News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida on August 18, 2007 · Page 18
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News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida · Page 18

Fort Myers, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Page 18
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EDISON LOOKS AHEAD College lays out revised -nj) strategy for the future at 0 Ii) convocation. See page Q SECTION SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2007 THE NEWS-PRESS LOCAl'vSTATE BY DAVE BREITENSTEIN Ten semifinalists for FGCU president will begin interviewing on campus today, hoping their skills match what the university wants in its next leader. - A search committee spent nine hours Friday scrutinizing resumes and credentials of 79 applicants, whittling down the list to 20, then 17, then 10. The semifinalists have an average age of 57. All 10 hail from dif ferent states, but each has a doctorate. Two are women. Two are minorities. They are deans, vice presidents, provosts and presidents. "We're pleased with the diversity and quality of the group," said Richard Pegnetter, interim president of Florida Gulf Coast University.. "We have a very attractive opportunity here." Today, a pair of semifinalists will start the preliminary interviews. Once those 75-minute sessions are completed Monday night, the search committee will reconvene to select six finalists for full-day interviews from Tuesday to Friday. By Aug. 25, the Board of Trustees will have just three names left and will select the university's new chief Here are the 10 semifinalists, and what they had to say: , Raymond Alden Position: Executive vice president and provost Institution: Northern Illinois University State: Illinois Age: 57 Interview: 1055 aan. Sunday Q. u o t e : "There are very "few, maybe only a handful, of universities in a situation where they are growing so rapidly, and it's an innovative and dynamic model within the region I've watched the development since its inception" ' ALDEN v Wilson Bradshaw Position: President Institution: Metropolitan State University State: Minnesota Age: 57 Interview: U5 p.ra Monday Quote: "What I like about Florida Gulf Coast is the opportunity to See FGCU B2 BRADSHAW "We're pleased with the diversity and quality of the group. We have a very attractive opportunity here." Richard ftgnctter, interim president of Florida Gulf Coast University A i r. 1 ' h J if;". , - jt 7 TODD STUBINGTHE NEWS-PRESS Hairstylist Ellie Buck wipes away a lipstick smudge left from kissing the cheek of Billie Engelhardt, who will turn 104 on Sunday. Engelhardt had a birthday toast at First Choice Haircutters on Friday in south Fort Myers. At right is Engelhardt's hairstylist Dee Singer, who has been styling her hair every other week for the past four years. CELEBRATING IN STYLE Fort Myers woman shines for 104th birthday BY FRANCESCA DONLAN . Billie Engelhardt walked into First Choice Haircutters on Friday, looking like a movie star with deep red hair and red lipstick. Stylists and customers in the south Fort Myers salon erupted into a happy birthday song. "You know how old I feel," Engelhardt said with a big grin. "Old." But everyone in the salon agreed she looked absolutely radiant for a 104-year-old woman Dee Singer, who has styled Engelhardt's hair twice a month for four years, offered her yellow and peach roses, a card and a chocolate cake with 104 emblazoned across the top. "She's a spitfire," Singer said. "She reminds you of Lucille Ball." '' - . Engelhardt, of Fort Myers, reached into her shopping bag and pulled out a bottle of Chardonnay to share. Stylists and customers raised a toast to her. "If I knew there were going to be so many people, I would have bought more," Engelhardt said. The stylists were excited to sip wine, eat cake and share her momentous day, which is officially Aug. 19. "She's so positive," said Heidi Hallenborg, First Choice Haircutters store manager. "People come in here half her age and are so negative. She's a breath of fresh air. If people were as positive as she was, they would live to 104 or longer." Engelhardt credits her longevity to three things and they all start with B, like her first name, she pointed out "Bufferin, Bengay and booze," she said. She told the same to doctors who ask her why she doesn't keep her appointments, said her son Richard Gardner, 73. "Her nickname is Rice Krispies," Gardner said. "She snaps, crackles and pops, but she's still good." h "Her Her secret to a long life is her best friend, . Spencer, an 18-year-old Yorkie. nickname "I take care of both of them," Gardner said. , , But he doesn't have to do much for his IS RlCC mother. She still cleans and cooks. She avoids . dietary advice. She only quit smoking 10 