DOT decision: Build a new 65-foot Cortez Bridge

Ignoring public sentiment in its own survey running nearly 3-to-1 in favor of repairing the existing Cortez Bridge, the Florida Department of Transportation is going to build a new high span in its place. The DOT decided to build a fixed, 65-foot-clearance bridge, said L.K. Nandam, District 1 secretary for the DOT, despite vocal public opposition. “We’ve got to replace the bridge,” Nandam said. Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy was...

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Surf shop owners vow to regroup, recoup after fire

Inside the West Coast Surf Shop, it smells acrid and smoky. The floor is black. There is melted plastic and glass on the floor. Insulation hangs from ceilings and sunlight shines through a hole in the front wall. The shop caught fire the afternoon of April 15 during business hours. The building suffered damage and the merchandise was destroyed, including the surfboards, which were damaged beyond repair. Jim and Ronee Brady, owners of...

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Parrish man sentenced to life for island hairstylist’s death

An 84-year-old Parrish man was sentenced to life in prison for killing a former Anna Maria Island hairstylist. Judge Brian Iten meted out the life sentence for Eugene Matthews April 19, as well as two 30-year prison sentences for two attempted murders, each with a 25-year minimum, to run concurrently. A jury convicted Matthews Feb. 23 of second-degree murder for Rebecca Rawson’s death and attempted second-degree murder counts...

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Newly filed lawsuits seek to muzzle Holmes Beach ‘stalkers’

Shawn Kaleta and Jennifer Kaleta filed two lawsuits to stop their neighbors from stalking and recover damages for losses to two rental homes. The co-owners and their companies allege Richard and Marjorie Motzer called Holmes Beach police more than 60 times for unfounded noise complaints at two vacation rental properties. The complaints and petitions for temporary injunctions ask a 12th circuit judge to “immediately restrain defendants...

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KRC hands out titles, Beach Bums takes title at center court

The men’s senior handicap match-play golf tournament was played over the course of four weeks at the Key Royale Club with the final match April 4. Eighteen players were whittled down to Jim Auch and Jere Rice going mano a mano. Auch prevailed, defeating Rice three and one to earn the crown of Key Royale Club’s senior champ. Another special tourney, the annual Key Royale Club men’s President Cup, took place with 44 players March 28....

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