Florida headlines

Cerabino: Our Gov. Scott is a sexual-harassment warrior in training

Cerabino: Our Gov. Scott is a sexual-harassment warrior in training

Gov. Rick Scott planted his flag this week on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. He won’t stand for it, no he won’t. “It is absolutely disgusting to hear the numerous accounts of sexual harassment happening across the country,” Scott said. “Everyone deserves to work in an environment that is safe and free from any form of harassment.” Scott’s...
NEW: FIU suspends fraternity, sorority events after FSU death

NEW: FIU suspends fraternity, sorority events after FSU death

The president of Florida International University said in a letter to students and employees Friday that as of Jan. 1 all Greek life will be suspended for at least a month, the Miami Herald reported. Mark Rosenberg cited "growing concerns" in the wake of deaths of fraternity pledges at campuses nationwide, including Florida State University. He praised FIU's Greek leaders, saying they...
JUST IN: Woman dies at Miami clinic getting Brazilian butt lift

JUST IN: Woman dies at Miami clinic getting Brazilian butt lift

The family of a 40-year-old woman from Louisiana is asking questions after she died Thursday at a Miami-Dade cosmetic center during a procedure known as a Brazilian butt lift, WSVN reports. Kizzy London died Thursday at Kendall Regional Medical Center after being rushed there from West Dade Surgery Center, hospital officials said. She is survived by her husband of more than 20 years, plus 1-year-old...
Brightline’s Orlando extension wins federal approval

Brightline’s Orlando extension wins federal approval

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline has won approval from federal transportation officials to extend its passenger rail service north to Orlando, clearing the way for the private rail venture to begin construction on its second phase connecting West Palm Beach and central Florida. Brightline said it plans to begin construction on the northern extension early next year. On Monday, the company will...
Famed lawyer F. Lee Bailey still fighting to clear O.J. Simpson’s name

Famed lawyer F. Lee Bailey still fighting to clear O.J. Simpson’s name

Sitting at the head of a massive wooden table in a lawyer’s conference room, famed attorney F. Lee Bailey portrays himself as a doctor trying to cure the nation of its 23-year-old plague of O.J. Simpson-loathing. “I get them to listen in groups, but I think the inoculation wears off after a while,” the former West Palm Beach lawyer and Manalapan resident says with...
Death, arrest of drug ‘kings’ dent Boynton’s epidemic - for now

Death, arrest of drug ‘kings’ dent Boynton’s epidemic - for now

As officers cleared the scene of a Friday evening disturbance, Sgt. Widy Jean’s thoughts wandered back to the party he had spotted outside a home south of Cherry Hills. He turned to a woman nearby. The Riddick twin? he asked. Probably, she said. Kunta and Kelcey Riddick, both 40, controlled the northwest Boynton Beach neighborhood’s drug trade for decades, or at least between stints in...

POINT OF VIEW: Large-scale pot growers destroy land and wildlife

The rush to legalize marijuana is largely driven by old-fashioned greed. Lawful medical and recreational use dominates public discussion, while related environmental catastrophe unfolds across America — widespread habitat and endangered wildlife destruction from illegal marijuana grow-sites. California grows most American pot, hosting an army of illegal growers who wantonly abuse public lands...
Scott wins at least temporary victory on Supreme Court appointments

Scott wins at least temporary victory on Supreme Court appointments

Saying it is too soon to rule on the issue, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a high-profile case about whether Gov. Rick Scott or his successor has the power to appoint replacements for three justices whose terms end as Scott’s tenure comes to a close. Thursday’s decision — which a dissenting justice asserted sets up a “constitutional crisis” — isn&rsquo...
In #MeToo moment, ‘not me’ defense works uniquely for President Trump

In #MeToo moment, ‘not me’ defense works uniquely for President Trump

They have fallen, one after another, like great trees in the face of some powerful wind. Movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Actor Kevin Spacey. NBC broadcaster Matt Lauer. Talk show host Charlie Rose. Michigan congressman John Conyers. U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota. And on Tuesday, U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. Each of those powerful men – and a long and growing list...
Irma claims top $6B, Citizens braces for 50,000-plus new customers

Irma claims top $6B, Citizens braces for 50,000-plus new customers

After Hurricane Irma stung property insurers for $6.3 billion in claims and counting, Florida’s state-run and second-largest carrier expects to add more than 50,000 customers in 2018. “We’re expecting to go from 442,000 back to 500,000,” Barry Gilway, president of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., told the company’s board meeting Wednesday. Full coverage of Hurricane...
Palm Beach dermatologist pleads guilty to health care fraud, obstruction

Palm Beach dermatologist pleads guilty to health care fraud, obstruction

A Palm Beach dermatologist on Wednesday pleaded guilty to federal charges of health care fraud and obstruction of a criminal health care investigation in connection with his operations of clinics in Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee. Dr. Gary Marder faces a maximum 15-year prison term and $500,000 fine in connection with what federal prosecutors described as a scheme to defraud government...
Local GOP leaders: Democrats shouldn’t read much into Roy Moore’s loss

