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