Sunday, May 30, 2004

Ave Maria University Worries Some Catholics

Academics and university interests are closely watching the Ave Maria
University, proposed to be built on the farmlands near Immokalee, Florida.

Thomas Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza, is largely funding the new
school as his private educational empire to emphasise his ultra-conservative
views. But, some are worried. Dr. John Hittinger, former academic dean at
St. Mary's College in Michigan wrote "Mr. Monaghan seems oblivious to Church
doctrine on social justice in his treatment of faculty and staff as 'at will
' employees. He also spurns centuries-old academic customs and protocols,
especially those pertaining to faculty status and governance." St. Marys
College in Michigan was bought and sold by Monaghan last year. And now on
the blocks seems to be Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Michael Rose wrote in about Monaghan's plans to dump the
Michigan college leaving some students and graduate wondering what their Ave
Maria College degrees will be worth.

"Ave Maria College, founded in 1998, was once the flagship of Tom Monaghan's
educational empire. When he decided to lead his Ave Maria Foundation down to
Florida's Big Cyprus Swamp in hopes of building a Catholic Xanadu, less than
half of the faculty and staff volunteered to follow the emperor and his
money. two different issues of the college's magazine Annunciation (Winter
2003 and Spring 2003), former President Michael J. Healy clearly and
strongly re-affirmed Monaghan's promise to parents and students that the
incoming class of 2003 would be able to graduate from Ave Maria College in
Michigan. Furthermore, during a November 19, 2002 board of trustees meeting,
it was reported that "the Ave Maria Foundation is committed to fund Ave
Maria College [Michigan] a minimum of $25 million if necessary to cover
operating deficits over a four-year period, beginning fiscal year July 1,

But no. Rather than simply committing to help the college transition to
self-sufficiency, thereby allowing Ave Maria's original educational mission
to continue, Monaghan and his Ave Maria Foundation now appear to want to
dismantle the healthy Michigan campus along with the faculty, staff, and
students who are less than excited to see if his Florida experiment will
last longer than his St. Mary's project.

If Ave Maria Michigan disappears into the structure of another university,
Monaghan might in fact save a big chunk of the promised $25 million.
Moreover, according to several faculty members, plans were laid to cart off
most of the library books and computers from the Michigan college while the
students are home for the summer, working to earn money for next semester's
tuition. "'Everything' is destined for Florida," Father Fessio confirmed.

Monaghan and his cronies seem to have no real conception that a Catholic
college is a vast cooperative enterprise between numerous donors (big and
little), as well as staff, faculty, students, parents, and bishops. It even
includes cooperating with those families who moved into the area to be near
a center of Catholic life and culture, as well as with other neighbors who
just plain wish the place well.

Tom Monaghan seems instead to regard Ave Maria as a banana republic, of
which he is the sole monarch. This is not the attitude of subsidiarity with
which a major Catholic educational enterprise should be launched and
conducted. As John Hittinger noted last year, "the quest for renewal of
Catholic higher education has taken some wrong turns under the Ave Maria

In The Service

Air Force Airman Jonathon R. Chirila has graduated from basic military
training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. During the six
weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization,
and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches,
and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training
exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who
complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the
Community College of the Air Force. Chirila is the son of Wanda Chirila of
Evans Road, LaBelle. He is a 2003 graduate of Temple Christian School, Fort

Saturday, May 29, 2004

It was LaBelle Municipal Airport's second annual Freedom Day celebration. Featured this year were over 500 motorcyclists who paraded from downtown LaBelle to the airport where thousands of aviation fans looked over dozens of classic, antique and military aircraft and enjoyed flybys of famous classic aircraft.

