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 525 (and climbing)
The weather in Nekemte, Ethiopia: high 66, low 55. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: quiddle, v..
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.
The Flagler County Commission meets at 9 a.m. Flagler County Health Department Director Patrick Johnson will give an update on the department. Emergency Management Director Kevin Guithrie will talk about hurricane preparedness, with the hurricane season beginning today and running through November 1. The commission is expected to ratify a three-year contract with its firefighters’ union. The contract provides for raises reanging from under 1 percent to just under 14 percent over the next four years, depending on the position and the individual, in a plan the county administrator describes as a “salary compression.” The plan will cost the county an additional $228,000 over the next four years. The contract and a chart with the expected pay raises (at bottom of the document) is available here. The commission will also approve submission for a $750,000 grant to expand the Carver Center, also known as the Carver Gym, in Bunnell. The full agenda and back-up materials are here.
Note: a county commission meeting previously scheduled for 1 p.m. has been cancelled.
Flagler Beach’s Economic Development Task Force meets at 3 p.m. The city’s website calendar lists neither a place nor an agenda. Call the city 386-517-2000, extension 233, for details.
The Flagler Youth Orchestra’s annual chamber music recital, featuring 24 trios, quartets and a few larger groups, takes place at 5:30 p.m. at the Palm Coast Seventh Day Adventist Church at 5650 Belle Terre Parkway. Admission is free will offering. Eighty-six students are participating, some of them in more than one group. The recital showcases the only student-centered chamber music performances of the year in the county, and caps a chamber music camp the Youth Orchestra conducts at the end of each school year.
Sports Leadership Academy Night at Indian Trails Middle School, 6 p.m.
James McDevitt, 23, formerly of Palm Coast’s P Section, was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison for the 2013 rape of a woman in Flagler Beach. He’s being credited for two years in jail, and so may leave prison, with good behavior, after 32 years, having served the minimum required 85 percent of the sentence.
Joseph Frank Bova, accused of the 2013 execution-style shooting of Mobil gas station clerk Zuheily Rosado, will be reevaluated for mental illness before the murder case proceeds, the Observer’s Jonathan Simmons reported Friday. His attorney, Raymond Warren, said “jail officials have noted signs of severe mental illness, despite the fact that a treatment facility that had initially noted Bova as incompetent had at one point cleared him to stand trial.”
Palm Coast synchronized swimmer Victoria Woroniecki makes U.S. National Team: The 10-member team includes girls ages 13 to 15. Victoria is 14. “The local team meets at the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club in Palm Coast, where Victoria practices for four-and-a-half hours each day,” the News-Journal’s Shaun Ryan reports. “Afterward, she has just enough time to eat dinner and get homework done before turning in for the night. Through it all, she maintains a 4.3 grade-point average.” (Story is paywall-protected.)
Channel 13’s Jason Wheeler featured Dakota Baker, a fifth-grader at Belle Terre Elementary School, who showed off her class’ growing energy garden on Friday. “Solar wind and power help run the lights and cameras where the students can see how the garden is growing from inside their classroom. The garden might seem simple, but it also ignites a learning passion within the students.”
Florida insurance officials are nervous about hurricane season, which begins today, after nine years of no hurricane landfalls in Florida. On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season, with between six to 11 tropical storms and three to six growing into hurricanes. The Weather Channel’s Professional Division has forecast nine named storms, with five reaching hurricane strength.
Flagler Beach doesn’t have a parking problem. It has a big-government problem: Cashing in on parking seems easy, even though the plan now appears to be so top heavy and so full of impossibly rosy assumptions about how often people will be willing to park and pay that it’ll probably end up costing the city more than it’ll profit it, and not just in dollars, argues FlaglerLive’s editor in a column. The city will pay a price in reputation and business friendliness, too.
Circuit Judge J. David Walsh has over 50 felony and probation violation arraignments starting at 8:30 a.m., including Kimberle Weeks, the former Flagler County Supervisor of Elections, who is facing 12 felony charges. She is accused of illegally recording numerous public officials in person and by phone. Walsh will hold a competency hearing for Joseph Milici, accused of taking part in an armed robbery of the Flagler Beach CVS in April 2011. Walsh will hold bond hearings in the afternoon, and an arraignment and conditional hearing for Stanley Wykretowicz, a 38-year-old resident of Palm Coast, accused of brutalizing his 2-year-old daughter. All in Courtroom 401.
