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Weekly Roundup: Aug. 9-13

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Director Sandra Kauanui and FGCU President Mike Martin, right, celebrate the opening of Lucas Hall – home to FGCU's Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship – as its namesake, David Lucas, looks on. Credit: Tiffany Shadden/Florida Gulf Coast University
Photo by fauxels from Pexels

 

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Friday, Aug. 13

FGCU OPENS LUCAS HALL FOR ENTREPRENEURS

Director Sandra Kauanui and FGCU President Mike Martin, right, celebrate the opening of Lucas Hall – home to FGCU’s Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship – as its namesake, David Lucas, looks on. Credit: Tiffany Shadden/Florida Gulf Coast University

Florida Gulf Coast University opened Lucas Hall – a 27,000-square-foot, three-story home for entrepreneurs – on Tuesday. Starting in late 2018, before it was elevated to a school within the university, the Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship operated from FGCU’s off-campus Emergent Technologies Institute. The opening of Lucas Hall enables entrepreneurship students to take all of their classes on the main campus for the first time. “It’s very meaningful because we’re back home,” said Sandra Kauanui, Ph.D., the school’s founding director. In addition to office space and classrooms, the $10.4 million privately funded facility includes the FineMark National Bank & Trust Incubator and the Rist Family Foundation Maker Space. Lucas Hall will also feature a media lab incorporating total lighting and sound control, backdrops, props and cinema-quality audio-video equipment. The structure is named in honor of David Lucas, who gave the university a $4 million challenge – kick-starting the campaign that fully funded the building through philanthropy. The building is also home to the Florida Small Business Development Center and FGCU’s Regional Economic Research Institute.

 

Thursday, Aug. 12

RENT, MORTGAGE AND UTILITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HELPS COLLIER RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY COVID-19 

Ongoing since March this year, the Collier Community Assistance Program (CCAP) assists residents with paying past-due rent, mortgage and utility bills as well as future rent payments. Program funds remain available to help with past due payments. These payments must have accumulated as a result of COVID-19 and must be documented. Aid is available for past-due bills going back to March 13, 2020, but may not exceed 12 months of arrearage for rent. Rental assistance, including arrearage, may not exceed 15 months. A landlord may apply on behalf of a tenant. Landlords can apply for reimbursement of each eligible renter’s unpaid rent between March 13, 2020, and March 31, 2021, or the most recent unpaid month. CCAP is also screening applicants’ eligibility through the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (EHEAP) to assist households with a delinquent electric bill and an adult 60 years or older who resides in the home. Up to $5,000 in assistance for air conditioning repairs or replacement may be provided to households with an elderly member or to a qualified elderly homeowner. Residents may dial 311 within the county or email CCAPinfo@colliercountyfl.gov to receive general program information or assistance. 

 

Wednesday, Aug. 11

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS TWO-WAY TRAFFIC CONVERSION PROJECT SET TO BEGIN 

Construction will soon begin on the first phase of a two-way traffic conversion project in Fort Myers. The $3.1 million project will convert one-way streets into two-way streets. The roads include portions of Fowler, First, Second and Seaboard streets, and Palm Beach Boulevard. The project is expected to take about a year because of manufacturing and delivery challenges of traffic signal materials, according to the city. The project’s first phase is expected to be completed next summer. Construction is expected to begin this month at the Palm Beach Boulevard and Seaboard Street intersection, WINK News reports

 

Tuesday, Aug. 10

HERTZ REPORTS NET LOSS DESPITE STRONGER SECOND QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS 
Estero-based Hertz Global Holdings Inc. on Monday announced second-quarter financial results with a net loss of $168 million or $1.05 loss per share. The loss included $633 million of reorganization expenses. During the quarter, the car rental company generated total revenues of $1.9 billion reflecting a stronger leisure travel demand coupled with tighter fleet inventory. Adjusted Corporate EBITDA was $639 million, resulting in a 34% margin. The improvement resulted from strong revenues, efficient fleet management and more than $400 million of structural and recurring cost reduction. Hertz Global emerged from its Chapter 11 process on June 30 well-capitalized with the flexibility and resources to pursue new growth opportunities. The company anticipates a re-IPO, which includes hosting an investor roadshow and relisting on a major exchange by the end of the year.

 

Monday, Aug. 9

Video courtesy of WINK News

LEE HEALTH ACTIVATES HOSPITAL SURGE PLAN FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS 
A coronavirus surge plan has been activated for hospitals seeing a large rise in COVID-19 patients. Lee Health hospitals are filling up with people in need of help to the point nurses are treating patients in hallways. Lee Health is moving groups of COVID-19 patients to their own unit and outside of the overcrowded hospitals. Late last week, its staffed bed capacity was at 89% with a 95% bed capacity in ICU. Gulf Coast Medical Center in Lee County is using the first floor of a skilled nursing unit to treat COVID-19 patients who no longer need hospital care but are not fully recovered to return home yet. Lee Health also brought in travel nurses and now offers incentives for those who pick up extra shifts and increased pay for frontline workers, WINK News reports.  

 

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