Study says 3 of 4 employers offering year-end bonuses, is area following suit?
Published 12/28/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
More private employers are expected to hand out year-end bonuses in 2012 than did in 2011, but experts said this move isn't necessarily indicative of what's to come in 2013.
Voting purges routine and usually not controversial, officials say
Published 12/21/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
It dominated the headlines and made waves on cable news networks, but by the time Election Day rolled around, a push to remove noncitizen voters from voter rolls seemed to fizzle out.
Florida bill not gaining momentum to tax online sales from out-of-state companies
Published 12/21/2012 at 5:10 a.m.
'Tis the season for online shopping, but in the frenzy to find the perfect gift Floridians could unwittingly be breaking the law.
Fiscal cliff: Most of Florida's federal politicians want to avoid tax increases
Published 12/19/2012 at 5:30 a.m.
As the deadline for the so-called fiscal cliff looms, the state's leading federal politicians can agree on this much — no one wants to go over it.
Unfair labor charges between Naples officials, firefighters now in state's hands
Published 12/19/2012 at 5:20 a.m.
The city of Naples and the union representing the city's firefighters could know sometime early next year whether either side used an unfair labor practice during contract negotiations.
State agency to hear Naples unfair labor practice complaints today
Published 12/18/2012 at 5:10 a.m.
A hearing scheduled for this morning could determine whether the city of Naples or the union representing the city's firefighters committed an unfair labor practice while negotiating a new contract.
Experts offer tips to extend life of your real Christmas tree
Published 12/05/2012 at 7 a.m.
As Christmas inches closer, Southwest Floridians are flocking to Christmas tree lots throughout Collier and Lee counties to pick out the perfect tree for Santa to place the presents under.
Christmas tree tents taking root in same places in Collier, Lee plazas
Published 12/05/2012 at 7 a.m.
For a few weeks each year, this U.S. 41 parking lot turns into Christmas central. And while the Heath stand may be one of the oldest in Naples, in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas similar sites can be found ...
Naples firefighters, council expect magistrate ruling in 2011 contract dispute
Published 12/03/2012 at 6:40 a.m.
After nearly a year and a half of negotiating, Naples officials and the union representing the city's firefighters are no closer to an agreement.
Merchants: Collier, south Lee shoppers kept greenbacks flowing on Black Friday
Published 11/23/2012 at 8:30 p.m.
Black Friday remained a bright spot for Southwest Florida merchants although it will be a few days before they know how much they rang up in sales.
Black Friday blog: Shoppers get early start in Collier and Lee counties
Updated 11/23/2012 at 12:13 p.m.
Shoppers at one East Naples retailer were met with protesters this morning.
Opening a successful new restaurant in Collier isn't an easy recipe
Published 11/23/2012 at 5 a.m.
Capers Kitchen and Bar is one of more than two dozen new restaurants expected to open in Southwest Florida this year.
Jolly Cricket restaurant closes on Fifth Avenue South
Published 11/16/2012 at 5 a.m.
More than three years after opening, the Jolly Cricket, a popular Fifth Avenue South restaurant, closed last week. The closure marks the end of a year-long saga between the restaurant's owners and landlord over the rent.
'Tis almost the season: Winter visitors returning to region, but busiest time ahead
Published 11/10/2012 at 8 a.m.
Despite the fact streets, businesses and restaurants in Southwest Florida are a little busier than just a month ago, experts said November is traditionally a time to work out kinks before the deluge of seasonal visitors arrive.
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.
Florida has lowest per-capita debt but legislators must rein it in, report says
Published 11/05/2012 at 6:50 a.m.
Florida may have one of the lowest debt-per-capita ratio in the nation, but unless lawmakers rein in the debt, Floridians could face serious consequences, a report says.
Clinton: Americans have clear choice in Tuesday's election
Updated 11/02/2012 at 4:55 p.m.
Update: "These are real choices that affect real people's lives," former President Bill Clinton told an enthusiastic crowd Friday afternoon in Fort Myers.
Absentee ballots becoming more popular, but beware of glitches
Published 10/26/2012 at 5 a.m.
The requests for absentee ballots keep pouring in and elections officials across the state are scurrying to keep up with growing demand.
