Thursday, July 19, 2018

Theatre Cleanup Day July 28

Theatre cleanup day can make a dramatic difference!
The LaBelle Firehouse Community Theatre invites you to join in their annual summer cleanup day on Saturday, July 28th from 8:30am until 12:30pm.

Come out to help give our theater some loving attention! During the busy rush of the season, with new shows opening days after one just closed, there are always things that just don't get done! Volunteers are welcome to come and go as they can.

As a ‘thank you”, the theatre will provide a free lunch to all volunteers!
“It’s a general day to dig out all the old set pieces, organize and just give the theatre a really good cleaning”, “said the Firehouse Theatre president Cindy Shough. “It’s a big project, but if you get 25 people to come in and help, it gets done pretty quick.” “We need to get some things organized and cleaned so we are ready for our exciting 26th Season!”

If you can help on clean-up day, great! If you can't, maybe you can stop by to take a tour of the theatre or ask any questions about future volunteer opportunities at the theatre.

The theatre is always in need of volunteers to help with productions, back stage help, lighting, sound, props, costumes, etc.
The current volunteers for the theatre include board members, actors, the director and supporters of local theater.

If you are interested, or if you have any questions, please call the theatre at (863) 675-3066. Leave a message and someone will return your call.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Obituaries - Betty Lewis, Robert Cockram

Betty Jean Roper Lewis, age 74 of Alva Florida died Friday July13 2018. Born in Rutherfordton North Carolina on December 20,1943. She was the daughter of the late Robert and Ethel Roper. Betty was a resident of Alva, Florida for 40+years.
She is survived by daughters, Lisa Sears and Lora Lewis. A sister Faye Womack and a brother Jimmy Roper. Grandchildren: Jessica, Jason (Christy), Jarred, Kalin and Megan (Alan). Great-Grandchildren: Olivia, Rebecca, Levi, Gavin, Colton, Cadence and Jackson.
She was preceded in death by, husband Herman Travis Lewis and son Travis Mark Lewis. Numerous brothers and sisters. Visitation will be held Tuesday evening July 17 from 6 to 8 at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Fort Myers. The funeral service will be held Wednesday, July 18 at the Alva Church of God in Alva with Rev. Jacob Newton officiating. Grave side service to follow at the Alva Cemetery.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.
Robert Stevens Cockram, age 56, of Moore Haven, passed away July 14, 2018 in Alva.
He was born Mar. 12, 1962 in Fort Myers, FL, to Paul and Sylvia (Thomas) Cockram. Robert worked for Aim Engineering for many years as a DOT Inspector. He attended First Christian Church in LaBelle. He enjoyed traveling to Georgia and spending time in the woods. Robert was a loving father, grandfather and brother to his entire family, he will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Survivors include three sons: Daniel Cockram of Moore Haven, FL, Caleb Cockram of Lakeland, FL and Josh Wooten of Lakeland, FL, and two daughters: Brittany Herring of Clewiston, FL and Valerie Howell of Okeechobee, FL, four brothers: Gerald (Susan) Herndon, Darrell Herndon, Richard Cockram and Michael Herndon, and three sisters: Cheryl Dix, Joyce (Bradley) Goode and Janet Hill, Grandchildren; Mackenzie Cockram, Emma Cockram, Sophia Cockram, Alaina Herring, Sara Howell, Dylan Howell.
Celebration of Robert's life will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 19, 2018 at First Christian Church in LaBelle, with Pastor W. T. Maddox, Jr officiating, visitation will be one hour prior to service. Burial is in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven. Family has requested casual attire for the service.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

LaBelle Bridge Closing Overnights And Weekends For Repairs

LABELLE, FL. -- Bridge repair and construction will begin in mid-August on the LaBelle Bridge. Note the Department of Transportation's announcement for details on closings and hours.

(click on the graphic to enlarge it)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fighting For Lower Drug And Insurance Costs - Commentary

