Friday, June 29, 2018

What's New At LaBelle Heritage Museum

LaBelle Heritage Museum President Joe Thomas presented a large carved statue of two birds with inlaid brass eyes and beaks from Me and My Girls Antiques and Home Décor to longtime volunteer Terri Lazar in a special ceremony at the museum's June board meeting.

Since Terri and her husband Jeff had an unavoidable conflict and were unable to attend LHM's Annual Potluck Dinner and Installation of Officers held on June 7 where the presentation was originally planned. Terri says this objet d'art will be displayed in her living room as a reminder of her longtime association with the museum and its projects.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Marlene Summerall Grillo Dies At 77

Marlene Summerall Grillo, age 77, of LaBelle, passed away June 23, 2018 in LaBelle. She was born Apr. 18, 1941 in Tampa, FL, to the late Clyde and the late Edith Marie (Thompson) Summerall, Sr.

Survivors include her children: Debbie (Cary) Grillo Haerlin; Terri (Mike) Grillo-Cross; Tony (Lori) Grillo; Cathy (Steve) Grillo and Lonnie (Donnie) Gore; Step Sons: Frank Grillo and John Grillo and families, sister: Joyce Boatright, grandchildren: Tommy, Michael, Ben, Skeeter, Michele, Robert, Cassie, Dillon, Josh, Courtney and Bruce, numerous great-grandchildren and many extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Al Grillo.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 10:30 a.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle with Pastor Bill Maddox officiating. Visitation was at 10 AM at Akin-Davis Funeral Home-LaBelle. Interment followed in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven.

National HIV Testing Day June 27

The Florida Department of Health recognizes June 27 as National HIV Testing Day. This year's theme is "Test Your Way. Do It Today,” which serves as a reminder that HIV testing has never been more convenient because there are more ways than ever to get tested.

"Today, make getting tested and knowing your HIV status a priority,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. "Detecting HIV early on means you can be linked to timely and effective treatment and outreach, ensuring that you live a long, healthy life and lower the chance of transmitting the virus to others. There are numerous fast, confidential and affordable ways to get tested, so I strongly encourage everyone to make getting tested for HIV at least once, a part of their health care routine.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all individuals 13–64 years old be tested for HIV at least once during their lifetime, and persons at increased risk for HIV infection be tested at least annually.

Florida remains a national leader in HIV testing, with over 1,400 registered HIV test sites (including each county health department and community-based organizations) which provide high-quality, confidential testing services at low or no cost. Last year, more than 340,000 HIV tests were conducted through Florida's registered HIV test sites. Testing is also available through doctor's offices and other health care facilities.

With early diagnosis, individuals can begin appropriate treatment and care resulting in better health outcomes. Studies have shown that providing antiretroviral therapy as early as possible after diagnosis improves a patient's health, reduces transmission, and can eventually lead to undetectable HIV viral loads.

HIV-negative individuals are encouraged to reduce the chance of contracting HIV by using prevention strategies. As part of our strategic efforts to eliminate HIV in Florida, the Department is working to make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication available at no cost at all 67 CHDs by the end of this year. PrEP is a once-daily pill that can reduce the chance of acquiring HIV in HIV-negative individuals. PrEP should be used in conjunction with other prevention methods like condoms to reduce the chance of infection. According to CDC, taking PrEP daily reduces the chance of getting HIV by more than 90 percent.

PrEP will be made available through CHD Sexually Transmitted Disease and Family Planning Clinics and patients can be provided with up to a 90-day supply of medications. Some CHDs may offer PrEP through a specialty clinic.

You can locate HIV counseling, testing and referral sites by visiting or texting 'FLHIV' to 898211.

For more information, call the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437; En Español, 1-800-545-SIDA; In Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101. To chat with a live counselor at the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline, visit

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Attorney Kevin Drummond Speaks At Kiwanis

Attorney, Kevin Drummond,. who grew up in LaBelle and also became an Eagle Scout before graduating LaBelle High School was a guest speaker at the June 5th LaBelle Kiwanis meeting. 

