Tuesday, March 31, 2020

First Coronavirus Death In Glades County

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- One patient has died in Glades county of COVID-19. The deceased is one of three patients hospitalized in the county with a total of seven persons tested so far.

The individual was an 89-year old male from Moore Haven.

In Hendry county 63 have been tested with 4 positive; 2 men and 2 women aged 29 to 70. Two are in the hospital. The latest Hendry case is confirmed to be a 46 year old male resident of Clewiston.

Okeechobee county has 55 tested so far and none are positive.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Traveler Alert - Road Blocks At Georgia/Florida Border

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the primary goal of keeping Floridians safe and to further the implementation of Executive Order 20-86 issued on March 27, 2020 by Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), in coordination with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), is implementing an additional checkpoint for motorists entering Florida from Georgia on I-95. No checkpoints within the state impede commerce or the timely delivery of products across Florida.

Effective immediately, motorists who are traveling from areas with substantial community spread including Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, will be required to isolate for a period of 14 days upon entry to Florida or for the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter, and should be prepared for additional monitoring by DOH to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 20-86 does not apply to persons performing military, emergency, health or infrastructure response, or persons involved in any commercial activity, including individuals that live in Georgia and commute to work in Florida.

Upon entry in Florida, each arriving traveler or responsible family member (if traveling as a family) will be required to complete a traveler form. The form requires key information, including each traveler’s contact information and trip details. Failure to complete the form and failure to follow any isolation or quarantine order from DOH are a violation of Florida law.

Additionally, travelers will be provided with a traveler card, which has contact information and guidance in the event the traveler exhibits symptoms while in isolation that are attributed to COVID-19, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

To assist with the implementation and enforcement of the Executive Order, FHP will staff the checkpoint at I-95 at the Georgia/Florida line 24 hours a day with more than a dozen troopers in 12-hour shifts.

FDOT’s top priority is safety; therefore, motorists who are approaching a checkpoint should be prepared to reduce their speed. Motorists should expect to be directed by law enforcement to enter the weigh station. Depending upon the motorist’s origin, they will be directed to either proceed back to the Interstate or to pull aside for further screening.

Commercial motor vehicles should proceed in the left lane and may bypass the checkpoint to ensure timely delivery of products across the state.

As part of the implementation, the I-95 southbound ramp to U.S. 17 will be closed. Motorists seeking to access U.S. 17 will be detoured to S.R. 200 in Yulee, Florida. For additional real-time traffic information, please refer to https://fl511.com/.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

James English, Jr. Dies At 84

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, James Daniel English, Jr., loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother, passed away at the age of 84. Jim was born on September 16, 1935, in the family farmhouse on the Caloosahatchee River in Alva. 

He was in the fourth generation of the English family in Lee County. His great grandmother, Margaret McDougal English, came with seven children by oxcart to where Alva is now in 1876. (The 1870 census for an area that now includes Lee, Hendry, Collier, and part of Monroe Counties was 107 people.)

 Jim was the oldest of four sons born to Alice and J. Dan English. He was born and raised on his grandfather’s homestead on the north bank of the Caloosahatchee River just west of Alva. One of Jim’s fondest childhood memories was walking along with his little plow behind his grandfather out in the fields. 

Growing up he loved the farm: raising cattle and growing citrus. He proudly showed the grand champion steer at the S.W. Florida Fair in 1953. 

Jim graduated from Alva High School in 1953 and from the University of Florida, with a B.S. degree in animal husbandry, in 1957. He was on the livestock judging team that represented the University at various judging contests throughout the United States. 

He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1960, spending 20 months at the U.S. Army Aerial Resupply Center at Saint Andre de l’Eure, France. 

In his career, Jim worked as both a farmer and a real estate broker. He used to say, “I’m a real estate broker by accident, and a farmer at heart.” With his extra time, Jim strived for community improvement, and was instrumental in seeing that the gymnasium at the Alva School was built in 1964.

 He campaigned for the preservation of the Langford-Kingston Home in Ft. Myers, which would have been destroyed absent his and others’ intervention. This building, moved (with great effort) to a lot across the street from the Burroughs Home, is today a defining landmark in downtown Ft. Myers. 

Jim loved the land, and he worked with the Lee County Conservation Association to save Estero Bay from residential development. He poured his heart into this endeavor, which led to 5,000 acres of submerged sovereignty land being preserved for posterity. It is now state owned and enjoyed by so many in S.W. Florida. 

With his special interest in agriculture, Jim worked regularly with the South Florida Water Management District. He served on the government affairs committee of the Gulf Citrus Growers Association. He was president and on the board of directors of the Lee County Cattlemen’s Association, and was elected to serve for more than 25 years on the board of supervisors of the Lee Soil and Water Conservation District. He worked many years on the board of directors of the Lee County Farm Bureau. He had a strong sense of community, serving on the advisory committee of the Salvation Army for more than 30 years. He was the district lay leader of the Sarasota District and Ft. Myers District of the United Methodist Church, and chairman and member of the administrative board and on the board of trustees of the United Methodist Church. 

He helped manage the Alva Cemetery, and he was the Head Trustee of the Library Association, the property owner for the Alva Museum. Jim was preceded in death by his father, Dan, and his mother, Alice. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 56 years, Irby; his son, Trey (Sangeeta); his two grandsons, Daniel and Nathaniel; his three brothers, Hugh, Ed, and Joe; and his cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and many dear friends. 

