Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mahoney Looks Over Moore Haven Damage

Congressman Seeks Federal Aid

Moore Haven, FL – Today, Congressman Tim Mahoney (FL-16), along with FEMA and Glades County officials, inspected homes damaged by Tropical Storm Fay and met with residents displaced by the storm.

Although Glades County sustained serious damage in Tropical Storm Fay, FEMA has not included the County in its Individual Assistance (IA) disaster relief program.

Mahoney invited FEMA and state officials to inspect the 77 homes that were damaged during Tropical Storm Fay so that the agency can make a final determination.

"Tropical Storm Fay seriously damaged the homes and businesses in Glades County, particularly in Moore Haven," said Congressman Mahoney.

"I urge FEMA to provide disaster relief funding to help our residents and business owners to recover from this storm."

Photo: Mahoney with Moore Haven Resident and FEMA Official

Call For Mosquito Help

Aerial applications Aimed at Reducing Growing Population    

 LABELLE, FL. -- In an effort to reduce the exploding mosquito population in the wake of tropical storm Fay, Hendry County announced preparation of aerial spraying for mosquitoes which began Friday, August 29 and continues for the next few weeks. In 2006 after tropical storm Ernesto the insect traps has in excess of 20,000 mosquitoes. In 2007 due to draught weather conditions those numbers dropped to less then 50 mosquitoes. This year the population is in excess of 166,000 in the traps.

Communities that will be treated include: LaBelle, Clewiston, Pioneer, Montura, Felda, Hookers Point, and some unts of Port LaBelle. Applications will begin at dusk and run to approximately 1:30 a.m.

Clarke Mosquito Control, the nation�s largest mosquito control provider, will administer the aerial application. In addition to aerial application, Clarke is overseeing and implementing an integrated mosquito control program that provides surveillance of the mosquito population, larval control and adult mosquito control utilizing increased truck spraying.

In addition to the County�s mosquito control efforts, residents can take a number of steps to reduce mosquito populations around their homes this summer, including:   

Remove or empty water in old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or other places where mosquitoes may breed.
Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use. If unused drain swimming pools and keep dry.
Change water weekly in bird baths, plant saucers and trays.
Store boats covered or upside down.
Water bowls used by pets should be emptied and refilled daily
Fill holes around home that may retain water
Keep gutter around home in good repair to avoid water build up
Keep weeds and grass cut short, as adult mosquitoes look for shady places to rest during hot sunlight hours
Be sure screens in home are intact and tight fitting to prevent entry.

 To report heavy mosquito annoyance situations, call Clarke�s Hendry County Mosquito Hotline" at (800) 203-6485

Friday, August 29, 2008

Real Estate Sales In LaBelle

7 Sales In August

LABELLE, FL. -- From the month of August, there were 7 homes sold in the LaBelle area for an average price of $188,286. The sales were:

1) $90,000 on Caloosa Loop
2) $75,000 on Case Rd
3) $48,000 on Citrus St
4) $800,000 on River Blossom Ln
5) $37,000 on E Lincoln Ave
6) $123,000 on E Sunflower Circle (Port LaBelle)
7) $145,000 on S Obisbo Circle (Port LaBelle)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Collection Company To Hound Library Patrons?

Glades Hires Agency To Collect Overdue Library Fines

MOORE HAVEN, FL. --  At Tuesday's Glades County Commission meeting, Glades County Librarian Mary Booher reported that 583 library patrons have overdue books and videos incurring fees and fines that total $10,952.  Of those delinquent, 450 are under $25; 72 are between $25 and $50; 48 are between $50 and $100, and 13 are over $100.  She said amnesty has not been successful in that books were coming back damaged. 
Booher explained that a collection service could be hired that would charge only for the delinquent accounts they collected and would add a collection fee onto the fees/fines due.  The Board approved an agreement with Unique Management to allow the company to collect overdue fines, with $10 to be added onto each delinquent account for collection fees.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And The Winners Are...

Hendry Primary Election Results In

LABELLE, FL. -- With 32 percent of the registered voters casting votes today, the preliminary results have been tabulated by the Hendry County Supervisor of Elections office. The unofficial counts show 5,233 votes were cast from 23 precincts.

Tom Rooney won the Congressional District 16 seat with 54 percent of the votes and will run against Democratic incumbent Tim Mahoney in November.  For Public Defender in the 20th Circuit Court Kathy Smith was the winner with 57 percent. Incumbent Alcee Hastings received 84 percent of the votes for the Congressional District 23 seat.

