Third Street Plaza could be razed for new downtown Naples boutique hotel
Published 04/30/2013 at 5:25 a.m.
Three years after a bank took over Third Street Plaza in downtown Naples, most of the storefronts remain empty — and those that signed leases know their time is limited. That’s because the new property owners are considering razing the ...
Collier, Lee, others sue BP for economic losses from 2010 oil spill
Published 04/24/2013 at 7 p.m.
Collier and Lee counties have sued BP, Transocean and Halliburton Energy Services to recoup economic losses caused by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Fiddler's Creek suits become latest in libel, slander cases involving bloggers
Published 04/08/2013 at 5 a.m. 4 Comments
James A. Schutt has been a thorn in the side of Fiddler’s Creek Foundation for more than six years, ever since the 81-year-old resident and others created a homeowners’ blog to discuss their community north of Marco Island.
Jurors acquit Helter, Kassel on all counts in Naples gun-dealing case
Updated 03/29/2013 at 8:04 p.m. 2 Comments
Jurors have found Homer Helter and a vendor at his Naples-area military mall not guilty Friday on all counts in a gun-dealing and conspiracy case.
Appeal court upholds $3 million award to former Collier Teacher of the Year
Published 03/23/2013 at 5:07 p.m.
A Florida appeals court has upheld a $3 million verdict a Lee Circuit Court jury awarded an Immokalee Middle School teacher whose 35-year teaching career ended when he was seriously injured in a 2008 crash.
Homer Helter trial: Prosecution wrapped up its case today in federal court
Updated 03/22/2013 at 12:21 p.m.
The case: Homer Helter, 68, and a vendor, James Kassel, 61, are on trial in federal court in Fort Myers on charges of conspiring to and engaging in the dealing of firearms at a Naples-area store, Homer Helter’s Antique Mall. ...
Testimony begins in Homer Helter federal gun trial
Updated 03/20/2013 at 9:09 p.m.
FORT MYERS — Opening statements and testimony began today in the trial of Homer Helter in federal court.
Jury begins to hear guns case of military antiques dealer Homer Helter
Published 03/20/2013 at 5:10 a.m.
Homer Helter’s Antique & Military Mall is known as the place to buy flags, military medals, antique guns, uniforms, photos and other military relics.
Dead manatee in Marco waters adds to record year for red tide-caused deaths
Published 03/15/2013 at 6 a.m. 3 Comments
When a young manatee washed up on a Marco Island beach this week, it was the latest victim of the devastating effects of red tide hitting Southwest Florida waters.
Mesac Damas trial likely to start in early 2014
Updated 03/11/2013 at 6:11 p.m.
Mesac Damas — charged with killing his wife and five children in 2009 — should go to trial in early 2014.
Naples' abundant golf courses are paired with proliferation of refund lawsuits
Published 03/11/2013 at 6:50 a.m.
A saturation of golf courses in Naples may be a dream for golfers in the nation’s top golf spot, but it often can turn into a nightmare for members who quit and demand membership refunds.
Study: Naples-Marco tops national leaderboard for golf holes per capita
Published 03/08/2013 at 6 a.m. 4 Comments
Naples’ self-proclaimed title of “Golf Capital of the World” was solidified this week, when it was ranked No. 1 nationally for its abundance of golf holes.
An i for an i: Lost phones, tablets leading to rise of arrests for not returning them
Published 02/24/2013 at 8 a.m.
Finding a lost iPhone, iPad, iPod, Droid or other device may seem like finders keepers, losers weepers. It's not. It's a felony. Most of those suspects whose cases went through the court system were sentenced to house arrest and probation ...
Looking for missing or stolen phone? There are many apps for that
Published 02/24/2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Most smartphones have built-in find-my-phone features or allow you to add them through other companies’ apps. They range from free to 99 cents or a few dollars monthly.
Lee sheriff settles wrongful death lawsuit by pepper sprayed inmate's widow
Published 02/15/2013 at 5:33 a.m.
The widow of a mentally ill Ohio man who died after he was repeatedly pepper sprayed in the Lee County Jail has settled her wrongful death lawsuit against Sheriff Mike Scott, the jail's medical provider and several deputies and nurses.
Woman, 23, accuses Lee deputy trainee of using Taser on her for no reason
Published 02/14/2013 at 5:31 a.m. 2 Comments
A 23-year-old Fort Myers woman "Tased" twice last year by a Lee County deputy trainee has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Sheriff Mike Scott and the trainee, who was reprimanded for improperly using "non-deadly force."
Bonita Springs man's lawsuit contends his son accosted by deputy over toy pistol
Published 02/11/2013 at 5:25 a.m.
