Monthly Archives: July 2011

Your driver’s license info for sale

TALLAHASSEE – If you have a driver’s license, your information is for sale.

It is the kind of information you may think is private — but the state of Florida is making millions by selling to people who want to sell thing to you.

According to a report from WPTV in West Palm Beach , the state made $62 million last year selling your personal information to certain companies under the Drivers Privacy Protection Act.

It’s all the information most people consider confidential: like your name, address, date of birth, even the type of car you drive.

Ann Howard, a spokesperson with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said in a statement that some companies are entitled to the information, like insurance companies and employers.

Read more.


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Auto Accident? View your crash reports online

TAMPA – If you’re in a car accident, it should now be a lot easier to get your hands on the records. That’s because politicians changed the law as of July 1st as a direct result of a FOX 13 investigation.

Earlier this year, investigative reporter Doug Smith showed us how the law regarding “crash reports” was in desperate need of repair, and this past legislative session lawmakers in Tallahassee went to work.

“We’re not perfect in Tallahassee, anything but perfect,” says State Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey.) “With the technology today, that information especially crash reports should be available to them immediately,” Fasano said, calling the change long overdue.

Jeff Brandes, a state representative from St. Petersburg, wants to see the records go online.

“I think it definitely should be done online, and it could be done at a minimal cost,” he said.

Read more.

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Red-light cameras to go up at 19 Tampa intersections

TAMPA Red-light cameras will be installed at 19 intersections throughout the city, transportation officials said today.

The cameras will be installed beginning next month.

“Red-light running has become an epidemic in Tampa and Florida, and I think these cameras will be a good deterrent and will be a way to change the culture,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.

City council members voted 4-3 in April to approve a contract with an Arizona-based company to install and operate the controversial traffic devices.

Officials have chosen intersections where red-light running commonly occurs, Buckhorn said.

“I think the data drives the locations, and we’ve approached this as scientifically as we can,” he said.

The cameras are expected to generate about $2 million a year for the city. But Buckhorn said he believes the main purpose for the cameras is to prevent crashes.

“I think as people realize there are penalties to pay for this behavior and you put other peoples’ lives at risk to save yourself three seconds and you get caught, maybe the behavior will change,” he said.


Red-light cameras will be installed at the following intersections:

1. Adamo Drive eastbound at 50th Street/Tamiami Trail

2. Fowler Avenue eastbound at Nebraska Avenue

3. Hillsborough Avenue westbound at Nebraska

4. Hillsborough eastbound and westbound at 22nd Street

5. Waters Avenue eastbound at U.S. 41/Florida Avenue

6. Armenia Avenue northbound at Hillsborough

7. Himes Avenue southbound at Hillsborough

8. Lois Avenue northbound at Hillsborough

9. Nebraska northbound at Hillsborough

10. Nebraska northbound at Fowler

11. 50th/Tamiami northbound and southbound at Adamo

12. Dale Mabry Highway southbound at Gandy Boulevard; and Gandy eastbound at Dale Mabry

13. Dale Mabry southbound at Kennedy Boulevard; and Kennedy eastbound at Dale Mabry

14. Manhattan Avenue southbound at Gandy

15. U.S. 41/Florida southbound at Waters

16. Columbus Drive westbound and eastbound at Dale Mabry

17. Gandy westbound and eastbound at West Shore Boulevard; and West Shore northbound at Gandy

18. Waters Avenue westbound and eastbound at Armenia

19. Kennedy eastbound at Ashley Drive

Read more.

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Drunken driving, traffic crime deportations way up

WASHINGTON (AP) — Huge increases in deportations of people after they were arrested for breaking traffic or immigration laws or driving drunk helped the Obama administration set a record last year for the number of criminal immigrants forced to leave the country, documents show.

The U.S. deported nearly 393,000 people in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, half of whom were considered criminals. Of those, 27,635 had been arrested for drunken driving, more than double the 10,851 deported after drunken driving arrests in 2008, the last full year of the Bush administration, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data provided to The Associated Press.

An additional 13,028 were deported last year after being arrested on less serious traffic law violations, nearly three times the 4,527 traffic offenders deported two years earlier, according to the data.

The spike in the numbers of people deported for traffic offenses as well as a 78 percent increase in people deported for immigration-related offenses renewed skepticism about the administration’s claims that it is focusing on the most dangerous criminals.

President Barack Obama regularly says his administration is enforcing immigration laws more wisely than his predecessor by focusing on arresting the “worst of the worst.” He promised in his 2008 presidential campaign to focus immigration enforcement on dangerous criminals. As recently as May 10, Obama said in a speech in El Paso, Texas, that his administration was focused on violent offenders and not families or “folks who are looking to scrape together an income.”

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Deep sinkhole opens under woman’s bed

The first step out of bed could have been a big one.

A woman in Guatemala City reports that a sinkhole, 40 feet deep and almost 3 feet across, opened under her bed Monday.

“When we heard the loud boom we thought a gas canister from a neighboring home had exploded, or there had been a crash on the street,” Inocenta Hernandez, 65, said in an Agence France-Presse report.

“We rushed out to look and saw nothing. A gentleman told me that the noise came from my house, and we searched until we found it under my bed,” AFP quotes Hernandez as saying.

The area is prone to sinkholes.

In May 2010, a sinkhole about 60 feet across and 100 feet deep opened in the area, swallowing buildings and an intersection.

In 2007, another sinkhole claimed three lives in Barrio San Antonio in Guatemala City.

Hernandez told AFP that she is thankful the surprise under her bed wasn’t any bigger.

“Thank God there are only material damages, because my grandchildren were running around the house, into that room and out to the patio,” AFP quoted her as saying.

Read more.

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Law Firm Helping Hands Throughout The Bay Area

“One Client, One Attorney, One Promise.”

According to the Hillsborough County Bar Association, The Florida Bar’s “One” campaign encourages lawyers to get involved within our community through pro bono services. Since the launch of the campaign in 2009 both small and large law firms have taken notice to this mission to help the community.

With many pro bono programs attorney’s offer throughout the Tampa Bay Area, there are many opportunities to find help if you are in need of legal consultation.

Please call a Tampa Bay Attorney today and see what services we can assist you with to make sure you get the legal help you deserve. Think quick, call Blick! (813) 931-0840.



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