The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 7, 1997 · Page 1081
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December 7, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 1081

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Sunday, December 7, 1997
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Page 1081
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SECTION C STONES ROLL The Rolling Stones 'Bridges to Babylog'" tour shows Britain's bad boys have still got it REVIEW, IOC r I LOCAL NEWS .! Al accused of ignoring vet's fraud i. that he occasionally carried gallons of paint for the painting business he owned with his son-in-law, he received nearly a half-million tax-free dollars for his inability to work. He had a handicap parking pass and received allowances for special clothing. He got money to adjust his car for disabled use ' - Hitt combat," U.S. Attorney John Kastrenakes said after Hitt went on trial for fraud in July. A jury found Hitt guilty of 40 counts of mail and wire fraud, meaning he could be sentenced to as many as 200 years in prison when he goes before a federal judge in Fort Pierce this week, authorities said. : Hitt's attorney said the VA knew what it was doing when it certified Hitt's disabilities. At Hitt's last evaluation, the doctor saw FBI surveillance pictures and read its investigation, yet still certified his disability, said defense attorney Michael Kessler. Please see VETERANilC ' :-' Jl By Noah Bierman $ Palm Beach Post Staff Writer '.f PORT ST. LUCIE In numerous pictures and home videos, William Hitt appears strong and healthy. The 71-year-old World War II veteran walks around town carrying loads of groceries, laughs at family gatherings and raises his right hand to toast his good fortune. But the United States Veterans Administration saw a different picture of the house-painter when he showed up for medical exami: nations. His right hand would clench into an inflexible fist, and he'd lean on a cane or use a wheelchair. Since the early 1980s, Hitt was classified as fully disabled by the VA. And despite the fact r - r-nm I BOB SHANLEYStaff Ptiotographer even after he lost his license for drunken driving. "It's offensive to every veteran who ever served his country that was truly injured in William Hitt, seen in an FBI surveillance photo, will be sentenced this week on 40 counts of wire and mail fraud. i" r ..A A, Support growing for Martin v Glenn Henderson Treasure this, for 'tis season to be surly Just in time for the holidays, the Treasure Coast seems to have grown even crankier than usual. ', Better warn the kids: Santa Claus teachers 1 Community and political leaders say education and teachers should be a priority for the county. By Joe Vidueira Palm Beach Post Staff Writer STTTART Rad relations between Martin Coun might not make it to Martin and St. Lucie counties this year. His bag will be so loaded down with coal, his sleigh may not be able to reach takeoff speed. Even before the turkeys had been stuffed for Thanksgiving, we had two St. Lucie County commissioners and a wife who were being more spank-ful than thankful. At a meeting to name the new board chairman, Ken Sattler was once again passed over. It seems no one really likes Ken, which is a shame because if not for him, the commission would lack any semblance of controversy. " , Commissioners tapped Gary Charles for another year as chairman. Afterward, Sattler's wife approached Charles and, according to Charles, told him he was "a eninplpss skinless chairman." (Seems to T ty's teachers and the school district grew even worse last week as union leaders mobilized community support behind their cause and planned a large protest for Monday. . Word also leaked that the school board is divided over teachers' salaries, and several prominent business and political leaders began taking sides. "Other than it being a nice place to live, Martin County's No. 1 asset is its school system," explained Bob Allen of the Economic Council of Martin County. "We want to keep it that way." ' So far, community leaders seem to be backing tip . teachers, who make less than their colleagues in all ..surrounding counties. The Economic. Council and "other community leaders say they .worry that the dispute, and the low teachers' salaries, could have, long-term effects on Martin County's economy and highly regarded school system. On Thursday, Stuart City Commissioner Karl Krueger Jr. met with union leaders to discuss how be could help their effort. He already has agreed to let them post pro-teacher signs on land he owns on East Ocean Boulevard and Monterey Road. . ; The Economic Council, made up of area business leaders, drafted a statement in support of teachers. "We've looked at the numbers, and there's room in this budget to put priorities in a different order," Allen said, matter-of-factly. "After the children, the school system's most important assets are its teachers. They have to be a priority." Tensions have grown since the school board halted the salary talks Nov. 24 when the teachers demanded a 5.9 percent raise and the best the district would offer was 5.5 percent. Also, the teachers refused to consider working an extra 75 minutes a week without extra pay. Days later, the teachers' union warned it would probably file a suit charging the district with unfair labor practice for "a pattern of bad-faith bargaining," according to union negotiator Judy Burgess. - ; , Please see TEACHERSfiC PAUL J. MILETTEStatl Pnowgrapner Jingle belles, Jingle belles FORT PIERCE - Christian Orr, 5, (left) laughs with competed in the pageant for five chances to ride Rena Pfarr J, prior to the Little Miss Jingle Belle . on the St. Lucie County Leisure Services float in Pageant at the Fort Pierce Community Center on the city's Christmas Parade today and the St. Lu- Saturday morning.' About 30 girls, age 4 to 9,- cie Christmas parade Saturday. ; Some Port St. Lucie 8th-graders have options awaiting Fort Pierce, the other at 331 N.W. Com '. me Mrs. Sattler was confusing politics . and her dinner menu.) t. Slowdown, Dasher r p r !' Speaking of getting cooked, St. Lucie residents put on their aprons and stuck ; their forks in a proposed tax to raise