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  • Debutante Ball - December 2014

    The 2014 debutantes and their escorts mingle in the foyer at the Sarasota Orchestra before heading into the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium ballroom for their debut.


  • Debutante Ball - December 2014

    Tony Incardona and Douglas Baker put on their gloves before The Debutante Ball.


  • Debutante Ball - December 2014

    Sazlyn Qualls reapplies her lip gloss before The Debutante Ball.


  • Debutante Ball - December 2014

    Serena Shabetai’s escort Connor Borden helps her with her shoes before The Debutante Ball.


  • “Noel en Provence” - December 2014

    Friends of the Sarasota Ballet hosted ‘Noel en Provence’ Monday, Dec. 15, at Michael’s On East. Guests enjoyed a social hour, raffle and hors d’oeuvres before sitting down to lunch.


  • The Mall at University Town Center Sneak... - October 2014

    Nearly 3500 people toured and shopped The Mall at University Town Center the night before opening day during the UTC Sneak Peek Charity Preview.


  • 8th annual Paws on the Catwalk Luncheon - April 2014

    Models practice walking with the dogs before the Paws on the Catwalk fashion show


  • Orchid Ball - April 2014

    Guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden before making their way to the tent for dinner at Orchid Ball.


  • Orchid Ball - April 2014

    Guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden before making their way to the tent for dinner at Orchid Ball.


  • Iconcept 6 - March 2014

    Katelyn Studer’s ‘Plastic Forest Queen’


  • Asolo Repertory Theatre Annual Gala 'A N... - March 2014

    Michael Andrew & The Atomic Big Band rehearse before guests arrive in the ballroom at Asolo Repertory Theatre’s annual gala “A Night at the Rainbow Room.”


  • Sarasota Exotic Car Fest: Luxury Lifesty... - February 2014

    Chairwoman Marilee Roberts introduces designer Alice Bee before the runway show.


  • Major Gifts Dinner - February 2014

    The Major Gifts Dinner for The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee was held in the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.


  • Teen Court of Sarasota Silver Anniversar... - November 2013

    Wendy Hopkins and Lynne Foreman


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Carmen Baskind, Barbara Hansen and Dr. Elaine Marieb


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Kimberly Bailey brought Zacka, her 25-year-old blue and gold macaw, to the Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden.


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Kimberly Bailey brought Zacka, her 25-year-old blue and gold macaw, to the Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden.


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Luisa Bustamante, Harry Leopold and Teri Hansen


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Pattie Clendenin and Beverly Koski


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Billy Gamble, David Perice and Liebe Gamble


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Billy Gamble, David Perice and Liebe Gamble


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    William Harrison, Dee Stottlemyer, Alice Rau and Charles Stottlemyer


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Nola Hietbrink, Sharyn Weiner and Shantelle Schmidt


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Rick and Donna Krabill with Bruce Holst


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Dr. Joseph and Carol Kreit


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Dr. Joseph and Carol Kreit


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Harry Leopold and Luisa Bustamante


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Brooke and Karen Misantone, Margie and Kelvin Cooper and Mindy and Wayne Rollins


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    David Peirce and Susan McLeod


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    David Peirce and Susan McLeod


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    The Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden was transformed into a magical jungle Thursday, Nov. 7, for the donor preview event.


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Donors gathered at the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden for a special preview Thursday, Nov. 7, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Donors gathered at the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden for a special preview Thursday, Nov. 7, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Ann Goldstein Children's Rainforest Garden at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Christopher Romine with Dr. Sarah and George Pappas


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Christopher Romine, Alice Rau and William Harrison


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Pete Russell and Cathy Layton


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Pete Russell and Cathy Layton


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Michael Saunders with Elton and Gordie White


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Herb Schaal and Susan McLeod


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Jim Shirley, Pete Russell and Peter Hayes


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Ronald and Marcia Jean Taub


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Andy Tugendhat and Dave Muolo


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Tom and Gwen Watson


  • Donor Preview of the Ann Goldstein Child... - November 2013

    Patti Wertheimer and Howard Tevlowitz with Nancy and Raymond Swart


  • St. Martha’s Interactive Dinner 'Taste... - October 2013

    Vicki Skidmore, Yoaly Miller and Karen Strand read the instructions before they being cooking the first course.


  • SPARCC Princess and Pirate Ball - May 2013

    Avery Hunt, 3 ½, and Olivia Gambert, 3, have fun eating marshmallow treats before dinner.


  • 'Encore - The Dance Goes On' - March 2013

    The crowd spent time mingling and chatting with other before the performance and dinner portion of the evening.


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Ellis Greene with Elaine Meshad and Macy Meshad, 8


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Al Goldstein and Jean Weidner Goldstein


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Ann Moore and Gina Gregoria


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Nathalie McCulloch and Beverly Koski


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Mike McLaughlin and Jeanine Hendrick-Perales


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Mark, Emily and Jane Mendlow


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Laurey Stryker, Bill Lewis and Rachel Denton


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Michael Saunders, Donna Krabill and Emily Lane


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Pete Russell, Cathy Layton and Milton Shenk


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Sandy Rederer and Christopher Romine


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Marcia Jean Taub with her father Ron Taub


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Bruce Holst, Ariane Dart, Thomas Buchter and Ann Logan


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Francis Misantone and Bill Lewis


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Rachel Denton and Charlie Huisking


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Steve Hazeltine and Milton Shenk


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Mindy Rollins and her daughter, Eve, have fun at the koi pond.


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Thomas Buchter


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Art Wood and Beth Knopik


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    A small group involved in the creation of the Selby Gardens Children’s Rainforest Garden attended a reception Wednesday, March 20, underneath the Banyan trees.


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Chris Romine


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Michael Saunders


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Nathan Renner and Bekah Hamilton


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Mindy Rollins keeps her children Eve, 1, and Magnus, 4, entertained during the reception.


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Laurey Stryker


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Al Goldstein


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Laurey Stryker, Cathy Layton, Pete Russell, Veronica Brady, Thomas Buchter, Al Goldstein, Beverly Koski, Ariane Dart, Chris Romine and Peter Hayes


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    The group throws a bunch of dirt during the reception and ceremony celebrating the Selby Gardens Children’s Rainforest Garden.


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Magnus has fun wearing one of the hard hats at the reception.


  • Children's Rainforest Garden Reception - March 2013

    Boards with drawings of what the garden will look like as well as a miniature replica were on display inside Selby Gardens.


  • An Evening at the Sarasota Ballet - March 2013

    Jane Hutchins with Michael and Lynne Foreman


  • Hearts Afire Benefit - March 2013

    Heart of David poses together before performing at the benefit.


  • Cooking for Wishes - February 2013

    Linda Doan and Michelle Reilly pour themselves some wine before getting started cooking.


  • Catholic Charities Ball - January 2013

    Couples take to the floor to dance before dinner.


  • GUEST FASHION EDITOR: ZARA BARRIE - April 2012

    MARC JACOBS

    “The sisterhood of the traveling dress. It looks good on me, my mom, and my sister, Jaymie. It’s a very flattering color. There needs to be more forest green.”


  • Pique Nique Sur La Baie - April 2012

    Michael's On East served giant strawberries with a fruit platter before lunch.


  • Corinthian Gala 'Supper Club & Speakeasy... - February 2012

    Guests danced until their hearts were content, and were out on the dance floor before dinner, in between courses and after dessert.


