Saturday, November 30, 2019

Ruth "Beth" Church Dies At 57

Ruth Elizabeth "Beth" Church, age 57, of LaBelle, passed away November 26, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.

She was born Feb. 25, 1962 in Waycross, GA, to the late Ronald and the late Gail (Brown) Snellgrove.

She is survived by her daughter: Brianna Gibson, brother: Keith Snellgrove (Mary Jane), sister: Melissa Dekle (Scott) and grandchildren, Michael Strickland, Pepper Good and Max Good. Also survived by close family friend Chuck Carlins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mike Church, son, Chris Strickland and brother Paul Snellgrove.

A graveside service will be held Sunday, December 1, 2019 at 2:30 pm at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle with Pastor Mike MacDowell officiating. Interment will be in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation will be Sunday from 1-2 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Wrong Way Head On Crash Results In Injuries

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Didier Reyes, 28 of Lehigh Acres was eastbound in the inside the westbound lanes of US 27 / SR 80 driving a 2007 Ford Expedition as Robert Crissey, 70 of Homestead was westbound on US 27 /SR 80 in a 2006 Hundai Sonata Thursday at 5:20 p.m. in Hendry County.

Reyes collided with Crissey in a head on collision in the inside lane. Reyes and a passenger had minor injuries, Crissey has critical injuries and was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital.

Reyes was charged with having no driver's license and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway.

Obituaries - Varnum, Salinas, Guidi

Mary Lu Varnum, age 68, of Clewiston, passed away November 24, 2019 at 3:40 p.m. while at home in Clewiston, Florida.
She was born Sep. 15, 1951 in Miami, FL, to the late Clifford and the late Lilly (Steiner) Rabert. Mary was an administrative assistant for Palm Bach County Sheriff's Office for many years. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and will be missed by her entire family.
Mary is survived by her husband: Johnnie R Varnum, Jr, Children: Gentry Purvis, Shelby (Eva) Bryant, Shane (Gina) Bryant, Danny (Tina) Bryant, Jennifer Varnum, Neal Varnum all of Clewiston Florida, Jason Varnum of Jacksonville Florida, a brother Bill (Ling) Rabert of Woodbridge Virginia, 20 Grandchildren and 5 great Grandchildren.
"If love could have saved you, you would've lived for eternity"
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Maria Luz Salinas, age 80, of Belle Glade, passed away November 20, 2019 in Loxahatchee.
She was born Feb. 8, 1939 in Mexico, to the late Mariano and the late Belen (Montoya) Betancort.
Survivors include 5 sons: Juvencio Rivera Sr, Jesus Rivera, Antonio Rivera, Juvenal Salinas and Jose Salinas, 5 daughters: Belen Rivera, Olga Salinas, Marina Salinas, Maribel Salinas and Mireya Salinas, 5 brothers, and 1 sister and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her son, Juan Salinas
Graveside Services was held Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 11:15 am at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Gladys M Guidi, age 72, of Lehigh Acres, passed away November 17, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.
She was born Sep. 8, 1947 in Ithaca, NY, to the late Jack L and the late Pauline (Kron) Poole.
She worked as a Hairdresser.
Survivors include her husband: Gary Guidi, one son: Gregory Guidi, one daughter: Ginger Guidi one grandchild and one great grandchild.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

Martha Cruz At Kiwanis Meeting

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Kiwanis welcomed guest speaker Martha Cruz, HCS Occupational Therapist. She explained the sensory processing disorder (SPD), and treating this disorder by exposing a child to Sensory Stimulation through repetitive activities for Pre-K to 8th grade. 

Organized movement may include carefully designed physical activities. Occupational Therapy helps retrain the senses in a controlled, stimulating environment focusing on making SPD easier to manage in day-to-day life. 

 Through repetition a child's nervous system will respond in a more organized way and react to sensations more efficiently i.e refocus. 

 Pictured is LaBelle Kiwanis President Mary Pringle and Martha Cruz.

Photo by: Helen Mead

Monday, November 25, 2019

Informant Alleges Sex With Clewiston/Hendry Cops

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Naples Daily News this afternoon released a story alleging former Clewiston police officers had sex with a confidential informant while on duty.

According to the story, in 2017 officers Matt Beatty and James Hester were accused, and statements were taken about the incidents by Michael Rowan, Darin McNeil, and Curtis Clay Sr. and provided to the Clewiston Chief of Police Gutshall and later Chief Aaron Angell.

Allegedly no action was taken and all the officers involved in the alleged incidents later were employed by the Hendry Sheriff's Office.

Naples Daily News
Memo From Sgt Curtis Clay To Police Chief

Child Critically Injured In ATV Crash

NAPLES, FL. -- Kaeli McCormick, 12 of Naples was traveling east on Platt Road, driving a 2013 Honda Rancher ATV just east of Corkscrew Lane Sunday at 4:31 p.m. .

For an unknown reason, the vehicle overturned onto it’s left side and landed on top of McCormick. She was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital with critical injuries. The FHP says she was not wearing a helmet.

UPDATE: The FHP said today Kaeli McCormick was pronounced deceased on 11/25/19. The investigation is ongoing.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Courtney Masterson Arrested In Fatal Hit And Run

LEHIGH ACRES, FL. -- The Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate a hit and run fatal crash that occurred on November 22, 2019 on westbound State Road 82, east of Gregory Avenue.

 In the crash, Ronald Cujas, age 26 of North Fort Myers and Katherine Cujas, age 46 of North Fort Myers, were struck by the hit and run vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.

On November 23, 2019, Troopers impounded a suspected hit and run vehicle (2001 Dodge 3500 dually truck, red in color) from 948 Foxdale Avenue, Lehigh Acres and arrested suspected hit and run driver Courtney Masterson, DOB 7/10/77, for leaving the scene of a crash involving two deaths. 

Masterson will be booked into the Lee County Jail.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Deputy Anthony Blackman Charged With Domestic Violence

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff’s Office arrested one of their own this morning on two charges of Battery/Domestic Violence specifically a charge of touch or strike, a first degree misdemeanor.

Hendry County K-9 Deputy Anthony Joel (AJ) Blackman, of Clewiston, age 34 was taken into custody this morning after showing up at his wife’s place of employment in Clewiston.

Blackman reportedly became aggressive and verbally and physically abusive toward the victim, recently. Once reported to Hendry County Deputies, Blackman was taken into custody.

Blackman, 34 years of age has been arrested on charges of Battery/Domestic Violence.

Court records indicate Anthony J. Blackman has a history of traffic citations going back to his teenage years in 2002, a conviction of possession of alcohol by a minor in 2003, traffic citations in 2004 and 2006, a defendant in a 2007 Domestic Relations/Family Court case, a plaintiff in a 2007 petition for custody, paternity, and visitation of a child, in 2008 found guilty of driving with a suspended or revoked license, 2010 defendant in temporary injunction for protection, 2015 guilty of failing to stop at traffic light, and on October 20, 2019 charged with careless driving.

UPDATE: The Hendry Sheriff's office booking report indicates the incident took place on November 12 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The Sheriff's office received a call from the victim on the morning of November 19. The victim reported that a month ago they had been thrown to the ground by Blackman suffering carpet burns.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Drones For Agriculture Demonstrated At IFAS

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles may soon be coming to farm fields as Kiwi Technologies out of Malden, Massachusetts continues it's research on manufacturing and operating large drones capable of spraying farm fields at costs comparable to planes and helicopters.

Robotic whiz and President and CEO of the two-year old company, Adam Bercu and Business Development head Will Chen gave a live demonstration before several dozen local farmers of their 250 pound, 12 propeller drone Monday afternoon at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences campus near Immokallee, Florida.

Bercu has lots of experience with robotics, his robots have been nationally televised on the program "Battlebots," and has worked as a mechanical and neurotechnology engineer, studying at Harvard.

Chen is a data scientist, and combining talents with a small ground crew are now traveling the country giving demonstration flights of the unique UAV.
Photo credit: Barbara Whelan

Capable of carrying up to 20 gallons of chemicals currently, the drone operator can program the aircraft to spray unusual sized or shaped fields where traditional aircraft can't efficiently operate.

The KIWI Aerial Utility Vehicle uses GPS with lidar and microwave sensors moving along about 12 feet above the ground at about 15 mph, spraying in this demonstration, a load of water.

The company is working through the complexities of getting licenses to spray agricultural chemicals in different localities and is seeking farming partners to use the drone in a spray application capacity, traveling to farms with their equipment, computer mapping out spraying patterns, applying the chemicals, fine tuning the system and working with regulatory authorities on the rules for ag product application by drones.

More info:

Monday, November 18, 2019

Kiwanis Kid's Day Brought Lots Of Smiles

LABELLE, FL. -- Jaxson Williams & Jayna Williamson seemed to be having a great time at the annual LaBelle Kiwanis Kid’s Day.
Gorgeous weather, great entertainment, and lots of fun as LaBelle Kiwanis Kid’s day event had a fabulous turnout. Kids and adults filled up the Barron Park on Saturday, November 16th. Kids of all ages enjoyed snow cones, popcorn, face painting, games, bounce houses and pony rides.

As always, Mary the Clown brought smiles to everyone! The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle has sponsored the Annual Kiwanis Kid’s Day event for over 30 years!

