Friday, November 30, 2018

Two Indicted On Cocaine And Murder Charge

FORT MYERS, FL. -- United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Robert Lee Ward (50, Fort Myers) with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and tampering with an informant by killing him. 

The indictment also charges Dalton Kelvin McGriff (49, Fort Myers) with conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. 

The drug conspiracy charge is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison. The tampering with an informant by killing offense is punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or death. 

The Justice Department will later determine if it will seek the death penalty in this particular case.

According to the indictment, from approximately 1996 to November 2018, Ward and McGriff conspired with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere. 

The conspirators sold cocaine in and around Fort Myers, Panama City and elsewhere, and killed or threatened to kill suspected informants in furtherance of the conspiracy. The indictment also alleges that Ward aided in the killing of a confidential informant on January 7, 2013, in Fort Myers.

World AIDS Day December 1

As the Florida Department of Health unites with partners worldwide in observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, the department reaffirms its commitment to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Florida and helping connect individuals who are positive with lifesaving treatment and services. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the observance of World AIDS Day, and the national theme is "Saving Lives through Leadership and Partnerships.”

"World AIDS Day is an important time to join our partners in showing our support for people living with HIV/AIDS and to remember those we have tragically lost to the disease,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. 

"The department remains fully committed to reducing HIV transmission, but we also take today to recognize the crucial efforts of our more than 100 partner organizations statewide. Together, we have made significant progress, but there is still much we can do to ensure every Floridian knows their HIV status and to help people living with HIV/AIDS lead long, healthy lives.”

Over 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, but one in seven HIV-positive people do not know they are living with the disease.

Florida is a national leader in HIV testing. We have made great strides in prevention, early identification and treatment, however there is still much work to be done. In an effort to reach the goal of zero new HIV transmissions and reduced HIV-related deaths, the department is focusing on four key strategies:
  • Implementing routine screening for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, especially among high-risk populations.
  • Providing immediate access to treatment for the newly diagnosed as well as retaining HIV-positive persons in the care system, with the ultimate goal of getting HIV-positive persons to an undetectable viral load.
  • Improving and promoting the use of PrEP and nPEP as prevention strategies to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.
  • Increasing community outreach and awareness about HIV, high-risk behaviors and the importance of knowing one's status.
There are currently 45 Test and Treat sites operating in Florida. With early diagnosis, individuals can begin appropriate treatment and care resulting in better health outcomes. Receiving antiretroviral therapy as quickly as possible after diagnosis improves the health of persons living with HIV and can eventually lead to undetectable viral loads, which reduces the chance of transmission to others.

As part of our strategic efforts to eliminate HIV in Florida, the department is currently working to make Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medication available at no cost at all of the 67 county health departments (CHDs). 

Currently, 43 CHDs offer PrEP services with the objective to implement PrEP services in STD or Family Planning clinics for all CHDs by the end of 2018.  PrEP is a once-daily pill that can reduce HIV-negative individuals' risk of acquiring HIV.

PrEP should be used in conjunction with other prevention methods, like condoms, to reduce the risk of transmission

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, taking PrEP daily reduces the risk of contracting HIV by more than 90 percent.

Patients can obtain up to a 90-day supply of PrEP through their local CHD STD and Family Planning Clinic. Some CHDs may offer PrEP through specialty clinics. View the department's PrEP Locator to find a PrEP provider in your area.

Every CHD offers high-quality HIV testing services, but you can also locate HIV counseling, testing and referral sites by visiting or texting your zip code to 477493.

For more information, call the Florida AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS or 1-800-352-2437; en EspaƱol, 1-800-545-SIDA; in Creole, 1-800-AIDS-101.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Tax Deductions For Tree Damage

OKEECHOBEE, FL - 2018 was another record year of hurricanes and fires, which have inflicted huge economic losses to timber landowners as well as homeowners with landscape trees. The good news is that landowners may be able to deduct eligible losses on their tax returns, which is an extremely important part of the relief and recovery efforts. There are two ways landowners can find out if they can claim timber damages from hurricanes or fires on their taxes.

Forest Taxation Webinar held on December 7, 2018 at 1pm will focus on the new tax law changes that Congress passed in 2017 that affect the casualty loss deductions starting in the 2018 tax year. This webinar will help timber owners, as well as home owners, who suffered timber or landscape tree damages with their tax reporting.

