Banks, Wall Street and big corporations are thriving while the American people continue to suffer during this historic economic collapse. A month has passed since President Barack Obama presented his jobs bill to Congress, but the Republicans have yet to act on it or present any plan of their own. Republicans are pursuing their vow to do whatever it takes to make President Obama fail. That’s politics but this is about the people. It’s time to put this nonsense aside and consider more than petty politics. Foreclosures, unemployment and misery are at an all-time high. House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership have no intention of doing anything. I’m convinced this is nothing more than a Republican Party ploy to keep the economy depressed during next year’s elections in hopes of giving them an edge. If I’m wrong, they should either act on President Obama’s bill or present one of their own — but do something.
AT&T plans to hire 51 employees in its South Florida mobile phone stores and 240 technicians for the company’s U-Verse cable service. These positions are expected to be filled by the end of November as AT&T upgrades cellular towers and other parts of its wireless network.
Palm Beach County
Jose Antonio Claudio, 47, a Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy, was arrested on grand theft charges for allegedly selling a mobile home that did not belong to him. Prosecutors say he also rented out the property for years.
Ralph Heathton Santoro, 72, has been missing from a Riviera Beach assisted living facility since 10 a.m. Sunday. Authorities say he left the property and has not been heard from since. He suffers from a number of ailments, including diabetes, and does not have medication with him. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Riviera Beach Police at 561-845-4123.
Around the same time Deerfield Beach city officials were negotiating salary cuts, pay raise give backs and other concessions from employees, City Manager Burgess Hanson approved pay scale increases for a select number of managers. One of them was Human Resources Director Michael Malinowski, who was also the city’s chief contract negotiator. Employees say they agreed to the concessions because they were told the city had a budget shortfall, but now they feel duped and betrayed.
Davie police arrested Sunrise Police Officer Milton Plante for allegedly slashing the tires on a store clerk’s vehicle. According to police, a witness reported that Plante went into the store and then came outside and began cutting the tires. When the witness tried to stop him, he alleged, Plante came at him with the knife. He is charged with aggravated assault and criminal mischief. Book ’em, Danno!
Nezar Hamze, director of the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) told me recently that Muslims identify closely with Republicans. Apparently GOP members do not share his feelings. Hamze was rumored to be interested in starting Islamic Republican clubs. He was also seeking a seat on the Broward Republican Executive Committee, but when his request was put to a vote, it was rejected 158-11.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office is seeking information about a man who allegedly attempted a kidnapping this past weekend. Authorities say a woman was accosted as she was getting into her car. The man pulled a gun on the woman, wrapped duct tape around her mouth and then threw her into the backseat. She let out a scream as the man drove off. A witness called 911 and a deputy was pursuing the car as the man jumped out and ran off. The woman was able to get into the front seat and stop the car. The suspect scaled a wall and eluded capture. The incident occurred at a shopping center in the 7200 block of West McNab Road in North Lauderdale around 10:30 p.m. last Saturday night. The suspect is described as a 5-foot-5, 120-pound male with a muscular build. He wore plaid shorts and a white tank top. Police are asking anyone with information on the kidnapping to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 954- 493-8477.
Sheriff Al Lamberti adopted a new policy for Broward Sheriff’s Office employees earlier this year that restricts or prohibits employees from wearing or displaying tattoos, gold teeth, piercings and other items. In some instances, there are exceptions or grace periods for removal of tattoos, but not gold teeth, which are outright prohibited.
University of Miami law professor Donald Jones was arrested and charged with allegedly soliciting an undercover police officer to perform a sex act. Miami police say Jones was driving in the 7700 block of Northeast First Avenue when he pulled over and propositioned the officer.
The city of Hialeah has laid of 104 firefighters, which is 40 percent of the force. Another 70 firefighters could be laid off in the coming months. The city made the move to help close a $13 million budget gap. Mayor Carlos Hernandez vowed not to raise taxes and when union officials did not agree to $4 million in concessions Hernandez announced plans for the layoffs.
FIRE CHIEF GUILTY
Veldora Arthur, an assistant fire chief with the city of Miami, was among three people convicted in federal court of operating an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme. The co-defendants are Neil Fagan and Pamela Johnson. All three live in Broward County, but the scheme involved properties at the Hidden Bay Condominiums in Aventura. Arthur, 44, is a licensed mortgage broker who also became Miami’s first black female firefighter.
Photo: Elgin Jones