The Florida Department of Health will begin accepting applications for growers of a strain of medical marijuana that has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. This strain does not get people high and has elevated levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, which has medicinal properties. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar, is one of the sponsors to legalize medical marijuana and led the fight for legalization.


Palm Beach County


Shahyem Hamilton, 19, of West Palm Beach is accused of kidnapping and robbing a 16-year-old Royal Palm Beach friend and then burglarizing the boy’s home. Hamilton and at least two others allegedly kidnapped the teenager as he walked along Okeechobee Boulevard and drove to his house. They ransacked the home and stole guns and other valuables, according to a police report. After the suspects fled, the teen went to a neighbor’s house and called police. He also used the Instagram social media site to point three of them out to police. Hamilton was arrested and faces a slew of felony charges. Hamilton says they are all friends and they gave the teen a ride home, where he joined them in ransacking the house. He also said the teen gave them the items from the home. There is no word yet on any other arrests.

Priscilla-Taylor-1POLICE SYMPOSIUM

Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor organized a symposium of law enforcement to focus on ‘use-of force’ policies and practices. The public was invited to join officials from representing law enforcement agencies from around the county for the discussion. Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw was criticized for sending subordinates instead of attending himself.

Broward County

TEACHER CHARGEDCarlos-Javier-Rojas-Paz

Carlos Javier Rojas Paz, 25, a substitute teacher at Boyd Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes, is charged with numerous counts of sexual battery on a minor girl who is a student at the school. According to a report by Sunrise Police, Rojas Paz admitted he maintained a relationship with the teenager and that he also engaged in sex with two other students at the school.

Vicki-PierrePROSTITUTION BUST Gerard-Nelson

An investigation by Fort Lauderdale Police has cracked open the Str8ProfitBoyz prostitution ring. It operated in South Florida by exploiting young women. Fort Lauderdale Police, along with detectives from the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Miami-Dade Police Department arrested six people on human trafficking charges. Andre Veira, 27, of West Park; Vicki Pierre, 19, of Miramar; Gerard Nelson, 23, of Margate; Dexter Curry Jr., 27, of Miami Gardens; Antonio Johnson, 27, of Miami-Dade County; and Pa’Keith White, 23, of Miami Gardens have been jailed and more arrests could be on the way. The suspected ring members remained jailed Friday on varying charges, including human trafficking, racketeering and prostitution. Authorities ask anyone with information about Str8ProfitBoyz to call Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477.

Miami-Dade County


Sen. Rand Paul, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, wants to see the laws that authorized wiretapping and surveillance of U.S. citizens expire. The laws were enacted under former President George W. Bush. Now, his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has come out in support of the eavesdropping regulations. Bush is not an announced candidate for the presidency, but he is campaigning just the same. The debate could remind people of the economic collapse and other controversies during the Bush years. Some voters may be totally Bushed at this point.


Rabbi Steve Karro, is accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl. According to the police report, Steve Karro touched the girl on her buttocks, over her clothing, and kissed the child on the neck after sitting her on his lap. Shaare Ezra Sephardic Synagogue on Miami Beach is not commenting, Janet Karro, his wife, says the allegations are not true. Rabbi Karro says everything is alright and will be alright, however, Miami Beach Police are trying to identify any other possible victims and are asking anyone with additional information to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

Monroe County


Key West City Commissioner Clayton Lopez, Key West Police Chief Don Lee and members of the Key West Police Department joined Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at the 30th annual Preventing Crime in the Black Community Conference this week. The event is sponsored by the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Urban League. Dozens of law enforcement agencies from around the state participated in this year’s conference, which was held in Tampa.


Federal prosecutors have charged Florida Keys businessman and former Islamorada Mayor Michael Reckwerdt with tax evasion. Reckwerdt  owns  Robbie’s Marina, a popular tourist spot on Lower Matecumbe Key and other businesses. According to an arrest report, Reckwerdt intentionally under-reported salaries paid to employees of several companies he controls in order to reduce payments to the Internal Revenue Service.


The Monroe County Clerk Amy Heavilin has a $400,000 funding shortfall in her agency because of a $14.6 million shortfall in the state court fund. The possibility of layoffs and a reduction in services is real, unless state officials arrive at a solution. The deficit is impacting all clerks’ office around the state.