Vol. 9 No. 14 - December 24, 2008


Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryBeach search called off

ANNA MARIA – A tip in the search for missing Holmes Beach hotelier Sabine Musil-Buehler turned into a dead end shortly after investigators began digging in the sand on Tuesday morning.

Police received a lead indicating some possible evidence on the beach near the Magnolia Avenue home that the 49-year-old woman shared with her boyfriend, William Cumber, 39, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sgt. John Kenney said. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story FDOT lays out bridge options

HOLMES BEACH – With a 10-year deadline to figure out what to do with the Anna Maria Island Bridge and a shortage of funding, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is taking the time to weigh what the future of the 51-year-old structure will be.

The latest chapter was an update on the project development and environmental (PD&E) study at a workshop on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at St. Bernard Catholic Church. More...

City honors Sun newspaper

ANNA MARIA — The Sun newspaper has been named the city’s 2008 Organization of the Year.

Linda Scott, chairman of this year’s citizen recognition committee, made the announcement at the December 18 city commission meeting. More...

New Year’s fireworks Dec. 31

BRADENTON BEACH – Once again, the Chiles Group will bring in the new year with a bang at the BeachHouse restaurant with a fireworks show.

The Dec. 31 display starts at midnight and is open to the public. The best view is from the beach but it can also be seen by diners on the deck of the restaurant. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News StoryHELPING HANDS

The Island community responded with open hearts to the appeal to help stock the Roser food pantry, which is giving as many as 50 sacks of groceries a month to families in need.

The pantry is housed in Roser Church under the auspices of the mission committee and is supported by all the churches on the Island through the donations of groceries and monetary aid. Island service clubs also assist. More...

City continues to negotiate FEMA grant contract

HOLMES BEACH – Commissioners authorized the mayor the accept the terms of a contract to purchase the home of Mike and Cindy Rushforth.

The home at 6807 Homes Blvd. is being purchased with a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It will become a pocket park. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story FEMA’s new program devastates homeowners

HOLMES BEACH – The letter came out of the blue and turned Mike and Cindy Rushforth’s lives upside down when they learned that they would have to demolish their home of eight years.

"It’s been devastating," Mike said. "We’re still in shock."

The letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) arrived in February and announced a new mitigation grant program for properties with extensive flood damage. The Rushforths home is located at 6807 Holmes Blvd. on Spring Lake. More...

City responds to request for pier rent reduction

ANNA MARIA — Mayor Fran Barford has responded to The City Pier Restaurant’s request for a 38 percent reduction in its monthly rent with an invitation to sit down and talk things over.

‘We would like to meet with you sometime in January 2009 when you are in the area, to discuss this matter,’ Barford said in a letter to Mario Shoenfelder, who holds the lease to operate the restaurant on the city-owned pier. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySanta and helpers bring joy to kids at Sandbar

ANNA MARIA – They came in their best Christmas finery to join in the fun at the14th annual Lawton Chiles Christmas for Kids held at the Sandbar restaurant last week.

"We have a record number of kids – 124 from Head Start and Healthy Families Manatee," Ed Chiles said at the event. "It’s so important to nurture healthy kids." More...

reel time

Anna Maria Island Sun News StorySea trout return in record numbers

At the end of the 2005 season, I would have bet you good money that local trout populations wouldn’t recover in less than five years. Now, just three years later, trout populations in Sarasota Bay are nearing what (in my 28-year memory) may be an all-time high. In the last few months, I’ve heard encouraging stories from local guides like Randall Fowler, Justin Moore and Scott Moore. Last Saturday, I experienced the return first hand with Bradenton attorney Adam Fernandez. More...

real estate

Island gets an early Christmas gift

On Dec. 12, Anna Maria Island received an early Christmas gift from USA Today. It didn’t come in a gold box with a big red bow, and it wasn’t something that had to be assembled or needed batteries. It was much much better than that.

A reporter for USA Today made her way to Anna Maria Island and based on the article she wrote, fell head over heels in love. She was positively gushing over the laid back old Florida lifestyle she found on Anna Maria, something that needs no explanation to most Sun readers. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story ABC Rentals will meet your needs

What do you think about when it’s the middle of winter in Buffalo, N. Y., and there’s seven feet of snow on the ground? What Bob and Lynn Shaffer thought about was Anna Maria Island and all the wonderful and warm winter vacations they had with their family. That was the year they said, “Enough,” sold their home and business and moved to Florida.

It didn’t take long for these youthful grandparents to start looking for a small business to start after relocating in 2002. Their business background was in retail sales and rentals in Buffalo, so opening the same type business was a natural. Only this time instead of renting appliances they were renting beach and baby equipment. More...

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Stocks paying more than Treasury bonds

Investment Corner

In a somewhat historic turn of events, the recent decline in the stock market and simultaneous rise in bond prices has caused the average common stock to provide more income than that paid by U.S. Treasury bonds. This is the first time this has occurred in more than 50 years. More...


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story Basketball season continues at Center

Another round of games took place this past week as basketball season continues at the Community Center. There are so many benefits for kids participating in youth sports, and it is amazing to watch as they develop the skills and realize their strengths and weaknesses.

It started early for Larry Bird who once said, "When I was young, I never wanted to leave the court until I got things exactly correct. My dream was to be a pro." And, while many of the young players here will not go on to be pros, they are definitely picking up some of the fundamentals that Larry Legend spent hour upon hour perfecting. More...


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