Pancakes & Politics set for Jan. 28

January 11, 2013 

BRADENTON -- The Manatee Chamber is hosting Pancakes & Politics, a legislative breakfast to hear a preview of the upcoming session from Manatee's local delegation.

Speakers include Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-Tampa and Rep. Greg Steube, R-Bradenton. The breakfast will be held Jan. 28 from 7:15 to 9 a.m. at the Bradenton Country Club, 4646 Ninth Ave. W.

Cost is $25 for Manatee Chamber members and $35 for non-members. Questions will be taken from the audience. Reservations required to Lisa at 941-748-4842, ext. 123 or

John Cannon reports sales up in fourth quarter

SARASOTA -- Custom home builder John Cannon Homes saw a dramatic increase during the fourth quarter with 27 home sales, the company said.

Sales for the fourth quarter totaled $23.3 million. Homes ranged in price from $400,000 to $2 million.

"We saw interest in the custom-home market begin to pick up in early 2011 and continue on through 2012. With used inventory at the lowest it's been in years, our buyers looked to build new custom homes with all the amenities and features for today's lifestyle" said John Cannon, president and CEO of John Cannon Homes.

This year John Cannon Homes will add three additional new models, one each in The Links at Rosedale, The Concession and Legends Bay at IMG. The company continues to build in The Concession, The Forest at Hi Hat Ranch, Legends Bay, Rive Isle, Riviera Dunes, Founders Club, Spice Bay on Siesta Key, Tierra Verde in Pinellas County, MiraBay and Stonelake Ranch in Hillsborough County.

Women's Resource Center offers scholarship

MANATEE -- The Women's Resource Center of Sarasota County if offering a scholarship to women pursuing higher education.

The application is available online at Applicants must be 21 years or older, reside in Sarasota County and be accepted to or attending an accredited postsecondary vocational school, two- or four-year institution. The deadline for submitting a completed scholarship application is Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Vera Bradley's daughter to visit Sarasota boutique

SARASOTA -- Molly's boutique will be visited by Vera Bradley brand ambassador Joan Bradley Reedy, daughter of Vera Bradley and sister of company co-founder Barbara Baekgaard, at a VIP "Share the Love" luncheon from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 14.

The event will be held at Carrabba's Italian Grill, 1940 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota. Guests will enjoy lunch, the opportunity to hear anecdotes of Vera Bradley's history and

personal stories about the women behind the company at a special event to raise funds for breast cancer research and assistance for local breast cancer patients.

Guests also will be able to shop for the newest Vera Bradley fashions after the luncheon. Individual tickets are $30, or $100 to be seated with Joan Bradley Reedy.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc., in support of Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Breast Health Center and Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer was founded by Vera Bradley owners Barbara Baekgaard and Patricia Miller in 1998. To date, it has contributed $17 million to the research team in the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis.

Demolition complete, work on senior facility begins

SARASOTA -- Autumn Senior Living has completed demolition in preparation to break ground on a new senior living campus at 3251 Proctor Road in Sarasota.

Tom Wessel Construction Corp. demolished a 55,000-square-foot building and removed debris from the old HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, which sat vacant on the site for several years.

Groundbreaking for the new facility is expected in the first quarter of 2013. The project is expected to cost more than $65 million. Phase I will open in 2014 and will include 80 memory care residences.

Chase joins in partnership with CareerEdge

BRADENTON -- CareerEdge, a nonprofit collaborative whose mission includes raising funds to provide workforce development and training for residents in the Bradenton-Sarasota County area, has welcomed Chase as a new partner and member of its investors group.

Chase's support will help CareerEdge build on its success in the healthcare sector and expand services into manufacturing in 2013, the nonprofit said.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, CareerEdge secured more than $165,000 in new workforce investments for the region. In addition to support from Chase, these investments came from private funders Bank of America and Jane's Trust and public funder Sarasota County Government.

Publix adds sugar-free, gluten-free Devotion Vodka

Devotion Spirits, Inc., makers of a sugar-free, gluten-free vodka Devotion Vodka is now available at more than 80 Publix Supermarkets throughout Florida and more than 200 Albertsons located across Nevada and California.

Flavors include Black and Blue, Blood Orange and "The Perfect Cosmo."

Dixie-Southern completes 84-inch pipe fabrication

DUETTE -- Dixie-Southern has completed fabrication of 650 feet of 84-inch diameter stainless steel pipe for regional utility Tampa Bay Water's Lithia Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Facility. It was designed to eliminate odor and impurities from drinking water by using an ozone injection system. Dixie-Southern helped engineer and design the large-diameter stainless

steel pipe ranging from 42 inches to 84 inches in diameter.

The company used an automated, high deposition submerged arc process to weld all circumferential and longitudinal seams on the pipe, producing a high quality, uniform weld with excellent aesthetic quality and mechanical strength, the company said. Testing and start-up is scheduled for June 2013.

Tropical Landscape Solutions unveils website

SARASOTA -- Milestone Marketing Associates recently built a brand new website for local landscape design firm Tropical Landscape Solutions.

The new website can be seen at

--Herald staff reports

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