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 The North Port Sun Top Stories

School employee charged with computer crimes
Tue  Nov 25 2014 11:59AM
SARASOTA COUNTY — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Sarasota County Schools employee for intentionally launching a software program that caused widespread computer problems for the school district … Find out how to read more online.
Manatees moving into winter waters
Wed  Nov 26 2014 08:31AM
With the onset of cold fronts, manatees are heading to their warm water havens. Manatees seek out creeks, canals and other warm waters in Lemon Bay, the Myakka River, Charlotte … Find out how to read more online.
Retailers, shoppers prep for Thanksgiving sales
Wed  Nov 26 2014 08:31AM
Getting in line at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day for a wristband for a $115 television or a $399 PlayStation at Walmart may be way too late. Although wristbands will be … Find out how to read more online.
Huskys headed to nationals
Tue  Nov 25 2014 12:15PM
The North Port Huskys 14-year-old-and-under football team is headed to the American Youth Football nationals and Walt Disney World. North Port (13-0) gained the berth with a smashing 31-0 victory … Find out how to read more online.
Sellers grab upper hand
Sun  Nov 23 2014 08:30AM
With single-family homes posting strong gains in both sales and median sales prices over the last year, the region has emerged as a seller’s market for the first time since … Find out how to read more online.
North Port accepting entries for Poinsettia Parade
Wed  Nov 26 2014 08:30AM
NORTH PORT — Parade entries are now being accepted for the 2014 Poinsettia Parade, scheduled for 5 p.m. Dec. 13 on North Port Boulevard. Talented groups, entertaining specialty units, floats … Find out how to read more online.
Turkey day weather dries out
Mon  Nov 24 2014 08:30AM
The sun should come out on Thanksgiving Day after being wet and soggy earlier in the week. Today, the forecast is partly sunny skies with highs in the mid 80s … Find out how to read more online.
Local man served with 104th Timberwolf Division during WWII
Mon  Nov 24 2014 12:47PM
Ralph Cook of Venice ended up a chaplain’s assistant serving with the 104th “Timberwolf Division” in Europe during World War II after flunking an eye exam to enter pilot training … Find out how to read more online.
‘Small Business Saturday’ promotes shop-local culture
Sun  Nov 23 2014 08:30AM
Small-business owners agree that creativity and inspiration are two ingredients that set local businesses apart from their larger, corporate competitors. “There are a lot of creative things going on locally,” … Find out how to read more online.
Commission cuts district map choices
Sat  Nov 22 2014 08:30AM
NORTH PORT — Options for the proposed district map were cut in half by commissioners at a special meeting Thursday evening. The issue of drawing up districts first came up … Find out how to read more online.
Schools, some parents unite on testing concerns
Thu  Nov 20 2014 08:30AM
CHARLOTTE COUNTY — Jerry Beard saw his 9-year-old son curled up on the floor a few weeks ago. “(He said) he’d rather kill himself than go back to class the … Find out how to read more online.
Block Party canceled for 2015
Fri  Nov 21 2014 08:30AM
PUNTA GORDA — The Punta Gorda Block Party, one of the largest street festivals in Southwest Florida, has been canceled for 2015. Punta Gorda Days Inc., the nonprofit group that … Find out how to read more online.
Outside law firm investigates internal North Port complaint
Fri  Nov 21 2014 08:30AM
NORTH PORT — North Port city officials have confirmed that an outside law firm has been hired to investigate a “hostile workplace” complaint made toward aquatics technician Rich Tirado. City … Find out how to read more online.
Report: Man made porn of friend’s son, 12
Fri  Nov 21 2014 08:30AM
PORT CHARLOTTE — A local man is accused of having sexual contact with a 12-year-old boy, and taking pornographic pictures of him while his mother was in jail, according to … Find out how to read more online.
Hire pending for new SCAT chief
Thu  Nov 20 2014 08:30AM
SARASOTA COUNTY — Rocky A. Burke of Lexington, Ky., has been offered the position as the new director of Sarasota County Area Transit. Burke, 59, has more than 15 years … Find out how to read more online.
Groups keep the ‘giving’ in Thanksgiving
Thu  Nov 20 2014 08:30AM
ENGLEWOOD — Pat Knox is already giving thanks for Thanksgiving. “Right now, we’ve been blessed, blessed,” Knox said. Donations from the Lemon Bay Sunrise and Englewood rotaries, the Englewood Lions … Find out how to read more online.
New district maps to be presented
Fri  Nov 21 2014 01:24PM
NORTH PORT — Residents who have continued to support the formation of districts for City Commission candidates will now have the chance to voice their opinions on the proposed plans. … Find out how to read more online.
Enjoy a free guided walk
Wed  Nov 19 2014 08:30AM
I usually worry about 18-legged, venom-oozing snakes that have so many large, blood-dripping fangs they would be called alli-conda-monsters. This is what I picture every time I hear the rustling … Find out how to read more online.
Sarasota School Board, union reach contract accord
Sun  Nov 16 2014 08:30AM
SARASOTA COUNTY — The negotiating teams for the Sarasota County School Board and the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association reached an agreement Friday on a contract for the 2014-15 school year. The … Find out how to read more online.
LBHS grad helps to save three friends’ lives
Mon  Nov 17 2014 11:32AM
ENGLEWOOD — Over the car radio, Lance Cpl. Taylor Reilly heard his friend’s car get hit by a truck with no lights on. He jumped out of the vehicle and … Find out how to read more online.
