DATE: Sept. 23, 2014

SUBJECT: National Fire Prevention Week – Smoke detectors save lives

 The Venice Fire Department wants to remind residents and businesses that smoke detectors save lives.

Every year, the National Fire Protection Agency provides a theme in an effort to prevent fires and reduce fire related deaths.  This year’s theme, observed Oct. 5 – 11, focuses on working smoke alarms. Venice firefighters encourage everyone to make sure their homes are protected with working smoke alarms. The Venice Fire Department recommends everyone should:

  • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home including the attic.
  • Test all smoke alarms throughout the home every month using the red test button.
  • Test smoke alarms positioned high on the wall or ceiling by using the handle of a broom or tall pole to depress the red test button instead of climbing a ladder to reach the button.
  • Replace all smoke detectors in your home every 10 years or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
  • Finally, be a good family member, neighbor or friend and assist someone who may not be able to perform these safety checks on their own.

Every year, nearly 3,500 people die in fire related incidents according to the National Fire Protection Agency.  Many of these deaths occur in the home.  Don’t be a statistic. Take the time to protect yourself and your family, and check those smoke alarms now.  Remember, a broken smoke alarm or one that doesn’t have a battery, is the same as not having a smoke alarm at all.



DATE: Sept. 23, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice Museum and Archives joins Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day Live!

The Venice Museum and Archives (VMA) will open its doors free of charge Saturday, Sept. 27, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 10th annual Museum Day Live! The national event offers free admission to visitors presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket at a participating museum or cultural institution.

“Although the Venice Museum and Archives is always free to the public, it is our privilege to participate in this national program. This Saturday will kick off our seasonal Saturday openings on the first and third Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., through April 4,” Historical Resources Director James Hagler said.

Inclusive by design, the event represents Smithsonian’s commitment to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone, giving museums across all 50 states the opportunity to emulate the admission policy of the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C. Last year’s event drew over 400,000 participants, and this year’s event expects record-high participation.

VMA, 351 S. Nassau St., is located in the charming and historic Triangle Inn building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built as a rooming house in 1927, it currently houses the museum, which is also located within the Venice Cultural Campus that includes the Venice Library, Venice Art Center, Venice Community Center and is across from the Arboretum at West Blalock Park. VMA currently features the temporary exhibit, Journey into the Wild Frontier - Venice Area Early Settlers and Industries from 1867-1921, along with its two permanent exhibits, Venice Area Fossils from the Burgess Collection and Dr. Fred H. Albee: A New Beginning for Nokomis and Venice. The museum is free and open to the public on Mondays – Wednesdays,10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and seasonally on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., through April 4.

The Museum Day Live! ticket is available to download at Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2014 and a list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit:

For more information, contact Rhonda Rogers at, 941-486-2487.  Visit the VMA’s website at and like us on Facebook    

About Smithsonian Media

Smithsonian Media comprises of its flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, as well as Air & Space, and Smithsonian Media Digital Network. Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visit the museums annually.


DATE: Sept. 23, 2014

SUBJECT: Improvement to Venice Municipal Airport coming


The Federal Aviation Administration will pay 90 percent of a $5.3 million taxiway rehabilitation and runway protection zone design project at Venice Municipal Airport. The Florida Transportation Department  and Airport Enterprise Fund will share the balance. The airport portion comes from revenues generated by hangar and land leases. The city’s general fund revenues will not be used for these projects.


FDOT determined Taxiways A and C were in poor condition in 2011. Airport staff removes loose asphalt weekly to prevent it from becoming a hazard to aircraft. The taxiways will be realigned to bring them into compliance with new FAA design standards that will improve safety. Other enhancements include new LED lights and signs for greater energy efficiency. The taxiways will be constructed in part by recycling the existing asphalt to use as a new base course, which will reduce the amount of new lime rock used by 15,000 tons, reduce the cost by $200,000, and remove 1,500 construction vehicles from local roads.


The design to improve the 5,000-foot Runway 13-31 will shift the landing area 727 feet to the southeast, removing 24 single-family homes from the runway protection zone on the opposite end of the runway and consequently farther from the end of the runway. Once the design is complete, construction will cost around $10 million. The year-long construction project could begin as early as fall 2015, depending on availability federal and state grants funds. Once completed, this project will fulfill the city’s master plan for the airport approved in 2011 to enhance both aviation and public safety.


“We are grateful for this partnership with the FAA and FDOT to improve Venice Municipal Airport for the benefit of pilots, visitors and residents alike,” Airport Administrator Chris Rozansky said.


DATE: August 27, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice Police arrest burglary suspect


          Venice Police were looking for a domestic battery suspect and discovered a burglary.

When police responded to a motel on the south end of the island Aug. 26 around 11 p.m., they were told the suspect in the battery case, John Alan Cote, was traveling on foot or in a U-Haul truck south on U.S. 41 Business. While K-9 officers searched the area, other officers were discovering what appears to be items stolen from a Venice business in the motel room.

        Cote was located around midnight and detained. When officers asked where he got the two bottles of vodka he was carrying, he told them it was a gift. The K-9 officers then backtracked to the rear of a business on Avenida del Circo where they found a sliding glass door unlocked. The officers found a supply room containing a large variety of liquor similar to those Cote was carrying. The bottles were also similar to those that officers found inside Cote’s hotel room.

        As the search continued, officers found a clear plastic bag containing clothing and shoes behind the business and a small stack of construction tools. The clothing was identified by the domestic battery victim as belonging to the suspect. Meanwhile, the business owner and an employee verified the tools belonged to the business and noted other property that was missing from the building. A witness confirmed that Cote broke into the business, used the U-Haul truck to transport items, some of which were pawned in Manatee County. The locked U-Haul truck was later discovered in another part of town.

Cote (date of birth: 12-2-68) was arrested and charged with domestic battery and burglary of a business. The investigation is ongoing.

DATE: August 27, 2014

SUBJECT: Changes to DEP rules have positive affect on city of Venice water customers


                Changes of the rules for cross-connection control by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will equal cost savings to residents of the City of Venice. The changes reflect a desire by the state agency to reduce the burden of installation and testing of backflow prevention assemblies for residential water customers.  Changes to the city’s cross- connection control program include:

• Elimination of the requirement of a high cost backflow preventer (the reduced pressure principal) for residential customers except in hazardous conditions to protect the drinking water.

• Elimination of most above ground installations for residential customers.

• Reduction of annual backflow testing for residential customers to once every two years for testable assemblies.

•  Establishment of approval for non-testable dual check valves for residential services.

• Replacement or refurbishment of residential dual check valves every 10 years.

PLEASE NOTE: This agency is a public entity and is subject to Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, concerning public records. Email communications are covered under such laws; therefore, email sent or received on this entity's computer system, including your email address, may be disclosed to the public and media upon request. If you do not want your email address released to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.

DATE: Aug. 27, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice updates CodeRED system

City of Venice to update the CodeRED system


The City of Venice will test and update its CodeRED system Friday, Sept. 12, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Residents can expect to receive a call during this time. If there is no answer, the system should leave a voice mail.


The CodeRED system may be used to alert residents about flooding, boil water notices, hurricane evacuations and other information.


The CodeRED system is a high-speed emergency notification service provided by Emergency Communications Network of Ormond Beach, Fla.


The CodeRED system serves as the backbone of the city’s emergency communications outreach to both citizens and city personnel by using the system capabilities to send telephone calls, text messages, emails and social media in an effort to effectively inform residents to protect life and property. CodeRED was selected for its reliability and accuracy, as well as the system’s global use.


The city has been provided an initial database of residential and business telephone numbers, however all residents living within the city limits are encouraged to visit www.venicegov.comand click on “emergency notification” at the bottom of the page, and then click on the CodeRED Residential and Business Data Collection Page to enroll or add contact information including cell phone numbers, text and email addresses.



DATE: Aug. 25, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice named one of 20 safest cities


Safe Choices Security has named Venice on its list of the top 20 safest cities in Florida. 


The organization compared crime statistics (including both property and violent crimes) of more than 300 cities in Florida to determine its list of the 20 safest cities. The full list of Florida's safest cities may be seen here:

DATE: June 25, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice to enjoy fireworks display on July 4

Venice City Hall will be closed in observance of Independence Day, Friday, July 4. There will be no collection of garbage, yard waste or recycling. It will be collected on the next regularly scheduled day, Tuesday.

The professional fireworks display will be shot from the South Jetty by Garden State Fireworks Inc. at sunset, around 9 p.m. It will be visible from area beaches and other places in town. The South Jetty will be closed from early morning on July 4.

The fireworks display is sponsored by the City of Venice and Venice Sertoma Club. Sertoma Club raises $10,000 each year to supplement the city’s budget of $15,000 for the patriotic event.

The Venice Fire and Police departments recommend people enjoy the professional displays that are approved by the city. Fireworks done by individuals can endanger others, especially in crowded areas. They can also cause brush fires.


DATE: June 20, 2014

SUBJECT: VPd takes part in unlicensed contractor sting


Venice Police Department took part in a three-day multiagency undercover sting that netted 16 arrests with charges of unlicensed contractors and workers compensation fraud.


Those arrested were Michael Burkett, Casey Morris, Charles H. Duff, Daniel T. Richards, Rick Marziano, Brian F. Marlow, Robert Dimenna, Jeffery W. Freed, Michael J. Connor, Henry Willmore-Delos Santos, Efrain Garcia, Danny Huddleston, Robert Vaughn, Kenneth E. Cromer, Jeffrey G. Caridi and Damon P. Ginter.


Besides being charged with violating state regulations, each arrestee was cited by City of Venice Code Enforcement for unlicensed contracting and fined $1,500, for a total $24,000 in civil fines.


The operation was led by the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud and Bureau of Compliance, along with Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Venice City Code Enforcement, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 12th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, and Venice Police Department.


The operation took place June 17 – 19 at Bay Indies Manufactured Home Park, where investigators responded to advertisements of contractors known to be working in the area without a state license. When a suspect arrived and presented a written or verbal proposal, Venice police officers took the suspects into custody, handled the evidence, and transported them to the Venice Police Station to be interviewed by investigators from the participating agencies. Venice Police used a van from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office to transport the arrestees to the North County jail. FDLE provided audio and surveillance.


A 2012 Cadillac SUV eligible for forfeiture was towed to the police station. A notice will be filed this week.


Not only do homeowners and other consumers risk paying for poor work or unsafe work when using unlicensed contractors, but this unlawful activity threatens the livelihood of licensed professionals who have met all the requirements of the Florida state law to provide safe and proper work.