Naples CEO's email urges workers to elect new president Nov. 6
Published 10/15/2012 at 7:20 p.m. 2 Comments
A Southwest Florida executive is the second high-profile Florida entrepreneur in recent weeks to send an email to employees suggesting his company will fall on hard times if President Barack Obama is re-elected in November.
Makeover: Do region's shopping centers benefit from investment in renovation?
Published 10/15/2012 at 6 a.m.
Shopping centers and stand-alone businesses across the region are the ones getting the makeover. And experts said recently those renovations are a way to keep tenants happy and vacancy rates low in older, often out-of-date shopping centers.
Swing state: Florida's capital is a Democratic city surrounding Republican lawmakers
Published 10/12/2012 at 5:30 a.m. 1 Comment
High turnout rates and a community that traditionally votes Democrat in presidential and statewide elections — despite the fact Tallahassee is teeming with Republican politicians — means Leon County is an important Democratic stronghold.
Swing state: Florida the prize in determining if Obama or Romney wins White House
Published 10/07/2012 at 8 a.m. 4 Comments
With 29 electoral votes, Florida is considered the most valuable toss-up state in the 2012 presidential election. A win for either candidate would go a long way toward securing a four-year stay at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Florida might not be ...
Local defense company honors fallen soldiers
Published 10/06/2012 at 3 p.m.
The cannon salute rattled the crowd as Southwest Florida's military community slowly raised the flag in front of Azimuth Technology in East Naples.
Romney tells Tampa Bay crowd: 'We cannot afford four more years' of Obama
Published 10/05/2012 at 9 p.m. 19 Comments
Riding high on a post-debate buzz, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney bashed Democratic policies and told Tampa Bay residents Friday that he would do whatever it takes to keep the country strong for future generations.
Boehner stops in Naples to seek support for Romney, Radel
Updated 10/02/2012 at 6:35 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner was in Naples to stump for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and District 19 GOP congressional candidate Trey Radel. The event, held at Republican headquarters in Naples, is one of several Boehner will do ...
Joe Biden tells rally in Fort Myers that GOP left trillion-dollar debt when Obama took office
Updated 09/29/2012 at 4:55 p.m. 39 Comments
Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a crowd of more than 2,000 people Saturday at the Wa-Ke-Hatchee Recreation Center south of Fort Myers. "With your help, we’ll win Florida. With you’re help we’ll represent 100 percent of America,” he said
Radel declares victory in Southwest Florida race for Congress
Updated 08/14/2012 at 11:14 p.m.
Trey Radel is the winner of the six-way GOP race for Southwest Florida’s District 19 congressional seat, in a contest so close experts admitted it was hard to call between four top challengers.
Incumbents rarely upset in Collier County elections
Published 08/07/2012 at 6 a.m.
In Collier County politics, once elected officials are in, they're in for keeps.
Voter registration up in Lee, down in Collier since 2008
Published 08/07/2012 at 5 a.m.
Voter registration has decreased in Collier County, while more Lee County residents have registered to cast their ballots since 2008.
Obama more likable than Romney in Florida, poll shows
Published 08/02/2012 at 5 a.m.
Being a likable guy matters, but experts said it's hard to say whether a favorable rating in August translates into more votes come November.
East Naples woman with rare Creutzfeldt-Jakob disorder dies
Published 08/01/2012 at 8 p.m.
Stephanie Brown-Bryant, an East Naples woman believed to have Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, died at her Naples home Wednesday. She was 58.
Collier, Lee elections supervisors told to hand over voter registration documents
Published 07/31/2012 at 7:30 p.m.
The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday gave Southwest Florida election officials two weeks to turn over all documents related to a statewide voter purge.
Early voting begins Monday in Collier, that's earlier than in Lee
Published 07/28/2012 at 6 p.m. 1 Comment
Early voting begins Monday in Collier County and runs through Aug. 11. That schedule is considerably longer than in the majority of counties across the state, including Lee County, which starts early voting on Aug. 4.
Election 2012: Romney nearly doubles Obama's fundraising in SW Florida
Published 07/26/2012 at 5 a.m.
Southwest Floridians donated more than $652,000 to presidential candidates over a three-month period in 2012. But experts said it comes as no surprise that nearly half that went into Mitt Romney's war chest.
Tragedy gave Obama, Romney chance to impress voters by not campaigning
Published 07/21/2012 at 6 p.m.
The plan was to rally supporters, woo independents and, in the case of President Barack Obama, maybe even convince a Republican or two to vote for a Democrat come November.
