+ Sheriff’s Office nabs 22 fugitives
Nearly two-dozen wanted offenders were arrested Dec. 21. During Operation Holiday Street Sweep, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office targeted suspects whose crimes include hit-and-run, burglary with assault or battery and drug possession.
“These criminals know they are wanted and try to run under the radar,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Operations like this … enable us to get more offenders behind bars at once to keep citizens and our community safe.”
The Sarasota Police Department, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Corrections and Parole assisted in the operation.
+ ‘Sunshine’ groups to pay court costs
The two groups that sued Sarasota County over its baseball negotiations were ordered Dec. 22 to pay the county’s court costs.
Judge Robert Bennett decided that Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government and Citizens for Sunshine must reimburse the county $19,611 — a portion of its legal fees in fighting the lawsuit.
Bennett ruled in July that county commissioners inadvertently violated Sunshine Laws by discussing baseball negotiations in e-mail exchanges with each other. He did not order any sanctions against the commissioners.
The Florida Supreme Court affirmed that ruling in October.
The county had asked for about $30,000 to be awarded, but the judge ruled that the county could not be reimbursed for video and shipping services related to the lawsuit.
+ City urges recycling during holidays
City Hall is asking residents to keep an eye on sustainability during the holiday season.
Citizens are asked to take a number of steps to “reduce, reuse and recycle,” including:
• Reuse boxes and shipping materials.
• Put holiday lights on timers.
• Use decorative tins as gift boxes.
• Give a gift of a donation to a charity.
• Contribute to a child’s saving account instead of giving a wrapped gift.
• Buy holiday cards made from recycled paper.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day last year, Sarasota residents generated 8% more household waste than normal. The national average is 25%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
During the same period, Sarasotans increased their recycling by 11%.
The normal trash, recycling and yard waste pickup schedule will remain in place throughout the holidays.
+ Government offices closed for New Year’s
All city and county government offices will close Friday, Dec. 31 for the New Year’s holiday. The offices will re-open Monday, Jan. 3.
+ Siesta Key Chamber seeks nominees
The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for its Business of the Year Awards.
Each year the chamber recognizes two businesses and one businessperson for outstanding achievements and contributions.
A Shining Star Award is also presented to an exceptional employee, who their employer nominates.
All nominations are due by Jan. 19. For a nomination form, go to www.SiestaKeyChamber.com or visit the chamber office at 5118 Ocean Blvd., Siesta Key.
+ Meetings & Agendas
- City Commission — 2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3 at City Hall, 1565 First St.
- Festival Steering Committee — 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan 6 at the Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd.
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26 Lights In Bloom
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
3 FREE 5K Fun Run
7:00 am - 8:00 am
3 Historical Trolley Tour
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
6 Feast of the Epiphany offers beautiful close to Christmas season
Sound of hope
The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.
Shoppers and residents were treated to some holiday harmonies by the Senior Friendship Centers’ group, the Second Wind Harmonica Players, in Downtown Sarasota.
Stepping up to the plate
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County teamed up to bring the anti-bullying event Rachel’s Challenge to Sarasota Dec. 3.