Local

Email threatens to blow up schools in Charlotte County

Charlotte County received the threat through their food service department at 5:15am. The message threatened that if the school did not promote the sender's group to area media within three hours, they would blow up 40 schools across the state.

Names of two people killed in head-on collision in North Port released

Suncoast makes list of metro areas with highest positive job growth

Get ready to pack your bags, Allegiant Air is now offering nine new routes ahead of the holidays

Allegiant Airlines offering nine new nonstop flights

First Alert Weather: Cooler weather just days away!

Continued Coverage

FHP investigates I-75 crash that killed a Sarasota man

Overcrowding at Venice High School Prompts Sarasota County School District to Discuss Options

Top 5 diets recommendations on the Suncoast

Local organizations continue to search for a cure to help veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Drugs found by deputies investigating shooting in Charlotte County

“Human error” leads to a recount of the recount in Manatee County

  Two-alarm fire at metal and recycling plant sends large plume of smoke over Sarasota

A two-alarm fire started at Suncoast Metals on 51st Street, a metal and recycling plant. The fire started in a pile of rubble and was caused by friction. Fire officials say as the items in the pile rubbed against one another while being pushed and pulled, it got hot enough to start a blaze.

Why you should avoid the Secret Sister Gift Exchange on social media

The Secret Sister Gift Exchange is a popular scheme making its way around social media, but the Better Business Bureau warns to steer clear of this "illegal scam."

The Latest: Lawsuit wants Scott banned from role in recount

A Florida judge said he's seen no evidence of wrongdoing in the vote-counting in Broward County and urged all sides to "ramp down the rhetoric."

Crane tilts, hits gym in Bradenton

The crane was doing work next to the Crunch Fitness at University and North Lockwood Ridge in Bradenton when it tilted over, crashing into the gym. A person ABC7 spoke with said they were working inside when they heard a thud and were later evacuated from the building.

  November Chalkboard Champion for Sarasota County: Mrs. Conley from Atwater Elementary

Sarasota police officer removed from plane for allegedly being intoxicated, shoving airline staffer

Sarasota School District investigating ‘inappropriate’ Planned Parenthood video shown to seniors

First Alert Weather: Unsettled warm weather till Friday then cooler

The future of Sarasota County’s Legacy Trail

No injuries reported in Sarasota house fire

The Latest: Broward recount delayed because of problem

Broward County is scheduled to begin counting about 700,000 ballots Sunday morning, but a tested machine wasn't registering all ballots. Republican representatives asked that all machines be retested and county officials agreed.

Deputies searching for vehicle burglary suspect

Manatee County Sheriff's Office is asking the public to help identify an unknown male suspect that allegedly stole from multiple vehicles in the Braden Oaks neighborhood.

Man attacked by alligator, hospitalized

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told news outlets that the 30-year-old man was bitten on the leg Friday morning at Pero Family Farms near Delray Beach.

First Alert Traffic: Port Charlotte man killed in car crash, driver fled on foot

Troopers say Shea entered the intersection of US-41 and Jacaranda Blvd. with a green light and another vehicle failed to yield, striking the left side of Shea’s vehicle. Shea became separated from his vehicle and was pronounced deceased on scene.

Florida Sec. of State orders ballot recount in Senate, governor, cabinet races

Florida is once again at the center of election controversy, and the deeply purple state learned Saturday there will recounts in three key races.

Venice High School student battling cancer granted wish to E! People’s Choice Awards

Sydney Hampton, an 18-year-old Osprey resident who has undergone chemotherapy and surgery for a rare form of cancer, was pulled from class this morning to begin her wish to be a VIP at the E! People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles.

Florida man catches record-setting 17-foot python

Kyle Penniston, of Homestead, made the solo capture of a 17-foot, 5-inch female Burmese python while hunting on SFWMD lands in Miami-Dade County late Monday night. The mammoth snake weighed in at 120 pounds. It's the third caught as part of the program that measured more than 17 feet.

RED TIDE REPORT: Levels generally decrease in Manatee and Sarasota counties

After Hurricane Michael plowed through the Gulf of Mexico, red tide essentially disappeared from the shoreline. But over the past two weeks, red tide has returned, being found in high concentrations from Manatee to Charlotte counties and turning the sample map red.

Vote tallies due in Florida’s hotly contested elections

At stake was the tight and acrimonious U.S. Senate race between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. The governor's race between former Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, might also face a recount.

Will three races in Florida - U.S. Senate, Governor, and Agriculture Commissioner - head to possible recounts?

Florida is now looking at three races - U.S. Senate, Governor, and Agriculture Commissioner - that may be heading to possible recounts. As of Thursday afternoon, here’s what those races looked like.

Local hotel owner says business is rebounding after months of low occupancy from red tide

Suncoast hotels may be seeing the beginning of a rebound, after hitting an all-time low for visitors.

Recount would be costly statewide including Sarasota and Manatee County

As a recount looms in the state of Florida in some key races including the Senate race and the race for governor, many people are feeling a sense of deja vu and the cost of a recount.

