Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ryan Kinsey Dies In Motorcycle Crash Incident

Ryan J. Kinsey, 28 of El Paso, TX died after a hit and run crash Tuesday night at 11:47 p.m. in Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida.

A 2013 Harley Davidson Motorcycle was traveling northbound on US 41 (SR45) south of Cedar Creek Dr. when Kinsey fell off the bike onto the roadway and came to final rest in the right lane of US 41.

The motorcycle came to final rest north in the right lane of US 41 north of Kinsey. A Ford Taurus was traveling northbound in the right lane of US 41 approaching Cedar Creek Dr. and collided with Kinsey and continued traveling northbound on US 41 in an unknown direction.

It was described as Tan or Grey Ford Taurus. This crash remains under investigation

How To Protect Eyes During The Florida Solar Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, Florida will experience a partial solar eclipse, and the Florida Department of Health reminds all Floridians to enjoy this rare event safely by following simple precautions and using proper protection. Severe retinal damage can occur from looking directly at the sun.

"The solar eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime event that I'm sure many of us will want to experience,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. "I look forward to viewing the eclipse safely using approved solar eclipse glasses, and I encourage all of Florida's residents and visitors to practice caution while driving or walking outdoors during the period of darkness.”

Because Florida will not experience a total solar eclipse, it will not be safe the view the eclipse without the use of special solar filters like eclipse glasses. Sunglasses are not eclipse glasses. Not all glasses that market themselves as "eclipse glasses” are safe. Approved glasses have filters that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for safety. A list of vendors for approved eclipse glasses can be viewed on the American Astronomical Society (AAS) website. During the eclipse, be sure to take breaks and avoid staring at the sun for long periods of time, even with eclipse glasses.

Take simple precautions to protect your vision before, during and after the solar eclipse:
Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter;
Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device;
Always supervise children using solar filters; and
Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.

You can read more about solar eclipse safety on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Eclipse 101 website.

World Class Barbershop Of LaBelle

World Class Barbershop Of LaBelle, owned by Hugo Vargas, invites area residents and visitors to visit the barber shop located at 216 South Main Street in LaBelle.

Among services Hugo and his barbers offer are regular & scissor cuts, flat tops, shaves, and hair styling for all ages.  

World Class Barbershop is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm and Saturday from 7 am until 2 pm. 

Phone: (863) 674-1775

World Class Barbershop is a sponsor of Southwest Florida Online.

Jenaro Deleon Dies At 84

Jenaro Vasquez Deleon, age 84, of LaBelle, passed away August 9, 2017 in LaBelle. He was born Jan. 28, 1933 in Junco, Puerto Rico to the late Marcelino and (Vasquez) Deleon.
Survivors include four sons: Marcelino (Sara) Deleon, Tony (Mary) Deleon, Abel (Sandy) Deleon and Genaro Deleon, Jr., and two daughters: Lydia Faz of LaBelle, FL and Sanaida Martinez,
Brother of one sister: two Brothers numerous grandchildren and nieces and nephews,
Funeral services were held Friday, August 11, 2017 at 11:00 am at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle with Pastor David Deleon and Juan Velasquez officiating. Interment was in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle. Visitation was Thursday from 6-8 p.m. August 8 at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, LaBelle, FL.

Monday, August 14, 2017

What's Happening At Hendry Commission

The following is a highlight of the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting held on Tuesday, August 8 at the Commission Chamber in Clewiston City Hall in Clewiston, Florida.
·         Bid #2017-15 – LaBelle Airport - Construction of Terminal Building & Infrastructure – The board voted to accept the low bid from Owens Ames Kimball for $2,320,418.58 to construct the Labelle Airport terminal building and infrastructure. The project is funded 100% by the Florida Department of Transportation.

·         Review of Lobbying Services Contract - The Board voted unanimously to hire Gray Robinson with a 1-year contract of $60,000. At the end of the year, the Board will review the experience with Gray Robinson and decide if they want to negotiate a new agreement for the 2019 legislative season.


·         Contract With Johnson Engineering, Inc. for W.C. Owen Avenue from Georgia Avenue to US 271 - The Board voted to accept the contract staff negotiated with Johnson Engineering, Inc. for design and permitting services to resurface W. C. Owen Avenue. The Contract is for the design and permitting phase services in the amount of $155,201.48.

·         Contract with Johnson Engineering, Inc. for Fort Denaud Road from Fort Denaud Bridgeway to Huggetts Road - The Board voted to accept the contract Staff negotiated with Johnson Engineering, Inc. for design and permitting services to resurface Fort Denaud Road from Fort Denaud Bridgeway to Huggetts Road. The Contract is for the design and permitting phase services in the amount of $197,609.86.

