Thursday, June 29, 2006

Belle Glade Clinic Owners Arrested

Medicaid Fraud And Theft Charged By State

BELLE GLADE, FLORIDA (June 28) -- Attorney General Charlie Crist annouunced that two Miami-Dade County residents were arrested today for their roles in an organized fraud, money laundering and grand theft scam. Investigators with Crist's office determined that Hortensia I. Escoto ran a sophisticated operation in Belle Glade that defrauded the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $69,000, while her husband, Ricardo Isidro Escoto, laundered the money through a series of illegal activities. The clinic is located at 15 West Canal Street in Belle Glade.

Law enforcement officers with Crist's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit this morning arrested the couple after conducting a 14-month investigation. An arrest warrant has been issued for another couple involved in the fraud scheme. "Medicaid is in place to provide health care for the needy, not to line someone' pockets," said Crist. "This type of crime will be prosecuted whenever and wherever we find it."

The investigation revealed that Hortensia Escoto, 48, and Nieves Delgado, 33, jointly owned Belle Glade Family Health Group, Inc. They billed the Medicaid program for more than $69,000 for ultrasounds allegedly administered to minors, but never actually performed. Richard Escoto, 50, and William Alvarez, 36, then laundered the Medicaid money through the use of phony corporations, fake driver's licenses and fraudulent documents. Alvarez is Delgado's husband.

The Escotos are currently being held at the Miami-Dade County jail and are awaiting extradition to Palm Beach County. Each is charged with organized fraud, money laundering and grand theft. If convicted, each faces up to 60 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. Delgado and Alvarez are currently out of the country, but a warrant has been issued for their arrest. The case will be prosecuted by the Palm Beach County State Attorney''s Office.

Since 2003, the investigative and prosecution efforts of the Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit have resulted in 244 criminal convictions of individuals or entities charged in state and/or federal courts with
defrauding the state's Medicaid program. During the same period of time, the unit has recovered an excess of $165 million on behalf of the Florida Medicaid program.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Port LaBelle Man Arrested On Child Fondling Charge

LABELLE, FLORIDA (June 26, 2006) -- Acting on a child fondling
complaint from a parent and the victim, Hendry County Sheriff's
Office Deputy Bruce Slade arrested 36 year old Edward Villareal of
4005 Bishop Circle in Port LaBelle. Sheriff Ronnie Lee stated that
when Deputies caught up with and arrested Villareal and transported
him to the Hendry County Jail they also discovered cocaine on his
person. Villareal was charged with Unnatural and Lascivious Act-Child
Fondling, Possession of Cocaine and Introduction of Cocaine Into a
Detention Facility. He was booked into the Hendry County Jail with
Bond set at $100,000.00.

Burglar Call Results In Drug Bust

CLEWISTON, FLORIDA (June 26, 2006) --- When Hendry County Sheriff's
Office Deputies responded to a burglary call at Lot 28 Foxbriar
Trailer Park they discovered more than a possible burglary. Sheriff
Ronnie Lee stated that Geoffrey Mark Stanton age 23 of Lot 28
Foxbriar Trailer Park reported the theft of a pistol from his
residence. As Deputies were investigating the scene of the reported
theft they discovered approximately 47 grams of cocaine and
approximately 12 grams of marijuana and a silver in color Jimenez
Arms 9mm semi-automatic pistol. After further investigation Stanton
was charged with Possession of Cocaine over 28 Grams (Trafficking),
Possession of Marijuana Under 20 Grams and Possession of Drug
Paraphernalia. He was booked into the Hendry County Jail with a Bond of $53,500.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Real Estate Scam In Hendry County

Miami Duo Allegedly Filed False Deeds To Real Property

LABELLE, FLORIDA (June 22, 2006) -- Grand Theft Warrants for Land Scam Fraud have been issued for the arrest of Yelitza Martinez and Nelson Pena both of Miami, Florida. According to Sheriff Ronnie Lee, the Land Scam Criminals have been picking vacant property, by researching the owners names, and then presenting fraudulent Quit Claim Deeds placing the property in their names or an alias. After the fraudulent deed filings in at the Hendry courthouse, the properties were quickly and illegally sold to unknowing individuals.