years KnspieS. ago, and she eats chocolate whenever she wants. She "We're Hershey nuts," Gardner said. She also credits having a sense of humor Snaps, and enjoying people for her long life. n Draven Williamson, 10, of Fort Myers, Crackles viewed all the merriment during his back-to- , school haircut ma neighboring chair. andpops, Tve never met anyone 104," he said. "It's a , , , long way away for me. But it's cooL" DUtSneS Engelhardt plans to spend her actual birth- , day having breakfast with friends and dinner Still gOOU. with her son. . "I hope you all could have as happy and healthy a life as Tve had," she told the hairstyl- Billie Eiigcl; ists who hugged and kissed her. hardt'sson, The fun of life is giving, not getting," she Richard said "Tve had a wonderful time." Gardner neWS-preSS.COmgallerieS Photo gallery: See more photos of the surprise birthday party. neWS-preSS.COmlipbeat Francesca Donlan reports on SW Fla.'s good news. An event in Naples honoring state Rep. Mike Davis, R-Naples, who's battling cancer, was cancelled earlier this week because Davis was too ill to attend. But family said he's doing better now, and likely to be out of the hospital by today. Davis announced after the spring session he would not seek re-election next year because of health, but his office has been reluctant to discuss his condition. He said at the time he expected to serve out his two-year term. PARKER ON POLITICS t - BETTY PARKER The three-term House mem ber, whose work on transportation issues and affordable housing often involved him in Lee County debates, was honored by other lawmakers during the spring session by special ceremonies that indicated his return to Tallahassee could be in question. But his son, Christian, who also lives in Naples, said this week his father may be able to participate in the special legislative session scheduled next month. Davis, 60, became "over tired," Christian Davis said, and checked into the hospital this week to help recover strength. Lou Vlasho, a vice president with the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, said more than 300 people were expected at a reception to honor Davis Thursday, and many others had to be turned away for lack of space. "We had to cancel because of his health, but now I understand he's doing better, and we're all very thankful for that," Vlasho said. Hospitalized Rep. Mike Davis likely to go home today PIP legislation doubtful - Lt Gov. Jeff Kottkamp was the featured speaker at the Real Estate Investment Society's lunch this week, where he told the crowd Gov. Charlie Crist's campaign priorities are well on their way less than a year after Crist and Kottkamp took office in January. See PARKER B2 : i .-i r PERSINGER Driver of pickup Dragged boy gets care for burns Transferred to hospital in Tampa, police say BY ED JOHNSON - Brandin Ness, the 6-year-old boy dragged by a pickup in Cape Coral on Thursday, has potentially life-threatening injuries and has been moved to a hospital in Tampa, officials said. The move, which Cape Coral police said was made because the boy required the care of a burn unit, came as investigators determined he had been dragged about a mile before letting go of the hitch on the pickup. Officials at Tampa Gener al Hospital said Friday night that Brandin was in the hospital's intensive care unit, in critical condition. A burn unit was recommended because of skin loss the child suffered by being dragged along the road, police said. Cape Coral police are continuing their investigation of the incident and spokeswoman Dyan Lee said charges against Brandin's father, Boyd D. Champion, are pending. The police would not say what charges were being considered. Meanwhile, William W. Persinger, 59, who police say was the driver of the truck that dragged the boy, remains in the Lee County Jail on felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing serious bodily injury to another, the police booking report said. The police said he registered 0.099 and 0.101 on breath tests. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08. He is being held without bail, according to the records of the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Witnesses to the incident told police the boy apparently grabbed on to the tow hitch on the back of the pickup and was dragged for about a mile before falling off, according to the investigators. Lee said the boy's handprints were on the tail"-gate. ' Police said they recalculated the distance, originally thought to have been a ouar- ter-mile, after locating the boy's shoe on the roadway and See DRAG B2 Child dragged i i. IMHin TUCK 1 Tmhorc DLum Pine Island RdX . f Veterans ' Memorial Pkwy. I . I . !V2M!LE H CD .-3 THE NEWS-PRESS

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