Friday, July 28, 2006

Glades County Calls Special Meeting

9 A.M. Meeting Will Set Millage Rates For Property Owners

MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA (July 28, 2006) -- Glades county will publish a legal ad Sunday to advertise a public hearing next Friday morning. The notice give citizens notice that any written comments must be received prior to the hearing.

The announcement reads:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Glades County Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing and special meeting on Friday, August 4, 2006 at 9:00 AM in the County Commissioners Chambers, Glades County Courthouse, Moore Haven, Florida

The purpose of the public hearing is as follows:

1. Adopt proposed millage rate.

2. Adopt current year rolled-back rate.

3. Adopt millage rate for MSTU for Law Enforcement.

4. Schedule date, time and place of tentative budget hearing.

WRITTEN COMMENTS received prior to the hearing shall be considered. Direct written comments to: Chairman, Glades County Board of County Commissioners, Post Office Box 10, Moore Haven, Florida 33471.

Hendry Gun Range Safety Classes Opening

LABELLE, FLORIDA -- Sheriff Ronnie Lee reports that to accommodate those interested in using the Hendry County Sheriff’s Gun Range, additional Gun Safety Classes have been scheduled. Classes will be held at the Sheriff’s Office in Clewiston on August 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th. Each class will begin at 7:00 pm. Classes will be held at the Sheriff’s Office in LaBelle on August 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th. Each class will begin at 7:00 pm.

Classes will be held at the Gun Range Office on August 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th. Starting time for classes at the Gun Range will be 9:00 am. Fee for the class is $5.00 and the class lasts approximately one hour. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 863-673-6106. The Safety Classes are required prior to using the Gun Range Facilities. The Gun Range will open to the public on August 5th with the following weekly schedule of events.

8:00 am-11:30 am-----Skeet/Trap Range Open
12:30 pm-3:30 pm-------Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun Range Open

8:00 am-1:00 pm------Skeet/Trap Range Open
For additional information regarding the Gun Range please call Nick Smith at 863-674-4060.

Montura Burglary Suspects Arrested

Sheriff Attempts Clean Up Of County's Crime Ridden Montura

CLEWISTON, FLORIDA (July 26, 2006) -- Hendry County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigators have arrested four adults and one juvenile in connection with recent burglaries in Montura. Sheriff Ronnie Lee reports that Richard Thomas Stevens, age 24 of 860 North Romero Street, Montura, Vernon Dwayne Stevens, age 23 of 154 Highway 27, Clewiston and Roland Lee LaFollette age 19, of 787 Appaloosa, Montura were arrested and charged with Burglary of Structure Conveyance and Larceny Grand Theft Damage Over $1,000.00.

Additionally, LaFollette and Paula Elizabeth Ferrer, age 23 of 435 North Datil, Montura were charged with Dealing in Stolen Property. HCSO Investigators were able to recover one of the stolen items, a 6000 watt generator. Investigators noted that the investigation is ongoing. All suspects were booked into the Hendry County Jail with the juvenile being turned over to Juvenile Authorties.

Hendry Political Candidates Qualify For Election

LABELLE, FLORIDA -- Supervisor of Elections for Hendry county, Lucretia Strickland says the following candidates have qualified for the upcoming elections. All offices are non-paying except for Commissioner, School Board, and County Judge. Candidates for State of Florida and US Federal Offices are not listed here as they must qualify with the Secretary of State office in Tallahasse. Click here for link to the Florida Secretary of State .

The following candidates (showing addresses and phone numbers) have qualified with the Hendry County Supervisor of Elections

County Commission District #2: Darrell R. Harris, P O Box 963, LaBelle, FL 33975 863-675-2565 (Rep)
County Commission District #4: Kevin McCarthy, 1011 Ponce de Leon Ave., Clewiston, FL 33440, 863-983-3406 (Rep)

School Board District #1: Richard A. “Rick” Murphy, 1123 Johnson Road, Clewiston, Florida 33440, 561-248-8100
School Board District #3: Patrick B. Langford, P O Box 122, LaBelle, FL 33975, 863-675-1549
School Board District #5: Matthew A. Beatty, 410 E. Osceola Ave., Clewiston, FL 33440, 863-983-5959, runs against John Perry, Jr., 105 Myrtle Ln, Clewiston, FL 33440, 863-677-1333 and Cynthia Luevano Potter, 708 W. Avenida del Rio, Clewiston, FL 33440, 863-983-0851

