Sunday, May 28, 2017

Brevard Public Schools To Keep Late Spring Break

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - Although a majority of survey respondents said that they wanted an earlier spring break in March rather than April, Brevard Public Schools will once again have a late Spring Break next school year.

Many teachers and parents complained that the late spring break this year caused students to become over-stressed and burned out. So Brevard Public School Board members asked BPS administration to reevaluate the spring break schedule for next year.

In response, the BPS administration conducted an online poll of staff and the public that drew 2,213 respondents.

The survey found that a majority of the respondents (55.6%) preferred an earlier spring break in March while 44.6% preferred keeping spring break during the first week of April.

Despite the survey results, the BPS administration announced that it will keep the late spring break schedule for the 2017-2018 school year.

School Board members said during their May 23 meeting that they would consider that feedback in setting the calendar for the 2018-2019 school year.

Brevard Count Arrest Mug Shots May 28, 2017

Dawn Lyn Barnes
White/Female DOB:09/19/1963
Address:Mims, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Mims
Viol Injunction Protection Domestic Viol

Merritt Island Man Killed In Brevard County Crash

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida - 37-year-old Jacob Seymour did not survive the injuries he sustained in a single-vehicle crash that occurred just after 1 a.m. Sunday on North Courteney Parkway in Merritt Island, Florida.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Seymour was driving a 2007 Chrysler van northbound on State Road 3 (Courteney Parkway) near the intersection of Diana Boulevard when the van left the roadway and struck a light pole on the road shoulder.

He was transported to Cape Canaveral Hospital where he later died.

Seymour was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Naked Florida Man Steals Swan Statue

LAKELAND, Florida - A 5-foot-tall black and white checkered swan statue worth $25,000 allegedly stolen by a naked Florida man has been recovered.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, 47-year-old Ronald Thompson stole a Ford F-150 from Lakeland Cold Storage during the evening hours of May 19-20 that had the swan statue in the bed of the truck. He was later identified, located, and arrested by deputies on May 23.

The truck was recovered in neighboring Hillsborough County but the swan statute remained missing.

On Thursday, a man was fishing with a friend in a small pond off of Old Tampa Highway in Lakeland, Florida and saw the swan statute that had recently been on the local news. Deputies then responded to the pond and confirmed it was the stolen swan.

Photo and video credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots May 27, 2017

Edward Ray Alvis
White/Male DOB:01/19/1992
Address:Melbourne, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Melbourne
Battery Domestic Viol

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cocoa Beach Shark and Jellyfish Report For Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Brevard County Speech Teacher Arrested For Threatening Principal

SATELLITE BEACH, Florida - Kimberly Loomis, a Brevard County Public Schools speech pathologist, has been arrested for allegedly making threats to a principal at Surfside Elementary School in Satellite Beach, Florida.

According to an arrest report, the 47-year-old speech teacher allegedly sent threatening texts to her co-worker, Lori Masterston.

The long-running animosity between the two school employees began back in April when Loomis "started posting some surprisingly negative things on social media about her principal and the school that were considered unprofessional, especially considering that students and parents were among her friends," said Brevard Public Schools spokesman Matt Reed.

"A memo shows the principal counseled Loomis on that (she was not formally disciplined), Loomis didn’t accept the principal’s criticism, and that somehow led to the threats by text message, which I saw."

This is the second time in less than a year that Brevard Public School instructional staff have been arrested when the BPS administration knew of their criminal history.

"This speech pathologist didn’t “fall through the cracks," said Reed. "She was regarded as a good speech therapist who was arrested in 2014 for a domestic violence situation, and BPS was aware of it. The charges were dropped, which meant there was nothing to warrant a disciplinary action under BPS rules and due process procedures. Mrs. Loomis worked for BPS since 1999 and at no point was considered a threat to children or school staff."

But while the BPS administration didn't consider Loomis' 2014 arrest a threat to children or school staff, the arrest report stated that the Surfside Elementary principal "...was in fear for her life due to Ms. Loomis' violent criminal history..."

Loomis was charged with one count of making written threats to injure or kill which is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. She was booked into the Brevard County jail and her bond was set at $5,000.

In addition to the pending criminal charges, Loomis is under a BPS investigation for a disciplinary action. The school district is also taking back her employee badge and keys. BPS is also ordering Loomis to stay away from Surfside Elementary School.

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots May 26, 2017

Paul Edwin Armstrong
White/Male DOB:12/22/1973
Address:Winter Garden, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, COCOA BEACH
Inhale Ingest Harmful Chemicals

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots May 25, 2017

William Franklin Adams
White/Male DOB:04/02/1955
Address:Melbourne, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Melbourne
Poss Firearm/Weapon/Ammo by Convicted Felon
Poss Drug Paraphernalia/Equipment W Residue

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tornadoes, Waterspouts, Hail, Severe Storms Possible For All Of Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida  - The National Weather Service has now upgraded the chances of severe weather occurring over most of east Central Florida, including all of Brevard County.

Brisk south-to-southwest winds will pull deep moisture into Central Florida as a late season cold front works its way through the Deep South.

