Sarasota County releases 2018 annual report

The 2018 report breaks down the county's most important projects, initiatives and accomplishments. It focuses on how local government works for the taxpayer and lists how tax dollars are being spent.

Report: NFL to consider making pass interference calls reviewable after NFC Championship non-call

Aspiring Suncoast filmmakers pitch ideas to Hollywood professionals

Kamala Harris announces she will run for president

MLK holiday offers stage for Democratic hopefuls

Shutdown goes on as Trump offer doesn’t budge Democrats

The State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota hosts Annual MLK Day of Service

Continued Coverage

Sarasota set to be named one of the five destinations on the US Civil Rights Trail, on MLK Day 2019

First Alert Weather: A cool week ahead with multiple cold fronts

Mother found passed out on top of 1-year-old charged after his death

Suspect accused of killing 4, including baby, shot dead by deputies to save young girl

At 30-day mark, shutdown impasse remains over border funding

MANATEE COUNTY: Cold shelters set to open at the Salvation Army in Bradenton

Martin Luther King Jr. Scheduled events in Sarasota for 2019, Renee Gilmore hosting MLK Breakfast

On Mon. Jan 21, marks the 36th year President Ronald Reagan signed a bill in 1983 designating a federal holiday honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to be observed on the third Monday of January.

FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Cold weather shelters set to open tonight

The cold weather shelters are set to open tonight in Sarasota County.

Mother, her boyfriend arrested after toddler dies of ‘brutal blunt force trauma’

The suspects are both being held without bond on various charges related to the boy’s death, sexual abuse and child pornography.

Mexican pipeline explosion kills 73, leaves nightmare of ash

Video footage showed flames shooting high into the night sky and screaming people running from the explosion, some burning and waving their arms.

  Accused child predator used ‘Fortnite’ to lure teen into sexual relationship, deputies say

Tornado devastates Downtown Wetumpka

MANATEE COUNTY: New and gently used blankets and towels needed for Animal Services

VIDEO | Multi-vehicle crash on I-75 North in Manatee County

Remembering Sgt. Carter: Law enforcement from around the country attend funeral of fallen BPD officer

JUVENILE FOUND: 15-year-old missing in Manatee County located

Millions of federal dollars set aside for suicidal veterans goes untouched in 2018

Millions of federal dollars set aside to help suicidal veterans went untouched in 2018. Now Congressman Vern Buchanan is calling for answers and local veterans are calling for change.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Fair traffic clogging State Road 776 in Charlotte County

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office advises you to AVOID State Road 776 in the area of the fairgrounds due to traffic congestion.

Two men arrested, accused of holding three Domino’s employees at gunpoint, other suspects still wanted

Police took 18-year-old Trionte Bellamybey of North Port into custody Friday night and arrested 19-year-old Rick White of North Port Saturday morning.

One woman dies after crashing into house, two mailboxes and five reflective roadway markers in Sarasota

A fatal accident was declared after one driver crashed into a house, two mailboxes and five reflective roadway markers before stopping in the grass.

Supervisors Graduate Command Officers Development Course in Sarasota County

Two lieutenants and one sergeant graduated on Friday from the 83rd Command Officer’s Development Course.

Five local student-athletes nominated to play in the 2019 McDonald’s All American Games

Local student-athletes right here in our community were nominated to play in the most recognizable basketball tournament in the country.

  Manatee County Fair utilizes cameras, law enforcement as part of security fleet

Fair officials expect big crowds for opening weekend. They want to make sure visitors are safe before stepping foot on a ride.

Crash sends two vehicles into pond off University Parkway

Crash near University Parkway sends two vehicles into a pond

As Red Tide Lingers on the Suncoast, Tourism Leaders are Working on Keeping Visitors Here As Well

When visitors search Sarasota County online, instead of seeing pictures of our beautiful beaches, they see horrible images of when red tide was taking over the Suncoast.

Gov. DeSantis retracts 46 appointments made by Rick Scott in the days before DeSantis was sworn in

Before leaving office, Scott made dozens of appointments that would need to be confirmed by the State Senate. The appointments, 46 in all, were made between January 4-7, the four days immediately before Governor DeSantis was sworn in.

MANATEE COUNTY: New public art presented at Bradenton Riverwalk from Jane Seymour

Actress and artist Jane Seymour is spending several days here on the Suncoast.

Sony and RCA record labels sever ties with R. Kelly

The record labels have remained silent in light of mounting pressure following a documentary on the singer.