County Judge: James D. Sloan, P O Box 1695, LaBelle, FL 33975 (For security reasons Judges are not required to give a home address or phone number)

Hendry Hospital Authority District #2: Henry Spang, 595 Caloosa Est. Dr., LaBelle, FL 33935, 863-675-2296
Hendry Hospital Authority District #3C: Jack Neitzke, P O Box 99, LaBelle, FL 33975, 863-517-0324
Hendry Hospital Authority District #4: Miller Couse, 227 E. Crescent Dr., Clewiston, FL 33440

Hendry Soil and Water Conservation District Seat #1: James Pat Howell, P O Box 5158, Immokalee, FL 34143
Hendry Soil and Water Conservation District Seat #3: Ralph Bruce Hendry, 711 W. Main St., Immokalee, FL
Hendry Soil and Water Conservation District Seat #5: John R. Paul, Jr., P O Box 301, LaBelle, FL 33975

Port LaBelle Community Development District Seat #1: Donald J. Munch, Jr., 3013 E. Briarwood Cir., LaBelle, FL , 863-675-3330 against Suzette Reese, 62450 Frontier Cir., LaBelle, FL, 239-290-5483
Port LaBelle Community Development District Seat #3: Suzanne Gee, 62200 Frontier Cir., LaBelle, FL 33935 863-674-4100 against J. Michael Jordan, P O Box 2200, LaBelle, FL 33975
Port LaBelle Community Development District Seat #5: Margaret R. Pass, 4010 Birchwood N Pkwy., LaBelle, FL 33935, 305-733-0264 against Scott Wegscheid, P O Box 2061, LaBelle, FL 33975, 863-673-4630

East County Water Control District Seat #1: Damon Shelor, 211 Jackson Ave., Lehigh Acres, FL 33972, 239-707-6142
East County Water Control District Seat #2: Neal Horrom, 211 Roosevelt Ave., Lehigh Acres, FL 33972, 239-369-9806
East County Water Control District Seat #4: John O. Boardman, Jr., 2704 3rd St . E, Lehigh Acres, Fl 33972, 239-369-3844

Antique Auction Day Coming To Arcadia

ARCADIA, FLORIDA -- The Antique Association of Arcadia, Florida is holding an Appraisal and Auction Day on August 19, 2006. Events will begin with an Appraisal Fair starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Arbor Banquet Hall located at 111 West Oak Street. Evaluation of articles will continue until 2:00 p.m. At 2:30 p.m. an Antique auction will be conducted with donations from local merchant members of the Antique Association.

Appraisals or evaluations of a variety of items will be offered, including but not limited to 18th 20th Century Furniture, sterling silver, ivory, oil paintings primitives, pottery, orientalia, costume and fine jewelry, quilts, Victorian, carnival and depression glass, and porcelain. Members of the Antique Association of Arcadia, invited dealers from other locations and selected appraisers, will give appraisals and evaluations. Items are limited to two items per person and cost of the evaluation / appraisal will be $ 5.00 for each article. Twenty percent of the appraisal fee will be donated to the American Cancer Society in memory of deceased members.

All items will be on view from mid July through the 18th of August in the local participating antique shops. The items will be located in the 'Red Ribbon' area of each Antique Association shop, with the values and descriptions attached.

Arcadia is located at the crossroads of Highways 70 and 17. There are three blocks of interesting antique shops to peruse in addition to the Appraisal and Auction. You may want to have breakfast at Wheelers Cafe, brunch at the Last Chapter Book Store & Coffee House, lunch at Brenda Lee's, afternoon tea at the Tea Room, and or dessert at any or all of them! There are also many other local restaurants from which to choose. Most of charming Oak Street the Antique District has store fronts dating to 1906 for that 'back in time' feeling of early Florida.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pierced Navel

Some navels are nicer than others. Funny web commercial for

Glades Candidates Qualify For Elections

MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA -- The following candidates have qualified and
will be on Glades County's primary ballot:

State Representative District 77, Denise Grimsley (R) and Zane Thomas
(D). County Commissioner District 2, Fran Koebert (D) and Alvin Ward
(D). The winner of this District's race will face Republican
challenger Donna Storter Long in the general election November 7,

The following also qualified and are running unopposed: Glades County
School Board, District 1 Mike Pressley, District 3 Janet Storey,
District 5 Patti Pearce. County Commissioner District 4 is
represented by Russell Echols, who will be running unopposed.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Clewiston Woman Gets Air Force Award

CLEWISTON, FLORIDA - Department of the Air Force Civilian Denise W.
Schuster has been named Category I Civilian of the Quarter for the
1st Quarter. Selection was based on the individual's exemplary duty
performance, job knowledge, leadership qualities, significant
self-improvement, specific achievements, notable accomplishments, and
community service and support. Schuster, an electronic measurement
equipment mechanic, is assigned to the 46th Test Wing Maintenance
Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Valparaiso, Fl.

