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Tag Archives: Ohio

The United Church of Marco Island Completes Renovations


By Samantha Husted On May 1, 2015, the United Church of Marco Island (UCMI) began what would become a five-month long, total renovation of their building. The church, which is a little over 40 years old, was in dire need of a facelift. There were mold issues, drywall issues and roof and drainage repairs needed. Essentially, everything had to go. New pew bibles and hymnals were purchased, a new sound system was installed and almost everything was repainted and refurbished. What is perhaps the most interesting and intricate part of the church’s renovation plan was the disassembly and subsequent reassembly ... Read More »

Debra Bailey Joins Skin Wellness Physicians


Submitted Skin Wellness Physicians is pleased to welcome Debra Bailey, MD, board-certified dermatologist to their medical team. Bringing extensive experience to her new position, Dr. Bailey offers services to adults and children for issues affecting the skin, hair and nails, taking special interest in caring for patients who suffer from complex disorders and chronic conditions. “I will be providing the latest options in skincare medicine with personalized treatment programs. I believe in treating people with sincere concern, not just treating their skin problems,” said Dr. Bailey. Dr. Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction at Iowa State University in Ames, ... Read More »

Meet Marco: Jeff Poteet

Jeff Poteet shows some of the equipment that is critical to monitoring the quality of our fresh water.

By Steve Gimmestad Marco Island is a great community. This is a series that profiles some of those people that help make it that way. Meet Jeff Poteet. Jeff is the General Manager of the Water and Sewer Department of Marco Island. He started with the utility in June of 1992 as an operator trainee. A few licenses and a couple degrees later, Jeff took on his current role in 2010. When asked to describe his job, Jeff responds: “My number one focus is to protect public health. The water industry, in general in the United States, does such ... Read More »

A Retirement Delayed Jim Lang has Left Marco’s Utility Department, but Still Assists When Needed

Jim Lang, former customer 
servicedirector for Marco Island’s utility department, relaxes on his lanai. PHOTO BY DON MANLEY

By Don Manley Jim Lang may have retired, but that hasn’t meant that he stopped working. The longtime customer service manager for the City of Marco Island’s Utility Department, Lang retired in January, without fanfare. But it may seem like he never left given the many hours he’s logged, since then, at city hall while serving as a consultant for the utility department. He said that since leaving the post, he’s worked on an as-needed basis, initially putting in 40 to 45 hours a week, until reducing it over the last few months, as he assisted the department in the ... Read More »

Livvy Gets Some Wheels!

The Watt family poses in front of Livvy’s new car. From left - Jim, Jonathan, Jane, Jacob, Olivia, Payton, Mary Lou and John Watt.

By Barry Gwinn Jane Watt is known to many of us on the island as the founder and chairperson of Marco Island Academy on San Marco Road. She is likely to be sighted anywhere on the island. She attends unending meetings with supporters of MIA and has managed to author a book that was endorsed by Jeb Bush and Michelle Rhee called “Fighting for Kids” about how MIA came to be. Jane is ubiquitous and peripatetic. These adjectives must have been invented for her. Jane’s husband, Jim Watt, is the volunteer coach of the MIA girls’ soccer team. He coaches ... Read More »

Fiala Community Center No Longer a Bucket List Wish

Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala receives a standing ovation before a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Donna Fiala Community Center at Eagle Lakes Community Park on May 21. Located off U.S. 41 in East Naples, Fiala had fought for the construction of the center for more than 10 years.

By Roger LaLonde Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala received a standing ovation as she came to the podium at the opening of the Donna Fiala Community Center on May 21 at Eagles Lakes Community Park off U.S. 41. The center had been on the commissioner’s bucket list for more than 10 years. She got to scratch it off in style. For her efforts, a petition to name the center after her was successful. Family, friends and government officials all made the day special for the once young lady coming to Naples from East Cleveland, Ohio. One speaker described Fiala as ... Read More »

Love of the Y Tournament


By Don Manley Sam and Karen Lewis had a hunch about Larry and Mary Fischer that turned out to be as right as right can be. They helped bring about the Fischers’ initial meeting a few years ago. It was an encounter that quickly flourished and became a love match, thanks to the Lewises and the event around which the entire story revolves – Greater Marco Family YMCA’s “Love of the Y” tennis tournament. “Love of the Y” was held over Valentine’s Day weekend, Feb. 13-15 this year, at the Y’s Sandhill Street tennis courts. The tourney’s title refers to ... Read More »

Jane Watt, In Her Own Words

The students headed out en masse to Big Cypress, and they came prepared with mosquito nets.

