Firefighters battling blazes across Southwest Florida
Published 05/12/2011 at 9:55 p.m.
Southwest Florida firefighters were busy Thursday evening after more than a half-dozen brush fires broke out in quick succession. What’s unusual right now is that fire officials don’t typically begin to see fires started by lightning until the rainy season ...
New Census numbers show housing numbers not as bad as originally thought
Updated 05/05/2011 at 8:18 p.m.
The U.S. Census Bureau released additional housing data from the 2010 Census, which show that the housing vacancy rates were not as bad as some claimed in March.
2 charged in death of missing Estero woman whose body was found in northern Lee
Updated 04/26/2011 at 9:43 p.m.
Authorities say they found the body of missing Estero woman Mary Ann Zarb this morning and have arrested and charged two people.
Letter campaign hopes to clear Dylan Nuno's name, attacks accused killer
Published 04/25/2011 at 9:03 p.m.
Letters dispute the notion that Nuno was a bully and ask that his accused killer, 15-year-old Jorge Saavedra, not be judged lightly
Fire crews contain 26-acre brush fire in Golden Gate Estates
Updated 04/21/2011 at 3:25 p.m.
The brush fire near the intersection of Shady Hollow Boulevard and Immokalee Road temporarily closed Immokalee Road in both directions earlier this afternoon.
Three Oaks middle band director dies from injuries suffered in car crash
Updated 04/19/2011 at 7:29 p.m.
A Three Oaks Middle School band teacher critically injured in an accident last Monday has died.
Parks to close if federal shutdown; most Collier, Lee services would continue PHOTOS
Published 04/07/2011 at 8 p.m.
Some Southwest Florida parks will close, veterans’ services will continue and the U.S. Postal Service will remain on its schedule if the federal government shuts down at midnight Friday as has been predicted. Locally, those operations to remain open include ...
Former first lady Laura Bush draws large crowds in SWFL
Updated 04/06/2011 at 10:44 p.m.
Former first lady Laura Bush said hello to people as she signs copies of her book, "Spoken From The Heart," at Books-A-Million at Mercato on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 in North Naples. About 350 people showed up for the event.
Lee Commissioner Tammy Hall exploring run for Congress
Published 04/01/2011 at 6:45 p.m.
Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall wants to set the record straight — she is not running against Congressman Connie Mack (R-Fort Myers) for Florida’s District 14 seat.
Census leader, workers say vacancy rates don’t reflect trend in housing market PHOTOS
Published 03/27/2011 at 5:30 p.m.
The housing vacancy numbers for Southwest Florida were picked up by national media outlets, which noted that Lee had the highest vacancy rate among Florida’s 10 largest counties. But a top Census official, former Census supervisors in Southwest Florida and ...
VIDEO/PHOTOS: 22nd annual Old Florida Festival brings Collier County's history to life
Updated 03/20/2011 at 9:30 a.m.
Collier residents can travel back in time today — without the need for a DeLorean. The 22nd annual Old Florida Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, at the Collier County Museum, 3331 U.S. 41 E.
Florida — and Collier and Lee counties — keep growing, U.S. Census reports
Updated 03/17/2011 at 8:44 p.m.
Both Collier and Lee counties were ranked among the top 20 most populous counties in the state. Collier was ranked 17th, up one place from 2000. Lee was ranked eighth, up three spots from 2000.
Party ends permanently for Ultra nightclub
Published 03/15/2011 at 7:51 p.m.
On Friday the club, at 15495 U.S. 41 North #111 in North Naples, was shuttered after it received a cease and desist order over safety concerns. Monday night, the owner said the club was closed for good.
PHOTOS: Dolphin jumps onto boat in Marco River, injuring woman
Updated 03/14/2011 at 4:14 a.m. 2 Comments
A boat ride on the Marco River turned into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure after Isles of Capri fire officials said a 600- to 700-pound dolphin jumped into the deck of the boat.
Naples nightclub Ultra shut down due to safety concerns
Updated 03/11/2011 at 6:12 p.m.
The music is on hold at Club Ultra in North Naples. On Friday the club was shuttered, after it received a cease and desist order over safety concerns.
PHOTOS: Suspect in bus stop stabbing death out of detention while awaiting trial
Published 03/01/2011 at 3:07 p.m.
A review hearing in the case of a teenager charged in last month’s fatal stabbing of a fellow Palmetto Ridge High School student, turned into an under the radar arraignment and agreement to release the suspect from detention.
Next court hearing this afternoon in Collier school bus stop stabbing case
Published 03/01/2011 at 9:48 a.m.
