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2013 July
Archive for: July, 2013

Palm Coast Council Again Warms to City Hall Scheme That Would Snub Voter Permission

| July 31, 2013

City Manager Jim Landon is proposing a refurbished $6.8 million plan that would use general fund dollars to build a new city hall without raising taxes, even though $5.8 million of that–a repayment from the Town Center taxing district–could be used to lower property taxes or build other capital projects with broader public uses. Residents had roundly rejected a similar plan in 2010 and 2011, when the building would have cost $10 million.

We’re the Most Educated Young Adults in American History, Yet Many of Us Can’t Find Work

| July 31, 2013

What happens when we can’t find work and can’t pay our loans, asks Colleen Teubner. We invest about four years of our lives and up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in our education, and then spend the next decade trying to get out of ever-increasing debt.

Ethics Commission Clears Palm Coast’s Tony Capela of Corruption or Favoritism in City Work

| July 31, 2013

Ex-employee Terry Geigert had made six allegations against Tony Capella, Palm Coast’s public works superintendent, charging he favored RoadTek, a friend’s company, in no-bid contracts, sold his house for cash to the company owner, and fired Geigert in retaliation for whistleblowing.

Jesse Jackson Calls Capitol Sit-In “The Selma of Our Time.” Scott Calls It an “Insult” to Floridians.

| July 31, 2013

Calling Florida “an apartheid state,” Jackson spoke ahead of an overnight visit with the Dream Defenders that has staged a sit-in at Scott’s office to demand a special legislative session to consider changes to the state’s self-defense laws, initiatives to end racial profiling and an end to zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

Meanwhile, Back in the Trenches: Flagler Beach Firefighter Saves Kitten From Deep In a 300-Foot Drain

| July 31, 2013

Tuesday evening, Morgan Walden—one of three firefighters who answered a distress call, for a kitten, at the Flagler Beach Publix on State Road 100—crawled half-way into a narrow, suffocating stormwater drain and rescued an 8-week-old kitten that had been howling in there loud enough for a Publix customer to hear it.

Florida Education Commissioner Defends Grade Inflation as Bush Rallies to His Side

| July 30, 2013

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Bennett said it was “absurd” to believe he inflated grades to help a donor because of her political contributions to Bennett, but criticism of Florida’s education commissioner persisted.

Weiner Syndrome: When Men Are Boors and Their Fans Excuse Them

| July 30, 2013

From Anthony Weiner to Geraldo Rivera to Bob Filner and Eliot Spitzer, the sad thing about all the exhibitionism and shameful behavior is that the protagonists really believe they can just apologize to us and move on. But who’s letting them?

Palm Coast’s Bike and Poetry Shows Slam Their Way Back On Gargiulo Foundation’s Wheels

| July 30, 2013

The second and ongoing annual “Art of the Bicycle” livening up Palm Coast’s City Marketplace this month is all spokes: the Gargiulo Art Foundation, the Flagler County Art League, Hollingsworth Gallery and City Repertory Theatre are all in on it, minus last year’s training wheels, and adding momentum to the evolving cohesiveness of the small town art scene.

Again in Flagler, Gov. Scott Headlines Aveo Co.’s 300-Jobs Groundbreaking at Airport

| July 30, 2013

If the 300 promised jobs are produced, landing Aveo Engineering in Flagler County will prove to be the largest single gain of private-employer jobs in memory, and an unqualified success for the county administration’s new economic development department under Helga van Eckert. But the company is getting generous incentives beyond the $150,000 in cash for jobs retained.

Into Their Second Week of Protest, Dream Defenders Plan Their Own Special Session

| July 30, 2013

Scott, who is expected to spend the next couple of days back on the road, didn’t pop out for a chat with those who want him to call a special session on the state’s controversial “stand your ground” law.

Eight Palm Coast Businesses Targeted by Vandalism in Early-Morning Glass-Breaking Spree

| July 29, 2013

Subway, Sharps Liquor and Lovely Nails at the Flagler Plaza shopping center, and Europa Salon and Spa, Scrapbook etc., Pet Spa, Colletti’s Italian Deli and Lilly Green Children’s Boutique on Utility Drive all had their glass doors or windows shattered within a short time span between 4 and 5 a.m. Monday morning.

Nielsen’s Aveo Engineering Taxies to Take Off at Flagler Airport in County’s Latest Jobs Coup

| July 29, 2013

It’s been billed as a secret, jobs-producing company the county administration’s economic development team will unveil at the Flagler County Airport Tuesday morning, but there’s little secret about it: Aveo Engineering, a maker of LED light products in the aeronautic industry, is bringing some 300 jobs to the airport.

Massive Fire Demolishes a House on Palm Coast’s Woodhaven Dr., But 3 Dogs Are Saved

| July 29, 2013

A massive fire engulfed a single-family house at 121 Woodhaven Drive, off of Pine Lakes Parkway, in Palm Coast at around 11:50 this morning. There were no occupants in the house at the time, but two dogs were rescued after the fire started.

Florida Snubs Millions in Federal Health Grants That Could Help Workers and the Poor

| July 29, 2013

in a pattern of politically motivated rejections by Florida itself, the state got the lowest amount of health-care reform act grant funding per capita – behind all 50 states and the District of Columbia – in 2011. While state agencies received the bulk of federal health grants in other states, it was the reverse in Florida.

Eddie Johnson More Brawny Than Brilliant, But Helps US Win Gold Cup Anyway, 1-0

| July 28, 2013

It was not a beautiful performance by either Eddie Johnson, who put in all 95 minutes, or the U.S. Team, and the last minutes were marred by a brawl Johnson triggered as he brought a little Bunnell to Soldier Field, but the U.S. won its fifth Gold Cup anyway.

