Park Ridge, N.J., has mixed feelings about Hertz's departure
Updated 05/08/2013 at 10:22 p.m.
As Hertz's relocation announcement Tuesday was heralded as a watershed moment for Lee County, the residents of Park Ridge, who've become accustomed to major jobs shifts in recent years, had a more mixed response to the decision.
Pipers announce asking price for closed Everglades Wonder Gardens
Published 04/27/2013 at 10:41 p.m.
With the Everglades Wonder Gardens closed, its owners are going public with an asking price for the historic 3.5-acre property: $3.95 million.
Man facing child solicitation trial found dead
Updated 04/23/2013 at 9:24 p.m.
Deputies were searching Tuesday for Richard Gamez, 31, who missed court appearances ahead of an online solicitation trial.
Simpkins sentenced to life for murder of Estero grandmother, Zarb
Published 04/22/2013 at 4:04 p.m.
Zarb's son, Greg Lewis, spoke briefly in court, telling Lee Senior Circuit Judge Thomas Reese the case has been "emotionally exhausting and draining." "I hope the rest of his life is filled with heartbreak and misery," Lewis said.
No criminal charges for appraiser who lowered property value from $1.1 million to $237
Published 04/20/2013 at 4:48 p.m.
A year-long investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement yielded no charges against Julian Stokes, in part because special agents found no evidence of bribery or corruption, according to a report obtained this week.
Competency evaluation delays hospital shooting murder case
Published 04/18/2013 at 7:24 a.m.
The murder case against a Golden Gate Estates man accused of shooting his estranged wife at a hospital has been delayed for a competency and psychiatric evaluation.
Former Collier deputy Bullock's molestation trial delayed again, until August
Updated 04/18/2013 at 7:20 a.m.
The trial for a former Collier County sheriff’s deputy accused of sex crimes against a teenager has been pushed back to August at the earliest.
Bonita Springs man gets year in jail for death of wife in golf cart crash
Updated 04/15/2013 at 6:39 p.m.
A Bonita Springs man will serve 364 days in jail after pleading no contest Monday to a vehicular homicide charge in the April 2011 death of his wife.
N. Naples fire says it may talk consolidation with E. Naples, Golden Gate
Updated 04/11/2013 at 6:01 p.m.
North Naples fire commissioners have agreed to reach out to the East Naples and Golden Gate fire districts for talks about consolidation.
Man convicted of shooting, killing girlfriend in 2009
Updated 04/03/2013 at 7:40 p.m.
Risner survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and was found incompetent to proceed in July 2010. By January 2012, Risner had been transferred from a state hospital to the Naples Jail Center and found competent to proceed.
East Naples man convicted of murder in 2009 shooting
Published 04/03/2013 at 5:32 p.m.
Kevin Risner, 46, faces life in prison following his second-degree murder conviction in the death of 43-year-old Laura Vroman.
FGCU: Team's historic run is over, but benefits to university just beginning
Published 03/30/2013 at 4:55 p.m.
The Eagles were ousted from the NCAA Tournament, but FGCU officials have been handed a once-in-a-university's-lifetime opportunity with the men’s basketball team’s success. With that comes a challenge offered only a handful of universities: how to best capitalize on the ...
FGCU-UF notebook: Fans transform Big D into Dunk City
Updated 03/29/2013 at 9:33 p.m.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- Somebody needs to get Dave Horton a ticket to tonight’s game.
FGCU aims to double Coach Andy Enfield's salary
Updated 03/25/2013 at 10:35 p.m.
"I hope that he takes away that we really want him, we want to give him the respect he deserves, and want to try to get him to be the highest paid coach in the Atlantic Sun," Brian Rasnick said.
$100,000 bond set for wife accused of killing husband
Updated 03/22/2013 at 5:58 p.m.
A Collier judge has ordered $100,000 bond for an East Naples woman accused of shooting and killing her husband Monday night.
Calif. school suing organizers of failed Gulfshore Invitational
Published 03/22/2013 at 5:15 a.m.
Alexander "Sandy" Getta, said the school's coach has already been reimbursed by the airline in the form of travel vouchers, adding in an email it's "absolutely ridiculous what Serra is trying to accomplish."
Fatal crash backs up U.S. 41 for hours in Naples
Updated 03/20/2013 at 8:16 p.m.
A 57-year-old Bonita Springs woman died when a Ford Mustang jumped the median and hit her SUV Wednesday morning.
Court records: Middle school teacher talked explicit sex with ex-student
Updated 03/18/2013 at 11:05 p.m.
