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Flagler, Florida and Beyond

2011 May
Archive for: May, 2011

Florida’s Juvenile Justice Eliminating 1,200 Jobs and Closing 3 Youth Prisons

| May 31, 2011

The budget Gov. Rick Scott signed into law last week reduces juvenile justice’s budget 11 percent, and eliminates 700 jobs in addition to 500 vacant positions that will be abolished. The Legislature singled out youth prisons for closure.

Firefighters and 3 Helicopters Contain Fire Near White Eagle Saloon; US 1 Open

| May 31, 2011

Firefighters are battling a large fire at just east of US1, trying to keep it from jumping the highway, as another fire near Espanola had grown to 320 acres.

Palm Coast Fence-Sitting Over Black and White Divide Around Ralph Carter Park

| May 31, 2011

The mostly white neighbors complain of mostly black users of the park want a fence installed, at considerable cost to taxpayers. The city council is weighing its choices and delaying a decision.

As Palm Coast Talks Development, Housing Prices Hit New Low, Falling 4.2% in 1Q

| May 31, 2011

Housing prices fell to levels not seen since 2002 as double-dipping prices hit new recession lows. Meanwhile, the Palm Coast City Council discussed approval of a plan that would add 12,000 housing units to the local hosing stock.

Firefighters Battling Large, Twin Blazes Merging Into One Just West of Espanola

| May 30, 2011

Flagler County firefighters and other dire departments were deployed against a 200-acre fire west of Espanola and north of the Mondex Monday evening, where two brush fires had joined into one large one.

Calling PBS a “Special Interest,” Rick Scott Vetoes $4.8 Million in Public Broadcasting Aid

| May 30, 2011

The veto means that each one of Florida’s 13 public radio stations, including WMFE in Orlando and WJCT in Jacksonville, both of which can be heard in Flagler County, is losing $61,715. Every TV station is losing $307,447.

Eying Jobs and Tourism Dollars, Orlando Ready to Build $274 Million Arts Center

| May 29, 2011

Arts columnist Josh Garrick appraises the value of Orlando’s Philips Center for the Performing Arts–stalled for four years, now scheduled to open in 37 months with two stages, and a third at a later date.

Union Power in Prague: Flagler’s Firefighters World Champions for 2nd Time in 3 Years

| May 28, 2011

Flagler paramedics’ Local 4337 team–Dennis Kline, Caryn Prather, Mike Pius, Jessie Hunter–competed against 27 teams from 17 countries, all of them from Europe.

Good Riddance: How the Shuttle and the Space Station Crippled America’s Space Program

| May 28, 2011

Between the space shuttle and the International Space Station, America’s space program’s addiction to manned flights has been held hostage to an unimaginative low-orbit. It’s long-past time to scrap both and push the limits of unmanned exploration.

A Pig’s Tale With Hitchhiking Advice from Thoreau as 327 Graduate Matanzas High

| May 27, 2011

The fourth graduating class in six years at Matanzas included 43 seniors graduating magna cum laude and 23 graduating suma cum laude, with 28 percent of the class receiving high honors.

Caution Urged as Lightning Triggers Fire in Palm Coast’s Central Park and 7 Other Places

| May 27, 2011

The fire in Central Park was small and quickly out out, but other fires are burning across Flagler County. Fire chiefs are reminding residents of the burn ban in effect. That means no Memorial Day weekend bonfires.

From a Slamming Door to a Machete, a Baseball Bat and 2 Arrests at Palm Coast’s Madison Green Apartments

| May 27, 2011

When Racina Massey complained to James Davis about his slamming his front door, Davis allegedly brandished a machete and threatened her life. Then Massey’s husband got involved. So did a blue metal baseball bat.

Widespread Declines in 3rd Grade FCAT, With 2 Exceptions–Rymfire and Imagine

| May 27, 2011

The declines in passing rates in the regular schools were slight but consistent, and more dramatic at two charter schools. Also, 107 of the 990 students tested failed, jeopardizing promotion to 4th grade pending summer school results.

Palm Coast Water Tower Free of Contaminants After Break-In, Tests Reveal; Questions Remain

| May 27, 2011

The 500,00-gallon water tank along I-95 was broken into on May 17 by unknown vandals. It was isolated from the rest of the system. It’ll remain isolated pending a week’s worth of maintenance.

