Friday, May 18, 2018

Obituaries-Cummings, O'Ferrell, Padron, Harris, Morejon, Pellot

Merritt Max Cummings, age 88, of Clewiston, passed away May 15, 2018 in Palms West Hospital.

Max was born Apr. 9, 1930 in Avard, Oklahoma to Lester and Bernice (Hosman) Cummings. He honorably served his country in the United States Navy from 1947-1952. He met and married the love of his life and wife Angielean Nazworth in Jacksonville, Florida. He and Angie have lived in Jacksonville, Florida, Melbourne, Florida, Wichita, Kansas, Oklahoma, and finally making Clewiston their home in 1993. He and Angie were members of First Baptist Church of Clewiston. Max was a loving Christian man who loved his family and enjoyed spending time with each one of them.

Max leaves behind his loving wife of 66 years Angielean of Clewiston, children; Kay Walker and her husband Byron of Plantation, Florida, Sandi Schaper and her husband Doug of Loxahatchee, Florida, six grandchildren; Kendra Wells and her husband Dr. Brian, Derek Davis and wife Amie of Dallas, Texas, Amanda Walker of Plantation, Florida, Brandon Walker of Plantation, Florida, Alicia Hobson and her husband Darryl of Lake Worth, Florida, Austin Schaper and his wife Maria of Loxahatchee, Florida, eight great grandchildren, one sister; Winnie Woolcock of Hayward, California

Max was preceded in death by his daughter; Sheila Curtis, sister; Jean Murphy, brothers; Gary Cummings, and Carl Cummings.

Celebration of Max's life will be held Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in First Baptist Church with Rev. Raul Zaldivar officiating. Visitation will be one hour before service. Burial will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery.

Laura K. "Peggy" O'Ferrell, age 82, of LaBelle, passed away May 15, 2018 in Fort Myers.

She was born Mar. 11, 1936 in Miller County, AR, to the late Earl Edward and the late Ina (Brint) Krieger.

She is survived by her loving husband: Lawrence H. O'Ferrell, son: Larry O'Ferrell (Tammy), daughters: Regina Richardson (Allen) and Tammy Powell (Mark), brother: John Krieger, sister: Nellie Fraizer, grandchildren: Brad Richardson, Greg Richardson, Trey O'Ferrell, Justin O'Ferrell (Kayla), Staci O'Ferrell Tomlinson (Learon), Gavin Powell, Dillon Powell, Jada Powell and great grandchildren: Deacon O'Ferrell and Prezley Powell.

She was preceded in death by her brother; Edward Krieger and sisters; Pansy Chambless, Carrie Martin and Shirley Jones.

A memorial service was held Friday, May 18, 2018 at 11:00 am at Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church, LaBelle. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church. A luncheon will immediately follow the service at Christ Central LaBelle.

Nelson Valdes Padron, 72, of Clewiston, passed away May 14, 2018 in Clewiston. He was born Apr. 14, 1946 in Cuba, to the late Silvino and Carmen Valdes Padron.

Survivors include two sons: Ernesto Valdes and Alexis Valdes, two brothers: Guillermo Valdes Padron and Arnaldo Valdes Padron, one sister: Caridad Valdes, Grandchildren,

Graveside service will be held Friday, May 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm at Ridgelawn Cemetery.

Dora "Ethelene" Harris, age 88, of LaBelle, passed away May 13, 2018 in LaBelle.

She was born May 25, 1929 in Port Salerno, FL, to the late James Archie Whidden and the late Leona (Blackman) Messor.

She is survived by her two daughters: Lucretia Strickland (James) and Iris Lynn Wooten, grandchildren: Chad Perkins, Ed Harris, Shelley Wooten and nine great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frank W. Harris, her son, Edwin "Birdie" Harris and granddaughter, Amanda Daniels.

Funeral services were held Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 11:00 am at Church of God-LaBelle. Visitation was Thursday one hour prior to service at Church of God-LaBelle. Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Abel Arnaldo Morejon, 54, of Clewiston, FL passed away May 11, 2018.

