Wednesday Briefing: A Kitten Is Saved From Walmart, Dennis McDonald Pays Palm Coast, Elizabeth Warren on Planned Parenthood
FlaglerLive | August 5, 2015
Today: high in low 90s, low in mid-70s. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 400.
The weather in Aswan, Egypt: high 114, low 87. Details.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: omniana, 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
- In the Press, In the News
- Today’s Mass Shooting(s)
- Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports
- Local Road and Interstate Construction
- In Coming Days in Flagler and Palm Coast
- Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section)
- Cultural Coda
Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Many can be heard or seen live through each agency’s website.
The Palm Coast Code Enforcement Board meets at 9 a.m. at the Palm Coast Community Center. The agenda is here.
Upcoming Saturday: The annual Back to School Jam, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Flagler Palm Coast High School Gymnasium. $5 Backpacks & $5 Uniform Shirts, Technology Expo & Learning Stations, Flagler Family Connection Sessions, After School Programs, free haircuts, and more.
Road Closure Note: The northbound lane of S. Old Kings Road from Town Center Boulevard going north approximately 2.5 miles will have a moving lane closure starting Monday, July 27. The lane closure will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and will continue for approximately three weeks. A flagman will direct traffic.
In Latest Fallout from Factious Weeks Era, Hutson Files Bill to Clarify Attorney Role on Canvassing Boards: Sen. Travis Hutson, whose senate district includes all of Flagler County, filed a bill in advance of the 2016 legislative session—which starts in January this year—that would clarify the attorney’s role on canvassing boards. It’s a one-page, five-line bill that can be summarized thus: the county attorney is the canvassing board attorney absent a two-thirds vote of the canvassing board members to designate someone else.Dennis McDonald’s frivolous lawsuit costs city of Palm Coast more than $12,000: The ex-county commission candidate and frequent gadfly has paid his legal bill to the city, just over $9,000, according to the Palm Coast Observer, though the actual cost of the case, to the city, was closer to $12,000. “Originally, the total bill was about $16,000, and so McDonald and Knight were required to pay $8,000 each. ” Knight settled for $5,000. McDonald refused to settle, then paid his amount with $1,000 interest.
Mother Accused of Assaulting Her 13-Year-Old Daughter, Then Going After Her Protectors: Dawn Nickonovitz, 39, of Palm Coast, is accused of violating an injunction and attacking her daughter, her daughter’s father, and her daughter’s grandfather.
Lawmakers Reload to Allow Students to Carry Concealed Weapons on Florida Campuses: Supporters of the proposal argue, at least in part, that it would allow people to defend themselves if attacked on campuses, including in cases of sexual assault. But opponents, including university presidents and police chiefs, contend that guns could combine with such things as alcohol and drug use on campuses to create safety problems.
Atticus Finch, Grand Wizard of the KKK: Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” Chapter 8: In the eighth installment of FlaglerLive’s ongoing project of live-blogging Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” good old Atticus Finch is revealed not only as a bigot, but as the leader of bigots.See the crash report here and the citation here. See the original story of the wreck here.
A foreclosure sale is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the civil department lobby.
Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.
Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet take up a wide range of issues, including the potential appointments of Jon Steverson as secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Rick Swearingen as commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Both men currently hold the jobs on an interim basis. (9 a.m.)
The Florida Commission on Offender Review considers numerous parole cases involving crimes committed in the 1970s and 1980s. (9 a.m.)
The State Board of Education holds a workshop to look at legislative and budget issues. (9 a.m., Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport, 9300 Jeff Fuqua Blvd., Orlando.)
Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and his son, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, are scheduled to address students in the Florida State University Masters of Applied American Politics and Policy program. (11 a.m., Old Capitol, Tallahassee.)
Train financing: The Florida Development Finance Corporation will meet and consider approval of issuing bonds that would be used to help finance the All Aboard Florida rail system. (1 p.m., DoubleTree by Hilton, 60 South Ivanhoe Blvd., Orlando.)
–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive
The first Republican debate: Today at 5 is the deadline for qualifying, based on an average of the last five polls.
President Obama defends the Iran Nukes deal at American University in Washington this morning.
How are media doing? Earnings reports for Fox, CBS and Time Warner come out today.