Local GOP leaders: Democrats shouldn’t read much into Roy Moore’s loss

Democrats locally and nationally should not be quick to discern a political sea change in Tuesday night’s Alabama U.S. Senate election, current and former leaders of Palm Beach County’s Republican Party said Wednesday. In the vote to replace U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, now the U.S. Attorney General, in what traditionally is a deep-red southern state, Democratic candidate Doug Jones narrowly...
Dinner? Train slices semi in half, sending chicken, beef flying

Dinner? Train slices semi in half, sending chicken, beef flying

A semi stalled on a Florida railroad track was sliced in two after a train smashed into it just before midnight Tuesday, news reports stated. Frozen boxes of chicken, beef and seafood — the truck’s load — spilled onto the ground after the crash created a meaty mess to clean up in Lakeland, according to Fox 13.  And as no one was injured, some neighbors immediately thought...
Frankel leads call for sexual-misconduct investigation of Trump

Frankel leads call for sexual-misconduct investigation of Trump

Led by U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, five dozen Democratic congresswomen are calling for an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by President Donald Trump. The total number of Democrats backing such an investigation has now reached 139 men and women and is climbing, Frankel told The Palm Beach Post by telephone Tuesday after the Democratic women’s press conference...
Tax increases would need two-thirds vote of Legislature under proposal

Tax increases would need two-thirds vote of Legislature under proposal

A measure that would require future tax or fee increases to be approved by two-thirds votes of the Legislature is ready for consideration by the state Constitution Revision Commission. The commission’s Finance and Taxation Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously to advance a proposed constitutional amendment (Proposal 72), sponsored by Commissioner Fred Karlinsky of Weston, that would require...

POINT OF VIEW: Community college bill is ’ fix looking for a problem’

With the unveiling of his final budget proposal, Gov. Rick Scott is aiming to restore $30 million previously cut from the Florida College System along with adding a $30 million increase. This effort not only highlights his support of higher education, it is a tip of the hat to the contributions from our state college system to Florida’s economic strength. Provided such recognition, not to mention...
Editorial: Outlier Florida must toughen its texting-while-driving law

Editorial: Outlier Florida must toughen its texting-while-driving law

If you were to be reading this sentence while driving, instead of watching what’s ahead, you’d be creating quite a hazard on the road. That’s obvious. Yet thousands of us do the equivalent every day. We’re reading and writing on our smartphones while driving — underestimating the dangers while overestimating our abilities to stay in control. A typical text takes a driver&rsquo...
Governor names Curley, Nutt to Palm Beach County circuit judge seats

Governor names Curley, Nutt to Palm Beach County circuit judge seats

A partner at a local megafirm and the attorney for a regional governmental agency on Monday became the two newest judges in the circuit that covers Palm Beach County. Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced late Monday that he has appointed Gerard Joseph Curley Jr. and James Nutt as circuit judges in the 15th judicial circuit to replace outgoing judges James T. Ferrara and Richard Oftedal. Curley, a 57-year-old...
Cerabino: Socking it to West Palm eye doc depends on relative justice

Cerabino: Socking it to West Palm eye doc depends on relative justice

I wonder if Dean Rockmore is following the sentencing of Dr. Salomon Melgen in West Palm Beach. Rockmore is in Florida’s Everglades Correctional Institution, paying the price for trying to shoplift a $4 pair of socks from a Walmart in DeLand. Dr. Melgen, an ophthalmologist who was once America’s top biller of Medicare-reimbursed treatments, is awaiting sentencing in federal court in West...
VIDEO: FAU prof loses free speech battle; lawyer calls media ‘presstitutes’

VIDEO: FAU prof loses free speech battle; lawyer calls media ‘presstitutes’

Minutes after a federal jury rejected claims that Florida Atlantic University fired communications professor James Tracy because he publicly declared the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax, his attorney lashed out at the media, calling reporters “presstitutes.” “Shame on you fake news,” attorney Louis Leo IV told news photographers and reporters...
Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino should be off bench, panel says

Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino should be off bench, panel says

Neither good works on the bench nor claims of accepted responsibility from Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino are enough for her to keep the job she won in a 2016 election where she bashed her opponent for being a criminal defense attorney, according to a judicial panel that has recommended the Florida Supreme Court require her to step down. An attorney from a six-member panel of the Judicial Qualifications...

POINT OF VIEW: Protect employees, public from workplace violence

Collecting taxes and fees from the public is not an easy job. The 300 dedicated employees of the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office do their best to make the experience as pleasant and efficient as possible. Unfortunately, they must also serve angry and upset clients, some of whom threaten violence. Just last month, our agency experienced two incidents in our service centers when customers...
VIDEO: FAU wins in lawsuit by fired prof who said Sandy Hook a hoax

VIDEO: FAU wins in lawsuit by fired prof who said Sandy Hook a hoax

A federal jury on Monday afternoon found that Florida Atlantic University did not violate the rights of communications professor James Tracy when it fired him. The jury found that Tracy’s blogs that the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax were not a “motivating factor” in Tracy’s firing. FAU attorney G. Joseph Curley voiced satisfaction about...
Trump hits Twitter, golf course before heading home

