Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Solon William Duncan, age 82, of Alva, passed away at home July 29, 2012 in Alva, FL.
He was born Aug. 26, 1929 in Ocala, FL, to the late Solon S. and the late Lottie (Duey) Duncan.

He was a lifetime Florida Cracker. He served in the Army during the Korean War from Jan 25, 1951 to June 30, 1954 and was a POW. He was a member of the Olga Baptist Church in Alva. He retired from the Lee County Electric Coop.

Survivors include his wife: Annie Bernice (Willis) Duncan and five sons: Danny (Diane) Duncan, Solon (Jill) Duncan, Duey (Lisa) Duncan, Gary (Lori) Duncan, J.P. (Jodi) Duncan, brother: Tommy (Florence) Duncan, grandchildren: Richard (Ali) Ronco, Melissa Duncan, Danielle Duncan (Parker) Gauntt, Derrick Duncan, Ramsey Duncan, Chandler Duncan, Joella Duncan, Brittany Bennett, Dylan Duncan, Devyn Duncan and great-grandchild Colton Ronco.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday Aug 2, 2012 at Crossroads Baptist Church, 10721 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33905, with Rev. Rowe officiating. Interment will be in Alva Cemetery, Alva, FL.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Lee County Humane Society, 5600 Banner Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33912

Loyas Rudolph Barton, Sr., age 87, of Clewiston, passed away July 30, 2012 in Clewiston.
He was born Jan. 3, 1925 in Pitts , GA, to the late John Riley and the late Alice (Chastain) Barton. He was a veteran of the United States Navy and a longtime Scout Leader in Clewiston.

Survivors include his wife: Theresa M. Stanton Barton, sons: Rudy (Rhonda) Barton of Portland, OR and Philip (Mary Faith) Barton of Clewiston, step son, Matt (Amy) Stanton of Clewiston, brother: John (Elizabeth) Barton of TN, sister: Betty Newman of Clewiston, grandchildren, Greg Barton, Jillian Barton, Colin Barton and step grandchildren, Matt Stanton, Michael Stanton and Mark Stanton.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at the First Christian Church in Clewiston. Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Charles Manuel Martinez, age 75, of Clewiston, passed away July 29, 2012 in Loxahatchee, FL.
He was born Aug. 4, 1936 in Santiago de Cuba to the late Carlos Manuel and the late Argelia Maria (Vegas) Martinez.

Charlie retired from U.S. Sugar after 42 years. He served as a volunteer firefighter for 25 years with Clewiston VFD. Charles was also a County Commissioner for Hendry County and a translator for Hendry County Sheriff's Office and Clewiston Police Department. He was a Justice of the Peace for many years and performed many marriage ceremonies throughout Hendry County.

Survivors include his wife: Gayle (Baldree) Martinez of Clewiston, Children: Christy (John) Potter of West Palm Beach, Debbie Williams of Colorado Springs, CO and Rick Martinez of Clewiston, step children, Belinda (Rick) Smith of Clewiston, FL: Rebecca (Russ) Langford of Umatilla and Sarah Thompson of Clewiston, brother: Cesar Martinez of Sebring and sister: Isabel (Gaylan) Harrison of Clewiston, grandchildren: Christian Potter, Justin Potter, Alicia Williams, Leah Rose Cunningham, John Carlos Martinez, Chiniah Rose Martinez, Chelsa Gosa, Alan Smith, Kamie Fischer (Caleb Fischer), Wesley Langford, Rusty Langford; Jase Thompson, Jonathan Thompson and great-grandchild: Samantha Fischer

A gathering will be held Saturday, August 4, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at The Outreach Center in back of The Evangel Assembly Of God in Clewiston. Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hendry Sheriff Wants To Save Lives

New Emergency Medical Dispatch Helps In Emergency Calls

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry Sheriff Steve Whidden is proud of the recent certification of the department's dispatcher unit. All employees have completed 32 hours of course work, taken certification in CPR, and experienced "ride-alongs" with EMS personnel on emergency calls to qualify for the Emergency Medical Dispatch program.

The new Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) programs aims to save lives by providing specialized training to Sheriff's communication personnel to enable quick and efficient handling of emergency medical calls. Previously, dispatcher's only job was to take calls and send emergency personnel to the location.

Communications Supervisor Margie Phipps, a 12 year veteran of the Sheriff's office says one of the most important things for the public to remember if they call the Sheriff's office is to remain calm. Sheriff Whidden points out that in cases of  emergencies where a life is at stake, emergency  vehicles are dispatched immediately, but persons calling 911 should try to remain as calm as possible so the dispatcher can garner important information about the emergency.

Phipps related how a dispatcher received a call from Montura Estates in central Hendry county and helped save a life when instructions were given to the caller on how to help an injured party who had fallen from a ladder and sustained a large cut to the head. The help the dispatcher gave to the caller provided the necessary guidance to lessen the severity of the injured party's outcome.

The new EMD program allows dispatchers to give instruction to callers to be able to better handle an emergency and possibly save a life because of the knowledge they are able to provide to callers.

The trained communications dispatchers can provide and assist the layperson/caller with pre-arrival instructions to help the victim, using standardized protocols developed in co-operation with local medical directors. Such instructions may consist of simple advice to keep the patient calm and comfortable or to gather additional background information for responding paramedics.

The instructions can also frequently become more complex, providing directions over the telephone for an untrained person to perform CPR, for example.

(Video: Sheriff Stephen Whidden and Margie Phipps explains the new EMD dispatch system and the Sheriff's office communications personnel at their work stations. Also shown Lieutenant Susan Harrelle, Public Information Officer for the Department.)

Gas Prices Steady In Florida

Hendry-Glades Prices Still Highest In Area

LABELLE, FL. -- Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 0.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.41/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 0.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.50/g, according to gasoline price website FloridaStateGasPrices.com.

But in Hendry and Glades county, prices are still 14 cents higher than Florida averages. $3.55 was the average price in LaBelle. Lowest price was found at the Circle K on South SR29 at $3.49 as usual.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 29.1 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 23.9 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 12.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 20.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

"While motorists in many regions saw gasoline prices stabilize over the last week, it's only a matter of time before last week's rise in wholesale prices translates to a continued march higher on the retail level," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "The late week rally in stocks seemed to also fuel commodities higher, leading me to believe that pump prices will again pick up over the next week," DeHaan said.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hendry-Glades Candidates Talk At Port LaBelle

Candidates At Port LaBelle "Meet and Greet"

LABELLE, FL. -- Candidates for local and state offices for Hendry and Glades county, Florida spoke at the Birchwood Parkway Community Association at Port LaBelle, Florida on July 28, 2012. Master of Ceremonies Jim Roach introduced each candidate present who were then allowed up to two minutes to speak.

The location was at the Living Waters Church on State Road 80 and Birchwood Parkway in Port LaBelle.

Click here or on the YouTube logo at bottom right of the video to go to the YouTube video channel for full size HD Video where you may then click on the time to go directly to the section for each candidate in the video:

State And Judge Candidates:
00:02 Paula House
00:35 Ron Saunders
01:15 Pam Brown
01:48 Meg Steinbeck
03:15 M.C. Fernandez III
04:30 Lisa Spader Porter

Local Glades County Candidates:
05:30 Dennis Griffin
06:13 Weston Pryor
06:48 K. S. Butch Jones
07:26 Paul Beck
07:56 Tim Stanley
09:05 Bob Giesler
09:50 Don Davis (Hendry County)
10:22 Sandra Brown
11:50 George Humphries
12:45 Robert Wilson
14:27 Stewart Whiddon
15:06 Michelle Brunetto
16:55 Robin Knight McLean
18:55 Lorie Ward

Local Hendry County Candidates:
19:58 Larry Wilcoxson
21:03 Barbara Butler
21:37 Mark R. Chamberlain
22:17 Raymond A. Van Houten
23:58 Steven Maldonado
25:55 Kristina A. Kulpa
26:40 Phillip L. Pelletier
28:03 Tom Corbitt
30:11 Peggy S. Hampton
30:38 Kevin Drummond
31:21 Brenda Hoots
32:29 Rose Raulerson-Mason
33:43 Robbie Ahern (Glades County)
35:00 Jennie Allen (Glades County)
36:17 John Perry
36:54 Scott Bass (Glades County)
37:41 Janice Brown (Glades County)
38:04 Paul Puletti
39:26 Joel Williamson

Subscribe to the YouTube channel to receive notification of new videos.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hendry Neighborhood Listens To Candidates

LABELLE, FL. -- The Birchwood Parkway Community Association sponsored a meet at the corner of State Road 80 and Birchwood Saturday to listen to political candidates from Hendry and Glades county, Florida.

