Today’s weather (Saturday): sunny, high of 82, low of 67.Details here.
Today’s fire danger is Moderate. Flagler County’s Drought Index is at 172
The weather in Salalah, Oman: High of 91, low of 78. Details.
The OED’s Word of the Day: earwig, v..
The Live Community Calendar
Today’s jail bookings.
Today’s Briefing: Quick Links
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- Blood Donations Needed
- In Coming Days in Flagler and Palm Coast
Note: all government meetings noticed below are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
The Bunnell City Commission meets tonight. The commission will hear an update on the city’s separation agreement with the county, to no longer be part of the troubled Plantation Bay Utility the two governments acquired together. The commission is expected to approve, on second reading, a $2 million loan with Ameris Bank, refinancing two previous loans at lower interest. John and Patricia Sowell at 128 Grand Reserve Dr. and Waste Pro, the garbage hauler, are winners of the city’s quarterly beautification award. The full agenda and background material are here. Follow the meeting live here. (7 p.m., Bunnell City Hall, 201 W. Moody Boulevard/S. Forsyth Street, Bunnell).
Last Day for Online Auction for George Washington Carver Foundation: The annual auction, raising money for the Carver Center in Bunnell, is on through today at 7 p.m. Make your bids here. The auction is the primary fundraising event for the Carver Center. In the past, money raised has been used for big-ticket items like ceiling insulation, furniture for the library, a scoreboard, bleachers, as well as money for scholarships and summer camp. “At this point, we are gearing up to assist the county with an addition to the center,” said Flagler County Commissioner Barbara Revels. “Flagler County is applying for a community development block grant to build additional classrooms and meeting space. If that happens, we’d like to be ready to help with what we can to furnish it.” Revels is a member of the George Washington Foundation and was part of a team instrumental in bringing the center up to sustainable level, saving the center from an uncertain fate. The Carver Center is a recreational facility that also offers tutoring, after school study, internet access and also serves the community with GED classes, employment counseling and other services. On April 20, Revels wrote: “I am reaching out to each of you as a reminder the G. W. Carver Center Auction will close at 7:00 p.m. Next Monday night the 27th. There is something for everyone to bid on. I want to thank those of you that have donated items and may have already bid. Please take the time to go to: http://gwcarvercenter.com/auction/auction/ and place your bid on one or more great items. I know I am tracking quite a few I want. Please help up make this year’s event the most successful yet. Remember all funds go to our Foundation that is a tax exempt charitable organization and NOTHING goes to administration or salaries. All funds go to the direct support of programs, equipment, supplies, scholarships or other needs of the Community Center’s patrons.”
Tuesday, Matanzas Woods Interchange Construction Public Meeting: The Flagler County Engineering Department will host a public meeting to inform residents of the planned beginning of construction of the Matanzas Woods Parkway Interchange Project at I-95 and the future Old Kings Road Extension project. The interchange project is a long planned project providing interstate access to residents in the northern part of Flagler County and is slated to start this summer. This project will require the temporary closure of Matanzas Woods Parkway during the 2015 summer months when school is out of session. The future Old Kings Road Extension project will provide a direct route for commuters to the Matanzas interchange at I-95 and minimize traffic impacts to Matanzas High School. The Old Kings Road Extension project is slated to begin construction later this year. The meeting will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 28th at the Palm Coast Community Center, 305 Palm Coast Parkway NE, Palm Coast. The residents of the area and the public are invited to attend this informational meeting. For more information call 386-313-4039.
Judge J. David Walsh holds felony arraignments in three dozen cases starting at 8:30 a.m., including a possible plea by James A. Dryden, accused of assault, domestic battery, strangulation and obstructing an officer. The judge will also sentence four defendants during the same session, and holds another sentencing hearing at 1:30 p.m. At 10 a.m. Walsh will hear violation of probation cases. (Courtroom 401.) Judge Melissa Moore Stens hears numerous juvenile cases today (Courtroom 404). A foreclosure sale for six properties is scheduled at 11 a.m. in the civil department lobby. The full docket is available here.