  • GUEST FASHION EDITOR: LAUREN MCCOMB - January 2012

    CAVIAR CHANEL HANDBAG

    “You can dress up or down with this bag and it goes with everything. It was a great investment, as I will have this bag forever.”


  • Town Hall Lecture Series featuring Laura... - January 2012

    Former first lady Laura Bush presented before a packed house.


  • 12 Black Tie Events in 2012 - January 2012

    RINGLING COLLEGE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION TOWN HALL LECTURE SERIES

    When: Lectures take place from January through March Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

    The Ringling College Library Association’s Town Hall Lecture Series, now in its 30th year, has brought in world leaders, artists, journalists, entertainers, authors, political figures and more to speak before thousands of Sarasotans. This year’s series kicks off Jan. 7 with the by-invitation-only platinum dinner and lecture featuring Tina Brown, one of the most widely known magazine editors in the world. Brown is the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and currently serves as editor in chief of The Daily Beast/Newsweek. Other speakers in the series include former First Lady Laura Bush (Jan. 11); Harvard ecnomics professor Roland Fryer (Feb. 1); four-star general and former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal (Feb. 13); “Freakonomics” and “Superfreakonomics” co-author Steven Levitt (March 5); and 30-year journalist and FOX news cable news show host Bill O’Reilly (March 21). This year’s Town Hall Lecture Series chairwoman is Kristine Nickel. Tickets are $200 to $600. Call 925-1343 for information.


  • Debutante Ball - December 2011

    Debs and escorts line up before being presented


  • Black Tie Standout of the Week - November 2011

    Black Tie Stand-Out of the week is Barbara Zdravecky … as seen by Tim Burton? The CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Southwest Florida showed up at her organization's Safe Sex Halloween Bash party as she might have appeared in the Nightmare Before Christmas … or perhaps The Corpse Bride.


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Brenda Michel - June 2011

    CARTIER WATCH "A watch is an important part of a wardrobe for me. I notice watches on people; I feel it's a statement of who you are. It's something you keep forever."


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Montana Ross - May 2011

    FOREVER 21 SKIRT "This is the perfect example of my love for finding low-cost items. Forever 21 has great finds. I've gotten more wear out of this than anything else in my closet."


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Elenor Maxheim - February 2011

    ST. JOHN COUTURE SUIT "I've had this forever, it's great for around the holidays. I change it around by changing the accessories."


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Sabrina Cullen - January 2011

    FOREVER 21 JACKET "This is my Michael Jackson jacket. I like to buy very trendy items at Forever 21, because they are affordable, so it's OK if they go out of style next year. This is one of those items that people are afraid to pick up but when they see it on me, they realize it is wearable."


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Sabrina Cullen - January 2011

    GUCCI HANDBAG "This handbag was my first big investment. It has a classic look, so it will last forever. I don't go anywhere without this bag."


  • 'Harlem Nights 2' - November 2010

    Charles Manning, Leon Pitts, Jeffrey Atkins, Porter Anderson, Donald Frison backstage before the show.


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Kristy Cail - September 2010

    DIOR SHOES "These are my favorite pair of shoes. The classic, pointed toe and style look good with anything. I will have these shoes forever."


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Joni Bergs - September 2010

    VINTAGE HAT "I got this Panama hat at a thrift store. It's a cool piece, because a Panama hat is a forever classic. I can wear this with jeans or a bathing suit."


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Joni Bergs - September 2010

    Joni Bergs: "My style is classic, but I like to have an edge to it. A classic look is forever, but the little bit of edge makes you feel more youthful and sexy."


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Vivian Blake, Jane Robinson and Linda Daniel


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Amy Christensen, Nikki Kochis, Tracey Linehan and Liz McNelis


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Beth Coury and Jeff Bell


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Dawn Epstein and Millicent Kennedy


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Judi Gallagher and Roxanne Joffe


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Denise Mei, Noreen Peterson, Lynette Pagley and Penny Nolan


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Alisa Pettingell, Jamie Becker, Johanna Gustafsson and Mindy Rollins


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Clara Ramos, Nicole Kaney and Kyla Weiner


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Tracy Seider, Judie Bradenburg, Sally Martell and Sandi Wolf


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Debbie Seitl and her daughter, Lauren Cameron


  • 'The Traveling Little Black Dress is For... - March 2010

    Jenny White and Debbie Dannheisser


  • Caring Hearts Luncheon - February 2010

    Adam Schiffman, Dan Forestier and Bob Schiffman


  • Sonata a Due - December 2009

    Federico Agostini and Derek Han before the concert


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Carolyn Ann Holde... - November 2009

    COIN BRACELET 'This custom-designed bracelet culminates my travels. Before Europe went to the euro, I collected coins from different countries, and this bracelet pulls together all of my travels and memories from those trips.'


  • Guest Fashion Editor - Cornelia Matson - June 2009

    DONNA KARAN SWEATER "I keep my things forever. My clothes are classic, not fly-by-night designs. I wear this silk ribbon sweater at Christmastime."


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Lindsay Howell, Mary Pat Radford, Beth Bobb and Nikki Taylor


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Nicole Kaney and Dayle Hoffmann


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Nancy Liss and Tonya Gowan


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Maria Markowski, Melissa Stevens, Kelly Collins and Jennifer Compton


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Giovanna McGrath, Scott Anderson and Susan McLeod


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Diane Muir, Beth Pitcher, Mary Puleo, Anni Englhardt, Teresa Finley and Susan Wutz


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Carmen Rodriguez and Carmen Singletary


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Laurey Stryker and Michael Saunders


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Janis Swan and Jane Newman


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Nancy Wagner and Doris Berkey


  • 'Little Black Dress Goes to the Rainfore... - February 2009

    Judith Witkin, Giovanna McGrath and Roberta Skoda


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Wanda and Mark Burke


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Betty and Dan Callaghan


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Fran and Dick Clarke


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Bruce and Maggie Daniell


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Warren Merriman, Devon Davis and Susan and Bob Harrigan


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Liz and Eric Peters


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Jim Ramer and Tara Donovan


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Nicole and Dan Starostecki


  • Tournament Fore Dreams Gala - March 2008

    Ray and Donna Wolski


  • 22nd annual UnGala Gala - October 2007

    Partygoers had to wait in the long valet line before leaving


  • 22nd annual UnGala Gala - October 2007

    Partygoers had to wait in the long valet line before leaving


  • Sarasota Cook-ie-Off - February 2007

    Sweetbay's Chocolate Forest Torte


  • 'CAT'sino Night - January 2007

    Josie Cunningham, Jaye Deforest, Gary Harvey and Pat Kaufman


  • Vern Buchanan Swearing-In Ceremony - January 2007

    Buchanan greets supporters before a group photograph was taken


  • Vern Buchanan Swearing-In Ceremony - January 2007

    Buchanan supporters gathered in the congressman?s new office before he arrived: Manatee Republican Chairman Kathleen King, Longboat Key residents Deborah DiCarlo-Whitman and Jim Whitman, Buchanan?s chief of staff Dave Kavelas and Bill Grant of Sarasota


  • Vern Buchanan Swearing-In Ceremony - January 2007

    Buchanan supporters gather in his office before his inauguration


  • Vern Buchanan Swearing-In Ceremony - January 2007

    Supporters gathered before the swearing in


  • Crosley Opening Night - November 2006

    Kelly Fores, Marie Hastings and Cathy Dashiell


  • 'Gathering of the Goddesses: Celebrating... - November 2006

    Guests enjoyed shopping around the atrium before the luncheon


  • 'Simply Sarasota' Cooking Class with Che... - October 2006

    Friends catch up before the cooking demonstration


  • 'Simply Sarasota' Cooking Class with Che... - October 2006

    The Junior League cookbook has sold 850 before even hitting the streets


  • Van Wezel Season Premiere Party - September 2006

    Michael Klauber and Margaret Wise enjoy each others company before dinner and a show


  • Summer Salon Series with Scott George - September 2006

    Models Joyce Faeth, Yvonne Tarrant, Betsy Hinrichs, Elizabeth Massey, Janet Hunter and Sandra Day pose before walking out among the women


  • Bachelorette Ball - September 2006

    Rachel and Carren Burnell took "Doodle" the Labradoodle around before bids began on the puppy.