Dozens of candidates from local to state gave the hundreds assembled an outline of their positions as hopefuls in the coming primary and general elections in Hendry and Glades county.

Jim Roach served as Master of Ceremonies and auctioneer raising many hundreds of dollars for the association with an auction of donated cakes and baked goods. Laurel Oaks resident Mike Cummings won the 50/50 raffle.

Reel Love and The Shock Sisters provided musical entertainment.

The new BPCA community group invites residents and visitors to the Port LaBelle area from State Road 80 north through Glades County to the Caloosahatchee River to join together for discussion and community  activism for the Hendry-Glades area in Port LaBelle.

Video Above: Birchwood Parkway Community Association Meets And Greets Hendry-Glades Political Candidates
More Event Video: 39 Hendry-Glades Candidates' talks - Click To View All Candidates

Alligator Struck - Motorist In Hospital

Darknesss Contributes To Alligator-Car Crash

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- An Immokalee woman is in serious condition after her vehicle hit an alligator on a rural road in Collier County, Florida early Saturday morning.

At about 5:50 a.m., Myrka Charles, 34 of Immokalee was southbound on CR 850 just south of Whidden Loop Rd. driving a 2006 Chevy Cobalt when she struck an alligator in the roadway and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle then traveled onto the east shoulder and went through a wire fence, then continued east and struck a tree.

It came to final rest on the east shoulder facing east against a tree. The driver of the vehicle was air lifted to Lee memorial Hospital for her injuries. She was wearing a seat belt according to the FHP report.

From The Clewiston Police

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Clewiston Chief of Police Chief Don Gutshall reports this week on activity in the City of Clewiston:

Officers responded to a burglary of a dwelling on East El Paso last Friday. Following a brief investigation, officers located and arrested the suspect.

Friday night officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at Popeye’s Restaurant. The caller reported a number of black males with firearms inside the business. The suspects took cash and fled the scene on foot. Minutes later Officers arrived with K-9 Handler Pilon and his partner, K-9 Dax. Dax quickly had the suspects trailed and cornered in a house several blocks away. Three suspects were arrested for armed robbery. All cash and firearms were recovered. There were no injuries in the incident.

Officers assisted FHP with a series of crashes caused by a disoriented elderly man who had driven up onto the Levee and through the metal gate. He continued traveling west along the levee rim until he crashed his car in the area of Uncle Joe’s Fish Camp. He was transported to Hendry Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Following is a brief synopsis of the week’s police activity:
933 Commercial / Residential Security Checks
525 Complaints Investigated
42 Red Light Camera Citations Issued
33 Traffic Citations Issued
12 Criminal Arrests Made
81 Merchant Escorts provided
13 Alarms Responded To
2 Traffic Accidents Investigated

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hendry's Bryan Boyle Seriously Deeper In Trouble

'Career Criminal' Now In Jail For Multiple Felonies

LABELLE, FL. -- After dozens of arrests in recent years, mostly traffic and driving violations, and a few drug charges, with little court punishment handed out, LaBelle's Bryan Scott Boyle has found himself arrested yet again.

But this time things are getting more serious as he's charged with burglary of a Port LaBelle building and grand theft of more than $20,000. He was also arrested for failing to appear in court, which he's failed to do many times over the last decade of his career.

35-year old Boyle reportedly was spotted by a Hendry Deputy near Dellwood Terrace in Port LaBelle burglarizing a vacant building. Riding his usual mode of transportation since he has no license to drive, he mounts a four-wheel ATV, Boyle promptly took off northward up Birchwood Parkway towards Glades County, eluding deputies who stationed themselves at various locations around the area to capture him.

About a week later, on July 24 Boyle was found and arrested. Today, he's still in the Hendry jail with bond set at $50,000 on the burglary and theft charges, plus $1,200 on the failure to appear charge.

Boyle lived with his mother in his recently deceased grandmother's home on Springview Circle in Port LaBelle. Apparently, he's found a need to steal goods to support himself, but the taxpayers will support him for awhile in his jail cell.

Update April, 2014: Boyle's latest criminal activity was introducing contraband into the county jail July 23, 2013 for which he was sentenced on November 26, 2013 to one year and one day in state prison.  He was released from prison June 6, 2014. He is living back in Port LaBelle now.

More Bryan Boyle arrest stories

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Casey Marie Anthony Back In Jail?

File:Casey Anthony Mugshot.jpeg

Florida Corrections Department Says Anthony Now Back In Custody?

UPDATE: The Department of Corrections early Thursday indicated Anthony was "in custody." But later, as of approximately 6:30 p.m. (ET) the Department reported online she is "under supervision." It is unclear why the change in status was made.

At 8:15 a.m., Friday July 27th, the Department's subcontracted record keeping office confirmed that Anthony was in custody in an unnamed prison facility of the Florida Department of Corrections and indicated the online records had not been updated as yet this morning to reflect that.

At 10:30 a.m., Friday July 27th, Ann Howard, communications director for the DOC says Anthony has no status change and is still under supervision. Howard did not know why a notification appeared yesterday showing Anthony was back in custody, nor why another office said she was 'in custody' this morning.

At 5:00 p.m., Friday, July 27th, a search of all DOC databases indicates Casey Marie Anthony has totally been removed from all public prison and corrections department records online. No officials have responded to a request for reasons why Anthony's name has been removed.

The mystery remains why Anthony was reported in custody July 26, and why her name has been removed from all public databases.

LABELLE, FL. -- A notification of status change by the Florida Department of Corrections on Thursday, July 26th indicated Casey Marie Anthony is back in custody, presumably in an undisclosed jail somewhere.

The message from the Department reads in part: "The inmate...CASEY ANTHONY with offender number X70160, has returned to custody as of 7/26/2012."

The offender number matches that of Casey Marie Anthony. The notification does not indicate a location where she may be or a release date.

Anthony was acquitted of the murder of her 2-year old daughter Caylee, but later convicted of lying to law enforcement about the locations her her daughter. She was given time served for the four counts of providing false information.

Anthony, then convicted of four counts of check fraud unrelated to the murder case, was to be released from supervised probation on August 23rd, a year after her conviction. Speculation is that she may have violated the terms of her probation and was taken into custody.

She has been hiding out in undisclosed locations for the last year, although "sightings" have reportedly been made in places ranging from small town Okeechobee, Florida to Bellaire, Ohio.

A story ran earlier this week that Anthony had an encounter with two women in a Bellaire library parking lot. The Ohio story reported, "Mail is being delivered to a Casey Anthony on Monroe Street."

Could she have been arrested in Ohio and transferred back to Florida?

Anthony's defense attorney Jose Baez has been on a book tour for his book about the murder trial "Presumed Guilty." He was in Miami yesterday and is scheduled on many TV programs including Fox's "Hannity" this week.

Other Casey Anthony stories on Southwest Florida Online: Casey Marie Anthony

Millions Of Synth Marijuana Packets Seized

Feds Seize Synthethic Marijuana And Bath Salts - Arrest 90 Nationwide

More than 90 individuals were arrested and more than five million packets of finished designer synthetic drugs were seized July 25th in the first-ever nationwide law enforcement action in 109 cities against the synthetic designer drug industry responsible for the production and sale of synthetic drugs that are often marketed as bath salts, Spice, incense, or plant food. More than $36 million in cash was also seized.

