Lead Photo: The Longwater and Bellmar projects are planned for the eastern part of Collier County. Sourced from WINK News.
FEDS ASK COLLIER COUNTY TO HOLD OFF ON DEVELOPMENT OF VILLAGES
The U.S. Department of the Interior wants a say in controversial plans to build two new villages in rural Collier County east of Golden Gate Estates. The federal agency wants the county to hold off on approving the Longwater and Bellmar projects mainly because the two villages proposed on 1,000 acres with more than 2,600 units each are too close to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Collier. Some feel the developments will displace panthers and overcrowd their neighborhoods. The developer, Collier Enterprises, will set aside 7,000 acres of land between the two villages for land preservation. Thursday’s meeting of the county’s Planning Commission drew more than 60 public speakers, but the board held off on making any decisions, WINK News reports.
SPENGA FITNESS STUDIO LAUNCHES TODAY IN NAPLES
Spenga, a new boutique fitness studio, is opening today in Naples, its first of five locations planned in Southwest Florida. Spenga launches today in the large anchor space at 850 Neapolitan Way, formerly occupied by Willowood Kitchen & Bath and Sunsplash Natural Foods Market in the Neapolitan Way shopping center off U.S. 41. The fitness studio delivers cardiovascular, strength and flexibility in every session through a combination of spin, strength training and yoga. It creates a multi-sensory experience with space dedicated specifically to each element of the workout, invigorating aromatherapy and workouts fueled by energizing beats. Spenga plans four more area locations in North Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers. For more information call 239-790-5616.
ARTSEMBLE UNDERGROUND COMING FRIDAY TO BELL TOWER SHOPS
Artsemble Underground, an immersive art gallery and art lounge, is opening Friday in a storefront near Center Court at Bell Tower Shops in south Fort Myers. Artsemble is a visual and performing arts collective comprised of painters, sculptors, photographers, videographers, dancers, singers, circus artists and more. Artsemble invites the community to experience art as a participant rather than a spectator. The concept was created by Cesar Aguilera and Brian Weaver in an effort to bring art to everyone and to help local businesses attract traffic with murals, sculptures or art events. Artsemble’s free grand opening event is 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Bell Tower, 13499 S. Cleveland Ave., just north of Daniels Parkway.
SAM GALLOWAY JR., LOCAL BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST, DIES AT 76
One of the biggest names and biggest contributors to Southwest Florida has died. Sam Galloway Jr. passed away unexpectedly Wednesday at age 76. His father founded the car dealership that bears the family name, but Sam Jr. made it the mega dealership as we know it today. Galloway also made a name for himself because of his generosity to people in the region. He worked tirelessly to provide meals for people faced with food insecurity. Galloway was one of the founding members of Community Cooperative, WINK News reports.
MORE THAN 200 TINY HOMES PLANNED FOR NEW CHARLOTTE COUNTY COMMUNITY
More than 200 tiny homes could be coming to a new community in Charlotte County. Simple Life Ventures plans to build its second Florida tiny home community at 12100 Burnt Store Road, about 2.5 miles south of U.S. 41. The one- or two-bedroom homes will be as small as 400 square feet with a starting price of $130,000. Charlotte County commissioners approved the rezoning of land for up to 230 units. Simple Life Ventures, which still needs to get its building permits approved by the county, hopes to break ground in the summer, with the first homeowners occupying homes early next year, WINK News reports.
TELEGRAPH CREEK TRAILHEAD TO CLOSE FOR GOPHER TORTOISE HABITAT IMPROVEMENT
The trailhead of Telegraph Creek Preserve on North River Road in Alva will be closed to visitors for a few weeks starting Wednesday for gopher tortoise habitat improvement. The improvements will be funded through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s, Gopher Tortoise Habitat Management Assistance program. The project is designed to clear heavy undergrowth on 43 acres, which allows the tortoises to better forage and burrow. Deer, turkey, quail and a variety of plants will also benefit from this work, according to Lee County Parks & Recreation.
CYBERSECURITY WEBINAR SET FOR MARCH 10
Andrew Hill Investment Advisors is hosting a complimentary webinar at 2 p.m. on March 10, offering tips to avoid the surge in cybersecurity threats impacting investments and financial livelihoods. Led by identity fraud expert Carrie Kerskie, the webinar will review tactics that cybercriminals are using to hack into personal data and investment portfolios, as well as outline strategies for both investors and firms to protect assets from scams and fraud. Kerskie is president of Kerskie Group, an identity theft restoration firm and a nationally recognized identity theft speaker, author, consultant and podcaster. Advanced registration is required by contacting Elicha Moore at elicha@ResponsibleAdvisors.com or 239-777-7429.
