Thursday, January 31, 2019

Murder Investigation At RV Resort

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Investigators are looking into a suspicious death that was reported in the evening hours of Monday, January 28, 2019 at Grandma's Grove RV Resort on State Road 80 west of the city of LaBelle.

Sheriff's Deputy James Hester found a woman, later identified as 66-year old Brenda J. Hill lying on the floor of the home at lot 109 at the RV Park at 7:10 p.m. Monday. He was told that a person had come to check on her when she didn't arrive at the club house that night.

Deputy Hester said in his report that the screen door was locked at the home and Hill was lying face down on the floor and it did not appear she had fallen, according to the highly redacted report issued by the Sheriff's Department.

Investigators are continuing follow up on all leads. Although the report indicates this is a premeditated first degree murder, they believe this is an isolated incident and residents are not in danger.

Anyone who has information on this crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS(8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000.  
Tips may also be made online at or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Kiwanis Sponsors "Bring Up Grades" At Two Schools

LABELLE, FL. -- The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle sponsors a program called Bring Up Grades (BUG), designed to provide recognition to students who raise their grades into an acceptable range and maintain or continue to raise them from one grading period to the next.

Students are empowered to participate in their own academic success, which builds self-confidence, perseverance and character. They attain important life skills known as developmental assets, that help them make smart choices.

According to the Search Institute, an organization focused on helping youth succeed, the more developmental assets a student attains the less likely he or she is to participate in risky behavior and the more likely he or she is to succeed. Students also develop important social and emotional skills.

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle is very proud to recognize and congratulate these students from West Glades School who raised their grades by at least one letter grade in two subjects with out going down in any. Additionally, on January 22nd the Kiwanis Club of LaBelle gave 88 BUG awards to students at Ed Upthegrove Elementary School.

KG-2nd Grade: Joel Orduna, Jil Gomez, Cory Waldron, Luis Felipe Garcia, Matthew Delgado, Jaime Gomez, Brantley Sanders, Daisy Carlos, Andrea Madrid

3rd-5th Grade: Brittany Kats, Jessa Bird, Kimberlym Barrios, Thomas Gran, Angel Cuacua, Nathalin Garcia-Otero, Luis Gamez, Allison DeSantiago, Carlos Ochoa, Leanna King, Abner Aguas, Karen Barrios-Lopez. Tyler Mudge

6th-8th Grade: Lainee Aguilar, Samantha Cruz, Alexandra Rojasm, Shana Townsend, Logan Alexander, Nicholas Battams, Enrique Mendoza, Nicholas Santiago, Ryan Rodriguez, Monica Martinez

Property Tax Automatic Renewals

Automatic Renewal

MOORE HAVEN, FL. --To ease the burden on property owners, Glades County Property Appraiser Lorie Ward says her office automatically renews property tax exemptions. 

This automatic renewal helps to ensure that you do not lose your exemption simply because you failed to renew.

If you had a property tax exemption or agricultural land classification in 2018, you should have received at least one of the four renewal cards listed below:
  • The WHITE card is for Homestead Exemption and other exemptions like widow, widower, disability, veteran, and senior citizen.
  • The GREEN card is for Agricultural Land Classification.
  • The YELLOW card is for property that is being used for tax exempt purposes.
  • The BLUE card is for Tangible Personal Property valued no more than $25,000.
As long as the Tangible Personal Property remains at $25,000 or less, you are not required to file a Tangible Personal Property Return, form (DR405).
If your value exceeds $25,000, you also received a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return that must be completed and returned. The form is also downloadable from the website at

If you are still eligible for the exemption or agricultural land classification, do not return the card

Exemptions and agricultural land classifications are not transferable

**If you are a new property owner, you must submit a new application by March 1, 2019. (The Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption deadline is April 1, 2019)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Obituaries - Contreras, Baggett, Mateo, Suarez, Eden, Hernandez, Oeffner