She is the daughter of Maggie D. Kocher of Fort Clarke Blvd.,
Gainesville, Fla., and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Cribbs of
Oar Drive, Clewiston, Fl. In 1985, Schuster graduated from
Clewiston High School, and received an associate degree in 1995 from
the Community College of the Air Force. In 1998, she earned an
additional associate degree from Edison Community College, Fort Myers, Fl.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Glades County Working Out New Budget

By Donna Storter Long

MOORE HAVEN, FL. (July 20, 2006) -- The Glades County Board of County Commissioners met in workshop session Tuesday July 18 to review the proposed $11,489,208 budget for fiscal 2006-2007 which begins October 1. Representatives of the more than 30 budget line items appeared before the Commission to justify their budget requests and answer questions from the Board.  Most gained consensual approval. 

Opening the session, County Manager Wendell Taylor briefly discussed the annual report he had prepared and the planning goals for the next ten years, including a proposed reorganization chart for county government. Mr. Taylor proposes to create the position of Deputy County Manager with Community Development Director Larry Hilton to fill the slot while also remaining directly over the Building, Planning and Zoning departments. 

Mr. Hilton presented the Board with his Glades County Economic Outlook Study report.  His preparation of this study puts Glades County ahead of the December 2007 requirement that mandates all counties must review and analyze their existing and projected growth, revenues and expenditures and planning of all capital improvements must comply with FS 163.3164(32).  This Financial Feasibility law requires sufficient revenues must be currently available (or will be available from committed funding sources) to fund capital improvements that may be necessary to ensure that adopted level-of-service standards will be met and continued. 

 Emergency Management Director Angela Osceola explained the $20,000 budget request for a portable back-up generator.  The county has one portable but the equipment is very old, being obtained from Buckhead Ridge when BHR had the old courthouse generator installed.  Ms. Osceola stated the generator at Maple Grove Baptist Church in Lakeport (the Red Cross approved shelter in Glades County utilized the most during emergencies) had problems last hurricane season, and the unit was not new when installed 13 years ago.  The Board recognized the need for the second portable generator with 50,000 KW capacity.

 Social Services Director Marcy Woznick explained the increase in her budget for indigent burials was necessitated by the increase of indigent deaths this fiscal year.  Normally budgeted for one, Mrs. Woznick stated there had been 5 already this year.

 The Board discussed enhancing two budgets based on increased need for services.  The current lone code enforcement officer can expect an assistant when the budget is finalized.  Chairman Jones appealed to the Board to consider the excessive load covering a large geographical area (not including City of Moore Haven which has its own code enforcement) and the inability of one person to properly attend to all the reported code violations with the inherent caseload of documentation.  The expected annual cost funding the position with benefits is approximately $34,000. CDD Hilton noted there is a vehicle available for use for this position if filled. 

 Chairman Jones, with corroboration by County Manager Taylor, explained the need for an assistant to the (only) Maintenance employee, noting that the employee must attend to maintenance for the courthouse, and also the community association buildings and other county facilities.  Taylor noted that at times it has been necessary to contract some of the services, but there has been a shortage of licensed qualified contractors interested in performing maintenance work. The projected cost to annually fund the full time position with benefits is approximately $39,511, plus a vehicle will be necessary for this position as well. 

 The condition of county boat ramp facilities was discussed at length, noting the seemingly impossible task of keeping public restroom facilities clean and stocked with supplies.  Discussion included possibly installing cameras at the entrance to bathrooms to document use and or abuse, hoping such will deter the vandalism and destruction.  Road Dept. Sup’t Brown noted at times his crew has even pressure cleaned facilities that were in such deplorable condition from public misuse.  Funding was not mentioned to employee park rangers to monitor and maintain the free public facilities.

