Monday May 4th 2020 News

The City of Clewiston announced on Wednesday that it will lower electric bills in May to help customers cope with the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The city will reduce the Bulk Power Cost Adjustment (BPCA) by one-third. The current PCA of $31.13 per 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) for residential customers will be reduced to $20.70.

After weeks of Coronavirus induced shutdowns, the beginning of the re-opening of the state of Florida has arrived. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday during a press conference that Phase One of the re-opening of the state begins today and that will include restaurants and stores be allowed to re-open and allow 25 percent capacity. As for restaurants, outdoor dining will be opened, so long as tables are spaced six feet apart. The still recommends masks be worn in public. DeSantis says the Coronavirus has been especially tough for the elderly and medically vulnerable and emphasized during this Phase One re-opening, our biggest obstacle is fear and we need to focus instead on facts. As part of Phase One re-opening, schools will continue to do online learning, elective surgeries can resume, no visitors at long-term care facilities are permitted and places such as gyms, movie theaters, salons, bars, pubs, and social clubs will remain closed for the time being.

The amount of people who have tested positive since testing began in Hendry County rose to 101 over the weekend. The good news is, the current number of Hendry County residents who tested positive before and has now recovered and been cleared by the Florida Department of Health is 21* as of this report. That means the current number of active cases of COVID-19 in Hendry County is 80*. Out of 611 people tested in our county, 509 of them have tested negative. Clewiston city manager Randy Martin reported as of May 1st, roughly two-thirds of the cases in the County are listed as being within the Clewiston zip code which encompasses all of the city as well as Harlem, Montura and Pioneer. DOH officials are reporting that 33 of the confirmed cases thus far in the county have been associated with the two nursing homes located within the county with one in LaBelle and the other in Clewiston. He goes on to say considering DOH reported numbers of pending tests awaiting results in the county, Hendry County likely has not reached its peak in confirmed cases.  *be sure to check the website for the most current numbers.

More than 1,200 inmates at the South Bay Correctional Facility in the Glades are reportedly under medical quarantine after a sharp spike in coronavirus cases, according to a media source. Officials say, Dozens of inmates and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. The correctional facility has nearly 1,950 prisoners, and the Florida Department of Corrections that 1,250 of those inmates are now in medical quarantine. Fourteen prisoners have tested positive for the coronavirus. The DOC also said 36 staff members at South Bay tested positive for COVID-19, the highest number in any facility in the state.

Clewiston police arrested a woman for theft after a fraudulent sale online. Police say a woman alleged she had reached out to someone on Clewiston Dial Deal to buy an animal. Officials say the suspect, Jodi Pipkins identified herself under a different name to the buyer. Police say the victim sent Pipkins $210 but never received the dog. Police were able to identify the suspect and arrest her for online purchase scams. Detectives have learned Pipkins may have victimized other people online. If you have fallen victim to this type of scam, contact your local law enforcement agency to make a report.