Thursday February 11, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced more COVID vaccine doses could soon come to Florida, potentially including more doses of the Pfizer vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Yesterday, the governor said that more of Florida’s allotment will go to counties where fewer seniors have been vaccinated. He added that he believes the existing vaccines will be effective against the UK variant that has been confirmed in our state. A report says Florida now has vaccinated about 30% of its 65-and-older population. Medical workers in the state have administered more than 2.8 million doses to more than 2 million people.

The Department of Health in Glades County is taking limited walk-ins for the COVID-19 vaccine from 9am to 10:30am today, for the first dose only. Glades County Health Department is located at 1021 Healthpark Drive in Moore Haven. Administrators are still only vaccinating Long-term care facility residents and staff • Persons 65 years of age and older and Health care personnel with direct patient contact. Everyone must have proper ID.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recorded the fifth Florida panther death of 2021. Investigators found the body of a 5-year-old panther five miles north of Big Cypress Air Field on the South Florida Water Management District Property in Hendry County. The cause of death was determined was determined to be “intraspecific Aggression.” A month ago, a 2-year-old panther was found dead from the same cause, two miles west of State Road 90 in Glades County. Southwest Florida is home to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, which was designed to protect the Florida panther and other threatened species. Officials said 12 -16 panthers live in the refuge.

Florida SouthWestern State College history professor Brandon Jett has dedicated much of his time and resources to a local historical project. He was recently awarded a $4,500 grant from the American Society for Legal History, for his digital history project “Lynching in LaBelle.” It’s about Henry Patterson, a Black man who was working on road construction in LaBelle in 1926, when he was wrongfully accused of assaulting a white woman and was lynched by dozens of white LaBelle residents. The accusations were proven false, 14 white men were arrested for Patterson’s murder, and a grand jury trial began. This was unprecedented according to Jett because, this was the first time local prosecutors and the state of Florida, attempted to prosecute participants in a lynch mob. We’ll be talking to Jett about the project live on Big Lake Now next week. Jett says his goal to encourage residents to get comfortable talking about, and being educated on, our local history.