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Wednesday Briefing: Trump in Florida, Mayor Netts at Neighborhood Watch, Obama’s Union

| January 13, 2016

donald trump florida

The real Donald Trump will be in the Panhandle this evening. (Thierry Ehrmann)

Today: Sunny, high around 60, low in the lower 40s. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 378.
Today’s tides: at the beaches, at the Intracoastal Waterway.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: aeronef, 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.

No school for students in Flagler County schools today. It’s a teacher planning day.

The Public Safety Coordinating Council meets at 8:45 at the Emergency Operations Center in Bunnell.

The Flagler County School District hosts a Classroom to Careers symposium at the Government Services Building in Bunnell, starting at 9 a.m. No items of note on the agenda.

Mayor Jon Netts will be the featured speaker at the Indian Trails II Neighborhood Watch meeting at the Flagler County Public Library, 6 p.m.

Palm Coast’s Leisure Services Advisory Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. at Palm Coast City Hall in Town Center.

Local News Recap:

Updated jail bookings and day and night shift incident summary reports are available here.

Losses at Palm Coast’s Golf and Tennis Clubs Mount to Record $431,000; City Council Shrugs: The city-owned golf course lost a record $346,191 last year, up from a previous-year record of $315,000. It is projected to lose almost $300,000 again this year and next, and lose $230,000 in 2017, with a projected loss of $190,000 in 2018. Operating losses in the earlier years of the club, which opened in 2009, were less steep. Yet the latest numbers elicited little more than a shrug from Palm Coast City Council members, who heard a presentation Tuesday morning from KemperSports, the private company contracted to run the golf course.

Flagler County Revises Vacation-Rental Rules as Lawmakers Propose Yet More Changes: The Flagler County Commission, to some pointed opposition but also some public support, passed an amended ordinance Monday evening regulating vacation rentals and worked toward severely stiffening fines to be levied on ordinance violators. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a June decision by Flagler County Circuit Judge Michael Orfinger that largely found the county’s regulations of the industry to be legal. And several legislators introduced bills that would in one way or another broaden local government power to regulate the industry.

homas Cope, Cory Sattar, Michael Beaulieu, Marianne Huston, and Andy Thomas.

From left, homas Cope, Cory Sattar, Michael Beaulieu, Marianne Huston, and Andy Thomas. (Flagler County)

Five New Flagler County Fire Rescue Firefighters Complete Orientation as Department Grows: New firefighters – Thomas Cope, Cory Sattar, Michael Beaulieu and Andy Thomas, all hired in December, along with Marianne Huston, who was hired in September – were put through their paces last week, the first full week of the new year. The men are still probationary hires.

U.S. Supreme Court Declares Florida’s Death Penalty Scheme Unconstitutional: The United States Supreme Court, in an emphatic ruling Tuesday, declared Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme to be a violation of the Sixth Amendment. The 8-1 decision is the latest blow against the death penalty in the United States, where state courts, legislatures and governors have been scaling back, suspending or abolishing capital punishment in growing numbers over the past decade.

In State Government:

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

The Senate is scheduled to hold a floor session at 10 a.m.

Rape kits: The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will receive an update from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about thousands of untested rape kits in the state. (1:30 p.m.)

School principals’ power: The Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a bill (SB 434), filed by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, that would create a pilot program aimed at giving principals more autonomy in running public schools. (1:30 p.m.)

Medicaid and hospitals: The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will receive a presentation from the Agency for Health Care Administration about moving to what is known as a “prospective payment system” for outpatient services in the Medicaid program. (1:30 p.m.)

Best and Brightest: The Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee will hold a workshop on the “Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program,” a controversial effort that provides bonuses to teachers based on their scores on college-entrance exams. (4 p.m.)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will appear at a campaign rally at the Pensacola Bay Center, 201 East Gregory St., Pensacola, at 7 p.m.

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

In Coming Days in Palm Coast and Flagler:

Click on the links for more details:

PR Releases:

Click on the link for more details.

