Friday, May 8th, 2020

The number of positive cases for the Coronavirus in Okeechobee County has risen to 22 as of last evening. The latest case is a male firefighter and EMT of the Okeechobee County Fire and Rescue Department. He tested positive for the virus on Monday. County Fire Chief Ralph Franklin says he and the rest of the department are concerned for his well-being but otherwise doing alright and are prepared for this kind of situation. At this time, fire rescue is arranging for all employees that came in close contact with the firefighter to be tested. In addition, the three other members of the station crew and two off duty employees that exercised with the firefighter have been relieved of duty pending the results of the testing.

Breaking news out of Belle Glade. Spokesperson for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Teri Barbera reports that just before 11:00 pm on Thursday, May 7, 2020, deputies responded to a shooting in the 400 block of Runyon Village, Belle Glade.  Upon arrival deputies located an adult male deceased inside the residence and a juvenile suffering from gunshot wounds across the street. The juvenile victim was taken to a local hospital where he currently listed in critical condition.  Detectives from the Violent Crimes Division arrived on scene to investigate further.  Motive and suspect info is unknown at this time. Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities will comply with a federal judge’s order to release detainees from three South Florida detention centers including one in Glades County, an ICE spokesman said according to a source. A judge ordered April 30 in a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and several partners, that those ICE detainees must be released because of “cruel and unusual punishment” — when referencing ICE’s apparent disregard of their safety in confined spaces as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads globally. Several busloads were transferred during April. Already in custody more than 14 days, those detainees were kept separate from GCDC inmates arrested locally, said Glades County Chief Deputy Keith Henson, who supervises the jail.

The number of active positive cases of COVID-19 has now coasted into the triple digits for Hendry County. The Department of Health has released the latest numbers for the Coronavirus via the COVID-19 Dashboard. The Dashboard reflects that the number of positive cases in Hendry County that have occurred since testing began is 129 and 5 of those people have died. Emily Hunter, Communications Coordinator for the Hendry County Board, reports that 24 of these reported positive people have recovered. That brings the total number of active reported positive cases as of this morning, to 105. This number is climbing daily in our area, so for the latest and most up-to-date information for Hendry County visit https://covid-19.hendryfla.net/.

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee has announced that it will accept applications for funds to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in Lee and Hendry Counties through May 22, at 5 p.m. Applications are being accepted by the local board who will be give out the funds, to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas. The local board will determine how the funds awarded to this area are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local human service agencies in the area. For more information please contact United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee at www.unitedwaylee.org.