Monday, November 30, 2020

Jayne Johnston Hosts The Christmas Bird Count At Hendry-Glades Audubon Meeting December 7

LABELLE FL. -- Join Hendry-Glades Audubon Society for the December chapter presentation on Monday, December 7th at 7 pm via Zoom. 

Guest Presenter is Jayne Johnston of Wildlife Coexistence Solutions LLC. and Jayne's topic is "The Christmas Bird Count: The Past, Present, and Future." 

She will provide a historical context for the Christmas Bird Count, the significance of this citizen science project and what we've learned about birds in our area as a result. 

For an invitations for the meeting contact or text Margaret England 863-517-0202 / 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

In addition, Jayne will be leading us on a Field trip at Daniels Preserve at Spanish Springs near Alva on Saturday morning, 12/12/20. Meet at the preserve at 7:30 am to be sure to catch the early birds in action! Please email Steve at stephenbuczynski@gmail.comif you plan to attend the guided walk with Jayne.

Also, Mark your Calendar and Contact Margaret England 863-517-0202 /hgaudubon@gmail.comto register for the December 17 OK Slough/Spirt of Wild or January 2 STA 5/6 Christmas Bird Counts.

Post Thanksgiving COVID Testing In LaBelle, Clewiston, and Moore Haven, Florida

FREE COVID-19 Testing (Drive-Thru) in Hendry & Glades Counties

Open Testing – No Appointments Needed - No criteria or restrictions for testing

Testing Adults& Children over 5 yrs (with Parent Consent)

· Location: Hendry County Health Department
1140 Pratt Blvd. LaBelle, FL 33935
Monday, November 30th -- 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 am

· Location: Hendry County Health Department
1100 S. Olympia, Clewiston, FL 33440
Thursday, December 3rd – 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

· Location: Glades County Health Department
1021 Healthpark Drive, Moore Haven, FL 34471
Monday, December 7th – 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Persons tested will be given instructions on how to receive their test results.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Magician Paul Draper Giving Free Online Magic Show December 14

AAASWFL Partners with Celebrity Magician Paul Draper

FORT MYERS, FL. -- The Fort Myers Agency for the Aged for Southwest Florida is offering three free interactive ZOOM presentations featuring world renowned magician and entertainer Paul Draper. The next show is Monday, December 14 at 6 p.m.

Two more free online shows will be presented in December.

Paul Draper was the house magician at the Venetian in Las Vegas and his virtual shows have been experienced online by the CEO of Burger King, the inventor of Siri, and thousands of executives working for groups like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Bentley, Nokia, HP, Sotheby’s, and many of the top 100 healthcare organizations in the nation.

Paul Draper acts as your guide to the secrets of human nature and wonders of the universe, breaking the laws of physics and defying the rules of reality. 

Draper will make you laugh, gasp, and question the world as you know it.

Follow link to register for the next online show in advance:

December 14 6:00pm click HERE

Feel free to invite everyone you care about!

Join together to celebrate active minds, magic, and togetherness.

Head On Crash With No Driver Injuries, Sabal Palm Dead, Aged 40


PORT LABELLE, FL. -- An early Sunday morning crash left a Toyota Hybrid Sedan disabled after crashing head on into a sabal palm tree. 

The crash occurred on Hendry County's Birchwood Parkway southbound, where over the years dozens of drivers have lost control or missed the slight curve as they approach State Road 80. There is a posted 25 mph speed limit at that location. 

As a result of careless driving, dozens of 40-year old palm trees have been hit in this half mile long stretch as drivers attempt to speed through the curve. 

A half mile north, in Glades county, the speed limit is higher at 35 mph. Most cars travel considerably over the speed limit in both Glades and Hendry county along Birchwood Parkway. 

Those traveling southbound are at risk if they don't slow their speed and then lose control on the curve.

The Hendry Sheriff's office says there were no injuries to the driver. The 40 year old palm tree was killed however.

Other Birchwood Parkway Crashes At Same Location:

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Timothy Wayne Loyd Dies In LaBelle, Aged 53

Timothy Wayne Loyd, age 53, of Labelle, passed away November 25, 2020. He was born July 16, 1967, in Lakeland, FL, to the late Kelly Loyd and Peggy (Robinson) Loyd. 

Survivors include his wife: Mara Gail Woosley, son: Derek Ryan Richardson (Morgan) of Clarksville, TN, sisters: Melissa West (Wally) of Walterboro, SC, and Amy Abrams (Keith) of Lehigh Acres, FL, godson: Wyatt James Pelton and a large extended family and many friends.

Tim lived a full life filled with good times and love. A true adventurer, he was a professional skydiver, loved scuba diving, boating, skiing, playing music and changing the lyrics. He enjoyed traveling and a good bottle of wine. He loved his family and friends unconditionally. Tim left a positive mark on everyone who knew him. Although he was taken too soon, he led an extraordinary life and was loved by many. 

Please join us as we celebrate Tim on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 3:00-7:00 pm at 1522 SR 29 South, LaBelle, FL. 

Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Southwest Florida Obituaries - Ovid Barnett, Daniel Kats, Hector Valdez, Juanita Owens

Ovid Barnett, age 98, of Marco Island, FL. passed away November 24, 2020 in Naples, FL. He was born Jan. 29, 1922 in O'Brien, FL, to the late James Laughton and Jessie Mae (Wilder) Barnett. 

He moved to LaBelle in 1959 and lived there until his wife passed in 2005 when he moved to Marco Island. 

He served during World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corps He was a Farmer. 

Survivors include one daughter: Melinda C. Blum of Gainesville, FL 2 sons: James Jeff Barnett of LaBelle, and Ovid Jr. of Punta Gorda A sister: Maxine Horne of Jacksonville, FL 3 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren 

He was predeceased by his wife: Elsie, son: Russell, sister: Margaurite Linch, and brother: Harry E. 

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Daniel L. Kats, Sr, age 62, of Sebring, passed away November 18, 2020 in LaBelle. He was born Aug. 17, 1958 in Hammond IN, to the late George and the late Ruth Marie (Burgess) Kats Sr. 

Survivors include five sons: Daniel L Kats Jr, Kenny Kats, Jonny Kats, Anthony Kats and Jason Kats and 16 grandchildren, 

He worked as a Mechanic. 

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Hector Danilo Valdez, age 87, of Lakeland, passed away November 15, 2020 in Lakeland. 

Survivors include three sons: Pablo Valdez of Orlando, FL, Jorge Valdez of Orlando, FL and Daniel Valdez, and six daughters: Cristina Gonazalez, Nora Valdez of New York, NY, Zaida Valdez of New York, NY, Yaray Torres of Miami, FL, Erika Corrales of Clewiston, FL and Luiza Chako of New York, NY. 

A graveside service was held Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 11:00 am at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Clewiston. 

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Juanita "Skeeter" Snell Owens, age 82, of Clewiston, passed peacefully away on November 15, 2020. She was born September 3, 1938 to the late Leon "Bub" and Marian Snell and was an only child. 

Skeeter was preceded in death by her late husband, Wayne Owens, of Moore Haven. 

She is survived by her daughter, Brenda Collier (Joe), and sons Leon "Bubbie" (Nancy), and Jeff Owens (Tracy), grandchildren: Joseph Collier (Taylor), Jonathan Collier (Bandy), and James Collier, Brandon Owens (Olivia), Kyle Owens (Charlee Marie), Tyler and Kendall Owens, Adam, Josh, and Jena Owens, great-grandchildren: Lilly, Joseph, Ben, Beau, Abby and Rex Collier, Madilyn, Jonathan, Jr., Augustus, and Lincoln Collier, Lainey and Carter Owens, Charlie Wayne and Carlee Owens, Ayva Humphries, Parker and Ian Owens. 

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, 2020, at Akin-Davis Funeral Home in Labelle, with Reverend James Snell officiating. Memorial donations can be made online to The Gideons International at or to P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214.

Doctor's Choice Home Care Paying Millions To Settle Kickback Allegations

LABELLE, FL. -- Doctor’s Choice Home Care, Inc. and its former executives, Timothy Beach and Stuart Christensen, have agreed to pay $5.15 million to resolve allegations that the home health agency provided improper financial inducements to referring physicians through sham medical director agreements and bonuses to physicians’ spouses who were Doctor’s Choice employees, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today. 

Doctor’s Choice is a home health agency based in Sarasota, Florida, with branches throughout the state including an office in LaBelle, Florida. Tracy Williams of LaBelle is shown on Linkedin as the Account Executive for the LaBelle office for the last 10 years, since September 2010. She was formerly a real estate agent at a LaBelle company and a medical assistant.

Timothy Beach and Stuart Christensen founded Doctor’s Choice and formerly served as the company's top executives. 

Doctor’s Choice will pay $3,856,000 to settle these allegations and Beach and Christensen will each pay $647,000. Doctor’s Choice will pay an additional $675,000 to resolve separate allegations that employees pressured clinical personnel to increase the number of home visits for Medicare patients to avoid the Medicare Low Utilization Payment Adjustment that would have decreased the reimbursement Doctor’s Choice received from Medicare in the absence of these unnecessary services.

“The Department of Justice will continue to hold companies and individuals accountable for the payment of illegal remuneration in any form,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “Improper inducements have no place in our federal healthcare system, which relies on healthcare providers making decisions based on the healthcare needs of their patients rather than their personal financial interests.”

“Here in the Middle District of Florida we are committed to ensuring that financial motivations do not corrupt medical decision making, whether in home health care or other areas of medicine,” said U.S. Attorney Chapa Lopez. “Through enforcement of statutes prohibiting illegal kickbacks or improper financial arrangements with referring physicians, this Office will continue to ensure that medical decisions are not compromised.”

“Operating an illegal referral scheme and providing medically unnecessary services places patients at risk and jeopardizes millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division Michael McPherson. “This settlement highlights the FBI’s commitment to protect the integrity of the federally funded healthcare system.”