An indigency hearing is slated this afternoon in the case of a teenager arrested in last month’s fatal stabbing of a fellow Palmetto Ridge High School student.
Teacher reassigned for inquiry into frog dissection bully claim
Published 02/24/2011 at 11:03 p.m.
The teacher accused of taunting a North Naples Middle School student who expressed concern about dissecting frogs has been reassigned temporarily.
Collier deputies investigating toddler drowning death in Estates
Published 02/15/2011 at 9:26 p.m.
Ava’s grandmother, Pamela Slaby, said on Tuesday that MacLeod told her the child drowned in the home’s bathtub. She recalled receiving a frantic phone call from MacLeod early Tuesday morning, before the arrival of paramedics.
The First Family of Reading: Bushes in Bonita Springs to celebrate literacy - PHOTOS
Published 02/11/2011 at 9:51 p.m.
The Bush family attended the 11th Annual Celebration of Reading at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs.
Immigration laws: Husband faces deportation, family fights for American dream
Published 02/11/2011 at 8 a.m.
Her husband awaits deportation to Mexico and there’s the specter of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials swooping into town to take her away from her children. Yet Modesta Velasco takes it one day at a time.
Collier deputies: North Naples standoff ends peacefully
Updated 01/17/2011 at 6:05 p.m.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office is at the scene of a North Naples community where a person is barricaded inside a vehicle.
Fund set up to help victim of gas explosion in downtown Naples
Published 01/14/2011 at 9:46 p.m.
The community is turning out to help the one of the three victims injured during Monday’s gas explosion at the Mangrove Café on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples.
MUG SHOTS: 11 arrested, 3 more sought, in Collier County insurance fraud ring
Updated 12/30/2010 at 9:46 a.m. 1 Comment
After a yearlong investigation, the Collier County Sheriff's Office is saying it cracked an insurance fraud ring in Southwest Florida.
Whatever happened to? Naples group's effort to aid Haiti quake recovery
Published 12/24/2010 at 2:15 p.m.
Nearly a year after an earthquake rocked Haiti, the recovery is still a work in progress. Naples-based Hope for Haiti continues to try to help. More than 200,000 Haitians died and an estimated 1.5 million people were left homeless by ...
PHOTOS: Immokalee church gives out 230 bikes to children for Christmas
Published 12/22/2010 at 9:50 p.m.
Between 300 and 400 people attended the event at Bethel Assembly of God in Immokalee, where 230 bikes were given to children in need.
Fort Myers soldier comes back home to holiday light surprise
Published 12/22/2010 at 7:19 p.m.
The holiday décor makeover was made possible by FPL and West Palm Beach-based nonprofit Forgotten Soldiers Outreach.
Florida picks up 2 congressional seats, 2010 Census shows
Updated 12/21/2010 at 8:02 p.m.
Florida picked up two congressional seats Florida according to the 2010 Census numbers. That puts the number of Congressional seats in the Sunshine State at 27.
UPDATE: Man charged with killing bear in Estates neighborhood
Updated 11/30/2010 at 10:55 a.m. 3 Comments
A Golden Gate Estates man was arrested by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials and charged with killing a black bear that was on his property Monday night.
Luckily uneventful: Hurricane season comes to an end
Published 11/29/2010 at 7:54 p.m.
A little help from Mother Nature spared Southwest Florida, as well as most of the United States, from the brunt of the 2010 hurricane season.
PHOTOS: Snow flurries spotted in Naples during 34th annual Festival of Lights
Updated 11/23/2010 at 3:02 p.m.
The week-long event runs every night this week, except for Thanksgiving, and features music and entertainment. And snow will be in the forecast all week.
Family of victim shoulders true burden of gas line explosion
Published 11/19/2010 at 5:47 p.m.
As of Friday evening, Mario Santos, 26, remained in critical condition in Tampa General Hospital’s Regional Burn Center. The community has rallied to support him.
Premier Properties reaches deal with Sotheby’s International Realty
Published 11/12/2010 at 8:38 p.m.
One of Southwest Florida’s premiere real estate companies is going international.
Paige Miles 'wheels keep on turning' while preparing to headline two shows, release debut album
Published 11/03/2010 at 6:59 p.m.
Paige Miles belted out a heartfelt and soulful rendition of Aretha Franklin’s ‘A Natural Woman’ during a press conference announcing she’d be headlining TheaterZone’s May production of “BEEHIVE The 60s Musical” at the stage where her singing career began.
Rivera winner over Garcia for South Florida Congress 25 seat; Mack winner
Updated 11/02/2010 at 11:33 p.m.
A bitterly fought South Florida Congressional seat that’s been in the GOP fold was staying Republican, initial election results released tonight showed. Republican David Rivera had about 56.9 percent of the vote with 38,235 votes compared with 37.8 percent or ...