13 events

January 2015 Events

February 2015 Events

March 2015 Events

April 2015 Events

9201 articles

  • Top Stories — Sarasota: June - 12/27/14

    Dan Kennedy, CEO and co-founder of Sarasota Military Academy, will become an inactive employee next month, per an agreement with the school’s board of directors.

  • Top Stories — Longboat Key: June - 12/27/14

    Ocean Properties Ltd. put in an offer at 3:59 p.m. Tuesday — one minute before bids were set to close for the bankrupt Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Partnership estate — and had the winning bid at $2.45 million.

  • Memories & mishaps - 12/26/14

    For the holidays, the Observer collected Christmas stories — both heartwarming and head shaking — from readers. From burnt dinners and terrifying encounters with Santa to tales of the true meaning of Christmas, these stories are sure to add a little happiness and laughter to your holiday season.

  • Who ya gonna call? The Sarasota County Call Center - 12/26/14

    Sarasota County’s information call center is only a phone call away at 861-5000. The office’s 11 information agents answer calls and emails from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, often answering the same questions multiple times a day.

  • Top Stories — Longboat Key: May - 12/26/14

    With an auction sale of 2.3 acres of Colony property scheduled for Friday, two different development teams have made offers for Dr. Murray ‘Murf’ Klauber’s bankrupt estate.

  • Top Stories — Sarasota: March - 12/24/14

    Visit Sarasota County seeks to leverage the power of social media and online reputation management to promote the area’s tourism industry at lower costs than traditional advertising campaigns.

  • Our View: The story behind his birth - 12/23/14

    We all know what happened on “Christmas” — as St. Luke masterfully wrote in his Gospel. But having some of the context that led up to this holy, remarkable day adds to its richness.

  • Friendly competition - 12/23/14

    The Suncoast Tennis League welcomes approximately 1,800 players in five divisions from 30 clubs across Manatee and Sarasota counties.

  • Memories & mishaps - 12/23/14

    In honor of Christmas, we collected your best head-shaking holiday stories. From expired turkeys to mischievous squirrels, these are the memories these readers won’t soon forget.

  • Memories & mishaps - 12/23/14

    Some holidays are magical, and some result in mishaps. Regardless, the season always results in plenty of memories. Here, we share some of your most memorable holidays stories.

  • Vitale publishes new book - 12/23/14

    As legendary basketball coach and ESPN commentator sits in the shade of the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club’s tennis facility, watching youth volley balls across the tennis court, he has one thing on his mind: impacting children affected by cancer.

  • Sound of hope - 12/18/14

    The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.

  • Damages arise on downtown brick sidewalks - 12/18/14

    Damages to brick-paved sections of Main Street haven’t caused alarm among merchants and residents — one small piece missing here, a dislodged brick there — but, taken together, they’ve added up to become an issue the city is exploring how to fix.

  • Developing his game - 12/17/14

    Lakewood Ranch senior forward Cameron Darby spent a year as a student assistant for the Mustangs after getting cut his freshman year.

  • Sister act - 12/17/14

    Braden River seniors Kendall McNab and Mackenzie Madrid are enjoying their first season on the field with their freshman sisters.

  • Edible elation - 12/17/14

    Christmas is quickly approaching, but there is still time to shoot straight to the top of your friends' and family’s nice list. Here are Diversions' picks for local edible gifts that can be as pleasing to the taste buds as the spirit.

  • Home for the Holidays - 12/17/14

    We took a tour of two local Sarasota families' homes to admire the holiday décor, hear about their family traditions and find out why Christmas starts early in their homes.

  • Selby Gardens hires new CEO - 12/15/14

    Jennifer Rominiecki will bring 15 years of experience with the New York Botanical Garden to Sarasota, as she steps in as the new CEO of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

  • News Briefs - 12/11/14

    Kovach proffers televised workshop compromise; Lourdes Ramirez files suit against Bob Waechter; Sarasota County teen’s overdose leads to arrests

  • Lift Station 87 sees new delays - 12/11/14

    After taking a step forward earlier this month, project leaders revealed Monday that the completion of Lift Station 87 could still be more than three years away — leaving nearby residents resigned to a fate of more construction.

  • Deck the halls? - 12/10/14

    Decorations that rival Benderson Development’s on University Parkway would come with a hefty price tag for Ranch residents.

  • On the move - 12/10/14

    After a six-year run on Longboat Key, the Sarasota Open will now be held in the Ranch.

  • Empty nesters - 12/10/14

    David Novak wants members of the public to know why they may soon see fewer cygnets in the waters of the Key.

  • FDOT commits to minimal impacts - 12/10/14

    As the Florida Department of Transportation prepares to start construction on a new interchange at University Parkway and Interstate 75, business owners in Lakewood Ranch have questions about how construction will impact their businesses, as well as an already gridlocked transportation network east of I-75.

  • Lift Station 87 sees new delays - 12/09/14

    Although the city recently approved plans for Lift Station 87, project leaders have indicated the date of completion could be more than two years later than originally projected.

  • Sidelines - 12/04/14

    Eleven-year-old wins designated championship; Lady Sailors basketball sinks rival Lady Rams; McMahon leads Cougars basketball to a win; and more local sports news.

  • Crane crashers - 12/03/14

    Sandhill cranes will jump in your car, block roads and tap on your windows. Get used to it — they’re here to stay.

  • Sales snapshot - 12/03/14

    Sales totals and prices are down slightly over last year, but agents say it’s still a hot market.

  • VIDEO: Designer drug raids continue in Sarasota - 12/02/14

    The Sarasota Police Department has conducted four search warrants on grocery stores and gas stations since June, with the latest operation at King’s Meat Market yielding 12 packages of illegal ‘spice,’ $1,860 in cash and a 12-gauge shotgun.

  • Making her mark - 11/26/14

    Booker High junior guard Yamaris Guevarez scored the 1,000th point of her career in the third quarter versus North Port Nov. 24.

  • Meal plan - 11/26/14

    The SRQ Food Truck Alliance formed to reform city and county regulations — but, first, it’ll have to reach out to local officials.

  • News Briefs - 11/26/14

    School employee charged in cyber attack; City, county plan closures for Thanksgiving; Sarasota County Area Transit hires new director

  • Travel terror - 11/25/14

    John Clarke was visiting the Longboat Key Holiday Inn in 1978, when one of the Key’s most notorious crimes unfolded.

  • End of the road - 11/25/14

    The Braden River High football team’s record-setting season came to a close with a 37-21 loss to East Lake in the Class 7A-Region 3 semifinals Nov. 21.

  • Money man - 11/25/14

    Lakewood Ranch Town Hall’s Finance Director Steve Zielinski is the community’s money man, and he’s got the cufflinks to prove it.