Trump hits Twitter, golf course before heading home

President Donald Trump wrapped up his latest weekend at his Mar-a-Lago Club on Sunday by using two of his favorite activities — tweeting and golfing — to urge Congress to enact tax cuts and agree on a spending plan to keep the federal government running beyond Dec. 22. Trump hit the links at Trump International Golf Club with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a frequent critic and sometime...
NEW: Pilot dies in small plane crash near Miami airport

NEW: Pilot dies in small plane crash near Miami airport

A pilot was killed this afternoon when a small plane crashed after taking off from Miami Executive Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The pilot was the only person aboard the Piper PA 60, the FAA said, but police have not confirmed this, WSVN reports. Miami-Dade police said they have taken over the investigation. The plane crashed near the 12100 block of Southwest 157th...
Trump in Palm Beach: Roy Moore support, media scorn, no golf

Trump in Palm Beach: Roy Moore support, media scorn, no golf

President Donald Trump, spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate, reiterated his support for Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s controversial Senate bid on Saturday and hammered the media over a pair of high-profile erroneous stories while also fitting in a side trip to Mississippi. Trump also shattered precedent by not visiting one of his golf courses — the first time in nine presidential...
Florida Democrats choose Palm Beach County’s Terrie Rizzo in chair vote

Florida Democrats choose Palm Beach County’s Terrie Rizzo in chair vote

Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo was chosen Saturday to be chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party in a vote by party activists in Orlando. Rizzo, who lives west of Boynton Beach, takes over a party rocked by the abrupt resignation of former Chairman Stephen Bittel last month after Politico reported on complaints he created a hostile work environment for women with...
Looks like Ron DeSantis will go Full Trump in Florida governor bid

Looks like Ron DeSantis will go Full Trump in Florida governor bid

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis introducing President Donald Trump in Pensacola on Friday night. U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who’s expected to launch a Republican bid for Florida governor in 2018, is leaving little doubt that he’ll be running as an enthusiastic supporter of President Donald Trump. DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz flew with Trump on Air...
‘Outraged’ by $220,000 settlement in Hastings case

‘Outraged’ by $220,000 settlement in Hastings case

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, says he didn’t know about a $220,000 settlement paid to a former staffer and is “outraged” by it. Taxpayers spent $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that involved U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach,  the Capitol Hill publication...
POINT OF VIEW: The untold story of the opioid crisis

POINT OF VIEW: The untold story of the opioid crisis

The Palm Beach Post’s Nov. 15 story, “Why Palm Beach County is the ‘epicenter’ of the deadly opioid crisis,” bluntly lays out a significant tragedy occurring right outside our front doors. While the devastating number of deadly overdoses in our county – 571 last year – is certainly a crisis, my mind quickly shifts to those left behind. How many thousands have...
Editorial: Florida Legislature assault on home rule must end

Editorial: Florida Legislature assault on home rule must end

Florida’s counties and municipalities are under siege. But it’s not just from crises such as rising sea levels, a spreading opioid epidemic or lack of affordable housing. The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature, which has been chipping away at Florida’s bedrock “home rule” statute for years, appears ready to take to a sledgehammer to it in the 2018 legislative...
Trump in Palm Beach: Late-night arrival begins 9th Mar-a-Lago visit

Trump in Palm Beach: Late-night arrival begins 9th Mar-a-Lago visit

President Donald Trump arrived at Palm Beach International Airport at about 11:25 p.m. Friday to begin his ninth visit to Palm Beach since taking office. The president is scheduled to leave his Mar-a-Lago estate Saturday morning and fly out of PBIA at 8:45 a.m. for a six-hour side trip to Mississippi. After attending the openings of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights...
Report: Taxpayers paid $220K over harassment case involving Hastings

Report: Taxpayers paid $220K over harassment case involving Hastings

Taxpayers spent $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that involved U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call reported Friday night. Hastings, who has denied the claims in the suit, said he did not know of the settlement until Friday night and is “outraged” by it. Winsome Packer, a staffer on the congressional Helsinki Commission that Hastings...
Sen. Bill Nelson weighs in on eve of Florida Democratic chair vote

Sen. Bill Nelson weighs in on eve of Florida Democratic chair vote

Sen. Bill Nelson is backing Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo for the Florida Democratic Party’s top post. Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is backing Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo to lead the Florida Democratic Party ahead of a Saturday vote in Orlando. Longtime Nelson political adviser ...
NEW: Okeechobee family waits for body of GI who died in North Korea

NEW: Okeechobee family waits for body of GI who died in North Korea

Edith Hansel Hester has a spot reserved for her in the family plot at Evergreen Cemetery in Okeechobee. There’s a spot for her brother Earl as well. She’s been waiting for 66 years, and counting, for him to come home. Earl Henry Hansel, 26, died in a North Korean prisoner of war camp in 1951. His remains still are there. Tensions between the North Korean government and the...
Therapist threatens to sue PBC if it passes conversion therapy ban

Therapist threatens to sue PBC if it passes conversion therapy ban

A Boca Raton therapist has threatened to sue Palm Beach County if it passes a proposed ban on the controversial practice of conversion therapy, which aims to change an individual’s sexual orientation. Robert Otto argued during Tuesday’s County Commission meeting — and again in an email to County Mayor Melissa McKinlay sent Thursday night — that the state, not the county, has...
Claims against FAU by Sandy Hook denier headed to federal jury Monday

Claims against FAU by Sandy Hook denier headed to federal jury Monday

A lawsuit accusing Florida Atlantic University of violating the First Amendment rights of a professor who publicly decried the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as a hoax is expected to be go to a federal jury on Monday. The university rested its case Friday, setting the stage for closing arguments and jury deliberations when the trial of fired professor James Tracy’s lawsuit resumes after...

