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Common Sore:
Jeb Bush’s Education Problem

| December 18, 2014

The Republican Party’s tea bag wing is unforgiving – so far – over his embrace of the Common Core standards even though the federal government has had almost nothing to do with them.

Mulling Nuisances, Palm Coast Putters Closer to Trap, Neuter and Release of Feral Cats

| December 18, 2014

With two new supporters of TNR on the council, Palm Coast is slowly moving toward adoption of a trap and release system that still preserves the city’s authority to declare some cats nuisances, and have them removed from public spaces or exterminated.

As Compliance Replaces Controversy, Sheriff Cautions of 2 DUI Checkpoints in Palm Coast

| December 18, 2014

The checkpoints, which must follow strict guidelines, will be located at Palm Coast Pkwy NW and Frontage Road as well as State Road 100, East of Old Kings Road.

What White People Don’t See

| December 17, 2014

Whether it’s police dealing with suspects or Sony executives referring to President Obama, what they see first isn’t the human being, but the color, and usually in the basest terms, argues Steve Robinson.

Florida Clerks Told To Deny Licenses Even When Federal Court Order Granting Gay Marriage Kicks in

| December 17, 2014

Lawyers for the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers have advised county officials statewide not to issue marriage licenses “until a binding order is issued by a court of proper jurisdiction” and warned the clerks that they could be subject to criminal prosecution if they allow gay couples to wed.

Firing a “Sponge Grenade,” Flagler Deputies Defuse a Would-Be Suicide-By-Gun After Hours of Negotiations

| December 17, 2014

Flagler deputies after hours of negotiations near the Palm Harbor overpass in Palm Coast Wednesday morning stopped a man from killing himself with a .38 by firing so-called “less-lethal” munition.

Shirley Nethery, 77, Dies After Mistakenly Driving Her Car Down a Hammock Boat Ramp

| December 17, 2014

Shirley Nethery, a 77-year-old resident and former president of Surfside Estates in Beverley Beach, died Tuesday evening after driving her car down a boat ramp and into the the Intracoastal Waterway.

White Elephant No More: County Approves 5-Year Lease of Costly Ginn Hangar in Deal With New Company

| December 16, 2014

Delta Engineering of New Catle, Del., expanding in Flagler with 10 to 30 high-paying jobs, will fill the old Ginn building that had left the county with a $2 million liability when Ginn went bankrupt.

In Unusual Vote, Flagler Commission Acknowledges Ethics and Elections Complaints Against All Its Members

| December 16, 2014

County and Canvassing Board Attorney Al Hadeed, who was also served with complaints, asked for the vote to assert three points that framed the complaints within the official duties commissioners were performing at the time the issues arose.

Ethics Commission Rejects Settlement With Sheriff Manfre, Reopening Case on All Charges

| December 16, 2014

Manfre’s practices and claims of innocence until cautioned otherwise came under withering criticism by several members of the commission, who voted 7-2 to further investigate all charges originally brought against him.

Divided Flagler Commission Awards Administrator Coffey 5% Raise This Year, With More All But Promised

| December 15, 2014

The Flagler County Commission didn’t go for the 10 percent raise Coffey (or, it is claimed, his staff) was asking for, but he still got a nearly $6,000 raise in a 3-2 vote by the commission Monday evening.

In 4-1 Vote, County Seals Agreement to Build Tourist-Ready Cottages at Princess Preserve

| December 15, 2014

An initial plan to build three cottages in partnership with a state conservation agency would expand to an additional 10 cottages at the River-to-Sea Preserve in the near future.

Weekend Domestic Violence: A Woman’s Teeth Knocked Out; Baseball Bat vs. Lexus

| December 15, 2014

Michael J. Ditaranto and Ralph Moreno, both Palm Coast residents, were jailed following separate incidents that resulted in one woman being hospitalized and a car being smashed up.

With 800,000 Floridians in Health Insurance Limbo, Hopes Return for Medicaid Expansion

| December 15, 2014

A coalition of businesses groups, local officials and healthcare industry representatives has rolled out a plan to insure nearly one million low-income Floridians who fall in the so-called Medicaid coverage gap.

Special Election for House: Renner Hauls In $76,500. His Three Opponents Combined: $355

| December 14, 2014

Renner’s $76,500 dwarfed amounts not exceeding $180 raised by three other candidates in the District 24 race — Republicans Sheamus McNeeley and Ron Sanchez and Democrat Adam Morley. Republican Danielle Anderson filed a waiver, as she had not posted a report on the state Division of Elections website by week’s end.

