is currently being held on No Bond.

Prince is charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Controlled Substance w/o Prescription, Possession of Marijuana, Trafficking in Heroin, Trafficking in Hydrocodon, and Use of Two Way Device to Facilitate Felony, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Prince is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail on $83,000.00 bond.

Sutton is also being held in the Hendry County Jail on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Controlled Substance w/o Prescription, Possession of Marijuana, Trafficking in Heroin, Trafficking in Hydrocodon, and Use of Two Way Device to Facilitate Felony, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Sutton has a long list of 11 arrests going back to 2011. Her bond is currently $83,000.00.

'Mom And Child' - Photo Feature

LABELLE, FL. -- The latest new birth on a Glades county ranch this week. "All doing well" reports the ranch owner. The new calf pictured at about 12 hours old.

Photo by Barbara A. Whelan

Serious Injury In SR80 Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Amy D. Howard, 35 of Fort Denaud and  Samuel Quinton Bell, 37 of Lehigh Acres with passenger Tristan Jon Harvey, 21 of Alva were eastbound on State Road 80 near County Road 80A at 6:21 a.m. Wednesday. Howard was traveling in the outside lane. Bell was in the inside lane.

Howard crossed the centerline and began to straddle the inside and outside lanes while eastbound. As a result, the left front made contact with the right rear of Bell's vehicle in the inside lane. Upon impact with Howard's vehicle it began rotating counterclockwise. Bell then lost control as his vehicle continued in a southeasterly direction across the eastbound lanes.

It then departed the roadway and came to rest overturned to the right in a ditch (south of the roadway). Howard brought her vehicle to a controlled stop on the eastbound grassy shoulder subsequent to the collision.

Passenger Harvey had serious injuries and was taken to Lehigh Regional Hospital. Howard was charged with failure to drive in a single lane.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hit And Run Info Sought In School Bus Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- A school bus with 10 students on board was traveling Tuesday morning at 7:12 a.m., south on County Road 833 approaching the intersection for County Road 83 as the driver activated the left turn signal, and then began to make the left turn.

Driver of a 2001 Izuzu Rodeo began to pass in a no passing zone, traveling south in the northbound lane of County Road 833. The bus driver, Regina White, 58 of Clewiston noticed the Izuzo approaching and steered to the right as the Izuzu steered to the right also.

The front of the Izuzu struck the rear of the bus. Both vehicles were at final rest upon arrival of FHP Trooper S. Rongish, facing south in the southbound lane of County Road 833 at the intersection of County Road 835.

There were no reported injuries to the students. Note: All the occupants in the Izuzu fled on foot
from the scene prior to Law Enforcement arrival, they were described as 4-5 Hispanic males
ranging in age. Hendry County Sheriff's Office assisted with attempting to locate the occupants,
however none of the occupants were located. If anyone has any information in regards to this
crash, they are asked to contact Trooper S. Rongish with the Florida Highway Patrol at 239-938-

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Obituaries - Peterson, Hill, Brown, Wickenden

Barbara J. Peterson, age 58, of LaBelle, passed away April 17, 2018 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Oct. 9, 1959 in Marshall, MI, to the late Donald and Ella Mae (Lake) Hoytt.

Survivors include Larry Cunningham Significant Other, one son: Donny Brandon Pierce, two daughters: Amy Cunningham and Christine Christenson, one sister and two brothers. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Sylvia Joyce Hill, age 78, of LaBelle, passed away April 18, 2018 in Lehigh Acres. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Wayne Stanley Brown, age 77, of LaBelle, passed away April 19, 2018 in Fort Myers. He was born Dec. 4, 1940 in Saint Paul, MN, to the late Wallace M. and the late Clara M. (Wildenauer) Brown. 

Wayne was a resident of LaBelle since 1983 and a former resident of Saint Paul, MN. He was owner-operator of Belle Hatchee Marina in LaBelle with his wife, Dolly. Wayne was a member of VFW At Large, American Legion Post#130 in LaBelle and he was a member Lion's Club in LaBelle for 19 years.

