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Man drowns off Marco Island

A man who may have been snorkeling drowned Saturday afternoon off Marco Island.

Our news gathering partners at the Naples Daily News report the man was in his 50s and has not been identified.

The man was in the water in the 700 block of South Collier Blvd., near Winterberry Drive, when he was pulled out. Medics tried to resuscitate him en route to the hospital. It’s unclear how long he was in the water.

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Disney World’s Magic Kingdom opens for weddings

Looking for a destination wedding?

Why not the most magical place on Earth?

Disney World is now letting couples tie the knot inside the Magic Kingdom.

For those of you familiar with the park, it would be held in the East Plaza Garden.

Imagine making your way down the aisle with Cinderella’s castle behind you.

If you interested, go to disneyweddings.com.

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Another ‘stranger danger’ incident reported in Collier

Another suspicious incident involving a child in Collier County — the ninth incident in April — has a neighborhood fighting back in its own way. 

Deputies say a 7-year-old boy was approached by a man Friday evening while he was skating the parking lot at Whistlers Cove Apartments in East Naples.

Detectives have released a rendering of the man, described as a white male, in his 50s, with brown hair and a gray mustache. 

The boy told deputies the man offered him candy and then asked him to get in his black truck or van. 

After such a close encounter inside the neighborhood, the boy’s grandmother is taking action. 

“My fiancée and I went and got hot dogs and juices and put out some music and stuff and we went through all kinds of drills to show them what to do, and how to yell and scream and get help if they even see a stranger,” said Janice Johnson. 

She called it the Stranger Danger BBQ. Brian Eugene, Johnson’s nephew, is also on-board. He shared sound advice with the kids. 

“Don’t be in places that are secluded, don’t be out past when the lights come on. Don’t be in parks by yourself in wide open areas.”

While the neighborhood is doing what they can to protect themselves, deputies are also on the look-out. 

A spokesperson for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office confirmed patrols have increased in areas where the incidents have occurred.

But Johnson hopes parents get involved as well. 

“You have to be active. You have to watch them. You have to keep them in your sight,” Johnson said. “Because if you’re not watching them, someone else is.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300, or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Another ‘stranger danger’ incident reported in Collier

Another suspicious incident involving a child in Collier County — the ninth incident in April — has a neighborhood fighting back in its own way. 

Deputies say a 7-year-old boy was approached by a man Friday evening while he was skating the parking lot at Whistlers Cove Apartments in East Naples.

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Detectives have released a rendering of the man, described as a white male, in his 50s, with brown hair and a gray mustache. 

The boy told deputies the man offered him candy and then asked him to get in his black truck or van. 

After such a close encounter inside the neighborhood, the boy’s grandmother is taking action. 

“My fiancée and I went and got hot dogs and juices and put out some music and stuff and we went through all kinds of drills to show them what to do, and how to yell and scream and get help if they even see a stranger,” said Janice Johnson. 

She called it the Stranger Danger BBQ. Brian Eugene, Johnson’s nephew, is also on-board. He shared sound advice with the kids. 

“Don’t be in places that are secluded, don’t be out past when the lights come on. Don’t be in parks by yourself in wide open areas.”

While the neighborhood is doing what they can to protect themselves, deputies are also on the look-out. 

A spokesperson for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office confirmed patrols have increased in areas where the incidents have occurred.

But Johnson hopes parents get involved as well. 

“You have to be active. You have to watch them. You have to keep them in your sight,” Johnson said. “Because if you’re not watching them, someone else is.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300, or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).

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Neighbors, loyal dog save Fla. family in devastating house fire

(TODAY Show) — Brave and persistent neighbors and a loyal family dog saved a family’s life in the Orlando suburb of Longwood on Monday night.

Seminole County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Margo Feaser and her husband, Brent, along with their 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter, are recovering at a local hospital after deputies and firefighters were called to their home at 11:20 p.m.

Before firefighters arrived, the Feasers’ neighbors, Chip Dover and his son, Andrew, and Joe Jordan, heard an explosion and saw their neighbors’ house go up in flames.

“We were outside with my telescope, looking at Jupiter with my next door neighbor,” Dover told TODAY Parents. “We were getting ready to come in when we heard a big explosion, and the house just blew up. We ran over there immediately and it was burning like crazy, and then we realized the family was still inside.”

The Dovers broke the front windows of the Feasers’ home using furniture from the front porch and was able to pull Margo Feaser to safety through a window while Jordan called 911. Firefighters then arrived and were able to save her husband, who suffered from significant burns, after knocking down the front door.

Dover said Margo Feaser immediately wanted to rush back inside the home for her children. Officers had to hold her back while firefighters jumped inside the house to save them instead.

That proved to be a tougher challenge for the rescue workers, since by that time, heavy smoke had filled the Feaser home. It was the family’s dog, a German Shepherd named Maxx, who led firefighters through the smoke to each of the two children, according to the SCSO. The family’s home was completely destroyed in the blaze.

“We are grateful to the neighbors who jumped into action, and we especially thank the firefighters who selflessly entered the burning structure and risked their lives for the Feaser family,” said Sheriff Don Eslinger in an SCSO press release. “There is a long road of recovery and rebuilding ahead, but our Sheriff’s Office family will be with Margo and her family every step of the way. We know our community is behind them too, and we appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support the family has received.”

Margo Feaser — a 12-year veteran of SCSO who also served with the U.S. Army for three years and was deployed overseas during Operation Enduring Freedom — and her family are currently in stable condition, though their statuses range from serious to critical. Maxx is being treated for smoke inhalation by a local veterinarian and is being hailed a hero.

