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to spray for mosquitoes due to rain, heat
hot and itchy welcome to Christmas in South Florida, where
the heavy rains and abnormally high temperatures are prompting county
officials to spray for mosquitoes on Friday.
County is nearly 10 inches above normal, while the South Florida
Water Management District shows Palm Beach County receiving 6.2
inches of rain already this month. That's 4.15 inches above the
normal for December. Temperatures are running nearly 10 degrees above
normal. The windy weather has also made it difficult for officials to
get ahead of the mosquito problem.
Goode, an environmental program manager with the Palm Beach County
Mosquito Control Division, said the county sprayed late last week,
but will go ahead with an unprecedented spray likely Friday because
there is still water on the ground.
killer asks for stay of execution
for a 53-year-old convicted killer from the Tampa Bay area are
asking the Florida Supreme Court to grant a stay of execution.
Ray Bolin is scheduled for execution on Jan. 7. He and his lawyers
filed a motion Tuesday with the state's highest court, saying that he
plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dec. 17, the state court denied Bolin's appeal based on alleged new
evidence. The court ruled Bolin should be put to death for the
December 1986 murder of Teri Lynn Matthews. Matthews was abducted in
Pasco County, raped and then beaten and fatally stabbed.
his recent motion for a stay, Bolin said an Ohio inmate confessed to
Matthews' murder and that he will be bringing that evidence to the
population tops 20 million
population of Florida has now crossed 20 million.
has surpassed the 20 million population mark while growing faster
Sunshine State, adding more than 1,000 people a day, is nearly up a
half-million people on New York, which it surpassed a year ago to
become the third most-populous state, according to U.S. Census Bureau
estimates released Tuesday.
with an estimated 20,271,272 residents as of July 1, is also growing
faster than a year earlier, when 803 people a day were being added to
the states head count.
(Rick) Scott is proud that more people continue to move to
Florida, Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said in a prepared
statement. Our hardworking businesses have created more than 1
million jobs in just five years, we have historic funding for
education and we are in a 44-year low on our crime rate.
new numbers come as lawmakers prepare to deal with a wide range of
issues affected by the growing population, including water issues.
that Florida faces a projected 1-billion-gallons-a-day water
shortfall by 2030, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has been
pushing for proposed statewide water policy changes (SB 552 and HB
7005), which are expected to be among the first items lawmakers take
up when the regular legislative session begins in January.
increasing population will continue to stress our critical water
resources, Putnam spokesman Aaron Keller said in an email
Tuesday. While Florida has made great progress in restoring the
health of our water supply and conserving our water resources, we
need to act now. We must invest more in water supply planning and
alternative supply development to meet the needs of this growing
population and continue to support a thriving economy while balancing
the needs of our natural environment.
people also means eventually Florida will have a larger
congressional delegation. In 1910, New York had 43 seats in the U.S.
House of Representatives to Floridas four. Both states now have
population was under 1 million in the 1920 census and was nearly 10
million in the 1980 census.
University of Floridas Bureau of Economic and Business
Research estimated the states population at 19,691,538 as of
of the states growth is attributed to an exodus from the
economically challenged U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, which the
Census report said declined in population by 1.7 percent over the
contrast, Floridas population grew 1.84 percent in the past
year, trailing only North Dakota, Colorado and Nevada as the
overall population, Florida remains behind California, now with
39.14 million residents, and Texas, with 27.5 million people.
Texas had more net population growth in the past year than Florida,
growing by 490,036 residents to Floridas 365,703. California
added 352,527 people. Georgia was fourth with 117,728 new residents.
nations population increased by 0.79 percent to 321.4 million,
slightly ahead of the pace --- 0.78 percent --- of the prior year.
Census Bureau bases its estimates on birth, death, administrative
records and survey data. More than 1.1 million people were born in
Florida and 950,117 Floridians died in the July-to-July timeframe.
dies while being forcibly removed from hospital
woman who refused to leave a hospital after doctors discharged her
died after she was forcibly removed by police.
Florida State Conference of the NAACP and Tallahassee attorney Daryl
Parks told The Associated Press that 57-year-old Barbara Dawson
collapsed Monday while being escorted in handcuffs from the Liberty
Calhoun Hospital, where she went to seek treatment for breathing difficulties.
police dispatcher who did not identify herself confirmed
Dawsons death Tuesday, but gave no details.
Police Department chief Mark Mallory told The Tallahassee Democrat
that officers arrested Dawson for disorderly conduct and trespassing.
is representing Dawsons family. He said that doctors thought
Dawson was stable and should be released. He said Dawson, however,
felt like she was still having breathing issues and wanted to stay.
files complaint, contends bonus program discriminates
states largest teachers union filed a complaint Monday over a
program that rewards teachers for high scores on college admissions
tests, saying the Best and Brightest bonuses discriminate
on the basis of age and race.
charges, filed by the Florida Education Association with the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on
Human Relations, come weeks before lawmakers are set to consider
extending the bonus program, which was added to the state budget
during a June special session.
many high-quality teachers in Florida were denied access to this
bonus program because of the unfair and discriminatory rules and
short timeline set up by lawmakers, union President Joanne
McCall said in a statement announcing the challenge. This bonus
plan wasnt thought out very well and wasnt properly
vetted in the Legislature and that has resulted in many good teachers
unfairly denied access to this bonus.
Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program gives
annual bonuses of up to $10,000 to teachers who are highly rated and
have SAT or ACT scores that rank in the top fifth of test results.
set aside $44 million for the program this year, but the spending
plan only made it temporary.
its regular session beginning next month, the Legislature is set to
consider bills that would extend the program.
now, critics have mostly knocked the program for misusing SAT or ACT
scores, which are generally used for college applications.
Mondays complaint goes beyond that, saying that the way the
award is structured precludes older teachers from getting the
bonuses, gives an unfair advantage to younger teachers and
discriminates against African-Americans and Latinos.
example, the union said there is no percentile data
used to determine the top fifth of test takers for SATs
or ACTs taken before 1972.
association also claims that teachers older than 40 years
old had trouble getting the required information about their
test scores before an Oct. 1 deadline.
program also exempts first-year teachers from the requirement that
recipients be rated highly effective, something the union
says is an unfair advantage.
critics of the SAT and ACT have long complained that the tests are
biased against African-Americans and Latinos.
spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Education, which was
targeted in the charges along with the states school districts,
said in an emailed statement that the agency hasnt received the
complaint the union alleges it filed against the program.
department has no comment other than to state that, as always, the
department will cooperate fully with any required regulatory process
or review, spokeswoman Meghan Collins said.
Erik Fresen, a Miami Republican who has pushed the Best and
Brightest program, blasted the unions complaint in a text message.
who chairs the House committee that oversees education funding, said
more than 5,000 teachers qualified for the award this year.
is unfortunate that the teachers unions constantly oppose any
payment structure effort that is not based on time served,
Fresen wrote. Its akin to the infantile argument of
if I cant have any neither can you.
plans more walls to stabilize Lake Okeechoboee dike
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to install roughly 30 more miles
of cutoff walls to shore up the aging earthen dike around Lake Okeechobee.
Hoover Dike rehabilitation project manager Tim Willadsen said Monday
that the plans drafted through a dam safety modification report could
cost about $400 million. The plans include 24.5 miles of cutoff walls
along the freshwater lake's western edge, from Lake Harbor to Moore
Haven. Construction would begin in 2019.
20 miles of similar walls already are installed along the lake's
eastern edge, and a 6.6-mile expansion is scheduled for completion by 2020.
says draft plans would "complete the fixes we need" to
stabilize the erosion-prone dike. The corps ranks the dike as one of
the country's most at-risk for imminent failure.
Arrested Following Crime Spree On Palm Beach Island
juveniles, not even old enough to drive, were arrested for stealing
a car from a posh condo on Palm Beach.
photos show two girls stealing a car right out of a parking garage
and breaking into another.
crime is egregious enough but the age of the suspects is shocking.
girls, reportedly just 13-years-old, are seen in the garage of the
Oasis Condominium along South Ocean Blvd.
Beach Police say the two entered the building's parking garage
through an unlocked door and stole a car with the keys in it right
from under the owner.
their crime spree at the Oasis was far from over.
doorman working at the building noticed the two on surveillance
cameras as they entered the property just 8 days later. He told
investigators that "when he attempted to make contact, they ran
towards the beach."
officer nearby found the two hiding in the bushes and arrested them.
girls are facing felony charges.
charged the juveniles with Burglary of a Dwelling, Burglary to a
Conveyance, and Grand Theft. Only one of the girls was charged with
Grand Theft Auto.
Trying To Time Travel Plows Car Into Florida Businesses
businesses are moving to new offices after a car attempting to time
travel drove through two of them, police said.
Dodge Challenger plowed through Advanced Tax Services, taking out a
wall connecting to Pensacola Caskets. Both offices have been closed
since the crash.
looked like a bomb went off," said general manager Emanuel Mores.
said office chairs and debris were scattered everywhere.
Monday, contractors boarded up the businesses. Mores told WEAR the
tax and casket offices were empty when the car smashed through the building.
said the driver told them he was trying to "travel through time."
was mad, then eventually I was happy no one was hurt. You know, that
was my biggest concern 'cause, you know, if anyone was hurt, anybody
could have died or whatever," Mores said.
told WEAR the tax office will move next door to 3844 Alcaniz St. and
the casket business will move to 3842. Both businesses said they hope
to be open after Christmas.
police told WEAR the driver has been issued a citation for reckless
driving and is in the hospital for evaluation.
are checking to see if they're connected to any other crimes.
Beach Christmas Tree Vandalized
Boynton Beach Christmas tree has been dimmed a bit, thanks to a vandal.
arrested 19-year-old Samantha Presendieu on a criminal mischief charge.
told police she grabbed a bunch of ornaments off the tree and
smashed them on the ground.
damage left the Christmas star and several rows of lights in the dark.
has also been charged with trespassing on school grounds after a warning.
in the Palm Beach County Jail.