Tropical storm Ana may head toward Florida

August 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Latest Top Stories, Local News

Comments Off

MIAMI (AP) – Tropical Storm Ana has formed over the Atlantic and could strengthen as it heads toward the Leeward Islands, forecasters said Saturday.

38393-leadSouth Florida is now in the Five Day Storm Track Forecast Cone (also known as the “Cone of Uncertainty”).  If this storm has an effect on usit appears that it will be sometime late Wednesday night and Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Ana could trigger a tropical storm watch for parts of the Leeward Islands later Saturday. It may pick up speed and approach the islands by Monday, the hurricane center said. It was 1,010 miles east of the islands early Saturday.

Ana, the first named storm of the Atlantic season, could slowly strengthen in the next couple of days as it moves to the west at 16 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph.

Record number foreclosure filings posted in July

August 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Latest Top Stories, Local News, National News, Top Stories

Comments Off

Foreclosure plague: No cure yet

The housing market is still sick, with a record number of foreclosure filings posted in July.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The foreclosure plague continued to devastate last month.

foreclosure-lead

There were more than 360,000 properties with foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — an increase of 7% from June and 32% from July 2008, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed homes. In fact, one in every 355 U.S. homes had at least one filing during July.

“July marks the third time in the last five months where we’ve seen a new record set for foreclosure activity,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Despite continued efforts by the federal government and state governments to patch together a safety net for distressed homeowners, we’re seeing significant growth in both the initial notices of default and in the bank repossessions.”

The jump occurred as several foreclosure moratoriums phased out. They were initiated by many states to give the administration’s foreclosure-prevention efforts time to work. But for many help did not come: The modification and refinancing programs have met with less success than hoped.

“It’s starting to reach more and more people, but we have to do better and make sure the program reaches the millions of folks we intended it to reach,” said Jared Bernstein, an economics adviser to vice president Biden.

The picture would be even worse, however, without the programs.

“Each of these programs nips away at the problem of excess supply,” said Doug Duncan, cheif economist for Fannie Mae, “and fights against declining prices. … The hope is that the aggregated programs will result in less loss than would happen in the free market.”

Out of their homes

RealtyTrac statistics revealed that more than 87,000 properties were repossessed by lenders, effectively sending many families out of their homes. There have been a total of 464,058 repossessions — or REOs in industry parlance — so far this year (through the end of July).

“We’re seeing more option ARM resets, triggering defaults and more prime loans, which are failing due to job losses,” said RealtyTrac spokesman Rick Sharga.

That is resulting in more filings on higher priced homes, for two reasons: 1. option ARMs were typically used for more expensive properties; 2. borrowers using prime loans generally had better credit and were able to afford more expensive houses.

Best and worst

The worst hit areas continue to be in the “sand states,” with California posting the highest number of total filings, 108,104, and Nevada posting the highest rate of foreclosure at one for every 56 homes.

The other hardest hit states are Arizona, at one filing for every 135 homes, and Florida, at one for every 154. Las Vegas, with one for every 47 homes, had the highest rate among metro areas. That’s Sin City’s 31st consecutive month topping the list.

These were bubble states, where home prices soared and banks financed mortgages for anyone who could fog a mirror.

“We’re seeing the highest levels of foreclosures in the markets that had the highest appreciation [during the boom] and the worst lending practices,” said Sharga.

7 people plead not guilty in Fla. couple slaying

August 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Local News

Comments Off

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Six men and a 16-year-old boy pleaded not guilty to two charges each of first degree murder in a Pensacola court.

The men could face the death penalty and the boy life in prison in the home-invasion murder and robbery of a a wealthy Panhandle couple known for adopting 13 children with autism, Down Syndrome and other special needs.

A judge on Thursday set a Nov. 9 trial for the men and an Oct. 21 trial for the teenager, but State Attorney Bill Eddins says the complex trial likely won’t start for as long as a year.

Byrd and Melanie Billings were shot to death in their sprawling west Escambia County home on July 9. Nine of the couples’ children were home when the couple were killed.

Fort Pierce: Jeremy Palacio charged with attempted murder

August 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Crime, Featured, Latest Top Stories, Special Report, Videos

Comments Off

A St. Lucie County man’s quick reflexes may have saved his life Tuesday night after a man tried to shoot him point blank in the head during a fight at a house party but only grazed his head, according to sheriff’s officials. Deputies arrested two men today in that shooting.

748748-lead

Jeremy Palacio, 21

Jeremy Palacio, 21, of Fort Pierce, faces attempted murder charges in connection with the shooting of 20-year-old Dereck Gervais in the driveway of a home in the 2800 block of S. Jenkins Road west of Fort Pierce around 11 p.m. Tuesday. Robert Bourbon, 19, of Fort Pierce, was arrested on charges of being an accessory to attempted murder.

Witnesses told deputies they saw Gervais arguing with Palacio in the driveway of the home during the party, then heard the shot and heard Palacio yelling “You all don’t want no more of this.”

A friend drove Gervais to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, where he told deputies that during the argument he felt something pressed against the side of his head and quickly brushed the gun away with his hand just before he heard the shot go off, according to the report. The bullet only grazed his head.

Witnesses told deputies that Bourbon was standing next to Palacio and helped him get away into a car after the shooting, according to the report. Deputies later found the car and interviewed the driver, who told deputies he heard Bourbon and Palacio bragging about the shooting on their cell phones. Later this morning deputies found and arrested Palacio and Bourbon at a home in the 5300 block of Wintergarden Parkway in Fort Pierce.

The two residents of the home, identified by deputies as Christopher Alfonso and Michael Laneve, were arrested on charges of holding an open house party where alcohol was served to minors.

Source: Tcoasttalk.com

picture-110

Robert Bourbon

Reward offered for Arm Robber’s Capture

August 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Crime, Featured, Local News

Comments Off

Police have released this sketch of a man wanted in connection with a shooting in West Palm Beach.

armrobber-lead

Police Sketch Arm Robber Wanted

Police say Karen Amenita was walking into her office building in the Executive Center Plaza last week when the suspect walked up to her and brandished a handgun, demanding her purse. The suspect shot Amemita in the stomach then fled.

There is a $10,000 dollar reward being offered to anyone who has information that leads to an arrest.

If you recognize the man in the sketch call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

Two men arrested for kidnapping sexual battery on teen

August 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Crime, Featured, Local News

Comments Off

GREENACRES — Two men were arrested Friday for allegedly kidnapping a 15-year-old girl, taking her to an apartment and sexually battering her, according to a release from the Greenacres Police Department.

picture-210

FILSAIME, REGINALD

picture-38

FILSAIME, PETERSON

The teenager was walking through a development near Jog Road and Cresthaven Boulevard at 6 a.m. Friday when she was grabbed by two men, according to the release. She was taken to a nearby apartment and sexually battered, the release says.

At about 1:30 p.m., Peterson Fils-Aime, 22, walked up to the apartment, then ran away when officers approached him, the release says. He was caught nearby and arrested on charges of marijuana possession, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest.

Hours later, officers searched the apartment and arrested 24-year-old Reginald Fils-Aime, who was inside.

Both men were charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and sexual battery, and taken to the Palm Beach County jail.

« Previous PageNext Page »