Friday, May 31, 2019

Music At Firehouse Theatre June 21

The Firehouse Community Theatre Inc presents "Haphazardly Ever After, the Musical"
Tons of magical fun awaits in this original, one-of-a-kind fractured fairy tale farce!  A kind king and queen have trouble in their royal family with four obnoxious, bratty, adult children who do not live up to their royal titles. 

The king and queen try everything to bring happiness and harmony to their family.  They hire a royal therapist, bring in royal teachers and even attempt to marry off their children, all to no avail. The play was written by Jeff Flaharty. 

The play will run for three days at the Firehouse Commuity Theatre: June 21, 22 and 23, and is directed by Rhonda Welky. Call the ticket hotline (863) 675-366

Steering Clear Of Scams Program June 18

Every year on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is commemorated in the United States and around the world.  This June, the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) will host and participate in events across Southwest Florida to raise awareness of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. These events include an upcoming presentation in LaBelle:
“Steering Clear of Scams” presentation
Tuesday, June 18 at 11:00 a.m.
Hope Connections L.J. Nobles Senior Center (475 E. Cowboy Way)

The Area Agency on Aging’s presentation will educate elders and their families on how to spot scams, protect one another from exploitation, and how to address and report suspected fraud. Admission to the presentation is free. For more information or to schedule an elder abuse prevention activity at your organization, contact the AAASWFL Elder Helpline at 866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER).
AAASWFL will also host elder abuse awareness events on Monday, June 10 in Moore Haven and Clewiston.  From 9:30 a.m. until noon, the agency will be at Florida Community Health Centers in Moore Haven (1020 Health Park Dr.).  Then, from 5:00 until 7:15 p.m., AAASWFL will be at the Clewiston Public Library (120 W. Osceola Ave.).  At both events, AAASWFL will distribute information about elder abuse, exploitation and neglect and answer questions about how to identify, report, and prevent abuse.

Established in 2006 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) reminds us that we all have a critical role to play to focus attention on elder justice.  As many as one in ten older Americans are abused or neglected each year, according to the U.S. Administration for Community Living, and experts estimate that only one in 14 cases of abuse are ever reported to authorities.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ Elder Abuse Prevention Program is funded through Title VII of the Older Americans Act and is administered through contracts with Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Keeping Students Safe For Summer Break

Attorney General Ashley Moody is encouraging Florida students and parents to take steps to ensure a safe summer break. Millions of Florida public school students start the longest school break of the year this week, providing opportunities for fun, family and relaxation, but also increasing the potential that students encounter dangerous situations.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “From synthetic drugs to online predators, the risks children face today are startling. As summer break begins, please speak to your children about the dangers of talking to strangers online and in public. Review apps, online games and social media accounts your child uses. Talk frequently to them about how using drugs, even once, can lead to a lifetime of addiction, incarceration or even death. Most importantly, be sure to regularly engage your child proactively by asking questions and listening. Encourage them to stay alert and away from situations that might put them at risk.”

Attorney General Moody is sharing the following tips from the Department of Homeland Security to help parents talk to children about online safety:  

Don’t share too much information. Create a list of things children should never post or share online–like birthday dates, full names, addresses and phone numbers–and make sure they understand why it is important to keep this information private.

Be careful about what you post. The internet isn’t private. Once children share a post, picture or video, they cannot control how others will use it, and it can never be permanently deleted. Teach children to be thoughtful and cautious about what they post and share online.

Only connect with people you know. Predators can easily create fake profiles to hide their identities, so instruct children to only connect with friends they actually know in real life. Also check children’s privacy settings regularly to make sure strangers cannot see their profiles. 

Keep locations private. Many apps, networks and devices have geo-tagging features which broadcast locations. This information could lead a stalker directly to a child, so make sure these features are deactivated.
Protect passwords. Create strong passwords for children and make sure they know to never share passwords with anyone except their parents or trusted adults.

For more information about cybersafety check out the DHS Chatting with Kids about Being Online Booklet from the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign. For more information about the campaign, click here.

