Mainly Tranquil in the Tropics

June 20, 2006

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We are tracking tropical waves along 33 west, south of 20 north, along 61 west, south of 20 north and along 72 west, south of 22 north. All waves are moving to the west at an average speed of 10-15 knots or about 5 degrees longitude per day. The wave along 72 west is encountering strong shear and will not be able to organize as it moves west. The wave along 61 west is also encountering shear. However, it is a larger wave and it might survive the strongest shear. But, it too will have a tough time organizing any time soon. An upper-level disturbance that caused flooding rainfall in the Houston, Texas, area is over land. But, it has caused a large area of rain and thunderstorms along the southeastern Texas coast. This activity should move southwest and will not have a chance to break away and move out over the open waters of the Gulf. Another upper-level system extends into the western Atlantic, east of the northern Bahamas. This upper-level system is enhancing clouds, showers and thunderstorms over the northern Bahamas. This complex weather system might have some chance to organize during the middle and latter part of this week as the strong shear relaxes over that region of the Atlantic. Some computer model output is suggesting there will be at least an upper-level system forming. If this happens and a surface feature can form underneath, we might have a developing tropical system toward the end of this week. But, this is highly uncertain at this point. Anything that does organize east of the Bahamas will be steered westward by the Bermuda high. That could lead to increased, unsettled weather over the northern Bahamas much of this week, then over Florida by this coming weekend. So, residents and visitors to Florida and the northern Bahamas should stay informed about this area of unsettled weather east of the northern Bahamas.

 Source From Al & Mike News


Local Gas Prices – Best Places To Get Less Gas Prices

June 19, 2006

Local News

 Below are the lowest gasoline prices

6/18  $2.76     Wal-Mart  Colonial & Six Mile Cypress – Fort Myers
6/18  $2.79     RaceTrac  Daniels Pkwy & I-75 – Fort Myers
6/18  $2.87     Costco  Naples Blvd – Naples
6/18  $2.88     Sam's Club  Immokalee Rd & Airport Pulling – Naples
6/16  $2.76     RaceTrac  US 41 – Venice

 Source From Al & Mike News

Record-setter downs 47 grilled cheese sandwiches

June 19, 2006

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 LAS VEGAS: Joey Chestnut is the big cheese of grilled cheese. He's set a new world's record, by downing 47 grilled cheese sandwiches in ten minutes. That's eleven more than the old mark.

Chestnut had his fill in Las Vegas over the weekend. He's a rising star of the competitive eating circuit.

Next month the big eaters will gather for the mother of all eating contests, Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog chow-down in Coney Island, New York.

Source From Al & Mike News

Students encouraged to ‘bug’ police

June 19, 2006

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CINCINNATI: To protect and humor? That could be the motto of campus police at the University of Cincinnati.

They're driving what has to be one of the cutest patrol cars around. It's a VW bug with a cartoon ladybug painted on the side.

The idea is to encourage students to bug officers for information or help.

University of Cincinnati Police Captain Karen Patterson says her officers take some ribbing from the city police. She says it's hard to be intimidating driving a police car that looks like a ladybug.

Source From Al & Mike News

What’s in a governor’s name?

June 19, 2006

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 AUSTIN, Texas: Would you vote for Governor Grandma? Carole Keeton Strayhorn hopes so.

She's an independent candidate for governor in Texas.

She wants to be listed on the ballot as Carole Keeton "Grandma" Strayhorn. She has used the slogan "One Tough Grandma."

But some of her opponents are against the "Grandma" listing.

Singer-author Kinky Friedman is also running as an independent. But he says he's been Kinky for years, so his nickname qualifies.

State law allows for nicknames on the ballot, as long as the candidate has used the name for at least three years.

Source From Al & Mike News

Golf Club in Cape Coral officially closing August 1

June 19, 2006

Local News

The fight to save the Golf Club in Cape Coral is officially over. The owners tried to sell the course, but couldn't find a buyer. Residents on the course are left wondering what's going to happen to the property.

The last ten feet of Anna and Tom Budick's yard is golf course – part of the Golf Club in Cape Coral. They thought they were going to lose part of the yard several months ago.

"I thought there was a big petition of something, yeah, the school district, but didn't it go south?" said Anna Budick.

That deal didn't work out and neither did nearly a dozen other offers over the last year. The owners decided they will close the course.

"We've been owners and operators since 2001. We fixed up a good golf course, we've been trying to find ways to generate revenues, we just haven't been able to," said owner Scott Siler.

Right now homes around the golf course have a great view but that will change August 1st.

"Is it going to look like today? No. Will the grass be ankle high? Maybe. The property will be maintained just not as a golf course," said Siler.

The owners have had two offers from buyers who wanted to keep the golf club a course, but later backed out after thinking they couldn't make money off the property.

Source From Al & Mike News

Inflation rates causing SWFL price increases

June 19, 2006

Local News

A shortage of workers and talks of rising inflation rates has Southwest Floridians worried. Though some people may not have noticed yet, the prices of food, clothing, and even home improvement supplies are slowly rising.