As of today, more than 4.8 million packets of synthetic cannabinoids (ex. K2, Spice) and the products to produce nearly 13.6 million more, as well as 167,000 packets of synthetic cathinones (ex. bath salts), and the products to produce an additional 392,000 were seized.

“Although tremendous progress has been made in legislating and scheduling these dangerous substances, this enforcement action has disrupted the entire illegal industry, from manufacturers to retailers,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Together with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we are committed to targeting these new and emerging drugs with every scientific, legislative, and investigative tool at our disposal.”

Over the past several years, there has been a growing use of, and interest in, synthetic cathinones (stimulants/hallucinogens) sold under the guise of “bath salts” or “plant food.” Marketed under names such as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” or “Bliss,” these products are comprised of a class of dangerous substances perceived to mimic cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and/or methamphetamine. Users have reported impaired perception, reduced motor control, disorientation, extreme paranoia, and violent episodes. The long-term physical and psychological effects of use are unknown but potentially severe.

These products have become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults and those who mistakenly believe they can bypass the drug testing protocols that have been set up by employers and government agencies to protect public safety. They are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops, and over the Internet. However, they have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption or for medical use, and there is no oversight of the manufacturing process.

Smokable herbal blends marketed as being “legal” and providing a marijuana-like high have also become increasingly popular, particularly among teens and young adults, because they are easily available and, in many cases, they are more potent and dangerous than marijuana. These products consist of plant material that has been coated with dangerous psychoactive compounds that mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Just as with the synthetic cathinones, synthetic cannabinoids are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet. Brands such as “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” and “Red X Dawn” are labeled as incense to mask their intended purpose.

While many of the designer drugs being marketed today that were seized as part of Operation Log Jam are not specifically prohibited in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986 (AEA) allows these drugs to be treated as controlled substances if they are proven to be chemically and/or pharmacologically similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance. A number of cases that are part of Operation Log Jam will be prosecuted federally under this analogue provision, which specifically exists to combat these new and emerging designer drugs.

DEA has used its emergency scheduling authority to combat both synthetic cathinones (the so-called bath salts like Ivory Wave, etc.) and synthetic cannabinoids (the so-called incense products like K2, Spice, etc.), temporarily placing several of these dangerous chemicals into Schedule I of the CSA. Congress has also acted, permanently placing 26 substances into Schedule I of the CSA.

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service aggressively investigates the use of the U.S. Mail system for the distribution of illegal controlled substances and its proceeds. Our agency uses a multi-tiered approach to these crimes: protection against the use of the mail for illegal purposes and enforcement of laws against drug trafficking and money laundering. This includes collaboration with other agencies,” said Chief Postal Inspector Guy J. Cottrell of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

In 2010, poison centers nationwide responded to about 3,200 calls related to synthetic “Spice” and “bath salts.” In 2011, that number jumped to more than 13,000 calls. Sixty percent of the cases involved patients 25 and younger.

Operation Log Jam was conducted jointly by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service,U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, as well as countless state and local law enforcement members in more than 109 U.S. cities and targeted every level of the synthetic designer drug industry, including retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kiwanis Club of LaBelle Gives Back To Communit

Kiwanis Club of LaBelle: Giving Back to the Community!

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle recently made donations to the Barron Library to sponsor their summer reading program and to the American Legion. This is just two examples of the many ways that Kiwanis shows their support in our community. 

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle meets every Tuesdays at Beef O’ Brady’s on Hwy 80 at 5:30 p.m., except for the 3rd Tuesday they meet at the Kiwanis Thrift Store. The club’s main fundraiser is Kiwanis Thrift Store located at 155 South Bridge Street. The store sells quality used merchandise at very low prices thanks to the generous donations from the community. All profits are given back to our local community in many ways such as High School Scholarships, Adult Scholarships, Children’s Programs and so much more! Please attend a meeting to find out what Kiwanis is all about.

Kiwanis Members Susan Williams and Millard Wagner presented checks to:
Karen Hildebrand, Director of the Barron Library and to Tony Alvarez for the American Legion 
Kiwanis Club of LaBelle Receives Grant!

Recently, the Kiwanis Club in LaBelle was awarded a grant from the Florida Kiwanis Foundation. This was the first time a grant was issued to a Kiwanis Club in District 19. 

The Florida Kiwanis Foundation Trustee, Hannah Pelle was pleased to come to LaBelle to deliver the award in person. Ms. Pelle is also a member of the Metro-McGregor Kiwanis Club in Ft. Myers. The grant will be used to purchase a large storage shed to be placed at the Kiwanis Thrift Store in LaBelle. Thanks to Kathy Woolston, the Thrift Store Manager for her hard work on the grant!

Kathy Woolston-Kiwanis Thrift Store Manager, Hannah Pelle, Florida Kiwanis Foundation Trustee and Nell Broom-President, Kiwanis Club of LaBelle

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Lucy Broughton, age 74, of Clewiston, passed away July 21, 2012 at her home in Clewiston, Florida. She was born June 5, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois.

She was a ping pong champion, an athlete, coach, volunteer, avid fisherman, wife, mother and grandmother who loved bingo. Ever young at heart, she spread her joy through her smile.

She is survived by her husband Bob, her five children Katherine, Kenneth, Steven (Kimberly), Susan (David Scott) and Lawrence; her six grandchildren (Kenneth) Jake, Brianna, Andrew, Jacquelyn, Ashley and Emily and her great grandchild Bristol Marie. She was preceded in death by her daughter Shirley Jean.

Services were held Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston with Father Jiobani Batista officiating. Visitation was Tuesday, July 24, 2012 from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston

Donna L. O'Neal, age 79, of Clewiston, passed away July 22, 2012 in Lehigh Acres, FL.
She was born Feb. 4, 1933 in Jefferson, OK, to the late Albert and the late Iva Delilah (Barwick) Page. She served in the Marine Corps from August 30,1952 to January 17,1955.

Survivors include her husband: Hubert Robert O'Neal, son: Danny O'Neal, daughter: Jeannie DuBenion, brother: Bob Page, sister: Dolly Cleaver, grandchildren: Shannon O'Neal, Christy O'Neal, Ryan O'Neal, DJ O'Neal, Jean-Pierre DuBenion and five great grandchildren.

Donna made her home in Clewiston for the last 20 years. She was a beloved Wife, Mother, Sister, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. She will be greatly missed. Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Free Hunter's Course In Hendry

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will host a free hunter safety course on July 28 from 8 a.m. 5 p.m.

Participants must successfully complete the online portion of the course prior to attending and bring the final Web report to the FWC course on July 28. It does not have to be notarized.

Students will learn about hunting laws, safe gun handling and hunter ethics/responsibility, among other topics, before taking the final test. The course also includes live-firing instruction on a shooting range.

The class is at the Hendry County Sheriff's Office Shooting Range between Clewiston and LaBelle, seven-tenths of a mile down Witt Road off of State Road 80, nine miles west of U.S. 27. Take the first road east of the Pioneer Shell Gas Station.

The FWC recommends taking these courses in the spring and summer, as classes in the fall can fill up quickly.

Participants can sign up at MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or by calling the FWC’s South Region Office at 561-625-5122. A link to the online part of the course and a statewide schedule of hunter safety classes are available atMyFWC.com/HunterSafety.

Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course before purchasing a Florida hunting license. Parents or legal guardians must accompany children under 16 years of age to all classes. To participate in live-fire exercises, children under 18 years old must present a parental release form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Big Changes At Glades Health Department

Change In Dental And Medical Services At Glades County Health Department

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Pat Dobbins, of the Hendry-Glades Health Department says the Glades County Health Department has entered into an agreement with Florida Community Health Centers to assume operations of providing Primary Health Care and Dental Services in Glades County. The effective date of this action is expected to be August 1, 2012.