Sufficient moisture will exist for development of numerous showers and scattered thunderstorms into this afternoon and evening.  

Some thunderstorms could become severe with wind gusts of 58 mph or greater. Small hail, frequent lightning, and an isolated tornado or two will be possible through this afternoon and evening.

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots May 24, 2017

John Christopher Aughinbaugh
White/Male DOB:12/31/1960
Address:Barefoot Bay, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, Barefoot Bay
Simple Asslt Intent Threat To Do Violence Domestic Viol

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Brevard County Men Arrested In Polk County Underage Sex Sting Operation

POLK COUNTY, Florida - Two Brevard County men were among the 39 suspects arrested in a week-long undercover online sex sting operation conducted in Polk County, Florida.

20-year-old Nicholas Ramos, of Palm Bay, Florida, allegedly drove to an undercover location to have sexual intercourse with who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl on May 18. Detectives say that Ramos admitted to driving to the location with condoms to have sex with the girl, and initiated contact with her on Craigslist. He also told detectives that he is a driver for Jimmy John’s and brought a sub sandwich to the sting operation.

25-year-old Joseph Emmanuel Vincent, of Cocoa, Florida, allegedly drove to an undercover location to have sexual intercourse with who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. Investigators say that Vincent communicated online with who he believed to be the father of the “girl,” and agreed to pay the man $100 to have sex with his daughter. Vincent also sent nude photos of himself to the undercover detective. He stopped to purchase condoms and beer on the way to the undercover location.

Both men were booked into the Polk County Jail and charged with attempted sexual battery on a minor, traveling to meet a minor, and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

“These predators are really out there, trying to violate children," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. "All it takes is one glance at the conversations these predators have with our undercover detectives. They lurk in chat rooms, and online, ready to groom and violate your children. Fortunately, we’ve prevented at least 19 of them from doing so. The things that these predators say to children are vile, disgusting, and not fit for anyone except trained detectives to read. And even seasoned, trained detectives are repulsed. These predators need to be locked up, and stay locked up and away from children.”

Photo credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office

Brevard County Arrest Mug Shots May 23, 2017

Patricia Ann Abitino
Black of African American/Female DOB:09/07/1979
Address:West Melbourne, FLORIDA
Arrest Location:, West Melbourne
Battery Domestic Viol

Brevard Public Schools Wants To Transfer Millions From Sales Tax For Fencing

UPDATE: The Brevard County School Board removed the agenda item for further review after the issue gained publicity this morning. 

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - On the Brevard Public School Board meeting agenda for Tuesday, May 23, 2017, is a proposal by the BPS administration to transfer over $5 million from the half-cent sales tax fund to expedite a $7.85 million contract to put up fencing around schools.

According to documents filed with the School Board, the multi-million dollar transfer "... may delay a summer 2018 sales surtax facility renewal project due to cash flow..."

Although the facility renewal program is on schedule and several out-of-sequence, replace-at-failure projects have been funded because BPS is collecting more from the sales tax than previously anticipated, the transfer would tie up funding for any emergency failure of an expensive project.

"BPS will be spending most of its time and surtax money this summer on major building-renewal projects – new pipes, AC systems, electrical – that were the biggest problem addressed by voters," said BPS spokesperson Matt Reed.

"However, it also will accelerate measures to improve security for our students including the installation of heavy-duty gates, security fencing and perimeter fencing that help keep intruders out of school breezeways while keeping excitable children from running off.  This isn’t just cyclone fencing around a playground.  The design and installation is one component of plans guided by the Brevard Sheriff’s Office, which now runs district security. "

Reed said that the goal of the fencing projects are to channel school visitors to a single point of access, where they are met with other precautions including a new badging system and nearby school resource officers.

"The eight-year work plan approved by voters called for spending 3 percent of the surtax money on security improvements including the gates and fencing," said Reed. "And, that’s what BPS had spent as of the start of spring semester. The plan calls for spending 83.5 percent on building repairs and renewal and 13.5 percent on updated computers and educational technology. The independent oversight committee and outside auditors confirmed spending had matched those percentages, too."

The School Board will vote on the proposal at its meeting that starts tonight at 5:30 p.m.

Listen to a discussion of this article on BILL MICK LIVE beginning at 40 minutes into the video.
Photo credit: BPS 

Florida Man Sues James Cameron, Claims Titanic Movie Based On His Life

TITUSVILLE, Florida - A Florida man is suing director James Cameron because he claims the lead character in the blockbuster hit movie 'Titanic' was based on his life story, the Hollywood gossip site reported.

Stephen Cummings of Titusville, Florida alleges that the character Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was inspired by events that occurred in Brevard County on Florida's Space Coast in the late eighties and that Cameron learned of his story by word-of-mouth.

The 1997 romance film gives a fictionalized dramatic account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 where over 1,500 people perished.  The movie grossed over $2 billion.

The lawsuit, filed on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida - Orlando Division, seeks damages of $300 million from Titanic director James Cameron, Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corp., Paramount Home Entertainment, Inc. and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Image credit: Twentieth Century Fox