Medicare Seminar June 10

Clewiston, FL (May 30, 2019)— Future and current Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to attend a free presentation about the ins and outs of Medicare on Monday, June 10 at 5:15 p.m. at the Clewiston Public Library.  Medicare 101 will be offered by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida and SHINE/SMP (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders/Senior Medicare Patrol).  The Clewiston Public Library is located at 120 W. Osceola Ave.

Medicare 101 is a well-rounded presentation covering the basics of Medicare for those soon to be eligible as well as those currently on Medicare.  Participants will learn the basics of Medicare Parts A, B, C and D, discover more about the many plan options available.

The Medicare 101 presentation will feature professionally trained counselors from the SHINE/SMP program.  The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE program provides free, unbiased information and assistance for Florida Medicare beneficiaries year-round as they carefully evaluate their health care options.  SHINE is administered locally by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL).  

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Obituaries - Lee Kelsoe, Clarence Wilson, Andrew O'Neil

Lee A. "Leon" Kelsoe, age 67, of Clewiston, passed away May 23, 2019 in West Palm Beach with his family at his side. He was born Oct. 27, 1951 in Belle Glade, FL, to the late Frank Melvin and the late Blanche Florine (Holton) Kelsoe. Leon was a lifelong resident of the Glades. He worked inthe Produce Business since he was 15 years old and, for the last twenty years, was owner/manager of Sugarland Produce in South Bay.
Survivors include his two sons: Lee Kelsoe and Neal Varnum, daughter: Jessica (Eric Crain) Kelsoe, four sisters: Dorinda (Chester) Lambdin, Angela Kelsoe, Lucy Harn and Jeannie Davis sister in law: Connie Ingram, eight grandchildren: Brittney Proffit, Megan and Corey Kelsoe, Laice, Lauryn and Leeana Varnum, Caylin Dupree and Kendal Smith and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife: Susan La'Raye Kelsoe, sisters: Ezuber Buss, Verla Connelly, Virginia Walker and Ruby DeLine, brother: Lewis Kelsoe and great grandson: Samuel Vaughn.
Visitation was Wednesday May, 29 from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 30, 2019, 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston with Pastor Rod Ruby officiating. Interment will follow in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.
Leon was a loving husband and gentle father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Clarence Donald Troy Wilson, age 57, of Naples, passed away May 26, 2019 in Naples, FL.
He was born Oct. 2, 1961 in Clewiston, FL, to the late Barron Don and Edith Eugenia (Wooten) Wilson. He served in the U.S. Army. He worked as a Security Guard.
Survivors include his mother: Edith Eugenia (Wooten) Morin
A brother Edward Kevin Cruz
three sisters: Sonia Doreen Strickland, Phoebe Kitcher and Olivia Sanders
Graveside Services will be held Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 11:30 am at Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven with Nathan Campos officiating.
Visitation will be Saturday from 11 to 1130 at Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven, FL.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Andrew B O'Neil, age 81, of LaBelle, passed away May 23, 2019 in LaBelle.
He was born Apr. 5, 1938 in Hartsville, SC, to the late Andrew and Bulah (Talbot) O'Neil.
Survivors include his wife: Brenda (Shell) O'Neil
Grandchild: Trevor O'Neil
He was an Equipment Operator in Road Construction.
Memorial Services are pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle

Preventing Skin Cancer This Summer

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties urges sun safety to help prevent skin cancer. Summer is full of outdoor activities. You probably put sunscreen on yourself and your kids when you go to the pool or the beach. But do you know you should protect your skin with more than just sunscreen anytime you’re outside?

Sun protection is important all year round, and it’s best to use several different kinds. When you’re working in the yard, watching a ballgame, or taking an afternoon walk, make sun safety an everyday habit so you can avoid getting a sunburn and lower your chance of getting skin cancer.

Here’s an easy tip to help make sure you and your family stay sun-safe. Get ready for summer with a tote bag full of different ways to protect your skin. Keep the tote bag handy so you can grab it whenever you head out for summer fun!

