Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The Sugar Express Steams Ahead, Again

Good news for local residents who missed the inaugural run of Sugar Express Steam Locomotive number 148. Sugar Express is back! And will operate steam-powered train rides between Clewiston and Moore Haven on April 9th and 10th. These two-hour roundtrips will depart Clewiston at 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 4:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Click here to get notified when sales begin. Each trip will feature a narrated tour of US Sugar farming operations amidst views of the Florida countryside. Tickets are $48.00 per person and sales start at 6 PM on March 16th at sugarexpress.com. The trip will include one dining car, one open-air car, and a limited number of lounge seating options on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parking and boarding will take place at Basilian Cres and South Deane Duff Avenue, Clewiston. For best seating options, arrive early for boarding. The 148’s inaugural run in October, drew in passengers from six different states.

FWC Approves Rules for Bass Fishing

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved rules to allow the production and sale of largemouth bass for food.  Jane Davis, a rancher and fish farmer in North Florida, says the industry is ready. Gary Jennings with the American Sportfishing Association says their concerns have been addressed. The rule prohibits the import of any live bass species except permitted Florida largemouth bass that meet the FWC Genetic Authentication Standards. 

Glades to Lose Contract with ICE This month

Glades County faces a crossroads regarding their expiring contract with ICE, which is scheduled to end this month. Currently the facility is funded for a minimum of 3 hundred inmates. The facility had under 10 federal detainees earlier this month. It closes at least 30 jobs would be lost. Commissioner Tony Whidden says the old county jail is nowhere near ready to house inmates if the federal contract is ended. He says they can’t count on the feds with Biden in control. He says it would take months and a lot of money to get the old county jail ready for inmates. 

Employment and Unemployment Rates Statewide and Local

Every March, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity release January employment and unemployment estimates. Governor Ron DeSantis announced that in January, Florida continued to have steady growth and economic stability. In January 2022, Florida’s unemployment rate decreased by 2.5 percentage points over the year to 3.5% and continued to remain below the national rate of 4.0%. Hendry County rates reflect a rate of 4.6% unemployment as of January this year, which is down from 7.1% a year ago. Glades County Unemployment dropped from 5.4 to 3.3. In Palm Beach County, unemployment fell from 5.8% to 3.4% over a 1-year period. release.pdf (labormarketinfo.com)

Glades Food Pantry

The Glades Initiative Food Pantry is opened this week, for people who need it, to choose the foods that they want and need, instead of receiving a grab bag! Food will no longer be distributed outside. Those who want to participate must bring ID or your Glades Initiative Food Pantry ID, for access to the pantry ONE time per week. The pantry is opened on Tuesdays 3 to 7 and Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The free food pantry is located at The Glades Initiative, 149 SE Avenue D, Belle Glade.