According to Sheriff Lee's office,  the criminals have defrauded individuals of approximately $190,000. Another $40,000.00 loss was prevented when the Hendry County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division was able to have the funds frozen before the transaction could be completed. This in an ongoing investigation and anyone with information regarding Martinez and Pena are asked to contact Investigator Marci Martinez of the Hendry County Sheriff's Office  at 863-983-1440.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Immokalee Men Arrested For Attempted Homicide

Three Men Charged In Home Invasion Shooting

LABELLE, FL. -- On June 21, Hendry Sheriffs Deputy Mike Horn arrested three men for Loitering and Prowling after he observed a vehicle make several slow passes through a residential area in Labelle. Deputies discovered burglary tools in the vehicle which led to the arrest of the driver and two occupants. Sheriff Ronnie Lee said the Criminal Investigations Division was able to link all three men to a series of Home Invasion Robberies and Aggravated Battery, where two of the victims received gunshot wounds.

Alfredo Sonny Gomez, age 28 of 1322 Orange Street in Immokalee, was charged with six counts of Armed Home Invasion, five counts of Aggravated Assault, four counts of Aggravated Battery With A Firearm and Attempted First Degree Homicide.

Quamie Yashane Redden (photo above), age 27 of 302 South Third Street in Immokalee, was charged with six counts of Armed Home Invasion, five counts of Aggravated Assault, four counts of Aggravated Battery With A Firearm and a Principal In The First Degree for Attempted First Degree Homicide.

Gustavo Soto, age 16 of 2405 Eden Road in Immokalee, was charged with six counts of Armed Home Invasion, five counts of Aggravated Assault, four counts of Aggravated Battery With A Firearm and a Principal In The First Degree for Attempted First Degree Homicide.

Based on information obtained by Sheriff's Investigators, these three men are possibly linked to criminal activity in Collier and Glades Counties. The Hendry County Sheriff's Office is continuing the Investigation and additional charges may be forthcoming.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Beetles Attack Old Pines In Hendry

Oldest Pine Trees Most Affected

LABELLE, FL. -- Bark beetle activity is on the increase in southwest
Florida. In the counties of Hendry, Lee, and Collier, south Florida
slash pines are under great stress from droughty conditions
experienced over the last few months, according to Michael Weston,
Senior State Forester of the Caloosahatchee District for the
Department of Forestry. Heaped onto this stress are the past two
years' hurricane seasons, and the often deplorable conditions that
large pine trees grow in when surrounded by development. The likely
culprits are Ips engraver beetles and/or black turpentine
beetles. "We are fortunate not to have the aggressive southern pine
beetle this far south for a number of reasons, Weston said.

Concerned homeowners and landscape managers will likely see larger
pines, often the most cherished in their yards and land, afflicted as
the responsible insects target weak and stressed trees, which are
normally south Florida slash pines over 60 years old. Affected trees
will normally show a two week to one month color fade from a normal
green to orange and finally red with most of the needles staying on
the tree. Also, dime to quarter size patches of red sap will be
visible in buttons on the stem of the tree. All of the pine needles
on trees will be affected, and not just scattered tufts that are
normally associated with normal new needle growth in pines this time of year.

The key to prevent the loss of many of our pines is three
pronged. First, as land is developed, the growing space of the
remaining pine trees needs to be properly managed, i.e. not piling
fill dirt over roots. Second, pines will do best with a 2 to 3 inch
layer of pine straw that is refreshed annually to provide normal
inputs to their rooting zone. Third, more pines need to be
planted. Pine seeds drop naturally between the months of September
and November or seedlings can be planted. Seedlings are available
from private nurseries and the Florida Division of Forestry, along
with advice on how to plant and manage pines. "With planning, we can
continue to see pines tower over southwest Florida for generations to
come and provide wildlife habitat, shade, and other forest products."
said Weston.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

LaBelle's Only Radio Station Sold For $900,000

Big Dollars In LaBelle Religious Broadcasting - WBIY

LABELLE, FLORIDA -- A trio of Miami residents have bought LaBelle's tiny 3,000 watt FM radio station and is broadcasting Spanish religious music. For nearly a million dollars investment, the new owners can expect probably several hundred listeners at any one time because of the station's low power, religious format, and rural transmitter location. The huge purchase price would be the equivalent of paying each of 200 listeners $45,000.