In the Sheriff's race Ronnie Lee received 49 percent of the Republican votes, thus matching him off for the November election against Democrat Steve Whidden receiving 53 percent of the Democratic votes.

County Commission District 3 went to Tris Chapman with 61 percent. District 5 was won by Karson Turner with 59 percent, upsetting long-time incumbent Bo Pelham. District 1 was taken by incumbent Janet Taylor with 55 percent.

Superintendent of Schools was won by former long-time board member Richard Murphy with 55 percent. School Board District 1 was won by Ray Clinard with 62 percent. The school board referendum for transferring monies passed with 76 percent.

Property Appraiser was won by LaBelle's recreation director Phillip Pelletier, with 38 percent of the vote, and will go against incumbent Kristina Kulpa in November.

The primary winner with the least number of votes: Tris Chapman, 310

The primary winner with the most number of votes: Rick Murphy, 1667

Recent Sunday Morning News polls showed dramatically different results with up to four times as many "online votes" as in the primary election results. In many races, the online poll probably demonstrates that the most popular candidates may not have been elected this primary election and that candidates might well give consideration to making contact with "internet" users and persuade those people to make sure to register and vote during the November elections.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Community Meetings This Week

Here is a schedule of several public meetings regarding economic transition planning, to be hosted by the Governor's Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED), and the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) in the Glades area.

- Monday, August 25, 2008 6:00-9:00 pm - Glades Communities Meeting at the Palm Beach Community College, Belle Glade Campus, 1977 College Drive, Belle Glade, 33430

- Wednesday, August 27, 2008 6:00-9:00 pm - Glades County Community Meeting in Moore Haven at the Doyle Conner Ag Center, 900 South U.S. Hwy 27, Moore Haven, 33471

-Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:00-5:00 pm - Western Hendry County Community Meeting at the LaBelle Civic Center, 481 W. Hickpochee Avenue, LaBelle, 33935

-Thursday, August 28, 2008 6:00-9:00 pm - Eastern Hendry County Community Meeting in Clewiston at the John Boy Auditorium, 1200 South W.C. Owens Avenue, Clewiston, 33440

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Poll - Hendry Appraiser, Fair Values?

The Hendry Property Appraiser's Office under Kristina Kulpa has sent out the county's property assessments this week.

Although many vacant land parcels show lowered values since last year's property assessments, it appears many homes actually have shown increases in value by Kulpa's office. The "increase" in assessed value and increases in taxes by many governmental taxing units negates the savings from the new $50,000 homestead value for many homeowners, which was supposeed to give homeowners about $250 in savings.

Kupla is facing two other candidates for her job as county property appraiser in this year's election.

Kevin Nelson - Letter To Voters

Dear Hendry County Voters:

My name is Kevin Nelson and I am campaigning for Hendry County Sheriff. I hope you recall that I campaigned four years ago. My message hasn't changed, but the issues are more serious now.

Please don't be fooled by the negative newspaper ads and radio commercials where some candidates attempt to downplay my qualifications by inflating theirs to hide their deficiencies. I left the Collier County Sheriff's Office in 2004 with the rank of Captain after 24 years of which 19 were Administration and Budgeting (multimillion dollar budgets), 16 at the command level and 15 with countywide responsibilities. My degree is in Criminal Justice Technology and I am a Florida Attorney General's Office certified Crime Prevention Specialist.

Hendry County's Crime Rate was up 16% in 2007 and Burglaries alone were up 33%. This is taken from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the newspapers refuse to report it. Surrounding county's crime rates are decreasing. That's because we don't have enough deputies patrolling and preventing crime and the criminal element has a safe haven here. It will be worse for 2008. 

I don't need to learn how to command or supervise. My qualifications are well documented and I will reallocate current resources to put more deputies on patrol. I've commanded over 250 at a time. We have less than 170 employed. Lets elect a Sheriff who is qualified and can go to work immediately upon taking office to address the lawlessness we are being victimized by. We need a change

NOW. I need your vote on August 26th. Together we can make Hendry County safer for our children and grandchildren. Mine live here, too.

Please vote Kevin Nelson for Sheriff.

Political Advertisement, Paid for and Approved by Kevin Nelson, Republican for Hendry County Sheriff.

