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Flashing in public no longer illegal in Florida

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

erich.campbell

Starting Tuesday, flashing your headlights to alert oncoming traffic that police are lying in wait along the roadside will no longer be against the law in the state of Florida.

The provision legalizing such speed trap warnings is part of a statewide change in motor vehicle laws.

An attorney who represented cited motorists believes, though, that the revised traffic code contains loopholes that would still allow police to ticket flashing drivers.

“The action of the Legislature in our belief fell short,” Oviedo attorney J. Marcus Jones told the Associated Press.

Passed by the legislature last March, the new law amended one section of Florida’s existing traffic code but – according to Jones – police may still use other provisions to cite blinking motorists.

Those provisions include prohibitions against using high beams within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle or within 300 feet of a vehicle ahead.  The newly stated exception for flashing headlights does not apply to those sections of the traffic code.

After being sued by motorist Erich Campbell, the Florida Highway Patrol ordered state troopers to stop issuing citations to flashing drivers.

Campbell, a student attending St. Petersburg College was cited for violating an existing law that says “flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles” except for turn signals.

The lawsuit alleges that the Florida Highway Patrol misinterpreted that particular provision of the state traffic code as it was meant only to ban motorists from having strobes lights that resemble those on official emergency vehicles.

To clear up any ambiguity, the new law specifically amends Florida’s traffic code to allow motorists to flash their headlights at an oncoming vehicle regardless of intent.

A Pinellas County judge dismissed Campbell’s $115 ticket, but his lawsuit against the FHP is facing dismissal in Tallahassee.

Representing Campbell before Circuit Court Judge Kevin Carroll, Jones has requested reconsideration because of the alleged inconsistencies remaining in Florida’s traffic code.

If successful in seeking reconsideration, Jones intends on seeking class-action status in an effort to obtain refunds for the estimated 2,400 drivers who were convicted and paid fines between 2005 and 2010 for flashing their high-beam lights.

Mike Crews to be new Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections

December 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Michael Crews - DOC

Governor Rick Scott will announce Monday a promotion from within at the Florida Department of Corrections.  Currently holding the number two spot as deputy secretary, Michael Crews will be elevated to the top position within the nation’s third largest prison system.

Crews will succeed Ken Tucker, whose retirement becomes official on December 28th.  Like his predecessor, Crews was a long-time official at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement before switching agencies and joining the Department of Corrections.

Crews will be Scott’s third prisons chief in less than two years.  Scott had previously selected Edwin Buss, a highly-regarded former Indiana corrections director.  Following several clashes with the governor’s office, he was forced out after just eight months as secretary.

In following Buss, Tucker was seen more or less as a caretaker as he long ago planned to retire in March 2013 by entering the DROP program, or the state’s deferred retirement option program.

Turnover at the Florida Department of Corrections is not unique.  The appointment of Crews is the sixth in six years for an agency that has been hit by scandal and controversy.  For example, former secretary James Crosby is serving eight years in federal prison following a 2007 plea agreement involving kickbacks and bribes from a prison contractor. 

Crews will take charge at a time when a state court dealt the agency a major setback by striking down the planned outsourcing of all inmate health care services for most of the state. The agency is appealing that decision.

With more than 100,000 inmates and an annual budget of more than $2 billion, Florida’s prison system is the nation’s third largest.

According to Melissa Sellers, a governor’s office spokeswoman, an official announcement of Crews’ promotion will be made early Monday.

Political talk and morning drive on AM 740 WSBR

December 17, 2012 1 comment

 

 

William E. Lewis

As Christmas is approaching and Bill Lewis prepares to announce his New Years resolutions for 2013, interesting guests and timely topics will be on AM 740 WSBR and AM 1470 WWNN the weekend of December 17th and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

As a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis can be found on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida. Hosted by Bill Lewis, the show broadcasts live weekdays at 7am.

Originally launched on AM 1400 WFTL in 2004, as the “Credit Restoration Consultants Hour,” Bill Lewis provided self-help tips and advice regarding credit repair, finances, and related topics. Throughout the years, Bill’s show strayed from the original concept of providing financial awareness to his listeners.

In an effort to strengthen his listener base and to broaden the topics hosted, Bill launched The Credit Report with Bill Lewis upon moving to AM 1470 WWNN within the Beasley Broadcasting group.

Listeners were searching for help regarding a myriad of topics from credit repairextreme coupon shopping, and foreclosure matters, but welcomed the political format that Bill introduced locally to a south Florida audience.

Since the show’s inception, Bill Lewis has interviewed some of the country’s leading politicians, including: Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Herman Cain, Chris Christie, Jon Huntsman, Allen West, Rick Scott, George LeMieux, Jeff Atwater, Pam Bondi, Marco Rubio, Sharon Day, Alex Sink, Adam Putnam, Charlie Crist, Bill McCollum, Jeff Kottkamp, Jennifer Carroll, Christine O’Donnell, among others.

