Mike Kiniry

Producer

We're going to explore the life of Barron Gift Collier with local author Marya Repko. Her new book, "The Story of Barron Collier" tells the story of Collier, who made a fortune with his advertising business before investing in Florida. He became the largest landowner in Florida, bought hotels, operated telephone systems, published newspapers, and undertook a road-building project across the swamps of the Everglades. At the same time, he was keeping up his New York interests as a civic leader, generous with his creativity and wealth. This is the third in a series of History for Younger Readers and is based on the Repko’s research for the adult version "Everglades Entrepreneur," all published by ECity Publishing.

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Southwest Florida’s residential real estate market has steadily improved since the 2008 crash. Home prices continue to rise, and rent has spiked dramatically in recent years. We’re going to get a snapshot of the current state of the market, and where it might be heading, with area realtors Denny Grimes and Brad Dohack, and real estate analyst David Cobb with Metrostudy.

We also spend a few minutes talking about boom/bust economic cycles throughout history with Dr. Christopher Westley, he's Director of the Regional Economic Research Institute and Professor of Economics at FGCU.

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According to the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) approximately 28% of America’s seniors live alone, and many experience social isolation.

JESSICA MESZAROS / WGCU NEWS

Over the past year three different local reporters have investigated three different complaints of water contamination in Lee County. WGCU's Jessica Meszaros uncovered arsenic in groundwater on Pine Island; News Press reporter Janine Zeitlin reported on contaminated well water in Charleston Park in Alva, and News Press reporter Patricia Borns reported on toxic sludge dumping in the Dunbar neighborhood in Fort Myers.

We’re joined by all three reporters to track down who is responsible, and what’s next in each of these water cases. Plus, we'll get an update from Eric Staats from the Naples Daily News about a project to reduce pollution in Naples Bay.

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Legislation to expand workers’ compensation benefits to include post-traumatic stress disorder for firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and other first responders unanimously passed its first Senate committee in Tallahassee last week.

PTSD is currently only fully covered by workers’ comp if a mental injury is accompanied by a physical injury that requires medical treatment. Advocates say the suicide rate among first responders is higher than the rate among the general population, and that expanding workers’ comp coverage for mental health issues like PTSD would bring that number down.

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