Sunday, June 30, 2019

Josie Boix Joins Glades Property Appraiser Office

(Marina Langdale, Chief Deputy Property Appraiser - Lorie Ward, Property Appraiser – Ragen Mathis, Sr. Field Appraiser & Josie Boix, Field Appraiser)
MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Josie Boix has recently joined the Glades Property Appraiser's Office as a Field Appraiser.

"Josie was previously employed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and we are very excited to have her as a part of our team!." said Lorie Ward, the county property appraiser.

"You will have the opportunity to meet Josie sometime in the future because as you know, we are required by Florida law to visit all property in Glades County at least once every five years to bring appraisals up to date.

"Please keep in mind that our vehicles are clearly marked; 'Glades County Property Appraiser' and both Field Appraisers wear shirts that identify them, along with a county issued photo identification card. If you have any questions about the visit, I encourage you to call, email or stop by for an office visit," Ms. Ward said.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Flat Earth Programs On World's Most Powerful Radio Station

MONTICELLO, MAINE -- The world's most powerful radio station, 500,000-watt WBCQ in northern Maine is transmitting programs around the world produced by a wealthy religious organization proclaiming the earth to be flat among other "truths."

Daily continuous religious programs from "World's Last Chance" began July 8 according to radio station owner Allan H. Weiner.

The newly constructed high power shortwave station and gigantic fully rotatable antenna system is funded by World’s Last Chance, LLC, a Wyoming corporation and religious ministry headed by Galal P. Doss, a former Seventh-Day Adventist and wealthy cosmetics company owner from Egypt.

66-year Weiner and his sister own the FCC license for WBCQ which broadcasts "free speech" radio from the far northern Maine city of Monticello.

WBCQ sells time to broadcasters on it's various shortwave frequencies, including many hours of religious broadcasts from controversial 86-year old "Brother" Ralph Gordon Stair, from Walterboro, S.C.

Stair has bought a majority of the station's broadcast time over the last several decades. 

Now, World's Last Chance LLC will be leasing all the time on the new 500,000 watt shortwave transmitter, spreading religious messages in seven languages around the world. The organization says they are non-denominational and "a clearinghouse for end-time truth" and preparing the world for the Savior's return soon. They say they don't accept tithes or offerings but encourage sharing their website, videos and articles to others.

Galal Doss has a track record of making bizarre prophecies, anti-Catholic messages and videos, and claims the earth is flat (watch one of the organization's "flat earth proof" videos above) and the group says calendars should be lunar-based on moon phases, instead of the solar calendar now used world-wide, while their programming and videos offer sometimes very peculiar interpretations of Bible verses.

Doss' organization is broadcasting exclusively on the new 500,000 watt shortwave 24/7 promoting his flat earth and religious beliefs and "sharing truth" as the radio station beams the signal around the world from the huge fully rotatable antenna, allowing the radio signal to be beamed to all parts of the world by rotating it during the day and night. (photo above)

The high powered broadcasts are on the shortwave frequency of 9.330 mHz. English language broadcasts go to the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, U.K.,and Australia with six other languages to other parts of the world. U.S. broadcasts are scheduled from 1 to 3 EST according to their website.

UPDATE: July 13, 2019 -- WBCQ owner Allan Weiner says the station is still "testing" the transmitter and running about 10 hours each day of the World's Last Chance LLC programs beaming to different areas including the U.S. at about 8 p.m. EST and to the Middle Eastern part of the world at other times.
UPDATE: July 18, 2019 -- Despite original plans to broadcast 24/7 religious programs on the 500,000 watt transmitter, they are shut down until further notice, said WBCQ, claiming testing is being done on higher frequencies and on antenna adjustments.

UPDATE: August, 2021 - Further problems plague the 500,000 watt station, including a transmitting tube that broke. Weiner is awaiting a replacement. The manufacturer of the transmitter reportedly has gone bankrupt. Brother Stair died this year but WBCQ continues broadcasting recorded programs from past years on WBCQ frequencies.

UPDATE: September 2021 - Allan Weiner said he has received the new transmitter tube for the Super Station, noting it cost $245,000. Continental Electronics are reportedly going to install it the 2nd week of September.

Photo courtesy Allan H. Weiner/Twitter @allanwbcq

Hendry County July 4 Schedule

LaBelle, Fla. – Hendry County government offices will be closed Thursday, July 4, 2019 thru Friday, July 5, 2019 in honor of the Independence Day holiday.

County offices will resume regular business hours on Monday, July 8, 2019.

Hendry County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Center will be closed Wednesday, July 3, 2019 and will resume regular business hours on Monday, July 8, 2019.

Residents with questions regarding HHW, please call Hendry County Special Districts at 863-675-5252.

There will be no waste pick-up on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Residents whose regular pick-up day is Thursday will be picked up on Friday, July 5, 2019.

