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Category archives for: Flagler

Ex-Traffic Homicide Prosecutor Ray Lee Smith Joins Flagler Bench as Family Law Judge

| May 23, 2016

Smith, 43, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident, will preside over family law cases. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge J. David Walsh earlier this year.

6 Local Unions Show Electoral Power as 16 Candidates For School Board, Palm Coast and County Match Mettle

| May 20, 2016

The United Public Employees of Flagler County, representing 6 local public unions, hosted the largest simultaneous political forum in the county’s recent history, yielding a few insights into three races.

Flagler’s 5.1% Unemployment Nearly Matches U.S. Rate Even as Jobs and Labor Force Dip

| May 20, 2016

Flagler’s unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point in a year, and is down from 8.3 percent two years ago. The rate went down even though 179 fewer people held jobs in April, because the labor force shrank by a larger number.

Against 1 Objection, Flagler Commissioners Want to Increase Their Travel Budget 184%

| May 19, 2016

Commissioner Barbara Revels called the proposed increase “obscene,” but Frank Meekera and Nate McLaughlin kept pressing for it–increasing the budget from $15,885 to $45,000 for the five commissioners.

At Sheriff’s Ceremony for Fallen Officers, a Call For Self-Reflection About Tradition of Service

| May 19, 2016

So far this year, 35 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty, 17 of them by gunfire, 14 of them in vehicle-related deaths, two of them by heart attacks. Two of those deaths took place in Florida.

In Victory for Flagler Beach, Dreaded and Un-Scenic A1A Signs Will Not Spear the City

| May 18, 2016

The state transportation department finally barred the signs from Flagler Beach and Beverly Beach after an intense campaign by city officials that reflected almost unanimous public outrage against the signs.

TDC Favors Beverly Beach’s $32,000 Walkover Renovations, But Not Before Unusual Grilling

| May 18, 2016

The questioning was another example of of the TDC’s more inquisitorial attitude toward local projects as opposed to a less rigorous or accountable approach when the applicant is an out-of-town organization, including for-profits.

Flagler’s Pot De-Criminalization Proposal Wilts, But Narrower Version Still Possible

| May 17, 2016

A work group meeting Tuesday to craft an ordinance raised more questions and objections than showed agreement, though the proposal is still moving forward in a much narrower version, and has many hurdles yet to cross.

Flagler Commissioners Press Case to Recover Fees from 5 More Frivolous Ethics Complainants

| May 17, 2016

It’s the Flagler commission’s latest attempt to strike back against almost 30 ethics, elections, Florida bar and other complaints filed against commissioners and the administration since 2014, but a previous attempt to recover fees has been unsuccessful so far.

A Director’s Impassioned Plea for “Have-Nots” Wins Out: New Library Would Rise in Bunnell, Not Palm Coast

| May 16, 2016

Flagler Public Library Director Holly Albanese insisted–in diametric disagreement from her boss–that a proposed new library branch should remain in Bunnell, and the county commission on Monday agreed.

Flagler Takes 1st Step To Pot Decriminalization With Broad Agreement on Principle, Less So on Details

| May 11, 2016

All of Flagler’s major law enforcement and government agencies agree that marijuana decriminalization for first-time offenders is a good idea. The county next will develop an ordinance all can agree on. That step may be more difficult.

County Government’s Health Costs Take $1.5 Million Hit, Clouding Brighter Budget Outlook

| May 10, 2016

Property values are expected to improve by 4.5 percent, adding $2.5 million to county revenue absent tax-rate changes, but the county’s health costs are increasing dramatically, leaving county commissioners with difficult choices again.

Housing Restrictions on Sex Offenders Spread Even as Evidence Shows They Don’t Work

| May 7, 2016

The restrictions can make offenders’ lives less stable by severely limiting their housing options, and can push them away from family, jobs and social support — all of which make it more likely they will abuse again.

Three Candidates for Elections Supervisor Offer More Strengths Than Differences

| May 4, 2016

The three candidates for elections supervisor–Kaiti Lenhart, Abra Seay and Kimble Medley–had their first chance to distinguish themselves before voters this evening in a 60-minute forum that featured more qualities between them than anything else, and no abrasiveness.

