News 2-28-2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis sought to assure the public that Florida is prepared for a potential outbreak of coronavirus — even as he stressed the risk of the disease spreading in Florida is low, despite large-scale precautions being enacted at airports and hospitals around the country. The Hendry County School District released a statement saying, they are working closely with the Hendry-Glades Health Department in monitoring concerns regarding the coronavirus. At this time, there is no change in protocols for our students. Any such change will be announced through the schools and other media outlets.

Rashad Jackson is returning to Glades Central to serve as the school’s new head football coach. Jackson, who helped lead the Raiders to a state championship in 2006, was introduced to the football team this week. He said his goal is to win each student over and to bring back that great tradition of winning state championships. Glades Central finished with one win last season after forfeiting four games for an eligibility violation that landed the program under probation until July.

Now that restaurants can serve alcohol earlier, at their meeting yesterday, Okeechobee County commissioners approved a change that now will allow county businesses, such as supermarkets and convenience stores, to sell alcohol to its customers beginning at ten o’clock on Sunday mornings, up from its previous time of one o’clock Sunday afternoons. The issue passed by a narrow margin of three to two. County Commissioner Kelly Owens was one of the two dissenting voices, citing a considerable number of her constituents who contacted her and voiced the opinion that this change should not happen. The other dissenting voice was Commissioner Bryant Culpepper, who cited religion as his reasoning for voting no on this issue. The vote was preceded by a public hearing on the matter.

An inmate died earlier this month at his assigned job site in Belle Glade after a piece of an industrial mower fell on top of him. Eric Welch, 58, had been cleaning the underside of the mower according to Dee Kiminki, chief administrative officer of Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises Inc., or PRIDE, a nonprofit that he worked for. Surveillance video shows the wing of the mower slamming to the ground, pinning Welch beneath it.  The Florida Department of Corrections sends inmates to work at PRIDE facilities which uses inmate labor to provide goods and services that the organization then sells to both the public and private sectors. The work is also meant to teach inmates skills they can use upon release, to reduce idleness and to reduce recidivism. Kiminki said that, to the best of her knowledge, Welch’s death “was the first of its kind at a PRIDE industry.” This incident remains under investigation.

Crimestoppers of Palm Beach County is searching for Joel Rodriguez-Gomez. His last known address is SE 2nd Ave., South Bay. He is wanted for failure to appear for driving under the influence and driving without a license causing serious bodily injury. If you have any information in the whereabouts of Joel Rodriguez Gomez, contact crimestoppers of Palm Beach County.