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2013 August
Archive for: August, 2013

A Feral Cats Plea to Palm Coast: Time to Adopt Trap, Neuter and Return Rather than Kill

| August 31, 2013

As Palm Coast continues to trap and kill feral cats, Jacksonville, Deland, Port Orange and Flagler Beach are among the growing list of cities and towns that have adopted trap, neuter and return programs. Cities are turning to the protocol not only because it is humane, but because it is cost effective.

Laptop Policy FAQ For Flagler County Schools, Explaining Macbook Distribution

| August 31, 2013

This year (2013-14) the district is giving every high school student a Macbook Air, unless students or parents opt out. So-called “deployment” nights are scheduled at FPC and Matanzas High later this month. The following is the district’s own Frequently Asked Questions about the initiative.

Three High School Students Held Up at Gunpoint For Their Laptops at a Bus Stop

| August 31, 2013

Earlier this week, three high school students were robbed at gunpoint of their Macbook Air laptops at a bus stop in Ocoee, in Orange County. The computers had been issued to the students as part of a pilot program. A similar but much broader initiative is under way in Flagler County Schools, though security issues have not been addressed as broadly.

Flagler and Ormond Cops Looking For Cavalier Bank Robber; Hancock and SunTrust Targeted

| August 31, 2013

Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies and Ormond Beach police are looking for a man believed to be involved in an attempted robbery at Hancock Bank in Palm Coast and an actual robbery at SunTrust Bank in Ormond Beach Friday afternoon.

GOP Rep. Debbie Mayfield Files Bill to Limit or End Common Core in Florida

| August 30, 2013

Rep. Debbie Mayfield’s measure would require the State Board of Education to meet certain requirements before moving forward with the English and math portions of the standards and specifically bar it from implementing common core in any other subject areas.

No PALs Allowed: A Mom’s Struggle With Flagler Schools’ Latest Dress-Code Absurdities

| August 30, 2013

Though her children could wear PAL jersey shirts on Spirit Fridays last year, Michelle Taylor was ordered to Bunnell Elementary School Friday morning to replace her two sons’ PAL shirts as the 1st and 2nd grade boys were pulled from class and made to sit in the office “as if they’d committed a crime,” Taylor says.

Palm Coast’s Scott Jones, 51, Drowns in Intracoastal During Fishing Trip

| August 30, 2013

Scott Jones, 51, of Wildwood Drive in Palm Coast, drowned while swimming in the middle of the Intracoastal Waterway Thursday afternoon, during a fishing trip with friends.

Burnishing Green Creds Ahead of Election, Gov. Scott Wants To Give Everglades a Lift

| August 29, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott is proposing $90 million to help lift a section of the Tamiami Trail, which groups such as the Everglades Foundation have called “one of the most prominent dams” blocking the natural flow of the River of Grass.

Memo to Palm Coast Council: Don’t Let an Unelected Manager Dictate Democracy in the City

| August 29, 2013

By letting Jim Landon’s feud with Supervisor of Elections Kim Weeks drag on at voters’ expense, the Palm Coast City Council is improperly letting its unelected city manager set early voting policy while reminding us why it bears a big share of the blame for sending election turnouts in Palm Coast tumbling to record lows for the past several cycles.

She’s Accused of Burglarizing a Sheriff’s Employee’s Home, Then Defrauding the Elderly

| August 29, 2013

After burglarizing the home of a Flagler County Sheriff’s employee in the W Section, Jennie McAfee, a habitual offender, was arrested for defrauding a 79-year-old woman who was convalescing in a nursing home.

Flagler Tourism Office Rebuffs Consolidation With County, Hinting at More Autonomy Instead

| August 28, 2013

County Commissioner George Hanns and Administrator Craig Coffey had talked of absorbing the tourism office–currently a branch of the chamber of commerce–into county government. It won’t happen. Rather, Tourism Director Georgia Turner is talking of having a stand-alone tourism office in a few years.

Police Chiefs and Civil Liberties Lawyers Tangle Over Florida’s Drug-Monitoring Database

| August 28, 2013

Florida Department of Health officials say they want to tighten security on the state’s prescription-drug monitoring program, after the names and detailed prescription-drug histories of more than 3,000 people were released to defense attorneys after a drug sting in May.

County Rejects Roma Court for Sheriff’s Office as “Unworkable,” Citing 10 Issues

| August 28, 2013

County Administrator Craig Coffey ended the Roma Court option’s prospects with a 10-point memo listing a series of structural and logistical concerns about the 57,000 square-foot property on Palm Coast Parkway, about half of which would have been leased to the county for the sheriff’s uses in a 15-year arrangement.

Flagler Beach’s Bobby Pace Pleads Not Guilty to Obstruction Charge

| August 28, 2013

Bobby Pace, the 41-year-old Flagler Beach acting fire chief until late July, has pleaded not guilty to an obstruction charge the State Attorney filed against him on July 25 and waived an appearance before County Court Judge Melissa Moore-Stens at an arraignment on Tuesday.

“We Cannot Walk Alone…
We Cannot Turn Back”

| August 28, 2013

Full text and video of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” a brief history of the origins and battles of the Martin Luther King federal holiday, and of the Martin Luther King monument at the Washington Mall.

