In a five-day period in April 1980, a Palmetto trapper captured 99 raccoons on Longboat Key. He sold the majority of them at $5 a head to a Parrish wholesale animal dealer. He estimated the Key had as many as 5,000 raccoons.
But the traps drew rabid debate at the April 16, 1980, Longboat Key Town Commission meeting.
Police told the commission some raccoons were so brazen they would enter the Hilton seeking scraps from food trays left outside of rooms.
One woman said she tried to put out her own traps but, instead, captured two cats. Other proponents of the traps worried about the possibility of a rabies outbreak and the impact on birds, because raccoons often eat nest eggs. Another woman described herself as a “coon fan,” saying that she raised orphaned raccoons and supported the effort to rebalance the population.
Still, many residents opposed the trappings. One woman claimed the commission had been lied to, arguing that Key raccoons numbered only 2,000.
No word as to whose raccoon census was accurate.
+ Hit by a smooth chiminal?
There aren’t many criminals on Longboat Key, but April 22, 1999, the Longboat Observer reported on what Country Club Shores residents dubbed a “chiminal.”
Several Bogey Lane residents reported someone removed their wind chimes.
One resident suspected a Country Club Shores resident removed them.
Another resident chimed in, saying he hoped the “chime wave” would spread across the street to Beachplace because he constantly heard the clanging of the cable on the condominium’s flagpole.
+ Post office named in Edmundson’s honor
On April 18, 2005, more than 150 people gathered to salute a beloved Longboat Key leader.
That’s when the Longboat Key Post Office was renamed the Lt. Gen. James V. Edmundson Post Office.
Edmundson, who died in 2001, was a former Longboat Key mayor and a highly decorated U.S. Air Force general who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam Wae. He was a survivor of Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.
+ Classic Cops:
April 16, 1987 — 8:05 p.m. Man reports damage to gas pump nozzle. Left in vehicle as it drove off.
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Mote-tagged shark swims toward Sarasota
A 14-foot, 2,300-pound great white shark is currently heading eastbound toward Sarasota.
Police get a wheel deal from anonymous citizen
An anonymous citizen recently contacted the town with an offer to buy the Longboat Key Police Department a new bicycle.
Surprise daytime turtle encounter
On his evening beach walk, Longboat Key resident Mike Haycock was in for a big surprise when he spotted a sea turtle coming out of the water Sunday.