elginjones3web.gifSUMMER INTERNSHIPS
Our next generation needs positive experiences more now than ever before. That’s just one of the reasons the South Florida Times provides internships for young people seeking careers in the media. We are proud to acknowledge one such person who is participating in our summer internship program. Shanique Palmer, 20, is an excellent reporter who hails from Jamaica. Her outstanding articles have graced the pages of the South Florida Times for several weeks now, and we look forward to reading more from her.

Dulvania Matton, 57, of Fort Pierce, has been charged with two counts of child abuse after hitting two of her misbehaving grandchildren with an electric cord. The discipline came after the children, ages 8 and 13, tracked mud inside the house. After the beating, they walked to a nearby police substation and showed officers the welts they suffered. Matton has been released, but not before spending several days in the St. Lucie County Jail, with no bond. Maybe it’s me, but something just does not sound right about this. While it’s clearly wrong to harm any child, this grandmother likely only intended to mete out discipline, as she knew it. While this may not make it right, I would surmise that allowing a child to play in the street is more dangerous than a few welts, but few people are arrested over it. Corporal punishment may not be politically correct in today’s America, but we know what usually happens when we fail to use it. Just look around at the low-hanging pants, drug use, robberies, and lack of respect our young people have for themselves, authority figures and anyone else. We need to have a frank dialogue on “sparing the rod,’’ because placing kids in “time out,’’ and withholding milk and peanut butter cookies has failed.

Attorney and college educator Roshawn Banks is just one of the new faces seeking elective office this year. Banks is well credentialed and active, serving as the past president of the black lawyers’ T. J. Reddick Bar Association, as well as sitting on the boards of Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Inc. and other organizations. She is running for the district 94 state house seat that is being vacated by Rep. Matt Meadows. Others in that race are Eric Hammond, Robert L. Lynch, Hazelle Rogers, Ken Thurston  and Rubin Young. In Deerfield Beach, rumors and speculation are swirling about possible candidates who might step up to challenge City Commissioner Sylvia Poitier. Most have fizzled out, but it has been confirmed that a former Poitier protégé, Erma Jordan, will run against her for the seat. Jordan, a businesswoman and teacher, has been quietly meeting with residents, seeking their support. She is reportedly close to opening a campaign account and announcing her candidacy.

Former Miami Heat and current New Orleans Hornets basketball player Rasual Butler, 29, has been arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon and wrongful display of a firearm. The incident took place in Miami Beach, where Butler is accused of pointing a gun at another man during a confrontation. Butler reportedly holds a concealed weapons permit in another state, but not in Florida.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign has been fined $50,000 for failing to report $755,839 in spending for advertising before the primary against the eventual winner, U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez. The campaign explained to investigators with the Federal Elections Commission that conditions produced by Hurricane Charlie caused the mix-up in campaign reports. McCollum was elected as Florida Attorney General two years later, in 2006.

The statewide “Move Over” campaign has begun, and it could end up costing you money, so watch out. Move Over is intended to get motorists to move to other lanes of traffic, away from emergency vehicles, while those vehicles are stopped on the roadside. The weeklong campaign will include three days of warnings, then a zero-tolerance enforcement of Florida’s “Move Over” law.  The law is designed to decrease the number of accidents on the sides of roadways. There were more than 200 crashes in 2007 involving law enforcement officers who were on the roadsides. Tickets will cost a motorist $100 and up, depending on which agency issues the citation. Under the law, motorists are supposed to move over one lane or slow down to 20 mph below the speed limit when they see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road.

Four men, two of them Broward sheriff's deputies, have been charged with extortion and conspiracy to possess, sell and distribute cocaine. Those charged are Broward Sheriff's Office deputies Richard V. Tauber, 36, and Kevin D. Frankel, 38. Also arrested were Robert Thomas Baccari, 38, and Christopher C. Provenzano, 37. The men were caught in an undercover operation in which they thought they were protecting shipments of diamonds, drugs and gold Krugerrands for New York-area organized crime groups, and a Colombian drug dealer. Instead, the “criminals” were actually undercover FBI agents who began their sting after Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti contacted federal authorities about suspicious activities of the deputies. If they are found guilty, I hope they go to jail for a long time.

A 16-year-old suspected drug dealer is being held in the Broward County Jail with no bond, accused of shooting and killing Alfredo Cruz, 18, of Sunrise. The murder took place after the teenager accused Cruz of shorting him $2 in the purchase of a bag of marijuana. He became outraged and shot Cruz in the face, at point blank range, according to police.

Rapper and actor Earl “DMX” Simmons, 37, was arrested by Miami Police on an outstanding warrant for not having a valid driver's license. His bond was set at $500 and it comes while he is awaiting trial on drug and animal cruelty charges in Arizona. In that incident, police raided his home last May, and deputies discovered 12 emaciated pit bulls. In 2002, he pleaded guilty to similar animal cruelty and drug charges in New Jersey.

Kasey Edwards, 18, knew the canals near his home in the Okeechobee area were teeming with alligators, but that didn’t stop him from braving a canal for a nighttime swim. It was a mistake. A gator chomped on his arm and tore it from his body above the elbow. He survived, but his arm disappeared. The gator was later found and destroyed.  Wonder if this guy was on something?

Federal prosecutors have indicted Traian Bujduveanu, 53, of Plantation, a naturalized citizen from Romania, and Hassan Saied Keshari, 48, a naturalized citizen from Iran, on charges of selling military parts to Iran. The men are accused of filling orders from Iranians for parts of F-14 fighter planes, attack helicopters and other military parts. Bujduveanu operates Orion Aviation Corp., an aircraft parts business located on Broward Boulevard in Plantation. A search of his home and business turned up other military parts. The men face up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines if convicted.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and members of the Gang Violence Executive Committee revealed details of a broad plan intended to combat gang activity in the state. The strategy will focus on curtailing the growth of gangs and reducing their numbers while crippling their crime operations.  The committee comprises several agency heads, including those of the state departments of Education and Corrections. The committee also includes state Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Frank Peterman Jr.