Photos by LESLIE WILLIAMS HALE

  • Ray DeSilva, a SunTrust employee, and his wife, Vivian, discuss a painting entitled 'Birth,' by Haitian artist Pascale Doxy at a private exhibition held in the SunTrust branch office on Fifth Avenue South in Naples on Saturday. SunTrust agreed to host the small showing of Doxy's art as a way of highlighting the one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake, which hit that country on Jan. 12, 2010. Leslie Williams Hale/Staff
  • Artist Pascale Doxy, from right, talks with friends Alex Castro and Alex's mother, Jacqueline Castro, about her paintings at a private exhibition in Naples, at the SunTrust Bank branch office on Fifth Avenue South. Jacqueline Castro, who met Doxy through their church, said even she had to wait until the exhibition to see Doxy's paintings for the first time. 'I can't believe how munch people can go through -- such trauma,' she said, 'and be so positive about it also.'
  • Travels on Wednesday morning arrived at Southwest Florida International Airport to find no lines at the security checkpoint.
  • Bob Gibson and his son's dog, Mack, take shelter from the rain at his Goodland mobile home Tuesday afternoon. Gibson and Mack weathered the storm in Naples Monday night, returning to find that Goodland had fared well, in spite of forecasts for 6-foot storm surge. Leslie Williams/Staff
  • An 18-wheeler jackknifed going through the guardrail and over an embankment Sunday evening at northbound mile marker 1-10 on I-75.
  • An 18-wheeler jackknifed going through the guardrail and over an embankment Sunday evening at northbound mile marker 1-10 on I-75.
  • One of Deltona's ongoing infrastructure projects, meant to support the growing business sector in the city: a road-widening project along a major thoroughfare in the northernmost part of the city. Thompson is credited with helping the city begin its transformation from a bedroom community into a full-service city, though some fear it will backslide without his guidance.
  • Before there was Elkcam Circle on Marco Island there was Elkcam Boulevard in Deltona. It is just one street in roughly 450 miles of roads winding through the vast suburb of Deltona, many of which share names with Marco Island streets. Though Deltona is the largest city in Volusia County, it lacks a physiological center. A feeling of being without a sense of place was identified as a major concern when residents were surveyed during Thompson's tenure, said West Volusia Chamber of Commerce President Linda White. His efforts to foster economic development within the community were meant to remedy that, White said.
  • Interim Police Chief Thom Carr sat in on a Marco Island City Council meeting in his new capacity for the first time Monday night. Carr has been with the city for nine years, since he moved from Indianapolis, where he began his career. Carr said he intends to apply for the permanent position, filling the shoes of former Police Chief Roger Reinke. 'I was an original member hired here to help hire people,' Carr said. 'I guess just growing up with the department, it seemed like a natural fit (to apply for the position).' The city expects to begin the process of filling the position permanently once new City Manager Steven Thompson begins work on the island.
  • Marco Island interim Chief of Police Thom Carr
  • Flanked by supporters, well-wishers and friends, former City Councilor Mike Minozzi enters the meeting hall at San Marco Catholic Church Thursday for a surprise roast. Minozzi, who had no idea he was attending an event in his honor, was greeted by roughly 100 friends, city staffers and fellow councilors. After eight years on City Council, Minozzi stepped down in March when his term-limited tenure ran out.
  • Flanked by supporters, well-wishers and friends, former City Councilor Mike Minozzi enters the meeting hall at San Marco Catholic Church Thursday for a surprise roast. Minozzi, who had no idea he was attending an event in his honor, was greeted by roughly 100 friends, city staffers and fellow councilors. After eight years on City Council, Minozzi stepped down in March when his term-limited tenure ran out.
  • City Clerk Laura Litzan points out one of the city's neighborhoods that is most commonly home to the city's young families to city manager candidates Stephen Garman, center, and Richard Finn, right. Litzan was one of several city employees who conducted a series of revolving interviews among the five candidates Monday.
  • Richard Gestrich listens to Fire Chief Mike Murphy, the tour guide for the afternoon, as the tour embarks from City Hall Monday afternoon.