  • Waterlefe opens its new annex - 11/25/14

    As Franklyn Dickson walks through the Waterlefe River Club, his voice rings with excitement as he highlights each new detail — paintings by Waterlefe artists in the front lobby, carpet tiles in the dining area to make for easy replacement, a permanent dance floor, and an expanded bar, among other features.

  • News Briefs - 11/25/14

    Former Cannons bookkeeper pleads no contest to fraud; Atlantic hurricane season ends Nov. 30; Town Hall to close for Thanksgiving

  • Family atmosphere - 11/20/14

    The Sarasota High girls basketball team, which reached the Class 7A state semifinals last season, returned to the court last week after a summer break.

  • Progress report - 11/20/14

    Downtown and the Rosemary District are drawing renewed interest from developers. Here’s what they have planned.

  • HOLIDAY EATS: Bijou Cafe - 11/19/14

    Chef JP Knaggs of the Bijou Café shares his family-favorite holiday dishes including "Mom's nutty cranberry sweet potato casserole and quick-cook asparagus."

  • Turkey & Tradition - 11/19/14

    Regardless of what food fills your table this upcoming day of thanks, the focus will most likely remain on the hospitality among friends and family, something the following Sarasotans hold dear.

  • Neighborhood news - 11/19/14

    Have a neighborhood cookout? A family event? News that affects your neighborhood? Send news and photos from your neighborhood to Senior Editor Pam Eubanks at peubanks@yourobserver.com.

  • Sidelines - 11/19/14

    Cardinal Mooney boys swimming captures titles; Lady Mustangs fall in state semifinals; Cougars advance to regional finals; Lakewood closes out season at state meet; Lady Thunder team earns a draw; Suncoast Storm ’05 team wins 9U tournament

  • Buried proposal - 11/19/14

    Voters won’t decide on underground utilities in March. But that doesn’t mean the idea is grounded.

  • News Briefs - 11/19/14

    Town hires new planner; Key Club manager seeks Sunday morning alcohol sales; Sarasota Bay Fishing Forum seeks local anglers; Scheduling error results in no underground utilities video

  • MUSIC REVIEW: 'South Pacific' - 11/15/14

    If ever there were a musical that represented what Michael Donald Edwards has been striving for in the past few years, it has got to be Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'South Pacific.'

  • PHOTO GALLERY: Putts Fore Mutts - 11/15/14

    Golfers used their clubs for a cause Nov. 15 during the Putts Fore Mutts event at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club. Proceeds from fees to participate in the competition benefited Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch.

  • News Briefs - 11/13/14

    Sarasota County bags Sunday booze ban; Wawa slated for North Sarasota; Longboat resident charged in road rage stabbing

  • State-bound - 11/12/14

    The Lakewood Ranch High volleyball team will compete in the Class 7A Final Four Nov. 14 for the second time in three years.

  • New office will fuel north end - 11/12/14

    After seven years of vacancy, the former Longbeach Chevron station is under contract. Keller Williams Realty will redevelop the building into its first Longboat Key office.

  • News Briefs - 11/12/14

    Longboat Key man charged in road rage stabbing; Hixon takes out commission papers; Hendry County lieutenant finds missing Key woman

  • Training transition - 11/06/14

    Riverview High senior Jessica Lonas finished second at the Class 4A-District 8 meet Oct. 29, crossing the finish line in 19 minutes, 30.50 seconds.

  • Manifest Whimsy - 11/05/14

    After a summer of construction and renovation, the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy is prepared to expand.

  • Manifest Whimsy - 11/05/14

    After a summer of construction and renovation, the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy is prepared to expand.

  • Home for a hero - 11/05/14

    After enlisting twice and suffering injuries during a tour in Iraq, Sgt. Kenneth Katter and his family received a mortgage-free home in Lakewood Ranch.

  • News Briefs - 10/30/14

    McAllister withdraws from County Commission race; Sarasota man frees woman from sinking vehicle; New lights installed along Ringling Bridge

  • Making their mark - 10/30/14

    The Riverview High boys and girls swim teams will vie for the Class 4A-Region 2 title Nov. 1, at the Long Center in Clearwater.

  • Sunday service - 10/30/14

    Storeowners in Sarasota County can’t sell alcohol before noon on Sundays, sending some customers, and their money, across county lines.

  • Tree removal leaves mark on neighborhood - 10/30/14

    Residential construction in Arlington Park has led to the removal of trees throughout the neighborhood. Residents in the area, hoping to maintain its character, are searching for ways to preserve trees amid the new development.

  • Student spotlight - 10/29/14

    After almost a year and a half of training, the newest FSU/Asolo Conservatory company is ready to take the stage.

  • Mustang Four-Peat - 10/29/14

    The Lakewood Ranch High volleyball team defeated Sarasota 3-0 in the Class 7A-District 10 championship Oct. 23 and captured its fourth straight district title.

  • End of the road - 10/23/14

    Cardinal Mooney volleyball coach Kristen Batt Rohr played in her final beach volleyball tournament earlier this month.

  • News Briefs - 10/23/14

    Discussion continues on Arlington Park bridge; Bayfront Park fountain closes early for winter; Sarasota Bayfront 20:20 plans public forums

  • More openings surround mall debut - 10/22/14

    More than 20 stores are yet to open at The Mall at University Town Center. Following the mall’s opening, other retailers are lined up to open in other University Town Center plazas. in the University Parkway corridor.

  • Bayfront group plans public forums - 10/17/14

    Sarasota Bayfront 20:20, the group developing a vision and master plan for a swath of bayfront land near the Van Wezel, is continuing to seek broad community participation in its efforts.

  • Mall at UTC opens - 10/16/14

    Taubman Centers and Benderson Development today welcomed the public for the 10 a.m. opening of The Mall at University Town Center.

  • Killer instinct - 10/16/14

    Cardinal Mooney sophomore outside hitter Maddie McNally leads the Lady Cougars with nearly 200 kills so far this season.

  • City seeks feedback on parks - 10/16/14

    With parks in Sarasota subsisting on basic maintenance, city staff members hope to better gauge the needs of the public — and could consider alternate funding methods to meet those needs.

  • Mall madness - 10/15/14

    East County couple Jen and Brian Blanco give you the inside scoop on their strategies for the Mall at University Town Center’s grand opening. Follow their mall journey below.

  • Familiar Face - 10/15/14

    Former JV boys basketball coach Jason Mickan was recently named Braden River’s new varsity coach.

  • One big wish granted - 10/09/14

    Volunteer wish granters Alene Fowler and Stephanie Hannum surprised 14-year-old Olivia Borchers with a One Direction-themed party last week, to inform her that her wish, through Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida, was going to be granted.

  • News Briefs - 10/09/14

    Whole Foods building sells for $19.1 million; Benderson buys space in Southgate Mall; FDOT pitches Stickney Point Bridge repairs

  • School pride - 10/08/14

    Close to 250 students pack the student section, also known as Section E, to cheer on the Braden River football team every Friday night.

  • Critics' Choice - 10/08/14

    We asked three local critics to weigh in on what shows they're looking forward to most this season. As expected, their must-see picks range from classic to cutting edge.

  • News Briefs - 10/08/14

    School district cancels security contract; MTI plants seeds for farmworker careers; Meals on Wheels PLUS finds home for new program

  • Observer adds new staff writers - 10/02/14

    Jessica Salmond, staff writer, is a Missouri native and graduated in May from the University of Missouri. Amanda Morales, staff writer, is a native Floridian who has lived on both coasts.

