Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Belle Glade Truck Driver Dies in On The Job Accident

A Belle Glade man died on the job Monday morning in Broward County. The Broward Sheriff’s Office said he drove a Caterpillar dump truck that slid into a canal in Parkland at around 10:30 a.m. BSO said Jeffrey Seraphin “was reversing toward a man-made canal to dump a load of dirt and mud, when he reversed past the point of safety, and the truck began to slip back into the water. Seraphin reportedly escaped the truck cab, BSO says, he could not swim to safety. Seraphin was 24 years old and expecting a son.

Belle Glade Chamber Honors Locals

The Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce celebrated the community last night with their Winter Wonderland themed Chamber Banquet, held at the First Baptist Church gymnasium. The program led by Terri Calsetta, President of the Chamber and last night’s emcee, was the first in 2 years, the last being held in 2019. For 55 years from 1964 to 2019, the Chamber named its Citizen of the Year along with other honorees. The Community Pride Award was given to Bernie Godek, CEO Habitat for Humanity in Belle Glade, The Impact Award went to Drew Barrett, Student Development and Outreach Advisor for Palm Beach State College, Sheriffs Officer of the Year Deputy Bryant, Fire Rescue of the Year Todd Bowie and Stephen O’Sullivan, the agri-industrial award went to Wille Lee, who runs an arial crop spraying company in Belle Glade. And the Citizen of the Year was awarded to local Pastor and City Manager Robert Reese.   

Florida Bill Could Change Nursing Home Operations

Florida nursing homes and long-term care facilities are facing a crisis as staffing problems continue to plague the industry. Some lawmakers in Tallahassee said they have a plan to try and fix the problem, but nurses and other medical workers are pushing back saying their plan could make things worse. House Bill 1239 and Senate Bill 804 call for reducing the amount of time CNAs can spend with their patients. It would also allow nursing homes to accept more patients even when they don’t have room. Additionally, the bills would allow non-medical staff to bathe residents instead of trained nursing staff. It also allows nursing homes to pack in more patients even if they don’t have enough staff since untrained staff could help take care of patients, including bathing them. We reached out to our local nursing home, but we have not heard back. AARP urges anyone opposed to the bills to call their legislator and voice their concerns.

LaBelle Cowboy Wrestling Goes to State

Big news in LaBelle Cowboy Wrestling as the season so comes to a close. Krystal Troung received 4th place at district!  her record was 22-16. Grace Freemen received 3rd place at district her record was 16-16. Janet Gomez received 1st place at district her record was 25-3 with 23 pins. According to Coach Kelsey, she even wrestled Clewiston’s 117lb boys and pined them both. Janet received 4th at regionals and is moving on to state next week. We’ll be following Coach Kelsey and the LaBelle Cowboys Wrestling team to the state Championship. And as always, Go Cowboys!

LaBelle Airport Temporary Closure

Hendry County’s contractor will do doing construction on Runway 14 / 32 at the LaBelle Airport. The project includes construction of a partial taxiway extension from the existing end of Taxiway B, to provide access to Runway 14 / 32. The project will also include drainage work, new pavement section, edge lighting, guidance signs, pavement markings, and other related work. Operations will require Runway 14 / 32 at LaBelle Airport to be closed beginning Monday, February 28 at 8:00 AM – Friday, March 4 at 5:00 PM. And then again on Monday, March 7 at 8:00 AM – Friday, March 11 at 5:00 PM. The project is 100% funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The Hendry County Engineering Department will notify of any changes.

Lake Okeechobee STA Construction

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District (USACE) and South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) hosted a groundbreaking event to celebrate the start of construction on the Indian River Lagoon- South C-23/24 Stormwater Treatment Area. The STA is designed to treat water from the Canal-23 and Canal-24 Basins. The Indian River Lagoon Watershed is home to more than 4,300 species of plants and animals and supports an annual economic contribution of more than $730 million. In addition, the Indian River Lagoon is known as the most bio-diverse habitat in North America and has been designated an Estuary of National Significance by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).