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Top Stories this week on Anna Maria Island: Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2015

Holmes Beach committee tightens permit-parking plan

By Jennifer Glenfield, Islander Reporter

A plan is taking shape. The Holmes Beach Traffic and Congestion Committee met April 4 at the direction of the city commission to tighten its permit-parking plan. Commissioners asked the committee to provide a map of where the highest number …

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Holmes Beach contracts Waste Pro, expect changes

By Jennifer Glenfield, Islander Reporter

Holmes Beach commissioners approved the first reading of a contract with Waste Pro at a special meeting April 8. The 10-year contract would begin May 1, and the change in the solid-waste service provider means new schedules and rules will …

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HBPD officer to receive 2 awards

By Jennifer Glenfield, Islander Reporter

Holmes Beach has a low crime rate and violent crimes are rare. However, in the line of duty, police officers are taught to expect the unexpected. In March 2014, Holmes Beach Police Officer Steve Ogline responded to a domestic disturbance …

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4 agencies oppose Neal-Perico development

By Jennifer Glenfield, Islander Reporter

It’s not looking good for a proposed Perico Island development. Harbor Sound, the proposed development, got a green light from the city of Bradenton and Manatee County more than a year ago. In August 2014, the Southwest Florida Water Management …

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Bradenton Beach police officer recognized

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

Bradenton Beach Police Officer Mike Bazell is a 2014 nominee for the Manatee 100 Club officer-of-the-year award. BBPD Chief Sam Speciale made the nomination based on Bazell’s work in apprehending a suspect in a March 4, 2014, vehicle theft. A …

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Holmes Beach tickets on the uptick

Police activity in Holmes Beach rose during spring break this year — more than quadrupling last year’s alcohol citations and doubling the number of parking violations. “Though the numbers are up, I’m thankful our spring breakers were very well behaved,” …

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Hard numbers lacking, but traffic persists

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

Traffic — is it getting worse? Many who live or work on Anna Maria Island through the pinnacle of tourist season say it is. But data to measure the vehicle count is scarce. Since the fall of 2014, the Holmes …

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Eyes on the road

The Florida Department of Transportation encourages motorists to slow down and use caution when approaching work crews on or along roadsides, where exceeding the speed limit can double the fine. The DOT has issued the following alert for Anna Maria …

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Smoke fills Bradenton Beach cottage

Bungalow Beach Resort, 2000 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach, felt the heat April 11 when a one-bedroom cottage caught fire. Fire trucks from West Manatee Fire Rescue Station 1 in Holmes Beach and Station 4 in Bradenton responded to the …

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‘Yes’ to rental regs earns applause in Anna Maria

By Tal Reeve, Islander Reporter

“Preservation.” “Protection.” Those words from Anna Maria city officials and residents helped define the rationale for approving a vacation rental ordinance April 9. People crowded into the chamber at city hall for the final public hearing on the ordinance, although …

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BRADENTON BEACH V. CAST-N-CAGE

  Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon, right, listens April 13 as Cast-n-Cage Restaurant attorney John Fleck, 12th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Charles Sniffen and Fred Moore, attorney for the city, discuss a motion at the Manatee County Courthouse. They agreed …

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Bradenton Beach mayor heads to showdown vote

By Ed Scott, Islander Reporter

Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon will face a recall vote May 19. The Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office confirmed April 8 that it received 121 valid petition signatures from the Committee to Recall William Shearon. That’s six more than …

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Angst rises in Bradenton Beach over short-term rentals

By Ed Scott, Islander Reporter

When a short-term rental is next to a private residence on Anna Maria Island, there usually isn’t much space between the structures. That results in a fine line between property rights and disturbing the peace. A resident of Bay Drive …

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De Soto Heritage Festival goes for a boat ride

  Crewe of Hernando de Soto’s “Hernando,” Sid Jones, blesses the water with De Soto Queen Brianne Wilson and De Soto Princess Hannah Rowland, officially kicking off the bottle boat regatta April 11 on the Palma Sola Causeway. Islander Photos: …

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Avalos trial setting postponed

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

A conference to set the trial date for a man accused of three Bradenton murders is now scheduled for October 2015. Andres S. Avalos, 34, is accused of killing his wife, Amber Avalos, his neighbor and former Holmes Beach resident, …

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Michigan man pleads to DUI

A man from Grand Haven, Michigan, driving under the influence in Bradenton Beach in the fall of 2014, pleaded no-contest to the charge in 12th Judicial Circuit Court. Judge Robert Farrance found Anthony Dionise guilty March 31 and sentenced him …

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‘Sex on the beach’ case prepares for trial

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

“Sex on the beach” became the talk of the island and social media last summer and now the court case it spawned is ramping up with pre-trial posturing. Jose Ben Caballero, 39, and Elissa M. Alvarez, 20, both of Bradenton, …

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