The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on September 13, 1999 · Page 19
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 19

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, September 13, 1999
Page 19
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The Palm Beach Post s c SECTION B MATERNITY BLUES St. Mary's Hospital sees two moms in one room as Good Sam phases out baby ward. STORY, 2B MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1999 LOCAL NEWS Jewelry, symbol may lead to ID of body J3 ft. . f fen.. n.,1 rt , i i rl George Bennett Politics This ring with a green stone was just one piece of. jewelry found on the pregnant woman's body : that police hope; will help them ir identifying her. ( : ' 2 A former owner of the house where the woman's body was found took his own life in Boca Raton on Friday. By Brian D. Crecente Palm Beach Post Staff Writer New York police hope that a handful of jewelry, a doctor's business card and a religious symbol found in an approximately 2&year-old barrel stuffed with the mummified corpse of a pregnant woman may help identify the victim. Thursday afternoon, Nassau County police interviewed 70-year-old Howard El-kins of suburban Boca Raton about the body in the barrel discovered in a crawl space beneath the split-level house he owned in Jericho, N.Y., on Long Island, 27 years ago. The next day, Elkins walked to a nearby house that he was watching for an out-of-town friend, climbed into the back seat of her Ford Explorer and shot himself in the head with a shotgun. The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner ruled Elkins' death a suicide. No note was left, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office. During a telephone interview with The New York Times on Sept. 4, Elkins acknowledged that he had bought the house new in 1957, and had lived in it for 15 years before selling and moving to Florida in 1972. He said he'd built a den off the kitchen Carpetbag rule keeps Martin Republicans exclusive club THE ASSOCIATED PRESSPolice handout ?- that created the crawl space in 1966. Asked whether he had ever gone into the crawl space, he replied: "What for?" Elkins told the Times that he could not THE ASSOCIATED PRESSPolice handout This scapular found on the woman is a Catholic symbol. Please see ELKINS, 4B r ' ft- v' ihvlh'' ": t ' V-. ( . i 'S : - ,s vi' . i$ t ' Si ",''' ', - " - 41 A j 1 STUART THURLKILLStaff Photographer Pooch's performance gets 'wave' review from owner JUNO BEACH - Barbara Walsh of Jupiter and her cocker spaniel, Buddy, enjoy some body-boarding lessons in the small surf at Juno Beach not far from the a break from the heat over the weekend. Walsh was attempting to give Buddy Juno Beach pier. The waves were not associated with Hurricane Floyd. From Ronald Reagan to the recent defection of state Rep. Rudy Bradley of St Petersburg, the Republican Party loves to showcase members who bolt from the Democratic ranks. ; Martin County's GOP, however, eyes recent converts with a measure of skepticism. ' As a result, Republicans seeking cyberguidance on the candidates for Tuesday's special state House primary won't find any information about businesswoman Melinda Medina Tumminia if they click on the Martin County Republican Party Web site. I . The party's list of "our candidates" Consists of only Joe Negron, Art Argcnio and John Whitescarver. The party Web site includes links to the sites of Negron andArgenio (Whitescarver doesn't have one). ! Tumminia and her Web site were left out because she switched her voter registration from Democrat to Republican in February, two days before she filed as a candidate. The Martin County GOP requires a full year of Republicanism before it allows a candidate to speak at party meetings, have a spot at candidate forums, use the party's computerized voter registration database or link to its Web site. Martin and Collier counties are believed to be the only places in the state where the local GOP has such a requirement, a Florida Republican party spokeswoman said. Martin County GOP Chairman Bob Belanger said the one-year rule has been in place since the mid-1980s to guard the party and its resources against partisan carpetbaggers. Being a Republican in Martin County is indeed expedient, since Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 2-to-l. I Tumminia says she's a legitimate convert who switched to the GOP because as a registered nurse she disagrees with Democratic health-care reform policies. ; Another Republican is also being ignored by the Martin County GOP: John Carroll, who filed just before deadline and never asked the county party for its recognition. Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Monte Friedkin has ordered Democratic clubs to stop their long-standing practice of accepting newsletter ads from Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits that tell homeowners they can file for homestead exemptions. j The reason: Nikolits is a Republican. . The Kings Point Democratic Club newsletter in Delray Beach ran two of Nikolits' ads in 1998 for $100 apiece. This time, however, club President Helen Blustein told the appraiser's office she couldn't run the ad if Nikolits' name appeared in it. ! "We're really working very hard to make sure Democrats get elected," Blustein said. "I am the property appraiser, so the name should stay," Nikolits said of his refusal to change his ads for Democrats. His homestead exemption notices have also been rejected by the newsletters of the Century Village West Democratic Club in Boca Raton and the United South County Democratic Club. Leaving city hall hasn't meant leaving politics for former West Palm Beach Mayor Nancy Graham. Graham co-chaired a fund-raiser for West Palm Beach City Commission hopeful Bill Moss last week and is honchoing an event Tuesday for the state Senate campaign of state Rep. Sharon Merchant, R-Palm Beach Gardens. Graham does more than lend her name to such affairs. In a memo last week on the letterhead of her new employer, Watermark Communities Inc.; Graham rode herd on County , Commissioner Karen Marcus and other key Merchant money-raisers as Tuesday's event approached. "We must each ask ourselves these questions in preparation for the final days ahead," the ex-mayor wrote. "1) Have I sent in my own personal contribution? Has my spouse? 2) Have I personally called everyone on my prospect list to obtain firm commitments for contributions? 3) Have I done everything possible to ensure that the team meets its commitment of $20,000?" B - George Bennett's column runs on Mondays. He can be reached at 820-4704 o at georgebenne$tpbpost. com. Board members might consider letting sheriff police schools Four board members are friendly to the idea in the wake of a school police investigation of the board's attorney. - V nU'", - selves entangled in politics rather than simply doing their job." Johnson referred to a bizarre week that had School Police Chief Jim Kelly telling two board members to lock themselves in their homes because of a report that the board's attorney, Cynthia Prettyman, had made threats. Prettyman, who was in Mexico during fy v f tw m - By Bill Douhat and Angie Francalancia Palm Beach Post Staff Writers Members of the Palm Beach County School Board meet today to consider how to respond to threatening comments made by their lawyer. After that, they may turn their attention to the district's police force. On Sunday, four school board mem bers said they would consider turning over the job of policing schools to the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office. "If the school police cannot conduct itself in a professional manner, than I would be receptive to that option," said board member Art Johnson. "It would appear the school police have gotten them Kelly Please see SCHOOL BOARD, 4B Prettyman Lake Park effort to buy 375 acres spurs mixed reaction HVHHiia iwiaiaiii i iii milium !p?pHHRWV(WJgpjp . v n ,m-, Li t ' (1 fc- -" . . w,j,.Jj.,..J..J,.:.a Jt Tape in Creole gets word out to parents lost in translation Carver Middle School officials try something new to explain policies. By Sonja Isger Palm Beach Post Staff Writer DELRAY BEACH Carver Middle School is going into the books-on-tape business. The book of the month is the student handbook and assorted school rules as read in Haitian Creole. For years, teachers have sent home the handbook or other school notices in triplicate: English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. But Principal Carol Bla-charski and her staff were convinced that some parents, particularly Haitians, weren't getting the messages. Hans Lafleur, the school's translator and link to the Haitian community, By Joe Brogan Palm Beach Post Staff Writer LAKE PARK Is this town of 6,900 taking a progressive step to transform itself from a down-at-the-heels coastal community, or is it about to embrace a taxpayer-draining boondoggle? That's the $10 million question residents and others are asking as they await further word on the possible town purchase of about 375 acres of land west of Old Dixie Highway and south of Northlake Boulevard. Town commissioners voted 4-1 on Aug. 2 to negotiate with landowner Watermark Communities Inc., which bought the property from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation this year. Watermark bought nearly 15,000 MacArthur acres in Palm Beach, Martin and St Lucie counties and has Ifmse see LAKE PARK, 4B BOB SHANLEYStaff Photographer Carver Middle School teacher Patricia Plasket (left) and translator Hans Lafleur have collaborated on an audiotape for Haitian parents. recognized the signs. book. He'd call parents about discipline Part of the problem: Creole is a and first have to explain the rules. He'd spoken language, not traditionally a be summoned to the office to help par- written one. Some parents could read, ents confused about dress codes, free but only French, Lafleur said. And of- lunch programs and schedules all topics covered in the student hand- Please see CREOLE, 4B

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