He is survived by his sister-in-law, Glendoris Caroline Felde of Lehigh Acres, FL; niece, Amie Joe Woods of Lehigh Acres, FL; niece, Alexandra Knuth of Lehigh Acres, FL and nephew Savion Woods.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Janice Margaret "Dolly" Brown and son, James Vincent Brown. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Michael A. Wickenden, age 79, of LaBelle, passed away April 19, 2018 in LaBelle. He was born May 25, 1938 in Waco, TX, to the late Aubrey Gerard and the late Willie Thelma (Leach) Wickenden. He served in the Navy.

A mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, April 27, 2018 at 11:00 am at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in LaBelle. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Obituaries - Clinard, Williams, Leeming

William Tod Clinard, age 51, of Clewiston, passed away April 15, 2018 in Clewiston.

Tod was born in Pahokee, Florida to the late William Ray Clinard and Anna Postell Clinard on February 10, 1967. He married Yvonne Louise Andress. He owned and operated an used car dealership in Clewiston for many years. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family and had a passion for motorcycles. Tod was a loving and caring son, husband, father, uncle, brother and grandfather who will be greatly missed by his entire family.

Tod leaves behind his loving wife; Yvonne Louise Clinard, mother; Anna Clinard, children; Tiffany Vanderbaan and her husband Kris, Yvette Clinard and Garrett Clinard, a granddaughter; Kaylianne Vanderbaan, youngest sister; Kristi Durance and her husband Kevin, along with his niece and nephew; Kacie Durance and Kody Durance. Tod is preceded in death by his father, Ray Clinard and younger sister; Connie Clinard.

The celebration of Tod's life will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Evangel Assembly of God Church. Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. with Memorial service starting at 11:00 a.m. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

John N Williams, Sr, age 79, of Clewiston, passed away April 15, 2018 in his home with his family around him.

John was born in Yulee, Florida on December 27, 1938 to the late Jasper and Ida M. Bennett Williams. He married Martha Joyce Whitehead. He was a diesel mechanic for many years. He and Joyce attended Evangel Assembly of God church in Clewiston for many years.

John leaves behind his wife; Joyce of Clewiston, sons; Jason Williams and his wife Lori, John N. Jr, daughters; Julie LaChance and husband Daniel, Jenette Jenkins and husband Jeff, Jennifer Atkinson and husband David, 12 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren, one precious great- great grandchild, one brother; J.W. Williams, five sisters; Margaret Folkner, Virginia Taylor, Dora Chapel, Linda Bocciello, and Irma Gilles.

Celebration of John's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018 in Evangel Assembly of God Church. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Nicole Michele Leeming, age 30, of LaBelle, passed away April 10, 2018 in LaBelle.

She was born January 27th 1988 in Fort Myers to father Timothy Leeming and mother Phyllis Leeming.

Nicole was a dedicated hard worker. She was employed at Save-a-Lot since she was 15. She also worked part-time at Shortcakes in LaBelle for her long-time friend Ashley Short. She was also employed at Love's in Moore Haven where she had her special family of friends. She will be missed dearly by all of her co-workers. She was always smiling and had a warm caring heart.

She was a member of the Moose Lodge in LaBelle.

She leaves behind her Dad, Timothy Leeming of Okeechobee, Mom, Phyllis Leeming and Step-Dad, Mike Knotek of LaBelle, Sister, Kristin Leeming (Shane Widden) of Alabama, Maternal Grandmother, Charlotte Harvey of Morriston, Maternal Grandfather, Harold Harvey of Williston, Paternal Grandmother, Nancy Conklin of Palmdale, Paternal Grandfather, the late Gene Conklin. Aunts – Dot Cates, Dianne Davis, and Kim Searcy, all of LaBelle, Uncles – Mike Davis of LaBelle, Eddie Hall of Naples, Shaun Harvey of Williston, Shawn Searcy of LaBelle and Bill Leeming of Sebring, Niece, Daisy Widden and Nephew, Slayd Widden of Alabama, 1st Cousins- Charles Troia (Kimberly Williams) and Travis Searcy of LaBelle, June Hall of Alaska, Zeb Hall of Naples, LeAnn Hall of Punta Gorda and Jessica Harvey of Williston. She had many 2nd cousins.

Funeral Services were held April 14th at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Pastor Bill Maddox officiating.

