Wednesday September 22, 2021

A 72-year-old man died last week after a truck and a car hit him as he walked on U.S. 27 south of South Bay, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. PBSO identified the man as Desmond Ricketts. Investigators said in a crash report released Tuesday, that they don’t know why Ricketts was walking on the highway before dawn, but the report said he was possibly picking up a turtle. A northbound Kenworth truck driven by Osmany Chinea, a Hollywood man, collided with Ricketts, throwing him into the path of a car driven by another Hollywood resident, Christopher King, which hit Ricketts a second time. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene of the crash, just after 5 a.m. Thursday. It is unknown where Ricketts is from, or if either driver will face charges.

The Pahokee city commission supported a lease for the Muck Tavern restaurant, which is managed by four homegrown, former NFL players from the Glades; Johnathan Mann, Deonte Thompson, Travis Benjamin and Pernell McPhee. The restaurant will be located at the Pahokee Marina and is just a portion of the restoration efforts, that have and will come from these partnerships, and from the founding of their company, JPDT Holdings. Johnathan man, one of the company’s founders, is a former Glades Central star who played pro football in Europe. Mann says, he’s grateful for Pahokee city leaders. Former NFL stars are not strangers to giving back to their hometown of Pahokee; Anquan Boldin being a staunch philanthropist for the city, as well as New Orleans Saints Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson. Muck Tavern is set to open, later this year.

Unemployment rates dropped to 4.9 percent in Okeechobee and  4.7 percent in Glades County in August.  Hendry County stood at 7.4 percent. Chief economist with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Adrienne Johnston says some sectors of the economy are recovering quicker than others. Around the region Highlands had 6.5 percent, St. Lucie 5.3 percent and Osceola 6 percent. 

This month, Governor Ron DeSantis declared September as Suicide Prevention Month in Florida. In recognition of this month, Governor and First Lady DeSantis, have placed significance, on improving access to, and awareness of, mental wellbeing resources, by giving money to mental health assistance programs and to suicide prevention efforts, by updating school curriculums to include problem solving, and using social media to promote suicide prevention. Preliminary data for the state shows that 3,113 Floridians died by suicide in 2020, an estimated 10.1% decrease from 2019. 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.