Friday, April 28, 2017

State Road 80 Construction Starts Monday

The commencing of construction for four lanes for SR 80 from Dalton Lane to CR 833 begins on Monday, May 1, 2017.

Crews will widen approximately 11 miles of roadway from two to four lanes and add new turn lanes. Additional work includes repaving the current lanes of SR 80 and constructing ten new bridges. Three of them will require full demolition and removal of the existing bridges in order to construct the new ones. 

Work will also include improving drainage, adding curb and gutter, and installing LED lighting. Estimated project completion is summer 2020. The contractor is AJAX Paving Industries of Florida.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Special Olympics Walk/Run Saturday April 29

Law Enforcement's statewide benefit run for Special Olympics will take place on Saturday, April 29 at 11:00a at the Hendry LaBelle Civic Park. The run will begin at 11:00 am and walking is acceptable. The course is just under 2 miles and will begin at the park making its way down Jaycee Lions Drive to Main Street (heading south) to Cowboy Way and then returning to the park on Jaycee Lions Drive.

Law enforcement officers from over 300 Florida agencies (police departments, sheriff’s offices, Florida Department of Corrections, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Customs, Air Force Police and Marine Patrol) all participate in the state-wide torch run to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Florida. 

Each year, over 5,000 officers carry the torch on a 1500-mile relay through 67 counties in Florida.

Funds are generated through contributions from individuals and businesses along the way and through sales of the popular Torch Run T-shirts and caps. The intrastate torch relay will start at the end of March and culminate at the Opening Ceremony of our Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games in May. Law Enforcement Officers from around the state join together to bring the Flame of Hope™ into the stadium.

Immediately following the run we invite everyone to come out and join in the “After Party” which will be a community, family oriented event with food trucks, bounce houses, pony rides, games, entertainment and community displays.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Johntavious Johnson Arrested In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- At approximately 7:45 pm, Hendry Sheriff investigators took 21 year old Johntavious Johnson into custody at his mother's home at 391 Sabal Palm Court, LaBelle, Fl. 33935.. 

Hendry County Investigators were provided information, from the United States Marshal's Office - Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, that Johnson had been hiding out in Fort Myers and had returned to his mother's home earlier in the evening. 

Hendry County Investigators, Deputies and United States Marshal's were able to take Johnson into custody without incident. 

Johnson was arrested on a Hendry County warrant on charges of Attempted Homicide and Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon. Johnson is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail without bond.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Justin Roadcap - Kiwanis Thrift Store Manager

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle has hired Justin Roadcap as the new manager for the LaBelle Kiwanis Thrift Store.

Justin moved to LaBelle last July from Waynesboro, VA in the Shenandoah Valley to fulfill his role as the Associate Pastor at Bethel Holiness Church. He and his wife Cathy have four children (Caleb 13, Ethan 8, Josh 6, Faith 3.) 

Justin started managing the Kiwanis Thrift Store in February and he says that he loves being able to work with the community. Justin has a kind word for everyone and hopes folks will stop by the thrift store to say hello and to check out some of the specials at the store.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rene Curtis Pratt Presents Bees At Garden Club Apr 24

LaBelle Garden Club will meet Monday, April 24th, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Dallas B. Townsend Agricultural Center at 1085 Pratt Blvd., Labelle.

Speaker: Rene Curtis Pratt of the Famous LaBelle Honey Store. Her presentation will be about Bees & Honey. Come join the fun – Bring friends & neighbors and your questions – pictures and plants to exchange.

Refreshments served, Anyone is welcome to bring a treat for refreshments.. Bring any recipes you would like to share too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wanted: Johntavious Johnson - $1,000 Reward

Johntavious Lorenzo Johnson, 21 years of age is currently wanted in the shooting that took place Saturday morning, April 15, 2017 at approximately 1:00 am in LaBelle, Florida that left one teen in critical condition.

Deputies reported they found 18 year old Brady Walker lying on the pavement suffering from a gunshot wound.

Johnson is currently wanted on charges of Aggravated Battery and Attempted Homicide. Johnson is 5'5" and 160 lbs. He has a prior arrest record charged for fraud, concealed weapon, drugs, and loitering.

Anyone with any information regarding this shooting is asked to call the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600 or you may contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), where you may become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip leads to an arrest.

