Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Football star Barkevious Mingo, a former Atlanta Falcons, was dropped from the NFL after a recent arrest. Mingo was accused of sexual contact with a child. Last week, the 30-year-old athlete was taken into custody, but posted the $25,000 bond and was released. According to Lukas Garcia, Mingo’s lawyer, the player is innocent and the victim’s claims are false. Garcia said his client is confident that the truth will eventually come to light and he’ll be cleared of the charges. Barkevious Mingo was born in Belle Glade; he played college football at Louisiana State. He was drafted in 2013 by the Cleveland Browns, and played for several other NFL teams, the last being the Falcons. If convicted, Mingo faces 20 years in prison.

A blue-green algae bloom alert has been issued for multiple locations along Lake Okeechobee. The Florida Department of Health issued the alert, despite continuing cleanup efforts on Monday, after water samples came back showing a presence of harmful toxins. People are advised not to wade, swim, drink, or use boats and other personal watercraft in areas where there is a visible bloom. Wash your skin and clothing if you come in contact with one. And, keep your pets away from the area.

An Okeechobee man is facing 2 life sentences, for killing his 25-year-old friend Amanda Suarez in December of 2016. Christopher Shows, who is now around 26 years old, was convicted yesterday in an Okeechobee County Court, after he was indicted in February of 2017. Amanda Suarez was found in a pool of blood at her home. Her body was found in a crucifix position, and according to investigators, Shows also had sex with Suarez’s body. Prosecutor Ashley Albright asked Shows what motivated this crime. He says he just wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone. Family members of the victim lashed out at Shows, in response to the pain his crime has caused them. Sources say, Shows was a pall bearer at the victim’s funeral and he was a family friend. The family called him a monster who destroyed their trust and took away their family spirit . Prosecutors say it is certain Shows will never get out of prison. 

Florida’s business community has praised Gov. Ron DeSantis for eliminating the state’s participation in the supplemental federal unemployment benefits program set up during the pandemic even as some folks criticized the move, saying it’s wrong to cut off benefits too early. DeSantis has said the move is needed to get people back to work and to help businesses start hiring again, pointing out that Florida has almost half a million job openings. Now, union groups are representing several plaintiffs for canceling the supplemental unemployment benefits early. The lawsuits claim those on unemployment benefits have not been able to go back to work because of health conditions that put them at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Florida could soon be facing a similar situation. The Florida AFL-CIO recently announced it has collected more than 7,000 signatures it will send to DeSantis, encouraging him to change his decision to cut off the benefits.

The Belle Glade City Commission workshop meeting originally scheduled for July 20, has been canceled. This is according to Debra R. Buff, Belle Glade City Clerk.

Public Service Announcement

Storm Water Management And Why It Matters

Glades County, Florida – Stormwater management is the effort to reduce runoff of rainwater into streets, lawns and other sites and the improvement of water quality.  When stormwater is absorbed into the soil, it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers or flows into streams and rivers.  When heavy rainwater hits ground saturated by water, the excess water runs across the surface and into the roadways and ditches.  This water runoff often carries debris, chemicals, bacteria, eroded soil, and other pollutants, and carries them into streams, rivers, lakes, or wetlands.

Stormwater pollution is one of the most difficult sources of water pollution to control because it is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere.  Everyone can help prevent stormwater pollution and in tum protect our water resources.  By putting fewer pollutants on the land, stormwater will be cleaner as it flows into our stream, lakes, rivers and the ocean.

What can you do to help?  There are many things that citizens can do to help minimize the impacts of stormwater, including:

  • Never dump anything on the street, down a storm drain, or into a drainage ditch
  • Clean up after your pet in your yard, on walks, in public parks, and in rest-areas while traveling
  • Use less fertilizer and do not apply when the forecast calls for heavy rain
  • Check your vehicles for leaks and repair them
  • Not blowing leaves and grass into storm drains or ditches
  • Direct downspouts onto lawns and away from paved surfaces
  • Dispose of toxic products at local household hazardous waste collection centers
  • Properly maintaining your septic system

Glades County maintains a webpage with information and resources to help keep our waters clean.  There is information specific to Glades County and links to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District, to name a few.  There is information on stormwater management, landscape guides, septic system maintenance, and the University of Florida /IFAS Florida Yards and Neighborhood Program.  The link to Glades County webpage is www.myglades.com/water_quality/index.php