Wednesday January 26, 2022

An Increase in Fire Fighter Pay

The pay for volunteer firemen in Glades County is going up. Volunteers would be paid 75 dollars to fight house fires, 50 dollars for a brush fire, 40 dollars for motor vehicle accidents and 25 dollars for medical calls. Public Safety Director Angela Snow, was asked if the rise in pay will help with recruitment. She says, they’ve already had a few inquiries. She says they’d like to revitalize volunteer fire departments in Buckhead Ridge and Lakeport. Over in Clewiston, City Commissioners announced a new Firefighter Retirement System, which requires officials to go back and pick up current employees for length of service.

Gas Prices

Florida gas prices haven’t moved much, even as the price of crude rises to multi-year highs, a report from AAA. The average price for gasoline in Florida is $3.23 per gallon. That’s 1 cent more than a week ago and the same price as this time last month. The U.S. price for crude oil is on a five-week streak of gains. So far this year, crude oil has risen as much as 14%. Although the daily oil price took a step back on Friday, oil prices remain under heavy upward pressure due to ongoing global supply concerns, according to AAA. Naples is among one of the most expensive metro markets in the region for gas, at an average of $3.29 per gallon. Locally, in Clewiston, gas averages over $3.40

Minor Arrested on Glades County School Campus

Deputies arrested a 17-year-old student for having a gun and drug paraphernalia at Moore Haven Middle-High School on Tuesday. Superintendent Alice Barfield says deputies conducted a random drug search of student backpacks and a dog was alerted to the suspect’s bag. A news source reports, deputies searched the bag and found a magazine for a gun and drug paraphernalia. A .45-caliber Glock was later recovered. The student was arrested and removed from campus.  The incident was enough to warrant some extra police presence during Tuesday night’s basketball game at the school. Administrators say the school remains secure and that Glades County school officials would do everything they could to keep things safe.

Clewiston Man Arrested on Molestation Charges

A news source reports, a Clewiston man was sentenced to 84 months in prison for molesting a child Tuesday. Forty-nine-year-old John Kevin Mabry was charged with one count of lewd or lascivious molestation against a child 12 years of age or older, according to the State Attorney’s Office. He was arrested after he was caught touching a girl who was asleep in the same home he was staying in. Mabry is now a registered sex offender. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Christine Cummins of the Special Victims Unit.

Black History Month Theme for Florida

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that the theme for this year’s Black History Month contests will be Celebrating African-American Contributions to Florida’s History and released information regarding the student art and essay contests, as well as the Excellence in Education awards. Black History Month is celebrated each year in the month of February.  First Lady DeSantis is inviting students to participate in academic and creative contests throughout the month. Students in grades K-3 can participate in an art contest and students in grades 4-12 can participate in an essay contest. Additionally, students, parents, teachers and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators of all student grades for the Black History Month Excellence in Education Award. Student contest forms and educator nomination forms must be mailed to Volunteer Florida or submitted online at www.FloridaBlackHistory.com. All entries must be received by 5 pm (ET) on Friday, February 18, 2022.

Free Tax Prep

United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades’ free tax filing assistance program is ready to assist residents during tax season. The United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides free federal tax filing services at more than 22 sites in Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Charlotte Counties to individuals and families making less than $66,000 per year. Each tax return is prepared by an IRS-certified VITA volunteer who is trained to determine if the taxpayers are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, recovery rebates, education credits, child tax and childcare credits. Schedule an appointment at Unitedwaylee.org/freetaxprep or call the United Way 211 Helpline at 2-1-1.