From a Life of Crime to a Life of Inspiration

  Monique Smith spent a year in prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. After spending several days in solitary confinement, Monique made the decision that when she was released, she…

Suicide: A Story of Recovery

  Roughly 10 years ago, Erica Smalls made an attempt to take her own life. Luckily, Erica’s aunt found her just in time.  “I can’t lie I was a little sad I…

Slot Car Heaven in Lehigh Acres

  Over the past 40 years, Matthew Graham managed to collect more than six thousand slot cars, and he displays, repairs and tests them all out from the comfort of his home…

“New Beginnings” for Young Mothers

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they need a fresh start. The non-profit organization, The New Beginnings of Southwest Florida, is on a mission to arm young single mothers with…

Memorial Day: It’s Not About the Start of Summer

Memorial Day is a time to remember military men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. One of the biggest misconceptions about the federal holiday is that…

Last minute Mother’s Day ideas

  Mother’s Day is around the corner! And we have some sweet ideas for your mom’s special day: $10 off of $50 and $5 off caption frames at Hallmark Books-A-Million has deals…

Autism Spectrum Disorder Cases Rising … Why?

While the cause is up for debate, experts are saying it’s due in part to environmental factors and the changing diagnostic criteria. Autism in children is on the rise, but nobody really…

Life in a Van

  Would you quit your full-time job, buy a van, and live out of it to live simply and travel the world? Well, this couple did just that! Meet Colin and Lisa,…

Meet the North Collier Fire Rescue

  With brush fires season in full swing, we wanted to put a face to the stories and show who is out there fighting these fires. We spent the afternoon with North…

Fort Myers Police Department’s Civil Social

Last Thursday, the Fort Myers Police Department invited city residents to the Dr. Carrie Robinson Center for its Civil Social – an event focused on creating an environment where residents can talk…

Lighthouse of SWFL

  This was a day I’ll never forget. Andrea Gutierrez, from Cape Coral, recommended us to document a place called “Lighthouse of SWFL.” This is an organization that focuses on helping visually…

Bayshore Elementary’s Cloggers

  Bayshore Elementary’s Cloggers are a staple part of the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade. But, get ready. This year they’re going to get WILD! With a circus theme and smiles…

Crowning Daughters for Success

Geoffrey Canada is the author of my favorite book, Whatever It Takes. The book details his life experiences and how they can be used to impact his community. Tasheekia Perry reminds me…

Swimming in the Black Community

  It’s a known fact: Black children do not know how to swim, about a good 70%. While doing a story about SWFL swim caps that feature black and brown children in…

Joshua Noom To Design Luminary Hotel Artwork

We spoke with local artist Joshua Noom, who was recently hired to do artwork for the Luminary Hotel going up in downtown Fort Myers. Joshua is quite excited not only about the…

Marathon Cop, Barbells and Bacon Fundraiser

  Sgt. Sammy Gonzalez, known to Hello SWFL as The Marathon Cop, is actively training and raising money for his 390-mile charity run from Fort Myers to Tallahassee for Run for the…

A Local Storm Chaser’s Stunning Photography

  Quinn Sedam chases storms throughout south Florida; going through dangerous obstacles to capture them. A man’s south Florida storm photos are used as the theme in a Cape Coral coffee shop.…

How FBI Academy Helps Cape Coral Deputy Chief on The Job

  Cape Coral deputy chief, Lisa Barnes recently graduated from the FBI Academy. Now, she’s putting the new things she learned to work at the police department. “This is the diploma that…

Local Author Glenn Miller

  SWFL is filled with talented and fascinating people including seasoned Journalist, Author, and President of the non-profit Southwest Florida Historical Society, Glenn Miller. One of Miller’s many accomplishments includes the completion…

Tribute to Fallen Law Enforcement Officers

We all have thoughts on the ongoing discussion regarding policing in our communities. As a black woman, I have thoughts that you may or may not agree with regarding the topic. One…

The Mysterious Tale of Thelma Rice

  In 1939 Thelma Rice, 26, killed Earl Randolph Haskew, 33, with his own gun, in the nude on Ft. Myers beach after hours of drinking and partying. We visited the Southwest…

