Gas price hikes easing? Not if Trump exits Iran deal, analysts say

Update: President Trump tweeted Monday, “I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00 p.m.”

Original post: Retail gas prices sit in a restless and jittery lull as analysts say higher costs at the pump likely await if President Donald Trump pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal by May 12.

Already oil prices have reached a 2018 high, and Friday contracts marked the priciest since November 2014. Generally that means higher costs at the gas station are in the pipeline.

Retail  prices have held steady for a week but “all bets are off right now, pending the President’s decision” on the Iranian nuclear deal, said Mark  Jenkins,  spokesman for motorist organization AAA/The Auto Club Group.

Palm Beach County’s average price fell a penny to $2.85 per gallon as it remained the state’s costliest market, according to AAA. Florida’s average fell one cent to $2.73 on Sunday, but that’s up 35 cents compared to this time last year.

Pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal by a May 12 renewal deadline could mean reimposed sanctions against Iran and effectively take 1 million barrels of Iranian oil per day off the world market, resulting in reduced global oil supply and higher fuel prices, AAA said.

In Jupiter, often the priciest town in the priciest market in Florida for gasoline, costs at the pump ranged from $2.67 at a Mobil on Indiantown Rd. and Alt. A1A to $2.99 at Mobil and Shell stations elsewhere on Indiantown Road, according to price-tracker GasBuddy on Sunday.

In West Palm Beach, the low-priced leader was Cumberland Farms, $2.62 on Cresthaven Blvd. near Military Trail, according to GasBuddy.

West Palm Beach’s Tax King owner sentenced to more than 10 years

The owner of Tax King Inc. in West Palm Beach has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for charges related to fraudulent returns and stolen identities.

Corry E. Pearson, 28, of Riviera Beach was sentenced by U.S. District Court judge Beth Bloom to 124 months after prosecutors said he and accomplices filed at least 770 fraudulent returns for more than $5 million in refunds.

Pearson plans to appeal, said his attorney Ana Davide.

“He intends to vindicate himself,” she said.

Wednesday’s sentencing comes after years of fraud and ID theft that started in 2011, according to Benjamin G. Greenberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Michael J. DePalma, acting special agent in charge for the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit.

In some cases, defendants stole identities and collected returns for themselves and tried to disguise control of the money, federal officials said. A number of returns involved false representations about gambling losses and education credits, according to authorities.

A restitution hearing has been set for July 13.

Co-defendant Stephane Cindy Anor, also known as Stephanie Anor, 28, of West Palm Beach, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced to 36 months in prison.  She worked as a tax preparer at Tax King.

 

 

Manatee Lagoon opens to visitors Saturday; great timing with cool weather coming in

Manatees swim along the viewing deck of the Manatee Lagoon, an FPL eco-discovery center, Jan. 12, 2016, in Riviera Beach. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)
Manatees swim along the viewing deck of the Manatee Lagoon, an FPL eco-discovery center, Jan. 12, 2016, in Riviera Beach. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

The new Florida Power & Light Co. Manatee Lagoon science center is slated to open to the public Saturday morning in Riviera Beach.

And the timing couldn’t be much better. A cold front is expected to drop temperatures in Palm Beach County into the high 60s Saturday morning, and into the low 40s Sunday, the National Weather Service says.

» RELATED | Photos: Inside the new Manatee Lagoon center

During cool weather, manatees tend to flock to the warm water flowing from FPL’s Riviera Beach power plant next to the Manatee Lagoon center, making this weekend a good opportunity to spot some sea cows.

The $4.8 million facility also offers a boardwalk, a manatee cam, a pavilion, a gift shop and educational exhibits.

Read more about Manatee Lagoon.

IF YOU GO

What: Opening of FPL’s Manatee Lagoon science center

Where: 6000 N. Flagler Dr., Riviera Beach

When: Manatee Lagoon open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; public park open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week

Information: www.visitmanateelagoon.com