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Fort Myers Beach residents rally against proposed development

A proposed plan to build four high-rises, a parking garage and a seawall on a Fort Myers Beach property sent some residents out in protest Sunday.

Ruth Stuessel and her husband have spent six months on Fort Myers Beach every year for the past 12 years.

“When we come over that bridge, we see this ocean. My heart just… I love it. I love it here,” Ruth said.

That’s why they joined the protest, hoping to keep the view at Fort Myers Beach just as it is.

“I am against it. Very much against it,” Ruth said.

She said she wants to protect the beach and the plans for four high-rises are threatening it.

The new hotels would straddle Estero Boulevard close to the Matanzas Pass Bridge.

John Heim is leading the rally. He said he’s worried about the construction of a seawall.

“It will create beach erosion and unnatural river flows of trenches where the water will basically carve its way in,” he said.

The developers said the seawall would protect the area from a hurricane.

Heim disagrees. “I think we’re going in the wrong direction with so much concrete and infrastructure.”

It’s a direction they hope to redirect.

“I would like our island to stay the same forever, and maybe that’s not possible, but if it was up to me and if I can prevent it, I will,” said Karen Nichols.

Heim said he’ll be calling for the resignation of the Fort Myers Beach mayor and one of the commissioners at the town council meeting Monday.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Fort Myers Beach residents rally against proposed development

A proposed plan to build four high-rises, a parking garage and a seawall on a Fort Myers Beach property sent some residents out in protest Sunday.

Ruth Stuessel and her husband have spent six months on Fort Myers Beach every year for the past 12 years.

– USING OUR APP? WATCH VIDEO HERE

“When we come over that bridge, we see this ocean. My heart just… I love it. I love it here,” Ruth said.

That’s why they joined the protest, hoping to keep the view at Fort Myers Beach just as it is.

“I am against it. Very much against it,” Ruth said.

She said she wants to protect the beach and the plans for four high-rises are threatening it.

The new hotels would straddle Estero Boulevard close to the Matanzas Pass Bridge.

John Heim is leading the rally. He said he’s worried about the construction of a seawall.

“It will create beach erosion and unnatural river flows of trenches where the water will basically carve its way in,” he said.

The developers said the seawall would protect the area from a hurricane.

Heim disagrees. “I think we’re going in the wrong direction with so much concrete and infrastructure.”

It’s a direction they hope to redirect.

“I would like our island to stay the same forever, and maybe that’s not possible, but if it was up to me and if I can prevent it, I will,” said Karen Nichols.

Heim said he’ll be calling for the resignation of the Fort Myers Beach mayor and one of the commissioners at the town council meeting Monday.

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Nun helps rescue man pinned under tree in Massachusetts

WRENTHAM, Mass. (WJAR) — A 74-year-old man was rescued after a nun heard his cries for help coming from a wooded area in Wrentham on Saturday.

Firefighters said one of the sisters at Mount St. Mary’s Abbey on Arnold Street heard the cries just after 4 p.m.

The nun couldn’t see the victim in the woods, but the victim was able to tell her that he was hurt.

According to firefighters, the 74-year-old man had a 10-12 inch in diameter tree pinned against his lower leg. The man was standing, but unable to move.

Firefighters said he had been stuck there for about 2 hours.

Rescue workers arrived and entered the wooded area from West Street. After some searching, they located the man. The man was suffering from exposure issues to go along with the lower leg injury.

The man had been cutting trees with a chainsaw when the accident occurred.

Firefighters said the injuries were non-life threatening, but if the nun hadn’t heard him, the injuries could’ve been fatal.

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Preservation, home construction put on-hold in Estero, Lee Co. lawsuit

A plan to build 1,300 new homes on 1,300 acres in south Lee County is now in the legal system.

NBC2 has learned that Cameratta Companies has joined Lee County as defendants in a lawsuit brought against the county by the Estero Council of Community Leaders.

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Cameratta wants to build ‘The Place’ — a new community where more than half of the land will be preserved for wildlife and restore historic waterways. 

“There is 700-plus acres being conserved at no cost to the taxpayers. We are putting a restoration project for wildlife for wetlands,” Joe Cameratta told NBC2 following a hearing Monday to dismiss the lawsuit.

The project was approved for rezoning late last year.

Ralf Brookes, the attorney representing the ECCL, said that the county’s rezoning process before a hearing examiner does not allow the time for a third party to fight for their position.

“After we sit through a couple of days by the applicant and by the county, it’s certainly not a sufficient opportunity to present our case.”

Lee County would not comment on the ongoing litigation. They do confirm that they received the lawsuit on January 26 — five weeks after the ECCL announced to local media that they planned to sue the county.

Cameratta said the ECCL had plenty of chances over the last two years to voice their displeasure with the plan and never did.

– RELATED STORY: Developer hopes to grow interest in Corkscrew Farms

“They’ve had an opportunity since June of 2014 to be a part of this. I, we’ve had meetings with the at group, the ECCL, since almost 2014.”

Joe Cameratta said he reached out to the ECCL before Monday’s court hearing and offered a $300,000 settlement that he was told would be used by the group to do future studies for the Corkscrew corridor east of I-75.  He said that offer was not accepted.

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‘Fireball meteor’ caught on camera in Virginia and Ohio

(ABC News) — A number of witnesses across the Northeast U.S. observed a fireball, otherwise known as a very bright meteor, flying through the sky at approximately 6:16 p.m. Saturday evening.

Alex Salvador was driving in Falls Church, Virginia, when he spotted the fireball and was able capture it on his dashcam.

“Startling. Even unnerving, maybe,” Salvador told ABC News of the sighting. “It seemed close, big, and definitely on fire with a tail.”

