Events From Past Sunday Morning News Stories
The Barron Park is the site of annual 4th of July festivities as fun for kids and adults take place followed by the big LaBelle Jaycee fireworks display at dusk. Eighth-grader Shawn Knowles caught a 20-pounder in the Caloosahatchee River while other kids played "firefighter" with the LaBelle VFD firehose.
Comet Over LaBelle! Susan Carroll of LaBelle had her comet photograph featured on the CBS nightly news as one of the best Hale-Bopp comet pictures on the internet. The comet was estimated to be 25 miles across and 120 million miles from earth but highly visible here. It's next return will not be until another 3000 years! Susan and husband Steve have a website featuring their astronomy items at Carroll's Creations which can be found linked at the Southwest Florida Online™ Business page. The NASA website where her photos were posted was at: NASA photo link.
Judge Speaks To Harlem County Judge Jim Sloan spoke to the residents of the Harlem Community Association in Clewiston. The monthly meetings are organized by Commissioner Janet Taylor to help explain the functions of government to the residents. Judge Sloan explained the role he plays in setting bails for prisoners, and holding trials as well the the juvenile court system over which he presides.
Mexican-Americans Celebrate Feast Day The Mexican-American community of LaBelle celebrates the Fiesta del San Jose at the Queen of Heaven Catholic Church on the feast day of St. Joseph. The annual feast day is celebrated by folkloric dancing and ceremonies at the church each March. The dancers tour the country perfoming traditional Mexican folk dances and also return here each December for the feast of St. Mary.
Swamp Cabbage Festival Another Success
The annual Swamp Cabbage Festival in LaBelle attracts visitors from all over the country. In it's 33st year the annual last weekend of February event attracts an estimated 25,000 people. Kick off is with the 5K run. Then follows the morning parade showing off over 80 units, including marching and jazz bands, clowns, floats from community organizations, horse units, and a U.S. Marine color guard. The rest of the weekend features an airshow at the airport, and music and entertainment in Barron Park on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River. Many thanks from the community go to the Swamp Cabbage Festival Committee especially Chairperson Julie Craichy Wilkens (send a thank you note to Julie here!), and Parade Chairperson Paul Rue
Love Over Hendry County Skies Kenny Kenney sent love flying through the skies over the county one sunny Valentine's Day. Kenney hired Tradewinds Aviation in Lantana to fly a large "Rhonda - I Love You" banner over Clewiston and Labelle for several hours. The banner was visible for miles as the small yellow airplane cruised at 70 miles an hour on it's love mission. The plane then made several low passes over the airport. The plane's pilot landed at the Labelle Airport to end the mission and was greeted by Suzi Harper of Harper's Keep-Em-Flyin'. Suzi Harper Welcomes Banner Pilot To LaBelle
Mormon Church Owns $9 Million of Eastern Hendry CountyThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) owns substantial acreage in the county. There are six church owned parcels shown on the county property appraiser's records. The property owned by the church ranges in size from one-half acre of the smallest parcel to the largest being 640 acres carrying a value of $4,000,000. Totally the church owns 1,675 acres in the county. The total value of church owned land is over $9,000,000. Most of the property is under agricultural exemption for property taxing, being used for groves and ranching. The church has no place of worship in Hendry County. The nearest Latter-Day Saints church building is in Ft. Myers. Also see Mormon Religious Beliefs for an overview of the church and it's religion.
Update March 7, 2014 - The Mormon church now owns nearly 2 percent of Florida after a $562 million purchase of 382,000 acres in Northwest Florida's Panhandle region of land formerly owned by real estate development company St. Joe Co. The Church owns Deseret Ranched in Central Florida.
The Mormon Church now owns 678,000 acres in Florida through various subsidiaries including AgReserves, Inc
$1.1 Million Left for Animal Care in Hendry and GladesKees Huijer of Ortona left some of his estate to fund a Humane Society chapter and shelter. A former petroleum engineer, Huijer was a cat lover and saw a need for a Humane Society for Glades and Hendry county. Dr. Fleming Sanderson, friend and retired veterinarian will help to organize the plans to start the chapter and build a shelter.
Major Talk Radio Station WIOD Gives SWFO Thumbs Up
Southwest Florida Online was mentioned on two South Florida major talk-radio programs recently. Talk show host Neil Rogers of WQAM AM in Miami commented on the new web pages, and also at another talk station, Rick Riley of the Rick and Suds show praised SWFO's editor for the nice work he has done on the large web site. Visit the Rick and Suds page on SWFO.
LaBelle Jazz Ensemble PerformsThe LaBelle Jazz Ensemble performs at the Barron Park bandstand playing favorites from the 40's to the 90's. The band members include Dr. Tim Thompson on piano, Rev. Bill McClean on trumpet, Rev John Thompson on sax, Ken Zaehler on Bass, and Gwen Nelson on drums. The concerts are sponsored by local residents and businesses.
Chalo Nitka Festival - Moore Haven
Sugar Festival - Clewiston
Swamp Cabbage Festival - LaBelle
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