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Judge Upholds Blind Trust Law, Allowing
Gov. Scott to Shield Assets From Public

| July 28, 2014

Critics say the device contradicts constitutional safeguards requiring Florida voters to be made aware of what a public official owns and how it might affect his or her decisions. Scott, who reported a net worth of $132.7 million as of the end of last year, is believed to be the only official using a blind trust.

61% of Palm Coast’s Blue-Collar Workers Unionize, Citing City’s Inattention to Grievances

| July 28, 2014

A decisive majority of the 140 blue-collar workers in Palm Coast’s utilities department—the city’s largest—voted last week to unionize, making them the second city department to do so. The city’s 50-some firefighters unionized in 2010 but are currently at an impasse over contract negotiations.

A Man Brandishes a Knife at Police Then Jumps To His Death at Ormond Resort on A1A

| July 28, 2014

Ormond Beach police are investigating what they call a “suspicious incident/suicide” that took place early this morning at the Royal Floridian Resort on State Road A1A, claiming the life of Dean O’Hara, 50, of Cape Canaveral.

Floridians Support Legalization of Medical Marijuana By 9-1 Margin, Sustaining High

| July 28, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac University poll–the most authoritative poll on the matter–finds 88 percent of Floridians favoring medical marijuana, with 10 percent opposed, including 83 percent support from voters 65 and older and 95 percent support from voters 18 to 29 years old.

Three Arrested After Chase and Violent Armed Robbery Leaves 2 Victims Injured on SR100

| July 27, 2014

The armed robbery at 11 p.m. at SR100 and Belle Terre Parkway took place just as firefighters were battling a house fire in Grand Haven. The subsequent car chase and crash required pulling personnel from the fire to the crash scene.

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, 1949-2014

| July 27, 2014

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, 1949-2014: military and economic aid broken down by year, from the Congressional Research Service reports.

It’s Not Benghazi: Hillary Clinton’s Real Scandal Is Honduras.

| July 26, 2014

Desperate Honduran children are seeking refuge from a human rights nightmare that would cast a dark cloud over Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid right now if the media were paying any attention.

Thank You for Your Service: How One Company Sues Soldiers Worldwide

| July 26, 2014

With stores near military bases across the country, the retailer USA Discounters offers easy credit to service members. But when those loans go bad, the company uses the local courts near its Virginia headquarters to file suits by the thousands.

Palm Coast’s Tom Hanson and Doug Akins Land Awards for City’s Web Design and Tornado Video

| July 26, 2014

For Tom Hanson and Palm Coast’s TV199, annual awards have become the the norm since he launched the city’s public-access TV station in 2007, enhancing the channel’s lineup with far more than videos of government meetings and functions.

If You Think Businessmen Have Any Business Running Government, Think Again

| July 25, 2014

Government is about essential services; business is about profit.  Essential services must be improved, not cut. Government is designed to protect the common good, and has never and will never be successfully run as a business, argues Marc Yacht.

Florida’s “Docs vs. Glocks” Bill Wins Federal Appeals Court Approval in 2-1 Ruling

| July 25, 2014

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state Legislature had the right to pass the NRA-backed law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

Florida Ban on Gay Marriage Is Declared Unconstitutional, But Miami-Dade Judge Stays Decision Until Appeals

| July 25, 2014

Eight days after a Monroe County judge declared a ban on same-sex marriage illegal, a Miami-Dade circuit court judge late today struck down the ban in Florida on behalf of six gay couples, but stayed her decision until the results of an appeal.

Flagler Beach Commissioner Settle “Goes Off” On Resident as Confrontations Rattle Meeting

| July 25, 2014

In two confrontations that upset fellow-commissioners, Flagler Beach City Commissioner Steve Settle questioned resident Rick Belhumeur on what “allowed” him to address issues relating to the city’s fire department and called his public comments “inappropriate” by falsely claiming that Belhumeur was running for office. After the meeting, the two men got in a shouting match.

Marketing 2 Go and Curley Tail Design Make the Move to Town Center Offices

| July 25, 2014

Kim Fitzgerald’s Curley Tail Design and Cindy Dalecki’s Marketing 2 Go see the move to Town Center as part of a high-tech corridor to come in the area, though their biggest new neighbor will soon be Palm Coast’s City Hall.

Authorities Locate Brandon Connolly, 17, Runaway Since July 19

| July 25, 2014

Brandon Connelly has run away three times before, and his father believes that his grounding until a court date was the contributing factor in the latest running away.

Judge Wary of Redrawing Area’s
Congressional Map Before November Election

| July 24, 2014

So far, the Legislature has declined to appeal Lewis’ ruling, and the state’s attorneys say lawmakers will redraw the map in time for the 2016 elections. But lawyers for the voting-rights groups and voters who sued to overturn the map under the Constitution’s anti-gerrymandering standards say that’s too late.

