Monday July 6, 2020

The Florida Highway Patrol reports, On July 3, just before 2:30 in the morning, a vehicle accident claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy. The driver of the SUV, a 15-year-old male, and his 2 passengers, a 14-year-old girl and the now deceased 16-year-old, were traveling west on NW 240th Street in Okeechobee, when the vehicle veered onto the shoulder of the road. In a severe overcorrection, the vehicle crossed 2 lanes of travel and rotated in the opposite direction on the other side of the road, colliding with a utility pole. The 16-year-old passenger was pronounced deceased on scene. The driver and the other passenger both suffered serious injuries. This case is still pending investigation.

This past Thursday, the Okeechobee County Commissioners met with the County Health Department and Emergency Management, to talk Coronavirus. County Health Department Spokesperson Tiffany Collins says the positivity rate in the county has gone over the ten percent mark and the Department of Health will be focusing on high risk individuals such as those over the age of 65 with symptoms, those with serious diseases, pregnant women, health care workers and first responders that are symptomatic. Collins also says they will be focusing on contact tracing investigations of those that are hospitalized with the virus and they will be doing what she calls “texting monitoring”. Collins also says there is an alarming trend going on with these “quarantine COVID-19 parties” around the state, similar to hurricane parties, something that needs to stop immediately. The Urgent Care is still providing asymptomatic testing for those who need it for a small fee. Okeechobee still ranks sixth in the state in pediatric cases with just under 39 percent. Commissioners unanimously voted to renew the local state of emergency for another week, retroactive to last Friday.

An affiliate news source reports that in the early morning hours of Thursday, July 2, a body was spotted floating in the water near Port LaBelle Marina docks, in Glades County. Port LaBelle Marina’s manager, Peter Sullivan, called law enforcement as soon as he noticed the body in the water.  The Glades County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Florida Highway Patrol, accompanied by the Medical Examiner, were on the scene. This investigation is ongoing as law enforcement continues to work to determine the identity of the victim, and the cause of death.  Witnesses who were at the marina during the recovery, report that it was a white male. These specific details were not confirmed by law enforcement.

According to Florida’s Covid-19 dashboard, here are the latest numbers of reported positive cases in Hendry and Glades Counties as of Sunday night July 5. Glades County has 179 reported positive cases of the virus since testing began and 1 death. Hendry county has broken the 1000 mark at 1,085 with 27 deaths. Drive- thru COVID-19 testing is available for any resident in Glades County on today 9 a.m. to noon and in Clewiston this Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon and in LaBelle on Friday. Please contact Glades or Hendry County Health Department to schedule an appointment. There is no criteria for testing.

Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County is searching for Terrell Peak, Also Known As, TJ. He is wanted for 1) AGGRAVATED ASSAULT 2) FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM OR AMMO 3) DISCHARGING FIREARM IN PUBLIC 4) CRIMINAL MISCHIEF. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Terrell TJ Peak, contact Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County.

The Hendry County School District has released its reopening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The district is giving families 3 options for returning: traditional, online distance learning and virtual school. The traditional optional is where students will have direct, in-person, on campus interaction with their teachers and classmates. Online distance learning is for parents who want to enroll their kids in school, but are not comfortable sending them back to campuses. The final option is virtual school. This model is web-based and provides a flexible daily schedule with email, text and phone communications available. Parents are required to choose one of 3 options by July 20. Visit https://www.hendry-schools.org/ for more details on either of these options.