The price increases are happening everywhere from small businesses to large chains.

Stores such as Tiki’s Clothing, in Punta Gorda, are already known to be expensive.

"We're a full blown boutique, we don't compete with anybody," said the owner of Tiki’s Clothing Matt Nemec.

They keep the store stocked with designer clothes, and even gifts for the family dog, because their target market can afford to pay for it.

"These are people who can travel a lot more, they travel in luxury," said Nemec.

But lately, prices at major Southwest Florida chains are also on the rise.

While you may only feel small changes to your wallet right now, economists predict you could take larger hits in the near future.

"The unemployment rate is at 2.1-percent, that's a 30 year low," said Barbara Hartman of Lee County Career and Services.

The low unemployment rate means that stores such as Lowe’s in Fort Myers have to offer better pay to attract new employees.

"We're substantially above minimum wage," said Lowe’s Operations Manager John Sanford.

"As the wages go up someone is going to have to absorb those costs," said Hartman.

Those costs, when added to the news of rising inflation rates, has customers like Nancy Irwin worried.

"It's too hard for two income parents to make it these days," said Irwin.

Irwin says she is cutting back on her shopping. But many Southwest Florida businesses have not reported any recent drops in their sales.

"So far in this particular area, sales have been good," said Sanford.

But businesses admit that sales numbers could change if the current trend continues. They are also concerned interest rates could rise which could push the cost of living even further and make things worse for the consumer.

Source From Al & Mike News

Local restaurant searching for reality TV contestants

June 19, 2006

Local News

Southwest Florida may be the new home to a reality TV show. Two Collier County restaurant owners have an idea for a TV show in which the winner of the show would ultimately win the restaurant as a grand prize.

If you are looking for a new career, filling out an application for the reality TV show called The Entrepreneur could be the answer for you. Sixteen people will end up competing but only one person would walk away the owner of a profitable restaurant.

The Key Western Grille shares the same atmosphere as the island it is named after.

"Very laid back and relaxed. Casual but upscale," said Josi Teeters of the Key Western Grille.

Now, at the place where it is said that the customer is always boss, the customer could really have a chance to become the boss.

"You are not working for someone else. If you win, this is your restaurant, you're the boss. You make your own money and your own hours," said Teeters.

The opportunity has some customers’ mouths watering already.

"I think it's an excellent idea and I'm thinking about interviewing," said Collier resident Emily Hutson.

The best part about the contest is you don't have to know how to run a grill to win.

"We are going on criteria of personality, morals, and business ethics.  We don't just want you to know how to cook a good steak," said Teeters.

However, that does not mean the contestants will have it easy.

"In the competition, everyone is going to have to do every aspect in the restaurant from waiting tables to cooking to doing dishes," said Teeters.

If they can’t keep up with their duties, contestants could be eliminated.

"Several different ideas in it to make it different and exciting and everyone will want to be a part of it," said Teeters.

The restaurant is in the Miromar Outlets off of I-75 in Estero. Applications to be a contestant will cost $100 and will be accepted as of Saturday, June 17.

Teeters says they will be shooting a pilot in early July and will then start shopping for network support.

The Key Western Grille brings in $150,000 a year.

Source From Al & Mike News

Beware Of Web-Mole Threat!

June 16, 2006

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Following reports of ‘Web jacking’, a new type of crime sweeping the Internet, computer forensics experts are urging IT managers to investigate its use in industrial espionage.

National computer forensics firm, Zentek Forensics, claims that while Web-jacking is a new phenomena for home PC users, similar techniques are being widely-used in commercial environments.

Web-jacking involves planting a Trojan on a PC or server in order to gain access to or steal files, often with criminal intent. Trojan programs are so-called because they enter a system in a seemingly harmless way, but once activated release ‘malicious code’ which effectively unlocks a back-door to PCs and servers.

Whereas home PC users are being taken in by the use of ‘pop-ups’ to plant the Trojan, businesses face an even bigger potential threat – from their people. In today’s cut-throat business environment, there is a rise in cases of companies sending spies into competitors. The moles’ go ‘undercover’ as employees to plant the Trojan directly onto computer hard drives, usually via a portable storage device such as a memory stick.

Even those with seemingly robust IT security are at risk, as John McConnell, Forensics Analyst at Zentek Forensics, explains: “We had a case where a ‘keylogger’ had been installed by a cleaner, which captured the key strokes of the company and sent them to their competitor. They lost some major accounts, however we were able to discover the hidden Trojan on the system, which gave the company legal recourse.”

Businesses often investigate the possibility of industrial espionage by checking files themselves, however they inadvertently render the evidence inadmissible in Court. John says: “Computers, like any other crime scene, need to be treated carefully. The biggest issue in cases of industrial espionage is the preservation of evidence. For example, the simple act of opening an email or investigating file access by suspect employees could ruin your evidence.

“Businesses should call in computer forensic experts in cases of suspicion, at the earliest opportunity. The hardware can be then analysed in the proper manner, and any evidence recovered can be presented in Court.”

