Tuesday, April 30, 2019

$50,000 To Florida Seniors In Reverse Mortgage Program

Florida Housing Finance Corporation is announcing the  that the Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program (ELMORE), which assists seniors who are in default of their reverse mortgage, will close the program to new applications on June 30, 2019.

Launched in 2013, ELMORE has spent more than $52million in federal funding and has assisted more than 2,600 Florida seniors with keeping their homes. Homeowners who meet specific qualifications may be eligible for a two-year forgivable loan of up to $50,000.  The funds will be distributed to the mortgage servicer, on the homeowner’s behalf, in a lump sum to repay property-related expenses paid by the servicer (e.g., property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance and association fees) plus upcoming property-related expenses for up to 12 months.

ELMORE assists elder homeowners with reverse mortgages—who, because of a hardship, are having difficulty making property tax and homeowner’s insurance payments.  As a result, these homeowners are facing foreclosure for non-payment of these required costs.

“Florida Housing implemented this program to help seniors in Florida sustain their homes,” said Trey Price executive director for Florida Housing. “We are pleased to have met the needs of so many seniors who were struggling to avoid foreclosure.”

Florida homeowners with reverse mortgages who want to see if they qualify for the ELMORE program should contact the toll-free ELMORE Application and Information Line at 1 (800) 601-3534 to apply and/or receive more information on the program. Additionally, you may visit the ELMORE program website at www.FloridaELMORE.org  for more information. Florida Housing will also be hosting ELMORE events throughout the state. For more information on the event dates and to set an appointment, call the toll-free number. There is no cost to apply for this program.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Obituaries - Rasmussen, Adams, Lopez, Allen, Sears, Escutia

