Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Obituaries- Murray, Handley, Curella, DeLaTorre, Davidson, Lockmiller

Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Murray, age 89, of Fort Denaud, passed away January 28, 2018 in Lehigh Acres. She was born Dec. 11, 1928 in West Palm Beach, Florida to the late Paul Browning and Lily Brewer Browning. She was a lifelong resident of LaBelle
Survivors include her sons: Jerry (Donna) Murray, Darrell Murray, Rodney (Sonya) Murray, Don (Michelle) Murray and Boyd Murray, siblings: Amos Browning, Arthur Browing, Dorothy Brookins, Herman Browning, Vickie Howard, Shelia Tanner, Sherrie Greer, Linda Harper, Robbie Browning and Lonnie Browning, nine grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She was preceded in death by her husband: Oliver Thomas Murray and siblings: Buddy Browning and Jimmy (PeeWee) Browning.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, February 1, 2018, 2:00 p.m. at Community Harvest Worship Center, LaBelle with Pastor L.W. Howard and Pastor Don L. Murray officiating.
Interment will follow at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be held Thursday from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at Community Harvest Worship Center in LaBelle.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Florida Baptist Children's Homes. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Mae Elizabeth Handley, age 74, of Ft. Denaud, passed on to her heavenly home on Saturday January 27, 2018 in Ft. Denaud. She was born April 16, 1943 in Bushnell, FL to the late Hubert Hawes and the late Eunice Hunter.
A lifelong resident of Florida, a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She is survived by her loving Husband, Donnie Handley of 55 years. Daughter: Cindy (Frank) Dana, Sherry (Gene) Bogard and Carmen (Jebb) Luster. 7 Grandchildren; Danielle (JL) Wright, Julie Marchsteiner, Frank Robert (Lori) Dana, Zebb Luster, Shane Luster. Brad Bogard and Alexis Bogard.3 Great Grandchildren; Chancey Jae Wright, Kaylee Jade Dana and Hadley Pearce Wright. Sisters: Katherine (Gary) Hicks, Sandra (Wiley) Rickerson. And a Brother Frank Hawes. She is preceded in death by her Brother Andy Hawes.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Cowboy Church Ministries, 1330 Sears Rd. Labelle, FL on Saturday February 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Jacqueline Mae Curella, age 80, of LaBelle, passed away January 28, 2018 in LaBelle. She was born March 13, 1937 in Bronx, NY, to the late Fred Joseph and the late Lillian (Cranshaw) Paquette. She was a resident of LaBelle since 1986, Prior to that of Alva and formerly a longtime resident of New York.
Survivors include
Sister: Claudia Adams. Step Sons, Anthony (Pam) Curella; Joe Curella;,Step Daughter, Angelina Curella. 9 Grandchildren, Many Great-Grandchildren, Nephew Fred Taylor, Like a Sister Lucy Viana
Visitation will be held on Friday February 2, 2018 from 12 to 1 PM at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd LaBelle. Funeral Service will be at 1 PM with Rev. Penal M. Guerrier Officiating. Interment will be in Ft. Denaud Cemetery.
Mary Ellen DeLaTorre was born December 5, 1958 to John Mullins and San Juanita Coronado. Mary was an active member of her church and was known for her strong faith and willingness to help others. She was a caring and compassionate woman who took care of anyone who was in need. She loved flowers and would spend her days gardening with her husband. Mary passed away peacefully on January 26, 2018 while under the care of her loving family and hospice.
Mary is survived by her husband Jesus DeLaTorre and her sister, Lucinda Lowery. She is the mother of MonaLisa Lopez (Antonio), Kimberly Rodriguez, Linda DeLaTorre (Fraser), and Janie Hamby (Christopher). She leaves behind 5 grandchildren: Antonio, Jorden, Genaro, Stella, and Maverick. As well as another bundle of joy due in May.
A memorial service will be held at Caloosa Baptist Church 550 W. Hickpochee Ave LaBelle, FL on Saturday, February 3rd. Visitation with the family will start at 4pm and the service will begin at 5pm With Pastor Seth Howard Officiating.
Ashley Marie Davidson, age 28, of LaBelle, passed away January 26, 2018 in Lehigh Acres.
Ashley was born February. 23, 1989 in Fort Myers, Florida, to Lawrence "Larry" and Cindy (Puckett) Davidson. Ashley married Eric Murawski. Ashley worked for Davidson's Dry Cleaners as a clerk.
Survivors include her husband; Eric Murawski, father; Larry Davidson and his wife Christina of LaBelle, mother' Cindy Bethel and her husband Clifford 'Skip" of Moore Haven, daughters; Kylie Murawski and Leighlyn Davidson – Rodgriguez and her father; Martin Rodriguez, brothers; Nick Davidson, Steven Davidson. Step brothers; Stuart Whiddon, III and Abraham Bethel, Alexi Bethel, step sister; Melissa Bethel and many extended family also survives.
Celebration of Life will be Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Mitchell Wills officiating. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, January 31, 2018 all in Akin-Davis Funeral Home – LaBelle. Burial will take place in Fort Denaud Cemetery – LaBelle.
Bobby E Lockmiller, age 46, of Clewiston, passed away January 26, 2018.
He was born Dec. 17, 1971 in Clewiston, FL, to Gerald E and Audrey (Hobbs) Lockmiller. Bobby worked as a handyman. He was a loving son and brother who will be greatly missed by his entire family.
Survivors include father Gerald E Lockmiller and Audrey Racicot, three brothers: Larry Lockmiller, Billy Lockmiller and David Racicot, and two sisters: Mary Cordona and Patricia Ortiz and many extended family members.
Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 10:00 am at New Harvest Church, Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation will be Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL and Saturday from 9-10 a.m. at New Harvest Church, Clewiston, FL.

