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Wednesday Briefing: Competency Hearing for Man Accused of Slamming Child, Oliva Talks Economy, Indefensible Secrecy on 9/11 Report

| April 27, 2016

palm coast wastewater treatment

Even a future sewer plant can be beautiful: Palm Coast Government’s Jason Giraulo took this picture early this morning as Palm Coast City Council members were preparing to break ground on the city’s new Wastewater Treatment Plant 2, off of U.S. 1, about 2.9 miles north of Palm Coast Parkway. The new $25.1 million Wastewater Treatment Plant 2 will add 2 million gallons per day of additional wastewater treatment capacity that will be needed to accommodate anticipated growth. The City received a low-interest loan from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the funding, so the new facility is being built without the need for an additional increase in rates to Palm Coast Utility customers.

Today: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers in the morning. Highs in the lower 80s inland…around 80 coast. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Tonight: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of showers in the evening. Lows in the mid 60s. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Details here.
Today’s fire danger is moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 266.
Today’s tides: at the beaches, at the Intracoastal Waterway.
Today’s document from the National Archives.
The OED’s Word of the Day: periergia, 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.

robert zetrouer

Robert Zetrouer.

In court: The case of one Palm Coast man’s sexual assault of his 13-year-old stepdaughter is over (see below), but a nearly identical case, involving a 13-year-old alleged victim and her mother’s 63-year-old boyfriend (now 65), continues: Robert A. Zetrouer is accused of fondling and penetrating the girl’s private parts with his fingers. Today, his attorney, Garry Wood, is arguing a motion before Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman that seeks to suppress from the jury evidence or allegations that Zetrouer showed porn to the victim, that the victim’s brother saw Zetrouer leave a bathroom with his pants down, soon after the victim exited the bathroom, and that any other allegations against Zetrouer not be heard. The state has introduced further allegations of another victim, this one younger than 12, whom Zetrouer allegedly molested. The motion is to be heard at 9:30 p.m. in Courtroom 401.

In Court: At 2 p.m., Circuit Judte Matthew Foxman will hold a competency hearing to judge the mental capacities of Christopher Williams to proceed with trial. Williams, 22, is the Palm Coast man accused of slamming a 4-year-old child to the floor, severely injuring the child, after the child had been playing with the front door, to Williams’s annoyance. A previous order from the court, staying trial proceedings, stated that Williams “is suspected of being intellectually disabled or autistic, and ordered him evaluated. Another document indicates that Williams “has exhibited inappropriate behavior in the presence of counsel and the court.” (Courtroom 401.)

The Flagler County Economic Opportunity Council meets at 9 a.m. in board chambers at the Government Services Building. The council will hear presentations from Jacob Oliva, Flagler school superintendent, and Michael Zaharios, a program manager with Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center. The council will then hold a workshop in the building’s Finance Conference room, on the third floor. No agenda for the workshop was posted online.

The Flagler County Parks and Recreation Board meets at 10 a.m. in the Government Services Building’s 1st floor conference room. No agenda was posted online.

Ribbon Cutting: Lake State Mortgage, at 7 Florida Park Dr., Ste A, Palm Coast, at 4 p.m.

future problem solversHelp Flagler Schools’ Future Problem Solvers Get to International Competition in June: Fifty-nine students from four schools–FPC, Bunnell Elementary, Rymfire Elementary and Indian Trails Middle–have won invitations to international competition in lansing, Michigan, June 1-5. But they’re raising money to get there, and they need your help. It’s about $1,000 a student, though most students will be chipping in around $400 each, reducing the needed match. FlaglerLive is proud to be a sponsor. Now go help them out.

Local News Recap:

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

In Palm Coast’s Expensive Hunt for New Retailers, a Few Leads, But Only Low Wages: Last July Palm Coast signed a $135,000, three-year contract with a Texas-based marketing company to help the city recruit new retailers, fill empty storefront or build new ones, and spur the local economy. Tuesday morning, the company gave its first progress report to the Palm Coast City Council.

2-Year-Old Girl Pulled Unresponsive From F-Section Pool Sunday Has Died: Somehow the house’s alarm systems and child-proofing did not prevent the girl from gaining access to the pool while her family was at home, but elsewhere.

Waldemar Rivera Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison Over Step-Daughter’s Rape: Before the trial Rivera had turned down a deal with the prosecution: 10 years in prison, 10 years on probation.

Military sex assault subject of Flagler high school talk: “It’s a hard reality about which Sandra Felecia wants to spread awareness. She has embarked on a mission to speak to members of clubs and organizations willing to learn more,” the News-Journal reports. “The Flagler County veteran also hopes to help prepare young people to meet the challenges posed by sexual offenders, whether in a military setting or in college. Her goal is to speak at every high school in the state, and she will begin Thursday with a presentation to seniors at Flagler Palm Coast High School.” (Story paywall-protected.)

david malta retirement

‘I see it all with rose-colored glasses right now,’ Malta, who recently became a grandfather, said. (© FlaglerLive)

Deputy David Malta, Class of ’87, Is Latest Long-Timer to Retire from Sheriff’s Office: At 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, David Malta’s 29-year career with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office came to an end as he became yet another one of the department’s longest-serving veterans to retire.