Two men accused of bringing deadly heroin and fentanyl mix to Manatee County

The State Attorney General says in December 2018, an accomplice of 23-year-old Christopher Lavant and 34-year-old Jeffrey Richardson started working with law enforcement. Both were put under surveillance and detectives found the pair delivered 474 grams of methamphetamine and 532 grams heroin mixed

VIDEO: Let’s have fun at the Sarasota Seafood Festival this weekend

If you are looking for a weekend event, ABC7 was able to stop by the Sarasota Seafood Festival as while vendors were setting up.

VIDEO: Bobcat visits patio of Bradenton home

Lenny says every six months or so, he sees a bobcat in his backyard in University Place, just north of the The Mall at UTC. But this was the first time getting a bobcat on camera that wasn't visiting in the middle of the night.

VIDEO: Dozens of stingrays pass close to Siesta Key Beach

Ben said it was "crazy awesome" even though he had to get in the cold waters of the Gulf of Mexico to take video.

Legislation looks to make some items sales-tax exempt to help seniors, disabled live independently

Under a measure filed in the Florida House of Representatives, items such as handrails, bed rails, grab bars and shower seats would be exempt from sales taxes.

Florida Governor DeSantis suspends county elections supervisor

Governor DeSantis announced Friday that he is replacing Palm Beach elections supervisor Susan Bucher, a former Democratic state representative who has held the position since 2008.

Democrats said Russians tried to hack DNC after midterms

According to court documents, the Democratic National Committee said it was the subject of an attempted hack in the days after the 2018 midterm elections, probably by Russian intelligence.

Skier dies after avalanche in NM; 1 in critical condition

A skier has died and another is in critical condition after being buried by an avalanche in New Mexico.

Forty Carrots Family Center celebrating two big milestones

Forty Carrots Family Center is celebrating 25 years and helping 40,000 families.

ICE detained Marine with PTSD after incident

A judge ordered him released on his own recognizance, but authorities in Kent County, MI, turned him over to ICE instead. ICE held him for three days.

  Disabled woman raped, impregnated in care facility in Florida, lawsuit says

The family says she was in no position to give consent because of her profound intellectual disabilities, a neurological disorder called Rett syndrome and other physical ailments. A multi-agency investigation has been launched into Pensacola Cluster, an intermediate-care facility.

Manatee County Fairgrounds opens its gates for the 103rd year

Manatee County Fairgrounds opens its gates

COLD CASE: Deputies searching heavily wooded area for body of woman missing since 1995

Christine Flahive of Punta Gorda was reported missing by her father on January 5, 1995, the day after she went missing. The 42-year-old has not been seen in the past 24 years.

SBA loans are helping local businesses get back on their feet after months of intense red tide

It's been over six months since red tide returned to the Suncoast, costing local businesses millions of dollars in combined losses.

Teen with replica gun shot, killed by police

Authorities say officers in the city of Tempe reported a suspect burglarizing a car Tuesday and that he ran away holding what appeared to be a handgun.

Recall: Chicken nuggets may contain wood pieces

The company became aware of the situation after three consumer complaints were filed. There are no reports of related illnesses from the apparent contamination.

Meet Chalkboard Champion Mrs. Katherine Choate!

Mrs. Katherine Choate is this month's Manatee County Chalkboard Champion!

Sarasota County School District moving ahead with investigation into teacher altercation with student

Brookside Middle School teacher and coach John Russo remains on paid administrative leave tonight, even though battery charges against him have been dropped following an altercation with a 14-year-old student last year at the Sarasota school.

Car burglaries in Manatee County skyrocket in 2018

Car burglaries in Manatee County skyrocket in 2018

Venice Area Will Soon Be Getting An Upgrade With Two, State-Of-The-Art Hospitals

The Sarasota Memorial Venice Hospital will break ground in just a few months, and is expected to open its doors in Fall of 2021. The construction for the replacement Venice Regional Hospital will begin this Summer and it should be finished within 3 years.

SUSPECT WANTED: Man caught on camera breaking into unlocked cars in Manatee County

A man was caught on camera breaking into unlocked vehicles in Palmetto.

State lawmaker wants to map, inspect septic systems across Florida

Septic tanks are designed for use in low-population rural communities where a central sewer system is not feasible. However, for decades in many parts of Florida, developers have often used septic tanks as a cost-cutting measure when building new homes, even in more urban environments.

Bank held up on Fruitville near Cattlemen in Sarasota

It happened around 3:30pm at the Centennial Bank on Fruitville near Cattlemen Road. Deputies remain on scene investigating.

