Wednesday November 24, 2021

A local news affiliate reports, a LaBelle family was inside their home recently, when they heard a scary sound coming from one of their dogs outside. The family lives on Marion Avenue just off of State Road 29 in LaBelle. They say their dog “nugget” was attacked by another dog, and did not survive. A source says days later, the dog returned to the same neighborhood, having an aggressive interaction with another dog. This time, it was caught on the family’s home security camera. Thankfully, the aggressive dog gave up and left the area. The family is working with animal control to have the dog picked up.

A short recap as we bring Hurricane season in Florida to a close. With the end of the season right around the corner, the state has been relatively unscathed in the highly active storm season, allowing emergency staff in Florida to continue addressing lingering impacts of Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Irma, Matthew, Hermine, Dorian and more. Kevin Guthrie, director of the state Division of Emergency Management said, he’s grateful to be able to close out those old storms, without new systems causing mounting damage. This year was the sixth consecutive above-average storm season and came after Florida suffered historic strikes from Irma in 2017 and Michael in 2018. But this year is essentially the third consecutive season without a hurricane directly causing massive damage to Florida. The Atlantic saw 21 named storms, the third-most active season on record. That included seven hurricanes and four reaching Category 3 strength. When Ana formed on May 22, forecasters recorded the seventh consecutive year in which a system emerged before the June 1 designated start of the season.

Tickets for the day-long trip to Lake Placid on steam locomotive no. 148, quickly sold out yesterday, after tickets went on sale at 6PM. Only a limited number of tickets were available at sugarexpress.com. Tickets were priced starting at $148.00 and light refreshments are included with ticket purchase. Parking and boarding for the trip will take place at Basilian Cres and South Deane Duff Avenue in Clewiston. The train is scheduled to depart at 10 AM on December 12. A spokesperson for the sugar express says “this trip is just a preview of the wide variety of events we’re exploring with the Sugar Express as we build up our passenger train fleet.” No word yet on future trips. Visit sugarexpress.com to stay in the know.

Southeastagnet.com reports: Federal antitrust officials have filed a lawsuit to try to block U.S. Sugar Corp. from purchasing Imperial Sugar Company. The U.S. Department of Justice is arguing that the combination of U.S. Sugar and Imperial Sugar Co., would hurt customers in the Southeastern United States. A portion of the lawsuit reads: “This is a straightforward case: the merger of two direct competitors that will result in a highly concentrated market and lead to higher prices for a product that is vital to our country’s food supply.” U.S. Sugar announced in March that it had reached an agreement to purchase Imperial Sugar, which operates a sugar refinery in Savannah, Ga., for about $315 million. U.S. Sugar reportedly said the purchase would provide customers with a “more dependable, secure supply of sugar.”  But Jonathan Kanter, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said in a statement Tuesday, that the deal would “further consolidate an already cozy sugar industry.” The lawsuit alleges that if U.S. Sugar’s purchase of Imperial is completed, that United Sugars Corp. and American Sugar Refining, a company known by its Domino brand, would account for about 75 percent of sugar sales in the Southeast. By Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

Richard Lehmkuhl Director of Emergency Management and 911 for Hendry County, is hanging up his hat effective today. Lehmkuhl was hired in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, and in his words, he “embraced the challenging roles and started working.”   He says “With the help of strong staff, some mentors and amazing peer networks in EM and 911, we did some great work for Hendry County.  Despite this, Lehmkuhl says his final day with the County is today. Robert Pastula will assume the role as interim Director of Emergency Management and 911 Coordinator for Hendry County.