Tuesday September 28, 2021

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, Fire and EMS teams in our area have seen a dramatic increase in 9-1-1 calls. This information is courtesy of Hendry and Glades County Emergency Management Officials. Hospitals in our area are currently at, or over capacity.  That said, Hendry and Glades County officials are urging residents to only use 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies. Residents should use another method of receiving medical care like primary care physicians, telemedicine or walk-in clinics for non-emergencies. Those seeking COVID testing should seek testing outside of the ER to places like pharmacies, urgent care facilities or doctors’ offices. For local information regarding COVID-19, please visit www.preparehendry.com and follow Hendry County Emergency Management on Facebook www.facebook.com/hendrycountyemergencymanagement/ .

Suicide numbers in Palm Beach County continue to be above the rates seen last year, according to figures released by the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office. Data shows there were 121 suicide deaths in Palm Beach County at this time last year. Through August of this year, the medical examiner’s figures show 147 suicides. It’s unclear how much the loss of life is attributed to the stresses of the pandemic. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month, and it’s a good reminder that if you’re hurting and thinking of harming yourself, help is available. The pandemic has been tough on a lot of people for many different reasons — with 1 in 4 young adults reporting suicidal thoughts since the coronavirus hit. Support for individuals experiencing thoughts of suicide or other behavioral health needs, can be accessed, by calling the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24/7; turning to local 2-1-1 providers, which offer confidential conversations to access help; and by starting a conversation through the Crisis Text Line, available by texting HOME to 74741.

Hurricane season is very much active, beginning back in June and continuing through the end of November. With September being Hurricane Preparedness Month, we thought it important to remind our listeners about the importance of having a plan. Richard Lehmkuhl, director of emergency management for Hendry County says, after all, we are right in the middle of peak season. (Lehmkuhl – Peak Season) September is Hurricane Preparedness Month, and emergency management officials are urging residents to get their hurricane kits in order. During preparedness month, take the time to stock your disaster supply kit with at least 7 days of supplies, including pet supplies, nonperishable food and batteries. Find out more at floridadisaster.org/kit, and follow Hendry County Emergency Management on Facebook.

To bring awareness to a recent tragedy in Fort Pierce, where a 10-year-old girl was killed, as she crossed the street to get to her school bus, WAFC is highlighting how important it is, that people driving by school buses always be alert and drive with caution around the buses, and in school zones. In 10-year-old Yaceny’s case, her school bus had its stop stick and flashing lights on at the time. According to a Hendry County school bus driver, people are disregarding the stop signal on the school buses far too often, risking the safety of our kids.  Clewiston bus driver expressed concern saying, drivers are continually violating these advisories. The state stepped in this year and doubled the penalties. Currently, the penalty for failure to stop for a school bus rose from a $100 minimum to $200. The penalty for passing a school bus on the side that children enter and exit when the school bus displays a stop signal, went from $200 to a $400 minimum. School bus drivers, parents and school administrators, are urging drivers to please respect schools, bus stops, school buses and school parking lots. Parents should also go over safety tips with their children, to make sure they are safe around school buses and school zones.

The City of Clewiston will be having a Fall Festival on October 16, at the Sugar Festival Field, from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Activities will include kids costume contest, pet costume contest, and music. Mark your calendars for October 16 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the City of Clewiston’s Fall Festival.