Florida Legislature opens today in Tallahassee. On Monday teachers from around the state were in the state capitol. They like Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal for nearly a billion that would up beginning teachers’ salaries and provide merit pay. But they want to see that sum doubled in order to boost veteran teachers salaries and provide for others including bus drivers, mental health service workers and counselors. Improved school facilities and morale are other issues being talked.
One thing you won’t see this year will be a constitutional amendment allowing recreation marijuana use in Florida. Promoters of that measure need 766,200 signatures by Feb. 1. They say it’s too narrow a time frame. Besides, they still have to get the wording approved by the Florida Supreme Court.
Addition is a disease that ruins lives and that’s a message the Putnam County School District wants to be sure people hear. Basketball legend Chris Herren will be talking to students today and tomorrow in Putnam schools . Tonight he’s speaking to parents and others at 6 p.m. at a free event at Jim Pignato Theatre at C.L. Overturf 6th Grade Center on 18th Street in Palatka. Herren played for the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics before losing his career and almost his family to the disease of addition.
Three St. Johns County deputies are on paid administrative leave as the Sheriff’s Office looks into a video showing a man being beaten and shocked with a Taser during a traffic stop in December. Christopher Bailey’s family brought the video, filmed by a witness, to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office. Butler reportedly was not cooperating with law enforcement during a traffic stop. A report on the incident shows he was apparently under the influence of PCP. His mother says it was cold medication. Officers said Bailey would not respond to commands and use of a Taser did not stop him when he became combative. The family says excessive force was used. Butler is back in jail. He had been on probation for a robbery and aggravated battery conviction when the traffic stop occurred.
Florida Highway Patrol is not releasing the name of a West Putnam man who died in a traffic accident Friday near Florahome. They’re still trying to find the 47-year-old man’s next of kin to notify. The accident happened on State Road 100 when the man driving a GMC Sierra 1500 hit a semi.
Three people were rescued Monday after their boat capsized near the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine. St. Augustine Police and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission helped with the rescue. Cause of the accident, which happened around noon, is under investigation by FWC.
Flagler County Commission has defunded its economic development department. The move Monday came after nine years and more than $4 million dollars being spent. Fired was Helga van Eckert, the department director. The economic development advisory board was disbanded also. Lack of accountability, rising costs and little progress were among reasons cited.
A store owner in Crescent City whose consignment shop/women’s boutique was broken into Sunday has taken to Facebook to seek the public’s help in locating the burglars of Katie’s Kloset. The burglar apparently cut their a hand while getting in and blood was found. A laptop was taken. The owner noted: “And for any future people that are thinking about robbing me what do you think you’re going to get in a used clothing woman shop? There is nothing of value in this store unless you are a cross dresser.”