elgin_jones_web_13.jpgNEW LIFE FOR BLACKBERRY?
BlackBerry Ltd., the former Research In Motion, may not be down for the count, after all. The company, which recently announced it will lay off 4,500 workers, or 40 percent of its workforce, after losing more than $990 million during the last quarter, has reached a tentative $4.7 billion  takeover deal with the Canadian firm Fairfax Financial, which plans to take it private. Fairfax already owns 10 percent of BlackBerry.

There are reports also that former BlackBerry CEO Mike Lazaridis may make a bid for the company as well. The company invented the BlackBerry smartphone and, while it wasn’t the first, the BlackBerry revolutionized the industry and set the standard for the wireless world with its proprietary software. Since that time, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platforms have surpassed the BlackBerry, with androids being the most popular. Much of it was due to write-offs of unsold BlackBerry phones, according to some analysts. BlackBerry has a huge engineering facility in Sunrise and it’s unclear what impact the changes will have on employees there. BlackBerry phones are known for their physical keyboards. The new BlackBerry 10 phones have touch screens instead. Blackberry abandoned its iconic phones with keyboards – and that was a mistake. At this point, they should simply the design with a hybrid physical keyboard and android platform, while increasing the size of their phones.

Palm Beach County

CBS Channel 12 news anchor Jenna Caiazzo and a friend were robbed at gunpoint after leaving the CityPlace complex in downtown West Palm Beach. Two suspects accosted them and demanded their personal belongings. The robbers threatened to shoot them if they didn’t comply and made off with their belongings, scaling a concrete wall to get away. Police are asking anyone with any information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-8477.

Mark David Hawkins, 52, of Boca Raton, a financial adviser and Wells Fargo vice-president, has been charged with allegedly intimidating his immigrant wife into believing that if she reported his alleged molestation of a 4-year-old girl she would face deportation. Two years later, in 2009, he allegedly molested an 8-year-old child. The wife moved out of the house and worked with police to bring charges against him. This included taped recorded phone conversations between them. She also reported that she found photos on his computer of adults molesting children. He is charged with multiple counts, involving different incidents related to child molestation and child pornography.

Broward County

Kyesha Nikia Reed, 31, of Pembroke Pines has been caught as the alleged identity thief accused of using fake driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers to obtain credit cards in other people’s names. She allegedly opened accounts at several major retail stores and was caught after authorities received numerous tips in response to surveillance video of her using the cards at various stores. Book ’em, Danno!

Fort Lauderdale lawyer Bill Gelin operates the courthouse blog JAABlog in which he criticizes judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys. He also offers praise to some and puts the spotlight on cases and situations that otherwise may never become known. His blog is popular, which makes many courthouse dwellers nervous. Someone complained about Gelin to the Florida Bar which began an investigation. But Gelin has been exonerated, deservedly so. The anonymous complaint looks like nothing more than harassment and an attempt to silence him.

A jury has found Miguel Morales Colon, 32, of Coral Springs, guilty of possessing child pornography. Some of the material showed minors in incestuous sexual activity. His attorney argued unsuccessfully to jurors that his client’s computer had been hacked and taken over by a virus that initiated pop-ups of child pornography on his screen. Federal prosecutors countered with Colon’s confession in which he admitted using search terms such as “mom enjoying toddler” and downloading child pornography. Colon, who had rejected a plea offer of 80 months in prison, now faces up to 20 years at sentencing.

Miami-Dade County

Homestead’s primary election is on Oct. 1 and early voting began this week. The Seat 4 contest pits incumbent City Councilman Jimmie Williams III against former Councilman Norman Hodge. Ezzard Horn, a retired city employee, Rochenel Marc, a businessman and Fred Byrd, a maintenance supervisor at Florida International University, are also in this race. The crowded field is likely to divide any protest votes, meaning Williams is the odds-on favorite to win re-election.

Police are seeking information on the suspects involved in a fatal shooting that took place Saturday in Miami Gardens. An unidentified adult male was pronounced dead on the scene in the 3200 block of Northwest 207th Street around 5:30 p.m.  According to Miami Gardens police, the man was dead when officers arrived on the scene. Few other details have been released. Police are asking anyone with information to call Miami Gardens Police Homicide Det. L. Gonzalez at 305-474-1641 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 305-471-8477.

Police are seeking the identity of a driver of a truck who left the body of a woman at a construction site. Surveillance cameras caught the truck traveling in the 28200 block of Southwest 144th Avenue in Homestead, when a body fell out of the passenger’s door. The unidentified driver stopped, put the body back inside and continued driving. The woman’s body was later found at the construction site rolled up in a tarpaulin. The suspect is described as being in his 30s, 5-foot 9-inches tall and with black hair.

Monroe County

Didier Miles, 24, of Miami has been charged in a fatal accident which took place in Tavernier last May. He is charged with vehicular homicide, driving under the influence-manslaughter, DUI-serious bodily injury,  leaving the scene of an accident, four counts of DUI-property damage. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Miles and Kristen Rivera, 22, also of Miami, were traveling north on U.S. 1 when they got into an accident but left the scene after the other driver refused to accept cash to resolve the issue. The FHP said they crossed into the lane of approaching traffic minutes later and hit a cab driven by 71-year-old Charles Akullian. Miles and Rivera were cut from their vehicle after the fiery crash and airlifted to a trauma center, where Rivera died.