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 The Punta Gorda Herald Top Stories

Handful of ‘hate’ groups labeled locally
Wed  Aug 16 2017 06:02PM
Three groups in the area made it on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map,” which shows Florida has the second-most hate groups compared to the rest of the country. … Find out how to read more online.
State, local tourism hits record level
Wed  Aug 16 2017 07:20PM
Florida set a record with the highest number of visitors in any six-month stretch in state history, Gov. Rick Scott announced this week. The state noticed 60.7 million visitors in the … Find out how to read more online.
Airport passenger traffic soars for 45th month
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
PUNTA GORDA — Punta Gorda Airport has seemingly borrowed the famous “Keep Going and Going” slogan from Energizer. That’s what happens when its growth trend hits 45 straight months. Total … Find out how to read more online.
Summer block party at Fat Point
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
A summer block party was held at Fat Point Brewery on Saturday with live music, food and beer. Three food trucks were parked in the outside beer garden, Mobstah Lobstah, … Find out how to read more online.
FHP searching for driver in double fatal crash
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
New details have emerged about a single-vehicle crash in Port Charlotte in which 2 people were killed last December. Investigators originally thought just the two victims were the only people … Find out how to read more online.
‘Super heroes’ ride the beer bus to help Crossroads
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
On Saturday, two buses filled with approximately 50 Crossroads Hope Academy supporters dressed as super heroes traveled to various local establishments to enjoy a cold one or two. The “beer … Find out how to read more online.
Striving to be an Olympian
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
Editor’s note: Sophie Shepherd, a rising Venice High School sophomore, aspires to be an Olympic archer. This is her account of her trip this month to the Junior Olympic Archery … Find out how to read more online.
Body found on vacant Port Charlotte lot
Tue  Aug 15 2017 08:30AM
PORT CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a death Monday morning near Kenilworth Boulevard and Porter Street in Port Charlotte. The body of a man was found … Find out how to read more online.

Mon  Aug 14 2017 08:30AM
Tiny pink toes crinkle as a wail is heard across the Bayfront Health Hospital neonatal intensive care unit. The crying will continue for days. The child has been born addicted … Find out how to read more online.
Englewood’s Pearl Harbor survivor dies
Tue  Aug 15 2017 10:55AM
ENGLEWOOD — John Seelie made his first trip to Hawaii as a teenaged infantryman and boxer with the U.S. Army in 1941. He made several trips back to Hawaii over … Find out how to read more online.
School begins with teacher shortage
Fri  Aug 11 2017 08:30AM
CHARLOTTE COUNTY — Daniel Crowley was upset that his high-functioning autistic daughter had a substitute teacher on her first day back at school Thursday. Kingsway Elementary was among several Charlotte … Find out how to read more online.
Mother: Baker Act for minors is ‘medical kidnapping’
Fri  Aug 11 2017 08:30AM
Across from Charlotte High School, a small crowd held up signs Thursday with messages like, “Childhood is not a mental illness” and “Stop Baker Act Abuse.” The protest was organized … Find out how to read more online.
Mary Knowlton’s widower: ‘Life will never be the same’
Wed  Aug 9 2017 08:30AM
It’s just something they always did together. Gary and Mary Knowlton were in the habit of taking a morning walk in Punta Gorda. Every day, they would drive from their … Find out how to read more online.
Stolen vehicle recovered during welfare check
Thu  Aug 10 2017 08:30AM
A stolen vehicle was recovered Monday when Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies performed a welfare check on two individuals sleeping in a blue Volkswagon Jetta in a parking lot at … Find out how to read more online.
Punta Gorda: Internal affairs investigation ongoing
Wed  Aug 9 2017 08:30AM
It’s been one year since retired librarian Mary Knowlton, 73, came to the Punta Gorda Police Department to learn about the agency and was shot by a police officer. During … Find out how to read more online.
Warm Mineral Springs continues to attract attention
Mon  Aug 7 2017 05:18PM
While you may never see a billboard in New York City saying “Visit Warm Mineral Springs,” that doesn’t mean the city of North Port isn’t getting the word out there. … Find out how to read more online.
Punta Gorda: No utility rate hikes in 2018
Tue  Aug 8 2017 08:30AM
PUNTA GORDA — After two consecutive years of utility rate hikes, the City Council decided not to raise the bill this fall. After city staff provided its fiscal year 2018 … Find out how to read more online.
Always trust the one with the medical degree
Tue  Aug 8 2017 04:16PM
I learned a lesson recently. It is a lesson I should have learned a long time ago. After living in this body for more years than I want to admit, … Find out how to read more online.
Gas station skimmers increasing across state
Tue  Aug 8 2017 04:16PM
Across Florida, 337 skimmers intended to steal individuals’ debit and credit card information have been found installed in gas pumps this year, each no bigger than a thumb drive. The … Find out how to read more online.
Tax-free days usher in back-to-school
Thu  Aug 3 2017 01:24PM
School begins in Charlotte County on Aug. 10, just a week away. And, in Sarasota County, students return Aug. 14 — in only 11 days. To help parents save on school … Find out how to read more online.
Allegiant flight attendants picket over low pay
Wed  Aug 16 2017 06:02PM
PUNTA GORDA — About a dozen unionized Allegiant Air flight attendants picketed at Punta Gorda Airport Wednesday, rallying against low wages and airline maintenance issues. The off-duty flight attendants also … Find out how to read more online.
When cars burn
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
Austin Hirschy only owned his Audi A4 for one month when it burst into flames after an Englewood collision. Just 21, Hirschy and three friends in the car with him, … Find out how to read more online.
Dump truck, SUV crash injures two
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
GULF COVE — An 87-year-old woman was airlifted because of serious injuries after her SUV collided with a dump truck at David Boulevard and State Road 776 Tuesday morning. Bobby … Find out how to read more online.
AAA: More locals cruising to Cuba
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
A recent announcement by the White House to tighten some restrictions on visiting Cuba has not slowed the flow of area residents to the communist country, according to travel industry … Find out how to read more online.
Man charged after sexual encounter with teen from Grindr
Wed  Aug 16 2017 08:30AM
PORT CHARLOTTE — A 54-year-old man was arrested Monday for an alleged sexual encounter with a teenage boy he met on Grindr, an internet dating application intended to connect homosexual … Find out how to read more online.