·         Facilities Policy – The Board moved to adopt a county facility policy that would properly and consistently regulate the use and rental of county facilities. County facilities under this policy include facilities that are overseen by BOCC staff. An application consistent with this policy is being developed and will apply to all facilities. The application will be made available online.


·         Approve the Submission of a Grant Application to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity “Public Infrastructure Grant” for the Construction of the Waste Water Force Main from Airglades Airport to the Clewiston Waste Water Treatment Plant and Authorize Signature Authority - The board authorized staff to submit an application to the Department of Economic Opportunity for funding of the Force Main project contingent upon approval from the city of Clewiston. If a partnership is struck between the City of Clewiston and the County, the grant as will be for $8 million of the $85 million available. The County’s portion of the project on its own is $5.5 million.

·         Election of Commissioners – In follow up to the approval of the straw ballot provision from the last general election in November 2016, the Board approved seeking outside council through the services of Sniffen & Spellman, P.A. on the issue of possibly changing the method of election of County Commissioners from single-member districts to at-large.


·         Local Agency Program (LAP) Agreement for design, construction, and Construction Engineering and Inspection (CEI) services for a sidewalk along Old CR 78 from CR 78 East to SR 29 in the amount of$324,657 - The Board voted to execute the Amendment to the Local Agency Program Agreement, subject to County Attorney approval. The LAP Agreement consists of funding in the amount of $62,099 for design, $206,998 for construction, and $55,560 for CEI services. It is anticipated that these funds will fully fund the project.

Joe Davidson Takes New Commanding Officer Role

Navy Cmdr. Joseph O. Davidson of Clewiston, Fla., assumed command of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Seven Nine as the Commanding Officer during a ceremony held at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif. Davidson relieved outgoing Commander Marc Cantu.

Davidson has served in the Navy for more than 18 years and accumulated more than 2,500 hours of helicopter flight experience as an airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operator. He has won the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, and various unit commendations.

Davidson is the son of Gail Davidson of Clewiston, Fla.

He graduated in 1999 from the University of Florida.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Elvia Cardenas Seriously Injured In Crash

Ruben Dario Restrepo 69, of LaBelle was traveling southbound on Eucalyptus Boulevard in a 1980 GMC pickup as Elvia Cardenas, 38 of LaBelle was eastbound on County Road 80A/ Cowboy Way in a 2003 Ford Escape at 8:27 a.m. Friday.

Restrepo came to a stop sign at the intersection of southbound Eucalyptus Boulevard and County Road 80A. and failed to yield to coming eastbound traffic on County Road 80A.

He then proceeded south into the intersection. As a result, the left front Cardenas' vehicle struck the right front of the truck at the intersection.

Collision impact then redirected the truck in a southeasterly direction. Both vehicles came to
rest on the westbound grassy shoulder of County Road 80A (east of the intersection).

Cardenas was later transported by Hendry County EMS to Lehigh Regional Medical Center for serious injuries. Restrepo had no injuries and was cited for failure to yield right of way.

Museum Coordinating Festival Pioneer Family Selections

Joe Thomas, current president of LaBelle Heritage Museum and a three-time past chairman of LaBelle’s Swamp Cabbage Festival, says it is not too early to start thinking about the 2018 Swamp Cabbage Festival Pioneer Family. LaBelle Heritage Museum will be presenting a list of “Pioneer Families” to the Swamp Cabbage Festival Committee at its October meeting for selection as the 2018 LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival Pioneer Family at the November meeting.

The criteria are the family has to have lived in the “LaBelle Community” for at least 50 years and still have direct descendants generally recognized as being members of the LaBelle Community.   This means the family chosen as 2018 Swamp Cabbage Festival Pioneer Family must have been living in the LaBelle Community by November 1967 at the absolute latest to be eligible for consideration by the Swamp Cabbage Festival Committee.   There are families whose LaBelle “roots” go back before the creation of Hendry County in 1923 who have not been honored let alone even been nominated as Swamp Cabbage Festival Pioneer Family, and LaBelle Heritage Museum will be presenting some of them for consideration along with relative “newcomers” to the ranks of Pioneer Families who have just become eligible for consideration.

Thomas adds, “In all fairness, if an area family has already been honored as Pioneer Family through great great grandparents or other direct ancestors living in our area, they should not be selected again through a more recent family member let alone even be nominated.” The 50 year minimum residency is a concrete requirement; what constitutes being a member of the LaBelle Area Community is a judgment call to be decided on an individual basis when all of the “facts” are presented.

