News 3-3-2020

A Belle Glade man killed in a motorcycle accident Sunday night is being honored by the city. A mailman for 14 years, Oscar Boatwright died in Broward County while attending a motorcycle event with friends. Early Sunday morning, his motorcycle was struck by another biker on Hallandale Beach Boulevard. Both Oscar and the other driver died. Friends and family members are coming together asking the Belle Glade community to wrap their mailboxes in red, white and blue ribbon to show that they support the family during their grieving process. Outpours of messages on Facebook dedicated to Boatwright say, he will be missed by all.

On Feb. 16 around 8:15 p.m. officers were dispatched to the 400 block of East Sagamore Avenue. As callers said they heard gunshots coming from a vehicle. Officers located the vehicle reversing down East Sagamore Avenue, with three males inside. Officers drew their weapons and told the men to get out of the vehicle. Authorities arrested Samuel Roman Diaz, 22, and charged him with four counts of possession of methamphetamines and the possession of narcotic equipment. Francisco Velasquez, 39, was also arrested and was charged with five counts of possession of cocaine, three counts of possession of methamphetamines, and eight counts of possession of narcotics equipment. Velasquez was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon after a weapon was found linking him to the incident. Both men were transported to the Hendry County Jail. The third person was released on scene.

In an effort to manage vegetation within the seasonally dry portions of Lake Okeechobee, the South Florida Water Management District, FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers, will be conducting prescribed burns in the west-southwest areas of the lake. On today March 5th, burns will take place from Clewiston to Cochran’s Pass and to the Moore Haven Canal. One should expect smoke impact from Fisheating Bay down to Clewiston. The area of the prescribed burns consist of approximately 35,502 acres.  The actual burn acreage will depend on water level and surface fuel conditions. Prescribed fires are only conducted when weather parameters are suitable. For precautions adjacent homeowners can take, visit Floridaforestservice.com.

Airglades International Airport LLC broke ground on a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility that will replace the airport’s current general aviation terminal. The $2.1 million, 4,000-square-foot facility is made possible through partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Hendry County. The development of this facility will designate AIA as an official port of entry to the U.S. With the inspection facility and an overall airport expansion, AIA will be able to accept international cargo planes importing perishable goods, offering shorter flight times and reduced travel distances and road congestion throughout the transportation logistics chain. The expansion of the airport is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs during the construction phase and the establishment of the Airglades International Airport will create 1,700 long-term jobs for Hendry County and surrounding communities. “The airport project is a win-win for all of us,” said Hendry County Administrator Jennifer Davis. Greg McMahon, Assistant Director of Trade for CBP agrees.  Fred Ford, Founder of Airglades, says he is humbled by this experience.