He was born July 26, 1963 in Cuba, to the late Nicandro and Dalia (Mayonada) Morejon. Survivors include two daughters: Anisleidys Morejon and Yusaidys Morejon, three brothers: Nicandro Morejon Jr, Jorge L Morejon and Miguel A Morejon,

Funeral services were held Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston. Interment was Wednesday, May 16, 2018 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation was Wednesday from 11 AM to 12 PM at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Martha Yolanda Pellot, 68, of LaBelle, passed away May 15, 2018 in LaBelle. She was born Oct. 15, 1949 in Honduras, to the late Ogdulio and Maria (Reyes Ortiz) Mejia.

Survivors include her husband: Geobany Pellot, two sons: Eduardo Guzman and Jose Guzman, one daughter: Geovanna Pellot,  one brother: Marcos Antonio Ortiz, five sisters: Raquel Montoya Ortiz, Julia Maradiaga, Lillian Mejia, Maribel Sorto and Vilma Ortiz, 9 grandchildren

Carol Mae Thorman, 84, of LaBelle, FL. passed away May 10, 2018 in LaBelle. She was born Apr. 25, 1934 in Cleveland, OH. to the late Adolph late Edith (Mansfield) Aerni.

Survivors include one son: David Thorman, one daughter: Nancy Steuber, two granddaughters Shelby Steuber; Joeanna Steuber

World Class Barbershop Gets Ready For Summer

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 2018 with an expert trim, shave or haircut to get ready for your upcoming summer events and vacation.

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.

Friday, May 11, 2018

15th Century Ship Replicas "Pinta' and 'Nina" Arrive At Fort Myers

FORT MYERS,  FL. - –On Friday, May 11th, at 12:00 pm the ‘Pinta’ and the ‘Nina’, replicas of two of Christopher Columbus’ ships, arrived in Fort Myers. The ships docked at Pinchers Restaurant, at the Ford Edison Marina, 2360 West 1st Street, and will be docked there until their departure early Monday morning May 21st.

The ships open to the general public Saturday, May 12th. The Nina was built by hand and without the use of power tools and is considered to be the most historically correct Columbus Replica ever built. The ‘Pinta’ was recently built in Brazil and is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the fifteenth century.

While in port, the general public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission charges are $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and $6.50 for students 5 – 16. Children 4 and under are Free. 

The ships are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. No reservations necessary.

Teachers or organizations wishing to schedule a 30 minute guided tour with a crew member should call 787 672 2152 or visit our website, click on ‘Take a Tour’ and fill out online form. Minimum of 15. $5.00 per person. No Maximum.

Photo by Don Browne

William "Eddie" Perry Jr Dies At 84

Mr. William "Eddie" Edward Perry, Jr., 84, of Leesburg, GA, passed away on his birthday Friday, May 4, 2018, at his home while surrounded by his family.

Mr. Perry was a former principal at LaBelle Middle School.

A memorial service will be conducted at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 12, 2018, at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Albany. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.
Born May 4, 1934, in Sweet Water, TX, Mr. Perry was the son of the late William E. Perry and Vallie Curtis Perry. He proudly served his country in The United States Army, coached Pop Warner football, high school football and was an FSU Booster for many years. Mr. Perry earned his master's degree from North Texas State and retired as a principal from LaBelle Middle School in LaBelle, FL. He was active at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Albany, GA.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Perry was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Patricia, and son, Steven Carl Perry.
Survivors include his daughter, Lisa Perry Faircloth of Leesburg, GA; son, Scott Perry of Galveston, TX; grandchildren, Weston Edward Jones, Jarrett Case Jones, Ryan Edward Perry and Sean Patrick Perry.
In William "Eddie" Perry's memory, "In Lieu of flowers," an account has been set up to offset the costs of cancer treatments for his daughter-in-law, Cathy Perry. Eddie and his wife, Patricia, both battled cancer, and in their honor, we would prefer that tax-deductible donation be made to assist another loved one at this time. Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to CenterState Bank, c/o Cathy Perry, 45 N. Bridge St., LaBelle, Florida, 33935, bank phone: 863-675-0224.

