Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Building Burglarized - Arrests Made

All Nail Salon Burglary Nails Suspects

LABELLE, FL. -- On April 27 at 2:45 a.m., the Hendry County Sheriff's Office received a call that the building behind the LaBelle city hall was being burglarized.  Sergeant Elberto Carmona, Corporal Mike Horne, and Deputy Justin Smith responded. 

When the perpetrators observed Corporal Horne approaching they fled the scene, not realizing they were headed directly towards Deputy Smith.  Sergeant Carmona and Deputy Smith stopped the vehicle on State Road 80.  Bolt cutters, gloves, and a pry bar was located inside the vehicle. 

Deputies checked the buildings and found where the perpetrators had entered the All Nail Salon.  The owner of the business reported two televisions and $200 in cash missing.  Timothy L. Leach, age 23 of 725 Mississippi Avenue, Clewston, Wilbert Lee James, age 20 of 675 M.L.K.Blvd. LaBelle, and Albert Favors, Jr., age 25 of 709 Maryland Avenue, Clewiston, were arrested and charged with Criminal Mischief, Burglary, Possession of Burglary Tools With Intent To Use, and Theft. 

LaBelle Burglary Suspect Caught

More Arrests To Come Says Sheriff

LABELLE, FL. -- On April 24 Corporal Jesus Olvera was dispatched to 760 Francis Court in LaBelle to investigate a burglary.   The owner of the residence said a motor scooter and twenty five hundred dollars was missing.  

According to Sheriff Ronnie Lee, on April 28, Sergeant Shawn Reed and Corporal Olvera located the stolen scooter at 1442 Navajo Avenue in LaBelle.  Javier Gomez, age 14 of 1442 Navajo Avenue Labelle, was arrested and charged with Burglary, Criminal Mischief and Theft.  The investigation continues and more arrests are expected.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sugar Gives Sheriff Trucks

United States Sugar Corporation Donates Trucks To HCSO

CLEWISTON, FL. -- United States Sugar Corporation recently donated three 4-wheel drive pickup trucks to be used by the Hendry County Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Deputy Agricultural Crime Unit.

According to Sheriff Ronnie Lee, the Agricultural Crime Unit is under the supervision of the Criminal Investigations Division and concentrates on a wide variety of criminal activities relating to the Agricultural Community. These vehicles will enable the Auxiliary Deputies to help patrol the vast agricultural properties in Hendry County as well as rural communities.

No word on what will become of the numerous other old trucks in the Sheriff's parking lot "donated" to the Sheriff's department, nor how much it may cost taxpayers to keep these trucks operational.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Clewiston Water Plant Opens

Congressman Mahoney On Hand For Ribbon Cut

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Friday Congressman Tim Mahoney joined Clewiston Mayor Molly Soto Chamness, Clewiston City Commissioners, City Council members, City Utilities staff, U.S.D.A. Rural Development, U.S. Sugar and South Florida Water Management District for a ribbon cutting and grand opening of Clewiston's state-of-the-art water production and treatment plant facility.

The new environmentally friendly reverse osmosis facility has the capacity to produce up to 3 million gallons of high quality water per day and will provide services to 7200 customers in Glades, Hendry and Palm Beach Counties, meaning the water will no longer be drawn from Lake Okeechobee.

"This water plant is a monument to how local and federal government can come together and provide citizens access to critical resources," said Congressman Mahoney. "This plant not only demonstrates Clewiston's commitment to preserve the environment, but it is a key element in providing the infrastructure the town requires to attract new industry."

"Today is a great day in America's sweetest town. I'm very excited to have Congressman Mahoney here, as he continues to show a great interest in our community and our rural way of life,? said Clewiston Mayor Mali Soto Chamness.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pond Apple Trees Planted Around Lake