Former owner Art Ramos, president of Airwaves for Jesus, Inc. had been simulcasting his Fort Myers religious radio format to LaBelle's transmitter located in an orange grove just west of LaBelle a few yards south of State Road 80. Ramos had purchased both stations several years ago from Toccoa Falls College, a private religious school in Georgia for $3,000,000. Toccoa Falls had a chain of radio stations using them to recruit students to their college as well as to spread the Gospel message. The college sold the station after a complicated deal years earlier to establish a radio station in LaBelle besides the then existing commercial country music station WWWD. Once the religious station was on the air, WWWD in LaBelle was able to be sold to a chain of Fort Myers broadcasting stations for $6,000,000 and moved to Ft. Myers where it now broadcasts rock music. The FCC would not approve moving a rural station to a larger city if it left the smaller city with no local station at all, hence LaBelle's only radio station is and will most likely be a small religious broadcasting station for some time to come.

New operator of the $900,000 station buy is Oscar Aguero as president of Oscar Aguero Ministry, Inc. in Hialeah, a suburb of Miami. Aguero is joined by ministry directors, wife Stella Aguero and Javier Rodriguez of Hialeah. Pastor Aguero has been active in Miami Spanish ministry for over 20 years and also has a Miami  television broadcast "Ondas De Amor" on Channel 43, also broadcast on the internet. Born in Argentina he came to the U.S. in 1978.

On his web page he says he has 14 churches in South Florida, 3 in Nicaragua, 2 in Venezuela, and 2 in Argentina. As donations are apparently very healthy to his ministry, he also has what are called FM radio translators in various South Florida locations including Naples, rebroadcasting the same religious music at low power to local communities. He also broadcasts in Gloucester, Ma. and had filed to build a station in Vero Beach, Fl.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sewage Dumping In Hendry Cow Pasture

LABELLE, FLORIDA -- An Indiana based company has been dumping sewage
on a Hendry county pasture for months under a contract with the Lee
county government. According to a story in the Ft. Myers News-Press,
Karle Enviro-Organic Recycling of Ft. Myers has been paid $4 million
to remove 15 million gallons of sewage from 11 Lee county treatment
plants. The company's liquid sewage tanker trucks can be seen daily
trudging east along State Road 80 in Hendry county to a private dirt
road at Goodno and then heading south about a mile where the smelly
stuff is dumped in the fields.

Landowner, and multi-millionaire Dwayne House owns the property, and
the old Goodno store, and its adjoining lands just south of the
Ortona locks in mid-Hendry county. House has a record of just doing
what he wants with his extensive land holdings. In past years, the
county wanted to put a hiking and bicycling trail down the old
railway bed that extends from the Caloosahatchee river diagonally
southwestward down the entire county, and adjacent to where the
sewage is being dumped, but was thwarted by House and adjacent
landowners who didn't want anyone using the county owned land that
might keep them from intruding next to their property. The
landowners claimed that if the county went ahead with a hiking trail
they would install a tall barrier fence along the trail to keep any
scenic views from travelers.

Just west of the dump site and on the other side of the county's
proposed rail trail, is a large parcel used as a private hunting
preserve, allegedly housing herds of exotic game. On weekends, amazed
observers on the rail trail can see a large howitzer cannon firing
rounds into a pasture. Blocking the county's rail trail is an
assembly of old wooden cattle pens and gates blocking he right of
way. (Photo above.) The county ordered the landowners to remove them from the county
land years ago, but the landowners ignored the order.

According to environmental laws, and to protect the consumer and the
public, sewage cannot be dumped where livestock is grazing nor within
200 feet of any body of water. The News-Press claims the dumping was
going on as about 50 cattle grazed nearby and said a stream was
nearby. Penalty fines can reach up to $10,000 a day for violators. A
Florida EPA manager said the company paid $1000 in April to settle a
complaint citing the discharging of waste close to water and
cattle. The EPA said the company sends 22 trucks a day to the site,
each with 6,000 gallons of sewage.

The Sunday Morning News has flown observation aircraft over the dump
site repeatedly and noted tanker trucks at the site almost
continually, but did not see any dumping going on near cattle or
water. Hendry county residents have also reported dumping allegedly
going on the north end of the Banyan subdivision of Port LaBelle and
a few miles west of Goodno and just south of State Road 80, but the
Sunday Morning News has not been able to verify that site. Emails to
the Florida EPA to inquire about Hendry sewage dump sites were unanswered.