 The Emergency Medical Services budget increased by 38% but Director Bob Jones noted that collections of accounts receivable had increased using in-house services of employees, with $136,000 collected in the first eight months of the current fiscal year.  Salary incentives to maintain adequate staff has become a necessity as Mr. Jones stated the State is recruiting paramedics; the state salary ranges are considerably higher than Glades County’s already. 

The $231,096 budgeted for county fire departments increased less than one tenth of one percent.  Funding for training is included and Jones noted that all firefighters, including volunteers, will be required to complete CPR training or will not be allowed to attend fires.

The Animal Control budget was up 15% mostly due to allowance for overtime pay as it was determined that the position is not exempt from overtime pay requirements.  Funding for continuing education requirements is also included.

Of special note was the decrease by 1% of the County Manager’s budget.  Mr. Taylor’s only special request included a conference table with eight chairs for his office, and a new copy machine to replace the existing (antiquated) one currently in use.  It was noted that mileage compensation to Commissioners for travel expenses would be payable at the approved IRS rate, as are county employees as outlined in the new personnel policy.  The proposed County Attorney budget at $125,900 was unchanged from last year. Taylor noted that Attorney Pringle has offered other options; one included changing the monthly retainer to $1500.

The court budget included the $42,349 item Court Technology for expenditures to provide court scheduling programs for judges as well as criminal justice information.  The funding will be from the $4 per case fee, not from general revenue funds.

Tax Collector Gail Jones stated part of her increase was the decision to budget for a website to post County Tax records on the internet after receiving many inquiries for public information.  She stated this had been requested two years ago when budget constraints caused it to be removed.

County Property Appraiser Larry Luckey’s budget includes replacement of office equipment and furnishings that were obtained piecemeal and/or used and are no longer adequate to handle the document capacities of that office.

The Sheriff’s budget, though showing an 18% increase, is a “true cost budget” and as such does not reflect funding from fines, forfeitures and grants.  Sheriff Stuart Whidden stated by law he must not include such revenue sources in his budget.  He noted that capital outlay for the Sheriff’s office had not in the (recent) past been provided by the County.  He also stated he is still working to bring deputy salaries up to the ranges proposed in the Salary Study funded by the Commission last year, but this budget does not completely accomplish that.  Sheriff Whidden’s Financial Clerk, Shelly Ridgdill, formerly with the Clerk’s financial department, prepared detailed information for the sheriffs’ budget requests, which was appreciated by the Commissioners. A large part of the budget is for fuel which the Sheriff purchases through the Road Dept. with considerable savings for volume rates. Whiddon stated that when the GCDC’s ICE facility is in operation, he will place county prisoners at the facility and pay the standard per diem rate.  He suggested working with the court systems and have persons assigned to community service, rather than serve minimal sentences in jail.  He said this may provide a source of labor for maintaining the county’s boat ramp bathroom facilities as well as save the daily per diem rate.

 County Road Superintendent Avant Brown’s $3,684,777 budget, the Transportation Trust Fund, reflects increased fuel costs as well as materials that are petroleum based.  Mr. Brown noted that with the hurricane destruction of gas stations, the county’s gas tax revenue was down.

The county landfill budget was not discussed.  The next budget workshop will be held Tuesday August 1 at 9 a.m.  Public input is welcome.  Final approval and adoption will be August 4.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Asian Flu Subject Of Health Department Presentation

Health Department Prepares For Avian Flu Emergency

LABELLE, FLORIDA (July 17, 2006) -- The Hendry Glades County Health Department will give a community presentation about the Avian Flu at the Dallas Townsend Agricultural Center on July 24 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Center is at 1085 Pratt Boulevard in LaBelle, across from the Health Department.

Pandemic Influenza Action Plan By The Department Of Health

An influenza (flu) pandemic occurs when a new and highly contagious strain of the virus emerges, potentially affecting populations worldwide. Historically, pandemics have occurred every 11 to 39 years; it has been more than 30 years since the last one. Many experts believe a flu pandemic is inevitable, but no one can know when it may occur.

In the event of a pandemic, preventive and therapeutic measures such as vaccines and antiviral agents, and antibiotics for treating secondary infections, could be in short supply. Medical facilities could be overburdened. A higher risk of exposure and illness of first responders might affect care of victims. Communications could be overwhelmed.