Minority Health Month Highlights Partnerships

The Florida Department of Health is emphasizing health equity—each individual achieving optimal health—during National Minority Health Month. The 2018 Minority Health Month theme is "Partnering for Health Equity,” which provides an opportunity to highlight the partnerships that help reduce disparities in health and health care.

"Current research confirms that there are many factors which contribute to our health,” said Health Officer/Administrator Joe Pepe. “As a result, some people bear a higher burden of disease than others. The Health Department teams in Hendry and Glades, along with our community partners, are working daily on programs to protect, promote and improve the healthiness of our community.”

The conditions in the places where people are born, grow, live, work, play, learn and age have significant impact on the health outcomes of individuals, families and their communities. The department's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) continues to bridge efforts across Florida to help decrease and eliminate health disparities, accelerate health equity, and build stronger and healthier communities.

The Closing the Gap Grant program is administered by the OMHHE, and these grants are utilized to stimulate the development of community and neighborhood-based organizations to improve disparate health outcomes of racial and ethnic populations and promote disease prevention activities.

As part of the Closing the Gap Grant program, Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc. introduced the "Fresh Stop” mobile farmers' market bus in Central Florida. "Fresh Stop” was introduced in 2014 with the goal of reducing diabetes risk in areas that are considered food deserts due to a lack of fresh, nutritional and affordable food options. In addition to offering fresh produce, the "Fresh Stop” also provides healthy cooking and wellness lessons. More than half of residents in Eatonville that attended the wellness lessons had lost weight and reduced their risk of diabetes.

To ensure Floridians in all communities have opportunities to achieve healthier outcomes, the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) Steering Committee has chosen health equity as one of eight priority health areas in the SHIP, which will guide strategic health interventions for the next five years.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Obituraries - Eddie Massey, Sonny Cisnero

Eddie Lee Massey, Sr., age 68, of Moore Haven, passed away April 9, 2018 in Moore Haven. He was born Aug. 18, 1949 in Somerset, KY, to the late Oscar and Julia (Brown) Massey. He served during Vietnam War in the U.S. Army from 11/30/1968 to 08/31/1970.

He and his wife own Uncle Joe's Fish Camp in Moore Haven, FL.

Survivors include his wife: Cynthia Jean (Smith) Massey, two sons: Eddie Lee Massey Jr. and Scotty Massey, three daughters: Susan Massey, Jennifer Werthman and Melissa Werthman, two brothers: Curtis Massey and Jerry Lawson, three sisters: Glenna Faye Coward, Ann Jones and Louise Manning, 13 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren

He was predeceased by his brother Cledith "Buddy" Massey and a sister Pauline Holzapfel.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, TN. Interment will be Monday, April 16, 2018 in Massey Cemetery, Scott County, TN

Visitation will be Thursday April 12. 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Sonny J. Cisnero, age 46, of LaBelle, passed away April 8, 2018 in Lehigh Acres. He was born Sep. 20, 1971 in Bryan, OH, to the late Tiodoso and Maria (Barraza) Cisnero, III. He was a semi-truck driver.

Survivors include his son: Sonny Cisnero, Jr and two daughters: Sonnya Cisnero and Shealah B Cisnero, grandson Alyis Cisnero, granddaughter; Aleah Faith Cisnero, mother; Maria Barraza, brothers; Tiodoso Cisnero, IV., Johnny Rios, Johnny Cisnero, sister; Teresa Cisnero Stephens, many aunts, uncles and cousins who loves him dearly.

Sonny was preceded in death by his father; Tiodoso Cisnero, III, and a brother; Esteban Juan Cisnero.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Panther Family Back In The Wild Today

