Saturday, August 31, 2019

Update- Hendry-Glades County Shelters And Storm Info

LaBelle, Fla. – Hendry County Emergency Management (EM) is continuing to monitor Hurricane Dorian.

Due to the uncertainty of the forecast, Hendry County residents should remain vigilant, stay tuned to EM social media, local alerts and local media.

Hendry and Glades Counties are also ensuring persons with Special Needs have the option to shelter.

Persons with special needs who wish to, can begin sheltering on Sunday, September 1 at 1pm at West Glades School - 2586 County Road 731 LaBelle, FL 33935.

This shelter is for persons with special needs only.

Special Needs residents must register with Hendry County Emergency Management before going to the shelter. The English and Spanish versions of the application can be found at

Please drop off or fax the completed application to Hendry County Emergency Management:

4425 West State Road 80
LaBelle, Florida 33935

Fax: 863-674-4040

The potential for flooding still remains in Hendry County.

Sandbagging locations are still available for residents who are concerned about flooding on their property.

Residents with questions or concerns are asked to call the United Way hotline at 2-1-1.

Residents can text “HENDRYFLA” to 888777 to receive local up-to-date alerts.

Hendry County EM will continue to send out communications as the storm track is updated.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Corps Of Engineers - Lake Okeechobee Guidance

Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is issuing the following guidance on its operations in south Florida:

Lake Okeechobee:
*       We urge residents to pay attention to the news and follow any county evacuation orders for areas near Lake Okeechobee if any are issued.
*       For Hurricane Dorian and other major storm events, we work closely with our partners at the state and local levels to ensure common understanding of risk levels before, during, and after events.
*       Inspection teams completed their pre-storm inspections of Herbert Hoover Dike and report no issues with the dike at this time. The goal of our inspections is to detect minor issues and address them before they develop into major problems. As the lake level rises, we have a system in place to increase the frequency of inspections on the dike so that any issues are detected quickly.
*       The current lake stage is 13.66 feet. Current indicators are the lake will receive approximately three feet of water over the next 30 days from Hurricane Dorian rainfall and inflow from north of the lake.
*       The Jacksonville District will not make pre-storm releases from Lake Okeechobee. After the storm, we anticipate high-flow releases to the east and west from Lake Okeechobee will be required. Downstream flooding conditions will be evaluated before making any releases.
*       Canal levels along the Okeechobee Waterway (i.e. C-43 and C-44) will be managed at lower levels to help build additional capacity in anticipation of this event.C

Hendry County Voluntary Evacuation Plan

LaBelle, Fla. – Hendry County Emergency Management is strongly encouraging Hendry County residents who live in low-lying, flood prone areas as well as residents who live in RV’s or mobile homes to voluntarily evacuate to a safer structure.

Residents are encouraged to evacuate tens of miles away from current location to secure homes of family member or friends no later than Saturday evening.

Hendry County will open shelters to the public beginning at 4pm on Saturday, August 31.

Residents who live on the eastern side of Hendry County who need to evacuate are encouraged to evacuate to shelters in LaBelle.

The list of shelter locations will be announced at 7am Saturday morning.

All Hendry County residents are strongly encouraged to prepare their families and property for the potential of tropical storm force winds beginning as early as Sunday morning and hurricane force winds as early as Monday afternoon.

Residents are asked to secure all loose items that could become flying debris or block drainage pipes.

All residents should have a 7 day supply of water and food.

Residents with questions or concerns, please call the Emergency Management Call Center at 863-674-5400.

Volunteer Evacuations Of Low Lying Glades County

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Voluntary Evacuations are be ordered starting at 5pm tonight (8.30.2019) for an low lying areas, mobile homes and RV parks for the following communities: Moore Haven, Palmdale, Lake Port, Washington Park, Buckhead Ridge, and Uncle Joe’s Fish Camp.

Shelter locations have been identified however the timing for opening that shelter has not been determined. If you plan on coming to a shelter please bring bedding, hygiene products, water, medications, nonperishable food and any dietary food items for a minimum of 3 days.

Sandbags are still available at the EOC (1097 Health Park Drive MH).

They are pre-bagged and ready to be loaded.

Food Bank Relief Workers Planning In Advance Of Hurricane Dorian

FORT MYERS, FL. -- Midwest Food Bank Florida is proactively working to help potential victims of Hurricane Dorian. 37 pallets of food and beverages have been distributed to partner agencies, including area shelters. In addition, volunteers will be assembling Disaster Relief boxes at the MFB Florida warehouse on Wednesday, September 4. 

Those interested in assisting should visit for more information and to sign up. The MFB

Florida warehouse will closed on Tuesday, September 3.

As a first responder for The Salvation Army, Midwest Food Bank can have Disaster Relief family food boxes on the road within 24 hours of a call. Those who would like to help cover the cost of the supplies or the fuel needed to transport them may do so by texting @MFB to 52014, or visiting, and clicking “Donate.” On the donation form, select “Disaster Relief” for the designation.