Partnering with other states and guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida has developed a pandemic preparedness plan that addresses disease surveillance, emergency management, vaccine delivery, laboratory and communications activities and multi-agency response.

How is Florida Preparing for Avian Flu?

Florida has a very strong and robust surveillance system in place that is on alert to the potential for bird flu. "Sentinel physicians" report any unusual occurrences to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the CDC. DOH laboratory facilities and staff have been increased, allowing for more timely diagnosis of avian flu should a case occur. FDOH also provides continuing education to EMS, hospital staff and private physicians, emphasizing the need to be alert for possible symptoms of bird flu coupled with overseas travel.

Full-time CDC personnel are assigned to the FDOH Headquarters to ensure rapid and clear communications between organizations. The CDC has also increased its personnel at the Miami Quarantine Station to provide services to the international ports of entry in Florida. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provide bird surveillance services, and FDOH works closely with state and federal agricultural authorities who are responsible for the monitoring of and response to avian influenza outbreaks in domestic poultry.

While there is currently no vaccine for bird flu, the Florida Health Department's ability to provide mass inoculations to the local population during a crisis has been successfully tested in recent emergencies and disaster situations.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Families Get Free Parenting Help

BELLE GLADE, FLORIDA  (July 14, 2006) – Five local families were recognized and celebrated on June 29 for completing the requirements of The Healthy Families Program, provided by Neighbors Organized for Adequate Housing (NOAH) of Belle Glade. The Third Annual Graduation ceremony was held at the Drawbridge CafĂ©. Healthy Families is funded by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County and is designed to work with “at risk,” expectant mothers from early pre-natal stages until the child is five years old. The program promotes positive parenting, enhances the health and development of the participating children and prevents child abuse and neglect.

At the graduation ceremony, the five graduating families were honored with a lunch, gift bag and a Certificate of Completion.  Each mother of the program shared her feelings as to how the program has enriched her life.  “I don’t know what I would have done had it not been for Mrs. (Ketia) Cidoine (NOAH Family Support Worker) visiting me at the hospital and every week in my home,” said one mother.

Claudia Garrison, supervisor of NOAH’s Healthy Families program, along with NOAH Executive Director Thomas Roberts, shared words of encouragement with the families and asked each one of them to always be the best mothers they can be.
The families are referred to the program mainly by physicians and because they live in the targeted areas of Pahokee, Canal Point, Belle Glade and South Bay.

 Healthy Families works with families lead by low-income, single mothers; mothers with histories of domestic violence; and teenage or older mothers who have been in abusive relationships.  Family Support workers visit the families’ homes on a regular basis and offer a variety of parenting tips and support, such as how to bond with children, how to potty train, change diapers and the importance of reading to children.

Established in 1983 to address the need for adequate, safe housing in the Glades, NOAH provides residential, social and family and child development services for local residents. NOAH’s mission is to improve housing in the Glades area of Palm Beach County, which includes Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay; to empower disadvantaged individuals toward self-help and self-sufficiency; and to build bridges among the diverse racial, ethnic and economic groups. Its main offices are located at 601 Covenant Drive in Belle Glade.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Giant Water Reservoir Project Meeting

LABELLE, FL. -- Sally McPherson, with the South Florida Water
Management District has announced that the C-43 West Reservoir
Project Manager will brief agricultural interests on the Preliminary
Design on July 20 at 11:00 at the IFAS Extension office in LaBelle.

The C-43 West Reservoir Project, one of eight accelerated water
storage projects in the Everglades Restoration Program, is moving
forward. The test cells are operational and being monitored. The
Preliminary Design for the project has been posted. The project
consists of an above-ground reservoir located south of the
Caloosahatchee River on the Berry Grove site a few miles west of
LaBelle. Storage capacity is approximately 170,000 acre-feet. Water
depth will vary from 12-26 feet.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Crime Up - Arrests In Glades And Hendry Falling Behind

LABELLE, FLORIDA (July 11, 2006) -- While the Hendry and Glades
county population has stayed relatively steady, crime rate increases
have risen to double digits, but arrests have not kept up to meet the
increases in crimes.

According to the latest Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime
Reports released today, Hendry and Glades county crime rates have
risen since 2004 but arrests have not kept pace. In Hendry county,
there were 3,137 arrests made in 2005, an increase of 1.9% over 2004
arrests, while the crime index rate increased 15.2% from 2004 to
2005. The increase in Hendry arrests didn't even cover the increase
in population in Hendry which was 2.6% in 2005 compared to 2004, an
increase of 37,394 people in 2004 to 38,376 in 2005.

