SARASOTA COUNTY - Another year in the South Newsroom comes to an end. Here are some of the top stories.
The future of Warm Mineral Springs in North Port heated up. So did the controversy surrounding free yoga at Venice Beach. "Very un-yoga like. All this fighting," said instructor Elin Larson.
A number of beach closures for a mysterious waste problem. "We follow through on all leads," said Venice Mayor John Holic.
There were also red tide outbreaks and even seaweed woes. Two tropical storms battered the coastline: Debbie and Isaac. "This is as bad as I've ever seen it here," said a beach goer. Despite it all it was a record tourism season.
There were two tornadoes. One in Port Charlotte and one in North Port. "It was a big roar." said one man who's parents home had its roof ripped off.
A Lemon Bay football player can't be revived after a tonsil surgery. A disabled Nokomis artist is being evicted by his sister. North Port high school's former principal George Kenney found himself in court because of performing hypnosis. Receiving a fine and probation. "I am happy this is over. My family and I can move on."
Now families of some students who died after receiving sessions are suing the school district. "I would never accuse someone of this had I not had all the facts," says Paul Freeman who's son Marcus died in a traffic crash. They believe he was performing self hypnosis which he learned from Kenny.
North Port voted for new leaders and new roads. County Commissioner Jon Thaxton termed out. A mysterious fire in North Port left a woman and her son dead. "Somebody actually took that little boys life," said one neighbor.
Authorities with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office say the cold case involving the death of Tara Sadarovich is solved more than a decade later. "I am happy. I am sad," says her mother.
The family of Denise Amber Lee receives a settlement in her wrongful death suit."What we are going through right now with this is nothing like she went through that night," says her husband Nathan Lee.
Tampa Bay Rays minor league prospect Matt Bush is charged with running over a local man while drunk behind the wheel.
The family of Alex Teehee is still looking for the justice nearly 5 years after he is found dead on the side of the road. .They react to the death of Trevon Martin. "We know from experience what his parents are going though."
Disco legend Donna Summer who owned a home in Englewood passes away. Convicted ponzi schemer Art Nadel dies in jail. A local icon in Snook Haven is closed for now. "We are sad and upset about it," said one patron.
Efforts to keep the old circus arena up continue. Construction on the new Venice high school does too. Property values begin to inch up. For the first time in years construction on home projects like Grand Palm in Venice start. "This is the beginning of the big boom. People have postponed their purchase," says head of Neal Communities Pat Neal.
There was the skunk ape. "There is no reason to believe they are not real at all." Two well known dolphin die. Protestors fight for the birds. The internet was a buzz with talk of the Port Charlotte cat with two faces. "What are you talking about? What do mean two faces?"
Throughout the year we recognize those who serve and served. The Vietnam Wall made a visit. "I am going to carry his panel," said one vet helping to set up.
A memorial for those who died in the fight against terror goes up. "It's a tremendous tribute to what the American spirit is all about."
Some made us laugh and others certainly made us cry. A busy year and another to come. Happy New Year from the Seven South Newsroom.