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Monday Briefing: Bunnell Bids Giving Gardners Goodbye, a Puppy-Killer Is Sentenced, Picasso Fetches $140 Million

| May 11, 2015

pastor beth gardner charles gardner

Pastor Beth Gardner of Bunnell’s First United Methodist Church will be leaving Bunnell for a new assignment in Lakeland at the end of the month. The pastor and her Husband, Charles Gardner, who has served on several Bunnell advisory panels, will be recognized for their service tonight at the Bunnell City Commission. (© FlaglerLive)

Today’s weather:sunny, high of 86, low of 69. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Low. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 341
The weather in Koudougou, Burkina Faso: Some rain, high of 99, low of 81. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: Nobodaddy, n..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.


Today’s Briefing: Quick Links

In Flagler and Palm Coast:

Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

bunnell logoThe Bunnell City Commission meets at 7 p.m. The commission will honor Bunnell’s First United Methodist Pastor Beth Gardner and her husband Charles Gardner with certificates of appreciation before they leave for Lakeland at the end of the month. Beth Gardner has been the pastor at First United for the last 15 years. Charles Gardner, an appraiser, served on several city government panels, including the planning board, the citizens advisory committee for the River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization, and the 2013 charter review commission. The pastor’s certificate reads: “This Certificate is presented to Reverend Beth Gardner in recognition of her enthusiasm and dedication to the City of Bunnell, and its residents by serving and tending to those in need and showing them their worth to the One who matters.” The meeting’s full agenda is accessible here and can be heard live here. (7 p.m., 201 W. Moody Boulevard/S. Forsyth Street, Bunnell.)

Flagler Beach Mayor Linda Provencher holds a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. at City Hall’s commission chambers.

Flagler Beach’s Economic Development Task Force meets at 3 p.m. at City Hall’s commission chambers.

Flagler County’s Land Acquisition Committee meeting, set for today at 3:30 p.m., has been cancelled.

Bunnell Elementary PTO meets at 6 p.m. in the school library.

7th Grade Orientation for Wadsworth Elementary 6th graders going on to 7th grade at Buddy Taylor Middle School. Orientation is scheduled at 6 p.m. in the Buddy Taylor cafeteria.

Closure Note: The City of Palm Coast’s Belle Terre Tennis Courts will be closed beginning Tuesday, May 12, for resurfacing. The project is expected to take two to three weeks to complete. See more details in the Coming Days section below.

In Court:

(© FlaglerLive)

(© FlaglerLive)

Circuit Judge J. David Walsh hears pleas starting at 8:30 a.m., including at 10 a.m., a possible plea or disposition in the second-degree arson case of Migdalia Willitts, dating back to 1996. At 1:30 p.m., Walsh will sentence Wesley Jackson on a third-degree felony charge of cruelty to animals. Jackson is the 28-year-old Palm Coast resident accused of brutalizing a 4-month-old puppy chihuahua that had interrupted Jackson’s masturbation session. The dog, which did not belong to Jackson, died. Jackson is represented by attorney Richard Zaleski. At 3 p.m., Walsh will hear a plea from Michael Shudy, accused last October of robbing a Target pharmacy with a firearm before leading police on a car chase that ended at Integra Woods Apartments in Palm Coast. Shudy is represented by Public Defender Regina Nunnally. Most of Walsh’s other cases today are drug-related. (Courtroom 401.)

Judge Charles Cino holds infraction arraignments in close to 70 traffic cases, most of them involving speeding or violation of the the move-over law. (9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Courtroom 101.)

Judges Denise Mensh, Melissa Moore-Stens and Michael Orfinger are in hearings much of the day.

A foreclosure sale is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the civil department lobby.

In State Government:

Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.

The Governor’s Panel on Excellence in Long-Term Care will hold a conference call to review applications for Gold Seal Award designations for nursing homes. (Monday, 1 p.m. Call-in number: 1-888-670-3525. Conference code: 8050334011.)

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida


Four people are being arraigned today in the murder of police officers of officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Jeffrey Sterling is sentenced today for leaking secret documents to the New York Times that helped reveal George W. Bush’s illegal domestic spying program.

Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger,” a 1955 painting, is on auction tonight at at Christie’s Looking Forward to the Past sale in new York, for $140 million.

les femmes d'alger picasso d'apres delacroix

Les femmes d’Alger, by Picasso, 1955. Click on the image for larger view.