In addition, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis has hosted a number of politicians as well as attorneys and financial experts in the south Florida area. Among the dozens that have appeared on the show are Carlos Reyes, Al Lamberti, Chip LaMarca, Adam Hasner, Ellyn Bogdanoff, Tom Rooney, Roger Stone, Bob Davids, Lori Parrish, Richard Denapoli, Rico Petrocelli, Jamie McDonnell, Jim Lewis, Tom Lauder, and John Contini.

The Credit Report with Bill Lewis airs live, Monday through Friday from 7am-8am Eastern Time with an encore presentation Saturday’s at 3pm on AM 740 WSBR. Streaming audio is available at http://www.wsbrradio.com and on air participation is welcome at (888) 721-0074.

If you miss the early broadcast, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis is still available weeknights at 9pm Eastern Time, Saturday’s at 6pm and Sunday’s at 8pm on AM 1470 WWNN by streaming audio at www.wwnnradio.com.

Going head-to-head against Steve Kane and Jimmy Cefalo, Bill Lewis promises more “talk” and fewer commercials.

For daily updates on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis, you can join Bill’s 21,950 plus fans on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/thecreditreportwithbilllewis.

Back to basics on AM 740 WSBR and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis

December 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Interesting guests and timely topics will be on AM 740 WSBR and AM 1470 WWNN the weekend of December 1st and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

As a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis can be found on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida. Hosted by Bill Lewis, the show broadcasts live weekdays at 7am.

Originally launched on AM 1400 WFTL in 2004, as the “Credit Restoration Consultants Hour,” Bill Lewis provided self-help tips and advice regarding credit repair, finances, and related topics. Throughout the years, Bill’s show strayed from the original concept of providing financial awareness to his listeners.

In an effort to strengthen his listener base and to broaden the topics hosted, Bill launched The Credit Report with Bill Lewis upon moving to AM 1470 WWNN within the Beasley Broadcasting group.

Listeners were searching for help regarding a myriad of topics from credit repairextreme coupon shopping, and foreclosure matters, but welcomed the political format that Bill introduced locally to a south Florida audience.

Since the show’s inception, Bill Lewis has interviewed some of the country’s leading politicians, including: Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Herman Cain, Chris Christie, Jon Huntsman, Allen West, Rick Scott, George LeMieux, Jeff Atwater, Pam Bondi, Marco Rubio, Sharon Day, Alex Sink, Adam Putnam, Charlie Crist, Bill McCollum, Jeff Kottkamp, Jennifer Carroll, Christine O’Donnell, among others.

In addition, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis has hosted a number of politicians as well as attorneys and financial experts in the south Florida area. Among the dozens that have appeared on the show are Carlos Reyes, Al Lamberti, Chip LaMarca, Adam Hasner, Ellyn Bogdanoff, Tom Rooney, Roger Stone, Bob Davids, Lori Parrish, Richard Denapoli, Rico Petrocelli, Jamie McDonnell, Jim Lewis, Tom Lauder, and John Contini.

The Credit Report with Bill Lewis airs live, Monday through Friday from 7am-8am Eastern Time with an encore presentation Saturday’s at 3pm on AM 740 WSBR. Streaming audio is available at http://www.wsbrradio.com and on air participation is welcome at (888) 721-0074.

If you miss the early broadcast, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis is still available weeknights at 9pm Eastern Time, Saturday’s at 6pm and Sunday’s at 8pm on AM 1470 WWNN by streaming audio at www.wwnnradio.com.

Going head-to-head against Steve Kane and Jimmy Cefalo, Bill Lewis promises more “talk” and fewer commercials.

For daily updates on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis, you can join Bill’s 21,950 plus fans on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/thecreditreportwithbilllewis.

Chris Brown off the hook in Miami Beach robbery case

December 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Chris-Brown-Fails-Drug-Test

Grammy-winning singer Chris Brown is in the clear as prosecutors have decided not to file charges against him for allegedly snatching a woman’s cellphone in early February.

The phone’s owner, Christal Spann, was trying to take a photo of Brown outside a Miami Beach night club.

A memo released Friday afternoon concluded that no evidence existed to prove that Brown intended to steal the phone or that he deleted any photos.

To be charged with “robbery by sudden snatching” or “grand theft,” Brown must have had the requisite or specific criminal intent to ‘permanently deprive’ Spann of her property.”

Prosecutors concluded that Chris Brown did not have the intent to steal Christal Spann’s cellphone.

“The Miami Beach Police Department and my prosecutors have reviewed all of the evidence and taken the statements of numerous witnesses, many of whom were interviewed in California, and have determined we are not taking any type of criminal action regarding the incident,” concluded Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in a 10-page prepared memo.

In the memo, prosecutors stated that Brown tossed Spann’s phone from his limousine and that it was picked up by Devon Blanche, head of security for rapper Tyga.

Tyga and Brown had performed at the Cameo club earlier that night. Blanche tried to determine whether someone had lost the phone and ultimately took it to Atlanta during the rapper’s tour indicating in an interview that he intended to find its owner.

Criminal charges against Brown, 24, might have triggered a violation of his probation for his 2009 assault on his then girlfriend Rihanna. The two have recently collaborated on a new duet, “Nobody’s Business,” and have been spotted out together in recent weeks.

According to the memo, after Brown and Tyga had finished their performances, they departed for their hotel in separate limousines.