According to the SCSO, the Fire Marshal’s preliminary investigation has determined that the fire was accidental and originated from the back porch of the home.

A fund has been designated to provide assistance to the Feaser family to help defray medical, veterinary, and other expenses. Contributions may be made via check to the “Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Employee Benevolent Fund” and sent to 100 Bush Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773, attention: “Feaser Family Fund.” The SCSO has also started a Go Fund Me campaign for the family online.

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Man loses thousands in kidnapping scam

A Key Largo man was scammed out of $2,500 because he believed his wife had been kidnapped.

The 30-year-old man told the deputy he received a call Friday morning from a man named Mike, who claimed to have his wife. Mike said the victim’s wife was involved in a car crash that had killed Mike’s son. Mike said after the crash he kidnapped her. He claimed to be a drug dealer and said he did not want to involve law enforcement. Mike said he was keeping the victim’s wife in the trunk of a car and would kill her if the victim did not pay him $2,500. Mike repeatedly played the victim an audio tape over the phone that sounded like his wife screaming. The caller instructed him to wire money to two different people in Puerto Rico.

The scammer kept the victim on the phone, insisting if he hung up he would kill his wife. The victim walked to a nearby grocery store and withdrew money from his bank account and did what he was instructed to do.

After the money had been paid, the scammer hung up the phone. At that point, the victim received text messages from family members and from his wife letting him know she was fine, and he realized he had been scammed.

The victim’s wife said she received similar calls that same day from a man claiming to have kidnapped her husband. She said she told him she didn’t believe him and hung up the phone.

This scam is a common one, deputies say. The scammers always claim they have a family member and usually threaten to kill or injure that family member in order to get compliance. They also always insist the victim stay on the phone the entire time because they do not want to allow the victim to talk to anyone who might realize it is a scam. They ask that money be wired to a location outside the United States. They may also ask the victims to purchase Green Dot or other types of cash cards as payment.

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Naples man jailed in fatal ‘road rage’ crash

A Naples man was arrested Saturday and charged with vehicular homicide in what troopers call a case of road rage.

The crash occurred on April 19 on I-75 near Daniels Parkway.

FHP said Robert Gilman Weinland, 79, changed lanes twice, forcing Zachary Kureth to swerve to avoid him. Kureth then slowed down in front of Weinland, and the semi-truck traveling behind Weinland couldn’t avoid running into the back of Weinland’s van, which then hit Kureth. Weinland’s van was hit by another vehicle before coming to a stop.

Weinland died at the scene. His passenger was taken to the hospital.

The investigation led to the arrest of Kureth, 24, who is charged with one count of vehicular homicide and five counts of reckless driving.

Kureth was booked into Lee County Jail Saturday morning.

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Naples man held without bond in fatal ‘road rage’ crash

A Naples man who was arrested Saturday and charged with vehicular homicide in what troopers call a case of road rage was in court Sunday.

Zachary Kureth, 24, is being held without bond on a probation violation charge out of Collier County.

The bond amount for the vehicular homicide charge was set at $50,000.

The crash occurred on April 19 on I-75 near Daniels Parkway.

FHP said Robert Gilman Weinland, 79, changed lanes, forcing Kureth to swerve to avoid him. Kureth then slowed down in front of Weinland, and the semi-truck traveling behind Weinland couldn’t avoid running into the back of Weinland’s van, which then hit Kureth. Weinland’s van was hit by another vehicle before coming to a stop.

Weinland died at the scene. His passenger was taken to the hospital.

The investigation led to the arrest of Kureth, who is charged with one count of vehicular homicide and five counts of reckless driving.

Kureth was booked into Lee County Jail Saturday morning.

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Teen pedestrian dies in Lehigh Acres

A 17-year-old pedestrian was killed in Lehigh Acres Friday evening.

FHP said Travis Willis, 17, of Fort Myers, was crossing Alabama Road near 48th Street SW when a car struck him.

Troopers say the driver was unable to avoid Willis, who died at Lee Memorial Hospital early Saturday.

The crash occurred shortly after 8 p.m.

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Should women without children get maternity leave?

By law, working moms are allowed 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for either having a baby or adopting a child.

One woman is saying everyone deserves the same amount of time off, whether they have children or not.

Parents in Lee County do not agree, saying maternity leave is not like vacation.

“For a person to ask that without any children, that is crazy,” said mother Julyssa Arevalo.

Meghann Foye, a single woman from New York, did end up taking a ‘MEternity’ leave. During her leave, she grieved her father’s death and worked to “find herself.”

Still, parents say it shouldn’t be put on the same level as maternity leave.

“Your body just spent nine months building a baby. The least you can get is a couple weeks off from work to enjoy the baby, recoup yourself, and catch up on a little bit of sleep,” said mother Katie Lee.

In states like New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island, employees pitch in about a dollar per week for maternity leave. Other employers around the country pay expensive insurance bills to accommodate their pregnant employees.

“Your emotions are crazy. Your body is going through all of these changes and you’re getting fat. It’s weird, it’s really weird,” said Arevalo.

Meghann Foye, who wrote a book titled “ME-ternity” doesn’t have kids, but she does believe all employees should be able to use the pre-paid time off, saying it’s already being paid for.

“That’s what vacations are for,” said Cape Coral dad Anthony George.

“I don’t think it’s OK that somebody just wants a week off from work or two weeks or however long for maternity leave to just find themselves or to basically relax,” Lee said.

Federal law does allow anyone to take up to 12 weeks unpaid if you’ve just had a child, adopted or yourself/someone in the family has a prolonged illness.