In the Press, In the News:

Messy primary fight could cost Democrats Rubio’s Senate seat: “National and state Democrats see Rep. Patrick Murphy, a second-term centrist Democrat with a proven ability to fundraise, as their best shot at a win. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this week endorsed Murphy in an effort to dissuade others from jumping into the primary. But that hasn’t discouraged liberal firebrand Rep. Alan Grayson from the race. If anything, it’s made him more eager to compete. […] But Grayson has a different theory on what it takes to win in Florida. He believes “there are no more swing voters” in the state, and so Democrats must offer a clear contrast with Republicans to turn out otherwise apathetic voters and disaffected Democrats. […] While he declined to discuss Murphy by name, he referenced “somebody else in the [primary] race who might have the party-switcher vote” — a veiled jab at the younger member, who was a registered Republican up through 2010, though he claims he backed John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign.” From CNN.

Florida parks at risk of ‘revenue-enhancing’ uses: “Proposals are being advanced in the Legislature and in the Department of Environmental Protection that may not bode well for the future of Florida’s nationally recognized state park system. […] Of recent concern was a bill already enacted by the House of Representatives (HB 7135), and a similar bill pending in the Senate (SB 7086). Although the session ended before they became law, these bills may be back. If either bill became law, the result could be the introduction of “low impact agricultural uses” in certain parks, including parks such as Torreya, St George Island and Wakulla Springs. Such “low impact” uses presumably would be conducted by private interests and could include activities such as cattle grazing and cutting of natural forests. Even “low impact” disturbances can be harmful in places such as state parks where the maintenance of delicate natural conditions is so important. This concept of “multiple uses” of state parks has been proposed before, but in each previous case, it was rejected as being inappropriate and potentially harmful.This proposed legislation should be specifically amended to avoid the risk of impairing state parks. Of even greater concern is the stated intention of the new secretary of the DEP to make the park system financially self-supporting. […] The most direct route to self-sufficiency would be to increase user fees, but this is self-defeating because it risks pricing the parks out of reach for many, including people with low incomes who need public parks the most. Besides, state parks are already an economic engine for Florida, as demonstrated by the more than 29,300 jobs they create and nearly $2.1 billion they contribute to local economies.” (Ney C. Landrum, Florida State Parks Director Emeritus, 1970-1989; Fran P. Mainella, Florida State Parks Director, 1989-2001 and National Park Service Director, 2001-2006; Mike Bullock, Florida State Parks Director, 2003- 2010, in

Jeb Bush’s war against Florida high-speed rail shows his governing style: “It mixes a willingness to go against both the desires of voters and an influential political ally — and an unromantic fiscal conservatism that has endeared him to some Republicans. Long before his conservatism was questioned by a Republican Party that has shifted to the right, Bush used such fights to build a reputation as a bulwark against large-scale infrastructure projects favored by Democrats. In the eight years since Bush left office, high-speed rail has become a signature goal for both the Obama administration and for Gov. Jerry Brown. California’s $68-billion bullet train — which would link San Francisco, the Central Valley and Los Angeles — is the nation’s largest public works project. A Bush presidency would almost surely cast a more skeptical eye toward costly transportation projects, both in terms of financial and regulatory assistance.” From the LATimes.

Road and Interstate Construction:

road-constructionPalm Coast: Palm Coast Parkway between Cypress Point Parkway and Florida Park Drive. IMPACTS: Lane shifts and closures will occur and this may cause traffic congestion on this already busy roadway. Most construction work will occur between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. though weather and unforeseen issues may adjust the schedules. This project will be complete by December 2015.”

Matanzas Parkway Bridge at I-95 Matanazas Parkway at the I-95 bridge will close on June 5 at 7 p.m. for the I-95 interchange project and will remain closed until Aug. 9. Detour will be via Old Kings Road. Details here.

Lane Closures on I-95 at Palm Coast Parkway: Starting on Monday, May 11, and through Friday, May 15, between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., motorists should expect two lane closures on the northbound and southbound sides of I-95 at Exit 289, Palm Coast Parkway. Only the outside lanes in each direction will remain open. It is part of the Palm Coast Parkway widening project.

Flagler County: County Road 305 is now detour-free. 

Volusia: I-4 Widening from SR 44 to east of I-95, Monday and Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Eastbound/Westbound shoulder closing. Sunday through Thursday, Eastbound and Westbound lane closures as needed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday, 9:00 p.m. – 5:30 a.m. EB road closure between Canal St./SR 44 and I-95 with detour at US 92 exit ramp.Motorists should be aware of traffic shifts near Canal St./SR 44.

