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Sarasota County offers discounts on energy-saving classes for

Sarasota County offers discounts on energy-saving classes for

Sarasota, Florida -- In 2011, Sarasota County helped dozens of homeowners save money on energy costs with the Get Energy Smart Retrofit Rebate program.

Homeowners looking to make improvements in areas such as air conditioning, duct work or insulation were able to recoup some of the cost when they used a locally based, program-approved contractor.  The program also helped the local economy by increasing demand for services performed by local contractors.

State Farm supports Good Neighbor Toy Drive

State Farm supports Good Neighbor Toy Drive

State Farm has announced that it is joining forces with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast to help those less fortunate in Southwest Florida.

From now until Dec. 9, you can drop off new, unwrapped toys at State Farm agents' offices in Manatee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties.

The Wish List includes:

Babies/Toddlers (0-4 years old): Toys, new clothing, diapers & wipes, and baby blankets

Sarasota's Costco to begin construction

Sarasota's Costco to begin construction

Sarasota, Florida -- Officials with Westfield Sarasota Square are pleased to announce the start of construction of Costco.

Slated to open in summer of 2012 on the southeast side of the shopping center, Costco's comprehensive offering of goods, ranging from groceries, clothing and electronics to appliances, tire sales and installation, a pharmacy, optical services and much more, will deliver a new dimension of shopping to Westfield Sarasota Square.

Costumes courtesy of Asolo Rep on sale in time for Halloween

Costumes courtesy of Asolo Rep on sale in time for Halloween

Sarasota, Florida --The Asolo Repertory Theatre will be holding a costume sale on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1 at the Asolo Rep Scenic Studios on Tallevast Road, Sarasota. The sale will be from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. both days, just in time for finding the perfect Halloween costume.

Costumes that span more than four decades of clothing plus one-of-a-kind specialty and surprise items will be available for purchase. Items offered include dresses, novelty costumes, armor, vintage and contemporary men's and women's wear, hats, fabrics (sold by the yard), uniforms, period costumes and accessories. Costumes for purchase are from productions such as The Imaginary Invalid, Ariadne auf Naxos, Equus, Julius Caesar and Oh , What a Lovely War. Prices will range between $1 and $400.

Training session set for volunteers in disasters

Training session set for volunteers in disasters

Sarasota County, FL -- Sarasota County Emergency Management, in conjunction with the Friendship Volunteer Center, is looking for people to coordinate the work of community volunteers during emergencies such as hurricanes. Training will be offered on managing new volunteers and placing them in the community.

The training session will be from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 in the Imagine School, 6220 McIntosh Road, Sarasota. Preregistration for the training is not required.

Hurricane season began June 1 and lasts through November. 

For more information, call 941-953-5965.

Mote volunteers receive tourism award

Mote volunteers receive tourism award

Sarasota, Florida -- Gilly the Shark gets visitors to Mote Marine Laboratory excited about marine life. And now the couple responsible for Gilly's enthusiasm is being honored.

The Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau announced the winners of the 2011 National Tourism Week awards on Thursday and they included volunteers Steve and Sharon Dickman. Steve is the guy inside the mascot getup and Sharon is Gilly's "handler".

The Dickmans received the award for Guest Service Excellence. The awards ceremony took place at Ed Smith Stadium.

Sarasota County's website offline through weekend

Sarasota County's website offline through weekend

Sarasota County, Florida - If you need to access Sarasota County's website, you will have to wait until Monday morning.

County officials say several online services on scgov.net will be unavailable from 5:00 p.m. Friday night and through the weekend.

The county is reportedly relocating equipment to help save money.

he new centralized data center a 5875 Bahia Vista Road will help save the county 30% on electrical costs.