Monday June 28, 2021

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released its crime report for 2020 on Monday, June 21. It showed Hendry County’s crime rate dropped 14.4% during the pandemic, 17.2% in Glades. This year, there were more robberies in Hendry, more aggravated assault and more vehicle thefts. But Hendry County saw less murders, less rape and less burglary. Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden says, he attributes the drop in these crimes and the overall crime rate, to trust from the community, hard work of the detectives, and good old fashioned community policing. Sheriff Whidden says he’s proud to see these numbers dropping, and he’s going to continue to do the things that work to catch the bad guy. To see these numbers in a county by county break down across the state, we’ve posted a link to the full crime report on our website.

The Department of Health released its COVID-19 weekly report Friday. The newly released data, which recorded the state’s COVID-19 numbers from June 18 through June 24, added 217 deaths to the state’s total death count. The report counted an overall 4,920 cases of COVID-19 in Hendry County, with 21 new cases. Glades County showed a total of 992 cases, 5 of those from the past week. Florida politics dot com reports, Floridians are slowing down on vaccines. In the past week, a little over 281,000 doses were distributed in the state. That’s down from almost 778,000 doses distributed in the first week of May. As of Sunday night, 13,959 people have been vaccinated in Hendry County, 4,948 people have been vaccinated in Glades.

Florida Department of Corrections officials are planning to eliminate incarcerated people’s access to physical mail. The plan is to photocopy every card, letter, or picture to provide it to the inmates electronically. The proposal has sparked criticism among inmates’ families and advocates, who say that photos, kid’s drawings, and handwritten letters are among the most cherished items for inmates, and having those physical items from loved ones improves their mental health. 

If the plan is finalized, mail sent in to prisoners will be processed and reviewed by a third-party vendor, which will then scan the content into tablets or shared “kiosks” electronically. They’ll be available to print at a cost to the inmate. The FDC Assistant Secretary Richard Comerford claimed that the agency had intercepted 35,000 pieces of contraband through routine mail in the last two years, and this digital mail plan is supposed to improve security. 

The death toll in the Miami condominium collapse remained at 9 on Sunday night as authorities continued to search the rubble for survivors. Officials have accounted for 134 of the building’s residents but are still looking for information about approximately 150 of them. The rescue mission will continue, and emergency workers have brought in major machinery to sift through the debris.

Beginning Tuesday, July 6, sidewalk construction will take place from near the intersection of Kell Mill Boulevard and CR78 to SR29 along the south side of Old CR78 in LaBelle. The project includes sidewalk construction, drainage work, curb and gutter, and guardrail installation. The speed limit will be reduced through the project area, so expect some lane closures and possible delays. The construction team will be working on the sidewalk, Monday – Friday, 7am – 6pm from July 6th to December 2nd of this year. The Hendry County Engineering Department will notify of any changes.