Always A Bridesmaid At Theatre February 22

The Firehouse Community Theatre continues with their 25th season with the hilarious comedy romp ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID.

This play is a rollicking tale of four loyal and determined women (who made a promise at their Senior Prom) definitively answer the question, “Just how far are you willing to go to keep a promise to a friend?” 

If you’ve ever elbowed a stranger out of the way catch a brides bouquet, seriously questioned the mental stability of the duo saying “ I do” or been forced to wear the world’s ugliest bridesmaids dress, this deliriously funny JONES HOPE WOTTEN COMEDY is definitely for you...and your dearly beloved!

Performances for Always a Bridesmaid are February 22 - 25 & March 1 - 4, 2018. All seats are $14.00.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Precautionary Boil Water Notice For LaBelle

Precautionary Boil Water Notice

A precautionary boil water notice has been issued for the City of LaBelle water service area. All City of LaBelle water users are advised to bring drinking water to a rolling boil for at least one minute prior to consumption. 

The notice is necessary due to an equipment failure. On Tuesday, January 30, between the hours of 5:30am and 7:00am the water service was shut off (pressure loss) to the city water service area due to a voltage problem. Service is back to normal. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

This notice is effective immediately and is expected to be in effect until Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 2:30 pm when a Bacteriological Survey shows the water is safe to drink or a different notice is issued regarding the boil water action. For further information please call Joseph Thomas at 863-674-1147 or City Hall during regular business hours at 863-675-2872.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Dr. Paul Gray At Audubon Feb 12

Mark your Calendars for the Hendry-Glades Audubon Monthly Programs the 2nd Monday at 7:00 p.m. second Monday of the month September - May. at Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension located at 1085 Pratt Blvd., LaBelle On Monday February 12th  Dr. Paul Gray will present an informative program on “Snail Kites”.

Dr. Paul Gray is a Science Coordinator for Audubon Florida's Everglades Restoration Program.  He has been with Audubon for 23 years and working in and around Lake Okeechobee for 30 years. 

Paul provides science support for Audubon policy teams in issues ranging from water quality, water management, agricultural best management practices, and ecosystem and bird conservation issues. 

Paul’s educational background includes a BS from the University of Missouri, an MS from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

There will also be a "Silent Auction" of a delightful selection of donated books and collectibles. Proceeds will be donated to the LaBelle 4-H Pollinator Club to help purchase benches for a Pollinator Garden they are creating at the Dallas Townsend Extension Building.

Barbara Kerr Dies At 84

Barbara M. Kerr, age 84, of LaBelle, passed away January 26, 2018 in LaBelle.

She was born March 12, 1933 in Danville, IL, to the late John T. and Marie (Engle) Flannery.

Survivors include her husband: Morris Duane Kerr, Sons: Stephen C. Kerr and Ronald K. Kerr, Sister: Joan Miller, Niece Teresa Brown.

Visitation will be held on January 30, 2018 at 10 to 11 AM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 560 East Hickpochee Ave. LaBelle. Memorial Service will be at 11 AM.

Medicare Free Counseling From AAASWFL

LABELLE, FL. The Medicare Annual Disenrollment Period, which allows beneficiaries who have a Medicare Advantage Plan to make changes, ends on February 14. The disenrollment period provides beneficiaries with an opportunity to switch back to original Medicare or return to original Medicare and join a prescription drug plan.  Counselors from SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) are available to assist beneficiaries with this process.

Choosing a health care or prescription drug plan requires careful consideration of coverage and cost, and some beneficiaries may need assistance in understanding the benefits. Free help is available statewide from the Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE program.  Locally, SHINE is managed by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL).

SHINE is an award-winning program that provides information and free, unbiased counseling for people with Medicare, their families, and their caregivers. The SHINE program can help beneficiaries compare plans and understand their options. For example, it is important to understand that beneficiaries cannot use this disenrollment period to switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another. Beneficiaries are allowed only one change during this enrollment period, so it is especially important that beneficiaries review their options carefully.

Medicare beneficiaries with limited income and assets may qualify for additional assistance with the cost of prescription drug plan premiums, deductibles, and co-payments. Medicare beneficiaries who believe they may be eligible are encouraged to contact a SHINE counselor for information about applying for these benefits. SHINE counselors can assist with applications for these programs.

