elgin_jones_web_13.jpgPalm Beach County

OFFICE MERGER
The Federal Trade Commission has ruled a  proposed $1.2 billion merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax can move forward. That means  Office Depot chief executive Neil Austrian and  OfficeMax CEO Ravi Saligram will both reap huge pay outs.  Office Depot employs 1,700 workers at its Boca Raton headquarters. Austrian is retiring at the end of the year  and it’s unclear whom the revised board will select as the new company’s CEO.d not allow the team to get the necessary permits in time.

BODY IDENTIFIED
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s detectives have confirmed a body discovered in near Clewiston is that of Kimberly Lindsey, who was reported missing from her Palm Beach Gardens home last week. Lindsey, 49, was last seen on Oct. 27. Authorities were set to charge her ex-husband Albert Lambert with her murder, but he committed suicide at his sister’s home in Miami, where he was living. The investigations are continuing.

MAIL CARRIER ATTACKED
Two Riviera Beach teenagers were arrested and charged with attempting to rob a mailman, who was pistol-whipped in the process. Police said they got a tip and suspects were identified from a photo lineup. Both were arrested at their Riviera Beach homes and were charged with one count of attempted armed robbery. One is also charged with aggravated battery with a firearm.

DUI CRASH
Julie Lauren Newman, 35, of Boca Raton, crashed into a marked police squad car while on the way to her home in the Camino Real neighborhood. The officers were loading a prisoner into the back seat when the incident occurred. The squad car was parked with its lights flashing.   She failed a sobriety test and was taken into custody.

COACH RESIGNS
Florida Atlantic University football coach Carl Pelini abruptly resigned due to allegations of drug use at a party in Key West. According to sworn affidavits from his staff, this was not the first time they allegedly witnessed him using marijuana and cocaine. FAU assistant coach Matt Edwards told officials that he witnessed Pelini smoking marijuana. Edwards is still on the staff. Pelini quit and has admitted to using drugs, authorities said. He earned an annual salary of $472,500. Brian Wright has been named interim head coach.

Broward County

SHUTTING DOWN
Outrageous city of Lauderhill fire fees have forced several group homes for the elderly, disabled and mentally ill to close and even more will suffer the same fate. The  homes are converted condos and apartments in the Cannon Point neighborhood located west of 56th Avenue, just south of Oakland Park Boulevard. The city has long taken issue with the group homes and even passed ordinances to stop any new ones from opening.  Now more than 100 residents who are unable to live on their own are looking for places to live. Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief asked her colleagues to find a way to assist the homes. Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan said everyone must pay the fire fees.

GUILTY FRAUDSTER
Oneike Mickhale Barnett, 28, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court  in Fort Lauderdale to tricking his mostly elderly victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a Jamaican lottery scheme. Barnett and his cohorts targeted elderly people around the country via  mail, phone and email claiming someone had entered their name in the Jamaican lottery and they had won and all they needed to do to collect their prizes was to wire thousands of dollars to cover taxes and fees. Barnett was indicted in 2012 on  telemarketing conspiracy.

Miami-Dade County

HARTLINE’S HOME
Miami Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline signed a five-year $30.77 million contract with the team in March that included $12.5 million guaranteed, and a $7 million signing bonus. He has now purchased a $1.2 million 3,158-square-foot, three-bedroom, 3.5- bathroom home in Fort Lauderdale.

SAGGY PANTS BAN
Opa-locka City Commissioners passed an ordinance more than six years ago banning males from wearing saggy pants that expose underwear and, in some cases, skin.  Now commissioners are expanding the law to include females, as well. Commissioner Dorothy Johnson, who sponsored the latest change, said she wants to improve the image of women who are walking around with their underwear exposed.  Violators face up to a $500 fine, which is sure to make some people start wearing belts, but Johnson said she also wants an education component included in any citations issued. Hearing on the proposed change is scheduled for the next commission meeting on Nov. 19.

SOCCER IN MIAMI?
Former professional soccer player David Beckham is forming a Major League Soccer franchise and he intends to build a soccer-only stadium in Miami.  Beckham may also want to consider Broward County, which has several choice locations for a stadium.

Monroe County

HONOR CONSIDERED
Key West City Manager Bob Vitas plans to erect a monument in honor of endurance swimmer Diana Nyad’s history-making swim from Cuba to Key West.  The swim concluded  on Labor Day at Smathers Beach.

FLIGHTS TO CUBA
Next week, flights to Cuba will resume for the first time since 1962. They  will take place between Key West International Airport and José Martí International Airport in Cuba, said Peter Horton of Monroe County Airports.  Key West International underwent a two-year, $2.25 million upgrade to handle international inspections.  Flights will be handled by Miami-based Mambi Travel and flights will be aboard Air MarBrisa, three times a week.

EXPLORATION DELAYED
Fabien Cousteau’s “Mission 31” has been delayed until the spring of 2014. Fabien is the grandson of the late sea explorer Jacques Cousteau. His plan was to spend 31 days on the ocean floor in an underwater laboratory to test scientific equipment and conduct research. The postponement was in part blamed on the recent government shutdown which di