Convicted felon back in jail on child porn charges.

A convicted felon who spent time in a Florida prison, David Conner is back in jail on a child porn charge.

WINTER HAVEN – A tip made to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest on Friday of a convicted felon who had images of nude children engaged in sexual acts on his computer.
There was also a video on the computer of an adult having sex with a girl estimated to be about 11 years old, Polk detectives said. It led to an arrest for possession of child porn, of a man who was on five years of community supervision for a grand theft conviction.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he wanted to personally thank the person who made the call to his office, saying without the public’s help, it would be harder to find suspects who violate laws against child pornography.
“The citizen who contacted detectives did the right thing,” Judd said. “These images are disturbing.”
The man who got arrested was 33-year-old David R. Conner, who lives at 118 Florida Drive in Winter Haven. He’s well known to both Polk County law enforcement and the Florida prison system, though.
“Conner has a lengthy criminal arrest history in Polk County,” said Donna C. Wood, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s office, in her release on the case.
She said his past criminal history in Polk County includes charges of armed burglary, armed robbery, armed kidnapping, possession of a controlled substance, driving while his license has been suspended, petit theft, fraud, forgery, grand theft, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
The arrest happened on Friday afternoon around 1 p.m., after the Polk County Sheriff’s Office got a tip that a man living in Winter Haven had child pornography on his computer.
Detectives went to the home on 118 Florida Drive, and was told by a man living at the house that he had discovered child pornography on his roommate’s computer. Detectives found the computer in a common room in the home.
“Video images of nude children, estimated to be approximately 10-years of age, were displayed engaging in sexual acts with each other, and a second video displayed images of an adult male having sex with what appeared to be an 11-year-old girl, were found on the computer,” Wood noted.

David Conner was under five years of community supervision by the Florida Department of Corrections when he got arrested on Friday and charged with possession of child pornography.

Conner was not at the house at the time detectives discovered those the images, but he returned to the home later that afternoon, and was confronted by detectives.
“Conner admitted to downloading child pornography and was placed under arrest,” Wood noted.
He was charged with possession of child pornography, and is currently being held in the Polk County Jail. Conner was denied bond.
Wood said the investigation is on-going, while Judd added that his office takes very seriously anyone who downloads illegal sexual images of children.
“Arresting those who would possess, view, and distribute these violent acts against children will continue to be a priority,” the sheriff said.
In June 1996, Conner was convicted of burglary to a dwelling and sentenced to one year, eight months and 23 days in a state prison. He was sent to the Lake City Correctional Institute and was released on March 16, 2000.
In July 2009, he was convicted of fraudulent use of a personal I.D., forgery and grand theft, and sentenced to five years of community supervision by the Florida Department of Corrections.

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Polk County Sheriff warns Four Corners residents about ‘Travelers’ — or scam artists looking for work.

Is the offer of some handyman repair work a great deal for local residents? Or are they setting themselves up to get hammered by scam artists?

DAVENPORT – Someone knocks on your door, and makes what sounds like a great offer. For a fee, they can do some much needed repair work at your house – roofing, painting, coating, or asphalt work. It seems like a good deal, particularly for seniors who often have a difficult time finding a reliable handyman to complete work that they’re no longer physically able to do.
But if someone does knock on your door this holiday season offering to do that kind of repair work, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has a word of advice for the homeowners: slam the door in their face.
The sheriff’s office is warning residents in the Davenport and Four Corners area to be weary of traveling scam artists who deputies say earn their living by preying on local residents, particularly seniors.
The scams usually involve offers to homeowners and businesses to perform some construction jobs — as long as they get an up front fee paid before the work begins. But once the so-called ‘Travelers’ get a down-payment or full-payment on the promised work from their victims, the sheriff’s office warns, they either leave town, start and don’t complete the work, or provide shoddy service.
“These individuals may drive expensive looking vehicles with out of state tags and have out of state telephone numbers. Trucks may be complete with equipment racks and ‘tools of the trade’,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “But don’t be fooled – these criminals will promise work and either won’t deliver or they will cheat you with worthless products or services.”
Donna C. Wood, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, said they decided to issue the warning again today because they got contacted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office about a victim of these Travelers in South Lake County near Four Corners, and also because both counties tend to get an increased number of these scam reports in the winter, as snowbirds flock to the region.
“We’ve heard there was a victim in Lake County, so we’re sharing information and letting people know about this,” Wood said. “We want to make sure people are aware of this.”
Wood said residents of Northeast Polk County and Davenport should be particularly on guard now for anyone who knocks on their door asking if they need some repair work done.
Just because the report of the first victim came from Lake County, she said, “It doesn’t mean they are not migrating through the entire community. And at this time of year, we have more people living up there.”
Wood said Polk County residents should ask for several things before hiring anyone who shows up at their door soliciting for work, including a valid Florida contractor’s license and proof of insurance.
Businesses are also required to have a permit to solicit from the Polk County Clerk of Court’s Office, and all contractors need to have a Business Tax Receipt from the Polk County Tax Collector’s Office. Residents should ask to see all of these licenses and permits before they hire anyone.
Anyone who doesn’t have that paperwork are either fraudulent or in violation of state law and county ordinances, Wood said.
As Wood noted, “Regardless of how ‘professional’ travelers may appear, proof of their professional credentials is essential.“
Judd added, “Be aware of criminals like these and notify law enforcement immediately if you feel you have been a victim of a traveling scam artist. Our deputies will maintain a heavy presence anywhere travelers temporarily reside until Polk County is rid of this criminal element.”
The sheriff’s office is advising homeowners that their best bet is to avoid doing business with any ‘contractor’ that has an out-of-state vehicle license, and to instead contact a local — and trusted or well-established — construction company and ask for references for contractors in the area.
Anyone who has been approached by Travelers can report them to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200.