Manuel Z Contreras, age 70, of LaBelle, passed away January 19, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.
He was born Dec. 24, 1948 in Mexico, to the late Domingo Lopez Lerma and Victoria Contreras.
Survivors include his wife: Louise Pena Contreras, six daughters: Lisa Contreras, Christina (Carlos) Caravantes, Nichole (Jose) Aguilar, Gloria Contreras, Victoria Contreras and Justine (Richard) Gallegos, six brothers: Alejandro, Esteban, Gustavo, Hilario, Jamie and Miguel, two sisters: Tina and Nicole, twenty- four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother, Sergio.
A Memorial Mass was held Friday, January 25, 2018 at 9:00 am at Our Lady Queen Of Heaven Catholic Church, LaBelle.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Betty K. Baggett, age 68, of Lake Placid, passed away January 17, 2019 in Lake Placid.
She was born Nov. 20, 1950 in Wyandotte, MI, to the late John M. Duffield and the late Arlene (Spires) Duffield.
She is survived by her son: Jeffery E. Nunemaker (Ginnette), brothers: John Duffield, Jr., Jay Salisbury, sisters: Gloria Thomas, Pat Duffield, grandchildren: Amberley Nunemaker and Jeffery Nunemaker II. She was preceded in death by her husbands: Neil Gibson and Denny Baggett and sisters: Shelia Ann Graves and Cheryl Duffield.
A memorial service was held Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm at Palmdale Baptist Church, Palmdale with Pastor Earl D. Cline officiating.
Interment was Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm in Laurel Hill Memorial Park, Spotsylvania, VA.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Diego Diego Mateo, age 21, of LaBelle, passed away January 17, 2019 in Fort Myers.
He was born Sep. 12, 1997 in Guatemala, to Diego Mateo Diego Gonzalez and Catarina Mateo Nicolas.
Survivors include his wife: Maria Santay Argueta
one son: Josue Teodoro Santay Argueta
and one daughter: Bryanna Maria Santay Argueta
his parents
two brothers: Jesus Mateo Diego Mateo and Remigio Nicolas Diego Mateo,
three sisters: Patricia Diego Mateo, Floridalma Carolina Diego Mateo and Adriana Elizabeth Diego Mateo,
The family will receive friends at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 560 E. Hickpochee Ave. LaBelle on Monday January 28th from 7 to 9 PM.
Interment will be in Cementerio Los Angeles, San Pedro Soloma Huehuetenango Guatemala.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Quirino Crecensio Ortega Suarez, age 84, of Clewiston, passed away January 16, 2019 in Clewiston.
He was born Sep. 14, 1934 in Cuba, to the late Quirino Aniceto Ortega and the late Adelaida (Suarez) Ortega.
Survivors include two sons: Roberto Jiemez and Javier Ortega, and four daughters: Maria E. Cuellar, Nancy Ortega, Zuny Jordan and Morely Jordan, one brother: Gerardo Ortega and four sisters: Zenaida and husband Argelio Jimenez, Marta and husband Alberto Palau, Ana and husband Eulogio Machado and Deisy and husband Nelson Rojas, nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
John W Eden, age 72, of LaBelle, passed away January 14, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.
He was born Aug. 2, 1946 in Akron, OH, to the late James Stanhope Eden, Sr. and the late Genevieve (Rothe) Eden.
Survivors include two sons: David (Amy) Eden and Eric (Esther) Eden, and three daughters: Marie (Fred) Eden-Carlson, Susan Costell and Julie Costell, brother: James (June) Eden Jr. and fourteen grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria Eden.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 1:00 pm at Grace Baptist Church, LaBelle with Pastor Jeffrey Zimmerman officiating.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Ramon Hernandez, age 53, of Clewiston, passed away January 24, 2019 in Weston.
He was born Nov. 17, 1965 in Cuba, to the late Ramon Hernandez and Concepcion Rodriguez.
Survivors include his wife: Miriam Yzguierdo
son: Ramon Hernandez,
step sons: Wilfredo Rivas and Angel Naranjo
grandson Chris Ramon Hernandez
one sister: Concepcion Hernandez
Visitation will be Monday from 2 to 4 PM at Akin-Davis Funeral Home
438 East Sugarland Highway Clewiston.
Barbara D. Oeffner, age 74, of Moore Haven, passed away January 24, 2019 in Moore Haven.
She was born Aug. 25, 1944 in Southampton, NY, to the late Walter Arnold and Grace (Dominy) Renkens.
Survivors include her husband: Francis Thomas Oeffner,
one son: Bendan U. Dunning
one daughter: Amie A. Dunning
one sister: Carol R. Lubetkin
She was a Library Director.
Memorial Service will be held Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 6:00 pm at First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven, with Pastor Charley Watts officiating.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Port LaBelle Boil Water Notice Lifted