Kevin explained to Kiwanis members and guests about probate proceedings, the rules governing formal probate administration and summary administration in the State of Florida. 

Pictured: Attorney Drummond whose office is in West Palm Beach, LaBelle Kiwanis President Sue Williams, and Nikki Yeager, a Past President for Kiwanis. Photo by Helen Mead.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Obituaries - Jose Clavijo, Charlene Buffey

Jose Antonio Clavijo 78, of Clewiston, passed away June 21, 2018 in Clewiston.
He was born Mar. 19, 1940 in Havana, Cuba to the late Jose Antonio and Maria Josefa (Fernandez) Clavijo.
Survivors include his wife: Maria (Torres) Clavijo
two sons: Miguel Clavijo and Jorge Clavijo
one daughter: Madeleine Clavijo
one brother: Juan Jose Clavijo
5 grandchildren 1 great grandchild
Memorial Service is Pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Charlene Denise Buffey, age 58, of Clewiston, passed away June 24, 2018 in Clewiston.
She was born Sep. 9, 1959 in Naples, FL, to the late Williby Warren and Beverly Sue (Vance) Hall. Mrs.
Survivors include her husband: Scott McCluskey
two daughters: Tara Buffey and Desiree Buffey,
two brothers: Warren Clinton Hall and Frank Hall
three sisters: Sheila Ann, Gail and Joyce
6 grandchildren
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Mosquito Protection - Drain And Cover!

The Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties reminds residents and visitors that it is important to "Drain and Cover” this National Mosquito Control Awareness Week. The Department encourages everyone to take simple precautions to protect themselves and their neighbors from mosquito-borne illnesses which have received increased attention recently in Florida.

"While there is currently no active, ongoing transmission of Zika in Florida, residents and travelers should always take precautions to protect against mosquito bites,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. "Zika is one of several mosquito-borne illnesses that occur in Florida, so be sure to drain water from any containers around your home, cover your skin with clothing and mosquito repellent and cover doors and windows with screen to keep mosquitoes out of your home or business.”

T. Wayne Gale, President of the Florida Mosquito Control Association said, "Summer is a crucial time to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquitoes. Mosquito surveillance and control happens year-round in Florida, but the hotter, wetter months produce ideal conditions for disease-spreading mosquitoes, so be sure to lessen your risk of being bitten and eliminate potential breeding sites.”

In addition to Zika, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus are also present in mosquitoes in Florida. The risk of disease transmission through bites of infected mosquitoes to humans has increased.

To protect against mosquitoes, the department urges the public to "Drain and Cover:”
DRAIN standing water:
  • Drain water from garbage cans, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER your skin with:
  • CLOTHING - If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
  • REPELLENT - Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective.
  • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
COVER doors and windows with screens:
  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.
Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites:
  • Clean out troughs and gutters;
  • Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain;
  • Turn over or remove empty plastic pots;
  • Pick up all beverage containers and cups;
  • Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water;
  • Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week;
  • Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week; and
  • Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Joseu Padilla Crashes With Patrol Vehicle; Charged With DUI

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Joseu Mancia Padilla, 28 of Clewiston was traveling north on West Ave SW in the center of the road at 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning in a 2003 Honda.  Sgt. T. Neives, 35, of Moore Haven in a 2016 Ford Explorer was responding to the area based on a report of suspicious activity involving the 2003 Honda.

As Sgt. Neives turned onto West Ave SW from US 27, he observed Padilla was traveling in the center of the road. Sgt. Neives attempted evasive action but the front of the Honda struck the front of the patrol vehicle. After the impact the Honda came to final rest on the west shoulder and the patrol vehicle came to final rest on the east shoulder.

