Inspiring People: You don’t have to be born here to be part of the family

OKEECHOBEE — Marc and Paulette Bragel prove you don’t have to be born in Okeechobee to be part of the family. Both of them are from New England. Marc is from Danvers, Mass., right near Salem, “Witch City,” he laughed. She was born in Hartford, Conn., but grew up in Palm Beach County. He has […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Dr. Ramesh Kumar calls it ‘good medicine’

OKEECHOBEE — Dr. Ramesh Kumar is originally from India but has been in the United States since the ’80s and has been in Okeechobee since 1994. He is an oncologist — a cancer doctor — and his practice is called Big Lake Cancer Center. For 25 plus years, he was a traditional medical doctor taking […]

Inspiring Okeechobee…Family works as mission team in Nepal

OKEECHOBEE — Jamie and Luke K. (name withheld for safety reasons), along with their five children, serve as missionaries in Nepal. Jamie was born and raised in Okeechobee, and in 2006, she married Luke, who lived in Arcadia. Less than a year after their marriage, Luke began pastoring a small church in Lake Placid and […]

Mail carrier helps save lives

OKEECHOBEE — “Taking care of my customers is my job. I see them every day,” said Kim Korbel, who recently went above and beyond the call of duty to help save the lives of two of the customers on her mail route. One of her customers was outside washing her carport in May when she […]

Inspiring the Glades: It’s not all about the money for the Fliehs family

BELLE GLADE — Born and raised here, you could almost say caring for the eyes of the Glades is in Michael Fliehs’ blood. His father moved to Belle Glade when he was about 10 years old. Michael’s grandfather was a farmer who came here through Ellis Island, and his name is actually on the Ellis […]

Inspiring Okeechobee Hard times bring out the best in Okeechobee

OKEECHOBEE — When disaster strikes, or even threatens, the people of Okeechobee come together to take care of their own. Last week, we thought a hurricane was headed straight toward our town, and all over Facebook were offers from total strangers to help put up shutters or plywood. These people were not asking for money. […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Gumz wants her students to be kind

OKEECHOBEE – Cheryl Gumz has been a part of the Okeechobee County school system for so long, she has seen three generations pass through her classrooms. She loves children, and she loves teaching. “It’s nice to see the kids grow up and be happy,” she said. Originally from Indiana, her family moved to Sarasota when […]

Inspiring Clewiston: Janae Steen is an inspiration

CLEWISTON — Vanderbilt University student Janae Steen is a very busy young woman, who is not only doing an internship for The School District of Palm Beach County’s Office of African, African American, Latino, and Gender Studies, but she has managed to place on the Dean’s list at the university during both the Fall of […]

Inspiring Clewiston: Dorothy Sims-Gilbert still stands strong

CLEWISTON — Some people are born into difficult circumstances and use those circumstances to justify bad choices. Others, like Dorothy Yvonne Sims-Gilbert, choose to rise above those circumstances, and change the world around them. Mrs. Sims-Gilbert was born and raised in Belle Glade. She described herself as an angry child, growing up in a culture […]

Belle Glade principal believed you have to stand up for what is right

LOS ANGELES — As Father’s Day 2019 approached, Dr. Ron McCurdy found himself thinking back to his roots in Belle Glade, Fla., and more specifically, of his father — a man who believed you have to stand up for what you feel is right, no matter what the repercussions might be. Born in 1913, his […]