Florida reported its largest number of deaths in a single day from the coronavirus 173 on July 23, 2020. The state says 10,249 people tested positive for the virus. Locally, Hendry county has had 1451 positive cases of the coronavirus since testing began in March, 32 people have died. Glades County has had 2 deaths and 292 positive cases. The Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties continues to provide free COVID-19 Testing. There are no criteria for testing, however, appointments are required and individuals must be 18 years and older. Testing will take place next week by appointment only at the health departments in Glades County, in Clewiston and in LaBelle.  

Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County is searching for Vennetta Carroll. Her last known address is Carissa Dr., Pahokee. She is wanted for felony grand theft. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Vennetta Carroll, contact Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County.

US Sugar is helping out the community as students, teachers and parents prepare for back to school. The organization is doing something sweet for our little ones as they prepare to attend campuses either in-person or from home. Community Relations Manager for US Sugar Brannan Thomas, a native of Belle Glade says, giving back is part of the organizations culture. They will be issuing backpacks to most elementary schools in Hendry and Glades Counties on August 4. School is scheduled to resume in Hendry and Glades Counties on August 17.

A LaBelle man is facing charges in the death of another LaBelle man in connection with an accident that occurred early yesterday morning in Lee County, an accident which also injured four other people. Florida Highway Patrol troopers say 33-year-old Tomas Cruz-Gomez was driving an SUV south on I-75 in Fort Myers at around 6:30 when for unknown reasons he veered off the road, causing the SUV to overturn several times and end up on the grass shoulder. FHP troopers say Cruz-Gomez’s front seat passenger, a 35-year-old man, was killed instantly. The four other passengers, all men ages 29 thru 40, and all from LaBelle, received serious to minor injuries and were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Cruz-Gomez meanwhile was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and then taken into custody by Lee County Sheriff’s deputies on charges of driving without a driver’s license causing death. The accident is under investigation. The names of the others involved in the accident are being withheld due to Marsy’s Law. The accident closed down two southbound lanes of I-75 for nearly five hours. Officials say Cruz-Gomez was also being held on a Hendry County warrant for violating probation on past charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. He’s currently being held in Lee County Jail without bond. He’ll be arraigned on August 24th.

Hendry County Courthouse will be the sight of the “Back the Blue” rally tomorrow from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The groups organizer, Roger Alexander, is inviting other activists such as the Black Lives Matter and Peaceful March for Justice organizers, to come out and help bridge the gap. For more information about the rally, contact Roger Alexander at 863-673-5747.