Monday, October 25, 2021

There’s More To The Story

Conservancy Trains Volunteers

Learn more about what it takes to become a volunteer at Rookery Bay Research Reserve.  The next volunteer orientations will be held Saturday, May 4th at 10am; or Tuesday, May 7th at 10am; or Tuesday, June 4th at 10am in the Environmental Learning center at 300 Tower Road, Naples.  Students age 14 and up are welcome and encouraged to attend.  The meeting will last approximately 1 hour with an optional learning center tour to follow.   Please RSVP to   

Teacher Appreciation Week at the Conservancy

Conservancy of Southwest Florida is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week by offering free admission to all educators from May 6-11.

Teacher Appreciation Week is an annual recognition in which students, parents, businesses and organizations show their support for teachers. The Conservancy is granting free daily admission, a $14.95 value, to all teachers, administrators and support staff with a valid school ID from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 6 through Saturday, May 11.

Additionally, the Conservancy continues to offer all school employees a discounted annual basic membership rate of $35, which includes free admission year-round for two adults and four children, a 10% discount at the Nature Store, members-only kayak rentals, discounts at 147 nature centers around the country, advance notice for Conservancy programs and subscriptions to Conservancy publications.

For more information, please visit or call 239-262-0304.

FWC Law Enforcement Collier County

Officer Parker was on was on patrol when she saw a fishing vessel in the closed Critical Wildlife Area of ABC Islands. Upon further investigation, she found three men fishing next to one of the islands. The men fishing were cited accordingly.

Officers Richards and Foell conducted a fisheries patrol from Key West to the Dry Tortugas onboard FWC offshore patrol vessel Trident. The officers conducted a fisheries inspection on multiple-day charter fishing vessel Capt. Andy. The vessel was actively fishing in South Atlantic, federal waters. Officer Foell boarded the vessel and thoroughly inspected coolers that were full of snapper-grouper species. The vessel had been offshore for three days, with one captain and six customers onboard. Upon inspection, six out of season grouper, five undersized mutton snapper and two undersized yellowtail snapper were located. The vessel contained a total of 192 yellowtail snapper and 28 mutton snapper, putting them 80 snapper over the allowable two-day aggregate bag limit. The vessel captain was cited appropriately.

Officer Reams and Rubenstein were working the spring gobbler season in an area known to have bait stations. The officers saw an individual in a tree stand hunting over 3 bait sites located on both private and preserve land. The individual was with 3 decoys and calling turkey 50 feet from the fresh bait sites. Subjects are not legally allowed to hunt within 100 yards of bait for turkey in Florida. The individual was cited accordingly.

Officers Knutson and Yurewitch were on patrol near Marco Pass and saw a fishing vessel entering the pass. The officers initiated a stop to conduct a resource inspection on the vessel. When asked where they were coming from, they stated they were in federal waters anywhere between 9 and 40 miles out. Documentation of their chart coordinates also confirmed they were fishing in federal waters. During the inspection, the officers found 73 lane snapper and 24 vermillion snapper, totaling 97 fish in the 20 combined reef fish per person total in federal waters. With an allowed maximum of 80 combined reef fish on board, the individuals were 17 fish over the bag limit. One of the individuals onboard claimed to be responsible for all the fish. The violations were forwarded to a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Enforcement officer.

Officers Arbogast, Oldsen, and Conroy were conducting water patrol and saw a vessel traveling east through the Marco River without the required red/green navigational lights present. The vessel was stopped to address the navigational light violation and to conduct a boating safety inspection. During the stop, the officers saw several possible indicators of impairment from the operator. There were several alcoholic beverage containers found in the vessel. Officer Arbogast conducted Seated Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). The operator performed poorly. Officer Arbogast placed the operator under arrest for boating under the influence (BUI). A back-up officer of the Collier County Sheriff’s office arrived on scene to assist with transport to the local substation. Officer Kleis met the officers at the substation to administer a breath test on the operator, yielding a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) result of .136.