Recording of a cat’s meow helps Palm Coast Animal Control rescue ‘Wally’ the kitten: Luck, persistence and cell phone technology helped in the rescue of a tiny kitten on Tuesday. City of Palm Coast Animal Control officers received a call about noon Tuesday from a customer at Walmart who could hear a kitten crying. Animal Control officers Eva Boivin and Heather Priestap determined the kitten was stuck between two large storage containers outside the store. The hypothesis is that the mama cat accidentally dropped him from a tree branch above the two containers. As the rescue attempt got under way, the kitten stopped meowing, and Animal Control couldn’t figure out where he was. Officers were about to give up when Priestap decided to search her cell phone for a cat sound. They played the cat recording a couple of times, and the kitten started crying again. Within a few minutes, City employees used an inflatable device to move one of the large metal storage containers over and retrieve the tiny ball of fur. Animal Control took “Wally” to Flagler Animal Hospital, where he was given fluids and checked over before going to the Flagler Humane Society.
The Bunnell Area Council hosting Business After Hours: The Bunnell Area Council will be hosting a Business After Hours on Wednesday, August 19th at Finnegan’s Black Cloud Saloon. The fun kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with food, drinks, raffles, and the great company you can expect at every Chamber event. Open to all local business professionals, the event allows you to catch up with friends and colleagues, while making new business connections. All members in good standing are eligible to win the “Pot o’ Gold” jackpot, but you must be present to win. RSVP online at http://business.
Water Management District retires debt early, saves more than $200,000: The St. Johns River Water Management District has issued a notice of bond redemption, retiring more than $6 million of debt, saving taxpayers more than $200,000 in interest payments. “This simple financial transaction is a win-win for everyone,” said District Executive Director Ann Shortelle. “The District will be completely debt free and the taxpayers save money. We will avoid additional interest payments by paying off the remaining debt.” In 2004, the District partnered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to reissue bonds from the early 1990s, taking advantage of lower interest rates. Since that time, semi-annual interest payments and annual principal payments have been made on behalf of the District by DEP from legislative appropriations. The original bonds were issued under the Save Our Rivers Program, a predecessor to the Florida Forever Program. Funds from the original bonds were used for land acquisition. “I commend this partnership between DEP and the District, which has resulted in a savings of more than $200,000 for Florida’s taxpayers,” said DEP Secretary Jon Steverson. The District’s Governing Board on July 14, 2015, approved the early retirement of the bonds. On July 29, the District issued a notice of redemption for the bonds, establishing Aug. 28 as the final redemption date. The bonds were originally scheduled to mature in July 2016.
Elizabeth Warren on Planned Parenthood:
The sales-tax holiday craze: In at least 17 states this year, shoppers may buy school supplies, clothing and other items on designated dates without paying the usual state sales tax. In some cases, purchases are also exempt from local sales taxes. State sales taxes range from less than 2 percent to more than 7 percent, but local option sales taxes can push the overall rate to 9 percent or higher in some areas. […] According to the National Retail Federation, the average family with children in kindergarten through grade 12 will spend about $630 this year on electronics, clothes and other school needs. A family living in a state with a 7 percent tax rate would save about $44 by shopping during a tax-free period. Sales-tax holidays have been around for nearly two decades. While they are most common in the South, New York was one of the first states to offer such a holiday, in 1997, in a bid to keep shoppers from traveling to New Jersey in search of lower tax rates. (The state abandoned the temporary tax-holiday concept, but exempts clothing and footwear of under $110 from the state’s 4 percent sales tax all year. Additionally, New York City and eight counties offer the exemption for the local sales tax, according to the state tax department.) Sales tax holidays are frowned upon by many tax policy experts, who say they merely shift the timing of consumer spending, rather than raising overall sales, and do little to give lower-income consumers a meaningful tax break. “Sales tax holidays come off largely as a gimmick,” said Jared Walczak, a state tax policy analyst at the Tax Foundation.
How the Obama White House runs foreign policy: “Many inside Cabinet departments and agencies complain that their expertise and experience is undervalued and that they are subjected to the whims of less knowledgeable NSC staffers. With such a large structure that in some areas duplicates their own departments, senior officials see the NSC as usurping their responsibilities, leaving them feeling unappreciated and frustrated. […] Outside the administration, some lawmakers, policy experts and scholars charge that a bloated NSC staff, filled with what they describe as acolytes who distrust the rest of the government and see protecting the president as their primary job, has helped make Obama’s foreign policy ineffective and risk-averse. […] Grumbling about how the White House operates is far from unique to the Obama administration, and the NSC staff has grown substantially under virtually every successive president since Jimmy Carter. But the size and intrusiveness of Obama’s NSC has made it a prominent target. The White House thinks that some administration officials blame the NSC to disguise disorganization and disagreements within their own departments or when decisions don’t go their way.” From the Washington Post.
