Saturday, April 10, 2021

There’s More to the Story

Register Online for County Parks Programs

Online Registration ONLY for all Collier County Parks & Recreation Fall Programs has begun and runs through Monday, Aug. 7. Log onto and click on the “REAL Guide” button. There you can view all the programs being offered this fall. To register for a program, click on the program code and complete the online registration process.

The Collier County Parks & Recreation Division provides programming for all ages and abilities, including After School Adventures, No School Fun Camp, holiday camps, voluntary prekindergarten, sport leagues/camps/ competitions, aquatics, arts, dance, community classes, senior programs, adaptive programs, special events and more. Register online at or download our mobile app to Play, Connect & Discover.

For more information contact Collier County Parks & Recreation at (239) 252- 4000 or visit

FWS Law Enforcement Collier

Officers Yaxley and Kleis saw two individuals fishing the docks behind a condominium complex from a concealed location late at night. The complex and its docks are posted No Trespassing areas. The officers saw the subjects fishing the snook lights for approximately 20 minutes, at which point one of the subjects caught a snook. The officers then watched the subject run with the snook towards a building, and then return to the dock without the snook. Snook season is currently closed, and when the officers searched the area, they found an undersized and out-of-season snook, concealed in the bushes near the building, that had been freshly killed. After speaking with the property manager and explaining the situation, he advised the officers that he wanted to pursue trespassing charges on both individuals. One individual was issued a criminal notice to appear for trespassing and the second was issued a criminal notice to appear for trespass, as well as the snook violation. The snook was seized as evidence.

Monroe County

Officers Piekenbrock and Carroll were on water patrol near Vaca Cut in Marathon and conducted a vessel stop to perform a boating safety and resource inspection. Seven males from out of town (6 from Alabama and 1 from Georgia) were on board. The resource inspection revealed a bag containing 137 out-of-season wrung spiny lobster tails. The officers determined 117 of the out-of-season tails were undersized. Also in the bag were 4 out-of-season stone crab claws, 2 of which were undersized, and 8 reef fish fillets. The men admitted to spearing the lobster, which is an illegal method. The officers searched the house the men were renting nearby and located another 183 out-of-season spiny lobster tails or parts (109 of these were undersized), 1 out-of-season stone crab claw, and 1 undersized black grouper carcass that the men admitted to taking the day before. All 7 individuals were arrested and transported to the Monroe County Jail. Their spear guns and snorkel gear were seized for forfeiture. Each man was charged with 2 third-degree felony counts for more than 100 undersized lobster, 586 first-degree, misdemeanor counts for out-of-season lobster and wrung tails, 14 second-degree, misdemeanor counts for speared lobster, out-of-season stone crab, undersized stone crab, and reef fish not landed in whole condition. The operator of the vessel received an additional second-degree misdemeanor for the undersized black grouper.

Officer Rubenstein watched 3 individuals fishing from the Bahia Honda Bridge area. Officer Rubenstein watched them harvest what appeared to be 2 undersized schoolmaster snapper and put them on a stringer in the shade. Officer Rubenstein approached the 3 individuals and asked how the fishing was going? They said they had been fishing for a couple of hours and had caught a fish on the stringer. On the stringer were 42 schoolmaster snapper, a barracuda, and a dog Snapper, 33 of which were undersized. The 3 individuals were cited accordingly.

A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy conducted a traffic stop in the southbound lane on US-1 in the Lower Keys. He advised FWC Dispatch that the vehicle had 2 subjects with two endangered Key Deer in the backseat. Deputy Hopp explained that he initiated a traffic stop because the vehicle’s tail light was out and when he approached the vehicle, he noticed the deer bound in the back seat. Officers Wagner and Rubenstein arrived on the scene, approached the vehicle and saw two Key Deer “hog tied” with twine in the back seat. The deer had wounds all over their body and head and were struggling to break free. Blood was soaked into the seats and deer hair was heavily scattered throughout. The officers opened the trunk to find a third, bound Key Deer alive inside. The Key Deer were checked out and released, but the buck that was in the vehicle trunk was euthanized after suffering a broken leg. The 2 men were arrested and transported to jail and charged with 3 felonies, 6 counts each for first-degree misdemeanors.

