Fort Pierce neighborhood braces for more violence, as search for shooting …

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A neighborhood sits on edge just a few days after a toddler was shot at her home on Avenue E in Fort Pierce.

Police tell us that two-year-old Ma’Kelia Burkes is still listed in critical condition as of Friday.

That shooting investigation is one of three that police are working on this week. 

Many say they are bracing for the next round of bullets. 

“It’s hard to walk around and not look over your shoulder just in case, and you shouldn’t have to do that in your own neighborhood,” says resident Charlotte Morganson.

Morganson has been living here for years, and says what happened Monday goes beyond the usual violence she’s seen. 

“I used to say ‘Oh, it’s not that bad, if you’re not involved in certain things, if you’re not involved in drugs then no one messes with you’,” she says. “But this was a 2 year old girl.”

Since Monday, she’s noticed the increased police patrol in the neighborhood, something she’s grateful for. 

Even so, once those streetlights come on…

“We’re inside, we keep the doors locked,” she says. “If we go out, we make sure it’s not alone.” 

She’s not the only one who’s concerned. 

Debbie Hansen says the violence has been so unsettling, many food delivery drivers she knows are afraid to do their jobs, much less after dark. 

“Driving into that neighborhood while another retaliation is going on…you could be the next passerby that’s getting hit,” Hansen says.

A driver for Goodfellas Pizza, she says right now her restaurant is one of a few that will deliver there. 

“People are just like anyone else, they want their dinner,” she says. “There are plenty of wonderful people out there.” 

Morganson says when it comes to the violence, there may be no end in sight.

“Sadly I think it’s gonna start to become the norm.”

Police have upped the reward for information leading to who shot Ma’Kelia from $1,000 to $5,000 dollars. 

If you have any information on the shooting, you may call call Detective Jesse Streeter at 772-467-6911 or Crime Stoppers at 800-273-TIPS – and of course, you can remain anonymous.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/ft-pierce-neighborhood-braces-for-more-violence-as-search-for-shooting-suspects-continues

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Ft. Pierce neighborhood braces for more violence, as search for shooting …

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A neighborhood sits on edge just a few days after a toddler was shot at her home on Avenue E in Ft. Pierce.

Police tell us that two-year-old Ma’Kelia Burkes is still listed in critical condition as of Friday.

That shooting investigation is one of three that police are working on this week. 

Many say they are bracing for the next round of bullets. 

“It’s hard to walk around and not look over your shoulder just in case, and you shouldn’t have to do that in your own neighborhood,” says resident Charlotte Morganson.

Morganson has been living here for years, and says what happened Monday goes beyond the usual violence she’s seen. 

“I used to say ‘Oh, it’s not that bad, if you’re not involved in certain things, if you’re not involved in drugs then no one messes with you’,” she says. “But this was a 2 year old girl.”

Since Monday, she’s noticed the increased police patrol in the neighborhood, something she’s grateful for. 

Even so, once those streetlights come on…

“We’re inside, we keep the doors locked,” she says. “If we go out, we make sure it’s not alone.” 

She’s not the only one who’s concerned. 

Debbie Hansen says the violence has been so unsettling, many food delivery drivers she knows are afraid to do their jobs, much less after dark. 

“Driving into that neighborhood while another retaliation is going on…you could be the next passerby that’s getting hit,” Hansen says.

A driver for Goodfellas Pizza, she says right now her restaurant is one of a few that will deliver there. 

“People are just like anyone else, they want their dinner,” she says. “There are plenty of wonderful people out there.” 

Morganson says when it comes to the violence, there may be no end in sight.

“Sadly I think it’s gonna start to become the norm.”

Police have upped the reward for information leading to who shot Ma’Kelia from $1,000 to $5,000 dollars. 

If you have any information on the shooting, you may call call Detective Jesse Streeter at 772-467-6911 or Crime Stoppers at 800-273-TIPS – and of course, you can remain anonymous.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/ft-pierce-neighborhood-braces-for-more-violence-as-search-for-shooting-suspects-continues

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Officials: Barge that sank in Fort Pierce Inlet was in poor condition

A barge that sank in the Fort Pierce Inlet and killed one man on board was in no condition to be in the water, environmental officials in Miami-Dade County said.

Miami-Dade County Division of Environmental Resources Management representative John Ricisak said the barge had been sitting in Biscayne Bay for more than 10 years and had sank twice.

Watch the story

The U.S Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had been trying to get the owner to remove the vessel for a while.

The owner was given a court order to provide a safety plan for how he was going remove it, but didn’t.