LABELLE, FL. -- The boil water notice of January 22, in effect for Country Village and the Florida SouthWestern State College campus in Port LaBelle has been lifted.

Bacteriological tests run on the water returned with passing results. Residents may discontinue boiling their water.

Residents with question or concerns are asked to call 863-675-5376.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Billy Fuccillo Donates $100,000 For Harry Chapin Food Bank

CAPE CORAL, FL –  Fuccillo Automotive Group is announcing a donation of $100,000 for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida to support local hunger relief efforts. Billy Fuccillo, CEO of the Fuccillo Automotive Group, is surprising the food bank with the donation on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m. to help push the nonprofit over the top and exceed its fundraising goal of $300,000 for the 11th Annual WINK Feeds Families Hunger Walk. The annual walk, which is the largest anti-hunger community event in Southwest Florida, was held on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Miromar Outlets in Estero, Florida.

“The Harry Chapin Food Bank has been making a ‘HUGE’ difference in the lives of individuals and families in need locally for over three decades,” said Fuccillo. “No one, especially children, should have to go hungry or wonder where their next meal will come from. As an organization, we are fortunate we have the opportunity to be able to give back to the Southwest Florida community, a place we call home, and support the food bank in its efforts to fight hunger all year long.”  

Fuccillo’s donation will help the Harry Chapin Food Bank provide food to the nearly 28,000 individuals and families it serves each week from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. The food bank can distribute $8 worth of food and grocery items for each donated dollar. In fiscal year 2017-2018, the Harry Chapin Food Bank provided 24 million pounds of food, valued at $41.5 million, to more than 150 partner agencies. This was the equivalent of about 20 million meals for people in need.

Fuccillo Automotive Group owns and operates five dealerships in Florida, including three Kia locations in Cape Coral, Port Charlotte and Wesley Chapel, and two Nissan locations in Clearwater and Orange Park. A sixth dealership, a new Kia location in Clermont, is expected to open in early 2020.

Fuccillo Automotive Group is the largest automobile dealership in New York State. Owned by Billy Fuccillo Sr., the Fuccillo Automotive Group comprises 28 dealerships with locations across New York State and Florida.

Boil Water Notice - Country Village And Southwestern College

LaBelle, Fla. – A boil water notice is currently in effect for Country Village and the Florida SouthWestern State College campus in Port LaBelle.

Water users in this area are advised to bring drinking water to a rolling boil for at least one minute prior to consumption.

The notice is effective immediately and will be in effect until further notice. Residents with question or concerns are asked to call 863-675-5376.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Eclipse Of The Moon Tonight

Watching The Eclipse Of The Moon

LABELLE, FL. -- Tonight will be a rare opportunity to see an eclipse of the moon as the sun casts a shadow of the earth on the full moon.

The partial phase of the eclipse begins at 9:36 pm Eastern time. The full eclipse will be seen as a blood-red shadow cast on the moon begins at 11:41 pm Eastern and finishes at 12:43 am on Monday morning.

Here's what you will see from a video and commentary by Don Browne of the eclipse of the full moon that happened April 2014, as the earth stood between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the moon; the stray sun beams around the edge of the moon creating a reddish hue on the entire moon for several hours that morning.

Click on the YouTube logo (or click here) to go to the YouTube channel to select different sections of time to view parts of the 45 minute video.

