Fla. town to impose traffic accident fee

first_imgWho pays for Davie’s end of the deal? The town’s taxpayers, Starkey said. “There are so many municipalities in South Florida,” Truex said. “So if we start charging Pembroke Pines residents, do they start charging us when we go into their city limits?” “It’s a last-ditch effort to raise money in case the state comes down on us like a sledgehammer,” said Vice Mayor Bryan Caletka, an opponent. “It doesn’t really matter to me if it’s a Davie resident or an alien resident. It seems like you’re kicking a person while they’re down. They just had an accident and you’re going to charge them for having our police and fire come out to help them.” “It’s not a Florida-only phenomenon,” said Neal, noting that other municipalities in the nation have imposed or considered similar fees. Adam Shores, an Allstate Insurance Co. spokesman based in St. Petersburg, called the practice unfair, comparing the fees to a hidden tax. Councilwoman Susan Starkey said she favors the plan as a way to recover the cost of all the accidents the town must respond to. The fee would apply only to the driver cited in the accident. If several drivers were cited, they would split the bill. Uninsured motorists and drivers who successfully fought the citations in court would not be charged. Nonresidents who refused to pay the fee would risk damaging their credit reports, a town consultant said. Because Davie is bordered by several major highways, including Interstate 595 and I-75, the Florida Turnpike and State Road 84, its fire and police departments are often the first responders to accidents on those roads, Starkey said. A mutual aid agreement with neighboring cities such as Cooper City and Sunrise requires the town’s public safety departments to respond to crashes outside its limits, and the town receives help when needed from the neighbors. Interim Town Attorney James Cherof told council members he would review the ordinance to ensure it does not attract court challenges. “For it to be legal, it would have to apply equally to everyone,” said Chris Neal, a spokesman for State Farm Insurance Co. in Winter Haven. “In the state of Florida, you can’t discriminate based on the type of insurance you have or where you live.” On Wednesday, Mayor Tom Truex said although he voted for the proposal, he still wasn’t convinced it’s best for the town. Insurance companies aren’t keen on the idea. But cities such as Winter Park and Toledo, Ohio, have embraced the practice of charging user fees after accidents. Tampa and major cities such as Boston and Detroit are researching the idea, Moore said.center_img A proposal tentatively approved by Town Council members last week would let the town bill insurance companies of residents and nonresidents. Should a resident’s insurance company refuse to pay the claim, the town would write off the charge. But nonresidents would get a bill. Davie Police Chief John George referred questions about the fee proposal to Fire Chief Donald DiPetrillo. The fire chief could not be reached for comment despite three phone messages. The average fee, which does not include ambulance transport fees, would start at $600 for fire service and $240 for police, with increases based on time and equipment used, said Regina Moore, president of Cost Recovery Corp., the Ohio-based firm hired to help implement the plan. She estimated that if both police and fire-rescue responded, the average bill would come to $840. The fees would also apply when Davie responded to accidents outside town limits. DAVIE, Fla. Passing through? Better drive carefully. The measure would bring in an estimated $750,000 a year to town coffers. It was approved 3-1, with Caletka voting no; Councilman Michael Crowley did not vote. A second vote is expected later this month. Local governments already budget for public safety using taxpayers’ money, Shores said. “When you have municipalities that want to pass the costs of these services onto insurers, those costs are going to get passed onto consumers. So you have people paying twice for the same service.” Radnor Township, near Philadelphia, imposed such a fee in 2006, then ended the program in February after months of bad publicity. “Our residents won’t be the ones who scream about this,” she added. “They feel they are unfairly funding services for people who don’t live in the town.” Davie joins a number of cities in Florida and around the country that have embraced the practice or are considering similar fees. In one instance, a Pennsylvania township imposed the fee, then dropped it because of negative publicity. Davie may soon impose fees on motorists cited in traffic accidents on state highways and county roads. Proponents say the fee would help recoup the cost of the town’s police and fire services at a time municipalities are bracing for state-imposed tax cuts.last_img read more