Traffic will be detoured at State Road (SR) 44/Canal Street, for reconstruction work May 12-14: The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is providing project support to Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) to replace the current crossing surface. Motorists will encounter detours beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 12, and ending at 6 a.m. Thursday, May 14. The SR 44/Canal Street detours are: Eastbound SR 44/Canal Street: North on North Myrtle Avenue, East on Washington Street, South on US 1/North Dixie Parkway. Westbound SR 44/Canal Street: North on US 1/North Dixie Parkway, West on Washington Street, South on North Myrtle Avenue, West on SR 44/Canal Street. For the most up-to-date information on road and lane closures, go to and click on ‘Lane Closures.’

PR Releases:

Rymfire Elementary Opens Medical Lab: On Tuesday, May 12 at 6 p.m., community leaders and educators will celebrate the opening of the Rymfire Elementary Flagship Medical Lab (Locos Medica, Latin Translation). The new lab is the centerpiece for Rymfire’s Flagship Program that focuses K-6 classroom lessons on medical sciences, health and fitness. Rymfire’s Flagship Program is a part of a district-wide “Classroom to Careers” effort that encourages students to explore, discover and succeed through project-based learning and community partnerships. “Flagship Programs are a way to get kids excited about what they’re learning so they can see how what they’re learning impacts their everyday lives and gets them thinking about their future beyond school. We are becoming laser focused on college and career readiness and have expanded the conversation by bringing in middle and elementary schools,” says Superintendent Jacob Oliva. During the planning phases of the medical lab, Rymfire Elementary Principal Paula St. Francis met with the Principal’s Advisory Council, a group of students in grades 4-6, and asked them to make a “Wish List.” Dr. Steven C. Bower, a local surgeon, member of Florida Hospital Flagler Health Care Partners, and advocate for the Medical Lab made a “Wish List” of his own. When they compared the two lists, they were essentially the same with items that included: adult and baby rescue mannequins, stethoscopes, microscope, stretcher, exam table and models of torso, kidney, skeleton and heart. Florida Hospital Flagler chief nursing officer Robert Davis was eager to offer his support by coordinating donations from the hospital and looking for ways to strengthen the partnership with Rymfire students. The hospital donated nearly $7,000 worth of medical equipment to the Rymfire Medical Lab to provide students with hands-on learning tied to K-6 Florida Standards. Furthermore, Davis is working with the Flagler County Education Foundation and Rymfire’s Flagship Program Leadership Team to help students connect what they are learning in the classroom and medical lab to careers by offering guest speakers and student shadowing opportunities throughout the school year. In addition, the Flagler County Education Foundation’s Innovation Grants program provided a $10,000 grant to support the elementary school’s medical lab, half of which will be provided by the Florida Consortium of Education Foundation matching grants program. These funds were used to purchase workstations and materials for the Medical Lab and stipends for teachers who hosted after school health, nutrition and science clubs that include: Gardening, Cooking, Robotics, Math in Sports and Science Club. “Flagler County Education Foundation has been supporting innovation in classrooms since 1990. Currently, we are focusing our grants on helping elementary schools develop their Flagship programs, knowing that K-6 students are the pipeline for middle and high school programs,” says Deborah Williams, executive director, Flagler Education Foundation. Additional medical and dental professionals have generously donated time and materials to support lessons in medical science health and fitness. Dr. Jeremiah Mahoney donates a day of his time to present dental health information to students in kindergarten and first grade. Dr. Ken Davis, a local chiropractor, donated a model of the spine, x-ray boxes and samples of x-rays. Dave and Desiree Chalice, owners of Peak Fitness & Rehabilitation, provided an after school fitness class for students in grades 4-6. “Flagler County’s future economy depends on how well we prepare our youngest generation for success after high school, whether that’s college, career training, or the workplace,” says Helga van Eckert, executive director, Flagler county Department of Economic Opportunity.

