Region's leaders angling for piece of fine BP will pay for Gulf oil spill
Published 10/08/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
As BP and the Justice Department haggle over the size of the fine the oil giant will pay for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the wheels already are turning in Southwest Florida to get a piece of it.
Scientists test for red tide bloom from Sarasota to northern Collier
Published 10/04/2012 at 8 p.m.
Satellite images show a 15-mile-wide swath of water with elevated levels of chlorophyll, a possible indication of a red tide bloom, centered offshore of Charlotte Harbor. It stretches from inshore Sarasota County to some 40 miles offshore of northern Collier ...
Private boat basin in Naples Bay near Gordon Pass wins City Council approval
Published 10/04/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
A proposed private boat dock and boat basin just inside Gordon Pass had drawn objections from neighbors and some Naples Bay boaters for years, but it won city approval Wednesday with barely a whimper of protest.
Settlement looms in suit over Collier's limits on mining in North Belle Meade
Published 10/01/2012 at 5:25 a.m.
A proposed settlement of a long-standing $92 million property rights lawsuit against Collier County has drawn the ire of environmental groups and the developer of a nearby commerce park.
Green cleaning focus of Fort Myers expo
Published 09/27/2012 at 6 a.m.
Donna Crowe became a green-cleaning convert this summer after she broke her arm and hired an eco-friendly maid service to help with the housework.
Motorcyclist who hit Florida panther sues state over warning system
Published 09/27/2012 at 5 a.m. 4 Comments
On a sunny day in March, Kenneth Nolan was riding his Ducati motorcycle along a stretch of U.S. 41 East through the Big Cypress National Preserve when a Florida panther ran into the road in front of him.
Collier leaders OK emergency sand restoration at Naples, Vanderbilt beaches
Published 09/26/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Severely eroded stretches of Vanderbilt and Naples beaches will get a little more sand under an emergency declaration authorized Tuesday by Collier County commissioners.
Cacophony of croaking is sound of music to area's Frog Watch volunteers
Published 09/24/2012 at 5:35 a.m.
Becky Speer steps out of her minivan into darkness and stands on the side of a long dirt road, her arms motionless at her side and her ears in overdrive.
Sand bar closing off Clam Pass has coastal managers scrambling to find a solution
Updated 09/24/2012 at 5:35 p.m.
Clam Pass has changed course in North Naples, raising concerns about safety and beach erosion and sending Collier County coastal managers scrambling to fix it.
Collier, Lee bee removal experts feel sting of new state rule requiring licensing
Published 09/16/2012 at 8 a.m.
Beekeeper David Johnson's bare hands worked slowly as he picked apart a honeycomb crawling with bees he had pulled out of a water meter box on Marco Island.
Coletta, Fiala stand by comments in Immokalee plan dispute with Hiller, Henning
Published 09/14/2012 at 5:30 a.m. 1 Comment
Collier commissioners Jim Coletta and Donna Fiala are standing by comments they made earlier this week suggesting that commissioners' votes on the Immokalee Area Master Plan had been bought.
Collier commissioners hooked on idea of artificial reefs to attract tourists
Published 09/12/2012 at 8 a.m.
A piece of the push to sink more artificial reefs off the Collier County coast fell into place with a Tuesday vote by Collier County commissioners.
Collier's veteran alligator trapper steps aside as state adds several contractors
Published 09/10/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
For almost 30 years, alligator trapper Dave Regel was the man to call when one of the creatures crept unwelcome into a Collier County neighborhood.
East Naples shopping center getting tree makeover similar to Riverchase Plaza
Published 09/08/2012 at 7 a.m.
Patrons of a North Naples shopping center were aghast this summer to find crews had cut down mature shade trees and palms in the parking lot to make room for a landscape redesign.
Isaac's damage could mean more than $1 million in federal aid for Collier
Published 09/06/2012 at 5 a.m.
Collier County has tallied a preliminary tab from Tropical Storm Isaac of more than $1 million, enough to put the county in line for federal assistance should the storm trigger a disaster declaration.
Jellyfish migration a painful, but not unusual, encounter for Naples beach-goers
Published 09/05/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
The jellyfish invasion that turned stretches of Naples beaches into zones of pain this weekend isn't so much scary as it is predictable.
With Isaac long gone, 'just another day in paradise'
Published 08/28/2012 at 5 a.m.