SHINE is a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and is operated through the state’s network of Area Agency on Aging offices.  SHINE volunteers are trained to offer free, unbiased, and confidential information and counseling concerning Medicare.

For help understanding the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period or to set up an appointment with a trained SHINE counselor to compare plans and review benefit programs, call the Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-866-41-ELDER (1-866-413-5337). You can also locate a counseling site in your area by visiting

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Scam Alert - AutoAssure LLC Car Warranty

Service Contract Alert Misleading

Vehicle owners should be on the lookout for a letter about your car or truck. If you receive a letter from "Vehicle Services Department" postmarked from Dallas, TX noting an enclosed "vehicle document/alert notice - personal and confidential" and warning "IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO THIS NOTICE REQUIRED" you are most likely being set up for sales pitch for an expensive extended repair warranty when you call the 800 number.

The letter purports to notify vehicle owners that their "factory warranty will expire or may have already expired," and says "If you have updated your coverage please call to verify."

In very small print on the back of the letter you will find the company sending these notices is AutoAssure LLC located at 6400 Pinecrest Drive, Suite 400, Plano, TX 75024, a company selling extended warranties for vehicles.

A quick lookup for Better Business Bureau complaints for the company,  note that 317 customer complaints and 71 negative reviews are posted against the company.

If you call the 800-490-9143 number you will find contrary to what the letter leads one to expect, a sales pitch to buy an extended vehicle warranty from the company.

In other very small print they say "This is an advertisement to obtain coverage," and says you can opt out of these mailing by going to Note that the "Vehicle Service Department" is a fictitious (dba) name for AutoAssure LLC.

Our advice, if you want an extended warranty on your vehicle, get one directly from your auto manufacturer through your dealership. Usually any other extended warranty not through the manufacturer will be much more expensive and typically will not cover some repairs and will have lots of exclusions or the repairs they do cover.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Obituaries - Robert Hamer, Tammy West

Robert D Harmer, age 87, of LaBelle, passed away January 24, 2018 in LaBelle.

He was born July 27, 1930 in Lynn, MA, to the late William D and Katherine (Amirault) Harmer. He served in the U.S. Army from 02/15/1954 to 01/26/1955.

Survivors include one daughter: Deborah Dahlberg of LaBelle, FL, two brothers: Walter Harmer and George Harmer, one sister: Ruth Gove, grandson, Paul Anthony Crow.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Tammy S West, age 56, of Palmdale, passed away January 19, 2018 in Palmdale.

She was born Dec. 9, 1961 in Warrensborough, MS, to the late Thomas Earl and Carolyn (Taber) Hays.

Survivors include her husband: Kevin West, daughter: Katherine West, brother: Thomas Hays and sister: Tonya Hays

Services will be private Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Walk Across Florida - Marathon In The Keys

Excerpts From A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich
I was now on Vaca Key and in Marathon City proper. This is a town that got its big start from the railroad. It was the main work camp for thousands of men working on the railroad. Many of these men were from the Cayman Islands and others from Philadelphia and New York. It was also one of the stations named by the railroad workers. There was so much pressure to get the job accomplished that they were working night and day around the clock. They started to say, “This is getting to be a real Marathon!” So the name stuck, and that is what the railroad station was named.

I was walking by a gas station right across from the small airport which was on the north side of Highway No. 1. Three boys in a Camaro called me over. We started talking about hiking. A man who must have just finished getting gas came over and joined the conversation. When he found out that I was also interested in the history of the area he told me that the supposedly small airport across the road originally was a World War II airport. It’s actually 5000 feet long and was built by the Army Air Corps in 1942. It was used for training pilots to fly heavy bombers such as the B-17s and an emergency landing strip. I thanked him for that treasure of information.

Marathon was a fairly busy little town. It was built up then, and I’m sure that today it’s full. Street after street of the main road leading to the water had houses lining them. Many of them had docks, piers and boats. As I continued on, I picked up a four-bicycle escort through town. These little boys were really determined. In fact they escorted me all the way to Knights Key, almost to the 7-mile bridge.

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Volunteer Medicare Counselors Wanted

SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is currently in need of volunteers for Glades County. SHINE is part of a national volunteer program that provides free and unbiased counseling services to Medicare beneficiaries. SHINE counselors help seniors to make informed decisions about their health insurance coverage.

Since the SHINE program’s inception in 1993, SHINE volunteers have helped Florida seniors and their caregivers save millions of dollars. SHINE counselors bring peace of mind to those who need guidance in understanding and accessing health insurance options.