  • Richard Finn, the former city manager of Takoma Park, Md., checks out the scenery while driving through the Estates portion of Marco Island. Finn has been completing a doctoral degree from the University of Maryland since he left Takoma Park in 2004.
  • Stephen Garman, city manager of Decatur, Ill., listens to Fire Chief Mike Murphy during the tour.
  • Steven Thompson, left, asks a question during the two-hour driving tour of the island. Thompson, James Malloy (at right), and the other three candidates got a look at the city's beaches, utilities and everything in between during the tour.
  • During a brief stop in the tour, Fire Chief Mike Murphy and the city manager candidates look out the glass doors of the Hideaway Beach Club, admiring the Gulf view. Pictured with Murphy from left to right are Richard Finn, Richard Gestrich and Steven Thompson, three of the five candidates.
  • Photos of Larry Sheetz, pictured in the framed photo at far right, dotted his memorial service Tuesday evening. In them, he always had a ready smile and a warmth that radiated to those around him.
  • Preserve Our Paradise Chair Russ Colombo takes a question from an audience member at a City Council candidate debate sponsored by POP in November. The debate, which hosted a packed house at Mackle Park, was the first of the political campaign. Colombo said the political action committee was dissolved, in part, because of his belief that the current council will uphold the same policies as the last, in effect thwarting any effort undertaken by POP.
  • An 8-foot Burmese python was rescued from the rafters of a Marco Island Executive Airport hangar Thursday, April 3, 2008.
  • An 8-foot Burmese python was rescued from the rafters of a Marco Island Executive Airport hangar Thursday, April 3, 2008.
  • An 8-foot Burmese python was rescued from the rafters of a Marco Island Executive Airport hangar Thursday, April 3, 2008.
  • An 8-foot Burmese python was rescued from the rafters of a Marco Island Executive Airport hangar Thursday, April 3, 2008.
  • An 8-foot Burmese python was rescued from the rafters of a Marco Island Executive Airport hangar Thursday, April 3, 2008.
  • An 8-foot Burmese python was rescued from the rafters of a Marco Island Executive Airport hangar Thursday, April 3, 2008.
  • Jim McGregor, left, and Keith Dameron, both members of the Short-term Rental Housing Committee, interface at Wednesday night's meeting. Also pictured are, Sandi Riedemann, left, and Louise Beaufort, far right. The committee set a goal of having an ordinance drafted after just two more meetings, at which point they will hand the reins off to the city's Planning Board and City Council.
  • At its widest point, Clam Bay is more than 500 feet across. This photo was taken from a lot on the cul-de-sac at the end of Swiss Court, across the bay from the proposed boat docks. A number of residents across the bay, in addition to the Wolterses, have registered their dissent toward the plan with the city in writing and before City Council.
  • The 166 docks currently in place at the South Seas club are sorely in need of repair or replacement. The boardwalk and sea wall, at right, would also be replaced under the plan. Lengths of the docks include the 6-foot protrusion of the sea wall and boardwalk together. Currently, the sea wall, boardwalk and docks jut a total of 30 feet into the water. The residents objecting to the plan say 50-foot docks are excessive, and might be acceptable if located closer to the inside of the bay.
  • Going somewhere? Seasonal residents might not head back over that bridge for a while, according to business owners and rental agents. While things will slow down sometime in April, they say, season is not over just yet.
  • They broke out the big scissors for this one. Members of the Marco Island Fire Rescue Foundation and the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department work together to cut the ribbon at a ceremony celebrating the foundation's union with the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. 'We want to be a part of the community,' said Dianna Dohm, the director of publicity for the foundation. That is why her group joined the chamber, she said. Members joined fire rescue personnel for refreshments after the ribbon-cutting.
  • Former City Councilor Glenn Tucker takes over the mic from former City Manager Bill Moss after Moss delivers a good-natured roast of Tucker. A crowd gathered for reception at the Marco Island Yacht Club meant to mark Tucker's 10 years as a councilor. 'Here I am celebrating a man who voted against me when I was hired for City Manager,' Moss said, pausing for effect. 'But then again, I wasn't sure that he was fairly elected to City Council, anyway.'