Padilla was charged with DUI Property Damage / Injury, No Valid Driver License.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pastor Robert A. Miller Dies At 66

Pastor Robert A. Miller, age 66, of Lehigh Acres, passed away June 20, 2018 in Lehigh Acres.

Pastor Robert was born May 16, 1952 in Burlington, Iowa to David and Sarah (Heiniger) Miller. He married Janice R. Niuman on September 16, 1978 in Miamisburg, Ohio. He was a pastor for 23 years. Last serving at LaBelle Baptist Temple. 

He was a God-fearing man who loved to tell people about the Lord Jesus Christ and bring people to know the Lord. He also helped his family with their business, Industrial Repair in LaBelle. He was an accomplished welder. He was loved by his entire family and will be dearly missed by not only his immediately family but also his church family.

Pastor Robert is survived by his loving wife of 39 years; Janice Miller of Lehigh Acres, daughter: Sarah Miller of Alva, sons; Frank Miller and wife Julianne of LaBelle, Tim Miller and wife Mitzi of Alva, Tom Miller and wife Katie of Lehigh Acres, Peter Miller of Arcadia. daughter-in-law; Mary Lynn Miller of Lehigh Acres, fourteen grandchildren, one brother; David Miller and wife Barb of Burlington, Iowa, sisters; Ruby Eberhardt and husband Joseph of Sperry, Iowa, Shirley Ernest and husband Jim of Wapello, Iowa, Ellen Moehle and husband Bob of Mediapolis, Iowa, many nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Celebration of Pastor Robert's life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018 in LaBelle Baptist Temple with Pastor Jimmy Allen officiating. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the church. Interment will be immediately after the celebration in Fort Denaud Cemetery.

Celebration of life arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Altair Military Training Facility Goes Back To Lenders

LABELLE, FL. -- On June 19, 2018, Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden received from the court a Writ of Possession Instanter ordering Sheriff Whidden to seize all of the property named in the writ and turn it over to the new owner and remove any persons on the property known as Altair Training Solutions, a regional training facility with an address of 31101 Nafi Dr., Immokalee.

Altair Training Solutions, Inc., Blue Spoon LLC and Brian W. Jones (photo left) were sued in Hendry Circuit Court for failure to make payments under a $4,375,000 credit line and promissory note for the purchase and operation after the military and law enforcement training facility in southern Hendry County, Fl. could not bring in enough income to pay the loans.

South Florida Ops LLC along with Robert White and R. Laken Mitchell filed the foreclosure suit September 24, 2015 alleging default on payments due. Also joined as defendants were Bryant Construction and Roofing and Guardian Fueling Technologies, both having claims against Altair.

This training facility is the former site of Hendry Correctional Institute. 

Brian Jones at the time, filed papers with the state indicating plans to employ 200 people at the facility. In 2014, Hendry County gave Altair a property tax waiver deal for the promise to create 144 jobs with an average salary of $62,152. That's almost three times the average Hendry worker's paycheck.  Hendry County and it's Economic Development Office has made several tax waiver deals with new companies over the years that also have not panned out as promised.

The lender sued Altair and others in a foreclosure and were awarded the property due to the default in payment of the various loans on the property. The property was sold at auction on May 30. As a result of the sale, the writ was issued to enable the lenders to gain possession of the property.

Due to the size of the facility and the type of training being conducted there, Sheriff Whidden felt that the safest way to do this was to organize an operation and enact the Mutual Aid Agreement, per statute.

ATF seized several firearms that were in violation and a small amount of explosive ordinance was seized by the bomb squad.

Lee County Sheriff's Office, Collier County Sheriff's Office, SW Florida Regional Bomb Squad, Florida Wildlife Commission, ATF and Homeland Security Investigations assisted Hendry County Sheriff's Office with personnel and assets. 

73 law enforcement officers were briefed on the situation and entered the property securing all buildings. Once that was done, the property was turned over to the new owners.

There were no arrests made at this time.

