Tag Archives: News

Bradenton man sentenced to DUI probation

A Bradenton man pleaded no contest to driving under the influence in Holmes Beach and a 12th Circuit judge found him guilty.

Joshua Peurifoy, 34, was sentenced April 11 by Judge Doug Henderson.

Holmes Beach police stopped Peurifoy driving erratically on East Bay Drive in December 2018. He was polite at first and then failed to cooperate with police. He told police he’d been drinking at D.Coy Ducks Tavern.

The judge sentenced Peurifoy to 12 months probation, including DUI school and a victim-impact panel, as well as 50 hours of public service.

Henderson modified the April order May 20, allowing Peurifoy to buy out the public service work for $500.

Peurifoy was assessed $1,811 in costs and fines, according to the court online records.

BB Sunshine defendants extend new offer

Less than two months remain until a trial date.

And the six defendants have placed offers to compromise on the table.

The lawsuit against six former Bradenton Beach volunteer board members initiated by ex-Mayor Jack Clarke and joined by the city, alleges the board members violated Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law by discussing city matters at meetings that were not publicly noticed and through emails, texts and phone calls.

Defendant John Metz’s attorney Tom Shults and defendants Reed Mapes, Tjet Martin, Patty Shay and Bill and Rose Vincent, who are representing themselves in the lawsuit, emailed letters to city attorney Ricinda Perry and Robert Watrous, the city and Clarke’s attorney for the lawsuit, with the same offer to compromise.

Both letters stated the defendants are willing to “settle with the city and Clarke only if they dismiss this lawsuit against all defendants with prejudice.”

The letter from Shults stated that to end the lawsuit the city must pay Metz $42,000 and Clarke must pay $14,000, amounting to 40% of Metz’s attorney fees and costs for the suit as of the end of April.

Mapes’ email stated his settlement will require the city pay $14,000 and Clarke pay $8,400. Martin’s letter stated the city must pay $1,000 and Clarke must pay $600. Shay’s letter stated her settlement will require the city pay $901.52 and Clarke to pay $444. The Vincent’s stated their settlement will require the city to pay $4,000 and Clarke to pay $1,000.

Each letter stated the requested payments represent 40% of the defendant’s costs to date for the lawsuit.

All the offers stated any future proposals would result in requests for the city and Clarke to pay a higher percentage of legal fees incurred by the defendants.

In March, the city made an offer that would have required each of the defendants to pay $500 and admit they violated the Sunshine Law during meetings of the grass-roots group Concerned Neighbors of Bradenton Beach, of which the defendants were members while also serving on volunteer city boards.

The defendants declined and responded with an “offer to compromise,” to make a $10,000 donation to the Annie Silver Community Center and exclude their admission of guilt and the $500-per-person fine.

Their offer also stipulated that the city and the defendants would each pay their own legal fees.

When the mayor and city commissioners declined the defendants’ compromise offer, they agreed that the defendants’ language in the agreement, stating they “may” have violated the Sunshine Law, was not definitive and decided to proceed with the suit and let the court determine the outcome.

Then, in April, the mayor and commissioners presented the defendants with an offer to end the suit without an admission of guilt — if the defendants paid the court costs incurred by taxpayers at that time, more than $165,000.

The defendants declined.

Both offers from the city remain open.

The city has until 5 p.m. Friday, June 7, to respond to the new offers from the defendants.

New tech reveals tidal wave of holiday traffic

The numbers don’t lie.

At a city commission work session May 30, Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer reported 132,641 cars passed license plate readers at Manatee Avenue, Gulf Drive and East Bay Drive during Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27.

He estimated the number of automobiles represents 400,000 to 500,000 people.

City attorney Patricia Petruff suggested the mayor or commission chair share the data with Manatee County.

“That’s an astounding amount of people for a city with a resident population of less than 4,000,” Petruff said, “They should know what the tourist development council is doing to us, not for us.”