Lake Okeechobee Gets 1,500 Trees

Belle Glade, FL -- Pond apple trees within the footprint of the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir construction zone are getting a fresh start in the rich muck soils of Torry Island in southern Lake Okeechobee.
The South Florida Water Management District is transplanting 1,500 of the mature trees this month to benefit ongoing habitat restoration work on Torry Island in Belle Glade in western Palm Beach County. The project takes advantage of the availability of trees as tall as eight feet that would be completely submerged in the massive EAA Reservoir when complete. 
Pond apple trees provide desirable habitat for other native species, including the endangered snail kite, endangered Okeechobee gourd and wading birds. Pond apples produce an avocado-sized fruit that is sometimes called an alligator pear or alligator apple, because of its rough skin. The trees can grow up to 25 feet high and survive in the low-nutrient environment found in the Everglades ecosystem.
Pond apple restoration in marshy areas of Lake Okeechobee began several years ago. The effort has been aided on Torry Island by student volunteers from the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation who regularly visit to plant saplings. Foundation Chairman John Marshall, a long-time proponent of environmental restoration in Lake Okeechobee, suggested using mature pond apple trees from the EAA Reservoir construction zone to supplement ongoing planting at Torry Island.
In 2007, the District�s Lake Okeechobee restoration efforts included planting 1,000 pond apple trees in the Clewiston area and another 1,725 pond apples, cypress, bald cypress, red maple, swamp bay and dahoon holly near Moore Haven. This year, the District also plans to re-establish a pond apple forest in Lake Istokpoga, located north of Lake Okeechobee, with the planting of another 800-1,000 pond apple trees. 
"Tree island restoration on Torry Island is important for the environment and the citizens of Belle Glade whose livelihoods are tied to Lake Okeechobee," said City of Belle Glade Mayor Steve Wilson.
A multi-year rainfall deficit that dropped Lake Okeechobee water levels to about four feet below average for this time of year presented a prime opportunity to relocate a large number of mature trees. In current conditions, work crews are able to plant trees harvested from the EAA Reservoir construction zone onto an existing tree island stand near Torry Island. The site is usually too wet to be accessible with vehicles.

LaBelle Real Estate Sales

LABELLE, FL. -- Another very slow real estate month. From March 18 to April 22, there were only three homes sold in the LaBelle area for an average price of $137,667.

1) $138,000 on Gunn Circle
2) $135,000 on Hardee Street
3) $140,000 on Oakleaf Circle

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Daughter Of Seminole Official Dead In Canal

FHP Says Date Of Crash Unknown

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Florida Highway Patrol is reporting a 2008 Dodge SUV was found April 22 in a canal at Hendry County Road 833 and County road 846.

The driver found dead inside the vehicle was Devin Mindy Cypress age 27. Cypress was traveling north on CR-846 and failed to stop at the intersection of CR-833, traveling over an embankment and into the canal. The vehicle came to rest upside down.

The FHP says is does not know the date and time of the crash and is investigating the use of alcohol. A seat belt was not worn by Cypress..

Cypress is the daughter of controversial long-time Seminole Indian Tribe council member David Cypress.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pedestrian Killed In LaBelle

Driver Hits Person Crossing Street

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Highway Patrol reports an unidentified pedestrian was killed Monday morning about 9:52 at the corner of Cowboy Way and Martin Luther King Blvd.

Diana Cruz Estrada was driving a 1999 Mercury vehicle westbound on Cowboy Way and struck a pedestrian crossing northbound. A 10-year old and 9-year old girl were passengers in the vehicle.  Neither Estrada nor the girls were injured.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Two Deaths In LaBelle Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- A motorist and passenger was killed in a crash on State Road 29, two miles north of LaBelle Monday morning at about 9:15. The two are unidentified, pending notification to relatives, and were in a 2005 Hyundai traveling southbound when a northbound truck attempted to pass slower traffic and hit them head on.

Cited by the FHP for failing to maintain a single lane was Orestes Delgado-Horta, 56 of Hialeah, Fl. He suffered no injuries and was driving a 1999 Volvo Semi, which sustained $30,000 in damage.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Alligator Hunts Allowed In Hendry

Third Season For Alligator "Management" Hunts

CLEWISTON, FL . -- The Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District authorized the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to establish Stormwater Treatment Area 1-West in Palm Beach County and Stormwater Treatment Area 5 in Hendry County as �Alligator Management Units� for the annual alligator hunting season. This will be the third season that the District authorized use of these lands for alligator hunts.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which monitors alligator hunting throughout the state, will let permitted hunters take a total of 300 alligators from the two Stormwater Treatment Areas on specified weekends in August, September and October. An estimated one million alligators can be found statewide but only a small percentage can be hunted, and a permit is required.
Alligator hunts in the Stormwater Treatment Areas are unique in that hunting is only allowed on weekends, and motorized boats are prohibited. The motorized boating restriction is designed to prevent boats from stirring up plants and sediments in the constructed treatment wetlands. Alligators can be hunted on foot from the levee banks or from non-motorized boats that can be paddled or poled.
The use of District-managed lands for permitted hunting is part of the District�s continuing commitment to open lands for public access and recreation. Alligator hunts do not affect the regular operation of the stormwater treatments areas.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Double Traffic Fatality

Two Dead In LaBelle Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Gilberto Moreno, 21 and Horacio Villa 25, both of LaBelle died in a crash between their two vehicles on State Road 80 east of Ft. Denaud Road at 11:32 P.M. April 19.