The policy change is a result of directives from Governor Rick Scott who wants to privatize the primary care services at County Health Departments. The Glades County Commissioners approved the change as submitted by Mrs. Dobbins at recent commission meetings. It is expected that fees charged by Florida Community Health Centers may be substantially higher than the fees charged to patients by the Glades Health Department for dental and medical care.

The Glades County Health Department will continue to offer Birth and Death Certificates, Environmental Health Services, Family Planning, Child & Adult Immunizations, WIC, STD & HIV testing and treatment. Copies of your medical and/or dental records will be available upon request. Florida Community Health Centers will serve clients at the Glades County Health Department building located at 1021 Health Park Drive, Moore Haven, FL 33471.

Dobbins says, "Thank you for being our client and giving us the opportunity to serve you and your family. We are confident that Florida Community Health Centers will continue to deliver the same excellent quality care and customer service that you received from us. If you have any questions, please let us know."

(Editor's Comment: If you are a current client paying for services, it may be recommended to get services before August 1st to save fee costs that may be associated with the change of doctors and dentists that will be employed by Florida Community Health on that date.)

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Drive

Gas Prices Start Climbing Again In Florida - 15 Cents Higher Than Last Month

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 9.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.39/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 4.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.49/g, according to gasoline price website FloridaStateGasPrices.com.

Prices in Hendry county were at $3.48, again higher than surrounding counties. Normally you can save at least 10 cents per gallon by driving to Lee county for gas.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 29.9 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 14.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 2.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 20.1 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Gevevieve F. Eden, age 90, of LaBelle, passed away July 21, 2012 in LaBelle. She was born Oct. 25, 1921 in Auglaize County, OH, to the late Earl Rothe and the late Grace Marie (Kerr) Rothe.

Genevieve graduated with a BA from Ohio Northern University in 1943. She married James S. Eden Oct. 8, 1943.

She was a resident of LaBelle since 1991 and was a member of Delta Zeta. Genevieve was past president of the Akron Rotary Anns, a member of the Church in Silver Lake, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Key West the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in LaBelle. She was active in church choir groups for forty years and was also a choir mother.

Survivors include her husband: James S.Eden, sons: James S. (June) Eden Jr. of Ravenna, OH, John (Gloria) Eden of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, nine grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on a date to be announced at Episcopal Church Of The Good Shepherd, LaBelle with Rev. Alan H. Kelmereit officiating.

In Lieu of Flowers, memorial donations can be made to Alzheimer's Foundation of America.

Margie Acuff Handley, age 88, of Lehigh Acres, passed away July 22, 2012 in. She was born in Corkscrew on December 10, 1923 to the late Rupert and the late Florence Whidden Acuff. 
She is preceded in death by her husband, Wilbur Handley and son Bobby Handley. Surviving are her daughter, Marie Pollock of Lehigh, numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and great -great grandchildren. 
Graveside services will be held 10 am Saturday, July 28, 2012 in Alva Cemetery with Rev. Earl Daniels officiating. Visitation will be 30 minutes prior to services at the cemetery. Arrangements were handled by Akin-Davis Funeral Home -Fort Myers.

Robert Byron Williams, age 71, of LaBelle, passed away July 17, 2012 in Fort Myers. He was born Sep.17, 1940 in Gardner, FL, to the late John Thomas Williams and the late Pearlie Mae (Bryant) Williams. He served in the Army.

Survivors include daughters: Robin (Shorty) Howard of LaBelle and Stacy Williams of West Palm Beach, son: Jeff (Loretta) Flora of AL , sisters: Wanda (Clyde) Sarver of Leesburg and Shirley (Chuck) Carling of LaBelle and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his Son, Mike Flora and brothers and sisters.

Funeral Services were held Sat, July 21, 2012, 9:00 a.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle with Pastor Lester Grant and Pastor Brian Gilley officiating. Interment followed at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Upload Your Videos To The News Blog

Got A Video? Upload It To Southwest Florida Online For Everyone To View

LABELLE, FL. -- Southwest Florida Online and Sunday Morning News readers may now submit their own videos for possible publication on the news page.

Do you have a favorite video, a fun or newsworthy event that was recorded, a traffic crash from your cell camera, a meeting or event announcement, an interview with a unique person, or a cute pet video? Use your creativity and send a video using the widget below. We'll post the best here or on the news page for everyone to see.

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Think Your Teen Drinks Alcohol?

By Bianca Ross, Hendry Health Department

LABELLE, FL. -- Recently the Drug Free Hendry County staff discovered that many residents believe that most Hendry County Teens drink, some even suggesting that 90% of our teens drink and they must lie on our surveys. Other thoughts are that kids drink because they are bored. We'd like to address these misperceptions.

First, let's look at the numbers -  At the end of the school year there were 1,868 teens enrolled in high school in Hendry County. That means that in order for "most" of them to be drinking, 1,681 would have had to get their hands on alcohol during a weekend in the past 30 days. That figure alone is enough to make you rethink the statement "everyone drinks"

As for teens lying on surveys, that's just plain silly. First, research shows that most people around the world are honest on anonymous surveys. Second, knowing what we know about the teen brain, they would be more likely to lie about their negative behavior, not their positive non-drinking behaviors! 

The fact is however, our annual survey actually asks students, "Did you tell the truth?” the overwhelming majority of them say yes. Additionally, this is the fourth year we've given the same survey - that's four graduating classes that have all said about the same thing on this survey. 

It's one thing to think that teens might lie, but it's another to really believe that they would be lying the exact same way every year over four graduating classes. Let's give our teens a break - why is it so hard for us to believe that they make healthy decisions and that most of them are doing the right thing?

The surveys that we use for our data were completed here in Hendry County. Students from LaBelle High SchoolLaBelle Middle SchoolClewiston High School, and Clewiston Middle School complete 2 surveys related to underage drinking.

The Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey (FYSAS) is completed every two years in nearly every county in the State. The evaluation is professionally done by well-educated statisticians, mathematicians, and evaluators.

The Teen Social Norms Survey has been done each year in select counties throughout the state, including Hendry and Glades counties. We have been administering it to students since 2008. This survey is evaluated by Dr. Greg Barker of Northern Illinois University.

There are questions built into both surveys to invalidate the inconsistent responders or liars. In fact, many students we talk to also feel many students lie on the survey but they themselves say they don’t. I have found a couple of students who admitted they lied, out of the hundreds I’ve spoken to. Most students tell the truth – especially since it is a totally anonymous survey.

NOW for the statistics. Both surveys are pretty consistent across all responses.

Concerning alcohol THE 2010 FYSAS indicates that 33.3% of our high school teens have used alcohol in the past 30 days. That is almost 5% lower than the state average. It also indicates that 15.8% of students are binge drinkers – meaning they drink 5 or more drinks in a row. While it still indicates that most teens don’t drink it raises a flag since about half of those drinkers are binge drinking – which is extremely dangerous.

The 2010 TEEN NORMS Survey indicates that 32% of Hendry County High School Students report “they have had at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days”. YET when asked about their peers those same students believe that 81% participated in the aforementioned behavior. This means that most (68%) of our teens are making good decisions, despite popular opinion 

It is highly unlikely and probably impossible for any county to have a 90% underage drinking rate. There are actually counties in the state that have a higher drinking rate than us – think college towns and spring break communities. Please also note that lifetime use and regular use are different and have different rates.

The great thing about both of these surveys is they provide us with so much more information about issues surrounding underage substance abuse. We learn where they get the drugs from. We also learn who the kids trust (parents are ranked #1) and where they get the most information (posters at school, us – parents rank #3 here). 

The FYSAS does a comprehensive job at identifying risk and protective factors. We actually rank lower than the state on protective factors like opportunities for prosocial involvement. We rank higher than the state for some –but not all- risk factors, including community disorganization and laws and norms favorable to drug use.

