1. Woman's death on Jolley Bridge apparent suicide

The death of a 70-year-old woman on a Marco Island bridge Wednesday morning apparently was a suicide, investigators said.

Drivers on Collier Boulevard heading for Marco found yellow tape shortly before 7 a.m. and learned that lanes for southbound traffic on the S.S. Jolley Bridge to Marco were closed.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office had received a call about a "distressed person," and the incident became a death investigation, said Kristi Lester, a spokeswoman for the agency. 

Witnesses said yellow tape cordoned off a black four-door sedan on the bridge. A Sheriff's Office van for crime scene investigation was parked nearby, a witness told the Daily News.

2. MIPD's holiday food drive happening now

The Marco Island Police Department (MIPD) and Marco Island Police Foundation are hosting a holiday food drive from now until Jan. 15.

To donate, drop off canned or nonperishable food at the police station, 51 Bald Eagle Drive, or call 389-5050/389-5060 to schedule a free pick up. All food will be donated to a local food bank.

3. Endangered Florida panther kitten hit and killed

An endangered Florida panther kitten has been struck and killed by a vehicle.

It's the 24th fatal collision this year, out of 29 total panther deaths.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Monday that the remains of the male, 3-month-old panther were collected Saturday near a Naples subdivision.

Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeastern United States, but now their habitat mostly is confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.

Wildlife officials reported 42 panther deaths in 2016, including 34 fatal vehicle collisions in southwest Florida. That matched the 2015 record for panther deaths.

Seven panther litters with a total of 19 kittens have been documented this year.


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