  • Rock 'n' Role - 10/02/14

    Former teacher Jim Reese went from ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ to ‘Jailhouse Rock’ to start a career as an Elvis impersonator.

  • Honoring a legend - 10/02/14

    Robin Clair Mason helped unveil a bronze statue of her late father, Frank Clair, a Canadian Football Hall of Fame coach.

  • News Briefs - 10/02/14

    Garden Club restores historical sculpture; The Legacy Trail to receive beacon sign at crossing; USF Sarasota-Manatee selects regional chancellor

  • Back in action - 10/01/14

    After a debilitating knee injury a year ago, sophomore Charles Hayes returned to competitive swimming last month.

  • Familiar Face - 10/01/14

    Braden Chandler coached the Braden River boys soccer team from 2005 to 2009. He returns to the post this season after a stint with a major league soccer team.

  • News Briefs - 09/25/14

    Wallenda to speak at historical marker dedication; P.J. O’Rourke to headline Tiger Bay Club event; Mote reveals more details about bayfront plan

  • Sidelines - 09/25/14

    Sarasota Christian Volleyball; Cougar annual golf tourney upcoming; ODA swimmers continue winning streak

  • Fitness classes are only the beginning of Ed Center choices - 09/24/14

    There’s a Longboat Key phenomenon that happens annually right after the tourist traffic finally fades because kids are going back to school and right before the car carriers start to unload their seasonal shipments. It is the arrival of the humble-in-appearance but ever so rich-in-content catalog from the Longboat Key Educatio

  • Will to win - 09/24/14

    The Braden River High football team captured its first victory over rival Lakewood Ranch since 2009 with a 21-6 victory.

  • Changing course - 09/24/14

    Former Braden River High boys basketball coach Matt Nesser will cheer on his team from the sidelines this year as the school’s athletic director.

  • Fall Film Preview - 09/24/14

    Target audiences change with the seasons. Thankfully, summer is behind us and more mature films are on the horizon. Paving the way for the Oscar nominations, the following films look as though they may be headed in the right direction.

  • Center of attention: Mall at UTC - 09/24/14

    Mall at University Town Center officials are using the buzz the mall has generated in print and online stories to launch a large-scale media campaign before the mall opens its doors Oct. 16.

  • Sidelines - 09/24/14

    Cougars D comes up big with four turnovers; Mustangs break par in win, shoot a 143; ODA swimmers make big splash with wins

  • Junior optimist - 09/18/14

    Eleven-year-old Bryce Tone has aspirations of one day qualifying for the world championship sailing team, comprised of the top-five sailors in the nation.

  • Open for discussion - 09/18/14

    Citizens for Sunshine and paralegal Michael Barfield are often cited as a burden on the operation of local government, but Barfield believes he’s filling an essential role.

  • Color Change - 09/17/14

    After spending her first three seasons at Braden River, senior setter Courtney Rapp moved over to Lakewood Ranch this season.

  • Honoring heroes - 09/17/14

    The sight of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. evoked both a sense of sadness and pride for resident William Passarelli.

  • News Briefs - 09/17/14

    Sarasota issues no-swim advisory for Lido Beach; Commission to adopt budget Sept. 22; Plymouth Harbor takes steps to honor first responders

  • Designing Debut - 09/17/14

    Alexandra Lin designs personality — in clothing. Think Audrey Hepburn meets Vivian Westwood, combined with a little bit of Lilly Pulitzer, and you’ve got 'the new face of the South.'

  • A climb for heroes - 09/11/14

    Joining with firemen from Central Florida, the Suncoast FOOLS firefighters gathered Saturday, at Plymouth Harbor, to pay homage to the fallen heroes of Sept. 11.

  • Rising Star - 09/11/14

    ODA fourth-grader James Gelvin won the boys 9s doubles title at the 3rd annual Little Mo Internationals-Forest Hills Aug. 24 through Aug. 30, at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.

  • Green Scene - 09/11/14

    Sarasota County has more than 55,000 acres of parks and preserves. The parks offer residents and visitors a place to relax and enjoy the weather in any season. We profiled some parks with unique features.

  • IN THE KITCHEN WITH: Cosimo's - 09/10/14

    This week we went in the kitchen at Cosimo's with owner John Ganley as chef Alfredo prepares two signature pizzas, the margherita and the quattro formaggi. Get the recipes and watch an instructional video in this week's 'In the Kitchen.'

  • Warm Welcome - 09/10/14

    Stefanie Betz spent six years as an assistant coach at volleyball powerhouse Venice High before taking over the helm at ODA this year.

  • News Briefs - 09/10/14

    Police officers earn Life Saving Award; Rotary Club plans Veterans Day parade; Commission agrees to extra beach costs

  • Beach Bound - 09/04/14

    Riverview High senior Ashley Allmer recently verbally committed to play sand volleyball for LSU.

  • Cause for Celebration - 09/04/14

    Booker defeated crosstown rival Sarasota 18-9 in its season opener Aug. 29, giving Recharde Goodwyn his first win as a head coach.

  • Your Neighbor | Tim DeForest - 09/04/14

    Tim DeForest is a self-proclaimed comic book geek. His Hidden Lake Village condo houses roughly 400 comic books and action figures dating back to his childhood, including the first comic he ever owned.

  • News Briefs - 09/04/14

    Sarasota businessman buys North Trail motel; Ringling College buys building near Sarasota High; Sarasota, Manatee Realtor groups consider merger

  • Calls of duty - 09/03/14

    The Observer recently joined police during a 12-hour shift, during which officers handled neighborhood disputes, routine patrol and a false report of a woman locked in a bathroom.

  • 'Whatever it takes' - 09/03/14

    Unicorp President Chuck Whittall is prepared to spend $35 million and five years to redevelop the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.

  • The man with a plan - 09/03/14

    On the heels of completing his 10,000th home, Pat Neal remains focused on building out Lakewood Ranch, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

  • Lasting Legacy - 09/03/14

    After 41 years as a coach, teacher and mentor, Braden River High Athletic Director Bob Bowling officially retired from his post Aug. 29.

  • Su Byron: Mark Her Words - 09/03/14

    Su Byron, the pixie-cut bohemian arts leader and freelance writer responsible for everyone else's stories, says her own story isn't worth telling. She's wrong.

  • Football preview: Booker High - 08/28/14

    Booker High senior Jeremiah Henderson assumed the reins as the Tornadoes’ starting quarterback last fall while helping lead the team to the regional semifinals.

  • Core Strength - 08/28/14

    Sarasota may slow down in the summer, but businesses downtown are busy making moves, with new merchants and developments preparing to open in time for season.

  • Organic Growth - 08/27/14

    With a circulation of 1.5 million copies in 95 markets, Natural Awakenings magazines dominate the holistic health market with news and advertising.

  • Beyond the Business: Asparagus - 08/27/14

    Since her days working in an antique store on Park Avenue in Orlando, Elizabeth Bentley has had a dream to own a store. In January 2013, she opened Asparagus in Towles Court.

  • Think Tank - 08/21/14

    Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is intent on expanding its research capability on its City Island campus — and hopes to build a new bayfront aquarium on the mainland.

  • Colony Lender demands $5.1M - 08/20/14

    David Siegal wrote in a letter that Colony owners have 20 days to pay unpaid real estate taxes and rent, but unit owners plan to fight before they open up their wallets.

