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Archive for the 'Local' Category

Is the Second Amendment in jeopardy

Posted in Cool Sites, Florida, Global, Internet, Internet Video, Law, Links, Local, Military, National, News, Opinion, Politics, Projects, State, Upcoming events on February 6th, 2010

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This video is scary!
Currently, our freedom and rights including the Second Amendment right to bear arms have legislation threats from our own government. But this video provided by the NRA shows that anti-gun politics and organizations here in the United States are not the only evil lurking to destroy American rights. There are other countries in alliance with the UN and a evil organization called IANSA that want to take away our right to defend or home and family.
It is wrong that so many have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom, The Constitution of The United States and the Bill of Rights. Currently we have troops in hostile environments fighting in wars putting their lives on the line to defend freedom. How can we, as Americans, stand by and watch as our rights are being subjected to deterioration! As our troops are over in distant lands fighting for our rights, we not only owe them our support. We also owe it to them and those who have fought before them to defend those very same freedoms from the enemy here in our own country. Americans here on the home front were given the right to keep and bear arms by the founders of our great country. It is also written that that right shall not be infringed. However, now has come the time when we must stand up and let our voices be heard. Today with the threats at hand that want to take away those very same rights, it becomes our responsibility to defend those rights and our freedom.
So, in this post I have presented to you a problem, but I also want to provide you some solutions.
On April 19, 2010 The Second Amendment March will be held in Washington DC. Visit The Second Amendment March web site for more information and make plans to attend. Join the NRA and GOA

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Billy Lane sentenced to 6 years in deadly crash case

Posted in Brevard County, Celebrity, Chopper Builders, Florida, Law, Local, Melbourne, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News on August 15th, 2009

judge_burger

Judge Burger began motorcycle builder Billy Lane’s sentencing hearing today by stating that he had accepted the plea of no contest to the charge of vehicular homicide submitted to him on June 9th. He then asked State attorney Tom Brown to start with his opening remarks and recommendations for sentencing. Brown began by submitting a score sheet to the court and the reading off several incidents where Billy had been ticketed for speeding and other traffic violations in an attempt to show that this was not an isolated incident. Tom Brown remarked that these incidents of recklessness showed that this was not an isolated incident, but a pattern where someone was bound to get hurt.

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Brown went on to graphically describe the recreation and scene of the crash that brought tears to the eyes of both the Morelock family and Billy Lane. Prosecuting attorney Brown showed aerial photos of the crash scene pointing to the clearly marked double yellow line and pointing out that Mr. Lane had several opportunities to get back into his lane. The results (Brown said) of Mr. Lane’s reckless behavior ended the life of Gerald Morelock. The law states that when you take the life of a human being, you go to jail and that is what we are asking for today your Honor. Brown recommended that the judge stay within the criminal guidelines and Lane be sentenced to 111.15 months in prison, which equates to just over 9 years. In a few moments you will be hearing testimony from the members of the victim’s family, Mr. Lane intends to speak and others are here to appear on his behalf. However, the defense has the burden to prove two things. They need to prove that this death was not a sophisticated homicide and that it was an isolated incident. Indeed, if this can be proven, than the court would be allowed, at the Judge’s discretion to downgrade the recommended sentence. State Attorney then rested and turned the floor over to Defense attorney Gregory Eisenmenger.

sean_morelock

The court room was filled with people in support of Billy lane including Hugh “The Chopper” King, Executive Co Producer and emcee of the television shows Biker Build Off and Motorcycle Mania. Some had a chance to speak, while others where there just to show support for the celebrity motorcycle builder Billy Lane. The general consensus was that Lane could do more to have a positive outcome of the incident if he were not incarcerated by giving back to the community by way of public service announcements and helping to build a non-profit memorial in the name of Gerald Morelock.  There were several who made statements on Billy’s behalf including his Father Warren Lane. Sean Morelock, who has been most affected by the death of his Uncle Gerald said that he had come to realize that Lane could do positive things to help children and felt that would have been what his uncle would have wanted.

