Palm Beach County
The number of candidates vying to replace retiring Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman has been reduced to six. They include Palm Beach County Deputy County Administrator Verdenia Baker and Assistant County Administrator Shannon LaRocque. The interviews will be conducted following background checks and a final selection is expected by May.
West Palm Beach Public Safety Director Kirk Blouin announced his department is the first law enforcement agency in South Florida to arm its officers with body cameras. Other agencies are considering the cameras, but training and other costs are playing a role in the decision, particularly in the larger departments.
Lori Richman of Boca Raton is charged with domestic battery by strangulation. The 58-year-old was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail, but the specific details of the altercation have not been disclosed.
The Broward County NAACP has joined forces with the Broward County Public Defender’s Office over text messages and a movie trailer circulated by four Fort Lauderdale police officers. Three of the officers were fired and one resigned when he was ordered to report to Internal Affairs to give a sworn statement. NAACP President Marsha Ellison and Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, along with other public officials, have universally condemned the racist materials.The civil rights organization has set up a call center to accept complaints against the four officers.
The Homeless Voice Shelter, 1203 Federal Hwy. in Hollywood, has closed. Operator Sean Cononie accepted a $5 million offer to buy the property. Cononie is moving to a motel he purchased in Central Florida for $2 million. For more than 13 years Cononie battled with city, state and county officials over his center and now its gone.
Broward State Attorney Michael Satz wants Circuit Judge John Contini to remove himself from more than 900 criminal cases. The demand follows disclosure that Contini communicated through his private email to an assistant public defender about prison sentences. Satz alleges in a disqualification motion that the email was “legal advice.” Contini ruled against the motion.
Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation is on schedule to sell its 10 millionth car sometime in May. It may be the first time any auto dealership has reached that milestone. CEO Mike Jackson and the AutoNation team are beaming. It is unclear if there will be any fanfare when the company reaches the official mark.
After years of wrangling and bureaucracy, the Homestead Police Department has settled into its new temporary station at 1601 SE 28th Ave. Police Chief Al Rolle and other city officials joined members of the department for the opening. A permanent home is under construction in the city’s downtown.
David Foster, 35, was released from jail after spending three years while awaiting trial for a murder that authorities later found he did not commit. Foster was arrested in 2012 following a double murder at a Miami nightclub. A family member of one of the victims claimed Foster as at the scene and had a gun. Foster was at the scene, but tried to intervene and had no weapon. Police suspect Periquo Taylor killed two people that night with an AK-47 assault rifle, and fled to the Bahamas. He remains on the lam.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giminez is a supporter of the proposed American Dream Mall planned for Miami-Dade County near Miami Gardens Drive (Northwest 183rd Street), west of Interstate 75. The 200-acre plus site will have a shopping mall, water park, ski slope, submarine ride and more. Opponents are concerned about traffic since 183rd Street would be the only street to enter the complex. Gimenez and others are supportive of new interchanges being built for Florida’s Turnpike and I-75, which are both near the proposed site, to handle traffic concerns. The $4 billion project is expected to be the largest mall in the country when completed and create 20,000 jobs.
More than 100 cyclists participated in a bicycle tour of the historic Bahama Village. Key West City Commissioner Clayton Lopez, who was raised in the predominantly black enclave, led the Bahama Village History Tour. Cyclists visited Bethel AME Church on Truman Avenue and its old location, which was burned to the ground by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1800s. The area got its name from the throngs of Bahamians who settled there.
Tabatha Anna Young, 34, is charged with aggravated battery over the stabbing of her 53-year-old mother. The incident followed an argument between the two; the victim suffered a wound in the upper chest. Young allegedly gave authorities several versions of what happened before admitting to the stabbing. The condition of the victim is unknown.
The Monroe County Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program is seeking support for its breastfeeding meetings, which are held at the Monroe County Public Library. Lactation counselors offer tips to help to mothers with breastfeeding.