DATE: June 20, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice Police officer’s observant eye leads to arrest


A Venice police officer noticed something just didn’t look right about a man carrying a case of beer down the street from where a beer delivery truck was parked and decided to ask questions.


That’s when Kevin J. Philbin (date of birth: 11-05-1966) was arrested. But the adventure was not quite over for Philbin.


It was around 9:30 a.m. June 19 when the officer noticed Philbin walking along The Esplanade, near the north parking lot at the public beach. When the officer turned around to get a better look, the suspect placed the case of beer he was carrying next to another one and aimlessly meandered about. Learning two cases of beer had been stolen from the truck, the officer placed Philbin under arrest, placed him in the patrol car and drove him to the North County jail.


About that time, some teenagers saw the backup police officer who was still near the parking lot and shared news of a burglary to their vehicle. Someone, they said, stole their wallets and cell phones. The operator of the beach pavilion told the officer he noticed a man in the parking lot who matched Philbin’s description.


About that time, the teens’ parents arrived at the scene and told the officer they have an app that tracks their children’s cell phones and it was noted that the app was reporting the phones to be traveling on Interstate 75, then turning westbound onto Fruitville Road in Sarasota, then stopping at State Road 301, where Philbin was being admitted to the North County jail. A search of his backpack resulted in the discovery of six cell phones and one set of headphones. Final charges included burglary of a conveyance, three counts of grand theft, and petty theft.




DATE: May 12, 2014

SUBJECT: Kids win water poster contest


Every year the City of Venice Utilities Department sponsors a poster contest to promote water conservation. Fifth-grade students at Venice Elementary School and fourth and fifth graders from Epiphany Cathedral School learn about water conservation and then draw posters to help educate others. This year’s theme is Every Drop Counts. The contest kicks off National Water Conservation Week.


Winners from Venice Elementary School are Emily Weber and Paulina Granados Martinez. Finalists are Kayleigh Fell, Emma Larson, Jayde Green, Jordyn Colpitts, Destiny Camarata and Zoe Ring.


The fourth-grade winner from Epiphany is Juliana Courville. Fourth-grade finalists are Diana Labrador, Victoria Gaona, Rachel Dykins and Isabella Hollcraft.


The fifth-grade Epiphany winner is Alexis Myer. Finalists are Julia Bettley, Brianne Giglio and Sophia Coscia.


The winning posters are on display at Venice Public Library through May 16, then may be seen at Venice City Hall from May 19-30. The winners received t-shirts with their winning poster on the front. Finalists received certificates and goody bags.


Cutline: Epiphany Cathedral School poster contest winners, fourth grader Julia Courville (left) and fifth grader Alexis Myer, show the posters they created on the t-shirts they received from the City of Venice Utilities Department. Behind, from left, are Vice Mayor Emilio Carlesimo, Mayor John Holic, Utilities Department Director Len Bramble, coordinator of the poster contest Dorothy Tary, and Water Plant Operator Gary Coble.


Cutline: From left, Venice Elementary poster contest winners Paulina Granados Martinez and Emily Weber stand next to City of Venice contest coordinator Dorothy Tary. Standing behind, from left are Plant Operator Paul Dagley, Council Members Kit McKeon and Dave Sherman, Vice Mayor Emilio Carlesimo, Council Member Jeanette Gates, City Manager Ed Lavallee and Mayor John Holic.

DATE: April 22, 2014

SUBJECT: Venice emergency services rescue swimmers

Venice Fire Department and Venice Police Marine Patrol responded to a report of two kite boarders in the Gulf of Mexico, about 300 yards offshore from Alhambra Road, having trouble swimming to shore April 21 around 7 p.m. When emergency crews arrived at the scene, they found the victims hanging onto their boards as the current and wind were taking them south, away from the shore. Firemedics brought the two victims and their boards onboard. Neither required medical treatment.

DATE: April 9, 2014

SUBJECT: City of Venice seeks lease-holder developer for airport property


The City of Venice is seeking letters of interest to lease and develop an 11-acre parcel of land at the Venice Municipal Airport. The site, commonly known as the circus arena property, is located at 1401 Ringling Drive, with 1,200-feet of frontage on U.S. 41 Business, near the southern island gateway at Circus Bridge.

Submitted letters of interest are intended to assist the city in identifying the highest and best future use of the property. The city intends to establish an attractive gateway that exhibits the charm of Venice, provides amenities for the public, draws visitors, and supports the local economy. The site is zoned commercial intensive and is located within a special planning area called the Southern Gateway Corridor.

Located in Sarasota County, this general aviation airport serves all civilian aviation other than scheduled airline service with two 5,000-foot all-weather runways and is conveniently located near Venice’s beaches, downtown and other amenities. The airport has more than 220 based aircraft. It handled more than 60,000 takeoffs and landings in 2013. Aviation fuels, aircraft maintenance, avionic and storage are among the services provided by businesses on the airfield. The airport is owned and operated by the City of Venice.

The airport was first developed as the Venice Army Air Base. The federal government transferred ownership of the facility to the city in 1947 following World War II, when it became Venice Municipal Airport. The site to be leased was leased to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1960 - 1993.

A site visit takes place April 18 at 10 a.m.  A waiver is required.  The site-visit escort will not answer questions.  All questions must be submitted in writing to city Procurement Manager Peter Boers, at by May 2, 2014 at noon.  Letters of interest must be submitted by 2 p.m. May 15, 2014 to: Peter Boers, Procurement Manager, City of Venice, 401 W. Venice Ave., Venice, Florida 34285.

The complete request for letters of interest is available by calling Onvia DemandStar at (800) 711-1712 or at Proposers may also pick up a copy, at no charge, at the City of Venice Purchasing Department, Room 204, 401 West Venice Ave., Venice Florida 34285. For more information, call (941) 486-2626, ext. 26017.


Date: Feb. 20, 2014

Venice celebrates 50th anniversary of beach pavilion

                                                                   Date: Feb. 20, 2014

Venice celebrates the 50th anniversary of the beach pavilion Feb. 25

Venice Area Beautification Inc. and the City of Venice will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Venice Beach Pavilion, Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 12:30 p.m.

The pavilion, completed in February 1964, was the third beach house built in Venice. The ultramodern hyperbolic paraboloid structure replaced a two-story Italianate structure that once housed the city government offices in its second story. It was built by Mitt Cousins in the 1930s and demolished in 1963 to make way for the open air concession.

The new pavilion was designed by New York architect Cyril Tucker and local engineer Bill Lindh, and constructed at a cost of $54,000. The gull-wing like roof is supported by coral rock walls. David Hamilton headed up the building committee composed of John Hogan, Bill Lindh and Paul Youngberg. Guy Curwood, who was the public works director, oversaw the construction project. Smyth D. Brohard was the mayor at the time.

VABI will unveil a new plaque at the event, which is free and open to the public.

DATE: Nov. 22, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice Police arrest suspected auto thief

Venice Police responded to assist Sarasota County sheriff's deputies when occupants of a vehicle they stopped fled on foot. The incident took place around 5 a.m. Nov. 22 on Albee Farm Road near Magnolia Park Condominiums. Kathryn Brooke Connell (date of birth: Dec. 30, 1984) and Jeffery Eugene Helton (date of birth: March 26, 1982) allegedly fled from the stolen vehicle they were in so quickly the car was left in gear and rolled nearly 100 feet until it ran up on a curb, which stopped it.


The Venice K-9 squad tracked the suspects while other Venice units and sheriff's deputies set up a perimeter. Toward the rear of the residential complex, the K-9 unit found a black bag containing electronics and other items believed to have been taken during burglaries. As they continued to track the suspects, they found Helton hiding in some bushes. Helton allegedly resisted arrest until the K-9 grabbed his leg. The K-9 unit then tracked Connell, who is believed to have driven the car, and found her hiding in the palmettos along Albee Farm Road. She was taken into custody without incident.


VPD units learned the vehicle was stolen from a home on Strada D'Oro during the night.


Helton and Connell were charged by Sarasota County Sheriff's Office with resisting arrest without violence and Connell was charged by Venice Police Department with grand theft of a motor vehicle.


Burglary charges could follow.


DATE: Oct. 29, 2013

SUBJECT: VPD disposes a derelict boat



When a 1986 23-foot Bayliner was sinking on Oct. 25 around 5 p.m. at the Higel Marine Dock, the Venice Police Marine Patrol obtained the registration number on the side of the vessel and contacted the last documented owner. The former owner reported selling the boat three years ago and did not have information about the new owner.


It was determined that the vessel had to be removed under the Sarasota County Derelict Vessel Program, which requires the last registered owner to be responsible for the cost of disposal. In this case, the cost was $1,200, but could have been much more. If the most recently registered owner refuses to pay for derelict disposal, a lien may be placed on that person's vehicle registrations, denying the right to register another vehicle until the lien is satisfied. Venice police remind residents when selling a vessel, ensure the ownership officially transfers through an updated registration, and do not simply sign over a title to a new owner. Otherwise, an former boat owner can be liable years later for disposal.

DATE: Oct. 29, 2013

SUBJECT: Sewage Spill


[The following is in keeping with the City of Venice policy of reporting all sewage spills regardless of size or impact.]

About 5,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a gravity sewer manhole near U.S. 41 Bypass and Substation Road, Oct. 27 around 8 p.m., due to blockage. Most of the spill was vacuumed, the area was disinfected, and the blockage was cleared. No sewage got into any natural body of water. The spill posed no danger to the environment or to humans. All appropriate agencies were notified.

DATE: Oct. 29, 2013

SUBJECT: VPD  arrests alleged aggravated assault perpetrator


Venice Police Officer Kimson observed a black pickup truck with multiple passengers yelling at a white male (Jason Larson) in the parking lot of the Shell gas station, 101 U.S. 41 Bypass S., on Oct. 28 around 10:45 p.m.

As Officer Kimson maneuvered through traffic he called out a disturbance or possible fight and got backup en route. At that time the black truck parked in the north entrance of the Shell station and Officer Kimson witnessed a Hispanic man (defendant Hector Resendez) exit the truck. Larson, who was previously leaving on his bike, stopped, got off the bike, and took off his shirt and assumed a defensive fighting position. As Officer Kimson approached the location, Larson then began running away on the sidewalk eastbound in the 700 block of East Venice Avenue with Resendez chasing after him in a full sprint.

They were only several feet apart when Officer Kimson ordered them to stop, to which they complied. Larson then yelled, "He has a knife!"

A knife was in Resendez's right hand. An uncapped pen was in his left hand. Both parties were detained and the knife collected until more information was collected.