Photo of Okeechobee Toll Gate - 1926

Okeechobee's 1925 Toll Road

GCJ4B3 Conners Highway by team:CHETT: "Mr. Conners was a big man in the history of Okeechobee
W.J. 'Fingy' Conners started out his career as a cabin boy on a great lakes steamer at age 13. When he got a litle older he became a stevedore and by hard work..and some politics..soon became boss of all the stevedores on the great lakes, and made a fortune.
In the early 1900s he came to Florida and fell in with the high society folks on Palm Beach. In 1917 he invested $40,000 in 4000 acres of sawgrass land to farm and this was just the start of his land speculation. within a few years he owned all the land between Canal Point and Okeechobee, and then, by golly, he bought the whole townsite of Okeechbee too.
Well, Conners owned all these thosands and thousands of acres, but there was almost no way to get to any of it. He decided that he would build himself a highway to his town and charge a toll for those who used it. He petitioned the government and got permission to build a toll road from 20 mile bend in Palm Beach county to the lakeshore curve south of Okeechobee. This 52 mile road was started on Oct. 16, 1924 and an incredible eight months later it was finished! On July 24, 1925 2000 cars lined up and made the drive from Palm Beach, paying the $1.25 toll, and came to the grand opening of Conners Highway. The road was soon bringing in over a thosand dollars a day in tolls and people were coming to Okeechobee and buying Mr. Conner' property left and right, and he soon became a multi-millionaire.
Conners built a large house on the lakeshore curve right near the toll booth. The cache is located directly across the road from the site of the house."

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Highway Litter: A sign of the times in Hendry County, Fl.? This old Port LaBelle sign is on State Highway 80 just east of Port LaBelle.

Hurricane Safety Tips

LABELLE, FL. (May 27, 2004) -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is reminding residents to keep their homes,
pets and livestock in mind while preparing for hurricane season, which
begins June 1 and lasts until November 30. Forecasters are predicting 12
to 15 tropical storms in Florida this year, with six to eight systems
becoming hurricanes.

"Many people are diligent about stocking up on batteries, non-perishable
food and water in the event of a hurricane, but there are other critical
steps that must be taken to prevent loss of life and property," Bronson

Bronson is providing some tips for residents to use to prepare for a
hurricane or other natural disaster and to keep in mind should a hurricane


-- If forced to evacuate, turn off the propane tank service valve and the
shut-off valve on all propane appliances.

-- Appliance and equipment controls that have been under water should be
inspected by the gas company and the controls replaced prior to being put
back into service.


-- Stock up with foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking.

-- All food contaminated by flood water (except undamaged metal cans)
should be discarded.

-- Undamaged cans as well as refrigerators, counters, cookware dishes and
glassware contaminated by flood water should be washed, rinsed and
sanitized in a solution of two teaspoons of chlorine bleach per gallon of
room temperature potable water.

-- Keep several gallons of bottled water available. If under a boil-water
notice, do not use tap water or make ice without boiling first.


-- Store lawn chemicals and fertilizers off the ground and in a location
not subject to flooding.


-- Keep ID tags and vaccinations up to date.

-- Prepare a pet survival kit, including food for two weeks, a manual can
opener, medications, a pet carrier, bedding and vaccination records.

-- If you plan to board a pet, make written arrangements in advance, well
before a storm threatens.

-- Contact hotels and motels along your evacuation route to check policies
on accepting pets and keep the list handy.

-- The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has prepared a helpful
brochure "Disaster Preparedness for Pets," which is on the web at


-- Keep vaccinations and other health requirements up to date.

-- If possible, make arrangements in advance for evacuation of horses.
Know where you can take your horses for shelter along your evacuation
route. Make sure your horse trailer is "ready to go" or other transport
arrangements are prepared well in advance. Carry your vaccination record
and health papers with you.

-- If not evacuating, make sure animals have access to high ground in case
of flooding.

-- Check all gates, fences and enclosures for loose parts and overall

-- Secure equipment, small sheds and other items that may become flying
debris and injure animals.


-- Following a disaster declaration, it is illegal in Florida to charge
excessive prices for essential items such as gas, food, ice, lumber and, if
evacuated, lodging. Residents should report any price-gouging by calling
1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352).


-- Con artists may prey on residents who suffer home damage by offering to
repair the damage with materials left over from a previous job. Citizens
can protect themselves by checking with the local building department or
with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to make
sure the contractor is licensed. They should also ask for and verify local

-- Charity scams often surface following a disaster. Before you give,
ensure that the charity is registered with the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services by calling 1-800-HELPFLA
(1-800-435-7352). Never give cash and always write checks payable to the
organization, not an individual.

Bronson says consumers who are educated about the potential dangers a
natural disaster presents to health, home and pocketbook are more likely to
avoid being harmed or victimized by scam artists.

