World Cup brings excitement to SWFL soccer league

FORT MYERS– This year’s Women’s World Cup is creating some buzz in Southwest Florida. Sports Anchor Victoria Carmen talks with members of the Fort Myers Women’s Soccer League during the USA vs Germany Semifinal game. 


Employee writes on Facebook he would marry dog, gets fired

A Cape Coral man says he was fired for something he posted about his dog on Facebook.

Ryan Uhler says he was inspired by the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage.

“Gay marriage was passed in all 50 states and I thought it be funny to post a picture of me and the dog,” says Uhler.

It was the caption that got him in trouble saying if he could be married to him he would.

Uhler says he was fired over it.

He says his employers at Grace Advisory Group in Fort Myers didn’t find it funny and fired him.

Uhler said: “What happened was, they took it out of context.”

Trial lawyer, Scot Goldberg said the company is justified.

“I think going to the point where they’re firing someone is a little bit over the line. I think they have the ability to do that in the legal recourse to do it.”

Goldberg adds Florida is an “at will” state meaning employers don’t need to give a reason for firing without notice.

We reached out to Grace Investment Group for comment on why Uhler was fired and have not immediately heard back.


Fort Myers native makes Pan Am Games

Mariner High School’s Casey Coleman will suit up for Team USA in the Pan Am Games next month.  The former FGCU star is one of 24 players chosen to wear the Red, White, and Blue in Toronto.  Coleman is currently pitching for Omaha, the Kansas City Royals’ AAA team.


Well known Bonita Springs landmark could come down

A well known landmark in Bonita Springs may set sail. There are plans to tear down the replica ship off US-41 in Bonita Springs for a 55+ community.

Once a restaurant, the ship has had no luck finding new owners – even during an auction last year.

So now a developer wants to tear it down.

According to the city of Bonita Springs the development would have 160 units with areas for special events.

Nearby business owners are excited about the news.

Lee Common, owner of Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream said: “The community is booming, everything is beautiful, new and… You got the ship sitting here rotting away.”

The city’s zoning board has already recommended approval for the development.

Bonita City Councilors will have a first reading of the ordinance Wednesday at their meeting.

We reached out to the owner of the ship for comment but have not immediately heard back.


Fla. vaccine law takes effect Wednesday

(THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA) Floridians will be able to receive more vaccines at their local pharmacies under a law that takes effect Wednesday. 

Pharmacists are already able to administer vaccines that fight some viruses, like influenza and shingles, but the new measure (HB 279) would add several others, including shots targeted at measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (or whooping cough); and human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cancer. 
The new law will also allow pharmacy interns to be certified to give vaccines. 
“The one way to ensure that more people receive needed vaccinations is to make it more convenient, and this legislation increases that access and will help keep all residents and visitors safe and healthy,” said Senate Health Policy Committee Chairman Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, in a statement calling attention to the new law.

Vehicle burglar sought in Charlotte County

Information from Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office:

District detectives are asking for assistance in identifying a bicyclist caught on video in the area of Olean Blvd. and Beacon Drive where several vehicles were burglarized earlier in June.

At the first part of June, the Sheriff’s Office received reports from several victims in the Olean and Beacon area where someone had entered their unlocked vehicle overnight. Surveillance video at one home showed a white male ride up on a bicycle to a vehicle parked in the driveway. After checking the door, which was apparently locked, he can be seen riding his bike across the street to another house. When he approached the vehicle in that driveway, a motion activated light on the house comes on.

The attached still photo was taken from the video which is posted separately to CCSO’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Anyone with information on the identity of the man on the bike is asked to please call the Sheriff’s Office at (941) 639-2101 (ask for District Detectives), or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Woman arrested for mango-related shooting

A man plucking what he describes as a ‘perfect-looking mango’ from a Fort Myers street says the woman who owned the tree the fruit came from fired a shot at him for trying to take it.