Celebration In The Sky Fireworks At Casino

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- "Celebration in the Sky," described as the largest land-based fireworks show in Southwest Florida was presented January 19 at the Seminole Casino in Immokalee.

The show Saturday night was produced by Zambelli Fireworks, one of the largest fireworks companies in the world.

Zambelli's productions are some of the largest in the world. Their displays include a variety of shells and high-intensity multi-shot devices choreographed to lights and a custom soundtrack.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Medicare Advantage Enrollment Until March 31

 The new year once again brings new changes to Medicare. One of the biggest of these changes is the new Medicare Advantage open enrollment period. The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida and the SHINE/SMP Program (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders/Senior Medicare Patrol) wants seniors to know that they may be able to take advantage of this new period, which is currently underway and continues through March 31.

“Medicare Advantage open enrollment gives beneficiaries with buyer’s remorse an opportunity to switch plans,” explains Camilita Aldridge, SHINE Manager at the Area Agency on Aging (AAASWFL). “In past years, folks with Medicare Advantage had just six weeks switch back to Original Medicare. Now, they have three full months to either switch back or choose a more suitable Advantage plan.”

AAASWFL’s SHINE counselors are available to help beneficiaries evaluate their choices during Medicare Advantage open enrollment. Volunteer SHINE counselors provide free, unbiased, and personalized assistance with Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug plans, and long-term care insurance options. SHINE is a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and part of the national SHIP Program. 

Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes called Part C plans, are typically HMOs or PPOs offered by private insurance companies. They cover all of the services offered by Original Medicare but typically work with a network of local providers. Most Part C plans also provide prescription drug coverage.

This year, many Medicare Advantage plans are offering more supplemental benefits than in the past. Thanks to changes in Medicare, nearly half of the plans available are now offering coverage for items like transportation services, nicotine replacement therapy, and even over-the-counter medications. While these new benefits can be enticing, not everyone needs them.
“Many times, people enroll in a Part C plan because they heard rave reviews from a friend or neighbor, but we all have different needs,” explains Aldridge. “Depending on your doctor, your medical conditions, your prescriptions, and your budget, there might be a better plan for you. Our counselors can help you evaluate all of the plans available to you, and the service is completely free.”

Beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in Part C plans may switch plans once during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period. However, people who are currently enrolled in Original Medicare may not take advantage of this new open enrollment period. 

SHINE empowers seniors, their caregivers, and family members to make informed decisions about health care coverage. SHINE counselors can also help beneficiaries understand benefits available through Medicare, like preventative health care services. Additionally, SHINE counselors assist low-income Medicare beneficiaries with applying for cost-savings programs and educate beneficiaries to protect, detect, and report potential errors, fraud, and abuse with their Medicare coverage. 

AAASWFL provides SHINE counseling services at locations across Southwest Florida. To make an appointment with a SHINE counselor, call AAASWFL’s toll-free Elder Helpline at 1-866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER). A list of counseling sites can also be found on the statewide SHINE website:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Obituaries - Edward Soulliere, Scott Martin

