+ Police pursue red light cameras
The Sarasota Police Department made a pitch to the City Commission July 6 to install red-light cameras at five of the most dangerous intersections within the city limits — Fruitville Road and Beneva Road; U.S. 41 and Siesta Drive; U.S. 41 and Bahia Vista Street; U.S. 41 and University Parkway; and U.S. 41 and Bee Ridge Road.
In 2007, the police department issued 4,595 tickets for running red lights and 4,214 tickets for speeding.
“We have a problem, and we’d like to take a look at it,” said Capt. William Spitler.
The police department is recommending a civil violation, similar to a parking ticket, for drivers caught on camera running a red light.
Running a red light is already illegal, but an officer has to catch a driver in the act in order to write a ticket. A new ordinance would have to be written to allow the cameras.
Spitler said the cameras would only take photos of cars and license plates, not the drivers.
The commission voted 4-1 in favor of asking the city attorney to draft an ordinance to allow red-light cameras. Commissioner Fredd Atkins cast the dissenting vote.
+ County property values plummet
City of Sarasota homeowners are seeing the values of their homes fall even further, but, compared to the rest of Sarasota County, they’re in better shape than most.
The Sarasota County Property Appraiser has released its preliminary taxable values, and they show a drop from $9,217,262,974 last year to $8,175,000,941 this year — an 11.31% difference. That follows a 10.8% decline from 2007 to 2008.
Here’s how the rest of the county fared this year:
Longboat Key -10.50%
Sarasota County -12.44%
City of Venice -13.13%
City of North Port -22.34%
+ Victim’s boyfriend arrested as suspect
A woman’s boyfriend is accused of orchestrating a home invasion in which she was the victim.
Brandon Best, 24, allegedly got Alyssa Harnisch, 22, and her boyfriend, Justin Bachner, 23, to break into the victim’s home, tie her up and steal several items. The crime occurred June 26, at 7868 Holiday Drive.
All three suspects have been arrested.
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17 Sarasota's Shamrock Pub Annual St Patrick's Day Block Party March 17
17 Nia with Gail in Sarasota
4:45 pm - 5:45 pm
18 Center for Architecture Lecture Series
20 Town Hall Series: Leon Panetta
20 Reason to Hope
20 Junior League of Sarasota Tour of Homes Kick-off Party
22 Window Art Free Playday for the kids
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
22 Phi Beta Kappa Luncheon
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Shine bright like a diamond
Ten-year-old Montserat Vasquez can now add jewelry designer to her list of hobbies.
The Ikebana International Sarasota Chapter held its 46th annual exhibition Feb. 22 and Feb. 23, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Darwin’s on 4th’s brewery, Darwin Brewing Co., earned a silver medal in the Best Florida Beers porter category for its Charapa Spiced Porter at Tampa Bay Beer Week March 1 through March 9.