Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pamela Homsher Dies After Lehigh Crash

Fort Myers, Fl. -- Pamela Kay Homsher  of Lehigh Acres, FL.died after a Lehigh Acres crash Wednesday morning about 10:38 a.m.

Homsher in a 2009 Dodge Journey was traveling westbound on Jaguar Blvd approaching the intersection of Homestead Rd S,facing a stop sign.

Megan Nicole Tejeda, 29 of  Lehigh Acres in a 2012 Hyundai Sonata was traveling northbound on Homestead Rd S approaching the intersection of Jaguar Blvd.

Homsher failed to observe the stop sign and attempted to cross the intersection of Homestead Rd S. and failed to notice the Hyundai approaching and as a result entered its path. The Hyundai struck the Dodge in the left side with the front of the Hyundai.

Homsher was pronounced deceased at 4:46 PM at Lee Memorial Hospital.

Boil Water Notice For High School

LABELLE, FL. -- Port LaBelle Utility has issued a boil water notice for Rainbow Circle and LaBelle High School. 

The notice was issued due to a water line repair done on Rainbow Circle. Bacteriological samples will be collected today and tomorrow for analysis. If the samples come back negative, the boil water notice will be lifted. The lab analysis will not be completed until Friday.

UPDATE: The Port LaBelle Utilities Department has lifted the Boil Water Advisory in effect for Rainbow Circle and LaBelle High School Friday at 1:33 p.m.. All water tests were clear. If you have any questions, please call 863-675-5220.

143 Mile Okeechobee Dike To Be Fixed

CLEWISTON, FL -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finalized a key report that authorizes additional rehabilitation work on the Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee in south Florida.

The Corps' Jacksonville District received notification Tuesday (Aug. 30) that the dam safety modification report for the dike has been approved, marking the culmination of a four-year effort to conduct a risk assessment of the 143-mile earthen structure and develop alternatives for its rehabilitation.

"We now have a definitive plan for completing rehabilitation of the dike," said Col. Jason Kirk, Jacksonville District commander. "Our report shows dike rehabilitation is about half complete. Now we must continue pressing forward to finish the job."

Congressional appropriations of more than $870 million since 2001 have enabled the Corps to execute the administration-priority mission by constructing a 21-mile partial cutoff wall and starting replacement of 19 water control structures. The Corps plans to install another 35 miles of cutoff wall between Belle Glade and Lakeport along the south and west portions of the dike. The Corps also plans to armor the embankment at a bridge on State Route 78 and construct floodwalls at two water control structures on the north side of the lake. The estimated cost of the remaining work is about $830 million, bringing total costs for the program to approximately $1.7 billion.

"Completion of work identified in the plan will significantly decrease the risk of dike failure as we manage water levels under the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule," said Kirk. "We recognize the desire to revisit the regulation schedule, and completion of this work may open up some additional flexibility in our operations."

The Corps anticipates starting a study on changes to the regulation schedule in 2022 will ensure results are available by the time dike rehabilitation is complete on the south side of the structure, currently forecast in 2025. This is consistent with the Integrated Delivery Schedule (IDS) used by the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration program.

"Completion of rehabilitation doesn't necessarily enable additional capacity to hold water in the lake," said Kirk. "It's possible we may get some flexibility in how we manage lake water, but we will need to review proposed water management plans and assess potential impacts on the dike as part of any future study."

For more information on Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation, visit the Jacksonville District website at

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Glades Voters Pick Candidates

MOORE HAVEN, Fl. -- Tuesday's primary election for Glades county resulted in the following:

David Hardin over Daryl Lewis as Democratic candidate for Sheriff; Susan Harrelle over Robert Davis as Republican candidate.

Angie Hough over Vincent Lewis as Democratic candidate for Supervisor of Elections; Aletris Farnam over Anita Sauls as Republican candidate.

Jake Eighner over Dave McGhee and Duane Watson for Moore Haven Council.

Mary Lou Raab over Ron Main, Tom Valley, and Mike Ashworth for Buckhead Ridge Mosquito Control District.

Voters said "yes" on Flexible Funding For Glades County Schools and Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption

Janet Taylor Loses Commission Seat To Emma Byrd

LABELLE, FL. -- The Tuesday primary election resulted in a few surprises as the results were tallied from Hendry county's 10 precincts. Janet Taylor lost her Hendry Commission District 1 seat to Emma Byrd, while Mitchell Wills won the Republican race for Commission District 3 over Sarah Catala and Shone Phillips.

In other races, Incumbent Pat Langford won over challenger Amy Collins for Hendry Tax Collector; Sheriff Steve Whidden won over Johnny Johnson in the Democratic race; County Judge Scott Cupp over Daniel Page; School Board District 1 member Dwayne Brown over Kimberly Ross; and School Board District 2 member Sally Berg over Kim Perkins;

William Lambert Dies At 73

William U. Lambert, age 73, of LaBelle, passed away August 27, 2016 in LaBelle.

He was born Nov. 4, 1942 in Cross City, FL, to the late Mathew Ulmer Lambert and the late Mary Ella (Dupree) Adams. He served in the Army. William retired from Six L's Packing Company in Immokalee. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed being with his family.

Survivors include his wife of twenty-one years: Maggie A. (Drinnon) Lambert, daughters: Lisa (Don Taylor) Taylor and Laura Lambert, son: Larry Lambert, step daughter: Julie Lozano, step sons: Rick Cagle and John Cagle, sisters: Nadine Gonzalez and Connie Beverly, step brother, Eddie Adams, six grandchildren, five step grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 3, 2016, 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Pastor Jorge Rodriguez officiating. Visitation will be Saturday 10:00 a.m. until start of the service at the funeral home.

The graveside committal service is Saturday, 1:00 p.m. at Lake Trafford Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Immokalee (weather permitting).

William's family would like to thank Hope Hospice and Six L's Packing Co. for their support to the family.

Tomas Hernandez Dies In Crash On State Road 80

LABELLE, FL. -- Tomas G. Hernandez, 20 of Clewiston died in a 5:59 a.m.. crash Tuesday in western Hendry county.

A 1996 Freightliner, driven by Carlos Ranier Hernandez, 37 of Fort Denaud was traveling north in the driveway of 7261 SR-80. A witness vehicle was traveling east on SR-80 in the outside lane approaching the driveway access.

Tomas Hernandez in a 2005 Chevy was traveling east on SR-80 in the outside lane directly behind the witness vehicle. The Freightliner made a right turn into the outside lane of SR-80, traveling east.

The Freightliner established the outside lane and proceeded to gain speed. The driver of the Chevy proceeded into the inside eastbound lane, passed the witness vehicle, and traveled southeast into the
outside lane. The front portion of the Chevy struck the rear portion of the Freightliner.

The driver of the Chevy was pronounced deceased on scene. No other injuries were reported.

A Walk Across Florida - Bob Kranich

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

Bombs Away!

I never knew just what was going to be around the next bend in the road or trail. That is what made this trip so very interesting. But I got excited when I did my research 45 years later. There were so many things that I may have been puzzled about when I was on my hike but the technical facts answered those questions and where a joy to me when I wrote my book.

It was resupply time, and the only food store in town, a 7-11, was the place to go. Whenever I went into a place to get supplies I always took my pack in with me. I couldn’t take the chance of losing it. After all, now it was my home, just like a turtle’s shell. As I was leaving the store and starting on my way walking along the road, an olive-drab 3/4 ton Army truck drove by and a Green Beret soldier driving it gave me a wave.

