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Category archives for: Cops/Courts

Ethics Commission Unanimously Approves $6,200 Fine Against Sheriff Manfre, and Public Censure

| April 15, 2016

State ethics commissioners voted without discussion to impose the fine and censure. Manfre has vowed to keep fighting the charges dating back to the early part of his tenure in 2013.

Palm Coast Man, 23, Accused of Sexually Assaulting Two Teen Girls at Long Creek Preserve

| April 14, 2016

Christopher Hollinger, 23, of 43 Forsythe Lane, is at the Flagler County Jail on $270,000 bond on accusations of statutory rape and other charges stemming from an alleged March 15 incident.

Pot-Possession Decriminalization Could Advance in Flagler As Part of Broader Civil Citation Program

| April 14, 2016

Not just the possession of small amounts of pot, but such offenses as battery and criminal mischief could be de-criminalized and shifted to civil citations in an approach that will be studied by a newly formed committee.

Survey Puts Homeless Total in Flagler-Palm Coast at 104, But Undercount Likely

| April 13, 2016

The 2016 census of the homeless population in Flagler-Palm Coast was a dramatic decline from 2015, but also very likely an under-count. The majority of homeless people who have no shelter at all are in Palm Coast.

For 2nd Time in 2 Months, County’s Emergency Communications Falter, and Agencies Chafe

| April 13, 2016

A problem at a tower on John Anderson Highway hampered sheriff’s deputies’ ability to communicate for an hour Monday evening. The county is describing the issue as minor while Palm Coast and the sheriff’s office see it as more emblematic of a recurring problem.

Anna Pehota’s Defense Takes Fresh Turn Down Memory Lapse in Husband’s Killing

| April 13, 2016

An unexpected statement by Pehota, 76, who faces a 2nd degree murder charge, that she doesn’t remember her interrogation opened the way for a defense on psychological grounds, and a request for a delay in her trial, initially scheduled for next week.

Car Rear-Ends Wadsworth-Bound School Bus With 19 Students on Board in P Section

| April 11, 2016

A car rear-ended the Elk school bus at 8:15 this morning at Pine Grove Drive and Pittman Drive in Palm Coast. The driver of the car was injured, but none of the 19 students aboard the bus nor the driver were injured, a school district spokesperson said.

Gateway Drug Bunk: No, Smoking Pot Doesn’t Lead to Harder Drugs

| April 8, 2016

Smoke pot and be merry. Cops’ and politicians’ claims that pot is a gateway drug is baseless fear-mongering intended to stop the legalization of marijuana. But it’s time to dispense with the lie once and for all.

Palm Coast Man Who Shot Wife With AK-47 Continues to Fight His 25-Year Sentence

| April 8, 2016

William Carson Merrill shot and killed his wife as he played with the assault rifle in their home four years ago. He is battling in court for a new trial, arguing that he tendered an involuntary plea to the manslaughter charge.

Same Accusations, Different Day: Palm Coast Man and Woman Jailed Again on Violent Assaults

| April 7, 2016

Shane Hefner and Shannon Cronin have four battery or aggravated battery charges between them in the last three years, three of those charges in the last three weeks.

Upset Over Daughter’s Nude Pictures, Mother Is Charged With Aggravated Child Abuse

| April 6, 2016

Virginia Jennelle of Palm Coast allegedly gashed her daughter’s forehead with a broomstick and poured food all over her to make her unpresentable and keep her from running away.

Raise the Driving Age to 18

| April 5, 2016

Neurologically, kids aren’t ready, argues Catherine Durkin Robinson. Isn’t it time we did what’s best before more die or kill others? Simply focusing on experience ignores what we know about the teenage brain and its predilection for risky behaviors.

County Commission Retreats From Joint Meeting With Palm Coast Council on EMS

| April 5, 2016

After appearing ready to meet with Palm Coast, county commissioners now say that between election turn-over and the absence of a crisis, there’s no need to meet over ambulance issues.

Has Business Biased Florida’s Workers Comp Law Too Far Against Labor? Court Will Decide

| April 4, 2016

Plaintiffs argue that lawmakers have taken too many rights and benefits from people who get injured on the job, while business groups say a 2003 law kept costs from “spiraling.”

Palm Coast Man Accused of Drunk Driving Arrested After 2 Crashes on Belle Terre Pkwy.

| April 4, 2016

Ian Yahnke, 45, of Palm Coast, crashed a car at the Kangaroo station then at White View Parkway before his arrest, breathing .271 and .289 in a blood-alcohol level test at Florida Hospital Flagler.