  • Marco Island Fire Rescue Division Chief Jeff Kutzke points out a standpipe in the training tower located at the old fire station on East Elkcam Circle. The training tower allows the fire department to simulate emergencies in a taller structure, including using the roof for rappelling. Work performed on the tower included repair of the standpipe, new doors and windows and a new coat of exterior paint. The ladder to the right of Kutzke goes to the roof of the building, which was built in the 1980s and is still used two to three times a week by both Marco and Isles of Capri firefighters.
  • Ann Dilbone walks past what was once a doorway into her great-great-grandfather's vacation home on the island originally named for him, Horr's Island. Now called Key Marco, the small island just to Marco Island's south is an upscale settlement of multi-million dollar homes. In John Horr's day, it was a pineapple plantation, supplying his wholesale grocery business in Key West. The crumbling structure recently got an assessment from Matt Betz, an archaeologist with the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy.
  • Ann Dilbone, great-great-granddaughter of John Horr, points to the wood beam in an exterior doorway of the house.
  • Ann Dilbone, left, and Matt Betz, right, look around as Hector Sostre, center, takes a break from cutting branches.
  • Whole pieces of conch and oyster shell jut from the walls of the old Horr home. The construction, called tabby, uses whole shells mixed with mortar of some sort. Archaeologist Matt Betz, said he typically sees another type of construction, called Cochina, which uses crushed up shells as a base. Horr probably took materials directly from the shell mounds on the island in order to construct his home, Betz said.
  • Matt Betz discusses options for reinforcing the structure with Eileen Ward.
  • Matt Betz checks out the maker's mark on a piece of glass bottle he found at the site. It was one of several small artifacts, probably from Horr's time that he found just by doing a cursory glance around the ground.
  • Nature and architecture are virtually indistinguishable from each other in the old house: seashells comprise the walls, tree roots hold them up and lizards scuttle across all of it.
  • Hector Sostre, an employee of Quality Tree Services, trims away the branches of a Strangler Fig that has taken over one corner of the structure. Nonetheless, its roots appear to be holding up an entire section of wall above one doorway, just to the right of Sostre. Working pro bono, Quality Tree Services cut away the branches and used weed killer to stop the roots from growing further into the walls.
  • Matt Betz, of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, points out cracks in the walls of Captain Horr's old house. The structure, he said, is basically falling apart at the corners. A significant storm event could spell disaster for the home, which is on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. His nonprofit may be able to offer assistance with contracting a company to shore up the home's foundation and keep it standing.
  • Eileen Ward, of Greensward, and Matt Betz, of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, both crouch to watch branches being trimmed from the walls of the structure.
  • Hector Sostre hands a branch down to Rogelio Serrano as he trims away a Strangler Fig growing up the walls of the old Horr house.
  • Johanna Parkes, a Key Marco resident, reads the plaque in front of Horr's house.
  • From left to right, Eileen Ward, Johanna Parkes, Matt Betz, Peter McFarland and Hector Sostre discuss a plan of action to preserve the house from encroaching vegetation on Key Marco. Ward's company, Greensward, does landscaping on the island and she has helped drive some of the efforts to maintain the site for tour groups interested in the area's history.
  • Wood door frames help keep some walls in place as others crumble around them.  Meanwhile, trees grow out of the very walls of the old Horr House.
  • Matt Betz, of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, points to a tortoise burrow that goes beneath the house.
  • Oyster and conch shells jut from the walls of the house, peeking out from the layer of stucco used to weatherproof the house's exterior.
  • Hector Sostre, left, and his boss, Peter McFarland,  check out a Strangler Fig growing up one corner of the old house. McFarland's company, Quality Tree Services, helped remove some of the growth Monday morning in an effort to preserve the structure. The tree roots are both tearing the walls apart and holding them up, so they cut away live growth and treated the roots with weed killer to keep them in place but stunt their growth.

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