Teens in Flight’s Jack Howell Shortlisted For Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Award: “Certainly with all the people I’ve saved as a lifeguard supervisor in 18 years in Jacksonville I could easily qualify” for the heroism award, Howell said this morning, “but here they gave it for service above the norm, so I got that because for 10 years I’ve been devoted to Teens in Flight.”

Does Arabic Offend You? 15 years of prejudice big and small against Arab-Americans have taught us nothing. The only war we’re winning is against our own.

In Florida and in State Government:

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

Associated Industries of Florida will conclude a two-day “Florida Health Care Affordability Summit.” Participants Wednesday will include Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera; Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah; Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby; and Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor. (8:30 a.m., Orlando World Center Marriott, 8701 World Center Dr., Orlando.)

Gambling: The Financial Impact Estimating Conference will hold a workshop on a proposed ballot initiative known as “Voter Control of Gambling in Florida.” (9 a.m., 117 Knott Building, the Capitol.)

The Florida Citrus Commission will hold a regular meeting and a workshop and is expected to address issues such as the 2016-2017 budget and the possibility of restructuring the Department of Citrus. (9 a.m., Florida Department of Citrus, 605 East Main St., Bartow.)

Solar: Florida International University and Florida Power & Light will hold an event to dedicate a solar-power array at the university’s College of Engineering and Computing. Students and faculty will use data from the array to study the effects of solar generation on the electric grid in South Florida. (Wednesday, 9:30 a.m., parking lot on the east side of the FIU Engineering Center, 10555 West Flagler St., Miami.)

–Compiled by the News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

In Coming Days in Palm Coast and Flagler:

Click on the links for more details:

April 28: Please come and support Community Cats of Palm Coast at a fundraiser hosted by SeaCasas, a new gift and art boutique, from 5 to 7 p.m., at 213 S. Second St. in Flagler Beach. Enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres by Vessel Sandwich Co., live music with Laurel, a chance at a door prize, and a complimentary ticket for a Chinese auction of unique store items. Volunteer sign up and kittens for adoption. $10 admission. For information call 386-237-7690.
into-the-woods-playhouseApril 29-May 1 “Into the Woods,” the musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and the book by James Lapine, is featured nightly at 7:30 at the Flagler Playhouse and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. The musical is based on Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students. Book here.
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.

April 29-May8: “Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll,” the Eric Bogosian play, is staged at City Repertory Theatre in Palm Coast, 160 Cypress Point Parkway in Palm Coast. Praised as both a writer and a performer, Bogosian originally wrote SDR&R as one of his half-dozen acclaimed one-man shows, and performed the show successfully off-Broadway in 1990. The New York Times called it his “funniest and scariest” work yet. As you might expect from City’s Producer-Director John Sbordone, who rarely does what you expect, the City production splits the show among 5 performers: Jonathan Haglund, Ron Long, Jim Fellows, Evelyn Lynn, and Sbordone himself. This company of artists become an angry lawyer, an in-recovery rock star, a high-powered businessman, and more, each character in some way related to one or more of the title vices. Performed at City Repertory on Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, and May 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on May 1 and 8. This is the last show of the season for CRT. Tickets are $20. Book easily here.
April 30: The Jacksonville Chess Club hosts the Spring Scholastic Series chess tournament from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at San Jose Church of Christ, 6233 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville. time controls set at 30 minutes for each player with a 5 sec delay (4SS G/30;d5). Players are grouped by rating and unrated players are welcome. All players must have an active USCF ID#. Players can renew/register with USCF on site. Prizes are trophies for top three in each section and Grand Prix points for overall tournament placement with series medal for participants. All players have must their own board, set and clocks. Register here. For additional information, contact Kevin prior here.
April 30: Fort Matanzas National Monument hosts a special free day event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reenactors dressed as Spanish colonial women will describe the life of a typical woman in Saint Augustine during the Spanish colonial era. Reenactors will also be demonstrating how foods from three different cultures combined and created some of the best dishes available in 1740’s colonial Spanish Florida. Produce from three very different cultures – Native American, African, and Spanish – will be on display, with conversations about how each of these influenced the Spanish kitchen. Children welcome. For additional information, call 904-41-0116 or visit
May 2: Pianist Natasha Paremski, internationally lauded as a rising star in the classical music world, will perform works of Brahms, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Mussorgsky at a concert as part of the Spring Series of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. This 7:30 p.m. performance will be held at Amelia Plantation Chapel, 36 Bowman Road on Amelia Island. Tickets for this and other upcoming concerts are available at or by calling 904-261-1779.
May 3 and 4: Open auditions for the 2016 Spotlight on Flagler County Youth Talent Show from 5 to 7 p.m. for students in grades K-12, at the Flagler County Youth Center, on the campus of Flagler Palm Coast High School. If you can sing, dance, play an instrument, or have any special talent, plan to audition. For information, email Cheryl Massaro or contact her by phone at 386/437-7540×5101. The talent show is on June 7 at the Flagler Auditorium.