The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits the offering or payment of remuneration to induce or reward referrals for services paid for by federal healthcare programs. The Stark Law forbids certain medical providers, including home health agencies, from submitting claims to Medicare for services provided to patients who were referred by a physician with whom the provider has a prohibited financial relationship, unless that relationship falls within an applicable exception.

This settlement resolves allegations that Doctor’s Choice, Beach, and Christensen violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law by entering into sham medical director agreements with physicians as a means of providing remuneration for referrals, and also violated the Stark Law by providing bonuses to employees based on referrals to Doctor’s Choice by the employees’ physician spouses. 

In addition, the agreement resolves allegations that Doctor’s Choice provided unnecessary services to Medicare patients in order to increase the number of skilled service visits provided during a home health episode to avoid the Low Utilization Payment Adjustment which otherwise would have decreased Doctor’s Choice Medicare reimbursement. This adjustment is triggered when a home health patient has a treatment episode consisting of less than five skilled service visits and results in the provider receiving a standardized per visit payment rather than the higher payment for a full home health episode.

The allegations resolved in this settlement were originally brought in two lawsuits filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act; one case was filed by Corina Herbold and the second case was filed by Sara Billings, Misty Sykes, and Marina Eschoyez-Quiroga, all of whom are former employees of Doctor’s Choice. The Act permits private parties to sue on behalf of the government for false claims for government funds and to receive a share of any recovery. Ms. Billings, Ms. Sykes, and Ms. Eschoyez-Quiroga will jointly receive a share of approximately $145,000 arising from the Government’s recovery for the Low Utilization Payment Adjustment allegations. Ms. Herbold’s share has not yet been determined.

The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Harden in the Middle District of Florida.

The cases are captioned United States ex rel. Herbold v. Doctor’s Choice Home Care Inc., et al., No. 8:15- cv-01044 (M.D. Fla.) and United States ex rel. Billings, Sykes, and Eschoyez-Quiroga v. Doctor’s Choice Home Care Inc., No. 8:16-cv-3112 (M.D. Fla.).

Monday, November 23, 2020

Florida Department of Health Advice Precautions For Thanksgiving 2020 To Avoid COVID

Celebration Tips For Thanksgiving 2020 During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during the upcoming holidays can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 epidemic is worsening, and small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Holiday celebrations will likely need to be different this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When you talk with your friends and family about plans, it’s okay if you decide to stay home and remain apart from others. Hard choices to be apart this year may mean that you can spend many more years with your loved ones.

Consider activities that pose lower risk of spreading COVID-19. Additionally, CDC offers these considerations to slow the spread of COVID-19 during small gatherings. Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread. Your household is anyone who currently lives with you and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment). This can include family members, roommates, or people who are unrelated to you. People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.

Traditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends are fun but can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. Follow these tips to make your Thanksgiving holiday safer.

Hendry County, Florida Government Offices, Waste/Recycling Schedule For Thanksgiving

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County government offices will be closed Thursday, November 26, 2020 and Friday, November 27, 2020 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

County offices will resume regular business hours on Monday, November 30, 2020.

The LaBelle and Clewiston Transfer Stations will be closed on Thursday, November 26, 2020 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Transfer Stations will be open for regular business hours during the remainder of the week.

There will be no waste or recycling pick-up on Thursday, November 26th. Services will be delayed one day for the remainder of the week.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Cynthia G. Mathewson Dies at 67 In Moore Haven, Florida

Cynthia G Mathewson, age 67, of Moore Haven, passed away November 18, 2020 in Moore Haven. She was born Feb. 18, 1953 in Watseka, IL, to the late Ellen Marie Paul 

She was a Homemaker. 

Survivors include her husband: Frank Mathewson two sons: Dustin Alan Mathewson and Damon Adam Mathewson, three brothers: Bruce, Tim and Vance two sisters: Vickie and Faye Grandchildren: Addie, and Graham 

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Last Chance For COVID Testing Before Thanksgiving Holiday In Hendry-Glades County, Florida

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health in Glades County will offer free COVID-19 Testing Monday, November 23rd In Moore Haven from 9am-11am. (Weather permitting)

Please note: All Health Departments will be closed Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Open Testing – No Appointments Needed. No criteria or restrictions for testing

Testing Adults & Children over 5 yrs (with Parent Consent)

Monday, Nov 23rd – 9am-11am, Glades Co Health Dept 1120 Healthpark Drive, Moore Haven

Due to the holidays, there will be no testing in LaBelle or Clewiston 11/23 to 11/27.

Photo: COVID Testing Site In LaBelle

Persons tested will be given instructions on how to receive their test results.

Florida Keys' Watercolor Kapers by Bob Kranich - No Name Key

No Name Key, (Part 8, Excerpt 17)

In this part, Our two main characters, Manuel and Hector have arrived at their basic training camp in Guatemala. Actually they missed basic training being the last group to arrive. They and three others are to be trained as two heavy weapons teams. Their group leader and trainer, Sergeant Jimenez is briefing them.

