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 […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Wrestling did a lot for Curtis Tyson

Wrestling does not teach violence, said Coach Curtis Tyson. It’s just the opposite, in fact. Like any good discipline such as karate or Taekwondo, wrestling teaches respect for the opponent, for the coach, for the mat, for your parents and for other adults in the children’s lives, he explained. In teaching that, you teach them […]

Inspiring Okeechobee: Sumner is champion of champions

It’s not every day that a teenage girl whips out her phone to show you pictures of her Brown Swiss cow, but then Shelby Sumner is not your average teenage girl. Shelby has been a member of one 4-H group or another since kindergarten, participating in Junior Quiz Bowls, speech contests, public speaking contests and […]