Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More Moms Breastfeeding - Almost Half Says CDC

Breastfeeding Rates Rising Say CDC Data 
Breastfeeding rates have continued to rise over the past decade, according to data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percent of babies breastfeeding at six months increased from 35 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2010. 

The percent of babies breastfeeding at 12 months also increased from 16 percent to 27 percent during that same time period. The data show that babies who started breastfeeding increased from 71 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2010.

“This is great news for the health of our nation because babies who are breastfed have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers,” said CDC Director, Tom Frieden, M.D. M.P.H. 

“Also, breastfeeding lowers health care costs. Researchers have calculated that $2.2 billion in yearly medical costs could be saved if breastfeeding recommendations were met. It is critical that we continue working to improve hospital, community and workplace support for breastfeeding mothers and babies and realize these cost savings.”

Hospitals are an important setting for supporting breastfeeding mothers and babies. The CDC reports that the percent of hospitals implementing key maternity practices that keep mothers and babies together after birth have also increased. The percent of hospitals reporting newborn babies that ‘room in’ with their mother at least 23 hours per day increased from about 30 percent in 2007 to 37 percent in 2011. 

The percent of hospitals where most newborns were skin-to-skin with their mother after birth climbed from about 41 percent in 2007 to over 54 percent in 2011.

“The period right after a baby is born is a critical time for establishing breastfeeding,” said Janet L. Collins, Ph.D., director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. “Rooming in and skin-to-skin contact help ensure that mothers and babies stay together and are able to start and continue breastfeeding. These are meaningful steps hospitals can take to support mothers and families and help improve breastfeeding rates.”

For more information about CDC’s effort to improve hospital practices to support breastfeeding, visit The 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card, is available at

Child Killed As Car Backs Out Of Garage

 PORT CHARLOTTE, FL. -- The Florida Highway Patrol has issued a final investigative report on the death of a child killed when a car backed out of a garage and ran over the 7-year old in March.

Trooper Jeffrey Hause and Homicide Investigator Cpl. John Benton said on March 26, 2013 a 2009 Hyundai Sonata driven by Terrence R. Hunter, 62 of Cambridge, Ontario was parked in a garage in Ackerman Avenue in Charlotte County, facing in an easterly direction. 

The car began backing slowly out of the garage in a westerly direction while also turning south along the curve of the driveway.

Ethan V. Estrada, 7 of Port Charlotte, FL was behind the car in an unknown orientation as the left front tire then backed over the child . The driver stopped immediately and the car came to final rest in the driveway, facing in an easterly direction.

The child was transported to Peace River Regional and later pronounced deceased. No charges were filed said the FHP.

Rotarian Of The Year

Kim_Hamilton_130730_1a.jpgLABELLE, FL. -- In recognition of her dedication to the community and Rotary Club of LaBelle, Kim Hamilton was recognized as the 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year and received a prestigious Paul Harris Fellow award.

Presenting the award to Kim (left to right) were Lester Baird (club past-president), Richard Yoraschek (foundation chairman) and Tim Milligan (Southwest Florida Rotary Governor).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Free Student Vaccinations At Health Departments

It’s Time to Think About Vaccinations Before School Starts

LABELLE, FL. -- "Now is the time to get your children vaccinated for the next school year," says Pat Dobbins of the Hendry-Glades Health Department in LaBelle.  Parents can take their children to the health department now to receive the shots they need for school without cost, but they can also take them to their private health care provider.

If parents decide to wait until just before school starts, they might have to wait in line if there is a “rush” of folks waiting until the last minute to get their children vaccinated. “It is important for parents to make sure their children are vaccinated”, said Dobbins, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties. "That’s how individual children are protected, as well as the entire school.” 

Parents need to make sure their children have received the proper immunizations as required by law. Health Departments can provide school vaccinations (free of charge) for children from infants through the age of 18. 

Students entering kindergarten are required to have the following vaccinations:
(5) DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis): If the 4th DTaP vaccine is administered on or after the fourth birthday, a 5th DTaP is not required.
(5) Polio: If the 4th dose is administered on or after the fourth birthday, a 5th dose is not required.
(2) MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
(3) Hepatitis B
(2) Varicella (Chickenpox)

Students entering 7th grade must receive a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster.

Immunizations are available at the following locations:

Hendry County Health Department:
Clewiston - 1100 South Olympia St, 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.
LaBelle – 1140 Pratt Blvd, 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.
Glades County Health Department:
Moore Haven - 1021 Health Park Drive, 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday

If your child has received immunizations at a different location or in other cities or states, it is very important that you take all shot records for your child to your health department or healthcare provider. This will help to avoid delays or unnecessary duplicated immunizations.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Marion France Stafford, age 62, of Moore Haven, passed away July 26, 2013 in Moore Haven.

He was born Aug. 14, 1950 in Sebring, FL, to the late Buford and the late Leona (Cassels) Stafford. Mr. Stafford married Elthea Hensley. He served in the United States Army. He worked as a law enforcement officer for many years.

Survivors include his loving wife: Elthea Stafford, one son: Bryan (Chantell) Stafford and one daughter: Jennifer (Tony) Bevis, one sister: Annette (Tommy) Braswell, grandsons, Wyatt and Mason Stafford; two nieces, five great nieces and one great nephew.

Graveside services will be held Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 11:00 am at Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven with Rev. Tommy Bevis officiating. Interment in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven.

In lieu of flowers, family suggest donations to Hope Hospice.

Got Diarrhea? Vomiting? Might Be Cyclospora Parasite

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health today announced one additional case of cyclospora in Florida, which brings the current total to 24 cases, including one hospitalization.

DOH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other federal agencies and health departments, to investigate cases of cyclospora nationwide in an attempt to identify the source of the infection.

Cyclospora is caused by a single-celled parasite that infects the small intestine, cyclospora usually causes diarrhea with frequent bowel movements. Other common symptoms of cyclospora infection include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever and other flu-like symptoms may be noted.

Cyclospora is not contagious and cannot be passed directly from one person to another. It is most commonly spread by ingesting water or uncooked food that was contaminated with human feces. Cyclospora infections are most commonly linked to imported herbs, vegetables and berries.

Onset dates of cyclospora cases in Florida range from the beginning of June to mid-July. Currently, the average case age is 57.5 years, with a range of 22-78 years of age. The current case count consists of 14 females and 10 males.

At this time, there are no identified links to common restaurants or food ingredients found among the 24 cases, as in other states.

For more information on cyclospora, visit

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Glades Cutting Costs And Raising More Taxes And Fees?

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- On the agenda for the Glades County Commission meeting this week were lots of items, including ways to cut expenses due to a $1.5 million deficit from over spending in previous budget areas and ways to bring in more taxes and fees.

Commissioner Donna Storter Long said, "We’ve already begun making changes thru more personnel attrition, including a new policy that a position vacant for six months or more cannot be filled without direct Board approval. At this point, it is very likely that services funded by General Fund will be reduced."

The Commissioners adopted a proposed millage rate of 9.1367 along with a proposed millage rate for the Law Enforcement Municipal Services Taxing Unit at 2 mills. The total tax bill to property owners if approved would be about 1.114 percent of taxable property value.

