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States Begin Increasingly to Let People Reject Smart Meters Amid Health and Privacy Fears

| February 13, 2016

At least 15 states allow customers to opt out of smart meter installation, although many permit utility companies to impose a fee on customers who don’t want the meters. Florida is not among those states.

Palm Coast Arts Foundation Breaks Ground at New Home With Poetry, Nietzsche and a Party

| February 12, 2016

Some 250 people turned out for the Palm Coast Arts Foundation’s groundbreaking Thursday at its new home in Town Center, with poetry and a live performance by a Flagler Youth Orchestra ensemble.

Legislature Tells Florida’s Horse Farmers to Find a New Business

| February 10, 2016

Florida horsemen are screwed, argues Nancy Smith: Only a miracle can save the $1.2 billion Florida horse racing industry they represent. Their bane: the Florida Legislature.  

Family Livid After FDOT Uproots Roadside Memorial to Tyler Tracy 7 Months After Wreck

| February 10, 2016

Tyler Tracy’s memorial was one of five an FDOT official decided had to be removed on US1, though others were left in place, angering Tracy’s widow and family and getting Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts involved in defense of the family.

Dueling On, State Recommends $19,000 Fine and Public Reprimand Against Manfre, Who Maintains Innocence

| February 9, 2016

The dueling recommendations in the long-standing ethics case against Sheriff Manfre are awaiting an administrative law judge’s decision, further dragging on an issue that has clouded the sheriff’s term into his re-election year.

In a Decisive Shift, Palm Coast Will Oppose Fracking On and Offshore, Citing Environment

| February 9, 2016

Abandoning its silence and tacit nod to fracking, the Palm Coast City Council will forcefully oppose hydraulic fracturing in a resolution, citing water and environmental protection.

Florida’s Black Cowboys: An Exhibit Tours All Flagler Schools, Bucking Stereotypes

| February 8, 2016

The Florida Black Cowboys exhibit, produced by the Agriculture Museum, opens a window on a little-known part of Florida and American history. The exhibit will appear at every Flagler County school.

As Flagler’s Emergency Communications Briefly Falter, Palm Coast and Sheriff Assail County Over Long-Term Plans

| February 5, 2016

The county’s critical emergency radio system briefly failed when a tower lost its back-up power Thursday even as county, city and sheriff’s officials were meeting in the first high-level meeting since 2013 to deal with their differences over modernizing the emergency communications system.

E Pluribus Un-American:
The Judeo-Christian Smear of Islam

| February 5, 2016

President Obama’s trip to a mosque to reassure American Muslims of their importance should have been unnecessary. It reveals how deep-seated prejudice remains, especially that of conservative Christians who claim to preach acceptance.

Where’s Opelka? Injury and Ranking Climb Keep Star From Palm Coast’s Tennis Tourney

| February 5, 2016

Palm Coast’s celebrated Reilly Opelka, the boys Wimbledon Champ, says he probably would not have competed in the ongoing Men’s Futures Tennis Tournament even if he did not have a stress fracture as he targets bigger tournaments to earn more ranking points.

Low Gas Prices Are Great For You and Me. For World Security? Not So Much.

| February 3, 2016

Banditry, corruption and tyranny from Saudi Arabia to Iraq to Russia depends on high oil prices. As prices fall, the bandits in charge will quarrel more among themselves – and with their neighbors.

FPL Reports Profits of $1.65 Billion for 2015 But Still Seeks 15% Rate Increase by 2019

| January 28, 2016

Despite the good news to FPL shareholders, FPL has asked for an $8.50-a-month rate increase in 2017, rising to $14-a-month by 2019. The Florida Public Service Commission must approve the rate increases after public hearings.

Case Against Man Accused of Animal Cruelty and Battery Starts Anew as He Reverses Plea

| January 27, 2016

Shawn Higgins previously had agreed to plead no contest to charges of animal cruelty and domestic violence after allegedly forcefully throwing a dog on the floor and strangling an ex-girlfriend. He now has withdrawn his plea even though he faces potentially stiffer punishment.

Luigi and Filomena Camporeale Killed in a Wreck With Truck on I-95 Just South of Palm Coast Parkway

| January 27, 2016

Palm Coast’s Luigi Camporeale, 85, and his wife Filomena Camporeale, 76, were killed around 9:30 p.m. on I-95, immediately south of Palm Coast Parkway as Luigi attempted a hard left turn into the lanes of traffic, strucking a semi truck.

