ANNA MARIA -- The Anna Maria Island Tour of Homes is back to show off the best in island living.
The 23rd edition of the one-day tour will feature five new and recently remodeled homes on March 19. Distinctive architecture, elegant interiors and stunning waterfront views will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets are $20 and available at various ticket outlets, including The Center of Anna Maria Island and Crowder Bros. in Bradenton.
Four of this year's homes are in Holmes Beach, while the fifth is in the Bean Point area. Most are located either on the water or on canal frontage. The tour list includes a 1930s bungalow, a Key Royale home with an open floor plan, a newly remodeled home built in 2012, a quiet artist's home and a custom contemporary with a view of Tampa Bay.
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Organizers say the Tour of Homes draws thousands of people traveling to the island from as far away as Lakeland and Tampa, Sarasota and Venice. The homes reflect various styles of island living and provide participants with ideas for interior decorating and entertainment.
All proceeds benefit The Center of Anna Maria Island, which provides services to more than 5,000 children, families and seniors of the community, including programs and services that otherwise, would not be available.
For more Tour of Homes information, call Sandee Pruett at 941-518-7717 or email email@example.com.
Manatee chamber plans appreciation lunch
BRADENTON -- The Manatee Chamber of Commerce is planning its second-annual Member Appreciation Lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the Manatee chamber's Bradenton office, 222 10th St. W. The free event features hot dogs, chips, cold beverages for hundreds of Manatee chamber members. One attendee will win a gas grill from Rice's Appliance-TV & Outdoor Power. To register, go to business.manateechamber.com/events.
Scheme tricks major firms out of tax documents
SAN FRANCISCO -- A major phishing scheme has tricked several major companies -- including messaging service Snapchat and disk-drive maker Seagate Technology -- into relinquishing tax documents that exposed their workers' incomes, addresses and Social Security numbers.
The scam, which involved fake emails purportedly sent by top company officials, convinced the companies involved to send out W-2 tax forms that are ideal for identity theft. For instance, W-2 data can easily be used to file bogus tax returns and claim fraudulent refunds.
Tampon tax: Does being female carry unfair costs?
NEW YORK -- A group of New York women filed a lawsuit last week arguing that it is unconstitutional for the state to levy sales
tax on tampons and sanitary napkins, while offering medical-product exemptions to many other items used by both genders, like lip balm and dandruff shampoo.
The case, they say, is about more than the few cents in tax levied on each pack. A national push to abolish sales tax on tampons is gathering steam.
VW's top U.S. executive out amid emissions scandal
WASHINGTON -- Volkswagen's top U.S. executive is stepping down amid the company's ongoing emissions cheating scandal, the company announced Wednesday. U.S. President and Chief Executive Michael Horn is leaving "to pursue other opportunities effective immediately," the automaker said in a statement. He had been with the German auto maker for 25 years, assuming his most recent post in 2014.
Horn's sudden departure comes as the company continues to grapple with the fallout from its admission last year that nearly 600,000 cars were sold in the United States with software that regulators say was designed to cheat on required emissions tests.
-- Herald staff, wire reports