Forever Florida, St. Johns proposals get Senate backing

Measures that would double Gov. Rick Scott’s spending request for the Florida Forever conservation program and earmark money to improve the St. Johns River continued to move easily through the Senate on Thursday. The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously backed a proposal (SB 370) to designate $100 million a year for Florida Forever. Also, it approved...
Case of fired FAU professor may hinge on single document

Case of fired FAU professor may hinge on single document

Testimony could end today in a trial for fired Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy, who is hoping a jury will force university administrators to give him his job back and award him back pay based on claims they fired him because of conspiracy theories he expressed about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and other events on his personal blog. Tracy’s attorneys rested their...
Florida agency for disabled seeks $89M to avoid deficit

Florida agency for disabled seeks $89M to avoid deficit

One of Gov. Rick Scott’s priorities after taking office in 2011 was to resolve a longstanding deficit in the Medicaid “waiver” program that serves people with developmental disabilities. Now, nearly seven years later, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities will be in the red if the Legislature doesn’t agree to spend at least an additional $89 million for a program meant to...
Eric Sutton promoted to top spot at Florida wildlife agency

Eric Sutton promoted to top spot at Florida wildlife agency

Florida’s wildlife management agency stayed in-house for its new executive director. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Thursday agreed to promote Assistant Executive Director Eric Sutton to replace departing agency chief Nick Wiley. Sutton will start Friday in the new role. Commissioner Robert Spottswood of Key West said he saw Sutton’s work ethic the past few years, and...
Trump in Palm Beach: President’s ninth visit comes with new wrinkles

Trump in Palm Beach: President’s ninth visit comes with new wrinkles

President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Mar-a-Lago should feature the least disruptive arrival motorcade of his presidency and a brief Saturday reprieve for weekend pilots who are grounded when the president is in town. Trump, whose eight previous presidential visits have often snarled rush hour traffic between Palm Beach International Airport and his tropical White House, isn’t expected...
Bill would clarify fantasy sports not subject to Florida gambling laws

Bill would clarify fantasy sports not subject to Florida gambling laws

Despite concerns raised by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, a Senate committee Thursday approved a bill that would make clear fantasy sports contests are not a type of illegal gambling. Lawmakers in recent years have repeatedly considered such bills after questions were raised in Florida and other states about the legality of online fantasy-sports games. In fantasy sports, participants typically select...

POINT OF VIEW: Don’t allow state money to pay for religious schools

“We all have freedom of religion, and we have a right to send our children to private schools of our choice, religious or otherwise. But why should your freedom become my burden? Should the taxpayers of Florida be compelled to pay for your choice? Should the taxpayers be forced to send their money to a religious group preferred by someone else? Because that’s what this amendment, this...
Kids found in ‘filthy’ conditions at Boynton home; parents arrested

Kids found in ‘filthy’ conditions at Boynton home; parents arrested

A 3-year-old child found wandering alone and living in “filthy” conditions led to the arrests of a Boynton Beach couple Wednesday on child-neglect charges. City police arrested Anderson Dallegrand, 37, and Erika Cassagnol, 34, on Wednesday after investigators found roaches crawling in every room, rodent droppings, and mold in a home the couple shares with their three young children...
GL Homes withdraws controversial Ag Reserve development plan

GL Homes withdraws controversial Ag Reserve development plan

GL Homes has withdrawn its application for a controversial development plan in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve, ending — for now — a battle that had already begun to divide the county. GL’s decision came Thursday, one day before the builder was to make a presentation to the county’s Planning Commission, the first step in its bid to win final approval from county...
Video: Democrat Lauren Baer focuses on health care in bid for Brian Mast House seat

Video: Democrat Lauren Baer focuses on health care in bid for Brian Mast House seat

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbc-Snk9kQ4&w=492&h=307] Democrat Lauren Baer, a former Obama administration foreign policy adviser who hopes to unseat freshman Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, is introducing herself to voters with a three-minute biographical video that doesn’t mention Mast but hints that Mast’s ...
LATEST: Roy Moore accuser filed report of threats with Delray police

LATEST: Roy Moore accuser filed report of threats with Delray police

A Delray Beach woman who said she dated U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was 17 and he was 34 filed a report with Delray Beach police in November saying she was being harassed and threatened on social media. The police report was filed on Nov. 11 by Deborah Wesson Gibson, days after she told The Washington Post that Moore — the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat...
Impeach Trump? Two Palm Beach County Democrats say it’s worth debate

Impeach Trump? Two Palm Beach County Democrats say it’s worth debate

U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, and Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, were among only 58 House members voting against tabling an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) An impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump was blocked by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday with a majority of Democrats...
U.S. tax reform may limit bond refinancing, costing Florida billions