Residents with questions regarding waste pick-up, please call Hendry County contract waste hauler, Waste Connections at (863) 675-2481

FHP Open House Today And Saturday To Recruit Troopers

FORT MYERS, FL. -- The Florida Highway Patrol is hosting open houses today and tomorrow in SW Florida in Venice and Fort Myers.

There is a open house at the FHP Venice office (4010 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice) today from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and at our Fort Myers Office (10041 Daniels Parkway, Ft Myers) on Saturday, June 29 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, 2019, for all those interested in becoming a Florida State Trooper.

The open house on Saturday, June 29th in Ft Myers will display several components of FHP and staff (Traffic Homicide, Drug interdiction, Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement along with a K9 demonstration at approximately 12:30 pm.

There is also an upcoming recruit class hiring event coming to Fort Myers, on August 2-4, 2019. This event will be offering a streamlined hiring process for all applicants, any applicant applying by July 26, 2019, will be eligible to attend an upcoming FHP academy. 

During this three day event, applicants will participate in a Physical Abilities Test, Polygraph Examination and Psychological Exam. Media is welcome to attend, please let me know if you have any questions.

Additional information regarding the steps needed to successfully complete for acceptance into the FHP state trooper academy can be found at The starting pay based on area of assignment, as an example a trooper assigned to Lee Countywill earn a starting salary of $45,696.68.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

HIV Testing Day June 27 At Health Department

Hendry & Glades Counties — June 27, 2019, commemorates National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). First observed in 1995, NHTD is meant to encourage people to be aware of their HIV status so that they can take control of their health. This year’s theme, “Doing It My Way,” highlights how and why people make testing a part of their lives. The Health Departments in Hendry & Glades Counties joins community partners across the country to emphasize the importance of getting tested, knowing your status, and getting linked to care and treatment.

In 2017, 116,944 Floridians were confirmed to be living with HIV. An estimated 18,000 more were living with HIV but unaware of it. “To see these numbers come down in our state, we need to recognize the role of stigma as a barrier to getting tested,” said department HIV/AIDS Section Administrator Laura Reeves. “Normalizing HIV testing and making sure there’s a testing option that works for everyone is one way to reduce stigma. This is important, because knowing your HIV status gives you the power to make informed decisions about your health. Our goal is to work with our partners to make sure every Floridian has that power.”
Get Tested.
Did you know that there’s more than one type of HIV test? Most use either a blood sample or fluid swabbed from the inside of your cheek. There are different settings in which you can take an HIV test, too, including in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Visit to learn more about testing options in your area or to order a free at-home HIV testing kit mailed directly to the address of your choice (while supplies last).
Knowing your HIV status is just the beginning.
It’s crucial that people living with HIV begin treatment as soon as possible. Immediate treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) typically leads to long, healthy lives for people living with HIV. It’s also a method of HIV prevention. ART reduces the amount of HIV in the body, which makes it harder to transmit to others. People living with HIV who reach and maintain what’s called “viral suppression” (fewer than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood) have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner. 
There are also prevention tools for people who haven’t been diagnosed with HIV. While HIV prevention is truly a group effort, it can look very different from person to person. A health care provider can do a risk/needs assessment to determine appropriate next steps, which might include taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and using condoms to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. Prevention may also take the form of regular retesting.

The Hendry and Glades County Health Departments are offering the following:

Date: Thursday June 27th
Event Activities: Free HIV testing for anyone
Address: 1100 Olympia St (Moore Haven), 450 S. Main St (LaBelle), and 1021 Health Park Dr (Moore Haven)
Time: 8:00am-Noon and 1:00pm-4:30pm
Staff will discuss with you what testing option fits best for you!

United Way Seeks Host Sites For October 17 Event

LABELLE, FL. -- The United Way in Hendry/Glades is seeking Host sites to engage the community in an event on October 17, 2019 called On the Table® Southwest Florida (OTT). 

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation and partner organizations like United Way from throughout the region are launching On the Table® Southwest Florida to unite people from all backgrounds and explore how we can improve the quality of life in our region. 

We believe the best ideas and greatest impact come from the people who live, work, learn and play in our neighborhoods and communities.The conversations are held in person hosted by OTT Hosts in places that will inspire action–this may be your parks, churches, neighborhood restaurants, office break rooms, coffee shops or around your kitchen table.

Hold your discussion wherever you can gather, talk and brainstorm with a group of people. 