Bernard T. Rasmussen, age 89, of LaBelle, passed away April 23, 2019 in LaBelle.
Bernard was born Apr. 18, 1930 in LaBelle, FL, to Mikal Bernard and Priscilla (Hall) Rasmussen. Mr. Rasmussen married AnneMarie DiGirolamo on October 22, 1994. He served in the United States Army from February 16, 1951 to January 8, 1953. He faithfully attended First Baptist Church of LaBelle. He worked for the United States Postal Service for 31 years, retiring as a postmaster, then he later worked for Hendry County State Bank for 10 years. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather who will be greatly missed by his entire family.
Survivors include his loving wife: AnneMarie Rasmussen, son; Michael Rasmussen, daughter Lori Rickman, step-daughter; Michelle Combs, grandchildren; Jami Sealey, and husband Brandon, Brittany Kramer and husband Devon, Grandson Teddy Rickman, step-grandchildren;' Derek Snyder and Peyton Snyder, Great Grandchildren; Bayli Sealey, Henlie Sealey, Lanna Kramer, and Lacey Kramer.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019 in First Baptist Church of LaBelle where Pastor Frank Deerey will officiate. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2019 in Akin-Davis Funeral Home – LaBelle Burial will take place in Fort Denaud Cemetery where military rites will be accorded by the United States Army.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
David Mark Adams, age 69, of Clewiston, passed away April 22, 2019 in Clewiston.
He was born Aug. 27, 1949 in Bristol, CT, to David Washington and Frances (Perreault) Adams. Mr. Adams married Patricia A. Gunning. He was a Vietnam Veteran serving with the United States Marine Corps. He enjoyed NASCAR, loved dogs and adopted many homeless ones and was a like a second father to many of the youth in Clewiston, FL that spent most of their free time at his home and called him their second dad and was a former foster parent as well. He worked as a concrete finisher for decades and before that as a mechanic.
He is survived by his loving wife; Patricia, sons David, Robert, Timothy, Shaun, and daughter Jessie, brothers; Michael and Peter and one sister; Holly
Services will be held at First United Methodist Church of Clewiston on May 6th at 6 pm, there will also be a farewell party at Brenda's at a date and time to be announced on wife and son's social media accounts.
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Raymond G Lopez, age 58, of Alva, passed away April 20, 2019 in Alva.
He was born Oct. 20, 1960 in Lodi, CA, to the late Raymond and Joyce (Pitcher) Lopez.
Survivors include
Mother: Joyce (Pitcher) White
2 brothers: Tim Lopez and Johnny Lopez
He was a Welder.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.
Rosemarie Armgard Allen, age 83, of LaBelle, passed away April 20, 2019 in Cape Coral.
She was born Mar. 25, 1936 in Rottleberode, Germany to the late Helmut Lillig and the late Charlotte Antonie (Gerding) Lillig. Rosemarie grew up in Berlin and moved to Chicago in 1959. She graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Physical Therapy. Rosemarie worked as a physical therapist for the VA Hospital in Madison, WI for 20 years.
After retirement, Rosemarie and her husband, James traveled extensively and lived on the sailboat "Libelle" for 12 years. They moved to LaBelle in 2011.
Survivors include her husband: James L. Rust, sons: Marcus John Allen of Sleepy Hollow, IL and Mathias Edwawrd Allen of Madison, WI, daughter: Yvonne Charlotte Allen of Baton Rouge, LA, sister: Brunhilde Ernst of Konstance, Germany, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Marilyn Josephine Giddens Sears peacefully passed away at her home in LaBelle, Florida on April 20, 2019
Born October 23, 1939 in Metter Georgia to Ellis and Josephine Giddens, she graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in home economics. Whether it was promoting the original crockpot for Rival Manufacturing, writing a classic cookbook, or selling a hot property in Hendry county, Marilyn always had something cooking!
Marilyn has been an active part of the LaBelle community since arriving in 1986. Her company, Riverside Real Estate, has been a successful and respected local business for over 20 years. Considered a pioneer of local real estate, Marilyn worked to blaze trails for the development and beautification of LaBelle and Hendry county. She proudly served on the City of LaBelle Variance Committee, Hendry County Soil Conservation Committee and Hendry Regional Medical Center Foundation.
Her kind smile, love of food, faith and family will certainly be missed in LaBelle and beyond.
Marilyn is survived by her daughters: Jennifer Neill and Stacy Sears Teallow (Eric); grandchildren: Nathan, Joe, and Owen Barewin as well as Eric Jr, Ellis and Mary Teallow; siblings Ellis Giddens, John Giddens and Mary Giddens and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorial services will be held at First Baptist Church of LaBelle on Tuesday April 30,2019 at 11:00am.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Paula Gonzalez Escutia, age 53, of Clewiston, passed away April 20, 2019 in Miami.
Paula was born February 22, 1966 in Pearsall, TX, to the late Juan and Juanita (De La Garza) Gonzalez. She was a loving daughter, mother, grandmother and sister who will be dearly missed by her entire family.
Paula leaves behind her loving mother; Juanita Gonzalez, children: Jesus Gonzalez, Maricela Rivera, Rosalinda Rico, Sonia Billie, and Vanessa Gonzalez, brothers; Binito Gonzalez, Juan Gonzalez and David Gonzalez and sister Dora Gallegos along with eleven grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 10:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston. Interment will be Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.
Visitation will be Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Obituaries - Louis Reese, William Miller

Louis Allen Reese, age 40, of Clewiston, passed away April 17, 2019 in Loxahatchee.
He was born Apr. 27, 1978 in Clewiston, FL, to Louis M and the late Sheila (Miles) Reese.
Survivors include:
Father: Louis M Reese
Sister: Margaret Reese
He was a cook.
Memorial Services are Pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
William L Miller, age 84, of Moore Haven, passed away April 17, 2019 in Moore Haven.
He was born Oct. 1, 1934 in Marshall, MI, to the late Louis D and Mildred (Harden) Miller.
Survivors include his wife: Phyllis (Armour) Miller
son: William Miller Jr
two daughters: Victoria Susan Rustin and Julia Lynn Siporen,
4 grandchildren
He was an Owner of a Construction Company.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Trail Association Meeting April 25

LABELLE, FL. -- Families, adults, and youth are invited to attend the Fisheating Creek Florida Trail Association monthly meeting Thursday, April 25 , 2019 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall 310 Campbell St · LaBelle, FL 33935

Learn about the April and May hikes, bicycle trip and camping. A limited number of FEC/FTA T-Shirts will be available for purchase. .

