The sheriff’s office is partnering with McDonald’s for “Coffee with a Deputy,” where locals show up to an area McDonald’s for an informal meeting with a deputy who patrols the area.
The gathering will be held at the restaurant at 7030 W. Palmetto Park Road, in the Garden Shops at Boca plaza, between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m.
The purpose of the meeting is to build relationships between residents and local law enforcement, according to coordinators.
“Coffee with a Deputy is a chance to get to know your local officers, tell us what’s on your mind, or ask a question. There are no speeches or agenda… it’s strictly informal,” PBSO Captain David Moss, who oversees the western Boca area, said in a statement.
DELRAY BEACH — City Manager Donald Cooper submitted a letter of resignation to the mayor and city commissioners this morning, citing personal reasons, according to city leaders.
Cooper, who was hired in 2014, will step down Dec. 30.
Cooper is dealing with “serious family medical issues he had been confronting for some time, but that took a recent turn for the worse,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said in an email.
“He will help insure a smooth transition as he leaves the city in very good shape and on the right track for future success,” Glickstein said. “We thank him for his efforts in moving the city forward as we extend our thoughts and prayers to him and his family in this difficult time. ”
The Delray Beach city commission was aware of Cooper’s personal reasons for stepping down, Commissioner Shelly Petrolia said, although the timing came as a shock.
“I was hoping he would make it through the next election cycle in order to keep with stability, but I understand completely,” Petrolia said.
Cooper, who lives in Port St. Lucie where he previously served as city manager for 20 years, wrote a short resignation letter in which he said family matters would interfere with his duties as city manager.
The body of the letter in its entirety reads: “It is with regret that I must submit my resignation as City Manager for the City of Delray Beach effective December 30, 2016 due to family medical demands which will interfere with the proper performance of my duties.
DELRAY BEACH — They’re the business managers, the construction crew and the creative minds behind an eclectic menu at a small eatery near the decades-old banyan tree on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street.
“This is a small place, but this is ours,” Moriarty said. “And when people step inside, they’re going to feel that.”
Banyan is slated to open in early December on a street with a stretch of popular restaurants, such as adjacent The Grove, Max’s Harvest and Brule Bistro, just a stone’s throw north.
Banyan, named after the towering tree just outside the restaurant, will set itself apart, Moriarty said, with its menu — influenced by family recipes — and a dedication that can come only from men who have spent about a year gutting the restaurant and building it up.
“I’m probably going to be sleeping upstairs,” Moriarty said with a laugh.
The Banyan trio, all Delray Beach residents, hopes the highlight of the restaurant will be the food, described as “new American eclectic” — which translates to “a good mix of just about everything,” Moriarty said.
Skarulis, who is taking on his first head chef position but has worked at Delray hotspots like Dada and the Seagate Hotel, is a Maryland native, and will work with a northeast specialty: seafood. But the menu will also feature mix-and-match specialty tacos, mac-and-cheeses and sliders.
“When I tell people they can have three different kinds of mac-and-cheeses on one plate, I basically get a customer for life,” Skarulis said chuckling. Many entree items, like a braised short-rib, are products of a collaboration between Skarulis and LoRe’s family recipes.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to be about great food,” LoRe said.
While price points aren’t set in stone, appetizers will likely range from $12-$18, with entrees ranging from $22-$35, LoRe said.
The restaurant and full-service bar will be open-air, with a retracting front facade, and will seat about 28 inside and 55 outdoors under a black awning.
“We spent the year getting a pulse of the place, learning what’s going on,” LoRe said.
Moriarty added: “We really got to know Delray and this just seemed natural.”
BOCA RATON — Students from Boca Raton Christian School have the rare chance to speak with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station using amateur radio this week.
While the space station is directly over Palm Beach County on Nov. 8, the students will use ham radio to speak with an astronaut for a few minutes between 10:45 and 1i:45 a.m., according to school officials. Only a handful of school were selected to participate in the program, which is done in coordination with NASA, the American Radio Relay League and the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation.