Some important things to pack—
•A lightweight long-sleeved shirt or cover-up.
•A hat with a wide brim that shades your face, head, ears, and neck.
•Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
•Sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.

More Sun Safety Tips
•Stay in the shade, especially during late morning through mid-afternoon.
•Can’t stay in the shade? Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants to protect your skin.
•Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

Facts About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancer—
  • Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas—are highly curable, but can be disfiguring and costly to treat.
  • Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous and causes the most deaths. The majority of these three types of skin cancer are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.
•Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes.
•Even if it’s cool and cloudy, you still need protection. UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage.
•Anyone can get skin cancer, but people with certain characteristics are at greater risk—
  • A lighter natural skin color.
  • Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun.
  • Blue or green eyes.
  • Blond or red hair.
  • Certain types and a large number of moles.
  • A family history of skin cancer.
  • A personal history of skin cancer.

The most common signs of skin cancer are changes on your skin, such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in a mole. Not all skin cancers look the same.

A simple way to remember the signs of melanoma is to remember the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma—
•“A” stands for asymmetrical. Does the mole or spot have an irregular shape with two parts that look very different?
•“B” stands for border. Is the border irregular or jagged?
•“C” is for color. Is the color uneven?
•“D” is for diameter. Is the mole or spot larger than the size of a pea?
•“E” is for evolving. Has the mole or spot changed during the past few weeks or months?

Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice changes in your skin such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, a change in an old growth, or any of the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma.

Elder Law Event June 14 At Senior Center

Social Security Number Scam

Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert about a new twist on an old scam. Impersonating the Internal Revenue Service is a longstanding tactic used by scammers trying to coerce people to send money or provide sensitive financial information. Now, scammers are using robocalls and spoofing to impersonate the Social Security Administration to trick people into giving up Social Security numbers. The Federal Trade Commission reports a rise in the number of SSA imposter scams while IRS imposter scam reports are on the decline. 

Both scams use a tactic called spoofing to disguise the number displayed on a target’s caller ID. The SSA scam uses spoofing and claims a target’s SSN is stolen or linked to criminal activity. The target is then asked to verify the number. If the target complies, the scammer records the SSN to sell on the dark web or use to open fraudulent financial accounts.  

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Scammers are using technology and tricks to steal your Social Security number. Never provide your SSN in response to a solicitation and don’t trust your caller ID. If you receive one of these calls, hang up the phone immediately and call my office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.”

To avoid SSA imposter scams:
  • Beware of phone numbers listed on caller ID. Spoofing allows scammers to change the information displayed on caller ID to give the appearance that the call is coming from a government entity;
  • Do not answer any call seeming to originate from the SSA’s Fraud Hotline number, 1(800) 269-0271. This number is never used to make outgoing calls;
  • Know that any solicitor claiming that a SSN is about to be suspended or bank accounts will be seized is lying;
  • Never provide a SSN, financial account numbers or any other personal information in response to a solicitation;
  • Always ask the requester how identifying information will be used, stored and kept secure;
  • Know that the IRS, SSA, law enforcement agencies and financial institutions will never call and demand wiring of money or payment by prepaid debit card; and
  • Just hang up. Then call the government entity at the phone number listed on an official government website to confirm the authenticity of the call.
Anyone who receives a suspicious call or solicitation should report the incident to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by filing a complaint online at or by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Three Hendry Students In Custody In Gun Incident

On Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at approximately 8:00am the Clewiston High School SRO received a
call from the Clewiston Middle School SRO that they had received a tip that either one of
Clewiston Middle School students, 15 year old Ricardo Marin or one of the Clewiston High
School students, 16 year old Jesus Marin, may be in possession of a stolen handgun that another
Hendry County student had taken from their parent and gave to one of the Marin brothers.