In addition, the USDA Forest Service has published guidelines to help timber owners and home owners understand the deductions for timber or landscape trees damaged from casualties. Income Tax Deduction on Timber and Landscape Tree Loss from Casualty (PDF, 172 KB) was written by National Timber Tax Specialist Linda Wang, who provides customer service and assistance to landowners on tax and estate planning issues.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests, provides management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests, while protecting homes, forestland, and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at

Obituaries - David Bull, Elizabeth Helms, Alice Arthur

David M. Bull, Jr., age 87, of Alva, passed away November 24, 2018 in Alva.
He was born June 1, 1931, to the late David M. and Dahlia (Lee) Bull. David was a lifetime Alva resident and was selfless in service to his church and community. A lifelong member of Saint Luke's Church in Ft. Myers, he participated in the choir, vestry, search committees, diocesan committees and as church treasurer. He worked for Woodmen of the World for many years and was a cattleman and farmer. A longtime board member of the Alva Cemetery and the Alva Library Association, he served on many other associations and boards through the years. He graduated from University of Florida in 1956 and was an avid Gators fan to the end.
He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Connie, two sons: Allen Bull (Cindy) and Richard Bull (Pam), and two daughters: Katherine Howard (Steve) and Nancy Anne Derums (Matthew), grandchildren: Steven Jesse Howard (Saylah), Andrew David Howard, Elena Camille Bull, Jenny Bordeaux and great grandchild Jesslynn Howard.
Requiem mass will be held Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 10:00 am at Saint Luke's Church, Ft. Myers with Father Philip D. Read, II. officiating. Interment will follow at Alva Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Luke's Church, 2635 Cleveland Ave., Ft. Myers, FL 33901
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.
Elizabeth "Carol" Helms, 77 of Ortona, FL passed away Nov. 19, 2018 at Hope Hospice in Lehigh Acres, FL.
Carol was born in Ft. Meade, FL, Feb.4,1941, the daughter of Bascom Franklin Poole and Edrice Inez (Rivers) Poole.
She was preceded in death by son, Thomas Lee Hunter. She is survived by children, Frankie Binkley, Joel O'Neal (Tina), Marie Jaeger (Bruce), William O'Neal, Sharon Hendricks, and Terenia Fitzpatrick (Timothy), brothers, Jerry Poole, James Poole and sister Debbie Poole. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Carol worked hard to take care of her children until she became disabled. She loved to cook and play on her computer. She liked to sit on the porch with a cold "near beer" and reminisce. She loved the Lord in her own way and she will be sadly missed by family and friends.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Alice V Arthur, age 70, of Clewiston, passed away November 13, 2018 in Clewiston.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Veteran Related Tax Exemptions Available

 MOORE HAVEN, FL. --- We just recently celebrated Veterans Day by showing our gratitude to the service men and women who sacrificed much to ensure that our great nation remains free.
Florida voters have recognized the sacrifices made by America’s brave soldiers by approving several property tax exemptions to qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses.
If you qualify for one or more of these exemptions please contact your property appraiser's office.
  • Disabled Veteran - An ex-service member disabled at least 10% in war or service connected events.
  • Veteran Service-Connected Total & Permanent Disability or Wheelchair Confined
  • Surviving Spouse of Military Veteran Who Died in the Line of Duty
  • Veteran age 65 and Older with a Combat-Related Disability – This is in addition to any other Veteran’s property tax exemption.
  • Deployed Military Exemption – Deployed during the last calendar year outside the United States, in support of a designated operation.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call, email or visit your property appraiser's office.
Election Results of Amendments 1 & 2:
Amendment 1: Homestead Exemption Increase (DID NOT PASS)
Amendment 2: Permanent Cap on Non-homestead Property Assessment Increases (PASSED)

-Submitted by Lori Ward, Glades County Property Appraiser

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Kiwanis KId's Day At Thrift Store December 8

LABELLE, FL. -- Please bring children ages 4-12 years to the LaBelle Kiwanis Thrift Store (155 S. Bridge Street) to do their own Christmas Shopping for their parents and/or grandparents! On December 8th from 8:30am to 10am, the store is open just for the kids!

 They can buy quality gifts for their family members on a friendly budget! Help the kids make a list and give them a little shopping allowance and they will be assisted by a Kiwanis member while the adults wait patiently outside. 

LaBelle High School Kiwanis Key Club and Kiwanis members will be wrapping each Christmas gift.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Brad Cornell At Audubon December 10

LABELLE, FL. -- Brad Cornell will present a program “Wood Storks, Wetlands and Water” at the Hendry-Glades Audubon meeting on Monday December 10 at 7pm, at the Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension located at 1085 Pratt Blvd LaBelle, FL 33935.