For more information on how you can become a trained volunteer Medicare counselor, please call the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida’s Helpline at 1-866-413-5337 or

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Robert Stacy Dies At 88

Robert "Bob" Stacy, age 88, of Clewiston, passed away January 18, 2018 in West Palm Beach.
Robert "Bob" was born in Eatonton, Georgia on March 10, 1929 to the late Robert O. and Mary Costner Stacy. He was a twin to Julia Driggers, who preceded him in death. He married Dorothy Steele on July 23, 1954. He served in the National Guard of Florida for a few years. He was a field foreman for United States Sugar Corporation for 47 years. He was President of Sugar Cane Technology Louisiana-Florida Division.
Bob Stacy was formerly of Belle Glade, Lake Harbor and finally making his home in Clewiston in 1952. He was a life member of the Masons, and active member of First Baptist Church of Clewiston for many years, in such roles as deacon, SS teacher, training Union Director, Choir Member, RA Leader and other roles. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother who will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
Bob leaves behind his loving wife of 63 years Dorothy of Clewiston, daughter; Nancy Priest and husband Danny of Clewiston son; Brian Stacy and wife PattiAnn of St. Cloud, Florida , sister; Letha Rice of Belle Glade, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Robert was preceded in death by many brothers and sisters, and two children a son; Keith and a baby girl. Bob Stacy has touched the life of many kids as a Cub Scout Leader and a baseball coach for Little League, and he had a passion for Christ with others as he loved the Lord fiercely. He taught a host of kids how to swim and to waterski.
Celebration of Robert's life was Tuesday, January 23, 2018 in First Baptist Church of Clewiston where Rev. Mike Brennan and Dr. Wayne Stacy will officiate. Visitation was Monday evening at Akin-Davis Funeral Home from 6-8 pm. Burial was in Ridgelawn Cemetery

Hotline For Seniors Helps Find Assistance For 63,000

The Southwest Florida Elder Helpline received more than 63,000 calls in 2017, an increase of 3.4% from 2016. The Helpline is an information and referral service provided by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL). The Agency’s Helpline assists older adults, caregivers, and people with disabilities in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties.

Locally, the Helpline can be accessed by calling (866) 413-5337 (41-ELDER) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.weekdays, excluding holidays. Assistance is available in more than 200 languages.

n Glades and Hendry Counties, the top five needs were utility payment assistance, long-term care, meals and nutrition services, health insurance and Medicaid assistance, and homemaking. Hendry County seniors requested utility payment assistance (79.5% of calls) more than any other service, and more frequently than Southwest Florida seniors in other counties. Food and nutrition services like home-delivered meals were requested by 27.5% of Glades county callers, a rate significantly higher than the regional average.

“The Helpline is designed to assist seniors and people with disabilities as they try to find government-funded and private-pay services,” explains Autumn Rosa, AAASWFL’s director of client services. “It also gives us and the aging network a snapshot of what services are needed in each county and service area.”

Across AAASWFL’s seven-county region, the most frequently requested service was long-term care, with 72% of callers expressing interest. Also frequently requested were assistance with utility payments (24%), health insurance issues (23%), meals and nutrition (15%) and housing (11%). The average Helpline caller expressed needs for 2.8 different services.

In addition to utilizing the helpline, older adults, adults with disabilities, and caregivers can also look up services through the Area Agency on Aging’s online resource directory ( In 2017, 4,457 people searched for local elder and disability services on the site, including visitors from 48 states and the District of Columbia.

“We often have callers and website visitors from outside the area who are trying to find help for a family member,” explains Rosa. “People also call because they are considering retirement in Southwest Florida and want to know what kind of services are available once they come down here.”

Monday, January 22, 2018

How To Avoid Marijuana Scams

In light of recent news regarding the disbarment of a lawyer involved in medical marijuana scams, the Florida Department of Health is reminding Florida residents to use caution to avoid falling victim to medical marijuana scams. In this case, individuals were offering "official legal certifications” for marijuana use to patients as well as "grow signs” allegedly permitting patients to grow their own marijuana.
Below are tips to help protect you from scams involving medical marijuana.
  • Only approved medical marijuana treatment centers are authorized in Florida to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients and legal representatives. Patients are not allowed to grow marijuana in Florida.
  • Only qualified physicians are permitted to certify patients for medical marijuana us. Qualified physicians can be searched here
  • The Office of Medical Marijuana Use, through its contracted vendor Veritec, is the only entity issuing legal identification cards for medical marijuana in Florida. No other entity is authorized to process applications. Do not provide personal health or credit card information to any entity advertising the ability to obtain medical marijuana cards.     
To file a complaint against a licensed health care professional, visit the Florida Health Care Complaint Portal here.
To report scams to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services call 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).
To report fraud to the Attorney General's office call 1-866-966-7226.

Ortona Locks To Be Closed For Maintenance

Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is notifying the public, marinas, commercial and recreational vessels traveling the Okeechobee Waterway that Ortona Lock will be closed for maintenance 4 through 16 June 2018. 

This will be the first lock closure along the Okeechobee Waterway in 6 years; maintenance is necessary to repair aging and damaged infrastructure in addition to improving public and vessel safety. 

Repairs will require the lock chamber to be dewatered for crews to perform inspections, replace gate seals and repair Manatee Protection system components. During the closure, barges, floating cranes and divers will be working in the lock entrance, requiring vessel operators in the area to use minimal speed and caution for safety.

Public comments and concerns related to this closure will be accepted until 31 March 2018 and can be mailed to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 525 Ridgelawn Rd., Clewiston, FL 33440 Attn: Gary Hipkins or can be emailed to (please add "Public Comment on Ortona Lock Closure 2018" in subject line).

