Thursday, January 16, 2020

Wellness And Health Podcast From LaBelle

Health And Wellness Podcast

LABELLE, FL. -- In the growing world of podcasts, audio programs that can be downloaded or played on phone, tablet, computer and smart speakers and listened to anytime, the editor of Southwest Florida Online started a podcast in 2019 titled Mood Gym, featuring health and wellness topics with practical ideas discovered and practiced over many decades.

The podcasts often relate his flying years and living life fully, combining personal values and awareness.

All the episodes are totally free and from 10 to 15 minutes in length. Podcasting apps allow free subscribing, rewind, fast forward, and pausing for the listener's convenience, or podcasts may be played directly without an app (see links and listings below.)

Hoping to be useful and convenient to as many listeners as possible, the Mood Gym with Don Browne podcast is available free on all the popular podcast apps or listened to directly at any of these links:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
PocketCast app
RSS Feed (add to your favorite podcasting app)
Google Home speaker or Google Assistant: Say "Hey Google, play Mood Gym with Don Browne podcast"

Episode Titles: 
Mood Gym Introduction
Responding To The Unexpected
Holiday Anxiety And Fear
Depression, Anxiety, Values & Goals
Staying Sane During Holidays
Having 2020 Vision, Who Are You, What Do You Want?
Visioning, Blockchain, Habits, Acceptance & Commitment
Accepting The Present, Commitment To Values & Change
Flying Through Life Without Distraction & Worry

Don Browne is the editor/publisher of Southwest Florida Online, a YouTube creator, former radio broadcaster in LaBelle and Clewiston, and webcasting personality, and a certified trainer for 'Moving For Better Balance.'

Angela Rae Shane Dies At 62

Angela Rae Shane, age 62, of LaBelle, passed away January 13, 2020 in LaBelle. 

She was born Apr. 20, 1957 in Cincinnati, OH, to the late William Howard and Katherine Elinore (Paul) Alloway Jr. 

Survivors include her husband: Michael Shane two sons: Roger and Erik one daughter: Erica Martinez mother: Katherine Elinore (Paul) Alloway one brother: Billy one sister: Michelle 3 Grandchildren

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ortona Cane Grinding Festival February 1

ORTONA, FL. -- The 47th Ortona Cane Grinding Festival will be held Saturday, February 1 at the Indian Mound Park on SR78 in Glades County from 9 until 3. Free parking and free entrance with donations accepted. Games, contests and flea market are all scheduled for this annual event.

Obituary - Delores Jeannette Scott

Delores Jeannette Scott, age 84, of Clewiston, passed away January 12, 2020 in Clewiston. She was born July 16, 1935 to the late William Everett and the late Eva Lydia (Emrich) McDonald. 

She married Kenneth Earl Scott, he preceded her in death. Jeannette worked for over 30 years as a waitress for Denny's Restaurant and later worked as a cashier for Publix Market. She attended New Harvest Fellowship Church in Clewiston, along her sister and nephews. 

Survivors include her loving daughter; Denise Scott of Stanwood, Washington siblings; Cherri Pelham, Christine Wheeler, William E. "Billy" McDonald all of Clewiston, and Mildred Roadarmel of Fort Myers, many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. 

Celebration of Jeannette's life was at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at New Harvest Church of Clewiston, where Pastor Chuck Pelham did officiate. 

Visitation was 30 minutes before the service also at the church. Burial will be in Osceola Memory Gardens – Kissimmee, Florida. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Juan Rosas Dies In Motorcycle Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Juan Vasquez Rosas, 31, of LaBelle was traveling westbound on County Road 78 on a motorcycle as Michelle Joyce McDaniel, 61 of Henager, Al. in a 2019 Buick convertible was traveling eastbound on County Road 78 at Old North River Road in Hendry county at 11:44 a.m. Tuesday.

Rosas failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and crossed the centerline. As a result, the right front of the Buick struck the motorcycle in the eastbound lane. The cycle was then propelled from the roadway onto the south grassy shoulder. 

Rosas separated from the cycle and came to final rest on the south grassy shoulder. The vehicle also came to rest on the grassy shoulder. The Buick came to rest partially in eastbound lane and paved apron of the roadway.