Brad Cornell currently is Southwest Florida Policy Associate for both Audubon of the Western Everglades and Audubon Florida, a joint position he has held since summer, 2005, and for the regional organization since 2001. 

 He works on land use, wetlands, coastal habitats, and Western Everglades restoration issues to protect and recover imperiled species, especially the Florida Panther, nesting shorebirds, Corkscrew’s Wood Storks, and Marco Island’s Burrowing Owls. 

 He has degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Texas at Austin and played trombone for the Naples Philharmonic for ten years prior to joining Audubon. Brad and his wife Martha have two native Floridian children, one in graduate school and one in high school.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Cesar Becerra At Museum December 5

LABELLE, FL. -- Noted South Florida historian and "Everglades Evangelist" Cesar Alejandro Becerra will be the guest speaker at LaBelle Heritage Museum's December 5 program meeting at the Dallas B. Townsend Agricultural Center, 1085 Pratt Boulevard, LaBelle 33935, starting at 7 o'clock in the evening. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. There is no admission charge and everyone is welcome.

Becerra will share behind-the-scenes insights into the journey of Robert and Tracey Moehling and their iconic Robert is Here, 19200 SW 344th Street, Homestead 33034, on the edge of the Everglades National Park in Deep South Miami Dade County. Becerra will delve into the soil and soul of this South Florida landmark to show that not all fruit stands are created equal and, perhaps, promote members of his audience to plan a day trip to find out for themselves just what is so special about Robert is Here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Drug Free Hendry Gains Award For Service

Drug Free Hendry County was awarded the Category 1- 5 Star Award through Central Florida Behavioral Health Network. To be a 5 Star, the organization must achieve 95% or above. The category is determined based on the total number of outcome measures each must satisfy in their contract. 

Both Andrea May and Edwin Melendez of Drug Free Hendry attended the 5 Star Award luncheon in Sarasota where colleagues from all over gathered and listened to inspirational messages from a dynamic lineup of guest speakers. 

 The keynote speaker at the event was Senator Darryl Rouson, who has championed the cause of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in the Florida Legislature. 

 Rouson told a very powerful story about his own personal experiences with addiction and how he became the successful man that he is today. 

 Also, the “Kick-off” for the day was a special guest from the National Football League (NFL), “Ike” Alama Francis. Ike explained his own story of inspiration and what his foundations are doing for our young people in Florida communities.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Deminke Shantell Hall Dies In Crash

Deminke Shantell Hall, 24 of Belle Glade was traveling south on US 27 (State Road 25) at Coffey Rd. at 10:17 a.m. Monday, when she exited the roadway in an easterly direction and began traveling in the center grassy median and over-corrected in a southwesterly direction, re-entered US-27 and crossed over the southbound lanes.

She then entered the west grass shoulder of US-27,  then lost control of and re-entered the southbound lanes of US-27. The 2006 Ford-250  overturned and ejected onto the roadway.

The truck came to final rest in the outside southbound lane of US-27.

She was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Passenger Deminke Joshua Hall, 18 of Pahokee was transported by Glades County EMS to Hendry Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

Deminke Shantell Hall was not wearing a seatbelt, but the passenger was, according to the FHP.

Tatiana Anaya Award Winner At Healthy Start

LABELLE, FL. -- On Saturday, November 10th, the Healthy Start Coalition of Southwest Florida recognized Hendry Regional Medical Center’s Tatiana Anaya, LPN with The Golden Baby Shoe Award. 

This award honors individuals who show outstanding contributions to improving the health and well-being of pregnant women or babies throughout Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee Counties. 

Anaya works at Hendry Regional Convenient Care Center with Pediatrician Dr. Melanio Villarosa.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Senator Nelson's Statment On Loss In Election

ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson issued the following statement today on the final results of Florida’s U.S. Senate race:

“Well, things worked out a little differently than Grace and I had hoped. But let me say, I by no measure feel defeated.

“And that’s because I have had the privilege of serving the people of Florida and our country for most of my life.

“And I don’t think anyone could have been as blessed. It has been a rewarding journey as well as a very humbling experience.

“I was not victorious in this race but I still wish to strongly re-affirm the cause for which we fought: A public office is a public trust.

“First, I want to say thanks to all of you who rallied to our cause, you walked the precincts, knocked on the doors, made phone calls, and contributed your time and your resources.

“And with an optimistic heart, I wish to say something else: We may have been heavily outspent in this campaign, but we were never outworked.

