Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pill drop off day Saturday in Manatee

Spring cleaning? Don't forget to clean out those medicine cabinets.

Leftover prescription pills are a hot item for burglars, according to sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow.

To help in the safe disposal of  leftover pills, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office will  participate in the second annual Drug Enforcement Administration’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The two locations in Manatee are the sheriff's office's District 3 office, 4940 U.S. 301 in Ellenton, and the Crime Prevention Office, 600 301 Blvd. W., in Bradenton.

"This prescription drug problem isn't going away. It's becoming more and more prevalent," Bristow said. "So any help we can get to get prescription drugs off the streets is a good thing, and obviously if people have them in the house, they can become potential targets for a burglar."

Last year, people turned in 242,000 pounds or 121 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 drop off sites around the country, according to a media release.

Residents can also drop off unused prescription drugs, 24 hours a day, at the front desk of the main office, 600 301 Blvd. W.

Bristow said about seven to eight pounds of pills are taken from that location every week and calls the drop-off program a success.

For more information on the drop-off program, residents can call (941) 747-3011, ext. 2278.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Local teen overdose rate drops slightly in 2010

The Obama administration this week started an initiative to combat prescription drug abuse that would require a prescription drug-monitoring program to be enacted in each state.

Accidental drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in 17 states, ahead of car crashes, according to said Gil Kerlikowske, the White House director of national drug-control policy.

In 2010, six teens between 16 and 19 years old died as a result of overdoses in Sarasota and Manatee counties, the District 12 Medical Examiner reports. In 2009, seven teens between 15 and 19 years old died in the counties.
Of those teen deaths in 2010, two occurred in Sarasota and three in Manatee. In 2009, four died in Sarasota and three in Manatee.

For more on Obama's anti-pill mill plan, click here .

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Manatee County Sheriff's Office seeking 6 fugitive sex offenders

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has information about the six sexual offender fugitives from Manatee County here.

They are:
Click on the links to see their photographs and information about their respective cases.

Anyone with information about their whereabouts can call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011, ext. 1938.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On slain tourists in Sarasota story, is the BBC bashing Florida?

The shooting deaths of two British tourists in Sarasota early Saturday is a big story on the BBC, which today used its coverage to explore the nature of the haves and have-nots, and how easy and quickly you can move between where they live.

In this interview, the person being interviewed says, 'It's easy to stray into a bad area.'

What do you think, and do you think the BBC is being unfair to America and to Florida?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Investigators again turn to security cameras to help solve a crime.

Security cameras are everywhere, so increasingly, it seems, law enforcement is using the images they capture to help them investigate crimes.

On Monday, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office released images taken during a robbery at a 7-Eleven store in Bradenton.

And on Tuesday, the Sarasota Police Department released almost a dozen images taken by a camera at the Smoking Joe's bar, one of the last spot two British tourists are believe to have visited before they were shot to death in the Newtown neighborhood early Saturday.

In the latter case, detectives say the images don't necessarily show the killer or killers, but witnesses who might be able to fill in the blanks on the victims' activities in the hours before they were slain.

"The individuals seen with the victims ... are not suspects," a police news release states. "We would like to contact these individuals so that we can learn more details about the victims activities, and other people that may have contacted the victims.

So if you were at Smoking Joe's on Friday night/Saturday morning, see yourself in the pictures or have any information that might help police solve the crime, call Sarasota police Detective Johnathan Todd at (941) 954-7091.

Monday, April 18, 2011

7-Eleven hold-up is 13th robbery at Manatee business since March 23

There was no immediate information on whether Manatee County sheriff's detectives suspect the armed hold-up of a 7-11 store on Tallevast Road early Monday is connected with the dozen earlier robberies of convenience stores, restaurants and other businesses in Manatee County between March 23 and April 26.

Two suspects were arrested after the 12th hold-up, at the King Buffet restaurant in Palmetto. But police then said two other suspects had escaped.

Here is a map showing the location and other details about the earlier hold-ups:

Click marker for more information:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Manatee School for the Arts raising award money for tips on who killed teacher

The North Port Police Department is working 50 leads now concerning the March 29 shooting death of Manatee School For the Arts teacher Ken Ellis.

But if finding a killer is a numbers game where the more leads the police have, the better the chances at an arrest and conviction, Ellis’ colleagues are trying to make it attractive for people to call in and generate numbers.

Colleagues of Ellis at the school recently started a campaign called “Raise the Reward” to help motivate people to come forward with information.

The campaign has so far raised $2,000 toward a goal of $10,000, said Manatee School For the Arts staff member Kelly Hillman.

“We are reaching out to community members, businesses, and corporations in an effort to raise enough money to motivate anyone with information regarding Ken Ellis’ murder,” Hillman said. Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward if the information given leads to an arrest and/or conviction, Hillman said.

Ellis was shot and killed when he opened the door of his North Port home after someone had rung his doorbell.

Callers with donations can contact Hillman at (941) 504-4335, (941) 721-6800, ext. 1145, or

What would you charge to let a scantily clad woman beat you up?

A recently filed lawsuit alleges a website paid homeless men $50 to let scantily clad women beat them up and then placed videos of the slugfests on the Internet.

The scheme, according to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed this month in St. Petersburg , violates Florida hate crime laws that specifically protect the homeless.

The Associated Press reports:

Homeless advocates in Florida are suing the owner of a video company that they claim pays homeless men to be beaten up by scantily-clad women.

The lawsuit, filed this month in St. Petersburg, alleges that the videos sold on the website violate Florida's hate crimes law that specifically protects the homeless.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two homeless men, who said they were beaten by women while someone videotaped the assaults. One man said he suffered a dislocated arm, while another received a black eye and multiple lacerations.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

If you see an accident, call it in

Next time an accident occurs in front of you while driving, pick up the phone, call the police and report it.
According to Cpl. Darrell Carroll, of the Florida Highway Patrol, that simple act can save a life or solve a case.
He urges drivers who see any accident to take the initiative to call police, rather than assuming someone else will.
In October, a Bradenton man, Mark Stern-Montagny, 52, was killed in a hit-and-run by an unknown driver headed southbound on 14th Street West. According to Carroll, there still haven’t been any solid leads as to what happened that night.
In a previous interview with the Herald, Capt. John Baumann said law enforcement often depends heavily on witnesses in these kinds of cases.
He stressed, “It’s very important to get the public’s support.”
Anyone with information about the Stern-Montagny accident can call Carroll at (941) 751-7647 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Authorities seeking 5 sexual offender fugitives from Manatee

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has information about the five sexual offender fugitives from Manatee County here.

They are:
Click on the links to see their photographs and information about their respective cases.

Anyone with information about their whereabouts can call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011, ext. 1938.