As for being bored, we have to be careful as a community to not allow this to be the scapegoat for negative teen behavior. We believe our teens can and should make good decisions, even when they are bored to death! And let's face it, being bored is not the reason kids drink or experiment with drugs. 

They engage in this behavior frequently because they were pressured in a social situation. These situations can occur in someone's home or at a recreation center - where there are teens, there is always a risk for risk-seeking behavior, and boredom is not the cause.

That being said, we can all do our part by 1) making sure teens don't have access to alcohol through the home or retail sources 2) talking to other parents and making it clear to them you don't want your teen drinking 3) and checking up on your teen on occasion to make sure they are where they say they are going to be. 

For more information please visit www.drugfreehendry.com.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Obama Cancels Florida Campaign Stops

President In Fort Myers For A Shorted Stop

FORT MYERS, FL. -- A campaign trip through Florida has been canceled by President Barack Obama after word of an early morning massacre at a multi-screen theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Obama told an audience at the Harborside Convention Center along the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, Florida that the shooting was senseless and expressed his concerns for the families of the injured and dead. This is a "day of prayer and reflection" and asked everyone to pause for a moment for prayer for the victims and families.

The Fort Myers stop was planned for an hour-plus campaign rally at the convention center, but instead was limited to a very short message from the President about the early morning shooting. Campaign banners were removed from the center before the President's arrival.

As the President left the stage after just a few minutes speaking, the crowd chanted "Four More Years."

Investigators are still searching for clues at the apartment of alleged shooter 24-year old James E. Holmes near Denver, Colorado. 12 persons are believed to have been killed at the midnight showing of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises." and 38 injured.

Holmes was reportedly wearing a bullet proof vest and a riot type mask, hurling a gas canister and then opening fire. Police found a gas mask, rifle and revolver. Holmes gave himself up to law enforcement without resistance in the parking lot.

Police determined Holmes' fourth-floor apartment, five miles from the theater, was "booby trapped" and are trying to secure the building.

Warner Bros. has cancelled some European openings of the movie and has pulled a trailer for the planned September opening of the film Gangter Squad, a preview playing before The Dark Knight Rises.  A scene within it depicts gangster characters tearing through a theater screen and shooting randomly in a crowded theater.

The President planned to leave Fort Myers immediately after his visit to the Harborside Center, bound for the White House in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Insolvent To Multi-Millionaires - Hendry Candidates

Net Worth And Incomes Of Candidates Show Many Surprises

LABELLE, FL. -- Financial forms filed by Hendry political candidates show more surprises. Candidates' financials show net worth ranging from insolvent, in debt for more than they earn, to virtually penniless, to three multi-millionaires.

Cynthia Potter appears to have no assets whatsoever, Pamela Jackson owes more than she owns, and two unopposed candidates, School Board member Dwayne Brown reports a negative net worth while Commissioner Karson Turner's negative net worth is more than two and a half times what he earns.

One wonders how a candidate can rule on multi-million dollar county and school budgets when they've allegedly failed to mind their own finances well. At the other end of the scale are the multi-millionaires, Don Davis, John Perry, and Tristan Chapman where one can speculate on how they may influenced by employer interests as well as their own personal agendas.

Listed are net worth and income for candidates for Hendry County Commission, School Board and County Judge.

Running for county commission District 1 is incumbent Janet B. Taylor who has an income of $33,505. She reports a net worth of $62,316. Her assets include $75,000 in "personal property", $61,000 in real estate, and debts of a $74,000 loan.

Challenger Pamela B. Jackson indicates a negative net worth of -11,940. She has an income of $19,200 from a Belle Glade funeral home.

In Commission District 3, Incumbent Tristan G. Chapman is worth $3,033,200. Included in his assets are $917,00 in retirement accounts. He also owns numerous real estate properties. His income from Southern Gardens. a citrus company, is $442,830. $31,622 more comes from the county, and $26,490 from a pension.

Opponent Don Davis is worth $1,405,000. He values Don's Restaurant at $750,000, The Big V at $900,000 and the Long Branch bar at $500,000. His income is $35,000 from Don's, $12,000 from Big V, $5,352 from Florida State Retirement System, and $16,848 from social security.

Incumbent Karson C. Turner is unopposed for the District 5 Commission Seat and has a negative worth of -$69,969. He owns a Boyton Beach house valued at $95,000 and has loans at First Bank for $195,784 and at Fifth Third Bank for $42,785. He earns $27,040 at his father's Quality Electric and $33,993 as commissioner.

Unopposed for School Board District 1 is incumbent Rev. Dwayne E. Brown, who reports a negative worth of -$127,000. He has a mortgage of $127,000, a Visa account of $6,000 and a $20,000 school loan. For whatever reason Brown failed to show one of the largest homes in Harlem, his 3084 square foot home built in 1995, as an asset on his financial report.

Brown earns $24,00 as a school board member and $52,000 from Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. 

Candidate for School Board District 2 is Eva Sally Berg with a net worth of $409,000. She has an income of $122,088 as reported on her income tax form.

Candidate for School Board District 4 Stephanie Busin has a worth of $15,000, all it being a 2004 Chevy Tahoe. She has no income.

John Perry also running for school board has a net worth of $2,786,046 primarily from real estate investments and IRA accounts. He shows and income of $139,194 from his insurance agency, $15,748 from rental income, $1,029 from interest, and $5,214 from dividends.

The third candidate, Cynthia Leuvano Potter reports zero assets, and zero liabilities for a net worth of $0. She works for the Palm Beach Schools earning $21,700.

Unopposed County Judge James D. Sloan has a worth of $541,400 from his home and personal property, IRA and retirement account, and income of $134,280 and $6,700 from the Sloan Family Partnership in Ocala.

Kiwanis Of LaBelle New Members

New Members Welcomed To Kiwanis
Installation 07-10-12 003.jpg

LABELLE, FL. -- The Kiwanis Club in LaBelle held an installation ceremony to welcome several new members.

The club’s main fundraiser is Kiwanis Thrift Store located at 155 South Bridge Street. They sell quality used merchandise at very low prices thanks to the generous donations from the community. All profits go back into our local community. The Kiwanis Thrift Store is located at: 155 S. Bridge Street, LaBelle, FL 33935

Pictured left to right: Janeen Elliott, Van Banks, Nell Broom-President of Kiwanis Club of LaBelle, Kevin Drummond and Helen Mead. (New members not pictured: Tony & Candy Alvarez and Paul Puletti)

Library Open House And Crime Seminar

MOORE HAVEN, FL. --The Glades County Library will have an open house on August 11, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served and in the afternoon, The Glades County Library will host a Crime Prevention Seminar sponsored by the Glades County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday, 
August 11, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. in the library conference room. 

The guest speaker will be Chief Deputy Duane Pottorff. All are welcome! Come and see how you may help prevent a crime.

Confusion Possible At Hendry Polls?

Reduction Of Precincts And Longer Lines Possible For Election Days

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry county voters may experience some confusion and lines for the August 14th primary election. The voting precincts have been reduced from 23 to 10. The first three precincts may experience longer lines than usual, and new procedures will be in place for voters.

Voters have been mailed new voters registration cards with the new precinct number.

At the primary August 14th, which does have early voting beginning July 30, lines will be formed by party affiliates, Democratic, Republican, or No Party Affiliation. For the general election, lines will be formed by the first letter of the last names.

Lucretia Strickland, elections supervisor, retiring this year says five Hendry residents have been notified of ineligibility to vote under recent Florida rulings about citizenship. There are 16,893 registered voters in the county.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Moore Haven Lock Open To Boaters

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reopened the Moore Haven Lock to navigation after completing installation of the Manatee Protection System (MPS) July 14.

“Installation of the Manatee Protection System was completed three weeks ahead of schedule, allowing us to reopen the lock on Okeechobee Waterway to navigation,” said Al Bruns, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District.

