Lead Photo: Courtesy Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee
USDA REPORTS DECLINE IN FLORIDA’S ORANGE PRODUCTION
Florida’s orange production for the 2020-21 season declined more than 20% from the previous year’s yield, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this week. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that Florida citrus growers produced 52.8 million boxes of oranges, which breaks down to 30.1 million boxes of Valencia oranges and 22.7 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges such as early, midseason, and navel varieties. Florida grapefruit production was 4.10 million boxes with 3.48 million boxes of red varieties and 620,000 boxes of white. The tangerine and tangelo production was 890,000 boxes.
TRAIL SECTIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSE FOR HABITAT RESTORATION IN NORTH FORT MYERS
Portions of Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve East, 10130 Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers, will close for about a week starting Monday, July 19, to improve wildlife habitat by clearing undergrowth. The project will include the palmetto uplands around Fetterbush Trail and a portion of Sweetbay Trail. The areas will reopen once the work is complete. Clearing undergrowth is an important land management practice used to improve the native plant communities and, therefore, wildlife habitat. It is especially important for the gopher tortoises on the site and it helps reduce the site’s fuel load for improved safety during potential wildfires, reports Lee County Parks & Recreation.
AAA: FLORIDA GAS PRICES HOVER SLIGHTLY OVER $3 A GALLON
Florida gas prices held steady during the past week, AAA reports. Florida drivers are paying an average price of $3.01 per gallon. The state average is fractions of a cent less than a week ago, yet remains 3 cents more than last month and 90 cents more than this time last year. “Florida drivers are still finding some of the most expensive prices at the pump in nearly seven years,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Crude oil prices fluctuated last week, but ultimately evened out. So it’s likely these elevated gas prices will hang around for the near future.” The least expensive metro markets for gas in Florida include Punta Gorda at $2.94 per gallon, Fort Myers-Cape Coral at $2.96 per gallon.
ONE SOURCE BUSINESS CAPITAL SECURES $3.39 MILLION SBA LOAN FOR CLIENT
Estero-based One Source Business Capital closed a $3.39 million Small Business Administration loan, with an additional $250,000 working capital line of credit, for a client to purchase an antique and classic car restoration business in Florida. The buyer had 5% for a down payment but was unable to secure a traditional bank loan. One Source secured an SBA loan at a fixed rate of 6% for five years, and a 15-year term.
SANIBEL CAPTIVA COMMUNITY BANK PROMOTES MARSH
Sanibel Captiva Community Bank has promoted Laura Ann Marsh to human resources assistant at its operations center, 9311 College Pkwy., Fort Myers. Marsh joined the bank in April as a customer service representative and teller at the McGregor branch. She is responsible for preparing payroll transactions, maintaining human resource records and assisting in employee benefits administration. Marsh has 25 years of executive administration experience working for several Southwest Florida businesses, including Sanibel Community Church. She has also served as a substitute teacher for Lee County Schools since 1996. Marsh holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Trent University and a degree in education from the University of Western Ontario. She also has a qualifying master’s degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
MORRIS-DEPEW ASSOCIATES WELCOMES PROJECT MANAGER
Cindy Leal has joined Morris-Depew Associates as a project planner in the Fort Myers headquarters, where she’ll assist in the preparation of land use planning applications and geographic information system exhibits. Leal graduated from the University of Florida’s urban and regional planning master’s program, where she focused on the importance of boundaries in the emerging field of political planning. Leal is experienced in economic development, transportation, land use law, conceptual land planning and design, site analysis and international development. She received the 2017 Florida Planning and Zoning Association (FPZA) Outstanding Student Award. She is a member of FPZA and the American Planning Association.
MS CENTER OF SWFL WELCOMES TWO TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dayna Harpster and Jeanne Larson are the newest members of the board of directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Southwest Florida Harpster is a communications specialist at WGCU Public Media. Before joining WGCU in 2013 as editor of its member magazine, she worked as a journalist for The News-Press and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. She has written for nonprofits and various magazines and has been an editorial consultant for several full-length published manuscripts. Larson is a trust administration officer at FineMark National Bank & Trust. She has been in the banking industry for more than 35 years, with 20 years in trust and private banking. Prior to FineMark, Larson was a wealth management assistant at the Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank in Naples.
ORAVEC NAMED CYPRESS COVE SALES MANAGER
Maureen Oravec has been appointed sales manager at the HealthPark Florida Life Plan community of Cypress Cove. Since joining Cypress Cove in November 2020, Oravec worked as a retirement counselor focusing on prospect engagement and sales for the community’s soon-to-be-built 12-acre neighborhood, The Oaks at Cypress Cove. She has worked in the Southwest Florida senior living and home care industry since 1988 and has helped in the sales of The Oaks’ 24 luxury lakeside villas and 24 high-rise apartments. Before joining Cypress Cove, Oravec worked at Greystone and Comfort Keepers. She has served as a board member of Meals on Wheels, CAMEO, the Friendship Center Senior Hunger Task Force, and as a co-founder of a volunteer agency serving underprivileged seniors.
NCEF APPOINTS LOMANNO AS AUCTION MANAGER
The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, has appointed Danielle Lomanno as its new auction manager. In this role, she will assist in the successful execution of the Naples Winter Wine Festival Auction, including database administration, guest liaison activities and live auction packages. Lomanno has more than a decade of professional work experience, most recently serving as franchise development and new member manager for Abbey Carpet Com. in Bonita Springs. She also has experience as a youth center recreation coordinator and independent writer and researcher. Lomanno holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado. She graduated summa cum laude and was a Golden Key Honour Society member.
Empty Bowls Naples announces 2021 grant recipients
Empty Bowls Naples Inc. distributed $120,000 from the 2021 Empty Bowls Naples Inc. grant program to eight local nonprofit organizations supporting the Empty Bowls mission to “eliminate hunger in our community one bowl at a time.” The 2021 grants were awarded to organizations directly distributing food to those in need in Collier and Lee counties, including Community Cooperative Inc., Meals of Hope, New Hope Ministries, Midwest Food Bank, Our Daily Bread Food Pantry, Shelter for Abused Women & Children, St. Matthew’s House and St. Vincent de Paul of Naples, District Council Inc.
United Way funds Catholic Charities programs
Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Inc. in Collier County received funding from the United Way of Collier County to support several programs in the community. A total of $91,500 was provided to the agency through a grant for the period of April 1-March 31, 2022. The awarded grant will mainly support the Catholic Charities empowerment and family counseling programs. The empowerment program assists individuals in eliminating barriers to full-time employment, leading to fiscal self-sufficiency. The family counseling center provides a routine outpatient level of care. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is available in English and Spanish to children ages 3 and up and adults.
Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee receives $37,500 grant
Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee has received a $37,500 grant from the United Way of Collier County and the Keys to help ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families go back to work, as their children build critical academic and social-emotional skills. The Community Investment Grant provided tuition assistance for Pathways’ children. The organization works with Collier County Public Schools to ensure a smooth transition for children into kindergarten. Through partnerships with Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Healthcare Network, David Lawrence Center, ABLE Academy, Books for Collier Kids, The Benison Center, Baby Basics, The Lions Club and the University of Florida / NCEF Dental Clinic, children have access to nutritional food, comprehensive medical care and essential supplies.
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