State health officials are investigating 23 cases of cyclospora, a stomach virus that causes diarrhea, has flu-like symptoms and has infected more than 320 people in 14 states. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most cyclospora infections occurred between June and July, after people ingested food contaminated with feces. It the past, fresh fruits and vegetables have been found to be the source of the infections. ENERGY PIPELINE
Florida Power & Light has contracted with Spectra Energy Corp., a Houston company, in a joint venture to build a new natural gas pipeline. The $3 billion pipeline will span 465 miles from Alabama to Central Florida, just southwest of Orlando, bringing natural gas into Florida, and eventually connect to another pipeline in Indiantown.
More than 8,000 jobs are expected to be created in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott must be planning to grin all the way to the ballot box.
Palm Beach County
Boynton Beach’s interim police chief Jeffrey Katz has inherited a mess of a department but he is talking straightforwardly about its corrupt culture. Katz says some of the officers never should have been hired and that he wants to move forward while holding employees accountable and implementing other changes. A consultant’s report is being finalized on steps to change the culture within the department. Katz says he will implement changes and that alone may help him get the job permanently. Good.
For the second time in as many years, the Yacht Club at Delray Beach is facing
foreclosure. Iberiabank has filed a $16.3 million foreclosure lawsuit against the 3.25-acre marina and 9,845-square-foot clubhouse located at 110 MacFarlane Dr. The marina has 44 boat slips with 130 feet of docks, a swimming pool and a tiki bar. The Florida Depart of Revenue also has placed a $9,409 lien on the property.
Steven A. Cohen, a Boca Raton-based hedge fund billionaire, has been charged with insider trading. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had warned his firm, SAC Capital, about alleged insider trading in the past but these were ignored, officials say. Cohen is accused of releasing non-public information about an Alzheimer’s drug in trading deals. SAC Capital, Cohen and other employees are facing criminal charges in New York in connection with the alleged scheme. SAC Capital made billions and avoided losses of more than $275 million as a result of the illegal stock trades on pharmaceutical firms Elan and Wyeth, investigators say. Along with Cohen, SAC Capital employees Mathew Martoma, also of Boca Raton, and Michael Steinberg, were charged. According to the SEC, Cohen praised Steinberg for allegedly suspicious trading and gave Martoma a $9 million bonus for his activities. SAC Capital has already paid $615 million in fines and penalties and the SEC is seeking to ban Cohen from overseeing investor funds.
Dania Beach city commissioners were unable to agree on a selection process to replace former commissioner Pat Flury, who abruptly resigned. The 20 applicants included former Mayor Robert Chunn and Boisy Waiters Jr., son of the Dania Beach’s first black city commissioner, Boisy Waiters Sr. Whoever is selected will serve until November 2014, when new elections will be held. Dania Beach has a five-member commission, including two blacks, Vice Mayor Albert Jones and Commissioner Bobbie Grace. Of Broward County’s 31 municipalities, only West Park, Lauderhill and Lauderdale Lakes have majority black city councils. If Chunn or Waiters is appointed to serve out Flury’s term, it would be the first time Dania would have a majority black city commission.
The Florida Department of Health is providing free immunizations for school-aged children. The service will be available from Aug. 5 through Aug. 20, except on Sundays, at the Lauderhill Mall in the 1200 block of State Road 7 in Lauderhill. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Bring the child’s immunization records, if available.
Services have been held for the Rev. Annette O. Anderson, 70, and her 20-year-old grandson, Tyrone Lenard Walker Jr. Their bodies were found tied up, gagged and brutally shot in her Miami Gardens home on July 16. Anderson was an assistant pastor at Breakthrough Deliverance and Healing Prayer Ministries. Her grandson had recently relocated from Jacksonville to live with her while studying electrical engineering. Police are only saying they were shot “execution style.”
Esther Jacobo is the acting head of the Department of Children & Families. She previously headed DCF’s Miami region and was selected to fill the post after David Wilkins abruptly resigned. The agency is still dealing with the
unacceptable deaths of children it was monitoring, including 10-year-old Nubia Barahona of Miami. Less than a week after Jacobo was named to serve as interim
director while a search for a permanent replacement is conducted, another Miami child was killed allegedly at the hands of her father.
Bill Diggs, longtime president/CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, has resigned. Diggs is taking the helm of the philanthropic organization The Mourning Foundation which was founded by NBA and Miami Heat great Alonzo Mourning and his wife Tracy. The Mourning Foundation recently expanded to include an affordable housing development among its endeavors. Diggs is being replaced at the chamber by Jesse Brooks, a former M-DCC Board Chairman, effective Aug. 16.
COCAINE IN THE KEYS
Law enforcement agencies are investigating the source of footlong bricks of cocaine which washed ashore in the Florida Keys. Key West Police found 20 of the bricks on the beach at Fort Zachary State Park. Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies found a load in the surf 67 miles away at Long Key State Park. Each brick weighs around 20 pounds. Authorities have yet to place a street value on the drugs.
Jesus Rodriguez, 45, who was allegedly beaten and kicked in the head by Charles Miller, 42, of Stock Key, over a six pack of beer, has died. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says Miller gave Rodriguez $10 to buy beer and he, in turn gave the money to a mutual female friend to make the purchase. When she returned with no money and no beer, police say, Miller attacked Rodriguez, who was knocked unconscious and later rushed to a hospital. Miller ran off but was captured the next day and charged with aggravated battery. Prosecutors with the Monroe County State Attorney’s are awaiting the results of the autopsy see if the charges will be upgraded to murder.