Tentative budget hearings will be held in September and TRIM notices will be mailed prior to the hearings and an official notice will be published. 

A Tax Abatement Ordinance was added by agenda amendment by County Attorney Pringle and the Board adopted the advertised Tax Abatement Ordinance to establish Chapter 46 of Article IV of the Glades County Code that will allow granting property tax assessments to not be paid by new and/or expanding businesses that create jobs in Glades County.

The Port LaBelle Utility System requested an increase in "line maintenance fees." Hendry County’s Engineer Shane Parker requested the Board to approve PLUS’s request to increase potable water distribution line maintenance fee for vacant lots from $24 per year to $36 per year, a 50% increase so that lot owners would be paying a substantial percentage of the utility company's budget.  There are 1,386 vacant lots served by PLUS in Glades County, and 11,500 in Hendry County.  The Board took no action.

The Board eliminated the Community Services Director position which had been vacant for more than six months. Annual cost savings will be approximately $45,000 including benefits; duties will be shared by assignment to HR Director Mary Ann Whitney and Administrative Support staff.

The American Legion Veterans’ Office was voted to relocate their office to the Community
Development Building and to notify the American Legion that their building will no longer be utilized by the county after August 31, 2013. This will save the county $3600 per year; the office is only used eight hours or less weekly.

The Board accepted interim county manager Bob Jones recommendation and offer to
allow him to serve as Veterans’ Service Officer and to pay for his required training. Board instructed Attorney Pringle to notify former Veteran's officer that his contracted parttime services will no longer be needed after September 30, 2013.  $22,838 will be the savings to the county for this action.

The Board moved to cancel the contract with Ben Few for risk management consultant services with official notice to be sent by Attorney Pringle; in accordance with Few’s contract, he will be paid four months termination fee and serve until November 22, 2013.  This action will save the county $30,000 per year. HR Director Mary Ann Whitney will continue completing Risk Management Training and will continue to handle insurance coverage changes and claim matters.

The Board approved purchase of John Deere CX-15 batwing mower off government contract from Everglades Farm Equipment for $16,638.93.

Commissioner Griffin stated he had hoped to be able to provide raises for the employees when working on the budget as employees have not had raises since 2009. But, Commissioner Beck advised the Board to “be ready” when the Board meets for it's next budget workshop August 23, as he expects drastic cuts.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Newport Folk Festival 2013 Live This Weekend

The annual Newport Folk Festival began Friday afternoon and will be live again starting at noon on Saturday and Sunday. Both days end about 6:30 p.m. The video above will play the live shows and the recorded shows when bands are not live.

Have Your Kids Received The Anti-Cancer Vaccine?

HPV Vaccine Grossly Underutilized Says CDC
In a press conference held today, top officials from CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that HPV vaccination rates in girls aged 13-17 years failed to increase between 2011 and 2012, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The HPV vaccine is an anti-cancer vaccine.

Approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.

The 2012 NIS-Teen data show that not receiving a healthcare provider's recommendation for HPV vaccine was one of the five main reasons parents reported for not vaccinating daughters. Healthcare providers are urged to give a strong recommendation for HPV vaccination for boys and girls aged 11 or 12 years.

The other responses parents provided indicate gaps in understanding about the vaccine, including why vaccination is recommended at ages 11 or 12.

Among girls unvaccinated for HPV, 84 percent had a healthcare visit where they received another vaccine (such as one aimed at meningitis or pertussis) but not HPV vaccine. If HPV vaccine had been administered, vaccination coverage could be nearly 93 percent rather than 54 percent.

CDC Director Tom Frieden M.D., M.P.H. said, "Doctors need to step up their efforts by talking to parents about the importance of HPV vaccine just as they do other vaccines and ensure its given at every opportunity."

"Parents need reassurance that HPV vaccine is recommended at 11 or 12 because it should be given well in advance of any sexual activity," said Dr. Frieden. "We don't wait for exposure to occur before we vaccinate with any other routinely recommended vaccine."

Parents also reported safety concerns as a reason for not vaccinating. In the seven years of post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring and evaluation conducted independently by federal agencies and vaccine manufacturers, no serious safety concerns have been identified.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to ask about vaccination every time they take children for a healthcare visit. If a preteen boy or girl (aged 11 or 12 years) has not started the HPV vaccine series, make an appointment to get him or her vaccinated. Teens who haven't started or finished the 3-dose series should do so—it's not too late for them to receive HPV vaccine.

For many, it's easier than ever to get the HPV vaccine. Because of the Affordable Care Act, most private health insurance plans must cover the HPV vaccine at no out-of-pocket cost, meaning no co-pay or deductible. Visit for more information.

One In Four Children Live In Single Mom Homes

Children In Poverty And Single Mom Households Growing

A report from the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics in a study on the well being of children indicates fewer children are living in two parent households compared to the previous year, while 22% of all children in the U.S. are living in poverty conditions.

This report features statistics on children and families in the United States across 41 key indicators, including family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

There were 73.7 million children ages 0 – 17 in the United States in 2012, accounting for almost 24% of the population. In 2012, 64% of children ages 0 – 17 lived with two married parents, down from 65% in 2011. Four percent of children lived with their own unmarried, cohabiting parents, 24% lived with only their mothers, 4% lived with only their fathers, and 4% lived with neither of their parents in 2012.

In 2011, 22% of all children ages 0 – 17 (16.1 million) lived in poverty, which was not significantly different from the percentage in 2010.

Report On Well Being Of Families

Too Many Cash Real Estate Sales Says University Study

73% Of Condo And Townhome Sales Are All Cash

ORLANDO, FL. -- Florida’s housing market continues to strengthen, but housing finance remains constrained according to a new Business Forecast Report from the University of Central Florida.

As of May, 46% of single-family and 73% of townhomes and condominiums transactions are cash sales, which is inconsistent with a normal housing market says the report. Payrolls are growing, but it will not be until the 2nd quarter of 2016 before payrolls reach pre-recession levels in order for normal purchases to begin.

The industry sectors expected to have the strongest average growth during 2013-2016 are construction; professional and business services; trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality.

The forecast predicts that during the 2013-2016 period, average annual growth in housing starts will be 31.4%, average growth in Real Gross State Product will be 3.2%, average real personal income growth will be 3.4%, housing starts will average 31.4% growth, and retail sales will average 3.9% growth.

Source: University of Central Florida Report

Imported Food Safety Responsibility Shifting

FDA Proposing New Rules On Imported Food

In order to implement the bipartisan Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed by President Obama, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued two proposed rules aimed at helping to ensure that imported food meets the same safety standards as food produced in the United States.

The new measures respond to the challenges of food safety in today’s global food system. Imported food comes into the United States from about 150 different countries and accounts for about 15 percent of the U.S. food supply, including about 50 percent of the fresh fruits and 20 percent of the fresh vegetables consumed by Americans.

Under the proposed rules, importers would be accountable for verifying that their foreign suppliers are implementing modern, prevention-oriented food safety practices, and achieving the same level of food safety as domestic growers and processors.

The FDA is also proposing rules to strengthen the quality, objectivity, and transparency of foreign food safety audits on which many food companies and importers currently rely to help manage the safety of their global food supply chains.

