1. Prescribed burns planned near East Naples

Resource management staff at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve have released plans for their first prescribed burns in 2019. Prescribed burns will commence each day around 9 a.m. as weather permits starting Jan. 19 through the end of March.

Fires are planned for the following areas: west of Collier Boulevard and south of Henderson Creek, along Powerline Road (adjacent to Artesia and Treviso Bay), along Shell Island Road, and north and south ends of Keewaydin Island.

“Rookery Bay Reserve staff coordinate burns with the Florida Forestry Service and work with partnering land managers and local fire departments to ensure the burns are conducted safely and efficiently,” a press release stated.

"The main purpose of these burns is to reduce fuel loads and manage wildlife habitat," said Rookery Bay Reserve Resource Management Coordinator Jeff Carter. "Prescribed burns also help to increase ecosystem diversity, while assisting in invasive plant control."

For more information about Rookery Bay visit

2. Teen says stranger grabbed her while she walked to bus stop in Golden Gate Estates

A teenage girl reported she was approached Monday morning by a stranger in Golden Gate Estates, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The girl, 15, told deputies she was walking to her school bus stop on Wilson Boulevard when a man asked her for “all her stuff,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.


The man then grabbed her left arm, but the girl said she got away and ran down 22nd Avenue Northwest while the man fled south on Wilson, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Sheriff’s Office released a composite

image based on the girl’s description of the man. She said he was Hispanic, about 5-foot-3 and about 150 pounds. The girl also recalled seeing a dark-colored vehicle moving down Wilson at the time. It wasn’t known whether the vehicle was related to the incident or whether the driver saw anything related to the incident the girl reported, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities asked that anyone with information call the Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300 or, to remain anonymous, CrimeStoppers at 1-800-780- TIPS (8477). – Jake Allen/Staff

3. Marco Island Yacht Club Change of Watch and Commodore’s Ball Set for January 19th

On Saturday, the Marco Island Yacht Club will hold its annual gala event, the Change of Watch and Commodore’s Ball.

New officers of the Bridge, a nautical term for center of operations, will be installed at the formal Change of Watch ceremony. The festivities will then move inside to the Harbour dining room for dinner and dancing, overlooking the yacht basin, the Marco River, and the Jolley Bridge.

The time-honored installation ceremony, Change of Watch, is based on military tradition in which responsibility, authority and accountability are transferred from the current leader to the new commander. Outgoing Commodore Robert Winterhalter will hand over command to the new Commodore Jeff Comeaux. 

Festivities commence at 5:30 p.m.




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