If you or your organization is interested in becoming a Host for a conversation in the Hendry/Glades community, please contact Lisa Sands at United Way Hendry/Glades at 239-433-7559 or

Obituaries - Mary Hampton, James Bird

Mary Ruth (Ash) Hampton
July 17, 1931 – June 20th 2019
Born in Brooksville Florida she called La Belle her home. The daughter of John and Ruth Ash and sister to Jay Ash, she grew up in La Belle then moved to El Centro California when she married. She later returned to La Belle and work at Akin-Davis Funeral Home until retirement. Mary Ruth always had a smile, laughed at corny jokes, and was a glass half full kind of gal. Above all she valued family.
She is preceded in death by her mother, father, brother, son Allan, niece Kathy Ash, and nephew Thumper Ash.
She is survived by her children Jay (Jean) Hampton and Mary Lynn (Steve) Sarmiento. Other survivors include her grandchildren Gary, Stevie, Jayson, Tina, and Steven; great-grandchildren Bryan, Kaelyn, Shayla, Titan, Adrian, Ave, and Bella. Also survived by her sister-in-law Nancy Ash, nephews, Dubby Ash and Jordan Ash, niece Gwendolyn Ash, Ada Ash and by her former husband, yet lifelong friend Darrell Hampton.
There is a lot of laughin', dancin', huggin' and story tellin' goin' on in Heaven right now.
A graveside service will be held Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 9:00 am at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle with Rev. Frank Deerey Jr. officiating.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
James Wesley Bird was called home on June 12, 2019.
Born in Naples, FL., April 13, 1989, Wesley grew up loving the outdoors: hunting, fishing and swimming. It did not matter to him if he was in the woods, at the beach, on a lake, or just in the yard, outside with music playing was always better than inside. Wesley loved to cook, especially grilling and wanted to drive anything that had a motor.
People that knew Wesley will describe him as always smiling. Wesley was a jokester and storyteller, and was happiest when he made others laugh. Wesley had a generous spirit and a willingness to help people. Wesley was very loving and affectionate. He had a tender heart, especially for children and animals.
Wesley was reunited in Heaven with his sister, Jessica Angelina Faye Bird and his grandmother, Gladys Angelina Bird.
He will be forever missed on earth by his surviving family: parents James Daniel and Martha Faye Bird; brother, Jacob Daniel Bird (Susanna Marquez). Grandparents: James R Bird of Ft Denaud FL and Tommy and Sarah McEwen of Lexington, TN. Aunts and uncles: Nicky and Tammy McEwen; Shenan McEwen; Sandra and Terrell Raines; Sissey and Steve Boyd; John Bird; Kathy Bird; Clyde Bird, Craig Jackson, and Tammy and Terry Ramey…and too many cousins to count.
A graveside service will be held Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 10:00 am at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Samuel Rueda Sought For Questioning Then Arrested


On June 22, 2019 at approximately 2:09 pm, Hendry County Deputies responded to a shooting in Montura Ranch Estates. When deputies arrived they were able to locate both injured men. They were both flown to hospitals for medical attention.

At this time Investigators are not releasing any information as to the motive of the shooting. Hendry County Investigators are attempting to locate, 31yr old, Samuel Rueda (December 2018 photo at left) for questioning; he has been identified as a person of interest and Investigators would like to speak with him.

If you have any information regarding this shooting please contact Hendry County Investigator, Det. Sgt. Ty Marshall, at (863) 674-5600 or you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), where you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Update: Rueda turned himself in and was booked on two counts of Aggravated Battery, Using Firearm in Commission of a Felony, and Robbery. He is being held on a bond set at $450,000.

Additional charges may be added after investigation. Rueda has a criminal arrest history going back to 2011 including arrests for battery and probation violation.

Booking photo June 25, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Grants For Emergency Food And Shelter Available

LABELLE, FL. -- The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee has announced that it will accept applications for funds to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties through July 5, 2019, 5:00 p.m.

The counties of Lee, Hendry and Glades have been awarded federal funds in the amount of $289,305 made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

Applications are being accepted by the Local Board charged with distributing the funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas. The Local Board will determine how the funds awarded to this area are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local human service agencies in the area.

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee provides the coordination and administrative support for this program in our community.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must be the following: private voluntary non-profits or units of government; have an accounting system; practice nondiscrimination; have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and if they are private voluntary organizations, they must have a voluntary board.  Qualifying agencies and organizations are urged to apply.
Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for these Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds should contact the

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee
7273 Concourse Drive,
Fort Myers, FL 33908
or call Hannah Pelle at 239-433-7215 for more information. The deadline for applications to be received is July 5, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, the United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.  For more information please call United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee at (239) 433-2000 or visit