Midwest Food Bank has ten locations, eight in the United States, and one each in East Africa and Haiti. Its mission is to share the love of Christ, by alleviating hunger and malnutrition locally and throughout the world and providing disaster relief; all without discrimination.

Big Cypress Seminole Reservation Closed

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Big Cypress Seminole Reservation attractions and facilities will be closed Saturday, August 31 until further notice due to Hurricane Dorian.

Attractions and facilities that will be closed include the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Billie Swamp Safari, Swamp Water Café, Big Cypress RV Resort & Campground and the Semfuel gas station.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hendry County Storm Sandbag Locations

HENDRY COUNTY, FL. -- Sandbags are now available for public pickup. Residents will need to bring their own shovel and will be responsible for loading their own sandbags into their vehicles. Residents are asked to be courteous to their fellow Hendry County residents and limit themselves to 25 sandbags. Please only take what your family needs.

Locations may run out of bags, residents are encouraged to please bring their own if possible to fill with sand.

WHEN: Thursday, August 29, 2019
o   South LaBelle - LaBelle Rodeo Grounds – 100 Rodeo Drive/ State Road 29 South
o   North LaBelle – Bob Mason Park – County Road 78
o   Felda – Felda Fire Department - 1100 County Road 830
o   Montura- Montura Clubhouse – 255 N. Hacienda Street
o   Montura – Montura Fire Department - 465 Avenida Del Sur
o   Pioneer - Pioneer Community Center – 910 Panama Avenue
o   Pioneer – Pioneer Fire Department - 2499 Hendry Isles Blvd
o   Clewiston –Health Department – 1100 Olympia Street
o   Clewiston – John Boy Auditorium - 1200 W C Owen Avenue

Waterway Lock - Storm Changes Opening Times

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Notice is given that 72 hours prior to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane making local landfall locks will be open 6 AM to 10PM supporting vessel safe harbor passage. Lock operations will stop 8 hours prior to land fall as Rail Road and drawbridges will be lowered or rotated and locked into a secure position. It's important that all vessels are at their intended destination before bridges are secured and passage across the waterway suspended.

For Lock Operator safety the locks will:
1.Stop locking vessels or working outdoors if lightning is observed within five miles of the lock and operations will not resume until lightning has not been seen in the area for 30 minutes.
2.Stop locking vessels when winds exceed 35 MPH.

After a storm it could be days or weeks before the waterway is reopen depending on damage to structures and how quickly debris creating navigation hazards can be removed.

Okeechobee Waterway Locks from 7 AM to 5 PM;
St. Lucie Lock & Dam 772-287-2665
Port Mayaca Lock & Dam 561-924-2858
Moore Haven Lock & Dam 863-946-0414
Ortona Lock & Dam 863-675-0616
W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam 239-694-5451

Canaveral Harbor Lock 6 AM to 9:30 PM;
Canaveral Lock 321-783-5421

Hendry State Of Emergency Declared Thursday

LABELLE, FL -- Hendry County Officials have declared a local State of Emergency effective at 1pm, Thursday, August 29, 2019 in preparation for the potential threat of Hurricane Dorian.

Hendry County Emergency Management (EM) Officials are urging residents to prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions beginning Sunday afternoon through Monday and possible hurricane force winds late evening on Monday and early Tuesday morning.

Preparations should include ensuring yard debris is cleared and loose items are secured. Please ensure that all garbage cans and lids are removed from the road right-of-way so as not to block drainage pipes or become flying debris.

Hendry County EM encourages residents to review their checklist of emergency supplies and items that need to be completed prior to Saturday morning.  

Emergency checklist items should include but not be limited to the following:
  • Extra Batteries
  • Candles or lamps with fuel
  • Matches
  • Materials and tools for emergency home repairs
  • Prescription drugs
  • 7 day supply of drinking water
  • Food that you don't have to refrigerate or cook
  • First Aid supplies
  • Portable NOAA weather radio
  • Adjustable wrench and other basic tools
  • Flashlight

Information regarding Hendry sandbag locations will be released shortly.

Glades County sandbags are at the Emergency Operations Center on Healthpark Dr. in Moore Haven

Residents are also encouraged to sign up for Hendry County related emergency alerts by texting “HENDRYFLA” to 888777.

Please stay tuned to local media outlets for the latest weather information.

Hendry County residents with questions or concerns are asked to call Emergency Management at 863-674-5400.

Hendry County EM will continue to send out communications as the storm track is updated.

Please check our website or follow us on Facebook at  for updates

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Matthew Conley Joins Riverdale Dental Associates

Riverdale Dental Associates is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Matthew Conley to its Lehigh Acres practice. Dr. Conley is a Florida native, spending his entire childhood and young adult years in LaBelle.