Friday, January 19, 2018

Wayne Gibson At LaBelle Kiwanis Meeting

The LaBelle Kiwanis January 16th meeting at 5:30 pm had a distinguished speaker, Wayne Gibson.

Wayne presented an interactive Program: "The Super Recruiter Concept”. Wayne Gibson joined the South Burlington Kiwanis Club in 1973. He later switched to the Burlington Club and was president for two years and was awarded for getting the club back to 25 members. 

Wayne moved back to the South Burlington Club and was elected Lt.Gov for the western side of Vermont. He later became president of the South Burlington club. He is now a Florida resident and became an associate member of the Ft Myers Beach Club.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Howard Wayne Wolfe, age 66, of LaBelle, passed away January 16, 2018 in LaBelle. He was born Feb. 27, 1951 in South Bend, IN, to the late Douglas and Helen (Bell) Wolfe.

Survivors include his wife: Cathy (Holt) Wolfe, 3 daughters: Donna Wolfe, Sheila Rossi, and Sabrina Robertson, Son: Shane O'Brein, 6 (with 1 on the way) Grandchildren

Memorial Service is pending.

Felix Vazquez, age 74, of Clewiston, passed away January 14, 2018 in Clewiston. He was born July 10, 1943 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. He was a landscaper for years.

Survivors include Close Friends, Jose A. (Debbie) Hernandez of Clewiston, FL/ Services will be held Friday, January 19, 2018, 10AM with Miguel Santana officiating. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.

Irena Mae Daniels passed away January 13, 2018 in LaBelle, Florida. She was born October 4, 1931 in Nokomis, Florida to the late Irena and Charles Gomez, an old Florida family.

Survivors are her husband of 70 years, James Hampton Daniels, daughters Betty Sue Moreno (Pete), Kathy Gail Daniels and daughter-in-law Linda Daniels, ten grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren

Irena is best remembered as a devoted wife and grandmother. She was an equal partner in her husband's ministry for the Church of God. Together they served the Lord to bring comfort and support to their parishioners. She was the church musician, playing both the piano and organ. In addition, she taught Bible study classes and performed many other duties. Her family remembers her as a selfless mother and wife who loved and cared for them.

She is preceded in death by sons: Don Alan and Rex Earl Daniels, also sisters: Gwen Lippincott and Aliene Benson, brothers: Charles, Frank, TW; and TM Gomez.

Visitation was 10:00 AM to 11:00 at the Alva Church of God, Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Funeral services followed at 11:00 AM with Reverend Dennis Edgar officiating. Interment at the Alva Cemetery.

Kenneth L Hunter, age 30, of LaBelle, passed away January 12, 2018 in LaBelle. He was born Oct. 3, 1987 in Ft. Myers, to Kenneth L and Diane (Puente) Hunter.

Survivors include Parents Kenneth L and Diane (Puente) Hunter, Sister: Maddison Hunter, Fiancee, Jessica Sanford.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Mitchell Wills officiating. Interment in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Visitation was Tuesday from 9 to 11 AM at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Old Time Radio Show At LaBelle Theatre

Suspense and Laughter with the Old Time Radio Show
LABELLE, FL. -- The Firehouse Goldies will perform four classic Golden Age Radio programs. First, they will put you in "Suspense" with "That Thing in the Window". Then they will keep you laughing as only "My Friend Irma" can. 

After intermission "The Mysterious Traveler" will have you guessing why there is "No One on the Line". 

Lastly, back by popular demand, Liz Cooper and Iris Atterbury will have you in stitches with their Easter antics in "My Favorite Husband"! 

Get your tickets now for this incredible show. The Firehouse Community Theatre is located in beautiful down town LaBelle at 241 North Bridge St, LaBelle. This show runs February 9th through the 11th and is produced and directed by Deborra Higgins Soja

Carrie Ayvar At Museum February 14

LABELLE, FL. -- The answer to who Dr. Anna Darrow was can be learned from noted story teller Carrie-Sue Ayvar at LaBelle Heritage Museum's Wednesday, February 14, free program at LaBelle's Dallas B. Townsend Agricultural Center, 1085 Pratt Boulevard

Carrie-Sue appears throughout Florida in her inimical Chautauqua-style programs where she becomes the subject of her presentation, making that person come alive again at least for the duration of the program. She will become Dr. Anna Darrow (1876 - 1959), only the second female doctor to be licensed to practice medicine in Florida over 100 years ago. 

Listen to Doc Anna, Swamp Doc of Florida as she relates how she braved not only the Everglades that once were but also the haunts of some of Florida's gangs -- possibly even the notorious John Ashley gang -- in her quest to bring medical help to all who needed it.

This free program is made possible by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council enabling smaller communities to present note speakers like Carrie-Sue Ayvar they might not have been able to schedule. 

The Dallas B. Townsend Agricultural Center does have a seating capacity determined by the State Fire Marshall; so, the museum strongly recommends everyone planning to attend this FREE program to go to to get free general admission tickets to insure seats will be available in the event of a "sell out" crowd. 

