Tuesday January 18, 2022

How To Identify Blue Green Algae

As recently as last week, certain areas of Lake Okeechobee in Hendry, Glades and Palm Beach County tested positive for toxins. Sometimes there are toxins discovered from routine sampling of areas where there isn’t necessarily a visible bloom. So, what does Blue Green Algae look like? Brenda Barnes of the Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties says, most typically it causes the water to have a greenish color or tint at or below the surface. Depending on the species, it could also be blue, bright green, brown or red, or look like a paint-like layer on the water’s surface. Depending on the magnitude of the bloom, a scum layer may also be visible. There is a smell is produced as a bloom decays. Decomposition processes release hydrogen sulfide, which can smell like rotten eggs or rotting plants. When a health alert is issued, this means that water samples collected, show the presence of algae toxin (in this case, micro cystic) in the water. Blooms naturally ebb and flow; so its hard to tell how long it takes for a bloom to clear up because it depends on the conditions of the lake, and whether they are favorable for algae growth or not. How can we find out more? www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/aquatic-toxins, and the Protecting Florida Together website https://protectingfloridatogether.gov/education-center/blue-green-algae

T-Shirt Spam Circulating

HENDRY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE is warning residents about T-SHIRT SPAM!!! Employees of the Sheriff’s Office have received numerous calls from the public regarding a spam message being circulated. The message shows a black T-Shirt for sale with the words “Everyone is Created Equal” across the top back of the shirt, and “Hendry County Sheriffs Office” at the bottom in yellow letters. The shirt even appears to have the official Sheriff’s star seal displayed on the back.  If you receive a text message, and/or an alert regarding the sale of Hendry County Sheriff’s Office t-shirts (or any product) please delete it. Clicking the link may lead to access to your device, unintentionally sharing information with the sender. The agency is advising the public that this shirt is NOT affiliated, endorsed, sold or sponsored by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office or any of its affiliates. If you have any questions, you may contact our office at 863-674-5600.

Accused Murderer In Custody

A Clewiston man accused of killing his wife has been taken into custody. Rafael Montejo-Luna, 57, was turned over to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office on January 10, 2022. The warrant for his arrest was first issued on November 3, 2021 after he failed to meet with law enforcement, after agreeing to do so.  Deputies wanted to speak with Montejo Luna regarding the death of his estranged wife, 57-year-old Aleyda Garcia, of Montura Ranch Estates. Back in April of 2021, Hendry County Deputies performed a wellness check at Garcia’s home in Montura, where they found her deceased.  An investigation revealed that the Luna’s were in the process of a divorce.  After Garcia’s death, detectives made several attempts to meet with Montejo-Luna, but to no avail. He was taken into custody by US Customs on December 16, 2021, as he returned to the United States from Cuba.  Currently, Montejo-Luna is being held in the Hendry County Jail on $500,000.00 bond.

Belle Glade Pedestrian Hit, Killed

A 42-year-old man from Belle Glade has died after being struck by a vehicle in South Bay. On January 17 at around 4 in morning, South Bay resident Lekisha Crawford was driving westbound on Palm Beach Road approaching the intersection of SW 2nd Avenue. There was no lighting in the intersection and conditions were very dark, according to FHP. Pedestrian and Belle Glade Resident Charlie Simmons was crossing Palm Beach Road from south to north, east of the intersection, wearing a black hat, black sweater, and dark gray shorts. As Crawford’s car approached, Simmons entered the path of Crawford’s vehicle, causing the car to hit him on his right side. According to the report, he was thrown into the ground upon initial impact, and then hit again by an unknown number of vehicles. Authorities say the 27-year-old driver departed the scene, because she didn’t see the victim.  She is currently cooperating with the investigation. Charlie Simmons would have 43 today.