SWFL real estate experts expect modest economic boost from record low mortgage rates
Published 10/06/2011 at 7:40 p.m.
“This is kind of like spitting in the ocean,” said Bob Matheson of Matheson Financial, which has offices in Naples and Estero. The rates may encourage some potential home buyers to purchase, he said, but won’t be the answer to ...
Naples City Council OK plans to reconstruct Publix in Naples Plaza
Published 10/05/2011 at 11:45 a.m.
Naples City Council approved plans Wednesday morning to reconstruct the Publix in Naples Plaza across from Coastland Center mall.
PETA urges Naples City Council to reverse decision to allow alligator hugging in Tin City
Updated 09/28/2011 at 5:11 p.m.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is not embracing alligator hugs in Tin City.
Naples bicycle manufacturer issues recall of 91,000 bikes
Published 09/26/2011 at 3:43 p.m.
When it comes to bikes, being off the chain is not a good situation, as the Naples-based bicycle company handling a large recall is finding out.
Naples officials, police union reach tentative agreement on new contract
Published 09/22/2011 at 9:44 p.m.
City of Naples officials and the Naples police union reached a tentative agreement Thursday to offer 2 percent raises next year to all but top wage earners and a chance for officers to earn benefits under the state’s Deferred Retirement ...
Naples City Council hugs it out: Gators coming to Tin City
Updated 09/21/2011 at 1:49 p.m.
It was a close call for "Gatorman Mike" as City Council nearly voted Wednesday morning against his plan to sell photographs of tourists hugging alligators in Tin City.
Marco Island increases tax rate, decreases utility surcharges
Published 09/19/2011 at 10:09 p.m. 6 Comments
Council voted to increase the tax rate from the current $1.89 per $1,000 of taxable property value to about $1.96 per $1,000 of taxable property value — or 1.9592 mils — for Fiscal 2012. The vote comes with a simultaneous ...
Marco council silent on blind man’s plea for audible street crossing signal
Published 09/18/2011 at 6:15 p.m. 15 Comments
Vincent Castellano, 54, approached the Marco Island City Council in April requesting at least one crossing signal that has a ringing bell or other audible signal, along with the existing lit sign, to help him safely cross the street on ...
Marco council to weigh several tax rate options Monday
Published 09/17/2011 at 3:30 p.m. 3 Comments
Settling on a final tax rate appears to be a taxing proposition for the Marco Island City Council, as several options remain on the table for Monday’s final budget hearing. Despite some difficulty in agreeing on the best approach, council ...
Marco council to decide whether to raise tax rate as proposed
Published 09/04/2011 at 5 p.m. 9 Comments
Marco Island is on track to increase its tax rate — however, that may change come Wednesday night as City Council reviews the budget. Council Vice Chairman Larry Magel recommended a nearly 10 percent increase when the council in August ...
Talk of Marriott convention center on Marco Island remains alive - PHOTOS
Published 09/02/2011 at 7:01 p.m. 7 Comments
A Marco Island convention center that was proposed to the city planning board more than a year ago remains a topic of interest and conversation, with some involved saying the sun hasn’t set on the idea. City leaders and Marco ...
Sidewalks in Lake Park digs up controversy with property owners
Published 08/24/2011 at 8:05 p.m.
Property owners along the street were pleased about the idea that has been in the works for years until they walked outside to see as much as half of the front lawn gone.
Naples firefighters' union continues negotiating benefits with city
Published 08/24/2011 at 1:48 p.m.
Negotiations continued between the Naples firefighters' union and the city without much headway on Wednesday.
City deals first offer in Naples firefighters negotiations
Published 08/23/2011 at 8:03 p.m.
The city’s proposal would increase working hours for a disproportionate 3 percent increase in pay, decrease pension benefits and increase health insurance costs by as much as three times what some employees pay now.
Loan an option for Marco to replace ‘totally obsolete’ Smokehouse bridge
Published 08/21/2011 at 2 p.m. 18 Comments
The City Council discussed last week whether to use financial reserves or take out a loan to come up with the rest of the money to pay for the estimated $8.8 million replacement of the bridge on Collier Boulevard. Borrowing ...
GNC store clerk recalls face-to-face encounter with gunman
Published 08/21/2011 at 11:27 a.m.
The suspect in Saturday’s armed robbery of a GNC store didn’t look like he took vitamins, says the man he threatened with a gun.
Naples City Council approves, applauds McCabe expansion
Published 08/17/2011 at 12:43 p.m.
Naples officials and business leaders lauded hotel owner Phil McCabe for redeveloping his property on Fifth Avenue South at a time when many people are letting talks of a gloomy economy scare them from making investments.
Marco Island property owners avoid thousands in utility assessments, 6 percent rate hike
Updated 08/16/2011 at 2:20 p.m. 7 Comments
About 100 people packed into the Marco Island community room to let City Council know Monday night whether they preferred to have residents or vacant property owners bear more of the burden of anticipated utility cost increases.