May 4: The Flagler County Republican Club meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Palm Coast Community Center, 305 Palm Coast Pkwy NE, featuring the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Forum, with the three candidates for office–incumbent Kaiti Lenhart and challengers Kimble Medley and Aubrey Seay–participating in a timed question and answer session. Open to all registered Republicans and their guests of whatever party or no-party affiliation. For more information, email Wes Priest here.
May 5: The Flagler Chamber of Commerce’s Common Ground Breakfast features Dr. Mark Martindale, University of Florida biology professor and director for the Whitney Laboratory of Marine Bioscience. He will talk about “the Benefits of Having a Marine Laboratory and Higher Education in Your Backyard.” Hilton Garden Inn, 7:45 to 9:30 a.m. Cost for Chamber members is $20 with advance registration or $30 the day of the event. Guests may attend for $30 with advance registration or $40 the day of the event. Reservations are due May 2 by 5 p.m. To register, email Jaclyn here.
May 5: The Palm Coast utility and public works union meets with Palm Coast’s management team in another bargaining session over a contract. The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the community wing at City Hall. It is open to the public.
May 7: Arbor Day in Palm Coast’s Central Park. The Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk, begins at 8 a.m. Register here. At the main event, themed “Feed a Mouth, Get a Tree, Grow a Community,” attendees can exchange canned food or pet food items for a free three-gallon native hardwood tree (one tree per household, while quantities last). The Native Butterfly Release will be at 11 a.m. at center stage. Other fun activities are planned for all ages. A free paper-shredding service, so bring your old documents for professional shredding! Plan to take advantage of this hands-free, uncomplicated process as totes will be wheeled to your car to help unload your paper and bring it to a chute that dumps all of it into a shredder. Free admission and parking. Contact Palm Coast Urban Forester Carol Mini at 386/986-3722 for more information.
May 10: Pegine Echevarria, a motivational speaker, headlines the Flagler Chamber of Commerce’s “Fearless and Focused Women in Business” lunch at the Hilton Garden Inn, 55 Town Center Parkway in Palm Coast. Echevarria, according to a chamber release, “is CEO of Team Pegine, a think tank, training and consulting, event management firm that specializes in leadership, team building, inclusion engagement and situational training.” The chamber took over the lunch series that was previously hosted by Palm Coast’s Business Assistance Center. Registration 11:30 to 11:45 a.m., $35 for chamber members with advance registration and payment, $40 the day of the event. Guests: $40 with advance registration and payment, $45 the day of the event. Reservations are due by May 5 by 5 p.m. Please call to reserve your seat or with questions, 386/437.0106.
June 7: A 1:30 p.m. hearing is scheduled in the case of Anna Pehota, accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband on Sept. 23, 2015, in the Hammock. Her trial was scheduled for April 18, but her attorney, Ray Warren, was granted a delay so he could explore Pehota’s memory issues, which could play a deciding role in the handling of her case. The results of that inquiry are to be the subject of this hearing.

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.

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 April 13:

Summer Camps:

Florida Agricultural Museum Summer Camps: Become a junior farmer at the Florida Agricultural Museum this summer! Junior farmers will learn about farm life, forestry, and Florida history. Participate in arts & crafts, farm animal care, Florida fauna/flora education, fun and games. Sessions are all 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $175 per session and are as follows:
1st) June 7-9
2nd) June 14-16
3rd) June 21-23
4th) June 28-30
5th) July 5-7
6th) July 12-14

Road and Interstate Construction:

I-4 Ramp Closure April 25-26: The entrance ramp to Interstate 4 (I-4) westbound from Dirksen Drive (Exit 108) will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, April 25, and Tuesday, April 26, to accommodate drainage improvements as part of the Florida Department of Transportation’s project on I-4 from the east end of the St. John’s River Bridge to Saxon Boulevard. Traffic will be detoured to I-4 westbound by continuing north on Dirksen Drive to US 17-92 westbound. There will be an eastbound outside right lane closure east of Exit 108 from 7:30 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, April 24-28. A double-lane closure on the westbound lanes will occur west of Exit 108 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday, April 24; and a double-lane closure on the eastbound outside right lanes near the St. John’s River Bridge will occur 7:30 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. on Monday, April 25.

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.

Cultural Coda:

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Romance

Previous Codas:


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1 Response for “Wednesday Briefing: Competency Hearing for Man Accused of Slamming Child, Oliva Talks Economy, Indefensible Secrecy on 9/11 Report”

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