Through investigation, officers were advised that Larson verbally harassed a homeless man (David Whitney) who was asking for money outside the Shell station. Resendez and his friends defended the homeless man and that started the disturbance between Resendez and Larson. Larson was then leaving on his bike when the truck stopped and Resendez exited, continuing the confrontation.  Larson acknowledged the above facts and stated that he was in fear of being stabbed by the defendant so he ran away when he saw the knife. Resendez was arrested and taken to South County Jail, where he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

DATE: Oct. 24, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice Police nab fleeing suspect


A Venice Police officer heard the sheriff's office setting up a perimeter to find a man who fled after a traffic stop, took a position in the area where the subject was thought to be and took him into custody as a sheriff's K-9 flushed the suspect from some overgrowth along Hatchett Creek. The incident took place on Oct. 22 around 3:15 p.m. when Brett Root (Date of Birth: Oct. 13, 1981) was stopped by a sheriff's detective at the corner of U.S. 41 Bypass and East Venice Avenue and took off running across the street to the creek area behind a store and bank. Police learned Root had a driving while license suspended and probation condition prohibiting him from driving. He was arrested and charged with driving while license suspended and resisting arrest without violence.

DATE: Oct. 24, 2013

SUBJECT: VPD continues investigation

Venice Police continue to investigate an accident that resulted in a 15-year-old boy being airlifted to Bayfront Hospital in St. Petersburg with severe injuries. Police were called to Marina Park on Oct. 19 around 3 p.m. by a condominium resident across the Intracoastal Waterway, who reported seeing someone injured at the boat ramp.

The initial investigation determined a group of teens were driving a 1994 Chrysler around the parking lot. At one point, one of the teens was driving recklessly while another teen on the hood, resulting in the injured boy falling to the ground. The children involved in the incident were released to the custody of their parents or legal guardians.


DATE: Oct. 17, 2013

SUBJECT: VPD looking for suspect


A 16-year-old says he was the victim of aggravated battery Oct. 16 around 9:30 p.m. when he was riding his bicycle on East Venice Avenue and was cut off by someone driving a silver Jaguar with a Florida license tag. When the youth yelled at the driver, an altercation began. The youth told Venice Police that the driver got out of his vehicle and allegedly pushed the youth who said he pushed back. The youth said he was cut with a knife and then displayed his own knife in self defense, causing the suspect to flee the area. The youth, who had several surficial cuts from the shoulder to the wrist, went to a nearby house to call police. The suspect is described as a white male in his 70s, with short white or gray hair, average height and build, wearing a gray shirt and gray shorts. Anyone having information about this individual should call the Venice Police Department, Detective Division, at (941) 486-2444. 

DATE: Oct. 17, 2013

SUBJECT: Road closure


As part of a City of Venice stormwater improvement project, the intersection of Ridgewood Avenue and Venetian Parkway will be closed Friday, Oct. 25 for road repairs and paving. Drivers should avoid the area that day and use Pinebrook Road or Bay Indies Boulevard instead.

DATE: Oct. 15, 2013

SUBJECT: VPD looking for burglary suspect


Venice Police were dispatched to 802 E. Venice Ave. after an alarm alerted the department of an intruder Friday, Oct. 11 around 3:15 a.m.. When they arrived, police found the front glass door smashed and peeled back. Several rolls of coins and a piece of cement were found by the door. Officers used a K-9 to track from the business to 1209 E. Venice Ave., then across the street to the back of Colonial Manor where the scent was lost. About 10 cartons of cigarettes and some rolls of coins were stolen. Anyone having information about this case should call Venice Police Department at (941) 486-2444.



DATE: Oct. 9, 2013

SUBJECT: Bring expired meds to VPD Oct. 26


Oct. 26 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Residents of Venice may bring their expired and unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications - pills and capsules -  to the Venice Police Station, 1350 Ridgewood Ave., from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. They should be brought in their original containers.
Medicines kept in home cabinets are susceptible to misuse and theft. Most people who abuse prescriptions get them from family and friends. Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can create safety and health hazards to humans and animals.
Liquids and needles are not accepted. For these, check with Sarasota County Health Department.

DATE: Oct. 9, 2013

SUBJECT: Bring expired meds to VPD Oct. 26

Oct. 26 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Residents of Venice may bring their expired and unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications - pills and capsules -  to the Venice Police Station, 1350 Ridgewood Ave., from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. They should be brought in their original containers.
Medicines kept in home cabinets are susceptible to misuse and theft. Most people who abuse prescriptions get them from family and friends. Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can create safety and health hazards to humans and animals.
Liquids and needles are not accepted. For these, check with Sarasota County Health Department.

DATE: Oct. 8, 2013

SUBJECT: VFD at Farmers Market Saturday


The Venice Fire Department will be at the Farmers Market Saturday, Oct. 12, from 8:30 a.m. - noon to educate adults about how to prevent kitchen fires, as part of the department's Fire Prevention Week activities. Firefighters will discuss the proper use of fire extinguishers, best practices for home safety, and provide tips on how to function in the kitchen in the safest way possible. Free helmets for children will be given away while supplies last. Residents of Sarasota County will be eligible to receive up to two free smoke detectors after filling out a required form and showing proof of residency. Recipients must be present at the time of the giveaway.

DATE: Oct. 2, 2013

SUBJECT: City of Venice flag donation program

Last year, at the suggestion of City Manager Ed Lavallee, the city of Venice initiated a new program to recognize the legacy and courage of those who served in the armed forces to defend the principles of freedom and democracy. One of the ways we Americans express our patriotism is flying the American flag. Often the recipients of ceremonial flags store them away as keepsakes. Through the city's flag donation program, relatives of those honored with flags can see them flying proudly again.
Since beginning the program, the city has received seven flags, all of which have been flown over city government buildings.
The city continues to accept American flags that citizens have received as memorial gifts, or others that individuals or organizations may wish to donate in recognition or in memory of a person or institution. Donors will receive a commemorative letter of appreciation from the mayor and city council. Arrangements may be made to accept the flags publically at a city council meeting if the donor wishes. For information, call the Public Works Department at (941) 486-2422, ext. 30021.

DATE: Oct. 1, 2013

SUBJECT: Jacaranda Boulevard extension ribbon cutting Oct. 7

The City of Venice celebrates completion of the Jacaranda Boulevard extension at a ribbon cutting Monday, Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. at the intersection of East Laurel Avenue and Jacaranda Boulevard. Access to the event is from Laurel Avenue only. The public is invited to attend.

The new north-south connector extends from Border Road to Laurel Road, offering a second point of access for North Venice and greater flexibility for responses from Fire Station 3. It has two paved lanes, bike lanes, a 12-foot multi-use trail, sidewalk on the east side, landscaping, lighting and stormwater ponds. It was funded by impact fees. The property for the main corridor was donated by CNL Bank. Other property for the project was donated by Laurel Lakes Venice LLC.

The project, overseen by Venice City Engineer Kathleen Weeden, was completed under budget and on time. E.T. MacKenzie Inc. was the contractor. Stantec served as engineer of record. King Engineering Associates Inc. provided the conceptual design. CDM Smith provided inspection services. Paving was done by Venice company, Ajax. Sarasota County Transportation Department will take over the maintenance of the road.

 The road will be open to traffic shortly after the ribbon cutting.

DATE: Sept. 30, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice police and firefighters make sea rescue


Venice police and fire departments responded to an urgent call from a boater having a medical emergency around 11:45 a.m. Sept. 28. The fishing trawler with the patient aboard was 25 miles offshore. The police and fire boats were joined by those from Sarasota County Sheriff's office, Sarasota Police Department and the United States Coast Guard. Meanwhile, other members of the Fire Department were onshore coordinating the search for the distress call.
The police arrived first on the scene, transferred the patient onto their boat and headed back to shore. When they were about 5 miles offshore, they met the fire boat, transferred the patient so firemedics could provide a medical assessment and care. The patient was taken to the Crow's Nest and transported to Venice Regional Medical Center for treatment.

DATE: Sept. 30, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice firefighters respond to fire, save adjacent building

Venice firefighters found A-Star Auto and Truck Sales fully engulfed in flames when they arrived at the scene of a fire around 309 S. Warfield Ave. at 12:40 a.m. Sept. 30.
The fire, which was coming through the roof, was threatening the adjacent business. Firefighters succeeded in keeping the fire from spreading. It took nearly 30 minutes to put the fire.  Five units from Venice Fire Department and four units from Sarasota County Fire Department responded to the call. Venice crews were on the scene for more than three hours. The state fire marshal is investigating the fire. The fire caused extensive damage to the property.

DATE: Sept. 28, 2013

SUBJECT: Effects of extended rainfall on wastewater system

Due to the extended rainfall of about 10 inches falling over Venice during a two-day period, the gravity sewer system was surcharged resulting in a discharge from manholes in several areas of town. About 2,500 gallons, of which 600 was recovered by the vacuum truck, escaped from several manholes in the 1100 block of Laurel Avenue, 400 block of East Venice Avenue, and the 700 block of Villas Drive. It happened Sept. 24 - 25. The Venice Utilities Department worked to keep the system pumped down and functionalthroughout the weather event. It is not known how much sewage may have entered natural bodies of water, however, due to the rain it was greatly diluted. City departments have been and remain in close contact with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Sarasota County Health Department on these on other issues.


The Utilities Department urges residents not to open up the sanitary sewer by lifting the manhole covers or removing sewer clean-out caps. When stormwater drains into the sewer system it overwhelms its capacity and can cause sewage to back up in buildings. During a heavy deluge, stormwater may remain standing in streets and lawns, but when it stops raining, it usually drains quickly.

DATE: Sept. 27, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice Police nab robbery suspect



Venice police nabbed a robbery suspect early this morning (Sept. 27). The incident began shortly after  midnight  when police responded to a call at a home on Green Circle. Christopher Bruce Hoeckel, date of birth: Sept. 23, 1986, is accused of getting into a scuffle with the victim at the residence and running from the house after forcefully taking money. The police K-9 was able to track the suspect across U.S. 41 Business to the Venice Regional Medical Center emergency room. Hospital personnel indicated the subject had come and gone quickly. The police dog once again picked up the suspect’s scent and tracked Hoeckel  to an area behind the hospital, where he was taken into custody without further incident and transported to the South County holding facility. Hoeckel was charged with robbery.

DATE: Sept. 26, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice Fire Department observes Fire Prevention Week

Venice firefighters will be visiting area schools and other places to teach fire safety and prevention throughout October in observance of National Fire Prevention Week. This year's theme is Preventing Kitchen Fires.