PHOTO GALLERIES: Southwest Florida keeps the Spirit of '45 Alive during tributes to WWII vets
Published 08/14/2011 at 10:57 p.m.
“We’re losing them at 1,000 (deaths) a day,” Bolin said. “The reality — boom — it’s hitting us. When things get bad, we all get reflective. Where the country is today, we need to draw upon their strength.”
Vacant lot owner calls Marco's plan to charge her $12,000 fee 'unfair' - POLL
Published 08/14/2011 at 2:30 p.m. 3 Comments
City Council initially approved the vacant lots assessments on July 18. If given final approval Monday, they will appear on the 2012 property tax bills sent out by Collier County officials in November. The water assessments and sewer assessments, which ...
Marco Island pioneer Kjell Pettersen dies
Published 08/10/2011 at 7:07 p.m. 1 Comment
Kjell Pettersen, one of the men most instrumental in establishing and growing the city of Marco Island died Wednesday morning.
Gators one step closer to coming to Tin City
Published 08/10/2011 at 12:23 p.m. 2 Comments
Mike Sturgill's request for a conditional use permit to offer tourists gator hugs and $5 photographs with alligators at a shop in Tin City was approved Wednesday morning by the Naples Planning Advisory Board, in a 5-1 vote, with board ...
Collier businessman proposes selling alligator hugs, photos in Tin City
Published 08/09/2011 at 7:54 p.m.
There is nothing in city code that says "Gatorman" Mike Sturgill can’t offer alligator hugs. In fact, Naples City Planner Adam Benigni said there is nothing in the city code of ordinances that addresses animal exhibits at all.
Don Hunter steps up to the plate as Marco's new police chief
Updated 08/08/2011 at 4:11 p.m. 3 Comments
Marco Island's hunt for a new chief of police didn't take long as former Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter officially took the reigns of the department on Monday morning. Hunter was the only man that City Manager Jim Riviere said ...
North Naples man recalls efforts trying to save man who fell off ladder
Updated 07/24/2011 at 1:39 p.m.
A man fell to his death Saturday night while trimming trees in North Naples.
Thom Carr leaves as Marco chief after helping create the department in ‘99
Published 07/22/2011 at 6:15 p.m.
Thom Carr is neither jumping for joy nor sighing with fears of an impending boredom following his retirement Friday as Marco Island police chief. The former military man has his mind on the Florida retirement classics — golf and boating.
St. Leo officials: small group still complaining about Father Stan investigation despite evidence
Updated 07/20/2011 at 9:12 p.m.
Rev. Stan Strycharz remains on paid administrative leave from St. Leo Catholic Church after Dewane of the Diocese of Venice released results of an audit in a letter to parishioners handed out at mass over the weekend.
Supporters of St. Leo's Father Stan deny accusations he squandered church funds
Updated 07/18/2011 at 10:13 p.m.
“Our client (Strycharz) denies the accusations, and we intend to file a significant civil lawsuit against the Bishop in the near future,” Edward K. Cheffy, an attorney representing Strycharz, wrote in an email to the Daily News.
Audit: St. Leo's Father Stan spent $1 million on family, personal items
Updated 07/17/2011 at 9:15 p.m. 1 Comment
The year-long internal investigation into the suspected misdeeds of the popular priest at St. Leo Catholic Church in Bonita Springs is coming to a close. Southwest Florida Bishop Frank J. Dewane placed Rev. Stan Strycharz on administrative leave in late ...
Daily News: Marco Island city manager held back public documents regarding Hunter hiring
Updated 07/15/2011 at 11:09 p.m. 7 Comments
City Manager James Riviere and City Attorney Burt Saunders responded that the records either did not exist or were in draft form and could not be provided as such.
Marco city worker who got $100,000 when dismissed loses Lee job on his first day
Published 07/15/2011 at 6:30 p.m. 6 Comments
Rony Joel was a frequent target of public criticism during the six years he worked for the city of Marco Island. He left with what many described as a golden parachute. Joel was hired this summer for a job with ...
Back to the badge: Marco Island names former Collier Sheriff Don Hunter as new police chief
Updated 07/15/2011 at 1:23 a.m. 9 Comments
Former Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter has been named police chief on Marco Island.
Six weeks before classes begin, Seacrest breaks ground on new upper school
Published 07/12/2011 at 11:02 p.m.
The private school has a short window of time to construct the $1.5 million, 12,500 square foot high school before classes begin on Aug. 23.
Boat captain accused of severing swimmer’s leg facing lawsuit, citations
Updated 07/12/2011 at 8:45 p.m.
The charter boat captain who struck a swimmer at Vanderbilt Beach in February is facing charges of reckless and careless operation of his boat, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials reported Tuesday.
