Bill Requiring Greyhound Injury Reporting Passes Florida Senate

Categories: News

Photo by AngMoKio via Wikipedia Commons
After failing to push through legislation over the past couple of years, a bill requiring racetracks to report greyhound injuries was passed by the Florida Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 2, titled, "The Victoria Q Gaetz Racing Greyhound Protection Act," has been championed by greyhound safety advocates Grey2K USA, the Humane Society, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

This means that the days of racetracks keeping their dogs in poor conditions and not having them treated should injury or sickness arise is a thing of the past. Until the bill was passed, Florida remained one of only two states, the other being Alabama, that did not require injury reporting from its racetracks.

See also: Fight to End Greyhound Racing in Florida Is Back On

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Boynton Beach Mayor Jerry Taylor Votes Against Civil Rights Ordinance Over New Times Article, LGBT Advocate Says

Categories: LGBT News

On Monday night, the City of Boynton Beach enacted an LGBT-inclusive civil rights ordinance that establishes that the city opposes discrimination based on, among other things, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, marital status, pregnancy, familial status, or age. Also included are sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The ordinance, which had originally been proposed by LGBT-rights advocates Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, passed with a 4-1 vote, with Mayor Jerry Taylor voting against.

And, according to PBCHRC President Rand Hoch, Taylor singled out Hoch as his reason for voting against the ordinance.

"Taylor specifically said that the reason he voted against it was because of derogatory comments in an email which PBCHRC sent out," Hoch tells New Times.

The so-called "derogatory comments" in question were from an email blast sent out by the PBCHRC that linked to this February 18 article about the Boynton Beach ordinance. The article mentions that, in 2014, Taylor gave his reason for voting against benefits to employees with domestic partners or same-sex spouses by referring to his religious beliefs and by saying that the Merriam-Webster dictionary's definition of marriage was between a man and a woman.

See also: Boynton Beach's Gay-Inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance Vote Salvaged by Rand Hoch

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YouTube Account Tries to Shame "Stupid South Florida Drivers"

Categories: Crime

Stupid South Florida Drivers/Youtube
This guy might be watching you.
There's somebody in South Florida driving around with a camera on his dashboard ready to capture "stupid" drivers and shame them on YouTube. But here's the punch line: It's actually the person taking the videos who's the bad guy.

On the Stupid South Florida Drivers YouTube page, you won't see many videos of drivers viciously cutting off others and causing horrible accidents. Rather, you will see instances of everyday imperfect driving -- maybe a late lane change or somebody who didn't push on the gas until two seconds after the light turned green -- narrated by an angry-sounding man who will add "fucking moron" before spelling out the license plate number of the culprit.

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Florida Will Likely Move Back Presidential Primary, Which Could Be Huge for Jeb Bush

Categories: Politics

Jeb Bush
BotMultichillT via Wikimedia Commons
Up in Tallahassee, the Florida Senate this week is scheduled to hash over a proposal that could have some serious consequences for the upcoming 2016 presidential contest. A bill snaking through both houses of the legislature would push back Florida's presidential primary, a move that nicely tees up the state's support for a homegrown candidate like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio.

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A National Gang of ID Thieves Started Right Here in Broward

Categories: Longreads

Joseph Laney
The light-colored SUV was already parked when Keri Street wheeled into a neighboring spot at the KinderCare in a Seattle suburb. As Street gathered up her two kids, she ran a suspicious eye over the vehicle. The guy behind the wheel was cocooned in a baggy gray hoodie. A young girl sat shotgun. Their car windows dripped inside with condensation, a sign they'd been sitting there for a while. Why were these two killing time in a daycare center's parking lot before 9 a.m. on a weekday? Street wondered. Then she noticed the back seat. Who goes to a daycare and doesn't have car seats?

But Street was in a rush that morning in September 2013. She collected her kids, grabbed her keys and phone, and scurried into the mint-shingled building. She was inside for five minutes, then headed to her nearby office. While at work as a service department manager for a security company, Street realized she didn't have her purse. Probably left it home, she figured. But when she got home, she couldn't find it. Street pulled up her banking activity online. There was a $2,400 withdrawal pending on her Chase savings account. She rewound a play-by-play of her busy morning.

