Thursday December 23, 2021

A community was shaken by the tragic death of 23-year-old Bee Love   Slater on September 4, 2019. Bee Love, whose given name is Bowman Slater, was found burned to death in a vehicle 2 years ago in the area of Virginia Avenue in Clewiston. Since her death, at least one person of interest was arrested in connection with the murder, but have since been cleared; and her murderer has not been captured. Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden held a press conference Wednesday morning, to announce the arrest of a Glades County man in connection to the horrific crime. 35-year-old Marcus Lynell Thompson of Moore Haven, was arrested without incident on December 22, and charged with 1st Degree Homicide and Arson -both as an accessory after the fact. Sheriff Whidden said there could be more arrests to come. Spokesperson for HCSO Captain Susan Harrelle says, this homicide investigation is still very much active, and detectives continue to follow up on leads. Slater was a transgender woman from Pahokee, but authorities have not deemed her murder a hate crime as of yet.  Authorities say a motive has yet to be established.

The National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) is issuing a warning to consumers, that older phones may stop working in early 2022, because they will no longer be using 3G networks. This may include other devices that use 3G like some medical alert devices, tablets, smart watches, home security systems, and other devices. The nation’s three major wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) have each announced that they plan on discontinuing 3G service in favor of 4G (LTE) and 5G service, beginning next year. According to the FCC’s website, AT&T will discontinue service in February, T-Mobile/Sprint will discontinue service between March and July, and Verizon will discontinue service at the end of 2022. Users of older phones used for 9-1-1 only purposes, may not be notified if they do not have active service with the provider.

41-year-old Rafael Gonzalez Santiago, of Clewiston, was found guilty of Sexual Battery, Burglary with Assault or Battery, False Imprisonment, and Robbery, following a trial in Hendry County. The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene of a home invasion on June 13, 2019. The defendant cut the power to a home in Clewiston then entered the residence. He then robbed and sexually battered the elderly occupant. A man who learned of Gonzalez’s plan, contacted law enforcement as the crime was happening. Deputies arrived at the scene and saw Gonzalez attempting to flee, and took him into custody.

Angela Snow of Glades County Emergency Management reports:  Glades County Medic and Fire crews learned that two young boys just 5 and 7 years old, had only had three classmates show up to their birthday party on a Saturday afternoon. Snow says, the Glades County crew decided at that very moment, they had a party to attend.  Joined by the Glades County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management crews showed to the party, lights and sirens blaring, to reassure the young boys that their community cared about them. The boys got a complete tour of the ambulance, the fire truck and the patrol car, the crew even gave out presents. Three teachers from Moore Haven Elementary School also joined in the celebration. Thank you to Angela Snow for sharing this story, and a special thanks to Glades County Emergency Management.

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County announced a new COVID-19 testing site opening in Belle Glade today. The District’s mobile health clinic will provide rapid antigen testing while stationed outside Lakeside Medical Center, located at 39200 Hooker Highway. American Medical Response (AMR) will be onsite beginning Friday, Dec. 24 providing Regeneron monoclonal antibody treatment to patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and meet the criteria to receive it. No appointment is needed and walk-ups are welcome.