With gatherings limited in this time of COVID-19, the family would ask that those outside the immediate family wishing to send a token of affection please donate to one of Jim’s heartfelt causes, the Alva Museum, either online by visiting alvamuseum.com or by mail at Alva Library & Museum, P.O. Box 746, Alva, FL 33920. In better times, please visit the Alva Museum to observe and enjoy the land and community that he loved.

39-Year Old Hendry Female Positive For Coronavirus

First Patient Tests Positive COVID-19 In Hendry County
UPDATE: March 30, 2020 at 12 noon - There are now 3 positive cases in Hendry, two women and one 28 year old male in Clewiston, and 3 positive cases in Glades county. Okeechobee county has 0 positive cases out of 47 tested.

UPDATE: March 29, 2020 at 7 p.m. - The latest case is confirmed to be a 70 year old female resident of Clewiston. The case confirmed on Saturday is a 39 year old female also a resident of Clewiston. 47 people have been tested.

In Glades county a 56 year old male has tested positive. Four others were tested negative.

Okeechobee county still has no cases out of 45 tested.

LABELLE, FL. March 28 -- A 39-year old female in Hendry County, Fl. has tested positive for COVID-19 today, the first in Hendry county.

The Florida Department of Health reported this evening that 38 persons have been tested for the coronavirus so far in Hendry county, all negative except 1 female.

In Glades county, on the northern border of Hendry, four persons have tested negative. In Okeechobee county 42 persons have tested negative.

Broward county on the southeast border of Hendry county has tested 2,941 total, with 6,989 negative, 801 positive. Palm Beach county has 1,540 negative and 306 positive cases.

Florida has competed 43,071 tests so far with 4,038 positive and 37,327 negative. There have been 56 deaths in Florida.

New York City - Epicenter Of Coronavirus

In comparison to Florida testing, New York state has completed more than any other state by far, giving a better view of where the most cases are located with better ability to quarantine those, and those whom they've been in contact with, and to prepare hospitals with equipment and personnel where needed.

As of Saturday, March 28, NYC has more than 29,766 cases with 1 in 286 people in NYC being tested positive with the virus. Italy has 1 in 655 people infected. New York City is now the epicenter in the world with more per capita cases than Italy, Spain, Switzerland and China and every other country in the world.

Hendry Schools Begin Virtual Classes March 30

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County schools provided 14,898 meals (breakfast & lunch) to students from March 23 – March 27. The Hendry County School District distributed more than 3,600 chromebooks along with hard copies of schoolwork to students as part of the district's instructional continuity plan during emergency school closures.

Teachers will begin virtual classes starting Monday, March 30th.

Breakfast and lunch will continue to be served to Hendry County students from 9am–1pm. Drive-thru service will be available at Clewiston Middle School, Clewiston High School, LaBelle High School, and LaBelle Elementary School. Bagged meals for breakfast and lunch will be served simultaneously.

Remote site meal deliveries will be from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon on a first come, first served basis until all meals have been delivered. The child must be present in order to receive a meal. Meals will be delivered to the Montura Clubhouse, Pioneer Community Center, Felda Community Center, and the Iglesia Cristiana Restauracion located at 1301 Hwy 29 North.

Students do not have to be present for meal pick-up.

*Note: No meals will be served on April 10th and 13th (Easter Weekend)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Gov. DeSantis Orders More Restrictions To Travel

TALLAHASSEE, FL. -- Today, Governor DeSantis held a briefing at the Florida Capitol and a briefing via live stream, where he announced additional efforts to respond to COVID-19:

The National Guard is now stationed at Palm Beach County International Airport and Ft. Myers International Airport to help enforce the Governor’s order on travel from the New York Tri-State area. So far, the National Guard has collected 3,406 enforcement forms from New York travelers.

All travelers from Louisiana will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. This will be executed through checkpoints along major highways where drivers will be directed to stop and fill out information regarding their Florida stay. Sheriffs and FHP will take lead on this. 

DOT will be placing signage along major roadways entering Florida. This excludes commercial travel.
Governor DeSantis is directing a 14-day moratorium on the operation of vacation rentals in Florida.
Palm Beach County has developed a new state-supported testing site at the Ballpark of Palm Beaches.
The state will provide 1,000 swabs to each of the four counties with the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough).
As of today, SNAP recipients will receive an increased monthly allotment for March and April.
The Governor has directed sales and use taxes to be due on April 30 (originally due April 20), and property taxes to be due April 15 (originally due March 31).

The Governor asked the Attorney General to investigate Larkin Community Hospital in Hialeah in Miami-Dade, who has charged individuals $150 to get tested for COVID-19. Tests are free statewide.
The Governor directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to issue Emergency Order to enforce social distancing on waterways.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Obituaries - Dorothy Poling, Francisca Estrada

Dorothy 'Dottie' Louise Poling (Parsons), was welcomed to God's Heavenly home on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the age of 75. Dottie was born November 15, 1944, at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, and raised in Felda and LaBelle, Florida. 

Dottie was born to Judge Broward N. Parsons and Daisy Emma Parsons. Dottie was a 1963 graduate of LaBelle High School and played on the girls basketball team. After graduating Dottie moved to New York City for the summer and worked as a runway model. She returned to LaBelle and married her high school sweetheart Michael 'Mickey' White later that fall. 

They lived in LaBelle, Melbourne, and Rockledge, Florida, and had five children. Dottie was later married to William 'Bill' Poling for several years and lived in Felda. Although Dottie spent the majority of her life in LaBelle, she has lived in Lehigh Acres for the past several years and most recently under the care of her son Mike and daughter-in-law Lauri. 

