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Wednesday Briefing: Goodbye, Linda Crego, Flagler Likes Bunnell’s Sewer, Unanimous Verdicts in Death Penalty

| September 23, 2015

linda crego librarian

Farewell, Linda Crego: patyrons at the Bunnell Branch Library said goodbye to the longtime librarian. See below.

Today: high in the mid-80s, low in low-70s. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is low. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 123.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: diktat, 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. Many can be heard or seen live through each agency’s website.

flagler county commission government logoJoint Workshop between the Flagler County Commission and the Bunnell City Commission regarding the transfer of the Bunnell Flagler County Utility, formerly known as the Plantation Bay utility, from the City of Bunnell to Flagler County. 9 a.m. at the Emergency Operations Center, behind the Government Services Building.

The Palm Coast City Council holds a public hearing to adopt its final property tax rate for 2015-16, and to adopt its final budget for the city and for its enterprise zone, or Community Redevelopment Area, in Town Center. 5:30 p.m., Palm Coast Community Center.

The Flagler County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meets at 10 a.m. in the first-floor conference room of the Government Services Building. No agenda was posted.

flagler beach city commission logoThe Flagler Beach City Commission meets for a public hearing to adopt its 2015-16 tax rate and budget at 5 p.m., and will follow that with a workshop to review applications received to date for the city manager’s job, selection of candidates for interview, and provide staff direction.

Matanzas High School Curriculum Night, 6:30 p.m. at Matanzas High School.

Ribbon-cutting and 5-year anniversary: join RE/MAX Flagstaff as they celebrate their 5 year anniversary at the official ribbon cutting ceremony, 4 to 6 p.m., One Hargrove Grade, Palm Coast.

Local News Recap:

Sheriff Hires 13 Deputies, Underscoring Turnover of More Than 100 in Three Years: By the end of July the sheriff had hired 95 full and part time employees, in an agency with 255 full-time and 30 part-time employees, total. That represents a turn-over rate of more than a third in three years. The deputies sworn in Monday, all but one of whom are road deputies, are not filling new positions, but existing, vacant positions.

George Hanns. (© FlaglerLive)

George Hanns. (© FlaglerLive)

George Hanns targeted by latest ethics complaint: It’s one of many that county commissioners and the county attorney are facing from likely the same source or sources. “If the pursuit of these charges and ethics complaints against members of the Board of County Commissioners proves to be without basis,” City Council member Bill McGuire told commissioners, according to the News-Journal, “and if it costs taxpayers money for us to defend the Board of County Commissioners in any way, I would hope that the Board of County Commissioners would seek remuneration from the plaintiff in this case.” (Story paywall-protected.)

“Be Prepared,” 10 Potential Candidates for Office Are Told in Chamber’s Grooming Class: The 10, in alphabetical order, were David Alfin, Rick Belhumeur, Marc Bellapianta, Carrie Chambers, Greg Feldman, Dave Ferguson, Kimble Medley, Myra Middleton-Valentine, Donald O’Brien and Pam Richardson. Feldman, Medley, O’Brien and Richardson have all run for office before (if briefly so for O’Brien), none successfully yet.

Thief Breaks Into Andrey’s Auto, Finds Keys and Drives Off in Car Stolen From Lot: The suspect is clearly visible in footage from inside the business, as the suspect goes about looking for keys and other items. He eventually got away with $200 in cash and a green 2001 Mitsubishi Galant ES that had been on sale for $3,200.

Florida’s Foster Children Are Still Being Medicated Without Proper Oversight: As of July, 11 percent of the children in state foster care — 2,434 of 21,899 children — had active prescriptions for at least one psychotropic drug, according to the Florida Institute on Child Welfare at Florida State University. But a review of 140 children’s files showed that just 20 percent met all the key requirements for administering such medication.

In Court:

The court docket is bare today according to the clerk of court’s website, except for an 11 a.m. foreclusure sale in the civil department lobby.

