elginjones3web.gifBACKROOM BREAKFAST
On Jan. 25, 47-year-old David Hughes of Opa-locka took his fiancé to the popular Egg & You restaurant at 2621 N. Federal Hwy. in Fort Lauderdale, for an intimate breakfast. But according to Hughes, the couple was directed to sit at a table, in a dark and empty room, in the rear of the establishment. They refused and took seats in a booth up front near the entrance instead. A waitress approached them again, and asked them if they wanted to sit in the rear, where they would be “more comfortable.” Hughes believes they were attempting to keep them out of sight of the white patrons. After complaining to the owner, he says they were told to take it or leave it, so they left without ordering. No one from the restaurant returned my calls, and Hughes says he had not been able to reach the Fort Lauderdale branch of the NAACP to file a complaint. He has instead asked his pastor to get involved. He has also filed a racial discrimination complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. And by the way, his pastor is the Rev. Victor Curry, who is also president of the Miami-Dade NAACP branch.

If you live in South Florida, you have two new menaces. African honeybees are in the area, and they are mating with domestic honeybees at an alarming rate. The African bees produce less honey, reproduce at twice the rate of the domestic bees, and are extremely aggressive. Farms, nurseries and fruit growers need bees to pollinate crops, but those domestic bee colonies have been infiltrated, or Africanized, which is a problem. These Africanized honeybees are extremely aggressive in their attacks; nearly anything thing can set them off. Only a trained eye can tell them from domestic bees, and the attacks – some of them resulting in death – are mounting, particularly among pets and small animals.  Then, there is the blistering infestation of the Brazilian Whitefly, which is targeting ficus trees and hedges, and ravaging South Florida landscapes. The Whitefly can be contained with pesticides, but the procedure is costly, and the insects are killing off the popular hedges. Welcome to hard times.

Mt. Nebo Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale will celebrate its 83rd anniversary in March. On Thursday, Feb. 19, the Rev. Moses E. Monroe Sr., 88, the church’s pastor for the past 55 years, will be honored for his service to the congregation, which has been in effect since 1954. A number of events and ceremonies will be held in his honor at churches throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. For dates, times and locations of these events, contact Earlene S. Horne at 954-806-6274.

On Friday, Feb. 6, 66-year-old Jean Fortune called 911 after a dispute with a cashier in the drive-through lane of the Burger King at 1321 West Boynton Beach Blvd. in Boynton Beach. Fortune told the 911 operator that the cashier refused to serve him and was making him wait 15 minutes for his order. He said he was being told to wait because he complained about the fact that the establishment had run out of lemonade.  The 911 operator repeatedly told him he could not use 911 for service-related matters, and asked him to move out of the drive-through lane. After trying to explain for several minutes, he agreed to move and wait for police to arrive. Once there, police cited him for improper use of the 911 system, and issued him a notice to appear in court.

On Saturday, Feb. 7, Amy Kern, 30, of St. Marys, Ga. stole a gun from her father’s home in Port St. Lucie and proceeded to fire shots at passing motorists on Interstate 95 in Martin County as she drove southbound. She then traveled to Jupiter, where she beat her 81-year-old grandmother, Donna Kern, to death with a tire iron. From there, she went to Palm Beach Gardens, where she shot and killed her aunt’s 59-year-old boyfriend, William Chapman. There, police arrested her. She has reportedly confessed to all the crimes, and among other things, said she was Jesus Christ.

Palm Beach County commissioners have approved $121,714 for a Palm Beach County Health Department program that will provide counseling to people who test positive for the HIV virus, and those suffering from AIDS. The program also calls for HIV-positive individuals who engage in continued “recalcitrant” behavior to be “isolated.” This is legal-speak, but what it really means is that these people could be quarantined.

Silvia Garcia, 40, and her 6-year-old daughter remain hospitalized in stable condition after Garcia slit the child’s wrist, and then her own, in an apparent murder-suicide attempt. The horrific incident occurred on Feb. 9 at their home in a gated community in the 1100 block of Southwest 44th Ave. in Deerfield Beach. Garcia’s husband discovered the mother and daughter when he arrived home. He called paramedics. What led to the attempted murder-suicide is not known, but Garcia is believed to have been facing financial troubles, including foreclosure on their home. Garcia is charged with one count of attempted murder.

The annual Dwight Stephenson Hall of Fame Golf Classic is set for Monday, April 6. It will be hosted by former Miami Dolphins great and Hall of Fame center Dwight Stephenson.  Current and former NFL athletes, including Lawrence Taylor,  Don Shula, Bennie Blades and other stars will participate. It will take place at the Weston Hills Country Club, 2600 Country Club Way, in Weston. Proceeds benefit local charities, including the American Diabetes Foundation of Broward, and the Urban League of Broward County. The tournament will follow a VIP reception on Sunday, April 5, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, near Hollywood. For more information, call 954-315-7020.

Courtney S. Bryan, 18, one of several suspects in a rash of armed robberies in Palm Beach County, has been apprehended. He was caught after two men robbed a Miami Subs restaurant at gunpoint in the 1800 block of Broadway Street in Riviera Beach on Feb. 7.  Employees and customers were also robbed, and threatened by the two men. The other suspect remains on the loose. Bryan is being held on multiple charges. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-458-8477.

Deerfield Beach Mayor Sylvia Poitier and Commissioner Gloria Battle represent the first time two black people have sat on the Deerfield Beach City Commission. This week, the city will hold its 62nd annual Founder’s Day street festival and parade. This event used to be called Cracker Day and was held at Pioneer Park, in the northeast section of the city. Over the years, black people were not invited or welcome at Cracker Day. In 1998, the name was changed to Founder’s Day, and it relocated to the beach area. It will be sobering to potentially see two black city officials leading this parade, but it is yet another sign of the changing times.