Friday, April 19, 2019

April Is Car Care Month - Consumer Alert

There are over 14 million registered vehicles in Florida, and those vehicles represent a significant investment for Florida consumers. Taking care of any vehicle-related issues is important for your safety and the longevity of your vehicle. However, it is equally important to ensure that service and repairs are provided by a properly licensed motor vehicle repair shop.
The Florida Motor Vehicle Repair Act requires anyone in Florida, who is paid to repair motor vehicles owned by other individuals, to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Before engaging in services with a motor vehicle repair shop, use the "Business/Complaint Lookup" feature at FloridaConsumerHelp.com to ensure the business is properly licensed, to see if it has any complaints filed against it and, if so, to determine how they were resolved.
You want to start shopping for a repair shop before you actually need one. You will be more likely to make a better decision if you are not rushed or in a panic. When you do select a business, make sure they will honor your vehicle's warranty, if applicable. It's always a good idea to ask friends and associates for their recommendations.
Before you arrange to have any repairs made, ask how the shop prices are estimated. Some shops charge a flat rate for labor on repairs while others may charge for labor based on the type of work performed. If the repair work will cost more than $100, the repair shop MUST give you the option to request a written estimate, to be notified by the shop if the repair exceeds an amount you specify, or to not require a written estimate at all.
Do not choose a motor vehicle repair shop just because they offer the least expensive repair. Saving a few dollars and not having your vehicle repaired properly may end up costing you more in the long run. If you are unsure that you actually need a specific repair, don't be afraid to get a second opinion.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Obituaries - Wilson, Proctor, Chamness, Peterson

Michael Allen Wilson passed away peacefully April 12, 2019 at Health Park Hospital in Fort Myers, FL.

He was born Aug. 3, 1972 to Allen Wilson of Lehigh Acres and Ruby Joyce (Rhoden) Watson of Haines City. He was a resident of LaBelle as a child and moved back to LaBelle in 2013.

Michael married his wife Toni on Sep. 2, 2017. He enjoyed coin collecting and making people laugh. He was an electrician by trade, a great trombone player, and an avid lover of animals, including his dog "Elsa" which was his pride and joy!

He is survived by his wife, Billie Antoinette "Toni" Wilson; brother, Todd Wilson and sister, Amie Wilson of Lake Panasoffkee; daughter, Danielle Almerico of Spring Hill and son Derrick Wilson of Winter Haven; three step sisters, two step brothers and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

There will be a Celebration of Life for his family and friends at Barron Park in LaBelle on Saturday, May 18th at 12:00 p.m. Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – Labelle.

Virginia Proctor, age 81, of LaBelle
, passed away April 13, 2019 in LaBelle.

She was born Sep. 30, 1937 in Norwich, CT, to Edgar L and Mary J (Railsback) Bell. She was a call center operator for many years. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Joan C Chamness, age 76, of LaBelle, passed away April 9, 2019 in LaBelle.

She was born Nov. 18, 1942 in Hartford, AL, to the late James Samuel and Buela (Hicks) Burch.
Survivors include two daughters: Terry Lee Prescott and Jaima Carol Beckman
She was preceded in death by her son, Toby Lee Prescott
She worked as a Psychiatric Nurse.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

Hunter Lee Peterson, age 20, of Okeechobee, passed away April 10, 2019 in Okeechobee.

He was born July 22, 1998 in Fort Myers, FL, to Greg and Brenda Lee (Ramsey) Peterson.