Moreno's vehicle was traveling eastbound on SR-80 in the westbound inside lane. Villa's was traveling westbound on SR-80 in the inside (left) lane. The front of Vehicle 1 collided with the front of Vehicle 2. Vehicle 1 came to final rest upright, facing East in the inside westbound lane of SR-80. Vehicle 2 came to final rest upright, facing West just East of Vehicle 1 in the inside westbound lane of SR-80.

Neither driver was wearing a seatbelt.

From The Hendry Sheriff's Office

Three Deaths Reported In Hendry County

LABELLE, FL. -- On April 14, 2008, Deputies responded to 811 Nobles Road. Upon arrival Deputies observed a man lying in the backyard of the residence face down under large tree and officers began performing CPR.

Paramedics arrived and continued CPR but were unable to revive the victim and pronounced him dead at the scene. The victim was identified as 24-year-old Dustin S. Hoofman, Sheriff Lee, said.  Investigation is continuing bu no foul play is suspected.

On April 14, 2008 Sheriff�s Deputies responded to 172 Pinecone in Montura Ranch Estates reference to an unresponsive person. Upon arrival the body of 26-year-old Gracie Sago was found inside the residence. The medical examiner was contacted and will be performing an autopsy. Sheriff Lee said the cause of death is unknown at this time, however, the investigation is continuing and no foul play is suspected.

On April 15, 2008 Hendry County Sheriff�s Deputies responded to 690 Nile Road, Upon arrival they observed a man laying on a gravel driveway and Paramedics were performing C.P.R. Life flight transported the victim Michael Crane to Lee Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Based on information provided to deputies, Crane and Joseph Conley were involved in a fight. Conley struck Crane and he fell to the ground. According to Sheriff Ronnie Lee, suspect 19-year-old Joseph Conley was arrested and remains in the Hendry County Jail. Bond was set at $100,000

Livecasting Around The World

LABELLE, FL. -- Etan Horowitz of the Orlando Sentinel interviewed Sunday Morning News editor Don Browne this week, and included his LaBelle lifecast video channel in a story and video published Saturday in the Orlando Sentinel paper as well at the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

Orlando Sentinel Story And Video About Live Webcasting

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poll: Who Do You Trust? - 2008 Glades Candidates

All Previous Sunday Morning News Polls

Soldier Brain Injuries Higher Than Expected

One In Five Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Suffer from PTSD or Major Depression

Nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan ­ 300,000 in all ­ report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slight more than half have sought treatment, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

In addition, researchers found about 19 percent of returning service members report that they experienced a possible traumatic brain injury while deployed, with 7 percent reporting both a probable brain injury and current PTSD or major depression.

Many service members said they do not seek treatment for psychological illnesses because they fear it will harm their careers. But even among those who do seek help for PTSD or major depression, only about half receive treatment that researchers consider "minimally adequate" for their illnesses.

In the first analysis of its kind, researchers estimate that PTSD and depression among returning service members will cost the nation as much as $6.2 billion in the two years following deployment ­ an amount that includes both direct medical care and costs for lost productivity and suicide. Investing in more high-quality treatment could save close to $2 billion within two years by substantially reducing those indirect costs, the 500-page study concludes.

"There is a major health crisis facing those men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Terri Tanielian, the project's co-leader and a researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "Unless they receive appropriate and effective care for these mental health conditions, there will be long-term consequences for them and for the nation. Unfortunately, we found there are many barriers preventing them from getting the high-quality treatment they need."

The findings are from the first large-scale, nongovernmental assessment of the psychological and cognitive needs of military service members who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past six years. The RAND study is the first to comprehensively assess the current needs of returned service members from all branches of the military.

