News 3-30-2020

Virtual school starts today for K-12 students around the lake as administrators passed out Chromebooks last week to those who needed them. And, where going online is a concern, especially in rural cities, Hendry County School Board member John Basquin says, Comcast is lending a hand to make sure kids don’t fall behind. Contact Comcast directly for details. Basquin says there’s still no telling how long virtual learning will last at this point, but if there are any issues, families may contact your child’s individual school or teacher. Basquin added that there has not been a school board meeting scheduled as of yet. 

A second teen was arrested Friday in the death of 19-year-old David Zavala of LaBelle. Eliezer Escobar was arrested for armed robbery and murder, based on an interview conducted in February regarding Zavala’s death. Last year, on July 3, Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a shooting in the Port LaBelle, Country Village Subdivision. The first arrest in this case took place the day after the murder when authorities apprehended Nicholas Guerrero, who was 16 at the time of the offense.

The Florida Department of Health has reported that 3 residents of Hendry County have tested positive for COVID-19, all 3 of them from Clewiston. Glades County has 3 reported positive cases out of Moore Haven, and Belle Glade is up to now, 7 cases. Officials strongly urge residents to continue following the guidance provided by the CDC and DOH in order to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces often
  • If you are sick, call your medical provider or local health department

More information about COVID-19 cases in Florida can be found on the DOH website – https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/ and on the DOH dashboard which is updated twice a day at approximately 11:30am and 6:30pm. As of 11:30 a.m. on 3-30-2020, there were 5,473 total cases of Covid19 in Florida.

Our neighbors in Glades County also suffered some devastating news over the weekend as a resident of Glades County has tested positive for COVID-19. The patient has been in self quarantine since being tested, but was hospitalized. According to Marissa Shivers, Emergency Management Planner for Glades County, COVID-19 testing is still available for any residents that have fever 100.4, cough or shortness of breath, recently traveled to high impacted areas, age 65+ with chronic conditions or close contact with a lab confirmed case. Okeechobee County still has no confirmed cases. For more information please contact-

·       Hendry/Glades Department of Health at 863-946-0707

·       Florida Community Health Center in either Clewiston: 863-983-7813 or Okeechobee: 863-763-1951

A Belle Glade man died in an early morning crash over the weekend. On Saturday morning at about 4:30, Carlos Luis Flores was slowly traveling northbound in the 1500 block of George Wedgeworth Way. Jose Ledesma was following directly behind him. According to the report from FHP, visibility in the area was extremely limited due to fog and Ledesma, crashed into the back of Flores’ semi-truck in his F-150. Ledesma was critically injured and transported to Saint Mary’s Medical Center where he was later pronounced deceased.

Remember when we talked about being real ID compliant? You have to have that little gold star on your driver’s license in order to fly. Well, the Department of Homeland Security, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current Oct. 1, 2020 deadline to Oct. 1, 2021.

As the U.S. Congress works through a relief package that is likely to give most Americans a one-time payment of $1,200, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is already issuing warnings about possible scams. The FTC wants people to know that the government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get the stimulus money. There will be no fees and no charges. Nothing. If someone calls or emails you and asks you to pay a fee to receive your check, they are a scammer. Similarly, the government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), con artists know the effects of age on memory, and they are counting on elderly victims not being able to supply enough detailed information to investigators.