Glades County

Ortona Cemetery

Jun 22, 2018
Amy Bennett Williams

Following up on an old, but not forgotten tip, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams recently traveled to the historic Ortona Cemetery in rural Glades County in search of artifacts and details of an alleged and obscure murder mystery.  While her search didn’t exactly lead Williams to what she was looking for, the small cemetery, which includes some graves dating back 100 years, proved to be a treasure trove of touchstones covering a broad spectrum of Southwest Florida’s rich history from Seminole tribesmen to hurricanes.

Amy Bennett Williams

Along U.S. 27 in Palmdale, which was once a major transportation artery, stands what remains of one of Florida’s lost tourist attractions:  Tom Gaskins’ Cypress Knee Museum. 

Photo: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Cuts by the Florida Department of Agriculture will eliminate a supplemental food program used by nearly 2,300 low income seniors in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, according to department officials and distributing agency, the Harry Chapin Food Bank. The cuts go into effect Jul. 1. 

The cuts are through the federal Commodity Supplemental Food Program, administered by Florida's Department of Agriculture since January 2015. The state agricultural agency says it's eliminating the program in the three counties while also expanding it in nearby Glades and Hendry counties.

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Stuart Whiddon is stepping down as Glades County Sheriff, and three people are competing to replace him Tuesday.

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The White House announced Monday that Southwest Florida will join a national initiative to develop poor communities.

Hendry and Glades Counties, and Immokalee in Collier County have been designated as a "Promise Zone."