The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. was established in 2002 after some private insurers refused to write windstorm and other homeowners policies in Florida.
It was the only place available for many property owners to obtain insurance coverage. Citizens thrived in the industry, with surplus funds, even though it had lower rates than private insurers. Since then, the Republican-dominated Legislature has repeatedly worked to weaken Citizens, even forcing it to raise its rates. In recent weeks, more than 160,000 homeowners began receiving “depopulation” letters from Citizens urging them to buy coverage from private companies. It’s no secret that Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and GOP lawmakers want to send as many property owners as possible into the private market – which is the very place that rejected homeowners in the first place, prompting a need for Citizens. This is a despicable scheme and scam that hurts consumers.
Palm Beach County
SBA Communications, a Boca Raton-based company that constructs wireless towers around the country and in South America and Central America, has purchased the four-story Beacon Square office building for $22.65 million. The structure formerly housed IBM. SBA is expanding its operations and is expected to add 85 jobs to its 350-employee workforce in Boca Raton over the next few years.
SPORTS BAR KILLING
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the shooting death of Jean Nesca, 21, at Brian Borus Irish Pub in the 7200 block of Lake Worth Road in Lake Worth. Nesca was arguing with another man, when the unidentified suspect pulled a gun and shot him, police said. Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-8477.
Bruce Lewis, a consultant and member of West Palm Beach’s Downtown Development Authority, is floating the idea of bringing a fifth baseball team to Palm Beach County for spring training. The Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals already train at different locations in the county. Lewis is proposing to build a two-team stadium and training facility in the struggling, predominantly black neighborhood along Tamarind Avenue just north of downtown. It’s a long shot but the idea is creating a lot of buzz.
Beaches in the northern section of Broward County are being replenished with sand imported from sand mines located near Lake Okeechobee. The Army Corps of Engineers is paying for the $7.1 million project which is expected to be completed in January.
JUDGE ON DUI CHARGE
Broward County Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato was arrested and charged with driving under the influence by Boca Raton police. According to the police report, a motorist called police and reported a car was swerving through traffic in the 2400 block of West Palmetto Park Road. An officer spotted the car and made the traffic stop. Imperato was behind the wheel and refused to comply with the officer’s instructions to get out of the car and she tried to make a phone call, the report said. The officer took the phone and physically remove Imperato from the car. She refused sobriety tests and was charged and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail.
CoreLogic, the Sunrise-based credit due diligence company, is exiting the industry and will lay off 68 employees. CoreLogic’s office will remain in Sunrise but it is unclear how many employees will be there, company officials said. In related news, Comcast closed one warehouse and laid off 84 workers. Earlier this year, Comcast contracted with Communication Tech Design, a company that specializes in warehouse management, to streamline its warehouse operations and logistics.
Stanley Wilson has been promoted from associate dean for Academic Affairs at Nova Southeastern University to dean of the Davie-based university’s College of Healthcare Sciences. Wilson has held positions at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Florida International University. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Howard University, a Master of Science from St. Thomas University and a doctorate in Adult Education from Florida International University.
Former Pro Bowl Miami Dolphins star receiver Mark Duper is suffering from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a concussion-related brain condition. Duper, 54, gets headaches and tests conducted at UCLA confirmed the generative condition. CTE is found in people with a history of head trauma and its symptoms can include depression and memory loss. Duper caught 511 passes during his 11 seasons with the Dolphins and holds the team record for receiving at 8,869 yards. He is a three-time Pro Bowler who retired in 1992. He was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2003. Duper is the latest among current and former NFL player to be diagnosed with a brain-related condition, bringing heightened awareness to the potential dangers of playing football.
Latin pop singer José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz, who is known by his stage name Jose Jose, is losing his home. The 65-year-old Mexican former heartthrob has sold more than 45 million albums during his career which began in the 1960s. That has not stopped Suntrust Bank from filing a foreclosure lawsuit on his 5,500-square-foot Coral Gables home. The lawsuit has forced the “Prince of Song,” as he is known around the world, to put the six-bedroom home, which he purchased 20 years ago, on the market for $2.8 million.
Monroe County’s medical director Dr. Sandra Schwemmer, Fire Chief James Callahan and County Administrator Roman Gastesi are not talking but the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed it is investigating the disappearance of drugs from a locked room at the Marathon Airport where the county’s Trauma Star ambulance helicopter is stationed. According to a report filed over the issue, a flight medic said “there was a discrepancy in the narcotic log and that narcotics were missing.” Only a select number of people have access to the room where the drugs are kept inside a refrigerator.
Melody Key, a six-acre island in the Florida Keys, was sold at a private auction this week. The final price has yet to be released but the opening bid was $3.5 million. The island has a large home with all the modern comforts and was once owned by rocker Nick Hexum of the band 311. The Florida Keys has more than 1,700 offshore islands and they are often put up for sale but fewer than 50 have homes or other structures on them.
Tyler Seeger, 19, of Tampa, was spotted driving erratically on the Overseas Highway in Islamorada and refused to stop when deputies tried to pull him over, police said. He was eventually stopped after Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies laid traffic spikes across the roadway that flattened his tires. Seeger told deputies they were making a big mistake and all would be charged with treason, the report said. He was taken into custody on charges that included fleeing and speeding.