byron_morelock

 Gerald’s brother, Byron Morelock also spoke saying that it was not necessarily his opinion, but thinks his brother would have wanted good to come from the incident. Both Sean and Byron said that the final decision of Lane’s fate rested in the hand of the court.

 lane_testifys

 

Billy Lane was then called to the stand and sworn in to make his statement. This would be the first time that Lane had spoken openly to the public about what happened and his feelings. Billy started out by saying I am here today to show everybody who I am, not who you think I am. Lane showed a great deal of remorse and came to tears on several occasions. He described how he had to pass by the spot where he killed Gerald Morelock almost every day and how he prayed for his soul and his family. Billy Lane admitted that he had made a bad decision and was not asking for pity for what had happened. He said he was sorry and asked forgiveness for taking the life of another human being. He stated that he was ready to accept the court’s decision and accepted responsibility for the death of Gerald Morelock. Though Billy showed a great deal of emotion during the hearing and when he spoke. He showed very little expression as his sentence was read.

lane_sentenced

After hearing all the statements of sending a message and using Lane’s notoriety in a positive way, State Attorney said that a message like this is like a double edged sword. He remarked that children where mentioned several times and that we should think twice about this. Do we want to send this message that could be interpreted differently by the demographics spoken of? The message could be also interpreted to read that if I grow up to be a celebrity, I can get away with bad things. This is not the type of message we want to be sending out to our youth.

After hearing from both sides and with no further statements, Judge Burger recessed for 20 minutes to makes his decision. When the Judge returned, he stated that he found that this was an isolated incident and therefore had opted to downgrade the sentence recommended by the State guidelines. He did agree with the State as to not wanting to send out the wrong type of message and asked Billy Lane to rise. With the downward departure, Judge Burger sentenced Billy Lane to 6 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections to be followed by 3 years of probation. The Judge also suspended Lane’s driving privileges for life along with orders to pay court cost and cost of investigation. The Judge had also sentenced Lane to take a DUI driver awareness class, but later dropped that provision when Eisenmenger stated that Mr. Lane had already completed the class.

lane_in_custody

Billy Lane was the taken into custody and escorted out of the courtroom with his family and friends shouting we love you Billy.

Edit: I am adding a video that I shot using my Canon Power Shot. It took me a bit to convert and as you can see my regular job set me back on getting this story posted to bein with.

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Judge accepts plea in Lane case sentencing scheduled for August

Posted in Auto Negligence, Brevard County, Case Research, Celebrity, Chopper Builders, DUI, Florida, Law, Local, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News on June 9th, 2009

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(Viera, Florida) Billy Lane was sworn in today for the first time since his arrest almost 3 years ago for DUI Manslaughter causing the death of Melbourne Beach resident Gerald Morelock. Attorney Greg Eisenmenger entered a plea of “no contest” on behalf of Billy Lane before Judge Burger explained the governing rules of the plea. Judge Burger then began to ask Lane the standard questions regarding a plea. There was a slight hesitation of yes your honor when the Judge asked Billy about his mental state. The Judge then asked State Attorney Tom Brown to state the cause for charges filed.

listening_to_evidence

The plea today was entered against the charge of vehicular homicide which was filed late in the case by the state. After the hearing, Attorney Eisenmenger stated that they had been contesting and battling against the DUI and the mishandling of the blood work. Eisenmenger made a point to brief the court of what his plans were to bring forth mitigating circumstances to curtail Lane doing any time in prison. He suggested that Lane would instead be held accountable by means of probation or house arrest and listed other terms of a possible agreement. Some of terms mentioned were that Billy Lane’s drivers license be revoked for life, that he attend drug and alcohol abuse programs and that he would do community service as the court found fit.

no_comments_from_lane
Billy Lane left the court room as reporters asked him to comment, however Attorney Greg Eisenmenger told us that Lane would not be making any comments at this time. Lane has not commented publicly about the incident yet.

eisenmenger_interview

Outside the court room Attorney Greg Eisenmenger answered questions from reporters. When asked if he was satisfied with a 9 year prison sentence, he responded that he intends to bring forward mitigating circumstances to in hope of working out a deal in which Lane would not be incarcerated. Eisenmenger stated that ultimately the final judgement would be up to the court and could be anywhere from a amount of time probation or house arrest up to the low side of the guidelines which would call for 9 years imprisonment. He was also asked about how Billy was doing and what he was doing. Eisenmenger stated that he did not make a habit of following his clients day to day life, however he felt that Billy was still working in the motorcycle industry as he was. He went on to say that Billy has shown remorse for what happened and even at some points more remorse than what he had been advised.

Sentencing has been scheduled for August 14.

I contacted Byron Morelock, the brother of the victim Gerald Morelock after the hearing and he released the following statement:

As most of you already know, my family has been following this case from day one.
The Plea today is not a surprise.
It is true that this case has taken a long time to get to this point, however,
I have always attempted to have faith in the system.
There are many different and diverse opinions out there concerning every aspect of this case. That in itself, demonstrates how our country
Can be so diverse yet held together like timeless glue.
I have been in contact with all parties involved in an attempt to find ways
to turn this tragedy into a more positive outcome. In my heart I know that this is what my Dear Brother Gerry would have wanted. I want people to understand that I am handling this as Gerry has shown me, not necessarily as I want.
I would like to thank so many people for their prayers and good wishes and support

sincerely,
Byron & Seany Morelock

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Billy Lane will not go to trial

Posted in Brevard County, Celebrity, Chopper Builders, Florida, Law, Local, Melbourne, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News on February 5th, 2009

(Viera, Florida) The Brevard County court room was at maximum capacity for the 9:00 am calendar call where it was announced that only the first 60 cases on the docket would be called today. Billy Lane sat among the many people waiting to hear if their case would be set for trial as a large group of attorneys waited for Judge Burger to enter the court room. Defense attorney Gregory Eisenmenger signed in just moments before the court was called to order, said hello to Billy, and then waited for his client’s name to be called.

Recently elected to the chair, Judge Robert Burger had inherited a massive overflow of lingering cases left undecided by previous Judge Meryl Allawas. Though Judge Burger made no formal announcement, he appeared determined to clear up the case load and stood firm on keeping a solid schedule to clear the docket of the older cases. As each case was called he explained to the parties that they needed to ready their case without any further postponement.

Billy Lane had been facing the single felony charge of DUI Manslaughter for over two years up until last month when a additional charge of vehicular homicide was filed. When the Judge called for the case of the State of Florida verses William Lane,  defense  attorney Eisenmenger stepped forward and made a surprise statement that he had resolved the case with the Sate and they were working on a plea. State Attorney Tom Brown stepped forward to acknowledge the plea bargain, but then both attorneys approached the bench and talked with the Judge for about 2 minutes.

It was not stated for the record what type of agreement had been made and there was no mention of when an official announcement might be heard. The next date posted for a hearing is on February 9th, but that date may be cancelled until the two parties reach their final agreement. I spoke with Byron Morelock by telephone and he confirmed that he would be involved in the agreement, but he was not able to give me any more specifics on dates or times either. He seemed to be relieved that the case is finally growing to an end, but stated that no mater the final outcome it will remain a sad fact that nobody wins in a case of this nature. Byron Morelock is the brother of  Gerald Morelock who was the victim in this case. Gerald Morelock was killed back in September of 2006 when the Dodge pickup Billy Lane was driving struck him head on. Lane showed no emotion as the announcement was made and appears to have accepted the fact that he will not have to stand trial for the the two charges now that arrangements are being made that will decide his final fate in this case. While it was said that Lane could receive as much as 15 years in prison if convicted of either charge, the State Attorney had previously stated that a plea bargain would not be accepted for anything less than 10 years. Still, even after the announcement today, the exact amount of time still remains unknown.

