Weekend Briefing: Growing Energy at Belle Terre, McDevitt Rape Sentencing, Spying in Orange County Schools
FlaglerLive | May 29, 2015
Today’s weather (and all weekend): partly cloudy, Highs in mid-80s, lows in low 70s. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Low. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 509
The weather in Antofagasta, Chile: high 64, low 57. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: riva, n..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.
Today’s Briefing: Quick Links
- In Flagler and Palm Coast
- Local News Recap
- In Court
- In State Government
- PR Releases
- Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports
- Local Road and Interstate Construction
- In the Press
- In Coming Days in Flagler and Palm Coast
- Blood Donations Needed
- Cultural Coda
Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
Friday: Students at Belle Terre Elementary School and Flagler County teacher of year Ed Wolff, will showcase their Growing Energy garden to classmates, parents, school and city officials on Friday, May 29. The Growing Energy garden allows students to explore electrical, solar and wind energy concepts and apply them to their everyday lives. Students will demonstrate how the energy garden works including the new installation of solar panels, a weather station, water recovery station and wind turbine. Edward Wolff was awarded an FPL teacher grant for the third year in a row, which has helped fund and expand his students Growing Energy garden. The goal of the FPL grants is to increase students’ interest in STEM careers. (10 a.m., Belle Terre Elementary.)
Friday: Belle Terre Elementary Kindergarten End of Year Graduation and Concert at 9:15 a.m. in the school cafeteria.
Friday: Ribbon-cutting and open house at Gold Coast Custom Homes, 4 p.m., 602 Mahogany Run, The Conservatory in Palm Coast.
Friday: Palm Coast Arts Foundation Jazz Concert and Fund-Raiser, 7 p.m. at the Grand Club at Pine Lakes Golf Club: Vocalist Amy Alysia is a performer who works tirelessly to claim her place as one of the premier vocalists in central Florida. Always known for her soulful, heartfelt ballads, impressive vocal range & unique approach to a song leaves her audience wanting more. Amy entertains her audience with Smooth & Jazz Standards, R&B & Soul and isn’t afraid to diversify her song selections. Tickets are $15 for arts foundation members, $20 for non-members. To buy, call 386/263-2991 or visit the foundation’s website here.
Friday: Matanzas High School Graduation, at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 8 p.m.
Saturday: Flagler Band Boosters, Go Green Beach Clean Up, 9 a.m., North Side of the Flagler Beach Pier, on the beach.
Saturday: Florida Agricultural Museum Family Farm Day: A down home celebration of Florida farming featuring living historians in period clothing demonstrating cast iron cooking, black smithing, basketry and other rural crafts. There will be plenty of hands-on activities for folks of all ages, music, story telling, and much more. Sensible shoes are recommended. Admission is $5 per person, museum members and children 5 and under free of charge.
Sunday: Jewish Family Night Outing, organized by Palm Coast’s Temple Beth Shalom. Bring your friends and family to help cheer for the new Daytona Beach Tortugas baseball team Sunday,, May 31, at 5:35 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Daytona Beach. Rabbi Zev of Temple Beth Shalom will sing the National Anthem. Tickets are $5 per person. Kosher hotdogs will be available at the concession stand, not included in the ticket price (the hotdogs are not included in the ticket price, that is. The concession stand is.) Call the synagogue at 386/672-1174 for more information.
A fight Wednesday at Matanzas High School sent a 15-year-old boy to the hospital: The fight began before school started Wednesday, and appears to have stemmed from online harassment on a social media website against the alleged assailant, by a group of six or seven friends who attend Matanzas. Charges are pending against the assailant.
Ronald Williams of Palm Coast Arrested: The man who goes by the name of “Big Buster” was arrested at his R-Section home in connection with a May 10 altercation in Daytona Beach where, the News-Journal’s Matt Bruce reports, “Williams and members of his family attacked a 22-year-old man in front of his house, beating, robbing and stripping him of his clothes. When the 22-year-old’s girlfriend tried to intercede, the group began assaulting her as well.”
Palm Coast Wants Protection From Extortionist Lawsuits Over Public Record Requests: The measure Palm Coast wants to see the Legislature pass would not change the essence of the state’s public record law, nor the manner in which members of the public may ask for records from agencies, or from private companies contracting with public agencies (those private companies must comply with public record requirements within the scope of those contracts). But it would change the way individuals may go about suing a public agency or recover attorney fees, should they consider that an agency has violated the law.
