More Hendry-Glades County Community News

Southwest Florida Online Wins Contest!

The Hendry County Democratic Executive Committee awarded it's $100 contest prize to the editor of Southwest Florida Online. Using the phrase "Your Vote Counts In The September Third Primary," we arranged the letters in the sentence to form as many new words as possible. We came up with many thousands of words. How did we do it?

Here's how: We looked on the web for a shareware computer program for doing Anagrams. You can find a program for your computer by looking through a shareware search program like Just search for "anagram". We enjoyed entering and hope all the other contestents had as much fun as we did. And check out our Southwest Florida Online Local Politics pages to see more about our local elections and political contributors list.

Gwen Lewis Celebrates 100th

Gwen Lewis of LaBelle celebrated her 100th birthday. Raised in New York and New Jersey, she was a librarian for thirty years. She is a member of the First Christian Church of LaBelle.

Southwest Florida Online Wins Runnerup for Best Web Site

SWFO was given an honorable mention for the best web site of the week in a contest sponsored by the former Net Connection Radio Show early in August. The Net Connection Radio Show was broadcast world-wide each Sunday at 2 PM on shortwave radio. The program was broadcast live on Nashville's 100 thousand-watt shortwave superstation WWCR. The program was located on the shortwave frequency of 9.475 Mhz. UPDATE: SWFO's editor was again mentioned on the Net Connection Radio Show in later weeks when he entered the "best web site of the week" contest again and this time won!

Historic Building Burns in Alva
The 76 year old 1920's Alva Marina building at 17261 Broadway Street in Alva was completely destroyed the morning of July 9th. Mark Huston, the marina manager who lived on the property reported that the fire started about 12:30 AM. He lost his pet dog and bird in the fire. Over thirty firefighters were called to the scene. The site, next to the Alva Post Office, was still smoldering for several days after the fire and smoke could be seen from Highway 80, one-half mile north.

The business was owned by Evonne "Micky" Linda Calomeris who bought the property several years ago. There was no fire insurance on the 2684 sq. ft. building due to the age of the building. The site was the original location for the Alva Supply, a trading post in the 1890's, located on the Caloosahatchee River in Alva. That original building burned down and was rebuilt in 1920 of pine wood and topped with a tin roof. That building served the river trade until this week.

The marina stood on about one-third of an acre. This commercial land along the river is worth about $75,000. The cause of the fire has been listed as undetermined and the owners are not sure they will rebuild.

Southwest Florida Online Editor Interviewed by TV and Newspaper Media

Southwest Florida Online's editor gave interviews to Channel 2 news in Ft. Myers (NBC) and also was interviewed the same week by the editor of the Caloosa Belle newspaper in LaBelle. The media wanted to find out more about the internet and the world-wide web and how Southwest Florida Online was carving out a place for news and features online for the residents and visitors of the communities of Southwest Florida. A fine front page story about Southwest Florida Online appeared in the July 10th issue of the LaBelle Caloosa Belle newspaper. Southwest Florida Online also received an inquiry from the National Geographic organization about the story online about the Indian Reservation in southeastern Hendry county.

Southwest Florida Online Wants Your Community Organization's News

Southwest Florida Online is asking all Hendry and Glades county, Florida area community organizations and individuals to notify SWFO of their coming events and meeting times. If you would like to have your organizations informations available worldwide on the Southwest Florida Online web pages e-mail us your request. Click here and send us your organizations's request .

Black Bear Appears In Hendry County

Wildlife biologists from the Florida Game and Freshwater Commission came to the Pioneer Plantation area of east Hendry county to investigate an apparent Florida Black bear attack on a resident's goats. The black bear is considered a "threatened species" and are non-aggressive. They usually eat berries, fruits, and insects but if hungry will each small animals. The bear in Pioneer Plantation is estimated to weigh 200 to 300 pounds, about 5 foot tall. There are no documented cases of black bear attacks against humans in Florida. There is a large population of bear in Collier county and their range runs up a narrow corridor to Lake Placid. Travelers can see "bear crossing" signs posted on US 27 south of the Lake Placid area.

Bill Williams Assists Lost Student Pilot

Bill Williams, a certificated airplane flight instructor assisted a disoriented student pilot on a solo flight over LaBelle. The student pilot , with about 17 hours of flight time had departed Ft. Lauderdale and was making a training flight to LaBelle when she encountered rainy weather and became unsure of her position. Bill Williams, an airline pilot for American International and flight instructor at LaBelle Municipal Airport talked to the student on his airplane radio while he was inflight and guided the student to the LaBelle airport. The student pilot waited out the rainy weather at LaBelle and later returned to Ft. Lauderdale. Visit the LaBelle Municipal Airport

TV Pastor John C. Hagee visits LaBelle..and almost didn't leave
Texas pastor John C. Hagee arrived June 12 in LaBelle in his 2-pilot, 10-seat private twin engine jet aircraft along with his wife Diana and aides. Mr. Hagee is the pastor at the huge 5000-seat Cornerstone Church (church picture) in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Hagee departed from Lakeland and stopped off for lunch at Flora and Ella's restaurant. Hagee was hosted by Alan and Irene Trask, owner's of the popular LaBelle eatery. After an hours stay in LaBelle the Hagee's left in their plane for Tampa after posing for pictures beside the jet.
However, their jet found the runway quite a bit short for takeoff and the plane did not leave the ground until the end of the runway, leaving bystanders gasping. One of LaBelle Airport's flight instructors, himself a pilot for a major airline, said the pilot's of Hagee's airplane "were crazy" to attempt a landing and takeoff at LaBelle's 3800" runway. He said a jet requires a runway length that will allow for emergency stopping in the event of an engine malfunction while accelerating down the runway. LaBelle's runway lemgth would not have allowed for any braking should a malfunction have occurred during the takeoff run. Read the Hagee Biography as published by the Cornerstone Church.

Claire Lamoureux Celebrates 100th Birthday

Claire Lamoureux turned 100 years old on May 11, 1996. Mrs. Lamoureux lives at Meadowbrook Manor Nursing Home. A party was given at the home, attended by friends and by five generations of her family. She has two daughters, six grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren. Mrs. Lamoureux is retired from a dry cleaning business she owned in Miami Beach.

Phil Pelletier Awarded Citizen of the Year

The Chamber of Commerce named Phil Pelletier the 1996 Citizen of the Year. He is the director of the LaBelle Recreation Department. Phil has organized the area's Summer Camp. Phil's role was also important in the rescue of the Walker family last November as the family was attacked by wasps. Phil has lived in LaBelle for 23 years and has a wife Gail, and two children, Mike and Kerensa.