Medical Marijuana Scam Warning

The Florida Department of Health is urging Florida residents to use caution to avoid medical marijuana scams. Last week, it came to the department’s attention that there are businesses advertising free or reduced-cost access to medical marijuana and in some cases are asserting that they are the “Office of Compassionate Use” when soliciting credit card information. 

The department reports all incidents of potential fraud and scams to law enforcement, but wants to ensure residents are aware of what to avoid.

Below are tips to help protect you from scams involving medical marijuana:
The department’s Office of Compassionate Use is the only entity issuing identification cards for medical marijuana in Florida. No third party is authorized to process applications. Do not provide credit card information to any third party entity advertising the ability to obtain medical marijuana cards.
The department does not currently accept credit cards as a form of payment for an Office of Compassionate Use identification card. There is no need to ever provide your credit card information to the department’s Office of Compassionate Use.
There are seven dispensing organizations authorized to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana. These seven are the only businesses in Florida authorized to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients and legal representatives.
The Office of Compassionate Use maintains a list of physicians who have completed the required 8 hour education course. To find a qualified ordering physician clickhere.

The department updates the Office of Compassionate Use webpage regularly with accurate information. Patients and legal representatives are encouraged to visit this webpage often.

To report scams to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services call 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).

Damian Raheem, Sabrina Manzano Dead In Crash

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Damian Raheem Rivera, 21 and Amy Sabrina Manzano, 24, both of Immokalee are dead after a chase by FHP at 11:56 pm Tuesday.

A 2001 Volvo was traveling north on New Market Road in Immokalee, towards the intersection of State Road 29 at a high rate of speed. A marked Collier County Sheriff’s Office was attempting to make a traffic stop and had the emergency equipment activated.

The Volvo failed to negotiate the curve in the roadway, causing it to exit the paved portion of the roadway. As a result, the front left collided with a tree on the northeast corner of State Road 29 and New Market Road. After impact, the rear of the vehicle rotated counterclockwise causing the right side to collide with a concrete power pole also on the northeast corner of the intersection. It came to final rest, right side against the power pole, facing east.

The driver and passenger were both pronounced deceased on scene by Collier County EMS personnel. The crash remains under investigation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

LaBelle, Florida Obituaries

Linda Sue Miller, age 63, of LaBelle, born December 7, 1953 and passed away April 17, 2017. She was born to the late Merlyn and Dolores McMillan in Pontiac, IL. She had siblings Sandra Brittain, Masha Oliff, John McMillan and the late Warren McMillan. She moved to Fort Lauderdale as a young girl where she met her husband, Edward L. Miller and they were married June 27, 1970. They moved to LaBelle in 1980.

They had children Jeremiah, Cereese, Jamie and Tristan. Her family continued to grow with the addition of Jeremiah's wife, Tracy and grandchildren Blayne and Brett. The family was blessed again when Jamie married husband Caleb. More additions to the family are expected in the fall with more grandchildren from daughters, Tristan and Jamie. A great grandchild is expected to the family in October. She lived her life to the fullest and will be dearly missed.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Hilda Mae (Tillie) Patton, age 93, passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 in LaBelle, Florida. Tillie was born September 11, 1923, In Pahokee, Florida to the pioneer family of the late Gadson and Martha (Lanier) Curry. Tillie was a lifelong resident of LaBelle.

Survivors include her daughters: Vicki Patton Burke and Rhonda (Patrick) Langford of LaBelle. grandchildren: Scott (Susan) Wegscheid, Wendy (Wesley) O'Ferrell, Jada (Matthew) Fleming and Lori (Vince) Perkins, great grandchildren: Jacob (Rebecca) Parrish, Michael (Kimberly) Parrish, Christopher and Nicholas Wegscheid, Tyler, Abbie, and Macy O'Ferrell, Luke, Lance and Baylee Fleming, Jackson, Brody and Cameryn Perkins and great great grandchildren: Gavin, Christian, Emilee, Croix, Isabella and Owen Parrish.

Tillie was preceded in death by her husband: Jack M. Patton, parents: Gadson and Martha Lanier Curry, sisters: Vernell Curry and Betha Lee Johnson, brother: Odell Curry, grandson: David Wegscheid and great-grandson: Christian Wegscheid.

Funeral services will be as follows: visitation with family at Akin Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle on Wednesday April 19, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be at Akin Davis Funeral Home on Friday April 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Jay Goforth officiating. Interment will follow at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle, FL immediately following service.