A foreclosure sale is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the civil department lobby of the courthouse.
Judge Michael Orfinger is expected to release an opinion in a lawsuit against the county’s vacation-rental ordinance.
Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.
The Senate Democratic Caucus will meets ahead of this week’s special session. (Noon.)
The House and Senate will meet in their chambers to start a special legislative session needed because lawmakers did not pass a budget during this spring’s regular session. The special session could last until June 20, as lawmakers work to pass a budget before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year. (1 p.m.)
The House Health & Human Services Committee will host a workshop about a Senate plan (SB 2-A) that would use federal Medicaid funds to offer private health insurance to about 800,000 Floridians. The House and Gov. Rick Scott have refused to go along with the Senate expansion plan. (3 p.m.)
The Senate Health Policy Committee will take up the Senate’s proposed “Florida Health Insurance Affordability Exchange,” or FHIX, program (SB 2-A), which would extend health-care coverage to about 800,000 uninsured Floridians. (4 p.m.)
Florida’s university system and the National Science Foundation will host a two-day conference focused on National Science Foundation grants. (Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel, 4200 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa.)
The Seminole Tribe of Florida will hold an event to inaugurate its elected leaders. The event will include James E. Billie, chairman of the Seminole Tribal Council, and Mitchell Cypress, president of the Seminole Board of Directors. (10:30 a.m., tent at the southwest corner of Stirling Road and U.S. 441, Hollywood.)
Leaders of religious organizations will hold a news conference to call for the state House to approve expansion of health-care coverage. The Senate is pushing an expansion plan, but the House and Gov. Rick Scott are opposed. (2:15 p.m., outside 212 Knott Building, the Capitol.)
–Compiled by the News Service of Florida
Parts of the Patriot Act, including those giving government authority to sweep millions of phone records of law-abiding Americans, expired at midnight, but the Senate is expected to renew the law shortly, but with some restored civil liberties protections.
The French Open starts its second week.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit received a generous $1,000 donation from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Palm Coast. Reverend Jason Trull presented the check to Sheriff Jim Manfre and members of the Sheriff’s Office Wednesday during a mid-morning visit to the church. In April 2015, the church held its 3rd Annual community health and wellness fair. Over 60 safety and health organizations participated, including the Sheriff’s Office, which conducted a K9 demonstration. Each year, the church selects a theme and chooses to make a monetary donation to local schools, businesses or organizations. This year, the theme was “prevention.” The donation came from money donated by sponsors of the event. “We are committed to serving our community through Christ and we are grateful for the opportunity to make a monetary donation to the Sheriff’s Office. The K9 Unit is a valuable part of these events and we wanted to say thank you to these animals and their human partners,” Trull said. “The K9 Unit is an intricate part of the sheriff’s office and our 4-legged deputies are an extension of our team. We are grateful to have been selected as the recipient of the donation,” Manfre said.
Special Needs Shelter Information Session: The Florida Department of Health-Flagler encourages health care providers and residents to get ready and be prepared for the hurricane season. The Department of Health in Flagler County and Flagler County Emergency Management is hosting a Special Needs Shelter information session for providers of home healthcare, other medical support and interested parties including the general public. To assure we are prepared for emergencies which may require evacuation or other protective measures for county residents, we invite you to participate in this planning and information session. Topics to be addressed include notification, transportation, and evacuation of vulnerable residents; the county special needs shelter registry; and other issues of importance to home healthcare providers. “Education is part of the preparation for emergencies and this is what this meeting will provide,” said Patrick Johnson, Administrator for Flagler County Health Department. The session is from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at Florida Hospital Flagler’s Classroom D, 60 Memorial Medical Parkway.
The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through May 29:
Island Walk Shopping Center (Former Palm Harbor Shopping Center), 88 percent done: Two Grease Interceptor’s have been installed for the new Publix building.
Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 76 percent done: Contractor 4C’s continues with dig locates in areas of tie in points for the new 12″ and 16″ water mains. A water hydrant was relocated on Palm Coast Parkway in front of Wells Fargo Bank. Dewatering has been installed at Cypress Point Pkwy
and Palm Coast Pkwy for water main tie ins.
Royal Palms Parkway Improvements, 97 percent done: All sodding and seeding completed. New Raised median being constructed at Rymfire intersection. All signalization work completed. 99 percent of pavement striping completed. Substantial Completion scheduled for June 3rd.