panther photo
Photo by Carlton Ward Jr. in partnership with FWC.
A female panther and her two kittens are back in the wild today, after spending months in captivity. On April 10, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) panther team released the panther family on the Picayune Strand State Forest in Collier County. This is the first time the FWC has rescued, rehabilitated and released a family group of panthers.
FWC biologists rescued the adult female panther, known as FP224, in December 2017 after she was struck by a vehicle on Collier Boulevard in Naples. They took her to the Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida in Naples where veterinarians determined she had a broken hind leg. Following a successful surgery to repair the fracture, the FWC panther veterinarian took the panther to White Oak Conservation Foundation for rehabilitation.
In June, FP224 produced a litter of one female and two male kittens, and biologists suspected these kittens were near where their mother was injured. They set up cameras to locate the young panthers, and two of the kittens were photographed and captured immediately thereafter. Unfortunately, biologists were not able to capture the third kitten.
Biologists brought the two male kittens to White Oak Conservation Foundation. They were not immediately returned to their mother so that her leg had time to heal. Last month, the family was reunited in a 1-acre pen to maintain the family bond.
On Monday, veterinarians determined that all three felines were healthy and ready for release.
“Typically, orphaned kittens still dependent on their mothers need to be kept in captivity until they can survive on their own,” said Darrell Land, FWC panther team leader. “However in this case, the mother can continue to raise her kittens, teaching them the required survival and social skills they would not receive in captivity.”
FP224 is not new to the rescue and rehabilitation efforts of the FWC and partners. In 2013, she was struck by a vehicle and had to be rescued. In the years between the two accidents she has produced three litters of kittens, successfully contributing to the Florida panther population.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Surprise! Your Facebook Info Was Most Likely Shared

LABELLE, FL. -- While Facebook prepares to slowly notify 82 million users about possible sharing of personal information unknowingly to third parties in the past several years, it has posted a help page to immediately verify if your account was involved.

Most likely, a Facebook friend of yours indeed did have his information shared along with your information as a friend.

To check you status go to:

Fatality In Port LaBelle Crash

UPDATED 5 p.m. Tuesday

LABELLE, FL. -- At about 4:44 a.m. Tuesday a vehicle crashed into a pole on Eucalyptus Blvd. at Rick's Market in Port LaBelle leaving Nicole Michele Leeming, 30 of LaBelle dead. Foggy weather may have played a part in the deadly crash.

A 2015 Nissan Altima was traveling north on Northeast Eucalyptus Boulevard on the southbound
lane. The FHP says Leeming failed to negotiate a curve and her car traveled onto the left grassy
shoulder. The front of the Nissan collided with a light pole and two sign supports. It came to final
rest on the west shoulder on the parking lot located at 4050 Northeast Eucalyptus Boulevard,
LaBelle Florida 33935, facing west.

The Florida Highway Patrol while investigating had Hendry Sheriff's Deputies closing off the roadway this morning. Florida Power And Light trucks were at the same time repairing the downed concrete power pole.

The FHP says the investigation as to whether alcohol was a factor is pending. She was not wearing a seat belt.

FHP Demonstrates Bicycle And Pedestrian Safety

FORT MYERS, FL. -- On April 10, 2018, the Florida Highway Patrol, held Operation P.E.D.S. (Pedestrian Education and Developing Safety details) on State Road 78 between Old 41 and Pondella Road from 8:00 am til 10:00 am. 

The purpose of this detail was to decrease the amount of injuries and deaths through a series of highly concentrated education and enforcement details in areas prone to pedestrian and bicyclist involved crashes. Troopers passed out educational flyers, installed bicycle lights/reflectors and provided reflective vest, wristbands and other safety material to those in need. 

Troopers also stopped numerous vehicles for not properly stopping before turning right at red traffic signals.

Total Contacts:

· 37 Pedestrian educational encounters
· 14 Bicycle lights installed
· 26 Improper stop warnings to motorist

Monday, April 09, 2018

Zuckerberg Meets With Senator Bill Nelson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, issued the following statement after his meeting today with Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg. The meeting comes just one day before Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees on Tuesday:

“I just met one-on-one with Mr. Zuckerberg and in no uncertain terms reminded him that Facebook has a responsibility to its users to protect our personal data. Facebook failed us. Not only did they fail to safeguard the personal information of millions of users, they concealed it from us – and this is not the first time the company mishandled user information. Only now are they coming clean and informing those who have had their information compromised and telling us they are going to make things right.

“Meantime, we still don’t know what Cambridge Analytica and other third parties have done with the data they collected. That’s why I’ve asked Chairman Thune to haul Cambridge Analytica in to answer these questions at a separate hearing.  The chairman has given me his assurance he plans to do just that. The bottom line here is: if Facebook can’t fix its privacy problems, then how can Americans trust them to be caretakers of their sensitive information?”

