US Secret Service Agent Aaron Francis Engler, From Obama’s Advance Security Team, Found Drunk And Passed Out On Miami Florida Sidewalk

October 12, 2012

MIAMI, FLORIDA — U.S. Secret Service agent Aaron Francis Engler was found early Friday morning passed out on the sidewalk near the intersection of Brickell Avenue and 7th after President Barack Obama had left South Florida.

According to the arrest report, Miami police officers were in the area on an unrelated call when they noticed Engler passed out. When the officers checked on the man he grew combative and started to fight with officers, according to the police report.

The officers then took Engler to the ground and handcuffed him. Once secured, sources said the officers went through Engler’s pockets and discovered his Secret Service identification.

Law enforcement sources told CBS4 Engler told police he was an agent out of Washington and was part of the advance team for the president’s visit on Thursday. Once the President left Miami, Engler said he went drinking and got very drunk, law enforcement sources said.

Engler wasn’t armed at the time he was arrested, but was upset because he was supposed to leave Miami on another assignment Friday morning, law enforcement sources said.

Engler was charged with two misdemeanors, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, and released on his own recognizance. He was turned over to the Secret Service Friday and was being taken back to Washington, DC.

It’s the latest black eye for the agency charged with protecting the life of the president. In April 2012, the agency was involved in a prostitution scandal in Colombia during the Summit of the Americas.

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Florida To Issue New License Plates Tailored To Needs Of Private Corporations Red Light Cameras (And To More Easily Screw Additional Motorists)

October 11, 2012

FLORIDA – The economic future of Florida apparently relies on the redesign of our license plates.

I had no idea what a problem the current license plates have been.

But it turns out that they’re wreaking havoc on what was supposed to be a lucrative business of photographing red-light violators at traffic intersections across the state.

Since the beginning of the year, about three million license plates of red-light violators in Florida have gone unticketed because the raised lettering on their license plates couldn’t be deciphered by surveillance cameras, according to state officials.

Whether it’s sun-bleached paint or the similarity of some letters and numbers, the shared money-making arrangement between government and the camera’s for-profit vendors has been thwarted too many times.

So the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is pushing for a new design. Fat, black letters and numbers on a plain white background. No raised figures. No pendulous oranges or dangling Florida peninsula getting in the way of the money shot.

One nation, under surveillance, with legibility and just deserts for all.

It’s a monumental accommodation to a public-private money-raising scheme that hasn’t been as routinely successful as imagined, still faces some constitutional challenges and has a safety record marred by creating more rear-end crashes, according to critics.

Consider this. Last month the city of DeLand in Central Florida decided to hold off approval of red-light cameras because a local traffic study showed there might not be enough violators to make it pay off. The city officials said they needed to get at least 10 red-light runners per day at each intersection to make the plan a moneymaker, more than the study found.

In West Palm Beach, only one of the seven intersections with red-light cameras has turned a profit since they were installed two years ago.

And in unincorporated Palm Beach County, the 10 cameras in place have yet to generate enough money in fines to match the costs of American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona for-profit company that operates the cameras.

Other cities with red light cameras have made money. But that might have something to do with a willingness to snag drivers for making rolling right turns or zealously enforcing crossings under a changing light.

If public safety is the primary concern, having a longer yellow lights at every city intersection may do more than trying to snag a financially necessary quota of drivers at a select few.

The remake of the state license plate, if given the green light by the Florida Cabinet later this month, is expected to cost $31.4 million, which the state plans to recoup from its share of the red-light tickets and from the fees collected by drivers who need to replace expired or illegal plates.

If that doesn’t do the trick, maybe we goose up the revenue by adding a new specialty license plate for our newest endangered species.

The Save The Red Light Cameras license plate.

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Florida Governor Rick Scott Gave Out Toll-Free Phone Sex Number Instead Of Meningitis Hotline Number At News Conference

October 10, 2012

FLORIDA – Florida Gov. Rick Scott mistakenly gave out the number for an adult phone line when he tried to provide the number for the toll-free meningitis hotline at a news conference Tuesday.

Scott was at a Cabinet meeting when he directed Floridians to the hotline’s 866 number, but he got his numbers mixed up, according to WUSF News.

When WUSF posed the number online, they were notified by a reader that the number Scott gave directed them to a very different service.

“Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary,” a woman’s voice says in a recording.

A spokesperson for Scott said he inadvertently gave out the wrong number.

The correct number for the Florida Fungal Meningitis Hotline is 866-523-7339.

On Tuesday, state health officials confirmed the first fungal meningitis death in Florida in the recent nationwide outbreak.

The Florida Department of Health said a 70-year-old Marion County man died in July, before the discovery of the contaminated lots of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate from the New England Compounding Center.

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Not The Brightest Bulb In The Box: Monroe County Florida Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Ken Fricke Leaves Guns In His Patrol Car, Again, And They Are Stolen, Again – Same Dumbass Decision 3 Years Ago Resulted In First Theft

October 3, 2012

MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA – A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office sergeant whose cruiser was burglarized of guns and other equipment last month is familiar with the scenario — the same thing happened to him three years ago.

In August 2009, Sgt. Ken Fricke’s department-issued 12-gauge Remington shotgun and .45-caliber Glock handgun, and his personal .40-caliber Glock, were stolen from his agency car — a crime never solved but one that resulted in a change to Sheriff’s Office policy to prevent such a theft again.

The policy, put in place in February 2010, says law officers should never “leave their guns or other equipment in their cars,” agency spokeswoman Becky Herrin said. “No ID, hats that say ‘sheriff,’ that kind of thing.”