Folks in Goodland grabbed their measuring tapes Monday morning. They wanted to keep track of the rising waters creeping ever closer to their front doors as Tropical Storm Isaac swept through the Gulf of Mexico.
Outta sight: Isaac, we hardly knew you
Published 08/26/2012 at 10:42 p.m.
Isaac changed course Sunday, sending fear to the Crescent City and leaving prepared Southwest Floridians waiting and wet.
Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in southeast Louisiana
Updated 08/29/2012 at 5:06 a.m. 2 Comments
Hurricane Isaac has made landfall in southeast Louisiana with winds near 80 mph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm's center reached land at 6:45 p.m. in Plaquemines Parish, about 90 miles southeast of New Orleans.
Naples votes to appeal judicial order striking down slow-speed zones
Published 08/23/2012 at 5 a.m.
Naples is refusing to give up its fight to keep slow speed zones on Naples Bay, but cracks were showing Wednesday in the city’s resistance.
Agreement ends decade-long fight to preserve north Collier wetlands
Published 08/22/2012 at 8 a.m.
A longstanding fight between developers and environmental groups over saving key wetlands in a northern Collier County slough has come to an end.
Naples votes to appeal judicial order striking down slow speed zones
Published 08/22/2012 at 5 a.m.
Naples will appeal a judge's order that struck down slow speed zones on Naples Bay.
Rising from an anchor, Trey Radel set to become Southwest Florida's congressman
Published 08/19/2012 at 8 a.m.
Trey Radel's rise from Southwest Florida broadcaster to a Republican nomination for Congress began with a leap into unknown territory.
Artificial reef cleanup near Gordon Pass snags 500 pounds of debris
Published 08/15/2012 at 6:30 a.m.
Tuesday was cleaning day at a popular Collier County fishing spot. A crew of divers hauled up at least 500 pounds of debris — cast nets, fishing line, lures, anchors, crab traps and ropes — from the Santa Lucia artificial ...
Immokalee voters support town's new master plan
Updated 08/15/2012 at 5:17 a.m.
Immokalee voters declared support Tuesday for a new town master plan that has been mired in controversy for months and now heads to a vote next month by Collier County commissioners.
Assault begins on nonnative lionfish in Florida coastal waters
Published 08/14/2012 at 5 a.m.
Florida is stepping up its assault against nonnative lionfish spreading through the state's coastal waters and putting marine ecosystems at risk.
Dwight Brock denies exerting influence on Collier commission races
Published 08/13/2012 at 5 a.m. 1 Comment
If a picture says a thousand words, the photo on Commissioner Tom Henning's election campaign mailer screams them.
Butterfly effect: Experts, amateurs enjoy counting winged creatures at Corkscrew Sanctuary
Published 08/09/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
As she kept an eye on the treetops Wednesday at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Marnie Thorne admitted to being a little butterfly crazy.
Florida officials: Collier net-fishing criminal case has statewide implications
Published 08/06/2012 at 8 a.m. 1 Comment
After commercial fisherman Jonathon Cannon was found guilty last month of illegally netting 6,500 pounds of mullet off Marco Island, he felt dirty — and wronged.
Forecasters: Tropics quiet in a dry July, but August may be a different story
Published 08/02/2012 at 8 a.m.
July is in the weather books, but Southwest Florida could be about to hit its tropical stride in August. The Atlantic didn't spawn a hurricane last month, something that hasn't happened since 2009, and a lack of rainfall in July ...
Back to nature: Boat-injured manatee recovers, returned to Marco Island waters
Published 07/30/2012 at 7:28 p.m. 1 Comment
A team of rescuers lifted a manatee nicknamed Caxy out of the back of a delivery truck and back into its home waters around Marco Island on Monday to the cheers of onlookers.
3 Florida environmental groups sue Army Corps over algae blooms
Updated 07/23/2012 at 6:55 p.m.
Three environmental groups sued the Army Corps of Engineers, the state and a water management district Monday over smelly, slimy green algae blooms that have been polluting the Caloosahatchee River in Southwest Florida.
SWFL's hazy skies caused by Sahara dust layer
Published 07/20/2012 at 6:04 a.m.
It was a cloud of dust even the Lone Ranger's faithful steed couldn't kick up.
USDA inspection raised animal welfare issues at Collier animal preserve
Published 07/15/2012 at 7:30 a.m.
A Golden Gate Estates animal preserve already in trouble with Collier County code enforcers over zoning issues has been found out of compliance with federal animal welfare laws.