In a series of Facebook messages, a Pine Ridge Middle School science teacher graphically described sex acts he wanted to perform on an underage former student and acknowledged the taboo nature of the conversations, according to an affidavit.
Simpkins takes stand in his own defense in Estero murder trial
Published 03/15/2013 at 5:54 p.m.
The way Shane Simpkins saw it, if he and his paralyzed father wanted to live, he had to follow the plan set by Christopher Neuberger.
LIVE BLOG: Defense resumes case in Simpkins murder trial
Updated 03/14/2013 at 7:25 p.m.
Shane Simpkins, on trial for murder in the April 2011 death of Mary Ann Zarb, will no longer serve as his own lawyer.
LIVE BLOG: Simpkins now representing himself in murder trial
Published 03/13/2013 at 7:26 p.m.
He mumbled. He fidgeted. He spat out only a couple of short sentences at a time. Christopher Neuberger was hardly the perfect star witness for prosecutors, but the 27-year-old felon provided the one and only firsthand account Wednesday of the ...
Simpkins murder trial: Son recalls warning Estero mother about accused killer
Updated 03/12/2013 at 7:19 p.m.
Simpkins' lawyer pinned the murder on Christopher Neuberger, who worked with Simpkins and is a co-defendant in the case. "(Neuberger) tells Mr. Simpkins, 'Shut up. I'll kill you. I'll kill your family. You're going along with what I say,'" Smith ...
Trial of man accused of killing Estero grandmother to begin this week
Published 03/11/2013 at 7:13 p.m.
Shane Simpkins, 26, of Cape Coral, faces life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Mary Ann Zarb, whose body was found hidden near the Lee-Charlotte county line after a two-week search.
LIVE BLOG: Jury selection set for Tuesday in Estero murder case
Published 03/11/2013 at 12:20 p.m.
The second-degree murder trial for Shane Simpkins, charged in the 2011 killing of Mary Ann Zarb, will start Tuesday, a judge said Monday.
Special Report: Collier falls behind in race for economic cash, tax incentives
Published 03/10/2013 at 6 a.m. 2 Comments
Florida has handed out nearly $700 million in economic development incentives over the last 17 years. Collier County's share: $15,000. Or 0.00002 percent.
Judge: Naples man had the right to run from police
Published 02/21/2013 at 5:30 a.m.
In a rare ruling that hinges on when and where somebody can flee law enforcement officials, a judge on Tuesday suppressed a weapon found on Lonnie Small, a 53-year-old felon who fled from city police responding to a September 2012 ...
Collier Sheriff's Office: Crime rate drops 13 percent
Published 02/20/2013 at 11:24 a.m.
Spurred by a decline in robberies and property thefts, the crime rate in the Collier County Sheriff's Office jurisdiction fell nearly 13 percent in 2012, the sharpest drop since 2004.
Man faces life in prison after double-murder conviction
Published 02/19/2013 at 9 p.m.
A Lee County jury's guilty finding against Dustin McIntyre, 23, effectively ends the prosecution of six men tied to the deaths of Daniel Leonor, 24, of San Carlos Park, and Israel Ponce, 20, of Fort Myers.
East Naples man accused of raping 17-year-old girl
Published 02/19/2013 at 2:12 p.m.
An East Naples man faces a life felony charge of sexual battery after a now-17-year-old girl told deputies she had been raped several years ago.
Fort Myers man found guilty in Bonita Springs double murder
Published 02/19/2013 at 2:08 p.m.
A Fort Myers man has been found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder in an August 2010 double-homicide in Bonita Springs.
Prosecutors worry mandated therapy not enough for teen who killed mom
Published 02/17/2013 at 5 a.m.
Lets just hope its for a long enough period of time, assistant state attorney Tammy Wilson said after Tuesdays sentencing.
Teen sentenced to juvenile center in 2010 death of mother
Updated 02/12/2013 at 5:56 p.m.
Jonathan Rowles, the East Naples teen held criminally responsible in the August 2010 shooting death of his mother, will serve at least six months in a moderate-risk juvenile justice facility, a sentence that seeks to balance public protection and Rowles' ...
VIDEO: Collier Sheriff's Office to investigate excessive force allegation
Updated 02/11/2013 at 6:53 p.m.
An arrest involving punches, vulgarities and use of a Taser following a high-speed motorcycle chase will be examined by internal investigators at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
Special Report: SWFL nonprofit heads paid well, but within national average -- DATABASE
Published 02/10/2013 at 5 a.m.