Survivors include:

mother: Brenda Lee (Ramsey) Peterson
father: Greg (Carrie) Peterson
five brothers: Gregory Austin Peterson, Dustin Lee Peterson, Bradley Guthrie, Blaine Weaver and Cody Weaver
sister: Hailey Peterson

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday April 20, 2019 at 1030AM at his Aunt & Uncles home on Tuckahoe Road Alva. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Kids Find Hidden Art In Park

LABELLE, FL. -- On Thursday evening Jayna and Kellan Williamson enjoyed the food at the Chowdown Food Trucks, painted a ceramic animal figurine at the Barron Park House Art Gallery and got even more excited when they found the hidden art in the Barron Park area

(Photo by Brenda Barnes)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Heroes In Uniform - Hendry Deputies

CLEWISTON, FL. -- On February 13, 2019 Deputy Sheriff Darren McNeil responded to US 27 and K Square Road in reference to a vehicle crashing into the canal and it was filling up fast with water. D/S McNeil advised that when he arrived the vehicle was upside down and half way submerged, and none of the windows were visible.

At that time, D/S McNeil, assisted by off duty Fire Fighter Robert Hinton Jr, jumped into the canal, broke the passenger side window, and pulled the young girl to safety.

Deputy Sheriff D. McNeil jumped into the canal with complete disregard for his own safety and assisted in saving the life of a 16 year old girl.

Deputy Sheriff  Darren McNeil received the Sheriff’s Life Saving Award, who under true emergency circumstances, acted to prevent the loss of  life either by exercising appropriate first aid procedures or by direct intervention.  The Life Saving Award is awarded to an employee for competent and expedient action that is directly accountable for sustaining or saving a human life.

Life Saving Award


On February 14, 2019 Deputy Sheriff Blake Branaman was in the area of Flaghole Rd. just south of Kilpatrick Rd, when the dispatcher advised of a vehicle crashing into the canal with three individuals trapped inside.

Deputy Branaman advised that when he arrived the vehicle was upright but the rear end was sinking fast. At that time, Deputy Branaman jumped into the canal and swam to the back of the vehicle because the rear window was already broken. When he got to the rear window he assisted the two children and the mother out of the vehicle to safety.  As soon as he got the mother out of the vehicle the vehicle sank immediately.

Deputy Sheriff Blake Branaman received the Sheriff’s Life Saving Award, who under true emergency circumstances, acted to prevent the loss of life’s either by exercising appropriate first aid procedures or by direct intervention.  The Life Saving Award is awarded to an employee for competent and expedient action that is directly accountable for sustaining or saving a human life.

On January 3, 2019 in the early morning hours, Undercover Deputies were conducting surveillance when they witnessed a vehicle pull up and park on the shoulder of the road and walk to another community.  Undercover deputies found this activity very suspicious and requested assistance from the road patrol unit.  It was determined that the vehicle was in fact stolen, rather than taking custody of the vehicle, deputies waited for the subject to return at which time he was apprehended by D/S Hunter Kearns and Sgt. Echevarria.

On February 5, 2019, in the early morning hours K9 Officer Hunter Kearns along with Deputy Coronilla and Sgt. Echevarria responded to the north side of the river in reference to a suspicious person walking in the area of a suspicious vehicle that was found to be stolen.  Deputies again waited for the subject to return and were able to arrest to subjects in the theft of the vehicle.

On February 08, 2019, during the early night hours, Sgt. Echevarria was contacted by Deputy Conyers. Deputy Conyers provided Sgt. Echevarria with information,
in reference to a vehicle theft that was going to take place sometime in the night. Deputy
Conyers provided the address to the vehicle and the approximate time it would occur.

Sergeant Echevarria contacted the Undercover Investigator him to watch the location of the vehicle. Later in the night, Corporal Kearns and Sgt. Echevarria responded to the area and began watching the vehicle. Deputy Vasquez and Lieutenant Favara were stationed at a predetermined location and if the theft took place, he would move into the area as the marked patrol vehicle.

While watching the vehicle, Undercover Investigator, K-9 Officer Kearns and Sgt, Echevarria observed a male entered the vehicle and attempted to start it.  K-9 Officer Kearns and Sgt. Echevarria converged on the subject and he was apprehended by K-9 Rugar. The subject was taken into custody. 

