Exclusive: Former Collier schoolteacher sentenced to two years in prison in kidnapping case
Updated 04/10/2014 at 7:13 p.m.
Judge Gail Feuer sentenced Donald Byrd, 59, to two years in state prison as part of the plea agreement. The mother and grandparents of Zachary Byrd had been in a contentious custody battle for years before Zachary’s disappearance.
Former San Marco Gifts owner dies, described as loving mother, fabulous cook
Published 04/03/2014 at 9:50 p.m.
In the weeks leading up to her death Sunday night, Alda Maria Carter hadn’t been feeling well. She’d developed a cough, had trouble breathing and generally felt lousy, her son Robert Carter said. But on Sunday, while recovering in a ...
Marco officer fired, then reinstated, facing termination
Published 03/08/2014 at 11:51 p.m. 68 Comments
A Marco Island police officer who was fired for misconduct in 2010 then reinstated in 2011 is on the chopping block again. Following another investigation into Officer John Derrig for excessive use of force, Police Chief Don Hunter has recommended ...
Golden Gate man accused of killing 1-year-old remains jailed, bond at $1.5 million
Updated 02/08/2014 at 10:45 a.m.
A Golden Gate Estates man faces charges of aggravated manslaughter in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 1-year-old son.
Scientists still looking for answers in whale deaths
Updated 01/24/2014 at 9:34 p.m. 3 Comments
There's one question on everyone's minds after two sets of pilot whales beached themselves in Southwest Florida this week: Why?
25 dead pilot whales found south of Marco Island
Updated 01/23/2014 at 10:52 p.m. 8 Comments
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is reporting that 25 dead pilot whales have been found off Kice Island, just south of Marco Island.
Marco Island nonprofit operator says criminal charge is 'blown out of proportion'
Published 09/25/2013 at 8:39 p.m. 3 Comments
At a court hearing Wednesday, a Marco Island nonprofit president accused of prescription fraud compared her arrest to being raped repeatedly.
Man injured when plane crashes in Collier County
Updated 05/26/2013 at 2:28 p.m.
A Collier County man was seriously injured Sunday when his plane crashed in the Fiddler’s Creek community.
Driver missing as hit-and-run trial lawsuit moves forward
Published 05/14/2013 at 5:04 a.m.
Four months after a lawsuit was filed against Oakes Farms in the death of an East Naples bicyclist, attorneys representing the company say they can't locate the allegedly responsible truck driver.
Missouri man arrested, Collier County teens safe after Amber Alert issued
Published 05/13/2013 at 7:58 p.m.
Ivan Eugene Coleman III, of Missouri, was arrested and faces felony charges in connection with a Collier County Amber Alert case.
Flatulence leads to knife fight, arrest
Published 05/08/2013 at 6:20 p.m. 2 Comments
An Immokalee woman who is accused of throwing a kitchen knife at her longtime boyfriend told detectives she became angry when he passed gas in her face while they were watching TV Tuesday night, according to an arrest report.
Ohio missing women case: Naples mom finds daughter alive 12 years later
Updated 05/07/2013 at 9:29 p.m.
Minutes before a car came to pick up Barbara Knight for the airport, she sat with her 10-year-old daughter and tried to recall the face of her oldest child, Michelle, who has been missing for more than a decade.
New breweries sprouting in burgeoning SWFL beer scene
Published 04/29/2013 at 5:38 p.m.
Unlike other industries, the owners say they abide by a "the more, the merrier" attitude. "The pie down here has plenty of pieces," said Will Lawson, owner of the Naples Beach Brewery. "The Southwest Florida area is prime for several ...
Man sets animals free from closing Everglades Wonder Gardens
Updated 04/16/2013 at 4:35 p.m.
A Bonita Springs man admitted to breaking into the Everglades Wonder Gardens early Monday and snipping the locks of 11 cages, freeing the animals inside.
Worst-case warriors: Preppers ready for hurricanes, Armageddon and everything in between
Published 04/14/2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Smith envisions homes going dark without electricity and grocery shelves being cleared by people with empty stomachs. "That's when martial law will ensue, after looting at stores," Smith said to a group at a September meeting.
Attorney seeks to re-create fatal hit-and-run crash scene
Published 04/13/2013 at 7 p.m.
"It's the best way to show the jury exactly what the defendant driver should have seen," he said. "People want to see that kind of thing."
