Sarasota News Leader

12/13/2013

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With the County Commission wrapping up its meeting schedule in advance of the holidays, I figured we would have plenty of news this week. I did not imagine just how much news — or that the board's actions would be trumped by a plea deal in court. Associate Editor Cooper Levey-Baker learned early this week that, after months of delays, action would be coming fast in Bob Waechter's identification theft criminal case. Cooper was there in court Thursday morning to hear the former chairman of the county's Republican Party agree to a plea deal. Back on the local government side of things, County Editor Roger Drouin spent a long day in Venice Tuesday, when the County Commission heard hours of comments about a proposed puppy mill ordinance. Nonetheless, he was back on the beat Wednesday for discussions of a new panhandling ordinance and Sarasota Military Academy's middle school plans. City Editor Stan Zimmerman has not been idle this week by any means — from writing about eye-opening statistics regarding the revenue potential for an extended Downtown Sarasota Community Redevelopment Agency to reporting on how the Downtown Improvement District might bring in more funds. Not to be outdone, Staff Photographer Norman Schimmel was on St. Armands for the Dec. 6 holiday kickoff and at the Dec. 9 groundbreaking for the county's new Emergency Operations Center. By all means, take your time going through this issue. I have barely begun to touch on the stories we covered. Editor and Publisher

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