Researchers concluded that a major national effort is needed to expand and improve the capacity of the mental health system to provide effective care to service members and veterans. The effort must include the military, veteran and civilian health care systems, and should focus on training more providers to use high-quality, evidence-based treatment methods and encouraging service members and veterans to seek needed care.

Since October 2001, about 1.6 million U.S. troops have deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with many exposed to prolonged periods of combat-related stress or traumatic events. Early evidence suggests that the psychological toll of the deployments may be disproportionately high compared with physical injuries.

Service members reported exposure to a wide range of traumatic events while deployed, with half saying they had a friend who was seriously wounded or killed, 45 percent reporting they saw dead or seriously injured non-combatants, and over 10 percent saying they were injured themselves and required hospitalization.

Rates of PTSD and major depression were highest among Army soldiers and Marines, and among service members who were no longer on active duty (people in the reserves and those who had been discharged or retired from the military). Women, Hispanics and enlisted personnel all were more likely to report symptoms of PTSD and major depressions, but the single best predictor of PTSD and depression was exposure to combat trauma while deployed.

Researchers found many treatment gaps exist for those with PTSD and depression. Just 53 percent of service members with PTSD or depression sought help from a provider over the past year, and of those who sought care, roughly half got minimally adequate treatment.

"If PTSD and depression go untreated or are under treated, there is a cascading set of consequences," Jaycox said. "Drug use, suicide, marital problems and unemployment are some of the consequences. There will be a bigger societal impact if these service members go untreated. The consequences are not good for the individuals or society in general."

Service members report many reasons for not seeking treatment. Many are worried about the side effects of medication or believe that family and friends can provide more help than a mental health professional. Even more reported that they worried seeking care might damage their career or cause their peers to lose confidence in their abilities.

The RAND study estimates the societal costs of PTSD and major depression for two years after deployment range from about $6,000 to more than $25,000 per case. Depending whether the economic cost of suicide is included, the RAND study estimates the total society costs of the conditions for two years range from $4 billion to $6.2 billion.

The RAND study also estimates that about 320,000 service members may have experienced a traumatic brain injury during deployment ­ the term used to describe a range of injuries from mild concussions to severe penetrating head wounds. Just 43 percent reported ever being evaluated by a physician for that injury.

While most civilian traumatic brain injuries are mild and do not lead to long-term impairments, the extent of impairments that service members experience and whether they require treatment is largely unknown, researchers said. In the absence of a medical examination and prognosis, however, service members may believe that their post-deployment difficulties are due to head injuries even when they are not.

One-year estimates of the societal cost associated with treated cases of mild traumatic brain injury range up to $32,000 per case, while estimates for treated moderate to severe cases range from $268,000 to more than $408,000. Estimates of the total one-year societal cost of the roughly 2,700 cases of traumatic brain injury identified to date range from $591 million to $910 million.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Big Money For Congressman Mahoney

Huge Amounts Raised For Political Campaign - $1 Million Cash On Hand

LABELLE , FL. -- According to Congressman Tim Mahoney of Florida's 16th Congressional District, he has posted another strong fundraising quarter, showing receipts of $377,558 according to the report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

This latest report brings Congressman Mahoney's total funds raised to date to $2,229,985 with $1,032,397 cash on hand.

"I am thankful for the strong financial support of our campaign. I believe it reflects the support for the job I am doing for the residents of Florida's 16th Congressional District," said Congressman Tim Mahoney from his Stuart office.

Mahoney's campaign also reported that it is debt free and has paid off all 2006 campaign obligations.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bee Stings Kill Man

Okeechobee Man Dies Of Stings

OKEECHOBEE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, in cooperation with the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) today announced that a resident of Okeechobee County died as a result of being stung over a hundred times by bees that initial lab results indicate are Africanized honey bees (AHB). The victim's name had not been released at the time of this announcement.

Though numerous domestic animals and livestock have been killed by AHB in Florida, if further testing confirms these were AHB, this would be the first human fatality. In other states where AHB are established, there have been over 17 human fatalities since 1990.

The stinging incident happened on April 9 in a rural area in the northwest section of the county. Though details of the incident have not been confirmed, it was reported that the victim was attempting to dismantle a trailer where a nest of bees had been observed by him approximately one week before. County rescue workers transported the victim to an area hospital where he died after being on life support for an extended period. Medical staff indicated that the victim had a fatal allergic reaction to the bee stings.