Dottie worked a variety of jobs throughout her life, but most within school districts. She worked as an educational paraprofessional several decades ago and then later as a school bus driver, both for Hendry County Schools in LaBelle. She also worked at the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, Ahfachkee School, as a bus driver, in the cafeteria, and assisted in the media center. 

Dottie was an avid reader; it was hard to buy a book for her that she hadn't already read. Dottie loved life, loved to laugh, had a great smile, and a twinkle in her eye. She loved being with family and friends. She encouraged those around her to work for and reach for their goals. She made time to spend with others and was a giving person. 

Dottie was preceded in death by her mother, Daisy Emma Parsons, her father Judge Broward N. Parsons, her brother Joseph Burke Parsons, and son Michael Bruce White, Junior. 

She is survived by both of her sisters, Ramona Burchard of LaBelle, and Peggy Sands (Frank) of Cape Coral; her four children, Maura Grace Bennington (Kory) of Fort Myers, Marcey Lynn White of North Fort Myers, Michael Broward White (Lauri) of Lehigh Acres, Margaret Louise Stender (Ron) of Eagleville, PA; eleven grandchildren Megan, David, Sarah (Maura), Krysta, Dwight, Hanna (Marcey), Aaron, Sarah, Rachel (Mike), and Elizabeth, Ryan (Margaret); ten great grandchildren, and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

A Celebration of Life will be held in the late spring or summer, with a specific date to be announced in the Caloosa Belle and the News-Press at that time. In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to school media centers or the LaBelle Library. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Francisca Estrada, age 66, of Clewiston, passed away March 24, 2020 in Weston. She was born June 1, 1953 in Mexico , to the late Palemon and Antolina (Gallegos) Estrada. 

Survivors include three sons: Rafael Torres Estrada, Israel Torres Estrada and Juan Roel Torres Estrada three daughters: Claudia Rocio Torres Estrada, Blanca Patricia Torres Estrada and Mati Juarez one brother: Antonio Estrada four sisters: Griselda Trevino Gallegos, Alma Delia Trevino, Ma Rocario Porras Trevino and Arcadio Trevino Gallegos 22 Grandchildren & 4 Great Grandchildren. 

Funeral Services will be held Thursady March 26, 2020 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home 438 East Sugarland Hwy Clewiston with Father Giobani Bautista officiating. Interment will be Thursday, March 26, 2020 in Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Drive-Thru Coronavirus Testing In Clewiston

WEST PALM BEACH, FL- In the midst of the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, Florida Community Health Centers, Inc. (FCHC) continues to provide high quality and affordable routine healthcare to our community in a safe environment while working to decrease the further spread of this newly prevalent disease.

In an effort to support our patients and community, starting Tuesday, March 24, FCHC will begin Drive Thru testing for COVID-19 by appointment only. Those with the associated risk factors and symptoms of COVID-19 may be screened and evaluated by FCHC staff for testing.

Coronavirus symptoms include: fever, cough, and shortness of breath Risk factors consist of ONE or MORE of the following:

 Close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case
 Travel to or from a Coronavirus affected area
 Recent history of international travel or cruise
 Age 65+ with chronic conditions
 Weakened immune system

If anyone is experiencing the symptoms outlined above and has risk factors for COVID 19, they are encouraged to call one of the FCHC locations below to setup an appointment for screening, evaluation, and testing. Telehealth appointments are also available.

The FCHC Centers Drive Thru testing will be at the following locations:
Fort Pierce Center (beginning March 24)
Address: 1505 Delaware Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34950 | Phone: (772) 461-1402

Clewiston Center (beginning March 25)
Address: 315 South W.C. Owen Avenue, Clewiston, FL 33440 | Phone: (863) 983-7813

Indiantown Center (beginning March 26)
Address: 15858 S.W. Warfield Blvd., Indiantown, FL 34956 | Phone: (772) 597-3596

Dr. Fred Brown Children’s Health Center (beginning March 30)
Address: 2015 US-441 Okeechobee, USA FL 34972 | Phone: (863) 763-1951

Port St. Lucie Children’s Health Center (beginning March 31)
Address: 1701 S.E. Hillmoor Drive, Suite 19, Port St. Lucie, FL 34952 | Phone: (772) 335-8455

Saturday testing will be available at some sites.

Glades Courts Issue New Procedures

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- All jury proceedings and non-essential court proceedings will remain suspended through Friday, April 17, 2020 per Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order 20-17.

If you have documents for the Clerk’s Office, a drop box is located at the south entrance door to the Glades County Courthouse.

You must include your name and telephone number in the event there is an issue with the documents and we need to reach you.

A check or money order for the proper recording fee must be attached to your Recording Documents. Cash cannot be accepted.

All fines and payments can be made over the telephone by credit card or by check mailed to Clerk of Court, PO Box 10, Moore Haven, FL 33471. You may also make payments by going to the Clerk’s website at www.gladesclerk.com.

We strongly encourage individuals with traffic tickets or other outstanding court-ordered financial obligations, who are facing a hardship, to contact our office at the following numbers: (863) 946-6010 or (863) 946-6011 or by email at traffic@gladesclerk.com.

The Clerk’s Office staff is available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM to answer your questions or to assist you with any matters. For any questions other than traffic, please email gladesclerk@gladesclerk.com.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Florida Wants New Yorkers Quarantined

TALLAHASSEE, FL. -- Today, Governor DeSantis held a briefing via live stream and announced the additional efforts to respond to COVID-19:

Governor DeSantis announced that he is issuing an Executive Order to require anyone that travels to Florida from New York to self-isolate for 14 days or for the duration of the individual’s presence in Florida, whichever is shorter. Violating the order is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to 60 days and a fine of up to $500.