Letters of nomination should be presented to LaBelle Heritage Museum either by dropping them off at the museum itself at 360 North Bridge Street, mailing them to LaBelle Heritage Museum, P O Box 2846, LaBelle, FL 33975, or e-mailing them to no later than Friday, September 15, to give time to verify information before presenting the nominations to the Swamp Cabbage Festival Committee at its October meeting.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Harry Chapin Food Bank - Free Food For Seniors

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is signing up seniors in Glades and Hendry County that may qualify for a federal supplemental food program (Commodity Supplemental Food Program – CSFP). Eligible seniors must be residents of Hendry or Glades County, 60 years or older and meet federal poverty guidelines. Food; vegetables, fruit, beans, and cheese monthly is available for 275 more seniors in Glades and 200 more seniors in Hendry Counties at this time.

A deadline of September 30 is slated to reach Harry Chapin's goal, or risk losing the food allotment. 

If you would like more detailed information, please feel free to call 239-334-7007 x.143, or email at

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Obituaries-Graf, Penton, Stewart, Briede

James V Graf, age 88, of LaBelle, passed away August 7, 2017 in LaBelle.
He was born July 9, 1929 in Elmira, NY, Son of late George and Alice Olga (Parsons) Graf.
Survivors include his wife: Florence Inez (Centers) Graf, one son: Michael (Darlene) Graf of Texas and three daughters: Carol (Paul) Kraft of LaBelle, Cheryl (Late Bob) Walker of CA. and Kathleen Graf, of N.Y.., Also Survived by 2 step-children Vonda Saunders of Lehigh Acres, Jeffery (Janis) Brewster of LaBelle. Pre-deceased by Minnie Orcutt Graf, Vicki Brewster & James E. Graf. Also survived by eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Jim had a quest for life and demonstrated this through his love for his wife, family and friends.
Jim was a jokester who loved to laugh and making others laugh. In his younger years he loved camping with his family. He enjoyed sitting by the campfire, telling jokes, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows. In his later years he loved going on cruises, and the highlight of his day was meeting friends each morning at a local restaurant for coffee and helping to solve the problems of the world. Jim truly loved his 35 brand new cars that he owned during his lifetime. His motto to his children was, "Do what is right for you!" He will be missed so much by his family and friends
Cremation arrangements by the Aiken-Davis Funeral Home
On August 6, 2017, Jeremy Penton, at only 17, was tragically taken from his loving and close-knit family and friends. Jeremy was born on May 25, 2000. Immediate family members include his mother, Cherie Penton; sister, Alyssa Penton; brother, Joshua Penton, and father, Daniel Penton. Paternal grandparents include Pablo and Caridad Penton, and his maternal grandparents are Butch and Glenda Wilson. Other extended family members include uncles, aunts, and cousins.
Jeremy grew up in Clewiston where his passion for fishing developed into an impressive talent. He first started fishing local community canals. One of his favorite spots was the "White Bridge" located at the end of Royal Palm Avenue, within walking distance from home. A hot summer day at the bridge always called for a break with plenty of McDonalds' hamburgers and ice cold tea for him and his fishing buddies.
Later, Jeremy's fishing exploits included boat trips on Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. His love of fishing would expand to coastal, salt water bays on both the east and west coasts. People were always amazed at his angler abilities, as they watched him tirelessly catch fish for hours without taking a break. His family will forever treasure the photos that captured those special moments with Jeremy's big smile and trophy-sized fish.
Jeremy was a prankster at heart, who loved to play jokes on family and friends when they least expected it. He loved the outdoors, so one never knew what kind of Florida critter he would capture and bring home. The solitude he found in the outdoors, so befitted his personality. He was a person of few words who spent countless nights on his back porch, browsing through social media and You-Tube and calling friends.
Like many other teenagers of today, Jeremy struggled to find his way in a challenging world. In his struggles, we, his family, overlooked his imperfections and, with love, saw only his perfection. Jeremy's young life was cut short by the endless violence and lawlessness that so dominates our society today. Our hearts ache, knowing he will never have the opportunity to plan a career, meet and marry that special woman, or father children for us to love and spoil. Our family suffers deeply at Jeremy's loss because he was senselessly murdered and ruthlessly taken from us. His life is gone, but he will always continue to live in our hearts; his memories will sustain and comfort us. Jeremy, we will never forget you – your loving family will hold you in our hearts forever.
Celebration of Jeremy's life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, August 10, 2017 in Clewiston Church of God, where Pastor Ray Dick will officiate. Visitation was held on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 from 6-8 pm in Akin-Davis Funeral Home. Burial will take place in Ridgelawn Cemetery.
Celebration arrangements being handled by Akin-Davis Funeral Home – Clewiston.
Harold Glenn Stewart, 87, passed away on Thursday, August 3, 2017 in LaBelle, FL. Glenn was born on September 18, 1929 in Ft Myers, FL to Herbert R. and Gladys L. Stewart. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Wilton "Bill" Stewart and Gerald Stewart; by his wives, Mary E. Stewart and Edna Y. Stewart, and a son, Michael S. Stewart.
He is survived by a daughter, Mary Whitley, granddaughter, Amanda Whitley, and great-granddaughter, Cherokee Whitley of Wichita Falls, TX; a sister Inez S. Adkins of Palm Beach Gardens, FL; a step-son Gene Yarbrough of Sacramento, CA; six nieces; five nephews, and numerous other cousins and friends.
Glenn graduated from LaBelle High School in 1948 and lived a full and rewarding life. He was a flight line engineer, an instructor (training over 50 pilots, many who later became airline pilots), and went into the Air Force from March 1951 to November 1952. As a pilot, he delivered airplanes to South America, Argentina, and Mexico, and flew senators and governors throughout Florida. After moving to Tennessee in 1972, he dabbled in ranching, owned a dry cleaning business, managed two theaters, and did some construction work. Upon returning to Florida in 1988, he managed an orange grove and became a security guard. Then in 2012, he decided to venture into a new career called retirement.
Glenn's other passions were reading, dreaming about taking a sailboat ride to Puerto Rico, talking about his flying days, watching movies, and just taking it easy.
A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at The Grace Building at Caloosa Baptist Church, 550 West Hickpoochee Av., LaBelle, Florida with Ray Harn officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Glenn's name to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
George James Briede, age 100, of Lehigh Acres, passed away August 2, 2017 in Fort Myers.
He was born July 10, 1917 in Chicago, IL, to the late Arthur Henry Briede and Agnes Josephine (Motyka) Briede. He served during World War II in the Marine Corps. He lived in Lehigh Acres from 1961 to 1977 and was a Publisher of the Lehigh Acres News during that time. George was a longtime resident of LaBelle from 1982 to 2000. He was a member and co-founder of the American Legion Post #130, LaBelle, D.A.V. Post #144 Labelle and the V.F.W. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge and Shriners.
He was preceded in death by his wife's', Martha J. Puletti Briede, Alta Breide, Adele Struckmeier Briede and Jo Williams-Briede. A daughter, Georgia L. Walker and grandson, Richard R. Kornmann, Jr. Survivors include son: James A. Briede of Tallahassee, FL and daughter JoAnn Pietron of Winchester VA, seven grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren, step children: Paul Puletti, John B. Puletti and Michael Puletti all of LaBelle and Eleanor Neal of Fort Myers.
Memorial Services will be held at a later date. No Viewing at George's request. Contributions can be made in George's name to Labelle American Legion or the V.F.W. or to the American Cancer Society in Georgia L. Walker and Richard R. Kornmann, Jr.
Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Jeremy Daniel Penton Murdered In Clewiston