On Sunday January 13, 2019 Edward Soulliere, loving husband and father of three children, passed away peacefully at Hope Hospice House.
He was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on June 2, 1942, to Edward Sr. and Jeanette LeBlanc. 
He moved to Detroit, Michigan with his high school sweetheart Lynne Flewelling where they settled down and got married.
He had a little Hardware Wholesale business where he travelled the state of Michigan; he was very big in Consumer Advocacy for the Appliance Industry he also worked in the Appliance Industry.
He enjoyed playing hockey as a goalie in an Over 30 league in Livonia, Michigan. When they arrived in LaBelle they got involved in the Firehouse Community Theatre where he sang with the Firehouse Singers and also was a volunteer at the Theatre.  His Church Family was very important to him; he served on the Council at Christ the King Lutheran Church.
Edward was preceded in death by his father Edward, mother Jeanette and his sister Linda. He leaves behind his wife Lynne, three children, Kelly, Robin & Eddie (Gillian), his brother Randy (Karen) and sister in law Karen Nosotti, his grandchildren Tim (Dana), Billy (Darsie), Josh (Christie Ann), Michelle (Brooks),  Chelsea (Emilie), Flynn, nieces and nephews, Shannon (Chad), Chris (Emma), Kevin (Francesca), Kim (Ken), Randi Lynn, Kelsie (Jessica), Kim (Locky) and Jason, great nieces & nephews Tiffany, Dylan, Nicholas, Michael, Emily, Jax, Sabrina, Addison, along with five great grandchildren, Kayleigh, Jayden, Colton, & Kayleb and many many very close friends.
A celebration of life will be held at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 350 CR 78, LaBelle, Florida at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday January 27, 2019.
Scott R. Martin, 62 passed away unexpectedly in LaBelle Florida on Jan. 10, 2019 with his best friend and wife of 35 years, Anne, by his side.
Scott was born Jan. 19, 1956 in Saranac Lake, NY. And lived in Glastonbury, CT for 39 years before moving to Florida in 2018.
'Scooter', as he was known to family and friends, was an outgoing and larger than life individual. He befriended many who knew they could always count on him for help.
Scooter enjoyed playing golf and following sports, especially his New England Patriots. He was an enthusiastic fisherman and was very proud of the large bass he recently caught in Florida's Caloosahatchee River.
In the past several years he developed a passion for grilling and smoking meats. His family and friends enjoyed many delicious meals prepared by him. Scooter loved his family. While in CT he was a boisterous and well-known fan of his four CT nephews at their hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball and football games.
He was predeceased by his parents, Bob and Peggy Martin of Saranac Lake, NY and his father-in-law Oscar W. Hoffman, Bowling Green, OH and Labelle, FL.
Besides his wife, Anne, he will be greatly missed by his immediate family: brothers Kevin Martin (Licia) of Newport NC, and their children John Robert and Amy; Robert Martin of Durham NC; Dan Martin of East Hartford CT and daughter Karlee; and sister Michelle Martin-Kersey (Colleen) of Woodbridge VA and son Cogan.
Scooter was also a well-loved member of the Hoffman family including his mother-in-law, Marie Hoffman, of St. Petersburg FL; brother-in law: Gary Hoffman (Deborah) of Del Ray FL and sons Adam Hoffman (Jessica), Brett Hoffman (Lindsay), Craig Hoffman (Clarisse) and Zachary Hoffman; brother-in-law Michael Hoffman (Lynne) of Marietta GA and children Megan Zeller, Jessica Kipp (Brian), Kristy Hoffman, Bob Hoffman (Laura); sister-in-law Susan Wagner (Dan) of Bowling Green OH and children Andrea Ditzig (Adam), Garret Euler (Marissa), and Danielle Wagner; sister-in-law Barbara Hoffman of Redlands CA; brother-in-law Steve Hoffman (Cynthia) of Tierra Verde FL and sons Bryan Hoffman (Michael), Brandon Hoffman and Andrew Hoffman.
There will be a memorial service in Saranac Lake, NY at a later date.
Donations can be made in Scott Martin's memory to The Bowling Green State University Hoffman Scholarship Fund. (Contact Ken McIntire 419-262-1833).
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Severa M. Herrera, age 77, of Clewiston, passed away January 9, 2019 in Loxahatchee.
She was born July 26, 1941 in Dilley, TX, to the late Jesus and Matilda (Gonzales) Mendoza.
Survivors include her husband: Domingo Herrera Jr., two sons: Domingo Herrera II and Jesus Herrera, three daughters: Agnes Gonzalez, Jessica Herrera and Yomeida Herrera, thirteen grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren and two sisters: Francisca Miranda and Concepcion Mendoza.
Services will be private.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Info On Arsonists Sought By Forest Service

PALMDALE, FL  On Saturday, January 12, 2019, the Florida Forest Service and Glades County Fire Department responded to several arson set wildfires on the western part of Lake Okeechobee, Curry Island at Vance Whidden County Park. 