Scott and Nelson both seek courts to intervene in battle for U.S. Senate seat

The deeply purple state will learn Saturday whether there will be recounts in the bitter and tight U.S. Senate race between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson; and in the governor's race between former Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and the Democratic mayor of Tallahass

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: Four burglary suspects rob convenience store

According to the Sarasota Police Department, video shows a silver type color 4-door sedan back into a parking space and four males exiting the vehicle and approaching the front door. One of the occupants was carrying a large rock and threw it through the front door.

North Port man arrested on child pornography charges

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 24-year-old man Thursday for Transmission and Possession of Child Pornography.

Would you allow Facebook cameras into your home?

With over 2.27 billion active monthly users on Facebook, this social media site continues to broaden their brand. Once a college posting site, now a marketplace, video chat center, messaging spot and much more. Now it has a new smart camera device that will bring it directly into your home.

Christmas in November?

Are retailers starting the holiday season too early?

VIDEO: Early look at the Siesta Key Crystal Classic

Enjoy this sneak peek at the sand sculpting festival!

VIDEO: Two F-15s fly over SRQ Airport practicing approaches

ABC7 received a handful of messages from those who saw the two United States Air Force F15s and who wanted to know what was going.

Scott files lawsuit as lead on Nelson narrows in U.S. Senate race and possible recount looms

Rick Scott, as outgoing governor, said at a news conference Thursday night that he was asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate elections offices in the Democratic strongholds of Palm Beach and Broward counties, questioning whether they were trying to inflate the Democratic vo

First Alert Weather: One day away from weather changes

Today will continue the warm and humid weather we have seen all week. Seabreeze winds in the afternoon will aggravate the impacts of red tide at our beaches today, however with a frontal passage tomorrow a wind shift out of the northeast or east will improve beach conditions

North Port woman’s murder leads to changes at 911 centers around the country

It was the kidnapping, rape and brutal murder that shocked Sarasota County back in January of 2008. Nearly eleven years later Denise Amber Lee, a North Port mother of two continues to be on the minds of a lot of people, especially her husband Nathan Lee.

  How a local man feels after he gets back his right to vote

While some people may be experiencing voter fatigue after the election earlier this week, one group of people cannot wait for their next chance to go to the polls. We're talking about Floridians with felony convictions who just got back their right to vote.

Chalk Festival rescheduled until 2019 due to red tide

The Chalk Festival features pavement artists who turn the airport runway surface into a museum-in-motion, creating oversized masterpieces using chalk as their medium. The Board of the Directors for the Avenida de Colores voted to reschedule the festival in late September, but did not set a new date.

Pedestrian dies after being hit by car in Port Charlotte

It happened at shortly before 7am at Aaron Street and Gertrude Avenue. Troopers say the pedestrian was in the crosswalk when a driver turned right onto Aaron Street and struck the pedestrian with his vehicle.

After one cyclist dies from tragic accident, Suncoast residents demand safety changes

The cycling community and many residents on the Suncoast are now demanding change after learning one of the four bike riders hit by a car last week has died. The other three are still recovering from their injuries.

New transgender rules in Sarasota County spark controversy

On Tuesday evening, Sarasota County School Superintendent Todd Bowden released the transgender guidelines that allow students to use restroom and locker rooms that fit their gender identity.

Florida’s racing greyhounds will need to be adopted over next two years after vote

A measure to ban greyhound racing in Florida was passed with overwhelming support on Tuesday.

Race for state Commissioner of Agriculture heading to possible manual recount

Matt Caldwell, a state House member from North Fort Myers, led by less than 13,000 votes late Wednesday morning in the Cabinet race against Democrat Nikki Fried. Slightly more than 8 million votes were cast in the race, according to numbers posted by the Florida Division of Elections.

State election site shows recount looming in Florida governor race

The campaign says it's monitoring the situation and preparing for a possible state-mandated recount.

Political author argues City Commisioners' decision to extend their terms is undemocratic

The City of Sarasota is changing the date of elections which will extend the current commission's terms by 18 months.

VIDEO: Man steals thousands of dollars worth of tools from boat storage facility

It happened around 4:30am last Friday at the Emerald Point Condos boat storage on Marion Avenue. The suspect cut two holes in the fence after parking his silver or light-colored, four-door pickup at the business next door on Orchid Drive. In the video, you can see the suspect’s pickup in the top rig

Operation “Spice Spice Baby” uncovers synthetic drugs in North Port

Officers wrapped up operation “Spice Spice Baby” on Kenwood Drive, seizing 154 bags of labeled synthetic cannabinoids, aka Spice, two handguns and a large sum of cash.

Man who escaped from jail in Ohio captured by Sarasota deputies

Early Thursday morning, police in Venice were investigating a vehicle theft when the occupants fled on foot. Three out of the four were captured and the fourth was identified as 30-year-old Christopher William Tolle.

Red tide has returned, continues to impact Suncoast beaches

It’s a nuisance people were hopeful was gone, but red tide is still lingering here on the Suncoast, especially over the last week.

