The South Florida Times is expanding its distribution to another major retailer. Details will be forthcoming, but the newspaper is seeking part-time delivery route drivers for this upcoming effort. Interested parties should contact Circulation Coordinator Robert Beatty II at 954-356-9360 for additional information.

Palm Beach County

Modernizing Medicine, a health technology company, is doubling its operations facilities in Boca Raton and adding 40 new positions over the next year. Kelly Smallridge, CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, worked with City of Boca Raton officials to complete a $65,000 subsidy to assist the company with its expansion. Its workforce is expected to increase from 60 to more than 100 employees. Modernizing Medicine sells software platforms that manage medical facility operations.

A suspicious West Palm Beach landlord checked the Internet for missing children after renting an apartment to a man and his one-year-old daughter. She found a photo of the child, whose real name is Aubrey Grace Goodson, who had been reported missing for two weeks from her Waurika, Okla. home. The tenant used an assume name, but his real name is Bradley Goodson, 32, of Texas. Authorities say warrants were issued for his arrest after he abducted his daughter from Oklahoma and drove her to West Palm Beach.
Broward County

Former Fort Lauderdale police officer Michael McElligott has pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and will face sentencing May 4 before U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra. McElligott had been on extended leave in the Air Force Reserve and was stationed at Robins Air Force base in Georgia since 2001. He admitted in court that since 2003 he  had submitted falsified military orders to the City of Fort Lauderdale to indicate that his duty was mandatory, though it was not. It enabled him to receive pay from the city to supplement his military salary. This was done by providing the city with falsified military orders, earnings statements and leave forms. The falsified documents were sent by McElligott via facsimile and/or e-mail to the city’s payroll department.  He received a total of $278,000 in supplemental pay, longevity bonuses and benefits over an eight-year period. He is facing a maximum of up to 20 years in prison.

George Elia, 68, is CEO of International Consultants & Investment Group Limited Corporation. He is under investigation after a family filed a lawsuit accusing him of running a $4 million Ponzi scheme. His business bank accounts have been frozen after bank officials found “irregularities.”  The state Office of Financial Regulation has confirmed they are investigating and several people say they have been interviewed by FBI agents.

Maria Holly has been arrested on neglect charges after police say she left a 95-year-old woman inside a car while Holly gambled at a casino. Holly, the woman’s caretaker, went inside the Seminole Indians’ casino in Coconut Creek to gamble, while the elderly and disabled woman was left outside in her car on a day when temperatures reached record-breaking highs. A passerby spotted the woman and called paramedics, who transported her to the hospital.

Prosecutors have dismissed charges against Veronica Ekanem, 46, of Lauderdale Lakes, a year after she was arrested for allegedly resisting officers and interfering while they were attempting to arrest another person. Ekanem suffered multiple injuries while being taken into custody by Broward Sheriff’s deputies who responded to a disturbance at the apartment complex where she lives. The arrest photo shows her bloodied face and some of the bruises she suffered.

Miami-Dade County

Ysela Llort has become the first female director of Miami-Dade Transit, which operates the county’s buses and train transportation systems, including Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus. Llort, 57, was appointed Feb. 3 by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. She had served in the position on a temporary basis for six months. Miami-Dade Transit is the 14th largest transit system in the country and been plagued with scandals and corruption arrests in the past few years.

The ban on pit bulls and similar mixed breed dogs in Miami-Dade County could be lifted if some advocates for the breed have their way. The ban was put in place in 1989 after a rash of people and pets were mauled by pit bulls. Some of those victims were killed in the attacks, while others were permanently disfigured. Miami-Dade County commissioners are revisiting the ordinance out of concern that bills making their way though the Legislature could overturn the ban, leaving county residents without any means to regulate the dogs. The Legislature is considering bills that would have all dog breeds treated the same, even those considered dangerous.

Miami-Dade County Court judge Ana Maria Pando is once again coming under scrutiny. This time it is her relationship with convicted Ponzi schemer Arturo Godinez. He was recorded in conversations with his wife discussing meetings she supposedly set up with Pando. The alleged meetings would have sought to have Pando advocate for leniency when Godinez is sentenced on fraud and conspiracy convictions for his companies selling fake AIDS and cancer drugs to unsuspecting pharmacies. The conversations were recorded during phone calls he made from the Broward County Jail following his conviction in October 2011.

Prosecutors recommended that Beaudoin “Jacques” Ketant, a 48-year-old convicted Haitian drug lord, have his 27-year sentence cut in half, due to his helping to convict numerous Haitian politicians, law enforcement officials and other drug dealers. U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno delayed the decision because he wants more information about the whereabouts of $15 million in profits Ketant made from drug trafficking. At his trial, Ketant claimed former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide facilitated Haiti’s drug trade. Before his conviction, Ketant was one of the most powerful and wealthy drug lords in the Caribbean.

Prosecutors with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office have cleared Miami police officer Maurice Sodre in the killing of Lynn Weatherspoon in Overtown on New Year’s 2011. Sodre and other SWAT officers were patrolling streets to provide backup to officers who were responding to gunshots being fired into the air during celebrations. They spotted a group of men and ordered them to stop. Weatherspoon, 27, fled and was ordered to stop when he was shot multiple times. Witness accounts differ, but police say he had a gun and they found a bullet in his coat pocket that fit the weapon found at the scene. He was one of seven black men killed by Miami police in recent years, sparking outrage among community activists. Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said the department will no longer use roaming SWAT teams on New Year’s Eve.

Photo: Elgin Jones