EDISON MALL TO HOST INAUGURAL SWFL BLACK EXPO IN APRIL
Edison Mall, in partnership with the Dunbar Festival Committee, De’ Marshawn’s Salon & Makeup Studio, and SWFL Impact Partners, will host the inaugural SWFL Black Expo, a free to the public event held from April 9-11, highlighting minority businesses of all types in the Southwest Florida area. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to fund and expand local Black-owned 501(c)(3) nonprofits in the area. The SWFL Black Expo will include a designated kid zone with crafts and activities, seminars, workshops and speakers for the brand-new entrepreneur to seasoned business professional. There will be vendors, food trucks, and more. An opening reception is scheduled for April 9 with Lee Pitts Live hosting in the Food Court of the Edison Mall. Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are available. For more information, contact Angeli Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-939-1933 x 2725.
SNEAD EYE GROUP OPENS NEW CAPE CORAL LOCATION
Dr. Brad A. Snead, medical director of Snead Eye Group, announces the grand opening of its new Cape Coral location at 1616 Cape Coral Pkwy. West, Unit 113, in the Camelot Isles Shopping Center. The new facility is furnished with state-of-the-art equipment for the diagnosis and management of all aspects of eye care including cataracts, glaucoma, eyelid abnormalities, and dry eye. In addition to featuring the latest in comprehensive eye exam technology, Snead Eye Group states, the new location has a full-service optical department with a broad range of eyewear for women, men and kids. Snead Eye Group’s new Cape Coral location is open Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and accepts virtually all medical and vision insurance plans. Seeing patients at Snead Eye Group’s new Cape Coral office is Dr. Allison Coll whose expertise is primary eye care.
DAL LAGO LAW OPENS THIRD OFFICE IN NEW JERSEY
Dal Lago Law, a business and bankruptcy boutique law firm based in Naples, has opened an office in Hackensack, New Jersey. The firm also has offices in Fort Myers. Dal Lago Law’s founder, Mike Dal Lago, is from Northern New Jersey and passionate about supporting businesses in the area where he grew up. The new location will be helmed by Mike Dal Lago, who holds licenses to practice law in Florida, New Jersey and New York. Dal Lago Law will add other attorneys as demand in the area increases. The firm will be offering the same legal services he currently provides to clients in his Naples and Fort Myers offices. These include a multidisciplinary legal approach and support to the entire lifecycle of a business – from formation and corporate governance to growth and maintenance. Dal Lago has more than 20 years of experience providing customized legal solutions to small, mid-size and national businesses in the U.S. He has consistently been recognized in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite list, and is an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating an attorney can receive for their professional ethics and legal ability by their peers and judiciary.
GEORGE JOINS RMC GROUP AS COMMERCIAL LINES ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
RMC Group welcomes that Jessica George to the company as a commercial lines account executive. George is responsible for maintaining relationships with its business clients and soliciting new business for the property and casualty division of RMC Group. George brings 15 years of experience in the insurance industry to the role. She previously worked for Gulfshore Insurance Agency and Gallagher Lutgert in similar commercial lines roles. George attended Florida SouthWestern State College and holds a Property and Casualty General Lines (Florida 2-20) license.
Join STARability Foundation for beach cleanup Saturday in Naples
STARability Foundation is joining the Young Professionals of Naples for a beach cleanup event from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 13, at Lowdermilk Park in Naples. Helping to make the day a success will be representatives and volunteers from the Blue Zones Project of Southwest Florida. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to join STARability Foundation participants in an inclusive beach cleanup. Trash bags and gloves will be provided to all participants. For more information click here.
Waterside Builders supports youth sports
Waterside Builders, Inc., a luxury custom home builder in Naples, has teamed up with youth sports organizations to provide support for after school and extracurricular programs. This spring season, Waterside Builders is once again a platinum sponsor of the Naples High School Golden Eagle track and field team. As a consecutive platinum sponsor for the Naples High School track and field team, Waterside Builders has provided monetary support year-after-year to the team. Mike Assaad, owner and president of Waterside Builders, is a graduate of Naples High School and competed on several sports teams during his time at the school. Waterside Builders also sponsors the Naples Girls Softball team, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with home fields in Cambier Park in downtown Naples and Veteran Park in North Naples, and was a sponsor of the Golden Gate High School Titans football team.
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