News

2 projects added to Fla. Forever list

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist and the state Cabinet added two more projects in Hendry and Okeechobee counties to the Florida Forever land-buying program’s priority list.

That expands the list to 109 projects valued at $22 billion — far more than the state can afford.

The new projects, though, could jump ahead of others already on the list depending on a variety of factors including environmental value.

Although the Legislature refused to put any new money into Florida Forever this year, the program still has $89 million on hand and the ability to sell bonds.

The panel also removed two projects from the list in Liberty and Lake counties because those purchases have been completed.

Injured manatee delivered to zoo for treatment

TAMPA — An injured manatee rescued from northern Florida was delivered to the Lowry Park Zoo for treatment.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rescued the 8-foot female manatee Monday afternoon. Biologists say it was the apparent victim of a watercraft collision.

FWC officers found the manatee near the mouth of the St. Marks River, floating on its side.

A team of biologists from FWC and the Jacksonville Zoo loaded the 725-pound manatee into a specially equipped boat and transported it to a waiting truck. By the afternoon, the manatee was en route to Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo for rehabilitation.

Man faces new charges in alleged sex assault case

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities say a Broward sheriff’s deputy already jailed on charges he sexually assaulted and stalked a man, now faces new charges relating to a second alleged victim.

Authorities arrested Jonathan Bleiweiss, 29, Aug. 3 after eight men contacted the sheriff’s office. They accused Bleiweiss of using his position to intimidate them into performing sex acts with him during traffic stops. The men are all undocumented immigrants.

He has been suspended while officials conduct an internal investigation. His attorney’s name wasn’t immediately known.

Ex-Stetson University president dies at hospital

DELAND — School officials say the former Stetson University president who retired in May after 22 years has died.

The school posted on its Web site the announcement saying H. Douglas Lee died early Tuesday morning at Florida Hospital in DeLand of complications from surgery. He was 66.

Lee served as president of Stetson from June 1987 to May 31, 2009. He then became chancellor.

According to the school’s announcement, Lee earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Richmond, along with Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Southeastern Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. He earned a doctorate in Religion from the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Tenfold tax increase blamed on data error

PALM BEACH GARDENS — Think your property tax bill is high? Try multiplying it by 10.

About 20,000 Palm Beach Gardens property owners recently received their preliminary bills and discovered they had ballooned.

The Gardens Mall, for instance, got a $305,450 bill. It should have been about $30,000.

City officials say they made a mistake in data entry and pushed a decimal point just a bit too far to the right.

Finance Administrator Allan Owens says the problem will be fixed when final bills are sent out in November.

FHP: Woman falls asleep, crashes into dealership

ORLANDO — The Florida Highway Patrol says a 19-year-old Orlando woman who fell asleep at the wheel slammed into four parked vehicles at a car dealership.

According to an FHP report, Lissette Cornejo also plowed through some trees and shrubbery before she reached the Magic Motors parking lot early Tuesday morning. She later told investigators that she had apparently fallen asleep while she was driving.

Cornejo was ticketed for careless driving.

Teen killed when go-kart collides with SUV

MIAMI — Police in Miami say a 13-year-old boy was killed when the motorized go-kart he was driving collided with an SUV.

According to a news release, Omar Jamal Muhareb was riding the go-kart through the streets Monday when he was struck at an intersection. Muhareb was airlifted to a Miami hospital, where he died.

The SUV’s driver wasn’t cited in the crash.

Police say motorized go-karts aren’t licensed or equipped to be used on Florida’s public roads.

— Herald wire reports

  Comments