During his early years, Dr. Conley participated in sports year-round including Little League Baseball, Pop Warner Youth Football, and Junior Pro Basketball. He is a graduate of LaBelle High School and, after attending Edison Community College, Dr. Conley graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor In Science Degree in Chemistry. He completed his academic training in dentistry at LECOM School of Dental Medicine in Bradenton, FL. Following his work in the classroom, Dr. Conley devoted the final year of his training to providing dental services to an underserved community in the Florida panhandle. This complete academic and hands-on experience has prepared Dr. Conley for all aspects of general dentistry.

Dr. Conley emphasizes that he is very appreciative of the local scholarships that he received, helping him to reach his academic goals. The Curtis Scholarship, the LaBelle Kiwanis and LaBelle Rotary Club were all vital contributors in helping Dr. Conley achieve his dream of serving the people of Southwest Florida as a dentist.

Special Needs Shelter Registration - Glades County

Eligibility Requirements for Special Needs Shelters
Special needs shelters provide more care than a general shelter, but they do not provide the same level of care found in a medical facility. To the extent possible, these specialized shelters provide a safe environment and basic assistance to maintain your level of health. It is important to note that not every person with a disability needs to evacuate to a special needs shelter. In fact, some people with disabilities can be safely accommodated in general population shelters. Persons eligible for special needs shelters have a physical or mental condition that requires limited medical and/or nursing assistance that cannot be provided in a general population shelter.
Guidelines for admittance to special needs shelters are set by the Florida Department of Health. To ensure that your unique needs can be met, refer to the list of eligibility requirements below.
You MAY be eligible for a special needs shelter if you meet the following eligibility guidelines that include, but are not limited, to persons who require:
·         Special medical necessities but do not require hospitalization Precautions or isolation which cannot be handled in a general population shelter due to a contagious health condition(s).
·         Oxygen that can be manually supplied.
·         Full-time care or is accompanied by a caregiver at the shelter.
·         Assistance with medications and everyday tasks due to a chronic condition
Periodic wound care assistance.
·         Accommodations beyond what can be facilitated at a general population shelter.
If you meet one or many of the above requirements please download the form below and return to:
Glades County Emergency Management
c/o PSN
1097 Health Park Drive
Moore Haven, Florida 33471

Grand Opening - LaBelle Airport Terminal

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County staff, elected officials and representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) along with contractors, consultants and community partners celebrated the grand opening of the new LaBelle Airport terminal building with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, August 23.

The total project which includes the terminal building, aircraft parking apron expansion and aircraft parking apron rehabilitation was funded by the FDOT at $3,065,200.00, the FAA at $2,534,500.00 and Hendry County at $21,300.

“We are happy to say that the terminal project itself was funded 100% by FDOT and FAA,” says Hendry County Public Works Director, Shane Parker. “Hendry County is incredibly thankful to our state and federal partners who made this project possible.”

The new terminal is 6,240 square feet in size and replaces the airport’s 400 square foot terminal. The terminal provides improved access and security for the airport and consists of a pilot’s lounge, conference room, airport management and operations area and restaurant space which will be the new home for a local eatery later this year.

Additionally, the project included 36 vehicle parking spaces, 7,000 square yards of new aircraft parking apron, 14,000 square yards of aircraft parking apron rehabilitation and 22 aircraft tie down spaces.

“As a pilot myself, I am very excited about the new terminal and know that this beautiful building will be one that attracts pilots to Hendry County from all across the State of Florida,” said County Commissioner Mike Swindle. “It’s fantastic to see us as a County becoming a serious part of the aviation conversation.”

The terminal concept was designed by Hendry County staff and has features meant to display the character of LaBelle with a space that embodies an old Florida, southern charm feel.

AECOM was the design engineer of record for the project. The terminal building and apron expansion project was constructed by Owen-Ames-Kimball and the apron rehabilitation project was constructed by Wright Construction.

The terminal is the first newly built government building in Hendry County since 2008.
IMG_7905 (2).JPG
(l-r) Tommy Vaughan, Kelly O’Nan, Shane Parker, County Commissioner Mike Swindle, County Commissioner Darrell Harris, County Administrator Jennifer Davis, FDOT District One Secretary  LK Nandam, FAA/Orlando Airports District Office Manager Bart Vernace, LaBelle Mayor Dave Lyons, Clewiston Mayor Mali Gardner

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Volunteer Leaders Needed For Health Workshop

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida  is seeking volunteers to lead workshops to help seniors in Glades and Hendry Counties manage their chronic conditions. Free training is provided to volunteers who wish to be trained to lead the Stanford-designed Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

Living with a chronic condition such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, pain or anxiety can be a daily challenge. The CDSMP is an evidence-based wellness program designed to help older adults and adults with disabilities to make a step-by-step plan to improve their health and their lives. AAASWFL has received grant funding to offer these workshops in six Southwest Florida counties, including Glades and Hendry.

