Monday, January 31, 2022

Unidentified Person Hurt in Belle Glade Crash

A crash in Belle Glade on Friday caused a vehicle to end up on its roof, and landed one person in the hospital. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews responded to the accident at 4:45 p.m. on Browns Farm Road, according to news reports. When crews arrived, they found an overturned car 100 feet off the road. One individual was taken to a local hospital. We have not received an update on their status.

Palm Beach County Mask Mandate Expires

The mask mandate for teachers and staff in the Palm Beach County School District ends today. The school district announced Friday that the mask mandate for teachers and staff would end starting Monday, January 31. This change comes as positivity rates for the omicron variant have steadily fallen over recent weeks. The mask mandate was implemented in late December, but could not apply to students due to Florida law. Masks are still strongly encouraged by the School District for both employees and students.

Blue Green Algae on the Caloosahatchee

Two blue-green algae health alerts have been issued in the Caloosahatchee River at the Davis and Alva boat ramps. The Florida Department of Health said a water sample taken on Jan. 24 showed the presence of harmful blue-green algal toxins in these areas. Anyone in the area should exercise caution in and around the Caloosahatchee River near the Davis and Alva boat ramps. Residents and visitors should not drink, swim, wade, use personal watercraft, water ski or boat in waters with a visible bloom. Wash your skin and clothing with soap and water if you have contact with algae or discolored, smelly water. FDOH officials said no one should cook or clean dishes with water contaminated by the algae blooms, and the blooms can be harmful to pets.

Fishing Tournament on Lake Okeechobee

The Major League Fishing Toyota Series Presented by A.R.E. is set to open the season at Lake Okeechobee. On Feb. 3-5, hosted by the Hendry County Tourism Development Council, the three-day tournament will feature the region’s best bass-fishing pros for a top prize of up to $100,000 in the pro division and a new Phoenix 518 pro boat in the co-angler division. Anglers will take off daily at 7 a.m. from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina. Weigh-ins will also be held at Marina and will begin at 3 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend and encouraged to follow the event online through the “MLF Live” weigh-in broadcasts and daily coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Black History Month in Florida

First Lady of Florida Casey DeSantis announced that the theme for this year’s Black History Month contests will be Celebrating African-American Contributions to Florida’s History and released information regarding the student art and essay contests, as well as the Excellence in Education awards. Black History Month is celebrated each year in the month of February.  First Lady DeSantis is inviting students to participate in academic and creative contests throughout the month. Students in grades K-3 can participate in an art contest and students in grades 4-12 can participate in an essay contest. Additionally, students, parents, teachers and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators of all student grades for the Black History Month Excellence in Education Award. Student contest forms and educator nomination forms must be mailed to Volunteer Florida or submitted online at www.FloridaBlackHistory.com. All entries must be received by 5 pm (ET) on Friday, February 18, 2022.

Free Tax Filing Service

United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades’ free tax filing assistance program is ready to assist residents during tax season. The United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides free federal tax filing services at more than 22 sites in Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Charlotte Counties to individuals and families making less than $66,000 per year. Each tax return is prepared by an IRS-certified VITA volunteer who is trained to determine if the taxpayers are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, recovery rebates, education credits, child tax and childcare credits. Schedule an appointment at Unitedwaylee.org/freetaxprep or call the United Way 211 Helpline at 2-1-1.

Final Day of Human Trafficking Awareness Month

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The Clewiston Police Department is bringing awareness to Human Trafficking, as approximately 20.9 million people are enslaved throughout the world. The Police Officers will be wearing a blue ribbon on their uniforms to promote awareness, on this, the final day of January. CPD simplified the definition as When force, fraud, or coercion is used to make a person perform labor services, or sexual acts for money, it is called human trafficking. Our local ACT Shelter (Abuse Counseling & Treatment Center) is here to help.  An ACT Advocate is always available in Lee, Hendry, and Glades County. All services are FREE. OPTIONAL. And CONFIDENTIAL. For help or resources, visit http://www.actabuse.com/

Firehouse Community Theatre

The Firehouse Community Theatre has a new play coming out. It’s called, “Vanities, the Musical”! It’s about three best friends’ journey through high school, college and their professional life, as they remember all their adventures. Vanities is a celebration of the enduring power of friendship, even when relationships hit bumps in the road. Organizers say, the story is full of warmth and charm and will put a smile on your face!! Call Firehouse Community Theater to get tickets! Leave a message and someone WILL call you back! The show runs February 11th, 12th and 13th and February 18th, 19th and 20th. (The Friday and Saturday evening show starts at 7pm and the Sunday show starts at 2pm.) The Firehouse Community Theatre Inc is located in beautiful downtown LaBelle at 241 N. Bridge Street.