Monday, May 9, 2022

Local Student Gets National Recognition

Black Enterprise Magazine recently did a feature story on one of the many brilliant and intelligent students from the lake area communities. After achieving 72 college acceptances, out of 90 total applications, Ja’Leaha Thornton of Belle Glade, is scheduled to graduate May 24 with a 4.9 GPA and as her class’s valedictorian, according to South Florida Times. She told Good Morning America quote “instead of stressing myself out, I decided to make it a competition…and see how many I can actually get into. She applied to 90 schools in all, being accepted by 72 of them. The soon-to-be grad will attend the HBCU Xavier University of Louisiana. Thornton has plans to major in pre-medical psychology with a minor in chemistry to prepare for her career in forensic psychiatry. She intends on attending medical school.

Glades County Crash

On May 5 at 12:42 pm, a car crash in Glades County claimed the life of a 58-year-old Tampa man. The Florida Highway Patrol says a 27-year-old West Palm Beach man was traveling south on State Road 78, approaching the US-27 intersection. A second vehicle was going west on 27, followed by a 3rd vehicle, in which the Tampa man was a passenger. According to the report, here’s what happened: the West Palm Beach man ran a stop sign causing a crash with the sole occupant in vehicle 2. Well then the West Palm Beach man’s car spun around and had a head-on collision with the residents of Tampa, the passenger suffering fatal injuries. The West Palm drivers car did flip over, but he suffered just minor injuries. The occupants of vehicle 2 which had three other female passengers, also walked away nearly unscathed. The Tampa man, who name was not released, was the sole fatality in the 3-car crash; FHP says, they are still investigating.

Crime Stoppers Fugitive

As of May 5, 2022, Crimestoppers of Palm Beach County is searching for Felicia Charles. Her last known address is considered at large, because she has no last known address on record. She is wanted for failure to appear on grand theft, theft of a credit card, giving a false name upon arrest and battery on a law enforcement officer. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Felicia Charles, contact Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County.

State News

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that more than 7,500 students have earned an entrepreneurship and small business (ESB) certification between July 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. The Governor’s Office says that supporting access to ESB certifications is a part of Florida’s goal to be the best state in the nation for workforce education by 2030.The number of ESB examinations delivered between January 2021 and March 2022, totaled 25,754. This represents the largest number of ESB certifications in the state’s history and now makes Florida #1 in the nation for achieving the globally recognized credential, according to the state. As of January 16, 2022, the number of small businesses opening in Florida increased by 9.7 percent compared to January 2020, with total small business revenue also increasing during the period.

Early Learning Coalition Closes Offices

An important announcement from the United Way regarding the Early Learning Coalition, as parents are enrolling their kids in VPK, applying for child care assistance and requesting other school readiness services. The ELC offices in Clewiston and LaBelle have been temporarily discontinued. We have the link to the family portal if parents choose to submit documents electronically. Family Portal: Login ( Requests for appointments can be addressed to Caroline Roberts at 239-935-6120.

Free Food Pantry

Harry Chapin returns to our area with the free mobile food pantry! On May 18 they’ll be at 785 Forrey Drive in Labelle. They’ll be in Clewiston at the John Boy this Wednesday May 11, and in Moore Haven on May 25 at 301 10th Street. Each location will serve from 10 am to 11:30 am. Special thanks to Feeding Florida, and the Feeding America charities, and of course to the Harry Chapin Food Bank for this important service.