In lieu of flowers, of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation to the Alzheimer's Association in memory of Tillie Patton to help conquer this disease.

James David Whidden, age 69, of LaBelle
, passed away April 17, 2017 in Fort Myers.

David was born December 24, 1947 in Moore Haven to Calvin and Charlotte Clayton Whidden. He married Linda G. Herne; she survives. He enjoyed fishing, shooting, reading and spending time with his family. He served his country in the United States Marine Corps. He was a member and attended Healing Waters Church of LaBelle. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and brother who will be greatly missed by his entire family and close friends.

He also leaves behind his children; Matthew Whidden and his wife Miranda, Jason Whidden, and Jacob Whidden and his wife Susan, grandchildren; Cort Whidden and Ashton Powers, brothers; Jeff Wiggins, Jack Wiggins, Brett Whidden, sisters; Paige McCutcheon, Holly Whiddon, Gail Henderson and Virginia Arnold.

A memorial celebration of David's life will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Ortona Cemetery Pavilion. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to be given to Doc Keen Scholarship at Moore Haven High School or the Amy Lundy Scholarship at First Bank of Clewiston.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Catherine Dianne Edwards, age 66, of LaBelle, went to be with the Lord April 16, 2017.

She was born Jan. 5, 1951 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late Harry Lee Mottaz, Sr. and the late Catherine E. (Lippincott) Mottaz.

She is survived by her loving husband: Hosea Phillip Edwards, son: Eric (Bekki) Edwards,two daughters: Desiree (Jobby) Blevins and Kasey (James) Nipper, grandchildren: Adam Edwards, Tiffani Phillips, Renae Edwards, Timothy Edwards, Zechariah Edwards, Matthew Edwards, brother: Harry L. Mottaz, Jr. (Harriet) and many other family members and friends.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of Alva with Pastors/Clergy Robert Roper, Jim Lanier, Grant Gomez and Phillip Edwards officiating. Visitation will be Thursday 30 minutes prior to service at First Baptist Church of Alva. Interment will be in Alva Cemetery. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

James Vee Lofton Sr., age 76, passed away April 16, 2017, at the Lehigh Acres Hope Hospice facility.

Born December 24, 1940, in Fort Myers Lee Memorial Hospital, Jimmy Vee is the son of the late James Vivian Lofton and the late Ida Corine Forrey Lofton Kirby.

A five generation LaBelle native, a lifetime resident of Hendry County Jimmy Vee and his dad surveyed along most of the sectional boundary lines located within Hendry, Lee and Collier Counties over many years, including extensive boundary surveys on Marco Island, oil well fields located in Felda, and in the Everglades.

Before becoming sick, Jimmy Vee, also known as Pa, was an avid Hunter and fisherman and could be found in the early days of his youth raising and training bird dogs, hunting quail, dove, turkey and fishing on Lake Okeechobee, Pine Island or in the 10,000 Island with little Vee, and his close network of friends over the years and his little hunting and fishing partner, Max Thomas. The rest of the time Pa could be found in the woods, relaxing, hunting, and telling lots of old time woods and fishing stories with the best of friends and family members reminiscing the good-ole days solving most the world's problems around the camp fire.

After graduating from LaBelle High School, Class of 1959. Jimmy, joined the U.S. Army 97th Engineering Battalion (Construction), where he further broadened his surveying knowledge. After serving his country, he returned home from France in 1963 and honorably discharged in 1965. He continued to work as a land surveyor employed with Johnson Engineering founded in 1946 and starting a young family in Hendry County. In 2002, he retired from Johnson Engineering Inc. with 40 years of land surveying services.

Jimmy is preceded in death by his father James Vivian Lofton, mother Ida Corine Forrey Lofton Kirby and step father Henry Robert Kirby. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Martha Jo Moody Lofton; only child son, James Vee Lofton Jr. (Laura) and three grandchildren: Maura Lindsay, Madelyon Rae, and Max Thomas Lofton. He is survived by his brother Wayne Allen Lofton (Suzanne), his sister Martha Jayne Lofton Gourley. Jimmy Vee leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A celebration of Jimmy's life will be held Saturday, April 22, 2017, at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of LaBelle, 330 North Main Street, LaBelle Florida with Rev. Frank Deerey and Pastor Preston Long officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family has designated Lehigh Acres Hope Hospice of Lee County, 1201 Wings Way, Lehigh Acres, FL 33936, or First Baptist Church of LaBelle, 330 North Main Street, LaBelle Florida 33935 in memory of James Vee Lofton Sr.