An advance ticket not only guarantees a seat in case of a capacity crowd but is also an entry for the door prize.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Not Too Late For Flu Vaccine Says Health Department

Both in Florida and throughout the U.S., flu activity is on the rise. In Florida, data shows more influenza activity across all age groups this year than detected in the last two flu seasons. Cases of the flu are particularly increasing in the northern portions of the state, including the Panhandle. 
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that based on their data, this might be the peak of this year's flu season. CDC recommends that people who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and get flu symptoms should be treated with antiviral drugs as soon as possible.

It is not too late to get your flu vaccine. There are still weeks of flu activity to come. Flu vaccines can vary in effectiveness from season to season but they continue to be the best way to prevent influenza infection and serious influenza complications. To locate a flu shot near you, contact your physician, your local county health department, or use the Florida Department of Health's flu shot locator:

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people get injectable flu shots. Nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for this flu season because of concerns about its effectiveness.

It is also essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing your hands to help prevent the spread of seasonal flu. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces in your home, school or office. You can take additional steps to ward off the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.

Each week during flu season DOH publishes the Florida Flu Review that provides a comprehensive update on the status of influenza and influenza-like illness in the state. The most recent is available here.

Visit for more information on how you can be a part of #FluFreeFlorida.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Trail Program And Hike This Month

Appalachian Trail Program and Supermoon Hike
LABELLE, FL. -- Adults, Youth and Families are invited to attend the Fisheating Creek Florida Trail Association meeting and program by Stephen Nisbet Jr. on “Appalachian Trail Gear” Thursday January 25 and “Supermoon Hike” at Ft Center WMA on Wednesday January 31.

Stephen Nisbet Jr. will present his informative program at 7 pm Thursday January 25 at the Carlson United Methodist Church Annex (House behind church facing Riverview Drive) 310 Campbell Street LaBelle, FL 33935

Enjoy a “Supermoon Hike” (5miles) on Wednesday January 31 at Ft. Center WMA. Carpool from Barron Park in LaBelle at 4pm or meet at Fisheating Creek Fort Center Wildlife Management Area located at 3019 Banana Grove Rd, Moore Haven, FL 33471 at 5pm

Directions: US 27 in Moore Haven, follow SR 78 east to Lakeport. Look for the turnoff for Banana Grove Road on the north side of the road, between two branches of Fisheating Creek. There is a sign at the entrance “Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area.” Follow the unpaved road for about a mile to reach the trailhead parking area on the left. 

Bring dinner, water, flashlights, bug spray, and snacks contact Deanna Filkins at 863-234-8181 (cell/text) or Margaret England or 863-517-0202(cell/text) Like us on Facebook: Fisheating Creek Florida Trail Association.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Long Term Recovery Group Meets Jan. 26

Hurricane Irma has left some members of our communities with unmet needs; those are needs that will not be met by insurance or government assistance.

FEMA estimates unmet needs in Glades County at approximately $400,000 and $960,000 in Hendry County and those figures do not include households who did not register with FEMA. Unmet needs can include housing, repairs, household goods, and other necessary items.

With the assistance of the FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison there has been several meetings held between Hendry and the Glades County citizens, business owners, representatives from faith based organizations and volunteers where the formation of a Long Term Recovery Group, currently known as the Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition (UNC), has been established. The Chairman (Luis Napoles), Vice Chair (Normand Charest), Secretary (Yvette Wingate) and Treasurer (Margaret England) have volunteered to lead in getting this group started. Our organization will be affiliated with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties through a 501(c)(3).

There are also volunteers and various groups such as the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Mennonites, the Salvation Army, the United Way and local businesses who want to help rebuild after disaster with funds, supplies and volunteers. The UNC provides the organizational framework they will need to accomplish these tasks.

We need volunteers to assist in our mission. Volunteers need not have any special education or special skills. Nevertheless we welcome all volunteers as the task we are facing will require many hands. We are inviting local citizens who are interested in helping those in our community who are less fortunate and who still have unmet needs, to attend one or more of our organizational meetings. This does not imply obligation. Our next organizational meeting will be Friday, January 26, 2018 at 1 pm at the Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church at 310 Campbell Street, Labelle.

Those persons who wish to fill out a referral form to receive services for unmet needs as a as a result of hurricane Irma may do so at the above scheduled meeting.

John Hollingsworth Injured In US27 Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- According the the Florida Highway Patrol, John Hollingsworth 77 of Moore Haven was seriously injured in a crash Friday at 4:53 p.m. west of Clewstion.

Hollingsworth was westbound on US-27 near County Road 720, west of Clewiston driving a 1998 Dodge Durango in the inside lane as Luis Antonio Nazario, 39 of Orlando driving a Volvo truck with trailer, was eastbound on US-27 in the outside lane.

The Dodge traveled southwest into the median and Hollingsworth lost control. The Dodge crossed the grass median and entered the eastbound lanes of US-27. The left front of the Dodge struck the left
side of the truck, rupturing it's left fuel tank. The Dodge was propelled back into the median and
overturned onto its roof. The truck rotated counterclockwise and came to rest in the eastbound lanes
of US-27.