The Clewiston High School SRO immediately contacted the Assistant Principal and they located
Jesus Marin in a classroom. Both the SRO and the Assistant Principal escorted Jesus Marin from
the classroom toward the office. While walking to the School Office, the SRO observed an
object that appeared to move about in Marin’s pants pocket. It appeared as though it could be a
cell phone or a handgun; at that point the SRO stopped Marin and grabbed the item from Marin’s
pocket. He removed from Marin’s pants pocket a small Smith & Wesson .380 semi-automatic
handgun. The chamber was empty but it contained three (3) rounds of ammo in the magazine.
The SRO then placed Marin under arrest and took possession of the handgun. After placing
Jesus Marin under arrest, the SRO also found in his possession a Vape Pen that tested positive
for THC.

Hendry County Investigators arrived at Clewiston High School and began interviews. However,
aside from Jesus Marin being in possession of the firearm, Investigators and SROs were able to
obtain additional information.

It was determined that 13 year old Juan Vasquez, 8 th grade student at LaBelle Middle School had
taken his mother’s gun; it is unknown at this time why he took it but it is believed to be for the
purpose of cash. He then met with the Marin Brothers the next day and gave the gun to them to
sell. A snap chat video was made of the firearm offering it for sale and was found on a cell

After speaking with the mother about the theft of the firearm and circumstances following that,
the mother did press charges on all three suspects, to include her son.

All three students were taken into custody and transported to the Hendry County Jail in LaBelle;
they will then be held at the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Juan Vasquez 13 years of age, student, 8 th grade student LaBelle Middle School, was charged
with Armed Burglary, Grand Theft of a Firearm, Dealing in Stolen Property, Transferring the
Firearm to a Minor and Sale of Stolen Property via Internet. He is currently being held at the
Department of Juvenile Justice.

Jesus Marin, 16 years of age, student, 9 th grade, Clewiston High School, was charged with
Possession of a Firearm on School Property, Grand Theft of a Firearm, Dealing in Stolen
Property, Possession of Synthetic Narcotic within 1000’ of a School and Possession of Drug
Equipment on School Campus. He is currently being held at the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Ricardo Marin, 15 years of age, student, 8 th grade, Clewiston Middle School, was charged with
Dealing in Stolen Property and Sale of Stolen Property via Internet. He is currently being held at
the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sunset Bike/Hike At STA 5 June 15

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Enjoy the sunset and moonrise at STA 5/6 (Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6) bike or hike. Meet at the STA 5/6 Blumberg Road Gate at 6:30 pm Saturday June 15th

To join Hendry-Glades Audubon volunteers for the “Evening Bicycle Ride” bring your bicycle and gear, insect repelLant, flashlight, snacks and water.

For the leisurely “Evening Hike” on a section of the Florida National Scenic Trail wear closed toed shoes. Bring water, snacks, flashlight, and insect repellant. 

Directions from Clewiston: CR 835 south of Clewiston 9.5 miles, turn on Blumberg Road continue 9 miles then 2 miles on dirt road to the STA 5/6 gate.

Eventbrite link at:

Friday, May 24, 2019

Obituaries - Ballard, O'Neil, Hill, Bayton

Jewel Lee Ballard, age 86, of LaBelle, passed away May 20, 2019 in LaBelle.
She was born Feb. 12, 1933 in Wauchula, Florida, to the late William Clyde and the late Ruby Helen (Green) Hall. Jewel married Perry M. Ballard, Sr.; he preceded her in death on February 9, 2006. She was a long-time member of the LaBelle Church of God. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother, who will be dearly missed.
Jewel is survived by her children; Perry M. Ballard, II and his wife Bonetta, Joan Phillips, 11 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, and 5 great - great grandchildren.
Celebration of Jewel's life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 25, 2019 at LaBelle Church of God, where Rev. Cliff Gobble will preside. Burial will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery next to her husband. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday evening at Akin-Davis Funeral Home.
Andrew B O'Neil, age 81, of LaBelle, passed away May 23, 2019 in LaBelle.
He was born Apr. 5, 1938 in Hartsville, SC, to the late Andrew and Bulah (Talbot) O'Neil.
Survivors include his wife: Brenda (Shell) O'Neil
Grandchild: Trevor O'Neil
He was an Equipment Operator in Road Construction.
Memorial Services are pending. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Earl W. Hill, Jr, age 71, of Alva, passed away May 20, 2019 in Alva.
He was born Oct. 30, 1947 in Mobile, AL, to the late Earl W and Anne (Tallon) Hill.
He was a Veteran of the US Coast Guard.
He worked as a Yacht Captain.
Survivors include his wife: Penelope (Lewis) Hill
three sons: Henry Hill, Jonathan Hill and Walker Hill,
one sister: Martha Spencer
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.
Susan D Bayton, age 57, of Alva, passed away May 19, 2019 in Cape Coral.
She was born Sep. 5, 1961 in Okeechobee, FL to Marshall and Martha Ann (Markham) Pitts.
Survivors include her husband: Bruce Bayton
two sons: Bruce Jr. and Jason
parents Marshall and Martha Ann (Markham) Pitts
two brothers: Coy and Trey
grandchildren: Landry; Bowen; and Maddox
Celebration of Life services will be held Friday, May 31, 2019 at 10:00 am at Caloosahatchee Regional Park 19130 North River Road Alva with Pastor Rex Durham officiating. Casual Dress and barbeque will be provided after service.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

New Members At Kiwanis Announced

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle is proud to introduce new members inducted into Kiwanis on Tuesday, May 21st.

Kiwanis started in 1915 and globalluly now has 7,800 clubs in 80 Countries with the objective to improve lives through fellowship in service worldwide. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.

Pictured Nikki Yeager, LaBelle Kiwanis Past President, sponsored Reverend Alonzo McKenzie; and Tina Noel, sponsored by Carole Schroeder, LaBelle Kiwanis President

Monday, May 20, 2019

Obituaries - Langford, Reed, Rivera-Santiago

Oscar L. Langford, Jr., age 93, of LaBelle, went to be with the Lord, May 16, 2019.
He was born May 6, 1926 in Venus, FL, to the late Oscar L. Langford, Sr. and the late Gladys (Goggin) Langford.
Oscar served in the US Navy from 1943 to 1945, serving on a destroyer patrolling the Pacific waters during World War II. After Oscar was discharged in 1945 he returned home to Lakeport, and in 1948 he moved with his family to LaBelle. Oscar had various jobs building roads, spreader box operator and in the 1950's he purchased ice from Whisnant Ice Co in Immokalee and distributed it in LaBelle. In 1953 he went to work for Blitz Wegman's LaBelle Ford. In 1956 he went into business for himself, in 1962 he got his first new car franchise Jeep, in 1964 he got the Chrysler franchise and then purchased the Ford dealership from Mr. Wegman in 1975 and renamed it Langford Ford.
Oscar was involved with the community, he helped start the LaBelle Quarterback Club and the Rotary Club. He was a member of the Lions Club, American Legion and VFW. Oscar also was a member of the LaBelle City Commission in the 70's. He also served the community in other ways as a volunteer firefighter, Justice of the Peace and a constable.
He is survived by his loving wife: Tracy Joan (Barber) Langford, two sons: Paul Langford and Patrick Langford (Rhonda), and daughter: Tracy Burley, brother: David Langford (Donna) and sister: Audrey Langford, grandchildren: Tracy Miller (Jeremiah), Jada Fleming (Matthew), Lori Perkins (Vince), eight great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his sister, Jeraldine Thomas.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 20, 2019 at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of LaBelle, LaBelle. Interment will be Monday, May 20, 2019 in Venus Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in memory of Oscar to the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches, Inc., P.O. Box 2000, Boys Ranch, FL 32064 or at
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Thomas Reed was born February 2, 1945 and passed away at home in Labelle, Florida surrounded by loving Family on May 12, 2019.
Thomas was preceded by his Mother Maxine Heidi, his Father Robert Reed and his two Sisters Norma Bosco and Johnnie May.
Thomas is survived by his loving Wife of 45 years Barbara Reed and seven children James Graham, Eva Graham, Shawn Reed, Angela Reed, Nicholas Reed, Eric Reed and Paul Gamble. Thomas is also survived by six siblings Robert Reed, Dolores Kasturnes, Callie Dylo, Joan Willow, Linda Mae and Sandra Reed. You will be in our hearts and souls forever, until we meet again, love your family.
Visitation was from 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2019 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home. Burial will take place at 11 am Thursday, May 23, 2019 in Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Panama City, Florida.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Lucila Rivera-Santiago, age 86, of Clewiston, passed away May 12, 2019 in Clewiston.
She was born Oct. 19, 1932 in Puerto Rico , to the late Pablo and the la Maria Isabel (Santiago) Rivera.
Survivors include three sons: Alberto Ramos, Jorge Morales and Miguel Angel Ramos
Three daughters: Hilda Zamora, Leida Ramos, and Isabel Morales
19 grandchildren and Many great-grandchildren
Memorial Services are Pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Bird Watch Count In Hendry June 1