It happened at the corner of McGregor Boulevard and Kasamada Drive, just south of Colonial Boulevard.

Christopher Richey says he was on his way back from an anniversary celebration on Sanibel with his wife when he spotted the pristine mango.

“I wouldn’t even have turned around for it if it wasn’t a good mango,” Richey said.

After Richey had the mango, he said the homeowner drove up, accused him of stealing mangoes from her yard and threatened to shoot him.

Josefina Tometich, 64, allegedly went into her home, returned with a .22 caliber BB gun, which deputies say she used to shoot out the rear window of Richey’s truck.

Tometich’s family says “no trespassing” signs are on the property, and they’ll put up more, to deter mango thieves.

But Richey maintains the mango he saw was in the roadway, and therefore free for the taking.

In the end, he and his wife left without any mangoes.


Some mango tree owners draw a hard line between their trees and their privacy.

“You draw a line when you catch someone hanging over your tree with the fruit picker with 15 of your mangoes in a bag,” said Dena Galyean, Mango tree owner.

The response that landed one woman in jail went too far, according to some mango owners.

“This is ridiculous, I mean the mangoes are here for us to eat and there’s way too many and we should be getting them off the sidewalks,” Katie Archer said.

Others said they are not afraid to call the police on anyone trespassing on their property to take the fruit.


Legal issues are raised by this case as the victim claims he did nothing wrong and the accused shooter tells a different story.

With mango trees scattered across Cape Coral and lining the streets on McGregor Boulevard you might be tempted to grab the fruit. But attorneys say you should think twice about that because of a legal grey area.

“Somebody that goes ahead and picks a piece of fruit off a tree that’s hanging into a public area is not committing a theft,” said Scot Goldberg, personal injury attorney. “Now could a prosecutor or other attorney argue a different way, absolutely.”

Attorneys say homeowners can be liable for injuries related to picking mangoes off trees so they suggest trimming the leaves to get rid of unwanted attention.


Obama unveils overtime proposal

Millions of Americans could soon be getting paid for the hours they work. President Obama announced today his proposal to give low-income salary employees overtime for working more than 40 hours per week.

ABC-7 Anchor Gary Brode get us more on the potential change.

About five-million more people would be eligible under this proposal.

The President’s reason for the change is because “A hard days work, deserves a fair days pay.”

Right now, any salaried employee making more than $455 per week can be called a manager.

That title meant the worker was exempt from receiving overtime pay.

The long awaited proposal would more than double that per week salary to $970.

So if you’re making less than that – even if you’re salary – you will still get paid time and a half for anything over 40 hours.

Chris Brenna, Wawa Manager said: “I’m for people making more money – as cost goes up people should be paid more – but I’m also a believer that you earn what you work.”

This would be the third time since the great depression that overtime rules have changed in America.


New artificial reefs impact economy, environment

They’re the grey concrete culverts you’d find under the road, or concrete poles used for utilities; now you can find those same chunks of concrete in the Gulf off Collier County serving as an underwater habitat.

The first pieces of the artificial reef were deployed in January.

The project is being funded by a BP grant and private donations, and is projected to eventually reel in $30-million a year in tourism dollars.

[READ — More on Paradise Coast Artificial Reef Project]

“It’s extremely exciting we’ve received great feedback from the community the fishing, boating and diving communities,” said Collier County senior environmental specialist, Chris D’Arco.

Fishing captian, Harry Julian is one of them.

“We’re already seeing some good fishing on the reefs out there especially with schooling fish.”

He owns Pure Naples based in Tin City.

“Sight-seeing to fishing to jet boat rides,” he explained

He’s excited about the new business he’ll reel in thanks to the new reefs.

“It’s going to be great for the local economy- fisherman like myself the guys working for me. Give us more options to fish more habitat for the fish.”

While all of the cement is expected to be deployed as early as August, that’s not all Julian is excited about. Julian’s name appears in the credits of major movies like Titanic and James Bond Quantum of Solace for what’s known as a Marine Coordinator for scenes involving water.