Witnesses told prosecutors that about 30 female fans gathered outside Brown’s vehicle, at least one of whom reached inside to take a photo. Brown was accompanied by at least two women in the limousines.

Tyga told prosecutors that he saw Brown throw a white cellphone out of the limousine.

Christal Spann stated that Brown used a derogatory term for women and said “this will not run the website” when he grabbed the phone. She began beating on the windows, according to the memo, until someone in the front seat told her the phone had been tossed out. She could not find it, however.

“She used to be a fan of Brown’s, but no longer,” the memo notes of Spann.

“The prosecution must prove that Chris Brown had the requisite or specific criminal intent to ‘permanently deprive’ Spann of her property,” stated John Contini, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney and author of “Danger Road,” the true story of three drug dealers who in 1983 were brutally murdered by a police officer in the Florida Everglades. “This was quite challenging and I applaud the Miami-Dade State Attorney in conducting a thorough investigation of the case.”

Rundle stated that the investigation’s findings would be sent to probation officials in Los Angeles for review.

Bill Lewis is the principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates and host of “The Credit Report with Bill Lewis” — a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends and issues on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida.

$500 million and counting for Powerball drawing

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Now that Powerball officials have boosted the jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing to $500 million, the payout would be the nation’s second largest following the record $656 million Mega Millions drawing in March.

Huge ticket sales nationally may push the payout even higher.  A single winner choosing the cash payout will take home $327 million before taxes.

With a one in 175 million chance of winning the Powerball — odds are good for Florida lottery players.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Florida has led the country in sales and winners since joining the Powerball competition in 2009.

Record jackpots encourage players who normally sit on the sidelines to play Powerball.  Group purchases from work pools also increase substantially.

“Typically, 60% of sales occur the last day,” stated Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association. “We’ll see how many people decide to play $500 million.”

Based on soaring Sunday and Monday ticket sales, the MSLA decided early Tuesday to raise the Powerball jackpot from an already record $425 million to a whooping half-billion dollars.

And with ticket sales estimating 6.3 million an hour, the jackpot could go up again according to Strutt.

“We’re saying $500 million – it’ll be higher,” says Strutt. “But you’ve got to stop at a number” for marketing purposes.

Lottery experts say there is a 60 percent chance someone will hit the jackpot Wednesday.  If not, the next jackpot would exceed $750 million — an all-time record.

The Powerball drawing will take place in Tallahassee Wednesday night.

Bill Lewis is the principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates and host of “The Credit Report with Bill Lewis” — a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends and issues on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida.

South Florida political talk radio on AM 740 WSBR and AM 1470 WWNN

November 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Interesting guests and timely topics will be on AM 740 WSBR and AM 1470 WWNN the weekend of November 24th and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

As a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis can be found on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida. Hosted by Bill Lewis, the show broadcasts live weekdays at 7am.

Originally launched on AM 1400 WFTL in 2004, as the “Credit Restoration Consultants Hour,” Bill Lewis provided self-help tips and advice regarding credit repair, finances, and related topics. Throughout the years, Bill’s show strayed from the original concept of providing financial awareness to his listeners.

In an effort to strengthen his listener base and to broaden the topics hosted, Bill launched The Credit Report with Bill Lewis upon moving to AM 1470 WWNN within the Beasley Broadcasting group.

Listeners were searching for help regarding a myriad of topics from credit repairextreme coupon shopping, and foreclosure matters, but welcomed the political format that Bill introduced locally to a south Florida audience.

Since the show’s inception, Bill Lewis has interviewed some of the country’s leading politicians, including: Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Herman Cain, Chris Christie, Jon Huntsman, Allen West, Rick Scott, George LeMieux, Jeff Atwater, Pam Bondi, Marco Rubio, Sharon Day, Alex Sink, Adam Putnam, Charlie Crist, Bill McCollum, Jeff Kottkamp, Jennifer Carroll, Christine O’Donnell, among others.

In addition, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis has hosted a number of politicians as well as attorneys and financial experts in the south Florida area. Among the dozens that have appeared on the show are Carlos Reyes, Al Lamberti, Chip LaMarca, Adam Hasner, Ellyn Bogdanoff, Tom Rooney, Roger Stone, Bob Davids, Lori Parrish, Richard Denapoli, Rico Petrocelli, Jamie McDonnell, Jim Lewis, Tom Lauder, and John Contini.

The Credit Report with Bill Lewis airs live, Monday through Friday from 7am-8am Eastern Time with an encore presentation Saturday’s at 3pm on AM 740 WSBR. Streaming audio is available at http://www.wsbrradio.com and on air participation is welcome at (888) 721-0074.

If you miss the early broadcast, The Credit Report with Bill Lewis is still available weeknights at 9pm Eastern Time, Saturday’s at 6pm and Sunday’s at 8pm on AM 1470 WWNN by streaming audio at www.wwnnradio.com.

Going head-to-head against Steve Kane and Jimmy Cefalo, Bill Lewis promises more “talk” and fewer commercials.

For daily updates on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis, you can join Bill’s 21,950 plus fans on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/thecreditreportwithbilllewis.

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