“The order of the captain of the port issued by the Coast Guard required that if he was to move the barge he could only do so with their authorization,” said Ricisak.

Officials with Miami-Dade County Division of Environmental Resources Management released photos that showed the poor conditions on the barge.

The port side of the hull had plywood patches to cover up some of the holes, and the barge was covered in rust.

The vessel sank on Feb. 24 in the Fort Pierce Inlet after it started taking on water.

Dominick Tortorice, 58, was aboard the vessel at the time. Tortorice died, and three others survived.

Friend Keith Bateman said Tortorice worked on the barge for years and he said the last time he saw Tortorice was just before he left Key Biscayne and headed north to Georgia to drop off the barge to its owner.

“We all tried to tell him, ‘Don’t go. Don’t go. Don’t do it.’ He said, ‘This is my last trip. I’ll be up in Georgia, and I got a whole new life,’” Bateman said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating.

“It was basically turned into the worst-case scenario. Everything that we were concerned might happen happened — plus an individual died,” Ricisak said.

Two salvage companies and nearly $1.7 million later, officials said the sunken barge was removed from the bottom of the inlet last week.

Federal tax dollars are being used to pay the bill. Officials said the federal government will investigate and exercise every recovery opportunity available under law to recover the cost from the owner.

Article source: http://www.wpbf.com/news/officials-barge-that-sank-in-fort-pierce-inlet-was-in-poor-condition/32559602

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Exclusive: Plane skids, takes off without landing gear

A viral video shot in Fort Pierce shows a small plane skidding on its belly before taking off and flying 100 miles with damaged propellers.

Click here to watch report

The man who shot the video told WPBF 25 News he was amazed when he found out the pilot, Chris Georgaklis, 85, was able to fly the damaged plane all the way to Fort Lauderdale and land safely.

“I was totally amazed that he was able to get off the ground, and I was totally amazed that he was able to fly anywhere at any distance,” the witness said. “The propellers are all messed up … not even sounding like they’re supposed to sound.”

Georgaklis said he was flying to visit friends on the Treasure Coast, and when he attempted to land his plane, something went wrong. He said just one thing went through his mind.

“I said, ‘We’ve got to get out of here,’” Georgaklis said.

Georgaklis said he’s been flying for almost 50 years, and he hopped in his Aerostar for a routine flight to Aero Acres in Fort Pierce with his dog, Buddy, on April 11.

Georgaklis said it’s an annual trip, but he approached the runway too fast.

“The gear was down, and I saw that I was going a little faster than I liked, because you have to stop quickly,” Georgaklis said.

That’s when Georgaklis said he raised the gear and skidded across the runway.

Georgaklis said flight controllers told him there were no parts to fix the plane.

“I thought about it, and I said, ‘Forget it. Let’s go back home,’” Georgaklis said.

Georgaklis said neither he nor his dog was injured. He flew to the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, where he landed safely.

The FAA is currently investigating the incident.

Article source: http://www.wpbf.com/news/exclusive-plane-skids-takes-off-without-landing-gear/32514186

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

NFL: Khalil Mack donates equipment grant to Fort Pierce Westwood

Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack announced Wednesday that he will donate a $1,000 equipment grant to his alma mater, Fort Pierce Westwood High School’s football program.

The donation was made possible through USA Football, who selected Mack to its 2014 All-Fundamentals Team in December.

USA Football’s All-Fundamentals Team annually honors 26 NFL players — 11 offense, 11 defense and four special teams — who exemplify outstanding proper football techniques, that foster inherent safety benefits and better on-field performance.

By being selected, each athlete receives the opportunity to donate an equipment grant to the youth organization or high school program of his choice.

Mack was the No. 5 overall draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft in New York City.

USA Football, the sport’s national governing body, trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the U.S. More than 5,500 youth leagues and 750 high schools participated in USA Football’s Heads Up Football program in 2014, benefiting nearly 1 million young athletes.

Tap here for more on the 2014 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/sports/nfl/nfl-khalil-mack-donates-equipment-grant-to-fort-pierce-westwood_92744443

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Exclusive Investigation: Miami’s eyesore barge became Fort Pierce’s problem

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A derelict sunken barge that cost about $1.7 million to haul out of the Fort Pierce Inlet, and its owner, were for years the subject of citations, violations and wrangling with officials in Miami-Dade County, a Treasure Coast Newspapers investigation found.

Full story available to subscribers only.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Activate

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/exclusive-investigation-miamis-eyesore-barge-became-fort-pierces-problem_71042108

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

6-year-old student at Fairlawn Elementary School in Fort Pierce contracts measles

FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX) – A case of measles has been reported at an elementary school on the Treasure Coast.

Thursday during a press conference, health officials said because measles are very contagious, children should be vaccinated.

“And that is one message that and take home to all of our residents what they can do to prevent and promote what we are trying to do here today to get vaccinated and to protect the community and as well as all of the other families in the community,” said Saint Lucie County Health Officer Clint Sperber.

According to the Florida Department of Health, a 6-year-old student at Fairlawn Elementary School in Fort Pierce has contracted the disease. The child had not been vaccinated.

The health department is working with the school district to keep the disease from spreading.

Parents, like Kim Hemrick, are already taking vaccinations seriously. “I went ahead and called the pediatrician to make sure that my two year old at home was covered because he has only had one shot.”

According to the Florida State Statute (1003.22), religious grounds or medical reasons may exempt students from immunizations, the St. Lucie County School District said in a statement.

The district said it has identified other students at the school who have not been vaccinated due to state-approved exemptions and says the Health Department is working to contact families of those students and explain that their student may not attend school until the completion of an incubation period.

The school district says the student with measles is under a doctor’s care and not in school.

“Local and state agencies will work together to investigate, locate and isolate the source,” according to Kerry Padrick with St. Lucie County Public Schools .

Measles is highly contagious and can spread to others who are unvaccinated.

It is spread by someone with measles sneezing or coughing into the air. Those particles stay in the air and can infect others.

“I encourage all residents and visitors to protect themselves, their families and their communities by getting vaccinated,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Measles is a very serious disease, yet thankfully, we have a safe and proven method to prevent measles through vaccination.”

A typical case of measles begins with a fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat followed by a rash.

The health department says the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated.

The Department of Health in Saint Lucie County says anyone with questions should call their doctor or call the Department’s hotline number. 772-460-4357.

Copyright 2015 WFLX. All rights reserved. 

Article source: http://www.wsmv.com/story/28828493/6-year-old-student-at-fairlawn-elementary-school-in-fort-pierce-contracts-measles

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

2-year-old critical after being shot in Fort Pierce

Story by Victoria Price/CBS12

FORT PIERCE (CBS12) — Police are actively searching for suspect(s) wanted in a shooting that left a little 2-year-old girl fighting for her life.

Fort Pierce police say they responded to multiple shots fired in the 900 block of Avenue E around 10 p.m.

Police say a 2-year-old girl was found at the scene, shot. The little girl was transported to a trauma center and is in critical condition.

Police say there are multiple scenes and have an active search for the suspect(s) involved.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Det. Mark Woodruff (772) 467-6879 or Crime Stoppers if you wish to remain anonymous (800) 273-8477.

2-year-old critical after being shot in Fort Pierce

Article source: http://www.cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/2yearold-critical-after-being-shot-fort-pierce-25163.shtml?hot=2

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

“Shot Spotter" for Fort Pierce

Story by Thomas Forester/CBS 12 News

FORT PIERCE (CBS12) – It’s called the “Shot-spotter”, and Thursday night city leaders will discuss buying the system to help curb gang violence on the streets of Fort Pierce. The device can pinpoint where a gun was fired within 10-feet.

That helps police get to a scene a lot quicker. It uses what’s called “acoustic censors” which are best described as really powerful microphones that track the exact location of a gunshot-like sound. It then determines if the noise is coming from a gun, a fireworks display or even a backfiring car.

The price, though, isn’t cheap. It would cost $75,000 a year. In cities where it’s been installed, gun violence dropped 43-percent.

Last year officials voted the system down after federal grants didn’t come through. If the system is put into place, there will be tiny cameras and dishes on top of power poles. 

Leaders to vote for shot spotter system to reduce violence in Fort Pierce

Article source: http://www.cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/shot-spotter-fort-pierce-25226.shtml

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

IRSC Adjunct Faculty Job Fair set for May 14 in Fort Pierce

An Adjunct Faculty Job Fair will be held 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 14 in the Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on 35th Street at the Indian River State College Main Campus in Fort Pierce.

Part-time instructors are needed in a variety of subjects. A master’s degree with 18 credit hours in the discipline is required to teach in English, history, math, philosophy, economics, sociology, psychology, chemistry and biology. Positions are available at IRSC campuses throughout the Treasure Coast.

The job fair will provide information on how to apply for jobs, subject areas, qualifications and the payment structure. For more information, call toll-free 1-866-792-4772.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/business/local/irsc-adjunct-faculty-job-fair-set-for-may-14-in-fort-pierce_83339765

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off