I continued down highway 19 towards Lake George. As the road was crossing a creek, I looked down and saw a small alligator casually swimming along. It was about a foot and a half long. Then here came another Army truck, and the two soldiers in it honked the horn and waved. I guess I must have impressed them…..

The Navy fighters were overhead and at it again. I have since found out that the bombing range is the United States Navy’s Pinecastle Bombing Range. This is a restricted area of approximately 5700 acres. This is the only place on the East coast of the United States where the Navy can perform live bombing. The Navy drops approximately 20,000 bombs a year on this area. Most of them are duds, but a few, about 200 of them, are live. These fighters come in either from the Naval Air Station at Jacksonville or from aircraft carriers off the coast. They aim for the central 450 acres. They are authorized to drop up to 500 pound bombs. They have been using this area for the last 50 years with the U. S. Forest Service’s permission…..

With the help of some friends at work and some research I found out that these planes were carrier-based Vought A-7 Corsairs. The A-7 is a single-seat tactical fighter-bomber. According to, “The A-7 Corsair bears an uncanny resemblance to a drainage pipe with wings.” It first flew in 1965. Even though it looks bulky, it had some real power and could deliver a large load of munitions. The “pipe” look comes from the large frontal intake. This was needed because the Pratt & Whitney turbofan engine requires a large amount of airflow, allowing it to attack targets at very high speeds.

I decided that I should get off this highway and see some of the back country. In a couple of miles I came upon a sand road entering the highway on the west side. I was sure that it was Forest Road (FR) 85, so I crossed over and took it, heading west. I hadn’t gone very far, when I observed panther tracks in the sand. It was walking, and then ran, and then according to the tracks it turned off, apparently very fast.

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or

Community Women's Bible Study September 2

LABELLE, FL. -- Friday at 12 noon the Community women’s Bible Study will resume its study in the book of Isaiah chapter 55. 

The group has been on Summer break while school was not in session. Kathy Avery is the teacher of the class. 

All women in the LaBelle area are invited to LaBelle Assembly at 139 Fraser Avenue to join the events. 

Anyone, seeking information call 675-0900 or

Friday, August 26, 2016

Heritage Museum Monthly Program September 1

LABELLE, FL -- LaBelle Heritage Museum resumes its monthly program meetings on Thursday, September 1, at 7 p.m. in the museum located at 360 North Bridge Street. Parking at the museum itself is limited, however Rene Curtis Pratt says museum attendees are welcome to use the parking lot at Harold Curtis Honey, Co., immediately across the street at 335 North Bridge Street. 

The museum's regular first Thursday of the month evening program meetings and its Special Speaker meetings made possible by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council are open to both members and the public at no charge. Attendees are asked to be seated and ready for the program to start at 7 o'clock since many of our guest speakers do have some distance to travel at the conclusion of the program.

The September program will be an update on the "Rehabilitation of LaBelle Heritage Museum's 1911 William H. Poole Store" being made possible by a $228,000 Special Category Grant from the State of Florida through its Division of Historical Resources. Museum president Joe Thomas, project professional engineer H. L. Bennett, and builder Grayson Hicks will report on the scope of the project and the guidelines they learned at a special program for grant recipients held on July 25. They hope actual project work will commence by the end of September at the latest.

There will be a short business meeting following a break for refreshments at the of the program. Membership renewal dues for the 2016/2017 LaBelle Heritage Museum will be accepted at this time along with new member applications and donations for special museum projects. The October meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 6, at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Donna Keen Dies At 69

Donna Rae Keen, age 69, of Moore Haven, passed away August 18, 2016 in Moore Haven.

She was born July 20, 1947 in Clewiston, FL, to the late John Lee and the late Ila May (Dyess) Herndon. She worked as a clerk for the tax collector's office, was a licensed beautician. She was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

Survivors include two sons: Jason D Whidden and Jacob D. Whidden (Susan), Grandson, Ashton Whidden; Step-Son, Kenny Wayne Keene (Amanda); Grandson, Rylan Keene; Grandson, Parker Keene

Memorial services were held Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm at First Baptist Church Of Moore Haven, Moore Haven with Rev. Sherrill Tillery officiating. Visitation was Tuesday from 1 hour prior to service at First Baptist Church of Moore Haven, Moore Haven, FL.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chronic Health Condition Management Free Classes Sept 1

LABELLE, FL. -- Do you live day to day with a chronic health condition? Have you ever wondered if there is a program that can help you live a better quality of life? If so, then this program is for you.

It’s All About You is a six week workshop and is offered at no cost, having a proven track record for improving your health, decreasing emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations.

If you suffer from any chronic health condition, including, but not limited to diabetes, heart disease, asthma, depression, or cancer, sign up today for this fun and interactive six week workshop that will be held at Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center, starting on Thursday, September 1st from 1 to 3:30 meeting each Thursday for six weeks..

Through this program, you will learn to:

 Live with a chronic health condition
 Make smarter decisions related to healthy eating
 Understand the benefits of exercise
 More easily manage your medications

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program was developed by Stanford University and is offered
both nationally and worldwide. As a participant of this course, you will receive a comprehensive reference book entitled, “ Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” by Dr. Kate Lorig.

Please call (239) 424-3122 today for more information and to register for this free program.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Walk Across Florida - Ocala National Forest

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

I think that this again reinforces the just down right friendliness of the people I met on my hike.

Just imagine…. this fisherman did not know me from the next guy coming down the road. Of course I looked the part of a hiker with all of the equipment. It may have helped. Nevertheless sometimes I just had to delay my trip for a great experience. It was good that I was not really in a hurry!

I got over the canal and off the bridge, then took a rest and had something to eat. I thought I must be near a Navy bombing target because silver stub nose Navy planes were streaking in overhead heading south. They would dive, pull up and circle around to do it over and over. They came in groups of two’s and three’s. They had red and green lights on their swept-back wings. What a great show!

I continued south on Highway 19. I figured that I must be getting close to the Oklawaha River. I heard an alligator bellowing, and it echoed against the trees. I crossed a river bridge and saw a sign to Johnson Field boat ramp and campsite. I was sure glad to arrive even though it was dark. I had hiked approximately 25 miles! …..

It was morning and the sunlight was filtering through the trees. A hoot owl sounded off in the distance. I got up and checked out the boat ramp….

There were a couple of house boats along the shore, one on the opposite bank and the other sunk on my side. This was a perfect opportunity to do some sketching. Later on I saw a guy working on his boat. I got to talking to him about the river and fishing. He said that he was going out later in the afternoon and invited me to go for a boat ride and fishing with him and his friends. I accepted….A couple of the fisherman’s friends, a girl and boy stopped by to talk.

Just a little past lunch, the fisherman came by and we went over to the boat ramp where he had his boat docked. His two friends were already on the boat. We launched the boat and headed up-river. From what little I know about boats, the boat was 12 foot long, looking like a flat-bottom boat with twin hulls. It went like a flash, a real thrill ride. My fisherman friend knew the river. There were many side channels. You could get lost if you didn’t know the river, partly because of its sharp bends. It was beautiful scenery, a stark contrast to the canal I had just crossed yesterday. We stopped and dropped anchor in a back channel. There the cypress and water oaks formed a towering roof 40 feet above us.