Dried out marshes fueled the inaccessible 300-acre wildfire. Even though the wildfire posed no immediate threat to structures, smoke has impeded visibility along State Road 78 and neighboring communities. Over the weekend, the Florida Highway Patrol has strategically placed smoke-on-the-highway signs to warn commuters to use caution in the area. Commuters are advised to be aware of intermittent road closures due to smoke.

In an effort to control the fire, a 1,500-acre burn-out operation is currently being implemented by the Florida Forest Service. “Forestry Firefighters are setting fire along a control line (roads and existing natural barriers) to consume the fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line,” explained Forest Area Supervisor Joe deBree with the Florida Forest Service. “The goal is to create a “black” or burned area so when the oncoming fire meets the “black” area, there will be no more fuel for it to consume, and the fire will eventually burn itself out. By using this burnout technique, firefighters are reducing the overall duration of the incident by speeding up the burning process which would likely burn naturally for days.”

The Florida Forest Service is asking the public for information about the cause of this wildfire, please contact their office at (863) 467-3221 and ask to speak to the district manager or fire investigator. Woods arson is a felony in Florida and, when convicted, the guilty person could serve up to five years in prison, pay a fine of $5,000 and be liable for the cost of suppressing the fire.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Smoke Under The Oaks BBQ Contest January 12

LABELLE, FL. --  The nonprofit LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corporation is host for the 7th Annual SMOKE UNDER THE OAKS RIB FEST on January 12, 2019.

The Rib Fest will be held at the City of LaBelle’s beautiful oak canopied Barron Park situated on the Caloosahatchee River front in Downtown LaBelle.
Admission to the rib cook off is free and open to the public. Guests will be able to purchase and enjoy food, beverages (including beer & wine) and live music.
There will be approximately 20 rib cook off teams competing for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes and the popular People’s Choice award.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tina Noel At Kiwanis

Tina Noel was the guest speaker at a recent LaBelle Kiwanis Club Meeting. She gave an overview of the “Days for Girls”, an international nonprofit program that is dedicated to helping women around the world get the supplies they need (women that have no access to pads or tampons). 

Each set comes in a drawstring bag with underwear, shields, liners, a waterproof barrier, a washcloth, soap and zip lock bags. Tina Noel has coordinated local efforts for this project and along with the Women’s Club of LaBelle, they made 500 sanitary product sets that were sent to Malawi. 

Days for Girls has reached more than one million women and girls in 125+ countries with Days for Girls Kits and menstrual health education. This translates into over 115 million days of dignity, health, and opportunity. To make a donation, or to get involved you can visit the website:
Photo by Helen Mead. Carole Schroeder, LaBelle Kiwanis President along with Tina Noel

