Thursday May 27, 2021

The girlfriend of the man accused of stealing guns from a pawnshop now faces charges of grand theft of a firearm. Hendry County Sheriff’s Office arrested forty-two-year-old Ruby Nieves, in LaBelle Wednesday, after investigators say they found a stolen rifle in the back of a closet. According to HCSO, May 19, deputies and federal investigators with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded to Nieves’ home, with a search warrant related to the robbery at Capital Pawn in LaBelle, where her boyfriend, Raynaldo Ray Quiroga, is accused of stealing six guns and tying up victims in the process. It turns out the rifle was stolen in 2019 from a Hendry County home. Nieves faces a charge for grand theft of a firearm. She remains in Hendry County Jail without bond.

Clewiston High School athletics coach Jay Similien has announced, that he will be leaving CHS, in pursuit of a more western horizon. Similien says he’s accepted the position of Dean at LaBelle Middle School. Similien took to his Facebook page to he’s thankful to the CHS administration for their wisdom, guidance and mentorship, and he’s eager to support LaBelle Middle School in his new endeavor.

The City of Clewiston has announced the resignation of Chief of Police Aaron Angell, effective June 1. Chief Angell has served as Police Chief since May, 2017. The City says his service to Clewiston is appreciated, as the staff sent him their well wishes on social media. City Police Sergeant Thomas P. Lewis has been selected to fill the role of Interim Chief of Police effective June 2. City Manager Randy Martin stated “I am confident that the citizens of Clewiston will be well-served with Lewis’ law enforcement administration background.” Further information on the process of selecting a new Chief of Police will be made available at a later date. For more information concerning this release, contact the City of Clewiston at (863) 983-1484 or visit

Governor Ron DeSantis announced a total of $765 million in funding to support Florida’s teachers. These investments include $550 million to continue elevating minimum teacher salaries, as well as $215 million to provide all of Florida’s eligible public-school principals and teachers with $1,000 disaster relief payments. A press release from the state reads that over the past year, minimum pay for Florida’s teachers increased by an average of $6,000 from $40,000 to $46,000. Overall, 68 of Florida’s 74 school districts (92 percent) now have a starting salary of $40,000 or higher.  

Contrary to information we received last month, Pahokee High school has not hired a new head football coach, according to a news source. Last month, Emmanuel Hendrix was presented as the new Blue Devils head coach in a radio interview with ESPN West Palm. Pahokee athletic assistant principal Brian Lawson allegedly says, Hendrix was never hired as the new coach. He is one of the 12 applicants, but he was never offered the full-time position. Lawson said Pahokee had to advertise the job to teachers on campus and post it online. Hendrix was named the interim coach at Pahokee when DJ Boldin resigned in February. Boldin even recommended Hendrix for the full-time position before he left. Pahokee will not begin interviewing candidates until the week of June 4. The deadline to apply for the Pahokee position is tomorrow.

A burn ban is now in effect for unregulated fires for all of Hendry County as dry weather conditions impact the area. An unregulated fire means any outdoor fire, other than a cook fire. Outdoor fires include, but are not limited to, bonfires, campfires or burning of yard debris. Those who violate the burn ban can be subject to a civil fine or charged with a misdemeanor based on the nature of the violation. To obtain a burn permit for commercial or contractor services only, contact the Florida Forest Service at 239-690-8001. To report a burn ban violation, contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 863-674-5600 or Hendry County Code Enforcement at 863-675-5247. The burn ban is in effect until further notice.