 According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the most common cause of fires and injuries in the home.


The Venice Fire Department, along with the National Fire Protection Association, has some safety advice for you:

Always be alert when working in the kitchen. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove.

Never leave the kitchen while you are cooking on the stove top. If you must leave. even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

If baking, check it regularly and remain in the home until it is done.

Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove. Flammable items like oven mitts, utensils, food packing, towels and curtains should be well away from heat sources.

Never wear clothing with loose fitting sleeves that can catch fire while cooking.

Always turn pan handles so they are over the stove and not where a youngster can reach them or an adult can accidentally knock the pan over, causing hot food to spill on someone.

Keep a lid nearby that you can use to smother a small grease fire. Slide the lid on the pan and turn off the stove, leaving the pan where it is until cooled.

If there is fire in the oven or microwave, turn off the appliance and leave the door closed.

If you have a kitchen fire, you should leave immediately, taking everyone in the house with you and closing the door behind you to contain the fire. Call 911 after you leave.

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls.

For information, contact the Venice Fire Department, (941) 480-3030




Date: Sept. 24, 2013

Rain Storm Reminders

As of Tuesday afternoon, parts of Venice have had more than 7 inches of rain in two days.


City of Venice residents are reminded not to walk in standing water or allow children to play in it. During intense storms, such as the one we are having with the ground already saturated, the water may not drain as quickly as usual. This gives an opportunity for many health hazards such as bacteria, snakes and other wildlife to proliferate in standing water.
It is also dangerous to drive through standing water where you might not be able to see a sink hole or other hazard recently developed there. Please drive slower than usual and use your headlights.
Sewer manholes should never be lifted and it is never advisable to try to drain stormwater into the sewers. Not only is it an unlawful act, but overloading the capacity with rainwater will cause the pipes to back up into buildings or overflow into streets.
The city's public works, engineering and utilities crews are working to mitigate problems associated with the recent downpour. To report a utilities issue, call (941) 486-2770. To report road problems, contact the Venice Police Department at (941) 486-2444. In case of emergency, call 911.

DATE: Sept. 19, 2013

SUBJECT: Sign code workshop canceled, public hearing scheduled


The City of Venice Planning Commission will hold a public hearing regarding the sign code update  on Oct. 15 at 1:30 p.m., Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave.
Although it was earlier announced there would be another workshop on Oct. 1, that workshop has been canceled.

DATE: Sept. 19, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice Police end burglary streak with arrest


Venice Police arrested David Wixom (date of birth: Nov. 21, 1979) Sept. 17 and charged him with two counts of possession of a firearm by a violent career criminal, two counts of possession of ammunition by a violent career criminal, trafficking stolen property, and possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis. Venice detectives pieced together information to verify an operation wherein a known burglary suspect, Bryce Holder, took stolen goods to Wixom for safe keeping or for exchange of other goods, such as firearms. As a result, numerous burglaries that took place in the city have been solved and property, including guns and jewelry, returned to the rightful owners. Wixom is currently in jail on a $55,000 bail.

DATE: Sept. 19, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice firefighters respond to rollover accident


Venice firefighters were the first on the scene of an accident that took place on Interstate 75 at Mile Marker 197 in Venice Sept. 17. When they arrived, shortly before 4 p.m., they found the driver had been ejected from the vehicle when it rolled several times and came to rest off the side of the highway. The two passengers in the Toyota 4Runner were injured, but walking. The Venice crew assessed the injuries and began to prepare the ejected patient to be transported to a hospital when the ambulance arrived. The other patients also received medical attention. The Venice crew called for the county’s hazmat to deal with minor fuel leaks at the accident site.

DATE: Sept. 11, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice holds sign regulation workshop Sept. 17

Venice businesses will soon have more flexibility in how they attract attention from drivers and pedestrians passing their shops and other buildings. The city is working on a new, more flexible sign code, hoped to be more business friendly than the current one.

Already, the Venice Planning Commission has held two workshops and established a policy task force to make recommendations.

Tuesday, Sept. 17, the Planning Commission holds a public workshop, seeking the opinions of those affected by sign regulations. The meeting takes place at 1:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave.

The object of the new code is to maintain the beautiful ambiance of which Venetians are so proud, while making the use of signs more flexible for businesses.

A number of positive changes have already been proposed, including:

·         Creating the code in a user-friendly document with graphics to illustrate the regulations, as opposed  to them scattered throughout the land development codes as they are now.

·         All commercial properties would be allowed the same advantage only downtown cafes currently enjoy of having portable signs, subject to certain standards.

·         Variable message boards, either with digital or manually changed messages, would be allowed on commercial property.

·         Setback requirements  for ground signs (those placed on monuments, poles or pedestals, but not on buildings) would be reduced.

·      Increases in the amount of space that might be used for signs in windows.

·         Increase in the number of signs exempt from requiring a permit.

·         More permissive building sign placement.

·         Some cases of increased square footage allowed for signs.

·         Administrative relief from the design of ground signs and nonconforming signs.

While these improvements to the sign code will be enjoyed by many local businesses, there will still be some restrictions in the central business district (downtown) and architectural overlay districts. However, those areas will gain broader options than they have at this time.

Everyone with an interest in the appearance of Venice and its sign regulations is encouraged to attend the Sept. 17 workshop.


DATE: Sept. 4, 2013

SUBJECT: Burglary suspect nabbed

The following news release is from Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty:

Suspect:  Ricky Dingler, w/m, 3/27/64

Charges: Burglary of Conveyance, Possession of Burglary Tools, & Warrant for failure to appear on a burglary charge in Alabama.

On Tuesday, Sept. 3, the Venice Police Department received a call reporting that an individual had broken the window on a car in the parking lot of CVS, at the corner of U.S. 41 Bypass and East Venice Avenue, and removed a purse from within the vehicle. The suspect was described as a white male in his 40s wearing a camouflage hat, black t-shirt and shorts with a flourescent green stripe on the sides. The suspect was last seen riding a bicycle toward the rear of Bogey’s restaurant on East Venice Avenue. A perimeter consisting of patrol officers and detectives was established around the industrial area with additional officers searching for the suspect.  As the search for the suspect progressed, Officer Michelle Larock located the stolen purse in a dumpster on Cypress Avenue.

     While searching for the suspect Lt. Eric Hill, the on-duty patrol commander, recalled seeing an individual, who was a suspect in a recent commercial burglary, on Sunday, while he was off duty. Lt. Hill made note of what he was wearing, which matched the description of clothing as described by witnesses in this most recent vehicle burglary at CVS

        While searching the area, and after realizing he matched the description of the individual he saw on Sunday, he noticed the suspect's girlfriend walking along Seaboard Avenue in the same area where the suspect was last seen. Lt. Hill informed the detectives, who began following her in unmarked vehicles hoping she would lead them to the suspect. She was stopped and questioned as she was about to board a SCAT bus to leave the area. She admitted that her boyfriend, Ricky Dingler, had committed the burglary and was hiding inside a building at the corner of Seaboard Avenue and Camion Street. A computer check also revealed the suspect had an active warrant for a failure to appear on a burglary charge in Alabama.

  A perimeter was established around the building and permission was obtained from the owner to enter and search for the suspect. Several officers entered. As they searched, the suspect attempted to run out a door on the west side of the building. He was confronted by Detective Sgt. Jason Adams and taken into custody. He still possessed two window punch tools in his pockets. The witness identified him as the suspect and he confessed during a post Miranda interview.   


DATE: Aug. 23, 2013

SUBJECT: VPD identifies suspect




The following news release is by Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty

In recent weeks there have been several reports of lewd and lascivious incidents in which males have been exposing themselves to females in different areas of our city.  Our agency, with the assistance of the public and media, was able to apprehend William Waldman, who was active in our beach areas.  Subsequent to his activity we also experienced two incidents in the area of the Venice Avenue Bridge and another incident in the area of the Hatchett Creek (north) Bridge.  The suspect description in both these incidents matched.  Due to the heightened attention and public awareness we received information that this same suspect had exposed himself at Kilwin’s Ice Cream store, on West Venice Avenue on Aug. 12.

 While investigating the incident at Kilwin’s, our detectives found surveillance video of this second suspect.  As we continued to investigate, Lt. Rose remembered that on the previous Sunday our agency arrested Joshua D. Moss, (date of birth: 4/26/83) for trespass after warning at Venice Regional Medical Center.  After checking his arrest photo, detectives were able to establish Moss as a person of interest in the most recent cases.  Venice Police detectives proceeded to conduct photo line-ups with the victims, who identified Moss as the person who exposed himself to them. 

At this time the Venice Police Department has active warrants for the arrest of Joshua Moss.  Moss, who is homeless, is believed to be staying in and around the Venice/ Nokomis area.  At this time we are asking that if anyone sees or comes in contact with Moss that they call their law enforcement provider.






DATE: Aug. 23, 2013

SUBJECT: Belly landing at VNC




A Beechcraft Bonanza G-33 made a gear-up landing at Venice Municipal Airport Aug. 23 around 9:15 a.m. No one was injured. There is damage to the aircraft. The pilot was Richard Moran, who was reportedly flying to Venice to receive aviation services. The Federal Aviation Administration will determine the cause of the incident.


DATE: Aug. 19, 2013

SUBJECT: Another arrest at the beach
Venice police have announced another arrest that was made over the weekend in regard to nude activities at the beach. On Friday, Aug. 16 around 2:30 p.m., 76-year-old Albert Hickerson, 200 block of Hallow Harbor Dr.,  was arrested and charged with exposure of sexual organs after Venice undercover police found him exposing himself while sitting on a picnic table at Caspersen Beach. The arrest was the result of the city's police department increasing patrols due to several complaints of a man exposing himself to young women at the beach. That suspect was arrested Saturday as reported earlier.

DATE: Aug. 19, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice police arrest man accused of lewd and lascivious behavior

Venice police arrested William Waldman (date of birth: May 7, 1963) of Deltona, Fla., on Aug. 17 and charged him with loitering and prowling, with additional arrest warrants sought for five counts of lewd and lascivious acts and other charges pending.

Police received a call from employees at Sharky's on the Pier restaurant stating that they witnessed the nude subject in the parking lot at the restaurant. When police arrived, the subject deviated from returning to his vehicle in the Maxine Barritt Park parking lot and fled northbound along the beach. Police pursued the suspect. When threatened with a taser, the suspect complied with police orders and was taken into custody without further resistance.

Initial charges included loitering and prowling, with additional arrest warrants sought for lewd and lascivious acts  Appropriate charges will also be sought for the previous incidents, as the investigation continues.  The subject’s vehicle was impounded, pending a search warrant for additional evidence.

