Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes

Summer is here, so it’s time to start thinking about mosquitoes. It’s so important for you to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus infection, St. Louis encephalitis, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Once a person is infected, they may have mild symptoms which include headache, fever, dizziness, and fatigue, but other severe symptoms are also possible. Mosquito-borne diseases can cause serious illnesses and sometimes death in people of any age, but children and those over 50 are at greatest risk for severe reactions and disease.

Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent disease. Please remember the 5 D’s:

 · Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood.

· Dress – Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.

· DEET – When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing up to 30 percent DEET are recommended. Oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be effective.

· Drainage – Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, where mosquitoes lay eggs.

Tips on Repellent Use

· Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before applying a repellent.

· In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is appropriate. DEET is not recommended on children younger than 2 months old. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children less than 3 years old.

· Infants should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used over carriers and strollers when outside.

· Never apply repellents to a child’s hands. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.

· Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or onto clothing, but not under clothing. Do not apply repellent near the eyes or mouth, cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.

Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites

· Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.

· Turn over or remove any empty containers (cups, pots, buckets, etc.).

· Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.

· Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.

Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

Schools Required To Provide Healthier Food

New Changes In School Food Choices For 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that under USDA's new " Smart Snacks in School" nutrition standards, America's students will be offered healthier food options during the school day.

"Smart Snacks in School" carefully balances science-based nutrition guidelines with practical and flexible solutions to promote healthier eating on campus, drawing on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and existing voluntary standards already implemented by thousands of schools around the country, as well as healthy food and beverage offerings already available in the marketplace.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools -- beyond the federally-supported meals programs. The "Smart Snacks in School" nutrition standards, to be published this week in the Federal Register, reflect USDA's response to the nearly 250,000 comments received on the proposal earlier this year.

Highlights of the "Smart Snacks in School" nutrition standards include:

-The standards require healthier foods, more whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and leaner protein.
-Food items are lower in fat, sugar, and sodium and provide more of the nutrients kids need.
-Allowing variation by age group for factors such as portion size and caffeine content.
-Preserving the ability for parents to send their kids to school with homemade lunches or treats for activities such as birthday parties, holidays, and other celebrations; and allowing schools to continue traditions like fundraisers and bake sales.
-Schools and food and beverage companies will have an entire school year to make the necessary changes, and USDA will offer training and technical assistance every step of the way.
-Ensuring that standards only affect foods that are sold on school campus during the school day. -Foods sold at afterschool sporting events or other activities will not be subject to these requirements.
-Allowing significant local and regional autonomy by only establishing minimum requirements for schools. States and schools that have stronger standards than what is being proposed will be able to maintain their own policies.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fireworks Expected To Kill On 4th

60% of All Fireworks Injuries Occur Around July 4th

Firecrackers, Aerials, Homemade Explosives Cause Most Deaths, Injuries
Today on the grounds of the National Mall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued its annual report of deaths and injuries involving legal and illegal fireworks for calendar year 2012.

Last year, CPSC received reports of six men who were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices. In addition, an estimated 8,700 consumers were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries.

Between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012, more than 5,000 consumers were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4 holiday. 

More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.

Working with CBP, CPSC conducts surveillance on imported fireworks. During 2012, the agencies collected and tested shipments of imported fireworks for compliance with the Federal Hazardous Substance Act (FHSA). About 30 percent of the tested products were found to be in violation of the law and were immediately stopped at the U.S. port. This import surveillance program strives to keep violative and dangerous fireworks off of U.S. store shelves and roadside stands.

"These figures represent more than numbers; they represent the lives of real people who have been affected well beyond the Fourth of July," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "The federal government is working hard to keep the public safe by monitoring the ports, the marketplace, and the transportation of fireworks. Now, we need consumers to do their part and celebrate safely."

"The solid partnership between CBP, CPSC and other agencies at the Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC) enables greater sharing of information and targeting to ensure the safety of imported fireworks," said CBP Assistant Commissioner Allen Gina. "Interagency collaboration at the CTAC results in the identification and interdiction of potentially unsafe imported merchandise, including non-compliant fireworks, and truly exemplifies working together as one U.S. Government at the Border to protect American consumers."

At the national level, CBP, CPSC and the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) work side-by-side at the CTAC in Washington, DC to effectively combat the importation of illegal fireworks. The CTAC provides a platform for the agencies to share data, analyze import trends and conduct joint risk-based targeting to identify fireworks shipments that pose a safety risk.

"As the federal law enforcement agency charged with enforcing federal explosives laws, ATF actively works with other federal agencies, such as CPSC, through its fireworks enforcement program to protect the public from the dangers of illegal explosives devices," said ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones.

In Florida and many other states, any type of explosive that launches into the air, or explodes can not be legally purchased by consumers. Vendors attempt to get around the law by having consumers sign a false statement releasing the vendor from criminal or civil liability.

ATF encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

Two Dead In I-75 Crash

3,000 Gallons Of Bleach Spill After Crash

NAPLES, FL. -- A two vehicle crash on southbound Interstate 75 in Collier county this morning at 3 a.m. killed a 16-year old driving a Toyota mini van and the 48-year old driver of a semi.truck tanker.

A 2008 Toyota Sienna van, driven by Jannelle F. Arvelaez, 16 of Lehigh Acres was stopped in the outside travel lane of I-75 at miile marker 107 just before the Pine Ridge Exit. A tanker semi carrying chlorine, driven byAlexander Brener, 48 of Land O Lakes, Fl was traveling southbound on I-75 in the outside lane, approaching the Toyota from behind. 

The front of the semi struck the rear of  the Toyota and as a result, it overturned onto its side, blocking the southbound Exit 107 off ramp. The Toyota came to final rest facing east from within the west grass shoulder. 

Both drivers were ejected from their vehicles and were not wearing seat belts according to FHP Cpl. Martin Hernandez and homicide investigator Cpl. George Kantor.

The tanker was transporting approximately 4500 gallons of Hypocholoride to Coconut Creek, Florida. Approximately 3000 gallons of the Hypochloride spilled as a result of the crash. 

Exit 107 was to remain closed for several hours until the tanker contents could be transferred into another tanker and for scene clean up.

The crash remains under investigation.  Investigators do not yet know if alcohol may have been a factor for either driver.

Glades County Manager Fired Suddenly

Thomas Corbitt Now Unemployed After Less Than 90 Days On Job

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Another shake up in Glades county Tuesday as the Board of County Commissioners voted to fire the recently appointed County Manager, Thomas Corbitt.

The Board moved to terminate employment of County Manager Thomas Corbitt without cause with a 3-2 vote with a motion by Commissioner Griffin, second by Commissioner Beck and third vote by Vice Chairman Storter. Chairman Echols while Commissioner Stanley dissented.

Commissioner Donna Storter Long explained termination “without cause” means no reason is required and in fact in order to prevent jeopardy of the county in violating the liberty interests of the employee being terminated, reason cannot be given. In this case, Tom Corbitt was still under a 90-day probationary period in his employment contract and no reason is required for dismissal.

Corbitt had made several changes in the organizational structure of the county employees and had requested more changes, and had requested changes in limits to his spending authority without going to the County Commission for permission.

By a 4-1 vote with Chairman Echols dissenting, the Board appointed Road Sup’t Avant Brown and Deputy County Manager Director of Public Safety Bob Jones to run the day-to-day operations of the county until further action from the Board, with DCMDPS Bob Jones to be the lead supervisor.

In response to Vice Chairman Storter’s request, County Clerk Sandra Brown agreed to prepare the agenda packets for the Board meetings until further action from the Board and to reestablish the item “Department Heads” on the Agenda along with “County Manager’.

How To Hire A New Manager?

Vice Chairman Storter initiated dialogue concerning the Board’s desire to recruit a county manager and emphasized that when advertising for a county manager that explicit qualifications should be named and applicants not meeting those qualifications should not even be considered by the Board and that the County Attorney and HR Director should be the ones to initially screen them. 

She said she didn't want to even see a resume of an applicant that did not meet the required qualifications.

The Board had previously advertised requirement of an educational degree or equivalent experience in local government and/or public administration, with a Master’s degree preferred. Storter stated that this should be explicitly clarified in the advertisement.

She also said she was “making a one-eighty turn” in that she now thought that Commissioner Beck and Chairman Echols were right during prior recruiting processes when they both felt that county residency should not be named as a requirement.

Commissioner Beck stated $10,000 was spent in the last hiring process and he felt that before we restarted the recruitment process the Board should go back to it's second choice, Noah Powers and see if he was still available as Mr. Powers had the qualifications advertised, had worked for two senators and had been an Assistant School Board Superintendent and had handled budgets much larger.

The Board consensus was to invite Mr. Powers to the next commission meeting for an interview and for County Attorney Pringle to prepare recruiting documents for the Board to review as well.