I think theres a misconception that everybody in nonprofits is giving away their time and its not like a business, Dan Summers said. But believe me, its every bit of a business.
Total crime down, violence up slightly in 2012, Lee sheriff reports
Published 02/05/2013 at 12:06 p.m.
The total crime rate in areas covered by the Lee County Sheriff's Office fell about 12 percent in 2012, but the violent crime rate rose by 2 percent.
Former Lee County commissioner back in jail after positive cocaine test
Updated 02/05/2013 at 7:42 p.m.
Brian Bigelow, already facing a cocaine charge following his Jan. 18 arrest, is in a Lee County jail facing a charge of violating terms of his pretrial release.
Organic farmer Frank Oakes has died
Published 02/04/2013 at 9 p.m.
Frank Oakes, the gregarious local farmer who founded Oakes Farms and Food & Thought, died in his sleep Sunday, his brother said.
FDOT: Fatal crash through Alligator Alley cable barrier system an anomaly
Published 02/03/2013 at 5 a.m.
The system, installed parallel to canals running alongside Interstate 75, has successfully kept vehicles out of the water about 81 percent of the time.
FDOT: Cables intended to keep vehicles out of canals work about 85 percent of time
Published 02/01/2013 at 5 a.m.
Florida Department of Transportation officials said the cables prevented 77 of 91 vehicles from going into canals running alongside Interstate 75. Of those 14 crashes involving vehicles that blasted through the barrier, two resulted in fatalities.
Judges deny former Gulf Coast High band teacher Hamberg's request for new trial on sexual battery
Updated 01/30/2013 at 6:57 p.m.
An appeals court has denied former Gulf Coast High School band teacher Robert Hamberg's request for a new trial on sexual battery charges.
Trials set for two facing murder charges
Published 01/30/2013 at 5:30 a.m.
Juan Jose Barrientos Jr., is accused of robbing and stabbing an East Naples man to death in 2009, and Kevin Eric Perry, is charged in the 2006 shooting that officials say led to the death of an Immokalee man.
NDN Special Report: Gulfshore Invite organizer sinks hoops tournament with broken promises
Published 01/27/2013 at 7 a.m.
In the months leading up to the Gulfshore Invitational, a newly rebranded local prep basketball tournament, organizer Alexander "Sandy" Getta made a grand pitch to potential participants.
Man accused of impregnating 11-year-old skips court date; arrest warrant issued
Published 01/24/2013 at 5:15 a.m. 2 Comments
Jean Leandre was arrested in October 2009, accused of having sex more than 10 times during the course of several years with the girl, who said she was first raped at age 5 or 6.
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott used unfair labor practices, state panel finds
Updated 01/23/2013 at 6:16 p.m.
Lee County sheriff's sergeants will have to revote on whether to disband their union after a state commission found Sheriff Mike Scott engaged in unfair labor practices.
Former Lee County commissioner arrested on cocaine charges
Updated 01/18/2013 at 7:42 p.m. 1 Comment
Former Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow had 11 small bags of cocaine on him when he was arrested Friday morning, according to arrest reports.
Attorney: Former band director's wife shouldn't have been discussed in teen sex trial
Published 01/16/2013 at 5:05 a.m.
Jurors learned the couple met in the mid-1980s when he was a band teacher in Georgia and she was a high school student, showing it wasnt the first time Hamberg had been linked to a former pupil.
Appeal for band director who had sex with student focuses on introduction of wife
Published 01/15/2013 at 2:52 p.m.
Oral arguments Tuesday in former Gulf Coast High School band teacher Robert Hamberg's appeal on sexual battery charges focused only on whether jurors should have heard details about how Hamberg met his wife in the 1980s.
Band director who had sex with student to argue for new trial today
Published 01/15/2013 at 5:40 a.m.
Robert Hamberg, 55, is serving a 30-year prison sentence after he was convicted in April 2011 on eight counts of lewd and lascivious battery for carrying on a sexual relationship with a then-15-year-old freshman.
2-year-old reunited with family after abduction scare
Updated 01/14/2013 at 8:10 p.m.
With the help of a bloodhound, a deputy found a little girl out in a field off Esperanza Way near the home on Wells Street.
Turning up the heat: Tyler Perry offers $100K for leads in mysterious disappearances
Published 01/10/2013 at 7 p.m.
This is injustice and we have the power to change this, said Perry, who learned about the cases while watching a cable series featuring the men last January. We have the power to see someone brought to justice."