Wildlife campaign launched on Sanibel targets fishing gear

A wide of range of wildlife in Southwest Florida have been fighting a losing battle with fishing line and fishing hooks.

Birds. Fish. Sea turtles. Manatees. Alligators. All have been found with hooks embedded in their bodies and monofilament line injuries.

“I saw an animal yesterday that had swallowed a fish that had a hook in it,” said Dr. Heather Barron, who works for the Clinic of the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island. “Sea birds and turtles are frequently presented to

Fort Myers cats adopted by Danish couple 4,753 miles away

Pet adoption scored a major victory recently when two kittens residing at a Lee County Animal Services shelter found their way into a new home with a loving family.

Nothing unusual about that, right?

Happens almost every day in towns and communities across America.

But this particular match was far from ordinary when you consider these two factors:
• The kittens statistically fall into the “least likely to be adopted” category because of the color of their fur.
• The husband and wife who fell

Calendar Girls dance for a worthy cause

A group of senior ladies has found its niche when it comes to fundraising and supporting a worthy cause in Southwest Florida.

Their secret?


That’s right. They dress up in sequined matching outfits as cowgirls, or pirates, or sexy school girls. On some occasions, they’ll even break out their Cher and Dolly Parton costumes.

“Our Cher show was fabulous. Wherever we go we get big smiles,” said Katherine Shortlidge.

Shortlidge is a member of the Calendar Girls, the colorful da

Mrs. Edison's Hymn sing set for Feb. 7

The annual Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing is a long-standing tradition in Fort Myers.

The fundraiser to benefit The Soup Kitchen of Community Cooperative has shown up on the calendar every February for the past 27 years and it is one of many events tied to the Edison Festival of Light that was created to honor Thomas Edison, who spent winters in his estate along the Caloosahatchee River.

Edison’s wife, Mina, is whom the hymn sing is named after.

“We hear a great deal about the wonderful work of Thom

Dress for Success rolls out red carpet to help empower women

Dress for Success rolls out red carpet to help empower women

As the founder and CEO of Dress for Success of Southwest Florida, Barbara Dell is proud of what the organization has been able to accomplish after a relatively short period of time.

She opened this region’s first Dress for Success boutique in 2010 in Fort Myers and seven years later, Dell and her team continue to work hard in a variety of ways to fulfill the mission: to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by prov

Fishing tournament reels in funds for Ronald McDonald House

Jeff Miloff doesn’t mince words in describing the approach he and other volunteers take when it comes to raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida.

“Our motto is ‘work hard, play hard and give back hard,’ ” Miloff said.

Miloff started supporting Ronald McDonald House 15 years ago. He’s been involved with the board for the past eight years, including having the distinction of being a past president. He is still a board member and the event coordinator for the an

Valerie's House plans support group for grieving husbands, dads

When Marshall Mills talks about the death of his wife, you hear a man who has been on an emotional rollercoaster ride that compares to few other things in life.

Mills’ wife of 18 years, Robin, a person who he grew up with and who he calls the love of his life, died suddenly in November of 2015. Mills has a daughter who is 14 and an 8-year-old son.

“Talk about feeling lost and alone,” Mill said. “It was a little overwhelming.”

Mills said there was a wave of support right after his wife passed

Despite early struggles, Army specialist Love discovers path to success

Justin Love learned an important lesson in life before he even graduated from high school.

“Nothing is ever given to you in life,” he said. “You have to make the journey yourself and take what you need in life.”

Love has survival instincts, for sure. He’s also smart and he is someone who when you talk to him, is filled with pride because of all of the things he has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.

Love, a graduate of Lehigh Senior High School, is a specialist for geospa

Small Cape Coral library keeps German language, customs alive

Through the years, the German American Social Club of Cape Coral has done plenty to meet its mission of promoting good fellowship with a variety of social activities. From the popular Oktoberfest to costume balls and folk dances, the members are given plenty of opportunities to celebrate their cultural heritage.

More: 3 things to know about the new Palace Pub & Wine Bar in Cape Coral

But the club’s mission, according to its website, is also to stimulate interest in the German language and cust

Cape Coral tours offer front row seats to nature

Cape Coral is known for a lot of things. Canals, trendy restaurants and a long list of annual celebrations and festivals are just a few of the favorite things about the Cape.

But newcomers and tourists visiting the region for the first time, and yes, even some long-time residents, might be surprised to learn that the Cape’s landscape is full of all sorts of interesting creatures and critters that help to distinguish this region from other places in Florida.

And thanks to the efforts of the

Catching up with former Cape Coral mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz

Catching up with former Cape Coral mayor Joe Mazurkiewicz

As a former mayor of Cape Coral, Joe Mazurkiewicz sees many similarities between what is happening in the city in 2017 to what was happening during the decade when he was in office.

“It was not much different then to what is going on now,” Mazurkiewicz said. “Cape Coral was a burgeoning community trying to make the transition to a modern city.”

Cape Coral is still growing and there’s been significant progress on many fronts since 1993

Gloria Raso Tate has earned place in Cape Coral history

Gloria Raso Tate remembers. She remembers – vividly -- the day she and her family rolled into Cape Coral for the very first time.

“The roads were dirt,” she said. “There were no buildings, but lots of mosquitos.”

It was the summer of 1960. Tate was only 9 years old. Her parents decided to make the move from Pennsylvania to Florida and they weren’t going to let anything stop them. Not even a hurricane.

“When we got here it was the day of Hurricane Donna,” she said. “We drove through the storm.