Other Items Before The Board

In other items heard at this week's meeting the Lake Okeechobee Habitat Alliance – Curry Island Project's Jeff Allen  reported to the Board that LOHA had received a $2 million grant to be administered by Florida's Department of Environmental Protection to perform a water quality enhancement Floating Aquatic Vegetation Tillage program.

Mr. Grandusky of the engineering firm Federico & Lamb explained that water will be pumped from Fisheating Creek to flood a 50-acre parcel on LOHA’s 2700-acre lease and will be contained by embankments for the purpose of growing hyacinths that will filter the water; when the hyacinth “crop” is mature, the area will be dewatered and the hyacinths tilled into the ground thus keeping unwanted excess nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients from entering Lake Okeechobee.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Panther Kitten Found In Fakahatchee Preserve

Orphaned Kitten Has Given Birth After Release

NAPLES, FL. -- Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have discovered that a female Florida panther rescued as an orphaned kitten and raised in captivity has given birth just a few months after her release back into the wild. 

Biologists found an approximately 1-month-old female kitten Saturday in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in southwest Florida, near where they released the young adult panther onJan. 31.

“We were very excited to find this panther’s kitten,” said Dave Onorato, FWC panther biologist. “The fact that this panther has given birth is positive news for the recovery of this endangered species and a testament to the hard work of all involved in its rescue and rehabilitation.”

Biologists estimate the female panther became pregnant about three weeks after her release, when she was only 21 months old. That age is somewhat younger than the typical age of first conception for female panthers the FWC has documented.

While biologists are encouraged the female became a contributor to the population so quickly, it was not completely unexpected, given that her home range is within prime panther habitat.

After discovering the kitten over the weekend, biologists evaluated its health and tagged it for identification purposes to document whether it eventually becomes part of the adult population. An estimated 100 to 160 adult and subadult panthers remain in south Florida.

“Kitten survival rates are pretty low, but this kitten looked healthy and feisty,” said Onorato. “The kitten has a chance of one day contributing to the population as well.”

The FWC rescued the now young adult panther and its brother as 5-month-old kittens in September 2011 after their mother was found dead. They were then raised at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee until they were ready for release. The FWC released the male panther in April at the Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area in south Florida.

“The success story of this once orphaned panther giving birth in the wild following its rescue and rehabilitation would not be possible without license plate funds,” said Carol Knox, FWC’s Imperiled Species Section Leader.

Photo: MyFWCmedia

Trayvon Martin Witnesses - Dramatic Testimony Today

Former Residents Tell What They Saw - Girlfriend Testifies About Cell Call To Trayvon

SANFORD, FL. -- During Wednesday morning's murder trial of George Zimmerman,  former resident of the Sanford townhouse complex, Jane Surdyka took the witness stand and in the afternoon, the girlfriend of Trayvon Martin, now 19-year old Rachel Jeantel.

Surdyka was a resident living near the spot where 17-year old Trayvon Martin was shot on February 26, 2012.

Jane Surdyka, a former teacher was questioned by attorneys about her call to 911 and what she saw and heard that night.

Surdyka lived near the scene of the Martin shooting and called 911 having a lengthy conversation with the operator. The recording, as played to the six-member jury depicted an almost hysterical Surdyka telling a 911 operator she heard loud voices, one "dominant" and one "softer."

She says she looked outside her bedroom window and said she saw two men on the ground and knew it was "something serious," and said "something horrible was happening."

She told the 911 operator, "Oh my God, I don't know what he did to this person." She said she heard "Pop! Pop! Pop!" sounds. She tells the operator she can't stop shaking.

At one point in the recording she told the operator she didn't want to give her name. After the call, she did come out of her home and speak to a police investigator that night.

She said there were several minutes between what she heard and then what she saw outside. She assumed the two were connected but also said she couldn't pinpoint where the voices she heard were coming from. "Everything happened to quickly and I was so nervous," she told attorneys for Zimmerman's defense during cross-examination.

During her testimony she said she thought the "soft" voice she heard asking for help was the "boy on the ground" (Martin), saying she thought the other voice she heard must have been a man's voice.

Surdyka had in the last year appeared in disguise on a national television show telling her story, including the idea that she thought Martin was the one crying out for help that night.

Jeannee Manolo, a resident of the townhouse community, testified that she heard cries for help and saw two people hitting each other. After watching news reports she thought Zimmerman was on top of Martin based on photos she saw of Trayvon when he was 11 years old. She thought Zimmerman must have been the bigger of the two, but in court admitted she didn't know who was actually bigger.

Martin's Girlfriend Testifies About Cell Phone Call Minutes Before He Died

19-year old Rachel Jeantel told the court she was on the phone with Martin, who said he was being followed by a "creepy ass cracker." The phone was disconnected and she called him back and her reported he was near his father's girlfriend's home. A few seconds later he said, "Oh, sh--" and then "The ni--- behind me."

The last thing she heard him say was, "Why you following me for?" And said she heard a "hard-breathing man" say, "What are you doing around here?" And finally she said Trayvon said "Get off, get off."

Jeantel said she didn't learn about Martin's death until two days later, although had heard rumor at school that he was dead. She said Tracy Martin, Trayvon's father called her and that was the first time she knew.

She couldn't explain a 30 minute gap from the time Trayvon left the nearby 7-11 convenience store and the time when Zimmerman made the first call to police notifying them of a suspicious person.

She admitted lying to Trayvon's mother, Sybrina Fulton about her age, saying she was 16 when she really was 18. She also lied, saying she was in the hospital as a reason to not go to the funeral.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

DUI Checkpoint Coming On State Road

LABELLE, FL. - The Florida Highway Patrol, Fort Myers District, will conduct a Comprehensive Roadside Safety Checkpoint (DUI Checkpoint) on June 28, 2013, commencing at 11:00 p.m. near 1830 State Road 29, Labelle, Florida.

The operation will cease at 2:00 a.m. on June 29, 2013. FHP sets up such details to proactively remove impaired drivers from the roadways and ultimately enhance the safety of the motoring public. Troopers conducting the checkpoint will monitor those who pass through to ensure they are properly licensed and driving sober.

Driving impaired from alcohol or drugs put everyone on the roadways in danger. Florida law considers a driver with .08 or higher Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to be impaired. Drivers under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are also in violation of Florida law.

The Florida Highway Patrol would like to remind everyone that *FHP (*347) dialed from any cell phone contacts FHP should you need to report an aggressive driver or require roadside assistance.

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Julie Pinter, age 82, of Moore Haven, passed away June 22, 2013 in Lehigh Acres.

She was the daughter of Vincent and Lena Csiti. She married Joseph J. Pinter; he preceded her in death. She was a real estate manager for many years.

She is survived by her son - Joseph and his wife Sylvia, her daughter - Susan Karkowski and her husband Jack; grandchildren - Joseph Jr and his wife Ana, Donna, William, Julianne, Sarah along with her many great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many local, national and international friends.

The family would like to thank her dear friends and neighbors for all their help throughout her illness.

Cremation arrangements are incomplete with Akin-Davis Funeral Home.

Jose Dolores Ramirez, 81, of LaBelle and Hialeah, Florida died on Thursday, June 20th, 2013. 

He was born on Mar. 1st, 1932 in Managua, Nicaragua and moved to South Florida in the 1950's. He graduated from Miami Central High School. 

He married the late Cathryn Bosdell in 1954 while serving in the United States Army at Fort Gordon, Georgia. They lived together in Grovetown, Ga., before relocating to Miami in 1954. 

Throughout his life, Jose was proud to be an American and dedicated his life to serving the United States as a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant; and, with the United States Customs Service as a U.S. Customs Inspector in Miami, Florida. He retired from the US Customs Service in 1989. 

Jose is survived by his sister, Blanca Flautt of Jacksonville, FL and four children: Jose S. Ramirez, Mark L. Ramirez, Linda C. Rodriguez and Virginia L. Perry. He also is survived by ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. 

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the St. Bernadette Community Outreach program. A private burial will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 26th, 2013.  Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle

Monday, June 24, 2013

Opening Statement In Trayvon Martin Murder Trial

"Knock Knock" Joke Starts Defense Opening

SANFORD, FL. -- Attorney for George Zimmerman, Don West made his opening statements quietly this morning at 10:45 a.m. explaining why some family members were not in the courtroom, and pointing out the tragic nature of this trial where there is no winners.

West's opening will turn out to be many times longer than the prosecution's opening statement, and showing many photo exhibits to the six-member jury in this second degree murder trial.

"The evidence will show that this is a sad case. There are no monsters here,." says West.  Then West proceeds to tell a knock knock joke: Knock, Knock Who's There? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman Who? "All right. Good. You're on the jury."

West then begins with showing the six-member jury blow up photos of the townhome apartment complex and streets where the February 26, 2012 events took place and lays out how Zimmerman left in his silver Honda truck to go shopping at Target a few minutes after 7 p.m., and sees Trayvon Martin cutting through houses to enter the community.