Federal judge orders park service to close swamp buggy trails
Published 07/12/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Conservation groups have won the latest round of legal wrangling over off-road vehicle access to the Big Cypress National Preserve.
City addressing Naples Bay speed zone ruling
Published 07/11/2012 at 6 a.m.
City attorneys are preparing an appeal and city workers are digging out the reflective tape in the wake of a judge's order tossing out the city's weekend and holiday slow speed zones on Naples Bay.
Barely a tourist: A Florida black bear makes rare visit to Marco Island
Published 06/13/2012 at 4 p.m. 5 Comments
Marco Island has never seen a breed of snowbird like this one.
Tourists strike black bear with SUV, like 'hitting a brick wall'
Published 06/06/2012 at 7:34 p.m.
The collision comes as the June to July bear breeding season gets underway and bears are on the move, looking for food and mates, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It was l
Going green: Hybrids growing in popularity among Southwest Florida drivers
Published 06/06/2012 at 6 a.m.
Attorney Patrick Neale is one of a growing number of Southwest Florida drivers making the switch from gas-powered cars and trucks to hybrids, or vehicles using two or more distinct power sources to move them.
Collier judge hears arguments in battle over Naples Bay boat speed law
Published 05/31/2012 at 7:45 p.m.
Lawyers sparred in a Collier County courtroom Thursday over the constitutionality of Naples Bay boat speed zones, but a judge didn't immediately rule in the case.
Collier commissioners move ahead with Marco, Naples-area beach replenishing
Published 05/22/2012 at 7:30 p.m. 4 Comments
Two projects to add sand to Marco Island and mainland beaches are still on track despite a revote Tuesday by Collier County commissioners.
Land deal in Glades County opens territory to boost Florida panther population
Updated 05/22/2012 at 8:30 p.m.
A public-private partnership announced Tuesday that it has protected a key piece of Florida panther habitat along the Caloosahatchee River in Glades County after years of being on conservation groups' wish list.
Estates man pleads guilty to shooting panther in Golden Gate Estates in 2009
Updated 05/18/2012 at 7:27 p.m.
A Naples man has pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a Florida panther in 2009 in Golden Gate Estates, federal prosecutors said today. Todd Alan Benfield, 45, faces a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison, a fine of ...
Novelist Randy Wayne White says tarpon tournament unsporting, restaurants pull sponsorship
Published 05/18/2012 at 5:30 a.m. 1 Comment
Organizers of the catch-and-release tournament say the opposition is baseless but have changed some of their rules this year to try to reduce the number of Silver Kings that end up dead. Critics say the changes don't go far enough.
Stone crabbers: Summer 'going to be tight' after worst season in memory
Published 05/16/2012 at 6:30 a.m. 3 Comments
Crabbers say they got pinched by smaller claws, smaller catches and smaller paychecks to carry them through until stone crab season reopens Oct. 15.
Florida panther kitten hit by vehicle needs more rehab
Updated 05/09/2012 at 6:15 p.m.
A Florida panther kitten hit by a vehicle and rescued from the side of the road has left a Naples veterinary hospital for further rehabilitation.
No-kill: Dozens of animal rescue groups help Collier, Lee shelters find pets homes
Published 05/05/2012 at 10 p.m.
Rescue groups are playing an increasing role in keeping animals from being euthanized at the shelter, said Amanda Townsend, Domestic Animal Services director. Since fiscal 2006, the number of animals rescued from the Davis Boulevard shelter has gone from 251 ...
New Florida law creates buzz about where beekeepers can operate
Published 05/02/2012 at 10:57 p.m.
Backyard beekeepers are buzzing about a law Gov. Rick Scott signed earlier this month. It voids local government restrictions on where beekeepers can set up shop. Instead, the law gives Florida apiary inspectors the job of writing new rules after ...
In Recovery? Southwest Florida construction industry building momentum
Published 04/30/2012 at 6:40 p.m.
Special report: A strong start to 2012 has construction industry leaders hopeful that a housing market recovery is getting rolling in Southwest Florida, but the commercial market is lagging behind, developers and builders say.
Environmental groups push for sea turtle habitat designation, threaten lawsuit
Published 04/16/2012 at 9:01 p.m.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network put the Obama administration on notice Monday that they plan to sue if federal agencies don’t make a decision on designating critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles that nest in ...