Palm Coast attorney Obed Dorceus suspended for 91 days: a Florida Bar news release states that the attorney, who’s been admitted to practice in 1994, is suspended effective immediately, following an April 10 court order. Dorceus was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a July 10, 2014, suspension order. Specifically, he was required to notify his clients, opposing counsel and tribunals of his suspension and provide to The Florida Bar within 30 days a sworn affidavit listing the names and addresses of all persons and entities that he informed.
With Florida Overdue for a Hit, Hurricane Season Begins on a Tide of Pessimism: The last storm to hit Florida, Hurricane Wilma, came ashore Oct. 24, 2005, and Floridians with homeowners’ insurance policies are still paying. At least for one more month. Florida’s population has grown the past decade by more than 2 million, with a sizable chunk of the increase coming in coastal areas. Sam Miller, executive vice president of the Florida Insurance Council, said he has a “bad feeling” about this year.
Circuit Judge J. David Walsh today will sentence James McDevitt to prison following McDevitt’s April guilty plea in the rape of a woman in Flagler Beach in June 2013. McDevitt, 23, of Palm Coast, faces up to life in prison without parole. The sentencing hearing is expected to feature several witnesses for the defense and the prosecution.
- Behind Friday’s McDevitt Sentencing For Rape, the 911 Call That Told a Harrowing Story
- James McDevitt Pleads Guilty as Charged of Rape, May Face Up to Life in Prison for Flagler Beach Attack
- James McDevitt Pleads Not Guilty in Flagler Beach Rape Allegation
- Rape Crisis Failure: How the Children’s Advocacy Center Betrayed a Victim at Her Most Vulnerable
- In Suspected Flagler Beach Rape, New Details Point to 2 Attacks and Disturbing Aftermath
- James McDevitt, 21, Accused of Raping a Woman in Flagler Beach, 2 Blocs from a Cop
A Foreclosure sale is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the civil department lobby of the courthouse.
Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.
The Florida Standards Assessment Review Selection Panel is choosing an independent entity to verify the validity of the Florida Standards Assessment for public-school students. (10 a.m., University of North Florida, Adam W. Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Dr., Jacksonville.)
–Compiled by the News Service of Florida
Sepp Blatter, the president of corruption-ridden FIFA, the Federation Internationale de Football Association which governs global soccer, is expected to win a fifth term today despite pledging, after he ran a fourth time, not to do so again, and despite presiding over an organization now the subject of a vast criminal inquiry by the FBI.
The St. Johns River Water Management District’s website provides easy access to valuable information to assist the public and local governments before, during and after severe storm events. Hurricane season officially begins June 1. The District’s web pages (floridaswater.com/storm) include links to flood statements and warnings, river stage and flooding data, and local government emergency contacts. Links to the National Weather Service, Florida Division of Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey’s interactive map of current conditions in the state are also available via the website. Florida’s many waterways and extensive coastline make the state especially vulnerable to floods. When hurricanes and other storms bring high volumes of rain in short periods of time, flooding can result. Partnerships between the public and government entities are necessary to minimize flooding impacts, protect personal property and assist flood victims during and after storms. Local governments are the primary entities responsible for emergency responses during storms, such as implementing state-of-emergency declarations, evacuations and rescue efforts during flood-related disasters. The District works closely with local governments year-round to develop improved flood management plans and to help communities establish and implement strategies to deal with floods once they occur. In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, the District assists local governments by issuing emergency orders that allow for the pumping of water to alleviate flooding when public health and safety are at risk. The District also issues emergency orders to authorize repair, replacement or restoration of public and private property.
The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through May 20:
Island Walk Shopping Center (Former Palm Harbor Shopping Center), 80 percent done: A 3rd Grease Interceptor has been installed behind the new buildings on the west end of the project. Three sewer wyes have been installed to serve the Grease Interceptors.
Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 76 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway continues. Landscape irrigation work continues. Fence installation on north side of bridge is complete. Fire hydrant at Florida Park Drive has been relocated. Hydrants installed at Palm Coast
Parkway on water main heading North and East. Contractor continues with dig locates in areas of tie in points for the new 12″ and 16″ water mains.
Royal Palms Parkway Improvements, 96 percent done: Finished remainder of paving. Grading for sod at roadway edge. Sodding at Rickenbacker and seeding on south side of Royal Palms.
Holland Park, 18 percent done: Demolition of remainder of park roadway.
Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 47 percent done: Installation of drywall of interior walls has begun. Mechanical duct work installation and electrical conduit rough-in and fire sprinkler piping continues. Installation of exterior windows and exterior wall trim has begun. See ongoing images of construction here.
Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 65 percent done: The package Pump Station has been set and plumbing continues. Contractor has installed the Force main into the existing manhole on Wynnfield Drive. The road lane closure for the manhole core to install the force main was completed
and the road has been repaired.
Orange county schools start monitoring students’ social media: Central Florida’s largest school district announced Thursday that it had acquired new software that would allow it to grab and then analyze social-media messages posted from its campuses, whether from students or staff. The software also would allow the district to search the thousands of messages posted on various sites for key words that might indicate trouble. The new program is one of several aimed at “prevention and early intervention” put in place by the district since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, said Michael Eugene, the district’s chief operations officer. Orange officials acknowledged the online snooping might raise questions. […] Worrisome posts would be referred to school administrators or police, as appropriate, officials said. […] Orange administrators announced the effort in an email to parents and staff sent late Wednesday and then in a news release early Thursday. They hoped the announcement would help head off end-of-the-year pranks and spark discussion during the summer between parents and students about appropriate social-media use. […] The software, which costs about $14,000 a year, is in a “rollout phase” now and will be fully running at the start of the 2015-16 school year. From the Sentinel.
Limiting Global Warming to 2 Degrees Celsius Won’t Save Us: It is well known that the risks of climate change can be significantly reduced if warming is limited to well below 2 degrees Celsius. However, the scientific literature related to 1.5 degrees Celsius is scarce, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) compares differences along 2 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius pathways—somewhat at odds with the current policy debates over temperature limits and danger thresholds. Global average warming is just that—an average. Regional warming and vulnerability to climate impacts will vary significantly. Therefore the difference in projected risks between 1.5 degrees Celsius and 2 degrees Celsius of warming is particularly important for highly temperature-sensitive systems, such as the polar regions, high mountains and the tropics, and low-lying coastal regions. At 2 degrees Celsius the very existence of some atoll nations is threatened by rising sea-levels. Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius may restrict sea level rise below one meter. Yet even at 1.5 degrees Celsius warming, regional food security risks are significant. Africa is particularly vulnerable, with significant reduction in staple crop yields in some countries. Current levels of warming are already causing impacts that many people will not be able to adapt to—more scope for adaptation would exist at 1.5 degrees Celsius, especially in the agricultural sector.” From the New Republic.
Arrests Overshadow Palestinians’ Bid to Oust Israel From FIFA: “The protesters outside the arena where FIFA staged the opening ceremony for its annual congress Thursday held Palestinian flags and blunt banners. “Red Card for Israel Apartheid,” one read. “Occupation = Segregation,” another said. “EXPEL Israel, Say NO to racism and discrimination.” But as the congress convened, the Palestine Football Association’s proposal to oust its Israeli counterpart from FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, was overshadowed by the corruption scandal that had ensnared top FIFA executives the day before. After weeks of intense international attention, Israeli and Palestinian officials said they were suddenly struggling to get their competing messages through to the more than 200 national delegations that will decide Israel’s future participation if the proposal is put to a vote, as scheduled, on Friday. […] Mr. Blatter has been pushing a four-point plan that would give Palestinian athletes and sports officials special identity cards to ease their travel through Israeli checkpoints and border crossings, remove Israeli import tariffs on equipment and promote the building of fields and facilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The plan emerged from Mr. Blatter’s shuttle-diplomacy mission last week in which he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in Jerusalem and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank city of Ramallah.” From the Times.
How Louis C.K. Became a King of Comedy: Over the last few years, Louis C.K. has become comedy royalty, due in large part to his much-adored FX series Louie, which closes out its fifth season tonight. C.K., 47, has won two Golden Globes and multiple Emmys; become the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden four times in the same month; enjoyed unprecedented creative freedom; and changed the game in terms of how comics promote their work, cutting out the middlemen and distributing many of his specials and independently funded projects on his website for as little as $5. But, as is the case with most in the comedy biz, C.K.’s ascent was the result of many a DIY risk and gamble. He’s been on the scene for nearly three decades, in places you might not have suspected.” New York Magazine documents the gradual rise of Louis C.K.
Road and Interstate Construction:
Palm 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.”
Sections Royal Palms Parkway will be closed for construction between Belle Terre and just past Rymfire Drive. The lane closures will occur Wednesday, May 27th through Friday, May 29th between 9am and 3pm. Both lanes will be open each evening.
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.
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 www.cflroads.com and click on ‘Lane Closures.’