  Police said they were able to nab the suspect due to their ability to respond quickly to the complaint. The suspect is in jail with a $250,000 bail.  



DATE: Aug. 16, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice emergency crews respond to fire

Venice Police and Fire Departments were called to a manufactured home on Erskine Drive today around 2:30 a.m. due to a fire. When they arrived, the home was fully involved in flames and smoke was coming through the roof in the rear of the home. Firefighters searched the affected residence,  evacuated the homes next to the one on fire, and had the blaze under control around 2:45 a.m. The home is a total loss.
All on-duty fire personnel from the Venice department responded and were assisted by Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department.
A Venice firefighter was transported to Venice Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. No one else was injured. Firefighters remained on the scene until 7:20 a.m.
The cause of the fire is not known at this time. Venice police detectives and the state fire marshal are investigating the incident.

DATE: Aug. 16, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice Budget Hearings


The City of Venice was notified the TRIM (Truth in Millage) notice being mailed to Venice city property owners has an error regarding the date of the first budget hearing.
The public hearings take place Sept. 3 and Sept. 17 at 5:01 p.m. at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave.
There is no city budget hearing on Sept. 13.

DATE: Aug. 15, 2013

SUBJECT: Vennice airport receives award for runway rehabilitation



Venice Municipal Airport is the recipient of the 2013 General Aviation Airport Project of the Year for the runway rehabilitation project recently completed. Formerly designated Runway 4-22, now Runway 5-23, was rehabilitated in addition to improvements made to Taxiway E and the runway safety and object free areas. The award was recently presented by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Runway 5-23 was built 70 years ago. Due to its deteriorated condition, it was not used as often as it could have been, even though it was the most beneficial runway for noise abatement. Now it is the runway of choice. Other improvements include the realignment of Taxiway E, installation of LED lighting, relocation of the golf course driving range and modification of seven holes, obstruction removal, and refurbishment of the airport's rotating beacon and electrical vault. 
Wildlife on the runway can be hazardous to pilots, aircraft and the animals, so two abandoned wastewater ponds that attracted birds and other animals were removed and a wildlife deterrent fence was installed.  The recycling of existing asphalt pavement for use as base material saved $470,000 of the construction cost, 40 percent of the estimated construction time, and eliminated about 2,800 trips by heavy trucks to haul it off, making the project more environmentally friendly.
New instrument approach procedures will be established by the end of 2013 to help pilots safely land in poor visibility or deteriorating weather conditions.
Although the project resulted in significant improvements to aviation safety, community relations, environmental sustainability and operational efficiency, it did not add capacity for more flights or enable larger aircraft to use the airport than has been the case in the past.
The airport was originally constructed by the United States Army as a training field during World War II. After the war, it was turned over to the city with the stipulation it be operated as an airport or revert ownership to the federal government. While the city owns and operates the airport, it is done so in accordance with federal air regulations.

DATE: Aug. 12, 2013

SUBJECT:Venice police interrupt burglary


A Venice Police officer on patrol interrupted a burglary even though the burglar thought he had prevented evidence of his crime.
Around 2:30 a.m., the officer was in the 400 block of S. Tamiami Trail, when he heard a loud noise behind the building where a cleaners and liquor store are located. When the officer investigated, he found Eric Michael Weed, who could not explain his presence and was consequently arrested for loitering and prowling.
Around 8 a.m., the manager of the liquor store reported to police that power to the breaker box of the building had been turned off around 2:30 a.m., which in turn turned off power to a surveillance camera. The video from the camera showed Weed opening the door of the store's delivery truck, removing a large tent or awning and hiding it behind the dumpster, then with the aid of a flashlight, cutting the power to the business.
After the video was investigated by police, Weed was charged with the felony burglary of a conveyance and a misdemeanor of petit theft. He remains in the north county jail.

DATE: Aug. 6, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice marine patrol rescues boaters

Venice Police Marine Patrol pulled a boater from the water after the boater's craft sank in the entrance to the Venice Jetties. The marine officer was responding to a Sarasota County lifeguard's report of a boat capsizing Aug. 4 around 2:25 p.m.

At the same time the officer brought one of the boaters onboard the police boat, a passing vessel was picking up the other two passengers from the capsized boat out of the water. Six to 7-foot swells made the rescue effort more challenging. With all three boaters from the disabled craft onboard the police boat, the officer evaluated them for injuries and finding none, transported them to safe harbor. Another marine officer arrived on the scene to facilitate assistance from Venice Sea Tow to retrieve the sunk vessel and investigate the incident.


DATE: July 23, 2013

SUBJECT: City of Venice now providing live audio and video of  meetings


The City of Venice is using a new program to create its meeting agendas. The program, Granicus, allows for greater digital interaction.

The program allows computer users to get the city board meeting agendas, background materials, and other information about an upcoming meeting. Then, on the meeting day, it allows people to listen to advisory board members and watch the live video of city council meetings.
To use the program, visit  On the left of this page, click on meetings, then click on 2013 meetings-Granicus, find the meeting you want to view, look to the right of it and click on Agenda, click open, and view.
To listen to live audio of meetings, or to watch city council meeting live videos, instead of clicking on Agenda, click on Meeting Details, go to the right and click on video.

DATE: July 8, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice fire inspections under way


Businesses in Venice that have not received an annual fire inspection this year, will be getting one in the near future. The fire inspectors are in uniform and carry a City of Venice identification. The fire inspection fee can be seen on the city's website:, at or by clicking on Department, Fire, and Fire Fees. An ordinance establishing the fees went into effect in July 2012. Venice Fire Department intends to inspect all commercial and multi-family structures each year in compliance with the new ordinance. For questions or concerns, contact the department at (941) 480-3030.

DATE: July 8, 2013

SUBJECT:  Fire Department training to cause smoke

Venice Fire Department will be performing training sessions at the training academy located in Wellfield, off of Pinebrook Road, July 17-19 during the day. The drill will cause smoke to be seen from some areas in town. The exercise is fully contained. There is no danger to the community.

DATE: July 8, 2013

SUBJECT: Alleged bank robber apprehended

Venice Police Department wrapped up an investigation of a bank robbery Wednesday, July 3, with the arrest of Michael Lynn Baird (DoB 1-7-60): . Baird is accused of robbing Bank of America, 304 W. Venice Ave., June 26 around 1 p.m.

Baird has a lengthy criminal history including a prior arrest for another bank robbery in Manatee County. Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty credits the successful results of the investigation to the quick response of the patrol units and detective division on the day of the robbery, and to members of the community who came forward with information. 

Baird was located and arrested in Manatee County by the Venice detective division with assistance from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.


Date: July 8, 2013

Subject: Sign Code and Legacy Park Workshops ahead

 Sign Code, Wednesday

    A Sign Code Update Community Focus Group Workshop takes place Wednesday, July 10, at 8 a.m. in the community hall at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave.

  The meeting will provide an opportunity for people to hear a report and comment on the Policy Task Force's direction regarding the Sign Code Update.  Policy direction has been provided on the following topics:

  - Monument signs

 - Changeable message signs (copy and electronic/digital)

 - Art as signage, including murals

 - Obsolete or noncomforming signs

 - Sign entitlements

  For more information, contact City Planner Scott Pickett, (941) 486-2626 or or Amanda Warner at (813) 882-8366 or

   If you cannot make the meeting, you may submit comments by clicking under "City Sign Code Update" above left.


Legacy Park Public Workshop, July 24

   The future Legacy Park design and use will be discussed at a public workshop, Wednesday, July 24 at 2 p.m. at the Historic Venice Train Depot, Freight Room, 303 E. Venice Ave. Learn about the proposed improvements and how they may affect the surrounding park areas including the Historic Train Depot, Marina Boat Ramp, Venice Historical Society, Legacy Trail, Venetian Waterway Trail, Hatchett Creek and other neighboring property owners. The workshop will address the potential uses of the historic Manhattan Produce Building adjacent to the site, as well. County and city staff working on the project will be available to answer questions and receive comments. For more information, contact City Engineer Kathleen Weeden, (941) 486-2626, ext. 25001 or email at


June 14, 2013

Subject: Road improvements coming

Four downtown intersections along U.S. 41 Business will get a makeover.
Work on the intersection at Indian Avenue begins June 17, with a 3-foot widening that will allow a dedicated right-turn lane on westbound Indian onto northbound U.S. 41 Business. The sidewalk on the south side of Indian will be replaced and the southeast corner will be upgraded to ADA standards. Milling, paving and striping in the area will be done during the day.
Ajax Paving Industries of Florida and Lighthouse Engineering Inc. will make the intersections at Tampa, Venice and Miami avenues ADA compliant and improve safety for all pedestrians. This work begins July 7 and will be done at night, Sunday through Thursday. It is expected to be completed by mid September.

The road footprint will not change, but damaged sidewalk panels will be replaced, and new
patterned, textured crosswalks will be installed. The road between all intersections will be milled, paved and striped.

The $425,000 project is fully funded by Sarasota Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization.

June 12, 2013

Subject: Emergency services benefit from grants

Venice Police Department received $3,439 from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Justice Assistance Grant for the purchase of Tasers. Tasers are non-lethal electroshock weapons, also known as stun guns, that temporarily disrupt the voluntary control of muscles.

Venice Fire Department received a grant of about $311,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters Grant program to purchase new radios with amplifiers that allow the radios to work inside hardened buildings, five thermal imaging cameras, and mobile data terminals.

The P-25 compliant radios allow Venice firefighters to communicate with other emergency responders throughout the state during a catastrophic event. The new cameras, which can help firefighters find people in heavy smoke, and radios are replacing outdated technology. Sen. Bill Nelson was instrumental in helping Venice bolster its emergency safety equipment with this grant.

June 12, 2013

Subject: Venice Museum and Archives to receive conservation assessment

Representatives of the Heritage Preservation Conservation Assessment Program will be in Venice to provide recommendations to the Venice Museum and Archives about how to improve collections and building conditions. The museum is located in the historic Triangle Inn, 351 S. Nassau St. It is open Mondays - Wednesdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

May 21, 2013

Subject: Venice Museum and Archives joins Blue Star initiative

The Venice Museum and Archives is launching Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,800 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at

May 30, 2013

Subject: Hurricane Preparation Seminar

The city of Venice holds its annual Hurricane Preparation Seminar at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave., Friday, May 17 from 8 a.m. - noon. Speakers include City Manager Ed Lavallee, Fire Chief Jim Warman, Police Chief Tom McNulty, City Engineer Kathleen Weeden, American Red Cross Community Education Director Cindy Desmond, Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane and ABC Channel 7 meteorologist Bob Harrigan. Vendors will show the latest gadgets for hurricane mitigation and preparation. Bella Vita is providing refreshments. The informative event is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call Pam Johnson, (941) 486-2626.