The crash is under investigation to determine if alcohol was a factor for Rosas.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Road Construction - Glades And Hendry County

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- US 27 from 5th Street to north of SR 78: Construction project: Crews will be milling and resurfacing the roadway on US 27 from 5th Street to north of SR 78 in Moore Haven. 

 Additional work includes improving the drainage, sidewalks and road shoulders, and installing curb and gutter, signage and pavement markings, and water and sewer lines along US 27. 

 Work also includes replacing traffic signals at 6th Street and 10th Street and adding new streetlights at 10th Street and SR 78 intersections. Motorists should expect periodic nighttime and daytime lane closures on US 27 during construction.

· Motorists should expect intermittent eastbound and westbound lane closures from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on US 27 from 5th Street to SR 78 while crews grade and install drainage pipe and widen right turn lanes throughout the project limits.

Please use caution and watch for workers in the construction zone. Estimated project completion is summer 2020. The contractor is AJAX Paving Industries of Florida


CLEWISTON, FL. -- US 27 from Industrial Canal to Central Street in Clewiston: Construction project: Crews will install welcome signs, lighting, fencing, and landscaping at the eastern (west of San Diego Street North) and western (west of Lewis Boulevard) city limits of the City of Clewiston. The contractor is Weekley Asphalt Paving, Inc. Estimated project completion is early 2020.

SR 80 from Dalton Lane to CR 833: Construction project: Crews will widen approximately 11 miles of roadway from two to four lanes and add new turning lanes. Additional work includes repaving the current lanes and constructing ten new bridges. Three of the bridges will require full demolition and removal of the existing bridges to construct the new ones. Work also includes drainage improvements, adding curb and gutter, and installing LED lighting. Please use caution and watch for workers in the construction zone. Estimated project completion is summer 2020. The contractor is AJAX Paving of Industries Florida.

SR 80 (W. Hickpochee Avenue) from north of Bee Creek to north of Fort Thompson Avenue; Bee Creek (just south of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) to north of Fort Thompson Avenue: Construction project: The contractor is also improving the drainage along SR 80, and upgrading the sidewalks and curb ramps. Work also includes upgrading the existing traffic signals on SR 80 at Main Street and Bridge Street and Lee Street intersections; adding streetlights on both sides of the roadway from College Street to east of Lee Street. Motorists should expect nighttime lane closures on SR 80 from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Sunday night through Thursday night.

· Sunday nights through Thursday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. motorists should expect closures on the outside lanes of SR 80 from south of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to north of East Fort Thompson Avenue while the contractor performs milling and resurfacing of turnouts, side streets and turn lanes.

· Sunday nights through Thursday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. concrete crews will be working on the north side of SR 80 between Anderson Street and Hall Street (Big V Restaurant) and installing a new inlet top adjacent to the entrance of Two Pea’s Café.

· Monday through Friday, signal and lighting work will take place during the daytime. The work will be performed outside of the roadway, no lane closures needed. Sidewalks will be detoured as needed around the work sites.

Motorists are advised to use caution in the area and watch for workers in the construction zone. The contractor is Preferred Materials, Inc. Estimated project completion date is Spring 2020.

Ventura Avenue from Lopez Street to Berner Road in Clewiston: Construction project: Crews will construct five-foot sidewalks along the north side of Ventura Avenue and improve driveways and drainage along Ventura Avenue from Lopez Street to Berner Road in Clewiston. Daytime lane closures may be required along Ventura Avenue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, weather permitting. The contractor is Weekley Asphalt Paving, Inc. Estimated project completion is early 2020.

City of LaBelle hardscape and entry signs at Patton Road, Industrial Loop. Forrey Drive, and Grandma’s Boulevard: Construction project: Crews will install welcome signs including landscaping, irrigation, and decorative lighting on the northern (near Patton Road), eastern (near Forrey Drive), southern (near Industrial Loop), and western (near Grandma’s Boulevard) city limits of LaBelle. The contractor is Weekley Asphalt Paving, Inc. Estimated project completion is early 2020.

From Glades Property Appraiser's Office - Exemptions

(Office Staff: Anita Woods, Trish Coleman, Marina Langdale, Lorie Ward, Ragen Mathis, Darcie McRoy, Josie Boix)

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades county property appraiser Lorie Ward says her department eases the burden on property owners automatically by renewing property tax exemptions. This automatic renewal helps to ensure that you do not lose your exemption simply because you failed to renew.