Attachments area

Obituaries - Herrera, Rea, Mandujano, Fonseca

Severa M. Herrera, age 77, of Clewiston, passed away January 9, 2019 in Loxahatchee.
She was born July 26, 1941 in Dilley, TX, to the late Jesus and Matilda (Gonzales) Mendoza.
Survivors include her husband: Domingo Herrera Jr.
two sons: Domingo Herrera II and Jesus Herrera
three daughters: Agnes Gonzalez, Jessica Herrera and Yomeida Herrera
13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren
two sisters: Francisca Miranda and Concepcion Mendoza,
Services will be private.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
James H. Rea (Jim) age 69 passed away December 31, 2018 in Alva. He was born August 15, 1949 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Jim attended the United States Military Academy West Point, NY and served in the Vietnam War. Jim moved to Florida in the 80's pursuing a career in banking. However Jim later found his calling in Optical Services and became an Optician. Working in the same field Jim then met the love of his life Lila. Jim and Lila resided on their Paso Fino Farm in Alva. Friends and family all agree Jim had the kindest heart and could always make you laugh with a joke. Other than his love for his wife Lila and cigars, Jim adored his grandchildren. Jim was a huge part of their lives attending many ballgames, 4-H events , Horse-Shows etc..
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Lila Shewmaker-Rea. He is survived by three sons: Mathew James Rea (Lisa), James Gordon Shewmaker, James Lee Shewmaker III , a daughter Bridgette Shewmaker-Cochran (Kenny) , mother Catherine (Young) Burkeybyle, a sister Cathy Johnson (Larry), two brothers: Robert Rea, William Rea (Jill), grandchildren: Lexi Rea , Cutter James Cochran, Brilee Blake Cochran, James Lee Shewmaker IV and nephew William Dunbar.
In lieu of flowers the family would like donations made in Jim and Lila Rea's memory to Special Equestrians, Inc P.O. Box 61528 Fort Myers, FL 33906-1528 or visit
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Martin Maldonado Mandujano, age 52, of Clewiston, passed away December 30, 2018 in Clewiston.
He was born Nov. 10, 1966 in Mexico.
Survivors include one son: Martin Maldonado Jr
one daughter: Cynthia Maldonado
his mother Maria (Mandujano) Maldonado,
significant other, Maria Alcala;
2 brothers, 3 sisters, and 4 grandchildren
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, January 11, 2019 at 11:00 am at Saint Margaret's Catholic Church, Clewiston. with Father Jiobani Batista officiating.
Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.
Visitation will be Thursday from 6 to 8 PM at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.
José "Don Porfo" Morales Fonseca was born in Bluefields, Nicaragua in 1929. He was the oldest of five siblings. He is preceded in death by his parents; J. Porfirio and Raffaela (nee Fonseca) Morales and by his youngest brother, Rómulo P. Morales Fonseca.
He married Rosita Filiponi on August 28th, 1966. They had three children, Rachel, Rene P. and J. P. Morales Filiponi. The rest of his family includes his beloved nieces and nephews; Marío J. Santos Morales, Patricia Santos Morales, and Yolanda (nee Rocha) López, and his remaining siblings; Yolanda, Juan Manuel, and Gladys Morales Fonseca, and well as many nephews and nieces.
In Nicaragua he worked for the Esso Standard Oil Company in Upper Management and was a partner with the Toruño Construction Company. He left Nicaragua due to political unrest in 1988, bringing his family to the United States. Where here in the United States he worked for Winn-Dixie as a maintenance worker.
Memorial Mass celebrating his life will be held January 19, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Margaret Catholic Church followed by a fellowship luncheon in the Dan McCarthy Parish Hall next to the church.

Kiwanis Club Membership Drive January 29 At Beef O'Brady

LABELLE, FL. -- Have you made your New Year Resolution? Do you want to do more for others? Would you like to get involved with programs that support our local kids?

The LaBelle Kiwanis is having a membership drive on Tuesday night, January 29th at Beef O Brady’s starting at 5:30pm.

Stop by to learn about the many community agencies that LaBelle Kiwanis assists. Be a part of “improving the world, one child and one community at a time". Appetizers will be served.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Trooper Verbiest Pulls Man From Burning Car

FORT MYERS, FL. -- A recently released video from the Florida Highway Patrol shows a heroic rescue made by FHP Trooper R. Verbiest.

On November 5, 2018, Trooper Richard Verbiest stopped his 2016 Florida Highway Patrol Chevrolet SUV with emergency lights activated behind a disabled motorist on the inside paved shoulder of southbound I75 at mile marker 134 in Lee County. 

 Moments later, a 2012 Mazda, driven by Fernando Xavier Espinoza age 35 of Fort Myers, was traveling southbound on I75 approaching the same location. To avoid slowing traffic, Mr. Espinoza swerved his vehicle into the paved shoulder and struck the guardrail along with the rear portion of the stopped FHP vehicle. 

The crash resulted in a serious injury to Mr. Espinoza and a non-incapacitating injury to Trooper Verbiest. In addition, the engine of the 2012 Mazda caught on fire.

Trooper Verbiest exited his substantially damaged FHP vehicle, responded to the 2012 Mazda and pulled the damaged driver door open to gain access to Mr. Espinoza. Trooper Verbiest, without regard for his own personal safety, pulled Mr. Espinoza from the Mazda to a safer location.

The trooper’s quick actions in response to an emergency of which he was involved in is a testament to the Florida Highway Patrol motto of Courtesy, Service and Protection. 

This crash also serves as a reminder for drivers to remain focused behind the wheel and to follow the Florida move over law which states, when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle on a multiple lane highway, that vehicle must vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle. If traffic congestion prevents a safe lane change, the vehicle is required to reduce speed by 20 mph below the posted speed limit.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Noah Alvarado, 12 Dies In Crash

LABELLE, FL. -- A dump truck driven  by Jaime Deras Oliveros, 48 of LaBelle was traveling east on Evans Road approaching the intersection of Fussell Grade Road at 4:02 p.m Sunday.

Pedestrian Noah Alvarado, 12 of LaBelle was riding a kneeboard in the westbound lane of Evans Road and entered the eastbound lane, into the path of the oncoming truck. Oliveros attempted to veer the truck to the right but struck the child.

Post collision, the truck traveled off the roadway striking a ditch and a barbed wire fence.

Noah Alvarado was pronounced deceased on scene. The crash remains under investigation.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Elder Helpline Big Increase In Calls

More Southwest Florida seniors are in need of assistance than ever, based on the number of calls received last year by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida’s Elder Helpline.  The Elder Helpline received 73,843 calls in 2018, an increase of 16.2% over the previous year, and the most the agency has ever received in a single year.

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.  It is part of the national Eldercare Locator network and is funded through the federal Older Americans Act.

“Our Helpline specialists assist people trying to find services for themselves or their loved ones,” explains Carmen Torres-Ortiz, AAASWFL’s director of client services.  “There are many resources available for older people and adults with disabilities. The Elder Helpline is the first step in finding them the help they need, either through a government program, a local nonprofit, or even private pay services.

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 state holidays. Assistance is available in more than 200 languages.

“An increase of more than 10,000 calls in just one year shows us that there’s still a lot of need in our area, especially among seniors,” explains AAASWFL’s CEO Marianne Lorini.  “Our Helpline data can show us how those needs are evolving.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be digging into the numbers to see what our most requested services were and if they’ve changed significantly over the last year.”

While the Helpline may be the best-known of AAASWFL’s services, the Agency is also responsible for screening older adults for eligibility for government-funded home and community based services and for monitoring local service providers.  AAASWFL also provides direct services to adults 60 and over and adults with disabilities. These programs include SHINE Medicare counseling, health and wellness workshops, and elder abuse prevention education.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

John Ford's Silent Movie January 9

The Iron Horse will be shown at the next LaBelle Heritage Museum meeting January 9.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

John Cline Dies After December 24 Crash

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- John Zachary Cline, 48 of Okeechobee was traveling north on SR 29 approaching the intersection of US 27 on December 24 and failed to negotiate a left turn. As a result, he traveled onto the US 27 east shoulder and struck a barb wire fence and continued to travel east until the front of the 1997 Chevy SUV struck a tree.

Cline was pronounced deceased on 12/31/18. The investigation is ongoing.

Garden Club Bus Tour To Naples Botanical Gardens

LABELLE, FL. -- Naples Botanical Gardens Field Trip to 4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples on January 9, 2019 (Wednesday), Chartering the LaBelle City Bus – Seating Limited

Bus will leave 8:30 a.m. from the LaBelle Veterans Park (SR80 at Main Street – across from Courthouse) And return approximately 2:30 p.m.

Bus fare $20; Admission & Garden Tour $28. The Fogg Café is on site for lunch.

Hosted by the LaBelle Garden Club

(If you are a member of the Garden Club, you will have a $10 discount) Membership: $10 for single; $15 for couple

Reservations must be made by Sunday, January 6, 2019(Or until Bus is filled)

Call Pat at 239-910-1538 or Nikki 239-564-2005