Criminal Immunity: Prosecutors Are Rarely Punished for Mistakes and Misconduct

| April 4, 2016

The Innocence Project alleges that prosecutors across the country are almost never punished when they withhold evidence or commit other forms of misconduct that land innocent people in prison.

A Bunnell Man Is Falsely Arrested Over Name Error, and Case Proceeds Despite Corrections

| April 1, 2016

In a nightmare of the persistence of bureaucratic errors, Dakota Ward, 19, who’s never been in trouble, was confused with another man and falsely arrested on a battery charge last week. His case is still proceeding.

Man Arrested Over Cocking AK-47 Outside Metro Diner After Words With Manager

| April 1, 2016

Joseph Eberhardinger, 24, had gone to Metro Diner with his girlfriend so she could retrieve her last paycheck when the incident unfolded. The same evening, Anthony Catoggio, 19, was arrested on an identical charge in a separate incident.

Flagler’s 6 Public-Sector Unions Launch Unified Political Arm as Palm Coast Workers Bargain

| March 31, 2016

The new organization, joining teachers, cops, firefighters, school employees and municipal workers, aims to rival Realtors, home builders and the chamber in political influence and regain some power in collective bargaining.

28 Year Old Man Charged With Drunk Driving Manslaughter Death of 2 Women on SR100

| March 31, 2016

Jody Alan Hyde, then 26, was the only person not injured in a wreck he allegedly caused in 2014, where two women were killed and two people left with incapacitating injuries.

Hoax Call of Home Invasion and Shooting Draws Out SWAT and Anger on Ziegler Place

| March 30, 2016

An unsuspecting resident on Ziegler Place was frightened by the sudden appearance of armed police, the house’s door was battered down and damaged, and nothing amiss was inside, though the residents were left angry.

Retreating from Confession in Husband’s Killing, Anna Pehota Vies for Trial: “I’d Rather Take My Chances”

| March 30, 2016

Anna Pehota, 76, had previously confessed to killing her husband in the Hammock last fall, but has since withdrawn her confession and seeks a defense on a second-degree murder charge.

Palm Coast Man Who Avoided Prison in Child Porn Case Is Sentenced to 1 Year Over Gun

| March 29, 2016

Paul Stout, formerly of Palm Coast, had avoided prison when he was placed on 10 years’ probation for possession of child porn last year, but his possession of a .380-caliber gun as a felon sent him to prison.

Sheriff’s Detectives Seeking Public Help in Identifying Two Alleged Bank Fraudsters

| March 29, 2016

The Flagler Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying two men alleged to have fraudulently withdrawn money from two banks in several local transactions resulting in the combined alleged theft of nearly $8,000. The men are not working in concert.

Woman Passed Out in Car on A1A With Infant By Her Charged With DUI and Child Neglect

| March 29, 2016

Tiffany Pond, 24, was passed out at the wheel of her car, the radio blaring, with an infant next to her near an open alcohol container when a Flagler Beach officer woke her up.

Navy Schedules Bombing in Ocala Forest All Week: Windows Will Rattle

| March 28, 2016

The Navy’s live bombing runs at Pinecastle this week are scheduled for 10 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, and noon to midnight into the weekend.

County Takes Dim, Caustic View of Palm Coast’s “Efficiency” Push in Ambulance Services

| March 25, 2016

County commissioners say if Palm Coast wants to make services more efficient, it’s the city’s problem, not theirs. But they’ve agreed to hold a joint meeting in May to discuss possibilities.

Palm Coast’s Karl Westgate, 19, Dies in Prison 7 Weeks After Sentence for Child Rape

| March 24, 2016

Karl Westgate, sentenced last summer to 25 years for raping an 11-year-old girl, died in prison 48 days after his incarceration, and five weeks after writing a Flagler County judge to say that his plea had been coerced, and that he wanted his case re-opened.

Court Upholds Prohibition on Married Couple Claiming 2 Separate Homestead Exemptions

| March 23, 2016

Whether in state or out of state, the Florida appeals court found that the plain language of the law meant that only one homestead exemption was allowed, regardless of location.

Waldemar Rivera Found Guilty of Raping His Step-Daughter

| March 23, 2016

The case against Waldemar Rivera went to the jury this morning after two hours of closing arguments that painted two radically different portraits of the same 13-year-old girl who claimed she’d been raped by Rivera, her step-father.

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