Hollingsworth was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, The crash is under investigation.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Obituaries - Norma Kentish, Kenneth Collier

Kenneth David Collier, age 70, of Moore Haven, passed away January 8, 2018 in Moore Haven.

He was born Aug. 21, 1947 in Moore Haven, FL, to the late Ira and Sarah Belle (Williams) Collier. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet mechanic. He worked as an automotive/small engine mechanic after the service.

Survivors include:

His mother Sarah Belle (Williams) Collier, a brother: Thomas Campbell Collier and two sisters: Irene Darlene Hunter and Dianne Conley,

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday January 20, 2018 at 2 PM at the First Baptist Church Moore Haven, FL with Pastor Sherill Tillery officiating. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Norma Leonie Kentish, age 88, of West Palm Beach, passed away January 6, 2018 in Port St. Lucie.She was born Sep. 11, 1929 in Kingston, Jamaica to the late Horatio Seville Jackson and the late Ethel Berlicia (Harper) Jackson

Survivors include her step son: David Harris, brother: George S. Jackson, sisters: Beth Stween, Madge M. Tinglin, Barbara Wilkins and Faye C. Jackson, one grandchild, one Great-Grandchild and many nieces & nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Lloyd Marlowe Kentish and son: Lloyd Marlowe Kentish, Jr.

Funeral services will be held Sunday, January 14, 2018, 10:00 am at Episcopal Church Of The Good Shepherd, 1098 Collingswood Pkwy, LaBelle with Rev. Alan H. Kelmereit and Rev. Panel Guerrier officiating. Visitation will be Sunday from 30 Minutes Prior to the service at the church.

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

A Walk Across Florida - The Mystery Note

Excerpts From A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

I was on Conch Key. I went down from the road to the shore and sat under a large mangrove to draw and look around. This mangrove was more like a small tree. As I was observing my surroundings, I saw it, washing back-and-forth and rolling around in the sand with the movement of the waves, a glass milk bottle. 

There was something strange about this milk bottle. 

It had a cork in the top, and inside I could see some kind of folded paper. I picked it up and popped the cork. In it was a yellow piece of notebook paper folded three times to allow it to fit into the bottle. 

I had found a distress note. 

Some folks obviously were visiting someone in Marathon and desired to have some fun. They stated that they were stranded on Conch Key and needed help.

One never knows just what one will find around the next corner. I would like to have found the person they said to notify. I was sure that he would really have had a laugh over it.

Here is the note:

            THE  DISTRESSED

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

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Crash At Traffic Signal On SR80

John Hollingworth, 77 of LaBelle, in a 2007 Ford Escape was westbound on State Road 80 (Hickpochee Avenue), in the outside lane. Nicholas Allen Todd, 33 of Hendry countySheriff's Department was traveling northbound on Bridge Street in a 2016 Ford Taurus with it's lights and sirens activated at 2:27 p.m. Tuesday

Several westbound vehicles in both the inside and (left) turn lane obstructed the view of
westbound motorists. Hollingworth then observed a solid green indication coming from the traffic
device (signal) and proceeded west into the intersection.

As a result, the right front of the Taurus collided with the left front of the Escape at the intersection. Upon impact with the Escape, the Taurus was propelled in a counterclockwise direction and came to rest at the intersection.

The Escape came to rest partially in the westbound (outside) lane of State Road 80 and southbound lane of State Road 29. There were no injuries and no charges filed.

Clifton Brown Dies After Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Clifton Brown, 76 of Clewiston was traveling east on Georgia Ave west of 12th St. at 5:15 p.m. Monday in a 1993 Lincoln Towncar.  It is believed he had suffered a medical condition behind the wheel.

Subsequently the car ran off the roadway to the left. The left front of collided with the canal and the vehicle came to final rest facing east in the canal on the north shoulder of Georgia Ave west of 12th St.

The driver was transported to Hendry Regional were he was later pronounced deceased.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Nicole Black Killed By Unknown Cadillac Driver

LABELLE, FL. -- A 2010 Cadillac Escalade SUV was traveling west on State Road 80 (West Hickpoochee Avenue) at Hendry Street in the inside lane at 8:08 P.M. Saturday as Nicole Lynn Black, 25 of LaBelle was standing on the State Road 80 continuous left turn lane waiting to cross State Road 80.

She crossed State Road 80 traveling north and entered into the path of the SUV. The unknown driver swerved to the left and the front right corner of the vehicle collided with Black.

The driver continued west in and fled the scene. Black came to final rest blocking the State Road 80 westbound outside lane. A suspect vehicle was later located and subsequently impounded for further investigation.

The crash remains under investigation. If you have information regarding this incident please contact CRIMESTOPPERS at 1800-780-TIPS or contact Corporal Sutherland at 239-344-1730.

Friday, January 05, 2018

William Harris Promoted To FHP Troop Commander

Today, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Director, Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, appointed Captain William Harris as the new Troop Commander for Troop J. The Troop J Commander oversees commercial vehicle enforcement (CVE) operations for Florida’s southern region encompassing 32 counties within Troops D, E, F, G, K and L.