AAASWFL will provide a free four-day training for volunteers willing to commit to leading CDSMP workshops on the agency’s behalf. The agency also reimburses mileage for all volunteer-related travel. Dates and locations for the training have not yet been scheduled.

AAASWFL volunteers should be at least 18 years of age, have a valid drivers’ license, and must be able to pass a background screening. While not mandatory, experience with teaching, instruction, public speaking, health care, nutrition, or community outreach is helpful. The ideal CDSMP volunteer also has experience with chronic conditions, either personally or as a care provider.

In 2018, AAASWFL staff and volunteers led 25 health and wellness workshops across Southwest Florida, assisting more than 425 individuals.

Potential volunteers may contact Sherry Young, AAASWFL Health & Wellness Coordinator, through the Elder Helpline at (866) 413-5337 (866-41-ELDER) or by emailing for more information. Volunteer applications can also be found at the AAASWFL website:

Electric Bill Assistance To Seniors

LABELLE, FL. -- Do you know someone who is 60 years or older, past due on their power bill, low-income and looking for assistance? Hope Connections may be able to help. 

Call 863-675-1576 or visit them at 475 East Cowboy Way in Labelle (located inside the Senior Center, beside the airport)."

Monday, August 26, 2019

High Water Closes Everglades Management Areas

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Due to high-water levels associated with recent storms, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is temporarily closing portions of the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26.

The L4 south and L5 south levee roads will be closed to all public access until further notice. However, Water Conservation Area 2 (2A and 2B) and that portion of Water Conservation Area 3A South located east of the Miami Canal between 1-75 and the L-67A levee will remain open to public access.

Public access is prohibited in the remainder of the area, except licensed and permitted individuals accessing established canals via boats (other than airboats) may participate in the Statewide Alligator Harvest Program, waterfowl hunting (during statewide migratory bird seasons), fishing, frogging, and non-native reptile removal. Participants must maintain a minimum distance of 100 yards from any tree island to minimize disturbance to wildlife.

Permitted python removal contractors employed by the South Florida Water Management District or the FWC may use vehicles on levee roads other than the L4 south and L5 south levee roads.

“As water levels in the wildlife management area rise, wildlife such as deer, raccoons, and rabbits tend to seek higher ground, such as tree islands and levees,” said Dr. Tom Reinert, FWC regional director. “To protect them and help reduce stress, temporary public closures are necessary. Area canals remain open to boat access, though, for fishing, frogging, and other recreational access.”

If you have questions, contact the FWC’s South Regional Office at 561-625-5122.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Obituaries - John Brinn, Carolyn Erwin

John Charles Brinn, age 80, of Moore Haven, passed away August 20, 2019 in Clewiston.
He was born Jan. 21, 1939 in Hollywood, FL, to the late John Alexander and Viola (Magranis) Brinn. He served in the U.S. Army.
Survivors include his wife: Lois Faith (Click) Brinn
five sons: Peter (Dawn) Brinn, Stephen (Anna) Brinn, Daniel Brinn, Thomas (Laci) Brinn and Andrew (Sarah) Brinn,
two daughters: Mary Faith (Philip) Barton and Joyellyn (Roy) O'Neill,
18 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren
The family will receive friends on Saturday August 24 from 930 to 1030 AM at Lakeport Christian Church 10947 FL 78.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 10:30 am at Lakeport Christian Church, Lakeport with Frank Moore officiating.
Interment will be Saturday, August 24, 2019 in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Carolyn Erwin (72 )of LaBelle, Florida.  Carolyn Erwin, of LaBelle, FL; N. Fort Myers, FL and Murphy, NC, passed from life on August 17, 2019 as a result of an automobile accident in Cape Coral, FL. 
She was a loving Wife, Mother, Granny, Great Granny, Sister, Aunt, and Beloved Friend. She was born in Jennings, FL in 1946. Carolyn grew up and attended school in Ft. Myers. 
She married William Erwin in 1964 and they raised 3 children together in North Fort Myers. Carolyn's children, Bill, Shealia and Heather were her pride and joy.
Carolyn worked and retired from Lee Memorial Hospital as a respiratory therapist. She is preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, Bill Erwin. 
She is survived by her son William Joseph Erwin, Jr. (Stacey) of Cape Coral; 2 daughters, Shealia Erwin (Martha) of NC, Heather Holt of LaBelle, 6 grandchildren Shane Erwin, Austin Holt, Aydin Holt, Austin Werst, Tyler Poling and Jordyn Poling, & 3 Great grandchildren, Cayden, Riley, and Bristyl. 
Carolyn devoted her life to taking care of everyone. She especially enjoyed baking for family and friends, gardening, and was an avid book collector and reader. 
She was known to be the family historian with a wealth of knowledge. Words to describe our Mom: Loving, Intelligent, Strong, Hard Working, Generous, and yes, Ornery. 
 A memorial service was held Friday, August 23 at First Baptist Church, 330 N. Main Street, LaBelle, FL 33935. Gathering of Family and Friends will begin at 10 a.m. followed by the Memorial Service at 11 a.m.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mary Bowman Dies At 90

