elginjones3web.gifGRAPHIC ARTIST SOUGHT
Continued expansion of the South Florida Times has created the need for an additional graphic artist. The ideal candidate should have thorough knowledge of Quark, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator,
Microsoft Office
and other graphics software programs.

Experience in newspaper layout and design is a plus but not required. The ideal candidate will be a self- starter who can work with minimum supervision and can adhere to tight schedules and meet strict deadlines. Duties include layout and design of the newspaper, advertisements, and other published materials. Work includes collaborating with entry-level designers on projects, under the supervision of the senior designer. For more information, call the Senior Graphic Designer, Crystal Thomas, 954-356-9360, and e-mail your resume to her at cthomas@sfltimes.com
rick_scott_web_bw.jpgSECOND FIDDLE BLACKS
Rick Scott defeated Florida attorney general Bill McCollum for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in a surprise primary victory, or so it seems. Scott bested McCollum by less than 4 percentage points but it was enough to secure his nomination over the seasoned politician. The key to this race for McCollum was the state’s 60,000-plus black Republicans whom the campaign all but ignored. Advisors repeatedly urged the McCollum campaign to take a page from former Gov. Jeb Bush’s playbook and bring in few black campaign operatives to energize black Republicans. It didn’t happen and some of those same potential activists gave up on McCollum’s campaign. Blacks are not second fiddle voters and if McCollum had heeded the advice of blacks, he very well may have won.

Palm Beach County

sheila_k._martins_web_bw__2.jpgSTRIPPER PLEADS GUILTY
Sheila K. Martins, a dancer at the Sugar Daddy strip club in West Palm Beach, pleaded guilty in the robbery and murder of a man she performed a lap dance for at the club in June 2008.  Martins had told other strippers she intended to rob Carlos Franco when he left the club. Outside, video showed Franco being shot and robbed by persons believed to be Martins and an accomplice, Louis D. Johnson. Martins testified against Johnson, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison recently. Johnson says it is not him in the video and has appealed his conviction. Martins will be sentenced Sept. 7.

hasan_jones_web_bw.jpgSUSPECT ARRESTED
Hassan Jones, 41, was arrested in the July robbery and murder of jewelry store owner John Lauseng, 44, in West Palm Beach. Jones allegedly was one of four men involved in the caper at the West Palm Coin & Jewelry Exchange, as the getaway driver. One suspect was killed and two others, Arron Smith, 29, and Kenneth Laws, 50, remain on the lam. Police say Hasan was pulled over by a West Palm Beach police officer, shortly after the robbery, a short distance from the scene. He told the officer he was on his way home from work. The bulletin put out by the sheriff’s department described a van carrying three men. Jones was alone, so he was allowed to go on his way. A month later, witnesses picked his photograph from a police lineup.

Broward County

catalina_avalos_web_bw.jpgSPOKESMAN OUSTED
Eddie Arnold, who served as director of the Broward School district’s public information office, was let go just before the close of the last school year. He has hired former circuit court judge Catalina M. Avalos, now an attorney with the Fort Lauderdale-based Tripp Scott law firm, to press a discrimination complaint against the district. In an August 16 letter, Avalos informed district officials that Arnold, who is black, was treated differently than other department heads. She says a lawsuit, as well as a discrimination complaint, remains an option if Arnold is not paid for the remaining months on his contract. School superintendent Jim Notter has not responded to calls and e-mails sent seeking comment.

barbara_sharief_fc_web_5.jpgThe probability of Broward County having two black county commissioners is not only real but likely.  Miramar Vice-Mayor Barbara Sharief defeated several candidates in convincing fashion to win the Democratic nomination in the District 8 county commission contest. She now faces Republican nominee Christopher Ziadie in the November general election. Ziadie will have a tough time getting elected in the heavily Democratic district. Sharief is a business owner and widely regarded as honest, which is something county government sorely needs.
Miami-Dade County

eugene_flinn_web__bw.jpgKaty Sorenson, the incumbent District 8 Miami-Dade County commissioner, has endorsed Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn in the contest to replace her. Flinn will face off against former Homestead Mayor Lynda Bell. He also has the support of Florida City Mayor Otis Wallace, but not so fast. Bell, a conservative Republican, will have motivated party diehards at her disposal. These include Tea Party activists who want any, every, and all Democrats defeated in the mid-term elections. Flinn will have to work, particularly in predominantly black precincts, which could be the deciding factor in the race.

manuel_benitez_rodriguez_web_bw.jpgManuel Benitez, 40, was arrested Aug. 29 and charged after being caught using his Blackberry camera phone to take pictures under women’s dresses, police reported. The incident allegedly occurred at the Publix Supermarket at 1401 Monza Ave., Coral Gables. An off-duty officer asked to see his phone and found the photographs after a customer saw his actions and complained. He tried to flee and was wrestled to the ground. He was booked and released on a $2,000 bond.

Elgin Jones may be reached at EJones@SFLTimes.com