“We have two primary weapons: the bazooka and the 57 millimeter Recoilless Rifle. Each is a two-man operation, a weapons man and combination amo carrier-loader. John and Sam, Bazooka, Manuel,
Hector, 57 millimeter. Corporal Enrique will be in charge. You will learn how to disassemble your weapons and put them back together, even in the dark! Today I will show you how to disassemble, clean and transport. You will practice this over and over and over, until you know it by heart! Tomorrow we will go to the range,* learn how to fire, and then fire and hit a target.”

“We will be using high explosive armor piercing ammo. Each loader will carry at least six rounds, and Endrique three of each. When you’re in the field, make sure that resupply always keeps up with you.”

The next day it was full packs, K-rations, full load of ammo and a two-mile march up a steep narrow single-lane dirt road to the range. They hung red flags* at both ends of the range and at the entrance to the road leading in. Sergeant Jimenez and an Anglo guy dressed in the usual khaki pants, tan dress shirt, and dark glasses were already at the range. They could see a jeep parked near by.

“OK men, pay careful attention. It’s important, life or death! Our life may depend upon your performance today, and your life when you are in Cuba. Both of these weapons load from the rear. The Bazooka is an anti-tank 3.5 inch rocket launcher. It has two wires on the round. This round is a rocket. It will accelerate as it heads to the target. The wires attach to the weapon like this. See two easy-on clips. Red to red and black to black. Then, for Heaven’s sake, do not stand in back of it! Stand off to the side. The back blast will hurt you bad,” Sergeant Jimenez instructed.

“Manuel, let’s set up the .57 on its stand. It fires a modified high explosive artillery shell at reduced velocity. It is breach-loaded, that means from the rear. The tube is designed to allow some of the propellant gasses to escape out of the rear of the weapon. That is why it is called ‘Recoilless’ Rifle.”

“Men, step off to the sides. John and Manuel, load, flip off the safety, aim down the barrel, and fire down range as you are ready.”
Pow!...Swish! Bam!! Two tremendous explosions shook the ground down range.

This drill continued. Day after day. Hike in, load, fire, tear down, clean, and reassemble. Each time when they arrived at the range there was Sergeant Jimenez and one or two Anglo civilians in khaki pants, tan short-sleeved shirt and wearing dark sunglasses. These guys, together with Sergeant Jimenez, showed them how to set up defensive positions along the roads.

“Who are these guys?” Hector asked Enrique.

“Either American CIA or Green Beret.”

“Hey Enrique! How many guys on this base? By the number of barracks, it looks like a lot!” Manuel questioned.

“I’m guessing at least 1000. But as soon as they complete their weapons training, they move them down to the coastal plains. Paratroops have trained at another location with the C-46’s and the tankers at Fort Knox, Kentucky.”

“How do you know all this, Endrique?” Hector asked.

Oh, you know, I get around.”

Every day as they neared the base, they would double time with a paratroop shuffle* and sing out as they came into the camp;

Left...Left...Left-right, Le...ft...

We are going to, Honey...

We are going to, Babe...

We are going to

To kick Cast...troo...o...oa...


Go to your Left...Your Right...Your Left...

Next, they would secure their weapons, go to the mess hall, eat, clean up, and crash in their bunks.

Then it happened, a couple of weeks after they arrived. Sergeant Jimenez came through the barracks door after supper.

“OK, men, this is it. When you get up tomorrow morning, pack it up. We’re moving out. You won’t see this place again, unless you come back as a tourist!”

It was April 10th. They filed outside the barrack’s with all of their equipment, including side-arms, rifles, heavy weapons, and ammo in carriers. There was some hustle and bustle about the base, but there were surprisingly few troops. A big army truck pulled up. Sergeant Jimenez came out of the barracks.

“All right men, load up. We’re going back down to the airfield you came in at. Then we’re off to Trampoline, the jumping off place. The 2506 is on the move!”

They bounced down the mountain to the base, pulled through a guarded gate and up onto the flight line. Sergeant Jimenez got out, ran into the office and came right back out.

“OK men, get over to that C-54, the one with its engines idling. It’s waiting for us, and it’s ready to go!”

They got on the plane, stowed their gear and buckled up. The plane taxied out to the end of the runway, did a 180, revved its engines and headed down the runway in a rush of speed, propellers screaming.

Manuel looked around. There was a lot of gear in the rear and another fifteen or so fatigued-clothed men. These guys had already pulled the black tape from the windows. They all settled in and in different positions, either sleeping or starring off into space, lost to reality, each fighting his own fears.
They were awakened to reality when the plane began to bank and lose altitude. Enrique, was looking out his window, and said, “It’s Puerto Cabezas! I saw the long pier going out into the Gulf.”

The plane touched down, the tires squealed, the pilot reversed the air flow, the plane slowed and then taxied over to the tower.

“Pile out men!” Sergeant Jimenez roared, “Don’t leave anything! Form up on the tarmac. I’ll be right back.”

He bounced out of the plane, went over to the administration building, and came right out just as the men got into formation.

“That truck will take us right out to the docks. We’re loading just as soon as we get there and find Brigade 6.”