Parkside Elementary School opens doors to students, hopes to stop "summer slide"
Published 07/11/2011 at 12:32 p.m.
The early start up at Parkside Elementary School is part of a pilot program seeking to prevent much of what Principal Jan Messer calls the “summer slide,” or failure to retain much of what the students learned the previous school ...
TV show Monday features Benson family murders, one of Naples’ notorious crimes
Published 07/10/2011 at 4:30 p.m.
Investigation Discovery is featuring the Naples slaying of Margaret Hitchcock Benson and Scott Benson on its new series “Behind Mansion Walls.” The national TV show is to serve up Monday night, just days after the 26th anniversary of the notorious ...
PHOTOS: Two Collier pharmacies robbed Sunday morning
Published 07/10/2011 at 10:21 a.m.
A man covered head to toe in clothing ran off with cash from two Collier County pharmacies Sunday morning, sheriff's officials say.
End of an era: Marco Police Chief Thom Carr resigns, says lawsuits not part of decision
Updated 07/07/2011 at 11:43 a.m. 30 Comments
“I had been thinking about it and originally thought about going another year, but been looking at it closer lately,” Carr said. “I’m in my 38th year of law enforcement and enough is enough.”
Former teacher files discrimination lawsuit against Lee school district, employees
Published 06/28/2011 at 4:06 p.m.
Sometime in those first days of employment at East Lee County High School, German, 36, began making inappropriate sexual comments to Hamilton, according to the lawsuit filed against German, the district and then-school security specialist, Rufus Thomas.
YouTube takes Yung Funk of Naples to the nation
Published 06/22/2011 at 4:52 p.m.
People seem to love to hate Yung Funk, a 14-year-old North Naples Middle School student whose rap songs are drawing attention on YouTube. “One thing is for sure, I hate those dirty haters,” declares Yung Funk, whose real name is ...
Lee deputies to take over duties at Fort Myers, Cape Coral schools
Published 06/21/2011 at 10:20 p.m.
The Lee County School Board approved a $1.56 million agreement with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday night that will have sheriff’s deputies replacing Fort Myers and Cape Coral police officers at city schools.
Marco Island’s new Jolley Bridge span to open to drivers by end of month - PHOTOS
Published 06/21/2011 at noon 20 Comments
The Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge has a twin. It’s not quite identical and wasn’t “born,” or constructed, on the same date, but next to the old Jolley Bridge is now another Jolley Bridge. Drivers will be able to use Marco ...
Collier’s Haitian graduation, Celebrate the Little Things, marked by great accomplishments
Updated 06/05/2011 at 6:20 p.m.
A celebration dubbed Celebrate the Little Things held for about 100 Collier County graduates united by their Haitian heritage and their faith was attended by people who had already accomplished great things—with modesty.
Father figure, friend accused of embezzling $350,000 from auto dealer in Naples
Published 06/01/2011 at 10:11 p.m.
Lee County deputies arrested William Cleary, 60, of Fort Myers, on a first degree felony charge for grand theft over $100,000 shortly before noon. Cleary is accused of embezzling more than $350,000 from Garulay‘s Ambassador Auto Sales on Davis Boulevard ...
Florida toughens law on underage house parties, but not in time for graduation
Published 05/30/2011 at 6 p.m. 1 Comment
When it comes to alcohol and high school graduation, state and local officials are making it clear that it’s best to just keep a lid on it. Some parents host graduation parties where alcohol is provided, thinking they can better ...
Investigators link Naples jewelry heist to South American theft ring
Updated 05/25/2011 at 7:15 p.m.
More than three months after an armed robbery at Thalheimer’s Jewelers in Naples turned into a shootout, investigators are saying they believe the heist was the work of a South American crime ring.
Crash course: Naples teens learn dangers of texting & driving
Published 05/23/2011 at 3:27 p.m.
Students at Naples High School on Monday morning got behind the wheel of a regular car rigged with a high-tech simulator to see how their driving is affected while they receive and send text messages.
Rep. Connie Mack proposes cutting debt one cent at a time
Published 05/17/2011 at 9:14 p.m.
Mack’s One Percent Spending Reduction Act of 2011, released May 11, calls for cutting federal spending by one penny out of every federal dollar spent.
PHOTOS: Sen. Marco Rubio addresses Ave Maria Law graduates
Updated 05/15/2011 at 9:25 p.m.
The 2011 Ave Maria School of Law graduating class is the last of its kind—the 90 students are the last who began at a campus in the bustling college town of Ann Arbor, Mich., and then completed their degrees in ...
Teenage boy nearly drowns at Bonita Beach
Published 05/15/2011 at 3:45 p.m.
A teenage boy nearly drowned behind Doc’s Beach House Restaurant at Bonita Beach this afternoon. It was about 1 p.m. when people at the beach were screaming that a boy was floating in the water.