A Bonita Springs man is suing the Collier County sheriff and a deputy, alleging his civil rights were violated when he was arrested after questioning why his 5-year-old son couldn't bring a lime green toy gun into the county fair.
City Mattress lawsuit contends trademark infringement by Nirvana Sleep
Published 02/09/2013 at 7 a.m.
City Mattress is suing a former company president, alleging his new Nirvana Sleep store stole the trademarked PranaSleep mattress idea and distinctive seven-point lotus flower symbol.
Ruling backs Judge Mike Carr hearing case handled by election foe's law firm
Published 02/05/2013 at 5:30 a.m.
An east coast law firm lost a round Monday in its battle to have a Collier County judge disqualified from hearing its traffic cases.
Collier jury awards dieting woman $170,000 for injuries after body wrapping
Published 02/02/2013 at 7:30 a.m.
Patty Gondek wanted to lose some weight and get healthier, so she joined Slender Life Health Center of Naples three years ago.
Whatever happened to? Marco man, condo reach agreement on service dog
Published 01/28/2013 at 5:15 a.m. 1 Comment
Kane, a trained service dog, can sit and stay at his owner's Marco Island condominium community.
Marco civic group sues to block miniature golf course approved by city officials
Updated 01/28/2013 at 6:29 p.m. 46 Comments
It looked like a hole in one for a Marco Island miniature golf course that received unanimous City Council approval a year ago.
Appeals court denies request to block FPL plant
Published 01/24/2013 at 5 a.m.
A Florida appeals court Wednesday denied a second attempt by the Seminole Tribe of Florida to quash a 2011 Hendry County ordinance that would enable FPL to build a massive power plant on 3,127 acres of panther habitat near its ...
Paralysis program, trauma centers are losers as Collier stops red light cameras
Published 01/20/2013 at 7 a.m. 1 Comment
Within two years after red-light camera tickets in 73 Florida communities began amassing fines, nearly $15 million went to trauma centers statewide and to a Miami-based program to try to help those who are paralyzed.
Booboo's owner: "My fault' bear escaped, willing to pay search-and-rescue costs
Published 01/19/2013 at 6 p.m.
The Golden Gate Estates man who owns Booboo, a 125-pound grizzly bear on the loose last week, said Saturday it was handler error that enabled the cub to flee — and he will pay for the three-day search.
Ruling clears way for trial of East Naples man jailed since '06 in child's death
Published 01/14/2013 at 5:25 a.m.
A state appeal court has ruled the omission of a defendant's name in one count of a two-count murder indictment couldn't have misled him because he was the only one charged in the 2-year-old's abuse and killing.
Former Collier Manager Don Lusk remembered for professionalism, sense of humor
Published 01/08/2013 at 7:36 p.m.
Lusk, who held the post from April 1984 to April 1987, died Dec. 28 in a Pinellas Park hospice after a fight with prostate cancer. He was 66. He was well liked for his pragmatic style, strong intellect and sense ...
Tennis pro gets 9 years in prison for defrauding investors of $3.3M
Updated 01/07/2013 at 8:11 p.m.
A federal judge Monday sentenced a North Naples real estate flipper convicted of tax and wire fraud to nine years in federal prison for a $3.3 million fraud on more than a dozen people from Pennsylvania and Southwest Florida.
Defense seeks house arrest, probation for North Naples man convicted of fraud
Published 01/05/2013 at 8:30 a.m.
After two days of arguments and testimony, a federal judge on Monday is expected to decide the fate of a North Naples real estate flipper convicted of wire and tax fraud involving $3.3 million in Southwest Florida real estate deals.
North Naples man faces up to 27 years in real estate fraud case
Published 01/04/2013 at 7 a.m.
A North Naples real estate flipper convicted of wire and tax fraud faces anywhere from house arrest and probation to 27¼ years in a federal prison when he's sentenced today.
Young couple's first baby, Collier's first in 2013
Published 01/01/2013 at 12:01 p.m.
About a half-hour after his parent’s ginger ale New Year’s toast, Levi Charles Marais arrived at NCH Birth Place in North Naples, making him Collier County’s first baby of 2013.
Collier, Lee merchants find nuisance lawsuits an increased cost of doing business
Published 12/28/2012 at 5:38 a.m.
A Lee County woman told jurors this month that scalding hot water spewed from a defective McDonald's cup lid and burned her breasts, permanently scarring her. It took jurors less than an hour to find McDonald's wasn't negligent and decide ...
East Naples park residents see ownership hope dashed again, 14 years into lawsuit
Published 12/25/2012 at 9 a.m.
More than two dozen senior citizens from Naples Estates mobile home park filled a Collier County courtroom last week, hoping for a Christmas gift: An end to their 14-year legal battle.
