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Monday Briefing: National Library Week, Speed Bumps in Bunnell, Zez Confrey’s Kitten on Keys

| April 11, 2016

national library week library of america

It’s National Library Week: Call in sick, stay home, read until Sunday. If you must go to work, Kindle. (© FlaglerLive)

Today: Partly cloudy in the morning then clearing. Highs in the upper 70s. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Tonight: Mostly clear in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 191.
Today’s tides: at the beaches, at the Intracoastal Waterway.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: mataeotechny, 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.

The Flagler County Land Acquisition Committee meets at 3:30 p.m. in the Government Services Building, but a more precise location and agenda were not provided on the county’s website. Call Tim Telfer for details. 313-4066.

The Flagler County Public Library Board of Trustees meets at 4:30 p.m. in the main library, with a discussion of National Library Week, which runs this year from April 10 to the 16th.

In Court: Shawn Higgins, the man previously accused of battery and animal cruelty, who withdrew his plea in January, appears before Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman for a possible plea and disposition of the case. The judge in January warned Higgins’s attorney, Josh Davis,that the move carried significant risk, as Higgins is now again exposed to the possibility of prison time. But Davis said it was the best approach for his client. 9 a.m., Courtroom 401.

The Bunnell City Commission meets at 7 p.m. at Bunnell City Hall, 201 West Moody Boulevard. Commissioners will dole out their annual committee assignments. Colony Park residents are requesting that the city install speed bumps in their neighborhood to cut down on speedsters and through traffic, but as the city notes, “Speed bumps are expensive to install and expensive to maintain. Speed bumps can cost between $4,500 to $7,500 to install [and] can interfere with response times of emergency response vehicles. Each
speed bump can cost about ten seconds in response time.” Randy Morris is expected to be appointed to the Planning, Zoning, and Appeals Board.

Survey Request: The River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), which includes Palm Coast, is seeking input from residents of Palm Coast as it plans transportation improvements for the Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) that includes Volusia County and portions of Flagler County. The TPO has launched a “Tell the TPO” campaign to survey people who live or work in Volusia and/or Flagler counties, as well as visitors. The 11-question survey can be accessed here. All responses received by May 31, 2016, will be placed in a drawing for a chance to win a free iPad Mini.

Moody Boat Launch to close April 6 through May 20 for improvements. Click for details.

Local News Recap:

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

Palm Coast Man Who Shot Wife With AK-47 Continues to Fight His 25-Year Sentence: A Flagler County Circuit Judge on Thursday ruled against William Merrill’s motion for a new trial after his conviction to a 25-year prison sentence for manslaughter for killing his wife Stefanie in 2012, while playin g with an AK-47 and aiming at her.

Bowing to Baptist and Catholic Pressure, DCF Backs Off Protecting LGBT Children from Discrimination: Last fall, when DCF Secretary Mike Carroll approved provisions protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, advocates celebrated. At that point, the draft rule banned staffers at group homes from “(a)ttempt(ing) to change or discourage a child’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” However, that language was opposed by the Florida Baptist Children’s Home and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, and by late January, it was gone.

60 foster-care families needed: Number of kids has nearly doubled since 2014: The child welfare agency in Volusia, Flagler and Putnam counties that coordinates foster care needs foster families, the News-Journal reports. “The number of children ages 0 to 17 in foster care or other licensed care in the three counties has almost doubled since June 2014, from 654 children then to 1,153 at the end of March. The sharp rise locally mirrors a statewide increase that local child welfare officials said is putting the system in a state of crisis,” the paper reports. For more information, visit Community Partnership’s website, and click on the “Ways to Help” tab on the home page. (Story paywall-protected).

Path to the future: Longer runway key to growth at Flagler Airport: “Change is in the wind at the Flagler County Airport, from extending the field’s main runway, adding safety features to taxiways, and building a new fixed-base operator facility, to planning for a new Florida National Guard operational center on the propert,” the News-Journal reports. (Story paywall-protected.)

In Florida and in State Government:

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

Florida Power & Light will formally commission its new Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center, which started producing electricity April 1. (10 a.m., Port Everglades Next Generation Clean Energy Center, 3100 S.E. 14th Ave., Fort Lauderdale.)

Natural gas rates: The Florida Public Service Commission will hold a meeting to discuss rate changes requested by St. Joe Natural Gas Company, Inc., which serves customers in Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach, Wewahitchka and unincorporated areas of Gulf County. (11 a.m., Gulf County School Board, 150 Middle School Road, Port St. Joe.)

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS: State candidates, parties and political committees face a Monday deadline for filing reports showing campaign-finance activity through March 31.