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Passenger in Billy Lane DUI Case files civil law suit

Posted in Auto Negligence, Brevard County, Case Research, Celebrity, Chopper Builders, DUI, Florida, Law, Local, Melbourne, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News on May 16th, 2008

Erin Derrick, the female passenger that was with Billy Lane on the night of the crash that took the life of Gerald Morelock and injured Derrick has filed civil suit against Lane and Chrysler for Auto Negligence. Lane and Dodge reached a settlement with the family of the victim last year, but are still waiting for justice in the criminal case. This is breaking news just discovered and the actual summons has not even been returned yet.

Lane is scheduled for a hearing today at 1:30 pm in the criminal case where he is still facing charges of DUI Manslaughter.

More on this story as it unfolds.

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Brevard County on fire, Governor declares state of emergency

Posted in Brevard County, Florida, Local, Media, Melbourne, News on May 12th, 2008

Brevard County Florida fills with smoke as fires spring up all over the area

Brevard County, Florida has seen two days of fires that have destroyed over 50 homes and still threatens more houses and businesses. Interstate 95 has been closed off and on during the day today while many Palm Bay and Malabar schools have been shut down due to the threat of approaching fires and smoke.

 Local firefighters have been busy throughout the day trying to contain the fires

Florida Governor Crist declared Brevard County in a state of emergency at 4:00 this afternoon as firefighters from nearby counties had already been in action helping the local fire departments try to contain the fires that spread from Cocoa to Malabar.

 Fire threatens local Melbourne business as flames get close to buildings

 Homes and local businesses were threatened this afternoon when a large brush fire broke out near the intersection of Wickham Road and Parkway in Melbourne. Brevard County Fire Rescue has established a brush fire information line at 321-637-5550 to provide information about brush fire activity, evacuations and other critical information.

Melbourne homeless resident felt helpless as the fires burned in the brush where he and friends had set up camp

Gerry, a homeless veteran and friends had set up camp in the brush that was on fire behind the 7-11. He sat helplessly worried about all of his worldly belongings that he had to leave behind in the wooded area that was blazing with fire. Many of the employees of the businesses located next to the 7-11 were also gathered around and watching in concern as the flames approached the buildings where they worked.
 
Television news teams were on the run all day trying to cover all of the fires that were breaking out

Local 6 camera man and reporter Erik von Ancken rush in to cover the brush fire. Brevard County has been on the news on local television and across the nation as the concern and likely hood of more fires in the area grow. We have not had much rain in weeks and the dry areas combined with the winds in past few days bring the threat of more fires.

 Arson has been suspect in at least one of the Brevard County blazes

Authorities have announced that they suspect arson to be the cause in at least 9 of the fires started in the Palm Bay area. Crime line is offering up to a $10,000.00 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person that may have been responsible for causing the fires that have damaged over 50 homes and thousands of acres of land. If you have any information that might be of help please call 1-800-423-TIPS.

 Firefighters trying to save building from approaching flames

While the Brevard County fire rescue have been working hard to contain the fires, the dry brush and winds have been keeping them busy. Many residents have lost their homes and belongings. The Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter for those who have lost their homes or have been evacuated at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 300 Malabar Road SE, Palm Bay.

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Catch The Mob in Sanford at Wolfy’s

Posted in Boating, Dinning, Entertainment, Florida, Internet, Links, Local, Music, News, Sanford on January 31st, 2008

The Mob Band

Here is a tip for my local readers. Head on over to Wolfy’s river deck bar and grill in Sanford, Florida on Saturday February 2nd and hear The Mob. The Mob Band does classic rock and blues, you can hear a little taste of what this band sounds like at The Mob Band web site.

The Mob

 

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Billy Lane Trial Update – Prosecutor’s motion granted, defense motion in wings

Posted in Auto Negligence, Brevard County, Celebrity, Chopper Builders, DUI, Florida, Law, Local, Melbourne, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News, State on October 31st, 2007

 Billy Lane arrested

The hospital medical records of Melbourne, Florida custom motorcycle builder Billy Lane will now be allowed to be used as evidence in the DUI Manslaughter case against him. Choppers Inc. owner Billy Lane is facing criminal charges resulting from the Labor Day weekend crash of 2006 that left Melbourne Beach resident Gerald Morelock dead. The victim, Gerald Morelock was killed when he was hit head on by the Dodge pickup that Lane was driving at the time. Witnesses claim that Lane was speeding and had crossed a double yellow line in an attempt to pass 3 vehicles on State Road A1A when the crash occurred.

Dodge pickup driven by Billy Lane in fatal crash

Billy Lane and his passenger, Erin Derrick were both taken to Holmes Regional hospital in Melbourne after the crash with injuries, Lane and Derrick were treated and released. Prosecutors in the DUI Manslaughter trial had filed a motion with the court to obtain copies of Lane’s medical records to be examined and possibly used as evidence in the case.

Judge Meryl Allawas ruled in favor of the motion on Tuesday allowing Lane’s medical records to be used in the trial. The defense attorneys for Lane argued that the records should not be allowed and contend that they are private. Defense attorney, Greg Eisenmenger has filed a motion to suppress the blood work taken from Billy Lane after the crash. Eisenmenger’s Motion In Limine says the state failed to comply with Florida Department of Law Enforcement rule 11D-8.012(5). The motion says that he has discovered that blood was not properly handled by not being refrigerated as required by the FDLE code.

FDLE Code 11D-8.012(5) states: “Blood samples need not be refrigerated if submitted for analysis within seven (7) days of collection, or during transportation, examination or analysis. Blood samples must be otherwise refrigerated, except that refrigeration is not required subsequent to the initial analysis”.

The burden of proof will be on the State of Florida to demonstrate they have complied with the FDLE rules.  The defense also filed a motion for independent blood analysis, but Judge Allawas is not happy with the independent lab being located so far away and has not ruled on the motion yet. Independent toxicologist Lawrence Masten of Largo, Florida has been retained by the defense to analyze the blood work, but the lab he uses, Rocky Mountain Instrumental Labs is located in Ft. Collins, Colorado thousands of miles away.

Billy Lane appears in court

Custom motorcycle builder Billy Lane, shown above with defense attorney Gregory Eisenmenger has been present in court during the last few calendar calls. Eisenmenger has several motions to suppress the blood work yet to be heard by the court including the Motion To Limine (mentioned above) and another “motion to suppress the blood draw and resulting test”.

The motion to suppress the blood draw and resulting test was filed on September 28th, 2007 and states that the attending paramedic the night of the crash had detected the odor of alcoholic beverage in the cab of the vehicle and on the passenger. The same paramedic that provided that information did not detect any alcoholic beverage coming from the Defendant, Billy Lane. However, the paramedic did detect an obvious odor of alcoholic beverage from the passenger when he treated her. The female passenger in the truck on September 4, 2006 was 22 year old Erin Derrick of Rockledge, Florida.

The motion also states that registered nurse, Wayne Stewart, withdrew the blood from the Defendant as directed by Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Davis. Nurse Stewart testified that he did not detect the odor of an alcoholic beverage on Billy Lane at or before the blood draw.

the final paragraph of the motion reads: “Withdrawal of blood without consent is only permitted when an officer has knowledge of an accident involving death or serious bodily injury and some evidence that the suspect is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Troopers Taylor and Davis, even taking into account the information known to trooper Corbett (but not communicated to Davis or Taylor) did not have any evidence of the Defendant being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the blood draw, so the draw is illegal. Because the draw was illegal, the Defendant is likewise entitled to suppression of the blood test results.”

These motions are expected to be heard before the court on November 6, 2007 at 9:00 am. The actual trial of Billy Lane is not expected to start until early 2008. Lane could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted on the non capital murder charge of DUI Manslaughter.

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Biketoberfest 2007 Entertainment Calendar

Posted in Bike Shows, Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach, Edgewater, Entertainment, Florida, Links, Local, Motorcycle Events, Motorcycles, News, Ormond Beach, Rides, State, Travel, Volusia County on October 18th, 2007

Biketoberfest Bands and Bars October 18-21:

 

Joe Santana and Motley Jackson can be seen at Boot Hill Saloon ( both locations), Thunder Gulch and Cabbage Patch Bar Check the band schedule here.