“To all Floridians, whether you voted for me, or for my opponent, or you didn't vote at all, I ask that you to never give up this fight.

“You must fight to protect the fundamental right to health care and against any attempt to rollback our progress on things like pre-existing conditions.

“You must fight to preserve the natural wonders of this state, from the Everglades to the Pine Forests to the beaches and offshore waters.

“Say ‘no’ to drilling - not one rig off our coastline.

“As a country, we need to continue to launch rockets and explore the heavens.

“I have seen the blue brilliance of the earth from the edge of the heavens. And I will fight on to save this planet, our homes and our cities, from the spreading plague of the greenhouse gases that infect our atmosphere, and play havoc with our weather, and risks the planet our children and grandchildren will inherit.

“Every single one of us needs to keep fighting to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, for the generations that are there and to come. It’s your Medicare, it’s your Social Security; you pay into those programs. They belong to you, and not to the politicians who are plotting to rob your retirement.

“I will continue to fight on and on for the inalienable human rights that are the soul and glory of the American experiment: civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and the sacred right to vote.

“We must end all forms of voter suppression, make it easier for Americans to vote, and honor the ideal that we are governed by the majority and not by the minority rule.

“There are great decisions ahead that will shape the course and character of America in the 21st century.

“And yes, I will continue to fight hard for what’s right, and I will also encourage others to seek common ground with their colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

“Inevitably, at times, that effort will fall short. But we have to try. We have to move beyond a politics that aims not just to defeat but to destroy; where truth is treated as disposable, where falsehoods abound, and the free press is assaulted as the ‘enemy of the people.’

“There’s been a gathering darkness in our politics in recent years. My hope today can be found in the words of John F. Kennedy, who said civility can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.

“Thank you, all. God bless you, and God bless our country.”

At The Firehouse Theatre November 30

The Firehouse Theatre Presents "Assisted Living, the Musical".
This hilarious show pokes fun at ourselves and the senior situations that always seem to arise. The Pelican Roost is a full-service retirement village for those embracing their twilight years and the funny facts of life that comes along with them. This show tells the tales that your Granny would never tell and will knock you off your rocker!! Get ready to laugh until you cry!

Tickets are on sale now at or call the ticket hotline at (863) 675-3066 (Leave a detailed message and someone will return your call).

The play is being directed by Maureen Duecette and will be presented on Nov 30, Dec 1, 2 and Dec 7, 8, 9.(Friday and Saturday shows are at 7pm, Sunday shows are at 2pm)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Noreen Berden Opens Furniture Chalk Paint Shop

LABELLE, FL. -- Noreen Berden is sharing her vintage and re-purposed furniture and chalk painting supplies at the Cottage Under The Oaks at 95 Fort Thompson Street in LaBelle. The Cottage features vintage clothing and items. 

Noreen's Prissy Possum has vintage furniture, Miss Lillian's No Wax Paint and supplies for furniture chalk painting and recycled goods.

Noreen says her shop has "Delightfully Junky Stuff. See her web page at

The Cottage Under the Oaks and Noreen's Prissy Possum shop opened for business today,

Friday, November 16, 2018

Dannie Kilpatrick Dies At 95

Dannie Kilpatrick, age 95, of Moore Haven, passed away at home November 11, 2018.
She was born June 15, 1923 in Moultrie, GA, to the late James Ivie and the late Maggie (Blanton) Ammons. She was a few months old when her family moved to a farm in Madison County Florida. Dannie married the love of her life D.R. Kilpatrick on July 14, 1948. They lived around the Okeechobee area before moving to Clewiston in 1959, then moving to Moore Haven in 1980. She received the Citizen of the Year award in 1994 and was a member of various Cattle Associations and other organizations such as Friends of the Library and the Eastern Star. Dannie proudly became an honorary Glades County Deputy for her 95th Birthday. Dannie was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many people and will be greatly missed.
Dannie is survived by her children: James Russell Kilpatrick (Marylou), Troy Wendell Kilpatrick, Ann Akin (Cecil) and Drayton Kilpatrick, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband; D.R. Kilpatrick, children; Linda Sue Lucey and Laurlene K. Mims and grandchildren; David Kilpatrick and Jimmy Kilpatrick.
Visitation was Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 05:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL. Funeral services will be held Friday, November 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm at the Ortona Cemetery Pavilion, Moore Haven with Pastor John Booher officiating.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in memory of Dannie to: Glades County Library, P.O. Box 505, Moore Haven, FL 33471; Real Life Children Ranch, 7777 US Hwy 441 SE, Okeechobee, FL 34974 or to David Kilpatrick Memorial Scholarship, checks may be made payable to: Moore Haven High School Scholarship Organization, P.O. Box 795, Moore Haven, FL 33471
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Sandra McClinton Speaking At December 1 Meet

Can Women Improve Hendry County Voter Turnout?