While Officer Parker was on land patrol she stopped to check two individuals fishing at a local bridge. Upon inspection she found that the individuals had an undersized red drum caught in a closed area. The individual was cited accordingly.


Major Wildlife Assistance

Officer Rubenstein was on land patrol along the east side of the Florida Panther Refuge when he saw an adult Florida panther running northbound on HWY 29 North of I-75. Lieutenant Bulger coordinated with refuge personnel to arrange to have gates opened along the highway. Officer Rubenstein controlled traffic to prevent the panther from being hit by cars. Shortly after the refuge director opened a gate, Officer Rubenstein coaxed the large cat back into the refuge.

Women and Dementia luncheon

In partnership with the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Women of the (239) social club will host an informative Women and Dementia luncheon on Thursday, May 16 in Naples.

Focusing on the latest research regarding Alzheimer’s disease – and more specifically, its impacts on women – the event will offer attendees data-driven insights from keynote speaker Dr. Heather M. Snyder, senior director of medical and science operations at the Alzheimer’s Association.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, an estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and women are disproportionately affected, accounting for nearly two-thirds of that population.

A club for women in the Naples area, Women of the (239) aims to support women in friendship, wellness, community outreach and continuous learning by offering educational programs like Women and Dementia. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the luncheon will be held at Stonebridge Country Club at 2100 Winding Oaks Way. Registration is $50 per person and is open to both members and non-members of Women of the (239), though seating is limited. Visit to register.

Lucky Dog of TV Fame Finds New Home in Naples

For the past six seasons, Brandon McMillian has transformed out-of-control shelter dogs into perfect pets and finds them homes on the Emmy-award winning Lucky Dog TV series, shown during weekends on CBS. At Brandon’s California training facility – known as the Lucky Dog Ranch – he goes to work on the seemingly impossible task of turning frightened pooches into perfect pets. “From hopeless to a home” is Brandon’s mission, which he brings to life in each episode as a lucky family adopts an even luckier dog.

Happily, one of these special furry friends has found its way from Los Angeles to a home in Naples Lakes Country Club in Southwest Florida. An entire segment of the meet-and-greet (of dog and new owner) will be featured on an upcoming Lucky Dog show airing at 12:30 PM on Saturday, April 27 on CBS. (Check listings for exact time/station.) Here is how this amazing story came to be.

Dr. Jim Hansen, a resident of Naples Lakes for 19 years, was distraught after the passing of his 17-year old Golden/Border Collie, Sammy. Linda, his wife of 52 years, wrote to the Lucky Dog TV show explaining his sadness after his loss, requesting that they find him a new dog to love. After three years with no response, they had almost forgotten about their letter. Then, the Lucky Dog staff sent a note saying they were searching for a warm, friendly dog and invited and them to Los Angeles after a decision had been made.

Explains Jim, “They started sending photos and dog descriptions of their rescue dogs; most were not the type of dog we wanted, so we initially declined. An entire season went by and we thought we had missed out. Then they called back with a photo of a dog that we knew was perfect. Yes, it was love at first sight with a small female Border Terrier that looks like Benji from the movie. But by the time we had connected, they had taken it back to the pound. When we called and frantically said NO, that’s the ONE WE WANT, they drove 20 miles back to the pound the day before she was to be put down and rescued the dog for the second time.”

Added Jim, “Right after we returned home, there were massive fires near Malibu, where Lucky Dog is filmed. They had trouble getting people out so it’s entirely possible our Lizzy might not have survived. Her given name is Elizabeth but after almost NOT making it twice – and maybe three times – we named her Lucky Lizzie.”

But wait, there’s MORE to this warm and fuzzy story. Once a year, the Lucky Dog TV team selects one family to visit the home where their dog has been placed. In March, they brought an entire camera crew to Naples Lakes and filmed the pooch showing how she swimmingly fit in to her new life. Adds Linda, “Knowing that we are boaters, when we were in LA, they took us out in a boat with Lizzie to be sure she was OK in the water. When the TV show crew came for a visit, they brought us a box full of toys, dog food, collars, medicine and even a doggie life jacket for our now 24-pound grown pooch.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *