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Around South Florida with Elgin Jones 4-11-13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by ELGIN JONES   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013

elgin_jones_web_13.jpgPalm Beach County

Tony Pierre, 64, of Boynton Beach went to the Delray Beach home of a 46-year-old man to question him about a $70 debt he said he was owed. An argument ensued and blows were exchanged.

The man suffered a busted lip and several of his teeth were knocked out. Police were called but Pierre left the scene prior to their arrival and could not be located. The next day, Pierre turned himself in to police and was charged with aggravated battery. Now he is facing felony charges – all over a disputed $70 debt. Go figure. 


West Palm Beach City Commissioner Keith James will serve an unprecedented second consecutive term as commission president. He was selected over Commissioner Sylvia Moffett, who was next in line for the presidency but was passed over by their colleagues. The move is indicative of the division in the commission. Moffett, who is viewed as an ally of Mayor Jeri Muoio, called it a “power grab” by her colleagues.


Cedric McLean, 16, of Riviera Beach has been charged as an accomplice to Richard Riggo, 15, who is accused of robbing a man after he got off a public transit bus in Riviera Beach on Feb. 16. The

victim was shot in the hip, pistol-whipped and robbed. His sister was also pistol-whipped and robbed in the attack. Both suspects are being charged as adults and are being held without bond in the Palm Beach County Jail.

Broward County


Former Broward County School Board member and county commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin is scheduled to go on trial for public corruption-related charges this month. During a court appearance last week, her attorney, Fred Haddad, told the judge she is rejecting a plea offer that would have had her serve probation and no jail time. Under the condition of that deal, she would have to plead guilty to reduced charges, which means she would lose more than $4,800 in pension payments per month. Wasserman-Rubin’s pension is currently frozen and she will take her chances at trial. She stepped down from the Broward commission shortly before the Broward State Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against her in July 2010. Between 2002 and 2005, Wasserman-Rubin voted at least 15 times in support of grants to the town of Southwest Ranches. Her husband, Richard Rubin, was a grants writer for the town, where he was paid $1.1 million for his work and also received three bonuses of $15,000 each for grant writing. His wife never disclosed the conflict of interest and didn’t recuse herself from the votes. Richard Rubin was convicted in 2011 and was recently released from prison.


Tam English, director of the Fort Lauderdale Housing Authority, is overseeing the Carlisle Development Group’s construction of the Phases II and IV of the Northwest Gardens affordable housing project. The construction replaces decades-old

apartment complexes with new townhouse-style structures and modern amenities. The project is located in Northwest Fort Lauderdale, just north of Sistrunk Boulevard which itself is also undergoing redevelopment. Phases 1 and III of the $58 million housing project have already been completed. The one- to five-bedroom townhouses will range in size from 650 to 1,500 square feet.


Former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson was known for her advocacy of strong neighborhoods and high ethical standards in city staff. She is now headed to jail after pleading guilty to reduced felony charges of unlawful compensation and official misconduct. She will begin serving a four-month sentence next week. She is now a convicted felon. Hutchinson sold her support and votes for a developer’s project in exchange for $14,000 worth of free home repairs and improvements, including a new toilet, fence and a paver driveway.

Miami-Dade County


Stephen Gushee, 76, former pastor at the Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, religion writer for the Palm Beach Post and moderator of the Viewpoint program which aired on WPBT and WLRN, the local PBS affiliates in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, respectively, has died. He was 76.


Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall is this year’s winner of the prestigious Julia Tuttle Award sponsored by the city of Miami’s Commission on the Status of Women. The honor is bestowed on an individual who is dedicated to improving the lives of Miami residents. Bendross-Mindingall grew up in Miami projects and went on to become a school principal, state legislator and now school board member. Throughout her career, she has worked to improve the lives of others. The number of her innovative programs is too numerous to list. This is a well-deserved and long overdue recognition.

Monroe County


Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Jaime Miranda, 30, was arrested after being caught in an undercover drug sting by his own department. He was on duty and in his marked patrol car at the Winn Dixie shopping center on Big Pine Key when the sting occurred. He is accused of buying what he thought were 10 oxycodone pills from undercover detectives. A search of Miranda’s patrol car turned up the fake pills, as well as 12 hydromorphone tablets inside the glove box, police reported. A pipe with marijuana residue was also taken from his pockets, the report said. Miranda is facing multiple drug-related charges and has been suspended without pay.


The art works of Avis Collins Robinson, an official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and an accomplished artist, are on display at the Studios of Key West and the brightly colored paintings and quilts are the talk of the town. The exhibit is called Color & Cloth: African American Quilts & Portraits. She is the wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson. For more information on the showing, visit TSKW.org or call 305-296-0458.

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