Flagler Beach Police Offers Safe Place to Close Your Online Transactions in Person: Are you looking for a safer way to close your on-line (Craig’s List, “Facebook’s SwipSwap”, etc.) transactions? If the answer to that questions is yes, we’ve got a brand new program especially for you. The dangers of meeting strangers at a remote location to trade items has ended too many times in senseless violence and this trend continues to occur across the nation. This program is specifically designed to provide a safe place to trade, which in turn will protect all parties involved. In a proactive effort to protect our citizens, the Flagler Beach Police Department is welcoming the public to utilize our Department’s lobby and parking lot to close their online transactions in a safer manner for all involved parties. The Flagler Beach Police Department is centrally located at 204 South Flagler Avenue. In addition to utilizing the Police Department as an “On-Line Transaction Safe Place”, our Police Officers will be available to stand by in order to increase both the buyer’s and seller’s sense of security. Along with our commitment to the safety of all parties involved, the Flagler Beach Police Department is committed to ensuring that on-line transactions conducted in our City are being done so with merchandise that hasn’t been reported as stolen. Police Officers will be available to check any item’s serial number against the State of Florida and National databases (to include NCIC and Leads On-Line) to ensure that transactions don’t include items that have been reported and/or entered into databases as stolen. To schedule an appointment, please contact our Staff at the Police Department between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Feel free to stop by to make your appointment or call us at 386-517-2020. If you have any questions about the aforementioned information, please contact Captain Doughney or any member of the Flagler Beach Police Department.

In Coming Days:

palm coast tennis court closure belle terrePalm Coast’s Belle Terre Tennis Courts to close for 2-3 weeks for resurfacing: The City of Palm Coast’s Belle Terre Tennis Courts will be closed beginning Tuesday, May 12, for resurfacing. The project is expected to take two to three weeks to complete. The court surface will be repaired, repainted and restriped. The restriping will include dual lines, meaning that the courts will have the regular tennis lines and then “shadow” lines for pickleball (on the outer courts) and U10 tennis (on the center court.) During this closure and through November 2015, the Palm Coast Tennis Center, 1290 Belle Terre Pkwy., will offer reduced rates for players. Prices shown are per person:
· Monday – $5 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
· Tuesday – 2 for Tuesday $2 from 4-8 p.m.
· Wednesday – $4 from 4-6 p.m. and $2.50 from 6-8 p.m.
· Thursday – $4 from 4-8 p.m.
· Friday, Saturday and Sunday – $5 from 8-11 a.m. and $2.50 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Additionally, other public hard-surface courts are available at:
· Seminole Woods Neighborhood Park (1 court – lighted), 350 Sesame Blvd., Palm Coast
· Old Dixie Park (1 court), 1250 S. Dixie Hwy., Bunnell
· Wadsworth Park (3 courts), 2200 Moody Blvd., Flagler Beach
The City’s pickleball program is suspended at this time and will resume at Belle Terre Park once the resurfacing project is completed. Once pickleball resumes, it will be held on Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. and on Fridays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. For additional questions, please call Palm Coast Parks & Recreation at 386-986-2323.

Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare will run a free Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) certification course for Flagler County residents on Friday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Flagler County Government Services Building. The course will be instructed by Sini Summerlin, MHFA instructor, who will teach a five-step action plan to offer initial help to people with signs and symptoms of a mental illness, or who are in crisis, and learn to connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social or self help care. “You are more likely to come in contact with a person who is experiencing a mental illness than a person suffering from a heart attack,” stated Summerlin. “This is an essential course to take for anyone that works with young adults,” added Summerlin. Anyone that resides or works in Flagler County can take the 8-hour Youth Mental Health First Aid course, but it is ideally designed for adults who work with young people, ages 12-18 — teachers, coaches, leaders of faith communities, social workers, and other caring citizens Seating is limited and registration is required. The Flagler County Government Services Building is located at 1769 E. Moody Blvd. in Bunnell and the class will be held in Building 2, 3rd Floor, Room 3. To register, follow this link.
For more information or to participate in a Mental Health First Aid training in Flagler County, visit or email Sini Summerlin, MHFA contact at

orienteeringThe Florida Agricultural Museum will be co-hosting an orienteering event on Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum facility, 7900 Old Kings Road North in Palm Coast. The event is being produced by the Florida Orienteering Club. There is a $2 per person registration fee. In addition there is a map fee of $4 for club members and $6 for non-members. Orienteering is the sport of navigating a series of designated locations on an outdoor course with a map and compass. The event is suitable for all ages. No experience is necessary and instructors will be on site for assistance. Closed toe shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent and water are recommended for all participants. The museum recently opened a permanent orienteering course at its facility. It is available when the museum is open to the public. There is $5 charge per user. The event will take place rain or shine. For more information, please visit or or by contacting (386) 446-7630 or

