Lee County Algae Cleanup Plan to Proceed

Plus: Pine Ridge is named the top U.S. neighborhood, FSW appoints a new dean of business, Lee Health and the Lee County school district partner and more.



Missy Lamont, Naples Therapeutic Riding Center executive director

Need to catch up on business news in Southwest Florida? No problem. Here are the top stories of the week pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily.

Friday, August 3

LEE COUNTY ALGAE CLEANUP PLAN TO PROCEED

Lee County has secured $700,000 from the Florida Harmful Algal Bloom Management Grant Program through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the removal, processing and disposal of harmful algae blooms from select test sites in unincorporated Lee County and affected municipalities, most notably Cape Coral. Over the past week, Lee County has been working closely with DEP and county consultants to create an approved work plan for this project. The work plan includes: a health and safety plan to address any physical hazards that may be encountered; the equipment to be used and the procedures to be implemented during the algae recovery operations and the transfer, temporary storage, processing and final disposal of the recovered algae; the sampling required prior to disposal and steps for review of the laboratory data and obtaining approval for disposal. The treatment of the collected material is a time-consuming and complex process, which will limit the clean-up locations to those with the greatest concentration of algae. Lee County has mobilized AECOM, one of the nation’s largest construction and engineering firms with expertise in environmental cleanup, under a state contract for emergency cleanup deployments. The DEP approved the plan on Wednesday to allow the work to begin.

Thursday, August 2

PINE RIDGE NAMED TOP U.S. NEIGHBORHOOD

Pine Ridge in Naples ranked No. 1 in the top five U.S. neighborhood housing markets based on the second annual ATTOM Data Solutions Neighborhood Housing Index. ATTOM ranked more than 10,000 neighborhood housing markets nationwide based on six factors impacting the hyperlocal housing market: affordability, home price appreciation, school scores, crime rates, unemployment rates and property taxes. Pine Ridge reportedly had a median sales price of $632,871 in the first half of 2018. Other Southwest Florida neighborhoods received top scores, including but not limited to Carlton Lakes, Imperial Golf Estates and Naples Park in Naples; Bonita Shores and Spanish Wells in Bonita Springs; Burnt Store Lakes in Cape Coral. For the full report, click here

Wednesday, August 1

FSW NAMES PSIHOUNTAS BUSINESS DEAN

Florida SouthWestern State College has named Dr. Debbie Psihountas as dean of the School of Business and Technology. She will oversee the plans and execution of educational activities and programs for the School of Business and Technology. Psihountas was most recently a professor of finance at Webster University in the Walker School of Business and Technology. She has held several leadership positions over the years at Webster, including MBA director, business department chair, and interim chair of business and management programs at Webster’s Geneva, Switzerland, campus. She’s also previously worked as adjunct faculty at several universities while also working full-time in the private sector. In 2012, she was named as an American Council on Education Fellow, and she worked with the president of Ball State University for the 2012-13 academic year. She has also previously held a number of sales, consulting, and corporate leadership positions with organizations including NCR Corp., Merrill Lynch, and Procter and Gamble. Psihountas has received numerous recognitions over the years.

Tuesday, July 31

LEE HEALTH, LEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTNER

Lee Health and the School District of Lee County have entered a five-year community partnership, giving Lee Health the naming rights to the new Bonita Springs High School football stadium. Lee Health Stadium will open this fall for Bonita High’s inaugural JV football season. As part of the agreement, 60 percent of the net proceeds of the naming rights fee will remain at Bonita Springs High School while the remaining 40 percent will be available for county-wide use by the school district. All of the money received by the school district is slated for capital improvement projects, including safety and security upgrades and technology enhancements. This is the latest in a long line of partnerships between Lee Health and the School District of Lee County. Superintendent Greg Adkins sits on the executive committee of Lee Health’s wellness initiative, Healthy Lee, and Lee Health partners with schools in the area to provide certified nursing assistant training to high school students. 

Monday, July 30

NTRC LAUNCHES HIPPOTHERAPY PROGRAM

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) has launched a new, evidence-based service called hippotherapy. The new service utilizes the purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes. Hippotherapy is part of an integrated treatment strategy utilized by occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology professionals. Hippotherapy utilizes a sensory-rich environment that adds an additional dimension to the therapeutic process. NTRC recently completed a $4 million capital expansion with the goal of expanding and adding programs, providing instructor and volunteer trainings and conducting research that will further the benefits of equine-assisted activities and therapy. NTRC is now the only accredited riding center in the county offering the facility, training and therapy horses to local licensed professionals, according to a press release, allowing them to offer hippotherapy as an additional service in their practices.

In other news...

Gulfshore Business will present its 16th annual 40-under-40 awards reception at 6 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the Miromar Design Center, 10800 Corkscrew Road in Estero. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, entertainment and, of course, recognition of this year's honorees, who will be announced and profiled in our September issue. For ticket information, please click here.

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