elgin_jones_web_13.jpgKILLING COVER UP
As we learn more details about what occurred surrounding the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, indications of a cover-up are clear. Sound experts have debunked speculation that it is  George Zimmerman who is heard on 911 recordings screaming for help. The screams stopped when Zimmerman’s bullet struck Martin.

Roy Mizell & Kurtz Funeral Home in Fort Lauderdale picked up Martin’s body and handled bereavement services for the family. Owner Richard Kurtz said there were no signs of Zimmerman’s blood on Martin or on his clothing. Kurtz also said Martin’s body did not show any sign of a struggle. Zimmerman was the aggressor and he pursued Martin against the advice of the 911 operator and it was he who created whatever situation developed from that point forward. International outrage continues over the lack of justice in this case and rightly so. As Zimmerman’s attorney stated, his client deserves an opportunity to tell his side of the story. But he should tell it to a jury of his peers — after he has been arrested and charged with Martin’s murder.


South Florida Times Circulation Coordinator Robert Beatty II has completed yet another phase of the newspaper’s increasing distribution partnerships. The South Florida Times can now also be purchased at 60 Dollar Tree Stores in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Dollar Tree is a national chain and we welcome them to the growing family of South Florida Times retailers.

Palm Beach County

Rick Curtis, 47, a former captain in the West Palm Beach Fire Department, was among three firefighters who lost a racial discrimination lawsuit against the city in 2009. In 2010 he was arrested on a DUI charge and fired from the department, but he was acquitted by a jury in 2011. City officials have refused to reinstate Curtis to his old job and the West Palm Beach chapter of the NAACP has joined his cause. Curtis is alleging he was fired because of his past allegations of discrimination; city officials are claiming it was due to his conduct during the DUI traffic stop — which is ridiculous.

Lee Ann Kennedy, 45, of Wellington was charged with posing as a state food inspector and steering the owners of businesses she inspected to a local pest control company to address the problems. Authorities allege she may have worked with the pest control company and used the alleged scheme to drum up business. Prosecutors declined to press criminal charges against her but it was unclear why. When she visited restaurants and grocery stores, witnesses said, she carried a clipboard and wore an identification badge.

Broward County

Chandra Jefferson, a former Broward Sheriff’s deputy who was fired after falling ill and taking time off from work, has been granted a second right to sue notice from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Jefferson already has a wrongful termination lawsuit pending in state court against BSO and Sheriff Al Lamberti and she could end up filing a federal civil rights lawsuit as well. Jefferson alleges she was targeted by supervisors after being out sick and denied sick leave compensation, while her white co-workers received approval.

Renee Crichton, 35, has been selected as Hallandale Beach’s next city manager. Crichton currently serves as deputy city manager in Miami Gardens. She was selected over three other finalists to get the job. Crichton earns $183,000 a year in Miami Gardens and has entered into negotiations with Hallandale Beach’s retiring City Manager Mark Antonio.

The Rev. Dr. Dennis Grant, author and founder of Restoration Ministries in Margate, has retired as senior pastor of the church he founded in 1997. Grant has handed over the reins to his son, the Rev. Delano Grant, so he can focus on economics, civil rights and social justice issues. Grant says he remains active in the church but his attention now is on the community. Over the years, Grant and Restoration Ministries have been at the forefront of countless community issues in South Florida. He was one of the first to offer support to Percy Campbell, a troubled teen who came to be known as “crime boy” due to his numerous run-ins with the law. He also advocated for Lionel Tate who at 14 became the youngest person in the United States to be sentenced to life in prison.

Sun Sentinel CEO Howard Greenberg announced visitors to the newspaper’s website will now have to pay a subscriber fee. The change comes as DirecTV officials announced they would no longer be allowed to carry the newspaper’s WSFL television station on its satellite television service. The newspaper’s parent company, Tribune Company, wants DirecTV to pay them in exchange for carrying WSFL and the company’s 18 other televisions stations. Tribune Company is in bankruptcy and the moves are seen as a means to generate revenue. South Florida Times allows visitors access to our website where they can become registered users free of charge.

Miami-Dade County

A federal judge in Phoenix has certified a class-action lawsuit against one of the largest law firms in the southeastern United States. Miami-based Greenberg Traurig and other firms are being sued over more than $900 million in losses from investments in an alleged Ponzi scheme. The lawsuit accuses Greenberg Traurig and other firms of allegedly aiding companies called Mortgages Ltd. of Phoenix and Radical Bunny in a scheme which made high-interest loans to real estate developers. The founder of Radical Bunny committed suicide in 2008 and the SEC charged the company with fraud in 2009. Greenberg Traurig CEO Richard A. Rosenbaum expressed disappointment in the class-action certification and the firm is expected to fight the allegations.

After nearly three weeks of delay, Miami-Dade County Public Schools finally responded to a public records request from the South Florida Times for materials related to Homestead Senior High School. Instead of providing the records requested, spokesman John Schuster provided information that was actually taken from our own website, SFLTimes.com. It is unclear whether this was a joke, a mistake or incompetence but it is ridiculous. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho still has not responded or explained the issue, but he will.

Photo: Elgin Jones