Margarita Lugo Awarded Scholarship To Maine Workshop

Congratulations to Hendry-Glades Audubon member, Margarita Lugo, for being awarded the National Audubon Society Derick Z. Jackson Diversity Scholarship to the Six-day ornithology and educator's summer workshop at Hog Island Audubon Camp, Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week at Muscongus Bay, Maine. Muskingum Bay, Maine.

Margarita was presented with a check to help with transportation costs by Hendry-Glades Audubon and Dr. Marty Valiant.

photo: Margaret England, Margarita Lugo, Marty Valiant and Janet Falk.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Brady Walker Shot After 1 A.M Argument

LABELLE FL. -- Hendry Sheriff's office is looking for help for leads after a shooting in LaBelle, leaving Brady Walker in critical condition at the Shell gas station.

At approximately 1:02 am on Saturday morning April 15, 2017, Hendry County Deputies responded to the Shell Gas Station at 750 W. State Road 80.

Deputies reported that upon arrival they found 18-year old Brady Hamp Walker lying on the pavement suffering from a gunshot wound. Witnesses on scene reported that the victim became involved in an argument with another male, who shot him. The victim was immediately transported for medical care.

At this time, Investigators currently have a person of interest they are attempting to locate for questioning. One of the witnesses described the vehicle as a blue in color Ford Escort type vehicle.

At this time the victim is listed in critical condition. Investigators are continuing to follow up on all leads.

Anyone with any information regarding this shooting is asked to call the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600 or you may contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), where you may become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip leads to an arrest.

Photo courtesy HCSO

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Juan Monjaras Dead In Crash

Juan Carlos Monjaras, 42 of LaBelle died in an early morning crash Saturday on State Road 80 at Balsey Road in Alva in Lee county.

Monjaras in a 2007 Chevy Avalanche was westbound in the State Road 80 inside eastbound lane at 3:18 a.m.. Marc Thomas Heckler, 16 of Lehigh Acres was eastbound in the State Road 80 eastbound inside lane. The front of the Chevy collided with the front of Heckler's 2006 Toyota Tacoma. Both vehicles came to final rest near the area of collision.

Monjaras was pronounced deceased on scene by Lee County EMS personnel. Heckler had critical injuries and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital. Charges are pending said the FHP.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Walk Across Florida - Tamiami Trail

Excerpts from Bob Kranich's A Walk Across Florida
I finally arrived at the Tamiami Trail. This road officially is the 260 miles of U.S. Highway 41 from Tampa to U.S. Route 1 in Miami. There is some controversy about just who suggested the name, Tamami Trail. Two different Tampa men claim this, but it is derived from “Tampa to Miami.” After Naples the trail becomes an east-west road crossing the Everglades and forms part of the north border of the Everglades National Park. The north-south portion was begun in 1915. This portion was on higher ground and included many rough roads already in existence. The east-west portion was begun in 1923 across the Big Cypress Swamp. At that time the Everglades had only ox paths and Seminole Indian trails in existence.

People said that it was impossible to run cars across the Everglades swamp! On April 1923 Dade County land developer Captain James Franklin Jaudin started out with ten “Model-T” vehicles, 28 men and two Seminole Indian guides to prove that it was possible. They called themselves the “Trailblazers.” They were successful, but it took them 23 days. Much longer than they thought!......

Of particular interest is the type of dredge used in building the Trail through the Everglades. The Bay City Walking Dredge sits on display in Collier Seminole State Park, which is 15 miles southeast of Naples on the Tamiami Trail. This machine was built in 1924 in Bay City, Michigan. It used pulleys and sheaves to move four wooden shoes and a central base forward in a walking motion that could cover five to ten feet at a time. The machine had a one-yard bucket, a 40–foot boom and was approximately 36 feet wide. Because of its width, it could straddle the canals it made.

In 1928 when the Tamiami Trail was completed it was considered a engineering marvel. However, it seems that no one had considered the potential damage that could be caused to the Everglades. The roadway and the canal became a dam to block the water flow from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. This was very bad for the ecology of the region. Since that time, in 1990 and today, some canals have been filled, extra culverts under the highway have been built, and a few miles of the highway have been raised onto a bridge to allow additional natural water to flow into the Everglades.