Obituaries - Barry Christian, Letitia Dougherty

Barry Ward Christian, age 57, of Clewiston, passed away June 17, 2019 in Fort Myers.
He was born Feb. 21, 1962 in Sapulpa, OK, to the late Hubert Ward and the late Marion Lavern (Newton) Christian. He married Josephine Garcia; she survives. He worked as a heavy equipment operator for many years. He was a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, and great grandfather, who will be missed by his entire family.
He is also survived by his children; Mary Lozano, Angelica Crumb, Jennifer McMenamin, Jessica Montez, Jose Garcia, Ana Salgado, Jesus Garcia, Nina Bautista, Arthur Christian, Isaiah Christian and Alexander Christian, twenty-five grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren, brothers and sisters; Darryl Christian, David Christian, Donald Christian, Larry Christian, Joanie Christian and Linda Christian
Visitation will be Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, Florida
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home
Letitia R Dougherty, age 91, of Clewiston, passed away June 16, 2019 in Clewiston.
She was born Dec. 22, 1927 in Mahanoy City, PA, to the late Peter and the late Letitia (Elliott) Collins. She was a member of University of Pennsylvania Alumi Association. Letitia worked for many years as a registered nurse. She married Dr. Thomas Dougherty, and together they operated one of two medical practices in Morrisville, Pennsylvania from 1955-1992.
Letitia is survived by her children; Estelle Dougherty, Sarah Strout and her husband Eric, and Letitia Swangler and her husband John. Five grandchildren; Lindsey Swangler, John Swangler, Thomas Swangler, Michael Swangler, and Courtney Strout Adkins, six great grandchildren; Jamie Knorr, Kyra Swangler, Aurora Swangler, Bodhi Swangler, Russell Strout, Haley Strout, and one sister; Mary Klien and many nieces and nephews.
Letitia was preceded in death by her husband; Thomas, sisters; Margaret Blegysis, Helen Morgan and brothers; Thomas, Joseph, James and Edward Collins.
There will be a family service at a later date.
Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Hemp Updates From Florida Department Of Agriculture

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has released additional information on hemp farming:

1. The "Fresh From Florida" Hemp Page for weekly updates and FAQs is located at.

2. Rule Making workshops are being held to obtain public input for the Hemp Program on June 20 in Ft Lauderdale; June 21 in Tampa; and June 24 in Tallahassee. All 3 days will be from 9-5 with a break for lunch. No pre-registration is needed.

Location, dates, times, agendas, and maps are at the following link:

The FL Channel will be broadcasting all 3 workshops as well as live streaming all 3 workshops live and on cable tv chennels. For details visit:

3. Senate Bill 1020 has been signed by the Senate and House and is being sent to the Governor. For details on the bill visit:

As the Hemp program progresses FDACS will be sending out regular updates, and updating of it's website.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Obituaries - Margaret Reese, Homero Olivarez

Margaret D Reese, age 80, of Clewiston, passed away June 8, 2019 in West Palm Beach.
She was born Oct. 7, 1938 in Wheeler County, GA, to the late Easel and the late Emily White.
Survivors include her husband: JB Reese, four sons: Ricky Reese, Jerry Reese, Richard Reese and Travis Reese, and one daughter: Tracey Grass, four brothers, two sisters, thirteen grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren.
A graveside service were held Friday, June 14, 2019 at 10:00 am at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston with Pastor Jeff Smith officiating. Interment was in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Homero Olivarez, Sr, age 82, of LaBelle, passed away June 12, 2019 in LaBelle.
He was born Oct. 14, 1936 in Kingsville, TX, to the late Federico and Pilar (Ortegon) Olivarez.
He was a Supervisor at the Duda Packing House. He was an avid fisherman and loved Roosters and the Casino.
Survivors include his wife: Dalia (Benavidez) Olivarez
one son: Homero Jr.
six daughters: Maria Alicia, Pilar, Anna, Rosario, Dalia and Trinidad,
two brothers: Freddie Olivarez and Jose Prado
one sister: Rosa Maria Wayne
Many Grandchildren, Great- Grandchildren,
Visitation will be on Monday June 17, 2019 from 5 to 7 PM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 560 E. Hickpochee Ave. LaBelle.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home.
Interment will be Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Two Injured In Hendry Crash

A 1998 white Freightliner CMV hauling an empty trailer was traveling south on US-27 in the outside lane approaching the intersection of Farm Drake Road Thursday in Hendry County.

A 2019 silver Kia SUV was traveling south on US-27 in the inside lane approaching the intersection of Farm Drake Road.

The truck veered left taking up both southbound lanes of US-27 as the driver of the Kia, Bruce Newton of Bartow steered right to avoid colliding with the Freightliner. The truck made an abrupt right turn onto Farm Drake Road directly in front of the Kia. As a result, the front of the Kia collided with the rear of the trailer being hauled by the truck.

After the collision, the Kia came to a final rest in the inside lane of US-27 with the front facing west.

The truck came to a controlled stop in the dirt entrance to Farm Drake Road with the front facing south. It's driver Naud Margarito of Belle Glade had no reported injuries. Newton was transported by
ground to Hendry County Regional Hospital and was later airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital, to
be treated for incapacitating injuries.

Passenger Linda Newton was airlifted from the scene to Lee Memorial Hospital and is listed in critical but stable condition.

