ON THE BALLOT
A Florida Supreme Court ruling has cleared the way for voters to have their say on the legalization of medical marijuana. If the issue is approved, Florida will join 20 other states that allow marijuana sales. Gov. Rick Scott opposes the measure.
Palm Beach County
Giovanni Santana Viera, 30, of Lake Worth is charged with kidnapping a man and carjacking his vehicle. The victim was returning home from church when Viera allegedly pulled a knife and forced him into the back seat. A second suspect, who remains at large, also participated in the crime, police said. Viera is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail.
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio has led the effort for the city to declare the 45th Street Flea Market a chronic nuisance. The property owners now have 30 days to clean it up and curb the rash of crimes that occur there. One part of the flea market is in West Palm and the other in Mangonia Park. Some say for years it has been a crime-infested area where drug sales and prostitution are the norm.
Al Geary, 49, of Jupiter is accused of stabbing and strangling to death his 67-year-old mother at her Sebastian home. Authorities say he then drove her body to Stuart, loaded it in a boat and took it out to sea, where he dumped it. He then reported her missing. Her body washed ashore on a Jupiter beach. Police contacted Geary to arrange to take DNA samples from him but when they arrived at his home, he had killed himself with a gunshot.
Ian Pinkerton, 20, of Plantation is accused of burglarizing a friend’s Deerfield Beach home and stealing jewelry worth $2,000. Police said the owner followed him and called 911. Pinkerton suffered a cut to his face during his apprehension and is facing multiple charges.
Broward Republican Party Chairman Tom Truex is pleading with his members to stop fighting over same-sex marriage and stances on other social issues and instead focus on getting Gov. Rick Scott re-elected. There is a split in the local party over social issues and it’s gotten bitter over the past few months.
Twane Dobard, 37, surrendered after learning police were seeking him for questioning over a violent murder in Hallandale Beach. Police identified the victim as Domenico Perruccio, 58, a Canadian visitor. His badly beaten and bloodied body was found outside the Winter Haven Towers condominium where he lived during the winter months.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler and city commissioners have approved the construction of a Super Wal-Mart, the first in the city. It will be built on West Broward Boulevard and Northwest 27th Avenue, directly across the street from the Broward Sheriff’s Office headquarters. The whopping project will have 35 other businesses, including a gas station, which will provide competition for a nearby Race Trac. The project is a feather in the cap of Broward County Commissioner Bobby DuBose, who represents the area.
MOVING ON UP
FBI Miami’s special agent in charge Michael B. Steinbach, 47, is leaving the post after less than a year. Steinbach has been promoted to deputy assistant in the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit. The Miami Division covers Fort Pierce down to Key West, the Caribbean and Latin America. It has more than 800 employees.
Former professional soccer player David Beckham, along with his company, Miami Beckham United, is holding discussions with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez about plans to build a local soccer stadium. More than 30 possible locations are being explored, with county-owned land at the Port of Miami said to be leading contender.
Popular DJ Mark Leventhal remains in intensive care at Jackson Memorial Hospital after contracting an infection that is affecting his brain and motor skills. Leventhal is known as one of the top disk jockeys in South Florida, particularly on South Beach.
Crocodile numbers are increasing in South Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is seeking agents to respond to nuisance complaints. The job pays $25 an hour and training is provided. When there is a complaint about a crocodile, an agent will go out and make an assessment whether to capture and relocate the reptile. Applications may be submitted online at myfwc.com
Big Pine Key resident Doug Varrieur has a gun range in his backyard and it’s making his neighbors nervous. Police have been called but a little-known state law allows Floridians to install and operate private shooting ranges in their yards. Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay acknowledges there is little that can be done about it without a change to state law. Ouch!
Dean Ford, 53, of Key Largo allegedly took matters in his own hands over what he called “illegal immigrants” living in his neighborhood. Ford allegedly went to the home of people he believed were illegal immigrants with a knife in hand and demanded to “see their papers.” Sheriff’s deputies were called and he is jailed on a slew of charges. Book’em, Danno!