Adrian Burns got video footage of the fireball while driving in Lancaster, Ohio.

Many people flocked to the American Meteor Society website to report their sightings and observations. Observers described the fireball as having colorful fragments and looking like it “fell apart or exploded.”

It’s not surprising that witnesses were able to clearly spot the fireball, since according to the AMS, a fireball is brighter than the planet Venus.

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Teenager injured in Fort Myers shooting

A 17-year-old was sent to the hospital Sunday after he was injured in a shooting in Fort Myers.

It happened on Economy Street before noon.

The victim had non- life-threatening injuries.

Isaac Wilson, a resident at the nearby Jones Walker Palm Gardens Apartments, said bullets shot through a window of his apartment and “scorched the pillow” on the couch where two of his four children were watching TV.

“My kids said there was a hole in the window, and once we came to see where the hole was, we were like ‘that’s a gunshot,'” he said.

Wilson said enough is enough.

“It’s really getting crazy. It’s just time for us to leave because it’s dangerous.”

Police have not yet released any information about the shooting.

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Naples Winter Wine Festival auction raises $11.1 million

Naples Winter Wine Festival officials announced Monday this year’s event raised $11.1 million during its live auction, bringing the total amount raised since the festival’s inception in 2001 to more than $146 million.

A $750,000 bid on a new Rolls-Royce luxury convertible was the top item.

The Naples Daily News reports that it’s the first 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn to reach a customer anywhere in the world.

Julian Movsesian said Saturday that the car was too alluring to pass up. He’ll be able to customize the car’s trim and other details, including an umbrella that pops out from the passenger side.

Joseph Wierda, general manager for the luxury automaker’s southern region, says Rolls-Royce is seeing “tremendous demand” for the Dawn. The sleek convertible seats four people, and its signature hood ornament is retractable.

Wierda says Rolls-Royce will deliver the car to Movsesian by March.

The wine festival’s auction raises money for the Naples Children and Education Foundation.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Naples Winter Wine Festival’s auction total: $11.1 million

Naples Winter Wine Festival officials announced Monday this year’s event raised $11.1 million during its live auction, bringing the total amount raised since the festival’s inception in 2001 to more than $146 million.

A $750,000 bid on a new Rolls-Royce luxury convertible was the top item.

The Naples Daily News reports that it’s the first 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn to reach a customer anywhere in the world.

Julian Movsesian said Saturday that the car was too alluring to pass up. He’ll be able to customize the car’s trim and other details, including an umbrella that pops out from the passenger side.

Joseph Wierda, general manager for the luxury automaker’s southern region, says Rolls-Royce is seeing “tremendous demand” for the Dawn. The sleek convertible seats four people, and its signature hood ornament is retractable.

Wierda says Rolls-Royce will deliver the car to Movsesian by March.

The wine festival’s auction raises money for the Naples Children and Education Foundation.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Teenager injured in Fort Myers shooting

A 17-year-old was sent to the hospital Sunday after he was injured in a shooting in Fort Myers.

It happened on Economy Street before noon.

The victim had non- life-threatening injuries.

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Isaac Wilson, a resident at the nearby Jones Walker Palm Gardens Apartments, said bullets shot through a window of his apartment and “scorched the pillow” on the couch where two of his four children were watching TV.

“My kids said there was a hole in the window, and once we came to see where the hole was, we were like ‘that’s a gunshot,'” he said.

Wilson said enough is enough.

“It’s really getting crazy. It’s just time for us to leave because it’s dangerous.”

Police have not yet released any information about the shooting.

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Camera flash detected baby’s eye cancer, mom says

(ABC News) — The flash of a camera helped save the life of Ryder Temarantz, a 4-month-old baby boy from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Ryder’s mother, Andrea Temarantz, told ABC News that this past December she had begun noticing that camera flashes produced a “white glow” in Ryder’s left eye.

“I just chalked it up to a bad camera phone,” Temarantz, 36, said. “But even after I used a newNikon D3300 DSLR my cousin got me for Christmas, the white glow was still there, so I took Ryder to his doctor.”

On Jan. 5, Ryder was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in his left eye.

A white tumor mass in the back of Ryder’s eye was reflecting light from camera flashes, producing the “glow” seen in many of his photos, Temarantz said.

After doing more research about online, Temarantz and her husband decided to take Ryder to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, which has the world’s largest team of physicians solely dedicated to patients with retinoblastoma.

The tumor in Ryder’s left eye has not spread to other critical organs of his body, such as his brain, according to Dr. David H. Abramson, chief of the Ophthalmic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

“Worldwide, 50 percent of the children who had retinoblastoma last year died,” Abramson told ABC News today. “It’s one of those cancers that can be fatal if not detected early, so it’s great that his mom noticed it early and got it checked out.”

Ryder will be undergoing three to six rounds of ophthalmic artery chemosurgery, Abramson said.

He explained that a 6-foot-long catheter as thin as angel hair pasta is threaded into a blood vessel of the groin. It goes through the belly, chest and neck and then put through “the one little blood vessel of the human eye to deliver high concentration and dosage of chemotherapy directly to the tumor.”

The procedure is considered a better option for young patients because of the severe side effects of regular chemotherapy, Abramson said.

He said Ryder has a 99 percent chance of recovering from the cancer and will still have some vision in his left eye.

Temarantz told ABC News that despite everything, Ryder is “active and alert like nothing ever happened to him.” She’s grateful for Abramson and his team for the “miracle” they’ve given Ryder.

To follow along Ryder’s journey to recovery, you can visit the website Temarantz and her family set up for him here.