  • News Briefs - 08/20/14

    No red tide impacts detected alongshore; Town seeks volunteers for new retirement board; Primary election is Aug. 26

  • PHOTO GALLERY:First day of school at Bay Haven - 08/18/14

    Families across Sarasota County started their morning early with the first day of school Monday, Aug. 18. At Bay Haven School of Basics Plus, Principal Erickson greeted students before they headed in to their new classrooms. "I'm pretty excited," said Luis Lopez outside the elementary school.

  • Top-Notch Talent - 08/13/14

    Travel baseball and softball teams have become the norm in recent years for up-and-coming athletes with college and professional aspirations.

  • IN THE KITCHEN WITH: Lynches Pub & Grub - 08/13/14

    This week we went in the kitchen at Lynches Pub & Grub with owners and sisters Chris and Ethna Lynch as they prepare traditional Irish lamb stew. Get the recipe and watch an instructional video in this week's 'In the Kitchen.'

  • Systems Ready - 08/13/14

    Sarasota and Manatee counties will jointly install a radio communications network that will improve EMS and other services along University Parkway and in the region.

  • Spared from the Storm - 08/13/14

    Longboat Key town officials reflect on the lessons they learned about storms on the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Charley.

  • News Briefs - 08/13/14

    Driver loses license after bicyclist’s death; Mills paints a bright future for Manatee School District; Lakewood Ranch adds Murray Homes to lineup

  • Business Briefs - 08/13/14

    Longboat Key Publix donates $500 in support of Selah Freedom run; Oceanview Publishing attends International Thriller Writers meeting

  • Back-to-back Champ - 08/07/14

    Ten-year-old Nikki Yanez won a pair of tennis titles last month after only having played the sport for two years.

  • Sarasota Slugfest - 08/07/14

    The Cal Ripken 10U All-Star team will compete in the Cal Ripken World Series Aug. 9 through Aug. 16, in Virginia.

  • Sidelines - 08/07/14

    GSJGA players close out the summer season; Florida Burn Pennant team finishes third; Coastline Volleyball Club registration begins

  • News Briefs - 08/07/14

    County files lawsuit against Sanborn Studios; Grand Prix surpasses 2013 economic impact; Sarasota deputies investigate homicide

  • Business Observer - 08/07/14

    Annette Rogers joins forces with Cheryl Loeffler; Former Johnson & Johnson exec appointed to board; New development company breaks ground in Sarasota; Michael Saunders Realtor receives CRS designation

  • News Briefs - 08/06/14

    Couple seeks restaurant approval this fall; Firefighters plan training at closed Hilton facilities; Mote scientists study red tide bloom offshore

  • Election 2014: Sarasota County School Board - 08/06/14

    This is the second of a three-week installment featuring candidate questionnaires for the local races in the Aug. 26 primary election. This week includes candidates for the Sarasota County School Board and Charter Review Board.

  • Election 2014: Charter Review Board - 08/06/14

    This is the second of a three-week installment featuring candidate questionnaires for the local races in the Aug. 26 primary election. This week includes candidates for the Sarasota County School Board and Charter Review Board.

  • Sowing the Seeds - 08/06/14

    Community representatives continue their efforts to educate the public about importance of plant life in stormwater retention ponds.

  • Proven Results - 08/06/14

    Tim Sheredy, owner of the Tim Sheredy Golf Institute, recently began teaching junior golfers out of the River Club.

  • Mustang chooses Volunteers - 08/06/14

    Last week Lakewood Ranch High senior Ashley Bongart verbally committed to play tennis for the University of Tennessee. She officially visits the school in September.

  • PHOTO GALLERY: Bible Baptist Church baseball camp - 08/03/14

    Bible Baptist Church held its eighth annual baseball camp July 28 through Aug. 2. Thirty kids, ranging in age from 8 to 12, hit the diamond for this year’s camp. Players participated in a variety of hitting and fielding drills before dividing into teams for a series of scrimmages.

  • Dream Fulfilled - 07/31/14

    Sarasota Crew rower Jacob Franks will compete in the 2014 World Rowing Junior Championships Aug. 6 through Aug. 10, in Hamburg, Germany.

  • District beats budget woes - 07/30/14

    The Manatee County School District will end the fiscal year with a budget surplus — the first time it’s happened since the 2010-2011 school year.

  • Election 2014: Sarasota County Commission - 07/30/14

    This is the first of a three-week installment featuring candidate questionnaires for the local races in the Aug. 26 primary election. This week includes candidates for the Sarasota County Commission and the Manatee County School Board.

  • Election 2014: Manatee County School Board - 07/30/14

    This election installment features questionnaires for the Manatee County School Board for the Aug. 26 primary election. Although Manatee County School Board seats represent specific areas, all voters on each seat.

  • News Briefs - 07/30/14

    Broadway street resurfacing project begins Wednesday; Town receives award for website application; Town urges residents to prepare for hurricane season

  • Sidelines - 07/30/14

    Suncoast Storm travel softball team; Mustangs post top finishes; Registration for Lightning ongoing; Manatee 9U All-Stars finish third

  • Storied Turnaround - 07/30/14

    Director Howard Millman prepares to open Banyan Theater Company's 'Collected Stories.' The man who saved Asolo Repertory Theatre from closing twice has a few stories of his own.

  • PHOTO GALLERY: Women Equity Luncheon - 07/26/14

    The Manatee and Sarasota Commissions on the Status of Women and the League of Women Voters in Manatee and Sarasota hosted the 20th annual Women's Equity Luncheon Saturday, July 26, at the Hyatt Regency, Sarasota. Before eating, guests were invited to socialize and hear from national and local organizations including Planned Pare

  • Hidden Gem - 07/24/14

    Sarasota’s North Trail is a popular subject in the news, however, it is the residential neighborhood of Indian Beach/Sapphire Shores that steals the hearts of visitors and residents.

  • State Champs - 07/23/14

    The Manatee Cal Ripken 9U All-Stars will close out their season in the Southeast Regional Tournament, which began July 23 and runs through July 27, in Palm Beach Gardens.

  • Real Estate Reports - 07/23/14

    Annette Rogers joins forces with Cheryl Loeffler; Pettingell ranks among top 250 agents; Wagner Realty announces top agents for June

  • King of Swing - 07/23/14

    Cardinal Mooney’s Jake LaMore has placed in the top three of every GSJGA event he’s entered this summer.

  • Hidden Gems - 07/23/14

    The 500-acre Lake Manatee State Park, located at 20007 State Road 64, Bradenton, not only is home to Manatee County’s drinking water supply but also a variety of plants and animals, including bobcats, horned owls, eagles, gopher tortoises and the Florida golden aster, a plant currently only found in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Har

  • News Briefs - 07/23/14

    Committee to review town center proposals; Katharine the shark heads east toward Daytona Beach

  • Piano Man - 07/23/14

    East County resident Rob Satori’s passion for music began when he started piano lessons as a child. Now, he composes music. ‘I never know where the ideas are going to come from,’ he says.

  • Sarasota Police officer rescues duckling - 07/17/14

    Officer Juan Sanchez found the duckling covered in mud near a storm drain at the intersection of Ringling Boulevard and Pompano Avenue this morning. The duck, Freddy, is recovering at Save Our Seabirds.

  • Vive La France - 07/17/14

    The Alliance Francaise held a fundraiser in honor of Bastille Day, or La Fête Nationale, Monday, July 14, at Marina Jack.

  • Going for Gold - 07/17/14

    Custodians of Sarasota County Schools enjoyed a day of fun and learning at the annual custodians professional development day July 3, at Riverview High School.

