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

Immokalee teen remains thankful for heart, family who saved her life

Ana Martinez lay sleeping in a Hollywood, Florida hospital bed, her heart weak from a congenital birth defect. The 13-year-old's pacemaker was broken and the situation was dire. Doctors had finally decided that her only hope was a transplant.

For that to happen, Martinez knew it meant another child had to die.

Elmer Lopez had suffered a brain aneurysm in gym class. The Coral Springs student and baseball player was 14 when he died suddenly. His parents made the decision Feb. 15, 2011 to donate his organs.

When they got word, a nurse and Martinez' mother woke Ana.

"Hija, hay un corazon," Martinez' mother whispered in Spanish.

"Daughter, there's a heart."

These days, Martinez is a busy student at Immokalee High School, racing toward graduation. She works as a tutor with the Guadalupe Center and volunteers weekly at Pinecrest Elementary School. In the meantime, she's looking at colleges and wants to become a nurse practitioner after so much time growing up around the profession.

Threat of Zika puts extra pressure on mosquito control officials

Danny Weeks always has mosquitoes on his mind. Lately, it's about the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus.

At about 6 a.m. five days a week, the 32-year veteran employee of the Collier Mosquito Control District sets out to visit some of his 13 mosquito stations to get a handle on prevalence of the insects.

So far none of the 50 cases of Zika statewide have occurred in Collier County, three cases were identified in Lee County several weeks ago, but the district is ramping up for the hot and rainy summer which fuels mosquito breeding. All Zika cases to date have involved people who traveled and were bitten by an infected mosquito.

The district's in-house lab may be upgraded next year to expand capabilities to test mosquitoes for Zika, dengue and chikungunya, said Patrick Linn, the district's executive director. Right now, the lab can only test mosquitoes for West Nile virus.

"We will investigate how much it is going to cost and put it in our budget request next year," he said. "Once you are going, it is not that expensive. It is getting to that point. We want to be able to test for everything."

The district is funded through a property tax levy of $10 per $1,000 of total taxable value of a home, In 2015, the taxing authority generated $6.2 million, records show.

Celebrity Chef Art Smith opens 1500 South restaurant in Naples

Describing Art Smith as a dynamo only begins to capture the extreme energy, enthusiasm and passion radiated by the celebrity chef.

Meeting Smith recently at Naples Bay Resort to discuss the opening of 1500 South by Chef Art Smith, his new restaurant in the boutique waterfront destination in Naples, he showed up in the hotel's lobby wearing a T-shirt soaked with sweat. Smith immediately apologized for his appearance, explaining that he had just returned from a morning jog downtown with his personal trainer. He proves at once to be a gracious host, though, promising to change into a chef coat for a video interview in his new dining room.

The internationally known chef clearly showcases his Southern roots with his unpretentious charm and hospitality, and proves to be engaging with his bubbly personality and upbeat attitude. During the short walk to his restaurant, past yachts moored in the center of the resort, it's clear that Smith is excited about his new venture here.

"Naples is a fantastically beautiful place. It is truly one of the most beautiful parts of America," he said. "I'm happy to be here. I think that there's great things we can do. Just to be here just to chill and look out at that beautiful water and the boats and stuff is just wonderful. What a wonderful place."

Smith, who just turned 56 last week, also professes his love for morning coffee, although one suspects caffeine is probably wasted on him. He stops halfway at Catalina Café to offer a fresh cup from the new coffeehouse in the corner of the resort, which he also serves as food and beverage manager.

Turtle time in Naples raises big money for three groups

When the bidding reached the bronze loggerhead created by Kathy Spalding, it slowed down literally to a turtle crawl. But that crawl brought a $47,500 bid, the largest all evening to help the trio of local organizations behind Turtles on the Town.

Before her death in 2014 the internationally known artist, who called Naples home, had offered one of her own molds for the turtles that local artists embellished for the Turtles on the Town exhibition and auction. Then her family estate foundation donated a bronze Spalding sculpture to the cause.

Despite being one third the size of the resin turtles around it, she was the queen of the sea Wednesday evening on the grounds of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Bidding seesawed back and forth for a full five minutes until Maureen and Jim Murphy, friends of the artist, won the lifelike bronze, a familiar example of Spalding's aquatic art.

That sale marked the midpoint of a brisk auction made livelier by maracas at each place setting for nearly 300 patrons. Prices ranged from $5,000 to nearly $13,000 from among guests at the $500-a-seat dinner.

Eileen Connolly-Keesler, executive director of the Community Foundation, which suggested the plan to benefit it, the Conservancy, the United Arts Council of Collier County, said she wasn't sure how much the entire gala and auction had brought in. But the money was only a part of it, she said.

"I'm overwhelmed by the support the community and artists have given us, that three organizations could collaborate so beautifully on it and that such amazing art came out of this," she said.

It takes 50 rounds, but Lee finally crowns its spelling champ

With every new round, the crowd at the Lee County Spelling Bee wondered whether the event was setting a record.

It took 50 rounds for the bee to produce the night's champion — Matthew Krupka of Fort Myers Christian School.

"My action plan was to pay attention and slow down," said Matthew, who correctly spelled catadromous. "Stay slow. Don't rush it. That is how you win."

Krupka said the night's second place winner, Crestwell School's Riya Bhakta, "gave him a run for his money."

Riya studied with the third place winner, Anisha Malik, whose father produced the loudest cheers of the night.

Early in the evening, Asif Malik, 43, pulled from his pocket a program he designed to help his daughter and her friend study for Thursday's bee. "We studied together for hours," Riya said.

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