money for road-widening projects. . I knew that one was in trouble after commissioners made public (then later backed off) plans to widen 25th Street whether the tax passed or not. (Note to . . commissioners: Taxes won't fly unless youat least pretend they're indispensable). '' ' . ; '. And Port St. Lucie residents have . been showing some seasonal surliness in ways beyond the ballot box. They've been calling city hall to share their thoughts about the police department's stepped-up speed traps along busy routes for the holidays. More than likely, many of those tick- eted were on their way to Martin County stores to buy Christmas presents, the ; usual holiday phenomenon in which St j Lucie residents spend most pf their mon-ey in another county. r , Which touches yet another nerve. Elf-sized roads? ! Angry Port St. Lucie officials let Mar-j tin County commissioners know last J week they don't appreciate a developer's ! plans to connect his proposed shopping center to their road. In a nutshell, Port I St. Lucie is worried about traffic prob- lems caused by an even larger number of their residents scurrying to Martin ! County to do their business. J j This, of course, is quite humorous, ; since Martin County has whined for years about, the havoc wreaked upon its I roads, beaches and bridges by Port St. ! Lucie residents who automatically head J south whenever they get into their cars. Don't be surprised to see Martin 1 County approve a new tax to shrink its J roads and bridges to keep out those I intruders to the north. ,. More holiday testiness: the conflict ! between Martin's schoolteachers and the ! district over pay and schedules. Things j seemed to be headed toward resolution until the district, playing the role of Scrooge, threw in a last-minute demand ! that teachers put in longer workweeks. I , The result: Teachers will show their Christmas "cheer" by toting protest Signs to the top of the new Roosevelt t Bridge. . ; As you can see, holiday hostility is 1 out of control. I'm beginning to believe : an evil force has spiked the Treasure tl Coast's eggnog with Grinch juice. And I handing out bah-humburgers, with cheese. - ' : It's the holidays, folks. You know, the '! season to be jolly? Joy to the world? Peace on Earth, goodwill toward man I (and woman)? Fa-la-la-la-la. And all that ; stuff. , , Or perhaps the reindeer have already i run over your moods, instead of merce Park Drive, Port St. Lucie. Ninth and lOth-graders may pick vfp applications at their schools, but they w(ll not be distributed automatically to all high school students, Grinsted said. Not all high school students will want to move, she said. j The school will house about 800 stu-, dents in the first year, but there will be rto senior class. i : School officials say seniors are reluctant to leave their school for their final year. Street, have no choice. They will go from Forest Grove Middle School to Fort Pierce Westwood High School. Jane Grinsted, director of elementary school operations, knows a few parents may be confused. "Controlled choice is always confusing to some people, and this is the first time we've had a choice for high school parents," she said. The middle schools will receive controlled choice applications for their eighth-graders on Jan. 5. Between Jan. 7 and 16, the students may return their applications with proof of address to the middle schools, or to two student assignment centers: one at 2909 Delaware Avenue, south of St. Lucie Boulevard, east of 25th Street. The following year, Centennial will have about 1,000 students. Traditionally, zone two students have joined the Cobra team at Fort Pierce Central High School, while zone three students run with the Jaguars at Port St. Lucie High School. This year, they may select Centennial. Also ninth and 10th-graders at Central and Port St. Lucie High, or Lincoln Park students from zones two or three, may choose to leave. Students from zone one, which stretches north of Midway Road to the Indian River County line, east of 25th By Mary Ellen Flannery Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Eighth-graders in Port St. Lucie have a choice: Will they be Cobras and Jaguars next year, or will they fly with fledgling Eagles? Do they want to attend the new high school in St. Lucie West, where the principal promises a 21st century education, or one of two older Schools? The new $26 million ' St. Lucie West Centennial High School opening in August will serve eighth-grade students now attending Southport, Northport, Southern Oaks, and Dan McCarty middle schools, or Lincoln Park Academy. They live south of Midway Road, west of 25th Street, or Please see SCH00L7C i No room to vroom Classic-car rivalry pits cafe owner against auto clubJ ... . . ... . . T 1 l! lem. But it's not true. I have sjx started going down there, he said. "We've lost maybe 50 percent of our cars." It's been a year since the Blue Cruisers set up camp in the Regency Square Shopping Center. Since then, the event has boomed, drawing more than 100 pre-1979 cars a week for free music and mingling. Jeanna Ianien has run the 1 op Dog show for almost 10 years. "Other than them saying on the loudspeaker a week ago I was closing the restaurant, no prob years on my lease." 'J But she is considering a move into the nearby Publix shopping center, which would give her already-cramped cruisers more parking space. Jeff Guida said any comment about Top Dog's closing never happened. "We never mentioned that over the mike," he said. ; But he said he did ask Ianieri to leave the Blue Cruiser show ia Please see CRUISERSI2C By Cara Anna Palm Beach Post Staff Writer STUART Bud Brown is a Top Dog Cruiser. Every Tuesday night he parks his 1946 silver Ford Coupe at the Top Dog Cafe and chats with other car owners and car fans. At the same time, on the same night, just a short cruise south on U.S. 1, is another car show, but you won't see Brown there. Something about a rivalry. "They talked to everyone up here, and eventually a lot of guys BOB SHANLEYStaff Photographer Jeff Guida runs the Blue Cruisers car show at the Regency Square Center in Stuart. On Tuesday night, the show drew about 160 classic cars.

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