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

In Coming Days in Palm Coast and Flagler:

Click on the links for more details:

american university women logoApril 12: The Flagler County Branch of the American Association of University Women will be observing Equal Pay Day, at 5 p.m. with an Unhappy Hour at Farley’s Irish Pub, 101 Palm Harbor Parkway (European Village). Equal Pay Day symbolizes the time in 2016 when the wages paid to American women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year. Join AAUW members wearing red and hoping for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act this year. For information call 386/439-5003.
April 12: Anjali Anabel Tomerlin, a third grader at Imagine School at Town Center in Palm Coast who’s written and illustrated her first book, will hold a book-signing at the Flagler Beach Public library from 4 to 6 p.m.
April 13: Public Safety Coordinating Council meeting at 8:45 a.m., Emergency Operations Center, Bunnell.
April 13: Community Alliance-Department of Children and Families meeting, 2:30 p.m., Government Services Building, Bunnell.
April 14: Flagler Beach Citizens Academy 2016 Graduation Ceremony, at Flagler Beach City Hall, 5 p.m., Commission chambers. Presentation of Certificates of Completion, cake and coffee to follow.
April 15: The Florida Ethics Commission will take up an administrative law judge’s recommendation in the ethics case against Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre. 9 a.m.
April 16: Flagler Beach will hold a victims’ rights memorial at sunrise. The memorial ceremony honors victims and their advocates. It will be held at the end of the iconic pier. Please contact Victim Advocate Donna Kearney with any questions about the memorial at 517-2020.
April 19: Palm Coast Fire Department offers free Car Seat Check : From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at Fire Station 25, 1250 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast. The checks will be done in the Fire Department’s drive-through bays to assure everyone is out of the sun. Firefighters from the Palm Coast Fire Department who have been trained as car seat technicians will check to make sure car seats are installed properly and will also show parents/guardians how to properly install their car seat according to manufacturer and vehicle specifications. Additional information on keeping children safe will also be provided. People who attend the event are asked to bring their car seat manual and the vehicles owner’s manual with them, if possible. For more information, call the Palm Coast Fire Department at 386-986-2300.
April 25: It’s the next edition of “Doughnuts with Doughney,” that is, coffey and doughnuts with Flagler Beach Police Captain Matthew Doughney, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Flagler Beach 7-ELEVEN convenience store, 408 South Oceanshore Boulevard. Questions, please contact Captain Doughney at (386) 517-2024.
April 26: Sentencing of Waldemar Rivera at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 401, Flagler County Courthouse, before Judge Matthew Foxman. Rivera was found guilty on March 23 after a two-day trial of raping his then-13-year-old step-daughter two years ago. He faces up to 30 years in prison. He had declined a plea that would have netted him 10 years, and declined a judge’s advice, after the first day of trial, to consider taking a plea.
April 30: Prescription Drug Take Back Day: The front lobby of the Flagler Beach Police Department will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 204 South Flagler Avenue, one block south of SR100 on the east side of the Moody/SR100 Bridge. This one day event will provide residents and visitors with a no cost, anonymous collection of unwanted or expired medicines.

The Day’s Best Reads:


Fact-Checking the Knaves:

Palm Coast Construction and Development Progress Reports

The following is an update of ongoing permitting, construction and development projects in Palm Coast, through March 30:

Road and Interstate Construction:

Moody Boat Launch to close April 6 through May 20 for improvements: Flagler County’s Moody Boat Launch will be closed April 6 through May 20 for improvements. “The scheduled upgrade will enhance the launch’s usability in a number of ways,” said Heidi Petito, Director of General Services. “The new system provides for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance, minimizes docking difficulties caused by fluctuating tides, and new lighting will promote boater safety and security.” The closure includes the Moody Boat Launch– located at 825 Moody Lane in Flagler Beach– the parking area, restroom, and dockage on the Matanzas River. It does not affect Betty Steflik Preserve and boardwalk. The scope of work includes dredging 1,650 yards of silt from the launch basin, thus improving navigability. The adjacent wooden docks will be replaced with an aluminum floating dock and gangway system. Additionally, the existing restroom will be replaced with an ADA compliant facility. Moody Boat Launch provides public access to the Intracoastal on the east shore, just south of SR100. The closest alternative boat launches are located at Herschel King Park on the west side of the river at 1000 Grady Prather Jr. Cove, Palm Coast, and Bing’s Landing on the east shore at 5862 N. Oceanshore Blvd. in Palm Coast.

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:

Zez Confrey’s Kitten on the Keys

Previous Codas:


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