Democratic Party Meets June 24

LABELLE, FL. -- The HENDRY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY will hold a dinner meeting at LaBelle's Beef O'Brady's Restaurant at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 24

. The meeting is open to the public, but only Democrats registered to vote in Hendry County may participate in the discussion. Others may participate in the discussion if they register prior to the start of the meeting. Only precinct committee members and Democratic office holders in and from Hendry County may vote on matters coming up at the meeting.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Terrance Thomas Arrested In Jamal Hubert Murder

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Earlier today, June 12, 2019, 30 yr old Terrance Demetrius Thomas of Clewiston, was arrested in connection with the death of Jamal Hubert.

He is being held in $100,000.00 bond.

Hendry County Investigators are continuing to look into information they are receiving.

If you have information in the case of Jamal Hubert please call Hendry County Investigators at 863-674-5600 or you can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS(8477) and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Lake Trafford Aquatic Restoration Completed

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently completed an aquatic habitat restoration project on Lake Trafford in Collier County. Biologists transplanted hundreds of native aquatic plants in an effort to help restore this popular shallow-water bass and crappie fishing lake.

The project’s goal is to enhance the biodiversity of the native plant community in the lake's shallow-water marshes as part of ongoing restoration and habitat enhancement activities aimed at restoring the lake.

FWC biologists planted a native submerged plant, known as eel-grass, along the lake's northern shoreline. The eel-grass will be protected by well-marked metal cages that will prevent it from being eaten during its first year of growth. Once it is established, the eel-grass will provide a food source and protective habitat for a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl, wading birds, turtles, larger species of fish and apple snails.

These plants also will enhance the chances that anglers will be able to catch largemouth bass, crappie and panfish on Lake Trafford.

Lake Trafford is listed as one of the FWC’s “Top Spots” to fish for crappie. For general waterbody information, fishing forecasts, virtual tours, plant control operation schedules and annual workplans, boat ramp information, and more, visit the “What’s Happening on My Lake” website

Virginia Kurtz Dies At 92

Virginia Lee (Hatton) Kurtz, age 92, passed away Thursday, June 6, 2019, at her home in Clewiston, FL. The daughter of Thurman Timbrook Hatton and Pearl Catherine Holliday, Virginia was born Sept. 19, 1926 in Bartow, FL, during the "Great Miami Hurricane." 

She spent most of her youth in Bartow, then moved to Detroit in 1942 where her mother worked for the War Department. She graduated from Mackenzie High School in Detroit in 1944. After attending Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee and Columbia University in New York City, she graduated from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 1948 with a B.S. degree in social work and psychology. 

In 1949, she met and married Howard E. Kurtz of Ft. Myers. They lived in Orlando and had five children while Howard pursued a career as a certified public accountant. The family moved to Clewiston in 1968 when Howard accepted a position with the First Bank of Clewiston. 

Virginia and Howard loved to travel, visiting their grown children often in north Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. They also traveled overseas to Europe and Israel. An avid gardener, bird watcher, and floral arranger, Virginia instilled these interests in her children and grandchildren. 

She was an active member of St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Clewiston. 

To her many friends in the Clewiston community and for her children and grandchildren, she provided a living illustration of grace and loving kindness. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard (in 2000); her two brothers, Thurman Timbrook Hatton, Jr. (2000), Alex F. Hatton (1945, WWII); and a grand- son, Graham Robert Campbell (1998). 
She is survived by her five children: John Kurtz (Clewiston), Kathryn Campbell (Boyce, VA), Martha Murray (Kettlersville, OH), Elizabeth Kurtz (Clewiston), and Howard Kurtz, Jr. (Live Oak, FL); 18 grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren. 

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, June 13, at St. Martin's Episcopal Church. The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 12 at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home, 438 E. Sugarland Hwy., Clewiston. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 207 N. W.C. Owen Ave., Clewiston, FL 33440.

Kiwanis Adult Scholarships Through July 6

LABELLE, FL. -- The LaBelle Kiwanis Club is accepting applications for adult scholarships through July 6th. 

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle believes in education and awards annual scholarships to adult students, from LaBelle, which are selected by the club's scholarship committee. 

Applicants will be contacted and interviews may be scheduled. Recipients will be announced by the end of July. 

The scholarships are designed to recognize and support exceptional students, in LaBelle, looking to achieve higher education. The scholarships are applied towards the student's tuition.
Applications can be picked up at the Kiwanis Thrift Store which is located at 155 S. Bridge Street or print out the application from the LaBelle Kiwanis Website at: .

You can return completed applications to the LaBelle KiwanisThrift Store or mail to PO Box 2161, LaBelle, FL 33975 to the attention of "Scholarship Committee".

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Dr. John Geake Dies At 72

Dr. John Donald Geake, Jr, 72, of Moore Haven, FL passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, June 7, 2019. Dr. Geake was born on November 11, 1946, in Milford, Mass. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Ellen (Sucher) Geake and his daughters Tracy Geake and Jennifer (James) Beeson; Grandchildren Rebecca and Nathan Beeson; Sisters Cindy Watters, Barbara (Stephen) Nipe, and Dr. Janis Donahue; thirteen cousins; seven nieces and nephews and six great nieces and one nephew.

