elginjones3web.gifTHANK YOU!
The South Florida Times has won three, first-place awards from the South Florida Black Journalists Association. While this is a great honor and accomplishment, it never would have happened without the tips and other information provided by you, the readers. With that said, we have started our Investigative Help Team, so keep those tips coming. And if you have a story idea, or something you would like to see exposed, don’t hesitate to contact us, even anonymously. Now, from the entire, award-winning, South Florida Times family, we bid you a heartfelt thanks as we continue to “Elevate the Dialogue” together.

Deerfield Beach City Commissioner Sylvia Poitier will face a challenger in next March’s election, and it’s not who most people believed would be running against her. Erma King Jordan, 61, is a Poitier protégé of sorts. She filed paperwork and opened a campaign account this week. Poitier says she feels betrayed, but Jordan explained that Poitier reneged on a promise to retire and then throw her support behind Jordan’s candidacy, and that’s one of the reasons she is running. Poitier is telling everyone she will not be humiliated, and intends to run an overly aggressive campaign. In any event, look for this race to be one of the most contentious contests in South Florida.

Father Antonio Rungi, a priest based in Naples, Italy, has organized an online beauty contest, for nuns. This is no joke, and a number of local nuns have reportedly already completed the online application to enter the contest. The “Miss Sister 2008” contest requires nuns to upload their photos and profiles to a blog. Visitors to the website will have 30 days to vote on their favorite nuns. I wonder what Pope Benedict XVI thinks about this.

The Rev. Eric Jones, pastor of Koinonia Worship Center & Village, is holding a special meeting to help families facing foreclosure on their homes. A number of experts will be on hand to offer advice and explain the numerous options available to those facing hardships during these trying times. The session will take place at the church, 4900 Hallandale Beach Blvd. in Pembroke Park, on Sept. 9, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Call 954-964-2901 for more information.

The office of Miami Dade College President Eduardo J. Padron was the target of protests this week. Students are upset over his decision to cancel the university’s successful midwifery degree program. The protestors demanded, and got, a meeting with Padron and other administrators. The college suspended the program after requiring the students to pay $7,000 in tuition and insurance in advance. Midwives generally provide low-cost maternity care to high-risk women, and the poor, who may not be able to afford healthcare insurance.

According to a city of Port St. Lucie police report, a 16-year-old girl has been arrested on aggravated assault charges after a group of children told police she chased them with an 8-inch kitchen knife.  The teen says she was only playing, after the children refused to find somewhere else to play, instead of doing so in front of the apartment where she lives.

Justin Lloyd Sharp, an 18-year-old from Palm Beach Gardens, is being held on charges of possessing child pornography and sexually assaulting his family’s dog. According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report, investigators seized three computers and eight video files of small girls, some as young as 4 or 5, performing sex acts on adults. They also found a video of Sharp having sex with the family's 4-year-old male German shepherd dog. In the face of the evidence, the Palm Beach Gardens High School student admitted to the acts. Police say a dog trainer has informed them that other family pets may have been sexually assaulted as well.

Three people have surfaced as finalists to fill the Broward County administrator’s post. They are Interim County Administrator Bertha Henry, Miami-Dade Chief Assistant County Manager Susy Torriente and Lee A. Trotter, a black man, who is the deputy administrator for Cuyahoga County, Ohio (where Cleveland is located). County commissioners are expected to make their final selection within the next several weeks.

The U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city of Fort Pierce on behalf of Shirley Kirby, a black code enforcement officer. The lawsuit accuses Kirby’s supervisors of discriminating against her by, among other things, reassigning her from her regular duties to instead do the paperwork for white co-workers. The lawsuit also claims Kirby was demoted and relocated to a small workspace. Her co-workers referred to that space as her “jail cell.”

Another lawsuit has been filed against Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 55, and his former assistant, Sarah Kellen. Like others before, this latest suit alleges the two lured underage girls to Epstein’s home to perform sex acts. It accuses Epstein of groping a then-17-year-old female while pleasuring himself. This is the sixth such case filed against Epstein in recent months. All of them contain similar allegations. Epstein is currently serving an 18-month sentence in the Palm Beach County Jail for paying a minor for prostitution, and felony solicitation of prostitution in an unrelated case.

I thought the guy who purchased those used false teeth off the Internet was bad, but check this out: Juan Bernal, 71, of Boca Raton, has been arrested for allegedly operating an illegal dentist office and lab out of a warehouse storage bay. Acting on a tip, Florida Department of Health investigators raided the storage unit where they found dental tools and a makeshift lab. Bernal was charged with multiple counts of unlawfully operating a dental practice, and then released from the Palm Beach County Jail on $2,000 bond. Hard times are one thing, but this is ridiculous.

David Spivey Walter, who is already on probation, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Damian Cuervo, 25, a student at St. Thomas University. Cuervo's body was found wrapped in a white sheet, and floating in an Opa-locka canal on July 21. The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

Leroy Edward Felt Jr., 43, owner of Woody’s Construction in Margate, has pleaded guilty for his participation in a long-term federal payroll tax evasion scheme. Felt admitted to paying his employees in cash, while under-reporting payroll taxes between 1997 and 2003. While his company paid out $14.5 million in wages, at least $2,178,162 in federal payroll taxes owed to the IRS was purposely not paid.

Already facing four counts of drug charges, Dr. Sergio Rodriguez has now been charged with 10 additional counts of trafficking in the highly addictive painkiller oxycodone, and Xanax, which is prescribed for anxiety disorder. Rodriguez, a West Palm Beach pediatrician, is accused of writing prescriptions for the pills to drug-addicted adults. Suspicions were raised after he began treating adult patients last October, and long lines of people began waiting to see him outside his practice on Dixie Highway, for the prescriptions. Undercover agents posed as patients, and easily got prescriptions for the drugs.
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Photo: Elgin Jones