Little did Zimmerman know, said West, that he would be "sucker punched" in the face by Martin and the 17-year old youth would be shot dead with Zimmerman's Kel-Tec PF-9, a 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

Crime was on the rise in the community in 2011 when a crime watch group was organized, said West. An attempted apartment break-in had occurred several weeks before the events of February, 2012. The members were asked to call 911 if they noticed anything suspicious or a non-emergency number, which is the number Zimmerman called February 26.

West explained that the notion that Zimmerman was asked by the police dispatcher in the original call to not follow Martin but did so anyway was false. West plays the non-emergency call Zimmerman made to the police in Sanford and then goes through the timeline of events using the courtroom video projection display system.

West continues with playing the several minute long audio of Zimmerman;s call reporting a suspicious person to the Sanford police again. West presumably uses the audio to negate the prosecution's contention that Zimmerman's act was of "hate" or "confrontation."

Next played to the jury, is an audio from a call to the Sanford emergency services from a townhouse resident reporting the incident, screams and a gunshot is heard on the tape. West told the jury, this was the best recording available and was recorded with a cellphone located about 20 to 30 feet from the screams and gunshot sound.

West pointed out cell phone technology is not the best for sound quality, apparently trying to counteract some opinions about who was making the screaming sounds, Zimmerman or Martin. Other people also heard the screams, said West but the reports were not all in agreement with each other.

West said Martin fell forward onto Zimmerman after being shot. Witness John Good was about 10 to 15 feet away, said West, and said he wasn't at first sure what he was seeing in the dark, but once outside his apartment was able to describe the clothing worn by Zimmerman and Martin, and with the clothing description as described by Good, West indicates Martin was on top of Zimmerman.

Another witness Jonathan Manolo, said West, took a cell phone picture of Zimmerman seconds after the shooting showing a wound on the back of Zimmerman's head and a picture of the now dead Martin with his legs in a position as if he was riding a bike. West suggested the position was because his legs were straddling Zimmerman.

Tim Smith of the Sanford Police handcuffed Zimmerman, said West, and placed in the patrol car. Another officer, Mike Wagner took a picture of Martin and Zimmerman before other investigators arrived to try to see if anyone in the neighborhood could identify them. The jury is shown the photos of Zimmerman pointing out abrasions on his face, and other photos indicating bumps on the head consistent with Zimmerman's "head impacting concrete."

West relates that Zimmerman was released by the police after questioning, and how the next day Zimmerman's co-workers saw him after he reported to work to ask for a day off to go to a doctor at Altamonte Family Practice. He later met with the police to make a video reenactment.

At 12:30 court recessed until 1:30 p.m. at which time the defense will continue their opening statement.

Zimmerman Trial Begins With Obscenities

State's Opening Argument Begins With Words You Can't Say On TV

SANFORD, FL. -- The second degree murder trial of George Zimmerman in the lethal shooting of Trayvon Martin started at 9 a.m. this morning with motions to exclude family members and representatives of the Zimmerman and victim Trayvon Martin's family.

Court rules allow the judge to exclude anyone from the courtroom if they are on a witness list. There are some possible witnesses to be called by defense attorney, Mark O'Mara that are not on the list yet. Civil rights attorney and Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump was one of the parties O'Mara said might be called.

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson said she would rule later, and moved along to allow the six-member jury to enter and begin opening statements. The jury entered about 9:20 while the Judge had a brief side bar with the attorneys.

At 9:28 the Judge asked preliminary questions of the jury, all of whom have been sequestered, about any watching of news events, or conversations about the case since they last met. She also explained the "rules of the road" about how the trial will proceed and that they may not discuss the trial among themselves or anyone else. The jury members are allowed to take private notes.

The State, trying to show Zimmerman's alleged "hate" began it's very detailed opening statement by Assistant State Attorney John Guy with obscenities uttered by Zimmerman the night of the incident. "F--ing punks. These A--holes, they always get away." And described how "two worlds" collided that night as a neighborhood watch Captain killed 5' 8" 159 pound, 17-year old Martin on the rainy night of February 26, 2012.

Martin had ventured out to a local convenience store a half mile from where he was staying to buy Skittles and a drink. Zimmerman had a handgun in his waistband while driving his SUV around his neighborhood and noticed what he described to a police dispatcher as a suspicious person. Zimmerman followed Martin and shot him, claiming self defense.

The State hopes to prove otherwise with it's witnesses and evidence in what will be a trial lasting between two and four weeks.

Where Are Gas Prices Moving This Summer?

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 2.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.49/g yesterday, according to a daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has fallen 3.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.57/g, according to gasoline price website

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 25.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 2.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has decreased 9.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 12.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"Relief continues to show up at pumps in the Great Lakes, while the opposite trend has started in California," said Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Gasoline prices are certainly a bit wacky right now across the country with prices moving in difference directions, but from what we saw in the last few days with oil prices, I'm hopeful that most areas of the United States will see new or continued relief for at least the first half of this week, with some areas seeing a continued drop for most of this week," DeHaan said.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lightsey's Fish Company & Restaurant - Health Report

Scenic Restaurant Site - Some Food Safety Problems Reported

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- With a generally good reputation over the decades, Lightsey's Fish Company And Restaurant in Okeechobee county has recently opened a branch in Glades County at the Hendry Isles resort area.

Located just north of State Road 80, east of LaBelle on a scenic bluff above the Caloosahatchee River. In January 2013, Lightsey's has taken over the old building that has housed numerous restaurants over the years. 

And directly across the street from where a dozen years ago apartments stood. The residential building burned down after a careless tenant was smoking in bed, say old timers.

Not a fancy place, but out of the way and quiet. Sunday Buffet in June 2013 was served from noon until 6 p.m. at a cost of $18.95. No other service was available other than the buffet.

Location: 1679 Indian Hills Drive, phone (863) 805-0686

The restaurant's latest Florida food safety inspection was made in April, 2013. Their first inspection was in January, where the inspector found an "Intermediate" level food safety violation.

The January inspection report said "Raw or undercooked oysters offered and establishment has no consumer advisory sign provided on wall, menu, placard, table tent or by any other written means. Raw animal foods must be fully cooked prior to service."

Here's the food safety violations the inspector found in April:

High Priority - Raw animal food stored over cooked food.raw hush puppy mix over ready to eat sauces **Corrected On-Site**
High Priority - Raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food.bacon stored over raw vegetables **Corrected On-Site**
Basic - Old labels stuck to food containers after cleaning.
Intermediate - Accumulation of food debris/grease on food-contact surface.on mixer head
Basic - Clean equipment/dishware/utensils stored next to handwash/food preparation sink exposed to splash.observed clean dish rack hanging pots and utensils over dirty dish per wash exposed to splash and food debris.
Intermediate - No soap provided at handwash employee bathroom **Corrected On-Site**
Basic - Ceiling in disrepair.ceiling at dry storage / walkin cooler hanging with water damage and blackened plaster
Intermediate - Spray bottle containing toxic substance not labeled.
Basic - Carbon dioxide/helium tanks not adequately secured.

Pilot And Wing Walker Crash At Air Show

Wing Walker And Pilot Dead In Fiery Crash

DAYTON, OH. -- A stunt pilot and a female wing walker were instantly killed as their biplane crashed into the ground Saturday in Dayton.

Officials have not released the identities of the victims, but Jane Wicker was a veteran pilot and wing walker with 25-years experience and on the program today at the Dayton Air Show. The pilot of the stunt plane was Charlie Schwenker.

The graphic video by WHIO TV shows the plane low to the ground turning upside down as part of the show, but then failing to keep straight and level, then crashing quickly to the ground within several seconds due to the extreme low level maneuver.

Officials from Punta Gorda's Florida International Air Show, where the flying act had performed in March said this afternoon, "The Florida International Air Show is mourning the loss of Wing Walker Jane Wicker and her pilot who were tragically killed earlier today while performing at the Vectren Dayton Airshow.

“So sad to hear Jane Wicker just died in a crash at the Dayton Air Show. What a privilege it was to meet and visit with her, and fly in Aurora. The Air Show community lost an amazing individual today”, said Lindsey Barfield, Director of Marketing, FIAS.

"The entire Air Show community sends our condolences and prayers to the families of Jane and pilot Charlie Schwenker. She was an integral part of our Air Show family and will be greatly missed. We feel blessed to have had her grace the skies of Southwest Florida this past March."

Video: USA Today, WHIO-TV, AP

Elderly Man Dies Crashing Into Tree

Driver Fails To Stop At End Of Road And Strikes Tree

Naples, Fl. -- A 2000 Buick four-door car was eastbound on Beck Blvd. about 6:05 a.m. Saturday morning approaching the end of Beck Blvd, as driver Jose Antonio Pineiro, 76 of Tampa failed to stop his vehicle.

The car traveled past the end of Beck Blvd (Collier County Road 84) at Benfield Road and onto a two-rut dirt path and subsequently traveled onto the north shoulder and struck a tree with the right front of the car which then overturned rear over front and came to rest on its roof facing west.

