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1. Collier property values set new record

Property values in Collier County climbed to a record high last year, eclipsing those before the recession, according to the preliminary assessment of Property Appraiser Abe Skinner.

The total value of land in the county in 2016 was $108.6 billion, a 6.5 percent growth over the year before, topping the county’s previous high of $107 billion set in 2007, according to the early numbers from the appraiser’s office.

Taxable values increased throughout the county, but the largest gains were in parts of East Naples, Golden Gate, Golden Gate Estates and Immokalee, which each climbed from 14 to 15 percent over the prior year.

Taxable values in Naples rose 7.2 percent to $21.6 billion, while those in Marco Island climbed 6.4 percent to just under $10 billion.

Everglades City saw the slowest growth, with a 3.4 percent increase. – Greg Stanley/Staff

2. Hilton closes following electrical fire

The Marco Island Hilton is closed after a small electrical fire on Friday knocked out power to the building.

No one was injured, but guests were relocated to nearby hotels, according to an email from the Marco Island Police Department as well as a statement from the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa.

As for reopening, Hilton officials said Sunday that the damage was greater than first anticipated and a date remains to-be-announced.

3. Trial underway for driver in Riner crash

The trial for a Naples man accused of driving drunk and killing father of four James Riner just before Christmas in 2015 began Monday.

Rene Miles, 42, faces life in prison if convicted. In early May, Miles passed on a proposed sentence of 20 years in prison, with four mandatory years behind bars. He faces three felony charges: negligent manslaughter, DUI with property damage and hit and run.

Miles was driving east on Golden Gate Boulevard in Golden Gate Estates on Dec. 12, 2015, when his Nissan Pathfinder collided with an SUV driven by Julie Beau plan in front of him. Beau plan’s Dodge Durango spun out and careened across the median and into the westbound lanes of Golden Gate Boulevard.

The Durango slammed into a minivan driven by James Riner, known as Cecil to his family and friends. The minivan spun and flipped.

Miles remains free on a $270,000 bond.

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