Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Suspect Killed in 12-Hour Stand-off

Hendry County Sheriff’s Office and Collier County Deputies responded to a call Sunday afternoon from a property owner near Thorpe Road in Hendry County. The caller reported that a man had entered a home on his property and was refusing to leave.  Officials were notified that the barricaded subject did have weapons. A spokesperson for Hendry says negotiators, special response teams, nor the deputies themselves, were able to reach a peaceful resolve. Approximately twelve hours later, authorities say the subject came out of the property, and began shooting at deputies. Deputies returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.

Mental Health in Schools

Experts say, depression and anxiety are on the rise and, this rise in cases is affecting kids. For instance, teenagers have endured lockdowns, distance learning, in-person learning, masks on, then off. Combine that stress with social media pressures, civil unrest and a war half a world away. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens has 10 counselors including a behavioral health practitioner, a certified state therapist, a psychologist, and drug and alcohol counselor. Dr. Mary Mucenic, director of behavioral and mental health for the Palm Beach County School District says, “We are in a mental health crisis.” Four years ago, voters approved a 2018 referendum enabling schools to increase mental health services.

2nd Arrest Made in Real Estate Scam

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced a second woman from Loxahatchee has been arrested in connection with a real estate scam. Agents arrested 22-year-old Kiana Kiara-Alexis Russell on charges of scheme to defraud, money laundering and aggravated white-collar crime. Russell is accused of co-conspiring with Tabria Josey to steal somewhere around $300,000 from victims, in a real estate scam. Officials said Russell was booked Tuesday into the Lee County Jail. Josey was arrested last week after investigators said she defrauded more than 45 victims attempting to sell or rent 25 properties in Lee, Indian River, Palm Beach, Flagler, Orange and St. Lucie counties. FDLE said the investigation is ongoing and agents said there could be additional victims.

Roadwork in Hendry County

Please be advised that on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, Hendry County Road & Bridge will be conducting road repairs on a portion of Hendry Isles Blvd. in Pioneer Plantation between Homestead Ave and Tampa Ave from 9am – 4pm.  Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures and should allow extra time for their commute. Motorists should use extra caution when traveling through the work zone. Flagmen will be present to help direct traffic.  The work is expected to have a completion time of approximately one (1) day. Residents or motorists with any questions or concerns can contact the Hendry County Engineering Department at 863-675-5222. 

Homeless in Hendry

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development conducted a point in time count to find the number of people experiencing homelessness. The count was done in Southwest Florida communities around the lake including communities in and surrounding Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee, and Lee Counties. The count was conducted back in January, as it is every year, to show the sheltered and the unsheltered individuals and families in our areas specifically for January 31, 2022.  It included a total population of 2069 participants.  Sheltered individuals are those housed in emergency shelters, safe haven or transitional housing. In Glades County, the numbers showed 108 unsheltered people out of 36 households counted. Hendry County showed 455 unsheltered and Okeechobee shows 299 people were unsheltered at the point in time January 31, 2022.