Pineiro was pronounced deceased on scene according to FHP Trooper Cpl. J.E. Gissendaner. At this time it is unknown if alcohol was a factor said the FHP.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Scam Alert - Walmart And Target Card Scams

Free Gift Cards Not So Free
LABELLE, FL. -- Recently Hendry County residents have reported a postcard that states the recipient is eligible to receive $100 in gift savings only good at Wal-Mart or Target. These postcards are appearing in mailboxes around the county.

Sadly, this is the gift (card) that keeps on giving…right into the scammer’s pockets. Postcards are being dropped into the mailboxes of residents in Hendry County telling them they are trying to reach them with exciting news about an unclaimed reward. 

They ask the recipient to call them at a toll free number to claim their gift card. The sender lists a claim number at the bottom of the card. Once you call the number listed, you are urged to provide a “Visa or MasterCard number to cover a processing fee of $6.95 for activation and shipping to your mailing address”.

This is a new twist on a familiar scam involving gift cards that used e-mail and text messaging in the past. Now it appears scammers are specifically targeting seniors who may not be familiar with texting and email communication.

“Be suspicious of any contest or sweepstakes that asks for an upfront fee,” said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden. “Legitimate sweepstakes companies will not ask you to pay handling fees, taxes or other charges.” Winning is free; a gift is something given willingly to someone without payment.

Wal-Mart and Target have no connection with reward and gift savings sweepstakes and do not partner with agencies that encourage consumers to spend money on “sponsor offers” in the belief that they will eventually receive a high value gift card. However, after fulfilling the “sponsor offers” the consumer may never even receive the gift card.
Protect yourself:
· Do not provide personal information to claim “prizes” or sign up for “free trial”.
· Never give your credit card number, social security number or bank account information to pay for fees, taxes, or shipping costs for anything that you may have ‘won’ or are getting for ‘free’. A true sweepstakes will not make a winner pay fees.
· Check your bank statements and credit cards on a regular basis for unauthorized charges
· Contact local law enforcement and report any suspicious activity

Agricultural Deputy Elected To New Office

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Charles White of Clewiston, Florida is an Agricultural Unit Sergeant with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office and was elected as President of the Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit (FACIU) at their annual training seminar in Daytona Beach on May 16.

FACIU is a Non-Profit organization made up of law enforcement officers in the specialized field of agricultural related crimes investigations with the purpose of sharing information on crimes affecting the agricultural communities throughout the great State of Florida.

The Intelligence Unit began in 1978 with the gathering of agricultural deputies from several counties along
with the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement. By 1980, these meetings evolved into an intelligence exchange unit known as the Florida Citrus and Cattle Intelligence Unit. In 1985, the organization changed its name to the Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit.

Ag Deputies are responsible for the investigation of a wide variety of farming, ranching and agricultural related crimes that can be anything from theft of livestock, plants, farm equipment, fuel or metal to trespassing, improper use of four-wheelers, illegal dumping, loose livestock on the highway.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office offers a county-wide farm/ranch watch program that works in the same
way as a neighborhood crime watch. The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has two full time Ag Deputies and
three part-time Reserves that are hands-on with ranchers, farmers and land owners introducing ways to
secure equipment, sheds, vehicles, produce and livestock in order to deter crime.

Sergeant White began his law enforcement career in 1978 as a Fish and Wildlife Officer, serving in Broward,
Collier and Hendry County. In 1982, he joined US Sugar as Captain of Security. In 1998, this Captain of Security was converted into a contracted law enforcement position through the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office where White continued serving as an Agricultural Investigator and in 2009 was promoted to Sergeant of the Ag Unit.

Sergeant White said he is honored to serve as the unit’s President and proud to represent Hendry County.

White has been a member of FACIU since 1984 and served as last year’s President of the Southern States
Livestock and Recovery Enforcement Association, which consists of Law Enforcement Officers across the
Nation. White’s first action, as FACIU President is for the unit to participate in the Florida Cattlemen’s
Association Convention in Marco Island during the week of June 17.

The Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit website partnered with the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement and is shared under the Florida Fusion Center Network site. If you are looking for an Ag Deputy in your county or wish to join FACIU, contact your local law enforcement agency and ask to speak with one of Ag Deputies.

As a member of the Southwest Florida Large Animal Rescue Team, Sergeant White (black shirt/cowboy hat) assisted with the rescue of a horse that had fallen into a ditch bank along the river and couldn’t get out on her own. They were able to hoist the horse out of the ditch and after being checked out by a local Vet, the horse was walked home by her owner.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Teacher Training Failing Says New Study

Edison State College On "Consumer Alert" List For Poor Performance

LABELLE, FL. -- The National Council On Teacher Quality released it's 2013 report Monday examining teacher training programs at over 1,100 universities and colleges in the U.S. Among the findings are that one in seven schools are so-called "low performing schools" in turning out quality teachers prepared for their first years of teaching.

Only one school in Florida rated highly, the University of Central Florida with 3 stars for it's secondary education program and special ed program.

Edison State College in Southwest Florida rated only 2 stars for it's secondary education program but received a "warning" symbol and "consumer alert" for getting no stars in it's elementary education program and was listed as having one of the lowest performing programs to prepare teachers.

Ohio State University was the only school in the nation rated with 3 or more stars for both elementary and secondary school teacher training.

The report highlights the preparation of teachers for elementary and secondary schools at the nation's universities and colleges saying the council "finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms with ever-increasing ethnic and socioeconomic student diversity."

Altogether, the Review provides data on the 1,130 institutions that prepare 99 percent of the nation’s traditionally trained new teachers.

The report continues "Once the world leader in educational attainment, the United States has slipped well into the middle of the pack. Countries that were considered little more than educational backwaters just a few years ago have lept to the forefront of student achievement."

Summarizing it's findings on a rating system of four starts being the best, "Less than 10 percent of rated programs earn three stars or more. Only four programs, all secondary, earn four stars: Lipscomb and Vanderbilt, both in Tennessee; Ohio State University; and Furman University in South Carolina. Only one institution, Ohio State, earns more than three stars for both an elementary (3½ stars) and a secondary (4 stars) program."

Read the full report and each school's rating on Teacher Training At America's Universities

Editor's note: The editor is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Education.

Motorcycle Crash Kills Driver

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL. -- A motorcyclist died Monday night about 8:53 p.m. at Charlotte County Road 771 and Keystone Blvd.

A 2011 Harley Davidson driven by George Souza, 64 of Port Charlotte was traveling south on CR-771 as a 1995 Toyota 4 Runner driven by Joshua Wayne Sharpe, 27 of Englewood was traveling north on CR-771.

According to FHP Trooper L. Papp and Investigator Corporal G Kantor, the motorcycle entered the left turn lane and initiated a left turn onto Keystone Blvd. and entered the intersection and the path of the Toyota. 

The front of the motorcycle collided with the front of the Toyota and the impact pushed the motorcycle to the east shoulder and came to final rest on the east shoulder facing south laying on the left side. 

The Toyota came to final rest on the east shoulder. The driver and his two children had no injuries.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tai Chi For Better Balance Students Complete Course

LABELLE, FL. -- Students of Suzanne Clarke recently completed a Tai Ji Quan course "Moving For Better Balance" at the L.J. Nobles Senior Center in LaBelle.

The course is based on traditional Chinese Tai Chi and promotes better balance for seniors taking the 12 week course. The course was sponsored by Senior Choices of Southwest Florida and Hope Health Services.

The course was developed by Dr. Fuzhong Li, of the Oregon Research Institute in Eugene, Oregon and has been recognized by the Center For Disease Control as effective in preventing falls and injuries.

Dr. Li was recently in Fort Myers giving a training course for new Tai Ji Quan teachers. Among those completing the course were Mary Bartoshuk and Don Browne, both of LaBelle.

Four Teens Arrested In ATV Heist

Four Kids Arrested Then Released To Guardians
LABELLE, FL. -- On June 13, 2013 after receiving a report of a stolen ATV, Hendry County Deputies followed up on leads that lead them to the arrest of four juveniles.

It was reported to Hendry County Deputies that 15 year olds Julian Caballero and Felix Quinones and 14 year old Clayton Thomas, all of Montura Ranch Estates and 14 year old Luis A. Vega, of Clewiston, Florida had been seen riding an all terrain vehicle, matching the description of the one reported stolen earlier in the day. Witnesses reported they had seen the juveniles riding throughout the Montura Ranch community.

Deputies were able to locate the juveniles who willingly lead law enforcement officers to a heavily wooded area, where they had hidden the ATV.

Deputies took the juveniles into custody charging them with Criminal Mischief and Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle. All four juveniles were transported to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office and later released to their guardians.