Mary Elizabeth Bowman, age 90, of LaBelle, passed away August 16, 2019 in Lake Placid.
She was born September 21, 1928 in LaBelle, FL, to the late Frank and the late Leona (Poole) Messer. She worked for many years as the deli manager for Winn-Dixie, then worked as a bookkeeper for her brother for many years. She enjoyed spending time with her family. She was a wonderful woman who had a heart of gold and will be missed by everyone who loved and knew her.
Mary Elizabeth is survived by her grandchildren: Kimberly Lyles and her husband Marvin of LaBelle, Daniel Hansen and his wife Alethea of Clewiston, Sharon Wilson, Melanie Seals, Ricky Hansen, Blake Nipper, Tina Von Note, Heather Herrera, Jennifer Barron, and Bud Hansen; twenty-two great grandchildren and sixteen great-great grandchildren.
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

'Bag Lady' At Firehouse Theatre August 29

LABELLE, FL. -- Firehouse Theatre is proud to present “Bag Lady” by Jean-Claude van Itallie.
This is a “pop-up” play to spotlight one or our local actresses, Kyla Miller. This play was presented at the Central Florida Theatre competition and won awards.

The play takes place on the streets of New York, where this bag lady calls home. On this day, she goes about her business, stuffing her shopping bags with assorted oddments. Suddenly assailed by voices of passersby, she responds to them both humorously and belligerently.

This is a one-act, one-night-only performance. Tickets are only available at the door on the night of the performance, Thursday, August 29th at 7:00pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (grade school up to college age). Seats are on a ‘first-come, first-served” basis, so arrive early to get your favorite seat!

Please come out to support our local young actors! The Firehouse Community Theatre is located in beautiful downtown LaBelle at 241 N Bridge Street LaBelle. We hope to see you there!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Zero Tolerance For Drunk And Drugged Driving

LABELLE, FL. -- Law Enforcement will continue to show zero tolerance involving Drunk or Drugged driving. 

 Hendry County Sheriff’s Office will have increased patrols, specifically looking for drunk and drugged driving during the three-week “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Nationwide Initiative. This will extend through Labor Day, September 2, 2019.

Throughout the enforcement period, Sheriff’s Deputies will be on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In Florida, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alcohol related crashes have a higher risk of serious bodily injury or death to occur. “We want everyone to have a safe an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend,” said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden. “Before you leave for that holiday party, I want to urge everyone to make a plan to arrive home safely by always choosing a sober ride.”

It’s simple, don’t drink and drive.

Never Drive Impaired

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As the summer travel season draws to a close and the Labor Day holiday approaches, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol are releasing a new Never Drive Impaired public service announcement capturing the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. In conjunction with the PSA release, FHP joins its law enforcement partners across the nation to crack down on impaired driving by sharing the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. The enforcement campaign runs from August 16 through September 2, 2019.
“Every crash has a very real, very personal impact, not just to those involved in the crash, but also for their families and those who respond. This PSA captures the next of kin notification, the heartbreaking moment a Trooper delivers the message to a family that their child, parent, sibling or loved one will never come home,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “For many families, the next of kin notification is a moment they will never forget. FHP Troopers may differ in how they deliver the news, but they are unanimous in their opinion that it is, by far, the hardest part of their job. Never drive impaired.”
“FHP Troopers and our law enforcement partners will be actively enforcing the law and arresting impaired drivers on Florida’s roads,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “If you drink or are under the influence of any substance, be responsible and have a designated driver or ride share service get you to your destination safely.”
To help ensure your safety, FHP will increase its presence throughout Florida to remove impaired drivers and enhance services to motorists who need assistance while traveling.
To make sure you get to your destination safely, FHP has the following travel tips:
  1. Your seat belt is your vehicle’s best safety feature. Buckle up!
  2. Don’t drink or use drugs and drive. If you are planning to drink, have a designated driver or ride share service get you home safely.
  3. Don’t drive distracted. Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving.
  4. Ensure you have plenty of rest before you get behind the wheel. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as impaired driving.
  5. Obey speed limits and practice courtesy on the highway.
Motorists should call *FHP (*347) or 911 if they see an impaired or aggressive driver.
This year, the FLHSMV celebrates its 50th anniversary and its Division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) commemorates its 80th year. Learn more at

Alejandro Rodriquez Graduates Air Force Training

CLEWISTON, FL. -- U.S. Air Force Airman Alejandro G. Rodriguez graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Rodriguez is the son of Patricia San-Gabriel and Guadalupe Rodriguez of Clewiston, Fla.

He is a 2019 graduate of Clewiston High School, Clewiston, Fla.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Free Mental Health Counseling In LaBelle

LABELLE, FL -- Catholic Charities under a grant from the Red Cross is offering mental health counseling services for adults, children and families who lived in Florida during Hurricane Irma.


