News 2-25-2020

The Okeechobee County School Board recently recognized February as Florida Healthy Teen Relationship Month. Jonathan Bean, Executive Director of Martha’s House, presented this proclamation to the school board at their meeting earlier this month and it’s a time for parents to be sure that their teenagers are in healthy relationships. Bean says the state of Florida, and Okeechobee County specifically, has taken the lead in making requirements about promoting and educating students on what makes a healthy relationship. Bean says nearly nine percent of students experienced physical dating violence and just over eleven percent of students reported being threatened, controlled or made to feel unsafe by someone they were dating. This proclamation coincides with Dating Violence Awareness Month.

The Guardians of the Glades reports that the State of Florida will begin the State Road 15 Road Resurfacing Project on March 15.  Road closures will be in place from Hooker Hwy. to Shirley Dr. in Pahokee. To learn more about this $3.8M project, attend the February 27 Open House at the Pahokee Communtiy Center at 360 E Main Street at 5:30 – project leaders will be present. Completion of the project is slated for late 2020.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University got a bit of a Black History Month present from the legislature. FAMU can now tackle financial aid, mental health, and housing services all under one roof. The new Center for Student Access and Success was built thanks in part to nearly $25 million from the Florida Legislature. Governor Ron DeSantis toured the new complex Monday. The university hopes the access center will improve student services and reduce employee retention rates. The 73,000 square foot complex is set to open for this year’s fall semester.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office has received a report of a credit card skimmer found at an Alva gas station after a woman claims $1,200 was stolen from her bank account. Debra Russell said she stopped at the Handy’s gas station on Palm Beach Blvd in Alva for the first time Thursday afternoon. Russell said she believes her information was stolen from the gas pump she used. She said her bank was able to freeze her card after noticing $1,200 worth of fraudulent charges coming from several hotels in Ohio. When asked about a skimming incident, two separate Handy employees said they hadn’t heard of any skimming allegations.

What started out as a private event has grown into an invitation and even a recruitment forum. Airglades International Airport will have their groundbreaking for the new US Customs and Border Protection Facility. Representatives from AIA, US Customs and Border Protection and Hendry County will be in attendance as well as local officials and business leaders.  This is important for the area because it means that we are becoming a new point of entry for the US Customs and Border Protection Agency. There will be customs agents on site providing recruitment services as well. It should be noted that the existing terminals interior is being remodeled into a US Customs User Fee Facility, but will not be completely torn down. The ground breaking will be held Monday March 2 at 10 AM at Airglades International Airport, Clewiston.

The City of Clewiston will have a special commission meeting and workshop February 27 at 5 PM. There, they will discuss awarding a contract for professional auditing services for fiscal year ended September 30, 2019 and fiscal years ending September 30, 2020 and 2021. The commission is also prepared to continue a workshop discussion on economic development and brand enhancement. Remember, the meetings are live streamed from the City’s Facebook page at City of Clewiston.