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Jury Decides Marijuana was Medically Necessary for Jesse Teplicki

Categories: Marijuana

Jesse Teplicki, who was arrested in 2013 for growing marijuana, was found not guilty by a jury on Monday. After just 30 minutes of deliberating, the jury delivered its verdict, making Florida history. Teplicki says he uses pot to treat his severe anorexia, and thus became the first man in the state's history to successfully use as a defense the concept that pot was medically necessary.

"This was a groundbreaking case, and we're very pleased that the jury acquitted Mr. Teplicki on all charges," said attorney Michael Minardi. "The evidence showed he was using cannabis to help him manage a serious and painful medical condition which he has endured for years." 

Teplicki, 50, who says he's smoked marijuana for medical reasons for the past 33 years, has said that his anorexia is so severe, he has no appetite at all. The marijuana, he says, stimulates his appetite and reduces nausea. In 2013, going off an anonymous tip, Broward Sheriff's Office deputies found a grow house in his home, where he was growing 46 marijuana plants.

See also: New Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced by GOP Rep. Jeff Brandes

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Flagler Village Residents Fight for Vacant Downtown Lot to Become a Park

Categories: Broward News

Courtesy of Flagler Village Civic Association
Back in 2003, after months of meetings, the City of Fort Lauderdale adopted a downtown master plan. It defined how Fort Lauderdale should grow and become a livable, walkable city over the next few decades. The visionary document laid out a dozen guiding principles, including to "green the Downtown with a connected system of parks, trails, and streets."

The plan identified six locations that could be transformed into new parks. The property at 301 N. Andrews Ave., just north of Broward Boulevard, was one such site. This property is known as the "one-stop shop" -- it formerly housed city hall and, later, the building department. It's now shuttered. It might be best recognized for its distinctive and very cool-looking tree -- a dragon's blood tree, which produces a red sap.

But now, like a junkie at a check-cashing store, the city is floating the idea of deviating from the master plan and instead selling the land to a private developer.

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Broward Judge Cynthia Imperato Facing Suspension and Fine over DUI

Categories: Broward News

Mugshot via Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
Broward Judge Cynthia Imperato was busted for DUI in November, 2013
On Monday, a state judicial panel recommended that Broward Judge Cynthia Imperato be reprimanded, fined and temporarily suspended following her DUI guilty verdict from last December. Palm Beach County Judge Mark Eissey originally sentenced Imperato to 20 days of house arrest, and one year probation, following the guilty verdict on December 19. Imperato had appealed the sentence.

Imperato was busted for DUI back in November of 2013 after driving home from a social gathering with fellow judges and lawyers at Maggiano's restaurant in Boca. Imperato had admitted to having two glasses of wine, but has maintained that she wasn't impaired when cops pulled her over.

She denied an original plea deal that would have given her 12 months probation.

See also: Gisele Pollack, Broward DUI Judge, Resigns Rather Than Face Removal From Office

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Boynton Beach's Gay-Inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance Vote Salvaged by Rand Hoch

Categories: LGBT News

via PBCHRC Facebook
Boynton Beach City commissioners are set to vote on adopting a civil rights ordinance that would would establish that the city opposes discrimination based on race, nationality, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity, among factors. But the city could have been voting on the wrong issue had it not been for Rand Hoch of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.

The readings leading up to tonight's meeting, Hoch tells New Times, city staffers had confused the civil rights ordinance with an Equal Benefits Ordinance.

"The [backup for the agenda of] proposed civil rights ordinance said that the ordinance itself would require any entities doing business with The City of Boynton Beach to prove that they provide the same non-discrimination and domestic partnership provisions within there organizations," Hoch says. "There is not a single true statement in that sentence."

The mistake was significant because the civil rights ordinance doesn't require any entity to actually provide benefits.

See also: Boynton Beach Gives Initial Approval to Gay-Inclusive Civil Rights Ordinance

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Palm Beach Shores Cop, Accused of Sexual Assault, Has Been on Year-Long Paid Leave

Categories: Crime

Bruce Tuten via Flickr creative commons
Beautiful Palm Beach Shores

A Palm Beach Shores police officer has been on paid administrative leave for nearly a year following allegations he sexually harassed a civilian. But officials have no explanation why the investigation has taken so long, even though only four people were interviewed and there's no physical evidence to examine.

Janice Marintetti, who has gone public with her accusations, says she was going through a divorce in January, 2014 when Charles Hoeffer, who she knew for about three years because he regularly patrolled her neighborhood and was familiar with her and her husband, invited her for a cup of coffee with a promise that he had some information she could use against her soon-to-be ex.

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