log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 4:11 PM
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A teacher found a gun in a kindergartner’s backpack Thursday morning at Somerset Academy Lakes, according to school and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office authorities.
According to a message Principal Clint Duvo sent to parents, the student didn’t know the gun was in the backpack. The message stressed that neither students nor the staff at the Summit Boulevard campus were in danger.
Duvo said the teacher found the firearm before classes began. He said the school’s staff immediately moved students away from the area, secured the classroom and called authorities.
The situation was handled “very, very quickly,” said Lynn Norman-Teck, a spokeswoman for the Florida Charter School Alliance.
The sheriff’s office said there is an investigation into how the firearm ended up in the elementary school student’s backpack. It was not immediately known whether anyone will face charges in the incident.
The elementary charter school, with ties to Miami rapper Pitbull and a large charter management company, opened in 2016 on the campus north of Palm Springs, Florida, and west of West Palm Beach, Florida. The school shares a building with its sister middle school, SLAM Palm Beach.
Students have been caught with guns in Palm Beach County District schools at least 10 times this academic year, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of court, police and school records. Only one of those incidents happened at an elementary school. The February incident occurred when a gun was found in a Cholee Lake Elementary School student’s backpack.
Somerset Academy Lakes is not a district school, meaning crime on campus is not handled by school police but by the sheriff’s office.
About one in 10 of the county’s students attend charter schools.
Here at Somerset Lakes/SLAM, the safety and welfare of our students is always our paramount concern. We will always inform you of any concerns affecting our school community.
This morning, before classes began, a teacher discovered there was a weapon in an early childhood student’s backpack. The student body and staff were never in any danger. Immediately upon discovering the gun, the classroom was secured, students were removed from the area, and authorities were notified. It is our understanding that the student did not intend to bring the weapon to school and had no knowledge that there was a weapon in the backpack.
A Palm Beach County Schools official is on-site. Police are conducting a full investigation. We wanted to inform you of the incident as soon as law enforcement cleared us to do so and re-assure you again that no student was ever in any danger. We will continue to keep you informed as we have updates. For further information, please feel free to contact me at (561) 641-4449.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 9:17 PM
PHILADELPHIA — Authorities are looking for a man who stole a Jeep on Thursday from a dealership during a test drive, police said.
The suspect walked into Philly Auto dealership around 7 p.m. and expressed interest in a red Jeep Cherokee on the lot, according to WPVI.
The man and a salesman went on a test drive. During the drive, the man started driving erratically and the salesman asked him to pull over, according to WPVI. The salesman started to switch seats with the man when the thief pulled out a gun and drove off, leaving the salesman on the side of the road.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 8:48 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. — Attorneys for an Orange County man who was convicted of first-degree murder and arson last year said their client's IQ might be too low for him to be executed.
A jury in May 2017 convicted Juan Rosario of beating Elena Ortega, 83, and burning her alive in her home in 2013. Jurors unanimously decided that he should be sentenced to death.
Rosario's lawyers have spent almost a year trying to build up enough evidence to convince Circuit Judge Leticia Marques that he doesn't doesn't deserve to die. They'll make their case during a hearing scheduled for May.
"There's too much work that needs to be done, and we need to have additional experts appointed," attorney Ted Marrero said.
Marrero on Friday asked Marques for a six-month extension because he said he recently learned that Rosario has an IQ of 72.
"Tell them they need to soldier on and be ready," state attorney Brad King said. "And at the same time, tell them that we need our witness list by 5 o'clock today."
Prosecutors said one year was more than enough time for attorneys to figure out that Rosario might meet the legal definition of mental retardation.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 8:26 PM
Camit said that after the failed carjacking attempt on Eric Drive in Palm Coast, the man, later identified as Stephen Goldberg, fled. Camit followed him and that’s when Goldberg, 32, ran toward her with the knife.
Investigators said deputies arrived and took Goldberg into custody without incident.
“Had he approached a sheriff’s deputy in this manner, it is likely that we would have had a different outcome,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said.
Staly said Goldberg is a “career repeat offender.”
“Our C.O.P.s are invaluable volunteers who serve and help protect this community alongside our deputies. We will not tolerate anyone threatening harm to them or anyone else. I hope the courts keep him locked up and he is sent back to prison where he belongs before he hurts someone,” Staly said.
Camit is a seasoned C.O.P. with several years of experience, and in light of the incident, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office will reevaluate the equipment issued to C.O.P.s for their protection.
Goldberg was arrested and charged with attempted armed carjacking, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and armed trespassing.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 7:56 PM
— A grave marker company that was the focus of a police investigation and several consumer complaints, including one from a metro Atlanta woman, said it has permanently closed.
The president of Wichman Monuments of Chattanooga said it plans to resolve as many unfilled orders as possible, according to the Times Free Press.
The 72-year-old business has hired a law firm to help it with the closure, and an attorney with the firm said plans are to contact each of Wichman’s customers.
A Paulding County woman, Pam Dean, said she paid more than $3,000 to Wichman Monuments for a headstone for her late husband’s grave. Though the check was cashed on Jan. 2, no monument was delivered.
“When I call the company, it goes to voicemail and a message that the voicemail is full,” Dean said.
Chattanooga police said they opened a fraud investigation into the company after receiving complaints.
The Better Business Bureau of Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia said it received a number of complaints “in the low 30s” about the company.