The Oklawaha River,* is a Creek Indian name for “muddy.” It is a little bit unusual because it flows north from Leesburg and then east where it dumps into the north-flowing St. Johns River…..

In the 19th and 20th centuries the river was used for steamboat transportation* from the St. Johns River mostly to the famous Silver Springs located center west of the now Ocala National Forest. In fact many famous figures traveled this way from Palatka to the springs: Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas Edison, and Harriet Beecher Stowe to name a few. These steam boats were very narrow. Many were only 18 feet wide at the waterline and 30 feet high above the water. They had to be small and have good turning capability to navigate the winding twisting river. The river is navigable for most of its length.

Many parts of the Oklawaha River’s natural beauty are as they were when the Seminoles roamed and hunted years ago. One will see semi-tropical forest along the sides of the river. The forests are filled with maples, bald cypress, palmettos and pines of all types. In fact, it is so wild that one may see many animals such as bobcats, deer, otters, wild boar, black bear and turkeys. There are also plenty of fish, small mammals and birds.

However we did not catch any of those plentiful fish….

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or

Friday, August 19, 2016

Obituaries - Frank Billie, Jamie Navarro, Suzanne Long

Frank J. Billie, age 91, of Clewiston, passed away August 16, 2016 in Clewiston. He was born in Collier County, FL, to the late John Billie and the late Margaret Dixie.

He is survived by two sons: Mitchell Cypress and Timothy Billie, four sisters: Alice Billie, Nina Billie, Elizabeth Tiger and Ollie Tiger Balentine, two granddaughters and many nieces and nephews and other family members.

Funeral services were held Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 10:00 am at Big Cypress First Baptist Church, Clewiston with Rev. Paul Buster officiating. Interment was Thursday, August 18, 2016 in Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Jamie Navarro, age 48, of Clewiston, passed away August 16, 2016 in Fort Myers.

He was born Nov. 10, 1967 in Puerto Rico to Juan and Francisca (Rodriguez) Navarro. Jamie worked as a Sheriff Deputy for many years, then later he worked as a juvenile counselor for a few years.

Survivors include one son: Jamie Navarro, father; Juan Navarro, mother; Francisca Sanabria, three brothers: Carmelo Navarro, Raul Navarro and Johnny Navarro, and two sisters: Maria Navarro and Lourdes Navarro.

Celebration of Jamie's life will be held Monday, August 22, 2016 at 11:00 am in First United Methodist Church, Clewiston with Pastor Jeff Smith officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation will be Monday from 1 hour prior to service in First United Methodist Church, Clewiston, FL.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Suzanne L. Long, age 69, of LaBelle, passed away August 18, 2016 in Lehigh Acres. She was born April 27, 1947 in Denison, TX, to the late Harold Alvin and the late Lois Marie (Gillum) Shoemaker.

She is survived by her loving husband: Garry R. Long and two brothers: Danny Shoemaker and Tim Shoemaker.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Urologist Robert Scappa Paying $250,000 Settlement

Robert A. Scappa, D.O. has agreed to pay $250,000 to the government to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by causing claims to be submitted to federal health care programs for laboratory tests that were not medically necessary.

Scappa was a urologist practicing as part of Scappa Urology, which was a division of 21st Century Oncology, LLC. 21st Century is a nationwide provider of integrated cancer care services that is headquartered in Fort Myers. As part of its business, 21st Century employs and affiliates with physicians in specialty fields such as radiation oncology, medical oncology, and urology. 

The allegations that doctors affiliated with 21st Century were ordering unnecessary FISH tests were originally brought in a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private parties to bring suit on behalf of the government and to share in any recovery. 

The whistleblower, a former medical assistant who worked for David Spellberg, M.D. at Naples Urology Associates, which was also a division of 21st Century Oncology, will receive $37,500 as her share of this recovery. This amount is in addition to a $3.2 million share she will receive as the result of the $19.75 million settlement previously reached with 21st Century Oncology.

The settlement announced today resolves allegations that Scappa caused to be submitted claims to Medicare and Tricare for fluorescence in situ hybridization, or “FISH,” tests that were not medically necessary. FISH tests are laboratory tests performed on urine that can detect genetic abnormalities associated with bladder cancer. Medicare does not consider a FISH test reasonable or necessary unless it’s used to monitor for tumor reoccurrence in a patient previously diagnosed with bladder cancer or unless, after performing a full urologic workup, the physician has reason to suspect that a patient with hematuria (i.e., blood in the urine) may have bladder cancer.

In January 2009, Scappa began referring all of the FISH testing ordered by him to a laboratory owned and operated by 21st Century. He was paid bonuses by the company based, in part, on the number of FISH tests he referred to 21st Century laboratory. The settlement is based on Scappa’s ability to pay.

Harley-Davidson Settles Illegal Device Complaint - $12 Million Penalty

The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with Harley-Davidson Inc., Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group LLC, Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company Inc. and Harley-Davidson Motor Company Operations Inc., that requires the companies to stop selling and to buy back and destroy illegal devices that increase air pollution from their motorcycles and to sell only models of these devices that are certified to meet Clean Air Act emissions standards. 

Harley-Davidson will also pay a $12 million civil penalty and spend $3 million to mitigate air pollution through a project to replace conventional woodstoves with cleaner-burning stoves in local communities.

The government’s complaint, filed today along with the settlement, alleges that Harley-Davidson manufactured and sold approximately 340,000 illegal devices, known as “super tuners,” that, once installed, caused motorcycles to emit higher amounts of certain air pollutants than what the company certified to EPA. 

Aftermarket defeat devices like these super tuners alter a motor vehicle’s emissions controls and are prohibited under the Clean Air Act for use on vehicles that have been certified to meet EPA emissions standards. Harley-Davidson also made and sold more than 12,000 motorcycles that were not covered by an EPA certification that ensures a vehicle meets federal clean air standards.

“Given Harley-Davidson’s prominence in the industry, this is a very significant step toward our goal of stopping the sale of illegal aftermarket defeat devices that cause harmful pollution on our roads and in our communities,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden, head of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Anyone else who manufactures, sells, or installs these types of illegal products should take heed of Harley-Davidson’s corrective actions and immediately stop violating the law.”

“This settlement immediately stops the sale of illegal aftermarket defeat devices used on public roads that threaten the air we breathe,” said Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Harley-Davidson is taking important steps to buy back the ‘super tuners’ from their dealers and destroy them, while funding projects to mitigate the pollution they caused.”

Since January 2008, Harley-Davidson has manufactured and sold two types of tuners, which when hooked up to Harley-Davidson motorcycles, allow users to modify certain aspects of a motorcycles’ emissions control system. These modified settings increase power and performance, but also increase the motorcycles’ emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides (NOx). These tuners have been sold at Harley-Davidson dealerships across the country.

The Clean Air Act requires motor vehicle manufacturers to certify to EPA that their vehicles will meet applicable federal emissions standards to control air pollution and every motor vehicle sold in the U.S. must be covered by an EPA-issued certificate of conformity. The Clean Air Act prohibits manufacturers from making and selling devices that bypass, defeat, or render inoperative a motor vehicle’s EPA-certified emissions control system. The act also prohibits any person from removing or rendering inoperative a motor vehicle’s certified emissions control system and from causing such tampering. The complaint alleges violations of both these provisions.

