News Stories

Antoniette Meyer

Antoniette -more commonly known as Tonie- has a passion for writing and a love for animals. Exploring and adventuring are always on her to-do list. She studies journalism at FGCU and is expected to graduate in May 2018.

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My Recent Work

Weekend Events: Labor Day Activities Around SWFL
Here’s what’s going on around SWFL from August 31 to September 2: Saturday from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

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Another Blue-Green Algae Found in Southwest Florida
Blue-green algae. Red Tide. And now, we’ve got Oscillatoria bacteria.  But there’s good news! This bacteria is a type

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MMR Vaccine: Are You Vaccinated?
During the week of August 12-18, Florida Health confirmed three cases of measles in Pinellas County.     Measles is

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Weekend Events: Grab Coffee With a Cop and Then Join a Nature Walk
There are a lot of fun, active events going on in Southwest Florida this weekend! August, 25, 2018: 10

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Carbon Monoxide is Dangerous — Here’s How to Keep Yourself Safe
Carbon monoxide — the silent killer.   Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you. Even though

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Start Your Engines! It’s the Weekend!
Here are some thrilling events going on around Southwest Florida August 17-19! Saturday and Sunday at the Immokalee raceway, there’s

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Clean Water Movement: Death March for Water Quality
On Saturday, August 11, in downtown Fort Myers, the South Florida Clean Water Movement is rallying together for what they’re

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What’s The Clue? Scavenger Hunts, Walks, and More
Here are some fun events going on around Southwest Florida for the weekend of August 10-12! Friday night in

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Fourth of July: Where to See Fireworks
Independence Day is right around the corner. If you plan on heading to the beach, the park or the

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This Weekend’s Fun In The Sun
Here are some things to do this weekend, June 29 through July 1! FRIDAY Military Appreciation Night at Hammond Stadium.

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FGCU Students Testing Solutions for Algae Blooms
Algae blooms are a hot topic this time of the year. They flood into our rivers, causing all kinds

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Events: June 22
If you’re looking for things this weekend, Tonie has all the details for June 22 – 24th.

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Tegu Lizards Spotted Around Florida, and They Could Go After Your Pets
In case cane toads, pythons, and alligators aren’t enough to worry about, you should also keep an eye out

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Discount Bus Rides to the Other Side
If you’ve lived in Southwest Florida for any amount of time, you already know you need a car to get

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Activities For Those Hot Summer Nights
Here are some events happening around Southwest Florida for the weekend of June 8-10. FRIDAY:   Hot Summer Nights At Sun N Fun

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Southwest Florida Plays Big Role in Sea Turtle Nesting Season
Sea turtles come to nest on our beaches from May through October and Southwest Florida plays a pretty big

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Hurricane Season is Back, Are You Ready?
Hurricane season is here, again, and it’s important to be prepared. To kick off the official start of the

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Rabies Alert Issued for the Fort Myers Area
A rabies alert has been issued for the Fort Myers area by the Florida Department of Health after an

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Southwest Florida Non-Profits Looking for Volunteers
Southwest Florida is home to many non-profits, and a lot of them are looking for volunteers. One of those non-profits

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Summer camps for kids in Southwest Florida
Summer time is upon us! Now that the kids are out of school — what activities can they get involved

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Estero Students Create Gardening Robots That Do The Work For You
Your own garden without the work. Students at Estero High School have built two fully functioning robots that do everything

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Organ Donor Flags: What They Mean And What They Do
Flags like this one (pictured above) fly at at hospitals like Lee Memorial in Fort Myers. It is an Organ

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Crime Stoppers Expects Local Car Break-Ins to Increase
If you feel like car break-ins are in your Southwest Florida news feed almost every day, Trish Routte at SWFL

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Thousands Petition To Keep Home Vegetable Gardens In Florida
“Let our gardens grow,” said a petition signed by more than 54,000 people as of Tuesday (May 15th). According to

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Cape Coral May Decrease Protections For Bald Eagles
Cape Coral has been tossing around the idea of easing up on the protections it has in place for bald

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Traveling Abroad? Don’t Get Arrested
Every country has different laws and legal systems, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Recently, a

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Daniels Pkwy and State Road 82 Intersection Gets a New Design
If you drive through the intersection of Daniels Pkwy and State Road 82 then you know traffic can be