He is preceded in death by his parents John and Grace (Donahue) Geake.

After graduating from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Geake did his internship and residency at Wilson Memorial Hospital in Johnson City, New York. He came to the Hendry Glades community as a Health and Human Services National Health Service Corp scholarship recipient. He was able to fulfill his desire to work in an area with the greatest need for quality healthcare. He was the Medical Director for the Hendry Family Care Center and Hendry Regional Corporate Health in Clewiston.

In October of 1997, Dr. Geake was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him a paraplegic. He returned to work at Hendry Regional Medical Center and later opened the Riverside Glades Medical Center in Moore Haven. He was the only family physician in Glades County. Dr. Geake loved his community and was always willing to take the extra time with his patients. Dr. Geake was the recipient of many awards and honors throughout his career.

A visitation will be held on Friday, June 14, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. A service will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 10:00 am both at Akin-Davis Funeral home in Clewiston. Internment at Ortona Cemetery.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Hurricane Unmet Needs Coalition Meets June 14


Friday, June 14 2019 @ 1:00 P.M.
Carlson Memorial United Methodist Church, 310 Campbell Street, LaBelle, Florida 33935
Attend in person or call conference call number. Call your dial-in number: 605-472-5309
Enter access code: 367872
For information about Hendry/Glades Unmet Needs Coalition, call or leave message for Greg Gunter
Hendry/Glades Long Term Recovery Support 
Contact: 239-433-7560 Fax: 863-675-9393

Office located at:
LaBelle United Way House 133 N. Bridge Street 
LaBelle, FL 33935

Evening Bike Ride At STA 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

Adults, Families, and Youth are invited join Hendry-Glades Audubon 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.

Register online at the Meetup link on the Hendry-Glades Audubon website:

For information contact Steve Buczynski or Margaret England, cell/text (863) 517-0202.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Elder Abuse - Mandate To Protect

As Americans, “justice for all” is a concept we embrace. Yet every year, an estimated five million Americans experience elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. That number equates to one in every ten older adults. Elder abuse is an injustice that affects everything from our public health to our economic resources.

This Saturday, June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness day, an opportunity for people and organizations to take action to protect older adults. This day raises awareness about elder abuse, why it occurs, and what we can do to stop it. Working together, we can build the social supports that can prevent elder abuse and keep us all safe as we age.
There are several simple, actionable steps we can all take to protect our elders from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. 

For those of us who know and love older adults, it is important to learn the signs of elder abuse. The American Society on Aging suggests looking for physical signs like bruises and welts, as well as behavioral signs like anger, fear, anxiety, nervousness or depression.  Elders who are being abused may withdraw, avoid eye contact, suddenly lose weight, experience mood swings, or may startle easily.  They may also change the way they show affection, or have nightmares and difficulty sleeping.

Preventing isolation is another way to protect our friends, family, and neighbors.  Social isolation is one of the most common risk factors for elder abuse. Simply calling or visiting our older loved ones provides safety and reassurance.  You can also prevent isolation by volunteering with an agency that provides rides, companionship, or recreation for older adults.  Making these connections gives us an opportunity to listen to our elders’ thoughts, concerns, and decisions.  

There are ways older adults can protect themselves from potential abuse, neglect and exploitation.  The first way they can do so is to plan.  For example, you can reduce the risk of potential financial exploitation by signing up for direct deposit or getting your estate plan in place.

You can also protect yourself from abuse by being cautious.  Get on the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce telemarketing calls.  Consult with someone you trust before making large purchases or investments. Check with an attorney before signing documents that you don’t completely understand. And always remember your mother’s advice—if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For everyone reading this, I have one final piece of information for you:  If you suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation, report it.  Our elders have a right to be safe.  In fact, making a report isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the law.  In the State of Florida, every single person who knows of abuse or suspects abuse is considered a “mandated reporter,” which means that you are legally obligated to report it to the Florida Department of Children and Families’ abuse hotline at 800-96-ABUSE (800-962-2873).  Reporting abuse is easy, and it’s also confidential.

This year, don’t let June 15 be just another Saturday on your calendar.  Instead, take a few moments to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness day by reaching out to an older adult, or by taking actions to protect yourself. If you need resources to help you do so, please contact the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida’s Elder Helpline at 866-41-ELDER (866-413-5337).  Our specialists can connect you to resources and assistance, as well as volunteer openings and recreation opportunities.

If we work collectively this June 15, we can all support our national ideal of “justice for all.”