Friday, June 09, 2006

LaBelle Homes Sales Up

LABELLE, FL. -- In the first week of June there were 11 real estate
properties sold in the LaBelle area at an average price of $181,273.
Included in the recorded sales were: $185,000 on 3rd Ave, $38,000 on
4th Ave, $273,000 on Acorn Cir, $172,000 on Albany Rd (Port
LaBelle), $193,000 on Beaver Cir (Port LaBelle), $179,000 on
Berwick Cir (Port LaBelle), $155,000 on Clipper Cir (Country Village
in Port LaBelle), $190,000 on County Road 78, $154,000 on Schooner Dr
(Port LaBelle), $280,000 on Springview Cir (Laurel Oaks in Port
LaBelle), $175,000 on N Edgewater Cir (Port LaBelle.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Moore Haven River Rally Benefits Main Street

MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA -- As bikers rode down Avenue J in Moore Haven
Saturday, June 3, Main Street Moore Haven program manager Tracy
Whirls stood in the center of the street, taking photos. The former
newspaper editor is also Glades County's economic development
director. Given only six weeks to help organize and promote the
second annual River Rally, sponsored by the City of Moore Haven to
benefit Main Street Moore Haven, Inc. , the event drew participants
from West Palm Beach, Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Orlando
as well as communities around Lake Okeechobee.

Moore Haven Vice Mayor and Harley enthusiast Dave McGee urges bikers
from around Lake Okeechobee and beyond to enjoy the ride over to
Moore Haven on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. "We in Moore
Haven welcome everyone to our small but peaceful town by the
Caloosahatchee River," Vice Mayor McGee said. "You'll find that Moore
Haven is a real down to earth town with a lot to offer. We have one
of the most beautiful areas around the lake, scenic parks, and of
course, the historic Lone Cypress tree, on the bank of the
Caloosahatchee River, where the city was founded in 1915."

The riverside park was the perfect venue for the rally. Residents and
visitors alike lined the sidewalk across the street from the
Riverwalk to watch games, including the "Road Kill game," "Bite the
Dog," and others. Harley Davidson of Ft. Myers donated game prizes,
while vendors, including E&L Leather Goods of Ft. Myers, Crafty
Creations and JK Design of Moore Haven, and Ole Rips of Arcadia,
donated door prizes. Everglades Realty Moore Haven broker Jeff Davis
donated the grand door prize, a $100 bill, initially won by Glades
County Commissioner Russell Echols who donated it back.

-Photo and story courtesy of Tracy Whirls

Tax Dollars Go To Citrus Growers

LABELLE, FLORIDA -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today expressed his appreciation to
President George W. Bush and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary
Mike Johanns for the release of $100 million to citrus growers and
citrus nurseries impacted by citrus canker. Secretary Johanns
announced the compensation yesterday as well as an interim rule that
will now allow nursery owners who had citrus trees destroyed during
the eradication effort to be eligible for funds.

"This significant influx of money goes a long way toward assisting
Florida growers and nurseries who have suffered greatly from the
impact of canker as well as two unprecedented hurricane seasons,"
Bronson said. "On behalf of our citrus industry, I appreciate the
President, his administration and USDA for providing this vital
assistance to this very important industry."

The Citrus Canker Eradication Program resulted in the destruction of
more than 10.5 million commercial citrus trees in groves and 4.3
million trees in nurseries that were infected with or exposed to the
bacterial disease. Bronson is also advising the President and USDA
that he is meeting his commitment to homeowners who lost citrus trees
as a result of the eradication program and have been awaiting
compensation. Governor Jeb Bush recently signed a budget in which
lawmakers provided $3.6 million for residential compensation. When
the new budget year goes into effect on July 1, the Department will
begin the final phase of mailing payments to homeowners and expects
to finish up the program by the end of September.

"Just as citrus growers and nurseries have waited patiently for
payments, so have homeowners," Bronson said. "I am very grateful for
their sacrifice, and while the eradication program has ended, I can
assure residents that our ability to remove canker-infected and
-exposed citrus trees from this state helped to protect homeowners
and the industry for years."