Double Fatality In Glades

Crash In Heavy Rain Leaves Two Dead

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Mary Ann Wilcox, 46 and Zachary Cornelius Wilcox, 20 or Moore Haven died after a crash during heavy rain on State Road 78, five miles north of U.S. 27 at 5:30 P.M. Friday.

Wilcox was driving a 2004 Mitsubishi when it hydroplaned and slid into the southbound lane striking a 2006 Nissan driven by Sam Caliendo, 65 of Moore Haven. Caliendo, wearing a seatbelt suffered no injuries but his vehicle had $20,000 damage.  Both Wilcoxes were not wearing seatbelts, according to the accident report by the FHP. Their car suffered $20,000 damage.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Homeless Fundraiser Helps Those Without

$5000 Raised For Homeless Shelter

LABELLE, FL. -- The "Birds Have Houses Why Shouldn't People" charity event held at Florida Community Bank on Saturday, August 16 was a huge success.  Not only did supporters meet their goal of raising $5,000 for the Hendry/Glades Homeless Coalition, awareness of the issue in Hendry and Glades county was raised as well.

Guests, dressed in casual attire enjoyed cocktails and hors d' oeurves while listening to the live music of Southwest Florida musician Ryan Darling while perusing silent auction items. In keeping with the event's theme, birdhouses painted by local artisits and children were auctioned to the highest bidder. The majority of funds raised came through sponsorships from both community businesses and individuals.

"Gator Birdhouse" painted by Marlene Burchard – sold for $70

"Pirate Ship Birdhouse" painted by Caitlin Willis – sold for $50

"Beach Scene Birdhouse" painted by Sue Fuller – sold for $50

"Home Sweet Home Birdhouse" painted by Cathy Singleton – sold for $50

Photo: From the Hendry-Glades Homeless Coalition; Aida Barnhart, Vice President; Amanda Pacheco, Secretary; Erica Villafuerte, President; Susan Vaughan, Volunteer.

-story by Jennifer Dyess

Millionaire Sheriff Candidate Caught In Lies?

More Lies From Politicians? One Voter Claims "Yes"

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Rick Hornsby, candidate for Hendry County Sheriff, one of two self-described Sheriff candidates with a net worth of over $1,000,000, placed a large ad in print newspapers this week, prompting this "letters to the editor" response from a voter:

I was holding you in high regard until I found out that you were lying to the voters of Hendry County.

I looked at your candidate comparison sheet in this weeks paper and could not believe the things you had printed to make yourself look better than the other candidates.
1) You have not lived in Hendry County all your life. You have lived in West Palm Beach for over 12 years and just moved back to Hendry County approx.3 years ago

2) You were only in the service for 13 months, of which only 7 months was active duty. Ronnie Lee was in the Army and Marines for over 20 years of active"oversea"duties,then became active in the reserves
3) You say and now have printed that you are the only dual certified candidate, that means certified Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer. Florida Department of.Law Enforcement records indicate that you have not been certified in Corrections since 1994. In order to get re-certified, you would have to go through the whole school again, which would be 3 1/2 months long.
Considering these grossly misleading claims, we are wondering what else you are saying to deceive the voter's. Also, with all your credentials, why are you still a "traffic cop"?
Why did you lie? You were doing so well until the truth came out. Glad I found out before I voted!
-Voter with questions 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Faye Fades From Area, Okeechobee Rising

SFWMD Monitoring and Operating Flood Protection Systems

Clewiston, Fl. – Tropical Storm Fay left the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) with an average of about six inches of rainfall across 16-counties between Monday and Thursday morning.

In Hendry and Glades county, many streets remain flooded and closed to traffic, including portions of State Road 29 in Glades county, and U.S. 27 in Glades county. Some scattered low lying neighborhoods have water rising high enough to enter some homes.

Some South Florida locations and the Kissimmee River Valley saw between three and 12 inches of rainfall from the storm. A site in Fort Pierce registered the single highest rainfall total in the district through 8 a.m. Thursday at 12.61 inches.

An inch more of rain fell directly on Lake Okeechobee on Wednesday, adding to the six that already fell on the massive body of water from the storm. The lake hit a mark of 12.22 feet NGVD on Thursday morning. The lake level has not topped 12 feet since January 2007 and remained under 11 feet for 511 straight days during the sustained water shortage of the last two years. The lake may rise even further over the coming days as rain that fell in the Kissimmee basin flows south.