On April 10, a DPI apiary inspector went to the site of the attack with county fire and rescue personnel to collect samples for laboratory analysis to determine if the bees were Africanized honey bees. The colony has been destroyed.

The samples are being analyzed at DPI's Gainesville laboratory and preliminary testing methods indicate a high probability that the bees are Africanized. Full morphometric testing -- which measures body size, wing and leg length, and other identifying characteristics -- is expected to be completed this week.

Teachers Paid Well Says New Study

$34 An Hour - 37 Hour Week

LABELLE, FL. --  The average public school teacher in the United States earned $34.06 per hour in 2005. The average public school teacher was paid 36% more per hour than the average non-sales white collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty and technical worker.

According to a study by Manhattan Institute full-time public school teachers work on average 36.5 hours per week during weeks that they are working. By comparison, white-collar workers (excluding sales) work 39.4 hours, and professional specialty and technical workers work 39.0 hours per week. Private school teachers work 38.3 hours per week.

Compared with public school teachers, editors and reporters earn 24% less; architects, 11% less; psychologists, 9% less; chemists, 5% less; mechanical engineers, 6% less; and economists, 1% less. Compared with public school teachers, airplane pilots earn 186% more; physicians, 80% more; lawyers, 49% more; nuclear engineers, 17% more; actuaries, 9% more; and physicists, 3% more. Public school teachers are paid 61% more per hour than private school teachers, on average nationwide.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Snake And Other Creatures

Gene McAvoy to Present Program on Snakes and Venomous Critters

LABELLE, FL. --  Hendry/Glades Audubon will meet Monday April 14  at 7 p. m. at the Cooperative Extension, Dallas Townsend Building 1085 Pratt Blvd. in LaBelle.  A program on   �Snakes and Other Venomous Critters " will be presented by Gene McAvoy, Hendry County Extension Director.

Elections for the 2008-2009 Hendry-Glades Audubon officers and board will follow the presentation.  For information about meetings or bird tours call: Steve Buczynski, Chapter President   (863) 902-0856 or Margaret England (863) 674-0695

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Glades New Ambulance Set To Kill?

Ford Ambulance Breaking Down Without Warning

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades County Public Safety Director Bob Jones told the Glades county commissioners Tuesday morning that there are multiple incidents of malfunction of Ford ambulances used by the Glades EMS. 

Jones informed the Board that Ford Motor will not acknowledge the current problems with the newest ambulance as part of the lemon law but are continuing with repairs under the warranty contract. He stated that the new Ford ambulance, with only 23,000 miles, had twice broken down while transporting patients requiring transferring of patients to other ambulance services and towing of the disabled vehicle.  

Commissioner Donna Storter commented that this type of incident could cost a life. Jones said statewide, other Emergency Services have continual similar problems with Ford. Reportedly seven Ford ambulances have burned, while Polk County had changed to GMC ambulances.  
Commissioner Butch Jones inquired if other counties have the same problem and asked would perhaps a class action lawsuit be in order and that the National Association of Counties may have statistics available. 

Glades county's attorney Pringle replied, �How much money do you want to spend?� Pringle pointed out that as long as the warranty work was performed as reasonably expected under the warranty contract, the lemon law would not be invoked and  there probably was no basis for breach of contract. 

Director Jones stated it would cost about $62,000 to place the ambulance �box� on a GMC chassis. He said on all three Fords, he has had to replace oil pumps, heads, put in new motor, rubber boot on the turbo, and multiple times replace injectors and sensors.

Glades - Hendry Commissioners' Joint Meeting

Two Counties Tackle Area Problems In Joint Public Meeting

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades County Manager Taylor reminded the Glades Board of County Commissioners of the joint meeting with Hendry County Commission scheduled for Tuesday April 15 at 6 PM at the Glades County School Board office.

Taylor provided the Board with a list of tentative agenda items for discussion stating he needed any other suggestions before April 10 when he, Commissioner Jones and Commissoner Hilton meet with Hendry County staff to prepare for the meeting.
Hendry County's items included:
1)         Last Chance Mine
2)         Port LaBelle Utilities
3)         West Hendry Plan w/Bridge
4)         Port LaBelle Oxbow (Golf Course)
5)         Evaluation and Appraisal Report. 
The items Taylor lists for Glades County include:
A)        Port LaBelle Franchise Agreement Payments and Franchise Renewal Consideration      
B)        Evaluation and Appraisal Report
C)        Community Development Events: River Forest, Palmdale, Muse, Moore Haven
D)        Impact Fee Review
E)        Budget Impacts: Now and Later
F)        CR 720 Bridge-June 1, 2008 100 days
            CR 720-wide-resurface to Charlotte County line
G)        Mutual Aid under Budget Cuts (Indian Hills Volunteer Fire Dept. now is closed)
H)         Brighton Indian Reservation –What? When?

