+ County, city approve homeless spending
Sarasota County commissioners continue to present a unified front in the local push to address homelessness, while the Sarasota City Commission remains divided on the issue.
Although city commissioners argued Monday about the potential placement of a homeless shelter and consultant Robert Marbut’s strategies to address the problem, the board ultimately voted 3-2 to extend his contract through Nov. 30 and pay for a portion of feasibility studies for proposed shelter locations. On Tuesday, county commissioners quickly discussed the topic, and in less than 10 minutes unanimously approved the contract extension.
The county and city will pay roughly $86,000 to extend Marbut’s contract while he oversees implementation of his Homeless Strategic Action Plan. Municipal officials initially agreed to hire Marbut for four months beginning in August, but extended his contract through Feb. 28.
“This will keep the momentum moving forward,” said Sarasota County Homelessness Coordinator Wayne Applebee.
+ FDOT tweaks Stickney Point Traffic rules
A new traffic sign aimed at improving pedestrian and cyclist safety recently appeared on Stickney Point Road at a busy Siesta Key intersection.
This month, the Florida Department of Transportation installed a “no turn on red” sign at the turn lane directing traffic northbound onto Midnight Pass Road. Drivers previously had the option of turning right during a red light when there were not any pedestrians near crosswalks.
“We had a citizen who called and said that cars weren’t stopping,” FDOT spokesman Robin Stublen said.
Instead of coming to a complete stop and yielding during a red light, drivers had been rolling through, prompting several complaints from residents. FDOT engineers studied traffic data to ensure that despite a busy season ahead, the change would not greatly affect trip times.
+ Stabbing occurs Friday at Selby Public Library
The Sarasota Police Department took a suspect into custody following a stabbing at the Selby Public Library Friday morning.
The stabbing took place after two men, both homeless, got in an argument while using the library’s computers, Sarasota Police Department spokeswoman Genevieve Judge said. One witness said the two men were not getting along for about an hour, and the argument got more heated, according to the police report. During an altercation, Andrew Timshin, 27, produced a knife and stabbed Marcus Colbert, 26.
When they arrived on the scene, officers found Timshin sitting at a computer with a knife that appeared to have blood on it in his front pocket. Police charged Timshin with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and transported him to the Sarasota County Jail.
Colbert was taken via helicopter to Blake Medical Center and treated for wounds in his shoulder and neck.
+ Gulf Goast Senior Games kicks off 25th annual event
The 25th annual Gulf Coast Senior Games began Tuesday and will continue through Sunday at venues throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties, which partner yearly to host the event.
The games promote and maintain health and wellness and enhance the quality of life for the counties’ residents who are more than 50 years old, said Scott Jalwan, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation event coordinator.
Events include archery, basketball, shooting, bocce, bowling, cribbage, cycling, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, racquetball, 5K road race, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, tennis and track and field.
The Gulf Coast Senior Games is a local qualifier for the 2014 Florida Senior Games State Championships — scheduled for Dec. 6 to Dec. 14 in Lee County.For more information, contact the Sarasota County at 861-5000 or visit scgov.net/parksandrecreation.
+ Fit2Run coming to Five Points areas off Main Street
The building at the corner of Main Street and South Pineapple Avenue has found a tenant — the running store Fit2Run will move into the Five Points location later this year.
Fit2Run General Manager Parks Robinson confirmed the business plans to open a store at 1400 Main St., the former home of Floribbean and Patrick’s restaurants. The building is undergoing interior demolition; Robinson said the company is producing renderings for the store and is targeting a June opening date.
Fit2Run currently has 10 locations, all in Florida, including a Sarasota/Bradenton location at 8249 Cooper Creek Blvd. The company’s corporate headquarters is located in northern Manatee County.
Property investor Chris Brown purchased the building at 1400 Main St. in May, with Floribbean closing shortly afterward.
In October, the City Commission held a public hearing for a proposed second-story gallery deck on the property that would intrude into the public right of way. At that time, plans called for a restaurant to occupy the building. Ultimately, the commission denied Brown’s application in a 3-2 vote.
Meetings & agendas
Sarasota County Criminal Justice Commission — Noon Feb. 24, at the Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.