Wednesday, October 27, 2021

There’s More to the Story



Eagle Summit

Alan and Linda Sandlin recently attended the Eagle Summit at the Hilton in Naples. In past years they have attended Summits from Alberta to New Brunswick Canada and Texas to Marco Island. This gathering of entrepreneurs and top business leaders from across North America is by-invitation-only. It is a three-day event focused on networking, better business practices, and humanitarian causes. Dr. Tom Hill, host of the Summits, is a renowned speaker, educator and co-author of Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneurial Soul. “It is truly a privilege to be invited to these events and to share ideas with and learn from these successful people with brilliant minds and big hearts,” Alan and Linda agreed.

Eagle Lakes Community Park

Eagle Lakes Community Park, located at 11565 Tamiami Trail E., has something for everyone. Whether you want to spend some time in nature, play sports or work on your fitness, this is the park for you.

Eagle Lakes Community Park is listed on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s birding trail list. The park offers three retention ponds that attract more than 149 different species of birds, including moorhens, gallinules, swallows, terns and gulls. There is no telling what wildlife you will see when you are walking on the two-and-ahalf mile nature trail, but birds are guaranteed. If a paved walking or running path is your preference, there is a milelong path that goes around the retention ponds.

The park’s fitness center offers treadmills, elliptical machines, free-weights and weight machines for a personal comprehensive exercise experience. Memberships can be purchased for $190/year for adults ($100 for each additional family member), $100/year for students, $25 monthly or a daily walk-in fee of $7.)

If sports are what you are after, the park features a lighted baseball field, a lighted softball field, two lighted soccer/ football fields and a lighted basketball court. To help your kids stay in shape, bring them to have some fun on the lit playground.

The newest addition to Eagle Lakes Community Park, the Eagle Lakes Aquatic Complex, is currently being constructed. The complex will feature a lap pool, diving boards, slides and an interactive water feature for the smaller water lovers. The aquatic complex is set to open next year.

For more information call 239-252- 3527.

Operation Panther Relocation

Our biologists successfully captured and relocated an approximately 1½ -year-old male panther from an area in Lee County with very limited suitable habitat, thanks to citizens who contacted us. The panther was lingering in a neighborhood very close to a busy fourlane highway. The young, 75-pound panther had likely recently left its mother in search of new territory, a behavior typical for male panthers of this age. Because of the lack of quality habitat, the number of homes in the immediate area and the panther’s behavior, our panther team, in consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, determined that relocation was best for both the panther and local residents. The team set a trap for the panther and safely captured it. They assessed the panther’s health and determined he was in good condition and ready to be returned to the wild. Before releasing him at Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area early this morning, biologists equipped him with a tracking collar so they can follow his movements.

Name Your Own Price Adoptions

Collier County Domestic Animal Services (DAS) works hard to find loving homes for all of kinds of animals at the shelter, but this month we are focusing on our feline friends. June is Adopt-a- Shelter-Cat Month, so we encourage you to make your house a home for one of our many four-legged friends.

All adopters can name their own price for the cat of their choice during the month. Whether you are looking for a fellow couch potato, a playmate or a companion for your children, a kitten or one of our senior cats, now is the time to do it. Big or small we have them all.

Adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, microchip, age appropriate vaccinations, flea treatment, heartworm test for dogs, FELV/FIV test for cats, rabies vaccination and 30 days of free pet insurance. That’s a value of more than $400.

You can also visit and check out the adoptable pets online. Or come to the shelter yourself to find your new family member. Stop by the Naples shelter at 7610 Davis Blvd., or the Immokalee shelter, located at 405 Sgt. Joe Jones Road.

For more information, please call DAS at 239-252-7387 (PETS).

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Summer is the peak season in Florida for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena – lightning. When thunder roars, go indoors.

On average, lightning accounts for more deaths per year than tornados. Remember, the safest place to be during lightning activity is a large enclosed building. The second safest location is an enclosed vehicle (car, van, etc.), but not a convertible or on a bike. If you are caught outdoors, stay away from tall trees. Crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as the tree is tall.

Historically, the months of June, July and August are the deadliest months for lightning strikes in South Florida. This is due to the combination of the near daily thunderstorms in our region and the plethora of outdoor activities held when children are out of school.

