punta gorda

Apparent negligence by the Punta Gorda Police Department resulted in the shooting death of a senior citizen last August as she volunteered in a shoot/don’t shoot scenario at police headquarters. The officer who fired the shot has been charged with felony manslaughter. He was fired and is appealing his termination this week. The city’s police chief, Tom Lewis, is charged with misdemeanor culpable negligence. He is on paid administrative leave.

Photo: Steve Johnson via Flickr Creative Commons

Sharing poetry from and about Southwest Florida for more than 15 years, the Sanibel Poetryfest is gathering poets, authors, and writers at the Sanibel Public Library on Monday, Apr. 3.

Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Meeting in some form since 1962, the Florida Conference of Historians covers all historical fields and gives historians in and of the Sunshine State the opportunity to share their scholarship and new developments in the field.

A federally-recognized non-profit, the group now includes more than thirty colleges, universities, and other institutions. This year's 57th annual conference is being hosted by Florida Southwestern State College and meeting in Punta Gorda this weekend, and is free and open to the public.

Photo: WGCU

A documentary exploring the unintended consequences of school de-segregation brought leaders from Southwest Florida's African American community together for a discussion about the enduring impacts of the Civil Rights movement.

Michael Hirsh

Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis is on administrative leave with pay today after being charged with culpable negligence in the death of a woman participating in a citizen’s academy last August.

Officer Lee Coel will have a disciplinary hearing with the city’s human resources manager and labor attorney to determine his future employment status with the Punta Gorda police department. Coel has the right to appeal the outcome to the city manager. He was charged with manslaughter yesterday in the death of Mary Knowlton during the shoot/don’t shoot demonstration last August.

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