Woman’s Report of Armed Robbery Leads to SWAT’s Raid of 2 Homes Before Suspect Is Caught Elsewhere

| December 13, 2014

The alleged armed robbery of 23-year-old Nicole Rizzo on Bunnell’s South Chapel Street in early evening Friday led to the arrest of Charles Lenard “CJ” Phillips.

Yes, We’re Cops. And We’re Human Beings. But We Won’t Be Your Victims.

| December 12, 2014

In an impassioned response to acute criticism leveled at police after events in Ferguson and Staten Island, Jonathan Dopp, a sheriff’s deputy in Flagler County, presents law enforcement’s unapologetic perspective.

Supervisor of Elections Weeks and Ex-Candidate File Load of Ethics and Elections Complaints on 4 Commissioners

| December 12, 2014

Calling it a “witch hunt,” the four commissioners say the complaints rehash minor issues that were almost all resolved during the election season, and that the ploy mostly is an attempt to tarnish.

County Administrator Craig Coffey Seeking 10% Raise, to $161,000, Amid Other Personnel Costs

| December 12, 2014

The county administrator’s salary would increase from $146,383 and would add an automatic 3 percent merit pay increase a year absent an affirmative decision by the county commission.

Palm Coast Inaugurates 3-Day Birds of a Feather Fest With “The Big Year”‘s Greg Miller Headlining

| December 11, 2014

The inaugural and broad-spanned three-day Birds of a Feather Fest is scheduled for Feb. 6-8, 2015, offering a weekend of birding, workshops, presentations, kayak trips and family activities.

Wadsworth Dog Park Remains Open After Abandoned Puppy Found in Area Is Euthanized for Parvo Virus

| December 11, 2014

A stray puppy that hung around Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach was diagnosed with the virulent parvovirus virus and euthanized, but unlike last year, the county administration has no intention of closing the dog park at Wadsworth, in part because it’s not clear exactly where the stray dog was found.

Ferguson Events and FSU Shooting Trigger Florida’s Third-Busiest Gun Shopping Day Ever

| December 11, 2014

The Nov. 28 purchases trailed only the sales for two days in December 2012, which came after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Cash, Crack, Pot and Pills: Drug Sweep in Palm Coast and Bunnell Yields 16 Arrests

| December 10, 2014

Most of the arrests were the result of under-cover drug buys conducted in November, leading to search and arrest warrants that SWAT teams and other cops served today. There were no arrests in Flagler Beach.

In Mass-Casualty Simulation, Flagler First Responders and Hospital Test Capabilities

| December 10, 2014

The simulation entailed a plane crash at the county airport and more than two dozen injuries as fuel and debris struck Hijackers’ Restaurant. The exercise unfolded in front of Florida Hospital Flagler’s Emergency Room.

Florida’s Minimum Wage Going Up to $8.05 as Obama’s Push For $10.10 Remains Elusive

| December 10, 2014

A Democratic bill in the Florida Legislature would seek the $10,10 threshold, but its chances of passing are slim to none. Business groups like the Florida Chamber of Commerce have argued against such proposals.

4 Years In, Judge Dennis Craig Is Reassigned To Volusia and Replaced By Michael Orfinger

| December 10, 2014

Craig has been reassigned to the civil division in Daytona Beach. He will be replaced in Flagler by Michael Orfinger, who was elected to the bench after running unopposed last summer.

Salamander Losing Streak Continues as Planning Board Rejects 198-Room Hammock Hotel, 3-2

| December 9, 2014

The vote, coming at the end of a nearly four and a half hour hearing, is the latest in a series of defeats for the developer, though the binding decision does not take place until the Flagler County Commission hears the proposal.

Palm Coast Council Weighing Suspending Red-Light Camera Program Entirely

| December 9, 2014

The Palm Coast City Council is considering suspending–but not ending–its red-light camera program until courts rule more conclusively on the legality of the system.

Citing New Evidence, Flagler Detectives Reopen Case of Robert Picard’s Disappearance in 1997

| December 9, 2014

Flagler County Sheriff’s detectives have reopened the 17-year-old case of Robert Patrick Picard, who went missing in western Flagler County in circumstances then-Sheriff Bob McCarthy called “suspicious.” The disappearance took place within days of the man’s trailer being burglarized by a man and three boys.

Flagler Opens 1st Secure Site For Supervised Children’s Visits in Sally’s Safe Haven

| December 8, 2014

It took three years and $400,000 from a federal grant, but on Monday county officials dedicated the safe haven in the old Bunnell Post office location, ensuring that parents don’t have to travel to Volusia or St. Johns to execute court-ordered, supervised children’s visitations.

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