Under the proposed regulations for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP), U.S. importers would, for the first time, have a clearly defined responsibility to verify that their suppliers produce food to meet U.S. food safety requirements.

In general, importers would be required to have a plan for imported food, including identifying hazards associated with each food that are reasonably likely to occur. Importers would be required to conduct activities that provide adequate assurances that these identified hazards are being adequately controlled.

“FSMA provides the FDA with a modern tool kit that shifts the paradigm for imports, as well as domestic foods, from a strategy of reaction to one of systematic prevention,” said Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. “Rather than relying primarily on FDA investigators at the ports to detect and respond to food safety problems, importers would, for the first time, be held accountable for verifying, in a manner transparent to the FDA, that the food they import is safe.”

These proposals work in concert with the proposed rules released in January 2013, for produce safety and preventive controls in facilities that produce human food. Those proposed rules are currently open for comment until September 16, 2013, but the FDA intends to grant a 60-day final extension of the comment period to allow commenters an opportunity to consider the interrelationships between the January proposals and the two proposals being announced today.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

No Tax On Computers August 2nd To 4th

1st Time Ever Tax Exemption For Computers And Accessories In Florida

For the first time this year, the Florida Legislature included personal computers and accessories as school supplies for Florida’s kids during the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday. Computers and accessories selling for up to $750 will be sales tax free.

As in previous tax holidays, clothing and shoes up to $75 will be tax exempt, along with school supplies up to $15 from August 2 to 4.

The term “personal computer” includes any electronic book reader, laptop, desktop, handheld, tablet, or tower computer, but does not include cellphones, video game consoles, digital media receivers, or devices that are not primarily designed to process data. The term “related accessories” includes keyboards, mice, personal digital assistants, monitors (except those with TV tuners), modems, routers, and nonrecreational software.

Retailers are expecting that to give the popular tax holiday a significant boost this year, as families take advantage of tax savings and markdowns, said Rick McAllister, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation.

“Most families in Florida own a computer of one type or another, and we expect that many will take advantage of the tax savings to purchase computers for their kids or upgrade their own. And you’ll see great deals on clothes, shoes and school supplies,” McAllister said. “Stores are actively competing with each other for customers, and that usually means plenty of mark downs to attract shoppers.”

Retailers in Florida are expected to boost staffing by about 20 percent during the tax holiday weekend to accommodate shoppers. In general, retailers expect an average increase of between 30 and 40 percent in store traffic over the weekend because of the sales tax holiday.

McAllister said that retail spending in Florida remains strong, and he expected retail sales to at least match last year’s growth. A National Retail Federation survey predicts that families with school-aged children will spend an average of $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics in 2013, down from $688.62 last year.

“Back-to-school sales were up about 6 percent in Florida last year, and we are close to that pace right now,” McAllister said. “Because of the tax holiday, retail stores generally perform a little better in Florida than in states without a sales tax holiday.”

During the tax holiday weekend, there will be no state or local sales taxes due on personal computers and related accessories having a sales price of $750 or less, purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.

As in previous tax holidays, clothing and shoes up to $75 will be tax exempt, along with school supplies up to $15. That includes pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, notebook paper, legal pads, binders, lunch boxes, construction paper, markers, folders, poster board, composition books, poster paper, scissors, cellophane tape, glue or paste, rulers, computer disks, protractors, compasses, and calculators.

A study by The Washington Economics Group (WEG) that examined the impact of the back-to-school sales tax holiday confirmed that increased spending during the three-day period in 2010 generated $115 million more in taxable sales, and $293 million more in overall sales. That generated an additional $7 million in revenue to the state of Florida.

The first sales tax holiday in Florida was enacted in 1998, and ran for seven days – from August 15-21. It applied to clothing and footwear valued at $50 or less. It was patterned on a sales-tax-free period first enacted in the state of New York. There have been 11 sales tax holidays in Florida in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Florida’s sales tax holiday was expanded in 1999 to a nine-day holiday – spanning two weekends from July 31 to August 8 – and the value of tax-exempt clothing raised to $100. The holiday in 2000 was nearly identical. In 2001, school supplies with a selling price under $10 were exempted for the first time, while the clothing exemption was reduced to $50.

After a two-year hiatus, the nine-day holiday returned in 2004 and continued through 2007 with an exemption on clothing under $50 and school supplies under $10. In 2005, to encourage residents to stock up on emergency supplies, Florida added a Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, which continued through 2007.

When the sales tax holiday returned in 2010, it was a three-day holiday from August 13-15 with exemptions on clothing under $50 and school supplies under $10. The three-day tax holiday was repeated in 2011 from August 12-14, with increased exemptions of clothing up to $75 and school supplies up to $15. In 2012 it ran from August 3-5.

Driver Dead After Turn Into SUV

NAPLES, FL. -- A 79 year old man is dead after his 1999 Toyota Tacoma turned into the path of a GMC Sierra on July 18.

Michael J. Waskovich Jr of Naples was traveling south on US 41 (SR45) in the left turn lane approaching Castello Drive as Federico Perez, 44 of Naples was traveling north on US 41 in the center lane approaching Castello Drive.

The Toyota driven by Waskovich made a left turn in front of the path of the GMC and the front of it collided with the right side of the Toyota in the center northbound lane of US 41 at the intersection of Castello Drive.

As a result of the collision the rear right wheel of Waskovich's vehicle broke off, the vehicle rotated clockwise in the intersection. Upon the arrive of FHP Trooper Sean R. Ellis, both vehicles were at final rest.

Waskovich was taken to North Napes Hospital where he later died.

Perez and two passengers suffered no injuries. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts according to Homicide investigator Corporal John R. Benton. No charges were filed.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Anthony (Tony) John Tozer, age 90, of LaBelle, Florida died Saturday afternoon, July 20, 2013, surrounded by his children and their spouses. Born June 12, 1923 in Petersburg, Illinois, he was the son of the late William Edward and Harriett Neff Tozer.

Anthony was a dedicated American soldier proud to serve his country overseas in the Pacific Campaign of World War II from 1943 to 1946. He fulfilled his tour of duty as a postal clerk, and was honorably discharged and returned home to marry his sweetheart Betty Louise Jones Tozer. 

Anthony was the owner of Tony's Beauty Salon located in downtown Chicago for more than 50 years. He enjoyed spending time with his family, serving his church in Summit, Illinois, and the outdoors.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 50 years, Betty Louise; brother Robert Tozer; sister Geraldine Tozer Bianco; sister Norma Tozer Doggett; sister Carrie Tozer Gabel; brother Richard Tozer; and brother William Tozer. 

He is survived by his brother Loren and wife Shirley Tozer of Springfield, Illinois; sister Joyce and husband Roger Smith of Jacksonville, Illinois; daughter Sue Ellen and husband Henry Ryl-Kuchar of LaBelle, Florida; son John (Jack) and wife Georgette Tozer of Homosassa, Florida; grandson Anthony (Tony) and wife Beverly of North Webster, Indiana; granddaughter Eleonora (Ellie) and husband Graham Scott of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; granddaughter Lindsay Tozer of Beverly Hills, Florida; grandson Grant Tozer of Noblesville, Indiana; great-grandchildren Mark and David Ryl-Kuchar, and Kendra, Elizabeth and Megan Cloud -Tozer; and many other loving nieces, nephews and relatives.
A graveside worship service and military final farewell for Anthony John Tozer will be held at 11:00 A.M., Friday, July 26, 2013 at the Virden, Illinois Cemetery.