On August 6, 2017, at approximately 2:39am, Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of Twin Lakes Subdivision, Clewiston, Florida, in reference to a young male lying on the ground.

Upon deputy’s arrival, they were able to identify the victim as 17 years old, Jeremy Daniel Penton of Clewiston. At this time it is unknown what may have led to the killing of Penton.

Anyone with any information regarding this homicide is asked to call the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, Investigator Vernon Speak, at (863) 674-5600 or (863)-805-5000; or you may contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-(TIPS)(8477), where you may become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00 if your tip leads to an arrest.

Update: Family members have gone into the Twin Lakes Subdivision and have been handing out flyers asking for assistance from residents in finding out who killed their grandson.

At this time there is a $10,000.00 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved in the killing of 17 year old Jeremy Penton.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Lily Paniagua Honored By MADD

Florida Department of Health in Hendry County (FDOH-Hendry) and Drug Free Hendry County (DFHC) and one of their Live Positive 863 students were honored for their achievement for the prevention of underage drinking at the 2017 Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Statewide Law Enforcement Recognition Ceremony. 

DFHC was nominated as a community group and their Live Positive 863 student, Lily Paniagua, was nominated as an individual for the category of underage drinking prevention. 

Drug Free Hendry was nominated for the social norms campaign, Live Positive 863, which highlights high school students in both Hendry and Glades Counties, who live a positive life without any alcohol, substance abuse, or tobacco use.  Live Positive 863 is designed to be a peer to peer mentoring campaign which allows students to share their story on how they are able to deal with daily pressures. These students are hand selected after a thorough search to verify that they are not promoting any negative behaviors and are a leader within their school and community. 