Counselors can help resolve a wide variety of issues such as stress, anger, anxiety, relationship problems, trauma, depression, low self-esteem and grief.

Services are available in English and Spanish.

LOCATION: Dr. Victoria Avellaneda, Psy.D., 825 E. Cowboy Way, Suite 108 (863) 695-2339, (305) 439-6014

Mental Health Services are available throughout the 10-county region of Southwest Florida. Please contact the Catholic Charities office nearest you to learn about all our service locations.

Kiwanis Prepares For October Kids Day Event

LaBelle Kiwanis Kids Day!
Groups, organizations, and talented youth are invited to participate in the annual  LaBelle Kiwanis Kid’s Day event on Saturday, October 19th from 10am to 2pm  at  Barron Park (On the Caloosahatchee River, Desoto Ave, LaBelle)
If you would like to participate in this event by setting up a table, by volunteering to help with the event or performing on stage, please contact LaBelle Kiwanis at as soon as possible.
 This is a well-attended event which would give your organization the opportunity to interact with a lot of families and provide something fun for the kids in our   community! Over the years many businesses, agencies and community partners have participated in this event.
· Provide some free “fun” for the kids (Stickers, pencils, create a simple game or activity they could play, etc.) 
· Participants may not sell any items at this event
· You may set up information about your organization on your table. (You provide your own table and chairs)
Arrive at the Barron Park no later than 9:30am to set up. (It’s recommended to wear closed-toed shoes, use sunscreen and stay hydrated!)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Ories Lee Douglas Dies At 92

Ories Lee Douglas, age 92, passed away Monday, August 12, 2019, at The Masonic Home of Florida in St. Petersburg, FL. He was born May 23, 1927, in Union County, FL, the son of Arthur Lee and Christene Harden Douglas.
He joined the Merchant Marines while still a teenager and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve until his discharge on Nov. 28, 1945. He worked as a civilian three years for the Federal Land and Claims Commission in the U.S. territory of Guam. He worked 31 years for the Federal Government as a surveyor. In 1974 he moved to Moore Haven where he worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a lock tender and master at the Moore Haven Lock and Dam until his retirement.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven and was active in many community activities, including making many appearances with his wife Virginia as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at Christmas. They loved to travel throughout the United States, often with friends and relatives as travel companions.
He was an active member of the Masonic Lodge for more than 67 years and was a member of Moore Haven Lodge #61, F&AM, Scottish Rite-32nd degree, Grotto, and the Order of Eastern Star.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Marietta Pride and Grace McBride, and son Ories L. (Bob) Douglas Jr.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Virginia; two daughters, Diane C. Gasque of Evansville, IN, and Donna Mueller of Henderson, NV; stepson Kerry Faunce of Gainesville, FL; granddaughters Christa Escoto of Henderson, NV, Stephanie Faunce of Fort Pierce, FL, Shannon M. Gasque of Evansville, Brandy Murphy of Las Vegas, NV, and Brenda Schneider of Susanville, CA; grandsons Danny Douglas of Colorado Springs, CO, Jeff Douglas of Coeu d' Alene, ID, Keith Douglas of Kingman, AZ, Chris L. Gasque of Evansville, and Timothy Smith; nieces Theresa McBride, Elizabeth McBride, Catherine Jefferson, and Mary Topolski; nephews Romuald McBride, III, Marion McBride, and Henry McBride; 14 great granddaughters; eight great grandsons; three great-great granddaughters; and three great-great grandsons.
A service will be held Monday, August 19, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven, 300 Avenue L. Interment will follow the service at Ortona Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the church from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to First United Methodist Church of Moore Haven.
Akin-Davis Funeral Home 438 E. Sugarland Hwy. Clewiston, FL is in charge of arrangements.

Health Department Offices Moving Back To Pratt Offices

LABELLE,FL. -- The Hendry County Environmental Health Office is relocating from their temporary location (3300 Utility Drive) back to their permanent office location at 1140 Pratt Boulevard in LaBelle. (Hendry County Health Department)

Full services will be available on Monday, August 19, 2019.

The Bacteriological Water Lab for Hendry & Glades Counties will also be relocated back to 1140 Pratt Boulevard, LaBelle.

Water samples will be accepted for analyses from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ONLY on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday of each week. (Excluding observed holidays). Note: If Tuesday or Wednesday is an observed holiday, samples may not be submitted the previous day.

Please call (863) 302-6047 if you have any additional questions.

Health Task Force August 28 - New Members Welcome

LABELLE, FL. --- Healthier Hendry Glades Task Force will meet on Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 at 1:30pm. The meeting will be held at Hope Connections in LaBelle at 475 E Cowboy Way, LaBelle, FL 33935.

 Please remember that the group is looking for new members so feel free to invite any other partners, agencies, organizations or people to join us. 

