Category Archives: News

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Island altruist, legend Hagen, 89, dies

Just days from his 90th birthday and a celebration planned by friends to toast Rex Hagen’s many years of friendship and generosity, Hagen died June 17. Hagen and his late wife Helen were major contributors on Anna Maria Island, having funded tennis courts at the then-Anna Maria Island Community Center in the 1970s, and again […]

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Local restaurateur farms medicinal ‘greens’

All three cities on Anna Maria Island said no to medical marijuana dispensaries. But Anna Maria’s largest restaurant operator has quite another take on the matter. Ed Chiles, owner of a trio of restaurants — Sandbar restaurant in Anna Maria, Beach House in Bradenton Beach and Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub on Longboat Key […]

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AM commissioner stands firm against Bert Harris settlements

Nancy Yetter almost always the lone “no” vote against Anna Maria’s Bert Harris settlements, and she’s fine with it. It’s about the message. To date, 84 of 112 Bert Harris claims made against the city of Anna Maria have been settled or are waiting for a final signature, while 28 are in negotiation. So far, […]

Blue Marlin burglary case transferred to drug court

The case of the man accused of breaking into the Blue Marlin Seafood Restaurant in Bradenton Beach is now in drug court. Judge Andrew D. Owens Jr. ordered William Garringer, 52, of the Bradenton Beach anchorage, released on his own recognizance June 8 and transferred the case from the criminal division to the drug court […]

No reports of red tide in Manatee

The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was not detected June 15 in samples from Manatee County. The organism was detected in background concentrations in Pinellas and Sarasota counties. For more information about red tide in Florida, go to

Parrish man sentenced to probation for DUI

A Parrish man arrested in Holmes Beach in March pleaded no contest to driving under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to 12 months probation. Joseph Perusek II, 25, was clocked by police at 64 mph in a 35-mph zone in the 12000 block of Manatee Avenue. Twelfth Circuit Judge Doug Henderson found Perusek […]

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DOT Cortez Bridge study ends, opposition stirs

Five years and $1.5 million later, the outcome of the Cortez Bridge study is taking shape — prompting a new wave of opposition. The Florida Department of Transportation District 1 is planning a late August or September public hearing “that wraps it up,” said Zac Burch, DOT government affairs and communication manager. At the hearing, […]

Eyes on the road

The Florida Department of Transportation did not post any advisories for Anna Maria Island for the week of June 19. For the latest road watch information, go online to or dial 511.