Hendry County's 50.45% voter turnout for the recent Midterm Election was substantially higher than most of our recent city and county elections; however, it was the lowest turnout of all Florida's 67 counties including those in the Florida Panhandle that were still in the early stages of recovering from Hurricane Michael.  

Hendry County and its rival for consistently having the highest unemployment rate in the state, Sumter County, trailed the average turnout out by some 15 percentage points.  What causes this voter apathy and how can it be corrected?

Perhaps establishing chapters of the Florida Democratic Women's Club in Hendry County can help identify and solve the problem.  Sandra McClinton, former chair of the Lee County Democratic Party and current district chair of Democratic Women's Clubs in Southwest Florida, will be a speaker at the 9:30 a.m. December 1 meeting of the Hendry County Democratic Party to be held at the Pioneer Plantation home of Henry and Victoria Avellaneda, 2100 Riviera Avenue, Clewiston 33440.  

Now is the time to start planning for increased voter participation by Hendry County's voters in the 2020 election cycle. This meeting is open to the public, and all Hendry County Democrats interested in learning what can be done to encourage and improve citizen participation in government are invited and welcome.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Research And Education Center Open House Today

IMMOKALEE FL.-- The annual open house was held at the University of Florida's IFAS facility north of Immokalee, Fl. on State Road 29 today.

The Southwest Florida Research and Education Center offered tours of the facility, exhibits on the "Science of Crop Production" and a free luncheon for visitors.

Photo: Guests could take home locally grown vegetables and herbs at the open house today after enjoying a catered lunch and tour of the experimental citrus and vegetable farming areas.

Creating Wildlife In Your Backyard In 5 Easy Steps

Your backyard can be a gathering place for birds, butterflies, frogs, flying squirrels and more. Attract native species by offering food, water, cover and space for them to raise their young, and your yard will be transformed into a welcoming habitat for wildlife.
Today, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is introducing Backyards and Beyond, a campaign challenging Floridians to make a difference and have fun by creating a refuge for wildlife in their own backyard.
“Imagine your backyard as a place where butterflies are attracted by flowers, songbirds are gobbling up seeds and berries, and frogs, bats and lizards are eating mosquitoes and other insects,” said Jerrie Lindsey, FWC’s director of Public Access Services. “Your efforts to create wildlife habitat at home will have a positive impact because animals need places to live beyond ourwildlife management areas. Backyards and Beyond is also a great opportunity for you and your family to enjoy watching wildlife.”
Five easy ways to become involved in Backyards and Beyond:
  1. Turn your yard into a diverse wildlife habitat by adding native plants. A variety of native trees, shrubs and plants will provide natural food and cover for wildlife. A flowering native plant or shrub, for example, can provide nectar and pollen for butterflies and other beneficial insects, which in turn may be a meal for birds, lizards and frogs.
  2. Attract native wildlife to your yard by providing the four basics: food, water, cover and enough space for raising young. By doing so, we increase the number and variety of species that visit our yards, improving our chances to observe them more closely.
  3. Document wildlife activity in your backyard. Submit photos via iNaturalist to Florida Nature Trackers projects, and even create a species list for your own backyard.
  4. Create a butterfly garden, build a nest box for birds or add a brush pile for small animals like earthworms, birds, toads and lizards in your backyard. Planting a Refuge for Wildlife is an easy-to-understand guide to these projects and other ways that your backyard can support native wildlife. This illustrated publication created by the FWC and Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida can be ordered online at
  5. Go beyond your backyard. Invite family and friends to explore Florida’s outdoors at wildlife management areas, local and state parks, state and national forests, and national wildlife refuges. Use Florida Nature Trackers to document what you see.
People who create a wildlife refuge in their backyards will contribute to conserving Florida’s wildlife and habitats. By documenting animals observed in their backyards, they also generate valuable information. FWC biologists will be able to see the wildlife photos submitted to Florida Nature Trackers and use the data to help direct their efforts to research and manage native species throughout the state.
Remember, wild animals do not need supplemental feeding from people. Naturally-occurring insects and native plants with nectar flowers, edible fruits, nuts and seeds provide nourishment for most butterflies, birds and small animals. Pet food, corn and other supplemental feed can encourage unwanted visitors.
Need help getting started? Explore the Backyards and Beyond website for more information on how you can get involved.
While Backyards and Beyond is a statewide campaign, there is also a local initiative in Leon County and the city of Tallahassee, involving the FWC and partners. You can participate by joining the Backyards of Leon County project.
What if you live in an apartment, townhouse or condominium — and don’t have a backyard? You can still participate. Plant native flowers in containers on your front steps, on a balcony or in a window box. Work with neighbors to add native plant life to shared spaces like playgrounds, parks and other open areas in your development or community. Get children involved by bringing Backyards and Beyond to groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or a school, church or community youth group or homeowners association. No matter where you live, you can make a difference.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Manage Your Diabetes During Awareness Month