Burglars make off with $78k in jewelry from North Naples homes
Published 04/05/2013 at 7:13 p.m.
All of the burglaries happened during the daytime, and the majority of the homes were accessed by breaking rear sliding glass doors or windows, according to incident reports.
Clutter Cleaners: Lee business specializes in cleaning homes of hoarders
Published 04/05/2013 at 5:26 p.m.
"Sometimes, it takes weeks of correspondence to move forward," Averill Preman said. "You have to establish that trust. They have to trust you to come into their home and not judge them."
Back in the clink: Chris Roberts returns to Collier jail after 29-year career
Published 04/05/2013 at 5:30 a.m.
"I want folks that work there not only to do their job but enjoy it and enjoy each other, and make the assignment to jail be more enjoyable," he said.
Big Cypress fire continues causing headaches for drivers
Published 04/01/2013 at 10:40 p.m.
“It’s been problematic,” said Adam Levine, a salesman with North Star, which delivers seafood from Pompano Beach to the Gulf Coast, from Marco Island to Cape Coral.
Dispatches from Dunk City: party's over, but FGCU fans still proud
Updated 03/30/2013 at 1:11 a.m.
"We're sorry," one said. "We can't let anyone in until after the FGCU game." They weren't joking -- the bar was already at capacity when the bouncers arrived at 6:30 p.m. One suggested to a patron that she should have ...
FGCU Eagles fans jam Dunk City at Sweet 16 pep rally
Published 03/25/2013 at 8:32 p.m.
A Drake song played as the Eagles men’s basketball team made their way down the bleachers and onto their home court Monday for a pep rally in their honor.
FGCU's NCAA basketball run a publicity slam dunk for school
Updated 03/25/2013 at 8:52 p.m.
Getting ready to brave bookstore lines that ran 60 people deep, sisters Marva Eberly and Mavis Sutton stood around a clothing rack Monday afternoon picking out clothes for Eberly’s grandson.
VIDEO: Hometown hero laid to rest: Fallen soldier Marc Scialdo remembered as leader, family man
Updated 03/22/2013 at 6:19 p.m.
Marc Scialdo, a Naples soldier who died earlier this month in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal at his funeral Friday.
Wife accused of killing husband a 'saint' and 'tremendous caregiver,' friends say
Updated 03/19/2013 at 9:48 p.m.
On Monday night, Collier deputies found the body of Jack N. Johns, 72, at his Provincetown Drive home in the Glen Eagle Golf & Country Club . His wife, Helen Hope Johns, 68, who goes by the name Hope, is ...
Sinking feeling: Public safety agencies train to escape submerged vehicles
Published 03/15/2013 at 9:19 p.m.
"Even though we're both extremely accomplished divers, it's extremely intimidating having that water come up on you," said Cpl. Geoff Fahringer, wearing a wet suit topped with a blue striped button-down.
Rambosk announces Sheriff's Office restructuring, promotions
Published 03/14/2013 at 7:43 p.m.
"All of these are existing positions, but we have retitled and upgraded some of them," Rambosk said. "We're trying to get back to some levels of infrastructure we've had in the past and doing it within the current allocation of ...
Two years of loss: Immokalee students, teachers struggle with deaths of 10 classmates
Published 03/11/2013 at 5:05 a.m.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Principal Mary Murray, an education veteran of 20 years. There has been no common thread to the deaths — four students died in car crashes, two brothers drowned, a young couple was killed ...
Local school bus drivers trained to prevent violence
Published 03/10/2013 at 6:30 a.m.
"Our drivers are instructed and trained that they are to contact dispatch immediately when an emergency or accident arises, including any incident occurring on the bus," said David Ogilvie, the school district's director of transportation.
Authorities warn of lottery scams targeting Hispanics, seniors
Updated 03/08/2013 at 7:53 p.m.
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson met with law enforcement officials and victims' advocates in Miami to address the scams.
School Board declines independent investigation of Superintendent Burke
Updated 03/05/2013 at 8:24 p.m.
Arguing that the district has already investigated three allegations against the superintendent, the Lee County School Board voted Tuesday afternoon against opening an independent investigation into Dr. Joseph Burke’s actions.
Collier County Spelling Bee: P-R-E-C-O-C-I-O-U-S eighth-grader takes crown
Published 03/04/2013 at 10:16 p.m.
Precocious. P-R-E-C-O-C-I-O-U-S. And with that, Emma Parrish, a North Naples Middle School student, became Collier County's top speller.