There was a small store at the intersection of Turner River Road and the Tamiami Trail. I went in. I dropped my pack near the entrance and before I could turn around a guy says,

“Howdy, what can I do fer ya?”

He was the owner…..I bought a few snacks and a soda and asked him if I could look at the swamp vehicles outside.

“Them there’s called swamp buggies,” he said “and go right ahead, make yourself at home.”

I looked around outside at one of the swamp buggies as I drank my soda. It was a crazy looking contraption, with an old 4-cylinder Model A Ford engine and chassis. There were real big tires with large chains on the rear wheels. Then there was a raised-up seating area behind the driver’s seat…..

I then continued east on the Tamiami Trail.

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wesley Hansen Dies At 72

Wesley Lee Hansen, age 72, passed away April 9, 2017 at Hope Hospice. Born January 31, 1945 in Fort Myers at Lee Memorial Hospital, Wesley is the son of the late Carl William Hansen, Sr. and the late Mildred Burdette Hansen.

A true Florida Cracker; he was raised in Fort Myers, graduated from Fort Myers High School, and married his high school sweetheart – Deanna Sanders Hansen. Together, they raised a family and a bunch of orange groves.

Although LaBelle became their home, Wesley's love of Fort Myers and his attachment to his fishing buddies never let up. By sponsoring each year's Cracker Invitational fishing tournament, he and Sam Galloway kept the Tribe together. Never to be forgotten, Wesley made a positive impact on almost everyone.

An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed teaching his children how to hunt and fish. Together, he and his family spent their summers fishing in Key West. His grandchildren were the light of his life and meant the world to him. Regardless of the type of day he may have had, their voices were enough to make his world a whole lot better.

Married for 49 years, he is survived by his wife, Deanna (Sanders) Hansen; two daughters, Leigh Franco (Matt) and Missy Hansen; a son, Wesley L. Hansen, Jr. (Dana); five grandchildren, Tyler Franco (Jennifer), Kyle Franco, Madison Franco, Alyssa Hansen, and Taylor Hansen; an aunt, Dorothy Wyatt; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Julius and Betty Sanders; sister-in-law Debbie Lawson and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, and his brother, Carl William Hansen, Jr.

Having never met a stranger he leaves behind many friends and others, including lifelong friends Sam Galloway, Jr., Ben Hill Griffin III, Don Davis, Bubba Gaston, and Joe D'Alessandro – each having a story to tell.

Funeral services will be held Friday, April 14, 2017 at 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Myers, with Rev. Paul DeJong and Pastor Preston Long officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 6:00-8:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL and Friday, one hour prior to service at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Myers, FL. Interment will be in Fort Myers Memorial Gardens, Fort Myers.

In lieu of flowers, the family has designated Pace Center for Girls of Lee County, 3800 Evans Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33901 or Hope Hospice in memory of Wesley Hansen.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – LaBelle

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Take Your Trash To Transfer Stations Free April 17-22

Hendry County Special Districts will be hosting free waste amnesty days from April 17 to 22 from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in honor of Earth Day. Unincorporated residents with identification can bring accepted waste to the LaBelle Transfer station at 1280 Forestry Division Road or the Clewiston Transfer Station at 1350 Olympia Ave.

Hendry County will accept yard waste with the requirements that no single branch is larger than four feet long and four inches in diameter. Construction debris including lumber, shingles, drywall, glass, tile and wire will be accepted. Other acceptable waste includes white goods and furniture such as washers, stoves, water heaters, sofas, mattresses and chairs.

“Earth Day is all about promoting environmental awareness and boosting recycling efforts,” said County Administrator Charles Chapman. “Here in Hendry County, this is important to us so that we can continue to work together in keeping our communities clean and beautiful."

Amnesty days are part of an ongoing effort from Hendry County to provide opportunities to clean up properties and dispose of household waste at no cost to residents. This includes residents that live in outlying areas and have limited access to dispose of waste in the most environmentally conscious way. Residents with question can contact Hendry County Special Districts at 863-675-5252.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Charlie Ewell At Audubon April 17

On Monday April 17 at 7pm Charlie Ewell will present an informative program “Spring Bird Migration ” at the Hendry County Extension Dallas Townsend Building located at 1085 Pratt Boulevard in LaBelle. 