If you had a property tax exemption or agricultural land classification in 2019, you will receive at least one of the four renewal cards listed below:
The WHITE card is for Homestead Exemption and other exemptions like widow, widower, disability, veteran, and senior citizen.
The GREEN card is for Agricultural Land Classification.
The YELLOW card is for property that is being used for tax exempt purposes.
The BLUE card is for Tangible Personal Property valued no more than $25,000.
As long as the Tangible Personal Property remains at $25,000 or less, you are not required to file a 
Tangible Personal Property Return, form (DR405).
If your value exceeds $25,000, you will receive a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return that must be completed and returned. The form is also downloadable from the website at

If you are still eligible for these exemptions do not return the card

Exemptions and Agricultural Land Classifications are not Transferrable

NEW property owners must submit NEW applications by March 1, 2020.

Tangible Personal Property deadline is April 1st

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Obituaries - John Burchard, Mary Sauls, LIsa Staples

John William "Billy" Burchard, age 65, of LaBelle, passed away January 10, 2020 in Lehigh Acres.He was born Mar. 15, 1954 in Fort Myers, FL to the late Robert Everette Burchard, Sr. and the late Ella Margaret (Forrey) Burchard. He was a lifelong resident of LaBelle. 

Survivors include his wife: Neila R. Burchard, two sons: Michael Thielen and Joshua (Ariel) Cline, and four daughters: Rachel (Christopher) Gambele, Ella Marie (Phil) Jourdan, Tiffany (Matthew) Donovan and Trinity Thielen, grandchildren, Preston, Christopher, Arabella, Joseph, Daniel, Leta, Ame, Amelia And Evelyn. 

He was preceded in death by his son, John Paul Burchard and brothers: Robert Everette Burchard, Jr. and Easton Burchard. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 1:00 pm at First Baptist Church of LaBelle with Rev. Frank Deerey Jr. officiating. Interment will follow in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Monday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Lisa Beth Staples, age 50, of LaBelle, passed away January 9, 2020 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Sep. 28, 1969 in New Bedford, MA, to Frederick and Linda (Kristofferson) Staples. She worked in Retail Management. Survivors include one daughter: Mischa Staples Her parents: Frederick and Linda (Kristofferson) Staples two sisters: Cheryl and Kristen, Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Mary C Sauls Napier, age 67, of LaBelle, passed away January 8, 2020 in LaBelle. She was born Oct. 26, 1952 in Miami, FL, to the late James and Eunice Juanita (Wright) Sauls. She was a Bookkeeper. Survivors include her husband: Revis C Napier one son: James Michael Napier one daughter: Annissa Carol one brother: James Sauls one sister: Peggy Petrokevich 8 grandchildren, Memorial services are Pending. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Friday, January 10, 2020

How Smart Meters And Other Devices May Make People Sick

Are We Gambling With Health When Using Smart Meters And Devices In Our Homes?

Cindy Sage, an environmental consultant has been critical of smart electric meters and electronic devices that emit radio frequencies, possibly causing damage to our bodies, and has warned that government and corporate interests have often clashed in assessing the dangers of RF energy of devices on the human body.

Sage warns that without more evidence, there is a possibility of disability and illness to some individuals caused by the emitted radiation from smart meters as well as other electronic devices in our homes and businesses.

The FCC in the United States is mandated with the task of providing safe levels of radio frequency radiation levels from electronic devices, but Sage believes the "safe" levels currently set may not be sufficient to prevent damage to humans.

She has criticized public utility commission rulings which rely on FCC exposure levels to determine if permission is given to install smart meters at homes, noting that studies provided by utility companies typically may not have tested the specific conditions under which the smart meters are installed at residences, including information about the particular antenna models and makes, and the duty cycle being used, that is, how long the device is radiating RF energy, and whether consideration is taken when more than one smart meter is installed along a residence wall.

Although a very technical issue, it is considered that the smart meter's typical transmitted frequency at 915 Megahertz and 2405 Megahertz may be safe at exposures of 0.11 micro watts per square centimeter at a distance of 10 feet to a healthy adult. But studies have shown adverse health impacts at levels above that, based on RF exposure studies from cell towers.