I recently took my son to the emergency room after he suddenly became ill. Once the doctor completed his/her diagnosis we returned home to get my boy in bed and resting. I then went to the pharmacy for my son’s prescriptions. When it came my turn in line I was shocked by the high cost so I asked the pharmacist to hold off on the purchase until I could call the doctor’s office and find out if there was a cheaper alternative. While waiting for the call back from the doctor’s office I started talking with another person in line.
I said to him, “So, you in here filling a prescription? Are the prices ridiculous or what?” Not giving him a chance to respond I just kept on complaining, “Insurance doesn’t cover hardly anything these days even though it costs me $10,000 a year plus the $5000 deductible.”
He looked at me puzzled and said, “Really? At least you have insurance. Most people I know don’t have any insurance; they can’t afford it.“
It took a second and then I realized that I was complaining about something not everyone in this country has. We moved up in line and I stayed quiet the whole time thinking how my wife and I would feel and wondering what we would do if my family could not afford health insurance. Just the thought turned my stomach.
It struck me there and then why each election is so important. Right now too many of our politicians in Tallahassee and Washington are making decisions that protect the huge profits of insurance companies, drug makers, and private hospitals but ignore the medical needs of regular people. Other modern countries have health systems that take care of everyone’s basic needs at reasonable costs, so why can’t the USA have a system like these other nations or even simply allow me to buy medicare? Politicians say they are trying to get medical and insurance prices lower, but I think they will only end up recreating the low-end health policies with, like before, fine print that excludes pre-existing conditions and almost everything else from coverage.
A couple weeks ago at a meeting in LaBelle I met candidates for the Florida legislature who said they are running largely because of the health care issue. All four women share a concern for accessible, affordable health care. We need these women representing Hendry & Glades Counties.
Ramon Rodriquez, III

Friday, July 13, 2018

Volunteers For Health And Wellness

Glades & Hendry Counties, FL (July 13, 2018)— The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is seeking volunteers to lead health and wellness workshops across the region. AAASWFL offers workshops to assist adults age 60 and over, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers in seven counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota.

Volunteers have the opportunity to lead fitness workshops focused on the unique needs of older adults. Specifically, these workshops are designed to teach older adults preventative measures to avoid falls, improve their balance, and manage chronic conditions. Classes include Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention, A Matter of Balance, Walk With Ease, the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, and Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance. Training is provided for these programs, and AAASWFL provides mileage reimbursement for volunteers.

Workshops are typically held on weekday mornings and afternoons, so volunteers with flexible schedules are appreciated. Volunteers should also be at least 18 years of age, have a valid drivers’ license, and must be able to pass a background screening. While not mandatory, experience with teaching, instruction, public speaking, health care, nutrition, or community outreach is helpful.

In 2017, AAASWFL staff and volunteers led 30 health and wellness workshops across Southwest Florida, assisting nearly 500 individuals.

Potential volunteers may contact Sherry Young, AAASWFL Health & Wellness Coordinator, at (239) 652-6900 for more information. Volunteer applications can also be found at the AAASWFL

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Jimmie Joe Gore Dies At 81

Jimmie Joe Gore 81, of Moore Haven, FL passed away July 6, 2018 in Moore Haven.
He was born June 22, 1937 in Paris, TN to the late Oliver Lee and Myrtle (Kent) Gore.
Survivors include one daughter: Misty Gore of Clewiston, FL
2 grandchildren.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

County Officials Named To Top Association Posts

Hendry County Commissioners and key staff members attended the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Annual Conference June 26-29 in Orlando, FL where Hendry County representatives assumed multiple leadership roles throughout the association.

Commissioner Karson Turner was sworn in as President of the association on Thursday, June 28. His duties as President over the next year will include representing FAC on the national level in Washington D.C. as well as County functions throughout the United States with the National Association of Counties (NACO).

“I look forward to this next year as President of FAC for multiple reasons,” says Commissioner Turner. “The biggest reason being that Hendry County will have direct access to a number of different policy makers on the State level to make sure they understand the value of a County’s role in bringing services to citizens and how much a small decision from a State perspective can completely disrupt our ability to provide services in rural Florida.”

Miss Jade Bryan, a 2018 graduate of Clewiston High School and daughter of Hendry County SHIP Director Sabrina Gadson, was the recipient of the 2018 Presidential Scholarship. The Presidential Scholarship is awarded to the child of a County government employee of the County the incoming president represents. Miss Bryan graduated Clewiston High School with a 4.9 GPA, was a member of the National Honor Society and MVP of the Clewiston High School tennis team. She was also a member of the Clewiston High School Collegiate Academy where she maintained a 4.0 GPA. Miss Bryan will be attending the University of South Florida this coming fall to study psychology.

Commissioners Mitchell Wills and Emma Byrd were recognized during the Thursday evening dinner as 2018 Presidential Advocates. This special recognition is bestowed upon county commissioners who have shown exceptional leadership in partnering with FAC during the 2018 session to advance the counties’ legislative agenda.

Commissioner Michael Swindle has served the last 4 years on the FAC Board of Directors and also sits on the FAC Policy Committee under Health & Safety.

County Administrator, Charles Chapman was sworn in as President of Florida Association of Counties Managers (FACM). County Engineer, Shane Parker was sworn in as President of Florida Association of County Engineers (FACERS). And Hendry County Attorney, Mark Lapp, assumed his role as Vice President of Florida Association of County Attorney’s (FACA).