Lightning safety tips for inside the home include: • Avoid contact with corded phones. • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so well before the storm arrives. • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do laundry. • Stay away from windows and doors; stay off porches. • Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

For more information visit www.lightningsafety. Please think ahead to keep your family safe. When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Safety Improvements on St. Andrews

The Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to make traffic safety improvements on St. Andrews Boulevard.

Commissioners voted to accept a multi-way stop warrant study and approve the installation and operation of a multi-way stop control at the intersection of St. Andrews and Warren St.; to reduce the speed limit on St. Andrews and Augusta from 30 miles per hour to 25.

Residents and community leaders approached staff and District 1 Commissioner Fiala, who represents the area, about safety improvements to the road following the death of a pedestrian on St. Andrews earlier this year.

Commissioner Fiala and staff met with community leaders on April 26 to discuss options to improve traffic safety along St. Andrews Boulevard. Among the items discussed were the installation of red flashing stop signs on St. Andrews Boulevard at Wildflower Way and at Warren Street, selective speed and stop sign enforcement by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and a directional sign on Santa Barbara Boulevard pointing Lely Resort traffic to use Rattlesnake Hammock Road then turn onto Grand Lely Drive.

The Board also approved a project that Transportation Engineering Division staff recommended to modify the intersection of St. Andrews and Wildflower Way. The safety improvements will include crosswalks, handicap ramps and travel lane width reduction. This project is expected to be ready to construct by the fall of 2018. A public meeting on the project will be scheduled this winter (during season) to offer the community to provide input before the design is finalized.

Commissioner Donna Fiala said, “We will continue to work with the community leaders as we evaluate the progress and results of each effort and initiate new improvements where needed.”

For more information, contact Public Information Coordinator Kate Albers at 239-252-8579 or

Avow Receives Significant Donation

Avow hosted an Armed Forces Appreciation Day breakfast program at the Ispiri community center on Avow’s Naples campus for over 150 veterans. During the event, the Raymond James Family Wealth Planning Group, led by Tom LaMacchio and Nadia Keric, facilitated a $90,011 donation to Avow’s new “We Honor Veterans” program on behalf of their clients, William and June Wigal. The donation will allow Avow, a 4-Star “We Honor Veterans” partner, to continue supporting and honoring veterans in the southwest Florida community. The donors, William and June Wigal, had deep connections to both military service and hospice care. William served in the U.S. Navy, and June worked as a Supervisory General Supply Specialist at the U. S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, where she retired from the Department of the Navy after 28 years of civilian service.

The couple established their planned gift to Avow with the Raymond James Family Wealth Planning Group after William passed away in hospice with Avow. Later, June also received Avow hospice care prior to her passing. Their donor fund was created to recognize the causes William and June considered to be “most important.” The Wigals and their family were extremely grateful and appreciative for Avow’s care, and their experience motivated them to include Avow in their planned giving.

The donation was announced with a check ceremony during Avow’s Armed Forces Appreciation Day breakfast. Along with over 150 veterans and community supporters, other guests included Rep. Bob Rommel (FL District 106), and dignitaries and officials from local veterans’ organizations. Rick LoCastro, Avow Senior Director of Development (and also a retired Air Force Colonel) was the master of ceremonies.

To learn more about the scope of services provided by Avow, or to donate to Avow’s “We Honor Veterans” program, call 239-261-4404,, or contact Rick LoCastro at

Kids Ride For $30 All Summer

Collier Area Transit (CAT) is offering a deal to kids who want to get around to all their favorite places this summer.

From June 1 to Aug. 31, CAT is offering a Summer Paw Pass for $30 for kids ages 17 and younger. Yes, you can ride all summer long to the beach, the mall, the Naples Zoo, the libraries, parks and museums on a CAT bus for $30.

Passes can be purchased at the Collier County Government Center Transfer Station, 3555 Tamiami Trail E.; the CAT Operations and Transfer Station, 8300 Radio Road; and on all CAT buses.

For more information, call Collier Area Transit at 239-252-7777.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has received reports of sick and dead cardinals in north Florida from concerned residents who have bird feeders. Cleaning bird feeders can decrease the potential for spreading diseases.