Governor DeSantis announced he is issuing an Executive Order to direct Florida’s Surgeon General, Dr. Rivkees, to issue a public health advisory urging the following:
Persons 65 years or older are encouraged to stay home for 14 days;
Persons with certain underlying medical conditions are encouraged to stay home for 14 days;
All employers are encouraged to utilize telework; and Consistent with CDC guidance, all individuals should avoid social gatherings of 10 or more.

18 Patients Tested For COVID-19 In Hendry County

Only 18 Patients Tested For COVID-19 In Hendry County - 1 In Glades County

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health reported this morning that only 18 persons have been tested for the coronavirus so far in Hendry county. Reported were results for 11 men and 7 women aged 21 to 85 with average age of 47.

In Glades county, on the northern border of Hendry, one man age 69 has been tested negative.

UPDATE: As of 11 a.m. Wednesday March 25, Hendry county has 19 total tests, 17 negative and 2 pending. Glades county has 2 total tested, 1 male, 1 female, both negative.

Broward county on the southeast border of Hendry county tested 2,941 total, with 2,375 negative, 355 positive, 211 pending and 3 deaths.

Florida has competed 18, 289 tests so far with 1,682 positive and 15,374 negative with 1,233 pending. There have been 22 deaths in Florida.

UPDATE: As of 6 p.m. Wednesday March 25, Hendry has 20 total tests, 18 negative and 2 pending.

New York City - New Epicenter Of Coronavirus

In comparison to Florida testing, New York state has completed more than any other state by far, giving a better view of where the most cases are located with better ability to quarantine those, and those whom they've been in contact with, and to prepare hospitals with equipment and personnel where needed.

As of Wednesday, March 25, NYC has more than 17,856 cases with 1 in 476 people in NYC being tested positive with the virus. Italy has 1 in 875 people infected. New York City is now the epicenter in the world with more per capita cases than Italy, Spain, Switzerland and China and every other country in the world. 

Florida Mandates 14 Day Quarantine For NY Visitors

TALLAHASSEE, FL. -- Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-80, directing all persons whose point of departure originates from outside the State of Florida in an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), and entering the State of Florida through airports to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The Department recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health;
Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
Covering your cough or sneezing into a tissue, then disposing of the tissue;
Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing;
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty; and
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Monday, March 23, 2020

211 Hotline Active - United Way Service

Hendry County residents are asked to dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-887-9234 for any assistance or needs that they may have regarding COVID-19.

Current hours for the hotline are 8am – 6pm, Monday thru Friday.

Hendry County Emergency Management is working with United Way and partner agencies to meet the needs of the County’s high-risk and isolated residents.

United Way is in constant communication with Hendry County Emergency Management and receiving the latest updates on local information.

The United Way hotline does not replace the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline (866) 779-6121.

The Florida Department of Health updates Florida’s COVID-19 information page daily. Please visit www.flhealth.gov/covid-19 for the latest information. This page remains the best and most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call your primary physician. If you do not have a primary physician please call a local physician or your local Health Department.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Speculating On Testing - Where Are COVID-19 Hot Spots?

LABELLE, FL. -- As the coronavirus continues climbing in numbers worldwide it may be interesting to speculate where hot spots are being found and what areas are doing sufficient testing to locate those place where high numbers of individuals are infected.

Below is a map of selected countries, U.S. states, and one U.S. county (Broward, FL.) showing population, numbers of cases as reported by respective health or government authorities, and the product of dividing the population number by the number of cases which then indicates an approximation of the odds of getting COVID-19.

The odds of infection depend on what proportion of the population has been tested, which is not entirely known for all areas, but generally if may be speculated when the odds of infection are below say 1 in 6,000 or so, it might be inferred that sufficient testing has been done.

Currently the U.S. states of California, New York, Connecticut, and Illinois are under orders to residents to stay home except for those doing essential work. It is allowed at this time to go outside to shop or exercise in most of those areas.

Notice the variations in "odds of infection" as New York state has the apparent most likely place to become infection at 1 in 2,387 while California is 1 in 31,676 and seemingly less likely, but the numbers for the odds depend on the proportions of the population having been tested to find the confirmed cases; the less testing the less dangerous the area appears, but in actuality may not be safer.

And likewise notice the world's most likely place to have been affected - Wuhan, China with "odds" of 1 in 870 people while Japan shows 1 in 134,677 which one might speculate indicates Japan has not done sufficient testing.

How much risk are you taking?

In a comparison of risk, you have a 1 in 3,000 chance of being struck by lightning in your lifetime. The odds of getting hit by a meteorite are 1 in 3000 according to NASA. Other comparisons of risk are 1 in 10,000 in the U.S. die from suicide and 1 in 10,000 die by gunshot each year in the U.S. 1 in 10,000 die in auto accidents each year in the U.S. You have a 1 in 10,000 chance of finding a four-leaf clover. More frequent risks include a home fire, about 1 in 1,000 yearly and being injured by falling furniture, also about 1 in 1,000 yearly The odds of being born on February 29 is 1 in 1,461. About 1 in 11 Americans get the flu each year.