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle would like to extend a huge “thank-you” to all of the volunteers, community partners and agencies that participated, and thanks to the parents and family members that brought their kids out to enjoy another fun-filled day in LaBelle. 

A very special thanks to the Kiwanis Aktion Club, Kiwanis Key Club (From LaBelle High School) and the Kiwanis Builders Club (From West Glades School). What a wonderful and hard-working group of young men & women! 

Also, many thanks goes to LaBelle Vision Ace Hardware for donating 2 bicycles that were all raffled off, to Save-A-Lot for donating hotdogs and buns, and Winn Dixie for their drink donation. Also a very special thank you to Wolfgang Lynn as emcee for coordinating all music and entertainment! 

The Kiwanis Club of LaBelle hopes everyone had a great time and they are looking forward to a bigger and better event next year!

Three Dead In Fiery Crash

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Three died in a crash early Monday morning on State Road 82 in northeastern Collier County.

Andrew Remick 28, of Fort Myers was eastbound on State Road 82 in the westbound lane approximately 3 miles west of State Road 29 Monday morning at 12:59 a.m. as Diego Hernandez, 20 of Lehigh Acres was westbound on State Road 82 in the westbound lane approximately 3 miles
west of State Road 29.

The front of Remick's Jeep struck the front of Hernandez' Jaguar in the westbound lane of State
Road 82.

Both vehicles became fully engulfed in flames, the Jeep came to final rest facing south on
the north grassy shoulder of State Road 82 while the Jaguar came to final rest facing east in the eastbound lane of State Road 82.

Hernandez' passenger Lisette Alanis, 20 of Lehigh Acres died in the crash along with both drivers.

The crash remains under investigation.

Obituaries - Salas, Herrera, Corbitt, Coffey, Sealy-Walker

JOAN ETHERTON SEALEY-WALKER, age 90, passed away Fri, Nov 15, 2019, at Oakbrook Nursing Home in LaBelle, FL. 

Joanie grew up in Moore Haven, FL, with her Grandparents, Harvey and Minnie Gothard-Etherton and her sister, Phyllis. She was predeceased by all three. 

Joanie retired with Florida State, having worked with the Glades County Property Appraiser and the Collier County Correction Institute. 

She is survived by her 5 children: Daus, Linda Nicholson, Bonnie Sealey and Chrystal Grace; and her sons, James and Joey Sealey. She is also survived by her two close friends, Martha Ratliff and Lilly Lampton. Graveside service at Oak Ridge Cem, Arcadia, FL, Monday, November 25th, 2019 at 10:00 AM.

June P. Whidden Coffey, age 68, of LaBelle, passed away November 14, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.
She was born Sep. 23, 1951 in Fort Myers, FL, to the late James Hardy and Violet June (White) Raulerson.
She was the Homecoming Queen at Immokalee High in 1969.
She retired after 30 years working as a Paralegal in Naples, FL., and also was involved in running the family business SWFL Drywall & Plastering.
She loved Bluegrass, Gospel, and Soul music, singing and playing guitar.
She was a great wife, mother and grandmother, and was a Saved Christian that loved the Lord.
Survivors include her husband: Kelly Coffey
two sons: William Griffin Whidden, Stephen Hardy Whidden
four step sons Joshua Coffey, Joseph Coffey, Jeremy Coffey and Jason Coffey
two step daughters: Jessica Coffey and Jennifer Coffey
one brother: James Hardy Raulerson Jr.
two sisters: Rose Raulerson Mason and Marie Raulerson Hays
Many Grandchildren, and 1 Great Grandson.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother Wayne Raulerson
The family will receive friends on Saturday November 23, 2019 from 9 to 10 AM at Cowboy Church Ministries 1330 Sears Road LaBelle, FL.
Memorial Service will be held Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 10:00 am at Cowboy Church Ministries, LaBelle with Pastor Frank Dana officiating.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Steve W. Corbitt, age 65, of LaBelle and Immokalee, passed away peacefully on November 14, 2019 at home surrounded by family. He was born December 30, 1953 in Fort Myers, FL to the late Frank James Corbitt and late Eloise (Gay) Corbitt.
Being a farmer his whole life, Steve was an outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and airboating. He also loved cruising to Alaska and vacationing in the Florida Keys with his family. His greatest joy in life, however, came from being a loving husband, daddy, grandpa, brother, uncle, and friend. Steve was a charming character with an infectious personality and wild sense of humor. He would always leave you with a smile. He will be dearly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his wife of 34 years: Shelly E. Corbitt, daughter: Krystie Corbitt (Lucas Pratt), sons: Cory (Kandice) Corbitt and Jory Corbitt, brothers: Bruce Corbitt and Calvin Corbitt, sisters: Kathy Corbitt Ford and Sarah Bambera and seven grandchildren: Marshall Corbitt, Eryn Corbitt, Morgan Corbitt, Macy Corbitt, Brayden Corbitt, Lilly Pratt, and Rylie Pratt. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Jimmy Corbitt, Jason Corbitt, Ralph Corbitt, and Baby Boy Corbitt.
Celebration of Steve's life will be held Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 11:00 am at Baptist Cemetery in Immokalee with Mike Howell officiating. Visitation is Tuesday November 19, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in LaBelle.
Jose E. Herrera, age 73, of Miami, passed away November 11, 2019 in Miami.
He was born Nov. 20, 1945 in Matanzas, Cuba to the late Jose and the late Natalia (Lorenzo) Herrera Toraya. Jose married Hilida J. Feijoo, she preceded him in death. He worked as a machinist for many years in the boating industry. He was a loving husband, and father.
He is survived by his daughter and son and many extended family members.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 12:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston. Interment will be Tuesday, November 19, 2019 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. Visitation will be Tuesday from 10-12 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.
Luis Andres Salas, age 27, of LaBelle, passed away November 10, 2019 in LaBelle.
He was born Jan. 26, 1992 in Cuba, to Luis Francisco Salas and Ana Ofelia Rodriguez.
Survivors include: His Parents
two brothers: Luis Felix Salas and Luis Orlando Salas
two sisters: Laydis Salas and Yanet Arguelles,
The family will receive friends on Friday November 22, 2019 from 6 to 8 PM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 560 E. Hickpochee Avenue LaBelle.

Waste Amnesty December 9-14

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Waste Management will be hosting a week long Amnesty in LaBelle and Clewiston for Unincorporated Hendry County residents beginning: December 9th through December 14th

Residents will be asked to provide a valid driver’s license to ensure that they reside in Hendry County

Clewiston Transfer Station
1350 Olympia Ave
7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

LaBelle Transfer Station
1360 Forestry Division Rd
7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.








Sunday, November 17, 2019

Grant Martek Dies In Crash

NAPLES, FL -- Jerry Dean Price, 79 of Naples was southbound at 7:45 pm Saturday on south US 41 (SR 45) in the right lane, south of Bonita Beach Road as Grant Gegory Martek, 54 of St. Augustine, a pedestrian, began to cross US 41 from east to west and walked into the direct path of Price's 2018 Toyota Highlander.

The left front of the vehicle collided with Martek in the right lane. He was pronounced deceased on scene from injuries received in this crash. The FHP says no charges are being filed against the driver. The deceased's body was taken to the medical examiner's office.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Christmas Bird Count Starts December 17

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Christmas Bird Counts: Everyone is invited to help Hendry-Glades Audubon volunteers with the annual Christmas Bird Counts. Volunteer spotters, compilers, or photographers. of all ages and skill levels welcome. Join the fun. Contact Margaret England 863-517-0202 to volunteer.

Tuesday December 17th 7am-1pm @ Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest (Felda, Hendry County, Organized by FWC and Hendry-Glades Audubon)

Saturday December 28th 7am-3pm @STA 5/6(South Florida Water Management Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6 (Clewiston, Hendry County Organized by Hendry-Glades Audubon)

Monday December 30th 7 am-1pm @ Lake Placid Organized by: Highlands Audubon) (returning team of 3-4 members Lake Placid, Highlands County) Leave LaBelle at 6 am or meet at Lake Placid Tower at 7 am.

Judy Vann Dies In Crash

CLEWISTON, FL. -- A Clewiston woman died in a crash Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.

Judy Nell Vann, 74 of Clewiston was traveling north on Flaghole Road in a 2003 Dodge minivan approaching the intersection with US-27 in Hendry county as Armando Izquierdo Nistal, 60 of Hialeah was traveling east on US-27 approaching the intersection with Flaghole Road in a truck.

Vann failed to stop at the stop sign posted south of the intersection. The front of her vehicle collided with the right side of the trailer towed by Nistal's vehicle.

Vann's vehicle rotated and she was ejected from the vehicle and collided with the roadway. The car collided with the guardrail on the south shoulder of US-27 and came to final rest blocking the US-27 eastbound outside lane facing south.

The truck was driven to a controlled stop blocking the US-27 eastbound outside lane facing west.

Vann died in the crash. Nistal and a passenger were not injured. Vann was not wearing a seatbelt.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Three Dead In Early Morning Head On Crash

IMMOKALEE, FL, -- Three are dead after a head on crash on State Road 82 in Collier county, north of Immokalee Wednesday morning at 12:59 A.M.

A 2018 Jeep Wrangler was eastbound on State Road 82 in the westbound lane approximately 3 miles west of State Road 29 as a 2018 Jaguar EX was westbound on State Road 82 in the westbound lane approximately 3 miles west of State Road 29.