If you have bird feeders, take the time to follow the guidelines to minimize the risk of disease transmission.

If you observe dead cardinals or other dead songbirds in your yard, remove your bird feeders for a period of at least two weeks. Report your observations to the wild bird mortality surveillance system.

New teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This alarming finding comes as the “100 Deadliest Days” begin, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climbs 15 percent compared to the rest of the year. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced teen drivers during this deadly period.

“Teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road,” said Amy Stracke, Managing Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “The Foundation’s research found that inexperience paired with greater exposure on the road create a deadly combination for teen drivers.”

Scenic Trail Reopens after Cowbell Fire

A section of the Florida National Scenic Trail north of I-75 has reopened. Recent wildfire activity from the Cowbell Fire closed the trail to hikers. Firefighters have surveyed the area and determined that conditions were safe to reopen.

The Florida National Scenic Trail stretches 1,400 miles through Florida extending from Gulf Islands National Seashore to Big Cypress National Preserve. The southernmost sections of the trail are within the national preserve. To learn more about the Florida National Scenic Trail or to plan a hike, please visit the Florida Trail Association at http://

For more information about Big Cypress National Preserve visit bicy or follow the park on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at “BigCypressnps.”

2017 Recreational ORV Closure at Big Cypress

On Monday, June 19 at 12:01 AM, the annual 60-day recreational off-road vehicle (ORV) closure for all management units take effect. Any units that allow recreational ORV access within the preserve are included in the closure. The closure will be lifted on Friday, August 18, 2017.

The Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan requires a seasonal 60-day period to allow resources a time free from any pressures related to ORV use. The closure within Big Cypress National Preserve was first implemented in 2002.

Private property landowners with a valid special use permit may gain access along designated routes through the preserve.

For more information about Big Cypress National Preserve visit bicy or follow the park on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at “BigCypressnps.”

FWC Collier County Law Enforcement

While working in Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park on Memorial Day, Lieutenant Mahoney was approached by a frantic man stating his four-year-old cousin had been missing from the family picnic area for at least thirty minutes. After gathering the information for the missing child, park staff and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office were notified of the incident. Just as the search began, the Collier Sheriff’s Department received a report that a beachgoer found a child at a resort approximately two miles away matching the description of the lost child. The officers responded to the location and determined that he was the missing child. After assessing his condition, he was reunited with his family in the state park. The entire family was thankful for the quick response and efforts made to safely return the child to them unharmed.

Lieutenant Shea was conducting resource patrol near Tigertail Beach, in Marco Island, when he saw subjects fishing with cast nets near the mangroves. As he watched, two of the subjects produced a monofilament entanglement net (gill net) and began working the area. Lieutenant Shea requested backup units and Lieutenants Sushil, Bulger, Officers Johnson, Lugg and Osorio responded to the area. Lieutenant Sushil captured photos of the subjects working the illegal net, but when the subjects were detained on the beach, they did not have the net in their possession. Lieutenant Bulger and Officer Lugg began searching the area, and located the net partially submerged in knee-deep water. The illegal net and 10 mullet were seized as evidence and the subjects were cited accordingly.

Officers Yurewitch, Plussa, and Kleis were conducting holiday weekend water patrol near Marco Island and saw a pontoon vessel drifting in Marco River with multiple people in the water. They conducted a vessel stop on the rental vessel and found multiple safety violations regarding safety equipment. Rental companies failing to equip vessels properly and failing to provide adequate preride instruction as to their use are both misdemeanor criminal violations in the State of Florida. Officers followed the vessel back to the livery (rental facility) and discussed the violations with the owner. Officer Yurewitch issued him a combination of citations and warnings for the violations.

AAA: Gas Prices Jump 7 Cents In Florida

Florida gas prices rose 7 cents during the past week. The state average was $2.37 on Sunday, according to AAA, whose data is collected from credit card swipes and direct feeds from 120,000 gas stations nationwide, in cooperation with OPIS and Wright Express. Some of the largest weekly price hikes in the state were in Tampa (13 cents), Orlando (12 cents), Jacksonville and Fort Meyers- Cape Coral (9 cents).

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