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Prostitution sting in Sarasota nets 17 arrests

Prostitution sting in Sarasota nets 17 arrests

Sarasota, Florida - Sarasota Police have arrested 17 people suspected of being prostitutes or potential customers.

The undercover investigations were conducted on January 31 and February 1. The primary locations for these operations were the North Tamiami Trail, Gillespie Park Neighborhood, and N. Washington Blvd.  

Mug Shot Gallery: Booking photos of the 17 arrested

Officers arrested eight people on prostitution charges.  Four of those arrested were booked as Homeless and seven have current or previous narcotics related arrest charges. 

The following were arrested during the "Prostitution" operations:

Missing Sarasota man found

UPDATE:

Sarasota, Florida -- An elderly man reported missing has been located without incident and a Silver Alert has been cancelled.

Earlier story: 

Sarasota, Florida -- A Silver Alert has been issued for an elderly Sarasota man who hasn;t been seen since Wednesday morning.

The sheriff's office says Gerard H. Van Alphen, 84, may be driving a 2007 silver Cadillac with the Florida registration Y2HYW.

He's described as a white male, about 5"10" tall and weighing about 184 pounds.

Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to contact the Sarasota County Sheriff's office at (941) 316-1201 or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

 

Friar charged with sexual battery of a Nokomis boy

Sarasota, Florida -- A Carmelite friar has been arrested on charges of having sex with a 14-year old boy, the sheriff's office said tonight.

William C. Wert, 53, of 244 Harbor Drive South, Venice was arrested at his home late Tuesday afternoon. He's charged with Lewd or Lascivious Battery. Investigators say additional charges are pending.

"Wert engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old Nokomis boy on several occasions between September 2010 and January 2011," the sheriff's office said in a media release.

The encounters occurred at the suspect's residence, an empty house in Nokomis, in the woods, and in a hotel in Venice, according to the arrest affidavit.

"The teen's father contacted the Sheriff's Office after finding inappropriate messages from the suspect on his son's phone."

City Council votes to continue airing meetings

City Council votes to continue airing meetings

Venice, FL -- The Venice City Council voted to continue to tape its meetings for television airing.

In December and January, Mayor John Holic asked the public for input regarding whether the $18,000 annual cost to videotape meetings for television airing is a useful expenditure. Overwhelmingly, those who responded said they want their local government to continue this effort and make city council meetings more accessible for all.

On Tuesday, Jan. 25, after hearing those opinions, the council voted to continue with the service.

“It comes to about $1 per resident per year,” Mayor Holic stated. “That is a small price for a valued service.”

To further meet the goal of bringing government to the people, the city Web site, www.venicegov.com, will begin providing the audio of the past two city council meetings online next week. To access these recordings, click on “meetings” on the menu to the left, click on “calendar,” click on the date of the meeting to which you wish to listen, click on “audio.” At this time, only regular city council meetings will be available in this format.

Giveaways this week for credit union opening

Giveaways this week for credit union opening

Sarasota, FL -- Achieva Credit Union held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new, full-service Sarasota branch this morning.

The branch, located at 1852 Hillview Street, in Sarasota, just south of Sarasota Memorial Hospital, has grand opening festivities planned for this week.

Each day will have a different theme with prize wheel giveaways, gift certificates, food and beverages, and a grand prize drawing of an iPad will be made on Saturday, Feb. 5 at noon.

Traffic Alert: I-75 in Sarasota closed

Traffic Alert:  I-75 in Sarasota closed

Sarasota County, Florida - Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol have shut both north and southbound lanes of I-75 between mile markers 191 and 182 in south Sarasota County. 

Troopers say the closure is due to smoke in the area.  It is not known when the road will reopen.

Detour:  Southbound traffic- travel westbound on River Road to US 41 and go south to Sumter Blvd.  Turn east on Sumter Blvd and return to I-75.  Northbound traffic- travel west on Sumter Blvd to US 41 and go north to River Rd.  Turn east on River Rd. and return to I-75.

Traffic Alert: I-75 shut down in Sarasota County

Traffic Alert: I-75 shut down in Sarasota County

Sarasota County, Florida - Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol have shut down north and southbound lanes of I-75 in Sarasota County.

I-75 is currently closed from exit 191 River Road to exit 182 Sumter Blvd. due to low visibility in the area.