The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 25, 1998 · Page 74
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March 25, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 74

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West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 25, 1998
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Page 74
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The Palm Beach Post s SECTION B JUSTIFIABLE FORCE A bar bouncer used justifiable force in the shooting death of a patron, a grand jury rules. STORY, 2B LOCAL NE BIG HELP Group plans to devote more time and staff to helping county's small businesses. BUSINESS, 5B ,4 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 1998 Baby killed after mom crashes van fleeing police The pursuit ended "because the officer doesn't want to endanger the driver's life or anyone else's just for a traffic stop.' LT. PEM8R00K BURROWS Florida Highway Patrol off the west side of the road, hit two trees and spun, throwing Pena from the driver's seat, landing on top of her. Andrews came around the corner, saw what had happened and called for help, a neighbor said. Within minutes, the front of the car was in flames. No charges were filed Tuesday. Burrows said FHP would refer the case to the state attorney's office. er to turn off his lights and stop pursuing her, FHP Lt. Pem-brook Burrows said. "That's because the officer doesn't want to endanger the driver's life or anyone else's just for a traffic stop," Burrows said. Troopers had not yet completed calculations to determine how fast the car was traveling. Pena lost control of the Chevrolet van on a curve and crashed north of Inlet Cay Drive, north of the public beach. Burrows said the van went The officer stopped pursuing the woman as thej speed increased, t By Monika Gonzalez Palm Beach Post Staff Writer OCEAN RIDGE A 1-year-old girl was killed and her mother injured in a fiery wreck Tuesday jshortly after a police officer stopped pursuing their speeding van for running a red light, officials' said. Wendy Susan Pena, 25, of Delray Beach, was in critical condition at Delray Medical Center after firefighters had to lift the van off of her crushed body after the 2:50 a.m. crash. Pena's daughter, Imar Rivera, who appeared to have been thrown from her car seat into the front seat of the car, died at the scene. Authorities said it was unclear whether the toddler died from the impact, the smoke or the flames that engulfed the front of the van. light at Cordova Avenue, at the south end of town. Andrews tried to pull her over, but Pena's van was speeding so fast, he decided it was saf Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Pena was heading north on State Road A1A when Ocean Ridge police Sgt. Michael Andrews saw her run the red A bit of tartan, a bit of Scotch I mm ii A i tin - in ' . ! Frank Cerabino Luckily for us, everything had a price It's a pretty sight on the horizon. The Lenscrafters Building. It's the big one in downtown West Palm Beach, the one we used to call the county courthouse. Way back in the final years of , the 20th century, the building's roof didn't have its distinctive blinking sign: "Tucfir-A in ahnnt an hnur " I: I know. It's hard to imagine a world i - i i . . u: r, JU1UUL vvl Ul, opuiioux Ollip. v. It was way back m 199a that our public leaders first agreed on the need to allow corporations to buy advertising rights on the niany county buildings, properties and j vehicles. Before, people used to think that naming stadiums, buses and parks after rrrAi Kifo nrr1 rraiA I f rrtrA pnmnonioo xirao VUUUJT Mill O U1IU V--1 V.U11 A ,WllipUlllVwI lu tacky. Fortunately, we've outgrown that. Perhaps the breakthrough event in corporate sponsorship was the big Coca-Cola contract with the wastewater treatment plant. The "Things Flow Better with Coke" ramnainn rmmlutinnipH thf nnhlir sprtnr r ..a.. :: ,-i,f f The next year, Palm Beach County's fire-rescue vehicles were the hottest looking in Florida, due to the Tabasco contract. And those "L is for Library" signs outside the county branches made it clear that the deal with mystery writer Sue Grafton was responsible for new shelf space. Sure, we experienced some growing pains, jumping into some advertising deals JENNIFER PODISStaff Photographer and Drums of the Black Watch featured the tunes that once inspired soldiers to battle. The concert drew many theater-goers in kilts and related Scottish apparel. Many members of The Scottish American Society attended the concert together. WEST PALM BEACH - Carolyn Duncan gets a hug from longtime family friend Al Graham, wearing kilt and sporran, while they wait in the Kravis Center lobby Tuesday night before the show. The performance by The Regimental Band of the Scots Guards and the world-famous bagpipe band The Pipes Butler rests case without witnesses or evidence Attorney Phil Butler will mount his own and only defense during closing arguments of his bribery trial. Butler announced he would not put on a case after "strenuously and vigorously" objecting to the testimony of Kathy Snow, the ex-wife of James Clyde Baber III. Baber testified that he gave Butler $500,000 in illegal campaign contribu- Please see BUTLER2S allowed to split his remarks a legal maneuver called a "sandwich" which is given to the defense when it calls no witnesses. Although Butler will not be allowed to present facts not already in evidence, he can argue his case during closing arguments without subjecting himself to cross-examination. rested his case without offering any evidence or witnesses. Butler's decision means that he will have the last word in his bribery trial. Butler, who asked for 90 minutes for his closing arguments this morning, will be By Christine Stapleton Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH After telling a