Tue  Aug 15 2017 08:30AM
Faced with ever-rising health care and insurance costs, many of the area’s working poor are forced to forgo medical treatment in order to keep a roof over the heads and … Find out how to read more online.
Charlottesville violence inspires local vigil
Tue  Aug 15 2017 08:30AM
PUNTA GORDA — The violence sparked by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday led to a Sunday rally in Punta Gorda to push back against hate. Nearly 100 people … Find out how to read more online.
The News Wire will replace USA Today next week
Tue  Aug 15 2017 08:30AM
A week from today the Sun will change the way we deliver the national news to your front door. For almost two years we have partnered with the USA Today … Find out how to read more online.
The state of girls in STEM studies
Fri  Aug 11 2017 08:30AM
Fired this week, disgraced Google engineer James Damore said there are biological causes behind gender inequality in the tech industry. Regardless of the validity of the claim, that isn’t slowing … Find out how to read more online.
Typical hot and muggy summer weather expected by mid-week
Mon  Aug 14 2017 08:30AM
Southwest Floridians may feel like it’s over 100 degrees outside today without relief from the usual afternoon shower. Daytime highs are in the lower 90s throughout the week. However, heat … Find out how to read more online.
Cellphone addiction
Thu  Aug 10 2017 08:30AM
As an 18-year-old in high school, Blake Russell would tell you cellphones and internet connections are “a good tool for research.” But just as quickly, he concedes most of his peers … Find out how to read more online.
Tropical wave no threat to Florida
Fri  Aug 11 2017 08:30AM
A tropical wave off the east coast of Florida poses no threat to Florida, National Weather Service Meteorologist Tyler Fleming said. The wave was producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over … Find out how to read more online.
Fired Pizza Hut employee arrested after refusing to leave
Thu  Aug 10 2017 08:30AM
A fired Pizza Hut employee was arrested Tuesday after refusing to leave the business. Just before 6 p.m., the manager of the Pizza Hut at 3068 Tamiami Trail called the Charlotte … Find out how to read more online.
Lee’s syphilis surge not as rampant in Charlotte
Wed  Aug 9 2017 08:30AM
A surge in new syphilis cases that swept through Lee County in recent months has not hit the neighboring and nearby counties of Charlotte and Sarasota quite as hard, according … Find out how to read more online.
Sheriff Prummell: Show me the money
Tue  Aug 8 2017 08:30AM
Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell is not backing down from the biggest annual budget boost he’s asked for in his four-plus years in office. “Even I was surprised it came … Find out how to read more online.
Expert: Don’t skip inspection when buying a foreclosure
Tue  Aug 8 2017 03:37PM
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — Phil Shaw was a homebuilder up in Ohio before buying property in Port Charlotte in 2002, which he rented out. As a responsible landlord, he immediately replaced … Find out how to read more online.
Welcome to the club, but please play nice
Tue  Aug 8 2017 08:30AM
Dick Lesperance was mad. Real mad. I could tell from his voicemail and the fact that he called me twice within a short period of time. Mr. Lesperance is a … Find out how to read more online.
Doctor fights opioids with cannabis
Tue  Aug 8 2017 04:16PM
ENGLEWOOD — With no end to the opioid crisis, one local doctor is combating the problem with medical marijuana. Dr. Lew Little opened a pain management clinic in Englewood five … Find out how to read more online.
Baseball boom
Mon  Aug 7 2017 02:55PM
Out-of-town visitors contributed $16.3 million in economic benefit to Charlotte Sports Park and the surrounding business community during Tampa Bay Rays-spring training this year, according to a new economic impact study. … Find out how to read more online.
A vest that calls 911
Mon  Aug 7 2017 11:10AM
A company based in Punta Gorda has developed technology that automatically notifies rescue should a bulletproof vest be shot by a bullet, hit by shrapnel or stabbed. Called Automatic Injury … Find out how to read more online.