Wednesday August 31, 2022


In the morning hours of May 1, 2022, Cpl. Veronica Lopez responded to a call of a 10-month-old child that had possibly drowned in a bathtub.  Upon Cpl. Lopez’s arrival, she was met by the mother who was holding the unresponsive child. Based on her training, Cpl. Lopez immediately began CPR on the infant.

Due to her quick action, the infant began to respond and started breathing.

Lopez’s actions attributed to the saving of the infant’s life. With this display of conspicuous initiative, capability and quick response, Cpl. Lopez has earned the respect and admiration for herself and the Agency.

Last Wednesday, August 24, 2022, Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden presented Corporal Veronica Lopez the Life Saving Award for Outstanding Law Enforcement Performance, in the Saving of a Human Life.  Under true emergency circumstances, she acted to prevent the loss of life either by exercising appropriate first aid procedures or by direct intervention.

 The Life Saving Award is awarded to an employee for competent and expedient action that is directly accountable for sustaining or saving a human life.


A new study raises some troubling concerns about the air quality in western parts of Palm Beach County.

Belle Glade is home to about 20,000 people. For the people who live here, sugarcane fires are a part of life.

But researchers at Florida State say it appears the smoke from the sugarcane fires is taking a toll.

Belle Glade City Manager Robert Rease is skeptical when it comes to the results of a new study by researchers at Florida State University.

The study looked at the practice of burning sugarcane as part of the harvesting process, when growers burn the leaves off sugar cane stalks before harvesting.

According to Rease who said that”Last season, we barely realized they were burning until a few ashes came in. As far as air quality, our quality of air is as good as any place else, as a matter of fact I would imagine it’s better than any of those who live near I-95,

About a dozen residents filed a class-action lawsuit—which has since been dropped—demanding that growers stop burning the sugarcane fields and pay damages to those who’ve been impacted.

U.S. Sugar has a billboard in Belle Glade that says: “The air out here is cleaner than congested urban areas.”

And they sent out a written statement, saying the FSU study is based on estimates and conjecture and the statement says quote: “Shame on Florida State University for letting its good name be associated with such shoddy work.”

The Belle Glade City Manager says if there are health concerns here, he attributes it to mold and mildew in many of the apartments that people are living in, which he says are owned by slumlords who are collecting rent but allow people to live in unhealthy apartments.


A Florida Panther was caught on camera — several times — investigating a Florida Power & Light property.

The night vision cameras picked up the endangered cat making tracks at their Sawgrass Solar Energy Center in Hendry County.

Wildlife-friendly fencing built on the site allows access to the grounds for animals like the panther.

FPL officials say they work closely with wildlife organizations to make sure their properties don’t encroach on the animals’ ability to roam free.

Experts say the endangered Florida panther population ranges from between 120-230 individual animals.

Many of the year’s recorded panther deaths have taken place in Southwest Florida and have involved passing vehicles .