Was Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant rigged? That’s what is being alleged by Miss Pennsylvania contestant Sheena Monnin. She also said that Miss Florida, Karina Brez, saw a list of winners several hours before the event began. Brez, who is from Wellington in Palm Beach County, has not spoken publicly about the brewing scandal but released a statement saying she did see a list but it was a joke. She criticized Monnin while questioning her motives. Trump has filed legal action against Monnin.
Joshua Goodfellow, a city of West Palm Beach firefighter lieutenant, is on administrative leave with pay after being arrested again. This time it is a driving under the influence charge. Goodfellow was arrested in April after allegedly fighting with employees at a Jupiter restaurant following an allegedly drunken tirade. He was thrown out of the establishment and was pounding on the glass door when police arrived. Goodfellow, 34, was tasered and taken into custody. He was suspended from his job last year after taking photos with his cell phone of a woman who committed suicide.
MV Transportation, a West Palm Beach company that operates Palm Beach County’s Palm Tran Connection bus service for the disabled, is laying off 165 employees. The move comes after the company lost a bid to renew its contract which it has had since 2005. The winning bidder is a firm called Palm Metro Transportation. The Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents the workers who will be laid off, has filed a complaint with Palm Beach County Inspector General Sheryl Steckler asking for an investigation into the bidding process.
Angela Jackson, 32, of Boynton Beach, has been charged after admitting she used her cellphone to videotape a girl, 17, performing sex acts on her. She was charged with engaging in sex with a minor, possession of child pornography and child abuse. The teenager told police Jackson taught her how to perform the sex acts. When she expressed concern and did not want to continue the sessions, Jackson sent the teenager threatening text messages saying there would be “bloodshed” and that she would have someone to “shoot up her house,” police said. Book ’em Danno!
BAND LEADER AWAITING TRIAL
Suncoast High School band director Ernest Brown is awaiting trial after a grand jury indicted him on fraud charges in February. He is accused of running up $107,000 in debt to take the band on trips to London in 2007 and Paris in 2008. Authorities allege $15,000 of that amount was used to take family members along on the Paris trip. Schools Superintendent Wayne Gent recommended his termination last month. Brown, who is on paid leave, says he has done nothing wrong and some in the community have been rallying in support of Brown to save his job. Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters has asked school board members not to fire him.
Alci Bonanee, 35, has been charged with conspiracy to submit false claims to the government, among other charges. She is accused of filing more than 1,000 fraudulent tax returns and receiving $9.5 million in tax refunds from January 2011 through June 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The refunds were direct-deposited into bank accounts and withdrawn in cash. Federal agents said they found a notebook containing the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers and other identity information of more than a 1,000 people in her home.
Sgt. Mitchell Kogod, who was reassigned to the Fleet Division pending an internal
affairs investigation of his off-duty work with the Miami Dolphins, has been moved to the Oakland Park district. Kogod was unceremoniously reassigned after an email that he circulated could have been interpreted as providing special favors for the Miami Dolphins.
Following a rash of vehicular burglaries in Deerfield Beach, Darrell Bash has been arrested and charged with 14 counts of car break-ins. He was allegedly captured on surveillance video during one break-in and neighbors identified him, authorities say. The arrest led Broward sheriff’s detectives to connect him with other crimes, according to police.
Broward Sheriff’s Lieutenant Eric Wright was arrested and has been charged with one count of fraud and 14 counts of grand theft. He is accused of “double-dipping” or working off-duty details while he was being paid and was supposed to be at his regular job. The Broward Sheriff's Office and the Broward State Attorney's Office conducted the investigation for more than a year. They allege that on at least 10 occasions between August 2010 through May 2011 Wright committed the offenses. He is also accused of failing to perform his duties by arriving late for work in Weston and/or leaving early. Several similar investigations are underway into Broward sheriff’s deputies accused of double-dipping and falsifying off-duty detail work hour reports. More arrests are expected over the coming months.
Donald Trump is now the owner of the Doral Golf Course Resort and Country Club. Trump paid $150 million for the development and plans to spend another $150,000 in upgrades and renovations. The resort has five golf courses and 700 hotel rooms. It would make a great casino.
The City Inn Hotel, located next to Interstate 95 in Miami on Northwest 79th Street, is in foreclosure. City Inn is housed in a 12-story building and has 200 rooms. It is known for the huge billboard signs painted along its sides that greet motorist traveling on I-95.
Jean Barthelus, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, was killed while visiting his wife in their native Haiti. Details are scarce but family members say Barthelus was flagged down in the capital Port –au-Prince by two men he thought were stranded motorists. However, they were actually bandits, who riddled his car with bullets and robbed him. Barthelus, 47, of North Miami, was an eight-year veteran of the highway patrol. He is survived by a wife and a daughter.
Alison Austin, a community activist in Miami for nearly 40 years and CEO of the Belafonte TACOLCY Center community services organization, has announced her candidacy for the District 3 seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission. She will face incumbent Audrey M. Edmonson, who is currently the commission’s vice-chairwoman. Also running are Michael Jackson Joseph, Keon Hardemon and Eddie Lewis.