Flagler County Quietly Scraps Plan for 3 New Emergency Communications Towers, For Now

| May 3, 2016

After the Flagler County Commission voted down a planned 350-foot tower on John Anderson Highway, NexTower, which would have built three towers, pulled out of the deal entirely, returning the county’s planning for its emergency infrastructure’s backbone to close to near zero.

County Floats Consolidation of Fire Services And Finally Agree to Meet With Palm Coast

| May 2, 2016

At a long-awaited workshop this afternoon Flagler County responded to Palm Coast’s pressing for a new way to deliver ambulance services, but by countering with a proposal the city is not likely to approve in any way.

Flagler’s Emergency Operations Center at 10 Years: A Few Fires, 5 Managers, Zero Hurricanes

| April 30, 2016

The Emergency Operations Center was part of a $90 million public building spree at the height of the housing boom, just before it all crashed. The center has yet to know its first hurricane emergency, though it’s helped the county through several fire and major storm emergencies.

Poison Flush: Drug Take-Back Day in Palm Coast and Flagler Beach on Saturday, No Questions Asked

| April 28, 2016

Residents can stop at four locations in Palm Coast and one in Flagler Beach to privately return expired or unwanted prescription, over-the-counter meds, vitamin or herbal remedies as well as veterinary medications.

Sen. Travis Hutson Draws a Democratic Opponent in Palm Coast’s Curtis Ceballos

| April 27, 2016

Curtis Ceballos, 54, launched two technology startups in the past two years and intends to focus on technology jobs and vocational education in his campaign. He unsuccessfully ran for county commission in 2006.

Deputy David Malta, Class of ’87, Is Latest Long-Timer to Retire from Sheriff’s Office

| April 26, 2016

David Malta, the latest in a long string of veterans who have left, retired or been forced out of the agency, started his career under Sheriff Bob McCarthy. His retirement was foreordained, however, because of a Florida Retirement System program he joined five years ago.

Teens in Flight’s Jack Howell Shortlisted For Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Award

| April 25, 2016

Col. Jack Howell of Palm Coast was nominated for the national award for his work with Teens in Flight over the past 10 years, an organization that trains young pilots whose parents were killed or injured in conflicts since 2001.

Median Price of Homes in Flagler Cross Back Over $200,000 For 1st Time Since Housing Boom

| April 20, 2016

The average number of home sales in the past seven months is still slower than the previous six months, but inventory is diminishing and prices continue to rise, once again raising questions of affordability.

Ethics Commission Tosses 5 More Complaints Against County Officials, from Weeks Era

| April 20, 2016

The Florida Ethics Commission threw out complaints against four of the five Flagler County commissioners and County Attorney Al Hadeed in the latest sweep of what has been a drizzle of frivolous complaints against county officials.

County Approves Big Spending on Tourism Office Staff and Rigs and Hints at Raising Tax

| April 19, 2016

County government absorbed the tourism office last fall and is spending big on it, raising staff pay, expanding staff, buying $300,000 worth of equipment and talking about raising the 4 percent sales tax supplement on short-term rentals to 5 percent.

“Go Forward!” Flagler Beach Tells County, Clearing Way for $900,000 Design of Beach-Erosion Project

| April 18, 2016

The Flagler Beach City Commission endorsed the county’s decision to give up on federal dollars and instead spend county and state dollars on the first phase of what will amount to a hugely expensive, $44 million beach-protection project over the next 50 years.

Flagler’s Unemployment Ticks Down to New Post-Recession Low of 5.3% as Employment Surges

| April 15, 2016

In March, strong job growth continued in Flagler County with a gain of 396 for a two-month gain of 868 jobs–numbers not seen since before the Great Recession. Florida’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent.

Nurse Assistants at Grand Oaks Rehab Strike for $15/hr Wage in Echo of National Movement

| April 14, 2016

Workers at Grand Oaks Rehab Center in Palm Coast, most on poverty wages, walked out for 24 hours, though they’d given the facility almost two weeks’ notice and replacements ensured no residents lacked care.

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.

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