FWC BearWise funding

In an effort to help reduce human-bear conflicts, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is inviting local governments to apply for BearWise funding for their communities.

The FWC will focus on providing funding to local governments with Bear- Wise ordinances requiring residents and businesses to keep garbage secure from bears. The funding will offset the costs for residents and businesses to use bear-resistant equipment to secure their garbage from bears.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature appropriated $415,000 for this project and the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida added $100,000 from proceeds of the Conserve Wildlife license plate, for a total of $515,000 in available BearWise funding this year.

The FWC invites counties, cities and other local governments to submit applications to be considered for funding. While preference will be given to applications from areas with BearWise ordinances and to large projects benefiting the most people, consideration will also be given to other proposals as funding allows.

Local governments are strongly encouraged to consult with FWC staff to discuss options and implementation before submitting their applications. The FWC will assist any local government considering passing an ordinance, including providing example ordinances.

Last year, the FWC distributed $825,000 in BearWise funding to 11 counties, three cities, and two homeowners associations to purchase 4,000 bear-resistant trash cans, 2,500 sets of hardware to secure regular trash cans, and 40 dumpsters modified to keep bears out. Over 70 percent of funding was provided to local governments with BearWise ordinances.

To be considered, the FWC must receive applications before close of business on Oct. 16. Applications should be emailed to or mailed to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Attention: Bear Management Program, 620 South Meridian St., 6B, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

Lionfish Challenge 2017

Interested in removing lionfish? There’s still plenty of time to compete in this year’s Lionfish Challenge, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) statewide removal incentive program. The program started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, May 20, and ends Sept. 4. Over 5,000 lionfish have been removed from Florida waters thanks to the program, including nearly 3,700 recreational fish removals and more than 1,200 pounds commercially (equates to about 1,400 fish).

The persons with the most lionfish at the end of the competition will be crowned the Lionfish King or Queen (recreational category) and the Commercial Champion at the Lionfish Safari tournament in St. Petersburg the weekend of Sept. 9.

Think you have what it takes to be crowned the next Lionfish King/Queen or Commercial Champion? Sign up and learn more today by visiting MyFWC. com/Lionfish.

Stick on a Decal for Manatees, Sea Turtles

There are more manatees and sea turtles in Florida than in any other state. More than 6,000 manatees swim in its coastal waters, rivers and freshwater springs, and thousands of sea turtles nest and hatch on its Atlantic and Gulf coast beaches.

It’s easy to show support for these iconic Florida species by sticking on a decal.

Every July the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) introduces new manatee and sea turtle decals available with a $5 donation.

The colorful, waterproof decals are designed to look great on a vehicle’s bumper or the side of a boat. Get them when registering or re-registering a vehicle or boat at local tax collectors’ offices across the state.

Decals generate funding for research, rescue and management efforts that help Florida’s manatees and sea turtles survive. For instance, when someone calls the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888- 404-FWCC (3922) to report an injured, entangled or sick manatee or sea turtle, FWC staff responds with efforts to rescue and rehabilitate the animal.

The decals also address important conservation issues:

  • “Look out for manatees” is the message on the new manatee decal, which shows boaters in the distance as a manatee mother and calf swim along with only her back above water. When boating or using a personal watercraft in Florida waters, it is important to look out for manatees. Mature manatees grow to 1,000 pounds or more, but can be difficult to see when they’re swimming, grazing or resting underwater. Wear polarized sunglasses, and then watch and listen carefully to detect the signs of manatees nearby. Look for circles on the water’s surface indicating their underwater movement and snouts sticking out of the water as they surface to breathe. You may also hear huffing noises when they come up for air.
  • “Helping sea turtles survive” is the message on the new sea turtle decal, which shows a green sea turtle. Green sea turtles nest on Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coast beaches, and until recently were classified as endangered. Now after years of conservation efforts, the number of nesting green turtles has increased substantially. This species has been reclassified as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. “Hands off” is the best policy for beachgoers encountering any species of nesting or hatchling sea turtles. Watch from a distance, do not disturb them and never use a cellphone or camera to shoot flash photos.

