The U.S. House approved a bill Saturday that would stave off a government shutdown until at least mid-November, though the measure doesn’t include Ukraine aid backed by both Republicans and Democrats. The bipartisan 335-91 vote to send the bill to the Senate took place with less than 10 hours until funding expired. U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, who represents Flagler County, voted against the measure.
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Flagler, Palm Coast & Other Local
Flagler County School Board member Sally Hunt questioned whether district schools should continue to be used as shelters during tropical storm emergencies, and whether the district could go to late starts rather than cancel whole days of school. Officials explained to Hunt that schools are an integral part of emergency management, with closures are carefully calibrated between potential risk and the safety of students and staff.
A jury found Michael Bowling, formerly of the Mondex, guilty in 2017. Representing himself, he argued in court today on three grounds that he received ineffective counsel. But there was little doubt about the outcome of the two-hour hearing: the judge denied the motion.
A challenge of the Bible’s presence in some of Flagler County’s public school libraries is unraveling the inconsistencies, contradictions, flaws, and arbitrariness of Flagler County’s book-challenge process. The challenge, filed by Palm Coast resident Bob Gordon, cites 67 passages he claims are sexually explicit, sadistic, graphically violent and bigoted.
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Chad Cordoma, 21, of Palm Coast, who’s had numerous mental health issues, was sentenced to 13.5 months in prison and 18 months on probation for texting his younger brother a death threat and the picture of a gun he was carrying. His parents called 911 thinking they were getting him help. He was arrested, charged with two felonies, and sentenced today, despite the family’s plea against a prison sentence.
Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore hosted a town hall at the Carver Center in predominantly Black South Bunnell Wednesday evening in the wake of the segregated assemblies at Bunnell Elementary School. The audience of some 110 and the superintendent engaged in an open conversation about education and community involvement, with only two moments when the assemblies and their aftermath were discussed.
More than 130 people turned up at Cattleman’s Hall at the Flagler fairgrounds for the Quaker-style memorial and life celebration of Claude Sisco Deen, the veteran, archivist and self-made historian who exhumed much of Flagler County’s documented history and died at 83 on Aug. 31.
A felony assault charge against Reba Johnson, now 20, an autistic student who had attacked her teacher at Matanzas High School, was dropped today after she was continuously found incompetent to stand trial,. It’s a sharp contrast with the ongoing charge against Brendan Depa, who faces a more severe felony charge after he attacked a paraprofessional last February, though Depa’s and Johnson’s profiles parallel each other in many, but not all, respects.
The Palm Coast City Council last week approved a 66-home development, phase 1 of a gated development that will eventually total 161 houses and duplexes in what’ll be called The Retreat at Town Center, on land just north of the Publix on Central Avenue and east of Belle Terre Parkway.
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins sentenced Taylor Renee Manjarres, 20, to 12 years in prison for her role in the armed home invasion that resulted in the shooting death of 23-year-old Zaire Roberts at an R-Section house in Palm Coast in December 2021. Her co-conspirator, Kwentel Moultrie, got 35 years in addition to 10 years for a separate charge.
Michael Benkert, the thrice-imprisoned 31-year-old Palm Coast resident who had terrorized family members in Flagler Beach and whose evasion from law enforcement turned a trailer park there into a police-chase zone three weeks ago, was finally apprehended, along with his twin brother Anthony, and faces a half dozen charges, three of them felonies.
Flagler Beach’s Sanitation Department acquired a $6,000 carboard baler and since mid-August has been baling some 4 tons of carboard a week. The city was previously trucking the loose cardboard to ELS Environmental in Bunnell, and losing on the revenue.
Troy Victorino and Jerone Hunter were convicted in the murders of six people in a Deltona home in a case that drew national attention. The case became known as the “Xbox murders” because it involved a dispute about some of Victorino’s belongings, including an Xbox video-game system. A panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal ruled a unanimous jury is not necessary in the two men’s death-penalty re-sentencing.
Kerri Ann Huckabee, 54, the long-time owner of the Montessori school in Flagler Beach that moved to Bunnell in 2018, was arrested on three felony charges, including a second degree felony, and for kicking two police officers, and was booked at the Flagler County jail. The arrest was the result of long-running antagonism toward her neighbors on South 23rd Street since they moved in in 2018.
A 37-year-old Deltona man on a motorcycle was killed early Sunday morning on I-95 just north of the Old Dixie Highway interchange after rear-ending an SUV.
The world’s oldest democracy currently has its oldest-ever Congress. President Joe Biden (80 years old) is also the oldest US president in history. His leading rival in the 2024 presidential race, former President Donald Trump, is not far behind at 77. They’re both older than 96% of the US population. Ron DeSantis thinks the founders would have had a maximum age limits on elected officials if they “could look at this again.” But why didn’t they?
Florida and Beyond
Madeline “Maddy” Lee 89, of Palm Coast, Florida passed away during the early morning hours of September 23, 2023 at the Stuart F. Meyer Hospice House.
Many critics argue that the abaya is a cultural garment, not a religious one, and should be allowed under laïcité. In practice, though, anything associated with Muslim cultures tends to be considered “religious.” Catholic traditions, meanwhile, are often considered “cultural” – and therefore compatible with laïcité.
A group of transgender and nonbinary people on Friday filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Florida law requiring people to use public restrooms that align with their sex assigned at birth, asking a judge to block enforcement before an upcoming march in Orlando.
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More Florida and Beyond
Michael Bowling is back in court, “The Tin Drum” at the Carver Center, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at CRT, a brief review of the GOP debate.
History shows that shutdowns are counterproductive – at least as measured by their own defenders’ goals. Fortunately, the past also provides a proven way to reduce the deficit, a laudable goal. But now is the wrong time for Republicans to take a stand on reducing the deficit, not least because shutdowns don’t get results.
Nancy Abudu, former legal director for the ACLU of Florida, will be installed as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Friday in Atlanta. In doing so, she will make history as the first Black woman to serve on that court, which has jurisdiction over all of Florida.
Chad Cordoma faces up to 15 years in prison for making written threats against a family member, the Flagler Beach City Commission meets, time to give Scott Fitzgerald a fresh look.
The U.S. is moving toward a government shutdown. Whether delayed business loans, slower mortgage applications, curtailed food assistance or postponed food inspections, the effects could be substantial.
After a federal appeals court ruled against them, two pari-mutuel companies on Tuesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to strike down part of a multibillion-dollar deal that would give the Seminole Tribe control over sports betting throughout the state. The challenge alleges the deal runs afoul of a 2018 constitutional amendment requiring voter approval of expansions of casino-style gambling.
Claude Sisco Deen Services services at Cattleman’s Hall at 2 p.m., Reba Johnson status in court, the Flagler County Public Library Book Club meets, a new book on The New York Times.
On Oct. 2, 2023, the court will meet after the summer recess, with the biggest case of the term focused on the limits of individual gun rights. The other core issue for the coming year is a broad reassessment of the power of the administrative state. Both issues reflect a court that has announced revolutionary changes in doctrine and must now grapple with how far the new principles will reach.
As Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigns on Covid-19 vaccine distrust, local health departments in other states have started doling out the updated shot. Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health has not made public any plans to follow suit.
Taylor Manjarres is sentenced for her role in the December 2021 home invasion robbery and death of Zaire Roberts, Brightline’s launch and the cost of driving cars, the evanescence of health.
Across North America, downtowns are recovering from the pandemic more slowly than other urban areas and that “older, denser downtowns reliant on professional or tech workers and located within large metros” are struggling the hardest. The shuttering of a Whole Foods market after only a year in downtown San Francisco in May 2023 received widespread coverage.