PALM BEACH COUNTY
Public records denied
A judge has ruled against fired firefighter Jason Weeks in a case in which he is seeking an email exchanged between town of Palm Beach officials. Weeks was fired in 2012 for allegedly using town computers to post information on a website that criticized the town’s decision to cut pensions.
Weeks contends he was engaging in protected whistleblower activities. He is seeking a May 5, 2011, email between Human Resources Analyst Kathryn Dyson and Human Resources Director Danielle Olson which supposedly proves his case. The town has said the email does not exist. Weeks has filed a motion for a rehearing over a newly discovered tape recording that may call that into question.
San Francisco 49ers MVP receiver Anquan Boldin surprised students with his appearance at this year’s Florida Crystals Corporation’s “Do The Write Thing Challenge” luncheon. The program is affiliated with the National Campaign to Stop Violence that encourages children to avoid violence and bullying. Florida Crystals is based in Clewiston and Boldin is a native of Pahokee.
Davetta Spicy, 29, of Kissimmee and Destiny Andujar, 19, of Coconut Creek have been arrested on fraud-related charges after they allegedly attempted to withdraw $10,000 from an identity theft victim’s bank account.
A 15-year-old Miramar teenager has been charged with making a false police report after tweeting that he had been raping “lil girls” and was about to rape another one. When officers arrived at his home, he said it was just a joke. He was arrested.
People’s Trust Insurance Company has completed relocation of its headquarters from Boca Raton to Deerfield Beach. Its new digs are located near Deerfield Beach High School, along Southwest Third Avenue and 15th Street. At a recent dedication attended by hundreds of people, company executives surprised District II City Commissioner Ben Preston with a $25,000 check, the money to be used on a beautification project for the area that Preston has been advocating.
Antoinette Robinson, 26, of Fort Lauderdale is accused of leaving her 2-year-old child unsupervised in a bathroom while the tub was filling with water. The child was scalded by the hot water after stepping into the tub. Robinson is charged after allegedly failing to seek immediate medical attention for the child. According to the police report, the child did not get medical attention for more than 24 hours after the accident.
Farewell for officer
Services were held for Miami Police Officer Carl Patrick who was found shot to death in his Pembroke Pines home on May 9. Patrick was in the Army Reserves and was an Afghanistan war veteran. His body was found by police checking his home after he failed to show up for work for several days. His live-in girlfriend Tiniko Thompson has said the two were involved in a struggle when Patrick’s gun went off. The investigation into his death is continuing.
Terry Williams-Edden, 48, has qualified as a candidate for the Broward County Commission District 2 race by petition. She collected 1,326 signatures and 1,213 have been certified by the Supervisor of Elections Office. Williams-Edden is a former official with the North Broward branch of the NAACP and the Rainbow Coalition. She resigned from her job with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to run for the commission. Other candidates are civic leader Carmen Jones, attorney Mark Bogen, former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom and Coconut Creek Mayor Lisa Aronson.
Everglades is dying
Laurel Wilt, a plant fungus for which there is no effective treatment, is spreading through the Everglades, killing trees and affecting some fruit groves. Scientists are studying the fungus but it could wreak devastation on many wildlife species that rely on fruit tree and berries to survive.
Microsoft Corporation will open its 93rd store on May 29 and this one will be located in the Aventura Mall and bring 50 jobs. Hernán Rincón, corporate vice president of Microsoft Latin America, will headline the grand opening in the mall’s parking lot. Tickets to a concert by rap group Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on May 31 at the mall will be given out at the opening ceremony.
Rickey L. Davis, 52, has been charged in the 1989 death of Joycelean Burrows. His DNA matched evidence taken from the crime scene 24 years ago, police said. Burrows, 26, whose body was found in a vacant Liberty City field on Jan. 17, 1989, had been strangled. Davis was questioned at the time after witnesses said they saw them together and that Davis was washing blood from the back of his truck the next day. Detectives did not have enough evidence to proceed with the case at the time. Over the years, Davis has been convicted of several crimes and his DNA, which was not available in 1989, was entered into crime databases. Detectives tested evidence from the Burrows crime scene for DNA and turned up Davis’ as a match.
A brush fire along U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys closed the highway, preventing motorists from entering or leaving the island chain on the Overseas Highways for more than 12 hours. Some drivers were diverted to Card Sound Road while firefighters worked to get the blaze under control.
No drug testing
A federal judge has struck down the city of Key West’s drug testing policy. The city required job applicants to undergo drug testing but the ACLU sued on behalf of resident Karen Voss after the city rescinded a job offer for a recycling coordinator’s position after she refused to take the test. Voss argued successfully that there was no reason for the drug test and that the city had no authority to test applicants. U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King rejected the city’s argument that it could test applicants, despite not being allowed to drug test employees. King ruled the city failed to demonstrate a special need or important governmental interest that justified the test.
No more prayers
Marathon Mayor Dick Ramsay’s proposal to do away with invocations before City Council meetings was approved. He made the proposal due to a lack of interest by local clergy to say the prayers. Some had questioned exactly what language or references would be allowed in the prayers. Even though a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld invocations at governmental meetings, the City Council voted to end the practice.