Work was initially scheduled to begin May 14, but was postponed twice after taking into consideration the concerns expressed by local business owners, recreational boaters and residents about the lock being closed during the height of boating season and the resulting economic impacts. The work, which began June 11, was scheduled to take approximately eight weeks to finish, was completed in approximately five weeks.

Installation of the MPS is part of the Manatee Pass Gates project. The primary goal of the project is to safeguard Florida’s endangered manatees at water control structures and navigation locks by modifying these structures with a MPS. Using a set of acoustic transmitters and receivers, the MPS detects the West Indian manatee and prevents the gates from closing and harming the protected animal.

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Frances Curry Doll, 71, lifelong resident of LaBelle, Florida passed away quietly at her home July 15, 2012, surrounded by her loving family. She was predeceased by her brother, Edward Curry, parents, Mark and Nettie May Curry, and husband, Joseph Taylor Doll. 

She was survived by her brother, Roy Curry (Sharon), son James M. Doll (Yvonne), daughter, Donna M. English, grandchildren, Shonna D. Lynn (Brandon), Brandon M. Cooper, Kaylynn M. Doll, and Taylor M. English, and great-granddaughter, Kamdynn G. Lynn.

Frances was an avid supporter of Pop Warner during the organization's beginning, and the family has requested in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to LaBelle Longhorn Booster Club, Post Office Box 2335, LaBelle, Florida 33975.

A memorial service will be held at The Doll Residence, July 21, 2012, beginning at 12:00 PM. Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Mary Figured Imhoff, age 59, of LaBelle, passed away July 14, 2012 in Fort Myers.

She was born July 30, 1952 in Kenly, NC, to the late Stephen Bailey and the late Janice (Godwin) Benefield. She was a nurse for many years at Drs. Gaudiz Office in LaBelle.

Survivors include her son, Justin Figured and his wife Emily, brother; Stephen Bailey Jr., step-father Joe Benefield, step-sisters, Holly Jones and Tammy Mitchell, and a host of extended family and many friends.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., July 18th at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Rev. Don Murray officiating. Interment was in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven. Visitation was Tuesday, July 17th from 6-8 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LaBelle Summer Theater For Kids

2012 Children's Summer Theatre Program
BBM cast colorThe Firehouse Community Theatre in LaBelle announces the cast and crew for "The Big Bad Musical" program:
Sydney Grimm........................ Emily Schwarz
Fairy Godmother..................... Novie Kohutek
Big Bad Wolf........................... Corbyn Kohutek
Evil Stepmother....................... Alexis Burress
Grandmother Hood................. Cameron Davidson
Judge...................................... Tilly Shock Shepherd
Daniel Baker Boy.................... Sevyn Shock
Lil Red.................................... Madison Pratt 
One..........................................Tayler McGill 
Two.........................................Camyrn Nash 
Three...................................... James Galusha 
Woodcutter.......................... ...Carlos Crespo
Miss Muffit.............................. Hannah Boone
Wolfettes................................ Natalie Welky, Joelle Shock, Haley Boone
The Big Bad Wolf is being sued by a storybook of characters who want to get even: Little Red Riding Hood, her Grandmother, the Three Little Pigs, and the Shepherd in charge of the Boy Who Cried Wolf! Even though their attorney, the Fairy God Mother makes a good case against him, Mr. BB Wolf makes a good case for himself!

Show times are Friday and Saturday August 10 and 11th at 7:00 pm and Sunday, August 12th at 2:00 pm.

Hendry Candidates' Financial Reports

Incomes And Net Worth Vary Wildly For Hendry Candidates

LABELLE, FL. -- Every political candidate is required to file a financial report with the Supervisor of Elections showing their assets and debts so that voters can have a view of any possible conflicts of interests as well as a snapshot of the net worth of each hopeful officer holder.

This is a compilation of the income and net worth (assets minus debts) of the candidates for Clerk of the Circuit Court, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Superintendent of Schools, and Supervisor of Elections for Hendry county, Florida.

Barbara Cox Butler, incumbent Clerk of Court reports an income of $101,597 and a net worth of $139,685 which includes $106,963 held in bank accounts and the balance of her net assets in real estate.

Butler's opponent for Clerk, Larry Wilcoxson, shows assets of $15,400 including a $6,400 Rolex and two Cadillac vehicles worth $8,500. Liabilities are listed as $58,000 and $17,000 in student loans. He lists his net worth as "0" but his math skills may be lacking as his net worth is actually negative after subtracting $75,000 in loans from his reported $15,400 in assets. His net worth is actually -$59,600. Wilcoxson is unemployed.

Incumbent Property Appraiser Phillip L. Pelletier has an income of $99,597 and a net worth of $123,413. Kristina A. Kupa has net assets of $980,500 and a retirement income of $17,353 and $30,600 from real estate rental property income for a total of $47,953. As previously reported in a prior story, she has $729,705 in joint bank accounts plus $234,500 in retirement accounts.

Tax Collector Peggy S. Hampton has an income of $101,597 with a net worth of $301,477 which includes $153,837 in the Florida Retirement System. Opponent Tom Corbitt has a retirement income of $94,902 from the Department of Defense, Social Security income of $20,470 and rental property income of $13,000 for a total yearly income of $128,372. His net worth is $79,243

Incumbent School Superintendent Richard A. Rick Murphy has an income of $112,797 and a net worth of $47,374. Paul Puletti reports a net worth of $521,000, but that includes $445,000 in retirement accounts. His income is $55,775 from the Hendry Schools and $14,790 from the City of LaBelle for a total of $70,565.

Joel Williamson has a negative net worth of -$38,413 and and reports on his joint 1040 income tax form an income of $93,511 from teaching and wife's income as technician trainee.

In the race for Supervisor of Elections Kevin Drummond has an income from the Florida Highway Patrol of $55,387 and $11,687 from construction companies. He reports a net worth of $14,500 with no debts.

Kim Harris-White has a net worth of $3,034.  Brenda Hoots has a net worth of $99,000 and an income of $43,434. She has worked at the Supervisor of Elections office for 21 years. Rose Raulerson-Mason has a negative net worth of -$2,300 with small loans outstanding. She reports income coming from "commissions" at Maple Corner Mobile Home Park in Glades County.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hike Historical LaBelle Saturday

LABELE, FL. -- Families, youth and adults are invited to explore historic LaBelle with the Fisheating Creek Florida Trails Sub-Chapter on Saturday July 21st.

Gather at the U-Save parking lot at 9:00 a.m. to meet and sign the FTA activity waiver. The FEC/FTA group will attend the Fallen Heroes Ceremony at Veterans Park at 9:30 a.m. then tour the LaBelle Historical Museum at its new location on South Bridge Street.

After lunch the hikers plan to take a leisurely hike to some of historic Labelle’s homes and parks. Bring water, snacks, $3 admission for museum and money for lunch. Wear closed-toed walking shoes and hat.

The Fisheating Creek Florida Trails Sub-Chapter serves hikers from the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, Buckhead Ridge, Clewiston, Felda, LaBelle, Lakeport, Montura, Moore Haven, Muse, Ortona, Palmdale and Pioneer. (Glades and Hendry Counties)

This subchapter organized in January 2010 is overseen by the Alligator Amblers. The FEC/FTA Inaugural hike was held February 6, 2010 where twenty-one people assembled at the trailhead at Alvin Ward Boat Ramp and Park, Moore Haven, FL for a walk on the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (L.O.S.T.) 

The chapter offers a variety of activities including hikes, paddling, camping, and wildlife viewing as well as exploring nature-based and historical sites in Hendry and Glades Counties. Members and guests have been instrumental in blazing the Rock Lake Trail in partnership with FWC and participate in trail clean-ups during hikes on the Tree Swing Trail at Fisheating Creek Outpost.

