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Gulfshore Business Daily: July 17

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Lead Photo: Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. (O-A-K) has reached a construction milestone. Details below.
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

COLLIER COUNTY DISTRICT APPROVES BACK-TO-SCHOOL PLAN

Collier County Public Schools announced reopening plans Wednesday for the 2020-21 school year, which begins Aug. 19. Parents can choose from four different learning options: in-person class, homeschooling, and structured or flexible options for eCollier Academy. The district says students can revert to distance learning at any time if needed, WINK News reports. A registration form for the free academy is available here.
 

PUBLIX TO REQUIRE CUSTOMERS TO WEAR FACE COVERINGS

Effective July 21, Publix customers will be required to wear masks, excluding young children and people with medical conditions who are not able to wear them, according to a news release. Signs announcing the new requirement will be posted at store entrances, and in-store announcements will be made. In addition to requiring face coverings, Publix previously implemented a number of process changes in its stores to safeguard the health and well-being of customers, associates and communities. For more information, visit corporate.publix.com.
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

FLORIDA STONE CRABBERS SAY PROPOSED FWC RULES COULD DESTROY THEIR BUSINESSES

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) may enforce tougher rules on fishing to help increase the stone crab population, but fishermen say that could destroy their business. FWC wants to shorten the season, increase the claw size minimum and require escape holes in traps for smaller crabs because the state’s stone crab population is declining due to overfishing. Members of the Florida Stone Crabbers Association say a one-two punch of COVID-19 and these new rules will make a bad situation even worse, WINK News reports. FWC is holding a final public hearing on the proposed regulations next week for this Florida delicacy.
 

LEE HEALTH CONTRIBUTED MORE THAN $531 MILLION IN COMMUNITY BENEFIT

Lee Health’s Annual Statement of Community Benefit for fiscal year 2019 was recently published, revealing $531.6 million in community benefits by the health system–a benefit increase of more than $61.5 million over 2018. The report is a national standard of measurement that determines a monetary value for the health system’s community commitment and the financial investments it makes to help strengthen health and human services. The increase was attributed to higher costs of charity care for low-income patients, unpaid Medicare, Medicaid, other government-sponsored programs and providing community benefit outreach. Contributions include charity care and discounted care for the poor and uninsured, wellness programs, education, community health programs, unpaid Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the cost of providing special programs throughout the community. The full report is available here.
 

ALASKA AIRLINES TO START SERVICE TO FORT MYERS IN NOVEMBER

The Lee County Port Authority announces that Alaska Airlines will begin service to Fort Myers in November 2020. Alaska Airlines will bring the first nonstop service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) on Nov. 20. Both flights to LAX and SEA will operate four times weekly on a 737 aircraft. See Alaska Airlines’ news release for more information. 
 

CAPITAL WEALTH ADVISORS PRESENTS MARKET HAPPY HOUR WEBINARS

Naples-based Capital Wealth Advisors (CWA) continues its Market Happy Hour Webinars. The next webinar is at 4:30 p.m. on July 21. During the webinars, CWA’s veteran research team members review the important market events of the month and discuss the economic and global drivers that they believe are moving the markets. They also review factors that they are closely monitoring. The webinars are free and open to the public. Prior registration is required. To register, visit capitalwealthadvisors.com/mhh.   
 

LOZANO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT TO OPEN NEW LOCATION IN AVE MARIA TOWN CENTER

Lozano’s Mexican Restaurant will open its newest location in the Ave Maria Town Center this September. This family-owned business has a long tradition of serving quality homemade style Mexican food from recipes that have been handed down for generations. Specialties include hand-rolled tortillas made fresh daily, homestyle meals made from scratch, and margaritas. The new restaurant will occupy the former space of Gino’s Trattoria Per Tutti in the Town Center. The restaurant will include 2,500 square feet with seating for up to 110 patrons as well as an outdoor patio with seating for up to 42 patrons. For more information, visit lozanosmexican.com.
 

Walls go up at Middle School MM in Lehigh Acres.

O-A-K REACHES MILESTONE WITH CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. (O-A-K) reached a construction milestone with the raising of the first tilt-wall panels for Lee County’s newest middle school on Sunrise Boulevard in Lehigh Acres. The panels for both building one and building two are expected to be completed in approximately two weeks. Known as Middle School “MM,” the building is on schedule to open in August 2021. The 164,000 square foot facility on 42.53 acres has a total construction cost of nearly $43 million. The site will accommodate Elementary School “J” in the future and the schools will share an access road, bus loop, and central energy plant. Middle School “MM” will have a student station capacity of 1,360. O-A-K project manager is Alesha Watchowski and the lead site superintendent is Tim Harkins. The project architect is RG Architects P.A. Johnson Engineering is the civil engineer and TLC Engineering Solutions is the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineer. The structural engineer is TRC Worldwide Engineering.
 

REAL ESTATE TEAM RANKED AMONG TOP SALES PROFESSIONALS

John R. Wood Properties’ Earls | Lappin team has ranked seventh in the nation in this year’s REAL Trends “The Thousand” ranking of the country’s top real estate sales professionals, with 2019 closed sales volume of $274.89 million. The Earls | Lappin team specializes in luxury properties. With over $2.5 billion in lifetime closed sales, the Earls | Lappin team is consistently ranked among the top 50 Teams in the nation per The Wall Street Journal, a news release states.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Community Foundation of Collier County kicks off 35th year with $35 million in grants

The Community Foundation of Collier County, now entering its 35th year, has distributed over $35 million in grants in the 2019-20 fiscal year ending June 30, to nonprofit agencies and scholarships for secondary education and specialized training. The final total of $35.42 million represents an 87% increase over the last fiscal year and a record amount of distributions for the foundation on its 35th anniversary. Grant areas of distribution include arts, education and scholarships, environment, health, human services, international, community impact, and religion. The substantial increase this year was primarily due funding in the areas of education and scholarships, including a $1 million grant to the Community School of Naples; health, including an $8.95 million grant to the American Cancer Society-South Atlantic Division; Give Where You Live Collier with a record $5.65 million in grants; and human services with $1.1 million in COVID-19 relief. CFCC Donor Advised Funds continue to be a charitable giving tool accounting for $19.2 million of funding.
 

NTRC continues to care for its horse therapy herd.

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center receives $15,000 COVID-19 relief grant

Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) has received a $15,000 COVID-19 relief grant from the Collier Comes Together Fund, a charitable fund of the Community Foundation of Collier County (CFCC). The grant will be used to fund operations for NTRC’s programs for people with special needs which have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 temporary program closure and cancelation of major fundraising events. NTRC delivers equine-assisted therapeutic programs, achieving measurable results for nearly 800 individuals with special needs annually, a news release states. Therapies are individually designed and monitored to help each participant consistently achieve measurable improvement in their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. These therapies had to be temporarily suspended on March 13 for the safety and protection of staff and those NTRC serves but caring for the 14-horse therapy herd remained a critically necessary daily service. For more information, visit NaplesTherapeuticRidingCenter.org.
 

Friends of Foster Children Forever

Friends of Foster Children Forever has received a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County. These funds will be used for the General Operating Support of Friends of Foster Children Forever. This grant enables Friends of Foster Children Forever to continue supporting both the children and the families that house foster children. Friends of Foster Children Forever connects children to early childhood programs, mentoring/tutoring, extracurricular activities, and provides essential supplies. For additional information visit FriendsofFosterChildren.net.
 

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