Charlotte Sun Chest wader, $90 In Today’s Classifieds! AND WEEKLY HERALD SAINTS RALLY PAST BUCCANEERS ANOTHER FLIGHT MISSING Tampa Bay outgained the league’s No. 1 offense 248 yards to 118 by halftime, but New Orleans bounced back to win 23-20. SPORTS PAGE 1 An Edition of the Sun VOL. 122 NO. 363 AMERICA’S BEST COMMUNITY DAILY HACKIN’ AROUND Wishing you a Happy New Year R ecently, I pulled out the old crystal ball and called on my clairvoyant skills to take a peek at 2015 — the year everyone says the economy will boom and good things are sure to happen. Here’s what I saw: January The biggest news came when Charlotte County Utilities announced at a Charlotte County Commission meeting that figures for the Spring Lake sewer project were incorrect. It seems EDITOR the company doing the estimate got Charlotte County and Charlotte, N.C., mixed up. The new sewers will only cost $16 million. And, on top of that, the state and the federal governments have agreed to furnish grants of $12 million to the county to offset much of the cost to homeowners. Members of the Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port Association of Realtors have been forced to institute a lottery system where potential homebuyers have to pick a number and wait for a home to be built or become vacant due to the overwhelming demand. An AirAsia plane with 162 people on board lost contact with ground control on Sunday. THE WIRE PAGE 1 MONDAY DECEMBER 29, 2014 $1.00 www.sunnewspapers.net Canal widening moves forward By BRENDA BARBOSA STAFF WRITER PUNTA GORDA — More than a year after Burnt Store Isles residents packed City Hall to express their views on a controversial plan to widen the entrance to BSI’s canal system, the proposed project is moving ahead slowly but surely. BSI canal advisory committee chairman Gary Brewster said the $100,000 expansion project is going out to bid. “We put the project in the 2015 fiscal year budget to John allow two years to accumulate the funds for it,” Brewster said. Last year, close to 100 residents jammed a canal advisory board meeting to voice their opinions on a proposal to widen a now-defunct lock that most folks agreed is a bear to navigate but few could agree on what to do about it. About half of the residents appeared to be in favor of the project and half against it. A handful said CANAL | 7 SUN PHOTO BY BRENDA BARBOSA The Burnt Store Isles canal advisory committee voted to widen the lock at the end of Candia Drive after boaters in the community complained of hazardous conditions. The opening connects the BSI canal system to Alligator Creek. ‘War is imminent’ HACKWORTH February The Tampa Bay Rays open spring training in Charlotte County and new manager Kevin Cash says he is counting on an infusion of young talent to boost the team back into contention. Meanwhile, Joe Maddon opens spring training with the Chicago Cubs and learns ace pitching acquisition Jon Lester will need Tommy John surgery. March Charlotte County commissioners announce the $16 million price tag for the sewer project will likely jump to $23 million because of some unforeseen issues. April The owner of the new Florida Tracks and Trails park says Hank Williams Jr. and Billy Currington have pulled out of the Country Life Music Festival. The BoogieMen will take their place alongside the Charlie Daniels Band. North Port announces it has reached an agreement with a European spa owner who wishes to invest $20 million in Warm Mineral Springs. Details are to be worked out. Florida Tracks and Trails announces a last-minute addition to its Country Life Music Festival. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert will headline the show. The BoogieMen will open. SUN PHOTO BY AL HEMINGWAY Dick Carr, at his Punta Gorda home, where he spoke about his experiences during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Man recalls role in the Cuban Missile Crisis By AL HEMINGWAY SUN CORRESPONDENT May The Tampa Bay Rays lead the American League East by two games. Joe Maddon wants the ivy trimmed at Wrigley Field. June North Port city commissioners call for a private meeting with potential Warm Mineral Springs investors after a rumor circulates on Facebook that the new owners want the facility to be clothing optional. Gov. Rick Scott vetoes the state’s portion of grants for the Spring Lake sewer project. DeSoto County announces plans for a new rodeo facility that should be the granddaddy of them all in Florida. It will be called Mosaic National Arena. July A national builder, taking note of the lottery system in Charlotte County and North Port, announces it will buy Murdock JOHN | 6 PUNTA GORDA — On Oct. 16, 1962, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy informed President John F. Kennedy that a Lockheed U-2 spy plane had taken photographs of a Russian missile base under construction near San Cristobal, Cuba. Just 90 miles from Florida, that put the missiles well within striking distance of the United States. For the next 13 days, the world held its breath, as Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and President Kennedy made moves and countermoves. Kennedy initiated a naval blockade surrounding the island of Cuba and put U.S. armed forces on alert for a possible invasion of the island. If a U.S. warship fired on a Russian vessel or U.S. forces invaded, the unthinkable could have occurred — nuclear war. Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dick Carr was a first lieutenant at the time and By ALLISON SHIRK STAFF WRITER NORTH PORT — It’s been a challenging year for the North Port Police Department, and after a string of internal controversies and an outside investigation of the department, Police Chief Kevin Vespia said it is time for a “culture change.” “The North Port community asked that their department allow them to be safe, improve community relations and VESPIA be a part of the community by participating in community events,” Vespia said. “That is what High Low 81 66 05252 00025 Top stories of 2014 we are going to do. As your police chief, to accomplish such a community request, we are transitioning the culture of the North Port Police Department.” 8 Ten percent chance of rain. SUN COUPON VALUE METER This year’s savings to date ... $130,639 Vespia said a reorganization of the NPPD structure has been done in consultation with the Center for Public Safety Management, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that the department hired in May to conduct a study of the NPPD’s strengths and weaknesses. The city paid the firm CHANGE | 6 CLASSIFIED: Comics 7-10 | Dear Abby 10 | TV Listings 11 SPORTS: Lotto 2 CHARLIE SAYS ... Look inside for valuable coupons Daily Edition $1.00 Dick Carr graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1959 and was involved in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. NPPD chief: It’s time for a ‘culture change’ SUN: Obituaries 5 | Crosswords 7 | Police Beat 7 | Viewpoint 8 | Opinion 9 | Legals 10-12 INDEX | THE THE WIRE: Nation 2 | World 5 | State 6 | Weather 6 7 CRISIS | 6 PHOTO PROVIDED CALL US AT 941-206-1000 I have a feeling the Bucs will play well next season.
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