DATE: April 5, 2013

SUBJECT: Minnesota town models its program after VPD's

The Police Department in Eveleth, Minn.  recently established a SAFE program patterned after the one in Venice.

SAFE, which is Senior Assistance Freedom Enrichment, was rolled out by Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty last year.  The program allows people over 60, who have special needs and live alone to call into the Police Department daily, after registering for the program. If they do not call by a specific time, the department will try to contact the senior. If dispatchers are not able to contact the seniors, a police officer will go to the person’s home to check on them.

Last year, when an elderly man failed to call in, police officers found him on the floor of his home and were able to call an ambulance and get him to the hospital.

The program is also available to handicapped people over the age of 18 if they live alone.

When Eveleth Police Officer Mark Chad came to Venice on vacation, he learned about the SAFE program and was so impressed he took the news back to his chief.

“I give him (Chad) a lot of credit. It’s a great idea. It’s something that can be done at really no cost, just a little maintenance on our part. But I think it will be of great benefit to the community,” Eveleth Police Chief Tim Koivunen reportedly told the Mesabi Daily News. “It is our way to provide another service and give back to the community,” he said.

To receive the Venice service, seniors or handicapped people living alone must first register at the police station, 1350 E. Ridgewood Ave. in Venice. For more information about the program call (941) 486-2444.

Another service offered at the police station is the drop box for pharmaceuticals. The box is available in the lobby. Users of the service should bring their expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications in their original containers, dump the pills in the box and take the containers home with them to dispose of in the garbage.

DATE: March 21, 2013

SUBJECT: City of Venice supports Military Family and Community Covenant Day

Venice Mayor John Holic will proclaim April 17 Military Family and Community Covenant Day at the regular city council meeting April 9. The meeting takes place at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave.
The proclamation represents the city's continuing commitment to supporting and honoring all military service members, veterans and their families. Venice is one of Florida's 410 municipalities partnering with Florida Military Family and Community Covenant, Florida League of Cities, and Florida Regional Planning Councils Association to show support for those who make sacrifices daily for the nation.
Several military and former military families will be on hand to receive the proclamation.
For more information about FMFCC and its supporting initiatives such as Operation Strong Families and the Civilian Battle Advocacy Buddy Battalion, visit

DATE: March 22, 2013

SUBJECT: Venice Book Fair and Writers Conference offers opportunity for aspiring writers


As part of the Venice Book Fair and Writers Conference April 6, editor and literary agent Camille Cline will provide feedback to 12 lucky authors whose names will be drawn at 9:30 a.m.

Interested writers should place their names in the drawing between 9 – 9:30 a.m. in the Venice Theatre lobby, 140 W. Tampa Ave., for an opportunity to meet with Cline for 5 minutes either between 10-11 a.m. or 2-3 p.m., as assigned.

Authors should bring a one-page, double-spaced synopsis of a project described in 25 words or less with room left at the bottom of the page for comments and names of publishing companies and agents to be provided by Cline.

The critique is part of a day full of interesting activities including a workshop for aspiring writers of children’s books led by author Nancy Buscher, a workshop about writing historical novels led by Clarissa Thomasson, and a panel discussion about how to get published led by Kim Cool. Other programs include talks by authors such as Tim Dorsey, David Hagberg, Jim Swain, Ward Larsen, Daniel Rubin, state Sen. Nancy Detert and Lisa Daily. The cost for the entire day is $10.

The adjacent book fair activities in Centennial Park include more than 30 booths with authors selling and signing their books, ranging in subjects from fiction to baseball to sharks’ teeth. This part of the event takes place from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is free.

For more information, call (941) 486-2626, ext. 24005.

DATE: March 20, 2013

SUBJECT:  Closing exhibit promises fun for the whole family


Venice Museum and Archives and VABI hold a free event Saturday, March 30, at the Triangle Inn, 351 S. Nassau St. in Venice’s Cultural Campus, to mark the closing of the Venice Area Beautification Inc. exhibit, "VABI Knits a Community."


Venice Area Garden Club members will have gardening activities for children, tips on how to divide plants for repotting, and other gardening information. Pomello Park Nursery will have orchids for sale and tips on orchid care. Free refreshments will be provided by VABI.  

"VABI Knits a Community," which ends April 3, celebrates the history of this local nonprofit organization and its mission of “Making the Venice area a more beautiful place to live, work and play."

  The exhibit includes highlights from VABI's archives, photographs of beautification projects, and information about the history of the organization and upcoming projects. Visitors may share their ideas for future beautification projects in a journal at the exhibit.

  Venice Area Beautification Inc.’s positive impact on Venice’s environs began in 1990 with the “Gateway to Venice” and downtown landscape project. More than two decades later, VABI’s projects, such as the Venetian Waterway Park, Venice Arboretum at West Blalock Park, and numerous public art projects have enriched the natural environment through improved parks, recreational opportunities and expanding venues for public art.

  The Venice Museum and Archives is open Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, March 30, it will be open from noon - 4 p.m. There is no admission fee.


DATE: Feb. 7, 2013

SUBJECT: Holiday schedule - Venice

Venice City Hall will be closed in observance of Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 18. Garbage, recycling and yard waste will be collected as usual.

DATE: Jan. 31, 2013

SUBJECT: Trees to be trimmed over Venice streets

Trees in the right of ways along roads in the City of Venice will be trimmed in the near future to facilitate the passage of large vehicles, such as fire engines, garbage trucks and RVs. 

Work is expected to begin in the next few days. Canopies throughout the city will be trimmed to allow for the height of the trucks as well as for the aesthetics and the health of the trees. 
The trimming will help the trees withstand windstorms and reduce debris after a storm and damage to nearby property. 
The project is a collaborative effort of the City of Venice and Sarasota County

DATE: Jan. 9, 2013

SUBJECT: REV 3 Triathlon to air on Jan. 12

WTSP-TV10 (CBS) will air the 2012 REV 3 Florida Triathlon Saturday, Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. The national sporting event took place in Venice in October. Athletes came from across the nation to participate. The event was estimated to have a $600,000 impact on the local economy. Plans are in the making for the event to return in November 2013.


DATE: Nov. 30, 2012

SUBJECT: Venice utilities begins improvement project

Several residents on the island of Venice will see improvements in their water pressure and the convenience of the location of their water main and meter.
The city will abandon water mains now situated in the rear easements of homes. Some of these are 50-year-old unlined, cast iron pipes with layers of mineral deposits, which greatly reduces water flow.
New pipes, most of which will be larger than the existing pipes, will be installed in front of the homes along the street. This will eliminate the need for city employees to gain access to the backyards of these homes and, when necessary, allow them to work on pipes in the city easement near the street, causing minimal disruption to homeowners.

In the meantime, there may be some inconvenience as some of the old pipes are filled with concrete and buried, and while new ones are placed in the new location.

All homeowners who are in the project area will be notified by mail and may also be visited on-site by a Utilities Department representative.

The first homes to benefit from this project will be those inside the boundaries of Armada Street, Villas Drive, Harbor Drive and Park Boulevard. This phase also includes a portion of Ponce de Leon Avenue.
Construction is expected to begin in early spring 2013. Each phase will take six to nine months to complete.

For information, contact Arlena Dominick, the city's right-of-way coordinator, at (941) 929-3277 or e-mail at She will be available to meet with homeowners by appointment on site or at Venice City Hall.







DATE: Oct. 12, 2012

SUBJECT: Venice earns Silver Bicycle Friendly designation

The City of Venice is the recipient of the Silver Bicycle Friendly Community designation. The award comes from the League of American Bicyclists in Washington, D.C.

To earn the designation, volunteers Monty Andrews and Steve Christian worked with Community Development Director Chad Minor for about three years, to make biking safer and more comfortable in Venice. Others greatly involved in the process include Russ Johnson, Mike Gippert and Huss Malik.

Venice already has remarkable assets for those interested in biking. Venetian Waterway Park and Legacy Trail offer about 18 miles of uninterrupted biking and hiking on concrete trails where motor vehicles are not allowed. There are many bike lanes in the city. Even the Venice Police Department has developed a bike patrol of six officers who patrol on bicycles. The city developed a bike trail map, which was printed by Venice Area Beautification Inc., and is available online at the city and VABI websites.

The League offers awards in bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond. The designation is good for four years. Already, plans are in the works to increase the level for the next designation for Venice.

A community celebration of the award takes place Friday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. at the Historic Venice Train Depot, 303 E. Venice Avenue, where Legacy Trail meets Venetian Waterway Park. Everyone is welcome to attend.

To learn more about League of American Bicyclists, see To learn more about biking in Venice, see and




DATE: Oct. 12, 2012

SUBJECT:New fireboat offers better service

With nearly 30 miles of shore along the Gulf of Mexico, Roberts Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway, and year around sunny weather, Venice is a perfect playground for those who enjoy boating, kayaking, parasailing, swimming and diving. But sometimes things can go wrong in the beautiful water that surrounds the area. That is why having the ability to respond to emergencies by boat is key to the safety of Venice residents and visitors.

                West Coast Inland Navigation District recently provided the Venice Fire Department with a grant for $226,100 to purchase and outfit a 32-foot Boston Whaler Justice for search and rescue, fire suppression and emergency medical responses. The boat has twin 300 Mercury Verado engines, the quiet operation of which allows for better radio communications with dispatch and other emergency responders. The fire pump produces 500 gallons of water per minute. Raymire GPS chart plotter with radar, a Humming Bird GPS with sonar, and a night vision FLIR system help responders locate people in distress, even in the dark or under water. A gunwale door, which is an opening on the port side, makes moving a patient from water to the boat an easier, faster and more stable operation.

The department has 15 fully certified boat operators whose training was paid for by the grant. All Venice fire personnel are certified emergency medical technicians. During a multi-agency response, the Venice fire boat may be required to travel as far as 30 miles.

                The boat replaces the department’s 2001 24-foot Hydra Sport Vector, which is no longer reliable, is costly to maintain and doesn’t have the most modern technology. The WCIND grant covered the entire cost of the new boat.

Above: The Venice Fire Department is currently training its personnel on the new 32-foot Boston Whaler Justice, completely paid for with a grant from the West Coast Inland Navigation District.



