Tuesday December 14, 2021

2 Crashes in Hendry County, Hours Apart

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office reported as of yesterday afternoon, the SOUTHBOUND LANES OF BRIDGE STREET AND WASHINGTON AVENUE were BLOCKED, DUE TO a TRAFFIC CRASH in LaBelle. The agency released an update at around 2 pm, as Bridge Street reopened. Another traffic crash was reported just before 9 pm in the area of South SR 29 and E road. No report on injuries as of this hour, or if the roadway has reopened. We’ll be checking with HCSO for updates.

New Initiative to Support Farmers in Need

Suicide rates among farmers has been consistently increasing, and is now 5 times the national average, according to a source. Part of the problem is financial pressure; another is a lack of therapy and counseling services in rural areas.  Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced, she received a $500,000 grant to create the Farmers Mental Health Awareness Initiative. The program will promote services exist in rural areas.  It will also add telehealth sites to connect farmers to mental health services. 

New Details in Shooting Death of Unidentified Man in Belle Glade

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the shooting death of a man Sunday morning in Belle Glade. Deputies have arrested 41-year-old Ivin Spencer as of Sunday afternoon. Police are not releasing the victim’s name in accordance with Marsy’s Law. Police say the two men had an argument that led to the shooting. A surveillance video, the victim following Spencer as the men talked.  Spencer pulled a gun and shot him, according to the arrest report. The man ran back toward his car where he died. Spencer removed the magazine from his gun and placed it on the hood of his car after he fired the shot, according to an arrest report. Spencer was booked into the Palm Beach County jail. Spencer reportedly had his first appearance, yesterday.

Post Office Prepares for Holiday Season

Many Americans have expressed concern over shipping delays in the last few months. Concerns are growing however as consumers countdown the Christmas. The United States Postal Service, along with many of its partners, are definitely feeling the rush. Post office spokesperson Debra Fetterly says USPS South Florida has hired additional employees earlier than last year to allow more time, training, and experience on the job prior to volume increases. Fetterly says the busiest time of the season begins two weeks before Christmas, which means, it crunch time, right now. The pandemic forced many to shop online and that meant a record amount of packages being delivered by the post office last year. Fetterly says you still can do a lot of things online when it comes to mailing packages. The post office has expanded lobby hours too, to make sure your packages arrive on time. The deadline for first class mail letters, cards and packages to reach their destination by Christmas is this Friday, December 17th.  Priority mail deadline is December 18 and December 23 is the deadline for priority mail express service. 

COVID-19 in Florida

COVID-19 cases in Florida are rising faster than in any other U.S. state. According to data from The New York Times as of Monday, the sunshine state saw a 185 percent increase in average daily COVID-19 cases over the last 14 days. It now records on average 1,941 cases a day. Over 62,000 people have died in our state overall. Omicron, the new variant of COVID-19 discovered by South African scientists that seems to be more transmissible than previous strains of the virus, was detected in Florida last week. The variant has been detected in at least three people in the state, according to local news reports. The highly-mutated strain of the virus has been found at least 30 states and 69 counties. The data shows that globally, Omicron has been found in 68 countries. South African scientists have suggested that Omicron might be milder than Delta in terms of the severity of the disease it causes, but scientists have warned that it’s too soon to know for sure. The UK recorded the world’s first known death from the Omicron variant on Monday.