They first saw it from the army truck. A rusty, dirty old cargo ship, the Rio Escondido.

Sergeant Jimenez proclaimed, “This is it men. It doesn’t look like we’ll be having any room service. I just talked to the Brigade commander. We’re leaving early. This ship can only travel max six knots. The rest will rendezvous with us.”

“Tell you what, men. Grab these four empty fifty-five gallon drums, and get them on the back of this cruise ship. I’ll be right back with some rope. Stow your gear, and talk it up with the rest of the Brigade 6’s men. See what’s happening.”

Enrique came back discouraged. “They scrapped the Trinidad plan.”

“What was that?” Hector asked.

“It was the original plan. We were going in to the city of Trinidad next to the mountains. If the invasion failed we could run into the mountains and join up with other rebels. Instead we’re going into a swamp. Called the Bay of Pigs. No way out! Well, ours is not the reason why. Only do or die!” he said.

“How did you find this out?” Hector asked.

“Well, I told you, I get around. One of the 6th guys overheard some brass talking.”

From the Author: My second full-length book, Florida Keys’ Watercolor Kapers is composed of 336 pages. There are 12 stories running from 6 pages to as many as 72 pages. It is fully illustrated with 88 watercolors and sketches. The watercolors I made roaming around Key West after I finished my 750 mile hike from Georgia to Key West. (See book or Don Browne’s SouthWest Florida News records, A Walk Across Florida.) As you read these stories you will experience Key West, the Keys, and the Caribbean. These stories span the time of the early 1800’s to 1969.

American Legion Post In LaBelle Honors Veterans With Free Dinner November 18

LABELLE, FL. -- On Wednesday, November 18 from 5-7 pm. The American Legion is honoring our Veterans with a SPECIAL VETERANS DINNER FREE to Veterans, and $9 for all others. 

Pork Tenderloin, Loaded Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Roll & Dessert. 

Open to the Public, come salute our veterans. American Legion Post 130 is located at 699 SR80 West, across from the Shell Station. For further information: 863-675-8300.

The American Legion is taking applications for new Veteran’s names to be added to the Veteran’s Memorial Wall on SR80 across from the Courthouse. To add new names of Veterans, applications are available at the American Legion Post 130. 

Your military sons, daughters, grandchildren and relatives are eligible to be placed on the wall. Please include copies of Veteran’s DD214, Discharge Papers or any other qualifying documentation. Checks for $150 should be made payable to: American Legion Post 130, Memo: Veterans Memorial Park. Return to: American Legion Post 130, Attention Commander Bill Davis. OR mail to: American Legon Post 130, 699 W. SR80, LaBelle, FL 33935. 

For further information, call 863-675-8300, or Commander Davis: 863-234-1768.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Died In LaBelle, Florida: Benjamin Holland, Aged 83; Fred McCluskey, Aged 95

Benjamin Claude Holland, age 83, of LaBelle, passed away November 14, 2020 in LaBelle. He was born Feb. 12, 1937 in Wimauma, FL, to the late Wilton Lee and the late Martha Magdaline (Stanaland) Holland. 

He owned and Operated a Waste Management Company. 

Survivors include his wife: Ann Louise (Beynon) Holland two sons: Robert "Bobby" F Holland and Lee Frederick Holland one daughter: Carol Ann Howard two brothers: Clyde Holland and Jerry Holland one sister: Wilda Clenney 8 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren , and 3 great great grandchildren. 

He was Predeceased by siblings Vernon Holland and Audrey Alexander. 

Private Interment will be in Fellowship Baptist Cemetery, Lithia, FL. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Fred Cloyd McCluskey, age 95, of LaBelle, passed away November 13, 2020 in LaBelle. He was born Oct. 7, 1925 in Florence, AL, to the late Luther C and the late Ethel (Sheffield) McCluskey and was one of 10 children. 

He lived most of his life in Florida. He was a Self-Employed and a single father. 

Survivors include one son: Moses (Liz) Gentry and five daughters: Susan (Tommy) Deras, Tammy Lynn McCluskey, Darlene Caldwell, Beth (Charles) Lovett and Bonnie Dotson, 11 grandchildren & 18 great grandchildren. 

He was predeceased by his parents; two sons: Donnie and Billy McCluskey; and a grandson Bubba Miles. 

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5 to 6 PM at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Increasing Odds Of COVID Infection In Rural Hendry County, Florida


LABELLE, FL. -- COVID-19 cases have not gone away in rural Hendry County, Florida as they have not gone away anywhere, with increasing odds of contracting it here and everywhere in the state. 

Since March 1st there have been 2,377 positive cases identified in the county's population of 42,380 or about 6% of the population. 315 were pediatric cases.

More than 372 people tested positive were admitted to the emergency room, and 44 have died.

In the Hendry County School District, 194 students and 18 staff are under quarantine orders. Four LaBelle High School football games have been canceled so far.

The largest amount of students quarantined are from Eastside Elementary School at 57. Clewiston High has 43 students under quarantine, and LaBelle Middle School with 28, and Clewiston Elementary has 26 quarantined.