After being chosen, the students participate in a photo shoot that typically highlights one of his or her favorite activities. The best photo is used on posters that are then displayed in all middle and high schools around Hendry and Glades Counties.

On the poster, students see a Live Positive 863 member, the school that they represent and a fun quote that amplifies living alcohol and drug free. Live Positive 863 members are also featured on Drug Free Hendry County’s webpage and social media accounts. Students involved in the Live Positive 863 Campaign become local celebrities and role models who prove that alcohol and drugs are not needed to have fun. 

FDOH Hendry/Glades and Drug Free Hendry continues to dedicate itself to making sure teens are not making poor choices, are living positively, and staying drug free.  For more information about this campaign, please contact Luci Cisnero at the Florida Department of Health in Hendry County 863-674-4041 ext. 6032 or visit

Photo left to right: David Pinsker-MADD Florida State Executive Director, Luci Cisnero, Lily Paniagua- Live Positive 863 student, Melissa Franco- Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Coordinator for FDOH Hendry, Crystal Gomez- Tobacco Prevention Specialist for FDOH-Hendry and Kelsey Kraft-Miss Florida

Glades Tax Notices Ready To Mail Next Week

Lorie Ward, Glades County Property Appraiser – Irma Palma, Mapper – Venisha Lewis, Tangible Personal Property Clerk - Carmen Whitney, Exemption Specialist – Trish Coleman, Deed & Sales Analyst – Marina Langdale, Chief Deputy Property Appraiser – Bradley Smith, Field Appraiser - Ragen Mathis, Sr. Field Appraiser
The Glades Count Property Appraisers office staff have successfully completed the 2017 Glades County Tax Assessment Rolls, and have received approval from the Florida Department of Revenue. The Department of Revenues’ approval assures that the property tax assessment rolls comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements.

Now that the tax roll has been approved, on August 14th, 2017, the office will be mailing your “Notice of Proposed Property Taxes and Proposed or Adopted Non-Ad Valorem Assessments.” Please contact the office if you do not receive your notice.

Three Lay People Preach This Month

Each year,  Pastor Avery and Kathy of the LaBelle Assembly of God step down from the platform and let the women and men of the church step-up and share the Word of God in their individual ways from their: Certified Public Accountant, Public School teacher or a City commissioner. 

Julie Wilkins, wears many hats here in LaBelle: City Commissioner, Church Board member, Wife, mother and Realtor just to name a few of the positions she daily fits into her schedule. Julie will be teaching in the Wednesday Bible study at 7:00 p.m.    

David Miller is a Certified Public Accountant with offices in LaBelle and Clewiston  He brings balance to the pulpit. He says“As I reflect back I realize that the time away from God served to ultimately strengthen my faith and humble me to the realization that I need God everyday. I often wonder how I would have found the Lord if I had not grown up in a Christian home. I worry about the children who do not have Christian leadership during their early years.” David will be sharing the 11:00 am worship service on  Sunday August 13th and the 9:45 am service on August 20th.

Tammy Perkins earned her A. A. degree at Florida South Western State College.  And her state of  Florida teachers certificate from Barry University along with her B.A. degree .  Her Friends and co-workers  describe her  as very kind hearted, Compassionate, loving person that loves God.  Miss Perkins’ is a new Hendry county teacher for LaBelle Middle school in the the sixth grade. Tammy, will be sharing the 9:45 am worship service on  Sunday August 13th and the 11:00 am service on August 20th.

LaBelle Assembly of God. Located at 135 Fraser Avenue across from the Edward A. Upthegrove Elementary School.  For more information call 863-675-0900

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Keeping Love Alive Forever - 5 Keys

How To Keep Your Relationship Alive And Flourishing
by Mark Werling

Here are the 5 most important keys of all time enabling partners to stay in love together forever. Follow these simple "Be" ideas and relationships will flourish:

1. Be kind at all times to one another, be kind in secret and be kind in person.

2. Believe your partner at all times has your best interest and happiness in mind.

3. Be compassionate towards your and the partner's imperfections and hurts.

4. Be content with yourself and your partner - live your life to reflect that attitude.

5. Be of sound mind, body, and spirit - live a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Should you not be able to follow one or more of the keys, seek counseling or study the area of concern online. There is plenty of information and help available to those seeking a permanent love partnership.

Mark Werling, teacher, philosopher, and thinker has over 50 years of relationship experience. Send your relationship question to the editor @donbrowne on Twitter for Mr. Werling's response, or post a comment.