Construction Site Accident Kills Pennsylvania Man

first_imgLANCASTER, Pa. – Authorities say a man is dead after an accident involving a piece of construction equipment at a central Pennsylvania power plant. Lissette Santana, a spokeswoman for PPL, says he was an employee of a Chicago-based construction company. The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reports the victim was doing excavation work to make room for the expansion of the plant. Santana said she couldn’t give any other details about the accident. She says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating and work on the project has been stopped. The Lancaster County coroner’s office says it happened around 8 a.m. Thursday at the PPL plant in Holtwood. Fifty-nine-year-old Bruce Hardy, of Bainbridge, was pronounced dead at the scene. Information from: Intelligencer Journal, http://www.lancasteronline.com/pages/paper/sundaynews/last_img read more

Electric Scooter Injuries Surge

first_imgElectric scooter injuries have surged along with their popularity in the United States, nearly tripling over four years, researchers said in a study published Wednesday. “Improved rider safety measures and regulation” are clearly needed, the researchers said. Media reports have linked the stand-up electric scooters with more than a dozen U.S. deaths within the past few years. Nearly 40,000 broken bones, head injuries, cuts and bruises resulting from scooter accidents were treated in U.S. emergency rooms from 2014 through 2018, the research showed. The scooter injury rate among the general U.S. population climbed from 6 per 100,000 to 19 per 100,000. Most occurred in riders aged 18 to 34, and most injured riders weren’t hospitalized. ___ FILE – In this May 28, 2019, file photo, a man on a scooter passes a parked scooter along the Mission Beach boardwalk in San Diego. Electric scooter injuries have surged along with their popularity in the United States, nearly tripling over four years, researchers said in a study published Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) FILE – In this May 28, 2019, file photo, a man on a scooter passes a parked scooter along the Mission Beach boardwalk in San Diego. Electric scooter injuries have surged along with their popularity in the United States, nearly tripling over four years, researchers said in a study published Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) For the study published in JAMA Surgery, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed U.S. government data on nonfatal injuries treated in emergency rooms. “Scooters promote active commuting,” could help spur wider public transit use and could lead to less traffic congestion, said lead author Dr. Benjamin Breyer. “We hope to raise awareness that riders should wear helmets and ride safely.” The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. The trend follows the emergence of rental companies in cities around the world that let customers rent scooters through smartphone apps and drop them off anywhere in the same city. Some cities have adopted nighttime bans and other restrictions amid rising injuries and complaints about scooters traveling or parked on sidewalks.last_img read more

Mission Woods holds off on using eminent domain to acquire Shawnee Mission Parkway building

first_imgThe middle building is 1968 Shawnee Mission Parkway. The buildings on either side have been purchased by Karbank Real Estate.Mission Woods is at least temporarily holding off on a condemnation proceeding it had set in motion against a building on Shawnee Mission Parkway, one of the few commercial buildings in the small city. The city earlier entered into an agreement with an adjacent property owner, Karbank Real Estate, to help fund the condemnation of the neighbor’s building.Register to continuelast_img read more

Briefly noted: Shawnee Mission Health ‘Lights the Town Pink’ at Village Shops; Environmental forum for PV mayor candidates

first_imgWDAF’s Abby Eden emceed the ceremony, which brought together cancer survivors. Photo credit Shawnee Mission Health.Shawnee Mission Health and the Village Shops “Light the Town Pink” for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Shawnee Mission Health and The Village Shops teamed up last week for the fifth annual “Light the Town Pink” event to mark the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. WDAF’s Abby Eden and breast cancer survivors who were treated at Shawnee Mission Health helped flip the switch on the pink lights outlining the Village Shops buildings. “This event encourages our community’s support of building and maintaining awareness about the necessary steps in early and proactive disease detection,” said Robin Harrold, vice president of ambulatory development for Shawnee Mission Health. “Our goal is to emphasize the importance of regular mammograms and self- breast exams. When we commit to supporting early detection, and when the disease is caught early, the five- year survival rate is 99 percent.”Mayoral forum for PV candidates on environmental issues coming Wednesday. The Prairie Village Environment/Recycling Committee will host a forum for mayoral candidates Eric Mikkelson and Serena Schermoly on environmental issues on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The forum will be from 7 to 8 p.m. at city hall and moderated by the Shawnee Mission Post. You can find more information here.last_img read more