By Noelle H. Lowery Jane Watt is many things. She is a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a former pharmaceutical sales representative, an educated woman with a degree in zoology and a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. As the founder and chairperson of Marco Island Academy (MIA) — the local public charter high school — she also is a woman from a small Midwestern town who moved to Southwest Florida and succeeded in bringing high-quality secondary education to Marco Island and its surrounding communities, and she did it with no background in education. Watt details ... Read More »

Introducing General Surgeon Dr. Brian Smith


To Your Health Scott Lowe CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd We have all heard the story countless times: the one where “person X” or “person Y” comes to Southwest Florida on vacation and decides to stay. As it turns out, this really happens — sometimes at your neighborhood hospital. When Richmond, Virginia’s, Dr. Brian Smith and his family chose Marco Island for their recent vacation, little did they know that their lives were about to change. As the Physicians Regional Collier Boulevard campus tends to dominate the landscape for a brief stretch of Collier Boulevard just a few miles north of Tamiami ... Read More »

Bracing Myself


GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray It was this time last year that I was first introduced to Goodland and the completely unfamiliar phenomenon of season. I flew back to Ohio with my head still spinning, but was ready to make the quick turnaround to relocate here. In the short month spent visiting my mother, I’d gotten caught up in the whirlwind of fun; so many things to do jam-packed into so little time. Over the last week, the air has once again become thick with an almost palpable anticipation for the sudden influx of tourism that’s just around the corner, and ... Read More »

Local Artists Create for Souper Bowl 2015

A sampling of the artist made bowls auctioned during the 2014 Souper Bowl-Marco Island event.

By Noelle H. Lowery Eight local artists are letting their creative juices flow for Souper Bowl-Marco Island 2015. Each artist has designed and painted his or own soup bowl for the event’s silent auction, fashioning one-of-a-kind pottery to raise money for the Leadership Marco Scholarship Fund. Now in its third year, Souper Bowl-Marco Island has raised more than to $26,000 during it first two events through the sale of more than 1,800 soup bowls. Thanks for the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event, seven scholarships were awarded last year. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 31 ... Read More »

An Island Christmas

At our house, even the pets are forced to be merry.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray Christmas is just around the corner, and “island-style” holiday preparations are being made all around me. I’m also nearing the one-year anniversary of my big move here in February, and I’ve been reflecting back on this past year in sunny southwest Florida. I’ve never been happier, and my kids are doing really well. We are all making adjustments and thriving, but the holidays are proving an unfamiliar challenge to me and my newly relocated family. This time last year, my brothers and I were digging our cars out from under several feet of snow daily, ... Read More »

Homegrown Clams

Nick spent most of the day covered head-to-toe; the process of  getting into a wetsuit proved more complicated than I thought. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray Does the average seafood lover ever wonder about what is involved in bringing their favorite oceanic edibles to the table? As a seafood lover myself, I’ve always gravitated to the surf items on any menu, but I’ve never really put much thought into how that delicious shellfish came to land on my plate. Where do the clams in my clam chowder come from? I’m a city girl from Ohio, which means they’ve always originated in a can, and until now, that was okay. But since moving to Florida, all of the seafood I’ve eaten has ... Read More »

