Now You Know: Free autism screenings; Legion talks fraud prevention

Will Watts
Child connecting autism awareness puzzle by pressing icons on digital virtual screen.

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida, offers a free monthly autism spectrum disorder screening for toddlers 18 months to five years of age.

The next screening will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 20, at the Pediatric Specialist Office, 15901 Bass Rd, Suite 102, Fort Myers.

It is estimated that one in every 44 children is diagnosed with some form of autism spectrum disorder, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.

Medical consultants for the project stress that an early diagnosis can make a vast difference for toddlers and their families. They say early intensive behavioral intervention can make an immense difference not just in the development of the child, but in their families as well.

The ASD screening is conducted by the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The screenings are administered by an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, who has extensive training and experience in typical child development and developmental disorders.

A physician referral is not required. To schedule a screening, please call 239-343-6838.

American Legion learns about fraud prevention

We have all seen those ads on TV where the homeowner has his house sold or taken without his or her knowledge by fraud.

On Dec. 27, Marco Island’s American Legion Post 404 learned of a free county service that will help prevent such fraud. Crystal Kinzel (Collier Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller) visited the meeting to discuss her responsibilities in an informative presentation.

Crystal Kinzel, Collier Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, visited the American Legion.

Part of that presentation was telling the members about the new Risk Alert Notification System Collier County has established to help property owners monitor their property records for fraudulent activity.

Property owners can register through the Clerks website;, which will result in email alerts whenever any document is recorded that matches the subscriber’s criteria in the Official Records of the Clerk’s office, such as a deed, mortgage, or lien.  She encourages all to take advantage of this free service.

American Legion Post 404 normally meets every third Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Marco Lutheran Church, but for the next two months (January and February) will be meeting on the fourth Tuesday.

All veterans are invited to attend these monthly meetings to listen to informative presentations and share a free lunch with fellow veterans.

Upcoming meetings

The Marco Island Planning Board will hold a public meeting at 9 a.m., today (Friday), Jan. 6, in the community room, 51 Bald Eagle Drive. And the Marco Island City Council will hold their first meeting of 2023 at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 9, in the community room.

The agenda for both meetings is available on the city’s website,, and at the City Hall reception desk.

The meetings will be broadcast live on the city’s cable channel.

Real ID deadline delayed (again)

The Department of Homeland Security announced in December that the Real ID deadline would be extended another two years, delaying implementation until May 7, 2025 (the law was previously set for May 3). 

Real ID was passed by Congress in 2005 and is meant to establish minimum security standards for state-issued forms of identification like driver's licenses. Once the law takes effect, travelers will need to present a compliant ID in order to board an airplane.

Real ID-compliant documents are marked with a gold or black star, or gold or black circle with a star outline in the center of the upper portion of the card. California uses a gold bear with a star cutout. 

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Did 2022 not have enough destruction for you?

There’s a new app that will let you see what it would be like if your home is hit by an asteroid.

The new web app Asteroid Launcher gives people the chance to see the effects of an asteroid hitting anywhere on Earth.

The app was created by Neal Agarwal.

Choose what type of asteroid will hit Earth: stone, iron, carbon, gold or comet. Then how big the asteroid will be, ranging from a diameter of 3 feet to a mile. Users can also change the impact speed from 1,000 miles per hour up to 250,000 miles per hour. The final thing to adjust is the asteroid’s impact angle, from 5 degrees to 90 degrees.

After you’re done picking the asteroid, you then select on a global map where you want the impact to be. You can zoom in and out of the map, giving you the chance to pick your home, business or any location to be the center of the impact zone. 

Download the app at