Condolences and memories may be shared at
Joseph W. Jones Funeral Home of Leesburg was given the honor to serve the Perry family.
Joseph W. Jones Funeral Home
Leesburg, GA
Graveside service officiated by Fr Panel Guerrier of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church will be held Saturday, June 2nd at 9 AM

at Fort Denaud Cemetery in LaBelle Florida followed by a reception for Ed's LaBelle Friends details to follow. Ed was a member and Junior Warden at Good Shepherd LaBelle, for a number of years

Monday, May 07, 2018

Ortona Lock Closed June 4

ORTONA, FL. -- Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is notifying the public, marinas, commercial and recreational vessels traveling the Okeechobee Waterway that Ortona Lock will be closed for maintenance 4 through 16 June 2018. This will be the first lock closure along the Okeechobee Waterway in 6 years

Maintenance is necessary to repair aging and damaged infrastructure in addition to improving public and vessel safety. Repairs will require the lock chamber to be dewatered for crews to perform inspections, replace gate seals and repair Manatee Protection system components. 

During the closure, barges, floating cranes and divers will be working in the lock entrance, requiring vessel operators in the area to use minimal speed and caution for safety.

Note: The other locks on the Okeechobee Waterway (other than Ortona) and Canaveral remain in full operation.

What's Happening - Audubon, Unmet Needs Coalition

Mark your Calendars for the Hendry-Glades Audubon May Covered Dish Dinner and program at Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension
located at 1085 Pratt Blvd., LaBelle on Monday May 14th.  The Covered Dish Dinner begins at 6:30 pm.  Bring a side dish or dessert to share.
 At 7pm Mike Knight, District Biologist for the Caloosahatchee District of the Florida Forest Service will present a forestry related program.
  For information about or to become a member of  Hendry-Glades Audubon contact Butch Wilson 863-983-2870 or Margaret England 863-517-0202

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 Hurricane Irma are invited to join the Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition.
The next meeting HGUNC will be meeting on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 1pm at the RCMA child facility (Redlands Christian Migrant Association )
551 West Cowboy Way LaBelle, Florida 33935 For information Phone: 561-516-2103, E-mail:

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Social Media And Smartphone Use By Seniors

LABELLE, FL. -- Depending on age, seniors are using social media with greater frequency in a recent survey.

Most used social media are Facebook and YouTube, while half or more seniors are using smart phones, and about a third of all seniors use some social media.

Planting Sunflowers At Children's Garden

LABELLE, FL. -- Judy Paskvan, Kiwanis Club of LaBelle Board Member read "The Tiny Seed" story to the kids at Children's Garden of LaBelle before helping them to plant sunflower seeds. 

The plants are now 2 inches tall and the kids water them every day.
Judy, among several LaBelle Kiwanis members read stories to kids with the Reading Pals Program at Children’s Garden. 

They will be looking for volunteers to read to the VPK class next school year.
If anyone is interested in reading to pre-school children, they can contact Nancy Coker at United Way, in Fort Myers, 239-433-2000.

Back Barnstorming - T.W. Bill Neville

Back Barnstorming
Commentary by T. W. Bill Neville

BACK in Indiana where basketball was the “plasma” of all sports, I remember only one other challenging crowd pleaser, “BARNSTORMING!”

For those of you not familiar with “it”, it consisted of WW-One airmen who would go from town town trailing air ads that offered airplane rides to those brave enough to spend $5 for a minute ride while they were “dusting” farmers fields on contract.

I never had either the $5 dollars or the courage to go, but several of my buddies did and secured “bragging” rites in the neighborhood. That and their driving every Saturday night in either the “demolition” derbies, the midget car and the Harley/Indian motorcycle races, confirmed their bragging rights all over the County.

The best I was able to accomplish was the Soap Box Derby and when I could afford it some “Glider” flights. Little did I know, then, that those experiences were preparing me for a lifetime as a ”travelling” salesman.

Oh, and by the way, my first commercial flight was in 1952 in a Lake Central DC 3, out of Indianapolis to Detroit and return. Little did I know that in 1958 I would take a job where over a span of almost 40 years, I would be flying on business at least once a week. Upon retirement, one of the requisites of our move to Florida was that we would be within 2 hours of an airport so that my wife could fly to be with families in Indiana, Pennsylvania, California, South Carolina, Illinois, and France. BON VOYAGE!