New Construction And CDL Grads

New Graduates Will Benefit From Free Classes

LABELLE, FL. -- The Education Center of Southwest Florida, The South Water Management District and Steel-Tek LLC, met together Friday April 4 in the afternoon to recognize and congratulate students completing training programs funded by the SFWMD, coordinated by the ECSWF and conducted by Steeltek.

Ten students completed the five week intensive Construction Trades Worker course and former graduates of the heavy equipment training classes were recognized for completing training for and receiving their Commercial Drivers License with a Class A endorsement. Students received certificates for completing first aid, CPR and OSHA training and completer certificates from the Education Center.

Construction students received leather tool belts with tools and the CDL students received a gift card from Wal-Mart. Everyone enjoyed a luncheon buffet catered by assistant instructor, Joni Beard, and provided by Steeltek.

The next construction class is scheduled to begin on April 14 at 8:00 A.M. in Port LaBelle. Anyone interested in taking this five week course should call coordinator Sonny Hughes at the ECSWF at 4930 HWY 29 S. or call 675-6800. Tuition is completely paid by the SFWMD and lunch is provided daily. Upon successful completion of the class makes you eligible to apply for CDL training.

(Photo - Construction Students: Norman Banks (Clewiston), Keith Brown (Pioneer), Alberto Diaz (Montura), Benjamin DuBenion (Montura) Adolfo Guajardo (LaBelle), Daniel Kelley (Pioneer), Jose Ortiz (Montura), John Seiler (Moore Haven) and Thomas Brian (Clewiston)

(CDL Graduating Students: Bob Daniels (LaBelle), Peter Miller (Alva), Robert Miller (Alva), Johnnie Williams (Clewiston), Josh Sainz (Immokalee), and Thomas Henkel (Palmdale

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sexual Offender Notifications

Email Alert When Sex Offender Moves Near You

LABELLE, FL. -- Citizens can now sign up to receive e-mail alert notifications when a registered sexual offender or predator moves into their neighborhood or within a radius of any other designated location.

Citizens can also opt to track address changes reported by selected registered offenders or predators. The service is offered statewide and at no charge. Officials developed the notification service at the direction of the Florida Legislature as part of the state's compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act.

The alert system will send e-mail notifications within 24 to 48 hours of an address change to the state's registry.

Florida Offender Alert System

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Teacher Arrested On Sex Charge

Fondled A Pre-Teen In A Movie Theater Police Say

LABELLE, FL. -- According to NBC 2 in Fort Myers, a LaBelle Middle School teacher has been arrested and charged with lewd molestation after police say he fondled a 12-year-old boy in a movie theater.

The Lake Wales Police Department says 32-year-old Derreck Sepp contacted the boy on MySpace. Sepp and the boy reportedly met at a movie theater on March 15. Police reportedly said the boy told his parents and the parents then filed a complaint.

During the movie, police said Sepp kissed the boy and reached inside his pants. The report said the boy also fondled Sepp.

Detectives then set up another date with Sepp for April 2 at the mall where the theater is located. There were seven undercover officers from the Lake Wales Police Department watching at about 4 p.m. when Sepp arrived at the mall and approached the boy, who was sitting on a bench outside the theater.

When Sepp showed up, police arrested him. He is in the Polk county jail. The investigation is ongoing and more charges may be filed against Sepp. Bond has been set at $300,000.

Sepp was appointed to teach at the LaBelle Middle School by the Hendry School Board effective August 13, 2007. He was certified on June 1, 2007 to teach grades K-6, and teach general science and mathematics for grades 5-9. Sepp may find himself in danger of losing his teaching credentials if found in violation of the law.

The LaBelle teacher came from Washington state and his parents live in Bellingham, Wa.

Only one Hendry teacher has faced teaching certificate disciplining action in recent years. Joseph W. Muniz settled with the State last year and agreed to an agreement that he pay a $100.00 fine, receive a letter of reprimand, and be on probation for two years.