Lifestyle Lift Gets In Bit Of Trouble Over Ads

Customer Refunds Available For Facial Rejuvenation Services
TALLAHASSEE, FL. – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that her office has reached a settlement with Lifestyle Lift Holding, Inc., a company that provides facial rejuvenation services.

Lifestyle Lift is a national facial cosmetic surgery practice with headquarters based in Troy, Michigan. The procedure is advertised as a minimally invasive, short flap face lift performed under local anesthesia.

The settlement follows the office's investigation of allegations surrounding the accuracy and fairness of claims made to consumers about facial rejuvenation services provided at Lifestyle Lift medical centers.

“Lifestyle Lift has agreed to change its marketing materials and practices to eliminate any possible consumer confusion about its services,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

In 2009 Lifestyle Lift reached a settlement with New York state over claims it had posted false customer endorsements on third-party websites, including, and on some websites the company had created for the purpose. Lifestyle Lift was ordered to pay $300,000 to the state, and it agreed to cease the practice. In 2010, the Florida Attorney General's office opened an investigation to determine whether Lifestyle Lift's marketing practices constituted deceptive advertising. Lifestyle Lift claimed its procedures were safer, less expensive, with faster recovery times.

As a result of the Florida investigation Lifestyle Lift must disclose any compensation made to the models used in its advertisements and its materials, disclose what facial rejuvenation services were performed on models appearing in the company's marketing materials, and comply with Federal Trade Commission guidelines concerning the use of before and after photographs of models in endorsements and testimonials in marketing materials. 

The company has also agreed not to use the term “revolutionary procedure” in its advertising to describe the basic Lifestyle Lift surgical procedure.

Florida consumers who purchased services between June 1, 2009 and June 10, 2013 may be entitled to obtain a refund. Eligible consumers are required to submit a claim form to the company postmarked no later than Sept. 8, 2013. 

A copy of the settlement agreement and claim forms can be found by following this link:$file/Lifestyle+Lift.pdf

Kiwanis Awarding Adult Tuition Scholarships

Kiwanis Supports Education – Deadline for Adult Scholarships July 1st
LABELLE, FL. -- The LaBelle Kiwanis Club is accepting applications for adult scholarships through July 1st. The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle believes in education and awards annual scholarships to adult students which are selected by the club’s scholarship committee. The scholarships are designed to recognize and support local adults looking to achieve higher education. 

The scholarships are applied towards the student’s tuition.
Applications can be picked up and dropped off at the Kiwanis Thrift Store which is located at 155 S. Bridge Street. For more information, you can call the Kiwanis Thrift Store at (863) 675-4043.

Gas Prices Rise For Beginning Of Summer

Florida 20 Cents Higher Than Last Year

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 5.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.51/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.61/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 20.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 5.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has decreased 5.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 8.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"The national average has continued its downward decline in the last week, likely being helped by relief in the Great Lakes, a region that had been plagued with refining issues that have seemingly been resolved," said Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "While the national average stands higher than it did a year ago, we likely will see the average decline, and for motorists in the Great Lakes, the downward trend should mean well needed relief at the pump."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Florida Exhibits At Paris Air Show

Governor Visits Paris - Hopes For New Aerospace Business

PARIS, FRANCE -- Today, Governor Rick Scott met with Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley at the Aerospace Alliance meeting in Paris. The Aerospace Alliance's goal is to establish the Southeast U.S. region as a world-class aerospace and aviation corridor. The Alliance promotes the region's common assets and excellence in the aerospace industry. Member states include: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Florida has an exhibit at one of the world's largest annual air shows

Gray Swoope, Florida Secretary of Commerce, and President & CEO, Enterprise Florida said, “Over the last two years Enterprise Florida has increased its collaboration with its partners to promote Florida on big stages. This year’s pavilion has to be one of the best to achieve our objective at the show, selling Florida products, telling aviation aerospace strengths and recruiting new businesses to the state. 

In addition to companies exhibiting, we have Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and communities from across the state here, giving prospective international businesses a great idea of Florida’s strong presence in the aviation and aerospace industry. There is no question that Governor Scott and our entire delegation came to compete for jobs at this year’s show.”

Companies participating in the Florida Pavilion include Aerospace Precision, an FAA and EASA Repair Station located in Hollywood, Florida, Loos & Co., Inc. Cableware Division, Associated Aircraft Manufacturing and Sales, JBT AeroTech, Future Metals, Turbopower, LLC, Commercial Jet – Advanced MRO Solutions, and BRPH Architects – Engineers, Inc.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

ATV Crash Kills One - Injures Two

Passenger Dies At Scene - Two Injured 

NAPLES, Fl. -- An ATV apparently traveling illegally on a Collier street Saturday afternoon at 12:23 p.m. crashed into a truck, killing a passenger on the ATV and injuring both drivers.

A Polaris Ranger ATV traveled south on 10th Street NE in Golden Gate on the west shoulder and was approaching the intersection of County Road 876 (Golden Gate Blvd) as a 2004 Ford F-250 truck traveled east on County Road 876 (Golden Gate Blvd) on the eastbound lane and was approaching the intersection of 10th Street NE.

The ATV driver, Antolyn M. Pelaez, 57 of Naples attempted to cross C.R. 876 and entered the truck's path which had the right of way. The driver of the truck was Phillip Ziegler, 29 of Naples.

The ATV front left struck the truck's right front at the intersection. The impact ejected both occupants of the ATV including passenger Edy Almas-Delgado, 55 of Naples.

The truck traveled in a southeasterly direction and entered the south shoulder east of the intersection. The ATV came to final rest faced southwest in the intersection. The truck came to final rest faced east in shrubbery on the south shoulder east of the intersection and the initial area of collision.

Pelaez' passenger, Almas-Delgado was pronounced deceased at the scene. Pelaez was transported by air ambulance to Lee Memorial in critical condition. Ziegler was transported to NCH in serious condition according to FHP Trooper Jeff Benoit and Homicide Investigator Cpl. Andrew Close.

Charges are pending against the ATV driver, Pelaez and alcohol was said to be a factor in the crash.

One Dead On Rural Road As Jeep Overturns

Missing Vehicle Sought By Investigators

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- A 4:58 a.m. crash Saturday morning took the life of an unidentified male on a rural Glades county, Florida road next to Lake Okeechobee.

A 2008 Jeep Patriot was traveling south on SR 78 east near Banana near Banana Grove Road, while a 2003 Chevy Suburban was traveling north on SR 78 E. For unknown reason, the Jeep crossed the center lane divider causing it's left front to strike the left front of the Suburban in the northbound lane.

FHP Trooper Y.D. Yale indicates the driver of the Jeep (name withheld pending next-of-kin notification) may have been attempting to pass other traffic witnessed in the area, described as a white automobile and/or a white pick-up towing a boat trailer.

The Jeep rotated counterclockwise while traveling southwest, struck a concrete barrier wall with its front end and overturned before coming to final rest in the southbound lane on its roof, facing
south. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

The Suburban, driven by Alejandro Sanchez Ruiz, 20 of Okeechobee, rotated counter-clockwise, struck a concrete wall and guardrail with its left rear before coming to final rest in the northbound lane upright and facing southwest. Ruiz had minor injuries and was transported to St. Mary's Hospital.

Evidence at the scene indicated that the unknown third vehicle had been traveling south on SR 78 E and collided with debris in the roadway, causing it to become disabled; however, it departed the scene prior to the arrival of emergency responders.

Five passengers from Okeechobee were traveling in the third vehicle, two sustained minor injuries. All five were wearing seatbelts.

The FHP requests that anybody having information related to this traffic crash contact Corporal J. Rongish at 239-344-1730 ex. 1192 or Crime-Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS.

Charges are pending further investigation.

Movie Tickets And Meal For Blood

Donating Blood Now Gets Movie Tickets And Dinner Coupons
LABELLE, FL. -- The Blood Mobile, operated by OneBlood will be at the Hendry County Health Department (1140 Pratt Blvd, LaBelle) on June 19th from 10:00am to 4:00pm

All donors will receive a voucher for a free movie ticket, a coupon for $5.00 off two entrees at Outback Steakhouse. Additionally, if you donate blood two times between June 1st and September 30th 2013 you will receive a free steak dinner compliments of Outback Steakhouse and all donors can enter into a contest for a chance to win “Outback for a year.”

All donors receive a wellness checkup including blood pressure, temperature, iron count and cholesterol screening. You must bring photo ID.

When you donate blood with Florida's Blood Centers (Now called "OneBlood"), you are making an immediate contribution to the health and welfare of your community. Blood is needed by patients facing planned and unplanned medical procedures, such as trauma victims, cancer patients and premature babies. Blood is usually transfused into patients at local hospitals within 48 hours after you donate, so please give blood today.

About OneBlood

The large Orlando, Florida non-profit organization had a 2012 income of $8,106,000 received for blood processing and testing, and employs over 900 people paying salaries totaling $3,247,000.

