Sarasota News Leader

01/03/2014

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LOOKING BACK YEAR IN REVIEW: SEPTEMBER On Sept. 1 (United States time) Benderson Park won the bid to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships. Photo by Norman Schimmel On Sept. 1, Eastern Daylight Time, the news officially begins to spread among Sarasota County officials that Nathan Benderson Park, located off University Parkway, has won the bid to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships. With a Sarasota/Manatee delegation behind him, Paul Blackketter, chairman of the nonprofit organization that manages events at the park, stood before members of the Congress of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron — the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) — in Seoul, South Korea, to accept the bid. On Sept. 4, Benderson Park hosts a celebration and show of thanks to government leaders, sponsors and supporters who have strived to help the facility achieve this goal. The man arrested on Jan. 7, 2012 for hitting and killing a Siesta Key runner while he allegedly was driving drunk turns down a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 15 years. Instead, Blake Talman, 24, of Bradenton is expected to go on trial in mid-November in connection with the death of 53-year-old Donna Chen of Sarasota. Talman was scheduled to appear in 12th Judicial Circuit Court on Sept. 3 to accept the plea deal on the vehicular homicide charge and multiple counts of DUI damage to property, Assistant State Attorney Amanda M. Gambert tells The Sarasota News Leader in an interview. However, Gambert says she received notification the morning of Sept. 4 that Talman would be rejecting the plea deal after all. She was surprised by the decision, she adds. "We were looking to find a resolution today," Gambert says, "just because we would like to see the family have some closure."

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