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Poinciana health clinic, a victim of the Obamacare political debate, searches for a new source of funding.

Not long after the Poinciana Health Care Clinic celebrated the opening of a new building, the clinic lost out on a federal grant to build three more facilities on the property. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

POINCIANA – Heading into 2012 and the start of the presidential election season, it seems likely that ObamaCare, President Obama’s universal health care plan, will be one of the key issues in the campaign.
In Poinciana, though, one of the casualties of that debate – the construction of three new medical facilities at the Poinciana Health Care Clinic on Doverplum Avenue – could be back on the drawing board, although this time supporters no longer are hoping that the state or federal government will provide the money needed to make it happen.
“We really need the public health building,” said Nick Murdock, chairman of the Poinciana Economic Development Alliance, a group formed last summer to promote more economic development in the community.
“There’s no reason why we can’t get it accomplished,” Murdock said. “It’s really important for this community to have a good health care facility, and it will create 130 new construction jobs, and we’ll have a good facility there. The drawings for it are 50 percent done, and it wouldn’t take too long to get the thing under construction.
“But,” he added, “I think private funding is the way we’ll have to go.”
That’s because a few months after the Poinciana Health Care Clinic, located right next to the Poinciana Public Library, celebrated the official opening of a new, 16,000 square feet facility, they lost out on a federal grant that would have enabled the clinic to construct three more offices on their property.
The construction work had been financed through a grant from the federal Health Resource Services Administration program, and the new building replaced two aging modular units. Moving into the new building enabled the clinic to introduce a dental plan.
The clinic also won a federal grant to construct three new buildings on the property, and work had already started getting the land ready.
But the grant was rejected last summer by lawmakers in the Florida House of Representatives, because the money came through ObamaCare, the universal health care plan approved by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by President Obama. The Florida Legislature, which is dominated by Republicans, did not want to accept any federal funding from the Obama administration’s health care law, so the entire funding package got rejected.
“Those dollars flowed through ObamaCare,” state Rep. Mike Horner, R-St. Cloud, said last June. “It was the House’s position not to accept any dollars from the federal health care mandate, so we did not accept those federal dollars.”
There was simply no way, Horner said, to separate the grant financing the construction work at the Poinciana Health Care Clinic from the rest of the federal health care funds, even though he supports construction of those new buildings.
Murdock said he doubts that the Florida Legislature, in a political election year, will reverse that decision and accept money from ObamaCare, even if it does help a project in Poinciana.
“The clinic is going to reapply for the funding,” Murdock said. “But the Legislature killed the funding, and nobody is going to be the champion of it this year. This is a great cause and one of the top priorities for our Poinciana community, and it is one of PEDA’s primary objectives to make this happen. But while we must continue to pursue this funding, virtually all government officials have said repeatedly this will not be approved in 2012.”

Construction work had already started on the property off Doverplum Avenue that belongs to the Poinciana Health Care Clinic, in anticipation of building three new facilities there. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

Mary Ann Barry, chairwoman of the board of directors of Primary Care Medical Services of Poinciana, Inc., which operates the clinic along with the Osceola County Health Department, noted that the Legislature killed an $8.3 million federal grant.
“These new and renovated facilities would provide primary care, maternity and newborn care to our friends and neighbors,” she said. “ Our federally qualified health care centers provide excellent care to all our clients, and we provide that care to the uninsured and under-insured on a sliding fee schedule. These projects would provide approximately 185 construction jobs and approximately 14 medical and dental jobs upon completion. The expanded facilities would allow us to treat more clients, to provide expanded programs and to better meet the needs of our community.”
She urged local residents to contact the office of Gov. Rick Scott and their local representative and senator and urge them to reverse their decision and allow these federal funds to be used in Poinciana.
Murdock, though, said he thinks Poinciana will need to find a private investor to make it happen.
“I’m in the process of trying to find private funding to build those buildings,” he said. “They are going to represent the proposal to the state Legislature in January or February, but the people I’ve talked to in the House and Senate say there’s pretty much no way it will get approved. But if it’s 99 percent against, there’s still that 1 percent chance it will get through.”
In the meantime, Murdock said he’s actively reaching out to private companies.
“We have to get private money to get the building done, because our Poinciana community needs this facility now,” he said. “The groundbreaking could possibly occur within 90 days of county approval.”

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