Thursday May 7th 2020 News

Twenty-five inmates in one dorm at the Palm Beach County west detention center in Belle Glade recently tested positive for the coronavirus, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday morning. PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera said some of those housed in the Belle Glade jail underwent testing for the virus after routine temperature checks. As of Monday, there were 436 individuals housed in the west detention center. Barbera said 52 individuals were housed in the dorm where more than two dozen tested positive for COVID-19. As of Tuesday evening, all were in quarantine and there still are pending test results, she said. Of those who tested positive, she said none have been taken to a hospital for treatment. Barbera said of the corrections deputies who worked in the dorm where inmates tested positive, “immediate testing is being done at this time.” In April, Barbera confirmed that all inmates housed in the west detention center had masks and that PBSO was working on distributing to everyone at the main jail by the end of the month. Eight inmates have made 4,200 masks, since April 13, according to the sheriff’s office.

Clewiston Police Chief Aaron Angel composed a summary of service calls and arrest history for the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. Now the purpose of the study was to see how the quarantine order has affected crime in our city. Here’s what he came up with:

CPD handled an additional two hundred and seventy (278) calls for service during March 2020 when compared to March 2019: an overall 22.5% increase in call volume. There was also a notable increase in arrests during March 2020 when compared to March 2019. In March of 2019, CPD officers arrested twenty-three people, where in March of 2020 CPD officers arrested fifty-five, an increase of 139%. The uptick in arrests for this period is the result of a noticeable increase in narcotics related arrests having been made this year during March as compared to last year at the same time. There was also a slight increase of 4.2% in overall calls for service during April. Arrests during April 2020 were slightly down, however, from twenty-three to twenty-one, a decrease of 8.7% as compared to April 2019. Thank you to Assistant Chief Maci V for sharing those numbers with us.

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 and officially signed into law in 1988. The law designated the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer. City of Clewiston Mayor Mali Gardner tells us what the day means. A proclamation presented by the City at the virtual April 20th Commission meeting states that Americans will unite at specific times in prayer for our nation. Specified time by Mayor Gardner, is noon, today.

According to the latest numbers released by the FLDOH at 10AM yesterday, the number of active positive cases in Hendry County is 91. The county has reported 120 positive cases overall, but 5 have passed away and 24 have recovered. Ninety-four of the 120 overall cases are reported out of Clewiston, Harlem, Montura and Pioneer. 26 cases overall have come out of LaBelle, Alva, Fort Denaud and Port LaBelle communities. It is unclear how many ACTIVE cases each community has.

The Glades County Board of County Commissioners hereby determines that emergency conditions exist in Glades County, which warrants the banning of all outdoor burning as a result of extreme drought and other weather conditions. The burn ban includes burning yard waste, the private use and discharge of fireworks and sparklers, and the use of any other outdoor ignition source. This burn ban is in effect until cancelled by the Glades County Board of County Commissioners. You are allowed to BBQ in a grill or container and have small recreational or camp fires if it is in a container as well.  Please be aware of your surroundings and environmental factors (wind, dry ground, brush, etc…) and use caution at all times.