The front of the Jeep struck the front of Jaguar in the westbound lane of State Road 82.

Both cars became fully engulfed in flames, the Jeep came to final rest facing south on
the north grassy shoulder of State Road 82 and the Jaguar came to final rest facing east in the eastbound lane of State Road 82.

The driver of the Jeep died and the driver of the Jaguar and a passenger died.

The crash remains under investigation and names are pending notification of next of kin.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Obituaries - Patrick Clark, Eugene Risher

Patrick A Clark, age 68, of Clewiston, passed away November 9, 2019 in Clewiston.
He was born Sep. 27, 1951 in Winter Haven, FL, to the late Jack and Coley (Bowers) Clark.
He worked as a Driver for US Sugar Corp.
Survivors include one son: Kristopher Clark
one daughter: Lisa Kaye Clark
one sister: Sharon (Raymond) Coots
grandchildren: Sapphire Ortiz, Ashley Adams, Austin Adams; Kylie Clark; Kris Clark Jr; Caleb Baltimore;
great grandchildren: Josiah Brinkley and, Terian Adams
He was predeceased by his daughter, Bobi Jo Clark and brothers, Mike Clark; and Ray Clark
A Memorial Service is Pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.
Eugene E. Risher, age 91, of LaBelle, passed away November 8, 2019 in Lehigh Acres.
He was born Jan. 8, 1928 in Huntington, WV, to the late Cline and Mildred Risher.
He was a Veteran of WWII having served in the U. S. Navy, then in the U. S. Army.
In 1958 he moved from Bradshaw, WV to St. Petersburg, FL, moving to LaBelle in 1998.
He spent his winters in Mexico, and travelled throughout the Country alone until he was 89 years old.
He was known for riding his bicycle everywhere in LaBelle. He was a minimalist that loved ice cream.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Research Center Annual Open House November 14

UF/IFAS Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) Open House!

IMMOKALEE, FL. -- Come and see the cutting edge science going on at SWFREC.

The Annual SWFREC Open House is set for Thursday, November 14! “Before the Bounty: The Science of Crop Production” is the theme of the event, which will run from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Among the activities that will be available:

• Narrated tours aboard tractor-powered trolleys of our vegetable fields and citrus grove. You’ll learn about production practices of these commodities in southwest Florida and current research projects being conducted by SWFREC faculty and staff, such as methods to conserve water, improve fertilizer efficiency, and reduce the impact of pesticides and nutrients on the environment. In addition, you’ll observe efforts being pursued to combat two key diseases of citrus: greening and black spot.

• Presentations in our laboratories. You’ll hear about a plethora of current research, from how citrus trees are grafted to strengthen their resistance to pests and diseases to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and innovative automation technology to assist in the production of citrus and vegetables.

• Educational science demonstrations. Our Ph.D. and master’s graduate students, biological scientists, and lab technicians will provide a glimpse into current research being conducted in their respective programs, such as scientific experiments and hands-on activities.

• Outreach education. You’ll have the opportunity to talk with UF/IFAS Extension personnel from multiple counties about available programs and services and learn about other entities that touch communities across southwest Florida.

Lunch will be served from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  To reserve your spot, please call 239-658-3400 or e-mail

Photo by Don Browne: 2018 Open House At IFAS

Drug Free Hendry Recognized For Performance

LABELLE, FL.. -- Congratulations to Drug Free Hendry for receiving the 5-Star Performance Award!

Drug Free Hendry was recognized at the 5-Star Awards Luncheon on November 6th at The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota.

To be a 5-Star, each organization must achieve 95% or above to be in the award circle and categories are designated by the total number of outcome measures each must satisfy in their contract.

Staff members from the Hendry County Health Department attended the event to receive the award.  Andrea May, Director of Community Health Promotions, Edwin Melendez-Cortez, Human Services Program Specialist-Drug Free Program Coordinator and Kristi Hall, Administrative Assistant I.

Attendees also listened to an inspirational and informative message from the event’s dynamic guest speaker Mark Engelhardt, MS, MSW, ACSW, USF/Louis De La Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. He is a Florida and nationally recognized expert in the field of behavioral health and is also one of the original founders of Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc (CFBHN).

Pictured: Edwin Melendez-Cortez, Andrea May and Kristi Hall

Patrick Clark Dies At 69

Patrick A Clark, age 68, of Clewiston, passed away November 9, 2019 in Clewiston.
He was born Sep. 27, 1951 in Winter Haven, FL, to the late Jack and Coley (Bowers) Clark.
He worked as a Driver for US Sugar Corp.
Survivors include one son: Kristopher Clark
one daughter: Lisa Kaye Clark
one sister: Sharon (Raymond) Coots
grandchildren: Sapphire Ortiz, Ashley Adams, Austin Adams; Kylie Clark; Kris Clark Jr; Caleb Baltimore;
great grandchildren: Josiah Brinkley and, Terian Adams
He was predeceased by his daughter, Bobi Jo Clark and brothers, Mike Clark; and Ray Clark
A Memorial Service is Pending.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

West Coast Tomato Farm In LaBelle Robbed

LABELLE, FL. -- Sources at West Coast Tomato off Sears Rd in LaBelle, report that thieves broke into the farm Sunday night stealing chemicals, tools and welders.

The thieves apparently used a forklift on site to break down the gate and welding torch to cut locks. Surveillance tapes show a small blue pickup truck, possibly a Toyota.

Stolen chemical containers and tools were marked MFF for McClure Family Farms.

If you have information concerning this, or any other suspicious activity, call your local Sheriff's Office

Collier County Sheriff's Office at (239) 253-9300

Hendry County Sheriff’s Office 863-674-4060.

You can remain anonymous and be paid a reward if your information leads to an arrest by calling Crimestoppers at: 1-800-780-TIPS

Tips To Prevent Farm Theft:

Growers are advised to keep farm entrances and storage areas locked and maintain surveillance. Lock up all tools and chemicals, they are essentially like cash money for a thief.

Locate chemical storage well away from access roads. Be sure that all entrances to your farm are secure – even trails through the woods accessible by vehicles as some thieves are reportedly using on-line satellite maps such as Google Earth to identify building and alternative ways of entering properties via the "back way."

Perform a self audit, review your operation and security procedures and make any necessary changes to tighten security.

Request that chemicals be delivered on the days you need them and not before.

Return excess chemicals to the chemical distributor. Not having a stockpile of chemicals in your shed you will decrease the opportunity for theft.

Consider installing alarms or video cameras on chemical shed doors or windows.

It is strongly recommended that all equipment – hand tools, power tools, be marked in a specific manner that could help identify your tools if they are stolen or lost. Also consider marking car/truck batteries in a similar manner.

All chemicals should be secured daily, in a secure container or building. All padlocks should be mounted in a manner in which it is difficult to use bolt cutters to cut the padlocks.

Growers may also want to consider video surveillance - local companies like AgTronix can help with this and security systems.

Buy only from reputable dealers and do not be tempted to buy "cheap" chemicals or tools from unknown sources - you are only supporting a thief and you may be next.

Look out for your neighbor and report suspicious vehicles and activities to the Sheriffs' Office.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Ethelene Howard Dies At 82

Ethelene Self Howard, age 82, of LaBelle, passed away November 6, 2019 in LaBelle. She was born on April 9, 1937 in Cullman, Alabama to the late Steven and Ezma Knight Self. She worked as the cafeteria manager for the Hendry County School District for many years. She married Robert W.  "Pee Wee" Howard, he preceded her in death on January 13, 2010.
Ethelene leaves behind her loving son; Steven Wesley Howard, daughter: Diane Shields and her husband Kenneth, grandchildren: Thomas L. Howard and his wife Jessica, Jessica Faith Howard Canaday and her husband Billy; R.B. Seth Howard, Stephanie Chavira and her husband Sergio, Jennifer White, great-grandchildren: Katlyn Canaday, Autumn Canaday, Lilly Canaday, Weston Howard, Macey Howard, Priscilla Vargas, Illiana Villa, Rubi Chavira, Rebecca Howard, Robert Howard, Olivia Howard, Callie White and one great-great grandchild, Aspen Sikes, two sisters; Nona Timmons and Glenda Wehrmann.
Ethelene was preceded in death by her son; Rooster Howard and grandson, Kash Howard.
 Celebration of Ethelene's life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Fort Denaud Cemetery with Steve Spence officiating, visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, November 11, 2019 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Two Motorcyclists Die In Crash Saturday

LABELLE, Fl. -- Motorcyclists Steve Nunes, Jr., 29 of Saginaw, TX and Fabio A. Ramos, 26 of Cape Coral, Fl were eastbound on Loblolly Bay Rd at Altman Lane in the Muse community of Glades county at 3:45 Saturday.

Nunes was ahead of Ramos when Nunes made an improper U-turn in the direct path of Ramos.

As a result, the front of Ramos' cycle impacted the left side of Nunes cycle.  After impact, Nunes cycle came to final rest within the westbound lane facing west.

Ramos' cycle came to final rest on the north shoulder along the tree line, facing west.

Both drivers were separated from the vehicles and Nunes came to final rest on the eastbound
lane facing south. Ramos came to final rest on the north shoulder facing south.