Creal Won’t Be Chief After All as Flagler Beach Fire Department’s Troubles Mount

| July 28, 2013

Within 24 hours of being named Acting Fire Chief of the very troubled Flagler Beach Fire Department, Robbie Creal said he declined the post because of health, while City Manager Bruce Campbell said he’ll himself assume all administrative duties at the department, and have three firefighters–David Kennedy Stephen Cox and Dustin Snyder–be shift commanders.

Palm Coast’s Ivor Roberts, 61, Critically Injured in Bike Collision With Jeep on A1A

| July 28, 2013

Ivor Roberts, 61, of Palm Coast, was on his motorcycle, traveling south on State Road A1A near Washington Gardens State Park Saturday afternoon when John Chamberlin, 37, of Palm Coast cut him off with his SUV, leaving Roberts in critical condition.

HPV Vaccine For Teen Girls Stalling as Parents Inject Misinformation and Doctors Stay Mum

| July 27, 2013

Parents cite fears that the vaccine could have dangerous side effects. The fears are baseless, but have led to a significant drop in HPV vaccination for girls 14 to 17 that worries health officials. At the currently lower rates of immunization, an additional 4,400 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 1,400 cervical cancer-attributable deaths will occur in the future.

Harry Belafonte Joins Dream Defenders at Florida Capitol as Protest Enters 2nd Weekend

| July 26, 2013

Backed by the arrival of supporters from throughout Florida and the East Coast, as well as singer and activist Harry Belafonte, protesters led by the Hialeah-based Dream Defenders maintained their request for a special legislative session amid rousing chants that filled an area outside the governor’s office.

Acting Flagler Beach Fire Chief’s Past Drug Issues Aside, Questions Arise Over Certification

| July 26, 2013

City Manager Bruce Campbell and Commission Chairman Steve Settle say they were not aware of Acting Fire Chief Robbie Creal’s past marijuana use or the investigation that led to his resignation and retirement in 2002, and Campbell said he had not verified whether Creal has the certification to be an active fireman at fire scenes, in line with state law requirements that kicked in July 1.

52-Year-Old St. Johns Sexual Predator Arrested on Bestiality Charge After Suspected Rape of a Dog

| July 26, 2013

The suspect, identified as James Lee Lyons, of 437 Gloria Street, is accused of having sex with a neighbor’s female dog. Lyons is a registered sexual predator who got out of prison in 2011 after a 13-year prison sentence for attempted child rape.

Most Flagler Schools’ Grades Drop, Following State Trend, As Tougher Standards Kick In

| July 26, 2013

In Flagler County, not a single school saw its grade improve and five fell back a grade, though two maintained their A rating: Indian Trails Middle School and Belle Terre Elementary. Grades would have been worse had the state Board of Education not agreed to artificially prop them up, limiting grade drops to a maximum of one letter grade.

Appraisals for Old Hospital Place Value at $1.5 Million as County Moves Toward Acquisition

| July 25, 2013

The county wants to buy the old hospital in Bunnell for $1.23 million and use it as an HQ for the sheriff. Two independent appraisers have placed the market value of the old 81-bed hospital at $1.5 million, and an engineering firm that surveyed the hulking 60,000 square-foot property found no overt issues with the building aside from asbestos. A private consortium bought the building for $750,000 in 2003.

Back-to-School Tax Holiday Now Includes Computers, Tablets and Electronic Gadgetry

| July 25, 2013

Florida’s back-to-school tax holiday Aug. 2 through Aug. 4 for the first time includes high-tech computer and other electronics as long as each individual item is priced under $750. Retailers are preparing for the demand, in some cases lowering prices to match the benchmark.

State Attorney Files Obstruction Charge Against Robert Pace, Flagler Beach’s Acting Fire Chief

| July 25, 2013

The State Attorney’s Office has filed an obstruction of justice charge against Bobby Pace, the acting fire chief in Flagler Beach, following an investigation into charges that Pace falsified the records of a probationer and destroyed evidence earlier this year.

A Woman Is Jailed on Accusation of Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant 19-Year-Old

| July 25, 2013

Ashley Shelby, a 23-year-old resident of Old Haw Creek Road in Bunnell, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman Wednesday, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years.

Tropical Storm Dorian Graying His Way West But Florida Not Yet in His Picture

| July 25, 2013

Thursday morning Tropical Storm Dorian was closer to its nursery grounds in Africa than to either North or South America, but it was making a beeline west for the northern part of the Antilles, which it is forecast to reach by early next week. It’s too early to speculate about a threat to Florida.

Flagler District Approves $3.2 Million Plan for Free Macbook or iPad in Every Student’s Hands

| July 24, 2013

Within three weeks starting on Sept. 16, every student at Flagler Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School will have the latest-generation Macbook Air, free, on what amounts to a permanent loan from the school district. The district also plans to have an iPad for every fifth and sixth grader this year and next, and have every student in the district possess a device by the 2017-18 school year.

Dispelling Rumors, Bunnell’s Armando Martinez Says He’s Not Running for Sheriff Against Manfre

| July 24, 2013

Both Flagler Sheriff Jim Manfre and Bunnell Manager Armando Martinez had heard the rumor that Martinez was preparing to run against Manfre, a friend, for sheriff come 2016. After a meeting with Manfre Wednesday, Martinez categorically said that will not happen.

Common Core Here to Stay Despite Heckles by Conservatives, But Testing Questions Remain

| July 24, 2013

The decision by legislative leaders to call for Florida to withdraw from a group of states preparing new tests for student learning has set off a round of battles over the future of Florida’s involvement in the “common core” standards project. And it causes complications for Florida education officials, many of whom support common core.

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