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2013 April
Archive for: April, 2013

Flagler Schools Gets $5.3 Million in New State Dollars and Still Ends Up in the Hole

| April 30, 2013

The Flagler school district is looking at next fall’s budget from a $1.4 million deficit despite a substantial increase in state dollars, because the state’s new revenue is attached with so many strings as to strangle the school district. Meanwhile, board members are looking to convince voters that a new property tax is necessary for needs beyond that deficit.

Forget Rio: Palm Coast Lands Soccer Academy in Planned Expansion of Economic “Niche”

| April 30, 2013

The New Jersey-based Player Development Academy will build up to six fields on 65 acres west of U.S. 1 that will link with the Indian Trail Sp[orts Complex–and with Palm Coast’s sports-niche market, which has turned into an engine of economic development.

Stop-and-Frisk in Bunnell Turns Into Brawl With Officers, and Threats of a “Hit”

| April 30, 2013

Theodore Moore, 25, was observed by a Bunnell cop allegedly trespassing–near Moore’s home. The cop briefly pursued Moore and handcuffed him, finding a gun and contraceptive pills on him as Moore resisted his arrest and dared cops to Tase him as a crowd gathered in South Bunnell.

Bill Speeding Up Executions in Florida Passes Despite Disturbing Rate of Exonerations

| April 30, 2013

Florida lawmakers gave final approval to fast-tracking executions and reducing Death Row stays, with supporters saying they want justice for victims’ families — but critics warning about executing innocent people, 24 of whom have been exonerated in Florida since 1976.

From Jackie Robinson to Jason Collins: Still Telling It On the Mountain

| April 29, 2013

It will be Jason Collins’s misfortune to be labeled the “gay Jackie Robinson.” Like Robinson, he may have to endure a painful personal burden. But, argues Steve Robinson, history is less likely to view him as a pioneer than ask instead: “what took so long?”

Angela Wray Collapses as She Is Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison Over Defrauding Celico of $60K

| April 29, 2013

Angela Wray was sentenced to three years in state prison and 15 years’ probation Monday afternoon, and required to repay the nearly $60,000 she embezzled from Celico Auto Body shop in Bunnell during the years she worked for Carlo Celico, a crime she maintained she never committed, blaming Celico instead.

Anthrax-Letter Threat Dispelled at Florida DMV Office in Tallahassee

| April 29, 2013

The letter was said to contain anthrax was sent to the DMV’s records department on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee, and forced the evacuation of the building until field tests found the letter not to pose any threats.

Bizarre Story Aside, Aaron Kinney, Gas Station Robber, Is Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison

| April 29, 2013

Aaaron Kinney of Palm Coast was sentenced to nine years in prison for the three gas-station robberies he committed in Palm Coast last July, supposedly because a man he owed money to made him do it while threatening to do harm to Kinney and his mother. Judge J. David Walsh did not believe Kinney’s story.

Lawmakers Seal $74 Billion Budget Deal, With Merit Teacher Pay and Medicaid Patch

| April 29, 2013

Under the deal on teacher pay raises, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s top two priorities, teachers rated as “effective” would receive a raise of at least $2,500, while those rated “highly effective” would get $3,500. The raises wouldn’t be paid out, though, until June 2014.

Florida House Rejects $50 Billion in Federal Medicaid Help, Opting for Stingy Alternative

| April 28, 2013

Florida’s rejection of federal aid for the expansion of Medicaid leaves the state with a bare-bones alternative to provide health care for the poor and uninsured while setting a defining marker against Obamacare and the federal vision of health care reform.

Militarizing the Border: Where Those Billions for More “Security” Will Go

| April 27, 2013

The U.S. spent nearly $18 billion dollars on immigration enforcement agencies last fiscal year, more than all other law enforcement agencies combined. Where would another $4.5 billion go? Here’s a closer look at what is being proposed, and how the government has spent (and often wasted) border money in recent years.

Flagler Beach Snuffs Out Discussion of Combining Fire Department With County

| April 26, 2013

Flagler Beach City Commissioner had placed a discussion of consolidating fire departments on the agenda of Thursday’s meeting, only to have City Manager Bruce Campbell pull the item. Carney put the commission on notice that she wasn’t done.

Senate Passes Bill Forbidding Local Measures That Would Ensure Sick Leave for Workers

| April 26, 2013

A Florida House bill supported by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Disney and other industry and corporate groups would forbid local governments from passing living wage ordinances or require employers contracting with government to provide paid sick leave. A Senate amendment would leave those decisions to local governments.

Ahead of National Police Week, A Sheriff Remembers That Knock at the Door

| April 26, 2013

Commemorating National Police Week in May, Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre remembers his first memory of law enforcement, when he was 7 years old and a police officer knocked at the family home’s door to report his father’s accident with a drunk driver.

County Is Negotiating Acquisition of Old Hospital in Bunnell for New Sheriff’s HQ

| April 25, 2013

Memorial Hospital Flagler’s dead years may be over if its current owners, who are politically well connected locally, can agree on a sales deal to Flagler County. The property is listed for sale at $1.75 million. It was acquired in 2006 for $750,000.