The dirt fliers and ads get slicker in contentious Rivera-Garcia race
Published 10/25/2010 at 9 p.m.
In the race for Florida’s Congressional District 25 seat, front-runners Joe Garcia and David Rivera are fighting for votes — and against each other. The latest in the contentious race occurred Monday, when the Rivera campaign released a statement about ...
VIDEO/PHOTOS: Collier deputy dies after shooting herself at Sugden Park
Updated 10/23/2010 at 7:48 a.m. 13 Comments
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office responded to Sugden Park after an off-duty deputy shot her self in the chest on Friday night.
Lawsuit aims to remove Florida Congressional candidate David Rivera from ballot
Published 10/21/2010 at 7:16 p.m.
Miami-based attorney William Barzee filed a lawsuit Thursday in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Miami-Dade, asking that Republican David Rivera be disqualified as a candidate for congress. Rivera’s campaign didn’t take kindly to the lawsuit and called it a ...
VIDEO/PHOTOS: Protesters, customers on hand at new Publix hybrid store opening
Updated 10/21/2010 at 9:05 a.m.
More than 80 customers lined up outside the new Publix at the Marketplace at Pelican Bay, awaiting the 8 a.m. opening today. Meanwhile, about 60 members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers protested outside the new hybrid store.
Candidates for Florida’s District 25 sound off on each other, not east Collier’s issues
Published 10/19/2010 at 10:23 p.m.
Instead of the issues, the fewer than 20 people who attended the event saw the debate devolve into a back and forth between front-runners Republican David Rivera and Democrat Joe Garcia.
Fields of Faith event at Naples High draws more than 800
Published 10/12/2010 at 10 p.m.
Clapping, chanting and music filled the air as 800 to 900 people — mostly teens — took part in the program, which was aimed at getting teens to talk with their peers about leading a good Christian life.
South Florida Congressional candidates split over U.S.-Cuba relations
Published 09/26/2010 at 3 p.m.
The Cuban-American community is divided over what level of relations the U.S. should have with Cuba. National politicians likewise are split. So it’s no surprise that Cuba has become an issue in the contentious race for Florida Congressional District 25 ...
POLL ‘Take our Jobs’ effort to replace illegals with legal workers starts slowly here
Published 09/05/2010 at 1:30 p.m.
Is the United Farm Workers of America’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign, which is aimed at training U.S. citizens and legal residents who wish to replace farmworkers in the field, coming to Southwest Florida, too? Not quite yet. “In Florida the ...
David Rivera, Joe Garcia will face off in November election for Collier’s House District 25
Published 08/24/2010 at 11:38 p.m.
In the first ever Republican primary for District 25, Rep. David Rivera defeated Doral residents Marili Cancio and Paul Crespo. In the Democratic primary, Miami resident Joe Garcia defeated Luis Meurice. Garcia received 11,673 votes, while Meurice got 3,661 votes.
Immokalee teen who drowned off Sanibel remembered as funny student
Published 08/23/2010 at 7 p.m.
News of Robert’s death made what was supposed to be a happy start for the new school year bittersweet, said Immokalee High Principal Linda Salazar, who fondly recalled the teen as being a very humorous student.
VIDEO: More than 150 Collier residents look for answers to new flood map questions
Updated 08/16/2010 at 9:11 p.m.
At least that's the word with the more than 75 people attending the first of five FEMA and Collier County sponsored flood map meetings.
Congressional candidates in Collier race not far apart on immigration stance
Published 08/15/2010 at 3 p.m.
On the heels of Arizona passing its own tougher immigration law, and the nationwide response for and against states taking matters into their own hands, no other issue has been more emotionally and politically charged this election season than immigration. ...
Golden Gate neighbors stunned by 63-year-old’s arrest in Lee robberies
Published 08/15/2010 at 1:30 p.m.
Thomas Klein, 63, remains in jail and bond was set at $20,000. Although he originally was charged with two counts of robbery with a weapon, as of Friday he is facing two counts of robbery with no firearm or weapon.
POLL: Collier School Board agrees to discuss rescheduling football games for major Jewish holiday
Published 08/12/2010 at 8:26 p.m.
During a special School Board workshop Thursday, several members of the Jewish community asked the district to reschedule six high school football games set to be played on Sept. 17.
Naples seasonal resident pleads to Ponzi scheme in Illinois
Published 08/10/2010 at 7:33 p.m.
A seasonal Naples resident has pleaded guilty to operating a multi-million dollar “Ponzi” fraud scheme for more than a decade in Illinois.