Savannah, Ga., Brooklyn, N.Y., and Chicago, Il. Total Killed: 1. Total wounded: 18.
In Chicago: “A 22-year-old man was killed, and four others injured, in a shooting early Sunday in the city’s North Austin neighborhood, officials said. No one is in custody. Police are searching for two shooters. […] The 22-year-old who died was shot in the head. […] A 21-year-old man was shot in the back and chest and remains hospitalized in critical condition. A 20-year-old was shot in the stomach and is in stable condition. A 19-year-old was shot on the side and is in stable condition. A 24-year-old was grazed by a bullet.”
In Brooklyn: “By the time the gunfire began, around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday, the East New York address — known to local residents for its loud late-night gatherings — was crowded with more than a hundred people, one witness said. At least two gunmen opened fire. Men and women dived to the ground or ran for safety. Nine people were struck, all apparent bystanders to the violence. […] That no one died in the gunfire — set off by a dispute whose origin remained unclear to investigators as of late Sunday — could be counted as an accident of fate. Two of the victims, a woman, 21, and a 24-year-old man, were struck in the neck. All of the others were hit in the legs.”
In Savannah: An argument and shoving match between two men in Ellis Square ended in a shooting that injured five bystanders early Sunday. “The victims include a 16-year-old female, Jamaica McCann-Bell, 19, Austin Brown, 21, Rodney Hardee, 23, and Stephen Maynard 23, who is a Ft. Stewart soldier. Investigators believe the five victims have no affiliation with the suspects.”
The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through July 31:
Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 85 percent done: Widening on the north side of the parkway almost complete. Landscape irrigation work continues. Signage installation is complete. Milling and Resurfacing of Roadway has begun. FPL completed installation of light poles and fixtures along the south side of the roadway.
Holland Park, 25 percent done: Installation of new underground sanitary piping and structures. Continuation of installation of new water main.
Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 80 percent done: Installation of drywall on interior walls, mechanical duct work
& VAV damper installation, electrical conduit rough-in and fire sprinkler piping are all 98% complete. Painting of interior and exterior walls continues. Floor tile in bathrooms continues. FP&L set meter. Mechanical system being prepped for startup next week. Exterior trellis and clock installed. 2 of the 4 glass entry door systems have been installed. See ongoing images of construction here.
Colechester Drive Bridge, 30 percent done: Bridge deck is being removed.
County’s I-95 Interchange Matanzas Woods Reclaim Water, 25 percent done: Contractor has installed approximately 1,000 ft. of reclaim water main total installed 5,000 ft. to date.
Palm Harbor Parkway Roadway Extension, 6 percent done: Contractor working on submittals and coordinating utility work with FPL & ATT.
Island Walk Shopping Center Phase 1, 90 percent done: An 8″ insert a valve was installed on the water main behind the north west corner of the old Bealls store to isolated water main and adjust where storm water conflicts with the 8″ water main location.
Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 90 percent done: The Pump Station panel has been set and is ready for startup testing.
Walmart Addition, project completed.
Old Kings Road Utilities Work, 85 percent done: Pressure testing of new water main has passed.
Old Kings Road Force Main – Master Pump Station, 4 percent done: Contractor clearing crew removing trees from site.
Lane closures to begin July 27 on South Old Kings Road in Palm Coast: The northbound lane of S. Old Kings Road from Town Center Boulevard going north approximately 2.5 miles will have a moving lane closure starting Monday, July 27. The lane closure will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and will continue for approximately three weeks. A flagman will direct traffic. This lane closure is needed to allow a City contractor to clear the right-of-way along the roadway in preparation for an upcoming wastewater system project.
Lane closure planned for Palm Coast Parkway July 26 through August 7: Beginning Sunday, July 26, motorists and other travelers should expect a lane closure along Palm Coast Parkway between Florida Park Drive to just west of Cypress Point Parkway. The lane closure will occur in two phases. From 7 p.m. Sunday, July 26 through 7 a.m. Friday, July 31 one eastbound lane will be closed, and one eastbound lane will remain open. From 7 p.m. Sunday, August 2 through 7 a.m. Friday, August 7 one westbound lane will be closed and one westbound lane will remain open. Motorists are encouraged to watch for flaggers and work zone signs. The lane closures are required in order for the contractor to perform milling and paving operations. Weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances could alter work schedules.