Furniture-Filled 30-Ft. Moving Truck Overturns at I-95 On-Ramp off State Road 100

| April 25, 2013

A 30-foot moving truck owned by the “Two Men and a Truck” company overturned and slammed on its side, blocking the on-ramp to I-95 southbound at State Road 100 in Palm Coast Thursday evening.

19-Year-Old Accused of Burglarizing Then Running Over a 65-Year-Old in the Hammock

| April 25, 2013

Kenneth Stancil, a 19-year-old resident of 12 Portland Place in Palm Coast, is accused of burglarizing 65-year-old Sandra Laden’s car then running her over with a Ford before fleeing a park in the Hammock Wednesday.

So Long, Teeny Weeny Bean Plan: Skeletal Health Plan for Florida’s Poor Is Dying

| April 25, 2013

Sen. John Thrasher says he doubts Sen. Aaron Bean’s small-budget plan for some of Florida’s low-income uninsured will get a floor vote. Bean’s plan was criticized as not much of a plan at all, as it would have cost beneficiaries more than they might have benefited.

Place Your Bids: Today Is the Final Day for Carver Gym Auction

| April 25, 2013

The third annual Carver Gym auction aims to exceed last year’s total of $6,000 as the gym’s foundation hopes, beyond sustaining the gym one more year, to improve insulation and work toward adding weekend staff.

Orlando Man Leads Cops Through 5-County Chase Before Flagler Deputies Stop Him

| April 25, 2013

Thomas J. Loncala, 47, of Orlando, was arrested late Wednesday on drug-possession, assault and fleeing and eluding charges after leading police on a chase through five counties, including Flagler. He was finally stopped in St. Johns County.

Flagler County’s Budget Outlook Adds Up To $8 Million Gap and Likely Tax Increase

| April 24, 2013

It’s difficult to see how Flagler commissioners will emerge from the budget process in September without either a substantial tax increase of one type or another or vast cuts in county services, though they began taking on sacred cows, such as consolidating fire departments.

An Ethics Bill Negotiated in Secret Heads to Gov. Scott, Preserving Lobbying Perks

| April 24, 2013

The ethics bill approved by the Florida House dropped a two-year prohibition on legislators taking quasi-lobbying jobs with firms trying to influence the Legislature; it would increase the amount that each contributor can give to candidates during an election, and unlimited donations could go to political committees.

Mondex Woman Shoots at Repo Men Preparing to Tow Her Mustang

| April 24, 2013

Victoria Higgins was not in the mood to have her black 2005 Ford Mustang repossessed. So she allegedly shot at the two repo men who went to her Mohogany Boulevard home in the Mondex Tuesday, forcing them to flee. She was jailed on aggravated assault charges.

School District Missed and Ignored Long List of Serious Problems With Youth Center Employee

| April 24, 2013

Flagler County Youth Center Assistant Director Shannon Diamond’s arrest Sunday on charges related to drunkenly behavior were the latest in a series of criminal and other issues, including some in the district, that Diamond has faced over the years, and that the district either ignored or found of no consequence.

France Becomes 14th Nation to Legalize Gay Marriage and Adoption in Historic Vote

| April 23, 2013

The National Assembly voted today (April 23) 331-225, with 10 abstentions, to legalize gay marriage and gay adoption in France, making it the 14th nation in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, which remains prohibited in all but nine American states.

Flagler School District Celebrates Silver Medals for Matanzas and FPC in U.S. News Rankings

| April 23, 2013

Matanzas High School ranked 72nd in Florida, out of 777 schools. Matanzas was 1,523rd in the nation, out of 21,000 schools. Flagler Palm Coast High School ranked 87th in the state, and 2,242nd in the nation.

Publix’s Profitable Accommodation With Poverty: Not a Penny More for Tomato Pickers

| April 23, 2013

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has been trying for years to get Publix to join the Fair Food Coalition, in which suppliers and purchasers agree to pay the workers a penny more per pound of tomatoes picked. Publix won’t even meet with the workers.

In an Explosive Meeting, Bunnell’s Martinez Survives, 3-2, a Rogers Motion to Fire Him

| April 22, 2013

Bunnell City Manager Armando Martinez survived getting fired on a 3-2 vote, with the unexpected support of one of his harshest former critics: Commissioner Bill Baxley, who was sworn in earlier this month on a promise of change.

Flagler School District Hones Its Sales Pitch for New Tax Ahead of June 7 Referendum

| April 22, 2013

The Flagler school district is campaigning for the June 7 referendum on a new property tax for schools with a “You Decide” approach that emphasizes restoring time to the school day and reinforcing school security in spite of cuts in state funding.

Flagler Youth Center’s Shannon Diamond Is Again Arrested on Drunk Charges

| April 22, 2013

Shannon Diamond was arrested on a DUI charge last year but kept his employment, supervising students. He was arrested at McCharacter’s Sunday after allegedly refusing to pay his bill and trying to flee. He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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