Demetrio Alejandro Interian, age 96, of Clewiston, passed away July 19, 2013 in Clewiston.  He was born Nov. 29, 1916 in Cuba, to the late Alejandro and the late Maria (Del Busto) Interian.

He is survived by one daughter: Cristina Milian of Clewiston, FL.

Graveside services will be held Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 10:00 am at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston with Rev. Louis Calderon officiating.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Gas Prices Higher Again This Week

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 6.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.61/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has increased 3.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.68/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 22.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 12.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 9.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 19.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"The national average has seen the upward trend continuing, with average prices climbing across an abundance of the U.S.," said Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "The price of WTI oil continues to rise to levels not seen in quite some time, and that may continue, at least for the time being, to put more upward pressure on gasoline prices. While the worst may be behind us, I do believe the week ahead will likely feature another rise in the national average," DeHaan said.

Museum Receives Doll Collection

LABELLE, FL. -- Carla Bradley of Brooksille, Fl. visiited her great great grandfather F. A. Hendry's home with local museum president Joe Thomas during her recent visit to LaBelle to donate Hendry family memorabilia to LaBelle Heritage Museum. 

Mrs. Bradley donated 18 handmade dolls from her great grandmother Virginia Lee Hendry Menge to the local museum that will be placed on display once they are cataloged and necessary repairs that will not destroy their integrity are made. Other Hendry family items donated to the local museum include Mrs. Bradley's grandmother Nettie Pearl Menge Battey's last Holy Bible and copies of family papers that will be added to the museum's Hendry family archives.

Photo by Addison Austin

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gov. Scott Declares Day Of Prayer

TALLAHASSEE, FL. -- Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared Sunday, July 21, 2013 as a day of statewide prayer after the circumstances surrounding the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman trial and after effects. (Click on document for full size)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Phone Problems At Health Department

Phone Not Working For Some Departments
LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health in Hendry County (LaBelle Site) is currently experiencing some problems with the phone system. Some phone extension numbers are not working, say officials today.

If you need to call the Health Department in LaBelle (863) 674-4041 and the Automatic Answering System comes on, please press “zero” for the operator (If you are having trouble reaching a specific extension number).

Additionally, some phones cannot accept voice mail, so the front desk operator can take a message for the person you are trying to reach. "Please be patient with us as we work to repair/replace the phone system. We apologize for any inconvenience. We hope to have the system restored to its maximum capability as soon as possible." said Brenda Barnes.

Fisheating Creek WMA In Planning Stage

Historic Creek Plans Coming

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- A 10-year plan for the Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area will be presented Aug. 1, a Thursday, at a public hearing in Glades County.

(photo and video by Don Browne - Fisheating Creek)

Fisheating Creek WMA is a place full of history and wildlife, as well as outdoor recreation opportunities. Its Creek Indian name, Thlothlopopka-hatchee, means “the creek where fish are eaten.” The first known settlements occurred between 1,000 and 500 B.C., when early inhabitants known as the Belle Glade people built mounds and subsisted by netting fish and harvesting turtles, snakes and alligators.

Today, Fisheating Creek WMA stretches for 40 miles in Glades County along the course of the only free-flowing tributary to Lake Okeechobee. Framed by bald cypress swamps and hardwood hammocks, the tea-colored blackwater creek shows off wild Florida and is critical habitat for native species such as panther, black bear and swallowtail kite.

People come to Fisheating Creek WMA to paddle canoes or kayaks, watch wildlife, camp, hunt and fish. This is a place where hunters have a good chance of harvesting a prized Osceola turkey.

A 7 p.m. public hearing at the Glades County Commission Chambers, 500 Avenue J in Moore Haven will be August 1.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff will present the draft land management plan for FWC-managed portions of the Fisheating Creek WMA, and people are encouraged to comment and ask questions.

All lands purchased with public funds must have a management plan that ensures the property will be managed in a manner that is consistent with the intended purposes of the purchase.

Hunting and fishing regulations are not included in this plan or meeting; those are addressed through a separate public process.

To obtain a copy of the draft land management prospectus for Fisheating Creek WMA, call Diana Kilgore at 850-487-7063 or David Alden at 850-487-9588, or email

Sketchers Shoes Deceptive Ads Pay Off

Settlement Reached For False Ads On Popular Shoes

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that more than 35,000 Floridians will receive checks for approximately $34 as part of last year’s settlement agreement among Florida, 43 other states, the Federal Trade Commission and Skechers, USA, Inc., the makers of Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner athletic shoes.

The company was accused of using deceptive advertising to market its toning shoes, including making unfounded claims that its Shape-ups shoes would help people lose weight, and strengthen and tone their buttocks, legs and abdominal muscles.

The checks from the FTC must be cashed by Oct. 10, 2013. The deadline for filing a refund request has expired.

In addition to agreeing to pay $40 million in restitution, the settlement prohibits Skechers from making these claims unless it has adequate substantiation. Consumers who have questions should call 1-866-325-4186. Read the announcement of the settlement, here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Justice Makes Statement On Trayvon Martin Case

Great Public Interest In Zimmerman Case Says DOJ

The Department of Justice is receiving many questions and comments about the recently concluded George Zimmerman trial and inquires about whether the DOJ will be filing suit against Zimmerman for alleged Federal violations he may have committed against Trayvon Martin.

The DOJ has issued this statement:

"As the Department first acknowledged last year, we have an open investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin. The Department of Justice's Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation continue to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial.

"Experienced federal prosecutors will determine whether the evidence reveals a prosecutable violation of any of the limited federal criminal civil rights statutes within our jurisdiction, and whether federal prosecution is appropriate in accordance with the Department's policy governing successive federal prosecution following a state trial.”

Because of interest in this matter, the Department of Justice has set up an e-mail address to receive correspondence concerning the federal investigation. They say they will not be able to respond to all messages received.

New President For Rotary Club

Lester_&_Andy_130716_2.jpgLABELLE, FL. -- At a recent changing of the guard ceremony for the Rotary Club of LaBelle, Lester Baird passed on the president's gavel to Andy Higginbotham who will lead the club through June 2014.

Baird heads the Port LaBelle Development District and Higginbotham is a LaBelle accountant.

Get Healthy - Lose Weight - Cut Those Sweet Drinks

How To Cut Out Sweet Drinks

 LABELLE, FL. -- Searching for ways to regain a healthy lifestyle, lose pounds, and improve one's health while saving money brings us to today's tip.

Cut out sweet drinks. Beverages with added sugar, and even fruit drinks have a surprising amount of calories and sugar content that are harmful to keeping the body healthy.

Look at the chart above and see how many teaspoons of sugar and excess calories common drinks contain. A healthy amount of sugar per beverage serving to aim for is probably one to two teaspoons.

