Sunday, January 22, 2017

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 22, 2017

White/Female DOB:07/13/1981
Address:Melbourne, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Cocoa
Failure to Appear - Traffic Non Criminal (FTA)
Cocaine - Possession
Poss/Use Drug Parapernalia

Tornadoes, Severe Storms Possible Across Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - The formation of tornadoes along with severe storms, hail, and strong winds are possible this afternoon and evening across east Central Florida, according to a Hazardous Weather Outlook issued by the National Weather Service office in Melbourne, Florida, on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

Severe storms are expected to develop over the eastern Gulf of Mexico ahead of a cold front that will move rapidly eastward across east central Florida from late this afternoon and into this evening. 

A Wind Advisory is in effect.

The strongest storms will have the potential to produce damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, hail around an inch in diameter, as well as isolated tornadoes. A few strong, long-tracked tornadoes are also possible. Storms are expected to move quickly toward the east northeast at 45 to 50 mph. 

The National Weather Service advises that residents and visitors on Florida's Space Coast should review their emergency plans for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Remain weather-aware today and into this evening, and know what to do if a warning is issued for your area. Also, ensure you have multiple ways to receive watch and warning information including through NOAA Weather Radio, your smart phone, local TV outlets, or a computer. 

Infographic credit: National Weather Service

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 18, 2017

Joel Bradley Akins
White/Male DOB:03/12/1977
Address:Titusville, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Mims
False Verification Ownership Secondhand Dealer <$300
Dealing in Stolen Property

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 17, 2017

White/Male DOB:01/15/1980
Address:Cocoa, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Cocoa
VOP Felony

Monday, January 16, 2017

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 16, 2017

Richard Harold Adkins
White/Male DOB:04/28/1970
Address:Kissimmee, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Cape Canaveral
Marijuana - Possession <20 Gr
Poss/Use Drug Parapernalia

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Maggots That Feed On Living People and Pets Move Up Florida Peninsula

Flesh-eating Screwworms Invade Florida

A foreign maggot species that feeds on the living flesh of animals and humans has recently been discovered for the first time on the Florida mainland. The invasive species, called New World screwworms, are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest livestock and other warm-blooded animals, including people.

Once confined to only the Florida Keys, the United States Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of the screwworm in a stray dog near Homestead, Florida.  

The dog was isolated and his infested wounds were treated. Officials say that the he is now in good health.  Federal and state officials have since started active surveillance in the area. 

Screwworms were first confirmed on October 3, 2016 in Key deer from National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, Florida. This initial presence of screwworm was the first local detection in the United States in more than 30 years and Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam declared an agricultural state of emergency in Monroe County, Florida. 

Since October, thirteen Keys had known infestations mostly in the key deer population, with five confirmed infestations in domestic animals. Animal health and wildlife officials at the state and federal levels say that they have been working aggressively to eradicate this pest. 

Screwworms most often enter an animal through an open wound or, in the case of newborns, the navel. They feed on the animal’s living flesh and, if not treated, infestations can be fatal. The New World screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) has not been widely present in the United States since the 1960s, but is still found in most of South America and in five Caribbean countries.

Florida residents who have warm-blooded animals (pets, livestock, etc.) should watch their animals carefully.  Florida residents should report any potential cases to 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) or non-Florida residents should call (850) 410-3800.  Visitors to the area should ensure any pets that are with them are also checked, in order to prevent the spread of this infestation. 

While human cases of New World screwworm are rare, they have occurred, and people are urged to keep wounds clean and closely monitor open cuts and wounds for the presence of maggots. Anyone who suspects the presence of screwworms should contact a physician immediately. So far, no human cases have been reported in Florida. 

The adult screwworm fly is the size of a common housefly, or slightly larger, but different in color and appearance. The screwworm fly has orange eyes and a metallic dark blue to blue-green or gray body. It also has three dark stripes running down its back, with the middle stripe shorter than the outer two. 

A female screwworm fly typically mates once in her lifetime and lays her eggs on or near an open wound or the mucous membranes of an animal’s nose, mouth or ears. In her lifespan, the screwworm fly can produce thousands of offspring. The eggs hatch into larvae within a day and then feed on the animal’s tissue for five to seven days before maturing. The mature larvae then tunnel into the ground and emerge as adults, ready to mate and continue the cycle.

Photo credit: John Kucharski/Wikimedia Commons

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 15, 2017

Shyanne James Barnett
Black of African American/Male DOB:05/08/1965
Address:Melbourne, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Malabar
Retail Theft

Editorial: Brevard Public Schools Rewards FLORIDA TODAY's Matt Reed For Fake News

After years of cheering for increased taxes and spending for Brevard Public Schools, minimizing multi-million dollar school contract scandals, and explaining away bad conduct committed by School Board members, FLORIDA TODAY's Opinions Editor Matt Reed announced that he is leaving FLORIDA TODAY to take on the new role as head of Brevard Public Schools' public relations department where he will be paid by taxpayers to cheer for increased taxes and spending at BPS, minimize future scandals, and explain away any future bad conduct perpetrated by BPS Board members and employees.