Food Truck Tuesdays on Tuesday, May 19: Enjoy gourmet food and family fun – all for a great cause – from 5-8 p.m. at Central Park in Town Center, 975 Central Ave., Palm Coast. This month, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office will provide demonstrations by its K-9 Unit, Command Unit and Mounted Posse. Entertainment will be hosted by Flagler Sheriff’s PAL, including a DJ, music, face-painting, and fun games with prizes for kids. The Food Truck event will feature about a dozen food trucks – mobile kitchens, canteens and catering trucks that offer up gourmet foods including appetizers, main dishes, side dishes and desserts. Many menus are kid-friendly. The food trucks signed up for May include:

· Caketeer – gourmet cupcakes

· Kona Dog – Hawaiian Style Hot Dog, pulled pork, fries, coconut shrimp

· Monsta Lobsta – crab rolls, spicy lobster rolls, lobster bisque

· London Fishy & Chippy – corn fritters, fish tacos, butter beer (non-alcoholic)

· It’s All Greek to Me – gyros (chicken, pork), Italian sausage

· Flaming Pizza – pizza, calzones, wraps

· Magic4urPlate – salmon, grouper, crab and shaved beef

· El Cubanito Subs – Cuban sandwiches, onion rings, steak sandwiches, pastrami subs, mahi, mohi

· Corl Concessions – cotton candy, snow-cones, hot chocolate, coffee

· Mama’s Foods – chicken quesadillas, fried shrimp, chicken tenders

· Chi Phi – chili cheese fries, roast pork sandwiches, hot dogs, salad, cheese curds

· Bruster’s Real Ice Cream/Nathan’s – ice cream and shaved ice

· Barnwood BBQ – Angus beef brisket, ribs, mac & cheese, pulled pork, fried fruit pies

Proceeds from the May 19 Food Truck Tuesday will go to Flagler Sheriff’s PAL. Food Truck Tuesdays is held every other month, on the third Tuesday of the month. Food Truck Tuesdays is presented by the City of Palm Coast Parks & Recreation Department. For more information, call 386-986-2323 or visit

Blood Donations Needed

big-red-busBlood donations are urgently needed. Patients in our local hospitals are in need of blood transfusions, and the need for blood does not take a holiday. That’s why OneBlood is asking people to donate immediately.

Big Red Bus schedule in Flagler-Palm Coast:

Wednesday May 13th 11:30AM -4:30PM Department of Health Flagler, 301 Dr. Carter BLvd, Bunnell
Thursday May 14th 9:00AM – 2:00PM Florida Hospital Flagler, 60 Memorial Med Parkway, Palm Coast
Friday May 15th 1:00PM – 6:00PM Epic Theatre, 1185 Central Ave, Palm Coast
Saturday May 16th 9:00AM – 2:00PM Bunnell Festival, 200 East Moody Blvd, Bunnell
Monday May 18th 11:00AM – 4:00PM City of Palm Coast, 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Palm Coast
Wednesday May 20th 12:00PM – 5:00PM US Post Office, 2 Pine Cone Drive, Palm Coast
Friday May 22nd 1:00PM – 6:00PM Epic Theatre, 1185 Central Ave, Palm Coast
Sunday May 24th McDonalds Restaurant, 5190 East Highway 100, Palm Coast
Monday May 25th Bealls Outlet, 9 Old Kings road, Palm Coast
Friday May 29th Zaxby’s, 180 Cypress Edge Drive, Palm Coast
Saturday May 30th Walmart Supercenter, 174 Cypress Point Parkway, Palm Coast
Sunday May 31st Lowe’s, 315 Cypress Edge Drive, Palm Coast

Cultural Coda:

seneca gladiatorial games epistlesSeneca reflects on watching gladiatorial games, after hundreds of criminals were driven into an arena to be mutually slaughtered to a crowd’s amusement: “I come home more greedy, more cruel and inhuman, because I have been among human beings. By chance I attended a midday exhibition, expecting some fun, wit, and relaxation . . . whereby men’s eyes may have respite from the slaughter of their fellow men. But it was quite the contrary. . . . These noon fighters are sent out with no armor of any kind; they are exposed to blows at all points, and no one ever strikes in vain. . . . In the morning they throw men to the lions; at noon they throw them to the spectators. The crowd demands that the victor who has slain his opponent shall face the man who will slay him in turn; and the last conqueror is reserved for another butchering. . . . This sort of thing goes on while the stands are nearly empty. . . . Man, a sacred thing to man, is killed for sport and merriment.” (From Seneca’s letters.)

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