Cape Coral's purple martins: What you should know about these peculiar part-time residents

Cape Coral's purple martins: What you should know about these peculiar part-time residents

Purple martins have once again landed in Cape Coral, flying here from as far away as Brazil where it is currently winter time and a little too chilly for the largest member of the swallow family.

The Cape is world famous for its burrowing owl population, but the purple martin has to be right up there on the "must see wildlife" list for residents and tourists.

With more than 30 years of experience watchi

Meet Elmer Tabor, Cape Coral's No. 1 cheerleader

Elmer Tabor has pretty much seen it all in Cape Coral.

That’s because when he and his family moved here from West Virginia 57 years ago, there was pretty much nothing to see.

No stores or restaurants. No parks. No bridges to Fort Myers. No schools.

“There were only 13 families here when we moved down,” Tabor said. “We were hillbillies. My grandfather had a place in Fort Myers Beach. The Rosen brothers were building in Cape Coral and ultimately we built a house here. My grandfather and Jack an

Who will be named Cape Coral's most generous?

Who will be named Cape Coral's most generous?

Michael Chatman understands how important generosity is to a community.

You could even say fostering a generous community in Cape Coral has been one of Chatman’s top priorities since becoming the chief executive officer of the Cape Coral Community Foundation six months ago.

“Generosity is a key value for us,” Chatman said. “Generosity is the true essence of neighbors taking care of their neighbors.”

As he settles into his new job and looks for op

Cape Coral club welcomes new residents with open arms

People are moving to Cape Coral every day. And they are coming in bunches.

This attractive piece of land along Florida’s west coast has become a destination for families, snowbirds and retirees, who are most likely one of the biggest groups settling here thanks to stories in magazines like Forbes which ranked the Cape as the No. 3 place to retire in the nation in 2016.

For nearly 50 years, newcomers have been welcomed with open arms by the New Resident Club of Cape Coral. It is an organizati

Robin Hoods in Cape Coral going door-to-door to help fight hunger

Robin Hoods in Cape Coral going door-to-door to help fight hunger

If there’s any question about why a person like Christopher Spiro would be involved in a hunger drive, he’d be glad to tell you why.

“I know hunger,” Spiro said.

Growing up in Cape Coral, Spiro said he often didn’t know if there would be food on the table until his mother got home at night.

That was back in the 1970s, but it is a memory from his childhood that Spiro will never forget. Neither will his mother or his siblings. I

Cape Coral retiree Carl Veaux works to save the environment one burrow at a time

Cape Coral retiree Carl Veaux works to save the environment one burrow at a time

Carl Veaux has to be one of the busiest 80-year-olds living in Cape Coral. And that is just the way he wants it.

“I watch the retirees who move here and put a chair in the garage and watch the world go by,” Veaux said. “That’s just not for me.”

Veaux is a ball of energy when it comes to the environment and supporting various causes to protect it. From burrowing owls to birds, the New Jersey native has made the cr

Cape Coral's keeper of history also has eye on future

Cape Coral's keeper of history also has eye on future

If you have any questions about the history of Cape Coral, Wendy Schroder is your go-to person.

In her role as the president of the Cape Coral Historical Society and Museum, Schroder wears many hats. She’s a historian, an innovator, a fund-raiser, a groundskeeper and most of all, a lover of all things Cape Coral.

And her passion starts with the people who live there.

“I just want people to know about the history because it’s so exciting a

Garden Club of Cape Coral keeps growing

Growing plants and vegetables in Florida can be challenging, especially if you are from somewhere other than the Sunshine State.

Pat Foote moved here 12 years ago from New Jersey and she immediately encountered some issues with her flower beds and gardens.

She needed expert guidance and advice and she found it when she joined the Garden Club of Cape Coral.

“I call it the Alien Nation,” said Foote, referring to snowbirds and others who come to Florida and learn the hard way about how thi

Cape Coral's Crissy Barchers makes a living with witches, zombies, ugly sweaters

Crissy Barchers is the owner of Red Headed Witches, a costume store in Cape Coral. The 37-year-old native of Lee County, with a degree in business management and marketing from Southwest Florida College, has parlayed a lifelong interest in dressing up in costumes into a unique business.

Initially, her business was a seasonal costume store that was open for two months of the year, but four years ago she took the leap and established a year-round costume store. In addition to costumes, Red Headed

Diplomat’s Morgan Wright is teacher, competitor, ninja

Already this year, the 42-year-old Diplomat Elementary School physical education teacher has competed in two national strength and fitness competitions.

So you would think during the summer, especially in Florida, it would be a good time for someone like Wright to put his feet up and relax by the pool, right?

“I have 14 obstacle course races in the next seven months,” said Wright, who also competes in a variety of triathlons and marathons as part of his training. “Being able to put an event on

Help support Cape Coral troops through 'Holiday 4 Heroes'

When Jonette Kessack first started sending holiday care packages to Cape Coral service men and women living overseas, thousands of miles away from family and friends, she thought she’d do it for a year or two.

Now, 10 years later, Kessack has no intentions of stopping the incredibly generous tradition she got off the ground in her Sip & Send store. If fact, she promises this year’s drive will be bigger and better than ever.

“We were just beginning for this year and we had about 50 boxes,”

Downtown Cape Coral Farmers Market set to reopen Oct. 1

Even though it is situated in a parking lot, the downtown Cape Coral Farmers Market may be the closest thing you’ll find to Green Acres in Southwest Florida.

The farmers market returns for its 23rd year on Saturday, Oct. 1, and as far as Claudia St. Onge is concerned, that’s worth celebrating.

“You don’t know how excited everybody is,” said St. Onge, who is the business manager for the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce. “It’s like the Fourth of July. We’re really happy to be back.”

There w
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