CountryPopulationConfirmed Cases1 Infection per x persons (row B/C=D)
United Kingdom67,800,0003,29720,564
South Korea51,300,0008,6525,929
California USA39,500,0001,24731,676
Florida, USA21,000,00056337,300
New York USA20,060,0008,4032,387
Ohio, USA11,700,00017467,241
Washington USA7,800,0001,5245,118
Connecticut US3,560,00019418,351
Broward County, FL1,950,00012815,234
Hubei Province, China59,000,00067,790870

Friday, March 20, 2020

Only 15 Patients Tested For COVID-19 In Hendry County

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health reported this evening that only eight persons have been tested for the coronavirus so far in Hendry county. Reported were results for 7 men and 1 woman aged 30 to 85 with average age of 54.

Two were emergency admissions and one hospitalization. All but one have been negative for COVID-19 with that remaining one test pending results.

UPDATE: March 23, 2020 6 P.M

There have now been 14 tests performed, 12 negative and two pending. 9 men and 5 women were tested in ages from 21 to 85, average age 51.

Broward county tested 2088, 1664 negative, 217 positive, 207 pending and 3 deaths.

In Glades county, on the northern border of Hendry, no one has been tested.

UPDATE: March 24, 2020 6 P.M.

There have been a total of 15 tests performed in Hendry County. 12 negative, 3 pending. 10 men and 5 women.

Florida has only competed 13, 965 tests so far with 1,227 positive and 11,37 negative with 1,101 pending. There have been 18 deaths in Florida. In comparison New York state has completed more than any other state by far giving a better view of where the most cases are located with better ability to quarantine those and those whom they've been in contact with, and to prepare hospitals with equipment and personnel where needed. 

New York City is the epicenter in the world now with more per capita cases than both Italy and China. NYC has more than 12,305 cases with 1 in 691 people in NYC being tested positive with the virus. Italy has less per capita with 1 in 946 people infected

From last Friday 3/20:

Hendry county borders on five different counties. On the east side of Hendry county in Palm Beach county, there have been 315 tests with 264 negative and 42 positive, 9 are pending and 23 hospitalization an 50 emergency admissions.

At the southeast corner of Hendry county, Broward county has the most Florida cases with 1430 tests, 1036 negative, 128 positive, 266 pending; 251 emergency admissions and 178 hospitalizations and 2 deaths.

On the south border of Hendry, Collier county had 162 tests with 103 negative 25 positive, 34 pending 38 hospitalizations and 32 emergency admissions.

At the west side of the county Lee county has 125 test with 78 negative, 14 positive and 33 pending. 19 were hospitalized and 14 emergency admissions and 2 deaths.

At the northwest corner of Hendry, Charlotte county has done 35 tests, with 33 negative, 2 positive and 6 hospitalizations.

Glades Court Announcement Of Operating Changes


MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization, extra safety precautions are being taken. Effective March 23, 2020 and until further notice, the Glades County Clerk of Court’s Office will be closed to the public. Staff will be available to answer any questions by telephone or to assist with the essential or critical court proceedings, as required.

The Clerk’s Office will continue to provide the following essential or critical court proceedings as ordered in Administrative Order No. 2.39:

a.) First appearance hearings;

b.) Criminal arraignments, as necessary;

c.) Hearings on motions to set or modify monetary bail for individuals who are in custody;

d.) Juvenile dependency shelter and arraignment hearings, including shelter reviews;

e.) Juvenile delinquency detention and arraignment hearings;

f.) Hearings on petitions for temporary injunctions relating to safety of an individual;

g.) Hearings on petitions for risk protection orders:

h.) Hearings on petitions for the appointment of an emergency temporary guardian;

i.) Hearings to determine whether an individual should be involuntarily committed under the Baker Act or Marchman Act;

j.) Hearings on petitions for extraordinary writs as necessary to protect constitutional rights;

k.) Hearings on petitions for judicial waiver of notice pursuant to section 390.01114(4), Florida Statutes; and

l.) Hearings related to the state of emergency or the public health emergency, including but not limited to proceedings related to violation of quarantine or isolation, violation of orders to limit travel, violation of orders to close public or private buildings, and enforcement of curfew orders.

The Clerk’s Office will not be able to process passport applications or marriage licenses at this time. Official Records will continue to be processed if they are received by mail or by drop box.

A drop box is located at the south entrance door to the Glades County Courthouse. You must include your name and telephone number in the event there is an issue with the documents and we need to reach you. A check or money order for the proper recording fee must be attached to your Recording Documents. Cash cannot be accepted.

All fines and payments can be made over the telephone by credit card or by check mailed to Clerk of Court, PO Box 10, Moore Haven, FL 33471. You may also make payments by going to the Clerk’s website at www.gladesclerk.com.

We strongly encourage individuals with traffic tickets or other outstanding court-ordered financial obligations, who are facing a hardship, to contact our office at the following numbers:

(863) 946-6010 or (863) 946-6011 or by email at traffic@gladesclerk.com.

Coronavirus Scam Alert - White Lab Coat Impersonators

LABELLE, FL. -- RESIDENTS BE AWARE! The Hendry Sheriff's office says thet are receiving from Broward and Palm Beach Counties, reports of people dressing in white lab coats wearing masks and gloves knocking on resident’s doors, identifying themselves as representatives from the Department of Health or the CDC and want to test residents for the COVID-19 (Corona) virus. At the time of this post, these reports are stemming from the east coast.

PLEASE KNOW: REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE CDC OR DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH WILL NOT SHOW UP AT YOUR RESIDENCE UNANNOUNCED!!! The CDC is not going door-to-door. Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis and are trying to dupe consumers.

If anyone comes to your home unannounced wearing a white lab coat, mask and gloves do not open your DOOR and allow them entrance to your home. Once inside they are robbing individuals and are sometimes entering by force.

We cannot stress enough, that if someone comes to your home dressed in a white lab coat, mask and gloves representing the CDC or Department of Health, DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR! Instead call the Sheriff’s Office at 863-674-5600 or your nearest law enforcement.

If you have elderly family members please take a few minutes to make them aware of this.

NY COVID-19 New Rules - Draconian Rules Protecting Seniors

ALBANY, NEW YORK -- Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has ordered a basic shut down of New York state, mandating only essential workers to be traveling outside or on the job. All others are to be in their homes but can be outside for solitary exercise. Among some of the rules for seniors over 70 and those with compromised health and underlying illness is the above chart he produced at his press conference this morning.

Cuomo said New York has done more testing per capita than both China and South Korea which explains the newest totals of confirmed cases of Coronavirus, today at 7,102 in the state, including 4,408 in New York City.  He said the state has done 32,427 tests so far, probably much more than any other state.

Why This Is A Startling Statistic 

1 in approximately 2,825 people have the virus in New York State with testing results so far, compared to other countries (having larger populations) with these numbers: South Korea, 1 in 5,929; Italy, 1 in 1,476; Spain, 1 in 2,586; and smaller countries Switzerland, 1 in 2,060; and Norway, 1 in 2,979. China has about 1 in 16,000 confirmed total.

It appears that New York is currently in a situation much worse than South Korea, and almost as bad a Italy and Spain who are locked down as well.

Corps Of Engineers Campgrounds Shutting Down

CLEWISTON, FL -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District announces that there will be an orderly shutdown of the Corps Campgrounds on the Okeechobee Waterway, including the Ortona South, St. Lucie South and W.P. Franklin North Campgrounds.

As America confronts the challenges of COVID-19, protecting the health and safety of the recreating public, volunteers and our government personnel is our highest priority. To further protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed campgrounds will immediately begin an orderly shutdown. Individuals with paid reservations will be contacted by email and full refunds will automatically be processed by Recreation.gov with no cancellation fees. Individuals should not attempt to contact Recreation.gov nor request a refund or a cancellation fee will be charged. In addition, visitor centers, beaches, special events, USACE-sponsored events such as shore sweeps, interpretive programs, kids to parks, earth day events, public meetings and other public gatherings have been closed and/or put on hold until further notice. USACE is maintaining access to our projects by keeping some day use facilities and lake access areas open such as boat launches, picnic areas, fishing piers, and viewing areas; however, these areas are subject to evolving conditions and localized situations may cause decisions that close specific areas. For more information on the closures of USACE recreation areas, we ask that you contact the USACE lake or river project before your visit. A complete list of recreation areas is available at www.CorpsLakes.us. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.

The Corps of Engineers has a plan in place for continuity of operations during a pandemic crisis and are prepared to respond accordingly. While mission-essential functions such as navigation across the Okeechobee Waterway is expected to continue uninterrupted, a number of Corps activities executed by the Jacksonville District will experience temporary adjustments in schedules and operations due to COVID-19:

Camping and Recreation

There will be an orderly shutdown of the Corps Campgrounds on the Okeechobee Waterway, including the Ortona South, St. Lucie South and W.P. Franklin North Campgrounds.

The Corps is not currently accepting any new reservations or walk-ins at the campgrounds.

Campers arriving on reservations through Sunday March 22 may stay until the end of their reservation without extension.

All other reservations from March 23 through May 1 will be cancelled.

Access to some day use facilities associated with campgrounds and picnic shelters may be limited. Recreational users are encouraged to closely monitor the situation for changes as conditions continue to evolve.

All Corps Visitor Centers in south Florida are closed until further notice, including all tours and interpretive programs.

Though many sections of the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail (LOST) remain temporarily closed through 2022 due to ongoing Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation construction, including culvert replacement and cutoff wall construction, the public may still access some areas of the trail for recreational purposes. When hiking on the LOST, please observe all signage and do not enter construction areas, and maintain social distancing from other hikers for your safety. An updated map of the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail construction closures and estimated dates for reopening is available at: www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOST.

Seminole Casinos And Hotels Closing Tonight

BIG CYPRESS, FL. -- With a focus on the health and safety of guests, employees and the public, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Gaming announced today they have voluntarily decided to temporarily close all Seminole and Hard Rock Casinos throughout Florida today.

All Seminole casinos will close at 6 p.m. Hotel guests will be contacted directly to accommodate their current bookings and needs, wherever possible. This decision was not taken lightly as Seminole Gaming employs nearly 14,000 Seminole Gaming team members in the state. The goal has been to protect their livelihood without jeopardizing public safety. We have now reached a point where we do not feel comfortable taking that risk.

This affects the following casinos:
· Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

· Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee

· Seminole Casino Brighton

· Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood

· Seminole Casino Coconut Creek

· Seminole Classic Casino (Hollywood)

"The safety and security of its guests and team members are of the highest priority to the Seminole Tribe, which is especially proud of its team’s response during this difficult time. The proactive measures put in place allowed Seminole Gaming to operate within the guidelines established by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whom the Seminole Tribe wants to recognize and thank for his ongoing cooperation and leadership."

The Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Gaming are very grateful to our loyal guests and team members. We look forward to welcoming everyone back soon.

From The Glades Property Appraiser - Deadlines

From Lorie Ward, Glades County Property Appraiser



To those of you that have recently applied for the Limited Income Seniors Exemption, the 2020 adjusted household income limit is $30,721.

Please keep in mind that the last day to submit your proof of income to my office is June 1, 2020.
If you file a Federal Income Tax Return, I will need a copy of your 2019 return.
If you are not required to file a Federal Income Tax Return, then I will need a copy of all income that you receive.

For those of you that already have the exemption, you are not required to resubmit the income information this year.


Wednesday, April 1, is the last day to file a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return for business owners.

Tangible Personal Property is everything other than real estate. It includes furniture, fixtures, tools, machinery, signs, equipment, leasehold improvements, supplies, leased equipment and any other equipment used in a business or to earn an income.

You will automatically receive a Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption of $25,000 when you submit the form. This means that you will be exempt from paying on the first $25,000 of value.

If you need additional time to file, you may request an extension. The request must be submitted by April 1st. Please call, email or stop by my office if you have any questions or need help completing the form.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hendry County Declares Emergency State

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County officials have declared a Local State of Emergency in response to the potential spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its potential impacts on the County.

The declaration is effective immediately as of 4:28 pm on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Although there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hendry County at this time, this declaration will allow the County access to essential resources, such as funding reimbursements and emergency procurement of critical supplies, as response to this pandemic may require.

Residents with questions regarding COVID-19 are asked to call the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) 24 hour at (866) 779-6121 or visit the FDOH webpage dedicated to COVID-19 -- https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/ .

Glades County Declares State Of Emergency As Precaution

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- This morning Glades County signed a Local State of Emergency in response to COVID-19. This was done solely out of precaution and allows Emergency Management to activate the County’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and to request mutual aid resources from our state and federal partners. There are no reported cases of COVID-19 in Glades County at this time. The county is working closely with the Department of Health to make sure that all residents are as safe and healthy as possible.

All County government buildings are still open and will be sanitized daily. Employees and janitorial staff will continue to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, sinks).

When patients go to the hospital or clinic on their own they need to call the agency that they are planning to go to first before arriving.

If you are in need of emergency services please let the 911 dispatcher know if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms including fever over 100.4 degrees, shortness of breath, or a dry cough. This is to protect our emergency workers.


· Glades County Health Department- Community Clinic: 863.946.0405

· Hendry Regional Convenient Care Center (LaBelle): 863.675.2356

· MedExpress Urgent Care (Clewiston): 863.805.0189

· James D. Forbes Family Care Center (Clewiston): 863.983.3434

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Letter - Glades School District Free Bag Breakfasts

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- "As we continue our work to minimize the effects of the Coronavirus for all Glades County residents, the Glades County School District wishes to continue its commitment to ensuring that the youth of Glades County receive healthy meals. 

 "Beginning Monday, March 23, and continuing while the schools remain closed, the school district will deliver FREE bag breakfasts and lunches to our bus stops for all youth (ages 17 and under). 

"We have created a schedule of delivery times, which is exactly four hours after our students’ normal pick up time. Students who wish to participate will receive one bag lunch and one bag breakfast at their bus stop when the school bus arrives. Please understand that the times will not be perfect at first-this is our first time trying this.

"For walkers and car riders, we will also operate a ‘drive through’ service at the parent pick up behind Moore Haven Elementary School and the bus loop at West Glades School. This service will operate Monday-Friday, from 11:00 to 11:30 am."

Thank you.
James Brickel
Director of Administrative Services

Glades County School District

Responding To Anxiety - Mood Gym Podcast Episode 15

LABELLE, FL. -- The latest episode of health and well-being podcast Mood Gym suggests a thousands of years old technique and practice that anyone can do to alleviate anxiety while improving health and balance and diminishing pain.

Obituaries - Lester Baird Jr., Joyce Price, Terri Williams, Anita Clark

Lester Bernard Baird, Jr., joined this world on April 3, 1968 and he left this world far too young at age 51 on March 10, 2020 to be with Jesus. 

He is survived by his father, Lester Bernard Baird, Sr and two younger brothers, Brian and Patrick. His mother, Diane Harness Baird preceded him in death when he was 19 in 1987. He is also survived by his step mother Sylvia. 

He had many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Les was very well liked. He was a good Christian Man. 

For more than 20 years he was employed by the Palm Beach County School Board, eighteen of which as a school bus driver. One year he was named bus driver of the year. He enjoyed the kids a whole lot. He suffered a serious car accident in 2011 and was disabled as a result. 

Celebration of Lester's life will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, March 20, 2020 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, 560 East Hickpochee Avenue, LaBelle, Florida 33935, where Pastor Mike Olive will officiate. 

Visitation will be from 6-8 pm on Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. 

Burial will take place in Fort Denaud Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested donations be given to Common Ground Church to the Oak Trees for Lester fund, 1201 Sound Federal Highway, Lake Worth, Florida 33460. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Joyce Virginia Strickland Price, age 82, of Clewiston, passed away March 14, 2020 in Clewiston Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was born Sep. 8, 1937 in Cotton Plant, FL, to the late Asa and the late Leone (Williams) Strickland. 

She married Sherill Max Price; he preceded her in death in 2003. 

Joyce was a Christian woman who loved sharing her faith and love with anyone she would meet. She will be missed dearly by her entire family and friends. 

Survivors include two sons; J.W. Drake of Moore Haven and Sherrill Max Price Jr., and one daughter: Karen Pelham both of Clewiston, ten grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren; one brother; Kenny Strickland of Douglas, Georgia and three sisters; Norine Gilstrap of Inverness, Josephine Cannon of Pensacola and Arena Thompson of Inverness. 

She was preceded in death by her son; Henry Drake. 