Craft brewers seek to sink restriction on 64-ounce growlers
Published 03/01/2013 at 4:49 p.m.
The 64-ounce growler is the industry standard, but in Florida they're not allowed, even though breweries can fill containers half and twice that size. Growlers are reusable glass jugs filled with beer that are meant to be consumed within two ...
Teen shooting victim likely not intended target, family says
Published 02/26/2013 at 5:15 a.m.
Although detectives have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, Kanasha Isaac's aunt said the bullet that hit Isaac likely was intended for another passenger in the car.
Bad touch: Bill intends to weed out illicit massage parlors
Published 02/24/2013 at 5:45 a.m.
In recent years, authorities in Southwest Florida have arrested dozens of locals suspected of using massage as a front for criminal activity, occasionally in the early morning hours.
Marco Island police report slight crime uptick
Published 02/22/2013 at 7:25 p.m. 22 Comments
The Marco Island Police Department investigated 228 total crimes last year, up from 212 in 2011, according to data reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
More law enforcement agencies requiring written consent to search vehicles
Published 02/22/2013 at 5 a.m.
Both the Collier and Lee county sheriff's offices said while obtaining written or recorded consent is ideal, it is not required by policy.
Crime down again in city of Naples
Published 02/21/2013 at 7:24 p.m.
Decreases in aggravated assaults and larcenies led to a lower number of reported crimes in the city of Naples last year, according to new data.
FHP launches campaign to combat growing number of hit-and-run
Published 02/19/2013 at 5:12 a.m.
With hit-and-run crashes on the rise in Florida, state troopers and local law enforcement launched a campaign Monday to educate drivers about the consequences of leaving the scene of a crash.
Local civic activist Duane Billington dies at 66
Published 02/18/2013 at 9:33 p.m.
A local civic activist is being remembered for his volunteerism and involvement in local government following his death late last week.
Missing East Naples teens found safe in Texas
Updated 02/13/2013 at 5:53 p.m. 1 Comment
A missing East Naples teenager was found Wednesday in Texas, according to her mother.
Sheriffs: Enforce current immigration laws before changing them
Published 02/08/2013 at 7:06 p.m. 3 Comments
We have to find a way to enforce more efficiently the laws we already have before we talk about changing them, Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said.
Evolving scams keep Collier, Lee detectives on their toes
Published 02/04/2013 at 5:30 a.m.
Several people in Collier County have been told theyve won a lottery and just need to send the tax money to redeem the rest of their reward, said Lt. Chad Parker, who works in financial crimes for the Collier County ...
Two men arrested in 3 violent home invasions in Collier
Published 02/04/2013 at 5 a.m.
Two friends suspected in several area robberies were arrested Friday in Naples in connection with three violent home invasions.
Driver named in fatal East Naples bicycle crash
Published 02/01/2013 at 10:02 p.m.
A Florida Highway Patrol crash report obtained Friday names Jon Price, 59, of North Naples, as the driver of a tractor-trailer that hit Robin Wallace, 48.
Sheriff Scott among signers of proclamation supporting Second Amendment
Published 02/01/2013 at 5:30 a.m. 1 Comment
Scott seconded the motion to adopt the proclamation, which says the Florida Sheriffs Association will not assist, support or condone any unconstitutional infringement of (the right to bear arms).
SW Florida law enforcement authorities experiment with alternate reporting methods
Published 01/30/2013 at 5:10 a.m.
In an effort to free up officers, law enforcement agencies across the country are experimenting with alternative report-taking methods, allowing residents to file reports online or over the phone.
Deputies: Fight over lawn mower involved fists, broom, dog and knife
Updated 01/29/2013 at 7:36 p.m.
The two exchanged words, according to an arrest report. This led to Saunders punching Ilarraza, then picking up a broomstick and hitting his neighbor in the face, deputies said.
Junk in the Trunk: Criminals targeting cardboard, dirt
Published 01/28/2013 at 5 a.m.
Criminals who arent afraid to get their hands dirty are now targeting dirt, cardboard, even cooking grease.
Lawsuit targets Oakes Farms, truck driver for responsibility in hit-and-run death
Published 01/25/2013 at 9:32 p.m.
Robin Wallace, 48, was on a bicycle ride Sept. 29 when she was hit and killed by a driver near Estey Avenue and Embassy Lane.