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Florida Cut Art Funding to Make Schools Safer
There has been a lot of talk about the art funding being cut in Florida. State representatives say that

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Cape Coral Event Center
Over the past 15 years, Cape Coral has spent more than 27-million dollars on a project that has seen

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Fort Myer Doubles Down and Gambles $1.5 million of Tax Payers Money
The city of Fort Myers is gambling taxpayer dollars on a construction deal. $1.5 million dollars are at stake

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Florida Senate Committee Denies a Bill to help Firefighters With Cancer
While the number of firefighters developing cancer rises, the legislation has remained the same year after year. “Cancer in

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Lee Health Offers Workshops for Chronic Pain and Chronic Disease
Lee Health is offering both Chronic Pain and Chronic Disease Workshops for residents of Lee County.  It is a

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Local Farm Impacts Third World Countries Through Agriculture and Education
ECHO Global Farm teaches people efficient farming techniques that they can take to developing countries. The skills they learn

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Florida Art Programs Face Funding Cut
Florida legislature passed a budget that cut art program funding from 25 million last year to 2.6 million. Florida

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Mosquitoes are Back, but Don’t Panic
Zika has been all the buzz around mosquito season, but reports show the numbers are lowering. Cases of Zika in

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North Collier Fire Rescue Added a Shift to Improve Response
Without raising costs, they were able to add another shift during peak call hours. North Collier Fire Rescue implemented

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Cape Coral Residents Concerned for Tortoises
Construction in the neighborhood has raised concerns about the tortoises’ safety. “Save the tortoises,” said Adam Fernandez, Cape Coral

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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

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Mosquito Chickens?
Did you know that Lee County uses chickens to test for mosquito-spread diseases in the area? Lee County Mosquito

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Cape Coral Approves Plans for First No-Kill Animal Shelter
One and a half million animals are euthanized in shelters each year, according to the ASPCA. Cape Coral is trying

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FGCU Heading to Washington D.C. to Participate in the March For Our Lives
FGCU sent 50 students to Washington D.C. to participate in the March For Our Lives. This is a movement started

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Florida Fish and Wildlife App
Florida Fish and Wildlife released a new app that makes it easier for people to report animal sightings. You can

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Your One-stop Shop for all of Your Summer Activities
Rookery Bay is the one stop shop for all of your summer activities. From the indoor exhibits to outdoor nature

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#BoycottFlorida Has Major Effect on SWFL Tourism Economy
Parkland student, David Hogg, is calling for a “tourism boycott” in protest of politicians not meeting his demands for more

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Make a Payment Phone Scams
Phone scammers are posing as Lee County Sheriff’s Office employees asking for the resident to “make a payment”

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What Happens at the Greyhound Track?
After weeks of trying I was finally able to get out to the Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Track. I was

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Florida’s Artificial Reef Program
Florida participates in an artificial reef program along with 13 other states. The purpose of this program is to build

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How Hard Can it be to Break a Window?
Breaking a child or animal out of a hot car may save its life. We took to the junkyard to

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It’s National ____ Day?
Have you ever wondered who makes up the National Day Calendar? The answer: Anyone. Anyone can submit an application to

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Its official, no more plastic straws on Fort Myers Beach
Back in November, the Town of Fort Myers Beach passed a city ordinance to ban the distribution of plastic

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Greyhound racing potentially coming to an end
We recently covered a story about Greyhound racing potentially coming to an end. People on both sides of the issue

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Valentine’s Day at Lee County Domestic Animal Services
From now until Valentine’s day, you can adopt a pet for $14 at Lee County Domestic Animal Services. This promotion

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Dog Racing Could be Nearing an End in Florida
Some commissioners have proposed a revision to the state constitution to ban betting dog races. This revision would

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Peace River Wildlife Center
Peace River Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization that rehabilitates and shelters injured native wildlife. Located in Punta Gorda

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Ponce De Leon Park
Ponce De Leon Park is a SWFL hidden gem located in Punta Gorda. It offers things like a man-made beach,

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Naples Promise Globe
The Naples Preserve is encouraging visitors to take a second and make a promise of what they will do to

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What the heck is an epidemic?
The flu has been a favorite topic in the news; lately, we decided to break it down and talk