Child Pornography Victim Recruited While Playing Fortnite

On Thursday, Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution announced the arrest of a man accused of offenses related to unlawful sex with a minor including 22 counts of child pornography.

Florida Governor DeSantis wants to end ban on smokable medical pot

DeSantis wants a new law by mid-March that will end a ban on smokable medical marijuana and loosen limits on treatment center licenses, saying voters spoke clearly when they approved medical marijuana in 2016.

GM employees allege nooses, threats, and racist remarks in Ohio plant

One supervisor said ‘there was never a black person lynched who didn’t deserve it’ at a staff meeting, and was never reprimanded.

Manatee County Economic Breakfast in Bradenton

ABC7 attended the Manatee County Economic Breakfast in Bradenton this morning.

Teen flies to Australia to track down grandpa’s Vietnam War helmet missing for 50 years

Brayden Mott made it his missing to get his grandfather's helmet back, which had been missing for 50 years. He mowed lawns to earn airfare.

Government may have split up thousands more migrant families

"The total number and current status of all children separated from their parents or guardians ... is unknown," according to the report. It could be thousands more because family separations were taking place much earlier, during an influx that began in 2017, investigators found.

Brookside Middle School teacher remains on Administrative leave following an altercation with a student

A social studies teacher and coach at Brookside Middle School will remain on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the school district’s investigation into his behavior involving a student.A social studies teacher and coach at Brookside Middle School will remain on administrative leave pend

Cohen paid to rig online polls in Trump’s favor, report says

Cohen paid the head of a small technology company between $12,000 to $13,000 for activities related to Trump’s campaign, things like trying unsuccessfully to manipulate two online polls in Trump’s favor

Amid shutdown, Secret Service agents absorb travel expenses while working without pay

With no paychecks in sight, many in the agency see bank accounts dwindling and short-term debt mounting, which itself creates a potential security threat and puts their jobs at risk.

Trump cancels Pelosi’s overseas trip after her request to postpone State of the Union address

The nation's two most powerful leaders appeared to be engaged in a game of constitutional one-upmanship as negotiations to end the monthlong partial government shutdown failed to produce results.

Suncoast school students won’t go hungry despite shutdown

Manatee and Sarasota County students won't go hungry during the government shutdown.

Local couple giving jackets and blankets to the homeless during 40 degree weather

With this morning's temperatures in the 40s, Julie and John Ferguson of Sarasota collected jackets and blankets to pass out to an appreciative group of homeless people in the Rosemary District.

Food Bank Mobilizes to Serve Community During Government Shutdown in Sarasota

All Faiths Food Bank Mobilizes to Serve Community During Government Shutdown in Sarasota County.

Watchdog: Government may have separated many more children from migrant families

A report from the Health and Human Services inspector general's office finds that family separations were taking place before the spring of last year, when the administration announced its "zero tolerance" policy on the southwest border.

24-year-old woman arrested for Child Pornography in Sarasota County

One woman was arrested for allegedly uploading images of child pornography on social media.

Thieves hit Bradenton woman’s home twice in two weeks

Thieves hit Bradenton woman’s home twice in two weeks

Manatee County man allegedly shot an osprey and could be facing charges

A Manatee County man could be facing serious charges after witnesses say he shot an osprey.

Florida organ donors could get free decals under a new proposed bill filed

Florida organ donors could get free decals for their cars, minivans or trucks under a bill filed Wednesday for consideration during the 2019 legislative session.

Giuliani: ‘I never said there was no collusion’ between Trump campaign, Russia

Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, made the bombshell statement Wednesday, in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo.

California ICE contractor accused in Florida child sex sting

A 35-year-old computer engineer working on contract for Immigration and Customs Enforcement is accused of trying to lure a Florida girl to California to fulfill a "daddy-daughter" sex fantasy.

How the government shutdown could impact HOPE Family Services in Manatee County

The effects of the government shutdown are hitting close to home. Organizations like HOPE Family Services in Manatee County, who help victims of domestic violence, may have to furlough workers.

A bystander rendered aid at the scene of a fiery crash. Then someone took his truck.

That good Samaritan was on the scene to help the victims of a fiery crash, including the suspect.

First Alert Weather: Average temps returning as storms approach on Sunday

Clear skies, dry air, and calm winds will produce the last cold morning on the Suncoast for several days. Suncoast weather watchers reported morning temperatures in the upper 30′s and low 40′s being fairly widespread.