Gas Prices Continue Rising This Week

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 2.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.28/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has not moved in the last week to $3.42/g, according to gasoline price website FloridaStateGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 36.2 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 2.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 11.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 24.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

"Those who stuck around the low gas price party expecting it to last have realized they're out in the cold," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Oil prices are well off their recent lows, and we'll likely continue to see the national average rise in response. Most regions should see prices rising, while the Rockies areas may see any increase take considerably longer to arrive," DeHaan said.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Clewiston Interviews For Police Position

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Steve McKown, Clewiston City Manager reports this week the city will conduct interviews for Clewiston Police Patrol Lieutenant’s position on Friday, July 20. The Police Chief and city manager had already narrowed the field down to the top four, highly qualified candidates, with one candidate being an internal applicant.

McKown says, "On paper, these four finalists were similarly trained, had tons of experience, so a lot will depend upon how well the candidates interview. We hope to come to terms with our top choice and make that announcement next week."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Clayton Burroughs Dead In Crash

Vehicle Overturns After Striking Three Trees

AVE MARIA, FL. -- Clayton R. Burroughs, 22 is dead after crashing a 1998 Pontiac at 6:12 a.m. Friday morning. Burroughs was southbound on Camp Keais Rd. 2 miles south of CR846, and was exiting a left hand curve, as the vehicle's right side tires traveled onto the west grass shoulder.

The vehicle traveled approximately 141 ft. and then re-entered the roadway, traveled into the northbound lane of Camp Keais Rd. and started to rotate counter clockwise. It then traveled onto the east shoulder and struck a tree with it's front, continued on the shoulder striking three more trees as it overturned and came to rest upside down in a drainage ditch which bordered the east shoulder facing south.

The FHP says a seatbelt was not in use, and an investigation continues for alcohol use as a contributing factor.

Burroughs was an Ave Maria University student athlete and studying business. He was working at the University for the summer.

Computer Classes For Kids In Glades

Glades County Public Library to Offer Children’s Computer Classes
By Austin Moorhouse

All adult computer classes at Glades Library will be suspended from July 16 through August 13. Instead starting on Monday, July 16, 2012 until school starts again an educational program will be offered to teach children the basic essentials of the computer. 

For ages 8,9 and 10 classes will be held from 10:30 to noon in the library conference room. For ages 11,12 and 13 classes will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. So bring the children in and enroll them in classes to learn basic computer skills or to enhance the skills that they already have.

Locks Closed On Lake Okeechobee

Falling Lake Levels Require Closure of Lake Okeechobee Locks
OKEECHOBEE, FL—The navigation locks along the north shore of Lake Okeechobee will be closed beginning Monday due to lake levels declining below 12 feet NGVD.

The following locks will close:

• S-135 at J&S Fish Camp, Martin County

• S-127 at Buckhead Ridge, Glades County

• S-131 at Lakeport, Glades County

• G-36 at Henry Creek, Okeechobee County

While the navigation locks are out of operation, boaters will continue to have access to Lake Okeechobee from its north shore at local boat ramps. The locks will be available for boat traffic on July 14 and 15, but will close starting Monday, July 16 until the lake sufficiently rises for safe navigation.

Continued high evapotranspiration rates have resulted in Lake Okeechobee dropping to 11.97 feet NGVD. Despite recent rainfall, the lake is 1.6 feet below the historical average for this time of year. The short-term forecast does not call for significant rain to adequately boost lake levels over the next week.

Boaters should also note the status of other navigation locks in the area:

• The S-193 Lock, located on Taylor Creek on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee, is closed due to ongoing renovation work to refurbish the lock and ensure decades of reliable service.

• The S-310 navigation lock on the south shore at Clewiston is currently secured in the open position.

• Navigation locks operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which includes locks in the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie Canal, are also impacted by declining water levels. Information on those navigation locks is available by calling the Corps’ South Florida Operations Office at 863-983-8101.

For a guide to recreation sites on Lake Okeechobee, including boat ramps and public parks, please visit the District’s website at www.sfwmd.gov/recreation. For more information, please call the SFWMD Okeechobee Service Center at 863-462-5260, or the Orlando Service Center at 407-858-6100.

Glades Horse Contracts Rare Disease

Warning Issued To Avoid Mosquito Bites
MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- There has been one Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV)-confirmed positive horse (onset 6/25/12) reported from the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) for Glades County. 

Anyone in an area where the virus is circulating can get infected with EEEV. The risk is highest for people who live in or visit woodland habitats, and people who work outside or participate in outdoor recreational activities, because of greater exposure to potentially infected mosquitoes.

It takes 4 to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito to develop symptoms of EEE.

This is the 11th horse in the state to be reported with EEEV infection with onset during 2012 and is the first case for Glades County.

EEE is a rare disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. EEEV is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). EEEV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent disease.

The Glades County Health Department will continue with surveillance and encourage everyone to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

To protect your horses from mosquitoes, you should consult with your veterinarian on getting your horses vaccinated for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV).

Glades Health Department To Lose Doctor-Dentist

Governor Wants Health Department Out Of The Doctor, Dentist Business

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Pat Dobbins appeared at the Glades County Commission meeting this week and summarized a proposal she prepared for the Glades County Health Department to outsource primary care, pediatric and dental services with doctors, dentists and support staff in-house five days per week to provide for the “sick care part of the business” for County residents.

She said, “Because the governor wants health departments out of it.” Ms. Dobbins said with limited funding, “The challenges are bigger than me!”

She stated that during the last six months, she has formed an agreement with Florida Community Health Center [FCHC] to provide these services to commence August 1, 2012 and she’s seeking the Glades County Board’s consensus about the matter.

She explained that a member of FCHC staff will be a “patient navigator” to work with patients to secure funding whether through Medicaid or insurance to determine their sliding fee scale which is to be a minimum of $20 co-pay. Upon questioning, she stated that FCHC will not turn away those patients who cannot pay the $20.

In LaBelle, where the health department doesn't provide primary care, the non-profit health provider, Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida gives health services on a sliding scale, and in the dental clinic low income patients without insurance or Medicaid pay fees only slightly less than local dentists are charging for dental work. It is unclear whether the Glades county proposal will remedy that situation for the uninsured poor who may use Florida Community Health Center services.

Ms. Dobbins also mentioned a funding match mechanism whereby the County would remit the Health Dept. funding to FCHC who could use the funds for a federal two-to-one grant match, and then they remit the original budgeted funds to the Health Dept.

She reaffirmed to the Board that the Health Dept. will continue providing public health services which includes immunizations, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, chronic disease prevention, WIC services, Environmental Health, vital statistics, and public services such as school health, healthy start, healthy families and tobacco prevention programs.

The Board consensus was tentative approval, but requested Ms. Dobbins to bring back the outlined agreement in writing.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Henry Deputy Receives Jail Manager Certification

30 Years Experience - Bastys Receives Certification
Sheriff & Bastys.jpgLABELLE, FL. -- Hendry Sheriff Captain Joseph T. Bastys has received the national designation of Certified Jail Manager through the Jail Manager Certification Commission by authority of the American Jail Association. Captain Bastys is one of just 331 jail professionals nation-wide to have achieved this designation.

This certification has been achieved through the successful completion of a rigid experiential background application, and an intensive written examination prepared by the Commission and the American Jail Association.

The JMCC and the American Jail Association promote the concept of voluntary certification for all jail managers. Certification is part of a process called credentialing and focuses specifically on the individual. It provides documented evidence to the public that the individual has been examined by an independent professional organization and found to possess current competency in his/her field.

Since being hired by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office in February of 2011 Capt. Bastys has served as the Hendry County Jail Administrator. Capt. Bastys retired from Collier County Sheriff’s Office in 2010 where he served as Corrections Commander. Capt. Bastys began his management career with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office in January 1995 as the Jail Supervisor of the Immokalee Jail.

Captain Bastys has over 30 years of correctional experience, with 16 years of that in Jail Administration.

“I am very proud to announce Captain Bastys is the first Jail Administrator of the Hendry County Jail to attain this prestigious certification”, said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Boil Water Precaution For LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. --   Residents of the City of LaBelle in the area bounded by Spratt Blvd. South and east of Cowboy Way are warned to boil water as a precaution.  Wednesday, July 11, 2012, between the hours of 8:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., the water service was shut off to this area, due to a water main break. 

