A YEAR LATER
A year has passed since a bullet ended teenager Trayvon Martin’s life. The unarmed Trayvon was from Miami Gardens. He was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Sanford while visiting his father. At the time, the 17-year-old was wearing a hoodie and walking back to his father’s home from a convenience store.
The initial investigation cleared Zimmerman but community, national and international outrage led to a multi-agency investigation which resulted in Zimmerman being charged with his murder. The case has yet to go to trial. It is a tragedy that is now forever woven into American history and civil rights lore.
Dontavious M. Blake, 32, and Tara Jo Moore, 26, both of Palm Beach County are facing federal sex trafficking-related charges. They are accused of coercing a 15-year-old girl into prostitution and of even posting online prostitution ads with the victim’s photograph on Backpage.com, negotiated prices with potential customers, rented hotels and drove her to locations to service them. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation. If convicted on all counts they face up to life in prison.
Acting on an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip, investigators have completed a two-year investigation into allegations that Boca Raton psychiatrist Dr. James Cocores was prescribing large amounts of prescription drugs without conducting proper examinations or entering the prescribed medication into a national database, as required. An
undercover officer was used and, over several months Concores allegedly prescribed Xanax, Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycodone to the officer. No physical exams or diagnostic workups were conducted and the state’s Electronic Florida Online Report of Controlled Substances Evaluation (E-FORCSE) was never accessed. E-FORCSE is a drug monitoring program used to check whether patients are “doctor shopping” or obtaining drugs from other practitioners. Concores is charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking.
Hallandale Beach police are looking for Frantzy Etienne, 29, who is wanted in connection with a violent home burglary during which two of the occupants were shot; one of whom died. Police said 26-year-old Macarthur Smith heard noises in his house around 3 a.m. and found Etienne, 29, inside, armed with a stick. As Smith and two other occupants of the home tried to restrain Etienne, a struggled ensued and one of the occupants fired gunshots. Smith was fatally hit in the chest. Another person was hit in the arm and survived. The burglar ran away. Police are asking anyone with information on Etienne’s whereabouts to call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.
Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) is dealing with the abrupt resignation of its chairman, former Plantation City Councilman Rico Petrocelli. In his resignation letter, Petrocelli cited “irreconcilable differences” with board members. Sources say tension had been mounting for months. BREC’s vice chairwoman Christine A. Butler is now acting chairperson until elections are scheduled for a permanent replacement. Petrocelli’s resignation has once again prompted talk of electing a black to head the BREC, which is a long shot, at best. Anyway, some of the names being mentioned are attorney Levi Williams, the former general counsel for BREC, lobbyist Clarence McKee and the Rev. O’Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center church in Pompano Beach.
Up-and-coming rapper Young Scrilla was hit by bullets while filming a music video in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood. Two other members of his crew were also shot in what police suspect was a drive-by attack on Scrilla by unidentified suspects. Scrilla, whose real name is Andrew Scott, is from Broward County. All the victims are expected to survive. Police are investigating the incident.
HOUSE FOR SALE
The North Miami home of celebrity sisters Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, where their reality TV show Kourtney and Kim Take Miami was filmed, is up for sale. The 16,500-square-foot waterfront home in the 20th block of Northeast 120th Road is on the market for $14.5 million. It has eight bedrooms, an exterior terrace that faces Biscayne Bay, a fourth-floor sundeck, 11 full bathrooms, three half bathrooms, a massage room and a second-floor sun deck, bars, pool, and on and on.
Leonne Point Du Jour, a 70-year-old woman who traveled here from Haiti is reported missing. Point Du arrived at Miami International Airport last Wednesday and cleared Customs at 8:45 p.m. She has not been seen since. Du Jour is 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds, with black eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a white dress and brown top. Anyone with information is asked to call police.
Evelio Lazar Egusquiza Fornes and Jorge Nesto Gellart, both 49, of Miami, were arrested and charged with illegal fishing in the Dry Tortugas. They are facing a total of 1,300 counts, including catching 664 yellowtail snappers in the “no-wake zone” of the protected Tortugas Ecological Reserve. Fornes is the owner of Candalaria, a commercial fishing boat. The 1,300 counts represent one count for each illegal fish that was allegedly found on the vessel.
Gov. Rick Scott is pouring his efforts into his re-election bid and politics are front and center, as in his flip-flopping on implementing Obamacare in the state. The Affordable Care Act would expand Medicaid to provide coverage for 900,000 Floridians citizens who cannot afford to buy health insurance. Scott is in the healthcare business and was staunchly opposed to universal healthcare legislation. Now, after reading the tea leaves of polling data, he has outraged Republicans by expressing support for Obamacare. Joe Negron, the Republican chairman of the Senate health committee, says the measure will be difficult to pass in the Republican-controlled Florida House and Senate.