Obituaries-Dowhen, Barquero, Risley, Grambo

Travis William "Terry" Dowhen, almost 90 years old, of Moore Haven, passed away July 29, 2017 in Fort Myers.
Terry was born Nov. 4, 1927 in Milwaukee, WI, to the late Travis C. and the late Clara (Topel) Dowhen. Terry was raised by his mother Clara and step father; Emery Novotny. He married Dolores Ann "Dolly" Casper, she preceded him in death on February 20, 2009. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy. He built his first boat of many in the 70s. Left Milwaukee shortly after and settled in Turkey Creek to live. He worked as a journeyman electrician for a few years. He worked as a master tradesman for many years. A lifelong sailor, he loved being on his boat whenever he could. He and Dolly traveled frequently on their boat, making a 13 month trip once from here to the Bahamas and back. He worked as an auxiliary deputy for Glades County Sheriff Department, last working this past Chalo Nitka Festival. The three loves of his later life were being an auxiliary deputy, boating, singing karaoke at the American Legion, Moose and the VFW in LaBelle. He was a huge supporter of the Caloosa Humane Society and its first executive director. He and his companion Marie-Louise Kussmann would visit frequently to the Caloosa Humane Society to visit with the animals and the people.
Terry is survived by his son; Dennis and his wife Beth of West Allis, Wisconsin, grandchildren; Kristin, Travis R. and Jeff Dowhen. Longtime companion Marie-Louise Kussmann of Moore Haven.
There is a memorial gathering planned for later this year. Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Felix Enrique Barboza Barquero, age 81, of Clewiston, passed away July 31, 2017 in Clewiston.
He was born Nov. 20, 1935 in Nicaragua to the late Arturo and the late Guillermina (Barquero) Barboza. Felix married Yolanda Fuentes. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend who will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his wife: Yolanda (Fuentes) Barboza, son; Abigail, daughter; Geraldine and three grandchildren, and many extended family members.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 6:00 pm at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Visitation will be Thursday from 5-6 p.m. at Akin-Davis Funeral Home, Clewiston, FL.
Carolyn Ann Risley, age 72, of LaBelle, passed away August 1, 2017 in Fort Myers.
She was born May 7, 1945 in , KY, to the late Elliott Tyler Williams and the late Kathleen Williams. Carolyn was loving, caring and always put the needs of others before her own.
Survivors include her son: James Timothy (Rebecca) Weathington of LaBelle, grandson: Tyler (Christian) Weathington, granddaughter: Lindsey Weathington and her children; great-granddaughter: Michelle Weathington and great-grandson: Tyler Weathington, Jr. She was also preceded in death by her husband: Joseph Roland Risley , III and son: Joseph "Jody" Roland Risley, IV.
A graveside funeral service will be held Friday, August 4, 2017, 9:30 am at Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle with Pastor W.T. Maddox, Jr. officiating. Interment will follow in Fort Denaud Cemetery, LaBelle.
Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.
Judith M. Grambo, age 84, of LaBelle, passed away August 3, 2017 in Lehigh Acres.
A memorial service will be held on a later date in Nov. 2017. Cremation Arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - LaBelle.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Walk Across Florida - Homestead

Excerpts from A Walk Across Florida by Bob Kranich

It was Sunday and beautiful weather as I walked through Homestead. Not too many people around. Still when people saw me they seemed surprised.

How did this area get its name? In 1898 it was open to homesteading. To get to this area there was only a trail. It was called the “Homesteaders Trail.” This all changed when in 1904 Henry Flagler decided to extend his railroad south from Miami to this location. The engineers who did the mapping for the railroad marked this area as Homestead. A story  tells of Henry Flagler standing on the southernmost point of land in Florida, (and it could have very well have been in the Homestead Florida City area), with five of his most important executives. He said, as he extended his arm in a broad sweep south towards the water, “Gentlemen: the railroad will go to sea.”

Henry Flagler then extended his Florida East Coast Railroad south through the swamps, and mangroves, across the sounds, and then from Key Largo to Key West. This made Homestead the hub of the railroad expansion. The name Homestead originated from the supplies and construction materials being sent to the “Homestead area.” Florida City and Homestead are so close that they are almost one. That was what I thought as I hiked through. It is the southernmost city in the U.S. that is not on an island, and it is the jumping off place for the Florida Keys.

When I got to the Florida Pioneer Museum, it was closed. There was an old, large, one-story, restored Florida City house on the property. Sitting next to it on a short section of railroad track was a railroad caboose from the old Flagler Florida East Coast Railroad.

I started by dropping my pack on the large front porch and then taking a seat there and just resting. When I had my fill of resting, I took some photos of the Florida City pioneer house. Also since I couldn't resist railroads, I had to take photos of the old Florida East Coast caboose and sketch it. Some literature there said that the house was the old Homestead Florida East Coast Railroad Station Agent’s home and was built in 1904…..