 We will be further developing the Community Health Improvement Plan based on the information that was collected at the planning session in July.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

LaBelle Man Crashes Truck - Passenger Seriously Injured

LABELLE, FL. -- Nelson Bauza Martinez, 56 of LaBelle was traveling east Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. on County Road 78 in Hendry county, west of LaBelle, approaching Bee Branch Lakes Drive as his 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 continued east past Bee Branch Lakes Drive and ran off the roadway to the right, where it collided with two mailboxes.

The truck continued to travel through the grass shoulder and became airborne due to a raised driveway. The front right of the truck collided with a standing tree. The front left then collided with a Florida Power and Light electrical pole.

Aida Luz Hernandez, 64 of LaBelle, a passenger, had serious injuries and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital. Martinez had minor injuries. Both were wearing seatbelts.

The vehicle came to final rest in the grass shoulder against the electrical pole.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Michael Alterma Dies In Crash

ALVA, FL. -- A pedestrian was killed Tuesday at 5:44 a.m. on State Road 80 in the Alva area in Lee county.

Darrius Hardin, 45 of Lehigh was eastbound in the inside lane on State Road 80, east of the Charleston Park Drive intersection. Michael Alterma, 35 of Alva darted from the south shoulder into the roadway directly into the path of Hardin's Honda Civic.

The front right struck Alterma causing him to travel across the top of the vehicle.

Alterma came to final rest in the travel lanes of State Road 80. The Honda was able to come to a controlled stop in the roadway. Hardin had no injuries.

Pending is whether alcohol or drugs were a factor for Alterma.

Obituaries - Dillard Judd, William McGill

Dillard Warren Judd, age 79, of Clewiston, passed away August 3, 2019 in Clewiston.

He was born February 25, 1940 in Altha, Florida, to Russell and Willa Mae (Parham) Judd. Dillard proudly served his country in the United States Air Force from 1958-1962 obtaining the rank of Airman First Class working as a Civil Engineer. 

He was married to Glenda Sue Etherton; she preceded him in death on July 9, 2006. He enjoyed hunting and spending time with his loving family. He worked as a Warehouse Manager and Mechanic for Evercane Sugar Company for many years.

Dillard leaves behind his loving children; Glen Judd and his wife April of North Carolina, Ellen Bain and her husband Marvin of Clewiston, grandchildren; Vada Judd Wolf and husband Kenny, Jared Mancil and wife Christine and Wesley Bain, three great grandchildren, brother; Jack Judd, sister; Dorothy Hayes and her husband C.B. and their daughter; Darlene Browning and her husband Charles, along with many extended family members and family friends.

Celebration of Dillard's life will be held Wednesday evening, August 7, 2019 from 5-8 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home – Clewiston. In Lieu of flowers the family has suggested memorials be made in Dillard's name to Hope Hospice. Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston

William (Bill) Ralph McGill,  (Old Redneck Cracker), also known as Uncle Bill and Trouble, was born on February 12, 1936. Bill has gone to his Heavenly Home, having the time of his life. 

He is survived by his wife Patti of 47 years; brothers John & Dykes McGill; sisters Wilma Ratcliff and Maudie Awbrey. He was predeceased by his parents Ralph and Arline; brothers Manny and Ralph McGill. He will greatly be missed by several nieces and nephews. He will also be missed by many adopted nieces and nephews in and out of state.

The family will receive friends on Friday August 9th from 10 to 11 AM at the Community Harvest Church 55 Orange Avenue LaBelle.

Funeral Service will be at 11 AM Friday at the Church with Pastor L.W. Howard officiating.
In lieu of flowers please make any contributions in Mr. McGill's memory to one of the following charities: Hope Hospice; the Rotary Club of LaBelle; or the Community Harvest Worship Center Youth Department.

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

'Hi Neighbor' - Nextdoor Unsolicited Mailing Warning

LABELLE, FL. -- is just one more "community" site that consumers might want to investigate before giving out personal information to this San Fransisco, CA company.

Nextdoor was launched in the U.S. in 2011 and asks for real names and addresses to access a website available to only people in the neighborhood, usually in about a 2 and 1/2 mile radius. Members can post news, items for sale, while advertising appears on it's websites pages.

One "feature" claimed is the availability to post on message boards about "Crime & Safety" issues in the neighborhood.  According to The Atlantic, "Seattle Mayor Ed Murray derided an atmosphere of 'paranoid hysteria' he’d witnessed on the message boards of some of Seattle’s more upscale neighborhoods."

The Mayor complained about Nextdoor saying "The neighborhoods where most of the social-media complaints are coming out of are not even the neighborhoods that have significant crime problems..."

The Better Business Bureau has logged hundreds of complaints, one about their tactics to enroll members, "this company sent out mass mail to people to use their site. We all hate junk mail saying that our neighbor referred us. I talked to the person on the letter and he didn't know what I was talking about. I am so tired of companies using peoples information to try to get people to use their sites."

