Thursday July 2nd, 2020

Investigators are now working to confirm whose skeletal remains were found in eastern Hendry County this week. Tuesday, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office says a human skull and more than a dozen bones were found by a worker at a JD Thornton Nurseries off U.S. 27. Florida Department of Law enforcement assisted HCSO Wednesday, as investigators were at the site to gather up all possible human remains and evidence. Investigators found over a dozen more skeletal remains while digging at the site. Unless they find something that helps them identify this person — clothing, jewelry, etc. — investigators know they have a long way to go. One thing that could help investigators are some of the teeth they say are still intact with the skull. Once they collect everything they can, the remains will go to the medical examiner’s office, so an anthropologist can determine the age, height, weight and gender of the individual. No clothing or other clues have been recovered at this time. The sheriff’s office says it’s too early to call this a homicide or suspicious death.

Five kids in the United States — including one from Florida — have died this year after being forgotten or accidentally locked inside a hot car. Safe Kids Southwest Florida hosted an event in Clewiston yesterday, to remind us of the dangers of hot cars. In 2019, there were 52 children who died in heat-related car deaths that could’ve been prevented. Parents and caregivers think that this type of tragedy could never happen to them, but anyone can make this fatal mistake. Aaron Stitt of the Department of Children and families says, reminders, even if you don’t think you need them, can be invaluable. Even on mild or cloudy days, temperatures inside vehicles can reach life-threatening levels. Leaving windows slightly open doesn’t help. The dangers of hot cars also apply to pets. The Clewiston Police and Fire Departments demonstrated how hot a car can get in the blistering Southwest Florida sun.  During the hot car demonstration, an external thermometer registered the outside temperature to be 91. A thermometer inside the car registered a temperature of 163°.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for the cancellation of a lot of things over the last few months, it’s also cancelled a lot of July 4th events including fireworks displays in some places. However, Okeechobee County will have a fireworks display this Independence Day. Thanks to the Okeechobee Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), there will be a fireworks display at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center Saturday evening. J.D. Mixon, the President of the FOP Associates Lodge says he and his fellow FOP member, Lt. Michael Hazellief of the Sheriff’s Department, have put together this fireworks display to celebrate the freedoms we have and it’s absolutely free. Mixon says to keep up with the social distancing guidelines, attendees are being asked to park their vehicles ten feet apart, which he says should be relatively easy considering the venue for the event. Gates to the Agri-Civic Center will open at 7:30 and the fireworks display will begin at nine o’clock.  The show will tie to music and broadcast on WOKC. Unfortunately, the festivities that usually accompany the fireworks display will not take place due to the pandemic.

Concerned about the surge in coronavirus cases across South Florida, a majority of Palm Beach County school board members are either dead set against or at least have deep worries over, the prospect of welcoming any students to its campuses on August 10 – a date chosen long before the pandemic struck. But at a meeting Wednesday, they agreed to wait to make a call until July 15th, when Superintendent Donald Fennoy is due to make his recommendation to the board. Like others across the state, the district has surveyed both parents and employees and found deep divided in what they want the school experience to look like. Some favor a return to full-time, in-person classes, while others leaned toward exclusive online learning. Most are expecting some combination of the two.