Reasons to Limit Sugar Sweetened Beverages:
• Sugar + Germs = Tooth Decay
• Drinking sugar sweetened beverages can lead to becoming overweight or obese
• Sugary beverages provide empty calories with few nutrients
• Sweetened drinks can make kids (and adults!) feel full and not want to eat healthy food

There is some evidence that even artificially sweetened "no-calorie" food and drinks may be troublesome. Research is showing that artificial sweeteners confuse the body, making it think there's sugar and carbohydrates being consumed when actually no nutrient from the artificial sweetener enters the digestive system at all, causing the body so sent a signal to eat even more.

The bottom line: Substitute healthy food for less desirable ones. When your body "craves" something sweet, substitute a piece of fruit, or a serving of vegetables, plain water, anything that doesn't have added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Train yourself to substitute healthy eats and drinks for the less beneficial added sugary eats.

-thanks to Mary Ruth Prouty, Hendry-Glades Health Dept. for some of the health tip suggestions

Former US Sugar Exec John Boy Dead

Former President And CEO Of U.S. Sugar Corp Dies At 96
CLEWISTON, FL. -- Former Chairman and President of U.S. Sugar Corp, John Boy has died.

John B. Boy, age 96, of LaBelle, passed away peacefully July 16, 2013 in Lehigh Acres. He was born March 17, 1917 in Johnson City, TN. to David C. and Kathleen Boy and was the second of three brothers.

He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in mechanical engineering. During his time at Georgia Tech, John was on the Honor Roll, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi, Phi Eta Sigma, Bulldog Club, Pi Delta Epsilon, A.S.M.E, Skull and Key, Interfraternity Council, Technique Editor in Chief, Yellowjacket, Blue Print, Student Council, ANAK Vice-President and Athletic Association Student Member.

Following graduation, he worked for Proctor and Gamble at the Buckeye Oil Company until WWII broke out and at that time enlisted in the U. S. Navy. He served our nation throughout the entire war and became the Captain of three different ships -a subchaser, USS C350, a patrolcraft, USS PC613 and destroyer escort, the USS Holton, DE-703.

John and his crew from the USS Holton held annual reunions that were filled with great passion and memories of their younger years. While in the Navy on assignment in Miami, John met and married the love of his life, Nancy Adams, who predeceased him.

Shortly after the war, John went to work for United States Sugar Corporation in 1946. Through his engineering ingenuity, he improved the efficiency and productivity of sugar cane harvesting by converting/redesigning track mounted tractors to rubber tires which was combined with his successful redesign of sugar cane loading machines.

Those redesigns allowed the Florida sugar cane industry to begin a process of mass production in the fields and factories which ultimately led to the size and efficiency of today's industry.

John later became Executive Vice President of the Corporation in 1961 which led to his promotion to President/CEO in 1970, a position he held until his retirement in 1987. He became Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at that time.

Under his leadership, the Corporation not only prospered by tripling its production, but he led the way in charitable giving to the surrounding communities of swimming pools, youth centers, an auditorium, day care facilities, housing projects and multiple scholarship programs.

Two of his proudest achievements during his tenure as President were the creation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan whereby the employees would own 47% of the Corporation and the commencement of the diversification of the Corporation into the growing/processing of citrus.

John was the beloved and respected leader of the sugar industry as noted by the numerous accolades that he accumulated and/or achieved during his career which included "Sugar Man of the Year', Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame, Honorary Doctor of Humanities-Florida Atlantic University, "White Hat" award by Agribusiness Institute, President of the Florida Sugar Cane League, President of the Florida Sugar Marketing and Terminal Association, State Director of Florida Chamber of Commerce, Council of 100, Florida Land Council, Florida Farm Bureau, 1975 Citizen of the Year for Clewiston, Florida and Dedication of the Sugar Festival in 1992.

Clewiston's civic auditorium, located within sight of the U.S. Sugar plant is named after Mr. Boy.

 He is survived by daughter: Betsy Terrill (Jim), sons: John Boy, Jr. (Connie) and H. Lane Boy, grandchildren: Jamie Terrill, Christopher Smith, Jennifer Price, Suzanne Boy, Stephanie Crawford, Rachael Boy and ten great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held Thursday, July 18, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston, Florida. The Funeral Service will be held Friday, July 19, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at Evangel Assembly of God, Clewiston, Florida with Rev. Samuel Thomas Ph.D. officiating.

Interment will follow at Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clewiston. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hendry Regional Medical Center Foundation, 544 West Sugarland Hwy, Clewiston, FL 33440.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Federal Agents Raid Home

Former Builder Involved In Federal Investigation?

LABELLE, FL. -- Federal agents and Hendry deputies were on scene all day at a LaBelle home Tuesday.

A 2006 house at 259 Ford Avenue in the city of LaBelle was the scene of law enforcement activity today as agents from the IRS and EPA and the Hendry Sheriff's office were reportedly on scene.

Information about the raid has not yet been released by officials.

The 2,201 square foot home is owned by former builder and businessman Dean T. Daniels along with Brenda M. Daniels. Tax rolls show the property as their homestead property. It was purchased in March 2011 for $95,000 from Centerstate Bank of Florida.

Records indicate the couple. along with Travis Daniels own Air Boss Aviation LLC, and Dean and Brenda own Deano's Full Service, Inc. Dean Daniels once owned Last Chance Pit LLC, a failed company operating out of a house the Daniels once owned at 7005 Rich Circle in Port LaBelle.

Daniels is a building contractor and constructed many homes in Port LaBelle during the building boom under the name Deano's Full Service Inc. Several years ago Daniels' trucking company was attempting to get permission from Glades county to transport fill material from a Charlotte county rock pit.

Arrest Records

On February 24, 2009 Dean T. Daniels (DOB 08/03/1963) was arrested by the Florida Wildlife Commission for attempting to sell 4,400 pounds of unrefrigerated oysters out of a truck. At the time he showed an address of 38 W. Carmack Dr., Chalmette, La., and claimed that his refrigerated truck broke down while transporting the oysters from his fish house in Louisiana. 

The FWC officer charged Daniels and Jeremy Kennedy (DOB 02/02/1988) of 4003 Cascade Lane, LaBelle, with attempting to sell saltwater products without a wholesale dealers license and for quality-control violations.

Brenda Daniels has a Hendry county arrest record for drugs back in 1990-1991.

More stories about Dean Daniels

photo: Hendry Tax Appraiser

Lose Weight - Save Money

LABELLE, FL. -- An easy tip on how to save money on food while losing weight and improving health day by day. Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruit daily. Fresh vegetables and fruit do not have the added sugar, salt and fats found in prepared or packaged foods. And typical cost for fresh fruit and vegetables are under two dollars per pound. Simple!

(Thanks to Mary Ruth Prouty - Hendry/Glades Health Department for the healthy tips idea)

Raw Oysters And Seawater Danger To Floridians

Vibrio Vulnificus Bacteria Lurks In Gulf Waters

The Florida Department of Health urges Floridians with certain health conditions to avoid eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to seawater and estuarine water, which may harbor bacteria called Vibrio vulnificus.

Occurring naturally in the warm waters of the Gulf coast, particularly during the summer months, Vibrio vulnificus has the potential to cause serious illness.

