Lakewood Ranch business owners win C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian Award

Ranch business owners win award

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, and her husband, Donald, owners of Vanessa Fine Jewelry, are the 2016 C. John A. Clarke Humanitarian of the Year Award recipients.

The Lakewood Ranch Community Fund will honor the Baughs along with Rick Fawley, former president of Fawley Bryant Architects Inc., at the March 19 Disco Ball Gall at the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club.

The award is presented to "honor individuals who have distinguished themselves through their high professional standards, unwavering ethical and moral values and steadfast dedication to improve the quality of life for people in our community," according to a release.

In 1999, the Baughs opened Vanessa Fine Jewelry and have gotten involved with a number of local community organizations. The Baughs established one of the first Founder 50 donor-advised funds with the Lakewood Ranch Community Fund, according to the release.

Fawley, who will receive the honor posthumously, was a "master architect and a top-echelon civic leader," according to the release.

Manatee Tax Collector now offers longer hours

MANATEE -- Manatee County residents will now be able to take care of tag and title services during the evening and on Saturdays.

First Manatee South County Tag Agency, 5756 14th St. W., Bradenton, is open until 6 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

"We are excited to offer Manatee County residents the opportunity to conduct motor vehicle related business on nights and Saturdays using First Manatee South County," Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr. said in the news release. "By being open outside the normal business day, the agency will help us maintain our low wait times as we prepare for increased driver license business in 2017. Mondays, Fridays and days around holidays are our busiest days and their expanded office hours will enable us to better serve the walk up public as well as offer local auto dealers the opportunity to turn around title work quickly."

While the office does not provide driver license services, appointments can be made at autotagagency.net or 941-782-6050.

Clerk receives 17th highest award for popular report

MANATEE -- For the 17th consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has given the Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award to Manatee County for its Popular Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2014.

The Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award is a prestigious national award recognizing conformance with the highest standards for preparation of state and local government popular reports. The Popular Annual Financial Report tells the financial story of a local government and it is written for the non-financial reader who has strong interest in the government's financial stability.

"I am proud to continue our longstanding honor of earning this award. Countless hours go in to preparing these reports and it shows. The reports are tremendously useful and easy for the public to understand," said Angelina "Angel" Colonneso, Manatee County clerk of the circuit court and comptroller.

Report is available online at: manateeclerk.com/Portals/0/docs/Finance/Reports/Popular/2014_poprpt.pdf or a copy on disk can be obtained at 1115 Manatee Ave. W.

Bennett, Hackney to speak to Women of Manatee GOP

MANATEE -- The Women of Manatee County Republican Club will meet at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth Ave. W. at noon Friday, March 4.

Social time begins at 11:30 a.m..

Speakers are Charles Hackney, property appraiser and Mike Bennett, supervisor of elections. There will be a short question-and-answer session.

Lunch is $18 for members, $20 for nonmembers.

RSVP: 941-795-6381.

Vern Buchanan town hall meeting set Saturday

BRADENTON -- Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, will hold a town hall meeting at 11 a.m. Saturday on national security, jobs and the economy in Bradenton.

The event will be held in the commission chambers at the Manatee County Administrative Office Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.

The event is open to the public.

-- Herald staff reports