In Glades county, the population stayed the same in both years, but
the crime index rate increased 13.5% while arrests only increased
0.4% in 2005 over arrests in 2004. There were 819 arrests in 2005 and
816 in 2004.

Local Crime Rate Among Highest In State

Third and Fifth Highest Crime Increases Among Florida Counties

LABELLE, FLORIDA (July 11, 2006) -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released its latest crime statistics for the year ending 2005 today, and the official statistics showed a large rate increase in reported crimes in Hendry and Glades county, while the state's crime rate fell again for the 14th straight year.

Hendry county came in with the third highest crime rate increase in Florida, at 15.2% over last year, while Glades county was fifth highest with an increase of 13.5%. The other top highest county crime rate increases statewide included  Desoto 27%, Baker 22.4%, Washington 15.3%,  and Jefferson 14.8%. The state's crime rate, averaging all counties,  fell by 3.7% over 2004's numbers

Last year, Hendry county with a population of 38,376 showed three murders, 31 forcible sex offenses, 78 robberies, 230 aggravated assaults, 460 burglaries, 903 larcenies, and 114 vehicle thefts. In Glades county, population 10,729, there was 1 murder, 1 forcible sex offense, 11 robberies, 31 aggravated assaults, 93 burglaries, 147 larcenies, and 28 vehicle thefts.  The crime  in Glades affected 2.9 per 100 people, while Hendry crime hit 4.7 residents per hundred. The actual Hendry-Glades crime rate is substantially lower than large metropolitan area like Miami-Dade where crime affected 6.2 persons per hundred residents, although Broward county is lower than Hendry at  4.3 per hundred. The state average is  4.6 per hundred. Miami-Dade's crime rate did however go down by 7.5% over 2004's rate.

In the previous year, the 2004 crime report showedHendry crime decreased 2.2% from 2003, and Glades county crime decreased 5.2% from 2003.

The rate of violent crime in Florida decreased by 0.6  percent, while non-violent showed a 4.2 percent  decrease for the same period. The number of violent crimes (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault) rose 1.7 percent in 2005, while the number of non-violent crimes (burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) decreased by 2.0 percent.

In The Service

Moore Haven Master Sgt. In Iraq

MOORE HAVEN, FLORIDA (July 11, 2006) -- Air Force Master Sgt. Andria J. Dolan is currently deployed overseas at a forward-operating location in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Operation Iraqi Freedom is the official name given to military operations involving members of the U.S. armed forces and coalition forces participating in efforts to free and secure Iraq.  Mission objectives focus on force protection, peacekeeping, stabilization, security and counter-insurgency operations as the Iraqi transitional governing bodies assume full sovereign powers to govern the peoples of Iraq.

Members from all branches of the U.S. military and multinational forces are also assisting in rebuilding Iraq's economic and governmental infrastructure, and training and preparing Iraqi military and security forces to assume full authority and responsibility in defending and preserving Iraq's sovereignty and independence as a democracy. The master sergeant is a superintendent with 19 years of military service.  She is the niece of Joe and Annie Pearl Espinosa of Yaun Road S.E., and sister of Kevin Bryant, all of Moore Haven, Fla. Her husband, James, is the son of Ralph and Geraldine Dolan of Quince Circle, Newport News, Va.   Dolan is a 1984 graduate of Moore Haven High School.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Home Sales Slowing In LaBelle ?

LABELLE, FLORIDA (July 7, 2006) -- It would seem that home sales are
slowing down from past months. From June 6 to July 6, there were
only three homes sold in the LaBelle area for an average price of
$123,333. A $110,000 sale on Anchor Lane in Port LaBelle's Country
Village, $150,000 on Florida Street in the city of LaBelle, and a
sale of $110,000 on South Carlyle Street in south LaBelle. Interest
rates at banks have been steadily rising while home prices have been
exceeding the average workers capability to finance.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Community Mourns Death Of Doctor Keen

MOORE HAVEN, FL. (July 3, 2006) -- Kenneth Wayne Keen, DVM, age 56,
of Moore Haven, passed away June 29, 2006 in Buena Vista, GA. He was
born February. 11, 1950 in Miami, FL, to the late Kenneth Vincent and
Zelma Theodosia (Akin) Keen. Kenny graduated in 1975 from Auburn
University School of Veterinary Medicine. He was a parishioner at
St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, and a members of the Knights
Of Columbus, He was a 27 year volunteer leader with Hendry County
4-H, a volunteer with Glades County 4-H, a member of both Hendry
County and Glades County Cattleman's Assosiation. and a Director of
the Hendry County Fair Board.