The District remains in recovery mode, with staff in the field inspecting water control structures. Reports still indicate that the flood protection system functioned well. Water managers are adjusting canal flows to conserve water received from Tropical Storm Fay.
The District has closed the Taylor Creek Stormwater Treatment Area in Okeechobee to all recreational use until the large volume of water brought in by the storm recedes. Currently, water has overtopped all walking and bicycling trails, as well as picnic areas.  As conditions return to normal, the SFWMD will inform the public as to the reopening of the recreational areas. 

The South Florida Water Management District Citizen Information Line remains open until 5 p.m. Wednesday. The phone number is (877) 429-1294.

For current weather and water conditions, visit the District website at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In The Service - Brenton Tracy

LABELLE, FL. -- Army National Guard Pvt. Brenton R. Tracy has graduated from Basic Combat training at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission and received instruction and training exercises in drill and ceremonies, Army history, core values and traditions, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, rifle marksmanship, weapons use, map reading and land navigation, foot marches, armed and unarmed combat, and field maneuvers and tactics.

Tracy is the son of Robert L. and Lori B. Gielow of W. Palomar Circle, La Belle, Fla. The private is a 2006 graduate of La Belle High School.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sheriff's Office Protects And Serves

Deputies Patrol During Tropical Storm Fay

LABELLE, FL. -- Deputies from the Hendry County Sheriff's Office are making the rounds about the county during tropical storm Fay. Officers are checking neighborhoods and businesses while reporting on weather conditions back to the dispatch office.

This morning the Dumont Chemical company on Industrial Way in LaBelle had a chemical spill as reported by a maintenance worker. The LaBelle fire department has responded to the spill, while authorities are waiting on the Department of Transportation to close off the street. At this time it is unknown what the chemical danger may be.

Deputies found some small kids playing in a ditch on Birchwood Parkway in Port LaBelle during 50 mile an hour wind gusts and told the parents to get them home. Migrant housing at Mira Verde in Port LaBelle had some reported flooding. Five apartments had water coming up through the foundations during the storm. Electric was out in downtown LaBelle at noon with both traffic lights not operating. Aqua Isles trailer park power was also out. At 1 p.m. electric out in Port LaBelle. Flooding of streets in northwest Hendry county were reported as well as a few streets in Port LaBelle.

The weather will be very windy topping 50 miles an hour in gusts around Hendry county with continuous rains. No reports of any serious damage at this time. Winds will expect to peak around noon and decrease during the afternoon.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Southwest Florida Readies For Hurricane Fay

Storm May Strengthen Quickly

LABELLE, FL. -- As Tropical Storm Fay moves toward the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is now in a condition of readiness and is coordinating information with the state Emergency Operations Center as well as Federal and local partners. The District will continue to closely monitor conditions around the clock. Storm Links from the SFWMD:

Radar & Satellite Images
Hurricane Tracking/Tropical Storm Forecast
Hurricane and Storm Models
Hurricane and Storm Models

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Muse Bridge Opens Early

Glades County Bee Branch Bridge Open

LABELLE, FL. -- The new Bee Branch River Bridge on County Road 720 in Muse in Glades County opened to traffic Wednesday morning at noon, five days ahead of schedule.

The newly constructed 48-foot-wide concrete bridge, which replaces a 20-foot-wide structure, enhances safety and improves the flow of traffic, say officials. It also accommodates all sizes of vehicles and removes restrictions to commercial trucks previously prohibited from using old bridge because of weight restrictions.

When FDOT awarded the $1.4 million contract to Pittsfield Construction, the department made clear to the contractor its commitment to Glades County to have the new bridge open to traffic on or before Monday, August 18, which is the first day of school.

"We are very pleased with our contractor's hard work and equal commitment to building the new bridge on schedule during the summer months,"said FDOT District One Secretary Stan Cann.  "This project has been a priority for both the county and the department.  Pittsfield Construction and Allied Engineering & Testing understood fully the job's importance and did excellent work for us and for the people who live in the area and routinely drive CR 720. And I want to emphasize how much we appreciate the high level of cooperation we received every step of the way from Glades County Commissioners and the school board, as well as from individual citizens and the business community," said Secretary Cann. 