Advancements in the computer forensics industry over the past 10 years means it is playing an increasing role in prosecutions of all types of cases, ranging from fraud, terrorism, and industrial espionage to employment tribunal hearings and commercial contract breaches.
Source From Al & Mike News

Delivery of 13,500 pizzas sets record

June 15, 2006

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SAN DIEGO: It was some order to go. Sailors and shipbuilders ordered pizza Thursday to celebrate the completion of the Navy's newest cargo ship.

Papa John's delivered 13,500 pies to feed the hungry workers at the San Diego shipyard.

Papa John's says their mega delivery sets a new Guinness record.

And there were no leftovers, either. A shipyard spokesman says all the specially made six-inch pizzas were eaten.

In case you're wondering, it took nearly 2300 pounds of cheese and 36,000 slices of pepperoni to make all those pizzas.

Source From Al & Mike News

Looking for a cheap date?

June 15, 2006

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va.: Looking for a cheap date? Go to Morgantown, West Virginia.

A study by economists at the West Virginia University finds a couple can enjoy a low-key night out for less than $24.

Movie tickets go for an average of $7.37 in Morgantown.

A medium cheese pizza at Pizza Hut will set you back about $9 in Morgantown, compared to the national average of $10.25.

Source From Al & Mike News

Bathroom with a view

June 15, 2006

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden: It's a room with a view – a bathroom.

New public restrooms are opening at Stockholm's Arlanda airport in Sweden this month.

Travelers who have to go will be able to watch the planes while they do it. There's a glass wall above the urinals in the men's room with a view of the tarmac below.
The ladies' room has glass artwork of giant red buttercups. Airport officials say glass is easier to keep clean than tile and will help reduce odor.

Source From Al & Mike News

Robbery at Fort Myers RaceTrac

June 15, 2006

Local News

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office was called after a black male went into the RaceTrac in Fort Myers and tried to rob an employee.

The employee told deputies that the man came into the business, pulled out a handgun and demanded money. The suspect took the money and then demanded that the employee give him his wallet and the keys to his car.

Deputies later discovered that the suspect and another black male got into the employee’s bronze Cadillac and drove east on Bayshore Road.

No one was hurt during the robbery.

Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Robbery Unit were notified and they assumed the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, you can call Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at (239) 332-5555 or 1-800-780-TIPS

Source From Al & Mike News

Green thumb thieves hit Lehigh home

June 15, 2006

Local News

A Lehigh Acres man has had trees stolen from his backyard and Lee County Sheriff’s deputies say it is a crime they will not tolerate.

Mongi Zekri says it is an open area in Lehigh Acres but people drive by his house all of the time. He believes he was being watched by the people that stole his trees and he believes they want to sell them to make money.

Zekri is a native North African and he works at the Agricultural Extension Office. He says he has created a home away from home with his vibrant Lehigh garden.

"I like to come in the morning to see the trees," said Zekri.

Six of Zekri's beloved trees were ripped out of the ground but the culprit did leave tire tracks on the lawn.

Lee County deputies are now looking for the guilty party and Zekri says he plans to press charges against whoever is found to be responsible.

The trees’ cost only totals $216 but Zekri says it is not about the money.  He says it is a violation of his property.

"These trees can be replaced but they can be stolen again," said Zekri.

Zekri says his next project will be building a fence around his yeard before reconstructing his tropical garden.

Zekri believes the culprit may not have known what they were doing. The trees have to be planted right away with their entire root attached and some of the trees’ roots were still left in the ground of Zekri’s yard.

Source From Al & Mike News

The stingray shuffle returns to Southwest Florida

June 15, 2006

Local News

Firefighters and EMT’s are warning the weekend beachgoers to be careful of stingrays. They say with one misstep you could find yourself in a world of pain.

Stingrays can usually be found out on top of the sand in the Gulf of Mexico. If you step on one, the stingray swings its tail up, stings the foot, and unleashes painful venom. But there is a technique that can be used to avoid it.

Sunbathing, swimming, and even surfing are all part of the beach going experience. But the good times come with the bad.

David Beers is a firefighter with the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department. He explained that it is currently stingray mating season and if you step on one, they will make you regret it.

"They like to come in and camouflage themselves by hiding under the sand so you can't really see them," said Beers.

Beers says he literally sees the pain first-hand because he constantly treats people who are stung.

"In the peak stingray season there can be up to four to five calls per day," said Beers.

Beers explained there is a technique people can use to avoid getting stung by a stingray. He calls it the stingray shuffle.

"The best thing to do is shuffle your feet. They'll actually hear you coming and get out of the way," said Beers.

He explained it is simple knowledge that can make your beach going experience a pain-free one.

If you are stung, you need to get your foot into a bucket of hot water as soon as possible. The venom is attracted to heat and the longer it is in your body, the farther up it will move. It can potentially move to your mid-section which is the warmest part of your body.

You should also call 911 and make sure a professional looks at the wound so it will not get infected.

Source From Al & Mike News