Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears to be on the way to securing the Republican nomination for president and it’s a shame. As governor, many of Romney’s initiatives mirrored those of President Barrack Obama but now he claims that’s not the way it really was. Romney has proven he will say anything or change any of his positions to get elected and that’s dangerous. A faction of the Republican Party is so filled with hatred for Obama that they are willing to abandon all principled positions to support Romney and his repeated flip-flops.
Reasonable-minded Republicans, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, are staying away from this field and who can blame them? Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe has been driven out of the party and has announced she is not seeking re-election. Since Obama’s historic election in 2008, the Republican Party has been taken over by a jealous hate mob disguising themselves as ultra-conservatives. Their agenda is to destroy this president at any cost, even if it means placing an undue burden on the American people and the economy in the process. If Republicans such as Bush, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Snow do not intervene to stop these wingnuts such as Romney, it could be end of the Republican Party as it is known today.
Palm Beach County
Kyra Alejandro, a 27-year-old student at Palm Beach State College, has reached a settlement over her use of a service dog on campus. Alejandro suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and uses a service dog to calm her. She produced medical evidence that it was a psychiatric service dog. School officials told her there was no such thing as a “psychiatric” service dog and had security escort her from class. She was brought up on disciplinary charges. She filed suit alleging her rights were violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Her attorney, Julia Graff, has now reached a settlement whereby Alejandro will be allowed to keep the dog. The school’s employees will have to undergo training on the provisions of the American with Disabilities Act and Alejandro will receive $20,000 in compensation and $79,900 to pay her legal fees. Good.
Occupy Palm Beach County protesters vowed not to disperse from the old West Palm Beach city hall building located at North Olive Avenue and Banyan Boulevard, unless they were provided a new location. Police warned the protesters for days that they would be forcefully evicted if they did not comply and that’s what happened Monday. Several were arrested in the process. The occupiers had sent a letter to Mayor Jeri Muoio requesting a new location where they could assemble, but none was provided. The nearby American Red Cross lot that they briefly tried to used also was denied.
Two people who were shot and wounded in the Black Diamonds nightclub in West Palm Beach over the weekend are expected to recover. Sheriff's deputies said a man and a woman were hit by bullets when shots rang out. It was the second shooting at the popular club in recent weeks. The investigation is continuing and authorities are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-458-8477.
Tamika Jasper-Barbary, 36, a former employee with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is accused of drug-trafficking and leaking secret Grand Jury information to co-conspirators about a witness in the case. Her husband, Andre Barbary, also 36, is being held without bond at the Broward County Main Jail as the alleged ringleader of a drug operation that supposedly distributed cocaine and painkillers throughout the East Coast. Federal agents arrested Jasper-Barbary, her husband and seven co-defendants in January. They are accused of distributing more than 100 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pain killers over the past several years. Agents listed thousands of hours of surveillance video and wiretap conversations as evidence.
The trustee in the bankruptcy case of convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein and his law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler has reached several claw-back settlement agreements. The Florida Panthers hockey team will repay $12,000 of $31,250 it received for sponsorships. FedEx settled a $22,134 claim for $7,000. The nonprofit organization Handy Inc., which helps troubled youths, settled a $25,000 claim for $10,000.
West Park Mayor Eric Jones and others have filed a federal lawsuit against Broward County commissioners challenging the way county commission districts have been redrawn. State Rep. Perry E. Thurston, a plaintiff in the case, withdrew after county officials questioned his involvement, particularly since he is doing legal work for the county. Thurston is on a legal team working on bonds for airport financing. He withdrew from the redistricting lawsuit after county attorneys questioned his role in the case.
Former Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is under investigation. Federal agents are looking into whether Aristide took millions of dollars in bribes from Miami-based businesses Cinergy Telecommunications and Uniplex Telecom Technologies, which brokered long-distance phone service deals with Haiti's government-owned telecommunications company during his presidency. Four South Florida business people and two former Haitian government officials were indicted recently.
The Homestead Housing Authority remains in a panic as its executive director, Oscar Hentschel, prepares a response to allegations made by board member Lois Jones. In a letter sent to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials, Jones made several accusations and called for an investigation into possible corruption. She also suggested that the entire board should be dissolved. The agency provides housing-related services to low-income people, including farm workers and senior citizens. HUD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture subsidize those operations with millions of dollars annually. The agency has been in turmoil and constant scandal and it’s time the allegations are addressed, one way or another.
Manuel Gonzalez, 21, barricaded himself in his parents' Hialeah apartment, prompting an hours-long standoff with police. SWAT snipers were on the scene and used smoke and stun grenades to force him to surrender. Gonzalez was arrested on burglary, resisting arrest and drug possession charges.
Photo: Elgin Jones