The $1.4 million project included building improvements to approaches to the bridge, adding paved shoulders, and placing new guardrail and signs.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Forestry - Hendry Trees Burn

Smoky Skies In Central Hendry County

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The local Florida Department of Forestry Center is scheduling a 200 acre prescribed forestry burn Thursday in Hendry County off Dog Island and County Road 833.  The burn is a part of an on-going fuel reduction program.
Burning was scheduled to begin at approximately 11:00.  Preparation work and test burns werel be done earlier in the day.
Residents in the immediate area have been notified.  Although a smoke management plan has been done, unpredicted wind shifts may cause smoky conditions to occur in the area, says the department. 

Those who are smoke sensitive due to medical or other conditions should take appropriate precautions.  Anyone entering the area should use caution, drive with lights on in smoky area and be alert for the heavy equipment.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hendry Sheriff - Who Needs This Job?

Wealthy Candidates Vs. Others

LABELLE, FL. -- A look at the financial disclosure statements filed at the Hendry Supervisor of Elections office in LaBelle gives a revealing look at the assets, income and liabilities of Hendry's candidates for county Sheriff.

According to their sworn statements, Kevin Nelson and Rick Hornsby and the wealthiest candidates for Sheriff...both are millionaires. Nelson shows a net worth of $1,509,987 consisting of real estate properties.  Nelson reports his annual income as $118,700.

Rick Hornsby has a net worth of $1,190,400, according to his filing. Hornsby also a real estate owner, has interests in several businesses including Clewiston's skydiving operation at Airglades Airport. His income is $92,500

Sheriff Ronnie Lee reports a net worth of $424,882 and an income of $168,286. Income includes his Sheriff salary of $107,864, and two retirement incomes totalling $60,422.

Steve Whiddon at the other extreme in net worth numbers, is an apparent victim of the recent downturn in real estate values. He owns a house worth $145,540 but has outstanding loans totaling $225,000 making his net worth a minus $65,460. Whiddon has an income of $43,305.

Fred Dyess, Jr. has apparently failed to fill out his sworn disclosure statements properly. He states a $330,000 net worth but only shows $15,000 in household goods and fails to disclose what the other $270,000 in other assets are. He states he had a $76,720 income.

Florida law requires sworn full disclosure of all assets and liabilities from all candidates and office holders. Penalties for failure can include civil fines up to $10,000 and removal from office or from the ballot.

Sheriff candidate Raul Fernandez, the only Latino candidate, shows a net worth of $31,000 and an income of $86,105.

All candidate and office holder financial statements are public records available at the Supervisor of Elections office.

Sheriff Candidates - Secret Finances Or Bumbling Idiots?

Wilson - Only Sheriff Candidate To Accurately Disclose Finances?

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades Sheriff Stuart Whiddon says his net worth is $126,846. Whiddon  gave his financial disclosures under oath as of December 2007 to the Florida Commission on Ethics division in Tallahassee as required by law for all officeholders. Whiddon incorrectly lists his salary of $100,946 as an "asset," an IRA worth $40,000 and $5,300 in savings. On the debit side of the ledger, he had $29,400 in bank loans.

It would appear Whiddon has made an error filing his financial statement, showing his salary as an asset thus increasing his reported net worth falsely by $100,000.  Whiddon's Glades county $100,946 salary as Sheriff is not an "asset" as he has filed, but income.  Taking into consideration this misstatement, his true net worth appears to be much lower than he states.  His actual true net worth being his savings and IRA totalling $45,300 less his loans of $29,400, which would bring his net worth to only $15,900, not the  $126,846 he said under oath on the financial disclosure statement.

Whiddon's financial statement under oath would seem to leave doubts about his financial abilities as the head of a county Sheriff's department, as he has made apparent mistakes in filling out the form, while a Sheriff, the county's chief law enforcement officen, earning over $100,000 yearly with a personal net worth of only $15,900 seems dubious.

Cardoso Does Not Fully Disclose His Assets, No Income?

Candidate for Glades Sheriff Gilberto Cardoso says his net worth is $263,200 on February 11, 2008, but has declined to state what $243,304 of this amount includes. He includes $1,600 in household goods as his assets, and on the debit side, credit cards and loans outstanding totaling $21,476. He shows no income and doesn't report any other assets other than household goods on the forms signed under oath and provided to the Glades County Elections Supervisor.