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Bird Watching Saturday June 1 will meet at the Clewiston McDonald’s at 7 am. Frequent stops will be made as the group birds Clewiston, CR 835, Blumberg Road, STA 5/6, and Billie Swamp Safari’s “Swamp Water CafĂ©“ for lunch. 

Tallies can be posted on free "ebird" from your phone or computer.
Summary of the Rules for June Challenge:
• Each bird on your list must be seen, not just heard and observed in Hendry or Glades County (each County list separate post on ebird) June 1-June 30.
• Any free-flying bird is countable for the purposes of the Challenge, the website will keep track of how many, in the USA, ABA-countable and non-countable species are on your list.
• Make sure to add your observations on ebird by the end of the day July 1st.
• Post your tallies on Hendry-Glades Audubon’s Facebook page or email to claim your “bragging rights”.
Contact Cell/Text: : Margaret England 863-517-0202

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Fort Denaud Road Closing Information

Hendry County Road & Bridge Contractor, Lynch Paving & Construction Co., Inc., along with its subcontractors, will begin paving operations on Fort Denaud Road on Friday, May 17, 2019.

The County asks the public to keep in mind that this project will take place over several months.

For the safety of the motorists, residents, and workers within the project limits, the roadway will be intermittently down to one lane of traffic in each direction during work hours. The closures are necessary to improve the conditions of the roadway.

Motorists are asked to PLEASE TRAVEL WITH CAUTION through this area at all times while the improvement project is taking place as certain portions of road may be rough to drive through until the project is complete.

If possible, please seek an alternate route and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Residents or Motorists with questions or concerns are asked to contact the Hendry County Engineering Department at 863-675-5222.

Obituaries - Scott VanLoo, Lucille Peterson, Ben Art Guy

Scott A. VanLoo, age 55, of Felda, passed away May 11, 2019 in Fort Myers.
He was born July 9, 1964 in Holland, MI, to the late Paul and Betty (Kempker) VanLoo. Scott worked as a Produce Packer for Custom Pak for many years. Scott was a huge sports fan, he enjoyed watching every kind of sporting event.
Scott is survived by his daughter; Shelby VanLoo, mother; Betty VanLoo, brothers; Rick, Doug and Dan, his ex-wife Jeanette.
A celebration of Scott's life will be held at a later date.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Lucille Peterson, age 88, of LaBelle, passed away May 15, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.
She was born Jan. 23, 1931 in Desoto County, FL, to the late David W and Alma (Waters) Westberry.
Survivors include two sons: Patrick (Korena) Perry and Robert " Bobby" Perry,
She was a Member of the Sewing Guild. She worked as a Health Caregiver.
Memorial Service will be held Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 12:00- 4:00 pm at American Legion Post 400, LaBelle.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Ben Art Guy, Sr, age 85, of LaBelle, passed away May 10, 2019 in Oakbrook of Labelle where he had lived for many years.
He was born July 21, 1933 in LaBelle, FL, to Benjamin F and Lula Frances (Fussell) Guy. Ben was married to Myra June Harris, she survives. Ben and June were faithful members of the LaBelle Church of God for many years. Ben worked as a parts manager for Bob Paul Citrus, he also worked as assistant store manager for the U-Save Grocery Store.
Ben also leaves behind his two children; Ben A. Jr, of Missouri and Melissa Stanford and her husband Alan of Cape Coral, four grandchildren; Rebekah, Emma and Chris, one great grandchild; Cadence, sisters; Rosalee Hull, Martha Sullivan, and Lucille Welch, brother; Billy Guy, along with many nieces, nephews and extended family members.
A memorial celebration of Ben's life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the LaBelle Church of God with Bishop Cliff Gobble officiating.
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

