Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is off and running. The move is sending ripples through the field of potential Republican presidential candidates. Mitt Romney is now saying openly that he is considering another run and the polls has him out in front of Bush and others. Romney is now advocating measures to end poverty, believe it or not. Things are heating up and it should be an interesting political year.
The Republican Party of Florida has ousted Gov. Rick Scott’s hand-picked chairman Leslie Dougher and voted in 44-year-old State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia instead. It is a defeat for Scott, who was riding high after easily winning reelection in November. What a difference a few months makes. Now there is a scandal brewing with Scott’s ouster of FDLE head Gerald Bailey. Scott indicated Bailey had quit, which Bailey publicly denies. It now looks as if Bailey has gotten the same treatment as that of former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll by Team Scott.
Palm Beach County
Herminio Padilla Jr., a 48-year-old utilities worker at the East Regional Water Reclamation Facility in West Palm Beach, was found dead inside a sewer pipe. Police say his death appears to be accidental. He is believed to have fallen into a sewer tank and was sucked in the pipe.
Marcel Holman, 25, was given an ultimatum to get a job or move out of the Delray Beach home where he was living as a border. He opted to go to jail instead of working and proceeded to break out his landlord’s car window. He called police, told them what happened and was accommodated with handcuffs. He is charged with criminal mischief.
Ahmad Ware, 16, of Ft. Lauderdale is charged with attempted murder and armed robbery. He is accused of shooting and robbing the victim, Kendrick Lemon, during a drug deal. Judge John Hurley set Ware’s bond at $150,000. This is a case of the dealer’s word vs. the drug user’s accusations.
BANKING ON KIA
Rick Case Automotive Group is set to open the world’s largest car dealership in the world, according to company officials. It will be a five-story Kia dealership in Sunrise at Sawgrass Mills. It will hold more than 600 cars and will eventually have 150 employees.
Rontavis Holton, 21, was shot and killed by the victim of an armed robbery outside a Taco Bell restaurant in Pompano Beach. Ronald Farmer, 37, told Broward Sheriff’s detectives that Holton was wearing a ski mask and sunglasses when he ordered Farmer at gunpoint to pull down his pants. Farmer then pulled his own weapon and shot Holton, who was pronounced dead after being rushed to a nearby hospital.
Cody James Quaife, 34, is facing multiple charges after allegedly attacking a college student at the Cameo nightclub on Miami Beach, where he works as a bouncer. The attacked left victim, Youness Adlan, with multiple injuries including skull fractures. He remains in a coma.
Rumors persist that several Miami Heat players may be traded if the right offers are put on the table. Names such as Center Luol Deng and even Udonis Haslim are circulating. The Heat can still make the playoffs and if the rumors are true, they may be dumping higher salaried players to begin an earnest rebuilding next year.
Seven men — Cornelius Edwards, Mark Evans, Jerome Grace, Greg Hill, Derrick Powell, Derrick Powell Jr. and Branden Sands — are facing charges related to the disappearance of a 16-year-old girl. The teenager was reported missing for several days and when she was located, she told authorities she had been gang raped, provided drugs and forced into prostitution. The investigation is continuing and there could be more arrests in the coming days.
HOMELESS SURVEY UNDERWAY
The annual count of the homeless will get underway next week around the country. The Florida Keys is no exception. Nearly 100 volunteers will begin counting the homeless, excluding those who are in jails. The federal government requires a Point-in Time (PIT) count, the results of which could impact homeless initiatives, potential funding or other resources and services.
A U.S. Congressional delegation visited Cuba to begin discussions aimed at normalizing relations with Cuba. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson also traveled to the island. It’s about time. Already, daily flights from Key West are being planned and people are lining up.