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Tuesday Briefing: Palm Coast Golf Course Examined, Schools’ Teacher and Employee of the Year Crowned, State of the State

| January 12, 2016

palm coast golf tennis clubs kempersports

The Palm Coast City Council this morning will get an unpade on its money-losing golf course and its tennis club, run by KemperSports. (© FlaglerLive)

Today: Sunny, high in the lower 60s, lows in the upper 30s. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 378.
Today’s tides: at the beaches, at the Intracoastal Waterway.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: mulier, adj., n.2, and adv..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.

Today’s Briefing: Quick Links

In Flagler and Palm Coast:

Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Many can be heard or seen live through each agency’s website.

palm coast city logoThe Palm Coast City Council meets for its first workshop of the year at Palm Coast City Hall in Town Center at 9 a.m. The council will hear an updated presentation on its money-losing golf and tennis operations, run by KemperSports, the private contractor. The council will also hear a presentation on various options to regulate bottle clubs.

The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board will meet after holding committee meetings. (Committee meetings start at 9 a.m., followed by board meeting, district headquarters, 4049 Reid St., Palatka.)

The Flagler County Planning and Land Development Board meets at 6 p.m. at the Government Services Building’s board chambers. The board will consider two minor matters. The agenda and background materials are here.

The Flagler County Centennial Committee meets in the first floor conference room of the Government Services Building at 1:30 p.m.

The school district’s Teacher and Employee of the Year celebration is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Flagler Auditorium. The event is free.

Local News Recap:

In Case Against Kimberle Weeks, Tactical Motions Lead to Likely Turning Point in March: Former Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks was indicted eight months ago on 12 felony counts of illegally recording and disseminating phone and other conversations. At this rate, and even though the state is ready for trial, it may be another eight months before Weeks’s trial is set, if the case goes that far, and if it is limited to a single trial: her attorney wants three. The case may then culminate in the thick of the 2016 election season—which may be just what Weeks, who’s never been accused of lacking theatrical savvy, is angling for.

Palm Coast Couple Arrested for Sex in Joanne King Park After 12 Year Old Spots Them: William J. Murphy, 37, and Connie Whitaker-Roberts, 33, late Sunday afternoon were both arrested after a 12-year-old boy biking home through Joanne B. King park in Bunnell allegedly saw them having sex on a park bench.

Palm Coast’s transition to new utility billing system almost all but flawless: Fewer than 10 people have had their water shut off as the city has moved to a new online payment system, a city spokeswoman tells the Observer.

In State Government:

Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.

House and Senate convene as the Legislature starts the 2016 session. The House convenes at 9:30 a.m., the Senate at 10 a.m.

Gov. Rick Scott is expected to make his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate. (11 a.m.)

The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee will consider a series of bills, including a proposal (HB 437), sponsored by Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, that would eliminate the “certificate of need” regulatory process for hospitals. Also, the panel will consider a proposal (HB 85), sponsored by Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, that would allow patients to stay at ambulatory surgical centers for up to 24 hours and allow the creation of what are known as “recovery care centers.” Another bill (HB 423), filed by Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, would expand drug-prescribing powers for advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants. (1:30 p.m.)

Fantasy Sports: The House Business & Professions Subcommittee will consider a bill (HB 707), filed by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, that would regulate the fantasy-sports industry in Florida. The bill, which would shield fantasy sports from being considered illegal gambling under state law, comes amid a national debate about the legality of the games. (1:30 p.m.)

Public corruption: The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee will take up a proposal (SB 686), filed by Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, aimed at preventing public corruption. The bill, in part, would require city officials to file full financial disclosures. (2 p.m.)

Adoption changes: The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill (SB 590), filed by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, that would make changes in adoption laws. Among other things, the bill would allow judges to place the best interests of children in adoption cases above the wishes of biological parents. (3 p.m.)

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

In Coming Days in Palm Coast and Flagler:

Click on the links for more details:

PR Releases:

Click on the link for more details.