I was through Florida City before I knew it. I filled up my stove for 4 cents at an Amoco gas station. It was there that I saw I was on U. S. Highway No. 1. There was also an old railroad grade on my right, the west side of the road. There weren’t any rails, but the old ties were still there. I had this feeling that where I was standing was historic. I was sure that it was the jumping-off place for the overseas railroad, the railroad that went to sea…. Now I was about start my hike that went to sea!

About the Author: After getting out of the Army Bob Kranich backpacked from the Georgia border to Key West in a 40 day adventure walk across Florida. His recently published book A Walk Across Florida is available from his website or

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Jonathan Keese Dies In Motorcycle Crash

Jonathan Keese, 25 of Lehigh Acres, FL died in a crash at 2:27 a.m. Saturday in Fort Myers.

A 2006 Honda CBR1000 was traveling northbound in the inside lane of Treeline Ave approaching Pelican Preserve Blvd. and failed to negotiate a left curve causing the left side to sideswipe the median curb.

Keese failed to maintain control  causing the vehicle to overturn onto its left side which began to travel on its left side causing it to collide with the median.

Keese was thrown from the vehicle onto the grass median. The vehicle came to final rest on its left side on the northbound left turn lane of Treeline Ave just south of Pelican Preserve Blvd.

Keese was pronounced deceased at the scene. Investigation continues for alcohol as a factor said the FHP.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Richard Ison Dies At 49

Richard David Ison, age 49, of Clewiston, passed away July 20, 2017 in West Palm Beach.
David was born Aug. 29, 1967 in Hialeah, FL, to the late Ronald E. and the late Mary (Gray) Ison. Mr. Ison married Bettie Jeane Stanley on August 28, 1992 in Las Vegas, Nevada. David worked for many years in Water Utilities. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He will be missed by everyone who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his loving wife: Bettie Jeane Ison, one son: Michael Ison and one daughter: Kimberly Ison, one granddaughter; Hayley Ison.
Graveside internment rites will be held at 11:00 a.m. August 1, 2017 in Ridgelawn Cemetery.
Cremation arrangements by Akin-Davis Funeral Home - Clewiston.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Firehouse Theatre News

What's happening at the Firehouse Theatre

Open Auditions
Open auditions for the Firehouse Theatre’s 25th Season will be held Saturday, September 9th from 10am to noon at the Firehouse Theatre(241 North Bridge Street).
Please come to this audition to showcase your talents! Senior auditions for the “Old Time Radio” program will also be included.
Additional auditions will be held November 4th at 10am at the Theatre’s Rehearsal Hall located at
Are you Nifty and over 50?---The Firehouse Theatre Needs you!
The Firehouse Theatre’s new senior program is looking for actors age 55-plus to be part of the Old Time Radio show!! Also seeking seniors for the following: Sound effects manager, assistance with props and back-stage, music sound effects technician to record music from original productions and of course actors! If you are interested in performing or volunteering for the Seniors Program at the theatre, please contact Deborra Auditions will be held on September 9th from 10am to noon, but you can contact Deborra prior to that if you are interested! Deborra Soja produces and directs this wonderful program!
Laugh Out Loud (LOL)
The next Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Comedy Night at the Firehouse Theatre will be held in February; more details to come!! If you would like to be on stage and present your comedy talents, please call Doug Patterson at 239-369-0903

The Firehouse Community Theatre, Inc. is excited to present its 25th season! The line up is listed below:
·       “Sex Please We’re 60” - Oct 27-29 & Nov 2-5, 2017 – If you need a rollicking good time filled with laughter, this is the play to see.
·       “The Marvelous Wonderettes: Winter Wonderettes” – Dec 7-10 & 14-17, 2017 – Featuring great 60’s versions of holiday classics such as “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” and “Jingle Bell Rock”.
·       “Continental Divide” – Jan 18-21 & 25-28, 2018 – A delightful and hilarious comedy between rich and poor with a fresh viewpoint.
·       “Always a Bridesmaid” – Feb 22-25 & March 1-4, 2018 – If you have ever been forced to wear the world’s ugliest bridesmaid dress, then this is the comedy for you!
·       “Looking Back and Forward” – April 6-8 & 12-15, 2018 – Four our 25th season, Nick will take the best part of the past performances and add a few new tunes to create a spectacular musical event.
·       “Almost, Maine” – May 4-6 & 11-13, 2018 – There is no pretense of an edge here. The show offers a sweetness and decency that’s become rare at the theatre.

