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City of Sarasota

Two members of Homeless Response Team in Sarasota
City of Sarasota

Helping homeless people get back on their feet is the goal of a new specialized court in Sarasota.

Known as ‘Community Care Court,’ the cases are limited to homeless people charged with non-violent misdemeanors, such as trespassing or possessing an open container of alcohol.

The court does not sentence the defendants, but instead recommends resources for rehabilitation and sometimes requires them to check back in on their progress over the course of several hearings.

A man and woman picking up trash
Jason Bartolone

City of Sarasota commissioners have voted in favor of an ordinance to ban Styrofoam and limit single-use plastic straws on city-owned property.

Plastic straws would still be available for people who specifically request them and the policy does not apply to private businesses. 

A man and woman picking up trash
Jason Bartolone

The City of Sarasota is moving forward with a ban on single-use polystyrene products, commonly known as Styrofoam, in public spaces.

Mote Marine Laboratory

The federal government, with the help of Mote Marine Laboratory, is continuing to investigate a significant spike in dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico -- and they want to know if red tide is playing a part in it.

FWC/flickr

The City of Sarasota has declared a state of emergency over the toxic red tide bloom that began in November.

Todd Kerkering is the emergency manager for the city of Sarasota. He has lived there since the 1970s and said he doesn't remember ever hearing about an emergency declaration in Sarasota because of red tide.