Hendry Sheriff Warns Holiday Drivers

LABELLE, FL. (May 24, 2004) -- Memorial Day is almost here and that means
that the Click It or Ticket Safety Belt Enforcement Wave is just around the
corner. Law enforcement officers across the state will be reminding
drivers of one thing - Click It or Ticket.

The enforcement wave begins on May 24th and will run through June 6th. The
Hendry County Sheriffs office, as well as agencies throughout Florida and
across the nation, will be out in full force to keep our roadways safer.
The objective of the wave is not to write tickets - our goal is to save
lives. Buckle Up Florida's Click It or Ticket enforcement wave is part of
a nationwide coordinated effort. During the wave, more than 13,000 law
enforcement agencies throughout the country will be looking for those who
do not buckle up.

The bottom line is that getting people buckled up is one of the most
effective ways to save lives on Florida's roadways. That's because safety
belts are the best protection in an automobile crash. Yet, many people
still refuse to buckle up. Those who do not buckle up account for 60
percent of the vehicle occupants killed on our roadways.

This is just a friendly reminder that law enforcement agencies will show
zero tolerance for unbuckled motorists. There will be no warnings and no
excuses. Click It or Ticket!


Sheriff Steve Worley

Graduation Congraulations

In this, the season of reason, congratulations to all the matriculating
survivors of the twelve most signifigant years of "YOUR" lives.
Some people will question what do I expect to inform any of the younger
generation, that they already don't know.
Well I'm going to give it that old "college" try, and you'll be glad to
know my bride of 55 years, also finds me very "trying."
Since moving to Labelle in May of 1993, I still haven't had anyone
answer this question. Is DISNEY the only people trap, to be operated by
a MOUSE? Strangely enough, that question sorta leads me to compare what
faces our
new crop of Graduates, in today's, "whose in charge", tumultous world.
It is, in this climate of unrest, distrust, and era of uncertainty, that
if I were giving their commencement speech, I might say this.
What's the last thing you might expect a graduation guest speakers
message to be? Here are all these young minds, fresh from 12 years of
accomplishment, and I'm going to tell them "How to Fail.'
Think of all the books and emphasis on success, but failure, no way. I
would tell them that there are no guarantees for success, no matter how
hard you try, and how closely you might follow directions. On the other
hand, failure is almost guaranteed, not just once, but probably many
Failure will occur if you are inconsiderate of others. Many people
consider that the world was created for them, and they ignore other's
feelings. Sharing the diminishing space on this planet is a must.
Failure is almost guaranteed if you think you are owed because of your
being educated. If anyone is owed, it is all the people who sacrificed
to gain victories, and survived defeats, paving the road to provide the
many opportunities available to you. Examples might be your great
grandparents. grandparents, and parents, who, if alive, are in nursing
Failure could be your fate if you think that the only job for you is one
that suits just you. You must suit the job. Trust me on this one
because I learned the hard way that I was not destined to be an MD, but
I have learned to be a good patient.
A decision to climb a corporate ladder guarantees many opportunities for
failure. Particularly if you choose to advance up the corporate ladder
by stepping on other people on the way up. For it is a known factor
that you have to meet those same people on the way down.
Failure will be your reward if: you do not try to right a wrong whenever
possible when seeing abuse and not speaking out against it,
Failure will consume you if: you see corruption, graft and dishonesty
without fighting it. and you accept bad politicians and do not exercise
your right to vote.
Last, but not least, believing that romantic notion that "Love means
never having to say you're sorry." In reality. the truth is that anyone
who lives long enough to retire learns that love means just the
opposite. It means being ABLE to say "I'm SORRY.
"I'm sure that many of you will still consider life a "Mickey Mouse"
operation. but don't forget there are still those jobs at Disney for
your "Chewsing." So you see. "CAPPING" the Gown was just the first giant
step in enabling
you to"FAIL" to "FAIL!!"
-T. W. Bill Neville, LaBelle, Florida

MENSA Scholarships Announced

NAPLES, FL. (May 26, 2004) -- Two bright and deserving area students and
their families have received good news >from the Southwest Florida Chapter
of MENSA, the high IQ society. The 2004 MENSA Scholarship Winners have
been announced. Michaela Marie Allen of Gulf Coast High School won a five
hundred dollar Scholarship from the local MENSA Chapter. Jason Guercio of
the University of Miami won a five hundred dollar scholarship from the
local MENSA Chapter and the Diana Mossip Memorial Scholarship of $300.00
from American Mensa. Mr. Guercio was a previous winner of the prestigious
Mensa Scholarships in 2001.