judge last week that he "absolutely" intended to put on a defense, Phil Butler stood in court on Tuesday and a little too hastily. The potato chip contract with the sheriffs office vice squad (The Lays Unit) comes to mind. So does the unfortunate association between the county's health department and the sportswear giant Nike. Nobody realized at the time that this contract would mean that the walls of the county's family planning center would be adorned with posters that said, "Just do it!" And then there was Phil Butler, the frequently unsuccessful state attorney's office candidate, who ran for the fifth time back in the year 2008 by bankrolling his campaign with a margarine contract. The campaign, which ran on the slogan, "I can't believe it's not Butler," was one of the most expensive in county history. The elections that year were the first held with Taco Bell scratch-off instant winner ballots. Some voters complained, but certainly not the ones who won weekend trips to Cancun. Then there was that big ruckus after county commissioners voted to accept sponsorship deals from beer companies. You should have heard all the complaining about that one. Especially when during meetings, a county commissioner would as per the beer contract unexpectedly blurt out "Bud" followed by another commissioner chiming in with "Weis" and then yet another commissioner finishing with an "Errr" right in the middle of a zoning discussion. But once taxpayers realized the kind of money this advertising was bringing in, they stopped complaining. Evenjthe cities (referred to as "government lite" by the beer advertisers) got into the game. West Palm Beach penned that seven-figure Disney deal on Cinderella Street, which used to be known as Clematis Street Some people say the street was more fun back in the old days, when there were few topiaries on the sidewalks. The critics , usually harken back to fond memories of a fountain that was where the Disney gift shop is today. And it was Delray Beach that first made the deal with a supermarket chain to officially rename the public comments section of city council meetings. At first, citizens there bristled at participating in "Iiblix comments." But a few months and dozens of complimentary trays of toothpick-skewered cheese cubes later, the Publix comments section was accepted. Today, we realize how essential it is for i .-r ,' i.'h-j ; ,' I.j i . .-. Port lawyer forced to resign after he admits he held cash Robert Cook shortchanged the port, putting $6,600 from a trust account into his general office account. By Michael Utley Palm Beach Post Staff Writer RIVIERA BEACH The top lawyer for the Port of Palm Beach has resigned after admitting he shortchanged the port on a $194,000 trust account he set up. Longtime port attorney Robert Cook returned the money in dispute slightly more than $6,600. But three members of the five-member port commission said they were angered by Cook's failure to give back all of the money on a timely basis, and they made it clear he would be fired if he didn't resign. Cook quit last Thursday. In an interview Tuesday. Cook admitted to making an error in record keeping, but he declined to go into detail. "It was a mistake that has been rectified." said Cook, who has represented the port since 1975. Port Commissioners Michael Brown, George Mastics and Robert Williams demanded that Cook resign after he admitted transferring about $6,000 of the trust money into his general office account and shortchanpng port officials when they asked for the trust fund to be closed. I Vase set P0KU2B Woman got friends to kill, prosecutor says By Scott Hiaasen Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH Her own lawyer said Misti Ehrlich did her boyfriend's bidding while he sat in the stockade on drug charges. Prosecutors said in that role Ehrlich recruited two friends to silence a potential witness against boyfriend Robert Pransky a chore that led to the inadvertent slayings of a 2-year-old boy and a man. Ehrlich, 21, went on trial Tuesday for her role in what prosecutors call a botched execution. They said Ehrlich was instructed to make sure Brian Goodine didn't testify against lYansky and to have Goodine killed if necessary. Two men. Robert Jackson and Miguel Garcia, are accused of going to Goodine's West Palm Beach house to shoot him on Nov. 21, 19. Prosecutor Kirk Volker said the men went to the wrong house and shot a family. Killed were Brandon Babb. 2. and Todd Chilton. 21. Brandon's mother. Crystal, was injured. Volker said Ehrlich, after t A KENNEDY MlStaff Photographer Misti Ehrlich is charged with first-degree murder. A 2-year-old boy and a man were killed when gunman at the wrong house opened fire. she was checking to see if Goodine had died. Garcia, Ehrlich's ex-boyfriend and the father of her 4 year-old son. pleaded guilty to the murders and was sentenced last month to three life terms. Ehrlich's attorney. Carey Haughwout, said Garcia will testify to avoid the death penalty but even he will say the murder was unplanned. Jackson backed out of a plea deal last year and now refuses to testify in Ehrlich's trial. lYansky also faces murder charges. speaking with her boyfriend, took Jackson and Garcia to the house, driving with her headlights off. Ehrlich also took the pair to buy 9mm bullets at a Sports Authority, and to steal a car later used in the shooting. "She told Jackson and Garcia that Bobby, her boyfriend, was going to want Goodine killed," Volker told jurors in opening statements. After the shooting, a sheriffs detective found Ehrlich in bed under the covers with a phone and a list of area hospitals. Volker said i i ii i n iii.t n; i vm jn'i an. cjrwii.-i ship. Without this money, there's little chance we'd be in the reasonable 50 percent tax bracket we enjoy today.

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