News 3-5-2020

At 6:20pm Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews responded to reports of a vehicle in a canal near Hatton Hwy and SR80. First arriving firefighters reported a vehicle that had its front end in a canal. Two occupants from the vehicle were safely outside. The two patients were transported to a local area hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

After a one-year hiatus, the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival is back again beginning today. Sheriff Noel Stephen says with the 30,000 people expected to be at the festival over the next four days, plus the approximately 25,000 snowbirds, the roads can only handle so much and will people need to exercise patience. Stephen says he’ll have as many as 50 or 60 officers providing security at the event, considering the majority of people attending the festival are between 18 and 25 years old. The Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival will be held at Sunshine Grove on the 12 thousand block of NE 91st Avenue and if officially begins at noon. Some of the one hundred artists scheduled to perform over the next four days include Mumford and Sons and Vampire Weekend.

A worker-based human rights organization that is dedicated to helping migrant farmworkers, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) was recently named in a special issue of Time Magazine’s “People and Groups Fighting for a More Equal America”. Recognized for their Fair Food Program’s fight against long-standing labor abuses, CIW cofounders Laura Germino, Lucas Benitez, and Greg Asbed, have also implemented an Anti-Slavery Campaign, and a Campaign for Fair Food with the goal of combatting involuntary servitude and unfair working conditions, and in favor of better wages. To learn more about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Fair Food Program, and their other efforts, you can visit them online at ciw-online.org.

Lake Okeechobee is set to play host next week to the 2020 Toyota Series, with the Toyota Series at Lake Okeechobee, March 12-14 in Clewiston. Hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort and Hendry County Tourism, the three-day tournament will feature the best regional bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to $65,000, plus a $35,000 bonus if the winner is a qualified Phoenix Boat owner. Anglers will take off from the Marina located at 920 E. Del Monte Ave., in Clewiston at 7:30 a.m. each day of competition. The weigh-ins will be held each day at the resort. All takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Sunday morning, clocks across the United States will spring forward ushering in the 2020 season of daylight saving time. Florida lawmakers voted to make daylight saving time permanent in the state in 2018, passing the Sunshine Protection Act, which then-Gov. Rick Scott signed into law. Yet here we are still with no plan formally in place to cement daylight saving time’s permanence in the Sunshine State. So what’s the holdup? Under the federal Uniform Time Act of 1966, which regulates time zones, states can choose to exempt themselves from daylight time, but there are no laws on the books allowing states to opt out of standard time. That means it would require an act of U.S. Congress to allow Florida’s Sunshine Protection Act to take effect.

According to a source, an endangered Florida panther has died after being struck by a vehicle. Wildlife officials say it’s the eighth panther death attributed to fatal collisions, out of nine total deaths already this year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the remains of the 3-year-old male panther were found Monday in Hendry County on a rural road west of LaBelle.