Rob Branagh of Malabar, Florida brought a final-day total of five bass weighing 19 pounds, 11 ounces to the scale Saturday, to win the season-opening fishing tournament at Lake Okeechobee. Branagh’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 51-5 earned him the win, and the top payout of $66,500. Branagh said he fished on the south end of the lake, near Rita Island. Majorleaguefishing.com reports, Branagh says he plans to help his daughter with the winnings because, “My daughter has two kids and works her butt off. I’m so proud of her, I’m probably going to buy her a car”. Congratulations to Rob Branagh, winner of the Major League Fishing Competition held over the weekend on Lake O.
Gary Brandenburg, who served on Hendry and Palm Beach County government’s top legal teams has died. A news source reports that the cause of death, which reportedly occurred on Wednesday, was not immediately known. Brandenburg served as the attorney for the City of Clewiston, and served the City of Pahokee for over 12 years. Clewiston City Commissioners privately expressed their sadness and condolences to the family. Brandenburg was 68.
An arrest has been made in connection with the drive-by shooting death of 8-year-old Ronziyah Atkins, which occurred in Belle Glade on Friday. 20-year-old Andrew Thomas, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm. The sheriff’s office said a cooperating witness helped detectives identify Thomas as a suspect. Investigators located Thomas in Coral Springs where they arrested him Monday morning. The family of Ronziyah said someone fired shots at their home again on Sunday night. Thomas was booked in the Broward County Jail.
The community of Pahokee, which was founded in the early 1900s, was named for the Seminole word “Pahokee” meaning “grassy waters”. In March 1922, Pahokee was incorporated as a city by the Municipal Government. This year, the city will celebrate 100 years since its incorporation. The observance will be in the form of a Centennial Gala and Fundraiser. It will be held this Saturday, February 12 at the Eddie Lee Rhodes Gymnasium, from 7 to midnight. Admission is $100 per person, or $1 for each year of its founding. For tickets or questions, contact Patricia S. Wallace at email@example.com. The ticket includes dinner and entertainment.
Attorneys for the Florida Department of Health filed a petition late Wednesday as part of a lawsuit filed in August which alleges that the department violated public records laws by turning down requests for daily COVID-19 data, which includes county and demographic information. The department issued daily reports until June but then shifted to posting weekly information that is far less detailed. The Center for Government Accountability, amongst others, made public-records requests in July and August seeking daily information about COVID-19 cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccinations. They filed the lawsuit after the department denied the requests.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida reports, Jackie Garrett, was recently named head coach of the Moore Haven High School Terriers. Garretts full time job is a policing deputy with the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office, but he’s no stranger to sports. As a high school quarterback, Garrett took Glades Day to a state championship. As a high school coach, he was part of the staff for coach Pete Walker on three state championship teams at Glades Day, and most recently at Clewiston, which went 8-3 last season. As the former athletic director for the Clewiston Cougars Organization, this is his first varsity head coach position. With the combination of law enforcement, mentoring and sports in his background, Garrett says. “It’s about making them good people in the community, go out and get good jobs and be good parents. Be a good role model in the community.” A word from Jackie Garrett, Moore Haven High School Varsity Football, new head coach.