County widens utilities audit
Wed  Nov 26 2014 08:31AM
MURDOCK — Charlotte County is expanding the outside audit that will look into the operations of the utilities department. On Tuesday, commissioners unanimously agreed to add two risk areas to … Find out how to read more online.
Sarasota Schools employee charged with computer crimes
Wed  Nov 26 2014 08:31AM
SARASOTA COUNTY — A Sarasota County School District employee has been charged with allegedly causing nearly three days of disruptions to district computer systems last month. Michael A. Levanti, 28, … Find out how to read more online.
Residents encouraged to donate to ‘12 Days of Giving’
Wed  Nov 26 2014 08:31AM
NORTH PORT — The city is sponsoring its eighth annual “12 Days of Giving,” which kicks off Monday and runs through Dec. 12. Residents, organizations and businesses are encouraged to … Find out how to read more online.
YMCA to move to storefront next month
Tue  Nov 25 2014 12:15PM
NORTH PORT — The new North Port Family YMCA under construction in the Winn-Dixie plaza is set to open in mid-December. The fitness center, currently operating at its Dallas White … Find out how to read more online.
Police: Female high school student organized prostitution ring
Tue  Nov 25 2014 12:15PM
SARASOTA COUNTY — Two people were charged Friday, including a 17-year-old girl, in connection with a prostitution ring that used underage girls from area high schools, according to the Venice … Find out how to read more online.
Entries sought for gingerbread house contest
Tue  Nov 25 2014 08:30AM
NORTH PORT — No confection symbolizes the holidays quite like gingerbread in its many forms, from edible houses to candy-studded gingerbread men to spiced loaves of cake-like bread. This year, … Find out how to read more online.
Officials offer holiday safety tips
Mon  Nov 24 2014 08:30AM
Flames shot through the rooftops of two Los Angeles homes last Thanksgiving as firefighters arrived. Cooking the turkey had gone terribly wrong, sending an elderly woman to the hospital. Witnesses … Find out how to read more online.
Mud run, festival get folks back to ‘Nature’
Sun  Nov 23 2014 08:30AM
PORT CHARLOTTE — At a recent get-together in Englewood, Ann Gillis resolved that it was time to try her first long-distance run ever. But, like many post-cocktail decisions, it was … Find out how to read more online.
Sun  Nov 23 2014 08:30AM
There’s no turning back for bargain hunter Melanie White. “I have shopped Black Friday every year since I was 16,” she said. “I am almost 40. I do it because … Find out how to read more online.
Jobless rate dips
Mon  Nov 24 2014 12:39PM
Area unemployment numbers continued their downward trend in October, aided by the triple threat of an improving economy, returning snowbirds and the approaching holidays. The unemployment rate in Charlotte County … Find out how to read more online.
Inmate injured in prison transport crash
Fri  Nov 21 2014 08:30AM
ENGLEWOOD — Martina Tatarcyk was horrified when she got a call saying her son was in surgery following a crash on Interstate 4 while being transported from prison back to … Find out how to read more online.
Herald-Tribune newspaper sold again
Fri  Nov 21 2014 08:30AM
New Media Investment Group, the parent company of GateHouse Media, said Thursday that it had acquired “substantially all of the assets” of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the other newspapers in … Find out how to read more online.
Big raise for airport chief
Fri  Nov 21 2014 08:30AM
PUNTA GORDA — It was perhaps the longest discussion the Charlotte County Airport Authority has had in years. But when it was all said and done, authority commissioners agreed Punta … Find out how to read more online.
Sting nets 20 arrests
Fri  Nov 21 2014 01:24PM
SARASOTA COUNTY — The Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that a special operation that targeted unlicensed contractors resulted in 20 arrests. Among them was North Port resident Eric Larson, 48, of the … Find out how to read more online.
Bombs away
Thu  Nov 20 2014 08:30AM
SOUTH OF PUNTA GORDA — In a desolate part of Charlotte County near the Zemel Road Landfill, temperatures lingered in the 40s Wednesday morning. But there was plenty of heat. … Find out how to read more online.
‘Citizen’s petition’ calls for Trader Joe’s
Wed  Nov 19 2014 08:30AM
NORTH PORT — A Facebook page advocating for a Trader Joe’s grocery store in North Port has begun to receive support from city residents. Rich Suggs, a city resident and … Find out how to read more online.
North Port, Sarasota officials to be sworn in this week
Sun  Nov 16 2014 08:30AM
Monday morning will bring the swearing-in of re-elected North Port City Commissioner Linda Yates, along with new City Commissioner Jacqueline Moore. Moore, 64, and Yates, 50, will be sworn into … Find out how to read more online.
Prepare for cooler weather, thunderstorms
Mon  Nov 17 2014 08:30AM
Residents may want to bundle up and stay inside once a stronger cold front hits the area. The cold front that is moving through is stronger than the one that … Find out how to read more online.
Social media danger zone
Sun  Nov 16 2014 08:30AM
When two young Port Charlotte women drove to the Miami area recently, they met up with a couple of men they had been talking to online. Those men have been … Find out how to read more online.
Growing sentiment: Charlotte’s economic health will be hurt if free-falling school scores continue
Sun  Nov 16 2014 08:30AM
Leaders are worried about the economic health of Charlotte County as the school district moves closer to the state’s bottom in rankings. Young professionals, for example, already bypass Charlotte for … Find out how to read more online.