The problem says Sage, is that no data is usually provided by utility companies or manufactures of the equipment about safe levels for other than 'healthy' adults and leaving issues about levels at varying distances, and unknown measurements from various models and manufacturers of the RF emitting devices, leaving an unknown health risk. especially to individuals who may be more sensitive to radio frequency energy at these extreme high frequencies, approximately at the same frequency as a microwave oven.

FCC's data assumes that there is no danger from high frequency radiation. but the current standards prevent only heating and burning of tissues, and any shock hazard. The higher the frequency and power, and the closer to the device radiating RF energy, the more danger there is to effects that can damage human tissue. (That's how microwave ovens work, RF energy heating up the food in the device.) 

Smart electronic meters measuring electric use are not the only devices that may be problematic. Smart water meters are now common outside homes electronically measuring water usage and sending the data by radio frequency to a nearby tower which is relayed to the utility company. Smart speakers may be sitting on your table, also sending out high frequency radio waves and causing possible damage to you if you are located within a few feet of the device. And home are increasingly become "smart" with wireless doorbells, cameras, and other IoT devices continuously emitting RF energy.

Sage says the current information about the danger of RF energy from electronic devices is too limited and is not useful to determine real damage to humans by RF emitting devices. and the estimates of dangers to chronic danger may be entirely underestimated, noting "No one can reconcile or separate reasonable from unreasonable RF predictions without some better, more systematic computer modeling of RF exposures."

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Traveling Key West; Stories by Bob Kranich

Western Union Cable Repair Schooner

(This is the excerpt of the first of two stories told to me by the captain of the schooner)

    “A little more to starboard,” the captain said.
    “All right, Capt’n,” the First Mate said respectfully.
    Relaying this to the helmsman and double-checking the magnetic compass, Captain Dick Steadman looked forward from where he stood in the stern of the cable repair schooner named the Western Union.
    The tropical, turquoise Florida Bahamian sea was a spectacular sight before him.
    Beautiful day for the work ahead, he thought. Light seas, sun beaming down, and not a Nor’wester in sight. If we can just find that break in this cable and get it repaired.
    The schooner is the last of a vanishing breed, including the men who run her. It is a telephone-telegraph cable-laying and repair schooner. The Western Union is out of Key West, Florida. It had been only four days since they received the emergency call from headquarters in New York. There was a break in the undersea cable heading out of Key West towards the Bahama Islands.
    The two full-time, and maintenance men, Captain Dick Steadman and First Mate Jack Fryer had to hunt high and low to round up a crew. They had been fortunate that eight of the ten-man crew were old hands from the last job, six months ago. It had been a hectic preparation. Not only did a crew have to be rounded up, but provisions for ten to twelve days had to be purchased. The equipment had to be stowed, and the schooner made ready. Like most boats, she was constantly being repaired and maintained, with maintenance as diverse as painting and engine tune-ups. This kept things out-of-place and disorganized.
    But now, here they were, almost on station. They had been following the cable using a Leaer-Amplifier. This piece of equipment receives signals coming from the underwater cable which are being sent by the sending station. When they are over the cable the signals are strongest.
    “That’s it Cap’n,” Jack said.
    The signal had faded out, meaning that the break was below.   
    “Out with the buoy!” Captain Dick yelled.
    “Aye, Sir!” This is just what two of the crew were waiting to hear, and overboard it went. First, they would make sure it anchored and stayed in one place. Next, they would head back the way they had come about a half-a-mile and drop out a grappling hook. Then, they would proceed to go across the cable perpendicular to it. If they hooked it they would then bring it up to the boat.
    “We’ll use the sand grappling hook,” Captain Dick ordered.
    He knew by the Fathometer* readings the bottom was sandy. The longer hooks of the sand grappling apparatus would work in this bottom.
    “Ok, let her go!” the first mate commanded.
    Over the side the bulk weight of the hook and chain were wrestled by Jack and the crew. This hook and chain was fastened to a cable and threaded from the pulleys on the bow of the boat around the cable drum and into the cable hold.
       If they were lucky, they could snag their objective on the first try. However, sometimes they had to try as many as eight runs to finally capture the cable lying on the bottom. They had 258 fathoms* of cable out and now were making an approach perpendicular to the cable. This could be performed in relation to the buoy lines they had set out.  The greatest depth they had worked in was 380 fathoms in this Bahamain area.
    By the tension of grappling cable on the dynamometer* they could tell when the  cable was snagged. But, this time they didn’t need it, and there was a sudden lurch of the schooner.
    “Full ahead!” the captain shouts.
    This was needed because if they were to drop back from the force of wave the grappling hook could let its precious catch slip loose. The next step was to winch it up and secure it to a buoy. Then the same operation had to be repeated to obtain the other end of the broken cable.
    It being impossible to stretch it back together, a piece had to be spliced in. This length varied depending on the depth of the water. A 20-foot splice was about average, and that was what they did to complete the job.
    The cable schooner was two-masted and was built in a shop near the Mallory Docks in Key West, in 1939. It was one of three similar types, built according to the New England coast style. She was 92-feet long, 23.5-feet wide and drew six to eight feet of water. Her top speed was about eight and one half knots* and designed primarily for shallow water. But, just like this job they were on now, she had worked a lot of deep sea…
    It was interesting to stand around on the deck of the ship and listen to these two salty characters responsible for her performance, and talk of past days. I could tell they were just as much a part of her, as she was to them.   
    They could spin many yarns, but one of the most interesting was the time they were returning from a job, and they passed too close to Cuba.