Spotlight on Flagler Youth, the Annual Talent Show, Raises $1,000 for Carver Gym

| May 27, 2011

Krystene Maceda’s solo performance of Chopin’s Waltz in C-sharp minor for piano won her the Entertainer of the Year award in the senior division, while Kayla Byrne won the honor in the junior division. Complete list of performers and winners.

Palm Coast Redistricting Plan Disqualifies Dennis Cross From City Council Election

| May 26, 2011

Meeting quietly for the first time on Thursday, Palm Coast’s redistricting commission voted 5-0 to adopt a plan that redraws the city’s voting-district boundaries. The city council must ratify the plan in public hearings.

Killing Bounce: Obama Back in Favor in Florida; Sen. Nelson Heading for Re-Election

| May 26, 2011

Obama’s approval is at 51 percent, against 44 percent disapproval, a reversal from April 7, when he was disapproved by 52 percent of the electorate and approved by just 44 percent.

Lessons Against Drowning: Tom Gillin’s Water Tutorials Before Schools Let Out for Summer

| May 26, 2011

Tom Gillen, Flagler Beach’s parks and recreation director and its life-guard-in-chief, has taken his junior-lifeguard lecture on the road to local schools to prepare children for summer break’s biggest attraction.

Poll Dumps Rick Scott Approval to 29%, Worst of Any Governor Quinnipiac Tracks

| May 25, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott’s disapproval rating continues to rise, to 57 percent at last count, up almost 10 points in six weeks. Even Republicans have curbed their enthusiasm.

Flagler Beach Eyes Reserves and
More Taxes to Make Up Latest Revenue Loss

| May 25, 2011

Flagler Beach has raised taxes for three successive years to make up for falling revenue from collapsing property values. It has a relatively large $3 million reserve, which it will likely use in combination with another tax hike to balance next year’s budget.

Gut Choke: State Eliminates 780 Jobs at Department of Children and Families

| May 24, 2011

DCF Secretary David Wilkins claims front-line workers won’t be affected, but the cut represents a serious set-back in an agency responsible for children’s welfare and oversight.

Palestinian Prof. Jamil Khader Earns Hand Award at Stetson, Second in 5 Years

| May 24, 2011

American Studies and History professor Paul Croce and Associate Professor of Geography J. Anthony Abbott also won Hand awards; Harry Price, an associate professor of chemistry, got the John Hague Teaching Award.

William Parsons Succeeds David Walsh as Chief Judge for 7th Judicial District

| May 24, 2011

The two-year term, the second for Parsons, entails administrative supervision of all courts in the 7th Judicial District, which includes Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties.

Jack Hardin, Only Basketball Coach to Take Bulldogs to Final Four (Twice), Dies

| May 24, 2011

Jack Hardin, who taught social science at Bunnell and FPC from the 1960s to the 1980s, had also been a Bunnell city commissioner and ran for school board against Herschel King in 1982.

Long Records for Suspects Arrested in String of B-Section Burglaries in Palm Coast

| May 24, 2011

The four suspects–two of them 19, two of them 20–all have prior records in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Bond was set between $200,000 and $400,000, depending on the suspect.

Darius Giddens, Bunnell Son With Troubled Past, Dies After a Fight in Daytona

| May 24, 2011

Darius Giddens, 21, was involved in a fight at Daytona Beach’s Coliseum Wednesday night, where he suffered a head injury. He died at 2 p.m. on Monday.

Pride of a Principal, Pride of a Thousand Parents As FPC Class of 2011 Graduates

| May 23, 2011

Flagler Palm Coast High School Class of 2011′s 509 graduates will, in their principal’s words, be “competing for jobs that haven’t been invented yet.” But not yet: Monday evening was for jubilation at the Ocean Center.

Facing $6 Million Hit, County Begins Long Budget Season as Tax Hike Appears Inevitable

| May 23, 2011

County commissioners are unlikely to elicit sympathy from taxpayers—or from employees facing a 3 percent pay cut from new retirement-contribution requirements, and a third year without raises.

In a Shift, and Despite Glut, State Approves 5,000-Home Palm Coast Development

| May 23, 2011

Old Brick Township to Palm Coast’s northwest is just one of several planned developments and existing lots that would add 40,000 new homes and 9 million square feet of commercial and industrial zones, more than doubling Flagler’s and Palm Coast’s populations.

$150,000 for New Fields at Indian Trails Complex as Tourism and Sports Merge

| May 23, 2011

Palm Coast is looking to expand the Indian Trails Sports Complex to attract more lacrosse and soccer tournaments to the area, and with them more visitors.

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