Other shows to look forward to during the year include the “LOL” – “Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show”, the fantastic Senior Program – Old Time Radio Show, and the Children’s Theatre Productions.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Volunteer Readers Wanted At United Way

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee is recruiting volunteers for the United Way ReadingPals program to read to four and five-year-olds at sixteen school sites in Lee and Hendry Counties.  Reading Pals help build a strong foundation for literacy and a love of reading in young children.
Children who are read to are more likely to become good readers. Children who read at grade level by the third grade are four times more likely to graduate from high school.
The ReadingPals literacy program requires a commitment of only one hour a week during the school year. During this time pals are matched with pairs of Pre-K and Kindergarten age children who need extra help.  Pals build a meaningful relationship by providing the individual attention many kids need to thrive. 
Volunteers are needed in all areas of the community, particularly in Lehigh Acres and Central Fort Myers.  The schools in Lee County are: Bonita Elementary, Cafferata Elementary, Christa McAuliffe Elementary, Colonial Elementary, The Early Childhood Center, J. Colin English Elementary, Gladiolus Child Development, New Horizons Afterschool in Estero, Orangewood Elementary, Orange River Elementary, Pinewoods Elementary, Sunshine Elementary, and Villas Elementary.  In Hendry County ReadingPals volunteer at Krome Child Development or Children’s Garden in LaBelle and Harlem Academy in Clewiston. 
The program is supported by the Children’s Movement of Florida and Publix Super Markets.  To learn more, contact Nancy Coker at or 239-433-7544.  To sign up, go to

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hope Healthcare Seeks Volunteers

Do you have a caring heart and time to share? Hope Hospice, a program of Hope Healthcare that provides specialized care for people with complex needs related to life-changing illness, is seeking hospice volunteers in Hendry and Glades counties.

Volunteers may be asked to talk and socialize with individuals in Hope’s care, read news articles or play card games, or give a caregiver a much-needed break by visiting.

“The time Hope Hospice volunteers donate is a special gift to people in our care,” said Samira K. Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Healthcare. “Providing quiet companionship, comfort and compassion can mean the world to them when they need it most.”

Volunteers must be at least 14 years or older. Visit or call 239-482-4673 for more information about volunteer opportunities.

To learn more about Hope Healthcare programs, including Hope Kids Care, Hope PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), Hope Palliative Care, Hope Visiting Nurses and the Hope Parkinson Program, call 239-482-4673 or visit

Michael Ray Yarborough Dies In Crash

Michael Ray Yarborough, 30 of Sunrise, Fl died in a crash at 4:50 a.m. Sunday on US 27 at Boar Hammock Ranch Road in Glades county.

Christopher John Walsh, 37 of Davie, Fl was traveling north on US 27 and his 2011 Chevy Silverado ran off the roadway and struck a railroad cantilever crossing gate post head on.

Walsh, a passenger was pronounced deceased at the scene by EMT medics. Yarborough was transported by air-med to Lee Memorial in critical condition.

The crash is under investigation and charges are pending. The FHP says the crash was alcohol related.

Elmer Sauceda At Kiwanis

From Honduras to LaBelle, Elmer Sauceda lived his dream believing "Values and education are much more important than money!" Elmer is a Florida Wild land Firefighter for the Forest Service and spoke to the Kiwanis Club on Tues, July 18th

Seen here with his childhood sweetheart and now wife Griselda, his constant "support" system. Elmer said ..."take control of your own life and always live each day as if it were
your last...learn as much as possible and you will be able to do amazing things in this Country"! Elmer is living by his words, as we all should!  
Elmer is pictured with his wife Griselda and acting KIWANIS President Nikki Yeager.
Photo by: Helen Mead

Friday, July 21, 2017

Penny Stalker Dies In Motorcycle Crash

Penny S. Stalker died in a motorcycle crash Friday at about 12:34 P.M. in Glades county.

Dean Robert Stalker, 65 Port Orange, Fl. driving a 2017 Harley Davidson Roadking motorcycle was stopped facing north on the paved shoulder of State Road 78 north of the Tobias Avenue intersection.

David Lee Cain, 71 of Okeechobee, Fl was traveling north on State Road 78 north of the Tobias Avenue intersection in a 2017 semi-truck.

Stalker made a left turn in front of Cain's vehicle , causing the front of the truck to strike the left side
of the motorcycle. Stalker and passenger Penny S. Stalker, 64 of Port Orange were separated from the motorcycle. Mr. Stalker was thrown towards the west side of State Road 78, striking the guardrail face.

The motorcycle came to final rest on the southbound lanes of State Road 78. The truck came to final rest on the grassy shoulder of State Road 78.

Mr. Stalker was moved from final rest prior to the arrival of the Florida Highway Patrol and had serious injuries. Cain had no injuries. Mrs. Stalker came to final rest on the west shoulder of State Road 78.