“All the people you have to get them there, do safety, do the logistics, coordinate everything,” he said.

He said he was so drawn to the artificial reef project on a personal level, he decided to make a documentary using Pure Image Productions, a company he partners with. He explained how the film will start.

“From the very beginning of, alright, there was the BP oil crisis, there was a fund set up for sustainable tourism.”

That money founded the basis of the reef project and the inspiration for the documentary. 

[WATCH – the trailer here]

He says it will encompass a variety of issues impacting the Gulf.

“Touching on some of the environmental aspects of what’s happening in our oceans and what this will do to bring more life to the fish grounds off of Southwest Florida,” he said.


Estero doctor identified as homicide victim

Mother of two, Dr. Teresa Ann Sievers, 46, is the victim of a homicide in Bonita Springs and Lee County Sheriff’s Office authorities are now asking for anyone who heard or saw anything in connection to this to call them.

LCSO went Monday at 9:45 a.m. to Sievers’ address at 27034 Jarvis Road in Bonita Springs regarding her death.

They continued to work at the scene Wednesday saying they are pursuing several leads in the active investigation. 

SWFL Criminal Justice Academy members were seen combing through high grass and land at a park across from the scene. LCSO is asking neighbors to “remain vigilant and if they see any suspicious activity to please report it.”
Employees at her office – Restorative Health and Healing Center in Estero – said she didn’t show up for work on Monday, despite having patients scheduled to see her. 
The center that Sievers ran was a hormone therapy and holistic healing practice. When deputies went to check on her, they found her lifeless at her Bonita Springs home, staff said.
Tuesday morning, a sign was placed on her office door informing patients of her death. The home on Jarvis Road, off E. Terry Street, has been surrounded with crime scene tape since deputies were called there.
Detectives returned Wednesday morning to continue the investigation. Employees with a home security business arrived on scene as well and spoke to detectives.
Authorities have been communicating with neighbors, one of which told us the doctor had returned to Southwest Florida alone after arriving from Connecticut on Sunday. 
“They just asked about any suspicious behavior in the neighborhood – if we heard any dogs barking late that night,” said Kevin Zitto Collins.
Nearby neighbor Damien Leport said he heard arguing Monday night outside. He said he noticed a red car in the driveway twice last week that he hadn’t seen before.
Neighbors and those who knew Sievers said she was a loving family woman and they want answers.
Many staff and patients Tuesday that we spoke with described the doctor as a friend – the type of doctor who would stuff a 36-hour workday into 24-hours.
Patient Karen Gardino feared the worst when she rushed to her doctor’s home after getting word that Sievers was no longer alive.
“I said ‘please don’t tell me it’s that house,'” said Gardino.
Another patient, Teresa Hemmer remembers how the doctor: “Would actually reach out and grab my hands and pray for me – pray with me – knowing that I’m a spiritual person.”
Many neighbors, friends and patients are now left asking who could do this to her? 
Kimberly Torres lives next door and said: “An investigator came three hours later, told me that my neighbor had been killed, in a very gruesome manner.”
Just last month, she along with her husband and two young daughters graced the pages of eBella magazine looking healthy and happy. 
“I can’t even imagine,” said Hemmer. “I’m devastated and she’s not even my family. I can’t imagine how it feels to be her family.”
Gardino says: “She was just a wonderful person… She had all that talent and now it’s gone.”
Sievers once served on the board of Our Mother’s Home, a local group that caters to pregnant teens and young mothers. 
Her staff have made arrangements for another doctor to handle her medical cases.

Detectives are asking that any suspicious activity be reported – and that for anyone who was in the area who may have seen or heard anything to contact them at (239) 477-1000. 

Authorities also advocate basic safety precautions including locking doors to homes and vehicles.

To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, contact the Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS(8477). Tips may also be made online at  via text to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD; or through the TipSubmit app on any Smart phone.