Friday, June 26, 2020

Team Glades will have a Bulk Food Distribution TODAY. Drive-thru service as well as walk-up service for those without transportation will be available; also, voter registration will be available and you may update your address and/or change your party affiliation if needed. This will take place at the First Haitian Baptist Church, 200 S.W. Avenue B, Belle Glade. The Florida Community Health Center will be conducting COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to noon.

The suspect in the shooting death of FWC Officer Julian Keen entered a plea of not guilty on Thursday. Keen, 30, was off-duty in LaBelle on June 14 when he saw Eliceo Hernandez driving recklessly and decided to follow him. Once both men had stopped, Keen confronted Hernandez and was shot, according to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office. Hernandez, 20, was arrested later that day and faces a charge of negligent homicide. A news report says HCSO are not investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved, and two others who were with Hernandez at the scene have not been charged. Hernandez remains in the Hendry County Jail with bond set at $500,000.

After the Palm Beach County Office of the Inspector General released its third report within the past two years on Tuesday, citing improprieties by Pahokee City Manager Chandler Williamson, Mayor Keith Babb Jr. has called a special meeting for Tuesday, June 30. Inspector John A. Carey and the OIG staff began investigating complaints of improper credit card use by Mr. Williamson in May 2019, the report states. Their investigative report finds that the main allegation — “City Manager Williamson made purchases using a City of Pahokee credit card between June 2015 and May 2019 in violation of city policies” — is confirmed by its findings. Mayor Keith Babb Jr. has called a special meeting for Tuesday, June 30. This meeting will be held by teleconference/Zoom.

Hendry Regional Medical Center is proud to announce that Dr. Georgios Hatzoudis, board-certified general surgeon, has joined its medical staff. Dr. Hatzoudis most recently practiced in Elmira, N.Y. He has over 24 years of diverse experience in the field of medicine, specializing in general surgery, and a fellowship in transplant surgery. Dr. Hatzoudis is now accepting patients in Clewiston at the Hendry Regional Medical Center Specialty Group. Hendry Regional Medical Center has two state-of-the-art surgery suites with an additional procedure unit.

Tyrone Reed Jr. said a Hendry County Sheriff deputy shot him four times about 1:45 a.m. May 17. It’s been reported that Reed said he was unarmed, had his hands up and had just arrived at his front yard after fleeing a LaBelle block party that turned to chaos when shots were fired there. Perhaps two minutes later, he felt a first bullet that went into his right knee and knocked him down, after which he was shot three more times, in his buttocks, back and shoulder. Apparently, hundreds were at the party, an annual festivity celebrating Black heritage in LaBelle along several streets intersecting with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, 13 days after Governor Ron DeSantis lifted a stay-at-home order May 4. Scot Goldberg, an attorney from a Fort Myers law firm said he learned of the shooting from investigating and speaking to several eyewitnesses that Hendry County Sgt. Nestor Echevarria shot Reed four times.

Exactly one month after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to approve the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Floyd’s arrest and death sparked a widespread movement across the country to address racial injustice and police brutality against unarmed Black men and women. The bill emphasizes de-escalation tactics, bans police techniques like chokeholds and some no-knock warrants, ends qualified immunity and enhances the ability of the Justice Department to prosecute officers for civil rights violations.