+ Two houses under arson investigation
Two homes in the 5000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive are being investigated for arson attempts, according to West Manatee Fire Rescue arson investigator Kurt Lathrop.
On June 19, a handyman working at 5054 Gulf of Mexico Drive reported a fire around 2 p.m. in the northwest corner of the home’s garage. Accoring to Longboat Key Fire Marshal Lou Gagliardi, lawn-furniture cushions and an aerosol can were used in an attempt to start a fire from the gas tank of a 2002 Cadillac Escalade in the garage.
“There is no question the fire, in that case, was intentionally set,” Lathrop said.
The homeowners, Michael and Dorothy Boggett, were in England at the time of the fire. At this point, Lathrop said no one has been ruled out as a possible suspect.
The second arson investigation is being performed on the home at 5060 Gulf of Mexico Drive. That house caught fire twice on July 15 and was up for sale with a listing price of $7.2 million.
+ Town receives project bond money
Mayor Lee Rothenberg said signing on the dotted line made him nervous.
Last week, Rothenberg signed papers for a $9.25 million loan from BB&T Bank that will be used to help pay for the town’s water-and-wastewater, capital-improvement projects.
Finance Director Tom Kelley said the loan has a 5.2% interest rate. The town, Kelley said, is also in the process of obtaining a $7 million state revolving-fund loan, also known as an SRF loan, that will also be used to fund water-and-wastewater projects. The SRF loan, which has a 2.82% interest rate, will be used to pay for a project that will upgrade town water lines along Gulf of Mexico Drive later this year.
+ Town Hall hosts summer interns
Brothers Demond and Jaymes Smith, 16 and 17, respectively, of Sarasota, are interning for four weeks this summer at Town Hall. Lisa Silvertooth, middle, human resources manager at Town Hall, applied for approval from the Summer Youth Program by the Suncoast Workforce Board, which set up the internships.
An additional three interns will be interning at Town Hall throughout the summer.
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Hat's off to Dee Pelton, volunteers
Dee Pelton held a luncheon that will be tough to top.
Youth sailors descend on City Island
Approximately 250 people hit the water Saturday, April 20 through Sunday, April 21, for Sailfest. The regatta, Sarasota Youth Sailing's biggest fundraiser of the year, included four classes of competition — Optimus, 420, Laser and Multi-hull — and a barbecue feast.
Book club sunsets for the season
The Sunset Beach Book Club, in its 10th year, ended this season with a luncheon and discussion of the book “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, April 18, at Lazy Lobster. Discussion moderator was Ricki Carroll. Together, the group read five books this season.