Back to School Expo scheduled for Saturday in Fort Pierce

FORT PIERCE — A group of community organizations and businesses are planning the eighth annual St. Lucie County Back to School Expo.

The event will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Havert L. Fenn Center, 2000 Virginia Ave., in Fort Pierce.

The Back to School Expo will provide “one stop” access to information and services, including information about the 680 form, safety, community resources, student assignment, backpacks, school supplies, and shots and appointments given on the spot. The child must be present to receive all supplies.

Resources also will be available on the Florida KidCare Program, the state health insurance plan.

For more information, call 772-370-1391.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/education/st-lucie-county-schools/back-to-school-expo-scheduled-for-saturday-in-fort-pierce_49893849

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Fire out after forcing evacuation of Fort Pierce housing complex

FORT PIERCE — Firefighters have put out a fire in one unit of a four-unit housing complex, Southern Courtyard, in the 2000 block of Oleander Boulevard, a spokeswoman said.

Smoke was coming from the roof at the time firefighters were called at 9:49 a.m. Tuesday. All residents were safely evacuated.

The fire was out by 11 a.m. and investigators are trying to find the cause. The one unit has $25,000 in damage and can’t be occupied. The owner was out of town at the time of the blaze, a fire official said.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/fire-forces-evacuation-of-fort-pierce-housing-complex_55321418

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More than $1M in gold discovered off Fort Pierce from 1715 treasure fleet

Editor’s note: This article has been updated.

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Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/tcpalm-social/1715-fleet/more-than-1m-in-gold-discovered-off-fort-pierce-from-1715-treasure-fleet_57930250

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Fire forces evacuation of Fort Pierce housing complex

FORT PIERCE — Firefighters have put out a fire in one unit of a four-unit housing complex, Southern Courtyard, in the 2000 block of Oleander Boulevard, a spokeswoman said.

Smoke was coming from the roof at the time firefighters were called at 9:49 a.m. Tuesday. All residents were safely evacuated.

The fire was out by 11 a.m. and investigators are trying to find the cause. The one unit has $25,000 in damage and can’t be occupied. The owner was out of town at the time of the blaze, a fire official said.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/fire-forces-evacuation-of-fort-pierce-housing-complex_55321418

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Coast Guard searches for paddle boarder near Fort Pierce


FORT PIERCE, Fla. –

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a man who went paddle boarding in the area of Fort Pierce and never returned.

William Morlock, 58, was last seen by his sister Friday at the house they share, preparing the paddle board for use.

Morlock’s sister notified the Coast Guard on Sunday morning after her brother didn’t return from paddle boarding.

The Coast Guard said boat and airplane crews have been searching for Morlock since Sunday.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

Article source: http://www.local10.com/news/coast-guard-crews-search-for-paddle-boarder-near-fort-pierce/34387448

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Shots fired into Fort Pierce home early Tuesday

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A house was fired at without injuring anyone early Tuesday in a neighborhood north of Fort Pierce, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies are investigating the gunfire that went through the house’s walls as people were sleeping inside, an official said.

The house is in the 200 block of Essex Drive in a subdivision northwest of Juanita Avenue and North 25th Street.

The story will be updated when more information is released.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/crime/shots-fired-into-fort-pierce-home-early-tuesday_24146734

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Boys & Girls Clubs’ Fort Pierce club needs help replacing items lost to vandalism

FORT PIERCE — In the aftermath of the widespread vandalism of the Williams Center last week, The Boys Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County is asking for help in replacing what they lost.

On Thursday two 14-year-old boys — who weren’t members of the club — were arrested in connection with damaging the 11,000-square-foot building that contains the club’s offices and room and a police substation.

The two were charged with burglary, criminal mischief over $1,000 and illegally setting off fire extinguishers, said Fort Pierce Police spokeswoman Audria Moore-Wells.

Computers and a television were bashed in. Games, books and office materials were destroyed. Chemical fire extinguishes were sprayed inside.

Damage estimates are pending for the year-old community building in 3100 block of Avenue J.

A weeklong cleanup is underway this week while 150 youths, ages 6 to 18 years old, are being taken elsewhere, club executive Officer Michael Sancho said Monday. One day this week they are going to Martin County’s Boys Girls Clubs Center in Indiantown. On Friday Big Apple Pizza and the Van Duzer Foundation is hosting the group for pizza and activities.

Also the foundation is donating to the club five computers not being used by Boy Scout 772, of Fort Pierce, said spokesman Scott Van Duzer.

Still needed is a replacement for the club’s 42-inch television. An Xbox was stolen. The damage ruined school and office supplies — pens, paper crayons and pencils — board games and educational reading books.

Anyone who wants to donate may call Sancho at 772-882-8812. Donation information at its website at BGCofSLC.org.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/boys-girls-clubs-fort-pierce-club-needs-help-replacing-items-lost-to-vandalism_81633296

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Fort Pierce man arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a minor

FORT PIERCE — A Fort Pierce man was arrested on suspicion of having sex with a 17-year-old girl, according to an arrest affidavit.

Milton Rodriguez, 37, was arrested on July 24 and faces charges of sexual assault and sexual battery on a victim under 18 years old, the report states.

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested Rodriguez after talking with the girl at a hospital in St. Lucie County.

Rodriguez remains in the St. Lucie County Jail with a $250,000 bail, a jail official said.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/crime/fort-pierce-man-arrested-on-suspicion-of-sexual-assault-on-a-minor_68154832

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More than $1M in gold discovered off Fort Pierce from 1715 treasure fleet

Editor’s note: This article has been updated.

FORT PIERCE — Treasure hunters have again struck gold off the coast of Fort Pierce — this time, with artifacts valued in excess of 1 million dollars.

Boat captain Eric Schmitt and his family from Sanford made the find June 17 in shallow waters off the coast of Fort Pierce in about 15 feet of water. The crew excavated about five feet of sand from the site to get to the bedrock of the ocean floor, where it made the discovery.

MORE STORIES AND PHOTOS ABOUT THE 1715 TREASURE FLEET

“We’ve been working in the same general area where we made the discovery last year,” said Schmitt, whose father Rick began treasure hunting 30 years ago and brought his family into the operation. “The wreckage is spread out over at least two miles, maybe more. The ship is long-gone; all that’s left is the gold and silver.”

The items recovered in June include 51 gold coins and 40 feet of ornate gold chain, including a single coin called a “Royal” that was destined for the King of Spain.

Trivia: The “treasure” in Treasure Coast


See how much you know about the 1715 Treasure Fleet, contemporary treasure hunters and more.

According to Brent Brisben, owner of 1715 Fleet-Queen’ Jewels LLC which owns the salvage rights to the treasure, the “Royal” is a perfect specimen of the coinage of the period and bears the date 1715. There are only a handful of “Royals” from the 1715 fleet wreck known to exist.

The 1715 Fleet is considered one of the most important maritime tragedies in history. Eleven galleons laden with treasures from the New World were bound for Spain and were lost during a hurricane on July 31, 1715.

With the 300th anniversary of the 1715 wreck this Friday, the find is especially significant, Brisben said. He and the Schmitt family held off making the announcement until this week to draw attention to the anniversary. 

“These finds are important not only for their monetary value but their historical importance,” Brisben said. “One of our key goals is to help learn from and preserve history, and this find draws us closer to those truths.”

In addition to the “Royal” coin, 17 Eight Escudos, 22 Two Escudos and 12 One Escudos coins were also found on June 17. The gold chains are an ornate design consisting of small, handcrafted links, each of which is basically a two-sided, six-petal flower called an olive blossom. Schmitt said this type of chain is believed to be a tax-free alternative to coins and is often referred to as a “money chain”

Brisben said the discoveries to date are only a fraction of what he thinks lies along the Fort Piece-Vero Beach shoreline.

“I still believe there are 300 chests of silver out there in one pile and it’s worth $220 million,” Brisben said. “That’s based on archival evidence — the treasures those ships held were documented. Based on what’s already been recovered, I can deduce that on one particular ship, there were 300 chests filled with 3,000 coins and it’s still sitting down there.”

Brent Brisben and members of the Schmitt family will be on-hand for a news conference on Tuesday, July 28 at noon at Capt. Hiram’s Resort, 1580 U.S. Highway 1, Sebastian, to answer questions about the discovery.

DISCOVERIES:

  • Other discoveries by the Schmitt family include five gold coins, one small ring and eight gold chains, one as heavy as a pound, which were recovered during a salvage operation in September, 2013 with an estimated value of $350,000. In May, 2014, the family found a gold Pyx, a religious artifact that’s value has been estimated at more than $500,000. 
  • Brisben’s own salvaging team found gold coins in ocean waters off Wabasso in Indian River County twice in July 2013. The first find yielded 48 gold coins worth about $200,000; the second find was valued at about $15,000.

Article source: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/state/more-than-1m-in-gold-discovered-off-fort-pierce-from-1715-treasure-fleet_57930250

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Turnpike southbound reopened near Fort Pierce after semis, car crash

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – The southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike in St. Lucie County were closed much of Thursday morning after two tractor-trailers wrecked, spilling tomatoes and barrels across the roadway.

RELATED: Real-time traffic | Photos: Semis wreck on Turnpike

The crash was reported at 5:10 a.m. near Fort Pierce, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Christian M. Liddy, 39, of Tavares, Fla., was driving one of the tractor-trailers southbound on the Turnpike in the outside lane.  Liddy’s semi was loaded with empty barrels.

The second semi, driven by Joaquin Garcia Rivero, 51, of Miami was also traveling southbound on the Turnpike in the outside lane.  Rivero’s vehicle, loaded with tomatoes, was a short distance ahead of Liddy.

The report said for an undetermined reason, the front of Liddy’s semi struck the rear trailer of Rivero’s vehicle.

Liddy’s semi then hit the median guardrail with its left front and left side before coming to a final rest facing southwest, straddling the inside lane.

Rivero’s vehicle came to a final rest facing south, partially blocking the outside travel lane.

Debris from both vehicles was scattered across the southbound lanes of the Turnpike for hours.

Liddy suffered critical injuries and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, according to Catherine W. Chaney with the St. Lucie County Fire District.

Rivero suffered minor injuries.

Charges are pending in the case, said FHP. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/all-southbound-floridas-turnpike-lanes-closed-in-fort-pierce

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