But that’s what Fricke did when he parked his cruiser at his Big Pine Key home on Sept. 24, the Sheriff’s Office said. The following morning, the Special Weapons and Tactics Team member found his car burglarized of a .40-caliber Glock, a .45-caliber Glock, a Colt M4 with a scope, bullet-resistant vest, helmet, padding and ammunition for all three guns.

Residents’ calls to Crime Stoppers quickly solved the case, police say, and all of the guns were recovered by Friday. Anthony Ostrander, 26, of Big Pine Key faces a charge of dealing in stolen property charges. Kalvin Cowger, 17, and also from Big Pine Key, faces charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

On Aug. 25, 2009, Fricke, then a deputy, reported the shotgun and two Glocks stolen from his agency-issued 2007 Ford Crown Victoria. He and another deputy searched his car and house for them, to no avail. Numerous people, mostly Marathon and Big Pine Key teens, were questioned in the case, and some hinted they had heard about the theft but no one admitted anything.

Among those questioned and considered a suspect: Franklin Randleman, then 17, of Big Pine. On May 22, 2010, he was shot to death at his grandmother’s Big Pine trailer, apparently over drugs. Two Marathon men have been charged with homicide in the slaying.

One of the teens questioned in the gun thefts referred detectives to Randleman “since he had witnessed Mr. Randleman in possession of stolen weapons,” a police report says.

Randleman spoke to two detectives, denying involvement, though admitting he knew about the thefts and saw the guns, the report says. He implicated two other teens as having the guns.

However, no one was arrested because of conflicting stories and only the shotgun was recovered — by a plumber who found it under a porch at the Eastwind Apartments on Sombrero Beach Road in Marathon.

Fricke, hired on June 1, 2005, has had no disciplinary actions against him but does have 17 letters of commendation or recognition in his personnel file.

As for the latest gun theft, “We’ve got an ongoing internal affairs investigation going on,” Herrin said.

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With No Other Crimes To Solve, Pinellas County Florida Sheriff’s Department Searches For Woman Spotted Riding A Manatee

October 3, 2012

PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for helping in identifying and finding a woman spotted astride a manatee in the waters off Fort De Soto Park Sunday.

Deputies responded to a call from park rangers at Fort De Soto that a woman was riding a manatee in the waters north of the Gulf Pier.

The woman was unable to be found when deputies arrived, but witnesses were able to provide descriptions and photos of the woman, which also were posted to Facebook.

According to a post on the Friends of Fort De Soto Facebook page, the manatees that the woman was riding were mating at the time of the incident.

One of the commenters wrote:

“I was shocked when I saw this lady in the water with the Manatees that were mating, It got worse as she sat on the Manatee, then RODE the Manatee. With people screaming from the shore. She finally got away from them as they swam off to deeper water. Rangers were called and took care of the situation.”

No manatees are believed to have been harmed in the incident.

According to the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act, it is unlawful for any person to intentionally or negligently disturb a manatee in any way. Violations are considered second degree misdemeanors.

Manatees are classified as endangered by both the state and federal governments. Manatees are listed by the World Conservation Union as “vulnerable to extinction.”

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Lake County Florida School Board Officals Already Know Veggies End Up In Cafeteria Trash Cans, But Now Want To Piss Away Tax Dollars Installing And Monitoring Cameras To “Study” The Waste

October 3, 2012

TAVARES, FLORIDA – Lake County School Board officials are considering attaching cameras to school cafeteria trash cans to study what students are tossing after officials found that most of the vegetables on the school menu end up in the trash can.

New federal laws require students to take a healthy produce at lunchtime, but last year in Lake County, students tossed $75,000 worth of produce in the garbage.

“It’s a big issue, and it’s very hard to get our hands around it,” said School Board member Todd Howard, who suggested “trash-cams.” “They have to take (the vegetable), and then it ends up in the trash can, and that’s a waste of taxpayer money. It’s also not giving students the nutrition that they need.”

Laurel Walsh, whose daughter attends Tavares Elementary School, says getting kids to eat their fruits and vegetables is not the job of the respective schools.
“I think it starts at home with the parents. If the kids just don’t like it because they’ve never been given it at home, they’re not going to try something new here,” she said.

No decisions have been made on the cameras, but school leaders say they wouldn’t capture students faces, just what they’re throwing away.

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Seminole Florida Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Sentences Woman To 5 Years In Prison For Killing Dog That Had Previously Bitten Her Son – Taxpayers On The Hook For At Least $97,000 To Incarcerate Her

October 2, 2012

SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA – A woman who beat her in-laws’ 14-year-old dog to death was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.

Seminole Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester also ordered Evita Williams, 26, to serve five years of probation, attend an anger-management class, undergo psychological, drug and alcohol evaluation and not own pets.

A jury in July convicted Williams of burglary and animal cruelty.

Prosecutors said Williams beat the Labrador mix Ginger with an aluminum softball bat last year because she was upset about problems with her estranged husband and because Ginger had nipped her son eight months earlier.

Williams used a screwdriver to break into a locked bedroom at her in-laws’ house near Longwood, where she was living temporarily, muzzled Ginger and covered her with a blanket before killing her in the backyard.

Sherry and Dan Williams had invited Williams and her son to stay with them because she had nowhere else to go.

They locked Ginger in their bedroom July 5 because Williams had threatened to hurt the dog. The attack happened the next day while they were at work.

Williams said she dumped the body in a condo-complex garbage bin, but it was never recovered. The bin had been emptied by the time investigators arrived.

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