Bob Kranich's second full-length book , Florida Keys’ Watercolor Kapers is composed of 336 pages. There are 12 stories running from 6 pages to as many as 72 pages, fully illustrated with 88 watercolors and sketches. The watercolors were made roaming around Key West after Kranich finished a 750 mile hike from Georgia to Key West. As you read these stories you will experience Key West, the Keys and the Caribbean. The stories span the time of the early 1800’s to 1969.

Obituaries - Oneva Smith, Charles Ivy, Hester Renfroe

Oneva Janet Smith, age 62, of Clewiston, passed away January 6, 2020 in Hollywood. She was born Feb. 8, 1957 in Clewiston, FL, to the late Harold Jones and late Louise Smith.
Survivors include daughter: Nelda V. Melton, brother: Tracey Smith grandchild, Jason G. Melton, II; niece, Julia Smith. She was preceded in death by her brother, Mike Smith Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 12:00 pm at First Indian Baptist Church of Brighton, Okeechobee with Pastor Jr Taylor officiating. Interment will be Thursday, January 9, 2020 in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven. Visitation will be Thursday from 1 hour prior to service at First Indian Baptist Church of Brighton, Okeechobee, FL. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Charles Aaron Ivy, age 83, of LaBelle, passed away January 4, 2020 in LaBelle. He was born Nov. 7, 1936 in Poplar Bluff, MO, to the late Charles Eli and Hattie Alice (Rushin) Ivy. He retired after 20 years with the U.S. Navy Survivors include his wife: Mary Ellen (Dame) Ivy two daughters: Sharla Carol Fridblom and Vicky Denise Ivy one brother: Clifford Dale Ivy one sister: Bonnie Corine Barnett Grandchildren: Tabitha Ivy, and Nicholas Fridblom 2 Great Grandchildren, Memorial service will be held at a Later Date. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Hester S Renfroe, age 94, of Felda, passed away January 2, 2020 in Felda. She was born Mar. 7, 1925 in Felda, FL, to the late Gilbert D and Pearl (Keene) Taylor. She worked as a Hostess at the Matador Room in Lehigh Acres for 21 years, then at the Seminole Casino. She was a loving mother, grandmother and friend to so many. Her sense of humor and laughter were contagious. Survivors include two daughters: Cheryl A Hicks and Regina (Tiny) Cain, 3 Grandchildren, 6 Great-grandchildren, and 2 Great-Great Grandchildren She was preceded in death by her Son, Robert A Tillman, and a Granddaughter, Nina Lewis Memorial service will be held Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 1 to 3 pm at Primitive Baptist Church, Felda with Pastor L. W. Howard officiating. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Health Department Urges Flu Shots To Residents

