Naples Daily News Weekend Digest Miss something this week? Catch up on a few of our big stories in this quick digest

Donald Trump urges faithful in Collier to vote early

Republican Donald Trump, fighting through polls that suggest his presidential bid is slipping away, launched a campaign blitz Sunday in must-win Florida, where he will spend three days trying to avoid a loss in his second-home state.

Trump flew into Collier County Fairgrounds, in Republican-safe Southwest Florida, on his helicopter to an eager crowd of more than 3,000 people Sunday.

“Are we glad that I started (campaigning)? Are we happy?” Trump said. “Well, I’ll let you know on the evening of November 8th whether I’m glad.”

In a nearly 45-minute speech, Trump’s argument was two-fold: The system is rigged, and so is the media.

“Without the media, she doesn’t doesn’t have a chance,” Trump said, referring to Democrat Hillary Clinton, as the crowd gave its most enthusiastic boos. “Including campaign Carl,” he said, appearing to point to Carl Cameron, Fox News Channel’s Washington-based chief political correspondent who is traveling with Trump, as Cameron stood above the crowd in the media bleachers.

More than 7,000 cast ballots in Collier County on record day of early voting

By 9 a.m. Monday, a line of voters already snaked out the door of Collier County's library headquarters on Orange Blossom Drive in North Naples.

With early voting underway, polls stayed busy throughout what election officials said was a record day and cars overflowed from the library's parking lot into the street.

"Have you ever seen anything like this?" said voter Mark Gilhuly, of Naples, as he parked on the side of the road.

Gilhuly said he has voted early here the past couple of years after moving to Naples from Connecticut. He said he always is surprised by how quickly volunteers keep the line moving.

"In Connecticut, it's just a wasted vote," Gilhuly said. "Down here, at least you feel like your vote makes a difference."

Collier County revokes Beach Box parking exemption; restaurant could close

The Beach Box Cafe will lose a parking exemption that could cause the restaurant and bar that anchors the entrance to Vanderbilt Beach to close its doors.

Collier County commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to revoke a parking exemption that allowed the Beach Box Cafe to add seating outside and expand into a former paddle board shop. Without the exemption, owners will have to either reduce seating from a capacity of 68 customers to seven or find room to install 31 more parking spaces.

The move could close the restaurant, co-owner Gary Brecka said just before the vote was taken.

“There will not be one parking space added or deleted because of this,” Brecka said. “Nothing has been moved or changed. The parking that is there is what has always been there. All this will do is put the Beach Box Cafe out of business.”

Brian Cross, a lawyer representing the Beach Box, said the store will sue the county to try to get the exemption back.

Collier County commission candidates talk population growth at forum

Candidates for Collier County commission talked about ways to prepare for population growth during a forum Wednesday night.

Two seats on the five-member commission are up for grabs in November. Democrat Annisa Karim faces Republican Burt Saunders in the race for District 3, which spans Golden Gate and parts of East Naples and North Naples along the Interstate 75 corridor. In District 5, which covers Golden Gate Estates, Immokalee and Everglades City, Republican Bill McDaniel is running against Democrat Tamara Paquette.

Saunders and Karim both said during the forum hosted by the Naples Daily News they will bring back a referendum asking voters if they want to re-institute Conservation Collier, a voluntary tax used to buy up pockets of preserve land throughout the county. Both said they oppose fracking and other alternative oil drilling methods in Southwest Florida.

The two differed sharply on how they would attract and deal with expanding businesses.

Karim said commissioners made a mistake this week when they approved expansion plans for Arthrex, a medical device manufacturer headquartered in North Naples. The expansion allows the company to build an office tower 122 feet high and will close off a portion of Creekside Boulevard to make room for the company’s growing campus.

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