Photo: Free Virus Testing site in LaBelle, Fl.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Bloodmobile In La Belle At American Legion November 12

American Legion Post #130 Bloodmobile In LaBelle, Fl.

12:00 PM – 06:00 PM
699 Hickpochee Avenue
Labelle, FL 33935

Schedule your appointment:

As a thank you for saving lives, all blood donors will receive a $10 eGift Card and a OneBlood blanket!*

Plus, all donors will receive a wellness checkup including:**
COVID-19 Antibody Test
blood pressure
iron count
cholesterol screening

Help us adhere to safety and social distancing on the bloodmobile: please schedule your appointment to give blood and save lives!

For more information please contact Beverly Rimmer (R5-FM1) at or at 786-512-4239.

Do not present to donate if you have a fever. Appointments are encouraged. You must wait at least 14 days before donating if you have been exposed to someone who has or may have COVID-19, have recently been tested and are pending test results for COVID-19 or if you have a confirmed active case of COVID-19.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Crash On State Road 80 In Hendry County Leaves One Dead, One In Hospital

LABELLE, FL. -- A sedan was traveling west on SR-80 in the outside lane, .4 miles east of Phillips Road in western Hendry County as a moped was traveling west on SR-80 in the outside lane, .4 miles east of Phillips Road, in front of the sedan. 

The front right of the car collided with the rear of the moped. After the collision, the moped driver and passender separated from the cycle.

The sedan continued west and came to a controlled stop on the north shoulder of SR-80. The moped operator was pronounced deceased on the scene and the passender was transported to Lehigh Regional Hospital. The crash remains under investigation.

All person were 30 year old males from LaBelle, Fl. The moped operator and passenger were not wearing helmets.

Hendry Health Department COVID Testing Resumes November 16 At LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health in Hendry County will offer free COVID-19 Testing Monday, November 16th In LaBelle 9am-11am and Thursday, November 19th in Clewiston 9am-11am.

(Weather permitting)

Open Testing – No Appointments Needed. No criteria or restrictions for testing

Testing Adults & Children over 5 yrs (with Parent Consent)

Monday, Nov 16th – 9am-11am, Hendry Co Health Dept 1140 Pratt Blvd, LaBelle

Thursday, Nov 19th – 9am-11am, Hendry Co Health Dept 1100 S. Olympia, Clewiston.

Persons tested will be given instructions on how to receive their test results.

LaBelle Community Pastors Meeting And Luncheon November 16 At Port LaBelle Inn

LABELLE, FL. -- LaBelle Community Pastor’s meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 16 at 12 noon at Saint Matthews House at the Oxbow Restaurant at the Port LaBelle Inn. 

The staff of Saint Matthews House will be providing lunch for every pastor. 

 The agenda for the meeting will be the annual community Thanksgiving service in Barron park November 24 at 7:00 pm. 

Chaplain Gregory Scalf will be sharing the Saint Matthews House Vision. For more information call 675-0900 and leave a message.

Robert Lee Hodges Dies In LaBelle, Aged 83

Robert Lee Hodges, age 83, of LaBelle, passed away November 9, 2020 in LaBelle. He was born Aug. 1, 1937 in LaBelle, FL, to the late James and the late Susie (Tyler) Hodges. 

He is a Veteran of the US Army. He owned Hodges Glass in LaBelle. He was known to his family and others as Papa; Mr. Fix it, and our Hero. 

Survivors include his wife: Janet (Farabee) Hodges two daughters: Fonda Woodward and Susan (Sharky) Smith, one brother: Wayne Hodges one sister: Dorothy Bussey 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. 

The family will receive friends on Thursday November 12 from 5 to 7 PM at the Akin-Davis Funeral Home 560 E. Hickpochee Ave. LaBelle. 

Graveside services will be held Friday, November 13, 2020 at 10:00 am at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle with Pastor L. W. Howard officiating.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Hendry County, Florida Declares Emergency Pending Possible Winds And Rain Today

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Officials have declared a local State of Emergency effective beginning at 9 pm on Sunday, November 8, 2020, in preparation for the potential threat of Tropical Storm Eta.

This declaration will allow the County access to essential resources, such as funding reimbursements and emergency procurement of critical supplies, as response to this tropical storm event may require.

Hendry County Emergency Management (EM) Officials are urging residents to prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions beginning Sunday afternoon through Monday night.

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Glades County, Florida Prepares For Possible Heavy Winds And Flooding

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- A Tropical Storm Warning continues to be issued for Glades County. This warning could continue throughout the day today and possibly into Monday morning. Please prepare your home and secure any loose items that may be in the yard.


UPDATE: The Tropical Storm Warning has cancelled for all Florida counties as of Monday afternoon. There is still a Flood Watch in effect for Central and South Florida. Gusty conditions will continue across the Florida Keys, South and Central Florida.

Glades County School District will be opened for tomorrow Tuesday, November 10th, 2020.
Glades County Government Offices will be opened tomorrow Tuesday, November 10th, 2020.

Sandbags are available for pick up at the Emergency Operation Center (1097 Health Park Drive, Moore Haven, FL 33471).


