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Uber offering free frozen treats for #UberIceCream Friday

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National Ice Cream Day is Sunday, but ride-hailing service Uber announced it would celebrate the holiday a couple of days early in Florida with #UberIceCream. The company said between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday, users can open their app, set their location and request “ICE CREAM” at the bottom. A few minutes later, users can expect a pair of Magnum ice cream bars to be delivered free of charge. “Ice cream is the frozen treat that everyone loves —…

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Planned Parenthood clinic evacuated; 7 treated

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The latest on the evacuation of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Sarasota: 12:50 p.m. Authorities say hazardous materials teams have found and removed as-yet-unidentified chemicals inside cleaning closets at a Florida Planned Parenthood clinic after staffers were evacuated. Sarasota Police Department Genevieve Judge said in a news release that the teams responded to the clinic after staffers reported respiratory symptoms including shortness of breath. She said seven people were taken to a hospital for evaluation. Planned Parenthood spokesman Andrew Taverrite…

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Vern Buchanan praises reauthorization of National Estuary Program

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President Obama has signed into law the first reauthorization of the National Estuary Program (NEP) since it expired in 2010, allowing the Environmental Protection Agency and the 28 individual NEPs to continue to support conservation and improvement at estuaries around the United States. One of those NEPs is Sarasota Bay, prompting Sarasota GOP Congressman Vern Buchanan to praise the legislation, which reauthorizes the NEP through 2021. “Sarasota Bay is a key contributor to the Suncoast’s economy,” Buchanan said. “In fact, researchers have…

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Four Sarasota-based challenges could reform Florida teacher bonus program

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Four challenges launched in Sarasota could have statewide implications on the controversial “Best & Brightest” teacher bonus program. The cases could change the way the program evaluates who gets a bonus and expand the pool of teachers eligible. The challenges are especially relevant this week as lawmakers Monday night included $49 million as an add-on item to its budget. That’s $5 million more than was funded last year and $4 million more than was asked for by the Florida House.…

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Bill Nelson wants limits on drones around airports

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is meeting with Florida’s airport directors as part of a push to garner support for new technology that could protect airports and other sensitive areas from drones. Nelson was in Orlando on Friday meeting with airport directors from Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Clearwater and Panama City. Nelson is hoping to insert a measure into legislation that would help airports install technologies that could thwart unwanted drones. The technologies would be able to shut down drones…

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Tornadoes kill 2 in Manatee County, damage homes in Sarasota

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Florida officials say two adults have been killed and four children have been injured after two tornadoes swept through central Florida. Manatee County EMS officials tell WFLA-TV that several people were injured as severe weather pushed through Duette and Siesta Key in Sarasota and Manatee counties early Sunday morning. Sarasota County officials report damage to multiple homes near Siesta Key. At least one home was destroyed and a woman had to be pulled from the wreckage by first responders. Other…

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Donald Trump to campaign in Sarasota on Saturday

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Republican presidential candidate front-runner Donald Trump returns to Florida for a campaign rally on Saturday. Trump’s rally will be held at the Robarts Arena in Sarasota, beginning at noon. He last visited Florida last month when he made stops before large crowds in Miami and Jacksonville. The latest statewide poll shows Trump leading with 36 percent, followed by Marco Rubio, 18 percent, and Ben Carson at 15 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was in fifth place with 8.9 percent.…

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