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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.

Florida Blue, State’s Biggest Health Insurer, Will Raise Rates in Response to Obamacare

| July 21, 2014

Florida Blue snagged a third of all new policies under Obamacare, but rates are going up due to a lack of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge in people seeking expensive health services.

Israel’s March of Folly

| July 20, 2014

Israel’s latest attack on Gaza reflects yet again that peculiar blend of arrogance and bigotry that has characterized Israeli policy toward Arabs since 1982: the arrogance that Israel is infallible, and the bigotry that sees Arabs either as inferior creatures to be walled off or as terrorists to be killed. It shouldn’t be surprised when the beasts rebel.

Florida Supreme Court Seeks Clarity on Inmates Sentenced to Life in Prison as Juveniles

| July 19, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court held that juvenile sentencing guidelines must offer young offenders the chance to have their cases reviewed after serving a certain number of years. A Florida law went into effect July 1, seeking to comply. But it remains unclear in key regards.

Flagler Film Festival Prepares For 2nd Edition, But More Foreigners Than Locals Send Flicks

| July 18, 2014

Flagler Film Festival Co-Founder Kathy Barry can’t figure it out: of 65 film submissions so far for the January festival, only 20 are from Florida, and none from Flagler-Palm Coast, though she wants the involvement of the much-vaunted video department at FPC.

Flagler Unemployment Ticks Up For 2nd Straight Month, Masking Vast Improvements

| July 18, 2014

Despite traditional unemployment figures, the jobs situation in Flagler County is vastly improved, and continues to improve, with a 38 percent drop in people without jobs since four years ago and a labor force stronger by 3,000.

Crist Picks Annette Taddeo as Running Mate, Citing Her Working Mom Credentials

| July 18, 2014

Picking Annette Taddeo, a Democratic party leader in Miami-Dade, could help Crist in voter-rich South Florida while appealing to women and Hispanics. Taddeo, 47, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008.

The Only Immigration “Crisis” Is America’s Refusal to Take In Children With Open Arms

| July 17, 2014

What are we to make of people who will stand in front of a TV camera and say they don’t want “those” people in their town? What are we to make of people who know so little of their beloved country’s history that they will make a mockery of the Statue of Liberty’s welcoming torch by greeting busloads of terrified children with shouts of “Go back where you came from”?

Calling It “Obviously Unconstitutional,” Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban in the Keys

| July 17, 2014

Judge Luis Garcia, a Jeb Bush appointee, ruled that fundamental rights such as marriage may not be defined by the state, nor can they depend on a vote, such as Florida’s 2008 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But the ruling applies only in Monroe County.

Flagler Schools’ Latest Student Code of Conduct: Zero Tolerance Endures, More Infractions Added, But Also More Vagueness

| July 17, 2014

The proposed 2015 Student Code of Conduct in Flagler County Schools adds a series of infractions, including cussing, slurs, harassment,and use of social media, but despite Superintendent Jacob Oliva’s stated opposition to zero-tolerance policies, those remain unchanged, and many of the changes exhibit alarming vagueness.

Florida’s Teachers Union Sues State Over “Sneaky” Last-Minute Voucher Expansion

| July 17, 2014

The voucher expansion had appeared dead in the Senate until getting approved in a broader bill in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session. The Florida Education Association charges the state “log rolled” that and other education issues into a single bill.

Palm Coast Activists Drop 1,600 Postcards to Rep. Ron DeSantis, Seeking Better Gun-Safety

| July 16, 2014

The national, week-long “Not One More” campaign was inspired by the passionate plea of Richard Martinez, father of a victim of the May 23 mass shooting in Santa Barbara, in which Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 13 before killing himself.

Florida Inverse: 2nd Highest Level of Uninsured, Dead Last in Affordable Care Grants

| July 16, 2014

Judging by the grant totals of other states, Florida appears to have forfeited at least $100 million and possibly $300 million or more, not even including $51 billion the state is forfeiting by saying no to Medicaid expansion.

