News 2-5-2020

This coming Friday, February 7, Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, is celebrating its 6thanniversary! In just a few days, an estimated 115,000 people with special needs all around the world will be celebrated during this unforgettable prom night experience.  With 720 host churches across all 50 US states and in 34 countries, and over 215,000 volunteers serving, Night to Shine has truly grown into a catalytic movement, one that is creating lasting impact, felt long after this one-night event. That night will be celebrated locally thanks to First United Church of Clewiston at the John Boy Auditorium on February 7th, 2020.

A search of a local man’s home this past Friday by Okeechobee County Narcotics officers led to his arrest on charges involving drugs and weapons. Narcotics officers came to a home on the 4,000 block of SE 14th Terrace and entered the home of 33 year old Quinton Thomas Hamner. Officers discovered a green smoking tube located in a cabinet and a black zip up container behind a wall picture with about $450 dollars in cash in it. A kitchen search revealed a shotgun, a rifle, a revolver, a 9 millimeter pistol and piles of ammunition. They also found five makeshift pipes and some methamphetamine residue in some tubes. Going outside, officers discovered more methamphetamine, scales, baggies used for repackaging and selling of the drug and a shotgun. Hamner was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon, and grand theft of a firearm. He was booked into county jail on $155 thousand dollars bond.

After watching the problems with the Iowa Caucus, Palm Beach County elections officials are hoping to stay out of the headlines this year. Palm Beach County has had a history of voting issues including recount problems in 2018 which resulted in Supervisor Wendy Sartory Link being appointed supervisor by the governor a year ago. Sartory Link says her office has been testing new equipment and training staff to be ready for the upcoming primaries and election in the fall by hiring a cybersecurity expert and consultants who have worked in past elections in other Florida counties. State law requires paper ballots that are tabulated and electronically transmitted for fast results. The ballots are saved for any recounts.

On Thursday, February 28, seven outstanding local youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County will compete to be named the 2020 Palm Beach County Youth of the Year. Guests will have the opportunity to hear their inspiring stories during dinner, which will take place at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, in Manalapan, Fla. Youth of the Year is a national program from Boys & Girls Clubs of America that begins with a local level title. It’s a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. For the third year, six contestants will be awarded four-year Florida Prepaid College Scholarships and the County winner will receive a four-year Florida Prepaid University Scholarship inclusive of room and board. The Youth of the Year scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the Mary Alice Fortin Foundation. One of the candiates is a neighbor of ours: Sulvamette Sylvain from Smith & Moore Family Teen Center of Belle Glade.

A Lehigh Acres man is calling out Lee county, for construction delays on a major road in his area. Homestead road has been under construction there for the last three years. The Lee county department of transportation started the project to help widen the road and install things like bike lines and sidewalks. But in that time, the county admits the project’s completion date has been pushed back several times due to things like hurricanes and redesign issues. John Dykhuys says he’s fed up with the congestion the construction is causing and claims the county has had more than enough time to finish the project. The county says, the project is now scheduled to be completed in July of this year.

Hendry County Sheriffs Office was selected to be the first agency in the nation to implement the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) ACCESS™ Background Check System for Hendry County’s citizens.  The agency is the first in Florida to implement iris biometric identification technology to identify offenders in Hendry County. The system will be used in the Hendry County jail to provide quicker and more accurate identification of offenders. The technology will improve the safety of the public and staff by quickly (in seconds) and accurately confirming the identity of previously entered offenders. In addition to improving public safety, the system will result in significant efficiencies. The technology captures the unique features contained in the human iris and compares those features against a database of individuals who have been previously entered into the system. HCSO held a press conference yesterday at their office in LaBelle to explain and demonstrate the equipment.