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Venice airport lost out on millions

Venice airport lost out on millions

VENICE, Fla. -- A federal audit reveals Venice city leaders deprived its airport of millions of dollars over several decades.

The 27-page review by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General showed that nearly $7 million dollars which should have gone to the airport -- did not.

The audit blames the Federal Aviation Administration for the problem.

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office receives forensics grant

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office receives forensics grant

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has received a federal grant to purchase equipment for the Forensic Services Section that will bolster its effort to become nationally accredited.

The Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, has awarded the agency the Fiscal Year 2011 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant in the amount of $61,124.

With the increased focus on forensic evidence and processing in criminal cases, local crime labs are improving policies and procedures to ensure the integrity of evidence that is processed and establish greater confidence in their technology.

Sarasota County begins verification of residential and commercial addresses

Sarasota County begins verification of residential and commercial addresses

Sarasota County is improving its Geographic Information System (GIS) address database

to ensure that emergency vehicles, first responders and public safety officials can be dispatched to correct addresses. The project includes validating all addresses in the unincorporated county and all municipalities.

To ensure that information in the database is correct, addresses and location information may need to be verified. Sarasota County has contracted with Geographic Technologies (GTG) from North Carolina to conduct the fieldwork for address verification. The project includes stand-alone buildings and multiple-unit buildings such as apartments, condominiums and townhomes, as well as commercial, retail and office facilities.

New members inducted at Chamber of Commerce

New members inducted at Chamber of Commerce

VENICE, Fla. -- The Venice Area Chamber of Commerce announced its officers and directors for the next year. The members took the oath of office Thursday night at a ceremony at the Venice Yacht Club in front of more than 200 guests.

The following 22 people will represent the Chamber for 2011-12:

2011 - 2012 Officers

Keynote speakers announced for county's Sustainable Communities Workshop

Keynote speakers announced for county's Sustainable Communities Workshop

Sarasota County, Florida -- Keynote speakers have been named for the sixth annual Sustainable Communities Workshop from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6. The workshop will be at the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Event and Conference Center, 4740 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota.

Hal Knowles III, a research associate with the University of Florida Program for Resource Efficient Communities, will be the morning keynote speaker. His topic, which is also the theme of the workshop, is “Investing in Our Future: Green Economic Pathways and Partnerships.” Knowles is lead author of the Florida Energy Systems Consortium’s recent report, “Green Jobs: What, Why, How, When & Where.”

The afternoon keynote speaker is Dr. Anne E. Keller, senior sustainability advisor in the Office of Policy and Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4. Her topic, “Encouraging Sustainable Communities,” will focus on how the EPA is supporting economic, social (health) and environmental sustainability while working with communities of all types, including some Florida examples.

Libraries closed on Sundays beginning Oct. 2

Libraries closed on Sundays beginning Oct. 2

Sarasota County, Florida -- Beginning Oct. 2, Selby Public Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota, and Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice, will be closed on Sundays. Of the county’s eight public libraries, Selby and Jacaranda were the only two open on Sundays. All eight Sarasota County public libraries will be open Monday through Saturday.

The Sunday closing, as well as several other measures, is the result of a $450,000 budget reduction proposed by library staff and approved by the Sarasota County Commission earlier this summer during a series of fiscal year 2012 budget workshops. In addition to closing on Sundays, libraries also will  temporarily suspend the Interlibrary Loan Service, cut back the number of days items are transferred between libraries, and reduce the amount spent on items such as books, magazines and periodicals by $96,000.

Libraries to close on Sundays beginning Oct. 2

Libraries to close on Sundays beginning Oct. 2

Sarasota County, Florida -- Beginning Oct. 2, Selby Public Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota, and Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice, will be closed on Sundays. Of the county’s eight public libraries, Selby and Jacaranda were the only two open on Sundays. All eight Sarasota County public libraries will be open Monday through Saturday.

The Sunday closing, as well as several other measures, is the result of a $450,000 budget reduction proposed by library staff and approved by the Sarasota County Commission earlier this summer during a series of fiscal year 2012 budget workshops. In addition to closing on Sundays, libraries also will  temporarily suspend the Interlibrary Loan Service, cut back the number of days items are transferred between libraries, and reduce the amount spent on items such as books, magazines and periodicals by $96,000.