The city of Boynton Beach has agreed to settle a federal civil lawsuit filed by a man who claims police officers used excessive force and violated his civil rights in arresting him in 2014 after a car chase.
Byron Harris filed the lawsuit in December. He, and his attorney, and the city met Wednesday in mediation and agreed on a $600,000 settlement, said Harris’ attorney Linnes Finney.
The settlement has to be approved by the City Commission before it is final.
Boynton Beach Police officers were captured on a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s helicopter video taking Harris into custody and kicking and hitting him.
Police Chief Jeffrey Katz asked the FBI to investigate the case. In a February 2015 news conference, Katz said the main question regarding the case is if the officers’ actions were reasonable at the time. He said he has no reason to believe his officers broke police policy, and that the suspects were resisting arrest to an “extreme” level.
About 25 people attended, including consultants and residents. Also in the crowd were state Rep. Irv Slosberg and his daughter, Emily Slosberg, who won the August primary election for state House District 91 and faces only a blank write-in spot on Nov. 8.
Both Slosbergs said they were attending to learn more about the project to help inform their constituents.
“We’re going to get the word out to them to let them know about lane closures and the timeline,” Emily Slosberg said.
Here are seven key things you should know now about the project. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, post it in the comments and we’ll look into it.
What’s the deal with the phases? The 95 Express project is actually one huge undertaking broken up into three phases. Phase 1 opened in 2008 in Miami-Dade County. Phase 2 opened recently, connecting southern Broward to northern Miami-Dade. Phase 3 goes from central Broward up to south of Linton Boulevard in Palm Beach County.
FDOT then broke Phase 3 into five parts to help it get funded and built faster. Phase 3A, from Broward Boulevard to south of Southwest 10th Street, is under construction now. The meeting Thursday discussed Phase 3B, which picks up from Southwest 10th Street and goes up to Linton. Both Phase 3A and 3B have two parts. Construction on Phase 3C, which will connect Phase 2, Phase 3 and the 595 express lanes in Broward County, is scheduled to start in 2021.
Here’s a map from FDOT, including current timelines. The red and blue arrows represent the entry and exit points for the express lanes.
When is it happening? Construction on Phase 3B is expected to begin in mid-2018, according to Thursday’s presentation.
How much will it cost to use the express lanes? Will Suero, FDOT consultant and project engineer, said Thursday that he expects the express lanes to cost about 50 cents per segment, which is the minimum they could cost set by Florida law. The tolls are dynamic, meaning they vary based on how congested the express lanes are. A segment is defined as a portion of the express lanes from an entry, or ingress, point to an exit, or egress, point.
Where the express lanes in Miami-Dade have a cap — $1.50 a mile — the express lanes north of mile marker 12, the Golden Glades interchange, do not. Suero said via email that while those express lanes are included in Florida’s current tolling law, the tolling rules for Phase 3 aren’t yet established.
“It is anticipated that minimum per segment costs will be identified with the (law) applying to 95 Express Phase 3,” Suero said.
There shouldn’t be cause for concern, said Paul Lampley, resident engineer for the express lanes construction project. The price per segment is kept as low as possible to ease congestion, he added.
“So people know when they get in (the express lanes), they get where they’re going,” Lampley said.
What happens to the HOV lanes? During construction of the express lanes, the HOV, or high-occupancy vehicle, lane will be “decommissioned,” meaning it will be just like every other lane on the highway, Suero said. The HOV signage will come down, the diamond symbol will be removed from the road and the HOV restrictions will no longer be in place.
“The nature of the project is to provide additional capacity by widening the road, taking the HOV lane and constructing dual express lanes,” Suero said.
Will new noise walls be built? Yes, in some places. Noise walls already exist along much of the corridor between Southwest 10th Street and Linton, but there are some gaps that the project plans to address.
One in particular is between the southbound lanes of I-95 and the Mizner Forest neighborhood in Boca Raton. One FDOT planner said that is the “worst spot” for noise. The neighborhood, which sits about 80 feet from the highway, was built after the most recent I-95 widening project in southern Palm Beach County, so this is the first opportunity FDOT will have to address the noise issue.