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Lorena Gay Smith Dies At 60

Lorena Gay "Tina" Smith, born on March 12,1958 in Parsons, West Virginia, passed from this world to go home to her Savior Jesus on July 5, 2018 in Clewiston, Florida.

She loved Clewiston and believed it to be the sweetest of towns. She worked in publishing and most recently as a website builder, homemaker, and served in several capacities at her local church. She had a way of spreading sunshine into the many lives she touched.

Her surviving family includes her husband, Rev. Jeffrey Smith; daughter, Deanna R Morgan, husband Gerald; mother, Mary J Powers; dad, Donald; father, the late Donald G Nestor, spouse Marlayne; siblings; Donnie, Loralee, Kim, Deb, Linda, Mark, Cathy, Angie, Valerie, Nikki and the late James, her beloved grandchildren include: Joshua, Nathan, Austin, Megan and great grandchildren. She also leaves behind other great family members and wonderful friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First United Methodist Church of Clewiston and/or The American Cancer Society in her name.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday July 14th at 11am at First United Methodist Church of Clewiston, 331 W. Osceola Avenue, Clewiston. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Roger Walker Sr. Dies At 76

Roger Nathaniel Walker, Sr. was born on May 25, 1942 in Miami, Florida and passed away on July 3, 2018. Roger is preceded in death by his first wife of 50 years, Sandra Jo Buckner, father and mother, Aubrey Odes Walker and Mallie Fay Walker Thomas, his brother Aubrey Odes Walker, Jr., and sisters Helen Louise Forguson, Quinon Corrine Walker, Dorothy Estelle Walker, and Donna Faye Walker.
He is survived by his wife, Lois Ayers Walker; three children Sherry Parantha (husband Reko), Pete Walker ( wife Reagan), and Wade Walker; four grandchildren, Ryan Walker, Hallie Walker, Brandon Toulis and Abbey Joe Parantha.
Roger graduated from Belle Glade High School in 1961 and married his first love, Sandra Jo Buckner, in May 1963. He was a loving husband, a devoted father, and most notably, an adoring grandfather. Lovingly referred to as "Rog", he was a generous friend and fierce protector of his family. He was a strong man with a soft heart. He bled John Deere green and gold during the work week and Florida Gator orange and blue on Saturdays! Go Gators! Roger remarried almost one year ago to an "angel on earth," Lois Ayers of Palm City, Florida. His presence on earth will be deeply missed.
The family will receive friends on Saturday July 7th from 10 AM until 1130 AM at the First Baptist Church-Clewiston. Memorial Service will follow at 1130 with Pastor Steve Weeks officiating.
Thank you to the Glades community for your prayers and support. In Lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the Walker/Kaki Scholarship Fund. The scholarship dollars are awarded annually to Clewiston High School graduating seniors with special learning needs. Donations may be mailed to c/o Reko Parantha at 207 Sandy Circle, LaBelle, FL 33935 or dropped off at any K&M Drugs location.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Ronald Miller Dies In Car Crash

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Ronald Lee Miller 36, of Lehigh Acres, in a 1999 Chevy Cavalier was traveling west on State Road 78 near Chiaha Lane in Glades County at 4:34 p.m. Wednesday when he turned to the left for a curve in the road. As a result, he ran off the roadway to the right.

The front of the car struck standing water which was located on the north shoulder of State Road 78. and the car came to final rest in the standing water on the north shoulder of State Road 78 on its roof,
facing east.

Saw Palmetto On Exploited Plant List - Berry Pickers Warned

LABELLE, FL. -- Effective July 17, 2018, Saw Palmetto will be included in the Exploited Plant list in Florida and harvesting of the berries and fronds will be highly regulated.

This means that it is unlawful for any person to willfully destroy or harvest such plant without first obtaining written permission from the landowner and a permit from the state. Any person transporting for the purpose of sale, selling or offering for sale such plant must have a permit in his/her immediate possession.

Berry "pickers" have been frequently harvesting the berries between citrus and tomato season, most often on vacant lots or unfenced acreage and without permission of the land owner. The pickers then take the berries to temporary buyer stands usually found with signs in Spanish saying "Se Compra Bolita." 

The bolita, "little berry" in Spanish are bought for about a quarter a pound. The berries are then sold again to processing plants, one large one operating in north LaBelle on Marshall Field Road off SR29.

The new regulation makes it unlawful for any person to falsify any paperwork/document that permits another person to destroy or harvest such plant.

Any person transporting or conveying on any public road or highway must have a permit in his/her immediate possession. Any person who violates, commits a Misdemeanor of the 1st Degree and is subject to be arrested.

