Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Glades County Resident Votes for Tax

Voters in Glades County might get the chance to vote on whether or not to tax themselves. The commission discussed the fire tax again but took no formal action on a ballot question. Commissioner Tony Whidden said he would support letting voters decide. Volunteer firemen Jacob Heflin supports putting the tax on the ballot. Heflin says, the western side of the county deserves the same level of service as Moore Haven does.

More Charges for Pahokee High School Teacher

A teacher who worked at Pahokee High School faces at least one more charge of simple battery. Stephen Goodman, of Lake Worth Beach, has been accused of being sexually inappropriate with his students. And some of those students are speaking out. A 17-year-old reportedly said Goodman touched her without her permission in a suggestive manner, then asked her not to tell his wife. The student also said Goodman would call her baby or bae on repeated occasions. He also accused of trying to hug her, when she would repeatedly tell him not to. For these and many other reported incidents, Goodman was charged with the misdemeanor of battery-simple touch or strike for each incident. The school district had already assigned him to a location away from Pahokee High School.

 Local Correctional Officer Arrested

An undercover operation resulted in the arrest of a correctional officer from South Bay Correctional facility. Investigators say 49 year old Jose Alcazar is accused of soliciting murder and moving contraband — including a gun and cocaine. Officers reported they arrested Alcazar in Miami-Dade County after meetings with an undercover officer who was pretending to be an inmate’s nephew. Alcazar allegedly said that he could have an inmate moved to another facility for $10,000. The undercover officer allegedly paid money to Alcazar, to deliver two SIM cards, 7.8 grams of cocaine, and a $1,200 down payment to get an inmate moved. Alcazar also allegedly asked the undercover officer to commit murder. Miami-Dade corrections officers booked Alcazar at about 6:40 p.m., Monday. Alcazar is facing charges of solicitation of murder for hire, introduction of a firearm to prison, cocaine possession with a firearm, and criminal solicitation, just to name a few.

Panther Remains Found in Glades County

Wildlife officials say the remains of the 4-year-old female panther were found Monday along a rural road in western Glades County, after being struck by a vehicle. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it’s the 10th panther death attributed to fatal collisions, out of 10 total deaths this year. Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast. Up to 230 Florida panthers remain in the wild.

Florida Governor Signs Foster Care Bill

Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by foster families and legislative leaders to sign Senate Bill 7034, furthering Florida’s support for foster families. Among its provisions, Senate Bill 7034 raises monthly payments for relative and nonrelative care givers, increases the monthly subsidy for childcare, and expands postsecondary education waivers for foster children. Governor DeSantis signed SB 7034 at Miami-Dade College, which is providing innovative support for children who have previously been in foster care, including coaches to help them transition to independent life.