Hendry & Glades Counties - The Florida Department of Health (Department) is strongly encouraging all unvaccinated residents to get their flu shot as soon as possible. Flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu and its potentially serious complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  estimates that, nationwide, for the 2019-2020 season so far, there have been at least 6.4 million cases of influenza, more than 55,000 associated hospitalizations and approximately 2,900 related deaths. For Florida flu statistics, please visit the Department’s Florida Flu Review website.
“With this year’s flu season in full swing, it is critical that adults and children get the flu vaccine to protect against infection and help prevent the spread of seasonal flu to others”, said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “By getting a flu shot now, you will protect yourself, as well as your family and friends.”
Influenza is a contagious virus that can spread rapidly in our communities and cause severe illness resulting in hospitalization or death”, said Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to avoid the flu; it reduces the spread of the virus and can also help make illnesses less severe for those who do still get sick.”
Get the Flu Shot
The vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. Individuals that are at most risk for getting severely ill from the flu are young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people aged 65 years and older.
It takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend getting a flu vaccine every year because flu viruses evolve quickly, and last year’s vaccine may not protect against the current year’s strain. Even if the vaccine does not fully protect against the flu, it may reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications.
Where to Get the Flu Shot
Flu vaccines are offered at health care providers’ offices, clinics, county health departments, pharmacies, schools, college health centers and from many employers. Find flu vaccine in your area: exit disclaimer Learn more:
Healthy Habits to Help Prevent Flu
Good health habits like washing your hands can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing may prevent those around you from getting sick. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office.
Flu vaccines and good hand hygiene are still the go-to recommendations for prevention; however, public health officials say it's just as important to contain the virus, and that means staying home when you're sick.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Road Construction Continues In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- Construction continues along SR 80 (W. Hickpochee Avenue) from north of Bee Creek to north of Fort Thompson Avenue; Bee Creek (just south of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) to north of Fort Thompson Avenue: Construction project: The contractor is also improving the drainage along SR 80, and upgrading the sidewalks and curb ramps. 

Work also includes upgrading the existing traffic signals on SR 80 at Main Street and Bridge Street and Lee Street intersections; adding streetlights on both sides of the roadway from College Street to east of Lee Street. Motorists should expect nighttime lane closures on SR 80 from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Sunday night through Thursday night. 

·         Sunday nights through Thursday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. motorists should expect closures on the outside lanes of SR 80 from south of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to north of East Fort Thompson Avenue while the contractor performs milling and resurfacing of turnouts, side streets and turn lanes.  

·         Sunday nights through Thursday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. concrete crews will be working on the north side of SR 80 between Anderson Street and Hall Street (Big V Restaurant) and installing a new inlet top adjacent to the entrance of Two Pea’s Café. 

·         Monday through Friday, signal and lighting work will take place during the daytime. The work will be performed outside of the roadway, no lane closures needed. Sidewalks will be detoured as needed around the work sites.

Motorists are advised to use caution in the area and watch for workers in the construction zone. The contractor is Preferred Materials, Inc. Estimated project completion date is Spring 2020.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Benjamin Nieves Charged With Murder


On Friday, December 27, 2019 19 year old Benjamin Nieves was arrested and transported to the Hendry County Jail on charges of Murder and Attempted Murder.

Since November 10, 2019, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit has been investigating the shooting death of 27 year old Luis Andres Salas, Jr., of LaBelle, Florida.

On November 10, at approximately 8:00 pm, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a call reporting a shooting at 6495 S. State Road 29. When deputies arrived on scene they found Salas lying on the front porch of his home and another man suffering from gunshot wounds.

Thru a comprehensive investigation it was determined that Nieves, along with three other individuals had come to Salas’ home. When the visitors began to leave the residence of Salas an argument ensued.

Medical personnel pronounced Salas deceased at the scene.

Major Crimes Investigators, with the assistance of the Hendry County Vice-Narcotics Unit and the US Marshals Office were able to locate and safely take Nieves into custody.

Nieves was booked into the Hendry County Jail on charges of Homicide, Attempted Homicide and shooting into an occupied dwelling. Nieves is currently being held with No Bond.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Cedric Saxton Charged In Clewiston Homicide


In the afternoon hours of January 3, 2020, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Capt. D. Weathers, and Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, Major Crimes Unit, Lt. M. Rowan, took custody of 18 year old Cedric Saxton in Macon County Alabama and delivered him to the Hendry County Jail. 

