CVS STORES EXPANSION
South Florida Times Circulation Coordinator Robert Beatty II has done it again by completing our expansion into CVS stores in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. CVS now joins Winn Dixie, Publix Supermarkets, Cumberland Farms and hundreds of other locations throughout South Florida where the newspaper can be purchased. This expansion requires additional circulation associates to manage delivery routes. For information about these opportunities, please contact Robert Beatty II at 954-356-9360.
As the decision draws closer, Gov. Charlie Crist could pull a surprise with his pick for a successor to finish out the term of retiring U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez. We’ve heard about several contenders, including former U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw of Fort Lauderdale and George LeMieux, who was Crist’s chief of staff. And don’t leave out former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, a conservative Democrat, who has supported Crist and other Republican candidates. There was no response from the governor’s mansion when asked about Naugle this week, but don’t be surprised if his name surfaces as a finalist.
Google, Yahoo and other search engines are not including the state-required disclaimer on political ads of candidates running for office in Florida that appear on their sites, according to some state legislators. State Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, (R-Orlando) and House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, (R-Delray Beach) are vowing to clamp down with new legislation during the next session to address the issue. Most of the ads in question are links that appear on search results pages that have no disclaimers. When the links are clicked, they usually lead viewers to a candidate’s website. This will be an interesting fight, where old statutes will be pitted against the Internet’s continuously transforming technology.
MORE JOB LOSSES
The Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons supermarket chain has notified the state unemployment agency, the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, that it will close four of its Florida stores. The move will be completed by Oct. 21, and 300 employees will be laid off. Currently, South Florida will only be impacted by the store in Lake Worth, where 74 people will be put out of work.
The American Civil Liberties Union is reviewing a proposed clause the city of Deerfield Beach is negotiating with its labor unions. The clause could subject employees to disciplinary action if information they post, write, or comment about elected officials, managers or co-workers is deemed offensive, insulting or hostile. City Manager Mike Mahaney has not responded to questions, but the ACLU has experts evaluating the proposal, and it doesn’t look good for the city. ACLU officials say they may sue if the policy is implemented, but no decision has been reached yet.
On the evening of Saturday, Aug. 22, Jessica Cornelius, 43, was found suffering from gunshot wounds inside her apartment in Somerset Condominiums near Oakland Park Boulevard and Northwest 31st Avenue in Lauderdale Lakes. She died of her injuries hours later at a local hospital. She was discovered by her boyfriend, who has been questioned, but no suspect has been named in the case. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Broward County Crimestoppers at 954-493-8477.
WORKING WHILE FEMALE
The city of Deerfield Beach discriminated against a female employee, Vernelle Higgs, by passing over her for a promotion in favor of a male co-worker, the Broward County Human Rights Division has determined. Higgs applied for a supervisor’s position at the city’s pier, where she works as an attendant. She was not promoted, allegedly because she was not qualified. The Human Rights Division investigation, however, found that she did meet the qualifications. The complaint also alleges that a supervisor told Higgs that he “hires who he wants to” when she complained. This has taken place in the same Parks & Recreation Department that suspended employee Cassandra Moye for not saying hello to Mayor Peggy Noland.
SUSPECT SHOT, ARRESTED
Antonio Brady, 20, remains hospitalized in stable condition after he was shot by Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies on Saturday, Aug. 22. The incident happened when deputies were conducting surveillance of a convenience store that has been robbed four times over the last month. Investigators say they observed Brady walking into the store with a handgun, with his face covered, then robbing the store. Upon exiting the store, deputies say they ordered him to drop the gun, and shots were fired. Brady fled, but was found lying in the street a short distance away. No information has been released on the number of shots fired or exactly how many hit Brady, but he has been charged with one count of armed robbery.
DEALERSHIP IN FORECLOSURE
Times are hard. The once-popular Eddie Accardi Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Mazda dealership in the 900 block of South Federal Highway in Pompano Beach is facing foreclosure. The dealership owes $18.6 million to Chrysler Financial Services America, according to a lawsuit filed on Aug.7.
Palm Beach County
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is looking for two men who burst into the apartment of 24-year-old Geraldo Perez in the 3700 block of Gulfstream Road in Lake Worth in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, Aug. 23. With guns drawn, they demanded money and valuables. Perez tried to fend them off, but was shot in the stomach during the struggle, and is in stable condition. No description of the men has been released, but they are likely to strike again somewhere.
MEDIA PURCHASE ASSAILED
Robert Dow, president of Palm Beach County teacher’s union, is criticizing the Palm Beach County School District over its planned $4.5 million purchase of local public broadcasting television station WXEL-Channel 42 and radio station FM 90.7. The unions say the purchase should be put off until the district’s financial situation improves. The school district has had to cut its budget and freeze salaries due to revenue decreases.
Jorge Brenes, 35, of West Palm Beach, was arrested on Monday, Aug. 23 and charged with 50 counts of possessing child pornography, according to police. He was allegedly caught after sharing photos with an undercover officer over the Internet. When executing a search warrant at his home in the 1800 block of Shadow Tree Way, police say they found other photos on his laptop computer. He is being held without bond in the Palm Beach County Jail. Book’em, Dano!
State Rep. Erik Fresen, (R-Miami) is vying to become the Speaker of the House next year. He is also facing foreclosure on his Miami home. He says he is a victim and acknowledges not making payments on his $600,000 home for more than a year after the bank tried to bill him for $10,321.41 in property taxes he says he has already paid.
NO, YOU DIDN’T
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez is receiving heavy criticism after it was revealed that he gave his own staff hefty, double-digit raises while other departments had their salaries frozen, and their budgets cut. When Alvarez proposed his budget at a press conference on July 15, he imposed service reductions, layoffs and across-the-board pay cuts to address a $400-million revenue shortfall. But as it turns out, the cuts didn’t apply to his staff. County commissioners are considering cutting his staff in half, and are seeking more scrutiny over his budget.