The city of LaBelle apologizes for the incident saying they "are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but this is a necessary action to improve service."

"Therefore, as a precaution, upon return of water service, we advise that all water used for drinking or cooking be boiled. A rolling boil of one minute is sufficient. As an alternative bottled water may be used."

This "precautionary boil water notice" will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected and the bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink.

This boil water notice is expected to be effective until noon 7/13/12, unless you hear otherwise from this utility.

If you have any questions you may contact Joe Thomas, at 863-675-4684 or City Hall at 863-675-2872.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Crystal Meth Arrest On House Boat

Boater Arrested On Meth Charges - Manufacturing On Houseboat Say Investigators
LABELLE, FL. -- On July 6th, Hendry County Sheriff Investigators served a search warrant on a houseboat that was anchored on the bank of the Caloosahatchee River.

Investigators received information that the occupant of the boat was producing Crystal Meth. Investigators began surveillance on the property and based on their observations, obtained a search warrant on July 5, 2012.

On July 6, 2012 at approximately 12:00 pm, Narcotic Investigators executed the search warrant and entered the living quarters of the houseboat. Once inside Investigators located 37 year old Christopher Sean Cooper aka John Hall, and 56 year old Nina Gause. The entire living quarters of the houseboat was full of a thick haze and gases. The suspects were immediately moved out to the porch area of the houseboat and detained.

During primary questioning, Cooper told Investigators he was in the middle of making methamphetamine inside the bathroom area of the house boat when deputies arrived. During the search Investigators located approximately 3 grams of suspected crystal meth, methamphetamine pipes, marijuana, and paraphernalia. In addition, they located chemicals used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Christopher Cooper was placed under arrest and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Possession of Listed Chemicals, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Cooper is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail on $108,500.00 bond.

Cooper is a "career criminal" with 38 Hendry county arrests since 1993.

Hendry Deputies Investigate Teen Party - Three Hide

3 AM Party Gets A Bit Loud - Deputies Arrive, Question Taylor Jordan, Miss Finding Three Hiding

LABELLE, FL. -- Neighbors in a Port LaBelle neighborhood were aroused early Monday morning July 2 when a large group of teenagers were allegedly drinking and playing loud music. One guest with a criminal drug record and two others allegedly hid in the house and avoided detection after a search by Hendry County deputies.

According to Hendry Sheriff's office records, a complaint was received at 2:10 a.m. Monday morning regarding loud music and a large teen party occurring at 4516 Springview in the normally quiet Laurel Oaks neighborhood of Port LaBelle.  The complainant indicated an underage female was renting the house, and had hosted numerous rowdy weekend parties there.

11 minutes later, at 2:21 a.m., a unit from the Hendry Sheriff's office arrived on scene and questioned 19-year old Taylor Devon Jordan (pictured above), an apparent guest at the party. Later an additional officer arrives. The house is owned by an out of town owner and is rented by Theresa Milks Barber. Barber's teen daughter lives there, while Barber was apparently not at the home this particular evening and next morning.

Jordan, the only name mentioned in the incident call record, has a criminal arrest record, according to the Sheriff's office, for December 28, 2010 charges of grand theft of a firearm, armed burglary, prowling, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

In February 2012, the court ordered he pay restitution of $200 to the victim, court costs, and a pre-trial diversion program on the burglary and theft charges. The remaining charges were dropped or not prosecuted. He's been paying installments on the court costs, last paying $113.08 on June 11.

Sometime during the investigation, observers say a deputy went into the house for a period of time, apparently to see who was there and what was going on inside.

At 3:03 a.m., forty-two minutes after arrival, the deputy advised dispatch he was waiting on the home owner's representative to arrive. The owner has a daughter in LaBelle taking care of the property.

At 3:29 a.m. the deputy reported the call to the dispatch office as "closed." Deputies were on scene for one hour and eight minutes.

Sources say after the incident, an online conversation on a social media site, took place among about 15 teens indicating the Sheriff's office were looking for guests inside the house, some of whom were allegedly hiding in the house and not discovered.

Johnathon Richard L. Trnka reportedly alleges in an online conversation, that he and others were hiding in the house and avoided detection by the deputies.

In an online conversation, Trnka (mugshot pictured at left, a 21-year old 2009 Clewiston High graduate with a March 2012 arrest for cocaine possession and drug trafficking ) said, "I still can't believe me and my ni*gas had to straight anne frank that sh*t and hide in a room for hours while the cops fuc*ed up...what a crazy fuc*ing night!"

Jamie Lynn G***** (a 2011 Clewiston High grad) said, "lol mannn we had no choice. the cop made us get in the car and leave. but we came back for him and thats all that matters :)"

Trnka said, "kota's on that real sh*t, we have combined some crazy ass people from both towns haha and whitley hell yeah ended up getting 8 dollars lol all in singles from like 6 different people...thank god :) jamies right they did come back and I did make it home and thats all that matters."

Trnka added, "your right haha doesnt matter if its cops or gangs my ni*ga always manages to make it back lol"

Dorian D*** ( a 2009 LaBelle High grad) said, "Me and Braxton ****** **** went missing lol." (Note: these two LaBelle males, Dorian and Braxton were allegedly hiding out with Trnka)

Jamie Lynn G said, "lol honestly you guys were the last people i thought would get away. TBH i thought LaDanian **** took the fu*k off. lol"

Whitley **** (LaBelle High) said, "Lmboo and trnka your friends left you!! That was so da*n funny...Baylen gave us the play by play on how yall dipped. LOL" (Note: dipped meaning got away fast)

Dakota C****** (an 18-year old 2011 Clewiston High grad) said "I truly love all you guys! But I do feel like we have put some crazy Clewiston people with some crazy Labelle people Lmfao party party partyyy!!!"

Dakota added, "Haha I had to go outside with the cop and the car was there, I come back out later when he made us leave that sh*t was gone I was like hellll nadhhhh lol there slick as fuhhh and Trnka yuou know I was coming back I always come back "dennys" at 4 in the morning beating down the block lmao."

Jamie Lynn added "Nobody goes hard like us--i love you guys!" (Braxton and 8 others 'liked' the comment on the social media page)

Hendry Sheriff Seeks Official Accreditation

Public Comments Sought About Hendry County Sheriff’s Office
LABELLE, FL. -- A team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) will arrive on August 6, 2012 to examine all aspects of the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services,” Sheriff Steve Whidden announced today. “Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has to comply with approximately 260 standards in order to receive accredited status."

Whidden said, “The Assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar agencies. The assessors will review written materials; interview individuals; and visit offices and other places where compliance can be witnessed.” 

The CFA Assessment Team Leader is Brad Hodge of the Satellite Beach Police Department. Other teams members are Wendy Puglis of Martin County Sheriff’s Office and Brian Hester of St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to receive accredited status. Henry County Sheriff’s Office accreditation is for 3 years. “Verification by the team that Hendry County Sheriff’s Office meets the Commission’s accreditation is a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence” said Sheriff Whidden.

For more information regarding the CFA or for persons wishing to offer written comments about the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office ability to meet the standards of accreditation, please write: CFA, 3504 Lake Lynda Drive, Suite 380, Orlando, Florida, 32817.

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Melissa K. Reese, age 51, of Moore Haven, passed away July 5, 2012 in Clewiston, FL. She was born Nov. 26, 1960 in Clewiston, FL, to the late Ted Elbert and the late Minnie Pearl (Rouse) Reynolds.

Survivors include two sons: Gary Wayne Reese, Jr. of Moore Haven, FL, Shane Reese of Moore Haven, FL, grandchild Calib Reese. She was preceded in death by her husband Gary Wayne Reese, Sr.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston with Rev. David McClusky officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston, FL. Visitation will be Tuesday from 06:00-08:00pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.