Both were killed in the accident. Nunes was not wearing a helmet although Ramos was according to the FHP. The crash is under investigation.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Concert Band Opens Season November 10

CAPE CORAL, FL. -- Strike up the band! The Lee County Community Band will begin its 134th season with a lively, fun-filled concert on November 10th at 3:00 pm at the Cape Coral High School Auditorium.

In keeping with tradition for the season’s first concert, Director Richard Bradstreet has selected a program featuring spirited and patriotic American music as well as music by American composers and a tribute to U.S. Military Veterans.

The program will include: energetic marches including “The Thunderer”; “Fiddle-Faddle” which features percussionist John Fenn; “Gershwin Classics”; “Vaudeville Spectacular” and “The Homefront”. The program will also include “The Light Eternal” which recounts the story of four WWII U.S. Army Chaplains who sacrificed their lives.

As always, the concert is free but donations are welcome and greatly appreciated. The band presents concerts each 2nd Sunday from November until April.

Pete Diamond - Panther Corridor Talk November 11

LABELLE, FL. -- Pete Diamond will present a program on FWC’s Gopher Tortoise, Panther Corridor in Ortona, and the Private Landowner Programs Monday night at Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension located at 1085 Pratt Blvd., LaBelle at 7:00 pm on November 11, 2019. 

This free presentation will be hosted by local Hendry-Glades Audubon Society volunteers.

Pete is a Biological Scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Landowner Assistance Program covering Glades, Hendry, Collier, Lee, and Charlotte counties. Since starting with FWC in 2011 Pete has been providing technical assistance to private landowners in the form of natural community assessments, habitat mapping, plant identification, land management plans, and recommendations for improving habitat for wildlife. 

Pete also works closely with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to implement some of their Farm Bill conservation and land management programs. Pete is based out the NRCS’s North Fort Myers field office.

Please, consider bringing “Auction” items to be sold during the meeting. Proceeds will be used for the Hendry-Glades Audubon Purple Martin Nest Box Project for Bo Pelham Park in Clewiston. 

For information about Hendry-Glades Audubon Society trips, membership or activities contact Steve Buczynski or Margaret England 863-517-0202.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Peggy Sue Murphy Dies At 73

Peggy Sue Murphy, age 73, of Clewiston, passed away November 6, 2019 in West Palm Beach.
She was born Sep. 23, 1946 in Clewiston, FL, to the late William A and Susie Mae (Bryant) Murphy.
She was a Member of Evangel Assembly of God in Clewiston.
She was preceded in death by her parents Susie Mae and William Murphy; three sisters Margie Whitney Beavers, Johnnie M. McDonald, and Rosie Burnsed; two brothers William A. Whitney, and Norman H. Whitney.
Survivors include one son: Jerry Arthur Murphy of Rochester, NY
four brothers: William Truman Murphy of Haines City, FL, Henry Alexander Whitney of Clewiston, FL and George L. Whitney of Interlachen, FL, and Richard A. Murphy of Bradenton, FL.
two sisters: Willene Kelley Brandt of Clewiston, FL and Alice Faye Brandenburg of Clewiston, FL,
Many Nieces & Nephews
Visitation will be on Monday November 11, 2019 from 10 to 11 AM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 438 E. Sugarland Hwy. Clewiston.
Funeral services will be held Monday at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston with Pastor Tina Kelley officiating.
Interment will be Monday, November 11, 2019 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Moore Haven Now Has Full-Time Firefighter/EMTs

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- On Wednesday November 6, 2019, Glades County Fire Rescue began 24 hour staffing of a fire engine based out of the Glades County Emergency Operations Center in Moore Haven. 

Engine 12 will be staffed with 2 full time, Florida Certified Firefighter/EMT’s. 

In the coming weeks, fire crews will be traveling throughout Glades County to familiarize themselves with each community. Crews will also be visiting local businesses to conduct pre-incident fire planning to assist responding units with mitigating fires and other incidents that may arise. 

 Glades County Fire Rescue will continue to operate as a combination department which means full time crews will continue to work and train with the current Volunteer Firefighters stationed throughout Glades County. 