Survivors include his wife: Donna Rae (Herndon) Keen, children:
Kenneth (Amanda) Wayne Keen, Jr. , Jennifer (Robert) Nolan Hager, of
West Palm Beach, Stephanie Jane Keen, of Ft. Lauderdale, Jason
Whidden, Jacob Whidden, and Matt Whidden, all of Moore Heven,
mother: Zelma T. Keen of Clewiston, sisters: Pamela( Harold)
Gunderson of Pisgha, GA and Beverly (Joaquin) Fernandez of West Palm
Beach, brother: Harold (Alicia) Keen of Clewiston, grandchildren,
Colton Robert Keen, Megan Marie Keen and Rylan Asher Keen.

Funeral services were held Monday, July 3, 2006 at Saint Joseph The
Worker Catholic Church, Moore Haven with Father Esteban Soy and Rev.
Sherrill Tillery officiating. Interment followed at the Ortona
Cemetery. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

NASA Shuttle Program Wasting Taxpayer $$?


LABELLE, FLORIDA -- With the second scrubbing of the Space Shuttle STS-121 launch this weekend, we wonder what's going on at NASA, and who's in charge. Who in their right mind would schedule three launches in a row for summer afternoons in Florida? Anyone who has spent only a few summers in Central Florida would know that afternoon showers  and thunderstorms are almost a certainty in July. But maybe there's more than safety and efficiency involved in NASA's Shuttle schedules.

Why schedule launches on weekends and holidays when highly skilled technicians are paid overtime? Each cancellation of a Shuttle launch is said to cost taxpayers about $1.5 million. We can only guess that part of the decision making to schedule flights on weekends and holidays is a public relations policy. Get as much news coverage as you can for NASA, and get as much money per launch as possible, just schedule launches, on weekends and holidays. Brilliant PR!

Not only is this policy costing millions of extra taxpayer dollars, but launches are being scheduled at times of day when NASA's own studies show personnel are most fatigued and at their least effective. According to the NASA Ames Fatigue Counter Measures Group ( ) an Ames research report for pilots said:

"Night or late afternoon flying can increase fatigue because your body is programmed to be sleepy during the window of circadian low (3-5 am) and the afternoon dip (3-5 pm)." In particular, the "circadian low" at 3-5 a.m. and the "afternoon dip" at 3-5 p.m. are times of concern according to the Ames recommendations, affecting not only flight personnel but support personnel as well. Launches scheduled at those times would be a flight danger as well as not the best time to use flight and support personnel's talent to the highest efficiency.

Get smart NASA. Stop trying to launch Shuttle flights during Florida's summer afternoons and pay attention to your own research and not force Shuttle crew and support personnel to perform highly critical work during times in the day or night when fatigue is most likely.

Hendry May Get 10-Mile Hiking Trail

Mid-County Trail From State Road 80 To Sears Road

LABELLE, FL. -- The State of Florida's  "Greenways Trails"  division meets at the  31st Annual Conference on Water
Management on Sept. 6 to discuss a proposal to turn county owned land along an abandoned railroad right of way from State Road 80 to Sears Road into a trail for hiking, bicycling, and horses. Hendry county owns the northern 10 miles from State Road 80 at Goodno, south to Sears Road.  The State of Florida owns the right of way from Sears to the Collier County Line.  Adjacent to the trail are miles of citrus groves and pastures.  Glades county ownes the abandoned railway from State Road 80 to the river and then north through Glades County to U.S. 27 near Fisheating Creek.

The Hendry county commissioners  approved the application that will be discussed at the meeting of the Office of Greenways and Trails of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Land owners adjacent to the trail, Walt Ferguson and associates have been fighting against the trail for years, and county commissioners Kevein McCarthy and Daryll Harris have voted against the trail in the past. The
Hendry Glades Audubon is considering being  part of the management plan and would help monitor the 10 mile trail  if it is approved.