Collier commissioners seek time with governor, Senate president in Tallahassee
Published 03/23/2011 at 5:12 p.m.
Collier Commissioner Jim Coletta came to advocate for a an Interstate 75 interchange at Everglades Boulevard. Collier Commissioner Donna Fiala came to fight for library funding. Coletta and Fiala traveled – separately – to Tallahassee this week to participate in ...
Bonita woman, Anna Rodriguez, inducted into Florida Women's Hall of Fame
Published 03/22/2011 at 7:24 p.m.
Rodriguez, who founded the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, is the first woman from Southwest Florida to earn the honor. She was inducted along with Mary Brennan Karl, a WWII-era educator from Daytona.
Frosh lawmaker Passidomo getting national attention over 'gang rape victim' remark
Published 03/17/2011 at 3:32 p.m.
She said she simply wants to protect young girls from predators. So Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said she was “really hurt” this week when she was accused in the blogosphere of blaming the gang rape of an 11-year-old Texas girl ...
Teacher merit pay bill passes House, heads to governor's desk - POLLS
Updated 03/16/2011 at 7:45 p.m.
A controversial merit pay bill that would tie teacher evaluations to student test performance and effectively end tenure for new teachers is once again one signature away from becoming law in Florida.
Florida Senate limits product liability lawsuits against auto makers, other businesses
Published 03/16/2011 at 11:57 a.m.
Tort reform legislation that passed through the Florida Senate Wednesday could make it easier for businesses to avoid large payouts in product liability cases, particularly in cases involving automobile wrecks.
Hendry Correctional Institution closing as state plans to save $30 million annually
Published 03/15/2011 at 12:29 p.m.
The Hendry Correctional Institution will close its doors for good at the end of June as part of a prison consolidation plan to save the state more than $30 million annually, the Florida Department of Corrections announced Tuesday.
State lawmakers expect marathon sessions on teacher merit pay, tenure
Published 03/15/2011 at 10:37 a.m.
Members of the Florida House of Representatives are preparing for what could be back-to-back marathon sessions over the next two days to debate a bill that would require merit pay for public school teachers, and put an end to tenure ...
Florida House passes restructured unemployment compensation bill
Published 03/10/2011 at 3:10 p.m.
The Florida House of Representatives passed an unemployment compensation bill Thursday afternoon that would reduce the number of weeks recipients could receive state benefits, tie the number of weeks benefits are available to the unemployment rate, and require recipients to ...
Gov. Rick Scott says needed changes, cuts will not make him 'most popular'
Updated 03/08/2011 at 8:29 p.m.
In a state of the state speech that could at times pass as a sales pitch for Florida, on Tuesday night Gov. Rick Scott called for elected officials to make the state a place where business people will want to ...
2011 State Legislative session starts amid protests
Published 03/08/2011 at 2:01 p.m.
But the real action is unfurling outside, where opposing rallies are being held on either side of Monroe Street, which runs in front of the Old State Capitol.
Gov. Scott, state leaders not deterred by Awake the State plans POLL/PHOTOS
Published 03/07/2011 at 6:45 p.m.
With more than two dozen “Awake the State” rallies slated across the state on Tuesday – the first day of the 2011 legislative session – Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos said simply “Welcome to America.” The rallies are scheduled statewide, ...
Poll: Majority oppose Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal to cut Everglades restoration funding
Updated 02/28/2011 at 5:59 p.m. 3 Comments
A majority of Florida voters said they opposed Gov. Rick Scott’s recent proposal to cut funding for Everglades restoration projects by two-thirds, according to a poll conducted by the Everglades Foundation.
Naples man on short list to become state agency chief
Published 02/24/2011 at 10:50 p.m.
Conrecode, the former vice president of Collier Enterprises, is one of three names on Gov. Rick Scott’s list to be named Florida’s next secretary of transportation. He was one of 46 people to apply for the position at the end ...
Former Collier Enterprises VP Thomas Conrecode among finalists for Florida transportation secretary
Published 02/24/2011 at 2:44 p.m.
Thomas Conrecode, the former vice president of Collier Enterprises, is one of three finalists to be Florida’s next transportation secretary. .
Collier sheriff seeks help to solve theft of wedding dresses, tuxedos
Published 02/20/2011 at noon
The thief or thieves made off with $292,250 worth of computer equipment, mannequins and clothing – about 250 wedding dresses, 200 suits and 500 pairs of rental shoes in all, according to reports. In early May, the storage unit was ...
Wrong address leads to 13-minute response time to baby's drowning
Updated 02/18/2011 at 11:16 p.m.
Sobbing as she attempted to revive her lifeless 15-month-old daughter Tuesday morning, Randi MacLeod waited for more than 13 minutes after calling 911 for the first emergency responder — a Collier County sheriff’s deputy — to arrive at her home.
Teed off: North Naples couple sues golf club - PHOTOS
Updated 02/16/2011 at 6:50 p.m.
