LEE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTE TO SUPPORT LOCAL FOOD SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS
The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a plan to allocate $3 million of federal funds from the CARES Act to support local food security organizations and to continue phasing in operations previously suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $3 million allocated to food security organizations benefitting citizens in need includes $1.55 million to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, $425,000 to the Midwest Food Bank, $225,000 to Community Cooperative, $500,000 to Lee County food pantries through $5,000 individual grants, and $300,000 to reserves. In addition, programs utilizing funds from the federal CARES Act have resulted in 13,871 applications started for Individual Assistance, which includes payments directly to utility companies, landlords and mortgage companies (4,923 applications have been completed); 4,576 applications for the Business Relaunch Program; more than 1,000 kits of Personal Protective Equipment set to go to businesses with fewer than 25 employees. This includes more than 250,000 masks, 500,000 gloves and more than 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer; and United Way partner agencies establishing childcare scholarship programs. For more information, visit LeeFLCares.com.
COLLIER COUNTY AGREES TO REOPEN BEACHES FOR REGULAR HOURS
During a special meeting Tuesday morning, Collier County commissioners approved restoring regular weekend hours at county beach parks and access points. Most beach operations ran smoothly during the last three weekends since restrictions were put in place on May 12, reported Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk and Public Services Director Steve Carnell. The vote was 3-2 with commissioners Andy Solis and Penny Taylor dissenting. Naples City Council is scheduled to meet today to discuss easing restrictions on city beaches.
LEE HEALTH TO HOST VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
Lee Health will host a Virtual Town Hall meeting on at 3 p.m. on Thursday. The Facebook Live event is open to the public and will feature a panel discussion with Lee Health leaders about the health system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as include a question and answer session. Topics that will be covered during the town hall include the spread of coronavirus in our community today, how to safely reopen medical services and our community, and the latest on treatment options. Moderated by David Collins, chair of the board of directors at Lee Health, the panel will feature Dr. Larry Antonucci, president & CEO at Lee Health; Dr. Alex Daneshmand, chief quality, and patient safety officer at Lee Health; Lisa Sgarlata, chief patient care and nursing officer at Lee Health; and Dr. Bill Hearn, physician leadership council chairman at Lee Health. For those without access to Facebook, the event will also be live-streamed at LeeHealth.org.
HEALTHCARE NETWORK OPENS NEW NICHOLS COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER
Healthcare Network, a nonprofit organization working to ensure primary medical care is accessible to everyone in the community, has opened the three-story, 51,000-square-foot Nichols Community Health Center in Golden Gate. While Golden Gate, which is home to an estimated 36,000 residents, is located just a few miles from one of the wealthiest zip codes in America, it has been identified as one of the most underserved communities in Collier County. The Nichols Community Health Center will provide improved access to primary healthcare to residents, including restaurant, hospitality and retail workers–many of whom are facing unemployment due to the pandemic. Since 1977, Healthcare Network has been committed to filling gaps in care by providing high quality primary medical care, regardless of a patient’s insurance or employment status. A Sliding Fee Discount Program reduces costs to uninsured and underinsured patients based on their income and family size. Services offered at the Nichols Community Health Center include children’s care, obstetrics and gynecology, adult and senior care, integrated behavioral health, and a drive-thru pharmacy. Dental care and walk-in health are expected to open in the near future. Located at 12655 Collier Blvd., Healthcare Network broke ground in January 2019 on the $15 million medical center named after a gift from Naples resident Jerry Nichols.
Video courtesy of WINK News
CAREERSOURCE SWFL REOPENS ITS DOORS, CONTINUES VIRTUAL SERVICES
OLLIE’S BARGAIN OUTLET, ALDI GROCERY STORE COMING TO BONITA SPRINGS PLAZA
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is targeted to open this fall in the more than 40,000-square-foot space Winn-Dixie vacated last November next to LA Fitness in Springs Plaza on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. The Pennsylvania-based retail chain, promoted as “Good Stuff Cheap,” has more than 360 no-frills stores of closeout merchandise and surplus inventory of name-brand items. The fast-growing chain has 27 other locations in Florida, including stores in south Fort Myers and Port Charlotte. Meanwhile, a grocery store will be returning to Springs Plaza with the addition of discount grocer Aldi, which is moving into a more than 20,000-square-foot space that formerly was Bealls Outlet.
COLLIER COMMISSIONERS VOTE DOWN JULY 4 FIREWORKS SHOW AT PARK
During a special meeting Tuesday morning, Collier County commissioners voted against the county hosting a July Fourth fireworks show this year at a local park. The limited holiday celebration was proposed to be moved from its longtime spot at Sugden Regional Park in East Naples to the new Paradise Coast Sports Complex in Golden Gate Estates. Despite a staff proposal to limit attendees to 1,800 people for a pre-registered event, commissioners decided the event was not critically important to have this year because of coronavirus concerns. The resolution failed 2-3 with commissioners Donna Fiala, Burt Saunders and Andy Solis dissenting. The city of Naples is expected to make a decision today about the annual fireworks show from Naples Pier.
REOPENING PLAN FOR LEE COUNTY SCHOOL UP IN THE AIR, LIKELY UNTIL LATE SUMMER
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Woodward, Pires & Lombardo P.A. partner earns CFL designation
Southwest Florida law firm Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. Partner Lenore T. Brakefield has earned her Certified Financial Litigator (CFL) designation by The American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators. Brakefield joins fellow CFL’s with the firm, attorneys Chris Lombardo, Kenneth Mundy and Ross Schulman as a member of this designation of distinction designed for attorneys to better serve their clients and community. The CFL designation represents an accomplishment that provides a wide variety of benefits to its members, including being among an elite group of practitioners with increased member resources and enhanced credibility in the field. Representing clients in general civil litigation, business and government law, contracts, condominium law and banking, Brakefield focuses her practice on her clients and the betterment of the community. She handles various legal issues, such as contract disputes, mediations, litigation, representation of government entities, mortgage reviews, landlord-tenant disputes and more.