Glades County School District will be closing schools tomorrow Monday November 9th.

Glades County Government Offices will be closed tomorrow Monday November 9th.

Sandbags are available for pick up at the Emergency Operation Center (1097 Health Park Drive, Moore Haven).

Flora C. Perez Dies In Clewiston, Aged 90

Flora C. Perez, age 90, of Clewiston, passed away November 1, 2020 in Clewiston. She was born Aug. 18, 1930 in Cuba to the late Luis Francisco and the late Paula (Diaz) Caso. 

She married Antonio Andres Perez; he preceded her in death on July 20, 1981. She and her husband were real estate brokers in the area for many years. 

Flora was a devoted parishioner of Saint Margaret Catholic Church in Clewiston for many years. She was a loving mother, grandmother and sister who will be dearly missed by everyone who loved her. 

Survivors include one son: Antonio Perez and one daughter: Elena Maria Mickler, one brother: Luis Francisco Cason, five grandchildren. 

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 11:00 am at Saint Margaret's Catholic Church, Clewiston. with Father Jiobani Batista presiding. Entombment was at 2:00 p.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace, Royal Palm Beach. 

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Marlene Conyers Retires From Hendry Sheriff Office With 20 Years Service

LABELLE, FL. -- On Friday, November 6, 2020, members of the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office wished 20 year employee Marlene Conyers a Happy Retirement.

Marlene has been employed with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office since July of 1996. Former Sheriff Thomas (Tommie) Vaughan hired Marlene as an Accounts Payable Clerk. In March of 2001, Under the Administration of Sheriff Steve Worley, Marlene was promoted to the position of Finance Director. Marlene had a four year break in service in 2005, when she and her family relocated to central Florida.

She came back to the Sheriff’s Office in January of 2009 as Finance Director, where she has faithfully served Sheriff Steve Whidden and the citizens of Hendry County until today.

Marlene’s time spent with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has seen many changes from the old time pen and paper accounting to computer technology; she has witnessed the overall change in law enforcement and the demands placed on the law enforcement field.

As an employee and friend, she remained true to life in those relationships, many of those friendships spanning 20 years, and hardly a bad word said about anyone or anything.

Marlene has been a hard worker and dedicated to doing the right things. “I’ve made many friends here over the years and experienced good times, as well as bad. I’ve had the opportunity to work with what I believe to be the best bosses I could have asked for, and I will miss them”, said Marlene. “But, I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life, one that’s a bit slower. I’m looking forward to spending time with family and friends. I hope to do a little traveling and most importantly spend time with my children and grandchildren.” 

If you know Marlene or see her out, we are asking that you Congratulate her on her recent Retirement.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Darryl W. Moore Of Clewiston Dies, Aged 57

Darryl W. Moore, age 57, of Clewiston, passed away November 3, 2020 in Hollywood. He was born Apr. 21, 1963 in Belle Glade, FL, to the late David W. Moore and the late Brenda Lee (Courson) Moore. 

Darryl worked for the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida for 40 years. He loved to play golf and enjoyed fishing. Darryl was very dedicated to his family and will be greatly missed. 

Survivors include one son: Joshua Moore and one daughter: Christina Moore, brother: Arnold Moore, grandchildren, Alisya Mata, Adrian Mata, Jr., Joshua Moore and Kimberly Moore, nieces Kelsie Moore and Courtney Moore, his long life companion Anna Moore. 

He was preceded in death by his wife Kimberly Moore and his parents. 

Funeral services will be held Friday, November 6, 2020 at 6:30 pm at New Harvest Church, Clewiston with Pastor Chuck Pelham officiating. 

Visitation will be Friday from 1/2 hour prior to service at New Harvest Church, Clewiston, FL. Interment will be Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 10:00 am in Ridgelawn Cemetery. 

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

COVID-19 Still Lingering In Hendry County, Florida Now Affecting Schools


LABELLE, FL. -- COVID-19 cases have not gone away in rural Hendry County, Florida. Since March 1st there have been 2,327 positive cases identified in the population of 42,380 or about 5% of the population. 310 were pediatric cases.

A total of 372 people tested positive were admitted to the emergency room, and 44 have died.

In the Hendry County School District, 250 students and 31 staff are under quarantine orders. Three LaBelle High School football games have been canceled so far.

The largest amount of students quarantined are from Clewiston Elementary School, at 65. LaBelle High has 51 students under quarantine, and LaBelle MIddle School with 39, and Clewiston High at 38 quarantined.

Photo: Free Virus Testing site in LaBelle, Fl.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Jerry R. Kennedy of Alva Dies, Aged 79

Jerry R. Kennedy, 79, of Alva, passed away on October 31st at his home. Graveside funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Thursday, November 5th at The Alva Cemetery with Pastor Allarius Russ, officiating. 

Jerry was born in Asheboro, North Carolina to Kenneth and Lela Kennedy on August 3, 1941. He married Shirley Jo Kennedy nee Murphy on December 5, 1968 in Alva, Florida. He joined the US Army in 1962 and was a Vietnam Veteran. He served in the Army with the 82nd Airborne, 101st Airborne and 1st Infantry. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Expert Infantry Badge, and Jumpmaster Badge. 

