Briefs

first_img March 1, 2005 Regular News Briefs B riefs THE ALL LAWYER BAND “LEARNED HANDS” and a band composed of doctors “Running With Scissors” staged their first Battle of the Bands to Benefit the Winter Park Community Center. Dr. Mark Schwartz, drummer for the Scissors said, “While our lobbyists battle over the issue of tort reform in Tallahassee, a group of local physicians and attorneys have decided to settle our differences in the way men of honor have done throughout the ages ­— through rock ’n roll.” The celebrity judges: Mike Thomas, an Orlando Sentinel columnist; John Gross, manager of WLOQ-FM; and Gary Moffatt, drummer for. 38 Special) declared the contest a tie. More than $4,000 was raised for the Winter Park Community Center and a rematch is set for April 16 to benefit the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. Pictured from the left are Randy Thomas, Dr. Rob Winter, Richard Whitaker, Dave Cannella, Irene Wertley, Steve Ball, Richard Wright, David Jones, Gary Moffatt, John Gross, Dr. Marc Schwartz, Peter Chinelli, and Dr. Dan Mancini. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN RECENT memory, 100 percent of the circuit and county court judges of the 17th Judicial Circuit are now members in good standing of the Broward County Bar Association. For the past year, President Steve E. Moody, Judicial Liaison Circuit Judge Ana I. Gardiner, and Membership Chair Christopher M. Neilson, with the support of the BCBA board and Executive Director Art Goldberg and his staff, have worked to enlist all the 79 judges as members of the bar. In recognition of the milestone, BCBA hosted a luncheon for the judges. Pictured from the left are Goldberg, Neilson, Judge Gardiner, and Moody.last_img read more

Chief judges want to control court tech dollars

first_img Chief judges want to control court tech dollars Jan Pudlow Senior Editor It may be only $2 collected from each court filing fee, but it’s piling up into a high-stakes debate about who should have control of millions of dollars for an integrated court technology system.Right now, the counties have control of the money, with little direction from the legislature on how to spend it for court technology needs in circuits that cross county lines.When the Article V Technology Board met in Tallahassee September 23, Second Circuit Chief Judge Charlie Francis temporarily suspended his role as chair of the group to argue passionately that the chief judge of each circuit should take control of one integrated court computer system that serves everyone’s needs.“It is the chief judge who has the responsibility of how cases are processed. That’s the bottom line,” Francis said. “As the chief judge, as the constitution says, they look to me, and the buck stops here as to whether a case makes it through the system or not.”Judge Francis spoke against a motion made by 15th Judicial Circuit Public Defender Carey Haughwout that proposed money generated by the $2 filing fee be administered at the circuit level by a joint committee of the state attorney, public defender, and chief judge.Fifth Circuit State Attorney Brad King said he had concerns about “the idea of the chief judge being the sole decision-maker where the money is spent, even after consultation” with the others.“and large, the court’s role should be a neutral one and not taking an active role in the management of cases,” King said.But Judge Francis stressed that he, as chief judge, has a constitutional charge to supervise the court system, and that should include technology that enables one division of the courts to talk to another, as well as receive and share information from a variety of state agencies needed to make decisions in cases.Francis said he has “no problem with some kind of review process if judges are not handling things right.” But he believes the chief judge needs to be in charge of setting court system priorities.“Right now, in most civil cases, there is no record of what happens other than the court taking notes in chambers. Clerks don’t have that ability. We depend on judges’ handwritten notes to know what’s going on in 60 percent of our court system,” Judge Francis said with frustration. “My job is to make sure the whole court system is working correctly.”The committee tabled the discussion until the next meeting, October 21, when they hope to have hard numbers on just how much the $2 fee is generating and how it is being spent. Francis said he does not think the $2 fee is sufficient to cover court technology costs.Statewide, Florida spent a total of $1.35 billion on all technology in 2003-04.“That’s a chunk of money to be spent on technology and the legislature has legitimate concerns if it is being spent properly,” Francis told committee members. “Our job is to recommend a funding model or models to the legislature.”It was clear from public testimony that confusion is swirling about the $2 fee enacted by the legislature last year, as part of a combo of county/state/and fee-generated funding for the courts.The legislature passed a $4 hike in filing fees on official records, of which $2 is set aside for the clerks. But the other half goes to fund the public defenders, state attorneys, and the court.“The legislature did not give enough clear direction to the counties as to how to utilize that fund,” said State Court Technology Officer Mike Love. “They set it aside and said, ‘Clerk, you capture it. You then pass it to the board of county commissioners.’ The board of county commissioners, with little direction thereafter, is to use their discretion in supporting the technology requirements of the state court system.”Exactly how much money the $2 fee is generating was unclear, but likely it is not enough.“I know that three years ago, when this was being contemplated, each dollar would generate $26 million. So there’s at least $100 million bucks we’re talking about. The clerk gets half of it and the other players get to split the other half,” Love said.“The reason you see there’s discontent is because there is not enough money in the $2.”Some of that discontent was detailed by those who testified before the board:• Third Circuit Chief Judge Julian Collins, of Lake City, said: “We need a circuit-wide system, not seven separate counties. We need centralized control over our $2 portion of the $4 surcharge” in order to have “reliable funding and an opportunity for centralized planning. Some counties are so small they won’t generate enough funds for technology.”• Jon Lin, court technology officer for the Fifth Judicial Circuit, handles five counties from his office in Ocala and he wishes he could prepare one circuit-wide budget. “I don’t have the ability to actually move equipment where I need it, when it needs to be transferred to another county,” he said. “I’d like to see our county employees for technology, who are funded out of the $2 fee, become state employees.”• Britt Beasley, court administrator for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, of Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties, said, “We’re experiencing somewhat of a crisis in funding. One of the problems is that with the $2 fee going directly to the local government, the local government is experiencing budgetary problems, and they are somewhat reluctant to dispense the money—or there seems to be a lack of understanding of what the money should be used for.” Beasely proposed that “we could actually fund 20 circuit systems totally for perhaps less than you can fund 67 county systems.”• Ken Nelson, chief technology officer for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Pinellas and Pasco counties, said, “We would like to recommend that the $2 of the $4 fee be returned to the circuit so that it could be administered as a circuit-wide fund, preferably by the chief judge.. . . Right now, we are in a situation where both of our counties micromanage everything we spend, right down to having us have our equipment authorized by the local IT departments. It becomes a real problem.”• Sheldon Gusky, executive director of the Florida Public Defender Association, said the biggest concern of its members is how best to resolve conflicts when they crop up. “Everybody has talked about funding, but nobody has talked about costs. Where are we today? What is the liability out there for the various entities on costs? What is the demand that is not being met?” Chief judges want to control court tech dollars October 15, 2005 Senior Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Wolf Administration Outlines State Preparations for Winter Storm