Zappiti Adds Home Automation to 4K Media Players

first_imgZappiti has added software drivers for home automation systems from Crestron, Savant, ProControl, RTI, Logitech/Harmony and most recently, Control4. Once the IP and IR codes of a chosen driver have been downloaded into the home automation processor, the Zappiti media player is able to function as part of a complete smart home ecosystem, enabling end-users to manage and control their movie libraries from a third-party home control interface.Most of the drivers are free to download and use as “lite” versions that allow users to command a Zappiti player from a third-party remote, keypad or app.The Zappiti options are available to download here: http://www.zappiti.us.com/downloadslast_img read more

News and Notes 1-1-10

first_img January 1, 2010 News & Notes News and Notes 1-1-10 News and Notes Jorge M. Abril of Jorge M. Abril, P.A., in Miami spoke at the National Business Institute program “Collection Law from Start to Finish.” The focus of his presentation was the ethical considerations in the practice of collection law, particularly as they pertain to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Consumer Protection Statutes. Samuel S. Goren of Goren, Cherof, Doody & Ezrol in Ft. Lauderdale spoke on “Growth Management Laws and the Effects on Comprehensive Land Use Plans,” with an emphasis on the impact of Chapter 2009-96, Laws of Florida (formerly known as Senate Bill 360) at Florida Atlantic University’s Florida Institute of Government in Ft. Lauderdale. Janine N. Kucaba of Adorno & Yoss in Coral Gables has been appointed to the board of directors of Switchboard of Miami, a nonprofit that provides telephone crisis counseling, suicide prevention, information, and referral services. Todd Michael Feldman of Jones Walker in Miami has been admitted to practice in the District of Columbia. Andrew I. Solis and Kelley Geraghty Price of Cohen & Grigsby in Naples will serve as co-chairs of the newly formed Committee on Case Management Reform, which is tasked with modifying and improving the case management system in Collier County. Isabelle Lopez of Lewis, Longman & Walker has been elected vice chair of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission. Nicole L. Goetz of Asbell, Ho, Klaus, Goetz & Doupé in Naples received an “Award of Merit” from the Bar’s Family Law Section recognizing her leadership, commitment, and labor. Tamatha S. Alvarez of Martin, Lister & Alvarez in Weston spoke on “The Absolute Key to an Effective Case: Using the Right Experts to Meet the Standard of Care, Causation and Damage” at the Obstetric Malpractice Conference in Chicago. Dennis Wall of Winter Springs and Orlando has been elected to the American Law Institute. Rhea F. Law of Fowler White Boggs has been inducted into the NAIOP Tampa Bay Chapter’s Hall of Fame. Andrew Bokan of Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt in Ft. Myers has been elected to the Southwest Florida Museum of History Board of Directors. Harsh Arora of Spiegel & Utrera in Miami has become president-elect of the South Asian Bar Association of Florida. Susan Horovitz Maurer of Panza, Maurer and Maynard has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Ft. Lauderdale Historical Society. Maurer also continues to serve as chair of the advisory board for the American Lung Association South Area (covering Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties) and sits on the tri-state board for the American Lung Association of the Southeast (encompassing Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina). John Elliott Leighton of Miami spoke on “Sex, Drugs, & Violence: Inadequate Premises Security Litigation” at a Louisiana Justice Association Conference in New Orleans.Second District Court of Appeal Judge Marva L. Crenshaw has been appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to The Florida Bar Foundation Board of Directors Shannon Bothwell of Greenberg Traurig in West Palm Beach has been appointed to the Wake Forest University Alumni Council. Dan McCawley of Greenberg Traurig in Ft. Lauderdale has been elected chair of the Ft. Lauderdale Downtown Council. Hal Mullis of Trenam Kemker in Tampa has been appointed to the University of South Florida Board of Trustees. Daniel H. Kunkel, Michael R. Miller, and John M. Hament of Kunkel Miller & Hament delivered presentations on “Labor and Employment Law Updates and Changes” to the Florida Health Care Association 2009 Annual Conference in Hollywood and “A New Approach to Labor Relations Management” at the Annual Convention and Expo for the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living in Chicago. David R. Punzak of Carlton Fields in St. Petersburg has been elected to the board of trustees of the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg. Bruce A. Blitman of Ft. Lauderdale volunteered as a facilitator at the Advancing Futures for Adults with Autism National Town Hall, which drew more than 1,000 participants, facilitators, and observers in 16 cities to shape a nationwide policy agenda that increases independence, engagement, and quality of life for adults living with autism. Gregory C. Yadley of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Tampa moderated a working group discussion for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation in Washington, D.C. L.A. Perkins of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs in Boca Raton discussed “Examining Noncompete, Confidentiality, and Independent Contractor Agreements from the Employment, Taxation and Intellectual Property Standpoints” at a South Palm Beach County Bar Labor & Employment, Taxation, and Intellectual Property Law Seminar. Michael “Mickey” S. Smith of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith in West Palm Beach has been elected vice president of the Palm Beach Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Robert Persante of The Persante Law Group in Dunedin has been certified as a circuit civil court mediator. Cory L. Taylor of Ruden McClosky in Orlando has been elected to the board of directors of Easter Seals Florida. Harold Schuitmaker of Schuitmaker, Cooper, Schuitmaker, Cypher & Knotek of Paw Paw, Michigan, has been elected chair of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Christopher Paradies of Fowler White Boggs has been elected vice chair of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. Earnest DeLoach, Jr., of DeLoach Law in Orlando discussed “Practicing in a Downturn Economy” and “Ethics Tips for the Solo/Small Firm Practice” at a FAMU College of Law seminar in Orlando. Kimberly Kolback of Miami moderated the panel “CBC v. MLB and the Impact on Other Sports and Fantasy Games” at the 21st Annual Entertainment And Sports Law Seminar and 15th Annual Intellectual Property Law Institute held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Stephen G. Charpentier of Charpentier Law Firm in Melbourne has been elected vice chair of the Brevard Community College Board of Trustees. Zackary T. Zuroweste of The Persante Law Group in Dunedin has been elected president of the Clearwater Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Mary Li Creasy of Loop & Kendrick in Tampa spoke on “Termination and Severance Issues – Strategies to Minimize Liability” to the National Association of Women in Construction, Tampa Chapter. Lawrence Silverman of the Southeast Consumer Law Group in Atlanta presented “The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – The Consumer’s Perspective” to the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. Victoria Méndez, assistant city attorney for the City of Miami, has become president-elect of the Cuban American Bar Association. Reuben A. Doupe of Asbell, Ho, Klaus, Goetz & Doupé in Naples has become president of the Young Lawyers Section of the Collier County Bar. Melody B. James and S. Brendan Lynch of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed in Orlando were recently nominated to serve as founding members of the Young Professionals Advisory Council, a young professionals group created by The Central Florida Partnership. Michael C. Gerson of Allen & Kimbell in Santa Barbara, California, has been certified as a specialist in taxation law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Gerson also has been appointed to the executive committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California State Bar. Stefanie C. Moon, an assistant U.S. attorney in the civil division of the Ft. Lauderdale office, discussed “Preparing and Presenting Expert Testimony” at a Broward County Women Lawyers Association panel discussion on “Litigating Damages.” Anthony J. Diaz is now a Florida Supreme Court certified circuit civil mediator. He also spoke on “Attorneys and Accountants Working Together in Litigation” at the Annual Conference of the Association of Attorney-CPA’s in San Francisco and presented a teleconference to the American Association of Accountants-CPA study group on estate, trust, and probate litigation.last_img read more