palm coast city logoCity of Palm Coast seeks participants for upcoming Citizens Academy: Palm Coast residents: Have you always wanted to learn more about how your City operates, meet your elected representatives and the City Manager, and tour different City facilities? If so, sign up now for the 2016 Palm Coast Citizens Academy, a comprehensive program designed to educate interested residents about the operation and workings of their City government. The next class will begin Feb. 1 and will be held five consecutive Monday evenings in February. The program is free, and dinner is included. It’s also a great way to meet other residents of Palm Coast. Each class of the Citizens Academy spends five weeks learning about City departments and visiting the new City Hall, the Palm Coast Community Center, Main Fire Station 25, and Water Treatment Plant No. 3. The class also attends a Palm Coast City Council meeting together. Mayor Jon Netts kicks off the academy with an overview session titled, “Governing the City,” providing background on Palm Coast’s incorporation, City Charter, the Council-Manager form of government, and a general overview of the City. A different Council Member hosts each of the other sessions, which go in-depth on every City department with presentations by departmental directors and their staff. City Manager Jim Landon and City Administration Coordinator Beau Falgout provide an update on economic development trends, current projects and the mission of the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center. Participants have the opportunity to interact with dozens of City employees. The Citizens Academy meets once a week, usually on Monday evenings, for five straight weeks. The course is free and registration is limited to approximately 30 Palm Coast citizens per session. The academy is held three times a year – spring, fall and winter. To register, go here. For more information, contact Cindi Lane, Palm Coast Communications & Marketing Manager, at 386-986-3708.

In the Press, In the News:



  Fact-Checking the Knaves:

Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports

The following is an update of ongoing construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through Dec. 15:

Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, 1 percent done: Located at 5625 North US Highway 1, the school received a Development Order for a new 13,794 sq. ft. early learning center to be located on the south side of their 8.6-acre site. The architecture of the new one-story building will be very similar to the existing church and school facilities that are located just north of the proposed new building.

Holland Park, 48 percent done: Grading and installation of perimeter sidewalk continues. Electrical conduits being installed to new restroom. Restroom plot has been cleared and graded. Water service has been installed at restroom site. Surveying for basketball court and roadway has begun..

County’s I-95 Interchange Matanzas Woods Reclaim Water, 76 percent done: Retention ponds are being excavated and fill continues for the ramps. (Not in the Dec. 15 update.)

Palm Harbor Parkway Roadway Extension, 38 percent done: The headwall for the double barrel stormwater pipe has been installed and tied in. The water main and reuse main have been extended towards Forest Grove Drive waiting on the
closure of the road next week to make the road crossing.

Colechester Bridge, 93 percent done: Seawall has been completed on the east side, slope pavement has begun.

North Old Kings Road Extension to Matanzas Woods Parkway, 19 percent done: Asphalt was installed on the new section of roadway adjacent to the old roadway at the intersection of Old Kings Road and Forest Grove. (Not in the Dec. 4 update.)

Old Kings Road Force Main 83 percent done:: Contractor has completed the Force main up to the pig launch points and restored the site and trail. The area for the pig flush was completed and flushing has started. (Not in the Dec. 15 update.)

Road and Interstate Construction:

Matanzas Woods Parkway to close temporarily Jan. 16 and 17: Florida Power & Light has requested a temporary closure of Matanzas Woods Parkway to install new street lights. The roadway will be closed between Bird of Paradise Drive and Old Kings Road at Matanzas High School from the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on January 16 and 17 – a Saturday and Sunday – to provide ample time for the installation. “FP&L requested the road closure so they can complete this portion of the work,” said County Engineer Faith Alkhatib. “It is scheduled for a time when school is not in session.” Road work for the Interstate 95 interchange at Matanzas Woods Parkway will cause intermittent lane closures as the ramp construction is not slated for completion until April 2016. Project details are available and regularly updated at Links are available on the Flagler County website

Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway to be closed starting Dec. 18: Effective Friday, Dec. 18, the City of Palm Coast will be closing the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway. This road closure is required as part of construction operations for the Palm Harbor Parkway extension, which is currently under construction. Palm Harbor is being realigned and extended to connect directly with Matanzas Woods Parkway where it intersects with Old Kings Road. Message boards will be placed to advise motorists and other travelers of the upcoming change, and a public meeting has already been held for residents living in that area. Both the Palm Harbor extension and a separate extension of Old Kings Road are being built in preparation for the new Interstate 95 interchange to open next June at Matanzas Woods Parkway. As part of the projects, traffic patterns around Matanzas High School will be changing. One goal is to turn Forest Grove Drive back into a residential street as it was originally intended to be. The upcoming road closure of the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway is part of that project. Forest Grove will be turned into a cul de sac on that end. Once the separate Old Kings Road extension is completed, in June 2016, the Forest Grove Drive access to the high school will be closed because it will no longer be needed. Instead, motorists and other travelers will get to Matanzas High School via the new signalized intersection at Matanzas Woods, Palm Harbor and Old Kings. For more information, please contact Palm Coast Communications Manager Cindi Lane at 386-986-3708 or

Cultural Coda:

Federico Torroba’s Sonatina, Andrés Segovia, performing

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