John Wayne Ballester Arrested In Check Cashing Robbery

LABELLE, FL. -- On Thursday, May 9, 2019 at approximately 5:50pm, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office received a call from American Advanced, located at 51 South Lee St., Unit #6, LaBelle, a check cashing and payday loan center, reporting they had just been robbed. The caller went on to say a person entered the store and demanded all the cash then left. No one was injured.

When Deputies arrived on scene they found both employees safe. When Investigators began looking into the crime, they were aware that two other American Advanced centers had been robbed in Lee County. Investigators had received through information shared by Lee County, that this was possibly the same individual and there were a great deal of similarities between this robbery and the others in Lee County.

On May 11, 2019, Hendry County Investigators were notified by Lee County Sheriff’s Office that a Search Warrant had been conducted in Lehigh Acres and that they had taken the suspect John Wayne Ballester, 52 years of age into custody. They did locate and remove the clothing Ballester had worn during the Robbery in LaBelle.

Ballester was arrested on several charges resulting from crimes committed in Lee County. Ballester was taken into custody and is currently being held in Lee County Jail. Hendry County Investigators have also filed charges of Robbery, Aggravated Assault, and Grand Theft.

Ballester is currently being held on $150,000.00 bond.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Obituaries - Rodriguez, Broughton, Carroll

Bersabe L. Rodriguez, age 101, of LaBelle, passed away May 10, 2019 in LaBelle.
She was born Dec. 11, 1917 in Floresville, TX, to the late Ramon and the late Cesaria (Caballero) Lopez.
Survivors include four sons: Ramon Rodriguez, Jr. (Sofia), Raul Rodriguez (Elena), Ruben Rodriguez (Shana) and Ramiro Rodriguez (Soila), and five daughters: Aurora Zepeda (Enrique), Flora Ambriz (Armando), Alicia Sauceda, Adelina Contreras (Arnoldo) and Anita Lozano (Aquiles), 40 grandchildren, 61 great grandchildren and 24 great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ramon Rodriguez, Sr.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 10:00 am at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, LaBelle. Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 06:00-08:00pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.
Kenneth J Broughton, age 59, of Clewiston, passed away May 9, 2019 in Loxahatchee.
He was born Aug. 22, 1959 in Chicago, IL. to Robert J and the late Cecile (Brown) Broughton.
He was the eldest of 6 children.
Ken enjoyed the outdoors. In his youth, he spent endless carefree summers camping and fishing in Wisconsin with his family. He was involved with 4-H, Boy Scouts, FFA and baseball. He had a talent for woodworking and won awards for his craftsmanship at an early age. He enjoyed working with his hands and had a strong mind for solving mechanical, structural and electrical problems. He enjoyed music. painting, fishing, woodworking, designing and spending time with his dog.
Ken is a retired Sheet Metal Worker Local #73 Chicago. IL. He is preceded in death by his sister Shirley Jean Broughton and his mother Lucy Broughton.
Services will be private.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Kathleen Mary Carroll, age 45, of LaBelle, passed away May 7, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.
She was born Dec. 9, 1973 in Atlanta, GA, to the late William and Margaret (Nuite) Bardon.
Survivors include two sons: Eric W. Bardon and Jeremy A. Bardon, mother: Margaret (Nuite) Bardon, four brothers: William Bardon, Jr., Daniel Bardon, Kevin Bardon and Timothy Bardon, and one sister: Elizabeth Roy.
Memorial mass will be held Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 10:00 am at Our Lady Queen Of Heaven Catholic Church, LaBelle.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Census Job Available

The Census Bureau is hiring with thousands of jobs available in the community. Available are part-time and full-time jobs, field and office jobs, supervisor and management jobs available. The pay ranges between $13.50-24.00 per hour.