first_imgWolf Administration Outlines State Preparations for Winter Storm March 13, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Press Release,  Proclamations,  PSA,  Weather Safety READ LATEST NEWS ON TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf joined members of his Cabinet to discuss steps his administration is taking to be ready to respond to a significant snowstorm that will impact most of the state overnight tonight and through tomorrow.Speaking from Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency headquarters outside Harrisburg, Governor Wolf urged citizens to take the threat of this story seriously by preparing their own emergency supplies and delaying all unnecessary travel so plow crews can safely and quickly clear roadways.“This is a major snowstorm that will produce significant amounts of snow throughout the commonwealth, so we are asking Pennsylvanians to avoid travel on Tuesday unless absolutely necessary,” Governor Wolf said. “We are also urging everyone to take necessary precautions in the event of widespread power outages, and to check on elderly neighbors in the event of an emergency.”It is important to note that the proclamation does not restrict vehicular travel on commonwealth roads, but motorists are strongly encouraged to delay all unnecessary travel and heed local road closures that may be in place.Wolf said nearly 700 Pennsylvania National Guard troops will be put on state active duty at various armories across the state by 7:00 p.m. Monday. PA National Guard missions during the storm could include: transportation of emergency management personnel, stranded motorist welfare checks, traffic control support, commodity delivery, and vehicle recovery.Starting at 10 p.m. tonight, the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center at PEMA will be activated with personnel from the following agencies: PEMA, Public Utility Commission, PA State Police, American Red Cross, PA Turnpike Commission, Office of Administration, and the departments of Health, Human Services, and Military and Veterans Affairs.To help PennDOT and PA Turnpike crews get the optimum access to the interstates and expressways during the storm, beginning at 10 p.m. Monday, these restrictions will be in place on all interstates and expressways east of Interstate 99 and including Interstate 99:45 mph speed limitBan on tandem truck trailers, empty trailers, towed trailers, buses, recreational vehicles and motorcyclesThese restrictions will be in place on Interstates 70, 76, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 95, 283, 176, 180, 476, 380 and all expressways not on the interstate system. The Turnpike will have the same restrictions beginning at 10 p.m. Monday from the Bedford Interchange east to NJ and on the entire Northeastern extension. PennDOT is also cancelling all superload permits for movement on Tuesday.PennDOT has 4,800 equipment operators, more than 2,000 plow trucks, 49 snow blowers. All of PennDOT’s 11 regions will go on round-the-clock duty beginning Monday evening. PennDOT’s goal is to keep roadways passable and interstates and expressways take priority over lower volume routes.In the event travel is absolutely necessary, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles by visiting http://www.511PA.com. PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Locator plow tracking tool is available for all of the more than 2,200 PennDOT-owned and rented plow trucks, with vehicle locations viewable on 511PA.Also today, PEMA activated the situational awareness unit of the PA Business Operations Center. As the storm unfolds, the PA Business Operations Center will provide information to businesses regarding impacts of the event including road restrictions, Commonwealth Response Coordination Center situation reports, and updated weather forecasts. The information is intended to help businesses plan for and recover from anticipated severe weather.Governor Wolf Proclamation — Disaster Emergency, 2017 by Office of Governor Tom Wolf on Scribdlast_img read more