Additionally, at a May 28 commission meeting, Tokajer reported over the holiday weekend, the HBPD issued 230 parking citations, 86 traffic citations, six traffic arrests, four noise violations, four license plate reader related arrests and one drug arrest.

Officers responded to 63 dispatched calls and 262 officer-initiated calls over the holiday weekend, according to Tokajer.

“They were very busy,” Tokajer said. “But they really did a great job.”

The chief said there were no burglaries, robberies or larcenies reported over the weekend.

— ChrisAnn Silver Esformes

The Islander’s 2019 Top Notch photo contest launches

The Islander’s Top Notch contest begins anew.

The contest celebrates what still is known as the “Kodak moment,” despite the widespread switch from film to digital technology.

The contest includes six weekly front-page winners. Each will claim an Islander “More than a mullet wrapper” T-shirt or coffee mug.

One weekly shot will take the top prize in the Top Notch contest, earning the photographer a $100 cash prize from The Islander and certificates from local merchants.

A pet photo winner is announced in the final week.

Please, note, each original JPG must be included in a single email with the name of the photographer; date the photo was taken; location and description, names of recognizable people; and address and phone number for the photographer.

More rules and deadlines can be found online at www.islander.org.

Bonner Joy

2019 deadlines and rules:


Boom! July 4 memories could be everlasting on the cover of The Islander, and if you’ve got a great snapshot, the coveted spot could be yours.

The Islander Top Notch digital photo contest will begin in the June 26 edition. Six weekly winning photos will be featured on the cover of The Islander, with one grand prize winner of $100 from The Islander and a collection of prizes and gift certificates from local merchants. Weekly winners receive a “More-Than-a Mullet-Wrapper” Islander T-shirt.

The first week’s deadline is noon Friday, June 21, repeating weekly on Fridays for five weeks.

The photo judges hope to see some great photos from the July 4 holiday — but everything is game in this contest.

Top Notch entries can include family photos, landscapes and scenics, candid snapshots, action, humor and animal pictures. Nothing is overlooked, including kid pics, sentimental moments and moments of personal triumph.

In a separate contest, judges also will be looking for top pet photos with a prize appropriate to pets from Perks 4 Pets and $50 from The Islander.

Contest entries must be submitted in original JPG format via email to topnotch@islander.org.

Digital submission is required. No retouching, enhancements, computer manipulation or app enhancements are allowed.

One photo per email is allowed along with entry information in the e-mail text. There is no limit to the number of weekly entries. Also, entries need not be repeated, as select photos are retained by the judges.

Entries that fail to meet the contest requirements are disqualified.


Top Notch contest rules

1) The Islander Newspaper Top Notch Photo Contest is strictly for amateur photographers — those who derive less than 5 percent of their income from photography.

2) Black-and-white and color digital photographs taken after Jan. 1, 2017, are eligible. Photos previously published (in any format/media) or entered in any Islander or other competition are not eligible.

3) Photographs may be taken with any camera with digital formatting. No retouching or other alteration (except cropping) is permitted; no composite or multiple print images; no camera-phone-app manipulation. Photos must be submitted in digital-JPG file format. Prints and slides are not accepted.

4) Entrant’s name, address and phone number must be included in the email. One email per photo submission. Email single entries to topnotch@islander.org.

5) Entrants by their submission agree that The Islander may publish their pictures for local promotion. Entrants must provide the original large-format digital image if requested by the contest editor. All photos submitted become the property of The Islander. The Islander and contest sponsors assume no responsibility for maintaining submissions.

Entrant must provide the name and address of any recognizable persons appearing in the picture with the email entry.

6) Employees and paid contributors to The Islander and their immediate family members are not eligible.


Man arrested for DUI

thumb image

A 61-year-old man driving in Holmes Beach after drinking at the Drift-In in Bradenton Beach was arrested May 18 for driving under the influence.

Stopped for speeding, Kenneth Belote told a Holmes Beach police officer he was on his way home to Perico Island. Belote is listed in police and court records as living in Rochester, Michigan.