Those with liver damage due to excessive drinking and individuals with liver disease, including Hepatitis C and cirrhosis, are most at risk for developing serious illness from Vibrio vulnificus. Other at-risk health conditions include hemochromatosis (iron overload), diabetes, cancer, stomach disorders or any illness or treatment that weakens the immune system.

At-risk individuals are more likely to become extremely ill or die from eating raw oysters containing these bacteria. People in these high-risk groups are also at risk of serious illness if they have wounds, cuts or scratches and wade in estuarine areas or seawater where the bacteria might be present.

Individuals living without these conditions can become ill from eating raw oysters containing these bacteria and from exposing open wounds to sea and estuarine waters, although their illnesses tend to be less severe.

Symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus in wound infections typically include swelling, pain, and redness at the wound site. Both gastrointestinal and wound infections may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, and the formation of blistering skin lesions. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should contact a physician immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Hendry=Glades Obituraries

Orie Edith Johns, age 99, of LaBelle, passed away July 13, 2013 in LaBelle.
She was born Aug. 28, 1913 in Kingsland, GA, to the late Joseph Fleming and the late Hattie Mae (Drury) Allen. She was a resident of LaBelle since 1957 and was a member of the Church of God-LaBelle.

Survivors include her sons: Earl (Freda) Johns of LaBelle and Ray (Pat) Johns of Lake City, daughters: Linda Craft and Moena (Gerald) Edwards, both of LaBelle, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. She was preceded by her husband: John Johns.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 10:30 am at Church Of God-LaBelle with Pastor Lonnie Johns and Pastor Shannon Craft officiating. Interment followed at Ft. Denaud Cemetery in LaBelle.

Lewis L. Roland, age 88, of LaBelle, passed away July 9, 2013 in Fort Myers.
He was born Feb. 28, 1925 in Edison, GA, to the late Silvester and the late Roxanne (Mumford) Roland. He served in the Navy during WWII. .

Survivors include his wife: Joyce A. Roland, sons: Steve (Shirley) Roland and Raymond (Linda) Randazzo daughters: Ginger (Jeff) Skinner and Linda Persinger and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Mitzy Skinner.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Big Changes In Gas Prices

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have risen 11.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.53/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has increased 11.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.62/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 25.0 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 2.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 0.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 19.5 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"Nationally, gasoline prices have begun moving upward yet again. I suspect that the unrest in Egypt is playing a significant role in pushing crude values higher, and thus retail gasoline prices higher as well," said Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "The market is seemingly quite sensitive to the situation in Egypt as the Energy Information Administration has reported two consecutive weeks of large declines in crude oil inventories, drawing concern that a loss in Middle Eastern crude would mean continued declines in inventories stateside," DeHaan said.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sidewalk "Drug Store" Operator Arrested

Drugs, Shop Lifting, And More Bring 17 Arrests Recently
CLEWISTON, FL. -- Police Chief Don Gutshall reports retail theft continues to be of great concern. The Chief says Clewiston has the only retail shopping centers within 25 miles, "so thieves from three counties come here to shop for that 5 finger discount. We are putting officers on foot in the stores and on bicycles in the parking lots to combat it."

There have been a couple of arrests for loitering and prowling, said the Chief. "This is good, alert work by patrol officers. Possibly preventing a burglary….or worse."

Officers working the Levee Park arrested a local man who had opened a “sidewalk pharmaceutical store” next to the rim canal. The officers confiscated Oxycodone, Marijuana, Crystal Meth, Ecstasy and Morphine all packaged for sale. Suspect was transported to the Hendry County Jail.

Please remind your friends and neighbors to be sure to lock their car doors and close the garage It’s the time of year when we have lots of folks out wandering around after dark.

A synopsis of the recent department activity:
1129 Commercial / Residential Security Checks
487 Complaints Investigated
17 Arrests Made
14 Traffic Citations Issued
71 Merchant Escorts Provided
1 City Ordinance Violation
34 Alarms Responded To
22 Red Light Camera Violations
6 Traffic Accidents Investigated

What's New In Clewiston - New Building Picking Up

Clewiston Giving Award, Commission And Library Changing Schedules, New Homes Coming
CLEWISTON, FL. -- The City is taking nominations for the annual Outstanding Community Service Award. If you know of a worthy candidate, please stop by City Hall and pick up a nomination form. The  deadline for submission is August 5.

The City Commission voted to return to the one meeting and one workshop schedule for the Commission meetings. The City Commission meets on the third Monday of each month starting at 5:00 p.m., with workshops on the Thursday preceding the meeting date starting at 5:00 p.m.

The City has an opening on the Planning and Zoning Board. If you are interested in serving on this board, please pick up an application packet at City Hall. They are also seeking a volunteer member for the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board. Please call Marilyn McCorvey at 983-1484 for more information or to ask about an application packet.

Code Enforcement has opened five (5) new cases, including overgrowth (2); illegal construction (2); and property maintenance (1). Seven (7) cases were found in compliance and closed.

The construction plans for Dollar Tree have been reviewed and approved. The permit will be issued once they have chosen a contractor. They hope to break ground by the end of this month and finish by mid-January.

Brian Sullivan Contracting, Inc. has submitted plans for six (6) new single family homes in the Orchard Park S/D. There will be two (2) models that have 4 bedrooms and 2 baths and the other four (4) have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Construction has begun on the underground plumbing for all six sites.

Library Director Barrett reports the Library is updating its collection. Most of the old VHS tapes are being replaced by new DVDs. Please come in and see what’s new and remember that the opening hours of the library will be changed as of August 6, 2013. The late days will be Mondays and Thursdays, 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. EBooks are here. Call your library for access information.

Florida’s Hall of Fame Artist Original Highwayman Al Black will be in the library on July 29, 2013 with his painting exhibit.

-from the City Manager's Office

Thursday, July 11, 2013

$500 To Scout Troop For Camping

Kiwanis of LaBelle Helps Boy Scout Troop 9

LABELLE, FL. -- At a recent Kiwanis Club of LaBelle Meeting, the Boy Scouts Troop 9 gave a great presentation about their recent camping trip and some of the activities and “challenges” they have to complete to earn their Merit Badges.

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle gave the Troop a check for $500 to help send these hard working young men to camp. These Scouts came back to proudly show pictures to the Kiwanis Club members and talk about their experiences at camp.

Pictured from left to right: Aaron Mace, Brandon Gomez, Brenda Barnes-Kiwanis Club of LaBelle President, and Russell Holland

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Seven Manatees Released To Gulf

FORT MYERS, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and partners released seven rehabilitated manatees Tuesday in Cape Coral. These manatees were rescued during the recent red tide bloom in southwest Florida.

“We are very pleased that so many of the manatees we rescued from the effects of red tide have recovered to reach this point,” said Andy Garrett, an FWC biologist and Florida’s manatee rescue coordinator. “Our staff and partners worked very hard during the red tide to get to distressed manatees in time.”

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. Two rehabilitated red tide-affected manatees were released in June, and more releases are scheduled later this month.

Five of the seven manatees released Tuesday remained at the zoo for the duration of their rehabilitation. Earlier this year, the other two manatees were moved to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to ensure the zoo had space for critical care cases.

The Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership – a cooperative effort of several nonprofit, private, state and federal organizations – helps to coordinate the releases of rehabilitated manatees and monitors their health upon return to the wild.