Obama supporters line up for chance to see the president Friday
Published 07/19/2012 at 5 a.m. 8 Comments
Teresa Cowens was first. Then came Desiree Suarez. Cowens and Suarez were among the hundreds of people who flocked to one of three Southwest Florida locations in hopes of getting tickets to see President Barack Obama speak at a public ...
Tickets available Wednesday for Obama visit to Fort Myers on Friday
Updated 07/18/2012 at 3:11 p.m.
Campaign officials announced President Barack Obama will talk about the economy when he returns to a downtown Fort Myers civic center Friday, more than three years after he first visited. Tickets will be available starting at noon Wednesday.
All Collier, Lee registered voters have decisions to make in Aug. 14 primary
Published 07/14/2012 at 6 p.m. 3 Comments
While Florida is a closed primary state — which means only Republicans and Democrats can vote in their respective party's primary — election officials said there are several universal races that voters, no matter their party affiliation, can vote on ...
Independent voters on the rise in Southwest Florida, battleground states
Published 07/12/2012 at 5 a.m. 1 Comment
Democrats often feel like second-class citizens in Southwest Florida, but they could be in danger of looking up at another powerful voting block: independents.
Fifth Avenue South business director hopes to build on success of first year
Published 07/02/2012 at 6 a.m.
Lise Sundrla — whose first name is pronounced Lisa — was hired in May 2011 as the executive director of the city's Business Improvement District after a national search. District officials said at the time that Sundrla's extensive background in ...
What's in a name? For candidates Mack and Goss, it's a political pedigree
Published 07/01/2012 at 5 p.m.
Two Republicans — Senate candidate Connie Mack and Congressional candidate Chauncey Goss — are vying for positions once held by their fathers. That's not out of the ordinary, and election experts said that following in a family member's political footsteps ...
Debby downer: Collier, Lee beaches erode in spots from choppy Gulf waves
Published 06/26/2012 at 7:50 p.m.
Officials in both Collier and Lee counties said Tuesday the weekend's stormy conditions took a toll on the area's beaches. Officials said, however, it's too early to tell whether the storm damage will have a lasting effect on the area's ...
In the bank: Candidates who won outright figuring out what to do with donations
Published 06/25/2012 at 7 a.m.
When candidates are elected without opposition, they're faced with an unexpected question: What to do with the money supporters gave them to help knock out the competition. For example, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, had more than $164,300 in cash on ...
LeMieux bows out of GOP Senate race, clearing path for Connie Mack
Published 06/21/2012 at 5 a.m.
Former Sen. George LeMieux bowed out of the Republican primary for Senate on Wednesday, essentially clearing the way for U.S. Rep. Connie Mack to win Republican nomination come August.
Mack the target of House ethics complaint over 'penny plan' mailer
Published 06/20/2012 at 8 a.m.
A Broward County man has filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Connie Mack, contending the Fort Myers Republican sent a government mailer to voters outside of his Southwest Florida congressional district.
Told you can't vote? Gov. Scott says he knows the feeling
Published 06/14/2012 at 8 p.m.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott knows what it's like to be told you aren't registered to vote. The Naples Republican said in a radio interview Thursday he was forced to cast provisional ballots in 2006 after election officials removed him from ...
Collier, Lee governments big but not largest employers in those counties
Published 06/14/2012 at 6 a.m.
Government entities — ranging from school districts to the military — are among Florida's largest employers statewide.
Coin toss: Naples considers beach parking meters that use dollars, credit cards
Published 06/11/2012 at 8:20 p.m.
Naples City Council on Monday gave staff the go-ahead to begin looking at upgrading the parking meters at the city's beach ends. The project would replace parking meters at beach ends that have more than 25 spots with pay-by-space meters ...
Collier elections chief: Voter roll review already under way will continue
Published 06/07/2012 at 8 p.m.
Collier County's elections chief said Thursday her office won't halt its effort to identify and purge noncitizens from voter registration rolls despite a request from the federal government to Florida elections officials to do just that.
Lawsuits mounting over 2011 gas explosion at Mangrove Cafe
Published 05/26/2012 at 6 p.m.
A trio of lawsuits filed in the past year seeking damages related to a 2011 gas explosion at Mangrove Cafe in downtown Naples could just be the first wave of filings that contend a local propane company was negligent at ...