In a season that overlapped the coronavirus pandemic, most storms spun away from Florida, sparing communities double-barreled crises of responding to a major storm while contending with restrictions and safety concerns imposed by the coronavirus.
Flagler, Palm Coast & Other Local
A 55-year-old Palm Coast woman was struck and killed by a vehicle on U.S. 1 south of Royal Palms Parkway in Palm Coast late Saturday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The national Covid-19 surge that is overwhelming hospitals in some states has stalled any further movement toward opening classrooms. Scores of schools are closing in hard-hit states, and major cities are shelving plans to reopen schools for the first time.
The decisions could apply to about 100 inmates, possibly including David Snelgrove of Palm Coast, who was removed from death row in January after his lawyer successfully argued for life without parole, and Cornelius Baker, whose hope for a new penalty-phase trial is still pending.
“Little Shop of Horrors” is City Repertory Theatre’s most expensive production in 10 years, and is intended in part to give theater-goers a break from pandemic fatigue even as the show easily invites allegorical leaps to the present-day.
Eleven states let school districts decide whether students and staff must wear masks. One Georgia middle school where masks were optional–only about half of the children wore them–became the center of an outbreak.
Oral arguments about Alachua County’s mask mandate before a three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeal Monday was a spectacle of audacious leaps and strange analogies that nevertheless illustrated the sharp and far from resolved divide between mask proponents and anti-maskers, including on the judicial bench.
Flagler County’s tourism-tax revenue has gone up three successive months between July and September, substantially so in August and September, in contrast with statewide tourism revenue, which plummeted 30 percent in the third quarter. Vacation rentals, the beach, and vacationers traveling shorter distances account for the county’s success.
Charles G. Swindell, a 50-year-old resident of Palm Coast, has a long and violent history, particularly with his own family–his mother and his children. But he’s served relatively little time in jail for his felony and misdemeanor convictions since 2013. That may change with his most serious charge yet: raping a child entrusted to him.
Flagler County has the 10th-lowest average in the last seven days among Florida’s 67 counties. But those are relative and deceptive numbers that appear better only in relation to much worse numbers elsewhere. In the absolute local numbers remain dismal–and dangerous–by any measure.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office last Thursday arrested five women on misdemeanor prostitution charges in the second such local sting operation in three weeks. None of the women is a local resident.
Two South Florida ordinances barred therapists from providing treatment or counseling that is designed to change minors’ sexual orientation or gender identity. Critics of such therapy say it harms minors who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The federal court ruled against the ban on First Amendment grounds.
Flagler County’s unemployment rate in October was 5.7 percent, down a statistically insignificant decimal point from the previous month, and consumer confidence statewide again dropped in a reflection of the sharply worsening covid pandemic locally and statewide.
Angel and Jojo Lobato, the two brothers involved in the traffic stop last week in Flagler County, were arrested in Polk County on first degree murder, grand theft and other charges connected to the stabbing death of 21-year-old Danne Frazier of Winter Haven.
Health care workers and first responders will get the vaccine first, followed by residents at large. The health department will use the same infrastructure it uses for Covid-19 testing, but on a more massive scale–assuming the more than 112,000 doses needed to approach herd immunity in Flagler are available by spring.
Florida and Beyond
The collapse of child care and traditional schooling is having a devastating effect on women in particular. Part of the problem is just plain sexism. But another part is more complicated.
Liberals would be fools to think the election was a turning point. The next four years will be as much a trial of democracy as the last four, just more diffuse, the cancer cells of Trumpism poisoning states and localities, as we’ve already seen locally in the last couple of years. Not the America we know? If you’ve been paying attention since 1980, it’s exactly the America we know.
Justices unanimously rejected an appeal by James Terry Colley, Jr., who was convicted of killing his estranged wife, Amanda Cloaninger Colley, as she tried to hide from him in a bathroom of her home. He also was convicted of murdering Lindy Dobbins, who was hiding behind a chest in a closet when she was shot, according to the Supreme Court opinion.
Briefs and Releases
More Florida and Beyond
Joe Biden may have won the presidency. But so too did white supremacy, xenophobia, and corruption. And as the violent pro-Trump protests that broke out in the capital recently show, we are indeed a nation divided.
Florida’s and Flagler’s complete daily reports by the Health Department of Covid-19 data including county-by-county infection numbers, testing, people monitored and deaths.
Stanley C. Drescher, 88, Flagler Beach’s One and Only Poet Laureate passed away on Friday, August 14, 2020
Florida lawmakers’ new perspectives and readiness to more directly tackle the crisis represented a further evolution in the position of Florida Republicans about climate change. But environmentalists said the GOP leaders are not going far enough.
The victim, a resident of Green Cove Springs who worked at a restaurant in St. Augustine, had filed an injunction against Derrek the day before the stabbing and after several intimidating and threatening incidents involving him.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected James Tracy’s First Amendment arguments that he was fired in retaliation for views posted on a blog. The panel upheld a jury’s decision on the First Amendment issue and a district judge’s rulings against Tracy on other issues.
The Trump campaign’s legal strategy has come down to this: Even as judges dismiss lawsuits as baseless, it files nearly identical ones in new courts, hoping for more favorable judges. Failure has not slowed it down.
The ruling by a panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal rejected arguments by Brandon Joshua Bailey that the GPS evidence, which was obtained without a warrant, should be suppressed and his first-degree murder conviction should be overturned.