Phoenix-Area Home Prices Continue To Rise

first_imgPhoenix-area home prices continue to rise, but a short supply of available homes is causing the amount of activity in the market to fall. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University gives an update on the hard-hit housing market of Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of April:The median single-family home prices are up 25 percent from a year ago.The overall supply of homes for sale is down 54 percent from last April.The number of single-family homes sold this April was down 11.5 percent from last April, largely due to the lack of supply.Anxious Phoenix-area homeowners will be relieved to see the median single-family home prices in the area went up 25 percent, from $112,000 to $140,000, between April 2011 and April 2012. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 16.5 percent in the same timeframe. However, the new W. P. Carey School report indicates we could be seeing even more activity, if more homes were available for sale.“April is normally a very busy month for home sales, but this year’s sales are weaker than last year’s due to the unusual lack of supply,” says Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “We’re looking at only about 8,800 single-family homes for sale in the Greater Phoenix area, and more than 25 percent are priced at more than $500,000. The inventory of single-family homes for sale under $250,000 with no existing contract is equal to only 21 days of supply.”Orr says we have a very unbalanced market with many more buyers than sellers. Home prices have been going up since they reached a low point in September 2011. Condominiums and townhomes are included in the boost. Their median sales price rose about 23 percent from April 2011 to April 2012, going from $72,500 to $89,050.“Demand remains strong in the market, as evidenced by multiple-bid situations for the majority of resale home listings,” says Orr. “Most homes priced well are attracting multiple offers within a couple of days. Up to 20 or 30 offers for a home are becoming common, and often, many offers exceed the asking price. As a result, in the single month from March to April, the overall median sales price increased by 3.8 percent.”The areas that suffered the most price damage during the recession, such as El Mirage, Maricopa, Tolleson and Glendale, are now seeing the most positive price movement. A few areas that were least affected by foreclosures, such as Cave Creek, Fountain Hills and Wickenburg, are still showing negative price movement.Overall, foreclosures are down 62 percent in the Phoenix area from last April. However, one note of concern comes from the number of foreclosure starts – homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days. That number went up 4.7 percent from last April. Orr says he has seen a slight uptick in the rate of foreclosure notices since the signing of a recent legal settlement between the states and five of the nation’s largest housing lenders.New-home sales, normal resales and short sales are up year-over-year, and most lenders have recently encouraged troubled homeowners to use short sales as a preferred alternative to foreclosure. Meantime, sales of homes owned by banks, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the government are going down. In fact, so-called “distressed supply” dropped 81 percent from April to April.“In order for us to see a more stable housing recovery, the basic rules of economics require prices to change enough to bring a new wave of sellers onto the market,” explains Orr. “That hasn’t happened yet, and so far, supply remains insufficient to meet demand.”Orr’s full report on Phoenix-area home prices, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be downloaded. More analysis is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter.last_img read more

Alleged Robbery in Flanders

first_imgSouthampton Town Police said a Flanders man stole a tablet from an acquaintance and used excessive force while doing so on June 1.Rony Geovanny Bonilla-Morales, 27, allegedly grabbed the victim, secured him in a headlock, then ran off with the victim’s knapsack which allegedly contained cash and a “tablet computer.” The two men knew each other, police said. The robbery occurred on Maple Avenue in Flanders.The victim called police on his cell phone, and then ran after Bonilla-Morales. Detectives, aided by a New York State police K-9 unit, tracked Bonilla-Morales down at his residence, on the same street the robbery occurred.Bonilla-Morales was placed under arrest and held overnight for a teleconference arraignment the next morning.In other police news, Southold Town police arrested a 37-year-old Valley Stream man for allegedly driving while intoxicated in Peconic on Sunday, June 7, just after midnight. Gilberto Gregorio was stopped on Route 48 after an officer observed him failing to maintain his westbound lane of travel. He then failed a standardized field sobriety test, police said. According to a police report, officers spoke with an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old who appeared to be passengers in the vehicle. An investigation is ongoing, officials said, and further charges are possible. Sharelast_img read more

Messer: Going full circle with acquisitions

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img