HBPD Officer Alexander Hurt was called to the scene and administered a field sobriety test.

According to Hurt’s probable cause affidavit, Belote said he’d been drinking beer at the bar 15 minutes earlier.

At the police station, Belote provided breath samples measuring 0.159 and 0.149 blood-alcohol content. The legal limit is no more than 0.08.

He was transported to the Manatee County jail, then posted $120 bond and was released.

An 8:30 a.m. June 19 arraignment was assigned by the 12th Circuit Court at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Eyes on the road

The Florida Department of Transportation and Manatee County posted the following notices for the week of June 3:

Longboat Pass Bridge: Major repairs begin June 10 on the Longboat Pass Bridge on Gulf Drive between Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key. Overnight work will continue through the fall.

Coquina Beach: Manatee County is working on the south end of the Coquina Beach parking lot in Bradenton Beach, which is closed.

        Bradenton Beach: Milling and paving continues, with work on 10th Street North east of Gulf Drive; 26th Street North from Gulf Drive to Avenue C; and Avenue C from 26th Street to Gulf Drive.

Holmes Beach: Milling and paving continues, with work on 39th Street from Gulf Drive to Fourth Avenue; Fourth Avenue from 39th to 35th streets; 35th Street from Fourth Avenue to Sixth Avenue; and Avenue E from Gulf Drive to 28th Street.

For the latest road watch information, go online to www.fl511.com or dial 511.

Holmes Beach residents look to restart noise dispute

The city of Holmes Beach is looking to head off another complaint about noise.

Holmes Beach filed a motion to dismiss Richard and Marjorie Motzers’ amended complaint and the Motzers’ attorney set up an Aug. 1 court date to hear the dispute.

Anthony Manganiello III, of Icard Merrill in Sarasota, filed the Motzers’ new complaint, alleging the city failed to prevent residents “from being effectively driven out of their quiet neighborhood by excessive noise emanating from an ever-increasing number of short-term rental properties.”

He argued Holmes Beach police should be ordered to perform non-discretionary, administrative portions of the ordinance.

Thomas Thanas, of the city’s law firm of Dye Harrison, argued against the new complaint saying, “The amended complaint alleges no new facts. The amended complaint cites to no new cases.”

He also said Manganiello’s new argument asks the court to “dissect the city’s noise control ordinance” and separate the discretionary functions from non-discretionary/administrative portions,” which “misses the whole point” of a prior court order.

Twelfth Circuit Judge Charles Sniffin dismissed a prior Motzer complaint March 14, ruling the judiciary cannot interfere with discretionary functions of other branches of government, including an officer’s power to enforce criminal laws or issue civil citations.

An April 1 order in the case clarified that the prior dismissal was “without prejudice,” allowing the Motzers to submit an amended complaint.

The Motzers live in a residential district zoned for duplexes in the 400 block of 56th Street in Holmes Beach, where short-term rental properties on Holmes Boulevard and 55th Street border their home.

The couple first sued the city in June 2018, asking the court to mandate that Holmes Beach and its police department enforce the city noise ordinance, which restricts noise to no more than 65 decibels before 10 p.m. and no more than 50 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The city’s motion to dismiss the Motzers’ second complaint is set for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Anna Maria City Pier inches toward completion

thumb image
Grace Ankers, 82, left, sits next to her husband, Tony, 85, May 21 as they watch construction on the new Anna Maria City Pier. Islander Photos: Cory Cole
Workers walk across plywood placed to facilitate construction and safety on the Anna Maria City Pier May 24. The installation of the IPE planks is yet to come.

Passersby looked on with anticipation the week of May 20 as the Anna Maria City Pier took shape one slat at a time.

That week, i+iconSOUTHEAST was installing pipes, to carry water, gas, communication and electrical lines under the pier decking.

Day after day, people approached and asked questions of anyone wearing hard-hats, just trying to cure their curiosity.