In 2012 they paid Creative Testing Solutions of Phoeniz, Az. $1,209,000 as an "independent contractor" for testing blood, and other expenses included $1,194,000 for medical supplies, and $446,000 for "donor awards."

Financial Documents For OneBlood (Florida's Blood Centers)

Juvenile Detention Facilities Not Places You Want To Visit

46% Of Youth Victims Of Property Theft Says Report
A new report from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice indicates crime against juveniles in detention facilities is common, ranging from theft and robbery to assaults.

The report presents key findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (SYRP) on youth’s victimization in placement, including their experiences of theft, robbery, physical assault, and sexual assault. 

SYRP is the only national survey that gathers data directly from youth in custody, using anonymous interviews. The report describes a variety of youth characteristics and facility conditions that correlate with victimization rates and identifies a core set of risk factors that predict the probability of a youth experiencing violence in custody. 

Results indicate that 46% of youth had their property stolen in their absence, 10% were directly robbed, 29% were threatened or beaten, 9% were beaten or injured, and 4% were forced to engage in sexual activity.
Full Report: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice

Florida Highway Patrol Ace Awardees

Outstanding Service Awards To FHP Members

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Fort Myers, Fla. – In an effort to recognize outstanding work achievement and service, the Florida Highway Patrol and department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in collaboration with the Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Council and the DHSMV Advisory Group, created the ACE Awards, which stands for Advisory Committee Excellence Award Presentation.

Each FHP Troop selected a recipient from the following job classifications: trooper, auxiliary trooper, civilian and regional communications duty officer. These members were selected based upon their exemplary performance during the 2012 calendar year.

The award ceremony was conducted on June 14, 2013 in Fort Myers, Florida by Chief Miguel Guzman and Acting Troop Commander Captain John Donovan.

This year’s Troop F ACE Award recipients were:

• Trooper John McGrede
• Auxiliary Trooper Roberson Aponte
• FHP Administrative Assistant Esther Maldonado
• Regional Duty Officer Supervisor Shawna Bond

Congratulations to all ACE Award recipients for their continued service and dedication to the Florida Highway Patrol and the citizens of the State of Florida.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Amazon Coming To Florida? 6% Tax Coming Too!

Proposed Amazon Warehouse Means 6% Sales Tax To Floridians
TAMPA, FL. -- Florida Governor Rick Scott says Amazon, one the largest online retailers in the world, may be coming to the Tampa area, building a 1-million square foot warehouse in Hillsborough County.

If the Hillsborough county commissioner approve a deal to give a $6.6 million incentive deal to the company, Amazon promises to bring about 1,000 jobs to the area.

If the plan becomes a reality, consumers in Florida would for the first time pay, a 6% Florida sales tax on all online purchases through Amazon. Currently, state taxes are not collected on internet purchases because Amazon does not have a physical presence in the state.

The planned warehouse and processing facility near I-75 and State Road 674 in Ruskin will cost about $200 million.

Scam Alert - Insurance Benefit Information

"State Regulated Program To Pay Your Final Expenses" - Not What It Seems

LABELLE, FL. -- Florida residents are now receiving letters from Durant, OK advising "2013 New Special Benefits Update." What looks like a notice to advertise some type of special state benefit program is only a disguise to get your personal information in order to sell you burial insurance.

Inside the white envelope is a green card saying the recipient "may qualify for a state regulated program to pay for your final expenses..."  The card continues saying if you qualify for this benefit it will pay up to 100% of all funeral expenses.

But be aware the mailing from Benefits Processing Center in Durant, OK is actually a way to get your personal information, including your signature and age of yourself and your spouse along with your phone number.

If you send the info, be prepared to receive phone calls from sales people trying to sell you death insurance, sometimes called funeral insurance. One of the most expensive types of insurance, this outfit does not indicate on the mailing that it's actually trying to get your information in order to sell you an insurance policy.

They can mention "a state regulated program" on the mailing because all insurance companies selling policies in Florida are regulated by the Florida Insurance Commissioner's office.

But consumers should know this company is not offering any kind of program operated by the state, contrary to what they may lead you to believe.

The real clue is the disclaimer at the bottom of the mailing in small print "Not Affiliated With Any Government Agency."

Advice: If you want to purchase burial insurance contact your regular local insurance agent. Always compare costs and benefits with several companies before purchasing. Don't give out personal information blindly by mail or phone.

Two Manatees Released After Rescue And Rehab

BOCA GRANDE, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and partners released two rehabilitated manatees rescued during the recent red tide bloom Thursday in Boca Grande in southwest Florida. 

These are the first rescued manatees affected by the recent red tide to be released.

The larger male released Thursday was the first rescued suffering from red tide effects during the recent bloom in October. That manatee was moved from the zoo to SeaWorld Orlando earlier this year for care until its release to ensure the zoo had space for critical care cases. The FWC and partners rescued the smaller female manatee in March, and it remained at the zoo until Thursday’s release.

Through extensive response efforts, the FWC and partners rescued 16 manatees suffering from the effects of a red tide bloom that was documented from late last September to April. Fifteen manatees survived after they were initially taken to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for treatment.

Once rescued manatees are rehabilitated, marine mammal researchers aim to release them near their rescue location, due to the manatees’ familiarity with the area. As harmful effects of the recent bloom have waned, FWC biologists have determined these rehabilitated manatees can now be released safely. More manatee releases are planned in the next two months.

Red tide is the preliminary cause of death for 270 manatees in 2013, a single-year record. Manatees are mainly exposed to the red tide toxin through ingestion of food such as seagrass with accumulated toxin levels.

FPL Electric Power Plant Back To Square One?

Seminole Tribe Wins Court Appeal - Stalling Power Plant
CLEWISTON, FL. -- In an effort to stop the construction of a Florida Power And Light generating plant in Hendry county, Florida, the Seminole Tribe of Florida Wednesday won a reversal opinion in an appellate court this week.

The Tribe filed an appeal against a prior court ruling in favor of Hendry County, Florida Power & Light Co. and McDaniel Reserve Realty Holdings. LLC which rezoned thousands of acres of farmland.

McDaniel Reserve had asked Hendry County to rezone 3.123 acres of agricultural land in southern Hendry county adjacent to the Seminole Tribe's reservation land an received the rezoning asked for. The ultimate plan was for McDaniel to sell it to FPL which intended to build a power plant.

In May 2011, at McDaniel's request, the County passed Ordinance 2011-07, which rezoned eleven parcels of land (3123 acres) from general agricultural use to a Planned Unit Development (PUD). The sole purpose of the rezoning ordinance was to allow construction of an electric power plant on the land.

McDaniel subsequently sold the land to Florida Power & Light Company, which could then build a power plant.

The Tribe filed a complaint for declaratory relief to challenge the County's enactment of the ordinance, perceived as inconsistent with the County's comprehensive plan. The Tribe's complaint alleged that the rezoning decision was inconsistent with the County's comprehensive plan.

At the first trial, when the Tribe contested the zoning, the circuit court said that the issue should be considered under the state Power Plant Siting Act, not under laws that deal with local growth plans. But the appeals court said FPL had not even applied for approval of the site under the state power-plant act, and, as a result, the act should not "preempt" the growth laws.

The issue will now return to the Circuit Court for reconsideration.

Read the Court Opinion here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Carlena Blount Howard, age 84, died at home Monday, June 10, 2013. She was born Dec. 7, 1928 in LaBelle to Daniel and Irma Harn Blount. 

Carlena was the valedictorian of La Belle High School Class of 1946. She married Merton Howard Nov. 27, 1946.
She was Mom to four children: Marilyn (Robert) Taylor, Cindy (Chip) Miller, Myrtice (Jim) Frydenlund, and Matthew (Sandra) Howard. She was Mimi to 9 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. 

Carlena was a charter member of Eastside Baptist Church where she worked in Sunday School, GAs and VBS for 30 years.
Visitation will be Wednesday, June 12, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle and Thursday, June 13th 10:15 a.m. at Caloosa Baptist Church in LaBelle followed by memorial service at 11am. Graveside service will follow at Ft. Denaud Cemetery. Rev. Don Murray officiating. 

Contributions to Gideons International, Hope Hospice or other charity requested in lieu of flowers.

Doris Joanne Wolfe, age 79, of LaBelle, passed away June 10, 2013 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Apr. 6, 1934. 

She was a resident of LaBelle for the past twenty years and a former resident of Fort Lauderdale.

Survivors include step son: Howard Wayne Wolfe (Cathy) of LaBelle, sister: Donna, granddaughters: Donna Wolfe and Sheila Rossi and great-grandchildren, Austin Graham, Brittani Favuzzo and Nikolas Rossi

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Walgreens Paying $80 Million Penalty

Largest DEA Settlement In History - Alleged Diversion Of Pain Killers
MIAMI, FL. -- The DEA Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida announced that Walgreens Corporation, the nation’s largest drug store chain, has agreed to pay $80 million in civil penalties, resolving the DEA’s administrative actions and the United States Attorney’s Office’s civil penalty investigation regarding the Walgreens Jupiter Distribution Center and six Walgreens retail pharmacies in Florida. 