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health in Hendry & Glades Counties recognizes November as Diabetes Awareness Month, a month set aside every year to raise awareness about diabetes and promote the importance of taking steps to confront diabetes as a critical health issue. The theme for this year is The Family and Diabetes, strengthening the role of the family in the management, care, prevention, and education of diabetes. 

"Healthy eating can be a family effort to help prevent or safely manage the effects of diabetes. Additionally, maintaining a good relationship with your physician is important to help keep your diabetes under control", said Joe Pepe, Health Officer and Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties.
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled in the last 20 years in the U.S. In Florida, it is estimated that over 2.4 million people have diabetes and over 5.8 million have pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in Florida.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). Women with diabetes have more difficulty conceiving and may have poor pregnancy outcomes, so it is especially important for women to be aware of their risk factors for developing diabetes, including having a family history of diabetes as well as age, weight, and physical activity level.

Due to better treatments, people with diabetes are now living longer—and with a better quality of life—than ever before. Healthy lifestyles can also reduce the impact that diabetes may have on your life. A blood test from your health care provider can determine if you have diabetes. Early treatment can prevent serious problems diabetes can cause, such as loss of eyesight or kidney damage.

When your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes you may be at risk for pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Eighty-six million American adults have pre-diabetes. Nine out of 10 people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it. Fortunately, making healthy lifestyle choices can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. A simple blood sugar test to find out if you have pre-diabetes. Talk to your health care provider if you should be tested.

To learn more about diabetes prevention and self-management, visit

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tax Preparer Volunteer Training December 1

LaBelle, Fla. (November 13, 2018) – The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee is seeking volunteer tax preparers, interpreters, and greeters to help our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites during the 2018 tax season. With the support of trained, IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers, VITA sites provide free tax preparation to individuals and families earning less than $66,000 per year throughout, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee counties.

Volunteers of all ages and levels of experience are welcome, though all volunteers need to be comfortable working with a computer. There is a special need for bilingual Spanish speakers. Flexible hours are available January through April. Volunteers will receive specialized IRS certified training including learning how to prepare basic tax returns, using online tax preparation software, and learning about tax deductions and earned income tax credits that benefit eligible taxpayers. In addition, experienced agents, certified financial planners, and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn continuing education credits when volunteering as a VITA tax preparer.

“For the past eleven years, VITA volunteers have made a real difference in the lives of people in our community,” said Cliff Smith, President of United Way. “Volunteers who come back year after year tell us the VITA program is very rewarding because they connect with members of our community and empower families to achieve economic success.”

Last year, 10 volunteers helped file more than 312 federal tax returns, bringing over $592,800 dollars in federal tax refunds back to the local community through the United Way VITA program. In addition, United Way VITA clients saved the cost of tax preparation by a commercial service which totaled over $78,000.

An orientation and training class for new volunteers will be offered December 1st at our United Way LaBelle House. For tax professionals or experienced volunteers, an online training and certification tool is available.  Interested parties can register online at, contact Mary Meador at or call 239.433.7567.

Turkey Trot November 15 At Moore Haven H.S.

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- 2018 Great American Smoke-Out Turkey Trot!  The event is totally free and you could even win gift cards, turkeys, and more!

Monday, November 12, 2018

David Abell Dies At 79

David E. Abell 79, of Moore Haven, passed away November 11, 2018 in Moore Haven.
He was born Sep. 19, 1939 in Mt. Carmel, IL, to the late Charles and Ethel (Ridgely) Abell.
Survivors include one son: Greg Abell
two daughters: Georgia Houck and Gloria Kasinger,
one brother: Don Hussey
three sisters: Wilma Garrish, Wanda Dicus and Mary Robertson,
6 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Christmas Trees Go On Sale November 23

LaBelle Kiwanis Key Club Annual Christmas Tree Sales
It's time once again for the LaBelle Kiwanis Key Club Members from LaBelle High School to hold their Annual Christmas Tree Sales. You can choose from Frasier Firs, Douglas Firs and Blue Spruce! Prices start at $40 and go up to $70.