  • Bound for Nationals - 07/17/14

    Sarasota Sharks swimmers Bethany Leap and Alex Katz will compete in the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships Aug. 6 through Aug. 10, in Irvine, Calif.

  • Toy Story - 07/17/14

    Jack Matthews sits surrounded by George Washington, Uncle Sam and World War II generals and world leaders. The retired Washington, D.C., lawyer, veteran and South Carolina municipal judge doesn’t think twice about his unusual company. They are a part of his vintage toy collection.

  • Tim Howard has Key roots - 07/16/14

    Residents of Fairway Bay knew about Tim Howard long before he became a household name: His grandparents, the late Paul and Eva Fekete, frequently bragged about their star soccer player grandson.

  • Athlete of the Week: Ava Krug - 07/16/14

    Nine-year-old Ava Krug captured the Little Mo Florida Sectional 9U Girls “The Road to the 17th Annual Little Mo Nationals” tennis championship July 12 and July 13, at Serendipity Country Club in Sarasota.

  • Flipping the script - 07/16/14

    Kate Alexander, associate director of Florida Studio Theatre, finds life works out best when you veer from a script and let life lead you toward your potential.

  • Observer wins 61 awards at newspaper contest - 07/16/14

    Six newspapers in the Observer Media Group garnered 61 total awards, including 24 first-place finishes, at the 2013 Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper contest held July 10 to July 11, at the Biltmore in Coral Gables.

  • City presents preliminary budget - 07/11/14

    As the city works through the fiscal year 2014-15 budgetary process, it will work to cover a $3.6 million general fund deficit in the city manager’s initial budget proposal.

  • National Recognition - 07/10/14

    Nineteen Monsters Lacrosse Academy players, including three from Cardinal Mooney, will play this summer on LB3 National Teams, which comprise the best players from across the nation.

  • News Briefs - 07/10/14

    Bass Pro Shops confirmed for Fruitville Initiative; County-city conflict on homeless shelter continues

  • Sidelines - 07/10/14

    Sarasota National wins district crown; Sarasota County voted top destination for sports vacation; i9 Sports fall registration underway

  • Commission approves tourist tax allocation - 07/09/14

    After lengthy discussion over how much to reallocate, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously to reallocate 7.5% of the third penny within the 5-cent levy for the tourist development tax to capital projects and events.

  • True Detective - 07/09/14

    Longboat Key Police Detective Capt. Kristina Roberts recently retired after more than 31 years with the department.

  • News Briefs - 07/09/14

    Former Hilton closes, prepares for renovations; Marine patrol officers rescue woman from bay

  • Letters to the Editor - 07/09/14

    To send in your Letters to the Editor, email them to News Editor Robin Hartill at rhartill@yourobserver.com. Letters pertaining to local issues receive priority. Letters may be edited for grammar and space.

  • Business Briefs - 07/09/14

    Arbor Reserve opens pool, cabana; Insurance agency relocates; New model opens in The Concession; Pro-Motion Notions celebrates 25 years

  • Recipe for Success: Lyndsy McDonald - 07/09/14

    Do you frequent the same local eateries and see the same faces each time you go? This feature helps you get to know these faces a little better. This week, get to know the face behind the desserts at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.

  • Three Things: A Happy Median - 07/09/14

    The median price of a home in Sarasota these days is $215,000, meaning half the houses cost more and half cost less. But what will this tidy sum buy you?

  • PHOTO GALLERY: Fourth of July - 07/05/14

    Families celebrated the Fourth of July on Sarasota Bay Friday, July 4, with the annual fireworks display. Hundreds spent the evening at Bayfront Park before the 30-minute display began.

  • Time to Shine - 07/03/14

    Cardinal Mooney High lacrosse players Reagan Griffith and Alex Stoffel both are playing in the 2014 Brine National Lacrosse Classic.

  • Letters to the Editor - 07/03/14

    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: To send in your Letters to the Editor, email them to Deputy Executive Editor Jessica Luck at jluck@yourobserver.com. Letters pertaining to local issues receive priority. Letters may be edited for grammar and space.

  • Power pole debate flickers again - 07/02/14

    All seven commissioners now believe the town should further investigate the possibility of burying Gulf of Mexico Drive power lines, power poles, cable wires and telephone lines.

  • Historic Hotel - 07/02/14

    The Longboat Key Historical Society releases new photos that show the old John Ringling Ritz-Carlton hotel, including its demolition.

  • Luck of the Irish - 07/02/14

    The Tampa Bay Hurling Club practices every Wednesday evening at the soccer fields behind Lakewood Ranch High School.

  • Splish Splash - 07/02/14

    The School of Fish recently launched a preparatory, competitive team swimming program for 5- and 6-year-olds.

  • Sidelines - 07/02/14

    All-Stars win district crown; LWR Marauders to host tryouts; Eight-year-old records first hole-in-one

  • Artspace proposal gains momentum - 07/01/14

    A firm specializing in affordable live/work artist housing has targeted five properties on the North Trail as suitable sites for such a development. A market study is the proposal’s next hurdle.

  • Power pole debate flickers again - 06/27/14

    Only Commissioners Pat Zunz and Lynn Larson favor more commission discussion and investigation about the possibility of burying the town's power lines along Gulf of Mexico Drive.

  • National Champion - 06/26/14

    Sarasota prosthetist Dan Strzempka recently fit unilateral amputee David Prince with a custom-designed prosthetic leg, specifically for running.

  • Sidelines - 06/26/14

    Local lacrosse players win national tournament; Orioles GCL season underway; GSJGA hosts summer event

  • VIDEO: The Dredge Report - 06/25/14

    The Longboat Observer accepted an invitation to see how sand is funneled from Sarasota Bay to the shores of Longboat Key as part of an $850,000 emergency sand project being performed this summer.

  • Brace for Impact - 06/25/14

    Emergency officials provide up-to-date information residents can use to be prepared this hurricane season.

  • News Briefs - 06/25/14

    County government launches service app; Public comments on health care available; More stores commit to new mall

  • Aria of the American dream - 06/25/14

    Part-time Sarasotan and former general manager of The Met Joseph Volpe no longer negotiates labor union contracts. With budget cuts looming for the first time in two decades, Volpe looks back at a peaceful time.

  • PHOTO GALLERY: Florida Aquarium visits Selby Library - 06/23/14

    The Florida Aquarium visited Selby Public Library Monday, June 23. Children learned about sea urchins, sea stars, mollusks and lobsters. Before the lecture, attendees made art on paper plates with their parents. The afternoon event is part of Selby's summer activities for Sarasota children.

  • PHOTO GALLERY: AAF "adStravaganza!" - 06/19/14

    The American Advertising Federation of Sarasota welcomed their new board of directors at the “adStravaganza!” Thursday, June 19, at Florida Studio Theatre. Members mixed and mingled before enjoying dinner and show with performances by Beneva Fruitville and The Alliance. As a way to celebrate the outgoing and incoming board d

  • Colony auction canceled - 06/19/14

    A ruling by a bankruptcy appeals judge canceled an auction scheduled for today until a Colony Lender secured-claim issue can be resolved.

  • Training Day - 06/18/14

    Former Southeast High quarterback Adrian McPherson will host a seven-week summer training program.

  • The Good News: Ivonne Padilla - 06/18/14

    Through a partnership with Girls Inc., Selby Gardens has awarded 20 families yearlong memberships to help instill a lifelong love of the outdoors in children.