North Naples couple caught in tangled web of lawsuits involving 9/11 widow
Published 12/23/2012 at 8 a.m.
Marie and Ronald Rotunda were eating lunch at Olde Cypress golf club in North Naples one day in January 2006 — at the time a lawsuit says he was in an office more than 1,200 miles away, signing a lease-back ...
Plea deal means Marco Island doctor spends holidays behind bars
Published 12/20/2012 at 5 a.m. 3 Comments
A suspended Marco Island doctor jailed last month will spend Christmas in the county jail for violating probation and a restraining order after his estranged wife walked into his home twice.
Fiscal cliff: Employers, Naples defense contractors anxious for deal
Published 12/18/2012 at noon
If Congress doesn't halt the impending fiscal cliff, Florida could lose up to 140,000 jobs, with the defense sector and its 82 Naples defense contractors among those hit.
Collier authorities investigate shooting of 10-pound dog in Goodland
Published 12/11/2012 at 5:10 a.m.
Authorities are investigating the shooting of a 10-pound dog last week in a Goodland mobile home park. Hotkee, a white Shih Tzu-Chihuahua mix, underwent surgery at Big Cypress Animal Clinic after the 12:45 p.m. Wednesday shooting and survived. However, officers ...
Get the message? Companies with Naples ties among those in spam-texting lawsuits
Published 12/09/2012 at 8:30 a.m.
With texting now more prevalent, junk mail has gone from the mailbox and emails to cell phones. There are 321.7 million cell phone users nationwide and 184.3 billion texts are sent monthly, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association.
Getting toxic texts? Here's what to do
Published 12/09/2012 at 4:30 a.m.
Under FCC rules, texts and commercial email messages may be sent to your mobile phone if you previously agreed to receive them.
Judge denies bond to suspended Marco Island doctor
Published 12/06/2012 at 7:10 a.m.
A suspended Marco Island doctor jailed for three weeks will remain behind bars after a prosecutor objected to releasing him on bond Wednesday.
In tough economic times, non-compete agreements are ending up in Collier courts
Published 12/01/2012 at 7:45 a.m.
When the owners of a Bonita Springs meal delivery service returned from vacation, they discovered that a trusted employee had entered their computer system, tapped into the customer list and set up a competing company in Naples.
State suspends license of Marco Island doctor jailed since Thanksgiving
Published 11/30/2012 at 5:20 a.m. 13 Comments
A Marco Island doctor charged with violating probation after his estranged wife came to his house twice has been behind bars for two weeks and this week had his license suspended by the state.
Naples man fined $500,000 for housing code violations in Cleveland
Published 11/29/2012 at 7:15 p.m.
A Naples man who still faces criminal fraudulent house-flipping charges in Ohio was fined $500,000 this week for housing code violations involving 15 dilapidated properties in Cleveland.
Post-election, Ticket Clinic law firm focuses on getting Judge Carr off its cases
Published 11/25/2012 at 9 a.m.
Now, The Ticket Clinic is continuing its fight against another incumbent Collier County judge who held his seat, Judge Mike Carr, asking a circuit judge to preclude Carr from hearing cases handled by Ticket Clinic lawyers.Early this year, Carr had ...
Whatever Happened to? Sentencing nears for Naples man accused of fraud
Published 11/25/2012 at 8:30 a.m.
It's been two months since a North Naples businessman accused of money laundering avoided a possible return to federal prison in an alleged money-laundering scheme.
Naples’ Vernon Healy law firm has made tracking down investment scams its primary mission
Updated 11/26/2012 at 1:49 p.m.
How do you protect your investment? Here are some steps to take before you put your money down.
Earliest holiday shopping season in five years starts tonight
Published 11/22/2012 at 8 a.m.
With many stores and malls opening tonight — some Coastland stores open at midnight and the rest at 6 a.m. Friday — shoppers can get a head start whittling off the pounds by joining the crowds of early shoppers.
Collier jury awards neighbors $1.6 million for Goodland man's taunting of them
Published 11/21/2012 at 5:15 a.m. 6 Comments
For years, Richard "Blinkie" Karnes of Goodland taunted his neighbors, cursed at them, antagonized children, sprayed chemicals on a senior citizen, ran over a handyman and threatened to kill neighbors with a gun or by tossing them in the canal, ...
Collier mom whose infant died in her hospital bed sues, alleges lax care
Published 11/20/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Twenty-one-year-old Eva Chavez was tired and on painkillers after delivering her baby girl during a cesarean section less than 24 hours earlier.
National trend toward meth problems not seen in Collier, Lee
Published 11/19/2012 at 8 a.m. 1 Comment
It's been seven years since Collier County has seen a large methamphetamine bust that sent two Immokalee brothers to prison, one for 15 years.