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Bunnell Eliminates 40% Of Police Department as Part of Wider Cost-Cuts and Lay-Offs

| July 29, 2014

Seeking to cut an $800,000 deficit that represents a fifth of the city’s budget, the Bunnell City Commission Monday cut its commission salaries by 10 percent, eliminated its grants department and laid off staff that have been mainstays of the Bunnell administration and police department over the years.

Repertory Theatre Will Keep Its Home in a Favorable Arrangement With City Marketplace

| July 29, 2014

The theater will remain at City Marketplace for at least one more year. City Repertory’s future had been in doubt for months with the departure of Hollingsworth gallery, which had been its landlord until its departure this month.

Florida’s Back-To-School Sales Tax Holiday Is This Weekend: Here’s A Guide

| July 29, 2014

Florida’s 2014 sales tax holiday on school supplies, clothing, shoes and personal computers and other select accessories is this weekend–starting at a minute after midnight Friday, Aug. 1, through midnight Sunday, Aug. 3.

For 2nd Time in 5 Days, South Bunnell Is Scene of Violent Attack, This Time a Stabbing

| July 29, 2014

Edward Godwin, a 68-year-old felon on probation and with a long arrest record, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery after allegedly stabbing a woman who interceded between Godwin and his wife as the couple were arguing in front of her house, and Godwin’s wife was calling out for help.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Get Ready For Moonlight Fishing On the Flagler Beach Pier, Starting in September

| July 25, 2014

The Flagler Beach pier’s balance sheet is struggling this year, with a $23,000 deficit the city government–which administers the pier–is trying to close before the end of the year. One idea: starting the first Saturday in September (Sept. 6), the pier will be open to fishing through the night, but for a $6 charge–the same rate fishermen must pay during the day.

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.

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.

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.

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