Coalition Meets April 13

Hendry and Glades County residents, representatives of local organizations, churches, businesses and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition meeting to be held Friday April 13 at 1pm at the. Clewiston Public Library, 120 West Osceola Avenue, Clewiston. 

 The mission of the Hendy/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition is to partner with faith-based organizations, volunteer and social agencies, governmental agencies, community-based organizations, business and individual volunteers who seek to address the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of the individuals and families affected by natural and man-made disasters in Hendry and Glades counties.

Speakers are available upon request to share information and answer question about this coalition of local volunteers and agencies serving Hendry and Glades County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma. 

For information contact Terri Miazaga, HGUNC Coordinator Phone: 561-516-2103 Fax: 863-675-9393 E-mail Mailing address: Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition c/o LaBelle United Way House 133 N. Bridge Street LaBelle, FL 33935

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Sonny Cisnero Dies In Crash

Sonny Joe Cisnero, 46 of LaBelle was traveling east on County Road 80A (East Cowboy Way) at Carlyle Street in a 2006 Chevy pickup truck when he suffered a medical event at 1:90 P.M. Sunday.

The truck drifted off the road way onto the south shoulder of County Road 80A. The front  struck a concrete drainage culvert located on the right shoulder of County Road 80A. The truck came to final rest in the ditch on the right shoulder of County Road 80A facing south east.

Cisnero was taken to Lehigh Memorial Hospital, said the FHP.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Imposter DCF Investigator Sought By Law Enforcement

LABELLE, FL.-- Deputies with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office are asking parents to be aware as it was reported Friday that a female identifying herself as a Department of Children and Families Investigator, attempted to enter the home of a woman, telling the mother she was there to conduct a “home check” and to “check up” on her child due to prior allegations. 

When the mother refused to allow the female into her home and said they would contact law enforcement, she began to back away to her vehicle telling her, “well I have everything I need to close the case” and left the area.

The mother described the vehicle as a 2000-2010 White Volkswagen Beetle with a Black top. Suspect female is described as approximately 5’4”-5’8”, 30-40 years of age, thin build with dark colored hair.

Hendry County Sheriff’s Office followed up with the Department of Children and Families and was told that no one should have been at her house yesterday.

The victim did not recognize the woman and was unable to get a tag number from the vehicle. The suspect female was not able to provide any identification nor was she wearing any clothing that would identify her as a DCF Investigator.

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said, “The fact that someone would go to a person’s home, identify themselves as an Investigator and attempt to gain entry is very concerning to us. We are asking if you see or hear anything suspicious to contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office immediately”.

If you have any information or know who this female may be, please contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Gopher Tortoise - Florida's Only Native Turtle

Spring days are a good time to spot a gopher tortoise, as Florida’s only native tortoise becomes more active, foraging for food and searching for a mate.

If you see gopher tortoises or their half-moon shaped burrow entrances, it is best to leave them alone. It’s illegal to disturb or harm gopher tortoises, their burrows or their eggs.

You can help a gopher tortoise cross a road, by picking it up and placing it on the roadside in the direction it was heading. But only do this if it is safe for you to do so, and don’t put the tortoise in your vehicle! Remember too, the tortoise is a land animal, so never attempt to put it into water.

On April 10, many Floridians plan to celebrate Florida Gopher Tortoise Day and support conservation of this threatened species.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has encouraged Floridians to get involved in Gopher Tortoise Day since 2016 and share awareness of how people can help this species that is found in every county of the state.

Communities adopting a Gopher Tortoise Day resolution this year include Alachua and Brevard counties, and the cities of Malabar, Melbourne, North Port, Palm Bay, Palm Shores, Rockledge, Sanibel and Tallahassee. In 2017, Gopher Tortoise Day resolutions were adopted by Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Indian River and Sarasota counties, and the cities of Cape Coral, Flagler Beach and Venice.

Anyone, or any group like a neighborhood association, can celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day and help conserve the tortoise. Go to for information and activities for April 10 and all year long.

25 Tons Of Sugar Spilled On US27

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Florida Highway Patrol is on scene of an overturned semi-truck crash on US 27 and Evercane Road in Clewiston. 

