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Christine Stapleton

Christine Stapleton has been a reporter for the Palm Beach Post since 1986. She has covered a variety beats, including a decade as the paper's court reporter and another as data editor. She distinguished herself in her coverage of award-winning reporting on migrant farmworkers, the 2000 Presidential election and the William Kennedy Smith rape trial. She currently covers the environment, politics and special investigations. She still loves what she does.

Latest from Christine Stapleton

UPDATE: Teen rower in Juno boating wreck released from hospital
 A 16-year-old high-school student from West Palm Beach was released from the hospital late Saturday following a wreck Friday evening in the Intracoastal Waterway when a 32-foot motor boat hit and ran overthe lightweight scull which he and his racing partner were rowing. Dominic Pagan, who just placed seventh in a state rowing competition...

Posted: a day ago

A 16-year-old high-school student from West Palm Beach was released from the hospital late Saturday following a wreck Friday evening in the Intracoastal Waterway when a 32-foot motor boat hit and ran overthe lightweight scull which he and his racing partner were rowing. Dominic Pagan, who just placed seventh in a state rowing competition...
NEW: Scott, Bondi vow to get tough on Florida opioid crisis
 In declaring for the first time that the state is caught up in the “national” opioid epidemic, Gov. Rick Scott and Pam Bondi announced plans Tuesday to hold public workshops to generate ideas in Palm Beach and three other counties but pledged no new major state resources to the fight. However, Bondi pledged to go after sober homes...

Posted: 12 days ago

In declaring for the first time that the state is caught up in the “national” opioid epidemic, Gov. Rick Scott and Pam Bondi announced plans Tuesday to hold public workshops to generate ideas in Palm Beach and three other counties but pledged no new major state resources to the fight. However, Bondi pledged to go after sober homes...
Aronberg wants to speak with Scott about opioid emergency
 Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg has joined a growing list of officials trying to get Gov. Rick Scott to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Aronberg, as head of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force, sent a letter on Thursday to Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Palm Beach County Health Department, asking...

Posted: 16 days ago

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg has joined a growing list of officials trying to get Gov. Rick Scott to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Aronberg, as head of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force, sent a letter on Thursday to Dr. Alina Alonso, director of the Palm Beach County Health Department, asking...
Mass. warns addicts about Florida drug-treatment recruiters
 Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has issued a consumer advisory, warning of unscrupulous marketers “trying to recruit Massachusetts residents with substance use disorder to travel to so-called treatment centers in Arizona, California and Florida.” According to the advisory,  the recruiters often use texts...

Posted: 17 days ago

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has issued a consumer advisory, warning of unscrupulous marketers “trying to recruit Massachusetts residents with substance use disorder to travel to so-called treatment centers in Arizona, California and Florida.” According to the advisory,  the recruiters often use texts...
Bondi to sit on national drug abuse panel headed by NJ Gov. Chris Christie
President Trump on Wednesday appointed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – a former rival and deposed head of his transition team – to lead a White House commission to combat drug addiction and named Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi a commission member.

Posted: 25 days ago

President Trump on Wednesday appointed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – a former rival and deposed head of his transition team – to lead a White House commission to combat drug addiction and named Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi a commission member.
For former Palm Beacher Linda Cooney freedom and a new trial in Vegas
 The Nevada Supreme Court has overturned the attempted-murder conviction of former Palm Beacher Linda Cooney, finding the Las Vegas jury that convicted her in 2014 of shooting her son should not have been told that she had been charged — and acquitted — of shooting her ex-husband in Juno Beach in 1992. In a five-page ruling handed...

Posted: 26 days ago

The Nevada Supreme Court has overturned the attempted-murder conviction of former Palm Beacher Linda Cooney, finding the Las Vegas jury that convicted her in 2014 of shooting her son should not have been told that she had been charged — and acquitted — of shooting her ex-husband in Juno Beach in 1992. In a five-page ruling handed...
Doctor in Chatman case caught working for drug treatment center
 Dr. Donald Willems, one of two doctors charged with insurance fraud at notorious drug treatment programs operated by Kenneth Chatman, was re-arrested on Friday and accused of violating the conditions of his bond. According to court records unsealed Friday afternoon, Willems continued working for a drug treatment facility, wrote prescriptions...

10:30 PM Friday, Mar. 10, 2017

Dr. Donald Willems, one of two doctors charged with insurance fraud at notorious drug treatment programs operated by Kenneth Chatman, was re-arrested on Friday and accused of violating the conditions of his bond. According to court records unsealed Friday afternoon, Willems continued working for a drug treatment facility, wrote prescriptions...
New charges in Kenny Chatman case: Evidence “massive”
   New charges have been filed against a doctor who worked for Kenneth Chatman’s notorious sober home operation, where women addicts were prostituted, held against their will and allowed to continue using drugs, according to court records. The new charges against Dr. Joaquin Mendez include conspiracy to commit health care fraud...

4:48 PM Friday, Mar. 10, 2017

  New charges have been filed against a doctor who worked for Kenneth Chatman’s notorious sober home operation, where women addicts were prostituted, held against their will and allowed to continue using drugs, according to court records. The new charges against Dr. Joaquin Mendez include conspiracy to commit health care fraud...
Sober home task force raid nets 20th arrest
 The Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force made its 20th arrest on Wednesday, charging Steve Johnson with 48 counts of patient brokering, alleging he paid referral fees to sober home operators for insured addicts. Johnson, 45, a 1990 graduate of Wellington High School, was being booked into the Palm Beach County Detention Center on Wednesday...

3:22 PM Wednesday, Mar. 01, 2017

The Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force made its 20th arrest on Wednesday, charging Steve Johnson with 48 counts of patient brokering, alleging he paid referral fees to sober home operators for insured addicts. Johnson, 45, a 1990 graduate of Wellington High School, was being booked into the Palm Beach County Detention Center on Wednesday...
Three more sober home operators arrested in Delray Beach
 Two brothers and a tattoo artist surrendered at the Palm Beach County jail on Sunday after learning they were being charged with dozens of counts of patient brokering for allegedly accepting kickbacks from Chapters Recovery, a drug treatment center in Delray Beach. Brothers Adam, 25, and Eric, 28 Lahr, of Palm Beach Gardens, each face 34...

11:40 AM Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

Two brothers and a tattoo artist surrendered at the Palm Beach County jail on Sunday after learning they were being charged with dozens of counts of patient brokering for allegedly accepting kickbacks from Chapters Recovery, a drug treatment center in Delray Beach. Brothers Adam, 25, and Eric, 28 Lahr, of Palm Beach Gardens, each face 34...
Sober arrests racheting up - Operator charged with taking kickbacks

2:00 AM Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017

A day after the arrest of Daniel Kandler - CEO of a Delray Beach treatment center — on 93 counts of patient brokering on Thursday — the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force on Friday arrested the owner of a sober home who allegedly accepted kickbacks from Kandler’s company. According to the arrest report, Kris Bayne,...