The application process takes about 20 minutes and  is all online at:

And the requirements are as follows:
•             must be 18 and over
•             must have an email
•             must have a valid social security card
•             must be a US Citizen

If you have any further questions you can contact via email or Alexandra or call Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm at 786-526-3511. We can schedule someone to speak about the jobs available and application process to local organizations and groups upon request as well.

United Way Raises $335K For Hendry/Glades

LABELLE, FL (May 10, 2019) – Swing Into Spring was an evening of fun and celebration for the United Way of Hendry and Glades.  The big announcement that the 2018-2019 United Way Campaign had made goal, raising $334,944, was made by Sally Berg, Swing Into Spring Chair, and Cliff Smith, President of the United Way.

Sally Berg said, “United Way Campaign Chairs Mali Gardner and Carey Soud worked hard to move the thermometer to the top!  A huge thank you to everyone who gave to the Campaign! To all of the volunteers and sponsors who made tonight’s event possible, another big thank you!” 

Swing Into Spring is the signature fundraising event for United Way of Hendry and Glades, and was sold out. The dinner featured a large silent auction, live auction and other games. LaBelle High School musicians showcased jazz tunes, and Lee Conwell sang song favorites. The event was sponsored at the Platinum level by Verandah; Gold level by First Bank and Camp Kindness; Silver level by Lehigh Community Services, Stanley and Pat Heath, and CenterState Bank; at the Bronze level by the Area Agency on Aging, Sue & Tim Stanley, Hope HealthCare, U.S. Sugar, McDonalds, GA Foods, Johnson-Prewitt & Associates, White’s Furniture & Appliances, and Lyons Printing.

Paul Puletti, Hendry County School Superintendent, was the Master of Ceremonies, and LaBelle Mayor David Lyons gave the Invocation.  Dr. Joe Pepe, of the Department of Health, was the auctioneer for the Live Auction and game master of the Heads Tails Game. 61 items were donated by members of the community and by business to the auctions.

Lisa Sands, United Way of Hendry and Glades Manager said, “I want to thank our Master of Ceremonies Paul Puletti, Auctioneer Dr. Joe Pepe, RiverBend Motorcoach Resort, Sprout Catering, and Keepsake Plants for helping make the event so successful. Special thanks to our sponsors, and the Volunteer Committee members who spent months preparing for the event including Committee Chair Sally Berg, and committee members Kristina Rodriguez, Mary Bartoshuk, Diane Johnson, Edwin Melendez, Terri Lazar, Kelly McWhorter, and Maricela Morado.”

“All money raised in the campaign funds the 28 United Way Partner Agencies and 64 programs that provide direct client services in Hendry and Glades counties,” said Cliff Smith, President of the United Way. “This is a wonderful community, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. Your gifts stay in this community making a real impact and changing people’s lives for the better.”

In the past year, over 29,500 people visited the Hendry and Glades United Way Houses in LaBelle, Clewiston, and Moore Haven. United Way 211 had over 3,800 calls by Hendry and Glades residents seeking assistance.

Some of the agencies that will receive funds from the 2018-2019 United Way of Hendry, and Glades Campaign include: Abuse Counseling and Treatment (ACT), The Salvation Army, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Children’s Advocacy Center, Hope HealthCare Services, Child Care of Southwest Florida, Healthy Families, and many others. 

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.

If you know someone who needs help or if you would like to volunteer, please call United Way at (800) 887-9234 or simply dial 2-1-1.  You can also visit for more information