Pessimism Creeping Into Floridians’ Consumer Confidence as Index Declines

| August 27, 2013

Consumer confidence among Floridians remained in August at 77, the same as the July after that number was revised downward, the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research reported today. Three of the five components that make up the index declined while two increased, suggesting increased pessimism.

Palm Coast Tax Holds Even, But Council Tiring of Deficit-Ridden Golf and Tennis Operations

| August 27, 2013

The Palm Coast golf course had a $50,000 deficit this year, the tennis center a $100,000 deficit, both covered by taxpayers, with more deficits expected ahead. Palm Coast City Council members are wearying of carrying both centers. But they’re not ready to end the subsidies, either.

Majority of Palm Coast Council Would Forego Early Voting Fees, But Weeks Hardens Over Space

| August 27, 2013

The clash between Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks and Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon is not nearing resolution even as a majority of the city council would extend free use of a room at the community center for early voting, because Weeks is insisting on using a larger room, which the council won’t concede.

Equality Florida Calls on Cities to Suspend Ties With Russian Sister Cities Over Gay Bashing

| August 27, 2013

Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach are in the clear, but Equality Florida, the gay-rights organization, is asking the more than half a dozen Florida cities with sister cities in Russia to suspend those mostly symbolic ties for now, in protest against rising anti-gay violence and the enactment of strict anti-gay legislation.

Florida Supreme Court’s New Term: Death Penalty, Utility Rates, Red-Light Cameras

| August 26, 2013

The court faces high-profile cases that deal with issues such as medical malpractice, red-light cameras, utility rates and the death penalty. In some of the cases, justices have already heard arguments and could rule any week. In others, the cases still are percolating and have not gone to arguments.

Drunk on a Sailboat, Drunk and Violent at the Bowling Lanes, Sobered Up at County Jail

| August 26, 2013

Hamish MacDonald was found passed out on the deck of his circling sailboat in the Intracoastal Waterway, near Grand Haven in Palm Coast, and Shane Hefner was arrested for throwing a drink at a Palm Coast Lanes bartender, and driving drunk.

Firehouse Subs Marks 10 Years in Palm Coast As Community Ties Aid Longevity

| August 26, 2013

Monday afternoon Palm Coast’s Firehouse Subs celebrated its tenth anniversary, $8 million in business and considerable donations to local fire houses with visits from its core constituents—firefighters—but also company CEO Don Fox, Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts, several other city council and county commission members, and of course franchise owner David Hause and his wife Melinda.

Lonnie Redner’s Life Sentence for Double Murder Ends an Almost 4-Year-Old Case

| August 26, 2013

Lonnie Redner of Palm Coast went to Ormond-by-the-Sea in November 2009 to rob two men of prescription pills. He murdered them instead and stole 50 pills and $20 in cash. In a case that ended last week, he was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

“Junk Health Insurance,” Favored by Retailers and Restaurants, Will Survive Obamacare

| August 26, 2013

Reform was supposed to do away with bare-bones health plans that could leave consumers who become seriously ill on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. It won’t, as plans with limited benefits may continue to be offered by some large businesses, especially those with low-paid workers such as restaurant chains and retailers.

At Yellowstone, a Cathedral of Peace Glories to the Very Best of America

| August 25, 2013

At Yellowstone National Park, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with children of immigrants from many lands, and alongside those whose greatest hope is to become a U.S. citizen and claim ownership of a small piece of this wondrous landscape, it is impossible to fathom anyone declaring “Take Back America.”

Gov. Scott Sets Education Summit Amid Direction’s Growing Uncertainties

| August 25, 2013

The summit, which will last from Monday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon in Clearwater, comes after the resignation of former Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and as debates swirl about the state’s school-grading system and a move to “Common Core” standards.

Lies, Distortions and Delirium: The Flagler Tea Party’s Kaput Take on Common Core

| August 23, 2013

Diane Kepus, a self-styled researcher and common core opponent, was the Flagler County tea party’s speaker this week. Her presentation on common core, mostly inaccurate or outright false, explains to some extent why the school board has been on the defensibve, as have other boards and states, against a misinformation campaign that has not been countered effectively.

In a First, Flagler County Will Prohibit Legal Tobacco Use On and Off the Job For New Hires

| August 23, 2013

It is the first time a local government has made new employment conditional on the prohibition of use of a legal substance, though numerous governments and private employers are increasingly taking the same approach, and Palm Cast and the school board may soon hop on board.

Data-Mining Goes Carnivore on Florida’s Public Records to Help Lobbyists and Candidates

| August 22, 2013

“Contributionlink,” the brainchild of lobbyist Brecht Heuchan, gives lobbyists and candidates an edge by mining a myriad of public databases, creating profiles of current and potential donors and showing clients how their money stacks up against the competition.

Mystery Burglar in B-Section, Counterfeit-Topped Pizza in Ps, and Strangulation in the Rs

| August 22, 2013

Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies contended with at least two mystery men and one case of domestic violence that ended with a suspect hiding in a bathtub with a knife Wednesday in three separate incidents that stretched from the B Section in North Palm Coast to the P and R sections further south.

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