U.S. tax reform may limit bond refinancing, costing Florida billions

Florida taxpayers could lose billions of dollars in future savings under part of pending federal tax-reform legislation that would limit the ability of states and local governments to refinance bonds. “This is down in the weeds, but it is extraordinarily important,” said Ben Watkins, director of the state Division of Bond Finance, after briefing aides to Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet members...
Local reps among few who voted to consider Trump impeachment

Local reps among few who voted to consider Trump impeachment

U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, and Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, bucked their own party’s leadership Wednesday and voted to consider an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump. The impeachment resolution by Rep. Al Green, D-Tex., was tabled on a lopsided 364-to-58 vote, with all Republicans and a majority of Democrats voting to set the measure aside...
On special ballot to replace Clemens: two Democrats, one Republican

On special ballot to replace Clemens: two Democrats, one Republican

Two Democrats and a Republican from Palm Beach County have qualified for the ballot for a special Florida Senate election to replace Jeff Clemens, the Atlantis Democrat who resigned in October after admitting to an affair with a lobbyist. State Rep. Lori Berman of Lantana and Arthur Morrison of West Palm Beach, both Democrats, and Palm Beach County Republican Vice Chairwoman Tami Donnally of Lake...
Florida lawmakers question Scott request for more tourism funding

Florida lawmakers question Scott request for more tourism funding

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s request for lawmakers to boost tourism marketing by $24 million next year might be a tough sell in the state House. Members of the House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee said Wednesday that Visit Florida would have to justify the proposed increase by showing how many of the 112.3 million visitors last year, and 88.2 million so far this year, came...
Florida synagogues challenge FEMA over Irma disaster relief

Florida synagogues challenge FEMA over Irma disaster relief

Two Florida synagogues damaged by Hurricane Irma have filed a lawsuit contending that houses of worship are unconstitutionally barred from receiving disaster assistance through a key federal program. Chabad of Key West and Chabad of the Space Coast filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Key West against the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Florida Division of Emergency Management...
Florida Supreme Court reprimands, suspends St. Lucie Judge Yacucci

Florida Supreme Court reprimands, suspends St. Lucie Judge Yacucci

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday publicly reprimanded a St. Lucie County judge who was engaged in a long-running battle with an attorney that included an altercation between the men. In presenting the reprimand, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga said St. Lucie County Judge Philip Yacucci acted improperly in the dispute with attorney Stephen Smith, including refusing to recuse himself...
Florida justices agree to weigh damages in Boynton smoker’s death

Florida justices agree to weigh damages in Boynton smoker’s death

A divided Florida Supreme Court has decided to take up a case that focuses on the amount of damages an adult child should be able to receive in the smoking-related death of her mother. Justices, in a 4-3 decision Tuesday, agreed to consider an appeal in a case filed against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. by Gwendolyn Odom of Delray Beach, whose mother, Juanita Thurston of Boynton Beach, died of lung cancer...
Florida pols weigh in on Trump recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Florida pols weigh in on Trump recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in Israel on a trade mission, praises President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Florida politicians had mixed responses to President Donald Trump‘s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to instruct the State Department to develop a plan to move the U.S. embassy...
Florida House Speaker backs tougher texting-while-driving law

Florida House Speaker backs tougher texting-while-driving law

Texting while driving would become a “primary” traffic offense under legislation backed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran. The legislation, expected to be unveiled Wednesday, would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over motorists if they see them texting or emailing. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning officers can only charge motorists with texting violations...
Miami-Dade officer shoots, kills gunman at Walmart

Miami-Dade officer shoots, kills gunman at Walmart

A Miami-Dade police officer was shot “multiple times” while working security at a Walmart on Wednesday afternoon, according to police. Manuel Gonzalez was off-duty when he was struck by bullets and returned fire to kill the gunman in the parking lot, according to the Miami Herald. Gonzalez was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition. “At close...
SEIU Prez Monica Russo drops bid for Florida Democratic chair

SEIU Prez Monica Russo drops bid for Florida Democratic chair

SEIU Florida President Monica Russo, second from right, is giving up her bid for Florida Democratic Party chairwoman. Still in the race, from left: Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo, Hillsborough County Democratic State Committeewoman Alma Gonzalez and Brevard County Democratic Chairwoman Stacey Patel. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Stymied by...
LATEST: As deaths rise, state out to toughen texting-while-driving law

LATEST: As deaths rise, state out to toughen texting-while-driving law

Florida is one of only four states that hasn’t made texting while driving a primary offense, meaning that law enforcement can’t pull over a motorist solely for typing out a text on their cellphone. But that may soon change. A bill filed Wednesday in the state House of Representatives would toughen the law and, proponents assert, reduce the number of people injured and killed on the state&rsquo...
Trump in Palm Beach: Late Friday arrival, Mississippi side trip

Trump in Palm Beach: Late Friday arrival, Mississippi side trip

President Donald Trump should arrive at Mar-a-Lago late Friday night, then take a side trip to Mississippi on Saturday before returning to his tropical estate for the rest of the weekend, new notices from the Federal Aviation Administration suggest. Trump is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally in Pensacola on Friday night before flying to Palm Beach International Airport. The FAA today issued...
Florida Senate panel rejects three bills to expand gun rights