Sherry Young, Elder Abuse Prevention Coordinator
Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida
(239) 652-6900

Florida Concerned About Growing Teen E-Cig Use

Attorney General Ashley Moody is traveling the state to hear from parents, teachers and law enforcement about the growing use of e-cigarettes among Florida youth. The Florida Department of Health released a report in April 2019, noting a 58 percent increase in the use of e-cigarettes among Florida high school students from 2017 to 2018. According to the report, nearly one in four Florida high school students now admits to vaping. 

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As a mother, the skyrocketing use of e-cigarettes among Florida youth deeply troubles me and I want to make sure we are doing everything in our power to protect children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, vaping is highly addictive, and e-cigarettes contain chemicals like aerosol that are known to cause serious health complications. 

“It is illegal under Florida law to sell these products to anyone under 18 yet, vaping among our youth is out of control. That is why, I am traveling the state to hear from parents, teachers and law enforcement about what they are experiencing and how children are hearing about vaping and acquiring e-cigarettes.”

Attorney General Moody launched the fact gathering mission today in Nassau County where, according to a recent report, more than one in three middle and high school students admits to vaping. According to a FDOH study, Nassau County ranks seventh out of all 67 Florida counties in percentage of students who vape. Attorney General Moody met with Nassau County Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy Burns, local teachers and law enforcement to discuss how the school district is attempting to reducing teen vaping among its students. 

The discussion focused on several key factors surrounding youth vaping including how students are learning about e-cigarettes and the seemingly widespread availability of these products to minors. 

Attorney General Moody will hold additional discussions throughout the state this summer to hear from experts in other Florida school districts. Details of these upcoming events will be released soon.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Jamal Hubert Found Dead In Canal


CLEWISTON, FL. -- On Thursday, June 6, 2019 at approximately 12:08pm, Hendry County Detectives were summoned to a cane field located approximately 2 miles east of Crooked Hook Campground on U.S. 27 in Palm Beach County.

A man who was working in the area found a body in a canal.

With the assistance of Palm Beach County, the body was removed and transported to the medical examiner’s office. At this time a positive identification of the body has not been made.

UPDATE: The identity of the person found yesterday, June 6, 2019, in a canal in Palm Beach County, has been positively identified as 30 year old, Jamal Hubert.

At this time HCSO Investigators are not certain of the cause of death or the reason. Investigators are now conducting a Homicide Investigation and continuing to follow up on all leads.

If you have any information involving the death of Jamal Hubert we ask that you call Det. Maira Cano, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

Bear Strike On I-75 Closes Traffic For Hours

FORT MYERS, FL. --  At 5:47 a.m. Thursday a Ford F-250 and Mack truck were traveling southbound in the center lane of I-75, south of Bonita Beach Road, both ended up striking a bear crossing the interstate highway.

A Nissan Maxima, Mini Cooper, and Kia Optima were traveling southbound in the outside travel lane of I-75, south of Bonita Beach Road.

The Ford struck a black bear that was crossing the roadway in the center lane of I-75. The vehicle pulled over and came to a complete stop within the outside shoulder.

The Nissan also struck the bear in the outside lane, and then pulled over within the
outside shoulder of I-75. The Mack truck entered the outside lane to avoid the vehicle in front of
him, and struck the bear, then overturned, and the dump's trailer struck the Nissan. After impact, the Mack truck slid south, and struck the trailer of the Ford.

The Mini Cooper and the Kia then struck the bear in the outside lane, and came to a final stop in the outside shoulder.

The roadway was cleared at 9:35 AM.

Planning For Health Improvement July 15

LABELLE, FL. -- The next Healthier Hendry Glades Task Force Meeting will be in the form of a planning session for the new Hendry/Glades Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). 

 The meeting will be held on Monday, July 15, 2019 at the Dallas B. Townsend Agricultural Center (1085 Pratt Boulevard in LaBelle) from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm. 

We are looking for a large attendance of those who serve or live in Hendry/Glades Counties, so please share this invite with others that you may work with or that you feel would offer valuable feedback. 

At the session, Peggy Brown from the Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida will begin with a brief presentation based on data collected from the Community Health Assessment and will follow with an exercise to select the overall focus areas for the CHIP. 

 At this point, there will be further breakouts to work on the details that will be included in the plan. 

By the close of the meeting we will have a plan for objectives (focus areas) for the next five years and activities that the Healthier Hendry Glades Task Force can perform to support the CHIP.