On February 25, 2019, Sgt. James Hester and Deputy Randy Bone responded to a call in the community of Pioneer Plantation and had received information that the man was not in his right mind and was making threats to kill himself.  When Deputies arrived on scene they found the man sitting in a chair with a knife to his chest.  He told Deputies that he wanted to kill himself. 

Many commands were given for him to drop the knife and he would not comply.  Deputies calmly spoke with him trying to get him to put the knife down.  Hester and Bone were able to take custody of the man without any injuries to him or the deputies.  What could have been a devastating situation where a man was prepared to take his own life; both deputies recognized the severity of the situation and took immediate action that prevented all parties from being seriously injured. 

Both Sgt. Hester and Deputy Bone were presented with the Sheriff’s Meritorious Conduct Award.  This award is for service rendered in the line of duty where the employee because of his/her diligence and perseverance, performs a difficult task in which a human life is protected. 

Pictured – Left to Right
Deputy Sheriff Randy Bone, Sheriff Steve Whidden, Sgt. James Hester

On Wednesday November 22, 2017 Deputy Jeff Nunemaker, CHS School Resource Officer was traveling on S.R.29 heading into Hendry County for his tour of duty.

Approximately six (6) miles north of S.R. 78, Deputy Nunemaker came up on a vehicle crash involving a box truck and a SUV type vehicle. Both vehicles came to rest in the southbound lane and the passenger compartment of both vehicles were fully engulfed by fire.

Deputy Nunemaker stopped and exited his patrol vehicle to check for injuries and or life.
He observed two subjects in the ditch close to the burning vehicles and a third subject on the northbound shoulder of the roadway. Deputy Nunemaker then saw two subjects in the rear of the burning box truck.

Deputy Nunemaker climbed into the cargo area of the fully engulfed box truck and removed a male subject bringing him to a safe location. Deputy Nunemaker again entered the fully engulfed box truck and removed an unconscious pregnant female, bringing her to safety.

Deputy Nunemaker with the assistance of by-standers removed the two subjects located in the ditch near the fully engulfed vehicles to a safe location.

Deputy Nunemaker under true emergency circumstances acted to prevent loss of life,
and by his direct intervention saved the lives of three subjects. Deputy Nunemaker
knowingly placed himself in imminent danger in his heroic pursuit to save the lives of
three subjects.

Here today at this event are the surviving women that were removed from the back of the truck and their families.  Both of their husbands died in the fire.

New Senior Citizen Tax Exemption Limits

To those of you that have recently applied for the Limited Income Senior Citizen Exemption, the 2019 adjusted household income limit is $30,174.
Please keep in mind that the last day to submit your proof of income to my office is June 3, 2019. (June 1st falls on a Saturday)
  • If you file a Federal Income Tax Return, I will need a copy of your 2018 return.
  • If you are not required to file a Federal Income Tax Return, then I will need a copy of all income that you receive.
Help me spread the word to our Senior Citizens about this additional property tax exemption.

Thanks for allowing me to work for you!

Lorie Ward, C.F.A.
Glades County Property Appraiser,

'Call Of The Earth' Field Trips At Hendry House

Eating Insects - Exploring Nature - Earth Day In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- Monday began the first of three days of field trips for 600 LaBelle area elementary school kids at the Hendry House and LaBelle Nature Park along the Caloosahatchee River in LaBelle.

West Glades Elementary students toured the grounds and displays Monday morning with Upthegrove Elementary beginning Tuesday and LaBelle Elementary on Wednesday. The Hendry House grounds are closed to the public during the event.

Organized yearly by Margaret England of Audubon of LaBelle, she is joined by Clark Ryals, senior forester from the Florida Forest Service Caloosahatchee Forestry Center on a nature walk, John McCormick, Forester with Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest, Terry Cerullo and Martha Avila from Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Sonya Crawford, Livestock and 4-H Agent and Patricia Gonzalez, 4-H program assistant offered a program on "edible bugs," the kids having the opportunity to eat grasshoppers and termites.