Immokalee Coach Unapologetic

IMMOKALEE, Fl. -- Immokalee High School principal and soccer coach,
said he doesn't need to apologize to anyone for having a 30-year old
Haitian attending his school and being the soccer team's best player
and team captain. Manny Touron said he shouldn't apologize because he
didn't know Blandel Jean was that old. He apparently didn't know
that student athlete Josh Jean-Mary was 23-years old, and student
athlete Sinel Ulysse was 20 years old either. Both were fingered
later in the investigation by the Florida High School Athletic
Association. After discovery, Mr. Jean left the school a week before
he was scheduled to "graduate." He left Haiti in 2003 aned worked as
a convenience store clerk in Immokalee. He said in order to enroll at
Immokalee High his mother sent him a birth certificate from Haiti and
changed the birthdate. He is five foot, five inches tall and weighs
125 pounds so it was not hard to fake his age he said.

The Florida High School Athletic Association Wednesday has barred
Immokalee from football playoffs next season and the soccer team is
barred for two seasons, and the school has to hand back two district
soccer title trophy and one district football title trophy. The
school has 10 days to appeal, but most likely the embarrassment of
the situation will bar that effort. The school faces and
multi-thousand dollar fine and investigation costs as well.

The FHSAA said principal Touron was made aware of the overage
students last October but didn't report the problem until May 2006.
The group also says Touron didn't initiate an investigation into
other overage students even after finding out about the first one discovered.

56-year old Manny Touron, in his second year as principal of
Immokalee High after a half dozen years at Immokalee Middle School,
and five years at Lake Trafford Elementary. Of Cuban heritage, he was
raised in New York City' Brooklyn and played soccer in college. He
has been married for 22 years and has a 30-year old son from a prior marriage.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Big Lake Bank Sold After Cited For Non-Compliance By Feds

Comptroller of the Currency Cited Bank in "Troubled Condition"

LABELLE, FL. (June 7, 2006) -- Now under new ownership as of this week, Big Lake National Bank has been taken over by Seacoast National Bank, a chain of primarily Florida east coast banks based in Stuart. Customers of the former Big Lake National Bank could see a flurry of activity inside the modest building in LaBelle as new supervisors were handling much of the business of the bank while apparently training employees and answering numerous questions from customers.

The Federal banking regulators, the Comptroller of the Currency, cited  Big Lake National Bank last October and came to a formal agreement with the directors of the bank that after the bank  was found using unsafe and unsound banking practices in the bank's consumer compliance program, and under the federal Bank Secrecy Act program. Examiners also cited violations of five sections of the United States Code that the bank violated.

The bank was ordered under an agreement made between the bank and the Comptroller on October 19 to form a "compliance committee" to among other things, enact policies and procedures for monitoring and reporting larger transactions, and gather information about customers whose transactions pose a greater than normal risk for compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, including controls to ensure all large transactions are identified and reported. The bank was ordered to also require than any existing customer banking relationships that might be detrimental to the reputation of the bank, be closed.

The bank was ordered to come into compliance with all consumer protection laws and regulations and to prepare a manual covering how bank personnel were to perform their duties under the consumer laws. all within 90 days.

The directors were given 90 days in which to comply with the 14-page agreement. Big Lake Bank directors signing the agreement were John Abney, Sr., John B. Boy, Jr., Robert Coker, Mary Beth Cooper, H. Gilbert Culbreth, Jr., Curtis S. Fry, Joe Mullins, Bobby Tucker, and Edwin Walpole III. Joe Mullins now remains as a regional president with Seacoast National Bank.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Church Robber Nabbed In Clewiston

CLEWISTON, FLORIDA -- Sheriff Ronnie Lee reports that quick work by Sgt. Herman Blendsoe and Deputy Jesus Olvera resulted in sound equipment that had been stolen from the New Beginners Ministry Church at 1808 11th Terrace and Della Tobias in Harlem being recovered and returned to the Church. According to Sheriff Lee, witnesses were able to give Deputies information that was used in their investigation that led to the arrest of Jackie Johnson, age 49 of 928 Alabama Avenue, Clewiston, Florida.

Johnson broke into the Church and stole sound equipment and later sold it. When Johnson was arrested he was also found to be in possession of a quantity of crack cocaine as well a device used for smoking cocaine. Johnson was charged with Criminal Mischief for Damage to Property, Burglary of a Structure, Dealing in Stolen Property, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Narcotic Equipment. He was booked into the Hendry County Jail with bond set at $35,000.00.