Under the settlement, Harley-Davidson will stop selling the illegal aftermarket defeat devices in the United States by August 23. Harley-Davidson will also offer to buy back all such tuners in stock at Harley-Davidson dealerships across the country and destroy them. The settlement requires the company to obtain a certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for any tuners it sells in the United States in the future. The CARB certification will demonstrate that the CARB-certified tuners do not cause Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles to exceed the EPA-certified emissions limits. Harley-Davidson will also conduct tests on motorcycles that have been tuned with the CARB-certified tuners and provide the results to EPA to ensure that its motorcycles remain in compliance with EPA emissions requirements. In addition, for any super tuners that Harley-Davidson sells outside the United States in the future, it must label them as not for use in the United States.

The complaint also alleges that Harley-Davidson made and sold more than 12,000 motorcycles from model years 2006, 2007 and 2008 that were not covered by an EPA certificate of conformity. A certificate of conformity covers only the motorcycle models that were included in the certification application and that are listed on the certificate. These 12,000 motorcycles were models that were not included in Harley-Davidson’s applications and that were not listed as covered by the relevant certificate. Under the consent decree, Harley-Davidson will ensure that all of its future motorcycle models intended for sale in the United States are fully certified by EPA.

Hydrocarbon and NOx emissions contribute to harmful ground-level ozone and NOx also contributes to fine particulate matter pollution. Exposure to these pollutants has been linked with a range of serious health effects, including increased asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses. Exposure to ozone and particulate matter has also been associated with premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects. Children, the elderly and people with pre-existing respiratory disease are particularly at risk of health effects from exposure to these pollutants. The woodstove project, which Harley-Davidson will undertake in conjunction with an independent third party, will eliminate excess air pollution caused by using the illegal tuners by providing cleaner-burning stoves to designated local communities, thereby assuring better air quality in the future.

EPA discovered the violations through a routine inspection and information Harley-Davidson submitted after subsequent agency information requests.

$10,000 Reward In Bee Hive Theft Cases

FORT MYERS, Fl. -- Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help tracking down thieves who have stolen more than $100,000 in bee hive boxes over the last four months and a bee company is offering a large reward for information.

The first incident was reported in May, when unknown suspects removed two pallets, containing 12 hives from a remote property in Lehigh Acres. The hives had a value of approximately $4,500.
In late June, deputies received another report of 100 wooden bee boxes stolen from a Cape Coral property. The victim said the fence protecting the area where the hives were being kept had been cut, allowing the suspects access to remove the boxes.

Then, on July 7, Wonderful Bees, a national company with hives in both Lee and Charlotte Counties, reported that all of their boxes from a location in Alva had been taken. In total, 192 beehives were removed from the site, valued at more than $41,000.

The most recent theft occurred last week, when another Wonderful Bees location was targeted in south Lee County. During this theft, 180 double boxes of beehives were stolen, leaving a total loss of $42,000.

In order to remove the beehive pallets, the suspects would have required heavy machinery to remove the boxes. Detectives believe the same suspects are responsible for all four incidents.

Wonderful Bees, the victim in two of the four thefts, is now offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the thefts. Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information on the identities and whereabouts of the suspects responsible is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers and up to $10,000 from Wonderful Bees. Tips may also be made online at or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Jeremy Delgado Arrested On Burglary Charges

CLEWISTON, FL. -- On August 16, 2016, at approximately 1:45 pm, Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputies were responding to a Burglary that had just occurred. While in route to the scene, Deputies were advised that the suspects, two Hispanic males, had fled on foot towards the Sherwood Subdivision in Clewiston.

When Deputies arrived at Sherwood, they saw a Hispanic male who fit the description of one of the suspects. The suspect was identified as 18 year old, Jeremy Delgado. Delgado appeared to be nervous, winded, and covered in sweat. Delgado was detained while an investigation was made. Deputies recovered a flat head screwdriver, a prescription bottle with pills, and two gloves in Delgado’s possession.

Officers made contact with the complainant, Michael Cox, who is the son of the victims. The victims were out of town at the time of the incident and Mr. Cox is representing his parents in their absence. Mr. Cox was able to give a description of the two Hispanic males who had been seen by him leaving a back bedroom window and running from the home. The bedroom window was broken and the entire home was ransacked.

Mr. Cox positively identified Jeremy Delgado to officers on scene.

Delgado was arrested on charges of Possession of Prescription Drugs without a Prescription, Damage to Property- Criminal Mischief, Burglary, Possession of Burglary Tools, and Tampering with Evidence. Delgado is being held in the Hendry County Jail on a $72,000 bond.

Kiwanis Kids Day November 5

LABELLE, FL. -- Kiwanis Club of LaBelle will present their annual Kiwanis Kid’s Day on Saturday, November 5th from 10am to 2pm at Barron Park. Expect a fun-filled day for the whole family, lots of things to do, lots of things to see and lots of things to eat! 

There will be entertainment, games and activities! Also, local agencies, businesses and community partners will provide fun things and educational information for kids and their families. If you or your organization would like to set up a booth at Kids Day, please contact the Kiwanis Club of LaBelle at (863) 675-4043 or stop by the Kiwanis Thrift Store for more information.

This is a well-attended event which would give your organization the opportunity to interact with a lot of families and provide some fun for the kids in our community. Over the years many businesses, agencies and community partners have participated in this event.
Provide something “fun” for the kids (Stickers, pencils, or create a simplegame/activity they could play, etc.)
You can set up information about your organization on your table as well. (You provide your own table and chairs)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MaryLois Birdwell Biggs Dies At 47

MaryLois Birdwell Biggs, born to Frank and Theresa Birdwell of Moore Haven Florida on July 10, 1969, entered into Rest on Friday, August 12, 2016 at Martin Memorial North Hospital in Stuart, Florida. 

She leaves behind her loving, devoted husband, John Edward Biggs II, of 24 years and Shasta, her Chihuahua.

MaryLois worked with Glades County Public Safety as a volunteer Fire Fighter, in her father's footsteps, for 21 years, as well as a Paramedic with EMS for fifteen years and a dispatcher for the Glades County Sheriff's Office for ten years. She served her community with joy that was always evident by that broad smile on her face. MaryLois was loved by many and will truly be missed.

A Viewing will be held at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston, Florida on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 5 -8 pm and graveside service will be Wednesday morning 11 am at Ortona Cemetery. Procession to the cemetery will be from the Moore Haven Fire Station on Avenue H in Moore Haven, Florida at 10 am Wednesday morning.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tony Patrick Injured In ATV Crash

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Tony Lamorris Patrick Jr., 35 was traveling in a northeasterly direction on an ATV on the east grassy shoulder of Riverside Driver (just south of North Avenue) in Moore Haven when he suddenly lost control about 4:04 p.m. Sunday.

He was not wearing a helmet.

While being ejected from the 2011 Yamaha ATV he sustained a significant impact to the head. The ATV then overturned before coming to final rest in the upright position on the grassy shoulder.

He was recovered by Glades County EMS and later transported by MEDFLIGHT to Lee Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

Expressions - Bill Neville

Commentary by T.W. Bill Neville

As the aging process and the tumultuous world situations tax even my imaginations, I find myself recalling calmer, less complicated, "EXPRESSIONS", serving as a "placebo" resolution of my distrust of today's society to survive.