After being identified as a suspect in a homicide, resulting in the death of Alister Bernard Greaves Thomas , Saxton fled the Clewiston community and traveled to Alabama where he has family.  It was while he was in Alabama, that Macon County Alabama authorities placed him under arrest for an outstanding Hendry County warrant for charges of Robbery and 2nd Degree Homicide.

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff’s Office CID Major Crimes Unit, have been looking into the death of 23 year of Alister Bernard Greaves Thomas of Clewiston that occurred on December 13, 2019 at approximately 7:00pm.  Thomas was found lying in the roadway with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Major Crimes Lt. M. Rowan was just blocks away when he heard the gunshots.  When he arrived in the area of 10th Street and Alabama Ave., he found a man later identified as Alister Thomas lying in the street. Thomas was transported to Hendry Regional Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased by medical staff. 

Hendry County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit and Road Patrol Units continued to follow up on leads they were receiving. The Major Crimes Unit worked diligently building a case and had recovered the suspected firearm used in the homicide. Coordination between the Hendry County Sheriff's Office and the Macon County Sheriff's Office in Alabama led to the arrest of this violent felony fugitive. On December 24, 2019, 18 year old Cedric Saxton was taken into custody by Macon County, Alabama law enforcement personnel.  

Both Capt. Weathers and Lt. Rowan traveled to Macon County, Alabama and took Saxton into custody.  He was booked into the Hendry County Jail on Friday, January 3, 2020, on charges of Robbery and 2nd Degree Murder.  Saxton is currently being held with no bond.

Folklorist Bob Stone At Museum Talk January 14

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Heritage Museum and LaBelle High School present noted folklorist Bob Stone in the first of three monthly Florida Talks programs made possible by Florida Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities on at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14, at LaBelle High School, 4050 Cowboy Way in LaBelle. 

The Florida Cattlemen's Foundation, the Hendry County Cattlemen's Association and the Port LaBelle Inn & Conference Center help make Stone's "Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition" available to the community at no charge. 

How many know Ponce de Leon introduced cattle to what is now the United States during his 1521 attempt to colonize Florida? Learn about many aspects of cattle ranching in Florida over the years including Cracker cowboys with their cow whips, unique ranch gate designs, cowboy churches and Cracker cowboy funerals, the rodeo culture, and many other informative and fun filled facts about ranching past and present.  

Free advance general admission tickets are available at with search hints LaBelle, January 14 and Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition.  Or click this link:

Contact LaBelle Heritage Museum at (863)674-0034 for information or assistance in completing ticket orders.

Roaming Commission In Pioneer January 14

LaBelle, Fla. – The Hendry County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) will kick off the 2020 regular meeting schedule on January 14 with a roaming meeting in the Pioneer community.

This meeting will be the second roaming meeting of the fiscal year and the first of 4 roaming meetings scheduled throughout 2020.

The roaming meetings are intended to reach more residents throughout Hendry County by making the meeting process more accessible.

The roaming meeting in Pioneer will be held on Tuesday, January 14 at the Pioneer Community Center beginning at 6pm.

The Pioneer Community Center is located at 910 Panama Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440.

All BOCC meetings are streamed live on the Hendry County Facebook page:

Robert King Dies At 83

Robert J King, Sr, age 83, of Moore Haven, FL passed away January 2, 2020 in LaBelle, FL. He was born Apr. 7, 1936 in Youngstown, OH, to the late Frank J and Margaret (Hayes) King. Survivors include his wife of 61 years: Loretta (Shipton) King one son: Richard J King one daughter: Cheryl Ivack two brothers: Wayne R King and Frank J King Jr. 7 Grandchildren and 6 Great Grandchildren He was preceded in death by his Son, Robert J King Jr. Memorial service will be held on Saturday January 18, 2010 at 1030 AM at the First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven, with Pastor John Garvey officiating. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

David Simpson At Audubon January 13

LABELLE, FL. -- David Simpson, experienced bird guide, will present a program “Historic and Modern Birding in the Dry Tortugas” at the Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension Building located at 1085 Pratt Blvd., LaBelle at 7:00 pm on Monday January 13, 2020. 

