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Sarasota

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Sarasota County commissioners decided on Wednesday to side with residents and prevent the industrial rezoning of an area adjacent to the 400-acre Celery Fields wildlife reserve. 

Tensions ran high at a special school board meeting on Tuesday in Sarasota, where school superintendent Todd Bowden faced mounting pressure to resign over allegations he acted too slowly when he learned that a subordinate was accused of sexually harassing a co-worker.

Mass transit in Tampa Bay's densely populated big cities grabs the headlines. But there's a case to be made that transportation has even more of an impact on people living in rural areas.

Sarasota's City Planning Board will continue hearings Wednesday on a master site plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Selby Gardens is seeking zoning changes and other approvals from the city which its CEO says is designed to make the layout of the gardens more efficient. Those plans include a welcome center, and a greenhouse but it’s the proposed 5-story parking garage with rooftop restaurant that's drawn the ire of some residents.

A proposal to ban polystyrene products, commonly known as Styrofoam, and to limit the use of plastic straws is moving forward in the city of Sarasota with a public hearing scheduled for Monday night. 

Electric scooters stand in a row.
Wikimedia Commons

By Carrie Pinkard

Electric scooters have been getting a lot of attention in Florida lately at both the state and local levels.

St. Petersburg is the latest city to take a closer look at both the pros and cons of the transportation trend. 

The loggerhead turtle is the most common sea turtle found in Florida. Females return to their nesting beach every two or more years.
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

By Cathy Carter

It's just after sunrise on Sarasota's Lido Beach and the start of sea turtle patrol for Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Senior Biologist Melissa Bernhard.

“We have a report of a possible nest a couple hundred feet down,” she said on a recent morning. ”We're just going to walk down to it and see if it is a nest and take some data on it, regardless."

Computer Keyboard
Wikimedia Commons

By Adam Bakst

With recent cyber attacks on Riviera Beach and Lake City, security of computer systems and information seems to be a growing concern even for the smallest of cities.

This is leading local information technology departments throughout the state to try and control this problem before they fall victim to hackers.

people rowings in a lake at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota
NBP

Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota has been selected as the site for the 2020 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic rowing team trials. The event will determine who represents the United States at the Olympics in Tokyo.

a marker at Payne Park in Sarasota
Sarasota City Government

It's back to the drawing board for the Sarasota Orchestra.

Monday night, the Sarasota City Commission voted down the art organization's proposal to build a new 2,500 seat concert hall on seven acres of city-owned Payne Park.

greyhounds racing on a track
Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

On a recent afternoon at the Sarasota Kennel Club, the track’s grandstand is mostly empty, but for a handful of spectators leaning against a wire fence and sipping beer from plastic cups as a mechanical rabbit buzzes by.  

The La Musica International Chamber Music Festival is now in its 33rd season.
Daylina Miller/WUSF News

This year marks the 33rd season for La Musica International Chamber Music Festival at the Sarasota Opera House, and for about the same price as a movie ticket, audiences can get admission to a series of open rehearsals on the campus of New College of Florida.

Petticoat Painters

In 1950, a female artist from Sarasota took the top spot at a city art show.

What happened next led to one of the oldest continuously exhibiting group of women artists in the country.

Sergeant Steve Kim of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department with students at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus.
Sarasota County Schools

Within weeks of the mass school shooting in Parkland, the Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The law requires a police officer or sworn school guardian be present on all public school campuses.

The Newton Historic Building Preservation Pilot Program started with the intention of restoring, rehabilitating and renovating properties in the 100-year-old African American enclave.
Newtown Alive

The city of Sarasota is taking a stand for its African American community of Newtown by launching a program to preserve its historic properties.

Visitation and annual revenue are up since Selby Gardens was repositioned as a "living museum." The newest exhibit pairs botany with artist, Paul Gauguin.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has big ideas for the renovation of its 15-acre site on Sarasota's Bayfront.

Their 10-year master site plan includes a vertical "sky" garden, a cutting edge plant research center, parking garage and a rooftop restaurant. The plan, which is estimated to cost $67 million, will include infrastructure improvements aimed at keeping Selby's living collections out of flood zones into secure structures using green technology.

Chuck Manahan

Booker High School serves the most diverse and underprivileged student body in the Sarasota County School District. It's also recognized for its rigorous program in arts education, including instruction in music, theatre, dance, digital film and motion design, and visual art.

This week, the Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts program will host its first ever fundraiser to support initiatives that provide educational enhancements for VPA’s rising stars.

Vickie Oldham / Newtown Alive

Sarasota’s first African-American community, Overtown, will be in the spotlight during a Newtown History Makers panel next week.

The moon will travel into Earth's shadow early next week.

Overnight from Sunday into Monday, North Americans will have a prime view of a total lunar eclipse.

The Florida Department of Education says the state is experiencing a critical teacher shortage. Meanwhile, school districts across Florida continue to struggle to fill teacher positions.

A Sarasota lawmaker is proposing to make it easier for retired teachers to get back in the classroom.

Bethany Tyne / WUSF Public Media

Some Florida counties are reporting early voting turnout well ahead of the pace of the 2014 midterm elections.

Libreshot

The Sarasota County Commission has rejected a preemptive ban on recreational marijuana because of an error found in the ordinance.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Bethlehem Bible Church is the oldest Baptist church in the historically black neighborhood of Newtown in North Sarasota. But this Sunday, it's Soul Central — the hub for helping to get its members and six other congregations to the polls.

Cathy Carter

A crowd of 200 filled Selby Library auditorium in Sarasota Wednesday night for a town hall featuring students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Hundreds more were unable to get a seat after the hall reached capacity.

This summer, students involved in the March For Our Lives movement are traveling across the country to energize young people. Local organizers say they want to educate and encourage them to vote.   

Photo courtesy the City of Sarasota

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they will give $13.5 million to revitalize the shorelines of Lido Beach.

City of Sarasota

Even though Subtropical Storm Alberto only brushed the coast of Florida last month, at least one of its beaches experienced some significant damage.

Court Rejects New Hospice In ‘Certificate Of Need’ Fight

May 29, 2018

Though describing it as a “close call,” an appeals court Friday upheld a decision by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to turn down approval of new hospice provider in Sarasota County. 

A loggerhead sea turtle on the beach
FWC

Some of the first sea turtle nests of 2018 are already being discovered by Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Patrol. That’s right. The turtles are coming.

But it isn’t unusual for sea turtle nesting season to begin early, which officially runs May 1 to Oct. 31.

Sarasota County Schools

A Sarasota County School Board member had a tough time keeping his composure during an emotional apology at Tuesday's board meeting. 

Sarasota High School / Sarasota County Schools

School districts across Florida are grappling with how to implement a new law adopted after the mass school shooting in Parkland.

In the next  academic year, all schools in the state must have at least one school resource officer on campus.

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