Lead Photo: Ave Maria Farmers Market
GOV. DESANTIS ANNOUNCES 16 VACCINATION SITES AT PUBLIX IN COLLIER
Sixteen Publix stores in Collier County are set to become COVID-19 vaccination sites beginning today. At a Wednesday press conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced 56 additional Publix stores statewide would become vaccination sites, including 16 in Collier County. Vaccinations are provided to eligible individuals, by appointment only, while supplies last and at no cost to the individual. Customers with health insurance will need to bring their insurance cards to their scheduled appointment. Those without health insurance will need to provide their driver’s license or Social Security number, WINK News reports.
CAPE CORAL MAYOR JOE COVIELLO DIES OF UNEXPECTED MEDICAL INCIDENT
Cape Coral mayor Joe Coviello died Wednesday of an unexpected medical incident, the city reported. “It is with profound sadness and grief that we confirm that Mayor Joe Coviello passed away unexpectedly today. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Diane, his two sons, Ross and Alex, and the rest of his family. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family while they mourn their loss,” according to a statement. Mayor Coviello was elected in November 2017, WINK News reports.
RIBBON-CUTTING TODAY FOR ALICO ROAD WIDENING PROJECT
The ribbon-cutting is this morning for the Alico Road widening project from Ben Hill-Griffin Parkway to Airport Haul Road. The previous two-lane undivided highway is now a four-lane divided highway with on-road bike lanes and a 12-foot, shared-use path on each side. New underground utility lines also were installed, Lee County government reports.
Video courtesy of WINK News
CITY SURVEYS RESIDENTS ABOUT LIVING IN CAPE CORAL
Cape Coral wants residents to fill out a survey on the pros and cons of living there. The point of the survey is to determine what is working and what isn’t so that Cape Coral can better itself in the long term. Citizens are asked about the city’s strengths, weaknesses and greatest threats. Surveys need to be completed by Jan. 20, WINK News reports.
NAWTY HOGG BACKYARD BBQ OPENS SECOND LOCATION IN NORTH NAPLES
Nawty Hogg Backyard BBQ opened its second brick-and-mortar restaurant over the weekend. It launched in the former longtime corner unit of Pei Wei in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt on the northwest corner of Vanderbilt Beach Road and Airport-Pulling Road in North Naples. Nawty Hogg specializes in pulled pork and chicken, baby back ribs, sliced brisket and other smoked barbecue favorites. Its menu includes wings, soft-shell tacos, sandwiches, platters, starters, sides, desserts and more. The local family-owned restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and a beer-wine bar. Nawty Hogg, 2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Suite 116, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information call 239-260-5185 or go to nawtyhoggbbq.com.
NAPLES CANCELS MLK DAY PARADE; OTHER SWFL OBSERVATIONS REMAIN SCHEDULED
Organizers of Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Naples say they decided to cancel this year’s function because they did not want to risk a COVID-19 superspreader event. Vincent Keeys, the president of the NAACP in Collier County, said they wish they could put on the annual parade, especially during these times, but they do not want to risk people crowding together and possibly getting sick. Although Naples is not having events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Fort Myers is holding a legacy weekend with socially distanced events. Visit the Dunbar Festival Committee Facebook page for more information, WINK News reports.
NCH PRESIDENT AND CEO TO SPEAK AT ‘WAKE UP NAPLES’ EVENT
The Greater Naples Chamber will host Paul Hiltz, the president and CEO of NCH Healthcare System, to discuss some of the lessons learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at Wake Up Naples, held at 8 a.m. on Feb. 3 at the Hilton Naples. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Hiltz will provide attendees with an update on the community’s response to the novel coronavirus, discuss the vaccine rollout and highlight the work of the healthcare network over the past year. The event is sponsored by the Holocaust Museum & Cohen Education Center. Attendees will be required to adhere to local regulations and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines while at the event. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Register online at napleschamber.org/events. The cost to attend is $30 for members and $40 for nonmembers.
BABCOCK RANCH RECOGNIZED FOR HIGH YEAR-OVER-YEAR INCREASE
Babcock Ranch was named among the country’s 50 top-selling master-planned communities of 2020 by RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, with 540 home sales propelling America’s first solar-powered town to the list’s highest year-over-year increase of 121%. After making its debut in RCLCO’s Top 50 Master Planned Communities July ranking, Babcock Ranch surpassed the 1,000 homes sold milestone in December. Ranked as Southwest Florida’s top master-planned community based on Metrostudy data on single-family home annual starts in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties, Babcock Ranch was also named Master Planned Community of the Year by the Lee Building Industry Association at its 2020 Industry Awards. Babcock Ranch was created by Kitson & Partners with respect for the natural environment and the philosophy that smart growth and sustainability work hand in hand. For more information, visit BabcockRanch.com.
FREE EVENTS PLANNED THIS SEASON IN AVE MARIA
Ave Maria announces a line-up of free events open to the public this season. Free trolley tours are offered every Tuesday through March 30 and depart every hour from the Town Center beginning at 11 a.m., and the last one departing at 2 p.m. Tour Collier County’s Community of the Year during a one-hour narrated trolley ride and discover all that’s new for 2021. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling 239-352-3903. Ave Maria hosts live music every Tuesday from noon to 3 p.m. and Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. through April 1 along Annunciation Circle. The Winter Festival will take place Saturday, Jan. 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be live music from the Electric Lipstick band, dessert food trucks, a farmers market, and a car show presented by Cool Cruisers. This family-friendly event will also include snow princess characters, balloon artists, pony rides, and a winter-themed slide. Ave Maria Arts & Crafts Festivals will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 23-24 and Feb. 27-28. Ave Maria Town Center also hosts weekly farmers’ markets every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through May 1. A full calendar of events can be found online here.
SWFL INC. CELEBRATES NEWEST GRADUATES OF LEADERSHIP SWFL
SWFL Inc. announces the Leadership SWFL Class of 2020-21 has graduated. The class was celebrated in a special reception on Jan. 8 at The Hub at SWFL Inc. The Class of 2020-21 is the 22nd to graduate from this signature program, which gives leaders across industries an inside look at how organizations in Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties are connected. Leadership SWFL Class of 2020-21 members are Chad Commers, SVN | KOVA; Alaina Streblow, Suncoast Credit Union; Alicia Miller, Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center; Angel Cerritos, Bonita Springs YMCA; Bryan Fiore, Annex Wealth Management; Debra LaFevers, Physicians Regional Healthcare System; Gary Barlow, DR Horton;
Jennifer Hutchinson, Ensworth Pressure Washing; Jenny Transou, Bonita Springs Fire Control & Rescue District; Kellie Fissinger, Agnoli, Barber and Brundage, Inc.; Kelly Thawley, Lee County School District; Laura Carr, City of Bonita Springs; Lee Gouny, Guest Services, Inc.; Matthew Holliday, NCH Healthcare System; Michael Braun, News-Press. Applications for the next class of Leadership SWFL are available at SWFLinc.com/Leadership-SWFL and must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 26 for consideration.
HICKMAN TO DELIVER TECHNOLOGY CLE FOR FLORIDA BAR
Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A. Registered U.S. Patent Attorney Luca Hickman will be the featured speaker and deliver a virtual Continuing Legal Education (CLE), “Digital IP: Helping Clients Protect, Defend & Recover IP Rights Online, In Social Media & E-Commerce Platforms,” at noon on Jan. 19. The Florida Bar has approved this course for 1.0 Technology credit. To register, click here.
CYPRESS LIVING APPOINTS IT INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGER
Cypress Living has appointed Chris Stalbaum as IT infrastructure manager for operational support to the HealthPark Florida-based company and its affiliates Cypress Cove and Cypress at Home. Stalbaum, who for the last 12 years has headed up technology efforts at the Hebron, Indiana, Boone Township School District, will be responsible for tactical execution of all infrastructure administration, desktop administration, and cybersecurity efforts for Cypress Living’s diverse healthcare organization. He brings to the organization a strong background in technology infrastructure administration and project management, including skills in networking, systems, desktop administration, and information security management. Cypress Living has been on a roadmap to modernize many technology platforms over the past few years, adopting a more cloud-based technology, according to the company. Cypress Living serves as the parent company to Cypress at Home and is the management and support arm for the HealthPark Florida Life Plan community of Cypress Cove.
VINEYARDS COUNTRY CLUB PROMOTES OLSON TO CHEF DE CUISINE
Vineyards Country Club has promoted Christopher Olson has been promoted to chef de cuisine. In this position, Olson is responsible for all aspects of the kitchen such as menu plans, operations, recipes, finances, portion and inventory control, food quality, and employee supervision. A Naples native, Olson joined Vineyards Country Club in 2019 after serving as sous chef at a fine dining restaurant within a local resort for more than five years. His culinary experience includes tenure with Marriott Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples and several fine dining establishments throughout Florida and Massachusetts.
The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools hosts Strides for Education 5K
The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools is holding its 10th annual Strides for Education 5K Run/Walk on Feb. 6. Participants can run at Florida SouthWestern State College or sign up for our virtual option. The Foundation will be following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The event’s Title Sponsor is Suncoast Credit Union and funds will benefit The Foundation’s Take Stock in Children scholarship program. Check-in starts at 6:30 a.m. and the race will begin at 7:30 a.m. Schools and businesses throughout Lee County are challenged to create the largest team. More than 1,300 business leaders, community partners, and educators participated in last year’s race. The first 1,100 registered participants will receive a long-sleeve, dry-fit race shirt and goody bag. Online registration is available until Feb. 5 at flcpsstrides5k.com. Registration will not be available on the day of the event.
Naples Senior Center honors Volunteer of the Year
Naples Senior Center honored Alan Horowitz as its second annual Volunteer of the Year during its ninth annual “Evening for Better Tomorrows,” which was held virtually on Jan. 9. Naples Senior Center opened its doors in January 2014 and is the only human services agency of its kind in the community, the agency states. The center provides comprehensive programs and social services for seniors, giving them the tools to address life’s challenges. Beginning with just 80 initial members, the center has expanded to more than 1,400 members today. Horowitz has volunteered with Naples Senior Center for more than five years. He has helped out in a variety of ways but especially enjoys delivering meals and bags of food each week to seniors while the center is closed. The Volunteer of the Year Award is a new recognition and was sponsored by Ray Harman.
Youth Haven Inc. awarded $25,000 grant from Arthrex Charitable Giving Program
Youth Haven Inc. has received a $25,000 grant from Arthrex Charitable Giving Program. The funds received will benefit Youth Haven’s residential programs that are conducted on its 25-acre therapeutic campus located in East Naples. The grant will also support its enrichment activities and will be used to purchase a variety of materials and supplies to be used by the children on campus, such as art supplies, athletic and fitness equipment, and gardening materials. Activities will be selected with input from the youth and include outdoor activities such as fishing, lawn games, outdoor sports and lawn movies. It will also support indoor activities such as reading, movies and cooking classes. For more information, visit youthhavenswfl.org.
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