3 To Know: Marco among safest cities in Florida

Marco Eagle

1. Marco Island and Naples among safest cities in Florida

For the second year in a row, Satellite Beach was listed among Florida's safest communities.

This time, the beachside community took the No. 1 slot.

According to a report released Monday by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, a trade association comprised of home security professionals across the U.S., Satellite Beach moved up a few spots from No. 4 in 2018 to No. 1 for 2019. The city bested Marco Island, which held the No. 1 spot for 2018. This year, Marco Island ranked No. 3 on the list.

File: Marco Island

Safest cities in Florida in 2019, according to the NCHSS:

  1. Satellite Beach
  2. Key Biscayne
  3. Marco Island
  4. Naples
  5. North Palm Beach

Not surprisingly, Parkland, one of the Top 5 safest Florida cities in 2018, did not make this year's list.

Parkland ranked No. 3 behind Weston (No. 2) and Marco Island (No. 1) in the NCHSS' "safest cities in Florida for 2018" list.

The 2018 report came out about three weeks before police say Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, one of the worst school massacres in U.S. history. The one-year anniversary of the Parkland school shooting is Feb. 14.

2. Reminder: Brush burning could continue with Rookery Bay fire

Some Collier County residents might have smelled smoke this week because land managers have started the first prescribed burns of 2019.

A 125-acre prescribed burn Monday at Picayune Strand State Forest east of Naples sent light smoke over parts of the county, and smoke still was coming off the fire Tuesday, said Melinda Avni, a spokeswoman with the Florida Forest Service.

The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has planned prescribed burns through March, starting as early as this Friday. The burns will begin at 9 a.m. each day, weather permitting.

The burns had been planned for as early as Jan. 19 but have been delayed because of unfavorable wind direction and other weather conditions, said Renee Wilson, regional communications coordinator for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Burns are scheduled for west of Collier Boulevard and south of Henderson Creek, along Powerline and Shell Island roads, and on the north and south ends of Keewaydin Island, a news release stated.

Rookery Bay asked that people call the Florida Forest Service at 239-6903502 if they have any questions or concerns.

3. Coming Tuesday: Imagination Ball preview

In Tuesday’s Marco Eagle, we’ll preview the American Cancer Society Imagination Ball, where Lauren Ross of Marco Island, whose family owns Mango’s Dockside Bistro, will share her message of hope. She is dealing with stage two breast cancer, after being diagnosed last August.

Lauren Ross will share her story and her struggle during the Imagination Ball.

The event, entitled “A Magical Night to Finish the Fight,” is 6 p.m., Feb. 1 at the JW Marriott Marco Island. Chaired by Debra Shanahan, this gala fundraiser will feature fine food, music, both live and silent auctions and the presentation of the prestigious Grado Award to Marco Island philanthropists Gary and Anne Landis.

For tickets and more information, contact your American Cancer Society at 239-642-6217 or Sue.Olszak@cancer.org.