What other changes will be made as part of the project? Auxiliary lanes will be added along the stretch, providing extra space for motorists exiting I-95. Crews also will replace the Clint Moore Road bridge over I-95, because there is not enough room under the existing structure to widen the highway, Suero said.
The I-95 bridge over the Hillsboro Canal also must be replaced. It “has a long history of structural deficiencies,” so “it could be left in place, but not widened,” Suero said.
Some trees will be moved during construction, and FDOT will make landscaping changes in those spots once construction is completed.
The southbound on-ramp to I-95 from westbound Palmetto Park Road will be rebuilt, and the southbound off-ramp there will be realigned.
So there’s a Phase 3 — what about a Phase 4? FDOT is in the very beginning stages of studying another phase of express lanes from Linton Boulevard to Indiantown Road in Jupiter, Suero said. Stay tuned to The Palm Beach Post for coverage as we learn more about that possible Phase 4.
UPDATE: We’ve seen a few comments inquiring about how revenue from the express lanes is spent.
On Tuesday, one of the suspected overdoses happened in a bathroom at Bethesda Hospital East on Seacrest Boulevard. It was at about 4 p.m. An unconscious woman was found in the bathroom.
At about 5:15 p.m. an unconscious man was found at 600 E. Ocean Ave.
Then at about 7:55 p.m. the rescue crews were called to 203 NE 21st Ave. to help an unconscious male. Crews were called back there at about 8:30 p.m. for another suspected overdose, another unconscious man.
Police and paramedics were called at about 11:40 p.m. to 220 SW 6th St. to help an unconscious man, and then were called back to the same place at about 1:30 a.m. for another unconscious man.
Ryan Gentilcore has seen his fair share of near-drownings in his 10 years as a firefighter/paramedic, but none as jarring as when his 6-year-old son lost consciousness in a family friend’s pool on the Fourth of July.
“It’s different when it’s your child,” Gentilcore, a Lake Worth resident and captain with Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, said Wednesday at a ceremony to honor the first responders who rushed his son, Alexander, to West Boca Medical Center after the near-drowning.
Gentilcore performed CPR on Alexander, resuscitating him within a minute-and-a-half just as a Coral Springs Fire Rescue unit arrived. It was second-nature to Gentilcore, but the longest minute-and-a-half of his life, he said.
“It takes a minute to call 911,” Gentilcore said Wednesday, recalling the calculations that ran through his mind as the incident unfolded. “It takes about four to six minutes on average for first responders to arrive.”
But it takes only six minutes without oxygen for the brain to begin to die.
“I’ve been on both sides of this now,” Gentilcore said. “We’re very lucky.”
Alexander, who was a skilled swimmer when he nearly drowned, was rushed to West Boca Medical Center’s pediatric emergency room. The 6-year-old recovered with no lingering injuries after three days at the hospital.
“CPR saved his life,” said Margaret Neddo, the director of the emergency department at the medical center.
“Realistically, the only advice I can give to parents is learn CPR,” Gentilcore said. “Bystander CPR is the reason people walk out the hospital neurologically intact.”
The advice was echoed by Coral Springs Fire Rescue Lt. Chris Struss, who responded to the scene of Alexander’s near-drowning.
“It makes our job so much easier, and the chances of survival much higher,” Struss said.
At the ceremony Wednesday, the Coral Springs firefighters who rushed to the scene were given the Call of the Quarter award by West Boca Medical staff. Gentilcore was given a “superhero dad” plaque, and Alexander wore a red superhero cape.
“It’s incredible (to see Alexander return for the ceremony),” Neddo said. “You don’t always have good outcomes.”
Want to learn more about when Interstate 95 express lanes will arrive in Palm Beach County, and how it could affect you?
The Florida Department of Transportation is holding a public information workshop to discuss Phase 3B of the 95 Express project — which goes from south of Southwest 10th Street to Linton Boulevard — from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 100 Fairfield Drive, Deerfield Beach. There will be a presentation on the project at 6:30 p.m. Residents will be able to review drawings and other information about the 95 Express project.