Charlie is High School Gifted Resource Specialist, Lee County (FL) School District. He is recognized in the birding community for his volunteer work Lee County Bird Patrol Coordinator, Birding Trip Leader, Reviewer for eBird, Christmas Bird Count Compiler , Volunteer Guide STA 5/6 trips, and is active in local and state birding organizations. 

For information about Hendry-Glades Audubon or STA 5/6 Bird Trips contact Butch Wilson 863-983-2870 or Margaret England 863-517-0202

Assembly Of God Invites All to Easter Musical

Easter Sunday April 16th, the community is invited to the musical, “The Spirit Says Arise' ”. This musical will be held at LaBelle Assembly of God. The time of the program is 11:00 a.m. 

The congregation will share is reading scriptures from the Book of Acts. Solos and duets will be sung through out these Bible verses. There will also be a men’s choir and a women’s choir. 

Some of the music will be, Come Alive, (Dry Bones), Love Crucified Arose, Rise Again, At Calvary, We Believe and others. Everyone is invited. 

LaBelle Assembly of God is located on Fraser Avenue across from The Edward Upthegrove Elementary School. For more information, call 675-0900 and ask for Kathy. Hope to see you there. Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Obituaries - Frankie Tiner, Mary Lee Nourse

Mary Lee Nourse (nee Knox), age 86, of LaBelle, Florida and formerly of Columbus, OH, passed away peacefully at her home in LaBelle, Florida on April 3, 2017.

Born April 4, 1930 in Middletown, Ohio. A life-long Roman Catholic, Mary Lee's childhood was spent in Middletown where she attended primary and secondary school. From a very young age she had an affinity for dancing; receiving formal instruction in Ballroom and Contemporary Dance. Regularly participating and succeeding in local and regional dance competitions.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in Business from the College of Mount Saint Joseph, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1952. After graduation she moved to Columbus, Ohio and was employed as a Buyer for Lazarus Department Stores. It was there she met her husband, Thomas R. Nourse. The couple was married on May 18, 1953 in Middletown, Ohio.

Mary Lee continued to work for Lazarus for several years. In 1964, as department head for the Toy Deparment, she delivered Lazarus's first ever million dollars in annual toy sales. She was the assistant store director for the then newly opened Lazarus Store at Westland Mall when she left the company to spend more time with her family.

Mary Lee was deeply involved in the activities of St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Parish and School in Columbus, Ohio. She was instrumental in starting the Parish Bingo and the Country Fair, fundraisers still held today. Her fundraising expertise was also provided to St. Charles Preparatory School. She was President of the Lincoln Village Women's Club and The Lincoln Village Resident's Association. Mary Lee was active in the business and social leadership at Oakhurst Country Club and the West Franklin County Republican Club.

Relocating to LaBelle, Florida in 1992 after Tom's retirement, Mary Lee became active in the Aqua Isles community and later in the renovation and opening of the Port LaBelle Golf Club & Hotel. When not working on her many interests, she enjoyed cruising throughout the Caribbean.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas and her younger brothers Thomas Paul and Richard. She is survived by her children: Jeffrey (Jo Ann), Ruthie (Mark) and Robert (Kathryn). Her grandchildren: Laura, Jennifer, James, Alexander and Elizabeth and great grandchildren: Madalyn, Lillian and Charlotte and many other family members and friends in Florida and Ohio.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Frankie L Rimes Tiner, age 58, of LaBelle, passed away April 2, 2017 in Hope Healthcare in Lehigh Acres.

Frankie was born September 4, 1958 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late Delmar H. and the late Faye (Williams) Rimes. Frankie married Larry Tiner. Frankie enjoyed being with family and friends. She was a wonderful woman who will be greatly missed by everyone who loved and cared for her. She worked as the office manager for Immokalee Middle School for many years.

Frankie leaves behind her husband; Larry, sisters; Bonnie Starr and her husband Dusty, Lisa Rimes, one Aunt Laura June Wilson, many nieces, a nephew, many extended family members and close family friends.

A celebration of Frankie's life was held on Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the arena of LaBelle Rodeo Grounds with Pastor Frank Dana officiating. Interment was Thursday, Apr. 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in Fort Denaud Cemetery. Donations can be made to Frankie's Kids Scholarship fund at Immokalee High School 701 Immokalee Dr., Immokalee, Florida 34142.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Wanted! Young Actors At Theatre

LABELLE, FL. -- Looking for young actors! The Firehouse Community Theatre, Inc. is looking for kids from 6 to 16 years of age to try out for the Children’s Summer Play: “Murder at Crooked House”.