The attorney representing a North Naples couple who claim their house has been bombarded with golf balls from a neighboring country club for more than 15 years has filed a lawsuit against the club.
Immigration laws: Law enforcement says bills wouldn't change checking citizen status
Published 02/14/2011 at 6:37 p.m.
For many Florida law enforcement officers, determining a suspect’s immigration status is nothing new. That’s why some believe new immigration bills being considered in the Florida Legislature this session would not significantly change the way they do their jobs. The ...
Collier Sheriff's Office releases video of woman being struck by deputy's car
Updated 02/14/2011 at 6:15 p.m.
The video shows Cicelia McKinnon stepping out of the darkness into Williams’ path. She was thrown onto the hood of the car after being struck.
PHOTOS: Second fire in a month at East Naples home displaces family
Published 02/10/2011 at 4:03 p.m.
At 2:40 p.m., East Naples firefighters received a call about the blaze in the single-family, cement brick home at 5310 Holland St., in Naples Manor, department spokesman Greg Speers said,
Gov. Rick Scott says competition will make Florida economically healthy
Updated 02/09/2011 at 8:57 p.m.
Gov. Rick Scott touted his recent budget proposal in Naples this morning, saying his proposals will allow Florida to best compete with other states and countries.
Gang member faces felony charges for fighting with Collier deputies serving warrant
Published 02/04/2011 at 4:24 p.m. 2 Comments
A 23-year-old gang member from Naples is facing three felony charges after authorities say he violently fought with two Collier County sheriff’s deputies who were attempting to arrest him on a warrant on Wednesday.
VIDEO: Gov. Rick Scott announces changes to public pension plans in Florida
Published 02/01/2011 at 2:03 p.m.
Gov. Rick Scott today announced during a visit to Arthrex Inc. in North Naples that changes will be made to public pension plans in Florida to make them more similar to 401(k) savings accounts.
Naples police reports crime in the city down in 2010
Published 02/01/2011 at 11:59 a.m.
Violent crimes and property crimes fell by more than 15 percent in 2010, reaching their lowest level in Naples in at least a dozen years, the Naples Police Department reported this morning.
Witnesses: Bullying may have sparked deadly bus stop stabbing
Published 01/25/2011 at 2:23 p.m.
Friends and classmates of the 16-year-old Palmetto Ridge High School student who was stabbed to death Monday afternoon after getting off the school bus said the stabbing was the result of ongoing bullying.
VIDEO: 4 arrested during undercover sex sting in Sugden Park
Updated 01/21/2011 at 7:35 p.m.
Four men were arrested after police said they were cruising for sex in Sugden Park.
Collier deputies seize $20K worth of steroids, arrest North Naples fitness trainer and wife - PHOTOS
Updated 01/21/2011 at 6:43 p.m.
A Collier County fitness trainer and his wife were arrested Thursday after detectives seized about $20,000 worth of suspected steroids, along with marijuana and firearms, from their Golden Gate residence.
PHOTOS: Rosary found with human bones in North Naples may offer clues
Updated 01/14/2011 at 7:51 p.m.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has released photographs of a rosary found along with human skeletal remains discovered in a wooded area in North Naples on Wednesday.
86 for awhile: Gas explosion damage will keep Mangrove Cafe closed longer than expected
Updated 01/13/2011 at 4:34 p.m.
Three days after his Naples restaurant, the Mangrove Cafe, was badly damaged during a Monday morning propane explosion, Amaral realizes his initial goal of being back in business by mid-February is not realistic.
VIDEO: Victim of restaurant gas explosion talks about fireball
Updated 01/11/2011 at 3:44 p.m.
“I got burned pretty much everywhere I didn’t have clothes — from my knees down to my ankles, from my elbows to my hands,” said Kingston, who was transported to the Tampa Bay Regional Burn Center via air ambulance. “It ...
VIDEO/PHOTOS: Mangrove Cafe owner: Will reopen in same building following gas explosion
Updated 01/11/2011 at 6:17 p.m.
The owner of the Mangrove Café said he will be able to reopen the restaurant in mid-February.
PHOTOS: Gas explosion injures 3, destroys Fifth Ave. South restaurant
Updated 01/10/2011 at 6:25 p.m.
A propane leak next to a running car proved to be an explosive combination Monday morning, sparking a flash fire that enveloped a Naples restaurant, knocking down walls, blowing out windows and sending three people to the hospital with serious ...
PHOTOS On the job: Rick Scott sworn in as Florida's 45th governor, issues first orders
Updated 01/04/2011 at 8:24 p.m. 1 Comment
As governor, Rick Scott has promised a lean and limited government and to be responsible with taxpayers’ money. He said it was his mission to create private sector jobs for Floridians — he’s promised 700,000 over seven years — at ...
Inauguration Day: Florida’s first family steps into spotlight w/ PHOTOS
Published 01/03/2011 at 9:21 p.m.
It’s been a heck of a year for Annette “Ann” Scott, 58, who prior to April lived a mostly anonymous life in Naples as the wife of a wealthy former health-care executive. Now she’s becoming a household name across Florida. ...
Collier bands prepare as women’s event, tribute start Rick Scott inauguration
Published 01/03/2011 at 7:38 p.m.
Barron Collier is one of five Collier County high school bands, along with Golden Gate, Immokalee, Naples and Palmetto Ridge, performing in Tuesday’s inaugural parade. They’ll be marching in front of the old Capitol, down the Spanish moss-lined Monroe Street.Despite ...
Crazy Crimes of 2010: From naked in the wrong house to being chased by CIA
Published 12/29/2010 at 5:20 p.m.
Crime is not normally something to make light of. But every year a handful of local arrests stand out because they’re either amusing or bizarre — and sometimes both. Here are highlights from Southwest Florida’s offbeat crime in 2010.
Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s inauguration appreciation tour kicks off in Naples
Published 12/27/2010 at 10:42 a.m.
At least 200 people braved the cool temperatures Monday morning, gathering in a breezeway outside Food & Thought Organic Market & Restaurant for a breakfast to kick off Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s inauguration appreciation tour.
Just in time for holidays, Marco couple wins $125,000 bonanza (ya, right)
Published 12/23/2010 at 4:15 p.m.
The letter Joan Rios received was supposedly from a company named Foodland Green Securities Inc., of Tampa. However, the ZIP code — 33416 — is from West Palm Beach and the 416 area code on the listed phone number serves ...
Check your rocks: Naples diamond broker gets second fraud charge over $14,000 jewel
Published 12/22/2010 at 3:45 p.m. 3 Comments
A North Naples man who was arrested Monday on charges that he passed a synthetic diamond off as natural to a local jeweler received an additional fraud charge Tuesday after Naples police say he sold a bogus diamond to a ...
Marco Island police officer fired for inaccurate report about fight with suspect
Published 12/17/2010 at 7:34 p.m. 46 Comments
A Marco Island police officer was fired recently after an internal investigation found he filed inaccurate reports after a late-night arrest turned into a brawl at a local restaurant.
Two citizens honored by East Naples fire district for saving lives
Published 12/14/2010 at 10:04 p.m.
On Tuesday night, Wiegratz was one of two citizens and more than a dozen first responders and Collier County dispatchers to be honored with the East Naples Fire Control & Rescue District’s Eagle Award for saving a life.
Sheriff's report: Two deputies Tasered man who died in custody
Updated 12/14/2010 at 5:12 p.m.
The 26-year-old Golden Gate Estates man who died Sunday after a violent confrontation with Collier County sheriff’s deputies was struck at least twice by two deputies’ Tasers, according to an incident report released Tuesday.
VIDEO: Law enforcement cracks down on Collier gang activity
Published 12/09/2010 at 3:19 p.m. 1 Comment
Collier County is known more for its white, sandy beaches than for its gang battles. Still, Collier is home to about 1,400 gang members and gang associates, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office gang unit reported today.
BP pays: Local workers get checks from oil disaster
Published 12/07/2010 at 11:59 p.m.
With his hours cut dramatically at work, Richard Rea relied on loans from family members and wages from his wife’s job as a bank teller to make ends meet over the summer.
Coastland Center men's clothing owners demand stolen money, end up in jail
Updated 12/02/2010 at 2:21 p.m.
Two brothers accused of keeping a worker against his will at a Coastland Center mall store Wednesday told Naples police they did so because they believed the employee was stealing from them.
Shoplifters beware: Collier deputies offer advice to store owners
Published 11/24/2010 at 7:35 p.m. 2 Comments
Though it may be too late to completely rearrange the store for the holidays, there are some simple things owners and employees can do to protect their shops.
VIDEO/PHOTOS: Death of Naples woman at Gordon Drive home ruled accidental, police say
Updated 11/21/2010 at 5:08 p.m.
The death of a 46-year-old Naples woman who authorities say fell down a marble staircase inside a $4.5 million Gordon Drive home in June has been officially classified as an accident, the Naples Police Department reported.
PHOTOS: North Naples vehicle fire was "like a blowtorch"
Updated 11/20/2010 at 5:36 p.m.
What appeared to be a routine vehicle fire turned into anything but Saturday morning, as a gas leak spread across Strand Boulevard in North Naples catching a good part of the road on fire.
Cold case: East coast man found dead in Everglades still a mystery
Updated 11/20/2010 at 4:26 p.m.
The birds and animals cleared away the brush revealing the gruesome scene — a man’s body, dumped next to a canal in eastern Collier County. A Miccosukee Tribe worker made the discovery on Valentine’s Day 2008, while driving down a ...
East Naples fire station seeking donations for annual sneaker drive
Published 11/19/2010 at 2 p.m.
Members of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police stopped by the East Naples fire station on Davis Boulevard Friday morning to drop off a $500 check to benefit the department’s annual Back to School ...