Bennett hails Norwich unity

first_img The Canaries had not won in eight games but a 1-0 victory over Steve Bruce’s side moved them to 12th in the table and eased the pressure on manager Chris Hughton. It was a game Norwich dominated, arguably more than any other this season, but they failed to create enough clear chances and relied on a Bennett header three minutes from time. “Some people, the fans especially, seem to think you can’t have fun any more if the results aren’t going well. You take it and it feels terrible when you aren’t winning games. “You are so low and you need something to pick you up and that is why I talk about strength in character and leaders in the team and we had that all week leading into the game.” The Scotland international, recently linked with a move to Celtic, has now called on the squad to continue their upturn in form. “It is a big weight off everyone’s shoulders,” added Snodgrass. “For us as players we need to try to take that level of performance into each game and the chances will come.” Former Norwich defender Bruce, whose side have taken just five points on the road since returning to the top flight, said the manner of the defeat was hard to stomach – even if his side did not deserve anything more. “It is always hard to take when you lose in the last few minutes, as it is equally as ecstatic when one of those goes for your team,” he said. “It was frustrating for all of us. In truth we didn’t really play well enough, particularly in the second half, to go and win the game but I thought we looked comfortable. “They had a few corners and free-kicks but we defended well. Then we conceded late and that is always annoying.” Nikica Jelavic made his Hull debut while fellow new recruit Shane Long was not risked after injuring an ankle on his last outing for former club West Brom. Croatia international Jelavic hit a post inside two minutes at Carrow Road but that was as good as it got for the Tigers, with Bruce anticipating better things to come from the 28-year-old. “That was the one bit of quality that we showed all day,” said Bruce. “It was a great move down the left, (Robert) Koren cut it back and you’d expect him to stick it in the net but he’s hit the post. But make no mistake, when we get it right he’s going to be a big acquisition for us.” It was only the 23-year-old’s second Barclays Premier League goal and Bennett felt the team’s celebratory huddle was a sign to the fans that they have all been working hard to address the recent slump in form. “It [the goal] is more important for the team,” he said. “I think we deserved it overall over the 90 minutes. Hopefully now we can push on. We had a few chances and we restricted them to hardly anything so it is always on your mind that we have found it difficult to score this year. “We knew how big the game was. The lads are really close here and we were getting some stick from the fans. “We have a solidarity between ourselves, we wanted to get together off the cuff and we said how important the goal was and to keep concentrated, it is something we carried into the dressing room after the game.” Bennett’s goal came from Norwich’s 10th corner of the game as Robert Snodgrass, who was a constant threat down the right flank all afternoon, delivered a set-piece that allowed the former England Under-21 international to power a header home. Snodgrass praised the character of the team to bounce back after disappointing results at Everton and Fulham. “It does hurt,” he said. Press Association Norwich’s new goalscoring hero has praised the unity among the squad after the whole team joined Ryan Bennett in celebrating his late winner in Saturday’s vital victory over Hull.last_img read more

Day four at Wimbledon

first_imgFederer will face American Sam Querrey in his second round match at Centre Court, while Nadal will take-on Germany’s Dustin Brown.Andy Murray will be involved in the opening game on Court No.1 when he play’s Robin Haase of the Netherlands.Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Caroline Wozniacki are among the other big names in action.last_img

UEFA Delegation visited new Grbavica Stadium, pleased what they saw

first_imgUEFA delegation Nebojsa Ivkovic, together with the representatives of Football Association BiH visited the Grbavica Stadium and left the Valley of the Cups very pleased with what he saw.Given that for the first time it is planned to play a European match for a long time Grbavica stadium, UEFA delegate is in charge of carrying out an inspection and to check whether Grbavica Stadium is in satisfactory condition for category 2.The control of the whole stadium lasted for four hours, and the delegate praised everything that he saw and what was done in the record time, and the club administration got directions what to do in order to meet the criteria for category 3.He was particularly impressed by the newly built Eastern Tribune and the way of funding and used the opportunity to photograph the chairs of famous personalities which he will include in his report.The report states that it is necessary to make certain minor repairs, so that everything goes according to UEFA regulations. The deadline for completion of additional works is June 28th.To recall, FC Zeljeznicar will find out the name of the opponent in the first European Championship pre-match on June 19th and matches will be played on June 29th and July 06th and this will be the first European match at Grbavica Stadium after 13 years.last_img read more