The settlement, the largest in DEA history, resolves allegations that the Registrants committed an unprecedented number of record-keeping and dispensing violations under the Act. According to documents filed in the underlying administrative actions, the Registrants negligently allowed controlled substances listed in Schedules II – V of the Act, such as oxycodone and other prescription pain killers, to be diverted for abuse and illegal black market sales.

According to the most recent report from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drug overdose deaths exceeded motor vehicle deaths and deaths from illegal street drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines, in 2009. Oxycodone is a powerful addictive narcotic that is one of the most abused prescription medications in Florida and throughout the United States. 

 Walgreens’ Distribution Center in Jupiter, Florida was the largest supplier of oxycodone to retail pharmacies in the State of Florida.

Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated, “National pharmaceutical chains are not exempt from following the law. This settlement sends out a clear message that all DEA registrants will be held accountable when they violate the law and threaten public health and safety. The DEA will continue its efforts to work with our registrants and our law enforcement partners to combat pharmaceutical drug abuse and diversion in Florida.”

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Prescription drug abuse is a tremendous problem in Florida and throughout the country. Every day, individuals die from prescription drug overdoses. The record-keeping requirements of the Controlled Substances Act and DEA regulations are designed to prevent prescription pain killers, like oxycodone, from ending up on our streets. For this reason, we cannot allow pharmacies to circumvent their regulatory record-keeping and dispensing obligations.”

The settlement agreement covers conduct that was the subject of DEA’s administrative actions and the U.S. Attorney’s Office civil penalty investigation. More specifically, the settlement covers allegations against Walgreen’s Jupiter Distribution Center and six Walgreens’ retail pharmacies. 

First, the Jupiter Distribution Center failed to comply with DEA regulations that required it to report to the DEA suspicious prescription drug orders that it received from Walgreens’ retail pharmacies. Walgreens’ alleged failure to sufficiently report suspicious orders was a systematic practice that resulted in at least tens of thousands of violations and allowed Walgreens’ retail pharmacies to order and receive at least three times the Florida average for drugs such as oxycodone.

Second, the six retail pharmacies in Florida that received the suspicious drug shipments from the Jupiter Distribution Center, in turn, filled customer prescriptions that they knew or should have known were not for legitimate medical use. In addition, these retail pharmacies and others elsewhere in the United States failed to properly identify and mark, as required by DEA regulations, hardcopy controlled substance prescriptions that were outsourced to a “central fill” pharmacy for filling. 

Without Walgreens’ retail pharmacies identifying these outsourced prescriptions, DEA could not accurately determine which prescriptions were filled from the retail pharmacies’ own drug supplies and which prescriptions were filled by a “central fill.” Consequently, DEA could not determine the accuracy of the retail pharmacies’ drug records. The DEA’s administrative actions demonstrated millions of violations of this type.

In addition to the $80 million civil penalty for the above violations, the settlement revokes the Registrants’ ability to distribute or dispense controlled substances listed in Schedules II – V for two years, ending in 2014. As part of the settlement, Walgreens admitted that it failed to uphold its obligations as a DEA registrant regarding the above-described conduct. 

Furthermore, Walgreens has agreed to create a Department of Pharmaceutical Integrity to ensure regulatory compliance and prevent the diversion of controlled substances. Walgreens has also agreed to enhance its training and compliance programs, and to no longer monetarily or otherwise compensate its pharmacists based on the volume of prescriptions filled.

The settlement further resolves similar open civil investigations in the District of Colorado, Eastern District of Michigan, and Eastern District of New York, as well as civil investigations by DEA field offices nationwide, pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act (the Act). 

Commissioner Apologizes Over Ethics Issue

Possible Fine Against Commissioner?
MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- At this week's Glades County Commission meeting, Vice-Commissioner Donna Storter Long explained her embarrassment over allegations of ethic violations that are now before the state Commission on Ethics after complaints were made.

The alleged violation issue was raised when Storter ranked and voted last September in the Request For Quote process for an architect to design the Emergency Operations Center, unaware that voting for the architect was a violation for her because her son’s employer may have been working with the architect.

Storter said she and County Attorney Pringle had discussed on Friday the “probable cause” hearing by the Commission on Ethics and the two complaints, one from Mr. Rutherford, and one filed for the Board by Mr. Pringle, had been combined into one. 

She said the investigation had been done, the Attorney General’s office was notified and their Advocate recommended to the Commission on Ethics that they find that there was “probable cause” that a violation of the Florida statute had occurred, which the Commission voted to accept. 

Vice Chairman Storter stated, “This is very embarrassing to me as you know, very hard to deal with. The next step is the Commission on Ethics turns it over to the Department of Administrative Hearings.”

She said she was told that prior to the scheduling of a hearing, she could expect an offer of a negotiated settlement from the Attorney General Advocate; she said she did not know what that would be, but probably a fine which could be up to $10,000 each for the ranking and voting. She again apologized to the Board for her lack of knowledge when this happened and stated she was ready to put it behind her.

Mr. Pringle told the board he had not planned to mention it as it has not yet been released as public record. Storter told the Board she would prefer to tell them herself rather than for them to hear it from someone Mr. Pringle stated she had described the next steps in the process, the complaint filed for an administrative hearing or a proposed settlement agreement.

She thanked Mr. Pringle for calling the Attorney General Advocate representing the County and informing the AGA that he expected and did not want any action on the matter, that it had been taken care of, so “no harm no foul”.

(The above was from Commissioner Storter's published notes.)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Joy T. Roberts, age 64, of Moore Haven, passed away June 7, 2013 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Mar. 25, 1949 in Clewiston, FL, to the late Raymond D. Thielen, Sr. and Margie Nell (Cook) Thielen.

Survivors include two daughters: Ranae Roberts Harrington, Jerri Lynn Schlueter (Barry), mother: Margie Nell (Cook) Thielen, brother: Donnie Thielen (Marge), sisters: Regina Brown (Donald), Theresa Prescott (Doyle), grandchildren, Shelby Schlueter, Savanna Schlueter, Skye Schlueter, Andrew Harrington and Madison Harrington. She was preceded in death by husband, Jerome W. Roberts, father, Raymond D. Thielen, Sr. and brother, Michael Thielen.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:00 am at Saint Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, Moore Haven with Father Lorenzo Gonzalez officiating. Interment will be Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven.

Visitation will be Tuesday from 06:00-08:00pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

George H. Tillis, 57, passed away at 4:15 am on Friday, June 7, 2013 after over a year long battle with cancer. 

He is survived by his son, George (Tony)A. Tillis, daughter, Crystal A. Staggs (Tillis) and two grandchildren, Gracie Ann and Janie Lou Staggs. 

He was preceded in death by son Jason R. Tillis and brother, Frank Tillis. 

Services will be held at Canal Point Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 11, 2013. Viewing will be at 11:00 am and services will begin at 12:00 pm. 

George was born in Pahokee, FL and stayed true to his roots working in the produce industry his entire life. George was known and loved by many and he will be missed dearly.

14-Year Old Arrested For Five Bomb Threats

Student Uses Laptop And Skype To Make Calls Say Investigators

LABELLE. FL. -- On Wednesday, June 5, 2013, Hendry County Investigators took Jourdan Dampier, 14 into custody and charged him with five counts of False Bomb Threats. Dampier is currently being held in Fort Myers, at the Juvenile Detention Center.

On Wednesday, May 29, 2013, Hendry County Deputies responded to five separate complaints reporting that they had received phone calls from an automated female voice stating, “A bomb will detonate in 15 minutes. I suggest you evacuate”.

At 2:08 pm, Deputies first responded to the LaBelle Middle School after receiving the automated call. All personnel still present on the school campus were evacuated and a search was conducted for any suspicious items. LaBelle Middle School was cleared by law enforcement personnel after they were found nothing suspicious.

Beginning at 6:37 pm, within a six-minute period, Hendry County Sheriffs Deputies were dispatched to four additional locations. The first was Handy South, Located at 1040 State Road 29, BP Gas station located at 280 W. Hickpochee Ave., Sal Cal Pizza, located at 732 South Main Street, and Winn Dixie Grocery Store, located at 906 South Main Street.

All four businesses received calls from an automated female voice indicating that there was a bomb on the premises and it would detonate. Business operators safely evacuated their locations and law enforcement officers searched all areas for any suspicious devices, none were found.

One of the local businesses was able to capture the phone number the call was generated from along with a name. Hendry County IT Director Ryan Purdy, who oversees Hendry County Sheriff’s Office technology, was able to determine that the phone number used was a default number for

During the investigation, Purdy along with Hendry County Investigators were provided with the account information. Investigators were able to determine that 14 year old Dampier utilized a laptop computer in conjunction with the Skype account to generate the automated messages to local business. 

