Wednesday July 7, 2021

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has opened two new Social Media platforms on Instagram and WhatsApp. The two accounts are focused on assisting and informing the Hispanic community. These Spanish social media accounts will join the Sheriff’s Office already existing Spanish accounts on Facebook and Twitter. PBSO spokesperson Terri Barbera says, as the largest Law Enforcement Agency in Palm Beach County, it is important to be accessible to the public in their native tongue and assist them with any questions or concerns they may have. PBSO has also established a WhatsApp business profile where members of the public can directly send questions, concerns or crime tips.  To follow these accounts, visit the Instagram and the WhatsApp phone number @PBSOEE (PBSO En Español) on Instagram and add the PBSO WhatsApp number 561-319-7719 to your Whatsapp.

A Hendry County resident is set to appear in a Vermont court on sexual assault charges. Leonard Forte, a former New York police detective, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at is vacation home in Vermont back in 1988. The case was delayed at the time, according to a source, after Forte claimed that traveling to Vermont to stand trial would kill him because he has a terminal illness. After appearing by phone for years, a judge ruled that he will now stand trial in person, after prosecutors say Forte may have been healthier than he indicated. Well now, Forte will have to travel from his current city of residence, LaBelle. The trial was originally set for July 1. It is unclear, if or when, Forte will appear in court.  

On Saturday, July 3, 2021, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 813 E. El Paso Ave., in Clewiston. Deputies made contact with 36-year-old Juan Carlos Rico, and found that he had marijuana. Rico did have a medical marijuana card, but never had marijuana prescribed to him. A search revealed a glass pipe used for methamphetamines, documentation in the sale and trafficking of narcotics and other items consistent with the use of illegal drugs. Authorities say Rico did admit, to being addicted to methamphetamines. Rico was taken into custody and transported to the Hendry County Jail on Trafficking and several other possession charges.  He is currently being held with no bond.

The Hendry County Health Department and government offices closed yesterday following a threat of inclement weather from Tropical Storm Elsa. All offices are expected to resume normal business hours today. Residents should continue to monitor local weather. Updates from the National Weather Service are being posted to the Hendry County Emergency Management Facebook page –

The LaBelle Chamber of Commerce is joining with the City of LaBelle and Hendry County to host a JOB FAIR on July 13, at the LaBelle Civic Center from 9am to 3pm. Contact the LaBelle Chamber for more information.