Major Harris holds a Bachelor’s Degree from North Central College in Illinois. He is active in his community with the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brother and Big Sister programs of Lee County, as well as coaching at various park districts throughout Lee County.

“Major Harris has demonstrated that he is ready for the next step in his career and brings a wealth of knowledge to the troop,” said Colonel Spaulding. “I have full confidence in his abilities to lead the CVE troopers and promote A Safer Florida.”

Major Harris is a 17-year veteran of law enforcement with the Florida Highway Patrol, and has most recently served as the District Commander within Troop J Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. Major Harris began his career with the state of Florida in 1998 with the Department of Juvenile Justice, where he served as a Detention Care Specialist and a Juvenile Probation Officer prior to entering the Florida Highway Patrol Academy in February of 2001. 

Major Harris graduated from the 99th recruit class and was first assigned to the Arcadia district as a Trooper.  In March of 2004, he later transferred to the Fort Myers district. In 2010, he promoted to the rank of Sergeant assigned to the Troop F Naples district. In 2012, he promoted to the rank of Lieutenant assigned to the Troop J Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement in the Fort Myers district. In 2014, he promoted to the rank of Captain also assigned to the Troop J Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Fort Myers district.

Scam Money Returns By Federal Trade Commission

Time is running out to obtain partial refunds for people who lost money through online and phone scams in the last 13 years and used Western Union to send the funds to the scammers. The amount of refund will depend on how many people apply and verification of the claim. The Federal Trade Commission says.

"If you lost money to a scammer who had you pay using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, you can now file a claim to get your money back. To submit your claim, start with one of these two options from the Federal Trade Commission:

I got a pre-filled claim form.

I didn't get a claim form.

You must submit a claim by February 12, 2018."
(The links above are only graphics and do not go to the website)
To file your claim go to this web link for the Federal Trade Commission website for refund applications; Western Union Refund Application

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Obituaries - Willadine Spence, Barbara Whiddon

Willadine "Willie" Spence, age 64, of LaBelle, suddenly passed away January 2, 2018 in Clewiston.
Willie was born in Chipley, Florida on July 17, 1953 to Earnest and Bernadine Lewis Searcy. She met and married Gary Spence, they were married 32 years. She was employed by the Hendry County School Board for 35 years. She attended Collingswood Community Fellowship Church. She was a loving and caring daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend who will be greatly missed.
Willie leaves behind her loving husband of 32 years; Gary of LaBelle, her mother; Deanie Searcy, daughters; Jennifer Spence, Christa Spence and Kelle Spence, grandchildren; Troy Coker, Mahailey Ferrazas, Joy Hinson, Gage Meadows, Ruby Rodriguez, sister; Cricket Marcinkowski, two nieces, eight great nieces and nephews and many extended family members.
Celebration of Willie's life will be held Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church with a visitation starting at 1:00 p.m.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Barbara Ann Whiddon was born in Fort Pierce, Florida, on March 4, 1937, to Elsie and Bedey (Haney) Scott as the second of three daughters. In 1956, she married Stuart K. Whiddon, Sr., of Fort Pierce and together they had four children, Stuart, Moody, Elaina, and Tracy.
Barbara loved gardening, church, and her family, spending her time in her yard, at church, and with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Barbara Ann Whiddon  passed away on December 31, 2017, surrounded by her family. She is preceded in death by Stuart K. Whiddon, Sr., and Wendy Lane Whiddon and is survived by her four children, Stuart K. Whiddon, Jr., Moody K. Whiddon, Elaina M. Giffin, and Tracy L. Nobles, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Services were held on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, at Fort Denaud Cemetery with Pastor Jorge Rodriguez officiating.

U.S. Attorneys Directed To Enforce Marijuana Laws

The Department of Justice today issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents. Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.

In the memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities. This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.

"It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "Therefore, today's memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country."

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Bicyclist Jose Vanegaz Dies In Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Jose Fortan Vanegaz, 59 of Clewiston was westbound on the eastbound side of US-27 (SR-25) and was attempting to cross to the westbound side of US-27 at North San Jose St at 11:23 P.M December 30 on a bicycle.

The bicycle was equipped with a forward facing and rear facing reflectors, but no lights. Tatiana Krystel Soto, 31 of Miami was westbound on US-27 (SR-25) in the outside lane in a 2012 Chevy Malibu.

The bicyclist rode in front of the car and as a result, the front of the car collide with the right side of the bicycle.

Mr. Vanegaz was pronounced deceased at the crash scene. The FHP says the crash is under investigation.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Zunida Diaz Dies After New Year's Day Crash

Zunida L. Ruiz Diaz, 53 of Clewiston was traveling south on Flaghole Rd., north of Kilpatrick Rd. in mid-Hendry county at 2:57 p.m. Monday in a 2001 Chevy Aveo  when for reasons unknown, he failed to maintain control.

The vechicle traveled off the roadway onto the west grass shoulder. and traveled over a grass berm and entered a water filled canal. The driver was extricated fro the canal and transported to Hendry Regional Medical Center where he later expired at the hospital.