DATE: Oct. 8, 2012

SUBJECT: VPD receives accreditation

Venice Police Department received re-accreditation Sept. 27 as a result of three years of committed and professional work toward that goal. The ceremony took place in Sarasota, where Venice was one of 16 agencies from across the state to receive the recognition.
Accreditation is a process that validates an agency through review of outside peers and determines that the agency works in the most ethical, professional and safest manner possible. It serves to define clear policies set by the department and understood by all its employees.
"The accreditation process is the vehicle that guides our agencies in the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement services," Venice Chief Tom McNulty said. "In reality, the accreditation process is really much larger. It strengthens our foothold on our Constitutional foundation, demonstrating our commitment to be the best we can be while building confidence and trust with the various components of our communities and citizens."
"If you look up 'community policing' in the dictionary, the definition would be the Venice Police Department," said Pete Marcus, Edgewood, Fla., police chief and accreditation review commissioner.
Among those in the audience lending support to the department were Mayor John Holic, Vice Mayor Kit McKeon and Council Members Jim Bennett, Emilio Carlesimo and Dave Sherman.
Above: Attending the Venice Police Department accreditation ceremony are, from left, Vice Mayor Kit McKeon; Mayor John Holic; Capt. Tom Mattmuller; Chief Tom McNulty; Lee Lyons, who led the department through the accreditation process; Commissioner Butch Arenal, chairman of the Florida Accreditation Commission and Punta Gorda police chief; Lori Mizell, executive director of the commission; Lt. Mike Rose; and Council Members Emilio Carlesimo and Jim Bennett.






DATE: Oct. 8, 2012

SUBJECT: City App to launch Oct. 19

The City of Venice and Your Custom Apps will launch the first community app in the region on Friday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. at City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave., in the community room.
The app will work on Android and I-phones to provide direct contact with city government information and emergency alerts, while serving the public with information about the daily services provided by area businesses.
To learn more about this unique app concept, please attend the launching. All are welcome. It is free of charge. Don't forget to bring your Smart Phone.
For more information, call Jim Foubister, (941) 315-8277.


DATE: Aug. 29, 2012

SUBJECT: Venice holds meeting about downtown parking

The City of Venice will hold an important meeting regarding seasonal parking issues in downtown Venice on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. in Council Chambers at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave. Anyone who has an interest in this issue should attend. Several decisions will be made based upon input at this meeting. For more information, call (941) 486-2626.





DATE: Aug. 28, 2012

SUBJECT: Venice selects new fire chief



Venice City Council appointed James A. Warman to serve as Venice fire s meeting.

Warman, a 28-year veteran of fire service, currently serves as the Largo Fire Department deputy chief. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg and an associate degree in fire science from St. Petersburg College.

Warman began his fire service career as a firefighter/emergency medical technician and quickly rose through the various levels of responsibility, obtaining many certifications along the way. He was selected from among 84 applicants for the Venice position.

Warman replaces Venice Chief John Reed, who retired in February. Battalion Chief Shawn Carvey will continue to serve as acting chief until Warman takes his office as Venice chief in October.




DATE: Aug. 24, 2012

SUBJECT: Wood carved dolphin greets jetty visitors

Humprhis Park at the South Jetty has a new work of art on display. Where a rotting tree stump stood in the entrance to the parking lot, a friendly dolphin carved by Tony Minio now greets visitors. The area, popular with fishermen, is known for its dolphin and manatee sightings. The project was initiated by Charles Alfano, a nearby resident and member of the Venice Parks and Recreation Board. Venice City Council approved the project at the request of the board. The Crow's Nest restaurant and its owner, Steve Harner, contributed toward the expense of the project. The dolphin, leaping from its Australian pine tree roots, is stained and protected with linseed oil. The artist will continue the maintenance for two years. It is surrounded by a landscaped bed of indigenous plants surrounded by boulders.




DATE: Aug. 16, 2012

SUBJECT: Chris Rozansky wins state award

Venice Municipal Airport Administrator Chris Rozansky is the 2012 recipient of the Aviation Professional of the Year Award, presented by the Florida Department of Transportation Florida Airports Council.

Rozansky was recognized for his leadership in rehabilitating the airfield to include many safety and noise mitigation efforts. Since coming to Florida in 2010, a contentious time in the community regarding airport concerns, Rozansky has engaged the community in a better understanding of the airport’s role and future, created an updated rental fee schedule for t-hangars and added two new fees to increase the airport’s financial self-sufficiency.

“His focus, determination and professionalism have helped him resolve some long-standing issues for the Venice general aviation facility,”  City Manager Ed Lavallee said.




DATE: July 24, 2012

SUBJECT: VPD earns award


Venice Police Department received a third-place award in the Florida Transportation Department’s Florida Law Enforcement Liaison program DUI Challenge July 13 in Orlando.


Venice was one of more than 40 law enforcement agencies from around the state competing in various categories.


The award is based on an evaluation point system. Ultimately, an agencies points may be exchanged for education and law enforcement equipment.


“We were able to receive this award because of our efforts in education and law enforcement regarding drinking and driving,” Traffic Officer Andy Levesque said.


Some of those efforts included communication with the public through media, banners and other programs about the hazards of drinking and driving. DUI stops and arrests reflect the enforcement side of the equation.


As a result of the points the department earned, it was able to purchase several tools that it did not have the budget to acquire otherwise.


Among the tools earned by competing in the DUI Challenge are an in-car video system that will record traffic stops worth about $5,000; an updated laser mapping system for scaled diagrams of traffic accidents and crime scenes, valued at about $5,000; and a traffic data collecting device that measures speed, vehicular counts and other data, worth around $2,200.

Venice Police Traffic Officer Andy Levesque displays the Florida Transportation Department’s Florida Law Enforcement Liaison program DUI Challenge third-place award on behalf of the Venice Police Department, July 13.







DATE: July 17, 2012

SUBJECT: Missing Alzheimer's patient found with help from community


When an 89-year-old man  wandered from his home, the Venice Police Department put out “A Child Is Missing” bulletin, which is a reverse 911 call that goes to residences in a particular neighborhood.

In Venice, some people who got the call around 2 p.m. Monday set out on their bicycles or on foot to search for the missing Alzheimer’s patient. Because the man had once lived in the Capri Isles neighborhood, police focused their search in that area. A mail delivery person advised an officer that he’d seen an elderly man being picked up and taken to the golf club. The officer found the missing man safe at the club.

“This is great example of the Venice Community helping the Police Dept. achieve a positive outcome for a vulnerable citizen,” Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty said.

Police say the program, “A Child is Missing” is a valuable tool to use looking for both missing youngsters and oldsters. If the missing adult is driving a car, the Silver Alert can be issued. But if the adult is walking, the Silver Alert is useless due to its focus on notifying drivers to be on the lookout.

If you should receive a reverse call regarding a missing person, be mindful of anyone you see who might match the description and call the police immediately if you think you see that person. You just might save a life.




DATE: July 16, 2012

SUBJECT: Accidental shooting in Venice

A 14-year-old juvenile was showing a gun to a 12-year-old juvenile when the gun went off leaving a .22 caliber bullet in the 12-year-old's leg. Venice police and firefighters responded to the scene of the accident in the 1000 block of Myrtle Avenue around 11 a.m. today (July 16). The juvenile was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. His injury is not considered life threatening. The accident continues to be under investigation.




DATE: July 12, 2012

SUBJECT: Police arrest convicted felon for possession of firearm, assault

Venice Police arrested Michael Morris (date of birth: 5/17/1981) and charged him with aggravated assault with a weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Police received a disturbance complaint from the 1400 block of The Rialto July 12 around 1:45 a.m. Morris was found inside the apartment of a woman he knows. Morris allegedly brandished a weapon in the room where the woman and her two guests were and pointed the gun at the forehead of the woman and threatened her. A loaded 357 Magnum was found inside the apartment.




DATE: July 9, 2012

SUBJECT: small sewage spill

About 30 gallons of sewage spilled on the ground when a lateral sewage pipe in the Calle de Toro alley became blocked July 8 shortly after noon.  Most of it went on the ground next to the service cleanout. A small portion made its way into the stormwater box, but was contained. Consequently, no sewage entered any body of water. The blockage was cleared and the area disinfected. There is no danger to humans or the environment. All appropriate agencies were notified.




DATE: June 29, 2012

SUBJECT: Small spill in Venice

About 200 gallons of sewage spilled this morning around 11 a.m., when a concrete coating on a manhole in the 100 block of East Tampa Ave. became dislodged and blocked a gravity pipe. The blocked pipe caused the manhole to overflow to the ground. Some sewage may have seeped into the Intracoastal Waterway. The pipe was repaired and the area disinfected. All appropriate agencies were notified




DATE: June 29, 2012

SUBJECT: Fourth of July

Venice City Hall will be closed in observance of Independence Day, July 4. There will be no collection of garbage, yard waste or recycling. It will be collected on the next regularly scheduled day, Saturday.
Venice fireworks display will take place at sunset. The display will be shot from the jetties and will be visible from area beaches and other places in town. The South Jetty will be closed July 4 and Tarpon Center Drive will be closed to all but local traffic during the afternoon and evening.




DATE: June 26, 2012

SUBJECT: Police apprehend burglary suspects

Venice Police arrested Michael Meachem (birth date: 12-6-89) and a 16-year-old  juvenile and charged them with burglary and theft June 26 around 1:30 a.m.
After tracking the subjects with the K-9, police found them in the 300 block of East Venice Avenue, along with burglary tools and items that were apparently stolen, including synthetic marijuana used to make incense. The juvenile was treated by paramedics for a dog bite he received while trying to evade the K-9.




DATE: June 21, 2012

SUBJECT: National Triathlon

Attached (here) is a news release from the Local Volunteer Coordinator Candice Roberts regarding the national triathlon taking place in Venice Oct. 28. This is a very exciting event for our community. We hope you will share this information with your readers and viewers. Thanks for your support. Pam




DATE: June 18, 2012

SUBJECT: VPD to aggressively enforce vessel anchoring laws

Venice police will be aggressively enforcing state boating laws, especially involving boats anchored in the Higel Basin, just east of the Venice Yacht Club.
The marine patrol will check each vessel to be sure it is in compliance with laws governing the anchoring and operation of boats, including but not limited to current registration, a working mast light at night, and checking for worn anchor lines and even excessive growth on the hulls that would make the vessel difficult if not impossible to safely navigate.
If violations are found, a tag that lists the violations will be left on the vessel. Already two boat owners receiving tags have called to police department to tell them when they will have the violations rectified.
In the event that the violations are not fixed in a timely manner, the police will make an effort to contact the owners by mail or phone. If that fails, or if the violations are not addressed by the owner, the vessel could be declared derelict and in accordance with state law, hauled away and destroyed.
Anyone who has a boat moored in the Higel Basin and has questions about the active enforcement should call Marine Officer Paul Joyce at (941) 486-2444.