Tree sales begin on Friday, November 23rd at 1pm.

Support these students with this family holiday tradition! After the Friday kick-off, the schedule for tree sales is: Mon-Fri 3:45pm to 8pm, Sat & Sun 10am to 8pm.

Additionally, there will be poinsettias for sale for $10.

Unmet Needs Coalition Meets November 16

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition invites all faith-based organizations, volunteer and social agencies, governmental agencies, community-based organizations, business and individual volunteers to meet Friday, November 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm at the Moore Haven United Way House, 200 Second Street, Moore Haven, Florida 33471. 

Non-profits and agencies are invited to report progress, resources and needs to help with the Hurricane Irma recovery. Monetary gifts from $1 up to $5, 000, to be used to help Hurricane Irma Survivors who have Unmet Needs, will be matched by the United Way. 

Hurricane Irma survivors who qualify are encouraged to “Register” for Rebuild Florida grants at http://floridajobs.orgrebuildflorida 

 For Hurricane Irma Assessment interviews. contact: Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition at 239-433-7560

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Hendry Democrats Meeting December 1

Hendry Democrats Meet in Pioneer on 12/01

The Hendry County Democratic Party will hold its December monthly meeting at the Pioneer Plantation home of Henry and Victoria Avellaneda, 2100 Riviera Avenue, Clewiston 33440, on Saturday, December 1, at 9:30 a.m.  All interested Hendry County Democrats and supporters are welcome particularly those interested in becoming active in what the future holds for Hendry County and its residents.  Hendry County currently has a total of 10 Voting Precincts, with each precinct allocated a minimum of one man and one woman to serve as "precinct captains" or links between the residents of their precinct, the Hendry County Democratic Party, the Florida Democratic Party, and The Democratic Party.  Precincts with more than 1,000 registered voters may also have two additional people -- one man and one woman -- serve as "precinct captains".

Each of Hendry County's 10 precincts has at least one vacancy on the Hendry County Democratic Executive Committee, and Precincts 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9 & 10 have more than 1,000 registered voters entitling them to have an additional two women and two men represent their interests on the Hendry County DEC. The major items to be covered at the December meeting are putting together a comprehensive plan of action for the 2020 Elections, updating our 51 year old by-laws that have not been revised in the past 34 years, and how we can promote affirmative action by reaching out to our younger voters, our one-time minorities that includes both ethnic groups and women in general, and our agricultural base at all levels that has been the mainstay of our local economy going back for well over 100 years.  Please bring your photo ID with signature and your Voter Registration Information Card that includes your registration number if you are interested in becoming a "precinct captain" effective no later than our next Hendry County Democratic Party meeting subject to the availability of a notary public on December 1.

Veteran's Day 11/11 In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I on November 11, 1918 at 11:11 a.m., Veterans and citizens gathered at LaBelle's Veterans Memorial Park on State Road 80 and Main Street in downtown LaBelle to unveil the new Veteran's Wall and to honor all veterans.

The ringing of the 1934 "Liberty Bell" commemorated the moment. The newly installed granite wall is engraved with the names of the area's service veterans.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Wharf Walk Features Food, Drinks, Entertainment

LABELLE, FL. -- The fall season's "Wharf Walk" is underway this evening with plenty of activity with food, drink, music, a cigar bar and community businesses showing their services and products along the city's waterfront.

This regular monthly event, organized by the LaBelle Downtown Revitalizaton Corporation takes place next to the LaBelle city docks along the Caloosahatchee River with plenty of decorated tables set up on the grounds of the Barron Library.

Photo: LaBelle City Commissioner Julie Wilkins

Friday, November 09, 2018

Nursing Students Visit EOC In Hendry County

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) Preparedness staff members John Gountas and Brenda Barnes, coordinated a "Preparedness Day" event for Florida Gulf Coast University Nursing Students at the Hendry County Emergency Operations Center.

Discussions of the day included Emergency Management, Public Health Preparedness, Active Shooter Awareness and Response in Healthcare Settings, Opioid Epidemic and the Dangers of Inhalants, Emergency Support Functions, and Incident Command. The students were given a tour of the Emergency Operations Center and also given a briefing in the situation room.