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The Naples Preserve Transports You Back
The Naples Preserve, located off of US 41, has a learning center, nature walk, butterfly garden and more. It

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Florida Native Butterfly Society
The Florida Native Butterfly Society has a greenhouse in downtown Fort Myers where they raise and release butterflies. The conservatory

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Welcome Manatees!
You can see manatees huddled together to keep warm at Manatee Park. Manatees migrate into the Gulf during the

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Tide Pod Social Media Challenge
The internet’s latest trend has taken the nation by surprise. People have been eating laundry detergent pods for a new

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ECHO’s Global Farm is Fighting World Hunger
ECHO’s Global Farm is a local farm fighting world hunger. The purpose of the farm is to learn and

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Which SWFL store has the cheapest groceries?
As an experiment, our reporter took the same grocery list to four local grocery stores and compared the prices.

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The history of the Everglades
Since early settlement in Florida, the Everglades have been shrinking. The Everglades is now almost half its original size.

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Sign up for the 3rd Annual Facial Hair for Cancer 10K/5K
Hello SWFL is partnering with other sponsors to host a 10k-5k run and two-mile walk in support of cancer awareness,

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Lee County Domestic Animal Services Adoption Promotion
Can you think of a better way to start your new year than with a new furry friend? Lee

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The Southwest Florida Eagle Cam
Get up close and personal with your local bald eagles through the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam. These cameras show three

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Beekeeping in Southwest Florida
Beekeeping is a popular hobby in Southwest Florida. Lee County has 173 registered beekeepers and 142 are registered as backyard

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The Impact of the Marco Patriots
The Marco Patriots began as a small group of volunteers looking to help their community through Hurricane Irma. Now, they

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A New Class At FGCU Is Seeking Your Opinions: White Racism
White Racism is a class being offered at FGCU in Spring 2018. We had the opportunity to talk with sociology

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Fool-Proof Halloween Costume Ideas
Are you still in need of a Halloween costume? Ariel and Tonie set out to see what costumes they could throw together

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Koreshan Park’s Lesser Known Attractions
Koreshan Park has its fill of history and farmers markets, but did you know about their awesome hiking trails? Tonie explains.

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World’s Smallest Post Office Is Located Right Here In SWFL
Looking to visit Guinness World Record spots? Start no further than your own backyard, because the world’s smallest post office

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Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Hurricanes are no match for the people and animals of SWFL! Tonie visited the Naples Zoo, to discuss its reopening

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How can you help fight climate change?

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

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Shy Wolf Sanctuary​ and Irma
Volunteers at Shy Wolf Sanctuary rode out the storm with the animals and worked tirelessly keep them safe from falling

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Evacuating Hurricane Irma
Evacuating Irma can be crazy. Remember to stay calm and drive carefully. Stay Safe SWFL!

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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

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Apps For Telemarketers
Do you constantly receive telemarketer calls? These apps may be helpful!

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Back to School Teacher Discounts
Cheap school/classroom supplies are not always easy to come by, here are some teacher discounts we found to help.

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400+ Species of Seashells Can Be Found on Sanibel Island
SWFL Shells Seashells on Sanibel’s Seashore 🐚🐚🐚 … say that 10x Fast 😎

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Fun Fact About Florida Lizards
Do you know the difference between the little green and brown lizards running around your yard?

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“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Drive
Did you know SWFL has a nature drive? we drove through one located “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge

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Plastic Bags Can’t be Recycled
Ever wonder why people say plastic bags can’t be recycled? Well we have your answer.

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The History of J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
From cartoons to conservation J.N. “Ding” Darling made an impact on local environment as well as wildlife refuges across the

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How to Avoid Road Rage
These tips may or may not help you calm yourself down when you are battling traffic.

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Hidden Gem: Clam Pass Park Naples, Fl
Here is another hidden gem that we found Clam Pass Beach, Naples, Fl. The coolest part, there is a

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The Making of Warm Mineral Springs Video
Have you ever wondered what it takes to create a HelloSWFL video? Check out this behind the scenes video we

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Stories From Shy Wolf Sanctuary
Meet the animals of Shy Wolf Sanctuary; their stories are used to educate people on how to care for

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Rainy Day Ideas
It has been raining almost everyday here in SWFL. Here are some ideas for what to do when you’re

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