Note: Most proceedings below can be followed live on the Florida Channel.
The House holds a floor session today starting at 2:30 p.m., taking up a variety of issues, including bills (SB 998 and HB 1247) that would ban the sale of powdered alcoholic beverages. Also, the House is expected to consider bills (SB 766 and HB 649) dealing with surveillance by drones.
The Senate holds a floor session starting at 1 p.m., considering more than a dozen “claim” bills, which stem from lawsuits filed against government agencies because of injuries or deaths. Sovereign-immunity laws typically limit to $200,000 the amount state and local agencies can be required to pay in such lawsuits. But the Legislature can approve claim bills that direct larger payments. The bills stem from injuries or deaths in various parts of the state, including Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Pasco County, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Hialeah, Hollywood and North Miami.
–Compiled by the News Service of Florida
James E. Holmes trial in Denver begins today. “Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding at least 70 others in July 2012 at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises movie in Aurora, Colo. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and prosecutors are pushing to have him executed if convicted.” USA Today.
Loretta Lynch is sworn in as Attorney General, 11 a.m.
Infighting is turning Florida GOP into a house divided: “Republicans in the Florida Legislature have met the enemy, and it is them. They can’t agree on using federal money for people with no health care and as a result, budget negotiations are in disarray in a year with a $1 billion surplus. Unable to resolve their differences after months of refusing to compromise, Republican lawmakers will end the regular session next Friday without completing the one task they are required to do: passing a state budget. The government of the nation’s third-largest state is controlled by one party, yet the standoff is Republican against Republican, in some cases involving members of the same family. House Republicans have been distracted by a leadership coup while Gov. Rick Scott is personally threatening to veto Republican senators’ bills and spending items unless they approve his tax cuts of $673 million.” From the Bradenton Herald.
Florida students may be able to cross county lines for school: “The House on Friday voted 80-36 for a bill that would let children enroll in any school in the state regardless of where they live. The provision is included in a comprehensive education bill that now heads to the Florida Senate. If the bill (HB 1145) becomes law families could enroll in any public school if it has space. Families would be responsible for taking their children to and from the school. House Democrats criticized the bill, saying the open enrollment provision would create a system of “haves and have nots.” AP.
Downside of Police Body Cameras: Your Arrest Hits YouTube: “Police departments around the country have been moving with unusual speed to equip officers with body cameras to film their often edgy encounters with the public. But the adoption of these cameras has created a new conflict over who has the right to view the recordings. […] But YouTube video from other police body cameras can be violent and disturbing. […] Scenes unfold slowly, in cinéma vérité style, as officers go about their work until a moment arrives when someone is suddenly shot and killed. Sometimes words are exchanged before the shootings, but often they occur in silence. The footage has little in common with the stylized deaths in Hollywood movies: There is often no sign of bleeding, and bodies lay twisted as if they have been broken. […] Since the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was fatally shot during an encounter with a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., in August, departments around the country have begun requiring officers to record their interactions with the public to hold them accountable for their behavior, as well as to protect them against false charges. Most big city police departments — including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia — are still testing body cameras, and it could be at least a year before a significant number of officers in those cities are wearing them. But the battle over who has the right to see the film is well underway. […] Some state legislatures, though, are coming out against broad disclosure policies. Among a flurry of 87 bills related to body cameras that have been introduced in 29 legislatures, 15 states are moving to limit what the public is allowed to see from the recordings. In some cases, lawmakers have sought to remove the videos from public records laws, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.” The full story.
Brian Williams Inquiry Is Said to Expand: “An NBC News internal investigation into Brian Williams has examined a half-dozen instances in which he is thought to have fabricated, misrepresented or embellished his accounts, two people with inside knowledge of the investigation said. The investigation includes at least one episode that was previously unreported, these people said, involving statements by Mr. Williams about events from Tahrir Square in Cairo during the Arab Spring. The investigation, conducted by at least five NBC journalists, was commissioned early this year after Mr. Williams was forced to apologize for embellishing an account of a helicopter episode in Iraq in 2003. He was subsequently suspended for six months from his anchor position on the “NBC Nightly News.” The inquiry is being led by Richard Esposito, the senior executive producer for investigations, for the news division. […] The two people with knowledge of the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions, said the episodes under review included details of the incident in Iraq in 2003; statements Mr. Williams made about a missile attack while he was traveling in another helicopter over northern Israel in 2006; and the circumstances under which he received a fragment of a helicopter that crashed during the mission to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011.” From The Times.