A mailing was sent to residents this week in one Port LaBelle community and indeed, to make the invitation seem legitimate, signed the letter using the name of the President of the community home owner's association presumably without their knowledge, and then added a P.S. "There are already 67 posts on Nextdoor...including posts about Crime & Safely issues in the neighborhood. 

To stress urgency, Nextdoor says to enter a code found in the letter saying "This code expires in 7 days!)

Our recommendation: check out complaints on the BBB site and decide if you want to give up your name and address to this company.

Read Complaints

Charlie Ford Funeral Saturday At Arching Oaks Ranch

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- Charlie LeeQuan Ford died on July 21, 2019 at the age of 24, having grown up in Moore Haven, Fl, spending most of his life around horses. He leaves his mother, Pauline Lewis, grandmother, Mazie Ford, three brothers, four sisters, family and friends. 
Funeral services were held Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 10:00 am at Arching Oaks Ranch, 3923 East State Road 80, LaBelle, FL. Visitation was Friday from 6 to 8 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.

Evangelist Karen Ford led a song in tribute at the funeral, with words of encouragement by Rev, Mazie Ford.

"Charlie was well loved and cherished by all and will never be forgotten."
Interment will be Saturday, August 3, 2019 in Ortona Cemetery, Moore Haven.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

UPDATE: The Ford funeral service was among the largest held ever in the Hendry/Glades county area with an estimated 1,000 attending the Saturday morning service at Arching Oaks Ranch followed by a ten-mile long, 500 vehicle funeral procession from the ranch to the Ortona Cemetery for interment ceremonies.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Obituaries - Vahle, Lancaster, Remedios, Pate, Enriquez

Nina M. Vahle, age 51, of LaBelle, passed away August 2, 2019 in LaBelle.
She was born Jan. 8, 1968 in Springfield, IL, to Ronald and Linda Vahle.
Survivors include two sons: Michael Vahle and Anthony Black
parents Ronald and Linda Vahle
two sisters: Treena Vahle and Aleshia Vahle
grandchildren: Tyler Vahle, Trevor Vahle;, Coltin Black; and Chloe Black
fiance, Terry Duke
She was preceded in death by her Daughters: Stacy Vahle and Nichole Black
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service is Pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Janice T Lancaster, age 72, of Felda, passed away July 30, 2019 in Fort Myers.
She was born Sep. 3, 1946 in Longs, SC
She worked as a Controller for Jackson Citrus.
Survivors include her husband: Norman F Lancaster
one son: Michael (Lori) Cox
grandchildren: Candice & Bailey
great-grandchildren: Cason, Cassidy, and Paisley
sister: Glenna Faye
Memorial Service will be held Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 10:00 am at Community Harvest Worship Center, 55 Orange Ave. LaBelle with Pastor L.W. Howard officiating.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Audeladio Remedios, age 91, of Moore Haven, passed away July 29, 2019 in Moore Haven.
He was born July 7, 1928 in Cuba, to the late Marcelino Remedios Hernandez and Blanca Victoria Serrano Hernandez.
He was an Entrepreneur involved in many businesses in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the United States.
Survivors include his wife: Amelia Arrechavaleta
2 Sons
4 Daughters
5 Brothers
5 Sisters
Many Grandchildren & Great Grandchildren.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Loretta Barfield Pate, age 72, of Clewiston FL, passed peacefully on Sunday, July 28th, 2019. 
She was a graduate of Pahokee High and went on to marry her high school sweetheart Jesse (Larry) Pate. She was a timekeeper at US Sugar for over 25 years and retired prior to 2008. 
She was proceeded in death by her parents Mary and Reuben Barfield, and her brother John Allen Barfield. Loretta is survived by her sisters Mary Barfield Youngblood and Wanda Kay Collins, along with her loving husband Jesse Larry Pate Sr., her four children Cheryl Pate Boglioli, Lisa Pate Hornsby, Jesse Pate Jr. and Billy Pate, as well as her eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. 
Per her request, a funeral and memorial service have not been scheduled. The Family would like to thank all of Loretta's friends and loved ones as they continue to send their thoughts and prayers. 
Omero Gil Enriquez, age 36, of LaBelle, passed away July 26, 2019 in LaBelle.
He was born Nov. 8, 1982 in Mexico, to Saul Gil Contreras and Elizabeth Enriquez Aguilar
He worked as a Furniture Assembler.
Survivors include his wife: Cecilia Gil Enriquez
a son: Jorge Gil
two daughters: Jenny Lin Gil and Saray Gil,
his parents Saul Gil Contreras and Elizabet Enriquez Aguilar
a brother: Heriberto Gil
Funeral services was held Wednesday, August 7, 2019 from 6 to 8 pm at El Faro Assembly of God, LaBelle with Rev. Isabel Valentin officiating.
Interment will be in Panteon Municipal en Tlazazalca ,Michoacan, Mexico.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.