Tuesday March 2, 2021

According to records from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, recorded manatee deaths are more than double what they were at this time last year. This year, 358 manatee deaths have been recorded in January and February. In 2020, there were 143 deaths during the first two months of the year. There were 637 manatee deaths last year in total. Known causes of 2021 deaths include cold stress, boat strikes and natural deaths. But a shortage of sea grass, which manatees eat, seems to have played a role in this year’s high mortality. Almost half of the 2021 manatee deaths have been in Brevard County’s, Indian River Lagoon.

Two Lehigh Acres residents were involved in a collision yesterday, leaving a minor child in critical condition. At about 9 o’clock Monday morning, a 13-year-old boy was riding a motorcycle north on Gordon Avenue South, approaching the stop sign intersection of 7th Street SW. At the same time, a pickup truck driven by a 47-year-old man was traveling west in the same area. The report from FHP says the young boy violated the right of way causing the motorcycle to crash into the side of the truck. The boy was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital in critical condition. In an update as of this morning, FHP reports that the young boy died last night. The driver of the truck, and his 3-year-old passenger suffered no injuries.

Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an amendment to his initial executive order regarding Vaccine Administration and Protecting Florida’s Seniors. The new amended order expands COVID-19 vaccinations to include K-12 school employees 50 and older; and law enforcement and firefighters 50 years of age and older. The amendment still includes long-term care facility residents and staff; persons 65 years of age and older; and health care personnel with direct patient contact. Healthcare providers are also tasked with using their discretion in cases where a person may be considered extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. The amended portion of the order which includes school employees, law enforcement and firefighters, all 50 and older, is effective March 3rd 2021.

Charles Murphy of our sister station WOKC in Okeechobee reports: Glades County is working with Burma Spice to maintain the growing company’s business inside the city limits of Moore Haven. The business wants to expand and and is looking to purchase two lots in the County Business Park, as the spice manufacturer could build a 15 thousand square foot warehouse.  Commissioner John Ahern says they should do what they can to work with Burma Spice, as their success is important to the area. He says the County will do all it can to keep the business in Moore Haven. It’s important for the economics of the county, mostly through local jobs.

Hendry County agricultural businesses and food security operations that have been directly affected by COVID-19 will now be able to apply for financial assistance through HendryCARES. Applications are open on the HendryCARES website – www.HendryCARES.com. The website has more information to address the qualifications to apply, as well as what documents applicants will need on-hand in order to complete and submit their application. Individuals and businesses can apply online at HendryCARES.com or contact the call center at 863-674-5490 for details on the virtual process and to be connected with services.  The call center will be open 9am – 4pm, Monday – Friday.

Cowboy Wrestling celebrations continue this week, after coming off of a regional win last week. Five Cowboy wrestlers made it to the region 3 tournament, 2 of them state bound this weekend. Zach Mann and Justin Connell are leading the LaBelle Cowboy Wrestling team under the guidance of Coach Matt Miller. LHS girls wrestling competed this past weekend at the state tournament at Osceola High. Although the ladies did not make the podium this year, Coach Craig Kelsey is gearing up for the girls’ first sanctioned year. This is LaBelle High Schools first ever girls wrestling program. Congratulations to LaBelle High School Wrestling Teams! Go Cowboys!!