The saw palmetto is a hardy plant; extremely slow-growing, and long-lived, with some plants, especially in Florida possibly being as old as 500–700 years. The leaves are used for thatching by several indigenous groups, so commonly so that a location in Alachua County, Florida, is named Kanapaha ("palm house"). Workers can often be seen on private property harvesting the fronds for various uses including chickee roofs, an open structure found on beaches, and other resort areas for shade.

Berry extract has been researched for treatment of people with prostate cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, "available scientific studies do not support claims that saw palmetto can prevent or treat prostate cancer in humans"

A meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration found that saw palmetto berry extract given therapeutically, even at double and triple doses, did not improve urinary flow or improve the prostate gland size in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Two large trials published found the extract to be no different from placebo.


Information on getting a permit from Department of Agriculture - click here

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Raquel Wright Dies In Crash, Hendry Family Injured

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- A black 2013 BMW X5 SUV, driven by Raquel Lynn Wright, 40 of Orlando was southbound on SR-29 in Glades county approaching SR-78 at 3:16 p.m. Tuesday as a blue 1992 Ford F-350 truck, driven by Raymond Eugene Hendry, Jr., 32 of Palmdale was northbound on SR-29, north of SR-78.

The black BMW X5 SUV crossed over into the northbound lane and rotated counterclockwise. As a result, the front of the blue Ford F-350 truck collided with the passenger side of the black BMW X5 SUV.

The black BMW X5 SUV came to final rest, facing east on the east grass shoulder of SR-29. The blue Ford F-350 truck came to final rest, facing east, on the east grass shoulder of SR-29.

Raymond Hendry was critically injured and passengers Brooke Marie Hendry, 32 and Allen Hendry, 12 were seriously injured  Passenger Tucker Hendry, 11 was critically injured.

The FHP reported all were wearing seatbelts.

Update: Tucker Henry, age 11 was pronounced deceased on 7-6-18.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

John Capece Speaks At Democrat Gathering

Rural Democrats Engage State Party

Glades and Hendry County Democrats traveled to Broward County last weekend to advocate local interests at the Florida Democratic Party's annual Leadership Blue conference. Representing the Glades County Democratic Party was chairwoman Mary Giddens. Mary delivered a report to the Democratic Small County Coalition on restructuring the coalition to better address the economic, health and education issues crucial to smaller counties.

Speaking before the entire Florida Democratic Party Central and Executive Committees was Glades Democrats vice chair John Capece. He reported on actions of the Legislative Liaison Committee, a group assigned to help communicate key priorities of the issue caucuses to Democratic members of the state legislature.

Capece explained, "The Florida Democratic Party has 18 separate caucuses, where we deal with the concerns of veterans, seniors, business owners, Hispanic and other groups. Right now a new caucus is being assembled to focus on agriculture. It represents an effort by Florida Democrats to help bridge the ever widening, false perceptions divide between urban and rural voters."

Representing Hendry County at the weekend working meetings was first time delegate Ramon Rodriguez. His involvement brings Clewiston, LaBelle, and other small communities back into active engagement with Democrats statewide. Ramon will be leading work on a new organizing grant project for Hendry Democrats.

"As a regular working man from LaBelle, I was a little nervous about attending this meeting, but then I was surprised to see how other Democrats wanted to hear from me about our needs and issues. It showed me that we all want the same things - good jobs, quality schools, and affordable health care," said Rodriguez.

The Hendry and Glades Democratic delegations will help plan the upcoming Florida gubernatorial debate scheduled for July 18, 7pm at Florida Gulf Coast University. Issues critical to rural communities will be part of the questions posed to the five candidates - Gwen Graham, Chris King, Andrew Gillum, Jeff Green and Philip Levine.

Photo: Philip Levine, candidate for Florida Governor and former Miami Beach Mayor, speaks with Wendy Williams (Democratic Small County Coalition Chair), Raymond Rodriguez (Hendry County Democrats) and Mary Giddens (Glades County Democrats).

Brenda Pruitt Dies at 69

Brenda F Pruitt, age 69, of LaBelle, FL passed away July 2, 2018, in Fort Myers.

Brenda was born in Tiptonville, TN on February 17, 1949, to Harvey and Lula Webb Warren. She married Larry Pruitt in 1980. 

Brenda and Larry have made LaBelle their home for 40 years. Brenda loved to play poker and bingo. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. Brenda was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister who will be dearly missed by everyone who loved her.

Brenda leaves behind her loving husband of 38 years; Larry Pruitt of LaBelle, children; Ronald Davis, Gary Pruitt, Laura Ann Warren, Pamela Marbry and Sonny Marbry she also leaves behind thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, five brothers and one sister; Kenny Warren, Jimmy Warren, Jeff Warren, Roger Warren and Mary Warren.