Pictured: Brenda Barnes (FDOH), Taylor Haines, Carson Emery, Amanda Avarello, Julian Haerle, Analese Carlucci, Nicole Denham, Hannah Crespo, John Gountas (FDOH), and Tina Ellis-FCGU Instructor

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

At The Kiwanis November 6

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle had some delightful visitors at their recent Kiwanis Meeting. On Tuesday, Nov 6th, they welcomed Lighthouse of SW Florida.  Amy Turner-Community Relations Coordinator, Sandy Burke - Receptionist, and Ms. Vee, a Service Dog. 

They talked about the free services their organization offers to enable people of all ages living with a visual impairment or blindness to remain independent, active and productive.

 Visit their website for more information:

Photo by Helen Mead.  Lighthouse of SWFL, Amy Turner, Sandy Burke and Ms. Vee, along with LaBelle Kiwanis President Carole Schroeder.
Attachments area

Girl Scouts Visit Emergency Operations Center

Hendry County Emergency Management (EM) and the Florida Department of Health in Hendry County (FDOH) teamed up on Thursday, November 1st, to educate Girl Scout Troop 1017 about Preparedness.

Hendry EM Director Rick Lehmkuhl and Brenda Barnes, Public Information Officer and Planning/Preparedness Coordinator for FDOH Hendry/Glades facilitated a tour of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). 

The Girl Scout Troop learned about preparing for all hazards such as hurricanes, floods, fires and pandemics. They were impressed by the EOC Situation Room where agencies coordinate disaster response, as well as the huge communications tower and the helicopter-pad! The girls also created a small individual first aid kit while they were at the EOC. They will be earning their First Aid Badge very soon.
 Pictured: LaBelle Girl Scout Troop 1017, along with Nicole Hellard-Troop Leader and Jessica Ivy-Co Leader.

Obituraries - Larry Tiner, Larry Spencer

Larry Franklin Tiner 57, of Labelle, Fl. passed away at home Monday November 5, 2018. He was a lifelong resident of SWFL. He worked for many years as a Supervisor for Sunnygrove Landscaping. He enjoyed the outdoors and the woods. He loved his granddaughter and she was his pride and joy. 
He was predeceased by his father Franklin B. Tiner. Surviving are: his son Ben Ross (Erin) Tiner; a daughter Kailah Tiner; his mother Marie; granddaughter Kalee Tiner; brothers Adam and David Tiner of Samson, AL; significant other Terri Skinner, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The family will receive friends on Saturday November 10th from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 13932 Palm Beach Blvd. Ft. Myers.
Lawrence "Larry" D. Spencer died peacefully surrounded by his family. after a three-year battle with MDS/Leukemia, on November 3rd, 2018 at the age of 84, nine days shy of his 85th birthday.
Larry was born in Big Beaver, MI on November 12th, 1933. He was drafted in the Navy in 1952 during the Korean War and was stationed at Moffett Naval Air Station in Sunnyvale, California where he worked as a tool and die maker. In the early 1970s, he moved to LaBelle Florida and had a successful career in Real Estate for many years. He has lived there with his family ever since.
Larry was an accomplished realtor and a professional horse trainer. A very family oriented man, he coached his children's sports teams for many years as they grew up. Larry was a history buff who loved reading books, completing puzzles and watching Jeopardy. He loved all sports, but he most especially loved cheering for his favorite football team, the Miami Dolphins.
Larry will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 40 years, Frances White Spencer and his children, Barbara (Rafael) Mateo, Michael Spencer, Denny (Courtney) Spencer, Bret (Carina) Spencer and Breanna Spencer. Larry will also be fondly remembered by his grandchildren, Rachel, Ella, Denise, Tiffany, Leyton, Koby, Tanner, Gracie and Justin; by his siblings Doralee (Bernie) Torgler, Norman (Margi) Spencer, Pat (John) Finch and Tim (Margaret) Spencer; by his mother-in-law Evelyn Crosby White; by his sisters-in-law Louise Rimes, Trudy (Mark) Henderson; and by his brother-in-law, Bobby (Debbie) White.
Larry was predeceased by his parents, Orville and Dorothy; his daughters, Sharon and Debra; and grandsons John Paul Burchard and Scott Smith.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2:30 PM on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 at Community Harvest Worship Center located at 55 Orange Ave, LaBelle, Florida. Please join his family in remembering and celebrating someone who gave so much to the community, his friends, and most especially his family!
Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle