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Palm Coast Monday, Dec. 14, 2015 3 years ago

NEWS BRIEFS: Sheriff advises of 'See Something, Say Something' campaign, says old Palm Coast ISIS threats not credible

Also in NEWS BRIEFS: County plans invasive plant removal, citizens academy

Sheriff advises of 'See Something, Say Something' campaign, says old Palm Coast ISIS threats not credible

The following is a news release from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office: 

While keeping the memories of Sept. 11, as well as the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and in California in mind, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is once again urging citizens to be observant of their surroundings and immediately report all suspicious activity to their local law enforcement agency.

A phrase that should be used and taught to all is “See Something, Say Something.” This phrase is part of a national campaign to educate our citizens on reporting activities to law enforcement officials. 

Locally, in March this year, there were ISIS threats that specifically mentioned Palm Coast. They were investigated and determined to not be credible. Although again reported by some in the media following the attacks in Paris, there are no known threats to Palm Coast or Flagler County at this time. “We should never let our guard down and we all need to adopt the ‘See Something, Say Something’ philosophy as your life may just depend on it," Sheriff James L. Manfre said. "We do not want to allow ISIS, or any terrorist group, foreign or domestic, to spread terror in our community. We are going to make sure that we remain vigilant and let them all understand that if you fight one of us, you will fight all of us."

In order to help our community be as safe as it can be, the following are some examples to use when deciding when to say something:

What is suspicious activity?

Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism- related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:

1. Unusual items or out-of-the-ordinary situations.
2. People drawing or measuring buildings for no known reason.
3. Strangers asking questions about building security procedures.
4. People in secure areas where they are not supposed to be.
5. People leaving behind briefcases, suitcases, backpacks or packages.
6. Factors such as race, ethnicity, and/or religious affiliation are not suspicious.

What are the signs?

Certain activities may indicate possible terrorist activity or planning. These activities may take place at or near government or military facilities, or at high-profile sites and places where large numbers of people may gather.

Some indicators of suspicious activity include the following:

1. Unauthorized people attempting to enter, or actually entering a restricted area or protected site.
2. People who attempt to impersonate authorized personnel or who provide false identification or documents.
3. The theft of official equipment, badges/uniforms, technology, or documents from a facility.
4. Damaging or sabotaging a facility or a protected site.
5. Operating an aircraft in a manner that reasonably may be interpreted as suspicious.

What should be reported when calling law enforcement?

First and foremost, remain calm and talk slowly and clearly. Don’t hesitate to use 911!
Provide a brief description of what you saw.
Give the date, time, and location of the activity or incident.
Provide descriptions of the person(s) regardless of their nationality. Descriptions should also include vehicles and or vessels involved.
Other than reporting, do not take matters into your own hands.

For more on the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, please visit or


Princess Place Stables ribbon cutting ceremony December 21

The following is a news release from the Flagler County communications office: 

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the historic restoration of the Livery Stable and bath houses at the Princess Place Preserve.

The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on December 21 at the covered porch on the north side of the stable, which will be decorated for the holiday season. Everyone is welcome to attend.

“The stable has been restored to its original appearance,” said Heidi Petito, Flagler County General Services Director. “Using old photos we have recreated the north portion of the stable, which had been removed before the county took ownership of it.”

DiMare Construction, a company that also does restoration work at Flagler College, was contracted to complete the work. Kenneth Smith Architects Inc., a Jacksonville company specializing in historic restoration, provided the architectural services.

The total cost of the work on the stable came in at $447,558. Grants from the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation and the Tourist Development Council covered $333,400 of the expenses. The remaining $114,188 came from Flagler County’s optional half-cent sales tax.

Stabilization and restoration of the two bath houses are budgeted at $22,000.

“We haven’t completed that project, so I don’t have the final numbers on the expenses,” Petito said. “We are currently within budget.”

Cherokee Grove, locally known as Princess Place Preserve, was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1977. The buildings have been restored to the original colors: a light tan with white trim and dark green windows and doors.

“We are very excited to have everyone come out and see all the work that has been done, because it looks spectacular,” said County Administrator Craig Coffey. “It is wonderful that we were able to restore these building back to their former glory.”

Flagler County Land Management department is teaming up with volunteers and partnering agencies to rid Princess Place Preserve and surrounding public lands of invasive plants like Brazilian pepper and Chinese Tallow.


Flagler County teams up to remove invasive species

The following is a news release from the Flagler County communications office: 

“We were able to cover some areas of the shoreline east of Princess Place Lodge during the HalloWeed event in October, but we didn’t have enough time to get everywhere we wanted. Work is also being done in the marshes south of the Island House at Princess Place,” said Mike Lagasse, Flagler County Land Management Coordinator. “It’s great that we are building these relationships with other agencies that are willing to help us with our efforts.”

The ability to work with partnering agencies allows Flagler County to share expertise, equipment and labor to address invasive species management holistically.

“In coming months, we’ll have more volunteer events,” Lagasse said. “People can come help out and learn how to identify and eradicate invasive plants in our area.”

