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Sarasota County schools to reopen Tuesday

All Sarasota County public schools will reopen Tuesday, Aug. 28, after being closed Monday as Tropical Storm Isaac approached. (Full story here)

Heavy rain, rip currents expected as Isaac passes

Sarasota County residents and visitors are urged to remain alert to storm conditions and exercise caution as Tropical Storm Isaac moves through the Gulf of Mexico, a county news release advises today, Aug. 27. High winds and heavy rain are expected to begin late this morning or early this afternoon, and rough surf with anticipated wave heights of 6 to 8 feet will result in dangerous rip currents as the storm passes, says the release issued at 9 a.m. today. (Full story here)

More closings, storm shelter openings announced

More Sarasota County and municipal closings have been announced in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm is expected to increase to hurricane strength late today, Aug. 26, or early Monday morning, county Emergency Management officials warn. (Full story here)

Isaac threatens Southwest Florida

Updated 5:00 p.m. Aug. 27. This is the final update on Tropical Storm Isaac, soon expected to attain hurricane strength. It is on a direct course for the Louisiana coast and New Orleans, likely affecting that city on the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. (Full story here)

Firefighters’ pension funds secured

On Monday, Aug. 20, the Sarasota City commissioners plugged a hole that had threatened to cut half-a-million dollars from retired city firefighters’ pensions. The problem was discovered in verbiage contained in a city charter amendment proposal on the ballot in November. (Full story here)

Arrest made in Siesta bridge hit-and-run case

On Aug. 21, Gary F. O’Callaghan, 37, of 5159 Oxford Drive, was arrested and charged in connection with an Aug. 1 hit-and-run incident on the north Siesta Bridge that resulted in the injury of a worker involved in the bridge’s rehabilitation, the Sarasota Police Department has announced. (Full story here)

Sarasota police chief candidates list pared to 19

Sarasota Interim City Manager Terry Lewis is fighting the clock to pare down the list of 98 applicants to be the next city police chief. He wants to narrow the list to 10 to 15 for incoming City Manager Tom Barwin by early September. So far he’s whittled the list down to 19 semi-finalists. (Full story here)

County team to continue outreach to
Casey Key homeowners

Members of the project team involved in the replacement of the watermain between south Siesta Key and north Casey Key were able to find only eight of 43 homeowners when they went door-to-door Aug. 17 to provide more details about the project, Sarasota County’s interim utilities manager reported to the County Commission Aug. 20. (Full story here)

Domestic partnership initiative moving forward
in the city

The City of Sarasota is edging towards the cutting edge of modern law to recognize “domestic partnerships,” the relationships of couples beyond the structure of legal matrimony. The city commissioners on Monday, Aug. 20, received a briefing on a proposed ordinance, asked some questions, suggested some changes and unanimously gave the green light for the measure to proceed. (Full story here)

County crews continuing battle with seaweed

Sarasota County crews have removed more than 300 tons of seaweed from county beaches since July 1, county officials have announced. (Full story here)

County Commission approves one-time $1,000
salary boost for non-union employees

In a 4-1 vote on Monday, Aug. 20, the Sarasota County Commission approved a $1,000 one-time pay boost to the county’s non-union employees, a move promoted strongly by Sarasota County Administrator Randy Reid. (Full story here)

Next Gulf Gate Library open house Aug. 29

Sarasota County staff is continuing to seek a temporary location for the Gulf Gate Library before construction of the new facility gets under way in early 2013, Project Manager Carolyn Eastwood told the County Commission during its Aug. 20 budget workshop. (Full story here)

County Commission to pay slightly more than
$3 million in disputed Medicaid claims

With consideration for how much staff time already had been allotted to the matter, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously on Aug. 20 to pay more than $3 million in disputed Medicaid claims. (Full story here)

County commissioners oppose stockpiling of
fill material in plain sight of Beach Road

Stockpiling material excavated at the Siesta Key Public Beach park for the stormwater drainage project on-site could save the county about $250,000 and prove less disruptive for Siesta Key residents, the project manager told the Sarasota County Commission during its budget workshop on Aug. 20. (Full story here)

Ask Otus: The truth about tegus

Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Siesta Key and is a full-time resident there. An avid hunter, accomplished vocalist and genuine night owl, Otus is a keen observer of our local wildlife and knows many of nature’s secrets. Otus will answer your questions about our amazing wildlife, but only if you Ask Otus. (Full story here)


Chainsaw of logic rips apart strong-mayor zombie

The proposal that will not die is dead. Again. For a while. But probably it will be back sooner than anybody expects. As the clock approached midnight on Monday, Aug. 20, the proposal for a popularly elected mayor with administrative powers was cut down again. (Full story here)


Utility rates going up 2% in the city

Truth In Millage Notices mailed this week

‘No Swim’ advisory lifted at Lido Casino Beach

‘Transient coordinator’ post revived to deal
with downtown vagrancy

Whither the Police Complaint Committee?

Tourism figures tell the story: The visitors
keep on coming

County approves $5 million deal
with Benderson

County Commission rejects settlement offer
in Siesta property owner’s lawsuit

Code Enforcement Office gets OK for
overtime hours

Siesta Village maintenance contract awarded

Reid’s new staff recommendations win
commission approval

Laurel Park gets a reprieve on downtown

Benderson wins bid to secure Beneva parcel

FDOT nixes Siesta beach ball signs

Parking restrictions being enforced at
Whole Foods garage

Dutch Valley Restaurant to be site
of blood drive

Gulf Gate, Venice resurfacing projects

Eight stores cited for underage alcohol sales
in latest Sheriff’s Office operation

Help sought to find missing resident