Radical Change Ahead for Palm Coast Council as McGuire Won’t Run, DeLorenzo Opts for County and Netts Is Term-Limited

| January 26, 2016

The Palm Coast City Council will see the biggest turn-over in its history this November as Bill McGuire says he won’t run again, Jason DeLorenzo is running for the county commission and Mayor Jon Netts is term-limited. The council will see a complete turn-over in two years, possibly heralding a sea change in the city’s direction.

Sanders Revives Talk of Single-Payer System, Contrasting Differences With Clinton

| January 24, 2016

Sanders’ main rival for the nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has criticized the plan for raising taxes on the middle class and said it is politically unattainable.

Sheriff Manfre Proposes De-Criminalizing Pot Possession; County Officials and State Attorney Open to Idea

| January 22, 2016

Following in the steps of three Florida counties and some 20 states, Sheriff Jim Manfre wants to replace criminal penalties for small amounts of pot with civil fines. State Attorney R.J. Larizza and county officials are willing to explore the new approach.

Two Young Women’s Suicides, In Close Proximity, Stun and Mobilize Community

| January 21, 2016

Lindsay Brockhaus, 20, killed herself on Tuesday, a month after her friend Cora Ann Engel, 18, committed suicide by the same method, two years almost to the day after Dalton Coxwell, also a Matanzas High student, had killed himself the same way.

Thursday Briefing: District Spelling Bee, Warmest Year on Record, Healthcare for Military Families

| January 21, 2016

2015 was by far the warmest year on record, following on 2014, which also set a record, with human-caused warming to blame. The district spelling bee is at Wadsworth Elementary this evening.

“We Cannot Walk Alone…
We Cannot Turn Back”

| January 18, 2016

Full text and video of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” a brief history of the origins and battles of the Martin Luther King federal holiday, and of the Martin Luther King monument at the Washington Mall.

At Salvo Art Project:
Rachel Thompson, Artist of the Year

| January 15, 2016

“I am just art, I am art, I was born that way,” Thompson says. An opening reception sponsored by the Gargiulo Art Foundation at Salvo Art Gallery marks Thompson’s Artist of the Year honor Saturday.

Taking the Pulse of Crazy: The Election Season on Eve of Iowa and New Hampshire

| January 14, 2016

The electorate is angrier and more fearful than in recent presidential contests, and both Trump and Cruz are capitalizing on it, but as the field narrows, Trump’s appeal may not be as lasting.

Thursday Briefing: Tourist Council Rediscovers Ethics, Newsom Begins in Flagler Beach, Relay For Life

| January 14, 2016

Flagler County’s Tourist Development Council will take re-votes on a series of decisions to eliminate what had been conflicts of interest in previous votes. Larry Newsom starts as city manager in Flagler Beach.

Flagler Film Festival, Drawing on Works Near and Far, Flicks On For 3rd Year Friday

| January 13, 2016

The Flagler Film Festival’s third edition features 47 films from 150 submissions this year, and starts Friday at Palm Coast’s Hilton Garden Inn, running through Sunday.

Flagler County Revises Vacation-Rental Rules as Lawmakers Propose Yet More Changes

| January 12, 2016

The county commission’s authority is limited but it plans to stiffen fines against vacation-rental rule violators. Lawmakers meanwhile, catching on to the controversy, may revert more regulatory authority to local governments.

Losses at Palm Coast’s Golf and Tennis Clubs Mount to Record $431,000; City Council Shrugs

| January 12, 2016

Palm Coast’s Palm Harbor Golf Club and its Tennis center have together lost more money in 2014 than in any year since 2009 under contractor KemperSports’ management, yet council members raised few questions about the operations during a presentation Tuesday.

U.S. Supreme Court Declares Florida’s Death Penalty Scheme Unconstitutional

| January 12, 2016

The United States Supreme Court, in an emphatic ruling Tuesday, declared Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme to be a violation of the Sixth Amendment.

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

| January 12, 2016

The Palm Coast City Council hears an update on its KemperSports-run golf and tennis course, which have been losing money for five years, the school district’s teacher and employee of the year are crowned this evening at the Auditorium.

Monday Briefing: Honoring Judge Walsh, Family Life Center Golf Tournament, Lake Disston Land

| January 11, 2016

The county commission honors Circuit Judge J. David Walsh, who retires next month. The Land Acquisition Committee again discusses possibly acquiring a parcel of land off Lake Disston.

Thursday Briefing: Grand Landings’ Problem With Blacks, Romeo and Juliet at Flagler Auditorium, Rubio’s Surge

| January 7, 2016

The Observer runs the disturbing account of a former Miss Amrica describing the profiling of her son in Grand Landings, Rubio surges to second place in new Hampshire.

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