Manatee County

Associated Press

A 77-year-old woman was infected by flesh-eating bacteria and died nearly two weeks after she fell and scraped her leg while walking on Coquina Beach in Manatee County, her family said Monday.

State officials are providing more money to Southwest Florida counties affected by the red tide outbreak that is sending waves of dead fish onshore and into neighborhood canals.

A toxic red tide algae bloom that’s been persisting in Southwest Florida for nearly a year is now making its way to the Tampa Bay area. It’s been most recently reported as far north as Pinellas County.

This past weekend, beachgoers on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County witnessed thousands of dead fish and other marine life wash ashore from red tide poisoning. 

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Tourists weren't scattered on beaches in southwest Florida on Thursday, but hundreds of dead fish were.

The Herald-Tribune reports that visitors piled into the parking lot of Venice Beach, got out of their cars, started hacking, coughing and sneezing and then quickly left.

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Feeding Tampa Bay is changing the way it distributes food in Manatee County and will end its contract with The Food Bank of Manatee next month.

Governor's Press Office

Saying it is critical to “stop the addiction in the beginning,” Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed a high-profile bill designed to prevent patients from getting hooked on powerful opioids.

Florida health officials are reporting the state's first case this year of the Zika virus transmitted by a mosquito.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

As Health News Florida reported last week, the opioid crisis in Manatee and Sarasota Counties is putting a strain on their foster care system. But the situation isn't entirely bleak. Now we'll hear from one mother whose relationship with her son's foster parents helped her reunify her family and overcome her addiction.


Julio Ochoa/WUSF

More money is needed to stop overdose deaths, Manatee County leaders told state officials during an opioid workshop Tuesday.

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Manatee County Commissioners extended a public hearing on the proposed rezoning of the Wingate East phosphate mine until Wednesday.

Commissioners Monday finished a two-day public hearing, where most of the speakers opposed the mine expansion. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, they'll question Mosaic engineers and county staffers, beginning at 9 a.m. The board is expected to vote on the rezoning request at the end of that meeting.

Monday, dozens of people told commissioners what they think about the mine expansion.

The first hint that Mosaic's Wingate Mine is no ordinary phosphate mine comes when you drive down a dirt road and see a large dredge boat listing in a pond that can barely contain it. Drive a few more minutes, and prepare to board a tugboat in a huge artificial lake.

WMFE

A record number of heroin overdoses in Manatee County has put a strain on families and facilities.

Those same overdoses are pushing the limits of the medical examiner's office, which has seen record numbers of autopsies in July and August of this year, according to the Bradenton Herald.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Manatee County, on Florida's west coast, is home to more than 300,000 people.  It's known for its beaches, and if you go just a short distance inland, you'll pass by the iconic fruit stands and working citrus groves.

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A year ago, Manatee County voters nixed a half-cent sales tax to provide health care for poor residents. Now, county commissioners are thinking about starting over again.

Lawmakers are evaluating bills that could keep disputed trauma centers open and could help make Florida a medical tourism hotspot, the Ledger of Lakeland and Orlando Business Journal report.

The Children's Academy of Southwest Florida

A Manatee County preschool will no longer be able to provide care to children 12 months and younger, following the recent death of a baby at the center, according to the Bradenton Herald.

The Department of Children and Families issued an emergency suspension of the Children's Academy of Southwest Florida’s infant care section Thursday. An investigation into the baby's death revealed several licensing violations.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

This week, WUSF’s public affairs show Florida Matters focuses on human trafficking in Florida.

According a local nonprofit organization working to tackle sexual exploitation, Manatee County is one of the worst places in the country for human trafficking.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Voters in Manatee County voted down a half-cent sales tax to provide health care to the poor, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. The tax would have bolstered the Health Care Trust Fund, which has paid for care for years but is expected to run out in 2015 .