 This free program, hosted by Hendry-Glades Audubon, will introduce you to the birding mecca, Dry Tortugas National Park, from the discovery in 1513 by Ponce de Leon, through the visit of naturalist John James Audubon in 1832, to the present. The Dry Tortugas have is known for its amazing richness in migrating land birds and vast seabird colonies.

David Simpson has over 25 years’ experience guiding bird tours throughout Florida including customized tours for individuals or small groups. He is familiar with all aspects of Florida wildlife, and has an extensive knowledge of native plants, snakes, frogs, and many other critters you encounter in Florida.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Interstate 75 Toll Plaza Crash At MM 100

NAPLES, FL. -- Florida Highway Patrol Troopers are investigating a single vehicle crash on eastbound Interstate 75 at the Collier County Toll Plaza mm #100

As a result of the crash, a couple of plaza lanes are closed. The toll plaza is in the process of opening other available lanes.

Please approach cautiously and focus on driving.

Joseph Laron Randall, 37 of Fort Lauderdale was southbound in the inside lane of Interstate 75, approaching the toll booth at Mile
Marker 100.

The driver lost control of the vehicle and over-steered to the right. The front
of the truck struck the protective guardrail that separates the individual lanes of the toll booth and came to final rest facing southeast in the middle lane of the toll booth. Randall was charged with careless driving.

Photo courtesy Florida Highway Patrol

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Nunsense At Firehouse January 10

LABELLE, FL. -- Join Sister Mary Leo played by Rainia Ward, and six nuns in this comic musical.

Nunsense is a hilarious talent show staged by nuns at the Little Sisters of Hoboken nunnery. The rest of the sisterhood succumbed to botulism after eating vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia, Child of God. Get your tickets now and get ready to laugh!

This play will be presented on January 10th & 11th at 7pm, January 12th at 2pm, then January 16th, 17th and 18th at 7pm and January 19th at 2pm.
Call the ticket hotline (863) 675-366 or get tickets online at

Welcome To LaBelle 2020

LABELLE, FL. — The city of LaBelle has four new signs at the entrances to town, one each at south and north State Road 29, and one for the east and western entrance on State Road 80.

The finishing touches were being made this week in time for the beginning of 2020. Landscaping and a few minor details are pending.

How YouTube May Take Over Your Life In 2020

What Americans Watch On YouTube - Pew Research

A Pew Research study, published in December 2019 sheds some light on how YouTube videos are taking over the leisure time of viewers in the U.S. Pew researchers studied the most popular videos channels, those having at least 250,000 subscribers during the first week of 2019.

They found YouTube is the most popular social media with three-quarters of U.S. adults watching compared to 69% watching Facebook. But found that 90% of 18 to 24-year olds watch YouTube videos.

There are 44,000 channels with over 250,000 subscribers (but only 17% broadcast in English.) Those 44,000 YouTube channels provided over 48,000 hours of content each week, garnering over 14 billion views weekly, on average, each video is 12 minutes long with 60,000 views the first week.

Of those channels, 10% provided 70% of the video content each week and received 79% of the total views.

18% of the English speaking channels were focused on video games, receiving 34,347 views compared to 11,174 for videos on other topics. Gaming videos were 13 minutes long compared to only 5 minutes for others.

Although only 4% of videos among those popular channels were aimed at children under 13, videos that featured children drew three times more viewers.

81% of parents says they let their 11-year olds and younger watch YouTube. 61% of those who allowed children to watch said they have encountered content they felt was unsuitable for children.

64% of U.S. adults say they at least sometimes encounter videos that seem obviously false or untrue, while 61% say they've sometimes encountered videos that show people engaging in dangerous or troubling behavior.' 

Half say they have used videos to figure out how to do things they haven’t done before, and 28% say they get their news from YouTube.

81% say they at least occasionally watch the videos suggested by the platform’s recommendation algorithm.

A surprise found by the Pew researchers was YouTube "recommends progressively longer videos – at least when it lacks information about the viewer needed for more personalized recommendations. After a chain of just four video recommendations, the algorithm was likely to suggest a video more than five minutes longer than the one it originally started on." 

Pew Research Study on Americans and YouTube viewing