Southwest Florida Online has reported many times on Altair's financial problems and it's proposed plans for the facility. See more Altair and Brian Jones reports

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Walter Harold Greer Dies At 57

Walter Harold Greer, age 57, of Clewiston, passed away June 19, 2018 in Lehigh Acres.
He was born Sep. 7, 1960 in Sebring, FL, to the late Robert Blair and Marie (Eiland) Greer.
Survivors include three sons: Walter Jr, Gary and JC,
two daughters: Niki and Johanna,
7 grandchildren
He was a Heavy Equipment Operator.
The family will receive friends on Friday June 29, 2018 at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 438 E. Sugarland Hwy. Clewiston, FL from 11 AM to 12 PM
Memorial Service will be held at 12:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Free Family Movie Summer Starts July 3

LABELLE, FL. -- The 36th Summer Movie Fest will begin Tuesday July 3, with animated movie “Peter Rabbit”

There are showings at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. The movie are completely free thanks to business sponsors.  A snack area for those that would like to buy candy, pop corn the money eared goes to Florida Children’s Ranch.

The family Movie Festival started out as a first summer program in LaBelle 36 years ago. The first five or six years we use 35mm film shipped from Disney pictures. The Festival was so popular that people came from Clewiston and Fort Myers.

 High-quality movies and a combination of air conditioning and the community getting together quickly filled the building at each showing. As time went by they converted projection equipment to DVD and Blu-Ray. 

To offset the cost of all the air-conditioning and videos they asked the businesses of the community to help sponsor the festival each year. Some of the businesses from the beginning years are  Family Eye Care, Nisbet Enterprises McDonald’s and Big V Restaurant.  This year appointed was Julie Wilkins as Festival coordinator.  if you know someone or business that would like to sponsor this event call Julie at 863-673-4529.

July 10th will be Pastor Avery’s all time funniest movie “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.” Other titles will be released as they are available.

The 36th Summer Movie Fest is located 135 Fraser Avenue, in the LaBelle Assembly of God chapel,  everyone is welcomed. Groups of 25 or over please call. Contact 675-0900 or e-mail

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Betty Lou Meeks Dies At 90

Betty Lou Meeks, age 90, of Oxford, FL passed away June 14, 2018 in Oxford.She was born Aug. 13, 1927 in Williamsville, DE, to the late Harvey Franklin and the late Elva Mae (Widgeon) Dennis. She was a former resident of Athens, GA, LaBelle, Bradenton and Inverness, FL.

Betty retired as a teacher from LaBelle High School in 1992 and was a charter member of Delta Kappa Gamma. She was a member of the United Methodist Church.

Survivors include her daughters: Betty Ann (Clyde) Aiken,The Villages, Barbara Jan (Mike) Gann, Inverness and Donna Sue (Don) Trask, Lakeland, brother: Robert Dennis; sister: Jacqueline Cleveland, grandchildren: Ted (Kristi) Aiken, Steve (Jean Lavoie) Aiken, Michael Gann; Allison (Billy) Guynn, Andy Howard and Amy Sherrill and great-grandchildren: Joshua, Caleb, Luke and Noah Aiken, Morgan, Clayton and Logan Guynn and Mason, Madi and Myla Gann

She was preceded in death by her husband: James E. Meeks, son: Eddie Meeks, brother: Charles Dennis and sisters: Judith James, Barbara Dennis and Vivian Dennis.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, July 8, 2018, 4:00 pm at Manatee United Methodist Church, Bradenton with Dr. Gene Maddox and Chaplain Seth Howard officiating.

Interment was in Fort Denaud Cemetery in LaBelle.

'Little Toot' The Giving Tugboat Arrives In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- Little Toot the Giving Tugboat, a 1973 Crosby Tugboat returned to his home in LaBelle, Florida with Captain Christopher after four years of refitting and making ready for voyages around the waterways of the U.S.

The 26' tugboat is operated by Captain Christopher where it was purchased from it's LaBelle, Florida owner four years ago and sailed to Fort Myers for refurbishing. 