Thursday, May 03, 2018

$322,430 Pledged For United Way Campaign

LABELLE, FL. -- The 2017-2018 Campaign for the United Way of Hendry & Glades raised a total of $322,430 for its 27 United Way Partner Agencies. The announcement was made by the United Way Campaign Chairs Tommy Perry and Carey Soud at the “Swing Into Spring” event at RiverBend Motorcoach Resort. 

Tommy Perry said as he unveiled the campaign thermometer, “I am extremely pleased to tell you we have made our campaign goal. Our community can be proud that it recognizes and supports the organizations that help our neighbors in need have a better life. Considering Hurricane Irma and the need in our community, reaching goal was critical so that we can fully fund the entire network of United Way Partner Agencies and programs that help thousands of people in our community.”

Nearly 200 people attended the dinner which also featured music by Caloosahatchet and Lee Conwell, a large silent auction, live auction and other games. Swing Into Spring is the signature fundraising event for United Way of Hendry and Glades. It was sponsored at the Platinum level by Verandah; Gold level by Pat and Stanley Heath, Child Care of Southwest Florida, and Kiwanis Club of LaBelle; Silver level by White’s Furniture and Appliances, and CenterState Bank; at the Bronze level by Johnson-Prewitt & Associates, Sue and Tim Stanley, McDonald’s, Lyons Printing, K&M Drugs, U.S. Sugar, and First Bank. A photo booth for all of the attendees to have their pictures taken was sponsored by Direct Industrial Products. The Heads-Tails game was sponsored by Muddy Water Entertainment.

Master of Ceremonies was Paul Puletti, Hendry County School Superintendent, and LaBelle Mayor David Lyons gave the Invocation. Dr. Joe Pepe, of the Department of Health, was the Auctioneer for the Live Auction. 65 items were donated by businesses and members of the community to the auctions.

Lisa Sands, United Way of Hendry and Glades Manager said, “I want to thank RiverBend Motorcoach Resort, Lee Conwell, Caloosahatchet, Sprout Catering, our MC Paul Puletti, Auctioneer Dr. Joe Pepe, and Keepsake Plants for helping make the event so successful. Special thanks to our sponsors, and the Volunteer Committee consisting of Committee Chair Sally Berg, Vanessa Fischel, Karan Roach, Mary Bartoshuk, Kristina Rodriguez, Terri Lazar and Diane Johnson who dedicated several months of preparation for the event.”

All money raised is used to fund the 27 United Way Partner Agencies and 65 programs that provide direct client services in Hendry and Glades counties. Cliff Smith, President of the United Way commented, “This is a wonderful community, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. Every gift has made a difference because when added together, they make a real impact and change people’s lives for the better.”

In the past year, over 29,500 people visited the Hendry and Glades United Way Houses in LaBelle, Clewiston, and Moore Haven. United Way 211 handled over 1,300 calls by Hendry and Glades residents seeking assistance. In September, United Way 211 became the Storm Information Hotline during Hurricane Irma, and took more than 40,000 calls from people in Southwest Florida.

Some of the agencies that will receive funds from the 2017-2018 United Way of Hendry, and Glades Campaign include: Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT), The Salvation Army, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Children’s Advocacy Center, Child Care of Southwest Florida, Healthy Families, and many others.

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.

If you know someone who needs help or if you would like to volunteer, please call United Way at (800) 887-9234 or simply dial 2-1-1. You can also visit for more information.

Photo: Swing Into Spring Committee: from the left are Karan Roach, Lisa Sands, Vanessa Fischel, Sally Berg, Kristina Rodriguez. Seated are Mary Bartoshuk and Diane Johnson.

Two Dead In Crash Into A Canal

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Thelmakia Robinson, 20 of Belle Glade  was northbound in the inside lane of US-27 south of CR-835 (Evercane Rd) in Hendry County Wednesday at 6:09 p.m.. with passenger Evylen Ziggler, 71, of Belle Glade when the 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser crossed the outside lane and entered the east grassy shoulder.

