Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Pay Raise for Palm Beach County Bus Drivers

Good news for Palm Beach County school bus drivers. After months of negotiations and dealing with shortages in the county, bus drivers and other support employees will get a pay raise. According to school board documents, members of the Service Employees International Union will get a 3.5% salary increase. And bus drivers will get a $2.25 hourly increase. Both will be retroactive to Jan 1 of this year. A news source says the school district is also increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour beginning July 1 for all employees. Starting pay for bus drivers is Palm Beach County will be $17.33 an hour. In another added reward, all regular employees will also get a $1,500 one-time bonus. School board members are expected to vote on the plan today.

Sales Tax Increase Proposed for Hendry County

Hendry County voters will be asked to approve a half cent sales tax to pay for new schools. They want a new K-6 school and a replacement for Labelle Elementary.  Superintendent of Schools Michael Swindle noted it wasn’t hard to convince people that some of their schools need to be replaced. County Commissioners approved putting the sales tax referendum on the fall ballot. 

Special Needs Shelter in LaBelle

The Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties, in cooperation with Emergency Management and several local community partners, conducted a drill on May 17 to introduce the new Special Needs Shelter location at 475 E Cowboy Way, LaBelle. The “2022 Hope Connections Special Needs Shelter Drill” provided participants the opportunity to practice and evaluate emergency response to providing shelter and related services to persons requiring sheltering assistance.  A Special Needs Shelter (SpNS) is for “someone who during periods of evacuation or emergency, requires sheltering assistance, due to physical impairment, mental impairment, cognitive impairment or sensory disabilities.” Chapter 64-3, Florida Administrative Code. Special Needs Shelters are designed to meet the needs of persons who require assistance that exceeds services provided at a general population shelter. Shelters may be activated during an emergency event to provide mass care for people who cannot safely remain in their home.  Special Needs Shelters are intended to provide, to the extent possible under emergency conditions, an environment that can sustain an individual’s level of health. If a person is medically stable but needs help with basic tasks or uses an electronic medical device and has no other evacuation options, they should pre-register for a SpNS. 

Property Appraiser Gives College Scholarships to Local Students

The office of Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks announced the award of six $1,500 college scholarships to Palm Beach County high school seniors who plan to attend a higher education institution full time.

The local recipients include:

  • Tasnia Tabassum

Graduating from Pahokee Middle-Senior High School

Attending University of South Florida

  • Moshammet Jarin

Graduating from Glades Central Community High School

Attending University of Florida

Each recipient will also be offered an opportunity for a paid summer internship in the Property Appraiser’s Office. Scholarship recipients will be recognized at a small ceremony at the Property’s Appraiser’s Office in West Palm Beach at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1. With this 29th year of the program, the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office has awarded more than $160,000 in college scholarships.

Hendry County Public Schools Foundation Scholarship Awards

HPSF missed out on CHS class night so they’ve taken their scholarship awards presentation and celebration of graduates on the road and will be surprising scholarship recipients over the next week! They surprised Frank Bussott at his lifeguarding job and were thrilled to present him with a $1k scholarship courtesy of Sodexo Services. Congratulations to Frank and best wishes on his future journey as a LSU Tiger!!