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Around South Florida with Elgin Jones 12-19-13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by ELGIN JONES   
Wednesday, 18 December 2013

elgin_jones_web_13.jpgCARELESS CUTS
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and his fellow Republicans refused to take up a bill to extend unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans. They instead recessed until after the end of the year.

It means more than a million Americans will have their benefits cut off on Dec. 28, including 200,000 Floridians. This is a callous disregard for those who continue to struggle economically.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

DNA ARREST
On March 25, Boca Raton police were investigating car burglaries at Boca Tanning, a business located at 2521 Federal Highway. They were able to collect blood that was found on a broken window and door handle of one burglarized vehicle. It was sent to a lab for DNA testing and the results were recently processed. According to the results, the blood samples belonged to Reginald St. Fleur, an employee of Boca Tanning, who was arrested on armed burglary charges. He denies knowing anything about the crimes.

CLUB SHOOTING
Two people were shot inside the Sugar Daddy’s strip club located in the 700 block of Military Trail just outside of West Palm Beach. Authorities said a brawl involving several people started and someone fired shots, hitting two people. Their conditions were not immediately known. It’s time to install metal detectors in the night clubs. Police are asking anyone with information on this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477.

NEW HOME

The merger of Office Depot and Naperville, Ill.-based Office Max has been completed. The new company will be called Office Depot and its new CEO, Roland Smith, has announced it will be headquartered in Boca Raton. More than 1,700 workers are employed at Office Depot’s headquarters and that number could increase due to the merger. It is a big win for South Florida, which was competing against locations in Illinois and other states.

BROWARD COUNTY

HIT-AND-RUN
Authorities located a hit and run suspect and are seeking the identity of a driver who hit and left for dead a 28-year-old Tamarac man early Sunday morning. It happened on Oakland Park Blvd., just west of U.S. 441 in the westbound lane at around 1:30 a.m. Ryan Reed Kaufman, 26, of Delray Beach, was found the day later at a home in Lauderhill. He has confessed. The investigation is continuing and authorities are asking anyone with information to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

TALL COTTON
Just when we thought community activist Chaz Stevens, who publishes the “My Acts of Sedition” blog, was taking a break, he showed up walking in the tall cotton of the international spotlight. Stevens, of Deerfield Beach, is being featured on television and in news programs for putting his “Festivus” pole on display in the lobby of the state Capitol in Tallahassee. The pole was created in an episode of Seinfeld years ago. It has since become a favorite of self-avowed atheists to express their displeasure with governmental entities’ embrace of religion. Last year, Stevens put his pole up in Deerfield Beach next to the city’s Nativity scene, which resulted in city officials ending their displays. Stevens’ pole is adorned with empty Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans. You would think at least he would have used Budweiser but, oh, well. . .

SISTRUNK  REDEVELOPMENT?
The city of Fort Lauderdale’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has said it is committed to revitalizing the northwest, predominantly black, areas. Or is it? At present the CRA is flush with cash, sitting on more than $30 million in funding. However, little of that money has been used to bring new businesses to the area, which is a shame. The project involves redesigning of Sistrunk Boulevard, the main artery that cuts through Fort Lauderdale’s black community, but there seems to be no incentives to recruit new companies to the area, other than the major retailers that occupy a shopping plaza constructed by developer Milton Jones. A new, much-needed Fort Lauderdale police sub-station will open on Sistrunk in the coming weeks but you won’t know it because there is not a single sign to indicate it is coming. Maybe City Manager Lee Feldman has an incentive plan in the works that he will surprise us with after the New Year. Hope so. 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

ANOTHER SHOOTING
One man was killed and three others injured during a four-person shootout in Florida City. Police said an argument escalated because one person supposedly stared at another person. The subjects apparently did not know each other. It took place in the 700 block of Northwest 13th Terrace. No arrests have been made.

FREE MOVIE
The Miami Jazz & Film Society is hosting its free movie screening this month on Dec. 24, when it will screen Oz the Great and Powerful, a movie that is loosely based on the Wizard of Oz. It will be shown at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave. in Liberty City. The meet-and-greet reception begins at 5 p.m. and the screening starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call 305-684-4564.

BALLOT PROBE
Miami-Dade police and prosecutors are investigating alleged absentee ballot fraud by campaign workers of former Homestead mayoral candidate Mark Bell. One family is alleging that James Brady, then a campaign worker for Bell, visited their home and had absentee ballots that were filled out in advance, which would violate several laws if true. Brady, who is now running for a Florida City commission seat, has denied the allegation.

JOB OPENING
The city of Miami Gardens’ troubled police department will surely have a new chief now after the abrupt resignation of Matthew Boyd last week from the position. City Manager Cameron Benson will make the hire and speculation is running high about possible replacements. Benson once worked at the city of Fort Lauderdale and he is friends with its police chief, Frank Adderley. But it’s a slim chance. Adderley is not a Miami-Dade product and the elected officials likely already have people they would like to see in the job.

MONROE COUNTY

ABSOLUTE CRUELTY
Sightings of brown pelicans with their necks cut are increasing in the Keys. Wildlife experts believe it is being done by someone who may see the birds as a nuisance, since the throat-slitting keeps them from eating. Brown pelicans are federally protected and harming them can fetch a jail sentence and up to $15,000 in fines.

RAPE ARREST
Adan Zamir Morales, 25, of Stock Island was taken from his job on a construction site and charged with rape. Key West police allege he raped a 17-year-old girl as she walked home from school. They say Morales pulled over in his car and said he was a friend of the girl’s mother and offered her a ride home. Instead, he drove down a secluded street and raped her, police said.

MANAGER FINALISTS
Marathon City Manager Roger Hernstadt is a finalist for the Marco Island city manager’s job.  Marco Island is located on Florida’s west coast. It has a population of less the 17,000 people, according to the U.S. Census, and is a booming tourist destination. Marco Island, near Naples, will conduct final interviews  of candidates on Jan.6.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 December 2013 )
 
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