Noreen Berden and Roy Curry from Hendry/Glades Soil and Water Conservation District gave a talk on "Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper."

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Old Castle Fire Still Burning

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Glades County East District Volunteer Fire Department and Central District Volunteer Fire Department stayed on scene throughout the night at the Old Castle Lawn and Garden to continue the containment of the fire that broke out yesterday. The fire is still burning underneath the piles of debris that are located on the backside of Old Castle’s property.

Glades County Fire Department was on scene throughout the day putting water on the debris piles to try and keep the fire contained to the piles that were already burning. Old Castle staff is currently moving the debris that is in close proximity to the fire and will stay during the night to continue to monitor the property. A monitor nozzle will keep spraying water during the night to decrease the chance of flare.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Parkinson's Exercise Group

LABELLE, FL. -- Walking for Parkinson's at Lakes Park in Ft. Myers is the exercise class that meets every  Thursday at 9am at Hope Connection in LaBelle. 

The group meets at Hope Connection at 1pm on Tuesday also and on the 4th Tuesday they meet at Sal Cal for lunch meeting    

Back Row..Mary Bartoshuk, Ruth Callin, Ted Jones, Jim Rust, Marlin Yelton, John Rouse, Kathleen and Bob Heidenreich, Front Row..Linnie McDonald, Cor-Nan Coldiron and Barbara Maves...One member Rosi Allen, was unable to attend, "so we knew that she wanted to, so we carried her picture so she could be with us in spirit," said instructor Mary Bartoshuk, "Our motto is TEAMWORK WE CAN PARK PARKINSON'S," she said.

At The Kiwanis

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Kiwanis Past President Nikki Yeager and Kiwanis members welcomed Ken and Molly Baader, Asset Liquidators at the LaBelle Kiwanis meeting on Tuesday, April 2nd. 

For those moving or downsizing, you can turn your items into cash, whether automobiles, or personal belongings. Asset Liquidators will provide professional estate sales, auctions and full clean out services for LaBelle, Ft Myers, and Naples. (Also in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York)

April 11 Museum Meets AT Historic Home

LABELLE HERITAGE MUSEUM APRIL MEETING will be Thursday, April 11, at our 1912 Wm. H. Poole Store & Family Residence in the Downtown LaBelle Historic District, 360 North Bridge Street, at 5:30 p.m.
The early time is to ensure there is still daylight when Grayson Hicks, Streamline Construction, takes us on a short tour of the outside of the building as part of his presentation showing what has already been done to stabilize the foundation and protect the building from water damage while returning it to a more historic appearance and what is planned for approved OSHA/ADA access to both floors in the next phases of work on the museum's main building.
The meeting is open to the public & all are welcome. Rene Curtis Pratt of Harold Harold Curtis Honey, immediately across Bridge Street from the museum, and Rudy and Maggie from Me and My Girls Antiques and Home Decor, our neighbors to the South, both have offered the use of their parking lots.

Grover Whitehead Dies At 70

Grover C Whitehead, age 70, of Clewiston, passed away April 3, 2019 in West Palm Beach Veterans Medical Center after a long illness.
Grover was born Feb. 13, 1949 in Covington, AL, to Aubrey L and Foye Judy Ann (Carpenter) Whitehead. Mr. Whitehead married Julie Lachance on March 13, 1997. He proudly served his country during the Vietnam war in the United States Army Infantry from August 1967 to August 1969 being honorably discharged as a SGT. He worked as a truck driver and mechanic for many years. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to everyone who knew and loved him.
He leaves to remember fondly his wife; Julie Whitehead, children; Timmy, Derek, Brian, Megan and Michelle, grandchildren; Drew, Trinity, Raelyn, Angelina, Christian, Adrianna and Jenna, sister; Joyce Williams and brothers; Paul, Michael, Wayne, Robert, Kenneth, and Carl.
He was preceded in death by his brothers and sisters; Aubrey, James, Judy, and Sandra.
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Fort Denaud Road Closings April 8 Through April 19

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Road & Bridge Contractor, Lynch Paving & Construction Co., Inc., along with its subcontractors, have begun a roadway project which includes roadway reconstruction on Fort Denaud Road from Fort Denaud Bridge Way to Huggetts Road.

