Long considered the foremost and leading matron of the Lehigh Acres community, Myra Kessler was awarded the prestigious “Heart of Lehigh” award at the Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce annual gala event held Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, at Gateway Country Club. What came as no surprise to people who know Kessler, after winning $270 from a raffle conducted during the event, she immediately donated the proceeds to one of her favorite groups – Lehigh Community Services.
Kessler, 83, a long-time, and original community resident, received a tumultuous standing ovation after Ruth Anglickis beckoned her to the podium to receive this highest of awards honoring a Lehigh Acres resident. She was stunned, surprised as Anglickis stated, “It is with great pleasure that I have been asked to help present the Heart of Lehigh Award tonight, as it goes to a best friend of almost 50 years.”
The “Heart of Lehigh” is a relatively new honor created by the chamber that is bestowed upon a local resident that has made significant contributions to the community as well as the chamber and its members. The award is only handed out to a person who through their efforts and activities in the community deserves such honor and recognition. No one has any doubt Kessler is such a person. (more…)
In an 11th hour addition to the Commissioners agenda, the Lee County Commission Tuesday approved a public referendum on permitting slot machines at the Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Racing and Poker facility.
The referendum will be put before voters on Nov. 6 after its wording is approved in a public hearing.
Commissioners were not set to consider the referendum in the regular week agenda.
But an amendment to a state bill last week that could have prohibited a referendum forced immediate consideration, county staff said.
Commissioners Frank Mann and Brian Bigelow voted against the referendum, citing the lack of notice.
“It just seems to dupe public notice,” Bigelow said. “I’m not supporting this; the process is too hasty on too big an issue.
The rush, Mann said, may be entirely unnecessary as the bill may never be signed into law.
From a tip, the Pinellas County Sheriff Office captured Gordon J. Despot in Clearwater. Despot was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Jan 25, 2012, from a no bond Lee County warrant. As of today, Despot is on this way back to Lee County to face felony charges. Despot will be facing felony grand theft and possible hand gun charges. Also, the Gazette has learned Despot may have to face Federal charges on the Valor Act.
Welcome Lehigh Spring Festival IDOL Fans!
. Do you have what it takes to be the next Spring Festival Idol?
. Auditions for the annual Spring Festival Idol contests, sponsored by Lehigh General and Implant Dentistry, will take place soon!
Applications to take part in either the Spring Festival Idol Contest (ages 17 and over) or the Junior Spring Festival Idol Contest (ages 8 through 16) are available Here online and can also be picked up at Home For All The Holidays, located at 3 Homestead Rd. The deadline for applications is Sat. March 7, 2012. (more…)
STRAWBERRY SHORT CAKE
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
The Minnesota Twins Florida Caravan and Youth Clinic hit the baseball diamond in Lehigh Acres Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. The Twins were on field one at Lehigh Acres Community Park with more than 125 boys and girls participating in this community event. The children learned the basics in hitting, fielding and pitching from the Twins players and staff. At the end the event, each child received a Twin’s baseball.
Click here to see photos today’s event.
Two pieces of education legislation are on the table in Tallahassee. Under the Parent Empowerment Act, parents would have the power to fire school staff if they feel the school is not up to par. Under the Parental Involvement and Accountability in the Public Schools Bill, teachers would actually grade parents on their involvement in children’s’ schooling.
SW Florida Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto believes the Parent Empowerment Act, known as House Bill 1191, would force schools to improve. “The full intent of the bill is to get parents engaged and involved in the turn-around process,” Benaquisto said. (more…)
A 14-acre brush fire went up in a matter of minutes Thursday in Lehigh Acres. The blaze came dangerously close to two homes in the area of Hines Avenue and Sixth Street East. It was the preventative measures taken by the Florida Forest Service that helped keep the fire under control.
In a matter of minutes Thursday, Lehigh Acres resident Paul Kondzich watched as flames engulfed the land near his home.
“The wind it created and the noise – the heat was amazing,” he said. “In 10 to 15 minutes, the fire was all the way to the house across the street.”
It was on the track to seriously damage two houses.
“It could have been a totally different outcome,” he said. (more…)
After 27 years as Lee County’s Clerk of Courts, Charlie Green wants to pursue a new career. Green has announced he will not seek re-election.
“I want to work until I’m 80,” said Green, who is 64. “It’s time to try something else.”
Linda Doggett, director at Lee County Clerk of Courts, filed her papers Wednesday to run for Green’s seat. Green said her interest came after he mentioned nearly four months ago his intentions not to seek re-election.
“I’ll support her 100 percent,” Green said. “She’s a super gal. She knows the daily function, all the employees. I’m excited and that Lee County will be well served with Linda at the helm.”
Since Green started Nov. 20, 1984, he proudly said, the office has made tremendous strides.
“Though I wish I could say it was because of me,” he quipped. “But you’re only as good as the people you work with.”
The Lee County Clerk of Courts, he said, gets everything posted online immediately, and manages by the numbers. (more…)
Julian and Bonnie, who are well-known gospel music singers, Nashville style, will perform with dinner and a concert on Sunday January 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Community Congregational Church, 200 E. Leeland heights Blvd. in Lehigh Acres.
The concert is free to the public, but a free-will offering will be taken for the gospel entertainers. Pastor Deb Frysinger said the church will receive no money from the concert.
“They play at churches all over the country and are now coming to Southwest Florida, and they will play for us and accept contributions from those attending,” Frysinger said.
Along with the concert, the church will serve a spaghetti dinner, also with a free will donation. The dinner begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the gospel concert.
Julian and Bonnie come directly from Nashville, Tenn., and were nominated “2010 Duo of the Year” by the United States Association of Gospel Entertainers and Musicians.
Beginning in February, East County Water Control District (ECWCD) will initiate a project to repair 22 bridges, which the agency owns, throughout Lehigh Acres. The project comes from recommendations from the State and should take three to four months to complete.
Every two years, officials of State of Florida inspects all bridges in the state and furnish a report to each owner which provides an evaluation of each structure and states recommendations and required improvements for public safety. (more…)