MEGA MILLIONS COMING TO FLORIDA?
Several states have completed deals to begin selling both Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets in 2010. Powerball is currently played in 30 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Mega Millions in 12 states, but not in the same state. Both regularly have jackpots over $100 to $300 million. In 2007, Mega Millions set the record for a U.S. lottery with a $390 million jackpot prize, with winning tickets sold in Georgia and New Jersey. The new agreement comes after the Mega Millions consortium and Multi-state Lottery Association (MUSL), which operates Powerball, completed meetings on cross-selling the nation’s two largest lotteries. The collaboration could eventually lead to a national lottery. The Florida Lottery already sells Powerball tickets, yet Secretary Leo DiBenigno has not said if the state is considering selling Mega Millions games. But it is nearly a no-brainer. Powerball drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Mega Millions drawings are held on Tuesday and Friday nights, which will give states big jackpot games on four days out of the week, and that translates into revenue.
Federal regulators with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have fined St. Louis-based Scottrade $600,000 for failing to establish safeguards against identity theft and anti-money laundering processes for its investors’ accounts. Scottrade is an online investment brokerage. The company did $782 million worth of business in 2008, so the fine is a minuscule slap on the wallet.
On Monday, Oct. 26 Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum sued the Hollywood Auto Gallery dealership in Pompano Beach and its owner, Zachary S. Kessler, over alleged deceptive and unfair business practices. According to the complaint filed in federal court, the dealership is accused of selling vehicles that broke down shortly after leaving the lot, failing to offer refunds, and failing to honor warranties. Also named in the lawsuit are UltimateCarDeal.com, CashOnlyAuto.com, and CheapestCarsInFlorida.com which are the online Internet affiliates of the dealership.
Hundreds of people paid their respects to University of Connecticut football player Jasper “Jazz” Howard, 20, during services that were held on Monday, Oct. 26. Howard was stabbed to death on Oct. 18 during a fight on the school’s campus. Nearly 2,000 mourners, including his UConn teammates, attended services at New Birth Baptist Missionary Church in Opa-locka. Howard was a standout cornerback at Miami Edison High School, and an NFL prospect with the UConn Huskies. He was laid to rest at Dade Memorial Park. The investigation into his murder has resulted in arrests.
Raul Felix Gillette, 27, of Homestead was arrested and charged on Monday, Oct 26 with 20 counts of promoting child pornography and 20 counts of possessing child pornography. He is accused of taking nude photos of a teenage girl. Authorities say Gillette met the girl several weeks ago and told her he was a movie producer, working on the America’s Next Top Model reality show. He then took her to his home and took the photos. Homestead police suspect that there are other victims, and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 305-247-1535.
An anti-prostitution task force consisting of the FBI, the Miami-Dade, Miami Beach and Miami police departments, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office wrapped up Operation Cross Country IV on Saturday, Oct. 24. The operation netted the arrests of nine people in Broward County and 75 people in Miami-Dade; 73 of whom were prostitutes. A 14-year-old girl who was forced into prostitution was also rescued from one ring.
Dr. Joseph Underwood established the Arts Related Technology for Entertainment Careers (ARTEC) Academy at Miami Senior High School. The program mentors students interested in the TV, movie and music industries. Underwood has been honored as the recipient of the 2009 Florida Education Association Award for Teaching Excellence. He won the $5,000 cash prize, and now moves on to represent Florida in the national competition.
TIM HARDAWAY’S JERSEY
Tim Hardaway’s No.10 jersey was retired by the Miami Heat during a ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at this year’s season opener at the American Airlines Arena against the New York Knicks. Hardaway played with the Heat from 1995 to 2000, becoming the team’s best-ever three-point shooter. He joins Alonzo Mourning as the only players to have their Miami Heat jerseys retired.
CITY CLOWN SHOW
During the Oct. 20 Deerfield Beach City Commission meeting, discussion about the Florida Department of Transportation’s long-promised $40 million construction project on Dixie Highway deteriorated into giggling and snickering. At issue was Vice Mayor Sylvia Poitier’s insistence that city officials pursue efforts to land contracts for local vendors on the project. Even Mayor Peggy Noland, who is supposed to run and keep decorum during these meetings, could be heard giggling as Poitier ranted. The meetings are unprofessional. Everyone speaks out of turn, and commissioners interrupting one another is the norm. At one point, Noland said it was like a dog-and-pony show, and later said commissioners “look like a bunch of idiots” up there on the dais. I agree.
After a ridiculous and unexplained delay, Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday, Oct. 26 finally appointed Republican Party activist Kevin Tynan to occupy the seat of suspended Broward County School Board Member Beverly Gallagher. Tynan is a member of the North Broward Hospital District, and former head of the Broward Republican Party.
MOLESTATION SUSPECT BEATENED
Manuel Vega, 27, and his friend, Krish Carter, 43, both of Davie, are being held in the Broward Main Jail on attempted murder charges after beating Luke Petruschkem, 38, who is accused of fondling Vega’s 3-year-old son, according to investigators. The alleged incident occurred on Saturday, Oct. 25 after Petruschkem stayed the night at Vega’s home, police said. When he was about to leave the next morning, the child told his parents what happened, according to police. Vega and a friend then allegedly beat and bludgeoned Petruschkem with concrete blocks, and smashed the windows out of his car. Vega is hospitalized with serious head and other injuries, and remains in an induced coma.
19-year-old Brandon Edwards of Fort Lauderdale turned himself in to police on Monday, Oct. 26 after a video that allegedly showed him harassing a homeless man surfaced on YouTube. The video captured the alleged July 2008 incident outside the Blue Sky Motel in the 500 block of South Ocean Boulevard in Oakland Park, police said. The video shows several people beating and dragging the homeless man down the street. William Sleight, 19, of Deerfield Beach, was also arrested on Monday as the person who allegedly videotaped the July 2008 beating, police said.
Palm Beach County
Paul Mosley, 42, of Delray Beach is charged with two counts of sexual battery after he allegedly lured a woman to a park claiming that someone wanted to buy an iPod that she was offering to sell. Once the two arrived there, he forced her to perform oral sex on him, then took her to an abandoned property where he raped her, according to the arrest affidavit from police. The woman managed to escape, and ran into a nearby convenience store, where an employee called police. The victim gave a description of her attacker and picked his photo from a lineup. Mosley was arrested. He told police the two did have sex, but he said it was in exchange for drugs, and that the act did not involve the use of force.