Florida Senate panel rejects three bills to expand gun rights

With the 2018 legislative session still more than a month away, gun-related measures might have died Tuesday in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been a stumbling block in recent years for Second Amendment-related bills, narrowly rejected proposals that sought to allow Floridians with concealed-weapons licenses to carry firearms up to the entrances of courthouses (SB 134); inadvertently...
Palm Beach County commissioner’s brother opens campaign for judge

Palm Beach County commissioner’s brother opens campaign for judge

Attorney Scott Kerner, left, joins former Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe in the race for an open Circuit Court judgeship. Attorney Scott Kerner, the older brother of Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner, has opened a 2018 campaign against former State Attorney Michael McAuliffe for an open...
Creation of slavery memorial at Florida Capitol clears Senate panel

Creation of slavery memorial at Florida Capitol clears Senate panel

A bill that would lead to the creation of a slavery memorial at the Florida Capitol began moving Tuesday in the state Senate. The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee unanimously approved the bill (SB 286), sponsored by Sen. Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat who said the memorial would recognize “the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery&rdquo...
Editorial: Stop lawmakers’ raids on affordable-housing funds

Editorial: Stop lawmakers’ raids on affordable-housing funds

Years ago, a far more enlightened leadership in Tallahassee created the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds, which uses doc stamp surcharges on real estate transactions to leverage federal and private funds to help develop more affordable housing in Florida. Today, housing costs are at a crisis point. Yet Gov. Rick Scott and many state lawmakers seem determined to contribute to the...
NEW: Two escape serious injury in Fort Pierce helicopter crash

NEW: Two escape serious injury in Fort Pierce helicopter crash

Two people escaped serious injury after being involved in a helicopter crash Tuesday afternoon at Treasure Coast International Airport in Fort Pierce, the St. Lucie County Fire District reports. The crash occurred shortly after 1 p.m. There were two people on board. Neither required medical transport, the fire district said. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.
Boss of ex-FAU prof Tracy ‘feared for his safety’ over conspiracy blog

Boss of ex-FAU prof Tracy ‘feared for his safety’ over conspiracy blog

In the early part of 2013, as Florida Atlantic University faculty and students alike were still reeling from the international attention the school was receiving because of professor James Tracy’s controversial blog Memory Hole, former school administrator Heather Coltman said it hardly seemed the right time to press Tracy about filling out a required form letting the faculty know about...
Dr. Melgen lauded, pilloried during sentencing hearing for practices

Dr. Melgen lauded, pilloried during sentencing hearing for practices

Luminaries from Dr. Salomon Melgen’s homeland — including a former Dominican Republic interior minister and the conductor of the island nation’s orchestra — offered glowing accounts of the retinal specialist’s generosity and medical prowess on Tuesday to persuade a federal judge to show mercy when he sentences the physician on 67 charges of health care fraud. The praise...
Opioid crisis: Palm Beach County looking for firms for Big Pharma suit

Opioid crisis: Palm Beach County looking for firms for Big Pharma suit

Want to represent Palm Beach County if it goes toe to toe with Big Pharma? Law firms could soon have that opportunity. Commissioners voted 7-0 Tuesday to have County Attorney Denise Nieman’s office begin crafting a request for proposals from firms that would represent the county should it decide to file suit against drug companies, manufacturers or pharmacies as part of its effort to combat...
Palm Beach County takes step to ban conversion therapy for gay minors

Palm Beach County takes step to ban conversion therapy for gay minors

The Palm Beach County Commission moved forward with a proposed ordinance Tuesday that would ban conversion therapy for minors, a controversial practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation. Several municipalities in the county — Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and Wellington — have already passed such an ordinance. If commissioners...
Always a Palm Beach County connection: Roy Moore edition

Always a Palm Beach County connection: Roy Moore edition

Debbie Wesson Gibson of Delray Beach looks through a scrapbook from her senior year in high school, where several pages include what she says is evidence of her relationship with Roy Moore when she was 17 and he was 34. (Photo by Jon Gerberg/The Washington Post) Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore — the accused child molester...
Renew health insurance to Florida’s poor kids? It’s on the back burner

Renew health insurance to Florida’s poor kids? It’s on the back burner

There are 342,000 Florida children who are waiting for their turn. It hasn’t happened yet. A 20-year-old national program called the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), quietly expired in September, leaving children of the working poor in limbo. The program is run jointly by the federal government and the states, with the federal government providing most of the financial support...
FAU boss denies Tracy claim that his firing linked to conspiracy blog

FAU boss denies Tracy claim that his firing linked to conspiracy blog

When word leaked out that Florida Atlantic University communications professor James Tracy was publicly claiming the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax, complaints poured into the Boca Raton-based school, a top FAU administrator told a federal jury Monday. Students, faculty, community residents, alumni and donors weighed in, demanding the ouster of the 11-year tenured...
Scott PSC appointee drops out after accusation by Benacquisto

Scott PSC appointee drops out after accusation by Benacquisto

Allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct continued to send shock waves through the Capitol on Monday, as an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott to the state’s utility-regulatory board withdrew from the job after an influential senator accused him of manhandling her at a charity event last year. Ritch Workman, a former state House member who was supposed to begin work next month on the state...
Ex-U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown gets 5 years in prison for charity scam

