Event Data Recorders (EDRs), or “black boxes,” are now being installed in cars. They can record and maintain all sorts of data, just like those used on airplanes. This is no joke. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has not publicly discussed it, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now requires black boxes be installed in all vehicles. They can capture all sorts of information, including the possibility of recording conversations. Unlike other states, Florida legislators have not addressed or placed restrictions on how the data can be used or downloaded.
Palm Beach County
Photographers Robert Stevens, of Lake Worth and Steven Vandel, of San Diego, are the named plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed against real estate technology giant Corelogic. The lawsuit alleges Corelogic stole thousands of copyrighted photographs of properties off the Internet. The copyright and metadata information was then removed and used by Corelogic on its fee-based listing services without compensating the photographers. Federal law prohibits this and carries possible fines up to $25,000 per violation. The plaintiffs’ attorney is Joel Rothman of Boca Raton. It could mean tens of millions in damages, if they prevail.
All Aboard Florida, the express commuter train service that will eventually run from Miami to Orlando, has selected the Germany-based Siemens to build its trains. They will be manufactured in the company’s Sacramento, Calif., facility and will be capable of reaching speeds of 125 miles per hour. All Aboard Florida will have maintenance facilities in West Palm Beach and Orlando.
Deerfield Beach City Clerk Ada Graham-Johnson has succumbed following an illness. She was Deerfield Beach’s first-ever black city clerk. She was 51 and funeral service arrangements are pending.
Marcus Estimar, 28, is charged with second-degree attempted murder and aggravated battery after beating a 63-year-old Leon Williams at Middle River Terrace Park in Fort Lauderdale on August 7. Estimar is a personal trainer. The investigation led them to Estimar, who was already in a Broward jail on unrelated charges. He reportedly told police that Williams asked him for a cigarette, made sexual advances and took a swing at him when he declined. Estimar allegedly beat Williams, who police found lying face-down and unconscious when they arrived on the scene. Williams is in a coma and has been placed in hospice care, as he is not expected to survive.
Oakland Park city commissioners approved a contract for new City Manager David Hebert. He was an assistant city manager in Homestead, and previously served in the same capacity in Fort Lauderdale from 2006 to 2011. Hebert was selected for the job over several other candidates, including assistant city manager Horace McHugh. He will earn $170,000 salary. He replaces retiring City Manager John Stunson, who earned $158,820 a year. Vice Mayor Jed Shank opposed and voted against the contract.
Miami Community Redevelopment Agency Chairman and City Commissioner Keon Hardemon announced numerous new projects in some of the city’s most deprived communities. Totaling more than $60 million, there will be new and renovated affordable housing complexes and commercial projects in the Overtown community. Good.
Haitian novelist and playwright Gary Victor and Haitian-American novelist and Miami resident Edwidge Danticat were the star attractions at this week’s Haitian-Caribbean Book Fair. It took place at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami. The event was intended to increase exposure to Haitian culture and literature.
Doral Mayor Luigi Boria announced the 2015 Miss Universe pageant will be held at the Trump National Doral Miami resort. Billionaire weirdo Donald Trump purchased the Doral Country Club and renamed it. He also owns the Miss Universe pageant, so it’s no surprise he is looking to bring world-class events there. Wonder if he wants me to be one of the judges this year?
Last week, 16 Cuban migrants were rescued four miles off of Islamorada. They were in a small, homemade boat and suffered from dehydration. Seven were unresponsive and taken by a hospital in Tavernier and will remain in the U.S. The other nine were taken to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter and returned to Cuba.
Ricky Atkins was an employee at the Florida Keys Children’s Shelter in Tavernier, but it is not clear what his duties were. He is facing multiple felony charges after two teenage girls who had run away from the shelter alleged that Adkins gave them a ride to Cutler Ridge motel, where they worked as prostitutes. The girls were eventually located in Sarasota County by North Port Police and returned to the shelter.