 

Rebel Son will be appearing at the Boot Hill both locations.

 

Iron Horse Saloon has no schedule posted, so just drop in and see what is happening! Be sure to check out the California Hell Riders on the Wall of Death while you are there.

 

Broken Spoke Saloon featured artist concert, see Bret Michaels ( Poison front man) on October 20th

 

Blackfoot will be performing live at the White Eagle Lounge in Korona on October 19

 

The Battlegrounds presents “The Monsters of Mock” mega tribute rock and roll band show! Two shows the 19th and 20th 3pm to 9pm 5 monster rock tribute bands will hit the stage sounding and looking like the real bands. Highway to Hell (AC/DC) Stones Throw (Rolling Stones) Physical Graffiti (Led Zeppelin) ZZ Not (ZZ Top) and Fleetwood Max (Fleetwood Mac) with two show dates this is one concert series you won’t want to miss.

 

Women’s Coleslaw Wrestling on Saturday 12:00 noon at The Cabbage Patch Bar Samsula, Florida. Cabbage Patch has added streaming video on the bar web site.

 

Pudding Wrestling at the No Name Saloon on Friday 10:00 am with other contest and live music during the weekend.

 

Saturday October 20th drop on by the Daytona Lagoon water park to see some the finest looking custom motorcycles in the world at the Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show.

This entertainment list is not a complete listing of all the things to do during Biketoberfest, but I have put together some of the top places to listen to free live concerts and have fun. Of course, all events are subject to change and it is suggested that you check the web site links provided or call ahead to verify. This list may also be updated from time to time before my departure for Daytona late tomorrow, Friday. Check back for  more information.

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Blog Action Day Post – Gopher Tortoise

Posted in Bike Week, Biketoberfest, Blogs, Brevard County, Daytona Beach, Editorial, Florida, Internet, Investigative Reports, Journalism, Local, Melbourne, Motorcycle Events, Motorcycles, National, Ormond Beach, Rides, State, Volusia County on October 15th, 2007

Today, October 15th is Blog Action day. As a blogger I am supposed to write something about the enviroment. Bloggers get to pick there own subject to write about, but the post should be geared toward the enviroment. The choice for me was easy, finding a protected Florida wildlife species to photograph for the story was not as easy.

Protected Florida Gopher Tortoise

Meet the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), a protected wildlife species found mostly in northern and central Florida and some parts of southern Georgia but have been found to be declining in numbers.

Erna Nixon Brevard County Park

I took a ride over to Erna Nixon Brevard County Park to see if I could find a gopher tortoise to photograph. This county park is known to have this particular form of protected wildlife roaming the area. I asked the ranger where I might find a gopher turtle, but she told me that they are usually not out until later afternoon.

Gopher Tortoise feeding on grass

I decided to walk my way up the nature trail and see if I would get lucky even though it was just after twelve noon. I walked up the path til I reached the wetland area of the park with no luck. Then took a walk up the opposite side of the trail to the wetlands and still had not spotted a turtle. As luck would have it, as I was exiting the trail just past the main pavilion I spotted this big guy chomping on some grass.

Ormond Beach loop ride

Many bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts ride the “loop” when visiting the Volusia County area including Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach during the two big Florida Motorcycle events every year. Bike Week and Biketoberfest attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to this area and most will make plans to ride the loop during these events.

The Loop is a favorite ride during Bike Week and Biketoberfest

Many of you readers have noticed the signs “Save the Loop” posted in homes and along the 23 mile stretch of road from Daytona to Ormond Beach. The loop is a natural habitat for the gopher tortoise and like the turtle, this land is threatened by development. One such development called Plantation Oaks brings threat to this enjoyable natural Florida scenic ride as well as the lives of over 900 gopher turtles. Read Permit to Kill to see more on how this developer bought his way through a permit loop hole.

It is sad to see more and more of the natural Florida ecosystem losing out to high dollar homes and multi-million dollar golf courses. Along with the natural beauty and surroundings of this land we are also killing off our wildlife, like the gopher tortoise.

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