DATE: June 18, 2012

SUBJECT: VPD in process of receiving accreditation

The Venice Police Department is in the final stages of earning its accreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement. There are 260 standards with which the department must comply in order to receive accreditation. Earlier last week, law enforcement professionals came to Venice to run a drill for the real assessment process coming up in August. From left are Accreditation Manager Beverly Minnix, Palmetto Police Department; Lt. Barry Sullivan, retired Sarasota County Sheriff's Office; Lt. Josh Stone, Gulfport Police Department; and Accreditation Manager Linda Blanning, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.




DATE: June 13, 2012

SUBJECT: New fire inspection fees implemented

The Venice Fire Department is charging a fee for fire inspections in order to cover its costs in providing plans review, life safety inspections, and the annual/periodic inspections of all commercial and multi-family dwellings. The inspections are mandated by state law. The new fees are based on the square footage of the building that is inspected.
This fee allows users of the service to pay its costs rather than all taxpayers paying for it through property tax revenues. The fee is lower than that charged by neighboring agencies.
A brochure describing the fee structure in detail and the nature of the inspections is available at:, click on "Fire Fees."
The enabling resolution, No. 2012-02, was approved by Venice City Council on May 2. For more information, contact the Venice Fire Department at (941) 480-3030.




DATE: June 13, 2012

SUBJECT: Water outage for some during improvement project

The city of Venice will be upgrading its water distribution system beginning Monday, June 18, with a project to replace about 12 water main valves on the island. The work will take about three weeks to complete and will require some residents in the work area to experience a water outage. Each building should experience no more than 8 hours of water outage.
Those who lose water service should be prepared to use bottled water or boiled water for drinking and cooking for 72 hours after the water service is resumed. The area where the work will take place is north of Fiesole Street, south of Milan Avenue, west of U.S. 41 Business and The Rialto, and east of Ravenna Street.  Residences affected by the work will receive a boil-water notice at their front doors. Those who have questions should call (941) 270-1476.




DATE: June 12, 2012
SUBJECT: Road construction in Venice

Beginning Monday, June 18, the city of Venice will be working on the intersection of Harbor Drive and West Venice Avenue. The contractor will be repairing crosswalks. There will be lane closures throughout the construction period, however one lane will be open in each direction at all times. The work is expected to be completed around July 3.




DATE: June 12, 2012
SUBJECT: Venice Police looking for carjacker

Venice Police were called to the 200 block of U.S. 41 Business in regard to a carjacking. The victim told police that he was loading newspapers into his 2011 silver Kia Soul June 8 around 2 a.m. at the Herald-Tribune building on U.S. 41 Business when a white man wearing a black tank top and black hat told him to get away from the car, suggested he might have a weapon, jumped into the vehicle and drove north on U.S. 41 Business. The vehicle was later found in Nokomis. Anyone having information about this incident should call the Detective Division at (941) 486-2444.




DATE: June 12, 2012
SUBJECT:  Venice Police nab robber

Venice police chased a man suspected of stealing a cab driver's gold shark's tooth, retrieved the stolen item and placed John Samuel Gay (Date of Birth: 2-1-55) under arrest. The cab driver told police Gay was a customer in his cab when they began talking about collecting sharks' teeth. He said he let Gay hold a gold shark's tooth when Gay allegedly got out of the cab with it. The driver confronted Gay and told him to return the item when Gay allegedly pushed the cab driver to the ground. The driver told police the suspect's stated destination was Motel 6. An officer went to the area and saw the suspect walking in front of the nearby carwash. A K-9 was used to track the path the suspect took and the police officer found the gold shark's tooth in the carwash. The suspect confessed to committing the crime. Gay was charged with robbery. The incident took place June 7 around midnight.




DATE: June 4, 2012
SUBJECT: Venice Police arrests

Venice Police arrested Juan Ernesto Ramos (date of birth: 1-27-1987) and Brock Daniels-Lee Tommas (4-9-1987) and charged them with carrying a concealed weapon. Ramos has an additional charge of carrying a concealed firearm by a convicted felon. The incident took place June 3 around 3 a.m. in the 100 block of Milan Avenue.
The two men were stopped for speeding 16 miles over the speed limit. The arresting officer noticed one of them moving his legs in a strange manner and saw a portion of a firearm on the floor. He ordered the occupants from the vehicle at gunpoint and discovered a collapsible baton between the cushions in the front seat and a gun in a holster under the seat, readily accessible.






DATE: June 4, 2012
SUBJECT: Small sewage spill in Venice


Grease caused a gravity sewer main to become blocked and discharge about 20 gallons of raw sewage June 3 around 1:45 p.m. at the corner of Calle de Toro and North Warfield Avenue in Venice. Venice Utilities crews responded and contained the spillage in the adjacent manhole and cleared the blockage. The area was cleaned and disinfected. No sewage entered any body of water and there is no danger to humans or the environment. All applicable agencies were notified. Grease should never be disposed of down a sink or in any other fashion that would cause it to enter the sewage system. Restaurants should use grease traps that are regularly maintained, and residents should dispose of grease in the garbage collection.






DATE: May 31, 2012
SUBJECT: Venice Police Department seeks accreditation



Venice Police Department

Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty announced today that a team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) will arrive July 31 to examine all aspects of the Venice Police Department policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services. In order to receive the accreditation, the department must comply with approximately 260 standards.  Many of the standards are critical to life, health and safety issues.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency members and the public are invited to offer comments to the assessment team.  A copy of the standards is available at

For more information regarding CFA or to submit written comments about the agency’s ability to meet the standards of accreditation, please write:  CFA, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida  32302, or email to

The assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar agencies, Venice Police Department Accreditation Program Manager Deborah Moody said. The assessors will review written materials, interview individuals, and visit offices and other places where compliance can be witnessed.  The CFA assessment team leader is Lt. Scott A. Grant, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Capitol Police. Other team members are Master Police Officer Tammy Farnham, Stuart Police Department;p and Officer Jeff Watson, Titusville Police Department.

Once the commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they report to the full commission, which decides if the agency is to receive accredited status.  Venice Police Department’s accreditation is for 3 years. 

"Verification by the team that the Venice Police Department meets the commission’s standards is part of a voluntary process to gain or maintain accreditation--a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence," Chief McNulty said.




DATE: May 23, 2012
SUBJECT: Victory procession planned for state champion Venice baseball team

The Venice High School Baseball Team became the 2012 Class 7A state champion with its victory Sunday. The community will celebrate the team's achievement May 29, beginning at 7 p.m. when the team will leave the high school, 1 Indian Ave., travel north on U.S. 41 Business, and west on West Venice Avenue to the downtown Gazebo, where a ceremony will take place. The Venice Fire and Police departments will escort the team. Everyone is encourage to line the processional route and come to the Gazebo to show support for the team that ended its season with 24 wins.




DATE: May 22, 2012
SUBJECT: Holiday Schedule

Venice City Hall will be closed on May 28 in observance of Memorial Day. Garbage, recycling and yard waste will be collected as usual.




DATE: May 15, 2012
SUBJECT: 85th Anniversary Celebration Saturday at Venice Municipal Airport

An event on Armed Forces Day takes place Saturday, May 19 takes place at Venice Municipal Airport as part of the City of Venice 85th Anniversary celebration. The airport was built in 1942 and served as the Venice Army Air Base, where many young airmen were trained to fly fighter aircraft and support the air missions. At 10:30 a.m., a ceremony takes place honoring World War II veterans, and recognizing three of those who served at VAAB. Vintage aircraft and vehicles will be on display from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. At 3:30 p.m., Bill and Rob Millner will play music from the 1940s for dancing in the former Student Pilots Officers Club. The event is free and open to the public. The entrance is located at Elite Flight Academy, 220 E. Airport Ave.




DATE: May 15, 2012
SUBJECT: Police apprehend armed felon


Around 11 p.m. Monday night a Venice police officer was patrolling in the area of Laurel Road and Interstate-75 when he heard a report that a blue or green Ford Crown Victoria with three people in it might be headed north to Tampa after one of the car’s occupants allegedly committed a robbery in Port Charlotte.

About that time, a vehicle matching the description came off I-75 to Laurel Road and immediately went on the northbound ramp back onto I-75.

The police officer radioed for backup and a felony stop was initiated with Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputies. A Charlotte County detective arrived with an affidavit. I-75 was shut down to traffic for a short time. A loaded revolver was found under the driver’s seat and blood was discovered inside the car.

Shervin M. Franklin (Date of Birth: July 7, 1989) of the 4000 block of Perch Street in Tampa was arrested and charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery, and possession of a firearm by a felon. The other two occupants of the car were determined to be witnesses only and were released.




DATE: May 3, 2012
SUBJECT: City of Venice holds annual Hurricane Preparation Seminar

June 1 - Nov. 30 is hurricane season in Southwest Florida. Now is the time to prepare. The City of Venice holds its annual Hurricane Preparation Seminar Friday, May 11, 8 a.m. - noon, in Council Chambers at Venice City Hall, 401 W. Venice Avenue. ABC Channel 7 Meteorologist Bob Harrigan will be the key note speaker, giving you ideas about how to keep your family and possessions safe during a big storm. You'll hear how the city prepares and services offered by the county and Red Cross. Other speakers include Venice Interim Fire Chief Shawn Carvey, Police Chief Tom McNulty, City Engineer Kathleen Weeden, American Red Cross representative Cindy Desmond and Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane. Bella Vita is providing refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.





DATE: May 2, 2012
SUBJECT: Venice police arrest two for shoplifting

On Sunday, April 29, Venice police responded to a shop lifting in progress at Beall's Outlet on S. U.S. 41 Business. Around 2:30 p.m., a store employee observed two women matching an in-store "be on the lookout for" notice enter the store. The women were captured on video surveillance placing numerous items of clothing into several bags and large purses. They walked past the cashier and ran out of the store, according to the police report. Police intercepted them in the parking lot.
Tametris Lashawn Wilson (birth date: Oct. 4, 1979) and Alecia Marie Hughes (birth date: Dec. 21, 1973) were arrested and charged with retail grand theft and possession of an anti-shoplifting control device. The clothing was valued at $629.44. Wire stripper/cutters were found in one of the bags. Police also discovered many bags of new clothing still on hangers and several packages of linens in the suspects' vehicle.