Kristin Green will be the director. Two auditions are scheduled:

April 10, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and April 15, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Auditions will be held at the Firehouse Community Theatre, Inc., 241 North Bridge Street, LaBelle

Club Tours Port LaBelle Inn Gardens

LABELLE, FL. -- The LaBelle Garden Club met April 3rd at 6 p.m. at the Port LaBelle Inn for a tour of the St. Matthews garden and macadamia nut tree farm. 

The regular club meeting is to be delayed one week, since the LaBelle Garden Club and the community were invited to tour the vegetable gardens at the Port LaBelle Inn on Monday. 

The fruit & vegetable gardens are planted and maintained by the St Matthew’s rehab program at the Inn. Everyone will be treated to fresh, organic garden treats prepared by the kitchen crew.

The pubic and everyone were welcome to come to the Port LaBelle Inn to visit and pick vegetables from the garden.

Photo courtesy Nikki Yeager

Monday, April 03, 2017

Swing Into Spring With United Way

United Way of Hendry and Glades is getting ready to “Swing Into Spring,” at its annual fundraiser on April 29th. It will be held at RiverBend Motor Coach Resort, with an evening of great food, entertainment and live and silent auctions.

A dinner of prime rib will be served, with games and the live auction following the dinner. Auction prizes include: an Everglades adventure package, a two night stay at the ‘Tween Waters Resort on Captiva, a deluxe wine basket and much more.

Last year, the event raised approximately $14,000 for the United Way of Hendry and Glades. For additional information, sponsorships or tickets, contact Lisa Sands at (239) 433-7559. Tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance.

The funds raised for the United Way go to help the 27 local United Way Partner Agencies including, Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT), Hope HealthCare Services, Harry Chapin Food Bank, The Salvation Army, and Children’s Advocacy Center. All funds raised in Hendry and Glades Counties support programs in Hendry and Glades.

Robert Cram Dies In ATV Crash

Robert Cram, 55 of Hendry county died in an ATV crash Sunday at 5:22 pm in Montura in rural Hendry county.

FHP investigators responded to a single vehicle, single occupant traffic crash resulting in one confirmed fatality in Hendry County. A four-wheeled ATV was traveling west on the south grass shoulder of Montura Avenue approaching the intersection of South Coral Street at moderate-to-
high speed.

The ATV ramped up a shallow grade approaching the cross street, became airborne, then overturned onto the roadway, arriving at final rest west of South Coral Street and south of Montura Avenue.

The operator of the ATV was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced deceased at the scene due to injuries received from this crash. Anybody with information about this crash is asked to contact FHP.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Obituaries - Bryan Herndon, Margaret Lessing

Bryan Craig Herndon age 29 of Alva, Florida passed away on March 27, 2017. He was born 4-16-87. He survived by his parents Susan and Gerald Herndon of Alva Florida

His son Kayden and the love of his life Rachel Naylor, his brothers Michael Herndon, Shannon, Darin, and Casey Watson, grandmother; Sylvia Hill of Labelle, many Aunts and Uncles, cousins and friends. Bryan loved hog hunting and catching that big Bass he never kept. Bryan spent his childhood racing BMX and loved the lifetime friendships he made.

He is preceded in death by his grandmother; Cecile (Shrimp) Wieland, grandfather; Benjamin Frazier, grandfather; Curtis Herndon

Celebration of Life will be Thursday March 30th at Alva Church of God. Visitation will at 3:00 services at 4:00. Graveside will follow the celebration.

In lieu of flowers donations, please contribute to a fund that has been set up at First Bank Fort Myers for his son Kayden. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

Margaret Lessing, age 90, of LaBelle, passed away March 28, 2017 in Lehigh Acres.

She was born Dec. 1, 1926 in Bruceville, IN, to Steve and Anna (Sharkedy) Takash. She worked as a Title Clerk for many years. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and sister. She will be greatly missed by her entire family.

She leaves behind her loving children; Brian Lessing and Carole Schroeder, grandchildren; Kenneth, Valarie, Joseph, several great grandchildren, sister; Anne McKinley and brother; Andy Takash.

A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at Christ the King Lutheran Church in LaBelle on April 8, 2017 with Pastor Nick presiding.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.