Road and Interstate Construction:
Palm Coast: 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: County Road 305 is now detour-free.
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. 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
Matanzas High School’s Leo Club members joined PAL and the Flagler County Sheriffs department on Saturday to support the Special Olympic Torch Run. The Torch Run is the largest fund-raising event with Special Olympics Florida and Law Enforcement Agencies. The funds are generated through the sale of the popular Torch Run T-shirts. Leo Club volunteers manned the registration booth and the sale of these festive T-shirts. They met many eager runners and active participants in all Special Olympic events. Their favorite part of the Torch Run was talking and getting to know the Special Olympic Athletes.
Flagler Beach’s Amanda Bailey Earns Associate Certified Coach designation from the International Coaching Federation: On April 13th, Bailey passed one last exam that she needed to obtain the ICF Associate Certified Coach designation. In the past 30 years, Bailey has spent over 3,000 hours leading men and women in one- on-one or group interactions. She has worked successfully in sales and management in large corporations, on staff and as a lay leader in churches and Christian groups and led her own non-profit organization for 10 years. She has lived in China, Hong Kong, Europe and various places in the United States. Amanda holds a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. She spent over 200 hours in certification training to become a Certified Professional Life Coach and Human Behavior Consultant. She is also an active member of the Rotary Club of Flagler Beach. She offers a complimentary full hour coaching session to all prospective clients. Amanda can be reached at 704-965-3133, or [email protected].
Volunteers needed for invasive plant removal at Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve, April 29: Bring a friend, bring a kid, bring gloves and a water bottle to Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve on April 29 to help rid it of invasive species like the Brazilian pepper trees along the entrance road. The entrance road will be closed from dawn to 1 p.m. as Land Management and Parks and Recreation staff, with the help of volunteers, remove the plants. Normal park access will be available after 1 p.m. “We appreciate the help,” said Mike Lagasse, land manager. “Non-native plants are displacing the native plants.” Flagler County has a dedicated group of volunteers who have worked at other preserves, like the River to Sea Preserve, protect the native ecosystem. Laura Ostapko is one of those volunteers and a member of “The Pepper Pickers,” a group that started at Gamble Rogers and has recently expanded its scope of work. “We have a sign that says, ‘Restoring paradise one tree at a time,’ because that’s what we are doing,” Ostapko said. “It’s very rewarding when you see what you have done.” Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve is situated on 217 acres along the eastern side of the Intracoastal Waterway south of State Road 100. Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact Lagasse at 386-313-4064 or at [email protected].
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: “Committed,” At City Repertory Theatre: Don’t miss the Florida debut of “Committed,” a musical Featuring 13 original songs penned by Flagler Palm Coast High School graduate Andrew David Sotomayor. Written by Tricia Brouk, “Committed” brings audiences inside the psych ward to find out what happens when life begins to fray at the edges, and how people hold themselves together. “Committed” is a dark and beautiful book musical about eight people working through the pain of their mental illnesses. Pain is pain. We all know it, we all feel it, we all relate to it. Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about. “Committed” is a theatrical experience that brings awareness to mental illness and with compassion and humor, try to get past the suffering. The hope is to use art and entertainment to de-stigmatize mental illness and get people talking about it.An unforgettable show that you won’t want to miss. Tickets are $25. Call the box office at 386/585-9415 or click here for immediate ticketing. Show times: April 30, May 1, 2, 8, 9 at 7:30 p.m., matinees May 3, 10 at 2 p.m.
Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk and Free Fun Run May 2 in Palm Coast’s Town Center: Register now for the Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk, which starts at 8 a.m. May 2, followed by the Free Fun Run at 9 a.m. The run/walks will start and finish on Lake Avenue in Central Park at Town Center, 975 Central Ave. in Palm Coast. Awards will be given out at Central Park Main Stage after the race. This race will close out the 2014-2015 season in the Palm Coast Running Series. Register for the 5K Root Run/Walk at www.palmcoastgov.com/ArborDay. (Pre-registration is not required for the children’s Fun Run.) Participants of the 5K Root Run/Walk are guaranteed a race T-shirt and goody bag if they register by April 24. Entry fees and pre-registration deadlines are as follows:
· $25 Online registration closes at 5 p.m. April 30 at www.palmcoastgov.com/ArborDay.
· $25 Mail-in registration closes April 24 (Mail-in registration is available through April 24. Mail registration form available online with check or money order made out to City of Palm Coast to: City of Palm Coast, c/o Arbor Day Race Pre-registration, Attn: Carol Mini, 160 Cypress Point Parkway Suite B106, Palm Coast, FL 32164.)
· $25 In-person registration closes May 1. Register in-person 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at the Palm Coast Community Center, 305 Palm Coast Parkway, NE. Checks, money orders, cash and credit cards accepted.
· $30 Race day entry fee – cash or checks only – at Central Park (along Lake Avenue).
· Veterans with military ID receive free entry
Packet Pick Up will be held at the Community Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 1, or at 7 a.m. on race day at Central Park (on Lake Avenue). Prizes will be awarded to the overall male and female runners, as well as the top three men and women in 15 age groups. The race will be chip-timed. Children participating in the Fun Run will receive a ribbon. A ceremony honoring the overall winners for the Palm Coast Running Series will immediately follow the 5K Root Run awards. After the races, enjoy the free Arbor Day celebration from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Park. Bring canned food or pet food items and exchange them for a three-gallon native hardwood tree (while supplies last). Feed a Mouth, Get a Tree, Grow a Community is the theme. The event will also feature a butterfly tent, zoo exhibits, green vendors, a fire prevention activity, entertainment and kite flying/building. The popular Native Butterfly release is set for 11 a.m. Complete details are available here. For more information, contact City of Palm Coast Urban Forester Carol Mini at 386-986-3722.
Calling All Chiuhuahuas: The City of Daytona Beach’s Cultural Services Division is looking for 200 Chihuahuas in full costume to help set a Guinness World Record as part of Chihuahua De Mayo. This fun-filled, family event will take place at the world’s most famous bandshell May 2nd from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Chihuahua owners need to bring a copy of the pedigree registration or a birth certificate to verify that their dog(s) are pure breed, so they can take part in this record attempt.
- Registration….12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
- Guinness Book of World Records Attempt for most Chihuahuas in costumed attire (minimum 2 piece costume)….2:00 p.m.
- Bandshell to Boardwalk Parade After Record Attempt
- Parade Prizes – King & Queen Chihuahua Winners, Best Costume, Best Temperament, Best Hat, Best Duo, and Best Trio
- 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Mariachi Band – “Charros De Mexico” from Orlando
- Mexican Hat Dance Off – Pinatas – Candy
- Pet Rescue – Food – Vendors (vending space available)
- $5 Admission Fee – a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Halifax & Flagler Humane Societies and the Arnie Foundation
Come watch these Chihuahuas strut their stuff for the cutest Cinco De Mayo costume parade and enjoy an afternoon filled with a variety of things to do for the entire family.
Blood donations are urgently needed. Patients in our local hospitals are in need of blood transfusions, and the need for blood does not take a holiday. That’s why OneBlood is asking people to donate immediately.
Big Red Bus schedule in Flagler-Palm Coast:
Monday April 27th 11:30AM – 4:00PM Flagler County Public Library, 2500 Palm Coast Parkway
Tuesday April 28th 11:00AM – 3:00PM Knights of Columbus Council 7845, 51 Old Kings Road North, Palm Coast
Wednesday April 29th 1:00PM – 5:30PM CVS Pharmacy, 1 Old Kings Road South, Palm Coast