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HOW MANY OATHS TOP STORIES The Florida Republican Party says a newly elected Sarasota County committeewoman cannot take office because she failed to file a state loyalty oath — Rachel Brown Hackney This year for the first time, Sarasota County resident Linda Long decided to run for elective office. "People had been encouraging me to do so for a long time," she told The Sarasota News Leader this week. "I felt this was the right time and the right position." The "right position" was Republican state committeewoman, a liaison role between local party members and state party officials. Long won resoundingly in the August primary, taking almost 41 percent of the vote. However, because of a dispute with the Republican Party of Florida, it appears the second-place finisher in the race, Kathleen "Casey" Pilon — wife of state Rep. Ray Pilon — will be taking the oath of office on Dec. 1 instead of Long. On Oct. 6, during the quarterly meeting of the RPOF in Orlando, Long says she and other committee people who won their races learned that because they did not file the official state party loyalty oath in a timely fashion, they were being disqualified as office-holders. (Full story here) A NEW SCHOOL FOR SARASOTA Sarasota County's 10th charter school wins approval, but change is in the air for charter schools — Scott Proffitt The Sarasota County School Board chambers had a stand- ing-room-only audience on Oct. 16 as supporters of three charter schools up for approval awaited the board's decision. On a unanimous vote, Sarasota Academy of the Arts won the board's approval. The other two applicants — The Classical Academy of Sarasota and the Florida Center for Early Childhood Starfish Academy — were voted down. "Being a charter school gives us the opportunity to expose more children to the arts and affords more students in the community a chance to participate in the arts in a small school setting," said Cecilia Blankenship, the new principal of Sarasota Academy of the Arts. Kathryn Shea, president of the Starfish Academy, said, "We respect the decision of the board. The last thing I want to have happen is to start this and fail." Shea said she plans to make changes in the school plans, as recommended by Sara- sota County district staff and the board, and apply again next year. (Full story here) AT A GLANCE

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