Learn about other ways to help conserve manatees and sea turtles at My- SeaTurtle, where you also can click on “Decals” to order new or past editions of decals. Go to to purchase a “Save the Manatee” or “Helping Sea Turtles Survive” license plate that supports those species.

Experience the Solar Eclipse at Public Library

Come join the Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples, Florida 34109, from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2, for a discussion about the Great American Eclipse. Learn the art of enjoying solar eclipses safely and were to go to observe them. Denise Sabatini, president of the Everglades Astronomical Society, has been pursuing astronomy for 35 years. She will discuss the mechanics of the 2017 solar eclipse, including the cycles of eclipses and how the Mayans could predict them.

On Monday, Aug. 21, Collier County Public Library is partnering with the Space Science Institute for the first eclipse of the sun in almost 40 years. While Naples is not in the path of totality, we will be able to see a partial eclipse of up to about 82 percent coverage of the sun. Here in Southwest Florida, the eclipse will start around 1:30 p.m., reach its maximum coverage at about 3 p.m. and then decline and end around 4:20 p.m. Courtesy of the Space Science Institute, we will have a limited supply of Solar Eclipse glasses available for patrons who join us on Aug. 21. We have plenty of science reading material and the Children’s Room at the Headquarters Library will offer some crafts during the eclipse. Registration is not required.

For more information, call (239) 593- 0334 or visit us online at


TGR Financial, Inc. (OTCQX: TGRF), the holding company for First Florida Integrity Bank, announced record second quarter results. The company earned $2.2 million or $0.12 per diluted share compared to $1.8 million or $0.09 per diluted share on a linked quarter basis and $1.4 million or $0.08 per diluted share for the same period one year ago. Common shares of TGRF closed today at $9.80.

Second quarter of 2017

  • The return on average assets jumped to 0.70%, a 13 basis point improvement over prior quarter and 21 basis points better than the same period in 2016.
  • Net interest income increased 18%, year over year, to $9.8 million for the quarter. On a linked quarter basis, the yield on earning assets increased 18 basis points, while the cost of funds increased only 7 basis points. The 2Q2017 net interest margin of 3.28% improved 12 basis points over prior quarter and 31 basis points over the same period in 2016.
  • Period ending loans have increased $8.6 million for the year to a total of $919 million. Commercial loans increased by $30.1 million, consumer loans increased by $4.3 million, and residential mortgage loans decreased by $25.8 million, as the Company strategically adjusted its loan mix.
  • Non-performing assets represent only 0.08% of total assets, down 4 basis points from 1Q2017.
  • Deposits totaled $989 million at quarter end, an increase of $68 million or 7% for the year.
  • The net overhead ratio improved to 2.04% from prior quarter at 2.15%.
  • Assets per employee were $8.8 million at quarter end.

Earnings Summary

The Company earned $2.2 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, a 54% improvement over second quarter 2016 and a 26% increase over prior quarter. Net interest income increased 18% to $9.8 million compared to second quarter one year ago. The balance sheet was well positioned for recent rate increases favoring an improvement in the second quarter net interest margin to 3.28%. Non-interest income increased 16% to $749,000 for the quarter compared to normalized second quarter 2016, exclusive of non-recurring revenue totaling $234,000. Quarter to date non-interest expenses increased over the prior year quarter as we expanded our commercial loan offerings, however remained relatively stable as a percentage of average assets at 2.28% compared to 2.26%, respectively.

Balance Sheet Highlights

Total assets were $1.3 billion at June 30, 2017, an increase of $62 million and greater than 5% over year end. Deposits have increased $68 million since December 31, 2016 increasing liquidity, supporting loan growth and facilitating a reduction in short term borrowings of $43 million. Higher yielding offerings in the form of Asset Based Lending and Accounts Receivable Financing now represent $11 million of total loans outstanding. As of June 30, 2017, the company’s leverage ratio stood at 8.42% and the tangible book value per share increased to $5.84. Additional information can be found within the Consolidated Statements of Financial Condition included in the following pages.

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