Monday December 21, 2020

The Daughters of the American Revolution members made the decision to sponsor a service dog for a veteran. Chapter members raised money through various fundraising activities to sponsor the dog, through Patriot Service Dogs. The money raised covered the food and veterinary bills over the two-year training period. A dog named Darcy was the overwhelming winner, and chapter members agreed, that it was the perfect fit. Darcy was officially given to the veteran who had been selected by Patriot Service Dogs. The ceremony was held in the breezeway at Belle Glade Country Club and one of the speakers was the disabled veteran, who earlier this year had received Darcy’s brother as his service dog. Darcy will soon go to her new home in Wisconsin with her female veteran, a single mother of three who suffers from PTSD.

There have now been more than 1,201,000 reported cases of the coronavirus in Florida, with 20,568 deaths. Sunday, the Florida Department of Health reported an increase of 8,158 from Saturday’s update and a single-day increase of 95 deaths. Health officials reported 59,995 hospital admissions statewide. For a full breakdown of the cases in Florida, click here.

Palm Tran’s Stuff-the-Bus toy drive donated more than 500 toys to underprivileged children in Belle Glade, South Bay and Pahokee. Palm Tran’s Executive Director, Clinton Forbes expressed his deep appreciation to city and county officials for their support. There were 630 Palm Tran employees, who went above and beyond in their generosity as well. Eight barrels of new toys, cardboard boxes filled with dozens MORE gifts and bicycles stacked down the aisle of a 40-foot bus made their way to the City Hall in Belle Glade last week.

The coronavirus pandemic has obviously put a strain on our lives in a negative way, some more than others, but we have all been undoubtedly affected in some way. Well, this situation has provided a perfect opportunity for Palm Beach County to make good on a promise made long ago: more shelters. So, a former senior apartment complex in Pahokee will provide a temporary shelter for people who tested positive for, or were exposed to, COVID-19. Well, after the pandemic ends — whenever that may be — the county plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter, along with a Belle Glade center that will provide social services. Good news for so many people in need.

An Okeechobee man was reported in serious condition following a vehicle accident early Friday morning in Glades County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) troopers say the Okeechobee man, who is 24 years old, was driving a sedan west on Highway 27 near State Route 78 in Moore Haven just after 7:30, traveling behind a tractor trailer. The driver of the truck slowed down, and Okeechobee man did not, colliding with the back of the truck. The Okeechobee man was taken by medics to Hendry Regional Medical Center in Clewiston for treatment. The driver of the tractor trailer, a 48-year-old man from North Miami Beach, was not injured. It’s under investigation. FHP is not releasing names of those involved in the accident due to Marsy’s Law. This was the second accident in a row that involved an Okeechobee man. An accident on SE 441 in Okeechobee early Thursday morning resulted in no injuries for the Okeechobee man but it unfortunately resulted in the death of a Brooksville area man.

A former teacher in the Okeechobee County School system will be in prison for a while following his court appearance on Friday morning. An Okeechobee County judge sentenced 29-year-old Richard Shane Miller Jr. to 12 years in prison after he plead guilty to second degree sexual battery of a minor just over 2 years ago. Court records show that Miller had begun a sexual relationship with one of his former students who was only 13 years old and had just finished the seventh grade. Lead prosecutor Ashley Albright says he was satisfied with the judge’s ruling even though he was ready and looking forward to going to trial on this case. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy DeMarcus Dixon, testified for the prosecution at Friday’s hearing and said, it’s his job to look out for the most precious asset we have, our children. Members of Miller’s family attended, and pleaded for probation for him but to no avail. Miller’s relationship with the student began after he experienced marriage troubles which resulted in Miller’s wife having an affair with a sheriff’s deputy. Miller will have to register as a sex offender and serve three years of sex offender probation when he’s released. Neither members of Miller’s family, nor his attorney, Alex Nelson, wished to comment.

Special agents arrested a Glades County man on Thursday for allegedly having child pornography on his personal computer. Robert John Etgeton, who is 44 and is from Muse, was arrested by special agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on 20 counts of child pornography. Due to the nature of the images and the sexual battery of children depicted in the images allegedly found in Etgeton’s possession, each count qualifies to be enhanced to second-degree felonies. Forensic examinations of Etgeton’s computer uncovered hundreds of images of children involved in sex acts. Detectives said some of the child victims included infants. On Nov. 13, FDLE and the Glades County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at his home and reportedly found the personal computer. Etgeton was booked into the Glades County Jail.