palm coast city logoCity of Palm Coast seeks participants for upcoming Citizens Academy: Palm Coast residents: Have you always wanted to learn more about how your City operates, meet your elected representatives and the City Manager, and tour different City facilities? If so, sign up now for the 2016 Palm Coast Citizens Academy, a comprehensive program designed to educate interested residents about the operation and workings of their City government. The next class will begin Feb. 1 and will be held five consecutive Monday evenings in February. The program is free, and dinner is included. It’s also a great way to meet other residents of Palm Coast. Each class of the Citizens Academy spends five weeks learning about City departments and visiting the new City Hall, the Palm Coast Community Center, Main Fire Station 25, and Water Treatment Plant No. 3. The class also attends a Palm Coast City Council meeting together. Mayor Jon Netts kicks off the academy with an overview session titled, “Governing the City,” providing background on Palm Coast’s incorporation, City Charter, the Council-Manager form of government, and a general overview of the City. A different Council Member hosts each of the other sessions, which go in-depth on every City department with presentations by departmental directors and their staff. City Manager Jim Landon and City Administration Coordinator Beau Falgout provide an update on economic development trends, current projects and the mission of the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center. Participants have the opportunity to interact with dozens of City employees. The Citizens Academy meets once a week, usually on Monday evenings, for five straight weeks. The course is free and registration is limited to approximately 30 Palm Coast citizens per session. The academy is held three times a year – spring, fall and winter. To register, go here. For more information, contact Cindi Lane, Palm Coast Communications & Marketing Manager, at 386-986-3708.

In the Press, In the News:

  Fact-Checking the Knaves:

Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports

The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through Dec. 15:

Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, 1 percent done: Located at 5625 North US Highway 1, the school received a Development Order for a new 13,794 sq. ft. early learning center to be located on the south side of their 8.6-acre site. The architecture of the new one-story building will be very similar to the existing church and school facilities that are located just north of the proposed new building.

Holland Park, 48 percent done: Grading and installation of perimeter sidewalk continues. Electrical conduits being installed to new restroom. Restroom plot has been cleared and graded. Water service has been installed at restroom site. Surveying for basketball court and roadway has begun..

County’s I-95 Interchange Matanzas Woods Reclaim Water, 76 percent done: Retention ponds are being excavated and fill continues for the ramps. (Not in the Dec. 15 update.)

Palm Harbor Parkway Roadway Extension, 38 percent done: The headwall for the double barrel stormwater pipe has been installed and tied in. The water main and reuse main have been extended towards Forest Grove Drive waiting on the
closure of the road next week to make the road crossing.

Colechester Bridge, 93 percent done: Seawall has been completed on the east side, slope pavement has begun.

North Old Kings Road Extension to Matanzas Woods Parkway, 19 percent done: Asphalt was installed on the new section of roadway adjacent to the old roadway at the intersection of Old Kings Road and Forest Grove. (Not in the Dec. 4 update.)

Old Kings Road Force Main 83 percent done:: Contractor has completed the Force main up to the pig launch points and restored the site and trail. The area for the pig flush was completed and flushing has started. (Not in the Dec. 15 update.)

Road and Interstate Construction:

Matanzas Woods Parkway to close temporarily Jan. 16 and 17: Florida Power & Light has requested a temporary closure of Matanzas Woods Parkway to install new street lights. The roadway will be closed between Bird of Paradise Drive and Old Kings Road at Matanzas High School from the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on January 16 and 17 – a Saturday and Sunday – to provide ample time for the installation. “FP&L requested the road closure so they can complete this portion of the work,” said County Engineer Faith Alkhatib. “It is scheduled for a time when school is not in session.” Road work for the Interstate 95 interchange at Matanzas Woods Parkway will cause intermittent lane closures as the ramp construction is not slated for completion until April 2016. Project details are available and regularly updated at matanzas95interchange.com. Links are available on the Flagler County website flaglercounty.org.

Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway to be closed starting Dec. 18: Effective Friday, Dec. 18, the City of Palm Coast will be closing the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway. This road closure is required as part of construction operations for the Palm Harbor Parkway extension, which is currently under construction. Palm Harbor is being realigned and extended to connect directly with Matanzas Woods Parkway where it intersects with Old Kings Road. Message boards will be placed to advise motorists and other travelers of the upcoming change, and a public meeting has already been held for residents living in that area. Both the Palm Harbor extension and a separate extension of Old Kings Road are being built in preparation for the new Interstate 95 interchange to open next June at Matanzas Woods Parkway. As part of the projects, traffic patterns around Matanzas High School will be changing. One goal is to turn Forest Grove Drive back into a residential street as it was originally intended to be. The upcoming road closure of the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway is part of that project. Forest Grove will be turned into a cul de sac on that end. Once the separate Old Kings Road extension is completed, in June 2016, the Forest Grove Drive access to the high school will be closed because it will no longer be needed. Instead, motorists and other travelers will get to Matanzas High School via the new signalized intersection at Matanzas Woods, Palm Harbor and Old Kings. For more information, please contact Palm Coast Communications Manager Cindi Lane at 386-986-3708 or clane@palmcoastgov.com.

Cultural Coda:

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