Bonita Springs Florida Weekly

NEWS BRIEFS


Help those experiencing homelessness by donating cold-weather supplies

Lee County Government and its partners are asking the community to donate cold weather supplies for Severe Weather Outreach Teams to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Blankets, gloves, scarves, hats, socks and hand-warmers can be dropped off at the following locations now through Friday, Dec. 15:

¦ Lee County Sheriff ’s Office Outreach Center. For more information, contact the Community Response Unit at 239-477-1CRU (1278) or visit https:// www.sheriffleefl.org/community-outreach centers-2/

• Edison Mall, 4125 Cleveland Ave., Suite 1930

• Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Road, Unit 190

• Downtown Fort Myers, 2125 First St., Suite 100

• Coconut Point Shopping Center, 23106 Fashion Drive, Estero

¦ Fort Myers Police Department, 2210 Widman Way, Fort Myers, accepting items 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Severe Weather Outreach Teams are mobilized to specific locations when inland temperatures are projected to drop to 40 degrees or lower for an extended period. Teams include Human & Veteran Services staff and members of the HOT Team (Housing, Outreach and Treatment), including law enforcement and Centerstone Behavioral Health. Teams provide cold weather items, coffee and access to transportation to enter into one of the participating shelters.

Lee County Human & Veteran Services’ coordinated entry phone line will be updated with a cold-weather announcement that promotes outreach locations, transportation assistance, sheltering and supplies. The number is 239-533-7996. The department’s Lee Reach app, which is available for free download on the Apple App Store and Google Play, will also be updated. Persons experiencing homelessness can sign up to receive push alerts from the app.

For more information about the Lee County Human & Veteran Services, visit www.leegov.com/dhs.

Domestic Animal Services to host microchipping event

Lee County Domestic Animal Services will host a Microchip Clinic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, so that pet owners can be certain their pet’s microchip is up to date or so they can get their pet microchipped.

Checking for a chip is one of the first things a shelter or rescue does when a pet is brought in. Studies show that microchipping greatly increases the chances an owner will be identified; about 74% of found dogs and 63.5% of cats turned in to shelters were reunited with their owners.

During the microchip clinic at Lee County Domestic Animal Services, 5600 Banner Drive, Fort Myers, pet owners will have the opportunity to have pets scanned to verify they are chipped, and the information is current. No appointments are needed to check an existing microchip. Pets can be microchipped during the event for $10. Call 239-533-7387 to schedule an appointment to have a pet microchipped.

Visit www.leelostpets.com or call 239- 533-7387 for more information. Owners must bring dogs on non-retractable leashes and cats in hard-sided carriers.

Lee Commissioners approve contract for Corkscrew Road Widening Phase II

The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted to approve a contract for construction of Corkscrew Road Widening Phase II from Bella Terra Boulevard to Alico Road. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2024 and the project includes:

• Widening of an existing two-lane road to four lanes

• Drainage improvements

• A 6-foot sidewalk on the north side and 10-foot asphalt shared-use path on the south side

• On-road bike lanes

• A new signal at Alico Road

• Force main and water main relocations/replacements.

The $26.6 million contract is with Bergeron Land Development.

The widening project is a top-tier transportation priority for the Board. Construction of Phase 1 began in summer 2021 and builds six lanes from Ben Hill Griffin Parkway to Fire House Lane and then transitions to a four-lane roadway that will extend east to Bella Terra Boulevard. That phase is planned for completion in early 2024.

For more information on the project, visit www.corkscrewroadwidening.com.

25th Anniversary SWFL Reading Festival welcomes bestselling authors

The Lee County Library System’s 25th annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival will host 30 bestselling authors at the March event. Authors for all ages are coming to Fort Myers to meet fans and showcase their books from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2024. The free event will be held on the outdoor campus of the Fort Myers Regional Library, 2450 First St.

This outdoor celebration gives fans the opportunity to meet a diverse line-up of bestselling authors, get books signed, and discover the latest books and digital resources offered by the library. In addition, there will be storytelling, a book giveaway for children and teens, youth writing award presentations, arts and crafts and more. Food truck vendors will be at the event.

An exclusive peek of the award-winning line-up of 2024 authors can be found by downloading the festival’s mobile app “SWFL ReadFest” from the App Store or Google Play. Festivalgoers who downloaded the app for last year’s event will need an update to access the new content. The festival’s website, Readfest.org, has been updated with information about the featured authors.

Attendees wanting more access to this year’s festival authors can attend An Evening with the Authors on Friday, March 1, 2024. This signature fundraising event gives attendees time to mingle with the authors while enjoying dinner in an idyllic setting. An Evening with the Authors will be held at the historic Burroughs Home and Gardens on the Caloosahatchee River. Ticket availability will be announced soon.

The Southwest Florida Reading Festival is free and community-supported through donations, sponsorships and grants. Visit www.ReadFest.org to make a secure online donation. More information is available at www.ReadFest.org or by calling 239-533-4832. ¦

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