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In Brief

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  • | 4:00 a.m. May 28, 2009
  • Sarasota
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+ Home invader rapes Siesta woman
A Siesta Key woman became the latest home-invasion victim in Sarasota.

At about 1 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, the woman was alone in her Whispering Sands Drive condo when a masked man broke in. He beat and raped her.

Col. Steve Burns, of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, said not enough is known about the attack to say definitively whether or not it is tied to a string of home invasions in Sarasota and Manatee counties since February.

But Burns did say that detectives are looking at the possibility of a connection.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office at 861-1719 or leave an anonymous tip with Crimestoppers at 366-TIPS (8477).

+ Five Points gets special treatment
As the Downtown Improvement District (DID) awaits the completion of its streetscape design, it has suggested leaving a large portion of downtown out of the plan and creating a separate entity to deal with it.

Wilson Miller landscape architect Scott Buttari expects to deliver his plan for landscaping, lighting and sidewalk enhancements to the DID by June 5. But at its meeting Tuesday, May 26, DID board members suggested leaving improvements to Five Points Park out of Buttari’s proposal.

Board member Andrew Foley said a separate committee should be created to deal with the park, because both business and neighborhood concerns are so great in that area.

“It’s also going to cost more than the (other areas), so maybe it should be separate,” said Vice Chairman Ernie Ritz.

Some of the improvements to the park that the DID has discussed include adding new grass and creating a ramp or steps from the sidewalk into the grass area.

+ Students accepted to service academies
Three Sarasota high school students and one college student nominated for appointments to service academies by U.S. District 13 Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, have been accepted.

Buchanan nominated James Customs, Sarasota High School; Carlton Shelley II, Riverview High School; James Taylor II, Sarasota Military Academy; and Nicholas Gutsche, Manatee County Community College.

Gutsche will attend the U.S. Naval Academy. Customs will attend the Air Force Academy. Shelley was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. And Taylor will go to the Naval Academy.

Each four-year institution will offer educational degrees and military-officer training.


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