Taking the exorbitant cost of living today, as an example, I'm reminded of that "expression", "It will cost an arm and a leg." A quick look at "it's" derivation and I find that applied to the cost of portrait painting in Colonial days, leading to the fact that most portraits did not include "arms" or "legs", because of their painting difficulty and the extra cost.

In the same times, "wigs" were almost exclusive to the "rich", with women going with silk and men with wool, after having their heads shaved. Between perspiration, lice and airborne dirt, the wigs had to be cleaned and sanitized regularly. As a result of the cleaning process, the wigs became fluffy and enlarged, leading to the expression that, the wearer must rich, and a "BIG WIG."

As a kid in Indiana, many was the time, when in exasperation to being bullied, I would resort to shouting Leave me alone, and "Mind you own bee's wax." Now I find out that the saying came from the fact that Acne skin conditions resulted in people using "Bee's wax" to hide the facial blemishes, and when singled out for still looking bad, they would shout out the "saying!"

Others, women primarily, always are shown without a smile, because if they did the "Bees wax" would crack, and that's where the expression, "Cracking a smile," came from They dare sit too near the fireplace or they could suffer "Losing face."

The expression, "Not playing with a full deck" came about as a result of a "tax" being put on all Playing Cards containing the "Ace" of spades. To avoid paying the tax, they would settle for a 51 card deck, and bear the shame of being accused of "Not playing with a full deck!!"
Right or wrong, good or bad, the "next" time you see the supposed "leaders" of this nation emoting in public, you might invite them to join in your "next" card game.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Six Arrested For Armed Burglary And Grand Theft In Clewiston

CLEWISTON, FL -- On August 11, 2016, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a burglary in progress at a residence on 7th Court in Clewiston and arrest six men on armed burglary and grand theft charges.

When Deputies arrived on the scene the victims said they had arrived home to find a blue, Mercedes Benz with two black males in the vehicle and two other black males standing at the rear of the car with the trunk open. The victims did not recognize the vehicle so they drove past their driveway instead of entering. 

They observed two other black males coming out of their home. The victims pulled into their driveway as the six suspects were leaving. The suspects went to the end of the road and turned around. The victims had exited their vehicle as the suspects came back by their home and one of the passengers of the Mercedes Benz had a black, semi-automatic gun and pointed at the victims.

Deputies searched the area and found a vehicle that matched the description, given by the victims, parked on the corner of 11th St. and Georgia Ave. A Deputy observed a black male, matching the description, run into a residence on Georgia Ave. 

The blue Mercedes Benz had been reported stolen out of Belle Glade earlier that day. A perimeter was set up around the residence on Georgia Ave. and before any other action was taken the suspects exited the residence and surrendered to deputies. The victims were able to identify the suspects on scene.

During the inventory search of the stolen vehicle, items from another burglary, in the area, were also recovered.

The suspects were identified as: 19 year old Tony Huggins, 18 year old Zachary Blackstock, 17 year old Dennis Johnson, 19 year old Jatavious Odoms, 18 year old Johntavis Richard, and 18
year old Artavious Warren. All six suspects were placed under arrest on charges of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon without Intent to Kill, Armed Burglary, Larceny Grand Theft and Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle.

Tony Huggins, Zachery Blackstock, Jatavious Odoms, Johntavis Richard, and Artavious Warren are currently in the Hendry County Jail on a $71,500 bonds.

Dennis Johnson is currently being held at the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mary Knowlton Killed In Police Academy Demonstration

PUNTA GORDA, FL. -- Mary Knowlton, 73 was killed accidentally by Punta Gorda police officer Lee Coel with a revolver during a Citizen Police Academy demonstration of a simulated crime scenario yesterday.

On Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, the Punta Gorda Police Department hosted approximately 35 civilians from the community for a two-hour Citizen Police Academy, during which time two participants were randomly selected to be put through a “shoot/don’t shoot” scenario in which they make decisions on using simulated lethal force in a live role play.

During the first scenario, participant Mary Knowlton was struck with a live round and was fatally injured. She was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis stated, “I am devastated for everyone involved in this unimaginable event. If you pray, please pray for Mary’s family, and for the officers who were involved. Everyone involved in this accident is in a state of overwhelming shock and grief.”
Chief Lewis contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to respond and begin an investigation into the events surrounding this incident. The involved officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation and is said to be with their friends and relatives at this time. 

Florida Department of Law Enforcement personnel are now on scene and have taken command of the investigation. 

The Punta Gorda Police Department said it "realizes the community has many questions about this incident. We also must take great care to not jeopardize the investigation. As the investigation continues and more information is available we will release it."

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Lewis, visibly shaken by the trajedy did not offer much detail to the incident other than saying the weapon used was not a standard issue revolver, but would not reveal the exact type of weapon so as to not jeopardize the investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He said he didn't yet know how live ammunition was mistakenly used during the community event where Knowlton was killed. Public Information Officer Lieutenant Katie Heck discretely shut down the questioning when the matter of the weapon used was brought up and the press conference ended.

Knowlton was married for over 50 years and was a community volunteer at many local organizations.

U.S. Army Corps Holds Meeting On Everglades Restoration Tuesday

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will be hosting a public meeting to discuss and seek input on the Western Everglades Restoration Project. Interested individuals, groups and agencies are encouraged to attend the meeting to provide comments and ask questions.

The meeting will be held in the John Boy Auditorium, 1200 South W.C. Owen Avenue, Clewiston, Florida 33440 on Tuesday, August 16 with an open house beginning at 6 p.m., followed by an official presentation at 6:30 p.m.

The Western Everglades Restoration project is a new planning effort aimed at improving the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of water needed to restore and reconnect the western Everglades ecosystem.

"The Western Everglades Restoration project will address areas within the Everglades that are important to help restore the overall system," said Tim Brown, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District project manager. "This public meeting will serve as the initial opportunity for interested individuals to provide their input into the development of the project and we look forward to receiving public comments at this meeting and throughout the planning process."

Comments are currently being accepted on the project through Aug. 24, 2016 and can be sent electronically or mailed to:

Melissa Nasuti
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District
P.O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019

A Walk Across Florida - The Barge Canal

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

The highway 19 crossing over the Cross-Florida Barge Canal was a high point on my trip. (Pun intended) While writing my book and doing the research I came upon many interesting facts. 

A couple for example: The vegetation that was cleared for the canal, today has grown right back and even up to sides of the canal, tall and thick. One other fact that I found real interesting is the Crusher-Crawler that was custom built to knock down the tall trees for the Rodman Dam. 