Captain John Arens: Dressed to the Nines

  Once a week, John Arens heads over to the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library in Cape Coral, Fla. to catch up with fellow veterans. John has been dining in the Military…

Manatee Elementary school student
Manatee Student is Named “Fan of the Game”

  Education is always at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Often, the time spent thinking about it isn’t always positive. We are inundated with information about how public education is “failing” and…

Sobriety Story Impacts Thousands

  Cape Coral woman’s sobriety story inspires thousands. From the party life to a life of sobriety and a story that has impacted thousands. As she writes her memoir, Kelly Junco recalls…

Sgt. Sam Gonzalez: THE MARATHON COP

People have a funny way of expressing themselves; their acts sometimes expose more about them than probably they are willing to admit. Officer Gonzalez act and dedication to something so grueling proves…

Fort Myers City Council Silence Citizens

  Be careful what you say when you’re addressing City Council, you might get shut down or arrested. Attention residents of Fort Myers, City Hall, has put a new rule in place…

Women, You Can Fish Too

    Most people may consider fishing to be dominated by men. However, there’s a high percentage of women and children, taking up the sport. It turns out a 2016 Special Report…

Old Soul Brewery
Old Soul Brewing Company Throws Benefit For PTSD Victims

Often times holidays lose their original meaning. BBQs and sale events have taken over Memorial Day. Labor Day, once a day to celebrate the workforce, is celebrated as the last day of…

Gary Believes His Dog Came From A Puppy Mill

Gary noticed something was different about his dog Sophie’s behavior. She began shaking and scratching and it would last for hours at a time. After searching online and meeting with specialists, no…

Meet Local Artist Cesar Aguilera

KJ visited local artist, Cesar Aguilera’s SWFL home gallery. Creating art with a purpose, Cesar keeps things interesting working with charcoal, oils, and sculpture to avoid getting stuck in one medium. He…

Psychology or Art?

From psychology major to art, this FGCU alumnus is now showing pieces in the FGCU Art Gallery.  

The Bread of Life Mission​

  In the days after Irma, Judy Jones from The Bread of Life Mission organized a ton of relief efforts. I soon found out, that was an everyday thing for her.

Church of God Disaster Relief Team

  We spoke with Pastor Joseph and the Church of God Disaster Relief Team as they help rebuild another church in Chokoloskee

Rebuilding Faith

When all seemed lost for Chokoloskee Church of God, a visitor comes and changes everything.  

Loneliness and Senior Citizens

  Did you know that loneliness has been linked to early death in seniors? Senior Friendship Centers is finding a way to make that problem go away.

From Accountant to Artist

From mutual fund accountant to tattoo artist and painter, SWFL local, Mully followed his heart. I followed him through a live art performance held recently at Whiskey Park  

Meet Barry Cohen

Meet Barry Cohen, a man that inspires his neighborhood. It’s amazing what can happen when we come together as a community.  

Blessings in a Backpack

  Blessings in a Backpack … Because no SWFL child should go hungry.

Who wants to be the Mayor of Cape Coral?

  If you want a job, you go to a job interview. If you want to be Mayor of Cape Coral, you should have a job interview. So we did just that.

Kids Gun and Safety

  Everyone knows leaving kids around unlocked guns is not safe, but do you know the statistics?

Chokoloskee You’ve Got Mail

Neither hurricane nor flood nor heat kept these postmasters from providing mail service to the residents of Everglades City and Chokoloskee. See how they got it done.  

Local Artist Marcus Zotter​

We had a chance to speak with Marcus Zotter a local artist who is on a mission to impact the art scene in SWFL.

Stories From the Road

  Millions of Floridians have evacuated. Here are a few stories from the road. It’s not about Irma it’s about communities coming together. Stay safe out there!

Interviews with Cape Coral Mayoral Candidates

  Shouldn’t politicians go through a job interview, just like us? Yep – We thought so too. We gave job interviews to Cape Coral, Florida mayoral candidates.

Should He Stay Or Should He Go

  This pro surfer usually runs towards big storms… not this time. His name is Sterling Foster. Be safe everyone.

