Thursday, March 24, 2022

Poor Lake Quality in Florida

The Clean Water Act requires states to give reports on the condition of their rivers, streams, lakes, and estuaries to the Environmental Protection Agency. A new report shows about half of the river and stream miles, and lake acres that have been studied, are so polluted they are classified as “impaired.” That means they are too polluted to meet standards for swimming and recreation, aquatic life, fish consumption, or as drinking water sources. The study assessed over 22,000 miles of rivers and streams, and nearly 1.05 million acres of lakes and reservoirs in Florida. For water recreation, the rivers were found to be 43 percent impaired, while our lakes report an impairment percentage of 80%, the fourth highest impairment of all 48 states in the nation where lakes were assessed. When it comes to fish consumption, rivers in our state were found to be 73 percent impaired, and the lakes… 92%. Florida ranks first in the U.S. for total acres of lakes classified as impaired for swimming and aquatic life, and second for total lake acres listed as impaired for any use. The report goes into detail about lake Okeechobee, specifically, as well. To view the report, visit the following links: CWA-Data-Nationally.xlsx (live.com) CWA-report-3.22.22.pdf (environmentalintegrity.org)

Pahokee City Commission Fires City Manager

Division remains in Pahokee as a new city commission takes office this week. A special meeting was held last Friday, and the commission voted 4-1 to terminate Greg Thompson, who is also a commissioner in Clewiston, as city manager. The commission failed in a 3-2 vote to seek prosecution against the Mayor Keith Babb and former interim City administrator Jongelene Adams for the vacation and sick-day pay-out of 60 thousand dollars to former administrator Chandler Williamson. Vice Mayor Bohlen says, the infraction was obvious. Mayor Babb has denied any wrongdoing saying the allegations are “a joke”.

Hendry Regional Medical Center Improves Helipad Area

Hendry Regional Medical Center announced some improvements on its Clewiston campus on its Facebook page. The goal is to improve safety during Air Ambulance Helicopter Flights at the Medical Center’s Emergency Department. Working with the City of Clewiston’s Building department, approval was received to install automatic traffic barriers on the 500 block of West Trinidad Ave. between Olympia Ave. and Gloria Ave. These traffic barriers will be activated during any flight operations at the Helipad. As an additional safety precaution to warn individuals in utilizing this roadway blinking lights will activate to advise drivers of the barrier activation. Residents should use caution when these barriers are activated. R.D. Williams, CEO of Hendry Regional stated that “these additional safety measures are a continuation of our efforts to make Helicopter operations at our facility in Clewiston as safe as possible for staff, patients, aircrews and the public.”

Students Get Hit Waiting for School Bus

One student has died and three others left seriously injured after they were hit by a driver while waiting on the school bus in Royal Palm Beach. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said 15-year-old Tiana Johnson, died last night from injuries she suffered from the crash. The other three students are  a 15-year-old in critical condition; a 16 and 17 year old in serious condition. The sheriff’s office said a driver in an Alfa Romeo lost control, drove up on a sidewalk and struck four students waiting for their school bus on Tuesday before 7 a.m. Right now, charges are pending against the driver of Royal Palm Beach.  Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who represents the district, has since directed county engineers to do a traffic study at this intersection.

Clewiston Police Department Honors Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The Clewiston Police Department and ACT will be hosting a community event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This free session will be held on April 6, 2022 from 6-8pm at the John Boy in Clewiston.