Celebration of Joyce's life will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at New Harvest Church in Clewiston where Pastor Chuck Pelham will officiate. Visitation will be one hour before the service also at the church. 

Burial will be next to her husband in Ridgelawn Cemetery. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Terri Lee Jett Williams, age 65, of Harrod, passed away March 11, 2020 in LaBelle. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Anita Clark Ott passed away peacefully on March 6, 2020 at age 97. She was born on May 11, 1922 and grew up in Savannah, GA. 

She married George Ott, the love of her life, who preceded her. They retired to Clearwater, FL, and spent many happy years together. 

She is survived by a large family who love her and will be missed by all those who knew her. 

Graveside service will be held 10:00 a.m., Friday, March 27, 2020 at Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Florida National Guard Readies - Federal Assistance Requested

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced that at the Governor’s direction, FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz is ordering additional supplies and personal protective equipment in an effort to mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

After conducting a thorough assessment of needs, Director Moskowitz has requested the following supplies through Direct Federal Assistance:

5 mobile intensive care units
5,000 ventilators
5,000 hospital beds
50,000 two oz. bottles of hand sanitizer
250,000 coveralls
500,000 gloves
500,000 gowns
500,000 collection kits
100,000 16 oz. bottles of hand sanitizers
150,000 Personal Protective Equipment kits, including coveralls, gowns, and goggles
2 million N95 face masks

Supplies are being delivered on a rolling basis, and inventory is being distributed throughout the state 24 hours a day.

Three field hospitals are being deployed:
One field hospital is currently staged in Orlando and can be deployed to other areas in the state as needed.
One field hospital is on its way to Broward County and will be set up there.
One field hospital is on its way to Ocala and will be staged there and deployed to other areas as needed.

Director Moskowitz is also working with the federal government to determine if there is capacity to add US Navy Mercy-Class ships at Florida ports. Mobile COVID-19 testing is also being implemented, and the National Guard is deployed in Broward County and on standby to assist throughout the state as necessary.

How Taiwan Escaped Coronavirus - Can We Do It Here?

What Works To Slow The Spread Of Coronavirus

Taiwan, China has managed the COVID-19 crisis with an expertise that has prevented large scale infections in the country of 23 million, despite the country's location 85 miles from mainland China. 

As of today March 20, 2020 there are only 100 confirmed cases in Taiwan, or one person in 230,000 and only 1 death with 22 recovered as of today. By comparison the Netherlands (one of only a dozen or so countries with adequate testing), with a population of 17,200,000 has 1,710 cases or 1 per 10,000 persons with 43 deaths and only 2 recovered.

(Among the countries with presumed adequate early testing and universal healthcare to varying degrees is China, Iran, South Korea, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark. Universal testing allows health authorities to better pinpoint where the hot spots are to allow better plans for mitigation.)

The following has been taken from a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association March 3, 2020.

"The country has 23 million citizens of which 850 000 reside in and 404 000 work in China. In 2019, 2.71 million visitors from the mainland traveled to Taiwan.

"Taiwan leveraged its national health insurance database and integrated it with its immigration and customs database to begin the creation of big data for analytics; it generated real-time alerts during a clinical visit based on travel history and clinical symptoms to aid case identification. It also used new technology, including QR code scanning and online reporting of travel history and health symptoms to classify travelers’ infectious risks based on flight origin and travel history in the past 14 days.

"On January 20, the Taiwan CDC announced that the government had under its control a stockpile of 44 million surgical masks, 1.9 million N95 masks, and 1100 negative-pressure isolation rooms.

"Taiwan citizens’ household registration system and the foreigners’ entry card allowed the government to track individuals at high risk because of recent travel history in affected areas.

"A mobile health declaration pass was then sent via SMS to phones using a local telecom operator, which allowed for faster immigration clearance for those with minimal risk. This system was created within a 72-hour period. On February 18, the government announced that all hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in Taiwan would have access to patients’ travel histories."

From Big Data Analytics, New Technology, and Proactive Testing by
C. Jason Wang, MD, PhD1,2; Chun Y. Ng, MBA, MPH2; Robert H. Brook, MD, ScD3,4
Article Information
Published online March 3, 2020. Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA
Full Article:https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762689

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

United Way COVID-19 Resource Helpline

WHAT: United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee under the direction of Lee County Emergency Management has activated a 2-1-1 Helpline to provide factual and current local resource information related to the COVID-19 virus.

HOW: Dial 2-1-1 or 239-433-3900

WHY: United Way of Lee County has trained and equipped staff and volunteers with cancellations, closings, and daily status for schools, government offices, day cares/camps and events. The 2-1-1 Helpline has information on food distribution, safety precautions, social distancing and self-isolation. Lee County Emergency Management has vetted the information, and resources will be continually updated. The United Way is coordinating with our network of Human Service Partner Agencies to monitor available services.

Additional: UnitedWayLee.org

Two Months Free Internet Service Available

LABELLE, FL. -- Comcast is offering two months free internet service to certain households and if qualified, $9.99 per month after that period.

To help manage the COVID-19 emergency, Comcast is taking steps to help connect low-income families to the Internet at home. New "Internet Essentials" customers will receive two free months of Internet service, which is available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month plus tax. Apply by April 30, 2020.

Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program's Internet service has increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect automatically for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward. "During this extraordinary time, it is vital that as many Americans as possible stay connected to the internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer.

-Qualifications include if you are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI and others.

-You do not have outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than a year old. Families with outstanding debt more than one year old may still be eligible.

-You live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available but have not subscribed to it within the last 90 days.