Naples Daily News Weekend Digest Miss something this week? Catch up on a few of our big stories in this quick digest
Wearing a helmet and a Captain America T-shirt, 4-year-old Joaquín Ortiz runs to the next base during his T-ball practice. When he gets there, he takes off his helmet and looks at his mom, Patricia Ortiz, from across the field.
She gives him a thumb up.
"He is a professional," Ortiz says with a smile.
A dredger has begun digging sand out of Clam Pass in North Naples in a slow-motion race against time to save a dying mangrove forest.
Heavy winter rains and poor tidal flushing at the mouth of the choked off pass have flooded patches of mangroves that grow below the Pelican Bay neighborhood's high-rise condos, causing an 8-acre die-off. More mangroves are showing signs of stress, biologist Tim Hall said. He said the die-off might not be over.
"We don't know yet," Hall said. "It's too early to tell whether we've hit the bottom of that downward slide."
Making a living from making food is essentially inherent to Jon Wagner.
Food service is deeply rooted in the co-owner of The Butcher's Son food truck, which launched a few months ago in Naples.
"I grew up in the food business, the food industry, so I've always kind of been around food my whole life," Wagner said.
One East Naples neighborhood with a lean retail scene is bulking up.
Stores at Tamiami Crossing at U.S. 41 and Collier Boulevard have started to open their doors to shoppers, and folks in the area couldn’t be happier.
“Stein Mart opens March 10 — ladies, write that down,” said Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala during a town hall meeting she held on Marco Island at the beginning of March. She took her own advice and at least tried to check out the store on its first day.
Walt Conroy heard the fall.
David "Bud" Armbruster had collapsed on one of the courts at the Arthur L. Allen Tennis Center. It was a little after 8 a.m. on April 11. Conroy was playing doubles the next court over. At the tennis center, where it's typical for a bunch of retirees to play on a dozen available courts, it's not unusual to see someone fall.
But this one was different. Armbruster wasn't moving.
Conroy, a retired firefighter, rushed over to Armbruster. There was no pulse. He yelled for help.
Debra Atkins needed a toothpick. She had already spelled the names of a handful of the 67 guests expected to show up to the Saturday Seder with white chocolate tinted blue. Now she was affixing each letter to a piece of matzo to serve as place cards.
At her request, Daryl Sissman pivoted in the kitchen of her home on Whispering Pine Lane in Naples, white apron twirling, as she headed for the pantry.
"We're both on the Board at Temple," Sissman said, her voice muffling as she rummaged through boxes of dry goods. "That's a very meaningful part of our lives."
Atkins nodded, head bent over her matzo project.