Captain Christopher, a writer, volunteers with the Freedom Waters Foundation, storytelling and giving marine related experiences to special needs families and veterans in South Florida. 

Little Toot, named after the best selling children's book was the first fiberglass recreational tugboat built by the Crosby Yacht Yard in Osterville, Massachusetts in 1972.

Little Toot, said the Captain, is the "Giving Tug who has come home for his 'grass rOOts tour' of Florida and share his stories while Captain Christopher writes The New Adventures of Little Toot."

Ortona lock Open After Maintenance Reparis

ORTONA, FL. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has resumed normal operations at the Ortona Lock on the Okeechobee Waterway, following completion of maintenance and repairs.

Completion of the work allows the Corps to resume normal operations as of Sunday, June 17, locking vessels on demand between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last lockage beginning at 4:30 p.m., seven days a week.

"We know that everyone who uses the Okeechobee Waterway has been anxious to have the lock back open and operational. We recognize these repairs have posed an inconvenience to boaters, both commercial and recreational," said Carol Bernstein, Jacksonville District Operations Division Chief. "Our thanks goes out to the boating community for their patience and understanding while we completed repairs to keep our infrastructure safe and our waterways open in the future. Planned maintenance minimizes the chance of costly emergency closures in the future, which typically take much longer to complete."

"This was the first lock closure along the Okeechobee Waterway in six years. We had to inspect and maintain our locks, and replace the gate seals," said Gary Russ, Chief of the South Florida Operations Office located in Clewiston. "Despite the long days and tough work, this was a great team effort. We waited for manatees to move to safety and electrical storms to pass, and worked long hours in the south Florida heat. Wayne Sullivan's team of skilled workers brought years of knowledge and experience and worked together as a team, each person depending on others to get the job done. It was a job well done."

Maintenance is necessary periodically to repair aging and damaged infrastructure, in addition to improving public and vessel safety. Repairs required the lock chamber to be dewatered for crews to perform inspections, replace gate seals and repair Manatee Protection System (MPS) components. During the closure, barges, floating cranes and divers worked in the lock entrance, required vessel operators in the area to use minimal speed and caution for safety.

The Corps of Engineers published a notice to navigation interests and coordinated with marinas, commercial and recreational vessels, and members of the public in advance of the closure of the Ortona Lock for maintenance June 4 through 16.

The Ortona Lock is located on the Caloosahatchee River, 15.5 miles west of the Moore Haven Lock on the west side of Lake Okeechobee, and 27.9 miles east of the W.P. Franklin Lock near Olga and Fort Myers. The Ortona Lock and Dam were constructed in 1937 for navigation and flood control purposes. The Ortona Lock is one of five locks located along the 152-mile Okeechobee Waterway, which allows safe passage of vessels from the Atlantic Ocean near Stuart to the Gulf of Mexico at Fort Myers.

Learn more about the Ortona Lock:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Priscilla Hapke Dies At 75

Priscilla Marie Hapke, age 75, of LaBelle, passed away June 12, 2018 in Fort Myers.
She was born Apr. 2, 1943 in Janesville, WI, to the late John and Hazel (Schmaling) Schultz.
Survivors include one son: Delbert Hapke
two daughters: Susan Gomez and Cathleen Cruz,
9 grandchildren 9 great grandchildren
She was predeceased by her husband Delbert Hapke.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

A Walk Across Florida - Key West At Last

Excerpt From A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

I was way ahead of schedule, and the weather was perfect. I crossed the bridge over Boca Chica Channel and now was on Stock Island. This was the Key next to Key West where historically livestock were raised for the market on Key West. The highway here was busy. The last bridge over Cow Key Channel was a real milestone for me. I had counted a total of 40 bridges that I had crossed, including the 4 bridges I had to ride because they were too dangerous to walk. I was now on Key West. This last bridge connecting Stock Island and Key West was a divided highway with a sidewalk.