Red tide is the primary cause of death for 272 manatees in 2013, a single-year record. Manatees are exposed to the red tide toxin mainly through ingestion of food such as seagrass with accumulated toxin levels.
photo: FWCMedia

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

 Eva Elizabeth Sapp, age 89, of Clewiston, passed away July 7, 2013 in Atlantis, Florida.

She was born Dec. 14, 1923 in Arcadia, FL, to George W. and Alma (Yeager) Summeralls. She was married to Thomas V. Sapp; he preceded her in death on July 11, 1990.

Survivors include one son: George Sapp, one daughter: Margaret Sapp, one brother: Charles Summeralls and one sister: Alma Rice, four grandchildren; seven Great Grandchildren, Seven; and four Great-Great Grandchildren.

She was a nurse for many years.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston with Rev. John Hicks officiating. Interment is Wednesday, July 10, 2013 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation is Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Santiago Villatoro, age 47, of Clewiston, passed away July 4, 2013 in West Palm Beach.

He was born May 23, 1966 in El Salvador to Epifanio and Maria (Lasaro) Villatoro. Mr. Villatoro married Idelsis Pena.

Survivors include his wife: Idelsis Villatoro, three daughters; Rosisela, Victoria Ubina, and Lisney Kenia, three brothers: Ricardo Villatoro, Victor Villatoro, Ofany Villatoro and five sisters: Maria Villatoro, Blanca Villatoro, Claudia Villatoro, Maria Lola Villatoro, Maria Santos Villatoro

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 10:00 am at Iglesia Apostolico Maranatha, Clewiston with Pastor Luis Ramirez officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. 

Serious Injuries In I-75 Truck Crash

 Truck Overturns On I-75

 NAPLES, FL. -- On July 8, 2013 at 9:10 p.m. a 2000 Ford-150 was traveling eastbound in Collier County on I-75 (State Road 93) in the outside (right) lane near mile marker 84 when the tread of the rear right tire separated and as a result the driver lost control of the pickup truck.

It began to rotate in a clockwise motion and entered the left lane and overturned and continued sliding in a southeasterly direction and entered the grassy south shoulder.

It came to final rest in the south shoulder with the rear end of the truck on the emergency lane facing in a southeasterly direction.

Driver Jose A. Hernandez, 51 of Clewiston had minor injuries, but passengers Michael P. Blissett, 43 and Henry Coreano, 41 both of Clewiston, were taken to Naples Community Hospital with serious injuries.

All three were wearing seat belts said FHP Trooper G. Morales.

Boil Water Notice For City Water Customers

Water Main Failure In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- A precautionary boil water notice has been issued for the City of LaBelle water service area.

All City of LaBelle water users are advised to bring drinking water to a rolling boil for at least one minute prior to consumption.

The notice is necessary due to a water main failure on Cowboy Way between Main and Bridge Streets. This notice is effective immediately and will be in effect until Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 5 pm or a different notice is issued lifting the boil water action.

For further information please call Joseph Thomas at 863-675-4684 or City Hall during regular business hours at 863-675-2872.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Free Movie And Popcorn Sunday

On Sunday evening July 14 at 6:00 p.m. everyone is invited to see the movie “Meant To Be”. A Christian themed movie dealing with 20-year old Nathan Burr (Bradley Dorsey) who loses his career and his girlfriend, and questions his purpose in life. 

Compounding his struggle, Nathan grew up in a foster home and never met his birth mother. He sets out on a quest to his birthplace to find his mother and come to terms with her rejection of him. Upon his arrival, Nathan checks into a hotel and meets Mave (Delia Reese), the hotel's housekeeper. 

With the help of Mave and his new friend Shelly (Kristen Renton), Nathan embarks on a journey to uncover the answers to his clouded past. Nathan will soon realize that God's plan for his life is much greater than he ever could have imagined.
Shown at the LaBelle Assembly of God located on Fraser Avenue across from the Edward A. Updegrove elementary school as part of their annual summer movie festival. For more information call 675– 0900. There is no charge for the movie and even the popcorn is free.

Where Are Gas Prices Now?

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 1.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.41/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has fallen 0.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.49/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 15.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 3.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 14.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 7.8 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"After blaming higher gasoline prices on refineries for much of the early spring and summer, it now seems that higher oil prices may be to blame for an expected up tick in the national average," said analyist Patrick DeHaan. "Oil prices have silently been tracking higher after tension in Egypt started to impact the market, driving oil prices higher. In turn, gasoline prices have begun to stage a rally as well. Oil closed last week at its highest level in over a year, and it may lead to a gentler rally in retail gas price than what we saw earlier this year, but a rally none the less," DeHaan said.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Joann Jennings Woosley, 80, of LaBelle died on July 3, 2013.

She was the daughter of the late L.M. & Erma Hand Jennings and is survived by three daughters: Patti Nixon (fiance Bob Carroll), Sherri Carpenter (Steve), and Mara Woosley (Tim Loyd); and one son, Larry Woosley (Ellen) and daughter-in-law, Sandra Woosley; twelve grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren, as well as a large and loving extended family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, W. G. Woosley, and two sons, Tommy and Danny.

Joann was a long-time member of and pianist for the First Christian Church in LaBelle. She was well-known in the community as the third-generation owner of Jennings Hardware, and her family was selected as the Swamp Cabbage Festival Pioneer Family in 1986.

In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be made to the First Christian Church Music Fund, PO Box 10, LaBelle, FL 33975 or the Danny Woosley Memorial Scholarship Foundation, 6340 Channing Ave., Ft. Myers, FL 33905

Visitation will be at Akin-Davis Funeral Home on 560 E. Hickpochee Av., LaBelle from 5 PM to 8 PM on Saturday, July 6th. Funeral services will be held at the First Christian Church of LaBelle, 138 Ford Avenue, at 1:30 PM on Sunday, July 7th.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Driver Dies After Hitiing Multiple Objects

Car Hits Dumpster, Sign, And Pole

BONITA SPRINGS, FL. -- Daniel Dean Vinson, 25 of Bonita Beach died July 4th, 2013 as a result of a crash at 9:41 p.m. on old Bonita Beach Road.

A 2006 Nissan Altima was traveling westbound on County Road 865 in the inside lane and Vinson failed to maintain control of the vehicle which veered to the right, then started to rotate in a
clockwise motion traveling in a northwesterly direction across the westbound lanes.

The front left of the vehicle struck a dumpster located on the north shoulder and the vehicle  continued in a northwesterly direction striking a county road sign and a concrete power pole  with its left side.

The vehicle carne to rest on the north shoulder of County Road 865 facing eastbound. According to FHP Trooper M. Corporal Martin Hernandez Vinson was not wearing a seat belt and a blood alcohol test is pending.

High Water Closed Two Parks

High water prompts temporary closure of a WMA campground

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- High water levels have prompted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to temporarily close Banana Grove Road, the boat ramp entrance road and the campground at the Fish Eating Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA). At this time, other portions of the WMA remain open.

The closure goes into effect immediately and will be lifted as soon as conditions allow. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of those visiting the WMA.

If you have additional questions, please call the FWC’s South Regional Office during normal business hours at 561-625-5122.