Sunshine in Goodland

On the opening night of his exhibit, Donald Sunshine and his wife Joanna greeted every visitor. They are pictured here with Marco Island residents, Judy and Ron Hattendorf.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray It’s no secret that upon my first visit to Goodland, I recognized it to be a very unique place, unmatched in its beauty and rich history. As I left the main road and first arrived on this little island, the feeling of being transported back in time was so overwhelming that it was elemental in my decision to leave Ohio and move here in search of a better life. It’s hard to describe the pride I feel when others get to see my beloved home as I do, but recently I had an opportunity to ... Read More »

OBITUARY: Ruth E. Roseboom


Ruth Elaine Roseboom, 82, of Celebration, FL, passed away Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. She was born on Feb. 1, 1932, in Chillicothe, Ohio, the daughter of the late Wilbert and Clara (Leasure) Davis. She was preceded in death by her husband John, son Bret and daughters Kelly and Joni. Surviving are her son Matt; sister Mary Marie Blue; grandchildren Amy Kearns, Michael Flesher and Chris, Kevin and Quinn Roseboom; and great-grandchildren Austin and Justin Kearns. Ruth was a graduate of Chillicothe High School in Ohio. She was a mother, wife and homemaker most of her life in Ohio, but most ... Read More »

Together Again

In one final marathon road trip to Ohio, we brought the boys and their toys back home to Goodland. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray I have to admit that I wasn’t ready; it seemed like only a few weeks had passed since the original plan was laid. The last six months have flown by, though, and now my family is finally back together again. My two younger brothers, Chris and Tyler, and yet another dog, have joined our already busting-at-the-seams household here in Goodland until further notice. I love my brothers dearly, but this isn’t the first time we’ve lived together and heavily relied on one another. I would be lying if I claimed that it’s ever been easy. ... Read More »

TBE Profile: First-grade Teacher Katie Bush

Katie Bush with her 1st-grade class at TBE. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Noelle H. Lowery This time last year, Katie Bush was teaching first grade Newton Falls Exempted Village Schools in Newton Falls, Ohio, but a June vacation to Marco Island changed everything for her. Now, she is the newest first-grade teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary School. “I absolutely fell in love with it here!” the Ohio native remembers. “I decided right then, ‘why not live and work in paradise?’ The available first-grade job and interview process came together so perfectly that I know this is God working in my life!” Now, just two months into the school year, her ... Read More »

OBITUARY: Thelma B. Sargeant

Thelma B. Sargeant, 90, of Marco Island, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at 12:05 AM at Dorothy Love Retirement Community, Sidney, Ohio. She was born on March 29, 1924, in Sidney, OH, the daughter of the late Charles O. and Gladys (Hetzler) Middleton. On December 3, 1944, she married Robert C. Sargeant. Thelma was a homemaker and enjoyed china painting and motor home traveling. She loved spending time visiting with her family and friends. Bob and she spent their winters in Marco Island. Bob survives Thelma, along with two daughters, Marsha Jarvis and Lynn (husband Bruce) Lindsey, both of ... Read More »

New Physician Joins Florida Gynecologic Oncology

Florida Gynecologic Oncology, a division of 21st Century Oncology, is pleased to announce the addition of Gynecologic Oncologist Samith Sandadi, M.D., MSc., to its practice. Florida Gynecologic Oncology provides high quality, personalized care to women with complex gynecologic problems and suspected diagnosed cancers of the female reproductive tract. Dr. Sandadi will be joining the team of distinguished physicians at Florida Gynecologic Oncology who have held, or currently hold, faculty appointments in academic departments of obstetrics and gynecology, have published hundreds of scientific papers and book chapters, and have received numerous awards for their contributions to women’s cancer care. “Dr. Sandadi’s clinical ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: Frank R. Recker


Gentlemen: To be very candid, the ‘Eagle Sanctuary’ is and was a ruse by the neighborhood residents to prevent the charter high school from locating there. The former school board superintendent sabotaged those supporting the charter high school by signing a lease with the, suddenly passionate, neighborhood bird lovers.  It was a travesty by the board of education in concert with the self serving residents living in the area of Tract K. Deltona clearly intended tract K to be used for a school on Marco. People have no shame.  The ‘sanctuary’ is obviously supported by those who have the gall ... Read More »