Under oath, Cardoso is apparently not fully disclosing his finances since the numbers don't add up. Cardoso for whatever reason has neglected to state the value and location of some $243,304 of his reported assets as required by state statute, and has no reported income, he says. His most valuable listed asset was a $600 refrigerator.

The Only Honest Candidate?

Robert Wilson may be the only "honest" candidate in the Glades Sheriff race, or in any event the only one who with the ability to properly fill out a simple financial disclosure form as required by Florida Statutes. Penalties for failing to make the required disclosures under F.S. 112.317  include disqualification from being on the ballot and civil penalties to $10,000.

Candidate Robert Anthony  "Tony" Wilson show a net worth of $63,261, including a Moore Haven home worth $300,000 and household goods at $50,000. His liabilities include a mortgage of $253,059 and three other loans totaling $33,678.

Wilson appears to be the only candidate who is accurately reporting his assets and liabilities as required by law of all candidates for Sheriff. Wilson states his income including retirement from the State of Florida at $50,861, $27,644 from American Maritime Office, and $300 from Broward Community College.

Complete Filing Disclosures can be seen at: 

Friday, August 08, 2008

Nisbet Replaces Spang On Hospital Authority

LABELLE, FL. -- Governor Charlie Crist today announced the following appointment to the Hendry County Hospital Authority:
  • Steven A. Nisbet, 56, of LaBelle, president of Nisbet Enterprises Inc., the franchise operator of local McDonald's restaurants, succeeding Henry Spang Jr.. Nisbet will be appointed for a term beginning August 8, 2008, and ending November 2, 2010.

Primary Election Winners?

The Front Runners - From The Sunday Morning News Reader Polls

LABELLE, FL. -- According to the reader polls run each week in the Sunday Morning News/Southwest Florida Online,  there appears to be front running candidates who may well be the winners in the August 26 primary elections if voters at the polls vote the same as our readers.

The Sunday Morning News local political polls have been running continuously since February with over 4,700 votes tabulated so far. The most popular vote "getters" are the Democratic and Republican candidates for County Sheriff, for whom most readers felt compelled to place an online vote.

Here's the results for the political poll winners:

Glades School Superintendent - John Huysman
Glades Sheriff - Stuart Whiddon
Hendry School Superintendent - Scott Cooper
Hendry Sheriff - Fred Dyess, Jr. (Dem.)
Hendry Sheriff - Kevin Nelson (Rep.)
Most Respected Glades Politician - Stuart Whiddon
Least Effective Hendry School Board Member - Richard A. Murphy
Least Competent Hendry Commissioner - W. T. "Bill" Maddox  All Sunday Morning News Polls


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Three New College Trustees

Two Locals Reappointed, Parrish and Perry

LABELLE, FL. -- Governor Charlie Crist today announced the following reappointments and appointment to the Edison College Distrct Board of Trustees:

Randall T. Parrish Jr., 54, of Labelle, self-employed optometrist, reappointed for a term beginning August 7, 2008, and ending May 31, 2012.    

Julia G. Perry, 66, of Moore Haven, homemaker, reappointed for a term beginning August 7, 2008, and ending May 31, 2012.

JoAnn P. Helphenstine, 75, of Punta Gorda, president of Palm Automotive Management Inc., succeeding Enid Gorvine, appointed for a term beginning August 7, 2008, and ending May 31, 2010.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Gene McAvoy Receives Award

11 Year Veteran Agent Serving Hendry Agriculture

LABELLE, FL. -- Gene McAvoy, County Extension Director and Regional Vegetable Agent with the UF/IFAS Hendry County Extension Office was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. This prestigious award recognizes an individual with least 10 years with outstanding service as a member of the Cooperative Extension Service.

This award is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a County Agent and only approximately one percent of County Agricultural Agents in the country ever achieve this recognition. The Distinguished Service Award was presented at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual Meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina on July 17, 2008.
McAvoy has served with the University of Florida, IFAS Hendry County Extension Office for 11 years as Regional Vegetable/Horticulture Agent in Southwest Florida working with the commercial vegetable industry working with the commercial vegetable industry on over 70,000 acres to address the critical issues impacting growers� economic viability and sustainability in the global market place. 

He is recognized nationally in his field and serves on local and state committees serving Florida growers. Challenge on a daily basis, combined with the satisfaction of educating and empowering people to solve their horticultural and production related problems have been prime motivators for this Extension Agent.  Gene credits the loving support of his wife and three sons as a major factor in his success.