That is when I came upon a Navy man and his girlfriend taking a picture at the Key West city sign. I told them that I would take their picture with their camera if they would take mine. It was a deal!

Now there was lots of traffic. People waved out of their cars to me. The tourist rubber tire Conch Tour Train went by, and all of the tourists riding on it waved and hollered. I noticed a couple of motorcycle policemen watching me. A boy on a bicycle came up as U. S. Highway 1 ended and I turned onto North Roosevelt Boulevard. He talked to me about my trip as we walked along. He stayed with me until I crossed over North Roosevelt to First Street to look for my relative’s house which was on Fogarty.

A man walking on the sidewalk coming towards me said,  
 “From Homestead?”
 I say, “Even longer…from Georgia.” He looked stupefied….

I had just completed my walk across Florida...700+ miles in 5 1/2 weeks!

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


A Note from the author after two years of excerpts from his book A Walk Across Florida:

To Don and all of the fine readers of Don Browne’s Southwest Florida News,

It has been my pleasure and honor to send the 41 episodes to you from my book, A Walk Across Florida.

Please keep in mind that it is a 306 page paperback with 116 pages of watercolors, sketches, and maps. Most of the pages of photos have two photos on each of them. The 41 episodes  are about 41 of it’s pages. I hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as I did doing the hiking ,writing and selecting the episodes.

I have just completed my sequel to A Walk across Florida,. It will be a 350 page paperback book. It will have the watercolors I made of Key West with true and fictional stories of those watercolors. The book is in editing and just as soon as I have it published, my good friend Don Browne will get a copy of it for his review. If he finds it suitable he may allow me to send you out episodes of it.

Take care, the best of luck, and God Bless you—all.

Bob Kranich

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Obituary - Charles R. DeMuzzio

Charles R. DeMuzzio, age 82, of LaBelle,FL passed away June 9, 2018 in Cape Coral.
He was born June 4, 1936 in Pittsburgh, PA, to the late Charles C and Florence Evelyn (Bianchi) DeMuzzio.
He served in the Coast Guard from 02/18/1954 to 02/17/1962.
Survivors include three daughters: Vicki Greene, Kim Thomas and Sherrie Franklin,
one brother: Edward DeMuzzio
one sister: Janice Boots
3 grandchildren
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Museum Seeking Pioneer Families

LaBelle Heritage Museum is researching available records and archives for names of families who have been in the LaBelle area for at least 50 years and even earlier who have never been honored as the LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival Pioneer or Pioneer Family since Corrine Poole Forrey was chosen as the 1969 Festival’s Pioneer and the Alvah Burke Family was honored as the Pioneer Family.

After that first year, an area family whose LaBelle roots were planted in earlier days has been honored annually as Swamp Cabbage Festival Pioneer Family. It seemed over the years that those early families had all been honored. However, there are a number of our early families who still have strong connections with LaBelle that have never been honored by name include the Jack Ridgdill Family, the Carley Barnes Family, the King Curry Family, the Judge John Caldwell Family, the Robert V. Hedges Family, the Clarence and Daisy Dozier Family, the George E. Curtis Family, the Paul and Susie Martinez Family, and the J. O. Davidson Family; although, some individual family members may have been honored by virtue of being descendants of other named Pioneer Families.

If you are a member of a LaBelle area family who has never been honored or know of a family you believe should be recognized, please contact LaBelle Heritage Museum either by calling (863)674-0034 and leaving a message or by email to Joe Thomas and the LHM officers and volunteers will be glad to help you in putting together information to submit to the Swamp Cabbage Festival Committee for selection as the 2019 Swamp Cabbage Festival Pioneer Family.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Obituaries - Robert Cochran, Maria Delfinado