Even today it would be a monster! Both of these topics are illustrated and shown with photos in my book. They are just a few of the more than 100 field illustrations, photos and watercolors I included.
The Cross-Florida Barge Canal
I headed south when I came to highway 19, there ahead of me was what was responsible for my detour, the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. If I excluded the occasional fire tower I have climbed, this would be the highest point I would attain on my hike across Florida…..
The Cross Florida Barge Canal was first proposed as a ship canal. In fact, as early as 1567 a canal was proposed by King Phillip II of Spain. They were having a lot of trouble with shipwrecks and piracy as their ships sailed around the southern tip of Florida and into the Caribbean. Again in 1818 Secretary of War John C. Calhoun proposed this for the same reasons. Nothing ever came of it until the 1900’s.
In 1935 President Franklin D. Roosevelt started work on the canal to provide work during the depression. Immediately 6,000 workers attacked the land, taking out ancient oaks and large longleaf pines, and driving out all forms of wildlife by clearing 4,000 acres. A year later work was stopped by the Congress and opponents of the canal…..
In 1963 President John F. Kennedy supported the canal for political reasons and in 1964 President Lyndon Johnson  was present for the groundbreaking…..
Rodman Dam was constructed west of highway 19. The dam was named for a small community on a site that was flooded when the reservoir was filled. The dam was an integral part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal in providing water control to the canal.
To help in the construction of the dam and reservoir, the Corps of Engineers had a machine built that was called a crusher-crawler.* It was used to flatten thousands of valuable cypress trees along the Ocklawaha River. This destroyed 9,000+ acres of river and floodplain forest and backed up the river for 16 miles. This machine weighed 621,000 pounds, was amphibious and looked like a World War I tank, but much larger. It had two 10 foot wide tracks running the entire length of the machine and a tree pusher bar protruding out front. It was approximately 12-15 feet high by 40 feet long. On top was a control cabin which was an additional 12 feet high. The crusher-crawler was powered by two 270 horse power Caterpillar diesels.
The barge canal was opposed by environmental activist Marjorie Carr, grass roots environmentalists and a legal challenge…..
so in 1971 President Nixon halted construction. The building of the canal was officially cancelled in 1991…..
Here I was at the highway 19 bridge crossing the Cross State Barge Canal. The signs read:
As for the NO STOPPING ON BRIDGE, I wouldn’t stop, but I would only be going about 3 miles per hour on the left side of the bridge facing traffic. I got my camera out, put on my pack, unfastened my hip belt and started my climb. ….
About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or

Lawrence Wayne Raulerson Dies At 57

Lawrence Wayne Raulerson, age 57, of LaBelle, passed away August 8, 2016 in LaBelle.

He was born September 16, 1958, in Fort Myers, FL, to James Hardy and Violet June (White) Raulerson. Mr. Raulerson married Eileen L. Mailloux. He was a cowboy/rancher for many years.

Survivors include his loving wife: Eileen L. Raulerson, one son: Wayne Raulerson and his wife Kaylynn of LaBelle, FL and one daughter: Candice Davis and her husband John, II of LaBelle, FL, grandchildren; John "Jay" Davis, III, Jacob Davis, Jestin Davis, and Annabeth Raulerson, one brother: Buddy (Gwen) Raulerson of LaBelle, FL and three sisters: June (Kelly) Coffey of LaBelle, FL, Rose Mason of LaBelle, FL and Marie (Randy) Hays of Wauchula, FL,

Celebration of Wayne's life will be held 10 a.m. Friday at the Cowboy Church on Sears Road in LaBelle where Pastor Frank Dana will officiate. Visitation will be held in Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle Thursday evening from 6-8 pm.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Gopher Tortoise Workshop August 16

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is holding regional workshops this summer to present information on opportunities for local governments to help conserve gopher tortoises in Florida.

The goal of these workshops is to identify ways cities and counties can participate in protecting one of Florida’s threatened species. In addition, the FWC will discuss financial incentives available for local governments.

An Aug. 16 workshop is scheduled in Hendry County in south Florida, with representatives of local governments in nearby counties encouraged to attend.

Hendry County, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 9 a.m. to noon, Hendry County UF/IFAS Extension Office, 1085 Pratt Blvd., LaBelle, FL 33935

The workshop is free, but registration is required as space is limited. To register, send your name and your organization’s name to

For more information, and to download the Gopher Tortoise Management Plan, and click on “Management Plan.”

Monday, August 08, 2016

Agnes Cypress Dies At 77

Agnes Nanette Cypress, age 77, of Immokalee, passed away August 6, 2016 in Clewiston. She was born Oct. 19, 1938 in Collier County, Florida.

She is survived by two sons: Robert Cypress, Sr. and Shane Cypress, and three daughters: Jeanette Cypress, Wanda Billie and Nanette Cypress, one brother: Pilot Billie grandchildren, Shannon Cypress, Danielle Frye, Desiree Smith, Danni Tommie, Catlen Tommie, Cory Wilcox, Drew Osceola, Aaron Cypress, Ian Cypress, Raini Cypress, Tauni Cypress, Alexi Cypress, Zoey Cypress, Anthony Valdez, Brittany Huff, Lucee Cypress, Herbert Cypress, Robb Cypress and Robert Cypress, Jr.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sons, Herbert Cypress, Jr. and Aaron Cypress, grandchildren, Cody Wilcox, Blaze Wilcox and Karen Cypress.

Funeral services will be held Monday, August 8, 2016 at 1:00 pm at Big Cypress First Baptist Church, Clewiston with Rev. Salaw Hummingbird officiating. Interment will be Monday, August 8, 2016 in Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Monkey Farm Decision Appealed By ALDF

LABELLE, FL.–The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, today filed a Notice of Appeal indicating its intent to appeal the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Florida’s July 8, 2016 ruling in the “MonkeyGate” case.

The lawsuit, filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund on behalf of local landowners, alleged that Hendry County recently permitted the SoFlo Ag and Panther Tracts primate breeding facilities—for the purpose of breeding laboratory test subjects—without public notice or meetings, and thereby violated the state’s Sunshine Law which requires transparency in government decision-making. 

Circuit Court Judge James Sloan ultimately found that the county’s approval of the primate breeding facilities was not illegal because the county had historically approved similar facilities in the early 2000s.

Video interview with ALDF attorney following the circuit court trial:

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is appealing the July ruling, alleging that Hendry County staff engaged in legislative policy-making subject to the requirements of the Sunshine Law when they decided to approve primate breeding facilities as “animal husbandry” for agricultural zoning purposes. 

“Animal husbandry” is plainly defined as raising only domestic animals, and does not include primates or other exotic animals. Because the historic approval of similar facilities in the early 2000s also occurred in violation of the Sunshine Law, that historic precedent cannot justify Hendry County’s more recent approvals of the SoFlo Ag and Panther Tracts facilities, say ALDF attorneys. 

The appeal will be heard by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal.

“The Sunshine Law exists precisely because decisions as important as whether to open primate breeding facilities should not take place behind closed doors,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The citizens of Hendry County have a right to know what their government is doing and a government that follows the law.”

About ALDF

The Animal Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1979 to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To accomplish this mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund files high-impact lawsuits to protect animals from harm; provides free legal assistance and training to prosecutors to assure that animal abusers are punished for their crimes; supports tough animal protection legislation and fights harmful legislation; and provides resources and opportunities to law students and professionals to advance the emerging field of animal law.

Hendry Recognized For Medicaid Cost Cutting Pilot Program

LABELLE, FL. – The National Association of Counties awarded Hendry County with a 2016 Achievement Award for its pilot program “The Healthy Hendry Health Coaching Program” in the category of Human Services, engaging the county's Medicaid clients.

Funding Medicaid is currently a substantial and growing portion of Hendry County’s budget. Hendry County ranks # 1 in the State for the most eligible enrollees per capita with an eligible population of 13,704 of 37,895 total or 33.89%.

County Administrator Charles Chapman says of the county's agreement with HHHCP, and it's director Rick Griffiths, "This is an outsourced public/private partnership with HHHCP, the county has no overhead or budgetary expense. HHHCP has an agreement with Hendry County as a pilot program. They will not be paid unless they can provide proven correlated and actual savings in our Medicaid bill with the State of Florida."

