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. 1 Comment
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."
Florida firearm violence hits record low; concealed gun permits up
Published 01/06/2013 at 5:15 a.m.
The Firearm-involved violent crime rate has dropped 33 percent between 2007 and 2011, while the number of issued concealed weapons permits rose nearly 90 percent during that time, state records show.
Damas, Serna among notable Southwest Florida court cases pending in 2013
Published 01/06/2013 at 5 a.m.
While Damas, accused of killing his wife and five children, hasnt been in court since July 2011, his lawyers have been working behind the scenes, taking depositions and finding witnesses for the 36-year-old.
Judge rules Rowles delinquent in shooting death of mother
Updated 01/04/2013 at 7:02 p.m.
A Collier judge has found 15-year-old Jonathan Rowles delinquent, the juvenile equivalent of guilty, on a single charge of manslaughter in the shooting death of his mother.
Fire in small shed kills man in East Naples
Published 01/04/2013 at 6 a.m.
A Naples Manor man died in a fire contained to a small shed behind his home Thursday.
LIVE BLOG: Judge rules Rowles delinquent in shooting death of mother
Updated 01/04/2013 at 4 p.m.
While the teen doesnt face prison time the juvenile system focuses on rehabilitation, rather than punishment a delinquency finding could affect Rowles for several years.
Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens showcases legal knowledge, quick wit in Naples appearance
Published 12/28/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Stevens recounted some of the highs and lows from his time on the bench, which lasted 34 and a half years. Speaking about the landmark Bush v. Gore decision, which struck down the Florida Supreme Courts plan for recounting votes ...
Bad Bet: Casino sting raises questions about tactics
Published 12/20/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
I dont think my client or any of the other individuals would have had any idea of committing any type of unlawful activity if not for the police, said Jason Kaufman, a Pembroke Pines-based lawyer representing Adam Silva, 32.
Judge to decide fate of teen who shot, killed mother
Published 12/11/2012 at 9:28 p.m.
Jonathan Rowles four-day trial wrapped up with one defense witness and closing arguments Thursday. Collier Circuit Judge Ramiro Mañalich will consider the case until he renders a verdict Jan. 4.
LIVE BLOG: Rowles defense calls forensic consultant regarding gun
Updated 12/11/2012 at 12:25 p.m.
He was well aware of his actions that day in August 2010, assistant state attorney Tammy Wilson said. Were not saying he intended to shoot and kill his mother. Were saying his actions on that day led to her death."
LIVE BLOG: Medical examiner, lead detective expected to testify in Rowles trial
Published 12/10/2012 at 9:30 a.m.
Day three of the juvenile manslaughter case against Rowles, accused of shooting and killing his mother, resumes Monday.
Trigger evidence discussed in trial of Collier teen who killed mom
Published 12/07/2012 at 8 p.m.
When firearms expert Stephanie Stewart tries putting "trigger pull weight" into layman's terms, she starts with a simple frame of reference: it takes 6 pounds of force to open a can of soda.
Personal touch: Messages for Naples, Immokalee gridiron heroes
Published 12/07/2012 at 5 a.m.
When the boys from Immokalee and Naples take the football field tonight, playing for a spot in the state title game, theyll be surrounded by family and friends.
LIVE BLOG: Evidence revealed in Rowles trial
Published 12/06/2012 at 7:16 p.m.
Prosecutors Friday morning brought out physical evidence and showed photographs of the August 2010 scene at Jonathan Rowles' home, where the now-15-year-old is accused of shooting and killing his mother.
LIVE BLOG: Trial starts for teen accused of killing mom
Published 12/06/2012 at 2:55 p.m.
The juvenile manslaughter trial for 15-year-old Jonathan Rowles started Wednesday afternoon after a judge denied the defense's motion to exclude evidence related a rifle.
LIVE BLOG: Rowles hearing expected to wrap today, trial to follow
Updated 12/06/2012 at 12:30 a.m.
Prosecutors successfully argued to keep a doctor from testifying that Rowles' attention deficit hyperactivity disorder might have been a factor in the shooting, while Rowles' lawyers are still trying to exclude evidence related to the rifle recovered at the scene.
LIVE BLOG: Trial of teen accused of shooting, killing mother begins today
Published 12/05/2012 at 5:45 a.m.
In proving manslaughter, prosecutors will have two options. They can show Jonathan Rowles intentionally shot his mother. Or they can show Rowles is guilty of culpable negligence.
Judges press state, defense on second BAC test in former teacher's DUI manslaughter case
Published 12/05/2012 at 5:15 a.m.
At oral arguments, the three Second District Court of Appeals judges pressed the state as to why prosecutors needed the test results, and whether requiring disclosure of such results could eventually lead de
Appeals court to consider second blood-alcohol test in former teacher's DUI manslaughter case
Published 12/04/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Lawyers for Andrea Kidder, charged in the November 2009 highway crash that killed 22-year-old Bree Kelly, are expected to argue this morning in Tampa to keep results of a second BAC test out of the hands of prosecutors.
Friday night lights: Scenes from Southwest Florida playoff football games
Published 11/30/2012 at 11:09 p.m.
They started the day with sights set on a title, three teams looking to inch closer to the Citrus Bowl. For three hours, the boys from Naples, Immokalee and First Baptist Academy battled, their boisterous fa
Prep football: Big schools hit paydirt hosting playoff games
Published 11/30/2012 at 5:15 a.m.
Football playoff games are big-buck endeavors across the state, often generating large profits for high school athletic departments but sometimes leaving programs with less fan support in the red.
Collier Sheriff launches anti-texting while driving campaign
Published 11/28/2012 at 3 p.m.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office has launched an anti-texting while driving campaign, aimed at making Florida the 40th state to ban the activity.
Leap of Faith: Sparacio builds First Baptist football into a winner, finds spiritual home
Published 11/27/2012 at 9:59 p.m.
When I came here, I felt like these young kids here needed what all the public schools had, Sparacio said. I wanted to be a part of building that wall for them, building that stadium and atmosphere for th
Teen who killed parents serving sentence in juvenile facility, not prison
Published 11/25/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
Alex Crain is one of the fortunate few juveniles in the corrections system to be placed in a Department of Juvenile Justice setting, which juvenile advocates generally agree is better for rehabilitation of violent teens.
Bonita mechanic accused in check-bouncing scheme
Published 11/22/2012 at 5:05 a.m.
Brian Battaglia is accused of twice trying to buy Freon using bad checks for his unlicensed auto repair company.
Judge tosses 17 minutes of statements by teen who shot, killed mother
Published 11/15/2012 at 5:53 p.m.
Most, but not all, of the statements made to investigators by Jonathan Rowles, the East Naples teen accused of shooting his mother in August 2010, will be admissible during a trial scheduled for next month, a Collier judge ruled Thursday.
Bonita Springs fire chief retiring in January
Published 11/14/2012 at 10:54 a.m.
Chief Phil Kinsey, a nearly 24-year veteran of the department, will retire in about two months.
Veterans Day: Honoring those who helped keep 'country the way it is'
Published 11/11/2012 at 12:49 p.m.
As a gentle breeze swept through sunny Cambier Park, hundreds of local residents turned out Sunday morning for one of several Veterans Day ceremonies across the region.
Election 2012: Nelson declares victory, Mack concedes in Senate race
Updated 11/06/2012 at 11:12 p.m.
With about 90 minutes before polls close in Florida's northeast corner, the ballroom at the Embassy Suites in downtown Orlando is filled with media looking to catch a glimpse of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
Election 2012: Mack struggles to emerge from shadows of presidential race, famous father
Published 11/04/2012 at 5 a.m. 6 Comments
Connie Mack has the name. He has the conservative credentials. Hes been campaigning for the U.S. Senate for months. He has the backing of virtually all major Republican players in Florida, plus Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Judge grants 'stand your ground' motion in courthouse stabbing death
Updated 11/02/2012 at 6:28 p.m.
Unless prosecutors appeal, the ruling ends the second-degree murder case against Gonzalo Venegas, 47, who said he was defending himself when he stabbed and killed Oscar Quintero, 41, of North Naples.
Mack votes in Fort Myers, happy with 'where we'll end up on Election Day'
Published 10/30/2012 at 1:08 p.m.
One week before Election Day, U.S. Senate hopeful Connie Mack voted Tuesday at a Fort Myers polling location.
Teen who shot, killed mother: 'I was pretending ... just moving my finger a little bit'
Published 10/25/2012 at 9:26 a.m.
Finally, Rowles said, he turned the rifle toward his mother, who was sitting in a chair, reading a newspaper. By accident, Rowles said, he pulled the trigger, shooting his mother from behind.
Details emerge in case of teen who shot, killed mother; Questions of intent remain
Published 10/24/2012 at 5:05 a.m.
At first, Jonathan Rowles said it was an intruder — a bald man wearing black gloves — who broke into his East Naples home and fatally shot his mother, Kelly.
Ryan: Florida to decide 'what kind of country we're going to have'
Updated 10/18/2012 at 9:50 p.m.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan promised leadership in the White House while warning of fiscal calamity if President Barack Obama receives another four years in office.
Mack, Nelson spar in one and only debate
Published 10/17/2012 at 10:48 p.m.
Looking to make up a deficit in the polls, Republican Connie Mack accused incumbent Bill Nelson of raising taxes and ravaging Medicare at Wednesday's U.S. Senate debate, with the Democrat defending his record and fighting back against attacks he deemed ...
Senate debate: Mack and Nelson square off
Published 10/17/2012 at 6:03 a.m.
Like a headlining musical duo, Bill Nelson and Connie Mack are getting together for one night only.
Swing state: Voter turnout the key to Obama, Romney victory
Published 10/15/2012 at 5:30 a.m. 4 Comments
Supporters of both candidates are making sure citizens get registered, get informed, then get to the polls. Because in Florida, with its ever-important 29 electoral votes, turnout could decide whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney takes the White House.
Swing state: Cuban population adds Republican bloc in Democratic South Florida
Published 10/14/2012 at 8 a.m. 7 Comments
Next month, Mitt Romney will lean heavily on this Republican-loaded region just north of Miami, an area traditionally supportive of conservative candidates and beset by unemployment that President Barack Obama hasn't been able to staunch. It's a virtual certainty Romney ...
Swing state: Waning support for NASA workers leaves Space Coast's vote up in the air
Published 10/09/2012 at noon
A month from now, President Obama will find out whether voters in coastal Brevard County, east of Orlando, will punish him at the polls for the new direction of the nation's space program. Republicans have long held Brevard County, and ...
Collier commissioners take step to end contract of disgruntled employee
Updated 10/09/2012 at 6:37 p.m.
County commissioners voted Tuesday to move forward with terminating the contract of Ian Mitchell, who manages commissioners’ staff members, after Mitchell complained about an “untenable” work environment.
Stan's gone but his Goodland restaurant opens for season
Published 10/08/2012 at 5 a.m. 7 Comments
Before his death in June, Stan Gober talked at length with his son Steve about the future of the family's iconic Goodland restaurant.