In State Government:

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

Cabinet preparation: Aides to Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will meet to discuss issues in advance of a Sept. 29 Cabinet meeting. (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 Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology continues a series of committee meetings. (9 a.m., Hermitage Centre, 1801 Hermitage Blvd., Tallahassee.)

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

In Coming Days in Palm Coast and Flagler:

Click on the links for more details:

  • Sept. 24: Joint Town Hall Meeting with School Board Member Andy Dance and County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin at Hidden Trails Community Center, 4:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 26: Drug Take-Back Day in Palm Coast on Sept. 26, No Questions Asked, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at four locations across the county. Click for details.
  • Sept. 26: 4th Annual CTK Invitational Golf Tournament to benefit Christ the King School, at the Conservatory Course at Hammock Beach. Registration at 12:30 p.m., start at 1 p.m. The K-8 school serves 250 students. Registration starts at $125 per single player, up to $1,000 for a gold sponsor. Click here for details.
  • Sept. 28: The Flagler County Free Clinic holds a fund-raiser at the Turtle Shack in Flagler Beach from 6 to 8 p.m. Enjoy drinks, the shack’s yummy signature appetizers, live music, a silent auction, and a “wine grab” with great values. The Turtle Shack will also be serving a special drink and dinner menu. The free clinic provides medical care to our Flagler County neighbors in need. It relies on community support. $15 at the door.
  • 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.
  • Sept. 30: The Heritage Crossroads: Miles of History CME will meet at 1:30 p.m. in the Flagler County Government Services Building, 1769 East Moody Boulevard, Building 2. Plans for the coming year’s activities will be discussed, and all are invited to participate. For information call 386-439-5003.
  • Oct. 5: Pink Army 5k Run/Walk for Breast Cancer, 7:45 am at Florida Hospital Flagler. Gather your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and run or walk in honor of those who have battled and continue their battle against breast cancer. Proceeds from the Pink Army Run/Walk go to the Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation to educate and support women of Flagler County.
  • Oct. 6: The Flagler County School Board holds a town hall meeting at the Government Services Building.


PR Releases:

Patrons bid librarian Linda Crego farewell: While libraries are typically thought to be subdued, the Bunnell Branch Library was anything but that on Friday when patrons came in droves to say farewell to librarian Linda Crego. Her fan club included 3-year-old Natalie who hopped over to her on one foot with four or five books she wanted read to her. “My, what wonderful balance you have,” complimented Crego. “Let’s put these down for just a minute, and then I will read to you. Would you like a piece of cake?” Library Director Holly Albanese had a special chocolate cake made for Crego, who began her career with Flagler County 20 years ago driving the bookmobile. It was decorated with a bookmobile and the National Library Symbol. Beside it sat a bouquet of flowers, balloons and “happy retirement” decorations. Patrons brought in cards and gifts and shared remembrances, hugs and an occasional tear. Henry Hodge, an avid reader, moved to Flagler County three years ago and immediately met Crego. “She helps everybody. She gives her heart and soul to her work and the people she meets,” Hodge said. “She always remembered my name and that made me feel right at home.” Robert Martin gave Crego a big hug, and said it’s not just names that Crego remembers. “I like adventure and science-fiction,” he said. “She would always point me to new books and movies.” Though it was Crego’s last day of work and she was surrounded by well-wishers, it was business as usual when a class of students from the neighboring First Baptist Christian Academy filed in for reading materials. She got them settled in the appropriate stacks of books before returning to talk with those who came to see her off. “Don’t worry. I’ll still be coming in to get my books,” she said. “I’m the kind of person who will take a book home, read the whole thing and return it the next day. It takes a lot to keep me busy.”