The Healthy Hendry Health Coaching Program is a Medicaid patient centered program designed to engage patients through Health Coaching. Hendry County is faced with how to serve the unique needs of the most challenging and costly segments of the county’s Medicaid population. When patients are an active participant in their own health care, they are more likely to follow through with treatment and receive their care at the appropriate healthcare setting.

How The Program Will Work - 60/40 Split With Private Company If Savings Pan Out

Mr. Chapman says a data set is being collected by HHHCP to be used to prove the theory that with managed care, utilization amongst Medicaid users can reduce costs to Medicaid. 

He says, "If a Medicaid patient went to their primary care physician, took their prescriptions on time as directed and made it to their follow up appointments, then the cost of the patient ultimately goes down. The outreach is to be accomplished by phone, email and/or text message to Medicaid enrollees by a HHHCP call center.

"Once a statistically significant data set is collected, the data (in compliance with HIPAA) will be used to provide justification for a proposed legislative bill to the State of Florida. This bill is purposed to establish a savings credit based on the reduction in costs from utilization.

"If Hendry County residents elect to use the HHHCP and the data collected is statistically significant to justify the bill language, and if the legislation giving discounts on the Medicaid bill for reduced utilization is approved by the Florida Legislature, then Hendry County may realize savings on its Medicaid bill.

"There are no hard costs to Hendry County until such a time as a reduction/savings occurs in our Medicaid costs. Once a savings occurs, Hendry County will split the savings margin with the parent company of HHHCP, also known as CSI with 60% going to CSI and 40% retained by Hendry County."
HHHCP is demonstrating that improvements and efficiencies and savings can be obtained through engagement with the patient, and is budget-positive for Hendry County. Since the program began seeing Medicaid Patients there has been a 50-80% reduction in Emergency room visits, impatient visits, and patient cost, and a 70% increase in Primary Care visits.

Rick Griffiths, HHHCP Director of Healthcare Services, said “We are honored to be recognized for the success of “The Healthy Hendry Health Coaching Program”. The Program’s success in improving medical outcomes with reduced total expense with no patient dissatisfaction is due to the patient centered engagement program combined with an extensive collaboration with our medical provider partners including Florida Community Health Centers and the Hendry Regional Medical Center, and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. We are confident that our success in Hendry County can be replicated throughout the State of Florida as well as the entire United States.”

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Mona Rader Dies At 87

Mona Lavinia Rader, age 87, of Clewiston, passed away August 1, 2016 in Clewiston. She was born Jan. 8, 1929 in LaBelle, Florida to Homer Guy and Pauline Lydia (Manning) Hand. 

She married Milton Coleman Rader; he preceded her in death on January 25, 2007. Mona worked for First Bank of Clewiston for over 30 years, serving as vice-president, cashier, and many other positions. 

She was a member of Community Presbyterian Church in Clewiston for many years, where she served as financial bookkeeper, Sunday school teacher, and any other duty that was needed to be done. Mona was known in her church and around town for her biscuits and her 3 p.m. coffee on the front porch swing.

Mona is survived by her daughter; Karen Arcadipane of Boca Raton, Florida; brother; Homer James Hand of Belle Glade, Florida, special niece; Brenda Lopez of Clewiston, Florida and many extended family members and friends.

Mona was preceded in death by her sisters; Marjorie Hand Martin, Imogene Bryant and one grandson; Adam Arcadipane.

Celebration of her life was Thursday, August 4, 2016 at 11:00 am at Community Presbyterian Church, Clewiston with Rev. Tom Slager officiating. Interment was in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation was Thursday from 1 hour prior to service at Community Presbyterian Church, Clewiston, FL.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Mike Shough Talks To Kiwanis Club

LABELLE, FL. -- Mike Shough, President of the Firehouse Community Theatre gave a comical and also serious presentation at a recent LaBelle Kiwanis meeting. He talked about the theatre’s upcoming 24th season and how lots of comedy is scheduled for this year. Additionally, he wanted to announce that open auditions will be on Saturday, August 6th from 10am to noon. 

Mike kept folks chuckling by telling a few jokes to promote the theatre’s “comedy night”. More information on “comedy night” will be coming soon.

If you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, a season ticket holder or to purchase single tickets to any show, you can visit the theatre website at or call the ticket hotline at (863) 675-3066 (Leave message) or email
The Firehouse Community Theatre Inc. is located in beautiful downtown LaBelle at 241 North Bridge Street and is staffed by all volunteers! If you would like to volunteer at the theatre, they are always looking for extra help with ushers, greeters, concessions, back stage, stage & props, lighting & sound.
Pictured: Firehouse Theatre President Mike Shough and LaBelle Kiwanis President Nikki Yeager. Nikki also volunteers at the theatre. The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle is a Corporate Sponsor of the Firehouse Community Theatre.

Florida's Free Do Not Call List

Advancements in technology have greatly improved telecommunications, but they have also resulted in an increase of unwanted sales calls. Fortunately, Floridians can protect themselves from unwanted calls and text by subscribing their residential, mobile or paging device telephone numbers to the Florida Do Not Call list, which is maintained by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Florida residents can subscribe to the Florida Do Not Call list by visiting or calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352). Residential, mobile and paging device telephone numbers are eligible to be on the list.

It is unlawful to make telephone sales calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. local time or to block the solicitor's name or telephone number to the party called. The use of auto dialers with pre-recorded messages is also not permitted in Florida.

Keep in mind that some unsolicited sales calls are exempt from the provisions of the law. Solicitors may call if: a prior or existing business relationship exists, in response to an express request of the person called, from a newspaper publisher, in connection with an existing debt or contract, in response to a yard sign or other advertisement or not selling a product or service. Additional exemptions include charitable organizations seeking donations, political candidates and political parties seeking donation, research or survey companies seeking an opinion and collection agencies trying to locate a debtor or collect on a debt.

The most frequent violations of the Do Not Call law occur because a solicitor: failed to identify his or her true first and last names and the business on whose behalf he or she is soliciting immediately upon making contact; called a telephone number on the Do Not Call list (subscriber); or made a pre-recorded sales call to either a subscriber or non-subscriber.

Reporting violations is critical to the success of the program

Consumer complaints enablethe Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to penalize violators of the Florida Do Not Call program. All violations should be reported to the department. Complaints can be filed online or by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) to request a Do Not Call complaint form by mail/email. When filing a complaint, attempt to obtain as much information as possible from the caller, including the name of the person making the call, the company calling, telephone number of the company, date and time of the call and what product or service they were offering.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Carol Hochard Dies At 68

Carol Sue Hochard, age 68, of LaBelle, passed away July 30, 2016 in Fort Myers. She was born Oct. 7, 1947 in Somerset, PA, to the late William H. and the late Abbie J. (Kreger) Sanner. She was a resident of LaBelle for over ten years. 

Carol was a member of American Legion Post #130 Women's Auxilliary and Women of the Moose Chapter #1999 in LaBelle. She was always ready to help others.

She is survived by her son: Quincy (Kim) Hochard of Pace, granddaughter: Madelyn Rose Hochard and grandson: Jack William Hochard.

A gathering of family and friends will be held Thursday, August 4, 2016 from 2-4 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle. Following the services at the funeral home, family and friends will honor Carol at LaBelle Moose Lodge #2398 from 4-5 p.m.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – LaBelle

Monday, August 01, 2016

Travel, Testing Advisory For Miami Neighborhood

MIAMI, FL. -- New assessments of mosquito populations and test results this past weekend by Florida public health officials, as part of a community survey in the Miami neighborhood where several Zika infections were recently confirmed, have found persistent mosquito populations and additional Zika infections in the same area. 

This information suggests that there is a risk of continued active transmission of Zika virus in that area. As a result, CDC and Florida are issuing travel, testing and other recommendations for people who traveled to or lived in the Florida-designated areas on or after June 15, 2016, the earliest known date that one of the people could have been infected with Zika. 

At Florida’s request, CDC is also sending a CDC Emergency Response Team (CERT) with experts in Zika virus, pregnancy and birth defects, vector control, laboratory science, and risk communications to assist in the response. Two CDC team members are already on the ground in Florida, three more will arrive today, and three more on Tuesday, August 2.

CDC recommends:
Pregnant women not travel to the identified area.
Pregnant women and their partners living in this area should consistently follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika.
Pregnant women who traveled to this area on or after June 15, 2016, should talk with their healthcare provider and should be tested for Zika.
Pregnant women without symptoms of Zika who live in or frequently travel to this area should be tested for Zika virus infection in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.
Male and female sexual partners of pregnant women who live in or who have traveled to this area should consistently and correctly use condoms or other barriers against infection during sex or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
All pregnant women in the United States who live in or travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission, or who have sex with a partner who lives in or traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission without using condoms or other barrier methods to prevent infection should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit and tested according to CDC guidance.
Women and men who traveled to this area wait at least 8 weeks before trying for a pregnancy; men with symptoms of Zika wait at least 6 months before trying for a pregnancy.
Women and men who live in or frequently travel to this area who do not have signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease and are considering pregnancy should consider the risks associated with Zika virus infection, and may wish to consult their healthcare provider to help inform their decisions about timing of pregnancy.
Anyone with possible exposure to Zika virus and symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika.

Lake Trafford - The Little Lake For Big Fishing

By Amber Nabors

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Lake Trafford in Collier County recently received national recognition for its resurging bass fishery, made possible by ongoing restoration projects. Highlighted in the July/August issue of Bassmaster magazine, 1,500-acre Lake Trafford has overcome a history ridden with devastating fish kills and unhealthy habitat to boast quality populations of black crappie (speckled perch) and largemouth bass—all thanks to a partnership between the determined citizens of Collier County, the South Florida Water Management District – Big Cypress Basin and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Photo: Roland Martin shows off a recent catch at the lake.

“Lake Trafford is an important resource for boating, fishing and wildlife viewing,” said Barron Moody, regional administrator for the FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. “One of the FWC’s primary goals in the restoration of Lake Trafford was to create healthy habitat for Florida’s fish and wildlife resources, which in turn has generated more recreational opportunities for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts.”

Historically, Lake Trafford suffered from excessive algal blooms and frequent fish kills. These detrimental algal blooms were fueled by a thick layer of muck created from a buildup of detritus, or dead plant material, at the bottom of the lake. The SFWMD and the FWC provided $15 million to dredge millions of yards of muck from the lake, which allowed beneficial plants to expand, improving habitat for fish and wildlife.

Following dredging, the FWC stocked the lake with more than 500,000 largemouth bass fingerlings produced at the Florida Bass Conservation Center at the Richloam Hatchery, and planted approximately 75,000 bulrush plants to provide healthy habitat for the fingerlings. Future plans for supporting the long-term health of Lake Trafford include reestablishing native submerged aquatic vegetation, controlling nutrient runoff, managing the growth of exotic vegetation and monitoring the continued recovery of the lake’s fish and wildlife populations.

Florida had the second most lakes on the“100 Best Bass Lakes” list with Lake Okeechobee, Lake Tohopekaliga, Rodman Reservoir, St. Johns River, Lake Istokpoga, Lake Rousseau and north Florida’s Lake Seminole. For the second year, Bassmaster staff also used the FWC’s TrophyCatch database for their evaluation. TrophyCatch is a partnership between biologists, anglers and fishing industry giants such as Bass Pro Shops used to document the catch-and-release of bass weighing 8 pounds or more in Florida.

During the Bassmaster’s top “100 Best Bass Lakes” selection process, Lake Trafford received significant consideration and Bassmaster staff were impressed when they learned the story of the lake’s rebirth and how it gained its reputation as an excellent bass fishery. While not included in the top 100 list, Bassmaster published an editorial that praised citizen-driven restoration efforts and crowned Trafford as the “101st best bass lake.”

“I am so very proud that Bassmaster highlighted the dedicated efforts of our local citizens to raise support for Lake Trafford,” said Liesa Priddy, Collier County resident and FWC Commissioner. “The grassroots effort made by Collier County community members is what brought us to this pivotal moment for the health of Lake Trafford and the creation of this vibrant fishery.”

Priddy credits concerned and motivated citizens like Ski Olesky, owner of Lake Trafford Marina. “The movement to build support for Trafford restoration would not have happened if not for Ski and his late wife Annie,” said Priddy.

Today, Olesky runs airboat tours on the lake, educating visitors about the lake’s abundant fish and wildlife species with a powerful message that conservation is everyone’s responsibility and that ordinary citizens can make a huge impact.

A Walk Across Florida - Cross Florida Barge Canal

Excerpts From  A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

As I look back through my book I am finding out that I had many short, but nearly scary or dangerous events. Similar to my wandering upon the bombing range. They are so interesting now, but I remember saying to myself at that time, “Now just what have I got myself into!”

Late afternoon when I was passing by an ominous looking pond, a gator bellowed out… was a loud roar, kind of like an old bull in a field challenging one in the adjoining pasture. I had never heard alligators before. I looked around from the safety of the road. The pond looked like a leftover excavation, irregular sides, lots of brush and tall grass near the edge. I did not see the gator.

The largest reptile in North America is the Alligator.* Some say that it has survived on earth in the same form for 200 million years. It is a black-green color and has a rounded snout. It may be mistaken for a crocodile, but its teeth do not protrude from its lower jaw and its mouth is rounded. This is just the opposite of the crocodile. The alligator’s jaws have a very strong bite. During a dry season the alligator helps the other aquatic animals by constructing “Alligator holes.” These are depressions it makes in ponds with its tail and snout. The depressions provide both a source of water for insects and animals and a source of food for the alligator. They breed between April and June, and the roar or bellowing is used to attract a mate.

I continued on and came to a crossroads, Highway 103. It appeared to be another road like 315, and little used. I crossed over a mixed dirt, sand and gravel parking area to an old white faded-paint clapboard country store. I went up on the concrete porch and entered, one of the double screen doors slamming shut behind me. Dead center up front was a counter. The lady behind it standing next to an old push-button cash register told me that they were out of white gas, which I needed for my stove. I bought a sandwich and a coke, went back out and sat there on the front porch and ate my supper.

I continued on down 315, even though it was now dark. I did this because there was no suitable place to camp near the intersection. After I was some distance away, out of sight of the store and getting tired, I waded through the tall grass on my side of the road. I then slipped my pack under the barbed wire fence into a farmer’s field, climbed the fence, laid my tarp on the ground and slept there next to the fence.

In the middle of the night I woke up hearing a strange noise. It was pitch black! Then I realized the noise was coming from the field. I could see strange dark shapes and the noise seemed even louder…...

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or