  • Staycation Living on Siesta Key - 06/18/14

    Within walking distance of both the Siesta Key Public Beach and Siesta Key Village, the beachfront home located at 636 Beach Road on almost two acres of land overlooking the Gulf of Mexico is a great place to live to feel as though you're on vacation.

  • Cops Corner - 06/12/14

    June 8 CRACKING THE CASE 5:30 p.m. — 3500 block of North Tamiami Trail. Petit Theft — Shoplifting. A security employee at a department store reported a theft. The employee said a man placed eight cases of beer in a shopping cart and left without paying. The man was walking toward a car in which another male was waiting, at

  • Your Neighbor: Ursula Jones - 06/12/14

    Ursula Jones is mad for mahjong. The petite redhead has been playing for more than three decades and is just as passionate as the day she learned to play.

  • SMA co-founder to take leave - 06/11/14

    Dan Kennedy, CEO and co-founder of Sarasota Military Academy, will become an inactive employee next month, per an agreement with the school’s board of directors.

  • Chicken chain to roost - 06/11/14

    As PDQ scouts for real estate to house new locations, the restaurant says land near schools provides an ideal match. A site near Braden River High School could be next.

  • Our View: Long may it wave - 06/11/14

    Surely, we're not alone in thinking that we, as Americans, are having our American ideals and patriotism tested to new limits lately. And now this one: the Bergdahl for Taliban terrorists, which occurred in front of the backdrop of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Talk about mixed messages.

  • Letters to the Editor - 06/11/14

    Mar Vista, Moore's were on Key before most residents; Drivers, cyclists must share the roads; Town should prioritize people over turtles; Roundabouts would solve traffic woes; Limiting beach access points could improve traffic

  • Cops Corner - 06/11/14

    June 3 Will walk for food 6:36 p.m. — 4000 block of GMD. Suspicious Person. A man asked a convenience store clerk if she could donate a sandwich to him and said he was walking the state for world peace. Police found the man walking toward Sarasota. He had two outstanding warrants, but neither was extraditable. Police drove h

  • Make it Count - 06/11/14

    Bradenton Christian first baseman Luke Darnell will represent the West in the annual PostYourT Florida High School East/West All-Star Game June 14.

  • Let's hear it for the Boyce - 06/11/14

    The Sarasota-based Manzano brothers of Boyce Avenue shot their first video in their parents' garage. Now, they have more YouTube subscribers than Lady GaGa.

  • PHOTO GALLERY: Modern Pentathlon Sponsorship Gala - 06/07/14

    Sarasota celebrated the 2014 Modern Pentathlon at the Pentathlon Gala Saturday, June 7, at the Ca D’Zan. Before enjoying dinner on the water, guests socialized on the Ringling's lawn. The gala marks the second night of the international event that is held in Sarasota and Bradenton.

  • VIDEO: Olympians visit Sailor Circus - 06/06/14

    Five Olympians visited Sailor Circus Thursday, June 5. The Olympians shared personal stories with aspiring athletes before answering questions. The meeting is part of the Olympians' visit to Sarasota for the 2014 Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final.

  • Setting sail - 06/05/14

    Thirteen-year-old Hallie Schiffman was recently named the recipient of the 2014 Young Woman Sailor of the Year Award.

  • Bourbon & Boweties Trunk Show - 06/04/14

    To celebrate the launch of the collection at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, guests shopped and stacked bangles at the Bourbon & Boweties Trunk Show Tuesday, June 3.

  • All Hands on Deck - 06/04/14

    A team of volunteers works tirelessly to make sure the 2014 Modern Pentathlon World Cup Finals run smoothly. More than 400 volunteers will pitch in to assist with the three-day event.

  • Cops Corner - 06/04/14

    May 24 Native son 11:16 p.m. — 3600 block of Fair Oaks Place. Suspicious Circumstance. A man said there were cars and people at the home of his neighbor, who is in England. Police found the homeowner at the house, who was confused because he does not know anyone in the neighborhood and has not been in England. He lives in Ta

  • Our View: 'Never again'? - 06/04/14

    This is the 70th anniversary of D-Day … June 6, 1944. We all have seen the photographs and footage from the beaches of Normandy. We have seen the rows upon rows of our nearly 9,400 military dead at the Normandy American Cemetery — most of them killed in Operation Overlord, the code name for the Allies' invasion of France. Bu

  • Athlete of the Week: Kyle Jarrett - 06/04/14

    Fourteen-year-old Kyle Jarrett shot a personal best 3-under-par 33 to earn medalist honors and help lead the Nolan Middle School golf team to a second-place finish at the Middle School Golf Championships May 17.

  • Inside the Box - 06/04/14

    FSU/Asolo Conservatory alumni Brendan Ragan and Summer Dawn Wallace will open The Urbanite Theatre — an edgy, hip, black box theater in downtown Sarasota.

  • PHOTO GALLERY: Pine View Graduation - 06/01/14

    Pine View School for the Gifted held its 2014 Graduation Sunday, June 1, at the Van Wezel. The seniors celebrated their achievement with a senior breakfast before the ceremony. "It's bittersweet," says Daniel Yohann.

  • News Briefs - 05/29/14

    Minder enters County Commission race; City commissioner announces resignation; Selby Gardens CEO announces retirement; Bayfront Children’s Fountain reopens after renovations

  • SCAT move progresses - 05/29/14

    Sarasota County staff may have overcome one obstacle in the potential relocation of the SCAT transfer station downtown, but other questions remain unanswered.

  • Mile Split - 05/29/14

    Pine View School eighth-grader Hadleigh Schwartz went undefeated in the 1,600-meter run in her second season.

  • Business Observer - 05/29/14

    International Martial Arts Academy comes to Sarasota; Laura Bauman elected to Child Protection board; Linda Apple joins Premier Sotheby’s International Realty

  • Gloria Musicae to audition new singers - 05/28/14

    Gloria Musicae is a professional vocal ensemble. Each year, the ensemble hosts auditions for interested singers. These will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 28, and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 29.

  • P&Z Board recommends zoning change - 05/28/14

    The parcels at 5440 Gulf of Mexico Drive and 521 Broadway are two ordinances closer to becoming residential properties. Voters on Longboat Key approved the zoning changes in November 2012.

  • Caps and Gowns - 05/28/14

    Caps off to the graduating class of 2014. Read on about what these shining stars have planned for their future.

  • Keep your garden in season - 05/28/14

    As summer approaches, the desire to be outside enjoying the clear skies and warm weather is hard to resist, and it also provides the ideal time to spruce up your yard and garden.

  • PHOTO GALLERY: SMA Graduation - 05/22/14

    Sarasota Military Academy students graduated Thursday, May 22, at Robarts Arena. The arena was filled with families, friends and loved ones there to celebrate the seniors accomplishments. Before the ceremony, friends and family members visited the seniors as they prepared to go on stage.

  • Switching Gears - 05/22/14

    The county has expressed an interest in upgrading a BMX facility, but it’s unclear if it will be the draw proponents think.

  • The Ringling opens "Intent to Deceive" - 05/21/14

    "Intent to Deceive: Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World" curated by Collete Loll opens this week. The exhibit challenges perceptions of authenticity and points to the serious problem art fraud poses for museums and dealers. It opens May 23 and runs through Aug. 3, at The Ringling Museum of Art.

  • Youth Movement - 05/21/14

    The Out-of-Door Academy football team’s roster will be composed primarily of freshmen and sophomores next season.