Crist sports rays gear, touts local businesses
Gov. Charlie Crist visited two Pinellas County businesses Monday and said he wanted to spotlight successful Florida companies in a time of economic uncertainty. In St. Petersburg, Crist toured Techno-Solis, which makes plastic solar panels that heat swimming pool water. He also toured Valpak, a direct mail company that employs more than 1,000 people and sends thousands of packets of coupons to consumers.
"I think it's important to emphasize these businesses that are doing well in the Sunshine State. I mean they told me that they're employing 1,500 people right here in Pinellas County," Crist said after visiting Valpak.
However, Valpak's parent company, Cox Enterprises, announced two months ago that it wants to sell the company, including the $220-million facility off Interstate 275 that Crist toured. Crist sported a Tampa Bay Rays tie and had a Rays sticker on his dress shirt as he toured the businesses.
Cash, credit card … or pot?
A McDonald's cashier called 911 after a Vero Beach drive-through customer allegedly offered to pay for his meal with marijuana. The Indian River County Sheriff's Office said the cashier called Monday with a description of the vehicle the man had been riding in. A deputy spotted the vehicle, found marijuana in the car and charged its occupant, Shawn Alexander Pannullo, 27, with possession of cannabis.
Felons still registered to vote
A newspaper investigation has revealed that more than 30,000 Florida felons who by law should have been stripped of their right to vote remain registered to cast ballots in this presidential battleground state. The Sun Sentinel says at least 4,900 felons turned out in past elections. Another 5,600 are still in prison. Of the felons who registered with a party, Democrats outnumber Republicans more than two to one. Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning said his staff has failed to remove thousands of ineligible felons because of a shortage of workers and a crush of new voter registrations.
Ex-sheriff leaves jail, gets job
Former Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne is working at a leading Fort Lauderdale law firm just a few weeks after his release from federal prison. Scott Rothstein of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler said Monday that Jenne is working for the firm's political consulting group Rothstein says he has known Jenne for 20 years and wanted to give him a second chance. Jenne, 61, a Democrat, was released Sept. 29 after 10 months in prison for mail fraud and tax convictions
Carjacker dangles baby
A 10-month-old was dangled upside down by her feet outside a sport utility vehicle during a Central Florida carjacking. Alyssa Gould told authorities the carjacker opened the driver's side door and pointed a gun at her on Friday. The carjacker dangled the baby by her feet and eventually released her to the mother, unharmed, before driving away in the SUV. The SUV ran out of gas a few miles away, and the carjacker ran away and remains on the loose, police said.
Times staff and wires