The southbound lanes of US 27 and eastbound Evercane Road  were blocked this morning due to the approximately 25 tons of sugarcane being spilt from the overturned trailer. 

There are no reported injuries said the FHP investigators on the scene.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Obituaries - Robert Hegley, Elsie Foster, Andres Herrero

Robert B. Hegley Jr., age 58, of Lehigh Acres, passed away at home.
He was born Aug. 24, 1959 in , PA, to the late Robert B and to Chalys Hegley.
He served in the U. S. Army from 1977 to 1983.
He has been instrumental in the car business in Hendry County for many years.
Survivors include his wife: Dawn (Peace) Hegley
one son: Robert B Hegley 2nd
three daughters: Khari Ford, Caitlyn Ford and Cooper Ford,
mother Chalys Hegley
three brothers: Chris Hegley, Steven Hegley and Lee Hegley,
A Memorial Service is Pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Elsie Faye Foster, age 89, of LaBelle, FL. passed away March 31, 2018 in LaBelle, FL.
She was born Nov. 28, 1928 in Greensboro, NC, to the late Rupert B. and Elsie (Busick) Bynum.
Survivors include a son: Frank Stephen Foster
a daughter: Faye Suzanne (Roger) Burg
Grandson, Robbie (Nikki);
Granddaughter, Shelby (Kyle);
1 great grandchild
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Andres M. Herrero, Sr, passed away March 31, 2018 in Hope Hospice, Lehigh Acres, Florida. Andres was born November 11, 1940 in Havana, Cuba and came to the United States in 1957. He became a US Citizen November 1978. He attended High School and earned a degree in accounting in New York. He moved to Miami in 1968 and later relocated to LaBelle in 2002. He attended the LaBelle Church of God.
Survivors include his wife; Ruby (Deese) Herrero, children; Andres Herrero, Jr (Lisa), Alexander Herrero (Katherine), grandchildren: Shahidy Benito, Alexander Arocha, Brandon Herrero, Elizabeth Herrero, Isabelle Herrero and two great-grandchildren; Emerie and Zulian Benito. nephew, Charles E. Hicks, Jr (Vicki), Earl David Hicks (Karen), nieces; Carma Hicks (Park) and Glenda Brooker (Gordon) along with a host of family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hope Healthcare Services, 1201 Wings Way, Lehigh Acres, Florida 33936.
Funeral services will be held graveside at Fort Denaud Cemetery on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. with Pastor Cliff Gobble officiating.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – LaBelle.

Freda Herrmann Dies At 80

Freda Margaret Teaster Herrmann
March 9, 1938 – April 3, 2018
Clewiston, Fl. – Freda peacefully separated from this life on an early Spring morning and is now asleep in Christ. A smoky mountain girl at heart, she was always ready to share with pride where she was from and passed those memories and ancestry on to her family through the tradition of story-tellin'. Many of those stories included her experiences working at the Parkway Market in Gatlinburg, and of the life in Elkmont where she lived and worked as a caretaker for Mrs. Townsend, as well as her earlier memories as a child spent in the mountains, and long as she could she went back home to East Tennessee to visit kin and share in homecomings and Decoration Day.
Even though her heart was big for Tennessee she spent the majority of her years here in Florida making it her permanent residence. She was previously employed by the Handy store in Moore Haven and went on to work for Hendry General (Regional) Hospital in Clewiston in the business office including holding the position of business manager for a duration.
Freda was predeceased by her mother, Josie Ownby Teaster, her father Clifford C. Teaster, her brother Clifford C. Teaster, her brother Clyde V. Teaster, and sister Verl Morrison.
She is survived by her son Gary L. Moore (Linda) of Clewiston, FL., granddaughter, Wendy Walker (Robert, Jr.) of Deland, FL., grandson Gary Leon Moore (Kendall) and two great-grandchildren, Elizabeth and Dylan of Clarksville, TN. Freda is also survived by her brothers Von Teaster (Etheleen), and Rex Teaster (Jean) of Seiverville, TN.
She will be laid to rest at Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clewiston, FL. after a funeral at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home with Pastor Troy Ezell officiating. Visitation will be one hour before the service held at the funeral home.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.