The car began rotating clockwise in a northerly direction before overturning in a canal and came to final rest on its roof facing southeast in the canal east of US-27.  Passenger Ziggler died from injuries.

UPDATE 5-3-18 Driver Robinson was pronounced deceased on 5-2-18 at St. Mary's Medial Center. The crash remains under investigation.

Hiking to Key West - Bob Kranich

Excerpt from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

I was now on Summerland Key and I was about to be really surprised. I was nearing a gas station with a fairly large gravel drive. A big Greyhound bus pulled off from behind me and pulled into the drive parallel to the highway.
As I came along side, the door opened.
    “Hey, where you going? What are you doing?” the bus driver asked.
    “I’m hiking to Key West,” I said as I went over to him and looked up into the bus.
     “I’ve been seeing you at least two times every day, when I come down from Miami in the afternoon on my way to Key West, and then when I go back in the morning. Get on and I’ll give you a ride to Key West, no charge!”
By this time the bus passengers and even people at the gas station were looking, in fact staring.
    “Sir, I’m really grateful for the offer. In fact I don't know what to say. It’s just that I’m hiking from Georgia to Key West, and I have to keep on walking it.”
    “Wow that is really something else!” he exclaimed, “I’ll be a wild man! Well, good luck and take care.”
He closed the door, fired up the bus and pulled out, hesitated slightly, crossed the highway and shot off in a blast of black diesel smoke and a roar!
I was really taken back, What a nice offer!
I noticed a lonely phone booth standing like a sentinel along the road by a telephone pole. It gave me the idea to phone my Uncle Norman and Aunt Dolores.  I had talked to them before I left and by now they were probably wondering if I was still heading their way.
    “Hello, Aunt Dolores, It’s me, Bob.”
   “Yes Bobby, is that you?”
    “ It sure is.”
    “We knew you were in the Keys. Yesterday one of the men Uncle Norman works with had been out for a drive and saw a guy with a red pack walking along the road. By his description, we knew it was you!”
    “Well I should be along tomorrow afternoon if everything goes ok. So take care and tell Uncle Norman I said hello.”
I hung up and got back into my pack straps. This was the first realization that my adventure was fast drawing to a close.

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

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Georgina Kierych Dies At 68

Georgina May Kierych, age 68, of LaBelle,FL. passed away April 30, 2018 in LaBelle.
She was born May 25, 1949 in Surrey, England to the late John Ming and Grace May (Lanfear) Burford.
Survivors include one son: John Kovarik of LaBelle, FL
one daughter: Heather Ordonez
one sister: Jackie Fahey
4 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Marvin McGee Dies In Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Marvin Dwaine McGee, 53 of Clewiston died after a crash as he was southbound Tuesday at 3:09 p.m. on County Road 833 in a 2002 Ford F-150 truck which ran off the road way to the left.

He drove over a drainage culvert and the truck went air-borne and over turned.

As a result, the front struck the east shoulder of County Road 833 and came to final rest over turned on the east shoulder of County Road 833 facing north.

The FHP reports he was transported to Hendry Regional Medical Center.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

3rd Homestead Property Tax Exemption On Ballot

Will you benefit from the Proposed 3rd Homestead Exemption?

Florida Amendment 1, Homestead Exemption Increase Amendment (2018)
In the coming General Election, Florida voters will be asked to decide whether to expand Florida’s Homestead Exemption benefit for homes tax value appraised over $100,000.

Whether this additional exemption would save you tax dollars or not depends on the property’s current assessed value. The homestead estimator below will provide you with an approximate savings of tax dollars. Begin by typing in your address and choose it as it appears in the drop-down list.

Below is a visual of the new Homestead Banding.  You can also click here for more information or a larger view of this diagram.

"yes" vote supports exempting the portion of assessed home values between $100,000 and $125,000 from property taxes other than school taxes, bringing the maximum homestead exemption up to $75,000.

"no" vote opposes exempting the portion of assessed home values between $100,000 and $125,000 from property taxes other than school taxes, keeping the maximum homestead exemption at $50,000.

Please call, email or stop by your local property appraiser's office if you have any questions.

Information Courtesy Of: 
Lorie Ward, C.F.A.
Glades County Property Appraiser,