Palm Beach County
Amir Talebzedah, 21, of Delray Beach and Gregory Comon, 21, of Boca Raton have been charged in the death of a motorist who died as a result of an alleged drag racing accident. The two are facing vehicular homicide and other charges in the death of Fran Abel, 57. They are alleged to have been drag racing on Jog Road when she entered the roadway from a side street, hitting Comon’s car. Talebzedah crashed into her car and she was dead at the scene, police said.
Palm Beach Gardens city officials are close to deciding on a proposed 117-acre baseball complex that would serve as the spring training site for the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays. Business interests are pushing the officials to approve the project which could mean hundreds of the jobs. We’ll see.
Sarah Homasi, 22, and her sister Sarah Homasi, 27, have been fired from a fitness business after less than six months on the job over theft allegations. The siblings have also been arrested on theft and credit card fraud charges. They are accused of stealing customers’ valuables while they worked out. They are also suspected of stealing cash from the business. The authorities suspect the pair is part of an organized fraud ring. Video from several area stores show them using the stolen credit cards to make purchases, police say.
Cellular phone provider T-Mobile introduced a plan allowing customers to switch to more affordable plans without incurring penalties. The only requirement is that they use their current phones or buy a new one. Now AT&T has unveiled a similar plan. Expect the trend to continue as competition for wireless customers intensifies.
Charles Tarver, 33, was a patient at the Florida Medical Center hospital in Lauderdale Lakes when he was arrested on sexual battery charges. He is accused of entering the room of a handicapped patient and raping her.
Former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom has filed papers to run for the District 2 county commission seat. Rodstrom currently does not live in the district which includes sections of Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Margate and Coral Springs. She ran unsuccessfully for the District 7 county commission seat, losing to Tim Ryan.
Adam Green, 52, of Boca Raton and 11 other suspects have been indicted in an alleged gambling and money laundering scheme. Undercover agents in Broward and Palm Beach counties infiltrated the ring and placed more than $150,000 in bets over the past year in what was dubbed “Operation Gotham City.” Green is the alleged ring leader. Others arrested so far are Jordan Brown, 24, of Coral Springs; Emilio Colon, 32, of Margate; Mark Ruggiero, 42, of Pompano Beach, Sean Barnes, 34, of Delray Beach; Rehan Kazi, 45, of Pembroke Pines; and Eric Spinosa, 36, of Boca Raton.
University of Miami President Donna Shalalah is beaming over “UM Innovation,” the technology and research arm of the university. Researchers there took part in the development of ImPACT, a drug intended to treat lung cancer and infectious diseases. It has now successfully completed the first of several clinical trials. A new company, Heat Biologics, has also been formed to manufacture and market the drug. It works by utilizing a patient’s own immune system to combat and control cancer cells.
TOXINS AT PLAY
The city of Miami hosted a community meeting about toxins at Blanche Park in the Coconut Grove community. The park has been closed since August when Florida Department of Health tests found high levels of toxic metals, arsenic and dioxin. Commissioner Marc Sarnoff had said there were concerns the toxins came from a garbage incinerator that operated in the area in the 1940s.
NEW BURGER JOINT
Bobby’s Burger Palace, a chain owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, has opened a store in Dadeland Mall. It is first in Florida and more are expected in the coming months. It is an affordable gourmet hamburger restaurant that currently operates in 10 states, offering specialty burgers starting at $6.75 each.
7 MILES, 7 FIGURES
Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent is pushing a plan to save the historic Seven Mile Bridge. The bridge is owned by the state, but officials of the Florida Department of Transportation want to turn it over to the county and has agreed to spend $57.2 million over 30 years toward repairs. Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi is trying to get the county to contribute an additional $15 million over 30 years but even that will only save a section of the bridge. The county wants certain cities to put money towards the renovations, as well. The bridge would become a bona fide tourist attraction.
Sentencing for Nicholas Ferro, 26, of Hollywood has been delayed. He was found guilty of second degree murder on Sept. 27 in the death of Marquise Butler, then 23, who was killed on Oct. 31, 2009. They were involved in an early-morning brawl in Key West. Ferro’s attorneys argued he intervened in a mob attack on his friend Jorge Averoff and pulled a pocket knife after being knocked to the ground. They also said Butler ran into the knife while attacking Ferro, who was on the ground. Butler died the next day from his injuries. The first trial resulted in a hung jury and Circuit Court Judge David Audlin declared a mistrial. Now Ferro is facing life in prison.