Ex-U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown gets 5 years in prison for charity scam

Describing the fraud as “shameless,” a federal judge in Jacksonville sentenced former Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown to five years in prison Monday for her role in a scam that involved using charitable contributions for personal expenses and events. The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan, came after Brown was convicted in May on 18 felony counts. Corrigan...
If Palm Beach County sues big Pharma, 14 law firms interested

If Palm Beach County sues big Pharma, 14 law firms interested

Fourteen law firms — including seven based in Florida — have expressed an interest in representing Palm Beach County if it decides to file suit against opioid manufacturers, distributors or pharmacies, according to a report prepared by the county attorney’s office. At the suggestion of County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose former aide lost a daughter to the opioid...
Scott appoints Gary Nicklaus to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Scott appoints Gary Nicklaus to Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has two new commissioners, as the leadership of the agency continues to undergo changes. Gov. Rick Scott late Friday appointed Sonya Rood of St. Augustine to replace Commissioner Aliese “Liesa” Priddy of Immokalee and Gary Nicklaus of Jupiter to succeed Commissioner Ronald Bergeron of Fort Lauderdale. » RELATED: More Florida government...
Trump plans return to Palm Beach this weekend amid other appearances

Trump plans return to Palm Beach this weekend amid other appearances

President Donald Trump appears to be planning a return visit to Mar-a-Lago this weekend. New advisories from the Federal Aviation Administration show airspace will be restricted over West Palm Beach from Friday through Sunday, with details that are hallmarks of a presidential visit. Other advisories were issued for relatively close trips — to Pensacola on Friday, and Jackson, Miss., on Saturday...
Cancel the schlepper bags: Slosberg opts out, backs Berman for Senate

Cancel the schlepper bags: Slosberg opts out, backs Berman for Senate

In a surprise announcement, former Democratic state Rep. Irving Slosberg said today he will not run in a special state Senate election to replace Jeff Clemens in Palm Beach County and will back state Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, for the seat. “Lori Berman and I are good friends. Good friends don’t run against each other. She stood next to me on all road safety and transportation issues...

POINT OF VIEW: Destigmatizing mental health in the legal profession

It was only October that the legal community lost one of our most vocal champions for mental health. As executive director of Florida Lawyers Assistance Inc., Michael Cohen spent the past 20 years advocating for attorneys struggling with substance abuse and mental illness. He also spent this same time recovering from his own battle with addiction. Cohen was a safety net to so many in need. My hope...
Editorial: Law needed to ensure residents stay cool after hurricane

Editorial: Law needed to ensure residents stay cool after hurricane

It’s jarring to realize that hundreds of extended-care facilities in the state of Florida — where hurricanes have been known to happen —have been operating for years without generators strong enough to keep their frail residents from suffering in subtropical heat when the power goes out. But that’s what we all learned to our shock and horror in September, when eight residents...
Will Trump’s upcoming Florida rally boost Alabama’s Roy Moore?

Will Trump’s upcoming Florida rally boost Alabama’s Roy Moore?

Donald Trump at an October 2016 rally at the South Florida Fairgrounds. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beacah Post) President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Pensacola next Friday, his 2020 campaign confirmed Friday. The Trump campaign says it will be the part-time Palm Beach resident’s 35th rally in Florida — but its real significance is in nearby Alabama...
Study: Racism, sexism in hiring firms at Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority?

Study: Racism, sexism in hiring firms at Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority?

Firms owned by white men got the overwhelming share of money awarded by the Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority for contract work from 2009 through 2013, a disparity study conducted for the authority shows. The 284-page study, conducted by Mason Tillman Associates of California and delivered to the SWA in March, has confirmed the suspicions of some minority business owners who have long complained...
How Palm Beach County’s lawyers rate the judges who decide their cases

How Palm Beach County’s lawyers rate the judges who decide their cases

Long before former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Circuit Judge Meenu Sasser to the Palm Beach County bench in 2009, and before she came to Florida fresh out of law school with $100 to her name, she was a first grade ESOL student in the Washington, D.C. area, where her parents had emigrated from India. This memory of her public school class was one of the first things that came to Sasser&rsquo...
NEW: Son of slain deputy involved in Broward crash that killed cyclist

NEW: Son of slain deputy involved in Broward crash that killed cyclist

The Wellington man who followed his father, slain Broward County sheriff’s deputy Chris Reyka, into law enforcement was the driver in a crash this week that killed a bicyclist, authorities said. Broward deputy Sean Reyka, 30, was named in the incident Tuesday in Pompano Beach that killed bicyclist John Mancini, 60, the Broward Sheriff’s office said. Reyka had joined the Broward department...
Ex-FAU prof on trial tries to downplay attack on Sandy Hook parents

Ex-FAU prof on trial tries to downplay attack on Sandy Hook parents

Upset that the South Florida Sun-Sentinel published a letter from parents who lost their son in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy dashed off a retort, disputing the couple’s claims that he compounded their pain by declaring the mass shooting a hoax. “The Pozners, alas, are as phony as the drill itself and profiting handsomely...
Day after Manafort bond supposedly set, Mueller wants to reconsider