Monday, April 8, 2019 through Friday, April 19, 2019, the roadway will be CLOSED daily from Fort Denaud Bridge Way to Huggetts Road between the hours of 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.

Local traffic ONLY will be permitted to pass with valid ID ONLY.

Local traffic traveling through the closure area will need to be sure they are entering from the proper direction based on where crews are working.

For the safety of the motorist, residents, and workers within the project limits, the roadway will be closed during work hours.

Motorists are asked to PLEASE TRAVEL WITH CAUTION through this area. The closures are necessary to improve the conditions of the roadway.

Please seek an alternate route and allow extra time to reach your destination during this closure.

Residents with questions are asked to please call Hendry County Engineering Department at (863) 675-5222.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Terry Mack Dowdy Dies At 66

Terry Mack "FOOTS" Dowdy, age 66, of Felda, passed away March 30, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.
He was born May 26, 1952 in Senath, MO, to the late William and Chloia E (Scroggins) Dowdy.
He served in the U. S. Air Force.
He was the Transportation Manager for Lipman Family Farms for 42 years.
Survivors include his wife: Patricia (Keen) Dowdy
one son: Gerald "Scooter" Dowdy
one daughter: Marsha McGee
one brother: Dennis Dowdy
three sisters: Pat, Frances and Brenda,
grandchildren: Zachary (Brittany) Gomez; Malorie (Alex) Gomez; Fernando Aragus;, Alisa Loreto;, Grayson Dowdy
great grandchildren: Klhoe and Payton
The family will receive friends on Thursday April 4, 2019 from 5 to 7 PM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 560 E. Hickpochee Ave. LaBelle, FL.

Grayson Hicks Talks Museum 1912 Poole House Rehab

LABELLE, FL. -- Grayson Hicks of Streamline Construction will explain the work that has already been done in restoring and rehabilitating LaBelle Heritage Museum's main building the 1912 William Hardy Poole General Store & Family Residence at the organization's Thursday, April 11 program at the LHM Complex at 360 North Bridge Street in the Downtown LaBelle Historic District starting at 5:30 p.m.  

The early hour was deliberately chosen as Hicks will conduct a tour around the building and on the first floor explaining many of the changes to the exterior and the first floor and just what is planned for the next phase of the restoration of this 100 year old plus building including but not limited to the installation of a tower at the rear of the building that will house the vertical platform lift that will  provide handicap access to the second floor of the building and open up more area for display and research.  

The pubic is welcome; so, invite your friends and neighbors.

Liborio Martinez Dies In Crash On Cowboy Way

LABELLE, FL. -- Ignatio Soto Garduno, 62 of Felda was traveling west on W Cowboy Way about 6:38 a.m. Thursday as a pedestrian, Liborio Sosa Martinez, 68 of LaBelle was walking northbound, crossing W Cowboy Way east of Dr. MLK Jr Blvd.

Martinez walked into the oncoming path of the Dodge Caravan. As a result, he was struck by the front passenger side of the vehicle.

After the collision, Martinez came to a final rest on the north shoulder of W Cowboy Way. The van
came to a controlled stop on the north shoulder of W Cowboy Way.