Jerry is preceded in death by his Mother, Father, and brother Larry. He is survived by his wife Jo, sons Jerry (Brenda) and James (Michelle) Kennedy, sister Jean (Richard) Styles, grandchildren Andy (Sonya), Charles, Amber (Daniel), Tyler, Victoria, Enjolique, Jessica, Alexxis, great-grandchildren Emmily and Abigail. 

Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Fort Myers.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

COVID Testing Results In 24 Hours - Three Free SItes In Hendry-Glades County, FL

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties and the Florida Department of Emergency Management have partnered to offer free COVID-19 testing for all ages. 

UPDATE: The testing has been cancelled due to possible adverse weather on Monday and Tuesday.

Results will be available within 24-Hours. 

Open Testing – No appointments needed and no criteria or restrictions for testing.

The Health Department will issue FREE MASKS and FREE HAND SANITIZER to individuals that get tested (while supplies last).

Additionally, FREE testing for HIV will be available.

The mobile testing bus we be at the following locations (Weather permitting):

· Monday November 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Barron Library – 461 N. Main Street, LaBelle, FL 33935

· Monday, November 9th from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Hendry County Health Dept. – 1100 S. Olympia, Clewiston, FL 33440

· Tuesday, November 10th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
998 US-27, (Parking Lot) Near Doyle Conner Building, Moore Haven, FL 33471

LaBelle, FL. Obituaries - Louis T. Ozuna, aged 73; Ronald J. Sanchez, aged 52

Louis Trevino Ozuna, age 73, of LaBelle, passed away October 31, 2020 in Fort Myers. He was born Aug. 24, 1947 in Fork Township, MI, to the late Ramon Salas Ozuna and the late Juventina Trevino Ozuna. 

Survivors include two sons: Anthony Ozuna and Jose Louis Ozuna Jr, three daughters: Margaret Ozuna, Joanna Ozuna and Elizabeth Herrera, four brothers: Ramiro Ozuna, Ricardo Ozuna, Israel Ozuna and Ramon Ozuna Jr, four sisters: Juanita, Maria, Elvira, Gloria, Rosa Linda and Silvia Many Grandchildren, 

He was Predeceased by a son Eddie Ozuna; and Sisters Simona; and Maria Alicia 

He was a Truck Driver 

A Memorial Mass is Pending. Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Ronald J Sanchez, age 52, of LaBelle, passed away October 29, 2020 in LaBelle. He was born Oct. 12, 1968 in Clewiston, FL, to the late Uvaldo Sanchez and Marie J (Slaughter) Hyser. 

Survivors include his wife: Elizabeth (Agent) Sanchez five sons: Ronald J Sanchez Jr, David A Sanchez, Dustin Sanchez, Brandon Sanchez and Roy Bean Jr mother: Marie J (Slaughter) Hyser two brothers: Robert A Sanchez and Uvaldo Sanchez Jr 12 grandchildren 

He was an Installer of Mobile Homes. 

Visitation Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle from 5-7 p.m.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Florida and U.S. Still Ranking On Top On COVID-19 Statistical Rankings

LABELLE, FL -- Florida ranks number 3 in total COVID cases, with 897,412 just behind California and Texas. Falling behind Florida, were New York and Illinois. 

Florida is number 2 behind Illinois in daily new cases with 4,865 yesterday. Florida is number 4 in total deaths reporting 16,796 so far. Florida is number 2 in active COVID cases with 219,074, behind California.

Florida is number 9 in cases per 1,000 population with about 3.8% of the total population having been infected so far. 15% of new persons tested are positive for the virus in Florida.

North Dakata leads in cases per 1,000 with 6% infected.

The U.S. leads the world in number of cases with nearly 9.5 million, followed by India, Brazil, Russia, and France. About 3% of U.S. residents have had the virus so far. The U.S. is 12th among nations in deaths per 1,000 COVID cases.

The U.S. also leads in daily new cases with 71,321 yesterday and total deaths now at 236,471. The U.S. leads in active cases with 3.1 million, more than double number two France at 1.3 million current cases.

The U.S. has now the most critical COVID cases with 17,205 almost double next in line India's 8,944 cases.


Registered Republicans Ballots Leading In LaBelle and Moore Haven, Florida


LABELLE, FL. -- Republican Party voters are outnumbering Democrats in early voting in Hendry and Glades county, Florida. 

With 41% of all registered voters casting ballots so far in Glades county, 51% of voters have been Republicans, 35% Democrats, and 13% No Party or others.

In Hendry county, LaBelle's Republicans have cast 60% of the ballots, Democrats 27% and No Party and others 13%. 

But in the city of Clewiston, Republicans and Democrats are split evenly at 45% votes cast so far and No Party and others at 11%.

In person voting continues Tuesday at 7 a.m. in Hendry county and Glades county and ends at 7 p.m. Although some states continue early voting today (Monday) there is no voting today in Florida.