Friday August 21, 2020

On August 20, just after 1 a.m., a Clewiston Police Officer was on patrol near the 600 block of East Sugarland Highway, when he saw a car leaving the parking lot of a local motel with an obstructed tag. As the officer began to follow, a clear bag was tossed from the vehicle. Finding this suspicious, the officer stopped to check out the bag. What he found were believed to be narcotics. The officer then made contact with the driver of the vehicle 35-year-old Juan Carlos Rico, and arrested him. Field tests of the substance revealed methamphetamines, cocaine, bath salts, and heroine. Officers developed probable cause to charge Rico with several possession charges, as well as tampering with evidence. Rico is innocent until proven guilty.

At the LaBelle City Commission meeting on August 13, Sherri’s Tree was approved by the board to honor the memory of beloved past mayor, Sherri Craichy. Sherri served on the LaBelle City Commission from 1980 to 1987. As mayor from 1993 to 2005, she put the energy behind many of the projects most dear to residents today. Some of the projects include acquiring grants to get the Captain Hendry House, purchasing the Barron Park House and property, and helping the Firehouse Players find a home in the Firehouse Cultural Center. That’s only a few of her efforts that still brings LaBelle and Hendry County as a whole together year after year. Sherri passed away June 26, 2010, and now, thanks to Sherri’s tree, her story, her legacy will continue to light the hearts of many.

A news affiliate reports the LaBelle man who sold an undercover agent an AR-15-style weapon will be spending more than six years in federal prison. Alton Jackson, 26, will serve six years and three months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Alton served a one-year prison sentence on a cocaine sales and distribution charge. Jackson’s sentence on the weapons charge was above federal sentencing guidelines because of what the court cited as his numerous encounters with law enforcement dating back to age 14 and his recidivism risk. The article says Jackson was arrested in North Carolina by the US Marshals and transported to the Middle District of Florida. The case was prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program, a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities.

The Solid Waste Authority is giving to good advice, as the next tropical storm threatens. Our area is currently in the 5-day cone of uncertainty for Tropical Depression Thirteen, and the agency is cautioning against major yard work or construction projects. Of course, cities and municipalities will be monitoring watches and warnings from local weather services and issuing advisories accordingly. In the meantime, it is not recommended to place any items on the curb for pick up or do any tree trimming until the weather is no longer a threat. So before doing so, contact your local municipality or city government office. The storm is expected to develop into a tropical storm sometime today.