Feature Stories

Back to School at TBE


For some, summer break ended too soon. For others, it was time to get back into the swing of school…time to shift gears from vacations, sleeping in, and summer camps to early mornings, fully stocked school supplies, uniforms, new shoes, and homework. Either way, the Tommie Barfield Elementary (TBE) staff was prepared to make the transition as smooth as possible. […]

After 19 Years, Mary Husted Retires from Fire Department


Author’s Note: As a journalist I’ve had the privilege of interviewing and documenting a lot of interesting people. This particular story, however, hits close to home. It’s my honor to share with you the story of my mother, Mary Husted, and her recent retirement from the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department of which she worked for 19 years. Mary Husted […]

Everything is Better with Butter


The Marco Island Woman’s Club met recently at CJ’s on the Bay for a very special luncheon featuring a cooking demonstration by Chef Laura. “Today, we are celebrating the woman and inspiration behind my love of cooking. We are honoring Julia Child and the featured recipes are straight out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” explains Chef Laura, General […]

Proposed Goliath Grouper Harvest Raises Concerns


Since 1990 a state and federal ban has prohibited the harvesting of goliath grouper in U.S. waters. This may, however, change as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is now considering options to reduce the goliath grouper population in Florida. The giants of the grouper family, and one of the few that can be found in brackish water, […]

An Olympic Splash


It can be said that sports have the power to create joy and unity within our society. On a recent Saturday morning, the Special Olympics Collier County hosted its County Aquatic Games at the River Park Aquatic Center. With 30 volunteers and 35 participants, the poolside was packed with supportive friends and family members along with the lively personalities ready […]

In Recognition of Their Service


Assisting his fellow veterans is a cause that is near and dear to Tony Smith’s heart. That’s why the veteran of the British Army takes special pleasure in treating 25 military comrades to some fun on the water through his business, Tigertail Beach Paddleboard and Kayaks and the Freedom Waters Foundation. Based in Naples, the nonprofit’s mission is to enhance […]

The Great American Eclipse


For the first time in 99 years, on August 21, the shadow of the Moon will sweep across the entire width of the United States. We have had brushes with total eclipses more recently, the lower Eastern Seaboard in 1970 and the Northwest in 1979 for example, but 1918 was the last year the whole country had a shot at […]

A Busy Summer for MIHS Interns


Casey Wooster and Kristin Conwill are a long way from their home in Gainesville, Florida. For the past ten weeks the two University of Florida (UF) graduate students have been participating in the Marco Island Historical Society’s (MIHS) internship program. Conwill and Wooster are both pursing advanced degrees in museum studies. Conwill’s concentration is in historical preservation and collections management […]

New TBE Principal Can’t Wait for School to Start


Trying to track down a new principal who’s hiring new staff members, attending a gazillion meetings, scheduling classes and events, and learning the ropes is a challenge, but Katie Maya is already demonstrating that “she has what it takes” to start the school year with a positive, loving environment for all. Here are some questions I asked her and her […]

Marco Island Welcomes New Veterinarian


According to Dr. Carrie Portu, she has always wanted to be a veterinarian. “I’m a very corny person,” Dr. Portu said. “I’m literally the kid that at three years old said I wanted to be a dog doctor.” Dr. Portu is the Marco Island Veterinary Hospital’s newest veterinarian. You may recognize the last name. Her husband, Ray Portu, is Marco […]