Residents can expect to see the full time staff at each of the County’s 5 Volunteer Fire Stations on a weekly rotating schedule. They will be helping our Volunteers with apparatus, equipment, and building maintenance while providing coverage for emergency calls.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Obituaries - Maria Zamarripa, Sofia Hester

Maria Enriquetta Zamarripa, age 88, of Clewiston, passed away November 4, 2019 in Palm Beach Gardens.
She was born Oct. 16, 1931 in Mexico, to the late Telesforo Perez and Maria De La Luz Perez.
Survivors include two sons: Aledio Zamarripa and Jose Luis Zamarripa
and two daughters: Maria Castillo and Sandra Zamarripa,
one brother: Augustine Perez
21 Grandchildren, and 31 Great Grandchildren,
The family will receive friends on Friday November 8, 2019 at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home, 438 E. Sugarland Hwy Clewiston from 12 to 2 PM
Funeral service will be held Friday, November 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home with Pastor Manzano officiating.
Interment will be Friday, November 8, 2019 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston..
Sofia Miabella Hester, of Moore Haven, passed away November 1, 2019 in Loxahatchee.
Survivors include
Parents: Maria Medrano and James Robert Hester
one Brother: James Hester
two Sisters: Natalie Hester and Angela Cameron
Grandparents: Mary Linda & Juan Puentes
Grandmother: Saundra Armstrong
A Memorial Mass will be held Friday, November 8, 2019 at 11 AM at Saint Margaret's Catholic Church, Clewiston. with Father Jiobani Batista officiating.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Medicare Enrollment Presentation At Clewiston Library

Clewiston, FL – The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is underway through December 7. For many Medicare beneficiaries, this period is their only opportunity to change plans for 2020. Future and current Medicare beneficiaries are invited to a free presentation in Clewiston to prepare for enrollment. 
SHINE will offer a Medicare Open Enrollment presentation at the Clewiston Public Library on Monday, November 18 at 5:00 p.m. The Clewiston Public Library is located at 120 W. Osceola Ave.   The presentation will feature professionally trained counselors of the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program.  SHINE is a Medicare counseling program offered locally through the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL).

The Medicare open enrollment presentation reviews the basics of Medicare parts A, B, C, and D, with an emphasis on preparing for the open enrollment period and the new online Medicare Plan Finder tool. Participants will learn about their Medicare options and discover how to save on prescription (Part D) expenses.  A counselor will be available to answer questions after the presentation.

SHINE is a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and is operated locally through AAASWFL. Specially trained SHINE counselors help educate and empower Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers to understand their health care options so they can make the best decisions for their individual needs.  The SHINE mission is to provide free and unbiased information about Medicare and Medicaid for beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers.

Additionally, counselors can educate beneficiaries about the benefits of their Medicare programs, like preventive services. SHINE counselors can also assist low-income Medicare beneficiaries in applying for cost saving programs.   As part of the national Senior Medicare Patrol program, SHINE counselors also educate beneficiaries to protect, detect, and report potential errors, fraud, and abuse with their Medicare coverage.

To receive help from SHINE, individuals may call to schedule appointments at designated SHINE counseling sites, attend enrollment events in their local communities, or arrange to speak with a trained SHINE counselor by calling the AAASWFL Elder Helpline 1-866-41-ELDER (1-866-413-5337). For a listing of SHINE counseling sites and enrollment events, please visit

Landowners Conserving Florida Wildlife Habitats

landowner montage
New FWC program recognizes private landowners for conserving habitat for wildlife

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Landowner Assistance Program has created a program that will recognize landowners who are actively managing and improving their property to benefit wildlife. The FWC developed the Wildlife Habitat Recognition Program to show appreciation for the important contributions to wildlife conservation made by private landowners.

Private landowners play a critical role in wildlife conservation by protecting and restoring rare habitats like the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem, and managing farms, ranches, and forests that provide habitat to many species. While public land protects some species of wildlife, these lands form a fragmented landscape of habitat. Private lands provide critical corridors between publicly managed conservation lands. 

“Private landowners don’t always get the recognition they deserve for managing their land to benefit wildlife,” said Kipp Frohlich, Director of the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation.

In Florida, more than 70% of the land is privately owned. Across the country, more than half of all threatened and endangered species in the United States depend on private lands. 
“While Florida has been proactive in purchasing land for conservation, it has long been recognized that we do not have adequate public lands to protect all biodiversity,” said Frohlich. “Private landowners managing their own land; ranches, forests, wetlands and farms to benefit wildlife is critically important if we are to maintain our state’s diverse wildlife resources. These landowners are vitally important to the conservation of Florida’s wildlife.”
To be recognized by the program, landowners must submit a request for an FWC biologist to evaluate their property to determine if it qualifies. Qualifying properties will have ample food, cover and water opportunities for wildlife. If the property meets these criteria, the landowner will receive a sign to display on the property as well as a certificate of recognition.  

Properties working toward meeting the requirements will be offered a written management plan to guide the landowners in meeting the habitat management standards for the program. Requests for property evaluation can be made online at
FWC LAP biologists work with private landowners to help them manage wildlife and their habitats by providing management recommendations and helping find financial assistance for habitat work. To learn more about managing wildlife on your property, check out our Managing Your Land section online at If you need technical assistance you can also contact the LAP regional biologist at the nearest FWC Regional Office.