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City of Sarasota lowers impact fees but taxpayers may have to pay for transportation improvements

Sarasota, Florida -- The City of Sarasota has taken the first step in breaking away from the county's impact fee agreement and going it alone. City leaders say they'll have more flexibility with its own transportation money.

The city leaders have set a new impact fee rate that will attract developers but it could end up costing taxpayers money.

Sarasota City Commissioners propose water rate hike

Sarasota, Florida -- Sarasota City Commissioners are proposing another two years of higher water bills. If approved, it would make four straight years of rate hikes for homeowners. Utilities officials say they need to keep up with maintenance, but homeowners say they need to keep up with their bills.

Sarasota homeowner Bob Graff is trying to do his part to save water and money.

"Once a week the water comes on for three minutes -- it's micro irrigation," explains Graff of his water system that releases a mist.

Man hitches a ride on a whale shark!

Nokomis Beach, Florida -- A charter captain goes on a fishing trip 16 miles off Venice Beach and does more than just catch "the big one." And it's big all right. The fish is a whale shark and gave him the ride of a life time.

As a charter captain Jamie Bostwick, is on the water nearly every day but last Friday he spotted a fish that has given him a whale of a story to tell. "The fish was as big as the boat 30 feet long," Bostwick said

City officials approve funds for boat races

Sarasota, Florida -- Sarasota city commissioners Wednesday approved spending more than $81,000 in tourist development money to help fund the Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix.

July 6 is race day, but the events leading up to the race begin the weekend before.

Sanborn Studios says it's been blacklisted by Sarasota

Sarasota, Florida -- Sanborn Studios is firing back against Sarasota County with its own allegations in a dispute over the more than half-million dollars the business got to create jobs.

Scott Sobel, spokesperson for Sanborn Studios, said the county blacklisted the studios soon after it opened and cost taxpayers millions in revenue.

Does Sobel think Sanborn owes the county any money? "No," he says.

Man found dead in hot tub at apartment complex

SARASOTA, Florida (AP) - Authorities are investigating the death of a man found in a hot tub at a Sarasota apartment complex.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says a maintenance man found the body Wednesday morning while checking the pool area at the complex.

Appeal to be heard in killing of British tourists

Lakeland, Florida (AP) - A man who received a mandatory life sentence for killing two British tourists near Sarasota is seeking to either have his conviction overturned or to get a new sentencing hearing.

Shawn Tyson's argument will be heard Wednesday morning at the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.