In the Press, In the News:

Next. (Florida DOC)

Next. (Florida DOC)

Florida bill seeks unanimous jury verdicts in death penalty cases: Juries would have to be unanimous before recommending the death penalty for defendants in murder cases, under a bill filed Tuesday in the Florida Senate. Under current law, a majority of a jury can recommend that a defendant receive the death penalty, with a judge ultimately deciding whether to impose the sentence. The bill (SB 330), by Sen. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge, for the 2016 legislative session, would establish the higher standard for death sentences. The bill also would give direction to judges on some jury instructions in death-penalty cases. Those instructions deal with what are known as “aggravating circumstances,” which are factors used to support death-penalty recommendations. The bill, in part, would require aggravating circumstances to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and be subject to a unanimous vote. The bill — an identical measure (HB 157) has already been filed in the House — would only apply to sentencing proceedings that begin after July 1, 2016. Similar efforts have failed in prior legislative sessions. However, this year’s proposal comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Oct. 13 in a case that challenges the way Florida sentences people to death. The case stems from the 1998 murder of an Escambia County fast-food worker, and attorneys representing Death Row inmate Timothy Lee Hurst contend that Florida’s unique sentencing system is unconstitutional. The attorneys argue, in part, that a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling requires that determination of aggravating circumstances be “entrusted” to juries, not to judges. Also, they take issue with Florida not requiring unanimous jury recommendations in death-penalty cases. A judge sentenced Hurst to death after receiving a 7-5 jury recommendation.

Brian Williams, telling his lie to Tom Brokaw in 2003.

Brian Williams, telling his lie to Tom Brokaw in 2003.

Brian Williams returns. No mention of scandal that booted him off: More than seven months after his suspension from NBC for fabricating stories about his reporting exploits, Brian Williams returned to the air Tuesday afternoon to anchor MSNBC’s coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the US. The former anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News was all business as he took the baton from Thomas Roberts to host coverage of the pope’s arrival at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, D.C. There was no mention of the media scandal that galvanized the nation in February and cost Williams his prestigious post at NBC. […] It was as if nothing had happened, as if Williams hadn’t been off the air for nearly two-thirds of a year after an episode that led to an embarrassing demotion and a substantial pay cut. Williams will now anchor breaking news for MSNBC, NBC”s sister cable news network where Williams used to work, and will have no regular time slot. He also will occasionally anchor special reports on NBC. It had been telegraphed that Williams won’t speak further about the scandal and will not subject himself to interviews about it.” From USA Today.

Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports:

The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through Sept. 18:

Palm Coast Parkway Six-Laning is 92 percent done: Contractor has placed the new 6″ reuse main into service and has prepared the old line to grout filled. Work in median continues and landscape along project continues.

Holland Park, 30 percent done: Installation of conduits for future ball field lighting continues. Excavation continues for sidewalks in the ball field areas.

Palm Coast City Hall at Town Center, 90 percent done: Floor tile installation continues; ceiling tile installation continues; millwork installation continues; landscape work continues; carpet tile installation has begun.

Colechester Drive Bridge, 40 percent done: Seawall Caps being formed, work has begun on the bridge deck, South traffic barrier poured, North traffic barrier being formed, demolition of slope pavement continues.

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: The stormwater pipe installation at the intersection of Old Kings Road and Matanzas Parkway has started.

North Old Kings Road Extension to Matanzas Woods Parkway, 12 percent done: Site clearing continues at 85 percent.

Island Walk Shopping Center Phase 1, 93 percent done: A substantial inspection for the first stage was completed and a punch list was generated for contractor.

Shops at Pine Lakes Convenience Store, 99 percent done: As-builts for Utility have been approved.

Old Kings Road Force Main – Master Pump Station, 22 percent done: Jack and Bore casing has been placed under Old Kings Road at south entrance to spray field. The 16″ Force main piping installation has started.

Grand Haven Sales Center on Colbert Lane, 35 percent done: Water and Sewer services have been installed on site.

Road and Interstate Construction:

road-constructionPalm Coast:

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.

Comment of the Day (From the Comment Section):

best comments flaglerlive

(April Killingsworth)

Jason, in “Doctors and Pharmacists Complain: Patients Aren’t Getting Their Pain Meds Fast Enough“: How can the United States be the Greatest Nation ever if it is the only modern nation where citizens hold bake sales to pay for life saving medical care?” Reply to Jason here.

Cultural Coda:

Robin Williams and Steve Martin, 2002:


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