Find a Lawyer: Flagler Duo Launches Unique Web Venture Rating Attorneys’ Success Rate

| July 15, 2014

CourtCaseResults.com, the brainchild of Trevor Tucker and Darren McGuire, is a freely accessible website that gives consumers full histories of lawyers’ success and failure rates in Flagler cases. Launched Monday, the site is gradually moving to include cases statewide.

The Leader:
James MacGregor Burns, 1918-2014

| July 15, 2014

James MacGregor Burns, one of America’s greatest historians and political scientists, died today at his home. In 1999, FlaglerLive editor Pierre Tristam spent a couple of days with him for a profile, reproduced here.

Sheriff Asking Public’s Help in Locating Tiffany Alyce Chapman, 16, Missing Since Sunday

| July 15, 2014

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate Tiffany Alyce Chapman, 16, of 65 Blaine  Drive in Palm Coast. She left her residence around 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 13.

John Morgan Has $6 Million in Pledges for Medical Pot Amendment, Not Including His Own

| July 14, 2014

Renewed support from Morgan — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s boss and close friend — comes as opponents of the measure, aided by Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and supporter of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, double down on efforts to kill it.

Mom’s 63-Year-Old Boyfriend Accused of Molesting 13-Year-Old Palm Coast Girl

| July 14, 2014

Robert A. Zetrouer, 63, was held at the Flagler County jail on $75,000 bond on Friday on charges of lewd or lascivious molestation and attempted lewd or lascivious battery on a 13-year-old girl in May and June.

Palm Coast Man, Angered Over PlayStation, Accused of Battering Pregnant Wife; Rash of B-Section Burglaries End in Arrest

| July 14, 2014

Cody J. Lynch, 21, faces an aggravated battery charge for allegedly battering his pregnant wife when he couldn’t find his PlayStation 4. Some half dozen break-ins involving mostly unlocked cars in Palm Coast’s B Section ended with the arrest of Michael Shawn McRoberts Jr., 18, who lives in the same neighborhood.

Why Obtaining Your Own Medical Records May Now Cost You a Small Fortune

| July 14, 2014

For-profit companies in the new “release of information” or “disclosure-management” industry now charge $1 a page, in paper or digital format, for what used to be free, while the Florida Board of Medicine is looking to make the $1-a-page standard for all.

Thomas Trudell, 65, of Palm Coast, Is Killed in Motorcycle vs. Pick-Up Wreck at Belle Terre and Pine Grove

| July 13, 2014

Thomas Trudell, 65, of Palm Coast, was riding his motorcycle on Belle Terre Parkway when he was killed Sunday morning as a pick-up truck pulled in front of him at the intersection of Belle Terre and Pine Grove Drive.

How U.S. Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Defense of Alleged Revenge Killers of Palestinian Teen

| July 12, 2014

The tax-exempt donations do not appear to run afoul of U.S. law. But they do put U.S. taxpayers in the position of subsidizing aid to Israelis convicted of politically motivated violence.

Hobby Lobby and Religion’s
Assassination of Common Sense

| July 11, 2014

The Supreme Court’s decision granting some companies authority to deny contraception to employees is a reminder that women-hating, science-bashing and religiously-based bigotry veiled as “faith” are alive and well in America.

Flagler School District Rated B For 2nd Straight Year Despite Seven A-Rated Schools

| July 11, 2014

A-rated schools included Bunnell, Rymfire, Old Kings, Wadsworth and Belle Terre elementaries, along with Indian Trails Middle and Palm Harbor, the charter school that just two years ago was failing. The district will earn several hundred thousand dollars in bonuses.

Judge Throws Out Two of Florida’s Redrawn Congressional Districts, Affecting Flagler

| July 11, 2014

District 5 wraps itself around much of the western flank of District 6, which includes all of Flagler County. If District 5 is re-drawn, it would likely affect District 6, which is currently represented by Republican Ron DeSantis.

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