Martinez was pronounced deceased on the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Obituaries - Letha Sparks, Ramon Muino, Elizabeth Santos

Letha M. Sparks, age 86, of Clewiston, passed away March 24, 2019 in Clewiston.
Letha was born Dec. 26, 1932 in Gardner, Florida, to James A and Vivian Thelma (Hester) Fielder, Sr. She and James Sparks were married sixty years before he passed away on November 6, 2010. She helped her husband run Sparks Appliance Repair for many years. She was a loving mother and grandmother who was always there for her children and grandchildren. She will be dearly missed by her entire family and friends.
Survivors include one son: Donald (Donna) Sparks and one daughter: Linda Pelham
Grandchildren, Sara Sparks, Meghan Sparks, Donald Bruce Sparks; Great Grandchildren; Dolton Maloy, Wyatt Sparks, Clayton Sparks, many nieces and nephews and many close family friends.
Graveside service celebrating her life was held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 28, 2019 in the Pavilion of Ortona Cemetery. Visitation was Wednesday evening from 6-8 pm in Akin-Davis Funeral Home – Clewiston.
Ramon Adrian Muino, Jr, age 27, of Clewiston, passed away March 24, 2019 in Punta Gorda, Florida. 
Ramon was born July 12, 1991 in Pahokee, FL, to Ramon Adrian and Odalis (Zamora) Muino, Sr. He married Sarai Guadalupe Covarrubias. Ramon was a sheet rock installer. He was a loving husband, father, son, brother who will be dearly missed by his entire family.
He leaves behind his wife; Sarai Covarrubias, his son Jace Adrian Muino, his parents; Ramon Adrian, Sr and Odalis Muino, siblings; Angel Muino, Natalie Gonzalez, Fernanda Gonzalez, Maria Muino and Karina Muino.
Celebration of his life was 10:00 a.m. Friday at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Clewiston, where visitation was Thursday evening from 5-9 pm also at the funeral home. Burial took place in Ridgelawn Cemetery.
Elizabeth Santos, age 34, of LaBelle, passed away March 26, 2019 in LaBelle. She was born Mar. 28, 1984 in Naples, FL, to the late Wilfredo and Maria Theresa (Barrera) Santos.
 Survivors include one son: Ramon Santos, two daughters: Alissa Marie Santos and Monica Santos, mother: Maria Theresa (Barrera) Santos, four brothers: Wilfredo Santos, Gilbert Santos, Juan Santos and Victor Santos,two sisters: Maria Castro and Melissa Garza
 The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 PM Monday, April 1, 2019 at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 560 E. Hickpochee Ave. LaBelle.

Distracted Driving Kills - Drive To Survive And Arrive Alive

In 2018, there were more than 52,000 distracted driving crashes in Florida. That means, on average in 2018, there were more than 1,000 distracted driving crashes every week. In 2018, April had the second highest number of fatalities from distracted driving crashes.

Drivers under age 30 accounted for 30 percent of all fatalities from distracted driving crashes. Parents should talk with their children about responsible driving and always model safe driving behavior.

“Distracted driving significantly slows your reaction time and places you, your passengers and others on Florida’s roadways in danger,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Focus your attention on driving every time you get behind the wheel to eliminate dangerous and unnecessary crashes.”

To successfully avoid a crash, a driver must perceive a hazard, react and give the vehicle time to stop. Factors such as driver perception distance, the distance a vehicle travels from the time a driver sees a hazard until the brain recognizes it, and reaction distance, the distance a car will continue to travel after seeing a hazard until the driver physically hits the brakes, dramatically affects a vehicle’s stopping distance. Even a focused driver going 50 mph will travel nearly the length of a football field before coming to a complete stop. When a driver is not focused on the road, it limits their ability to come to a stop and avoid a crash. 

“At any given moment, there are multiple ways for a driver to be distracted,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault. “Not only does distracted driving endanger the person behind the wheel but also the passengers, fellow motorists, pedestrians and bystanders. It is up to each of us to make the commitment to drive safely. No distraction is worth risking a life – whether it be your own or someone else’s. Focus on the road. Everything else can wait.”

“During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we encourage everyone to visit AAA.com and take the life-saving pledge to drive distraction free,” said Matt Nasworthy, Florida Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Even beyond April, please keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on the task of driving.”

Visit FLHSMV’s website for more information and resources for the Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign. The public is encouraged to report dangerous and drunk drivers by dialing *FHP (*347) or 911.