Day after Manafort bond supposedly set, Mueller wants to reconsider

New information has a top federal prosecutor reconsidering his support for a proposed bail bond for former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, which could involve Manafort’s Palm Beach Gardens home. Robert Mueller’s Office of Special Counsel had supported Manafort’s bond motion Thursday, but asked a judge on Friday for several days to reevaluate. The government wants...
Palm Beach County SWA delays hauling bids over bias accusations

Palm Beach County SWA delays hauling bids over bias accusations

The Palm Beach County Commission decided Thursday to postpone the deadline for garbage hauling contract bids so commissioners can consider the implementation of a program aimed at helping women- and minority-owned firms get a piece of those contracts, which could be worth as much as $450 million. Tuesday was the deadline for those bids, but Commissioner Mack Bernard — pointing to the results...
Women urge changes, ‘soul-searching’ in Florida Democratic Party after chairman’s resignation

Women urge changes, ‘soul-searching’ in Florida Democratic Party after chairman’s resignation

Candidates for Florida Democratic Party chairwoman, from left: Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo, Hillsborough County Democratic State Committeewoman Alma Gonzalez, Service Employees International Union Florida President Monica Russo and Brevard County Democratic Chairwoman Stacey Patel. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) MIAMI — At a &ldquo...
No Palm Beach County-based judges make finalist list for federal bench

No Palm Beach County-based judges make finalist list for federal bench

No Palm Beach County-based judges made the short list of 10 nominees still hopeful for an appointment from President Donald Trump to five South Florida federal court vacancies. Four Palm Beach County Circuit court judges and a judge from the West Palm Beach-based district appellate court had made it to the top 24 from an initial list of 45 applicants, but none of the five local judges was on the list...
NEW: Manafort could forfeit Gardens home under new bail bond

NEW: Manafort could forfeit Gardens home under new bail bond

Attorneys for Palm Beach Gardens resident and former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort say they have reached an agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that will allow Manafort to travel to Florida and New York while he awaits trial. Manafort’s legal residence is a home in BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, though he has been under house...
NEW: Substitute teacher accused of raping girl, 15, in Fort Pierce

NEW: Substitute teacher accused of raping girl, 15, in Fort Pierce

A St. Lucie County substitute teacher is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl Friday, according to a Fort Pierce police arrest report. The victim told police she had sex with Freedom Whitfield, 24, who denied the allegation, according to the report. Whitfield, who was a substitute teacher at Dan McCarty Middle School in Fort Pierce, was released Saturday on a $30,000 bond on a single count of sexual...
John Goodman files another appeal to Florida Supreme Court

John Goodman files another appeal to Florida Supreme Court

With one case already pending at the Florida Supreme Court, attorneys for Wellington millionaire and polo club founder John Goodman are filing another challenge at the Supreme Court as they fight his conviction on a DUI manslaughter charge. Attorneys for Goodman have filed a notice that they will challenge a July ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal that upheld the conviction in the high-profile...
FAU professor James Tracy claims school fired him for Sandy Hook rants

FAU professor James Tracy claims school fired him for Sandy Hook rants

James Tracy insists Florida Atlantic University officials fired him from his tenured teaching position because of his conspiracy-laced rants about the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 26 students and teachers. But on Thursday, the first day of trial in his wrongful termination lawsuit against the university that is framed as a fight for free speech...
Before Israel trip, Scott, like Trump, urges U.S. embassy in Jerusalem

Before Israel trip, Scott, like Trump, urges U.S. embassy in Jerusalem

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will embark this weekend on a trade mission to Israel that he instantly made political on Wednesday by calling for the U.S. Embassy to be relocated to Jerusalem. In announcing the trip, Scott echoed a campaign pledge by President Donald Trump to move the embassy from Tel Aviv. RELATED: More Florida government news “As we prepare for this important trade mission, it is...
Panel wants end of Florida constitution ban on state cash for religion

Panel wants end of Florida constitution ban on state cash for religion

Florida’s longtime ban on state support for religious groups would be removed from the state constitution under a proposal approved Wednesday by a Constitution Revision Commission panel. In a 5-1 vote, the commission’s Declaration of Rights Committee endorsed a measure (Proposal 4) that would eliminate the Constitution’s so-called “no-aid” provision, which prohibits public...
Hastings, Deutch, Frankel endorse Terrie Rizzo for Florida Democratic chair

Hastings, Deutch, Frankel endorse Terrie Rizzo for Florida Democratic chair

Palm Beach County Democratic U.S. Reps. (from left) Ted Deutch, Alcee Hastings and Lois Frankel . Palm Beach County’s three Democratic U.S. House members are backing Palm Beach County Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo‘s bid to become state party chairwoman. Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Rizzo...
BREAKING: Husband of missing Delray woman pleads guilty to coin theft

BREAKING: Husband of missing Delray woman pleads guilty to coin theft

While the fate of Isabella Hellmann, missing for nearly seven months, remains a mystery, the suburban Delray Beach woman’s husband now faces up to 10 years in prison on a stolen coin charge. In federal court Thursday morning, Lewis Bennett pleaded guilty to knowingly transporting as much as $100,000 in stolen coins while working in 2016 as a mate aboard a yacht in the Caribbean. U.S. District...
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