Robert Dalton Cochran, Jr., age 38, of LaBelle, passed away June 7, 2018.
He was born Nov. 6, 1979 in Ft Myers, to Robert Dalton and Cheryl Yvonne (Roberts) Cochran.
Survivors include two daughters: Nevaeh Cochran and Arianna Cochran,
Parents Robert Dalton and Cheryl Yvonne (Roberts) Cochran,
Sister: Kimberly Harn
He owned a carpet cleaning business.
Visitation will be on Wednesday June 13, 2018 from 11AM to 12 PM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 560 E. Hickpochee Ave. LaBelle.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 pm. In lieu of flowers a gofundme account has been set up
Maria H. Delfinado, age 89, of Clewiston, FL passed away June 6, 2018 in Clewiston.
She was born Aug. 30, 1928 in Phoenix, AZ.
Survivors include four sons: Christopher Delfinado, Larry Delfinado, Darryl Delfinado and Leonard Delfinado,
one daughter: Maria
many Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Manuel Rangel Dies In Motorcycle Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- Manuel Rangel, 32 of Cape Coral was traveling east on State Road 80 in Hendry county at 7:45 P.M. Thursday. In the attempt to negotiate a curve to the left in the roadway, his 2006 Honda motorcycle ran off the roadway onto the right shoulder. The front right corner struck the guardrail located on the south shoulder of State Road 80.

As a result, Rangel was separated from the motorcycle and thrown into the canal south of State Road 80.
It came to final rest on the south shoulder of State Road 80 facing south. The driver of the mtorcycle sustained injuries that were fatal on scene.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Taylor Marie Hicks - Obituary

Taylor Marie Hicks, 21, of LaBelle, FL. passed away May 27, 2018 in Alva, FL. She was born Sep. 5, 1996 in Ft. Myers, FL. to David and Priscilla (Williamson) Hicks.

Survivors include: Father David Hicks. Mother Priscilla Williamson-Hicks, Brother: Aaron Hicks. Grandfather, Kenny Williamson, Aunts, Terrie Thompson; Amie (Tom) Grant; Lea Burnside; Rebecca Williamson; Melissa C Dixon; and Heather Rock

She worked for Culver's.

Visitation was held on Friday June 1, 2018 from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Labelle. Funeral services were held Friday, June 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle. Interment was Friday, June 1, 2018 in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Info Sought In Shooting In Harlem Sunday

CLEWISTON, FL. -- At approximately 6:55 pm, Sunday, June 3, 2018, Hendry County Deputies and Investigators responded to the area of 1068 Harlem Academy, Clewiston, Florida.

When Deputies arrived on scene they located one victim who was conscious and suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim was transported for medication attention.

Witnesses have reported that the vehicle was black in color but they are not certain of the make, model and year. After the shooting the suspect(s) left the area.

The Sheriff's office said they do not believe the community is in danger. The motive for the shooting is currently unknown.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Hendry County Sheriff's Office at 863-674-5600 or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), where you can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a $1,000.00 reward.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Baby Injured In Port LaBelle Accident

LABELLE, FL. -- One year old Miranda Maciel is in serious condition after being hit by a mail vehicle at 1:25 p.m. Saturday.

A 1996 Jeep Cherokee driven by Leslie Murray, 53 of Fort Denaud was westbound on West Broad Circle at Ike Court in Port LaBelle and then came to a stop at the residence of 9005 West Broad Circle in order to facilitate delivery of the mail. Murray is a contract mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in LaBelle.

Upon bringing the Jeep to a stop, Murray began to interact with Yurida Arroyo, 28 of LaBelle, the parent of the one-year old Miranda Maciel. The child then entered the roadway and approached the left front side of the Jeep.

Subsequent to her interaction (communication) with Arroyo, Murray returned to the vehicle and then placed it in drive gear.

As a result, the left front tire of the vehicle struck the child while she was in the westbound lane of the roadway. The parent then signaled Murray to bring the vehicle to an abrupt stop.

The child was later transported by Lee Flight to Tampa General Hospital and is in stable condition.