The public is invited to learn more about the I-4 Ultimate project during a public information open house, and how the project is transforming Altamonte Springs, Longwood and Maitland, as well as the entire 21-mile corridor. The open house is scheduled Thursday, May 28, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the RDV Sportsplex – Magic Gym, located at 8701 Maitland Summit Boulevard.
- Palm Coast Parkway Project Website
- Florida Department of Transportation Road Project List
- County Road 304 Project Map and Description
Texting and Driving Public Service Announcement Unveiling: Chiumento Selis Dwyer, the Palm Coast law firm, has been working with Flagler Sheriff’s PAL, Florida Hospital Flagler, Flagler County Schools, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Flagler County Fire Rescue and a group of local Matanzas High School students on a “No Texting & Driving Campaign.” Over the past few weeks the group has been working on a No Texting & Driving PSA and will host a PSA Premiere event of this video on Wednesday, June 3rd, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Matanzas High School Pirates Theatre.
For the Poor, Access Flagler First: The overarching message coming from the many social services agencies that participate in Access Flagler First is that there is help available for those who need it. ElderSource brings a motor home for the every-other-month event, which is held at Cattlemen’s Hall at the Fairgrounds, to provide individual counseling. SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) volunteers provide the “crown jewel” of services offered – advice about all of the insurance options for those who are turning 65. “There is help out there,” said volunteer Vivian Rowe. “We also help people do thing like apply for assistance if they need it. We are willing to do the secretarial work. We don’t make the decisions and we think that everyone who needs help should apply.” Access Flagler First was started four years ago by Janet Nickels, program manager for Flagler County Human Services, and Pastor Charles Silano, of Grace Tabernacle Ministries. About 40 social services agencies have agreed to provide information and assistance. “That says something about all of the social services agencies here in Flagler County,” Nickels said. “There is a need here and they have committed to do this.” TRAIL, which stands for Transitioning youth with disabilities into Real vocational opportunities through Action planning and Individual Learning, was given the spotlight in April. TRAIL is part of the Flagler County School District and serves 18- through 21-year-olds with disabilities who are looking for employment. Nutritious food and “gently used” clothing is given out at each Access Flagler First. “We provide food for about 350 families,” Silano said in April. “This time we had dry goods for them, a whole frozen chicken, bread and fresh vegetables.” The next event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, June 5. For more information and to access a full list of participants, visit the website.
Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Flagler County Children Through Seamless Summer Freeding: The Flagler County Schools, Food & Nutrition Services Department is please to announce that free breakfast and lunch meals will be made available at no charge to all children in the community who are 18 years of age and under. Free meals will be available at the following sites from June 8th – August 14th and closed on July 3rd. Closed site means it’s just for children who are attending camp through the school location. An open site means anyone can come in and have a meal. Menus available online at FlaglerSchools.Nutrislice.com.
Bunnell Elementary – Closed Site: 800 East Howe Street Bunnell, Breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Imagine School – Open Site: 775 Town Center Blvd Palm Coast, Breakfast from 9 to 9:30 a.m., lunch 12:30 p.m.
Versie Lee Mitchell Community Center – Open Site: 405 E Drain Street, Bunnell, Breakfast, 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., Lunch, 12:30 p.m.
Wadsworth Elementary School – Open Site: 4550 Belle Terre Parkway Palm Coast, Breakfast, 8 a.m to 9:45 a.m. , Lunch, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Reverse Church – Open Site: 4601 East Moody Blvd. Bunnell, Breakfast, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For more information call or email Amy Holstein, Food Service S Specialist for Flagler County Schools, 386-437-7526 x1305 or by email, HolsteinA@flaglerschools.com
“The Art of Selling”, a business seminar, will be offered by the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 17. Registration is now under way. The seminar will be held at City of Palm Coast offices, 160 Cypress Point Pkwy., Suite B106. A $10 early-bird, reduced registration fee is available now through May 31. From June 1 to 17, the registration cost is $15. For enrollment information, contact the Palm Coast BAC at 386-986-2499 or log onto www.PalmCoastBAC.com. Seminar Topics will include: The 7 steps of the sales process, how to improve the odds of making quota, preparation approach and discovery, and so on. The seminar will be taught by Ray Peter, Area Manager of the Florida Small Business Development Center. The Palm Coast BAC is a partnership between the City and the SBDC hosted by the University of Central Florida.
Blood 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:
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
Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838), Septet for Piano, Winds and Strings, Op.25