Florida Restricts Animal Imports

LaBelle, Fl (May 26, 2004) -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has filed an emergency rule to place
restrictions on the importation of animals from states affected with
vesicular stomatitis following a confirmed case in Texas.

Vesicular stomatitis is a highly contagious, viral disease that affects
horses, cattle, swine and occasionally sheep, goats and deer. The virus
can also cause flu-like symptoms in people working with infected animals.
Symptoms on animals include blister-like lesions in the mouth, on the
tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves and teats. While the virus doesn't usually
kill the animals, it does result in significant weight loss and milk
production loss.

It is also difficult to distinguish between this virus and foot-and-mouth
disease, a devastating livestock disease found outside the United States.
States and other countries often impose movement restrictions on animal
from vesicular stomatitis-affected areas.

The emergency rule was filed with the Florida Administrative Weekly after
Texas reported a case of the disease on a farm in western Texas with nine
horses and eight cattle. Texas has already quarantined the affected
premises, prohibiting the export of any hoofed animals from that area.
However, the disease could turn up in other areas and, in an abundance of
caution, the emergency rule will place restrictions on animal imports into
Florida from Texas.

"I'm pleased to see that Texas has taken immediate action quarantining the
impacted area," Bronson said. "But the possibility that this disease could
be in other areas makes it imperative that we have rules in place to
prevent the disease from being imported into Florida."

The emergency rule will require veterinary inspection from hoofed animals
coming from states affected with vesicular stomatitis to have an official
certificate of veterinary inspection stating that they are free of clinical
signs of this disease and have not been exposed nor located within 10 miles
of a positive premises within the previous 30 days and that they receive
prior permission in order for them to be imported into Florida. All
animals meeting these requirements will be quarantined upon entry in
Florida for at least 14 days and be re-inspected by a Department
representative and found free of disease prior to quarantine release.

Hendry County Murder Suspect Arrested

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Hendry County Sheriff's
Office announce the arrest of
22-year-old Curtis L. Clark of Daytona, Fla. for a double homicide that
occurred in Hendry County more than a year ago.. Clark is charged with two
counts of second degree murder. Agents say Clark shot and killed Marvin
Dixon and Melvin Williams on April 24, 2003 in a neighborhood near the city
of Clewiston. Investigators have interviewed numerous witnesses and
collected forensic evidence in this case that leads them to believe Clark
shot both men during an argument while in the victims' vehicle. Clark was
in Hendry County living with family members at the time of the murders.
Shortly after the murders, Clark returned to Daytona where he was arrested
on outstanding warrants.

FDLE special agents arrested Clark this morning at the Mayo Correctional
Institution while serving time on unrelated drug and probation charges.
Agents transported Clark to the Hendry County Jail to face the murder

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Top News Article | "CANNES, France (Reuters) - The Cannes film festival has given Michael Moore the perfect platform to harangue President Bush after awarding the controversial U.S. filmmaker one of world cinema's top prizes.
Moore, eager to stir the disenfranchised into voting in November's presidential elections, landed the best film award for 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' a blistering indictment of Bush's handling of Iraq and the war on terror.
'Perhaps this film will have a tremendous impact. I hope it will,' said Moore who said he would be shocked if the documentary did not find a U.S. distributor after being awarded the Palme d'Or.
The Walt Disney company had ordered its Miramax unit not to distribute the politically polarizing documentary in an election year. "
Clewiston, LaBelle, Belle Glade, Moore Haven, Lake Okeechobee - Sunday Morning News: "Hendry and Glades have state's highest jobless rate
LABELLE, FL. (May 23, 2004) -- According to the latest statistics, Hendry County has the state's highest jobless rate, at 8 percent, followed by Glades with 6.5 percent. Following up with the dubious distinction of highest unemployment is Miami-Dade with 6.4 percent and Taylor county with 6.3 percent. Rural north Florida's Lafayette County, has the state's lowest rate at 1.8 percent.
Although Gov. Jeb Bush and his brother's presidential reelection campaign boasted Friday about Florida's unemployment rate, critics from the Democratic side weren't so glowing. 'Jeb Bush must be the governor of fantasy land, because unless the Bush campaign is announcing that they're moving 63,000 manufacturing jobs to Florida to replace the ones that have been lost since George Bush took office, then he still doesn't have a plan to create jobs or build up our middle class,' said Mark Kornblau, a campaign spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. "
Clewiston, LaBelle, Belle Glade, Moore Haven, Lake Okeechobee - Sunday Morning News: "Church Settles Sex Suit
'Father Willy' Romero faces two more
LABELLE, FL. (May 23, 2004) -- A former Catholic school student will collect $135,000 from the Archdiocese of Miami in the first settlement of sexual misconduct lawsuits against William Romero, an ex-priest who lives in LaBelle. At the time of the incidents, the Archdiocese of Miami was the governing diocese for the Southwest Florida student. In 1984 the new Diocese of Venice took jurisdiction.
The inappropriate conduct took place in 1976 when the boy was 12 at the boy's home during a game of leapfrog and later on an overnighter at the St. Ann rectory. At the rectory, Father Willy as he was called, reportedly talked the boy into showering with him and touched the boy's genitals while masturbating himself. Romero, resigned from the clergy last year, faces two other sex abuse cases, including one case from 1982 through 1989 when he was the parish priest at St. Joseph's in Moore Haven. Allegedly he showered weekly with a 9-year old girl and had sex with her two brothers. "

Friday, May 21, 2004

An enlightening article about Presidential politics:

The Atlantic | June 2004 | Playing Dirty | Green: "by Joshua Green


s voters turn their attention toward the coming presidential election, an abiding question from the previous one frustrates Democrats: How is it, they wonder, that Al Gore told small fibs and was branded a liar while George W. Bush told big ones and was elected President? Gore's many exaggerations may have been foolish�that he had somehow invented the Internet, that he grew up on a Tennessee farm, and so on. But surely, this line of thinking goes, they paled alongside Bush's audacious claim that he could cut taxes by $1.3 trillion, effortlessly privatize Social Security, and still balance the budget. "
Yahoo! News Full Coverage - U.S. - More Details Emerge on Abuses of Iraqi Prisoners by U.S. Troops: " AFP Photo
Report: Soldiers Fondled Iraqi Prisoners
(AP) - Some prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison were ridden like animals, fondled by female soldiers, forced to curse their religion and required to retrieve their food from toilets, according to a published report Friday. The Washington Post, in its Friday editions, also published new photographs and shots from a video of the alleged abuse and sexual humiliation of Iraq prisoners by U.S. soldiers. More... "

And what's next...good grief!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Washington Dispatch: "Michael Moore to Unleash 'Shock and Awe' before Election
Academy Award winner, Michael Moore is intent on releasing his newest documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, before the November presidential elections. In an all day press spree at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, Moore stated that he had no worries that the film would not make the deadline.

The up-to-date film which was originally to explore Bush's relationship with prominent Saudi families, turns out to be more focused on the invasion of Iraq. Moore also opens the film with his take on the contested 2000 presidential elections"

So says the Washington Dispatch about filmaker Mike Moore, a liberal satirist and writer out to prevent the re-election of George Bush. Can he do it? He seems to have enough ammunition (although he is a pacifist) to gun down the President and his alleged deceit about the war in Iraq. Although it is against the odds to defeat an incumbent President, maybe Moore's film and books will turn the tide, leading voters to turn to the Democratic Party in November?
Comments are welcome....
For more Southwest Florida news see Sunday Morning News for Hendry and Glades County