Man Charged With Exposing Self At Family Dollar

LABELLE, FL. -- On June 2, 2006 at approximately 8:20 p.m. Hendry County Sheriff�s Office Deputies responded to a call concerning a male exposing himself in the Labelle Family Dollar Store at 250 West Hickpochee Avenue. Upon arrival Deputies were advised that a black male wearing a red cap and a blue Taco Bell uniform shirt had been exposing his genitalia to store patrons. According to Sheriff Ronnie Lee within minutes Deputies detained an individual matching that description in the parking lot of Popeyes Restaurant.

An eye witness traveled to where the suspect was being detained and positively identified Edward Triplett, Jr., as the person exposing himself in the Family Dollar Store. Based on information provided by witnesses that a person under the age of 16 was in close proximity to Triplett as he committed his illegal act, he was charged with Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition In The Presence of Person Under The Age of 16. Triplett was booked into the Hendry County Jail with bond set at $100,000.00.

Burglary Suspects Nabbed Dragging Cash Register

LABELLE, FLORIDA (June 5, 2006) -- As Deputies were responding to a
Burglary Alarm call from the Hall Street Florist and Collectibles at
70 Hall Street at approximately 3:07am on June 2, 2006 they noticed a
light blue in color Mercury run the stop street at Hall Street and
State Road 80. Inasmuch as the vehicle was hastily leaving the area
of a possible burglary, Deputies followed the vehicle south on
Martin Luther King Boulevard where the vehicle without regard to
possible oncoming traffic ran through the stop sign at Cowboy Way and
proceeded southbound on Barbara Street. The fleeing vehicle attempted
to turn to the west onto Mary Street and slid into the ditch where
the passenger exited and fled on foot.

The driver of the vehicle, 56 year old Leotis Chris Troutman of 320
Martin Luther King Boulevard LaBelle, Florida was attempting to exit
the vehicle while holding a cash register. Deputy Perry Short
instructed the driver to stop and show his hands which he refused to
do and began resisting. Sheriff Ronnie Lee stated that Troutman was
charged with; Fleeing/Eluding Police with Disregard to Safety of
Persons or Property, Burglary of Structure Conveyance, Possession of
Burglary Tools With Intent To Use, Petit Larceny, and Resisting
Officer W/O Violence. Troutman was booked into the Hendry County Jail
with bond set at $22,500.00 Investigators discovered that the
fleeing passenger and accomplice to the Burglary at the Hall Street
Florist was Nathan Yelling, age 27 of 4047 East Sunflower Circle Port
LaBelle . Yelling has been arrested with bond set at $68,000.00.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Grower's Research Fund Meeting Wednesday

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Gene McAvoy, Hendry agricultural extension agent reminds area growers that the general meeting of the SW Florida Vegetable Research and Investment Fund will be at the UF/IFAS SW Florida Research and Education Center, 2686 Hwy. 29 N, Immokalee on Wednesday June 7 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.  Since its inception in 2000, over 50 growers and industry partners have joined the fund and contributed more than $120,000 to fund vegetable research in SW Florida. Through in-kind contributions from participating growers we have been able to leverage this into nearly half a million dollars of research targeted at addressing problems faced by growers in southwest Florida.

New Home Sales Slowing?

Port LaBelle New Home Sales Lacking

LABELLE, FL. (June 4, 2006) -- Latest home sales recorded in the LaBelle area in the last several weeks didn't show any Port LaBelle new constructed homes sold but did  include: in LaBelle a sale for $239,000 on 6th Ave, $315,000 on 7th Ave, in Port LaBelle Country Village $146,000 on Anchor Ln, in Unit 4  $125,000 on Bishop Cir, $265,000 on Caloosa Estates Dr, $92,000 on Clipper Ct, $160,000 on Dolphin Cir, $185,000 on Hardee St, $184,000 on Lakewood Rd,, $120,000 on Palm Ave, $130,000 on Prow Terr, $194,000 on Quebec Rd, $155,000 on Rainbow Cir, $140,000 on Rainbow Cir, $155,000 on School Cir, $130,00 on Schooner Dr, $175,000 on Teak Cir, $335,000 on Turtle Ln, $195,000 on N. Edgewater Cir,  $140,000 on S. Edgewater, $280,000 on Springview Cir..  New construction home sales have slowed considerably in the Port LaBelle area and none were reported in this latest period. The average Hendry home buyer seems to be looking for homes under $200,000 as interest rates steadily increase causing monthly mortgage payments to rise as well.