By 2020 there will be no more dog racing in Florida

According to the group Grey2K USA Worldwide, every three days, a greyhound dies at a Florida race track. But that will change after amendment 13 passed Tuesday, which will end dog racing in the state of Florida.

Manatee County teacher fired after being arrested, charged with soliciting a minor

Austin Pearce, 28, was arrested Tuesday by St. Petersburg Police on charges of solicitation of a child to engage in sexual battery, possession of material including sexual conduct by a child and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

First Alert Traffic: All lanes cleared on I-75 South

The accident happened shortly after 5pm Wednesday between the exits for Kings Highway (Exit 170) and Toledo Blade Boulevard (Exit 179). All lanes were closed for around 30 minutes before vehicles were able to start trickling by the accident scene.

  Two suspects sought for an alleged “Quick Change” fraud

On Monday, November 5, the two suspects used distraction techniques and made off with about $150, and a side of fries, at the Zaxby’s on Cochran Blvd.

MIDWEEK RED TIDE UPDATE: High concentrations continue along the Suncoast

FWC reports Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties had high concentrations, along with some medium concentrations in the same general area. Compared to last week, concentrations generally decreased in Sarasota County but increased in Charlotte County.

8 teams compete for world renown sand sculpture competition during Siesta Key Crystal Classic

The festival on Friday, Nov. 9 is The Crystal Classic between master sand sculptors and also features live music, food, drinks and more. A three-day “Quick Sand” competition, free sand sculpting lessons, demos and an amateur competition on Saturday will allow the beach community to have more fun in

Why DO we vote on a Tuesday in November?

Why are elections held on Tuesday in November? Many Americans have asked this question and over time some have debated changing the date.

Name of bicyclist who died after vehicle crashed into four bicyclists in Venice released

Sarasota Memorial Hospital has announced that one of the four bicyclists struck by a car driven by a 91-year-old woman last Tuesday has died. According to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, one patient has died, one has been discharged from the hospital and the other two are still hospitalized.

Emergency renourishment of Lido Beach ramping up

Over the next few days, the contractor will begin laying pipe and bringing in equipment. Once everything is in place, the renourishment project will begin and that could be as early as this weekend.

Want to Get Rid of Your Gun? Here’s How

Anyone who wants to get rid of an unwanted firearms at the station - no questions asked - is encouraged to do so. If you’re unsure if the firearm is loaded, officers can assist you and get it from your car. They will also be giving out free gun locks during the event.

Three people living in Tampa-area indicted for allegedly running IRS scam using India-based call centers

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida has indicted 31-year-old Nishitkumar Patel, 27-year-old Hemalkumar Shah, and 22-year-old Sharvil Patel, all of Tampa, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and extortion, and substantive counts of wire fraud and extortion. Nishitkumar Pate

Boat stuck on the rocks at Caspersen Beach

The 34-foot boat is stuck there as rough seas, the size of the vessel and issues with the boat owner’s registration delay its removal process.

List of official winners in Election Day 2018, amendments that passed

You can see our full list of results here, but here is a short breakdown of winners.

Nelson calls for recount in race against Scott for U.S. Senate

With all precincts reporting early Wednesday, Scott held a lead of 38,717 votes out of more than 8 million cast — a margin of less than one half of 1 percent. Under state law in Florida, a recount is mandatory if the winning candidate's margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.

GOP’s DeSantis defeats Gillum in Florida governor’s race

DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before he got into the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and came to Florida two more times to propel him past Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gil

Florida passes amendment to restore felons' voting rights

Supporters said the state's current system was too difficult and arbitrary. It required felons to wait at least five years after completing their sentence before they could file a request with the governor and Cabinet — who then considered the requests individually.

Suncoast Voters Running Into Problems at the Polls

As voters across the Suncoast were heading to the polls today, some encountered long lines and others were turned away first thing this morning.

Suncoast voters hit the polls in large numbers on this Election Day

The Supervisor of Elections in both Sarasota and Manatee Counties believe when all is said and done, they will have record numbers of voters in this election compared to the mid-terms four years ago.

Libraries in Manatee County offering free online courses in computer programming, graphic design, business topics and more

Lynda is a premier online learning resources which offers more than 4,000 courses, covering technical skills, creative techniques and business topics. Users of Lynda are able to learn self-paced language tools, listen to over thousands of eBooks/audio books, access digital versions of popular magazi

Free HIV and STD testing in upcoming clinics in Sarasota

The free testing will be held on November 7 from 6-8pm at Bethel Christian Methodist Church located at 1719 22nd Street in Sarasota.

Steady voting lines in Sarasota County on election day

Steady lines at Sarasota voting polls as of noon

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: Man grabs woman, forces her to leave grocery store during domestic battery incident

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office charged a 22-year-old Sarasota man with False Imprisonment and Domestic Battery following an altercation with a woman at a Sarasota grocery store.

Deputies looking for man who tried to drown K9 officer

On Saturday, deputies were called to the 7-Eleven on Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte for a retail theft. Matthew Christopher Johnson, 37, and another man were stopped by a deputy in the parking lot after a clerk identified them both as suspects.