Matanzas Woods Parkway closed: Matanzas Woods Parkway is closed until early August for construction of the Interstate 95 interchange. The portion of Matanzas Woods Parkway that spans I-95 will be reconstructed to accommodate four single-lane ramps for on and off access to the interstate. Other improvements include the widening of the interstate to accommodate new acceleration and deceleration lanes, wet detention ponds adjacent to the roadway, sidewalks, lighting, overhead signs and landscaping. Project details are available and regularly updated at http://www.matanzas95interchange.com. The detour map is available here.
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.
Flagler County Road 302 is Closed to all but local traffic as repaving began on June 7 and the roadway will be closed to all but local traffic. Others will be required to detour around County Road 302 using State Road 100. The roadway will be closed for 90 days, or until early September.
Palm Coast’s Colechester Lane bridge to be closed July 7 through Sept. 4: A detour will be established taking travelers over the Colorado Drive bridge instead. Signs will be posted directing motorists to the Colorado Drive bridge. The City of Palm Coast strives for safe construction zones. The City asks for the cooperation and patience of residents as this important bridge improvement project is completed. For more information, contact Palm Coast Customer Service at 386-986-2360.
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.
- Palm Coast Parkway Project Website
- Florida Department of Transportation Road Project List
- County Road 304 Project Map and Description
Click on the links for more details:
- Flagler County is now accepting applications for the Fall 2015 Citizens Academy. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. beginning September 10 for nine weeks. For more information, click this link or go to flaglercounty.org/academy.
- Nominate Your Veteran of the Year: Flagler County government is taking nominations from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30 for the veteran of the year. Nominations must be mailed in to the county. Click here for details.
- Back to School Immunization, required by schools, available at the Flagler County Health Department from August 10 through August 21, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on a walk-in basis. For further information, please call: 386-437-7350 ext. 2224.
- All Summer: Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Flagler County Children Through Seamless Summer Freeding
- All Summer: Flagler Sheriff’s Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) Offers Free Summer Activities for Youth .
- All Summer: Swimming lessons and lifeguard classes available at Frieda Zamba Swimming Pool.
- Registration opens for 2015 Palm Coast & the Flagler Beaches Senior Games.
- August 5: The Palm Coast Area council hosts its monthly Palm Coast Meet-up for Palm Coast Chamber of Commerce members at Carrabba’s Italian Grill at noon. A city official or staff member will attend. This is a casual lunch designed for brainstorming and networking. All attendees are responsible for their own lunch tab.
- August 6: Fund-raiser for the Casey-Dixon family who suffered a house fire in May in the LL-section, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Dinner at Sonny’s Bar-B-Q in Palm Coast: portion of the proceeds made that night will be donated to the family.
- August 15-16: Softball tournament fund-raiser for the Casey-Dixon family who suffered a house fire in May in the LL-section. Games will begin at 8 a.m. at the Flagler Fairgrounds Softball Field.
- Saturday, Aug. 15: Daytona Beach’s 3rd Annual Community Unity Festival, from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. This free event, which will include activities for all ages, will be held at Daisy Stocking Park, 555 Mary McLeod Bethune Blvd. in Daytona Beach.
- Sept. 28: Bunnell’s State of the Art Water Treatment Facility Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at 100 Utility Drive (directly across the street from the Flagler County Government Services Building), from 4 to 6 p.m.
Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section):
Lost in Space, in “Rethinking Restrictions on Food Stamps and Welfare Benefits for Drug Felons“: “The Judicial system was setup to do exactly that. Ruin a persons life forever. Small time drug user caught with possession. Young men charged with assault for fighting with his drugged out girlfriend. Makes NO difference. Court just wants you DOWN. Take all you have and then take ALL you will every make. Its a criminal enterprise in itself. Business run prisons make $365 per inmate. The more they get in, the more PROFIT they make…..Use to be back in the old West, when a man committed murder he was hanged. When he got into a fight, he was thrown in jail over night to cool down…That was it OVER. He paid his dues. Well ever sense the police,judges,corrections, and prisons found out they can SUCK the blood out of a person FOREVER, it has continued to this day……One day that system WILL COLLAPSE !!!!!” Reply to Lost in Space here.
A Salvador Dali Dream Sequence: