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There’s More to the story

Randall Kenneth Jones Speaks at Naples Press Club

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A virtual “love letter” to his relatively new Naples hometown, Jones’ engaging presentation promises to blend thought-provoking insight with unexpected surprises from his Naples Daily News column, “Business Class.” “Business Class” is an exploration of positive business principles selected from interviews with high-level executives, business leaders, and business-savvy celebrities. Essentially, Jones challenges his audience to ask themselves: Do I have “BUSINESS CLASS?” A self-described “professional storyteller,” his portfolio includes work performed for such household-name clients as TJMaxx, Walgreen’s, Carter’s, GEICO, The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and more. As the creator of national professional-courtesy initiative RediscoverCourtesy.org, Jones has landed on Public Radio’s Marketplace with Kai ... Read More »

Somerset Model at Fiddler’s Creek

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Fiddler’s Creek announces that construction is starting on the brand new Somerset model at Chiasso, a village of 59 classical Mediterranean-style single-family homes in the luxury, master-planned community. Offered by D.R. Horton, the Somerset is a two-story residence offering 3,461 air-conditioned square feet and 4,297 total square feet. The home features a desirable split floor plan with the luxuriously appointed master bedroom, master bath, and a powder bath on the ground floor and three guest bedrooms and three additional full baths located on the second floor. The second floor of the Somerset also offers an entertainment/game room with a sizable amount of storage ... Read More »

JCMI Bingo

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George D. Smith of Harlan, Indiana, was a big winner at Monday night Bingo at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island. He is being congratulated by Bernie Seidman. Bingo is being played every Monday. Doors open at 5:30 PM. The Public is welcome. Read More »

Cultural, Art, and Theater Organizations Unite!

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Recently, the leaders from a number of not-for-profit 501(c)3 organizations announced the formation of the Cultural Alliance of Marco Island & Goodland (CAMIG). Each one of these organizations delivers quality cultural education and entertainment to residents and visitors to Marco Island, Goodland and surrounding areas. Although independent, they share a passion for artistic expression. Membership organizations include Goodland Arts Alliance, Greater Marco Family YMCA, Island Theater Company, Marco Island Center for the Arts, Marco Island Foundation for the Arts, Marco Island Historical Society, and The Marco Players. In the next several months, the group plans to formalize their structure, develop ... Read More »

Apple Blossom Teacher of the Year

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The Naples Alliance for Children will honor a person for the Collier County Apple Blossom Teacher of the Year Award on Friday, April 7. A Greater Marco Family YMCA preschool teacher has been named as one of the nominees. Kelly O’Connor is the preschool teacher for the 4-5 year old classroom. Charlene Garcia, Youth Development Supervisor at the Marco Y, outlined the reasons that O’Connor should be an Apple Blossom Teacher of the Year Award nominee. “Kelly has been the pre-K teacher since January of 2012. When she started, the pre-K program was in a period of transition from the ... Read More »

The Odd Couple

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The Odd Couple, a classic comedy that earned Neil Simon his first Tony Award premiered on Broadway in 1965 and is one of the playwright’s funniest works. Gina Sisbarro will direct this hilarious play packed with comic situations involving a circle of kooky acquaintances and neighbors. The Children’s Theater cast of characters include Luke Sheldon playing Oscar Madison; Cooper Ussery playing Felix Unger; Eddy Ludwigsen as Murray; Josiah Hurtley as Speed; Ryan Sullivan as Vinny; Joey Golec as Roy; Dylan Dodgers as Mac; Abby Martin as Gwendolyn; Mariel Sanchez as Cecily; Marley Wilson as Blanche Madison and Jessica Lang as ... Read More »

15th Annual SWFL Soapfest

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Soapfest, one of Marco Island’s most beloved charity events for almost two decades, returns for its annual weekend festival featuring daytime celebrity actors and signature events to raise funds for local children’s charities. Tickets are now on sale for the 15th annual Southwest Florida Soapfest Charity Weekend May 23-26, 2014. “This year’s SoapFest children’s beneficiaries include Camp Able and the Island Theater Company Kids Program, among others” says SoapFest founder Pat Berry. Camp Able provides a program for local special needs children. The three days of non-stop festivities include favorites such as the legendary “A Night of Stars”, “Cruisin’, Boozin’ and ... Read More »

Manatee Speed Zones in Effect

Now that weather and waters are warming, manatees are disbursing into their popular feeding and loafing areas. To ensure manatee safety, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers, along with federal and local law enforcement partners, will be increasing patrols in these areas. This effort coincides with seasonal manatee zones that went into effect April 1 and run through Nov. 15. The speed zones are intended to protect the state’s official marine mammal from collisions with boats. Boaters should pay strict attention to signs that delineate each seasonal manatee protection zone and their boat’s speed. Boaters and ... Read More »

Public Online Access to Court Records

The Florida Supreme Court recently released Administrative Order SC 14-19 Standards for Access to Electronic Court Records, lifting a moratorium for Clerks who wish to provide public access to electronic court records online. Before the new online access is made available to the public, each Clerk of Court must have their application reviewed and approved by the Supreme Court. In Collier County, the Clerk’s staff is hoping to provide online public access to court records within the next six months. Once the Clerk’s application has been approved by the Court, the public will be able to view court records online using ShowCase, ... Read More »

Local Ducks Unlimited Makes Top 100

The Top 100 is one of the most highly sought-after titles of recognition Ducks Unlimited offers to its local chapters. Each year, the list is comprised of the top 100 fundraising chapters in the United States that raise up to $100,000 through fundraising activities in their communities. Through the efforts of these volunteer committees DU is able to pursue its mission of conserving, enhancing and restoring North America’s wetlands. In 2013 the Naples chapter made the Top 100 list as one of the organization’s best fundraising chapters. Visit www.ducks.org to see the full Top 100 list for this year.   Read More »

New Program Heals Vets and Saves Pets

Collier County Veteran Services and Domestic Animal Services (DAS) are teaming up to support veterans and give shelter pets a second chance with the creation of Operation Welcome Home: Shelter Pets for Vets. The program is dedicated to supporting veterans and providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America’s veterans who could benefit from a companion animal at no cost. If a successful match is made, the pet will receive the appropriate training and begin its new life serving a deserving U.S. veteran. For more information, call Daniel Christenbury, Public Information Coordinator, at ... Read More »

Look out for Gopher Tortoises

A gopher tortoise strolling across a road or through a backyard or field is a common sight during spring in Florida. Yet as tortoises become increasingly active this time of year, they are vulnerable to being struck by vehicles and injured or killed. Don’t forget to look out for these slow-moving reptiles with their bony-plated shells and elephantine legs. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages drivers to slow down on highways to help protect the state’s gopher tortoises. If a gopher tortoise is crossing the road, it is OK to pick it up and move it to ... Read More »

Stamp out Hunger

Saturday, May 10 marks the 22nd anniversary of America’s largest-single day of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive in Partnership with the U.S. Postal Service, Campbell Soup, Feeding America and other partners. Currently, 49 million Americans—1 in 6—are unsure where their next meal is coming from. In 2013, 74 million pounds of food was collected by Postal carriers nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of the 21-year history, the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a ... Read More »

Road Watch Report

US 41 at Pelican Marsh Boulevard: Work on this project includes installing pedestrian features and upgrades to meet current ADA standards, connecting existing sidewalks to ramps, installing signal back plates, and pavement markings. Project completion is expected in spring 2014. I-75/Alligator Alley Rest Area at mile marker 63: Work continues to build two recreational access areas adjacent to the Big Cypress National Preserve backcountry trails, replace the existing rest area, build a new public safety center and water treatment plant, and upgrade the existing wastewater treatment plant. The entire rest area is closed until project completion, estimated Fall 2014. The design/build contractor ... Read More »

“Pier to Peer” Educational Outreach

On April 2, Naples City Council voted 6-1 to ban the use of more than one hook at the City of Naples Pier, the first pier in the state with a law prohibiting use of multiple hooks. Since December 2013, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida has logged a staggering 1,700-percent increase in injured pelican admissions to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. In recent months we funded two part-time patrol officers and installed signs at the City of Naples Pier to support these efforts. We engaged citizens in an education campaign, providing training about ways to prevent and humanely respond to ... Read More »

Updated Deepwater Horizon Website

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has improved the navigation for users of the Deepwater Horizon restoration website, www.deepwaterhorizonflorida.com. Responding to public’s request for more information on projects being submitted, the improvements allow users to view and download the full project submittals. In addition, the Department has created an interactive map of Deepwater Horizon restoration projects that have been submitted. The project information and associated map can be found at: www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/projects_restore_act.htm. To submit a project for consideration or for information directly related to Florida’s restoration activities relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill visit www.deepwaterhorizonflorida.com. Read More »

Winn-Dixie Helps Feed Furry Friends

Winn-Dixie launched the first PAWS “Feed the Love” Community Donation Program to benefit area food banks and non-profit partners dedicated to eliminating hunger for pets in their local communities. Now through Tuesday, April 29, Winn-Dixie customers can purchase a $5 pre-packaged bag of pet food with their Winn-Dixie Reward Card or give a monetary donation of their choice at any store register. Each bag contains a week’s worth of dry and canned packages of PAWS Premium, Winn-Dixie’s own brand of high-quality, nutritious cat and dog food. For every bag purchased, Winn-Dixie customers will receive an additional 5 cents per gallon ... Read More »

Dr. Ellen Prager Wows the Crowds at Rookery Bay

In celebration of Everglades Day, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve offered films, naturalist presentations, a guided walk, and a lecture by Dr. Ellen Prager called “Dive into the Story: Ocean Science and Storytelling, Fun for All.” During two session this morning Dr. Prager spoke to 280 students from Manatee Middle School, sharing stories and images from her adventures as a scientist, and reading clips from her about-to-be released new book, Shark Whisperer. Geared toward kids aged 9 to 12, Shark Whisperer has been called “…an underwater Harry Potter.” Each student received a copy of the new book. Later in ... Read More »

DEP e-Payment system

The DEP Business Portal now accepts online payments for any existing permit application. Once an application is received, either through email or on paper, an email will be sent to the applicant with a permit number and a link to pay online through the business portal. The following fee types may not be completed in this process: Payments for annual fees; Payments for non-Title Air General Permits; Payments processed by a local delegated program If you have any questions please contact the DEP District office that serves your area. http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/dist/default.htm Read More »

FWC responds to panther incident report

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently was contacted by a turkey hunter who reported injuries caused by a Florida panther. He indicated the incident occurred while hunting in the Tiger Creek area near Lake Kissimmee on March 17. He said he had two wounds to the top of his leg and a cut to his arm. He noted that after being injured, he was able to identify the animal as a panther from its color and long tail. Immediately after learning of the incident, FWC officers visited the individual and took his statement; however, it was not feasible to confirm ... Read More »