Holland Park, 18 percent done: Demolition and site work continues including demolition of basketball court fencing. Survey points for new roadway.
Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 49 percent done: Installation of the drywall on the interior walls continues. Mechanical duct work installation and electrical conduit rough-in and fire sprinkler piping continues. Installation of exterior windows and the exterior wall trim continues. We are approaching the half-way point. 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.
Note: The first LED residential street light was installed at White Star Dr. and White Place.
Spike Lee Comes to Film ‘Chiraq,’ Unsettling Some Chicagoans: “Chiraq. A reference to the gun violence that has left parts of Chicago feeling like a war zone to many residents, the word is believed to have been coined by local rappers years ago. But it is taking on another life as the working title of a new Spike Lee movie that is expected to be filmed here this summer. Local politicians have lined up against the title. Mr. Lee has been confronted by Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who told him in a meeting last month that he was “not happy” about the name. An alderman from the South Side, William Burns, was so perturbed by the title that he angrily suggested that Mr. Lee, the renowned director of films like “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X,” should not get the $3 million tax credit that he is seeking for filming here. […] Mr. Lee, who declined to be interviewed, has not publicly confirmed the title of the movie, but city officials who have met with him said he had told them that he intended to call it “Chiraq.” The film, Mr. Lee has said, is focused on gun violence on the South Side; some reports, unconfirmed by Mr. Lee, offer the intriguing possibility that the film is a comedic reimagining of “Lysistrata,” the ancient Greek tale by Aristophanes in which women withhold sex to force the men to end the Peloponnesian War. […] The Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina, who is known for his emotional sermons and outspoken political views, has lent Mr. Lee office space to use as a home base while in Chicago, he said in an interview. “I hope the film will face head on this violence that’s really becoming a genocide, and cause us to hold up a mirror to it,” Father Pfleger said. “There’s been a huge amount of controversy and outrage over a movie title. Where is the outrage over the violence? It is unacceptable to me.” From The Times.
In South Africa, continuing racism leads blacks to doubt Mandela’s vision: “Reports of racism have increased at universities, schools, parking lots, restaurants and office blocks, and on Facebook and Twitter, according to the South African Human Rights Commission. Some black South Africans, frustrated by overt racism, question Mandela’s soft vision of reconciliation. There have been reports of a Pretoria school segregating classes based on race; an office building in Limpopo province with a whites-only toilet; and a fancy Cape Town restaurant that refused a caller a reservation once he gave his last name, Mpofu, which identified him as black. Other racial incidents in recent months have included the Tasering of a woman in a fight over a parking space by a woman who allegedly first intoned a racial epithet; and an assault on a black woman by a white man who said he thought she was a prostitute. And then there was the Afrikaner singer Sunette Bridges, who wrote on Facebook that the only way to get a black construction worker to build straight was to use a whip. She later said that the comments were in jest and that she didn’t even know what it meant to be racist.” From the LATimes.
A Florida Police Killing Like Many, Disputed and Little Noticed: ” The witnesses who saw a Broward County deputy sheriff kill a man who had strolled through his apartment complex with an unloaded air rifle propped on his shoulders agreed: Just before he was gunned down, Jermaine McBean had ignored the officers who stood behind him shouting for him to drop his weapon. Nothing, the officer swore under oath, prevented Mr. McBean from hearing the screaming officers. Newly obtained photographic evidence in the July 2013 shooting of Mr. McBean, a 33-year-old computer-networking engineer, shows that contrary to repeated assertions by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, he was wearing earbuds when he was shot, suggesting that he was listening to music and did not hear the officers. The earphones somehow wound up in the dead man’s pocket, records show. A federal wrongful death lawsuit filed May 11 accused the Broward Sheriff’s Office of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. The suit alleges that the deputy who shot Mr. McBean perjured himself and that the department covered it up by giving him a bravery award shortly after the killing, while the shooting was still under investigation. From Ferguson, Mo., to Baltimore to Cleveland, the nation seems awash in disputed, high-profile cases of police violence. But a look at disputed cases in Florida is a reminder of how frequently they arise far from the limelight and how many questions surround the way they are investigated. The issue is particularly acute in Florida, where State Department of Law Enforcement statistics show the number of fatal police shootings has tripled in the past 15 years, even as crime has plummeted.” 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, [email protected]
“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:
No schedule provided so far this month.
Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, in Neon