Flagship Schools: How Flagler District Is Changing the Way Students Learn, and Prepare for Careers

| July 24, 2014

The goal is to begin the college and career readiness process much earlier and more comprehensively. The program, incorporated into the normal daily curriculum, is based STEM initiatives, with an eye toward preparing students for employment in area industries.

Florida Insurers Owe $41.7 Million in Rebates to Individuals and Companies, Topping Nation

| July 24, 2014

The latest round of paybacks brings Florida’s three-year total from the Affordable Care Act’s rebate program to almost $220 million. This year’s rebate will average $65 per family in Florida, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Man Is Shot and Wounded Near MLK Blvd. And S. Cherry in Bunnell, Suspect Still at Large

| July 23, 2014

A man was shot just after 8 p.m. tonight (July 23) in the area of Martin Luther King Blvd. and South Cherry Street in South Bunnell, the city’s police chief, Tom Foster, said this evening. Authorities are investigating.

Court Authorizes Higher Ambulance Fee For Out-of-State Visitors, Opening Revenue Door

| July 23, 2014

Rejecting arguments that the policy is unconstitutional, a state appeals court said Wednesday that the city of Miami can charge an extra $100 when its rescue crews transport non-residents to hospitals for emergency care.

The 10 Counties Likeliest to Swing the Scott-Crist Race for Governor

| July 23, 2014

There is no question this is a toss-up race. Those confidently predicting a winner, one way or the other, are likely smoking the substance that is the subject of a ballot amendment this fall. Here are the 10 swing counties.

At Flagler Tea Party Candidates Night, A Dearth of Voters, Democrats and Awareness

| July 23, 2014

The Tea Party’s candidate night is still the liveliest and best attended of all such events, as it was Monday, but the turn-out of interested voters was sharply down from two years ago, Democrats were virtual no-shows, and long-time observers of the political scene complained of some candidates’ disconnect from current issues.

As Crist’s Lead Over Scott Erodes, Libertarian Adrian Wyllie Throws X-Factor Into Race

| July 23, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac poll has Scott still trails Crist, but by only five points, 45 to 40 percent. That’s in a two-way race. When Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is thrown in the mix, its 39-37 for Crist, which is within the margin of error, with Wyllie taking a substantial 9 percent.

Charter School Grades Should Alarm Every Floridian as Drag On Districts Continues

| July 22, 2014

The idea that charter school operators should make a profit by providing children a better educational experience should offend no one. The fact that the numbers say they’re not doing a better job, while they’re draining away precious public resources, should alarm everyone.

Five Questions for Crist Running-Mate Annette Taddeo

| July 22, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist announced last week that his running mate would be Annette Taddeo, chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and a political consultant’s dream: a Hispanic working mom who runs a successful small business and hosted her own show, Taddeo2Day, on CNN Latino.

Palm Coast, Flagler and School Tax Bills To Increase About 5% as County and District Set Tentative Rates

| July 22, 2014

For a $175,000 house with a homestead tax exemption of $50,000, the typical tax bill will be $2,574, a saving of $2 from the current rate, when Palm Coast, Flagler, School Board and water management district taxes are combined, before accounting for higher property values of about 5 percent. Totals will be higher in Flagler Beach and Bunnell.

Facing DUI Charge, Palm Coast Man Attempts to Bribe Deputy With Dinner

| July 22, 2014

Ricardo Feo Sr., a 58-year-old resident of Princess Geraldine Place in Palm Coast, offered dinner to deputy Joseph Barile, in exchange for his freedom, as he was being booked into the Flagler County jail.

In a Major Blow to Obamacare, Court Rules Health Insurance Subsidies Illegal in 36 States, Including Florida; 2nd Court Disagrees

| July 22, 2014

The decision is a potentially fatal blow to the Affordable Care Act, but it conflicts with an opposite conclusion by a different appeals court on the same day. In Florida, 91 percent of those enrolled get an average monthly subsidy of $278 a month. Most could not afford the premiums without the subsidies, which would disappear if the decision sticks.

Trial Judge Denies “Stand Your Ground” Immunity Hearing For Marissa Alexander

| July 21, 2014

The trial judge overseeing the case of Marissa Alexander, who faces 60 years in prison for firing a shot in a domestic dispute, has ruled that she is not entitled to a second immunity hearing under Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” self-defense law.

In a Boon to Flagler, National Guard Will Bring “Hundreds of Troops” to County Airport in Long-Term Lease Agreement

| July 21, 2014

The Army National Guard’s 10-year lease agreement with Flagler, to be revealed to the County Commission Wednesday, fills a 19,000-square-foot building at the airport, for $15,185 a month, after the county saw four tenants in eight years fail to make good on their leases there.

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