Shirley King of Females With Firearms

Have you ever wanted to get your concealed carry permit? Shirley King of Females With Firearms used her own experiences as a beginner to start training classes for women.  

Heroes Unmasked Together We Rise

  Have you heard of Heroes Unmasked Inc? Michael and Maria’s organization maybe new, but their shared love for bringing joy to sick children of the community started at 15!

Hoops on Mission

  A SWFL native uses basketball as a safe place for local children to enhance their basketball skills, grow personally and to just have fun. Hoops on Mission

Elderly Loneliness

Inviting grandma over for dinner can make a big difference in her health.  

The People of Immokalee

Are you from Immokalee? We took a quick visit to Immokalee in the middle of a work day to get a feel of the area. What stories should we tell?

LuLaRoe​ Fashion Retailer Meredith Helgren

Lularoe – Meredith Helgren tells her inspiring story about becoming a LuLaRoe fashion retailer and how it helped her become a better stay at home mom.

La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre

  Sharing traditions help us understand each other. We spoke with Ricardo, a family man from Lehigh Acres, who shared with us a commonly unknown Cuban story.  

Chef Ashley Pine Manor Culinary Program

  It’s never too late to turn it all around. One Pine Manor Culinary Program alumni shows us how a single class helped her achieve her dreams.

Helping a Friend in Need

  See how the SWFL community and Sonic Automotive rally to help support a fellow employee in need of a kidney.

$10,000 Reward: Jeremy Penton Murder

  A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the death of Jeremy Penton. If you have any tips…

DeMine Immigration Law Firm P.A.

  DeMine Immigration Law Firm P.A. is making information on immigration law more readily available. What do you want to know about this hot topic issue?

Naples Diver Captures Whale Shark

Chances are you’ve seen the local whale shark footage, but we decided to dive a little deeper. Watch as the diver, Bill, explains his up close and personal encounter.

Meet Senator Kathleen Passidomo

  Meet Senator #KathleenPassidomo in this intimate interview and learn what it’s like to be your state senator. Spoiler she says it’s not as fun as cooking Italian food for her kids.

Professional Surfer Sterling Foster​

  Local Naples resident and professional surfer Sterling Foster and his sponsor #saltwatersyndicate works with non-profits like Captains for Clean Water Hook A Hero Foundation and hopes to inspire people to take care of Florida’s waterways and beaches.

Senator Passidomo

Have an idea or concern you want to pitch to your government? Watch the video to find out how. Kathleen Passidomo

Road to Adoption

There are countless resources for adoption here in SWFL. One local mom tells her heartwarming story of the road to adoption.

Cypress Trail RV Resort

Cypress Trail RV Resort Cypress Trail RV Resort has something for everyone even Fido! Take a look and see why RVing is so popular among SWFL residents.  

SWFL Student Teacher Reunion

The most amazing reunion just happened! It’s teacher appreciation week and KJ Adames decided to meet up with the teacher who changed his life. See what he had to say!

Masking Tape Creatures

Critics call this art creepily charming? What do you think about this couple’s masking tape art?

Fort Myers Teacher of All Things, Stephen Damico
For the local 4th-grade teacher, Stephen Damico, there are two things he was put on this earth to do: wrestle professionally and teach children. While this may seem like an unusual combination…
Wrestling Kindergarten Teacher Refuses to Quit His Day Job

The realms of Wrestle Mania and learning ‘ABCs’ aren’t too far apart for Kindergarten teacher and pro wrestler, Stephen Damico. He smoothly transitions from naptime to Smackdown by implementing his passion for teaching.…

Skateboard Missionaries Take on Fort Myers

Perched right on Second Street and Fowler, a grungy black house spells out Ride Nature on the brim. “Surf. Skate. Coffee.”, A sign stamped chic-ly across their window welcomes anyone who dares…

Meet The Mayor: Randal Henderson

He speaks with a calm authority, a skill obviously honed from his years of experience as a public figure. Mayor Henderson has been mayor of Fort Myers for almost a decade, and…

American Idol Goes Lehigh Acres

At Lehigh Acre’s recent Festival Idol competition, Sissy Goss shone brightly among her peers and claimed the title of Junior Idol. Most people want fame and fortune, but Sissy Goss says music…