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East County Wednesday, May. 8, 2013 4 years ago

News Briefs


+ Two injured in Lakewood Ranch apartment robbery
Two men were stabbed at the Lost Creek Apartments complex in Lakewood Ranch early Tuesday morning during an attempted robbery.

At around 12:30 a.m. May 7, two suspects followed a man to the apartment complex.

The suspects confronted the man in the parking lot and demanded money.

The victim said he didn’t have any money, and the suspects tried to take the victim’s motorized scooter by force.

The victim ran toward his residence in the apartment complex, and the suspects followed.

In an ensuing struggle, the victim was stabbed in the hand.

A neighbor heard the commotion and came to help.

He, too, was stabbed — in the thigh.

The suspects fled in a white vehicle.

EMS responded and treated the victims on scene.

“It was drug-related — we believe that,” Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Dave Bristow said. “This person who did it thought he was owed money by one of the victims. We have a pretty good lead on the suspect.

“The other guy (who was stabbed) intervened; he was trying to help,” he said.

Anyone with information about the crime should call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 866-634-8477.

+ Goodwill Manasota’s new corporate campus approved
Goodwill Industries Manasota Inc. will build a new $10 million corporate campus.

The Manatee County Commission unanimously approved rezoning 9.43 acres at 2705 51st Ave. E., Bradenton, for the Goodwill Corporate Campus.

The retail headquarters will include a 28,633-square-foot administration center, 35,972-square-foot neighborhood retail store and a 5,000-square-foot outparcel.

Currently, the property is a tree farm.

“It’s very exciting to have the corporate headquarters here,” said Betsy Benac, at-large Manatee County commissioner.

The campus also will feature an international training center for mission development.

The property will include a roadway buffer along U.S. 301 and a 5-foot sidewalk along the north side of 51st Ave. E., Bradenton.

Goodwill’s current main campus sits at 7501 15th St. E.,in Sarasota.

Construction will begin this summer and be completed toward the end of next year.

+ Main Street events benefit local charities
Events hosted at Lakewood Ranch Main Street raised more than $591,284.41 for local charities in 2012.

Many local charities earn money by participating on the plaza’s monthly Music on Main event, at which volunteers man tables and sell beverages.

The Sarasota Association for Riding Therapy, or SMART, raised just more than $6,000 at a Music on Main event late last year.

Gail Clifton, executive director of SMART, said the money, earned from selling beer, wine and soft drinks, went into its scholarship program fund.

Clifton said about 65% of kids who ride horses at SMART can’t afford the basic fee of $25 a lesson.

“Music on Main was fun for us,” Clifton said. “We hope to participate again.”

The Center for Autism Resources and Education (C.A.R.E.) in Lakewood Ranch raised $3,155 at a Music on Main event in October.

A C.A.R.E. spokeswoman said the money would help fund special programs for children and families facing autism.

Another East County charity, Community Haven, also benefited from Music on Main.

Bethany Higgins, director of development at Community Haven, said the charity netted $6,539.97 from beer and wine sales at Music on Main in February 2012.

Community Haven also provided a clown and face painting at the event.

Higgins said money raised will help “enrich the lives of people with disabilities.”

+ Sarasota County honored for Benderson Park project
The American Planning Association has recognized Sarasota County as a co-winner for its 2013 “Hunter Award” for Excellence in Economic Development.

The award is for the designation and development of Nathan Benderson Park, world-class rowing venue that is still under development just south of University Parkway, off Cattlemen Road.

The county also received the 2013 “Award of Merit” from the APA County Planning Division and the National Association of County Planners.

The award is based on the collaborative partnerships between Sarasota County and Benderson Development for the Benderson Park project.

+ Big Cat Habitat switches to summertime schedule
Starting May 15, the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary will switch to summertime hours for its sunset safari tours.

Guests will be able to get close-up views of big cats, bears and other animals from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, during self-guided tours.

Special exotic “animal encounters” will be offered at 5:30 p.m. those days.

Admission is $15 for adults or $7 for children ages 7 and younger. For more information, visit

+ Correction
Athena Deen’s name was misspelled in an “It’s Read Everywhere” photo caption published May 2.

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