Anna Maria attorney points out private beach pitfalls

Anna Maria may be more significantly impacted by a new state law regulating how owners can limit use of their beachfront property than initially thought. City attorney Becky Vose told commissioners April 12 that HB631, the Possession of Real Property Act, set to go into effect July 1, may threaten public beach use. The law says beachfront property owners can declare portions of their property private on the beachfront — landward of...

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Iconic surf shop burns, damage up to $250K

Rain, wind and fire hit Anna Maria Island April 15. A fire broke out in the afternoon at the West Coast Surf Shop in Holmes Beach during a squall, causing no injuries but leaving behind hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. The fire started just after 2:30 p.m., when an electrical incident inside the store involving neon lighting sparked a flame. Holmes Beach police arrived almost immediately, followed by at least three...

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County backs house built without permits in state waters

Manatee County commissioners have signaled their support for a “replica” historic net house in Sarasota Bay near Cortez. Prompted by A.P. Bell Fish Co.-Star Fish Co. owner Karen Bell, the commissioners sent a letter April 5 favoring net camp replicas and the reconstruction of a single structure with “appropriate state permits” to Mary Yeargan, director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Net houses, storage for nets...

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Visitor in golf cart gets DUI

A golf cart driver in Holmes Beach was arrested on April Fool’s Day for driving under the influence. Wearing shorts, T-shirt and sandals, Kevin Berlin, 41, of Canton, Michigan, was pulled over at 1:41 a.m. April 1 in the 4500 block of Gulf Drive. Holmes Beach Police Officer Alan Bores stopped Berlin, noticing the cart’s headlights were off. Berlin said he’d drank two or three beers and was “just trying to get back home” to rental...

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Man arrested for hit and run, DUI in Bradenton Beach

A woman in a white Volkswagen flagged down police after she was rear-ended on Gulf Drive at Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach — the first in a sequence of events leading to the April 4 arrest of a Bradenton man. The woman flagged down Bradenton Beach Police Officer Alex Hurt, who then saw a suspect in a pickup turn left on Seventh Street South, a dead end. Hurt followed the pickup and arrested Ronald Keiser, 56, for leaving the scene...

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Military flare injures 1, closes area of Anna Maria beach

A U.S. Navy flare washed up on the beach in Anna Maria April 11, injuring a 28-year old who pocketed a fragment. Early afternoon April 11, a visitor reported to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office that a long, cylindrical object was burning on the beach near the Oak Avenue access. West Manatee Fire Rescue responded to the call. Mayor Dan Murphy said April 12 that WMFR made multiple attempts to extinguish the flare before ultimately...

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