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Plans for growth

Congratulations to all of you who CARED enough to GIVE your very BEST, by
attending the Public Workshop with the County LPA, May 12th in Labelle. For
anyone doubting that there is not strength in numbers, you have the public
testimony of the LPA board members as to their respect and gratitude in
knowing that YOU, the citizens, are interested in the future of Hendry
County and your PLACE in it.
They, the LPA board, acknowledged that if they are to adequately address
all of the growth issues bearing down on the County, they must have your
input and support. Your Board of County Commissioners chose this method of
dealing with the results of a Northwest Quadrant Survey, by passing it on
to the LPA for their recommendations supporting SMART growth for the
County. Since this Board is made up of citizens, just like you, who else,
but you, is better
qualified to communicate what is best for all concerned citizens and
taxpaying property owners, large and small. Keeping in mind that the BOCC
has major concerns about how to fund the basic needs of the County, they
see a "pot-of-gold" glimmering in the "serendipity"" of the developers
dreams for Hendry County.
You as concerned, proactive citizens have to be the stabilizing influence
in this torrid romancing by the developers, and ask yourself the question,
"Will they still love us in the morning"? Following up on the Quadrant
Survey report, your part time planner indicated that "density", people per
acre, should be treated like a commodity, to be bartered and bargained for,
on an individual, entreprenurial basis, from and within development to
Who's to say that in an ideal world that this approach might not be
applicable. On the other hand where is the committment, up front, in the
form of Financial Impact Statements and committments from the developers
addressing roads and bridges, water and sewer, education, & health and
safety needs to be met? Isn't the BOCC aready on record about their
ability to meet existing basic needs of the current population, with a
diminishing agricultural tax base, and Tallahassee budget cutting?
See what you've got yourself into by CARING? I'm left with two completely
diverse bits of sardonic wisdom that I trust will encourage you to "pack"
the next and subsequent workshops. Each workshop is more imprtant than the
last, as the future of Hendry County is in your hands.
The two bits are, " To make a long story short, don't tell it", and "Don't
let your worries get to you. Remember, Moses started out as a "basket"
Keep the faith! Do a "Smuckers" on all future public "smart growth"
meetings, and "JAM" the joint!
T. W. Bill Neville, Hendry County, Florida

Citrus crop report

USDA Increases Grapefruit Crop - Oranges Remain Same

LABELLE, Fla. (May 12, 2004) - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
increased its grapefruit crop forecast for the 2003-2004 season by 500,000
boxes, to 40.5 million boxes. The increase came in the colored varieties, to
24.5 million boxes with white remaining at 16 million boxes.
The orange crop remains at 245 million boxes. Valencias remain at 119 million boxes; Early and Midseason 126 million boxes; and the Navel portion of the estimate is final at 4.3 million boxes.
The Tangerine estimate was increased by 200,000 boxes, from 6.3 million
boxes to 6.5 million boxes, with the Honeys covering the increase from 2.7
million to 2.9 million boxes. Temples remain at 1.4 million boxes; Tangelos
remain at 1 million boxes.
Officials report row counts for grapefruit are slightly behind last season
with 91 percent of the colored grapefruit being harvested. Reconciliation with utilization figures resulted in the increases of both colored grapefruit and Honeys.
The yield for frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) was increased to 1.55
gallons per 90-pound box of oranges. For more Southwest Florida and small town Florida news visit Sunday Morning News

Growth means more government fees

Effective June 1st, 2004, there is a $4 per page increase in the service
charge associated with recording documents in the Official Records of
Hendry County. This service charge increase is being used to provide
technology funds for the Clerks of Courts, the Judges, the State Attorneys
and the Public Defenders.
Please note this increase is per page. Therefore the cost of recording
documents in the Official Records will be $10 for the first page and $8.50
for each page thereafter. Please read important notice regarding documents
being recorded during May or June 2004.
About a 66% fee increase in one of Florida's poorest counties, and one with
the highest unemployment. Ironically, the county government is one of the
largest employers in Hendry county, employing per capita more workers than
any private company.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Southwest Florida growing, growing, growing....

Southwest Florida is probably one of the most exciting areas of the country to be living in...great weather being the biggest factor for most. Sunny skies, moderate winter temperatures and summer not much worse than northern states.

Real estate values continue to climb with cities along the coast showing tremendous increases. Many people are now planning moves or investments into the central regions in the smaller cities and towns like LaBelle, Clewiston, Alva, and Immokalee.

One the country's wealthiest businessmen, Thomas Monaghan has invested millions of his money earned from founding Domino's Pizza into the small community of Immokalee. The Ave Maria University will be the newest Catholic university in the U.S. in 40 years. See Ave Maria University news.