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TOP STORIES HISTORY TALKS Longtime community residents discuss how integration affected Newtown students when school busing was mandated in the late 1960s — Scott Proffitt Carolyn Mason was a teenager in Newtown, preparing to enjoy her senior year in high school, when federally man- dated school busing came to Sarasota County. "My senior year was supposed to be the best year, but it was by far the worst. I remember feeling so alone," she told an audience Tuesday night, Nov. 13, at Crocker Church in Pioneer Park. The vice chairwoman of the Sarasota County Commission, Mason was mod- erating a discussion about integration's effects on Newtown — one in a se- ries of talks being sponsored by the Historical Society of Sarasota County. She shared a table with three other longtime Sarasotans at the front of the church, which dates to 1901. (Full story here) SQUEAKING THROUGH With a split vote, the city's Planning Board gives its approval to Walmart for a supercenter on the site of the Ringling Shopping Center — Stan Zimmerman The surprise was not that the Walmart store proposed on Charles Ringling Boulevard was approved Wednesday eve- ning, Nov. 14. The surprise was that two Sarasota Planning board members found serious reasons to vote against it. By all appearances, this was an open-and-shut case. The growing-ever-emp- tier Ringling Shopping Center, at 97,000 square feet, would be replaced by a 98,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter with a grocery. Every metric — zoning, city codes, parking requirements, traffic — had a green light from city staff. Even the associations for the two adjacent neighborhoods were not op- posed to the project. Those same two neighborhoods — Alta Vista and the Gardens of Ringling Park —fought Ron Burks' high-rise School Avenue project to a standstill several years ago, but this time they were muted. (Full story here) AT A GLANCE

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