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Siesta Key Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 6 years ago

News Briefs


+ Talman offers ‘not guilty’ plea in Donna Chen case
A public defender representing the man charged in connection with the Jan. 7 death of a Siesta runner entered a “not guilty” plea for him during his arraignment Feb. 3, according to the State Attorney’s Office.
Blake C. Talman, 22, of Bradenton, remained in Sarasota County Jail early this week under total bond of $118,000. He is charged with vehicular homicide and multiple DUI offenses related to his striking Donna Chen, 53, as she was running along Midnight Pass Road. Chen died at the scene.

Talman has been in jail since the day of the incident.

Assistant State Attorney Amanda Gambert told the Pelican Press Monday that Talman’s next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Feb. 29, in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Sarasota. At that time, Gambert said, a trial date might be set.

Gambert added that the state was beginning its discovery process in the case.

Attorney Patricia Edwards, a public defender, is representing Talman.

+ Comp plan amendment workshop focuss on retail 
Sarasota County Planning Services will hold a workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 21, to accept public comments on the possibility of the county’s allowing up to 15,000 square feet of free-standing commercial uses before requiring special exception approval, within major employment center areas containing industrial light manufacturing and warehousing (ILW) zoning. 

The workshop will be held at Colonial Oaks Park, Room A, 5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota. 

The proposed Sarasota County Comprehensive Plan amendment would allow the redevelopment of existing ILW-zoned properties within major employment centers, including more retail opportunities, without turning the centers into commercial centers, according to Planning Services staff. The workshop will focus on where the potential, additional retail uses in these major employment centers could be located.

Public comments will help staff refine options for the Sarasota County Planning Commission’s review and recommendation at a meeting tentatively scheduled for April 5.

 Additional information is available online at the Sarasota County website,, keyword search “Planning Services.” 

+ County offers property owners notification system 
Sarasota County is encouraging property owners, both year-round and seasonal, to sign up for the free CodeRED alert notification system.

CodeRED provides alerts to property owners regarding issues in their neighborhoods, including water/sewer service interruptions, road closures, Amber Alerts and evacuations, according to a county news release.

The system issues an automated call to alert registered property owners and occupants in the event of an incident that could impact their daily activities. 

“The CodeRED system is a valuable communications tool that allows us to keep property owners and renters informed about events in their neighborhood,” said Paula Parsons Grubb of Sarasota County Environmental Utilities. 

To sign up for the CodeRED system, visit and select the CodeRED system button on the front page. Registration is free, and Sarasota County does not share the information with private third-party vendors

For more, visit

Meetings & agendas
• Community Alliance Developmental Disabilities Committee — 1 p.m. Feb. 14, Health and Human Services Department, Room 226, 2200 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
• Tourist Development Council — 4 p.m. Feb. 16, R.L. Anderson Center, Commission Chambers, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice.
• Sarasota County Planning Commission — 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16, R.L. Anderson Center, Commission Chambers, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice.

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