The South Florida Times and WMIB The Beat 103.5 FM have entered into a partnership in which they will share news. They will also collaborate on community, entertainment and other initiatives. The Beat is one of seven radio stations in the South Florida market that is owned and operated by Clear Channel. The South Florida Times is distributed in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Beat’s 98,000-watt signal reaches as far north as Indiantown, and out west to Immokalee and south down into the Florida Keys. The agreement between the two media companies comes after months of collaboration between The Beat’s general sales manager, Donald Wiggins, and Robert G. Beatty, ESQ., publisher of the South Florida Times. The relationship goes into effect immediately, and is intended to provide a broad mix of news, entertainment and innovative community service events to listeners throughout the southeast Florida corridor. This is simply outstanding for South Florida! So, get ready for a new paradigm of information, empowerment, knowledge, fun and excitement!
Lois Howell, the longtime civic and community advocate, passed away on July 20 and has been laid to rest. She was 73, and served as president of the Boulevard Gardens Homeowners Association for several decades. We mourn her passing and honor her years of community work.
Scott Israel, the chief of the North Bay Village Police Department, is on leave from that job to run for Broward sheriff. He has raised more than $180,000 in donations, which is more than any of the other four candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination for sheriff. Israel is coming under fire for switching from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. Critics say he did so to soak up votes from Broward’s unsuspecting Democrats. Maybe so, but this is done all the time, and there should be a move to make sheriff’s office and other constitutional office races non-partisan, anyway. The other candidates in the race include current Sheriff Al Lamberti, who is a Republican. The other Democrats are: Wiley Thompson, the former Broward Sheriff's Office chief of staff and training director;
businessman S. “Shak’’ Dhanji; Hollywood Assistant City Manager Richard Lemack; and attorney and former Justice Department official Bruce Udolf.
Accusing plaintiff Jillian Nedd of being a fraud and of being motivated by money and greed, lawyers for mega-attorney Willie Gary of Stuart have filed a motion seeking to have a pending sexual assault lawsuit against Gary dismissed. The exhibits filed in court are copies of two homemade, X-rated DVDs that show Nedd having sex with one of Gary’s sons, Kenneth. One of the movies was made just days after she alleged in a police report that the elder Gary had raped her at a motel. The criminal rape case was closed after an investigation, but Nedd also filed the civil case, seeking unspecified damages. Nedd’s husband is a former employee of Gary’s law firm, where he was a fitness instructor. That’s how she met the Gary family. Gary alleged she and her husband demanded $20 million from him in an extortion attempt, but police closed that case without filing any charges.
Joanne Charles, a former journalist, has been named the new president of the T. J. Reddick Bar Association. Founded in 1982, the association is an organization of black lawyers from around Broward County. It is named after the late T. J. Reddick of Fort Lauderdale, who was the first black attorney to open his own practice in Broward. Reddick was also the first black person to serve as a circuit court judge in the state of Florida. Charles is an attorney with the Broad and Cassel firm, and practices in the area health law. She is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, and earned a law degree from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center, where she was also editor in chief of the Nova Law Review.
Don Saxon, commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation, the state agency that is supposed to regulate mortgage brokers, is under pressure to resign. Citizen and consumer groups are fuming over the agency’s issuing of mortgage broker licenses to people with criminal convictions. Such individuals have been identified as the culprits behind tens of thousands of mortgage scams that have ravished Florida consumers in recent years. Saxon says he was a proponent of new laws which would have closed loopholes that allow convicted bank robbers, extortionists and con artists to obtain broker’s licenses in the state. Critics, however, say he did not do enough. Tens of millions of dollars have been swindled from Florida consumers by brokers with criminal pasts, and it is time for a change. Gov. Charlie Crist met with Saxon this week, but that’s not enough. Saxon needs to go.
There is a stench coming from Broward County’s water treatment plant located at Copans Road and Powerline Road in Pompano Beach, but it is not the sewage. Mid-level managers are complaining about being openly insulted and demeaned in meetings by supervisors. Employees have taken their grievances to Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion and County Administrator Bertha Henry, and complaints have also been filed with the county’s Human Rights Division. No other action has been taken just yet, but if just some of the complaints are true, then it’s a mess that must be handled.
The Washington Post’s Post-Newsweek Stations, which already owns WPLG-ABC 10, is buying WTVJ-NBC 6, another Miami-based TV station. The selling price has not been released, but if the FCC approves the deal, NBC 6 will remain an NBC affiliate and WPLG an ABC station. Some positions will be consolidated, and both stations will operate out of WPLG’s new, $30 million headquarters, now under construction on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Pembroke Park. In other news, the nation’s two satellite radio giants, XM and Sirius, have completed their merger. The new company is now called Sirius XM Radio Inc., and it is also consolidating some operations. It is unclear whether any changes will take place at the company’s Deerfield Beach offices.
Gov. Charlie Crist has announced the resignation of Bob Butterworth, secretary of the Department of Children & Families, but he did not say why. Butterworth has led the troubled agency since December 2006. This came after his predecessor, Lucy Hadi, resigned after being found in contempt of court for not relocating mentally impaired inmates to hospitals where they could get care following determinations that they were incompetent to stand trial. Butterworth had agreed to hold the position for 18 months.
Dan Lewis, a consultant and former public office holder in the city of Miramar, has filed complaints with the Broward Supervisor of Elections, the Florida Division of Elections and the Broward State Attorney’s Office, questioning the validity of upcoming elections for a position on the Democratic Executive Committee of Broward. According to Lewis, some of those candidates may not be registered Democrats, while others are not registered voters at all, as required. The candidates all signed oaths declaring they were Democrats, and it is simply a mess. The Supervisor of Elections Office, headed by Dr. Brenda Snipes, says it only administers the oaths, and is not responsible for making sure candidates are in compliance. Lewis has balked, and is calling for an investigation, and I agree. This appears to be a classic case of voter-related fraud, which deserves scrutiny.