Update: As of July 9th, both facilities are now open again.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Woman Dies Crashing Into Semi

ARCADIA, FL. -- A 31-year old woman died as a result of injuries Wednesday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. after crossing the centerline and hitting a tractor trailer rig.

Kaia Cross of Arcadia was traveling northbound on CR-769, just north of the intersection of Glendine

Avenue in a 2001 Lincoln Towncar as the vehicle swayed into the southbound lane, in front a 2006 Volvo Tractor Trailer driven by Christopher Perina of North Port.

The driver side area of the Lincoln was struck by the front of the truck, coming to rest in the northbound lane and east shoulder.

Cross was trapped in the Lincoln and once removed from the vehicle, was pronounced at the scene. Perina had no injuries. The roadway was closed for approximately 3 hours as the investigation was conducted said FHP Trooper Michael Hathcock and homicide investigagtor Cpl. Kimberly Benavidez.

Cross was not wearing a seat belt. An investigation is pending for any charges. It is unknown if alcohol was a factor for Cross swaying into the wrong lane.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Water From Lake Released As Water Rises Quickly

Water Releases Hope To Slow The Rise In Lake Levels

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced increases in flows from Lake Okeechobee for at least the next two weeks.

"Heavy rain has caused the lake to rise rapidly over the past few days," said Jorge Tous, Chief of Jacksonville District’s Water Management Section. "It is necessary to increase flows from the lake to slow the rise." 

Conditions around the lake remain very wet, with rainfall 40 percent above average since the beginning in April. Wet conditions are forecast to continue, with above average rainfall predicted through September. 

The Corps expects these flows to be in effect for at least the next 14 days, unless conditions significantly change.

Lake Okeechobee, in south central Florida is the second largest fresh water lake in the U.S. and famous for it's bass fishing.
Today, the lake stage is 14.33 feet, which is within the Low Operational Sub-Band as defined under the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule, the master plan for water management of the lake. 

The Corps will increase the discharges beginning Friday, July 5. The target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at the Moore Haven Lock and Dam (S-77), and 1,800 cfs for the St. Lucie Estuary as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam (S-80) near Stuart.

Additional increases in the discharge rate may be necessary as conditions change. The Corps will continue to monitor and make adjustments as necessary.

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Judy Mace Graham, age 48, of LaBelle, passed away June 28, 2013 in Fort Myers.
She was born Jan. 18, 1965 in Columbus, IN, to James O. Mace and the late Carol (Powell) Mace.

Survivors include her husband: Charles Scott Graham, daughters: Jeannine Townsend (Mark) and Nicole Danielle Hansen, father: James O. Mace, brother: James H. Mace and sisters: Sheila Mace and Sarah Jimenez, step brother: G.T. Ivy and grandchildren: Christopher Buendia, Sophia Buendia and Madison Townsend.

A memorial service will be held Wed, July 10, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at International Christian Fellowship in LaBelle with Brother Sammy Co. officiating. Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Max E. Menk passed away on Sunday, June 30, 2013, at the age of 76.

He is survived by his children, Linda Menk Baker and husband Pat of Oviedo, FL, Gretchen Menk Tindle and husband James of Alva, FL, Christine Lynn Menk of Slidell, LA, David Michael Menk of Atlanta, GA, brother Philip A. Menk of TN, and five grandchildren, Elizabeth Baker, John Baker, Austin Tindle, Lauren Tindle, and Emily Tindle.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass to be held at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 13031 Palm Beach Boulevard, Fort Myers, FL 33905 on Tuesday, July 23, at 9 a.m.

Contributions in memory of Max can be made to Hope Hospice, 2430 Diplomat Parkway, Cape Coral, FL, 33909, or the American Cancer Society.

Evidence Tampering In Murder Case Say Deputies

Suspect Seen Taking Something From Dead Person

OKEECHOBEE, FL. -- On July 2, 2013, 48 year old Bruce Lamar Wright, 833 NW 34 Street, Okeechobee, Florida, was arrested and charged with Tampering with Evidence. The charge stems from the recent homicide of Antoine McQueen Hill that happened on June 15, 2013.

Prior to the arrival of Law Enforcement at the scene, Wright was seen taking something from the body of the victim. Wright was identified by several bystanders.

Wright has since posted bond of $25,000.00.

Sheriff Paul C. May said of the arrest, “I encourage anyone, that if you have any information related to this homicide, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 863-763-3117, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477 where callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward. We will bring the suspect(s) to justice for this crime.”

This is an ongoing investigation and no further information is to be released at this time, said the Sheriff's office.

Small Town Museum Gets $50,000

Funds To Be Used To Move Historic House

LABELLE, FL. -- The LaBelle Heritage Museum this week received a letter from Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announcing the award of a $50,000 Historic Preservation Grant for developing the LaBelle Heritage Museum complex during the period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. 

According to the Museum President Joe Thomas. the organization will receive the formal grant award agreement documents to be signed and returned to the Bureau of Historic Preservation no later than October 1, 2013 before any funds can be released.

 Thomas said, "I had not held out much hope of us being awarded a grant during this particular grant cycle since our application was ranked 31 out of 39 submitted by the first panel of "experts" before all applications were submitted to the Secretary of State for his review before submission to the Florida Legislature with his recommendations for possible inclusion in an appropriations bill. I knew our application was still "alive" after that first round since I did not receive actual notice of it being rejected and understood it would be forwarded to the Florida Department of State."

Because of the grant the museum will be able to proceed with the move of the "Rider" house and law office from 150 South Lee Street to 360 North Bridge Street using the funds from this Small Matching Historic Preservation grant-in-aid.

LaBelle Heritage Museum was exempted from matching any grant funds because LaBelle and Hendry County are Rural Economic Development Initiative communities and not subject to matching requirements on a number of state grants-in-aid, said Thomas.

"We have been planning the move this summer irrespective of being awarded this grant and are extremely fortunate we have not expended any actual funds up to this time. All cash expenditures must be made during the life of the grant itself in order to be reimbursed/paid from the grant funds themselves," said Thomas.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Hendry-Glades Obituaries

Rosa Lee Goodbread, age 87, of Fort Myers, passed away June 24, 2013 in Fort Myers. She was born Mar. 8, 1926 in Mayo, FL.

She married Howell Goodbread; he preceded her in death in 1995.

She leaves behind her children: Steven, Stacey and Sandy, her two sisters; Lorraine and Mary Lou, eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

She was a loving sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

Graveside funeral services were held 12 noon Saturday, June 29, 2013 in Ridgelawn Cemetery. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston

Monday, July 01, 2013

Falling Prices In Florida But Still Higher Than Last Year

Average retail gasoline prices in Florida have fallen 5.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.43/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 8,237 gas outlets in Florida. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.50/gallon.

Including the change in gas prices in Florida during the past week, prices yesterday were 26.5 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 decreased 13.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 12.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

"After an impressive surge abated several weeks ago, we're seeing gasoline prices decline nicely," said Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "One in five states currently has at least one gas station with gasoline under $3/gallon: South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico, Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan all have at least one station statewide under $3. The national average is likely to continue its decline this week as retail prices catch up to the decrease in wholesale gasoline prices," DeHaan said.