Mayor Dan Murphy said May 24 that work on the pier was going smoothly with no current delays.

The next step Murphy has planned is selecting the contractor for the construction of the restaurant and bait shop at the T-end of the pier. Bids for the work were due May 20.

Four contractors submitted proposals: Burke Construction, D.L. Porter Constructors, Jon F. Swift Inc. and Mason Martin LLC.

Murphy met with the bidders individually May 24 to learn their plans for building the restaurant and bait shop.

The information gained will help set a timeline for installation of the ipe decking, according to Murphy, who wants to make sure the material is not damaged by construction work on the T-end.

Shoreline observation

“If you want a view, this is the pier,” Brad Bernardo said, from his lawn chair at Bayfront Park.

Bernardo, 53, of Bradenton, just finished enjoying an ice cream cone on the beach May 22. He had been visiting the pier with his family for about 20 years.

He said the pier was a great place to spend time with family, enjoy a view, fish or eat ice cream while walking the boardwalk.

Bernardo and many people look forward to the completion of the new pier.

“We would go to Two Scoops and then walk the pier,” Tony Ankers, 85, said.

Ankers and his wife, Grace, 82, were relaxing May 21 at the south end of Bayfront Park, adjacent to the Lake LaVista Inlet in Anna Maria — where they had a view of the progress on the pier.

The couple is from Welshampton, a small town located in Shropshire county in the United Kingdom. The Ankers visited for 30 years and, in 2001, purchased property here.

“We were upset when it vanished,” Grace Ankers said of the pier.

For the Ankers, visiting the pier was a part of their routine. Now they go to Bayfront Park and sit by the water and watch the construction progress on the new pier.

They are anticipating its completion and the day they will savor their ice cream and walk the pier again.

Murphy expects construction on the bents to be completed the first or second week in June.

Regarding the overall completion, Murphy explained the materials are all here. However, the weather will play a major role in the timeline.

The mayor plans the completion of the walkway and T-end by the end of the year.

MPO board: 44th Avenue extension would ease evacuation

thumb image
A Manatee County-Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council map shows evacuation routes, as well as evacuation levels. The evacuation routes off Anna Maria Island are State Road 64/Manatee Avenue and State Road 684/Cortez Road, which does not directly connect with Interstate 75. The evacuation route on the island is State Road 789/Gulf Drive.

For those evacuating Anna Maria Island in advance of a storm, only one route off the island — State Road 64/Manatee Avenue — takes travelers directly to the interstate highway.

But transportation planners hope to improve other evacuation corridors in the region, including the eastward extension of 44th Avenue, which connects with State Road 684/Cortez Road, the other main route off the island in an emergency.

During a meeting May 20 in Sarasota, the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization board voted 13-0 for MPO executive director David Hutchinson to send a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis detailing the importance of funding the 44th Avenue extension.

The Florida Legislature sent DeSantis a budget that includes a line item providing $10 million for crossings at the Braden River and I-75, after Hutchinson told the board the governor “is seeking justification for why that project should not be vetoed.”

Manatee County has funded the ongoing project mostly with impact fees from new construction, leading the governor’s office to question the appropriation of state funding. Also, the Florida Department of Transportation did not request or budget the money.

Establishing 44th Avenue-Cortez Road as a major thoroughfare from the island to Lakewood Ranch would help with evacuating Sarasota and Manatee counties, according to Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, a member of the MPO board.

“It is a very important connector and is vital for evacuations,” said Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie, who represents the three island governments on the MPO board.

Also, the extension would relieve congestion on State Road 64 and State Road 70, which Bradenton Councilman Patrick Roff described as “overloaded,” at maximum capacity.

The extension, he said, is “good for the county. … Good for the state.”

Board members also discussed planned improvements on River Road in Sarasota County, an evacuation route between I-75 and Englewood, and making Lorraine Road a major north-south thoroughfare east of the interstate.

The next MPO meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at the Holiday Inn Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, 8009 15th St. E., Sarasota.