Written by Stephen Brittain
Good afternoon, I’m Stephen Brittain. I moved to Lehigh Acres with my family in January of 1962 as a 4 ½ year old and spent my first summer here having my tonsils removed at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers. My first organized schooling experience was at Frances Barbour’s kindergarten on Lee Boulevard. There I would meet friends, some of which, I would spend the next 13 years with. Steve Ranke, Gary Dahlke, Charles Kessler, Jeff Boswell, Dalton Drake, Susan Hart, Mark Bateman, Jimmy Friedlander, Donna Marie Williams – this little group started and finished school together here in Lee County.
Lehigh Acres was a company town. Land owner turned real estate developer Lee Ranter knew that the 12 square miles of the Lucky Lee Ranch would best yield a profit if turned into quarter acre home sites. So this working ranch was divided into some 144,000 ¼ and ½ acre lots and sold starting around 1955. The ads ran during the evening news in New York City telling prospective buyers that for 10 dollars down and 10 dollars a month, you could own a home site in Lehigh Acres, Florida. I am told that bags of mail were delivered to the Miami offices of Lehigh Acres Land and Title Company, daily, as people mailed in their checks.
Fire Crews continue to monitor a massive brush fire that ripped through at least 625 acres off SR-82 near Shawnee Road – near Southwest Florida International Airport.
At last check Friday afternoon, fire officials say it is 100% contained, but they are still keeping an eye on hot spots as the smoke still lingers.
Fire Crews from 12 different agencies worked through the night to contain the blaze – and by Friday morning Charlotte County fire authorities entered the mix with additional resources to add to the already 300 on the ground and in the air.
A mobile command center is located off Daniels and could cause some minor delays.
Around 1 am the fire jumped the fire lines causing more acres to flare up – sending smoke billowing over RSW and I-75.
Fire Chief John Wayne feathers got ruffled at the last fire board meeting, as he was on the defensive all night.
So who actually runs the fire boards meetings, the board or Chief Wayne?
During the so-called public hearing on the assessment, if you want to call it that, Wayne attacked one of the owners of a not for profit in Lehigh Acres and tried to embarrass him.
After the meeting two firefighters came up to this owner and apologized for the Wayne’s behavior and stated if we would have done that to you, the chief would have fired us on the spot.
“Wayne’s behavior against that not for profit owner is totally unethical,” said Fire Commissioner Matt Smith.
UPDATE: At 10:30 pm fire is 350 acres and 75 percent contained.
Fire Crews for multiple agencies are battling a brush fire that is burning off SR-82 near Shawnee Road.
According to Florida Forestry Service, the brush fire is 175 acres and 70 percent contained. The smoke caused visibility issues along busy Daniels Parkway during the afternoon rush.
The Community Council of Lehigh Acres voted to make all 42 people on its board to be members of an incorporation committee and plan to spend the June meeting talking about nothing but incorporation.
It also voted not to take a position until after such a meeting is held and then Council President Mohamed Yasin said the board will take a vote to support incorporation or to reject it.
Lists of those projects include:
- Homestead Road, two to four-lane widening from south of Sunrise Boulevard to Alabama Road. Lee County commissioners are actively acquiring the right-of-way. Construction is funded in FY 2016. Based on funding availability construction could start as soon as October of this year. However, all right-of-ways may not be acquired by then, so anticipated bidding is in the spring of next year.
People living in Lehigh Acres will now have to pay hundreds of dollars in a new fire assessment fee. If not, they could lose their property.
The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District finalized the plan Tuesday night – after a long and heated debate on whether or not to implement the new cost.
Fire board meeting tonight at station 104 on Sunshine Blvd at 5 pm
If you received a notice …… this is the meeting to attended