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CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK

A1 final c+k DAILY 10/02

SPORTS | C4

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Tonight’s big matchups in high school football.

Hispanic Heritage Month events and Alice Cooper get the beat going.

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UNDER THE BRIGHT LIGHTS

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THE NEWS-PRESS

| PUBLISHED | PUBLISHED FRIDAY,SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2, 11, 2009 SINCE 1884 FRIDAY, 2009 SINCE 1884

FINAL 75¢

IRONMAN

Jason Gunter, who lost a hand and part of a leg in an accident, soon may win a spot in history

PHOTOS BY ANDREW WEST/THE NEWS-PRESS

At top, Jason Gunter swims laps and participates in a 60-mile training ride in Lee County in preparation for an Ironman competition Oct. 10 in Kona, Hawaii. He is preparing for a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and 26.2-mile run. If Gunter finishes within 17 hours, he will become the first upper- and lower-extremity amputee to do it.

BY FRANCESCA DONLAN fdonlan@news-press.com

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ix months ago, Jason Gunter had run only as many as 8 miles, didn’t own a bike and had never taken a swimming lesson. Today, the 44-year-old Fort Myers attorney is headed to Hawaii to compete in the world’s most celebrated triathlon, the Ford Ironman World Championship. Gunter intends to finish the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2 mile run on Oct. 10. Gunter, who lost his right hand and left leg below the knee in a 1992 boating accident, has a shot at history. If he finishes the race in fewer than 17

hours, he will become the first upperand lower-extremity amputee athlete to complete the 140-mile course, said Mike Lenhart, president of Getting2Tri Foundation, which supports athletes with physical disabilities. “There have been other athletes who have been amputees and double-leg amputees, but it’s unique to have someone with upper and lower,” said Lenhart, who will be with Gunter in Hawaii. The journey from tragedy to triathlon hasn’t been easy. “Getting out of bed was a milestone,” Gunter said.“It’s one step at a time. If you look too far ahead, it’s too overwhelming.”

See IRONMAN A6

• Photo gallery: View images of Jason Gunter of Fort Myers in training.

• Video: Watch Gunter train in the triathlon disciplines of swimming, biking and running.

INSIDE / A6

The event: What is an Ironman World Championship? The schedule: See a sample week of Gunter’s training.

BY JANINE ZEITLIN

Mackindy Dieu, right, comforts Netty Fleury during a vigil Thursday for their sister, Guerline Dieu Damas, her children and others.

jzeitlin@news-press.com

Each of six chairs sat empty except for a single white rose at a Thursday evening vigil in Naples. The roses symbolized the loss of Guerline Dieu Damas and her children Meshach, Maven, Marven, Megan and Morgan. The children’s father and Guerline’s husband, Mesac Damas, 33, has been charged with six counts of first-degree premeditated murder. A community mourning the North Naples family vowed to prevent more seats from becoming vacant and protect others from domestic violence. “Domestic violence is a social ill that must be addressed in the

The News-Press, A Gannett Newspaper Copyright 2008

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dmanley@news-press.com

A double whammy hit Southwest Florida’s car sellers in September: a lack of cars to sell, and a hangover from the cash for clunkers program. The sharp drop-off was expected after the Aug. 24 end of cash for clunkers — which offered buyers rebates of up to $4,500 when they traded in gas guzzlers for a more fuelefficient vehicle. The program convinced many car shoppers to buy earlier to lock in a deal. That’s why sales here and nationwide were lower compared to the same month last year. Several local dealers said they could have sold more cars if there were more to choose from on cent,” said Leon Mudry, their lots. Domestic manu- general manager of Galeana facturers idled or closed Chrysler Dodge Jeep in some plants while slowing south Fort Myers. “Of production at others earli- course, the economy is er this year. down, but we’re just flat-out “Our new car numbers dropped a good 50 per- See SALES A2

Fears grow for eagle caught in fishing line A bald eagle seen struggling to fly over Bonita Springs with about 200 feet of fishing line dangling from its body may face a long, slow death. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and a Naples rehabilitation specialist say the eagle could starve if the line traps the bird in a tree where it cannot reach food or water. The majestic bird was spotted Tuesday by Frank Gore, an employee of Nelson Marine, as he checked docks and seawalls among the canals off Imperial Shores Boulevard near Bonita Beach. “It was a great big healthy bird,” Gore said. Then Gore noticed the monofilament line, “a straight line hanging from him about 200 feet long.”

The News-Press TV grids will look a little different, reflecting the channel lineup changes Comcast has put in place over the past several months, since the company’s merger with

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Opinion . . . . . . B8-9 Sports . . . . . . . C1-8 Weather . . . . . . B10

Time-Warner cable. The Time-Warner lineup will become Comcast starting Wednesday and the Time-Warner lineup will no longer appear in the grids.

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Lottery . . . . . . . . . B2 Nation . . . . . . . . . A3 Obituaries . . . . . . B6

See EAGLE A2

■ 101,000 BTU ■ FOR POOLS UP TO 18ʼX36ʼ ■ TITANIUM HEAT EXCHANGER

EMMETT/

Business . . . . . D1-4 Classifieds . . . . E1-8 Helping out . . . . . B4

The line glared in the sun like the strands of a spider web illuminated in the sun, Gore said. “He kept fluttering up in the air, trying to shake the line,” Gore said. The eagle’s plight arises as Bonita Springs is about to launch a

POOL HEATING SALE!

THE NEWS-

View more images from Thursday’s vigil.

If you spot the eagle and it appears stationary and unable to fly, call: •CROW wildlife clinic at 239472-3644 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. •The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hot line: 888-404-3922. The commission will in turn contact local rehabilitation centers. •The wildlife Rehabilitation center at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, at 239-262CARE (2273) 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily.

NOTE TO READERS

JOHN DAVID

news-press.com

HOW TO HELP

mwozniak@news-press.com

Damases mourned during vigil

See VIGIL A2 Also see Sam Cook column B1

BY DON MANLEY

BY MARY WOZNIAK

Bio: Get to know Fort Myers resident Jason Gunter.

news-press.com Watch Gunter in training

Car sale figures dented

Available in black & white color

BONUS! Free Solar Blanket with each pool heater sold this week!

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HOURS: MON-FRI 10-8 SAT 10-6 SUN 11-5

WE ARE SW FLORIDA’S FT. MYERS HEAT PUMP 2355 COLONIAL BLVD. AT THE CORNER OF FOWLER (239) 939-5600 HEADQUARTERS!

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