Flagler County Parks Department employees Christian Ginter, Matt Shire and Frank Barbuti joined Lagasse. The Flagler team received help from: Todd Bachus, Favor Dykes State Park; Alegra Buyer, District 3 Biologist with the Florida Park Service; Brian Davis, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and, Deb Stone and Jim Godfrey, both with the St. Johns River Water Management District. Matt Welsh and Lia Sansome of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve participated and supplied equipment for the event.

The goal of this effort is to control the spread of invasive species on our public lands by identifying, locating, and removing invasive plants. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Lagasse at 386-313-4064.


Flagler County gears up for next free Citizens Academy

The following is a news release from the Flagler County communications office: 

Do news stories make you wonder about how it is that government employees and elected officials make the decisions they do to keep Flagler County running efficiently and well?

Twenty-five residents will have the opportunity to slip on someone else’s shoes and find out what it is really like to plan for the day-to-day lives of the more than 100,000 people who live in Flagler County during the next Citizens Academy, which will begin at 9 a.m. on February 17.

“This is a civics class about Flagler County,” said County Administrator Craig Coffey, who will speak during the first session. “Most people are surprised to find out how many miles of road we maintain, or that we are responsible for mowing upwards of 17,000 acres of grass. They don’t realize the scope of all the work that we do.”

The free course ends with a mock County Commission meeting and roundtable discussion with Flagler County’s five seated commissioners as its ninth session. The meeting is likely to include elements of Florida’s Sunshine Laws, budget constraints and property rights.

As preparation, the first eight weeks of the Citizens Academy are spent learning about Flagler County government, its Constitutional Offices, public safety, community services, technology, communications, growth and land management, as well as general services, the airport, finance, tourism, and economic development.

“This course provides a very good overall picture of Flagler County Government,” said Joe Mayer, Community Services Director.

For more information, go the Flagler County’s website,, and click on the box at the lower right announcing the academy. Questions can be directed to Mayer at 386-313-4007.


Forest Grove Drive/Palm Harbor Parkway closure delayed to afternoon of Dec. 18

The following is a news release from the city of Palm Coast communications office: 

The planned closure of the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway is being delayed until the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 18, at approximately 4 p.m. The roadway was originally to be closed beginning Monday, Dec. 14, as part of the ongoing construction of the Palm Harbor Parkway extension.
The short delay was requested by Flagler Schools and was approved by the city of Palm Coast and the contractor for the Palm Harbor Parkway extension construction project.
The delay will allow more time to plan alternate routes for school buses traveling to Matanzas High School. One main school bus route is Old Kings Road; the traffic pattern on Old Kings where it connects to Forest Grove was recently altered, and that impacted school bus operations. School will be out for winter break beginning the afternoon of Dec. 18, allowing more time for planning before school reopens in January.
The closure of the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway is required as part of construction operations for the Palm Harbor Parkway extension. Palm Harbor is being realigned and extended to connect directly with Matanzas Woods Parkway where it intersects with Old Kings Road. The extension is scheduled for completion in February, and this brief delay is not expected to significantly impact the construction timeline.
Message boards are in place to advise motorists and other travelers of the upcoming change, and a public meeting has already been held for residents living in that area. Access to the Hammock Dunes Creek Golf Course will stay the same during construction of the Palm Harbor extension. Once that extension opens, access to the Creek Course will be re-routed slightly, but will be maintained.
Both the Palm Harbor extension and a separate extension of Old Kings Road are being built in preparation for the new Interstate 95 interchange to open next June at Matanzas Woods Parkway. As part of the projects, traffic patterns around Matanzas High School will be changing.
One goal is to turn Forest Grove Drive back into a residential street as it was originally intended to be. The upcoming road closure of the Forest Grove Drive connection to Palm Harbor Parkway is part of that project. Forest Grove will be turned into a cul de sac on that end.
Once the separate Old Kings Road extension is completed, in June 2016, the Forest Grove Drive access to the high school will be closed because it will no longer be needed. Instead, motorists and other travelers will get to Matanzas High School via the new signalized intersection at Matanzas Woods, Palm Harbor and Old Kings.
For more information, please contact Palm Coast Communications Manager Cindi Lane at 386-986-3708 or [email protected].


Sheriff's Office signs detention labor contract

The following is a news release from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office: 

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and the Costal Florida Police Benevolent Association & Public Employees Association (CFPBA) signed a new three-year contract for detention deputies up to the rank of sergeant and select staff personnel Monday, Dec. 7 at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Operations building.

The initial detention contract was not ratified in September 2015, when the law enforcement contract was signed by both parties.

After successful negotiations and ratification by the CFPBA membership, the agreement was signed by Sheriff James L. Manfre and CFPBA Chapter President Kimberly Kilpatrick .

“I again appreciate the cooperation and hard work of the CFPBA in coming to this much-deserved agreement for our detention employees,” Sheriff James L. Manfre said. 

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