WORLD AIDS DAY
As AIDS and HIV continue to ravage minority populations, Dec. 1 marks another World Aids Day, intended to bring attention to this hideous disease. In observance of the day, the Florida Department of Health and community organizations are holding ceremonies and forums to raise awareness about the condition. For more information on the planned events in your area, contact your local health agency.
WYCLEF IN FORECLOSURE
Recording artist Wyclef Jean has sold more than 30 million albums, but even he has not been able to avoid the economic downturn. His $2.4 million waterfront mansion in Miami Beach is now in foreclosure and will be sold on the steps of the Miami-Dade courthouse next month.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than $1.6 million in stimulus checks that were mailed out to addresses in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties have been returned. The payments came back due to wrong addresses and are sitting in the IRS offices. If you have not received your stimulus check, which can range from $300 to $600, you should call the IRS toll free, at 1-800-829-0582 or simply visit your local IRS office.
HOME INVASION ARRESTS
Boca Raton police have arrested Renaldo Roach, 26, Linval Allison, 28, Gavin Davis, 28, and Danielle Murray, 20, in this week’s home invasion robbery that took place in the southwest area of the city. No one was hurt, but a child was grabbed by the throat and thrown to the floor, as four people rummaged through the home.
DOGS MAUL TODDLER
Two bulldogs escaped from a fenced yard in Homestead and attacked a 4-year-old girl as her father walked her home from school. Several passersby joined her father, who was also bitten, to beat the large dogs off the toddler. When it was over, she had suffered several vicious bites to her legs and was rushed to a hospital, where she was recovering. The dogs were taken into custody by animal control officers and then put down.
Valery Torbin, 55, is in custody over this week’s double murder of his estranged wife and her son, which took place at her beachfront condo in Hollywood. Details of the killings have not been released, but neighbors heard arguing and gunshots before seeing Torbin fleeing the building in his wife’s car. He is being held in the Broward County Main Jail, with no bail.
Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Broward County will hold its inaugural ceremony for graduates of its offenders community re-entry program. The ceremony will take place Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, at 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard near Fort Lauderdale. Former U.S. Congressman Danny Davis (D) of Illinois will give the keynote address. Davis introduced federal legislation called the Second Chance Act, which provides funding for rehabilitation programs that assist individuals released from prison. For information about the Student Graduation Ceremony, contact OIC of Broward County at 954-535-2242.
Seth Edge, a 15-year-old West Park teenager, was accidentally shot and killed while on a hunting trip with his father and younger brother. His 13-year-old brother’s gun accidentally discharged as he sat it down, fatally wounding Seth in the head. The tragedy occurred last Saturday, Nov. 22, near Lake Okeechobee, where the family was duck hunting.
Brent Edwards, 33, of Wellington, who is president of Extreme Revolution Youth Ministries, an organization that touts itself as a safe place for youth, has been arrested on charges he carried on a sexual relationship with a minor he was counseling for more than a year. He posted a $100,000 bond and was released from custody pending resolution of the case. The girl allegedly went to Edwards for counseling, and he allegedly began a sexual relationship with her. She alleges they secretly had relations at his house and in the car, sometimes while his wife was home. After fearing she was pregnant, she told another church minister about the affair. Authorities were contacted and conversations between the girl and Edwards were recorded. Book’em, Dano!
A grievance panel headed by Broward Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Ceasar has returned a recommendation that precinct committeeman John Labriola be removed from his position for supporting Al Lamberti for Broward Sheriff and Sen. John McCain for president, two Republicans. A final decision by the entire party membership will be made at an upcoming meeting, but Labriola says he intends to fight to the end.
WELFARE POLICE SERVICES
Palm Beach County commissioners have approved agreements for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) to provide free traffic enforcement and patrols in the well-to-do, private Saturnia Isles and Colony Preserve developments. This is nothing more than a ridiculous welfare program for the rich and their exclusive neighborhoods in the district of County Commission Vice Chairman Burt Aaronson.
CHILD MOLESTER HELD
Roberto M. Caragol, 35, the swim coach at Fort Lauderdale's Pine Crest School who was arrested last week on child pornography charges, will remain in jail at least until his Dec. 4 arraignment. Caragol has admitted to having sex with children, and pornographic material of boys was found stored on his computer. He was caught by his Internet activities. Investigators are not alleging Caragol harmed any of the students he coached. Nevertheless, Pine Crest School fired him upon learning of the charges. Good.
Former state legislator Gwen Margolis has filed a lawsuit in which she is asking a judge to declare her the winner in the Nov. 4 Miami-Dade County property appraiser’s contest. Margolis came in first place, but since she didn’t get more than 50 percent of the vote, she is in a Dec. 16 runoff with second-place finisher, and incumbent Pedro Garcia Jr. Margolis says runoffs are for local races only, and holding contests for constitutional offices violates state law.
FIRE KILLS ONE
David Gustafson, 65, has been identified as the man who died after the house he and a tenant shared at 2730 NE 8th Ct. in Pompano Beach became engulfed in flames. Gustafson was in poor health, and the fire is believed to have started due to his falling asleep while smoking in bed.
Michael Sams, 26, of Fort Pierce, has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery. He is accused of choking a pregnant woman during an argument. The woman says he leaped on her and starting strangling her, and only let up after she began kicking him in the groin. She suffered bruises to her neck, but is otherwise OK.
SNEAKY RAISE THWARTED
In these tough times, Miami-Dade commissioners tried to sneak through a $26,000 raise for County Attorney Robert Cuevas, but they got caught. Led by commission chairman Bruno Barreiro, the move came at the end of a long session, when most citizens had already left the meeting. The issue will be addressed during the Dec. 2 meeting, where Barreiro is seeking to give Cuevas more money, to increase his salary to $319,000.
FUGITIVE DEPUTY CAUGHT
Kyle Yates, a 38-year-old former Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy who is wanted on sexual abuse charges, has been caught in Corpus Cristi, Texas, of all places. Yates disappeared this past July after being charged with lewd conduct, sexual battery and showing obscene materials to a child.