News 2-13-2020

Hendry County announces that funds for Housing Assistance are available from the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program. Funds will be made available for first-time homebuyers’ assistance. Hendry County will be hosting two homeowner orientations to explain the program details and answer questions applicants may have. The first homeowner orientation will be conducted on Wednesday, February 19 at 6:00 pm at the Hendry County Extension Office, located on Pratt Boulevard in LaBelle. The second homeowner orientation will be on Thursday, February 20 at 5:30 pm at the Hendry County Annex Offices, Janet B. Taylor Auditorium on Olympia Street, Clewiston. The applications will be available on the Hendry County website and at the Hendry County Housing Department locations in both Clewiston and LaBelle.

Despite suspected cases, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said the state has no confirmed patients with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus that has killed more than a thousand people in China. Rivkees would not talk about patients under investigation in Broward County who were tested about 2 weeks ago, or elsewhere in the state — repeating only that there are “no confirmed cases,” indicating that the Broward case and likely others elsewhere in Florida have come back negative.

Florida doctors say they have been trying to stop panic over the coronavirus and encourage people instead,  to screen and prepare. Rivkees said Florida will use the CDC’s strategy to prevent an outbreak in the state should a confirmed case arise.

Black achievement isn’t just reserved for one month and one publisher is encouraging South Floridians to celebrate it all year. In the spirit of “inspiring the future” there’s a calendar circulating specifically saluting 12 black men in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Councilman Douglass Lawson of District 5 is one of 12 black male leaders featured a 2020 calendar and Palm Beach County resource guide published by Project 12 and SHE Holdings LLC who “edify, esteem and inspire the next generation of men.” The calendar was released during a luncheon that also recognized the attorneys and legal team for Corey Jones’ family. Jones was shot and killed in Palm Beach County by an off-duty officer in 2015.

Commissioner Melissa McKinley met with constituents yesterday in one of the cities she oversees. An area of the McDonald’s in Belle Glade was packed with residents from areas of western Palm Beach County including Belle Glade, South Bay and Pahokee. They had questions about trash pick-up, roadwork and new developments in the area. Specifically, WAFC reached out about developments in the area, as well as an update on the Okeechobee Center projects. McKinlay has been directly involved in the families whose lives were impacted by deplorable living conditions in the housing project since about July of last year. Regarding improving the state of property, McKinlay says this is the fastest she’s ever seen the federal government work. New management came in on January 1st and audits of both Okeechobee Center and Osceola centers are currently being conducted.