In an eleven hour period Dampier attempted to initiate twelve bomb threats, however only five of the calls were successful.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gas Higher Than Year Ago - Records Set In Some Cities

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 0.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.45/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has not moved in the last week to $3.64/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 9.9 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 1.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has increased 6.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 7.8 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"While the national average has seen little change in the last week, prices in the Great Lakes have skyrocketed. In many cities in that region, new all time record high prices have been set," said Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "In areas that have featured skyrocketing gasoline prices amidst stable oil prices, refineries continue to be beset with shutdowns, maintenance, and other problems that have hampered production of gasoline and other products, leading to much higher prices. While these situations are difficult for motorists to digest, relief is on the way and will likely arrive in a few weeks," DeHaan said.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Google Not Part Of PRISM Spying Says CEO Larry Page

By Larry Page, Google CEO and David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer

You may be aware of press reports alleging that Internet companies have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. As Google’s CEO and Chief Legal Officer, we wanted you to have the facts.

First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers. Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a “back door” to the information stored in our data centers. We had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.

Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process. Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period. Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.

Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach. Google has worked hard, within the confines of the current laws, to be open about the data requests we receive. We post this information on our Transparency Report whenever possible. We were the first company to do this. And, of course, we understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.

Car Rolls Multiple Times - One Dead In Crash

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- An unidentified female driver is dead after her car rolled over numerous times on a rural roadway in the Lake Okeechobee area of Florida.

A 2008 Dodge Avenger was traveling north on CR 721 north of SR 78 in Glades County, Florida about 5:17 p.m. Friday, June 7 when for unknown reasons it left the roadway and began traveling north on the east shoulder of CR 721.

The car traveled through two private driveways while traveling north on the east shoulder of CR 721 and then collided with two concrete poles on the east shoulder of CR 721.

The vehicle continued traveling north and began overturning multiple times and the driver was ejected completely from the car. The driver was not wearing a seat belt.

The vehicle came to rest on its roof, facing west, on the east shoulder of CR 721 and the driver came to rest east of the vehicle on the east shoulder of CR 721.

Next of kin has not been notified. A family member could not be located, said FHP Trooper Danny Diaz and homicide investigator Corporal Juan Quintana.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Governor Greets Veterans At Park

Governor And State Representative Meet At Veteran's Memorial Park

LABELLE, FL. -- Florida Governor Rick Scott and Representative Matt Hudson spent the morning in the county seat of Hendry County, Florida meeting with citizens in private meetings for about 3 hours at the historic Hendry Courthouse.

A smiling and charismatic Gov. Scott accompanied by Rep. Hudson then walked across State Road 80 from the Courthouse to greet waiting veterans and others at LaBelle's Veterans Memorial Park, shaking hands and posing for photographs with dozens of people waiting to greet him.

(Video: 4 minutes - Governor meets Hendry citizens at Veteran's Park. Viewers: If you recognize anyone, email the names or they can be added directly to the YouTube video comments)

1 In 10 Juveniles Sexual Victims Says DOJ Study

Sexual Victimization In Juvenile Facilities - Mostly By Staff
An estimated 9.5% of adjudicated youth in state juvenile facilities and state contract facilities (representing 1,720 youth nationwide) reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another youth or staff in the past 12 months or since admission, if less than 12 months.

About 2.5% of youth (450 nationwide) reported an incident involving another youth, and 7.7% (1,390) reported an incident involving facility staff. 

An estimated 3.5% of youth reported having sex or other sexual contact with facility staff as a result of force or other forms of coercion, while 4.7% of youth reported sexual contact with staff without any force, threat, or explicit form of coercion. 

About 67.7% of youth victimized by another youth reported experiencing physical force or threat of force, 25.2% were offered favors or protection, and 18.1% were given drugs or alcohol to engage in sexual contact. The percentage of youth in Florida’s juvenile facilities reporting sexual victimization was 5.2%.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Powerball Winner Comes Forward In Florida - Just Not In Person

84 Year Old Woman Wins Gigantic Powerball Prize

Officials at the Florida Lottery in Tallahassee, Florida announced the winner of last month's multi-state Powerball lottery this afternoon. After a delay of about 50 minutes from the announced 2 p.m. time, the winning ticket was announced to be held by Mrs. Gloria C. MacKenzie, 84 of Zephyrhills.

MacKenzie did not appear at the official announcement, but in a statement said she bought the ticket at a Publix supermarket with her son Scott accompanying her, after another player allowed her to go before them to purchase the ticket. She and Scott had agreed to share any winnings.

Mrs. MacKenzie's statement:

"We bought the winning ticket as a single ticket even though we bought four other tickets before the drawing. While in line at Publix, another lottery player was kind enough to let me go ahead of them in line to purchase the winning Quick Pick ticket.

We are grateful for this blessing of winning the Florida Lottery POWERBALL jackpot and appreciate the interest of the public, state of Florida and the Lottery. We hope that everyone will give us an opportunity to maintain our privacy for our family's benefit. 

If you have any inquiries or questions, you may contact our representatives at the law firm of Brant, Abraham, Reiter, McCormick and Johnson or the financial planning firm of Madden Advisory Services, both of Jacksonville, Florida."

The single $2 ticket matched numbers selected on May 18, for the biggest single ticket payoff in U.S. lottery history. The $590.5 prize (if taken in yearly payments for 30 years) will be given to MacKenzie as a lump sum of $371 million before taxes.

The ticket was sold at a Publix supermarket in Zephyrhill, Florida near Tampa. The retailer received a bonus incentive of $85,000 on Monday, May 20. The odds of winning were 1 in 175 million.

The announcement was made live on the Florida Lottery's Ustream web casting channel with about 700 people watching online.

MacKenzie is represented by a Jacksonville lawyer and financial planner and requested inquiries may be made to them.

Governor Has 15 Minutes With Local Vets

Governor In LaBelle Friday Morning

LABELE, FL. -- Florida Governor Rick Scott will join State Representative Matt Hudson, Friday June 7th at LaBelle's Veterans Memorial Park to greet veterans.

A Ceremony will begin at 11:45 and veterans may have the chance to have photos taken with the Governor and Representative Hudson for 15 minutes.

Full Military Dress is welcome for the photo session.

Job Fair Coming To Glades

Employers Welcome To Register At No Cost

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- According to Economic Development Council director Tracy Whirls, several EDC member businesses have recently approached the council for assistance in identifying potential employees for their businesses. 

Whirls says Manhattan Construction will break ground in July on the new $23.6 million Moore Haven Junior Senior High School, which is expected to generate more job opportunities through local subcontractors.

The Glades County EDC is organizing a Job Fair tentatively set for Thursday, June 20 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Doyle Conner Building in Moore Haven. There will be no cost to businesses who wish to participate, although we do ask that you rsvp to indicate your interest.

Registration forms for participating businesses will be available on the EDC website, Potential employees will also be invited to register so that as new openings arise so the council will have a database of prospective employees to refer.

If your company is interested in participating in this event, please contact Emily Rigdon at or Tracy Whirls at or phone (863) 946-0300 for more information.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Sunscreen Lotion Slows Ageing Process Says New Study

A Queensland (Australia) Institute of Medical Research study has revealed that daily use of broad spectrum sunscreen slows down the ageing process of skin, as well as preventing skin cancer.

The world-first study of 900 young and middle-aged men and women showed that after four and a half years, those who applied sunscreen most days had no detectable ageing of the skin.

They also had 24 per cent less skin ageing than people who used sunscreen only some of the time, if at all.

The study was led by Queensland Australian of the Year, QIMR’s Professor Adele Green, in collaboration with investigators at the University of Queensland’s School of Population Health.

“This has been one of those beauty tips you often hear quoted, but for the first time we can back it with science: protecting yourself from skin cancer by using sunscreen regularly has the added bonus of keeping you looking younger,” Professor Green said.

“And the study has shown that up to middle age, it’s not too late to make a difference.”

The research is part of QIMR’s long-running Nambour Skin Cancer Prevention Trial – involved half of the participants regularly using SPF15+ sunscreen on their face, arms and hands and the other half using sunscreen in their usual way, if at all.

Silicone impressions, or moulds, were taken from the backs of all participants’ hands at the start and end of the trial to grade the damage over the four and a half years of the study.

The participants were all aged under 55, to ensure that photo-ageing, rather than chronological ageing, was the major factor in skin changes.

“And of course, along with seeking shade and wearing clothing cover, sunscreen is a mainstay of sun protection. It prevents sunburn in the short-term and skin cancer in the long-term,’ Professor Green said.

The study also tested the theory that beta-carotene supplements can prevent skin ageing.

“Our findings suggest that beta-carotene supplements do not influence skin ageing, although we can’t rule out the possibility of a small difference for better or worse. There would need to be further study into beta-carotene to rule out benefit or harm,” Professor Green said.

The study is published in the current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine and can be viewed at