In Glades county, Daniel P. Slayton's teaching license was revoked permanently in 1999.

Poll - Which Candidate Would Make The Best Sheriff?

Hendry Candidate Line Up

Candidate List Grows Of Hendry Politicians

LABELLE, FL.-- Here's the latest 2008 Hendry county political candidate list from the Supervisor of Elections office in LaBelle:

Clerk of Circuit Court Jennifer Davis, P O Box 991, LaBelle, FL 33935 863-675-7521 (Rep) Barbara Cox Butler, P O Box 44, Clewiston, FL 33440 863-983-6420 (Dem)

Sheriff Rick Hornsby, 435 E. Del Monte Ave., Clewiston, FL 33440 863-885-1413 (Rep) Ronald "Ronnie" Lee, 248 Caloosa Estates Dr., LaBelle, FL 33935 863-675-4357 (Rep) Kevin Nelson, 1232 Riverbend Dr., LaBelle, FL 33935 863-675-0324 (Rep) Fred Dyess, Jr., 1032 Bayberry Loop, Clewiston, FL 33440 863-983-2710 (Dem) Raul Fernandez, 505 W. Hickpochee Ave., #200, LaBelle, FL 33935 863-677-5553 (Dem) Steve Whidden, 2100 Scott Rd., LaBelle, FL 33935 863-612-0678 (Dem)

Property Appraiser Mary S. Harn, P O Box 413, Labelle, FL 33975 863-228-2950 (Dem)Phillip L. Pelletier, 1601 Ft. Denuad Rd., LaBelle, FL 33935 863-675-2216 (Dem) Kristina A. Kulpa, 1000 G Rd., LaBelle, FL 33935 863-675-3302 (Rep)

Superintendent of Schools Robert J. Egley, P O Box 370, Clewiston, FL 33440 863-233-1015 (Rep) Scott Cooper, P O Box 1496, LaBelle, FL 33975 863-517-1683 (Dem) Richard A. "Rick" Murphy, 1832 Red Rd., Clewiston, FL 33440 561-248-8100 (Dem)

Supervisor of Elections Lucretia A. Strickland, P O Box 441, LaBelle, FL 33975 863-675-4830 (Dem)

County Commission District #3 Tris Chapman, 405 Live Oak Lane, LaBelle 863-674-1313 (Rep) I. Raymond Pittman, Jr., 672 Turtle Ln, LaBelle, FL 863-674-4796 (Rep) Ramon "Raymond" Rodriguez, P O Box 324, LaBelle, FL 33975 863-675-4953 (Dem) Don Davis, P O Box 906, LaBelle, FL 33975 863-675-6714 (NPA)

County Commission District #5 W.C. "Bo" Pelham, P O Box 742, Clewiston, FL 33440 863-983-7776 (Dem) Karson Turner, P O Box 1688, Clewiston, FL 33440 863-983-4101 (Dem)

Hendry Hospital Authority District #3 Carl J. (Jack) Neitzke, P O Box 99, LaBelle, FL 33975

Hendry Soil and Water Conservation District Seat #2 Robert E. McDaniel, Jr, 26555 CR 833, Clewiston, Fl.

Suspicious Fire At Langford Ford

State Fire Marshal Investigating

LABELLE, FL. -- On March 30 shortly after 6 p.m., Hendry County Sheriff's Deputy Terri Hessler observed a vehicle on fire in the service area at Langford Ford.

Sheriff Ronnie Lee, Deputy Hessler, and Corporal Mike Horn utilized their fire extinguishers and were able to keep the fire from spreading until the city of LaBelle fire truck arrived.  The State Fire Marshal was summoned and is conducting an investigation, according to the Sheriff's office.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Google Offers Free Wi-Fi Service

A Boon To Rural Areas - Free Broadband For Internet

LABELLE, FL. --  Starting today, you can sign up for Google TiSP. With Google TiSP, you'll get a speedy broadband connection for free! You can also pay extra for a faster connection.

There are some downsides to Google's TiSP service. Users will need to install TiSP on their own, no customer service lines are available. So read the details carefully. Make sure you understand what rights you're giving away when you use the service.

Google's TiSP only works with Windows but Google promises that support for the Mac is coming soon.  http://www.google.com/tisp/