The position pays approximately $110,000 per year and Reed will be able to retire in 10 years above the same state pension level as a teacher who gave 20 years of service in the system. Reed's hiring still requires final approval by the Brevard County School Board at its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

BPS Software Scandal Investigation

Nearly three years after the Brevard Parents Action Committee (BPAC) had already raised doubts about an $8 million contract with a software vendor, Educational Data Resources, LLC (EDR), and after years of receiving reader blow-back on social media that FLORIDA TODAY was not doing its job in investigating the scandal, Reed finally published a FLORIDA TODAY 'investigation' on the EDR software deal in March 2016 that contained no new revelations, repeated much of what had already circulated on social media for years, and was presented in such a light to explain away any culpability that the remaining BPS District Administration and Board Members may have had in the scandal.

Nine months later, Reed would then apply for the lucrative position of Assistant Superintendent of Government & Community Relations at Brevard Public Schools - the very institution he was supposed to be 'investigating' in his Fourth Estate role as a journalist on behalf of the Brevard County public.

Failure to Disclose Active Conflict of Interest

In a December 15, 2016 article titled, 'Here's how Brevard schools have spent your sales-tax money,' Reed writes:

"Two years ago, Brevard County voters raised the sales tax by one-half penny per dollar to pay for critical school repairs, security measures and education technology.  In doing so, they mandated that Brevard Public Schools follow an eight-year, $188 million work plan.

So how closely has the school district’s actual work and spending matched that plan?

Close enough, I think, to sustain the public trust that led to passage."

Ironically, while opining that BPS had earned the public's trust, Reed was simultaneously betraying the public's trust by failing to disclose that he had an active conflict of interest in writing the story because he was being considered for employment at BPS.

Disturbing Precedent

A free and independent press is essential to the checks and balances of American Democracy as much as the Three Branches of government. The precedent set by the Brevard Public Schools Administration's hiring of Reed sends a powerful message to local journalists: Pitch us softball and flattering coverage and you too could be rewarded with a lucrative government position.

This precedent is analogous to an assistant State Attorney dismissing cases or making soft plea deals with a private criminal defense firm in the hopes of landing a lucrative position with that firm. In that scenario, it is the individual victim(s) of the crime who suffer an injustice.

The seemingly quid pro quo precedent set by Reed's hiring casts a long shadow upon the integrity of both Brevard Public Schools and FLORIDA TODAY in the public eye. Moreover, the implicit message sent to local journalists will have a chilling effect on true investigative journalism where it is the public-at-large who is the victim that suffers the injustice of unchecked governmental bodies.

Image credit: Wiki Commons

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Runaway Teenage Girl Found Dead In West Melbourne

WEST MELBOURNE, Florida - A 14-year-old girl was was reported as a runaway from Miami Gardens, Florida was found deceased and only partially clothed on Tuesday in West Melbourne, Florida.

According to West Melbourne police, patrol officers were dispatched to an apartment building located at 89 NW Irwin Avenue on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at approximately 6:14 p.m.

The responding officers found the teen, later identified as Arnina A. Prince, in a bathtub in one of the apartments. Fire rescue crews arrived thereafter but attempts to  revive her were unsuccessful and she was pronounced deceased.

Officers initially received conflicting information from multiple bystanders who were on the scene. Some of the information indicated that the victim may have been sexually assaulted and strangled. As with all death investigations, the crime scene was immediately secured. Due to the suspicious nature of the death, Homicide Detectives were summoned to the scene to assume the investigation.

Detectives have since conducted multiple interviews, executed a search warrant on the apartment, documented the crime scene, and worked with the Medical Examiner’s Office. Investigator say that preliminary findings did not reveal any evidence of strangulation or sexual assault. The final, official manner and cause of death will be determined by the Brevard County Medical Examiner’s Office.

During the execution of the search warrant, police say that illegal drugs and paraphernalia were recovered. At this time, it is unclear to investigators if those drugs contributed to her death. No charges have been filed and no suspects are being sought. However, the case remains open and active as detectives await official autopsy results and conduct more interviews.

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 14, 2017

Cieria Fenix Acobert Belizaire
Black of African American/Female DOB:07/24/1996
Address:Palm Bay, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Cocoa
FTA Misdemeanor

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 13, 2017

Bobby Wayne Barnwell
White/Male DOB:07/30/1954
Address:Melbourne, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Melbourne
Remanded on Felony Charges

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 12, 2017

Jeremy Simon Bent
White/Male DOB:08/02/1964
Address:Indialantic, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Melbourne
Remanded on Misdemeanor Charges
Remanded on Felony Charges

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

45 Cats, 5 Dogs Killed In Florida House Fire

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida - 45 cats, 5 dogs, a raccoon and a Macaw were killed early this morning as a result of a house fire that erupted in the 400 block of Kennwood Avenue on Merritt Island, Florida.

2 people, 1 cat, and 13 dogs escaped the blaze that started around 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

According to Brevard County Fire Rescue, the firefighters' efforts were hampered by multiple boarded windows and locked doors.

So far, the cause of the fire is unknown but is believed to have started in a bedroom.

The American Red Cross has been called in to assist the displaced occupants.

Brevard County Animal Services took custody of the surviving animals and criminal charges may be pending.

Titusville Man Charged With DUI Hit and Run

TITUSVILLE, Florida -- Titusville Police have arrested a suspect in connection with a hit and run traffic crash that occurred on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

Brevard County Arrest Mugshots January 11, 2017

Andrew Allen Aldridge
White/Male DOB:03/24/1962
Address:Satellite Beach, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Indian Harbour Beach
DUI Unlawful Blood 0.08 or Higher