Aaron Everman Fraud Conviction

Fort Myers, Florida – A federal jury has convicted former real estate broker Aaron Eyerman (38, Cape Coral) in a scheme to defraud an investor of $561,000. Following a six-day trial, the jury found Eyerman guilty of three counts of wire fraud, eight counts of money laundering, and one count of false oath in relation to a bankruptcy proceeding. Eyerman’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 9, 2019.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Eyerman met the victim, a retired schoolteacher from Pennsylvania, working in the real estate industry. In 2015, Eyerman made false statements to the victim and convinced her to invest $300,000 in a real estate venture. Specifically, Eyerman indicated they would “flip” houses; that is, buy, rehab, and re-sell properties. Instead of using the money for that purpose, Eyerman gambled away a large portion of the money at casinos and, over a matter of seven weeks, spent the remainder on personal luxury goods, including a custom Porsche 911, a $12,700 Rolex watch, and a $50,000 down payment on his personal luxury waterfront residence in Cape Coral, Florida.
Without telling the victim that he had already spent all of her initial investment, Eyerman went back to her in August 2015, seeking more money. This time, Eyerman lied about a second business opportunity – a purported new home construction company. Eyerman convinced the victim to provide him with another $261,000, which he immediately spent for personal use, including gambling most of it away at the Seminole Indian Casino in Immokalee, Florida. In total, Eyerman defrauded the victim of $561,000.  
After the victim sued to get her money back, Eyerman declared bankruptcy to avoid his debt, and lied under oath, about how he had spent the $561,000. 
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Charles Schmitz and Kyle Cohen.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

115 Pounds Of Marijuana Arrest

NAPLES, FL. - On June 5, 2019, at 2:15 pm, Florida Highway Patrol Troopers initiated a traffic stop on a 2012 Toyota Camry for excessive window tint and a move over violation on I75 (Alligator Alley), at mile marker 92, in Collier County. 
The driver, Owen Onfroy (11/20/1969) of Hillsborough County, was the sole occupant in the vehicle. 

During the traffic stop, FHP K9 Baca alerted to 115 pounds of marijuana (street value of over one million dollars) inside the trunk. 

Onfroy was placed under arrest for felony drug possession and trafficking then transported to the Collier County Jail.

30-Year Old Jamal Hubert Missing From Clewiston

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Hendry County Detectives are currently investigating the report of a missing person, 30 year old Jamal Hubert of Clewiston, Florida.

He was last seen on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at his home in Clewiston, Fl. The family members are extremely concerned and believe something to be seriously wrong.

If you have seen Jamal or have any information of his whereabouts, we ask that you contact Hendry County Sheriff's Office at 863-674-5600 and ask for Investigator M. Cano or you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477(TIPS), where you may be eligible for a cash reward.

UPDATE June 7, 2019: The identity of the person found yesterday, June 6, 2019, in a canal in Palm Beach County, has been positively identified as 30 year old, Jamal Hubert.

At this time HCSO Investigators are not certain of the cause of death or the reason. Investigators are now conducting a Homicide Investigation and continuing to follow up on all leads.

If you have any information involving the death of Jamal Hubert we ask that you call Det. Maira Cano, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) and you may be eligible for a cash reward. 

Obituaries - Evanston, Wilson, Garrett, Hough, Velazquez

Michelle Renee Evanston, age 37, of Clewiston, passed away June 1, 2019 in Weston.
She was born Apr. 12, 1982 in Lake Havasu, AZ, to the late Brian and the late Berdette (Moses) Evanston.
Survivors include one son: Myron Cypress and two daughters: Michaela Cypress and Mya Langston, brothers: Michael Evanston, Robert Jackson Evanston and Terry Moses, and sisters: Daphnee Jackson, Judith McCowan and Tiffany Jackson and four grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her baby, Evanston Cypress.
A graveside service was Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 11:00 am at Big Cypress Cemetery, Big Cypress Reservation with Rev. Salaw Hummingbird officiating.
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 were held Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 11:30 am at Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven with Nathan Campos officiating.
Visitation was Saturday from 11 to 1130 at Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven, FL.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Jackie Joann Garrett, age 74, of Clewiston, passed away June 2, 2019 in Clewiston.
She was born Feb. 1, 1945 in Whittier, CA, to the late Thomas Edward and Evelyn (Ocepek) Garrett.
Survivors include one son: Leslie Garrett of Clewiston, FL
two sisters: Vickie Angues and Shirley Hopkins
4 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild
She was preceded in death by her sister, Peggy Swigart
Memorial service is Pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Eleanor Ruby Hough, age 89, of Clewiston, passed away June 1, 2019 in Clewiston.
She was born May 20, 1930 in Chicago, IL, to the late John and Ruby (Hart) Gallagher.
Survivors include one daughter Candi Mancil
two sons: Timothy Eugene Hough and Patrick Troy Hough
one brother: John L Gallagher
13 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and 5 great great grandchildren
She was a Nurse for many years.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 10:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral
Home, Clewiston. Interment will be in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.
Visitation was Tuesday from 6 to 8PM at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.
Chonita Mendoza Velazquez, age 75, of Clewiston, passed away May 31, 2019 in Palm Beach Gardens.
She was born Dec. 20, 1943 in Dilley, TX, to the late Jesus and Matilde (Gonzales) Mendoza.
Survivors include her husband: Otoniel Velazquez
3 sons: Rodaldo Mendoza, Reyes Rolando Villa Gomez, and Romaldo Mendoza,
one sister: Francisca Miranda
6 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.