The Florida Division of Administrative Hearings dismissed a case, filed by six school districts who put mask mandates in place despite the Parents Bill of Rights. The Administrative Law Judge ruled that the Florida Department of Health had the legal authority to issue Emergency Rule 64DER21-15, which empowers parents to decide if their children should wear masks at school and ensures healthy students can remain in school. Administrative Law Judge Bryan Newman found, based on the evidence presented, that “forcing asymptomatic children to wear masks in schools provides no significant barrier to the spread of COVID-19.” He criticized the counties’ expert witnesses who could not cite any data in Florida to support their universal mask opinions in school settings, while the Department of Health relied on “relevant data” from a case study of Florida schools during the 2020-2021 school year which showed no statistically significant difference between counties with mask mandates and other counties, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office. Judge Newman also made clear that the Department of Health has lawful authority to govern the control of COVID-19 in school settings throughout the State. The counties are appealing the decision.
A crash in Glades County leaves a driver in serious condition. On Monday November 8, a 63-year-old out of state driver was traveling west on 3rd Street and came to a stop at the intersection at US 27. A 19-year-old Clewiston woman was traveling north on US 27 in the outside lane. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the Pennsylvania woman failed to yield the right of way and entered the intersection. At this time the Clewiston woman collided with the left rear of the other driver’s car. Both vehicles came to rest in the area of collision. The Pennsylvania woman was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.
The Hendry County Sheriffs Office reports, 34-year-old Cody Allen Hoffman has been detained on an outstanding narcotic warrant. Over the last several months, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit began identifying members of a drug trafficking organization. The investigation revealed that the drug trafficking organization had been responsible for trafficking pound quantities of methamphetamine, and ounce quantities of heroin into Hendry County. Further arrests and information regarding this investigation are anticipated. Narcotics investigators are still currently looking for 43-year-old Michael Faz. If you know the whereabouts of Faz please contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office.
The Hendry County School Board and the Hendry County Board of County Commissioners met last night for their joint meeting. Then the Commissioners met separately afterward for their regular meeting. One of the larger takeaways was funding that was awarded for some much-needed infrastructure projects. They are in talks to partner with the EDC, they are discussing jail improvements and so much more. Visit Hendry County’s FB page to watch the meeting in their entirety.
There was a lot to discuss at last night regular county commission meeting. The domestic animals in the Montura Ranch area of the county have been a major topic of discussion for at least the last few meetings. It’s been a question of how many animals are acceptable per property, as well as how the animals are maintained by the property owners. Doug Moore of LaBelle Animal Control talked about tethering restrictions for the city. Its our understanding that hooved animals fall under the sheriff and animal control handles the rest. Highlands County Commissioners cracking down specifically on dog abuse, tying them outside for long periods of time. Their new anti-tethering law limits the amount of time a dog can be tied outside to four hours at a time, and eight hours over a 24-hour period.