Off the South Florida coastal waters, Chessie the manatee, whose name stuck after a 1994 rescue from the Chesapeake Bay, has gone missing after he managed to ditch his fourth tracker in his 35-year lifespan. Officials say the getaway was likely abetted by an alligator chomping on Chessie’s floating GPS tracker. Alligators do not target manatees themselves, just the tracker, which is attached to a 4-foot tether made to come apart if it snags on something.
The John I. Leonard athletic community is mourning the sudden death of a "beloved" teacher and high school football coach. Carey McCray, 48, died suddenly on Monday due to complications from a recent medical condition. A social studies teacher the last six years, McCray recently served as the Lancers' defensive coordinator as well as the current head coach for the school's girls flag football program. John I. Leonard athletic director Jim Howell said "(McCray) poured his all into his students both in the classroom and on the athletic field. He was extremely influential, impactful and positive to not only our students but everyone he came in contact with."
Thousands of texts between Corey Johnson and an online Muslim girlfriend showed his drift toward violence in the days before he stabbed a 13-year-old boy to death and tried to kill two other people. A jury is considering a murder charge against Johnson following the March 2018 attacks at a Palm Beach Gardens home. The texts showed graphic images, many of which Johnson found on Islamic State websites. Johnson had developed an interest in Islam, and his attorneys say these images helped drive him to kill. They also said the girlfriend broke up with him days before the attacks.
An investigation has found that U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg is one of eight Florida judges who should have recused herself from a case because either she or a family member owned stock in the company facing the lawsuit. Both of Rosenberg’s cases involved NextEra Energy, the parent company of Florida Power and Light. Her husband, former State Attorney Michael McAuliffe (Mick-ALL-iff), owned stock in the company. While the courts found that her holdings did not influence her decisions in any way, Rosenberg’s actions did not follow the law. She did not return a call from The Post seeking comment.
The Lake Park Library is letting its patients borrow more than books. Since the spring, it also has loaned out laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots. The computers are available for four hours at a time and must be used at the library, on Park Avenue next to Town Hall. Patrons who don't have internet access at home can borrow the hotspots for a week at a time. Some larger libraries also offer these services, but Lake Park’s directors say they took on these services despite its small size to help patrons bridge the digital divide.
West of Boynton Beach, the connector road that allows residents to bypass heavily congested Boynton Beach Boulevard reopened late Thursday. Motorists use the east-west road to get to and from Lyons and Acme Dairy roads. It allows access to Canyon Town Center without traveling on Boynton Beach Boulevard. The part of the road that provided access from Acme Dairy Road has been closed since late April to facilitate construction of a roundabout, a circular intersection that will guide traffic around a central island into and out of the new park.
A man and two women were arrested and charged with possession of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin Wednesday morning at a Palm Beach hotel, police said. According to an arrest report, police were called to the Fairfield Marriott on South Ocean Boulevard following reports of drug activity. Detectives found drugs and paraphernalia in plain view, according to the report. The 45-year-old man was also charged with intent to distribute. He remained in custody Friday. The women, a 25 and a 30-year-old, were released Thursday.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores gave an endorsement of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on Friday but stopped short of addressing speculation that the club is interested in trading for troubled Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Asked if he is committed to Tagovailoa for the rest of the 2021 season barring injury, Flores said, QUOTE “Barring injury, yeah.”
On the surface, Dolphins receiver Mack Hollins seemed like a curious choice to be a captain. Picked up off waivers late in 2019, he figured to be in a fight for playing time on a deep receiving corps. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been. When the Dolphins turned to him against Jacksonville, Hollins responded with four receptions for 61 yards. Then, last weekend against Atlanta, he scored on a 4-yard reception to give Miami a short-lived 28-27 lead in the closing minutes. Hollins’ performances only hinted at reasons teammates voted him a captain. A more complete picture was on display Wednesday when he stepped to the podium and addressed the media, offering a frank take on the state of the 1-6 Dolphins and what it takes to snap out of this funk.
Healthy Start is marking its 30th year of helping mothers and babies across Florida. The program, launched by Governor Lawton Chiles, provides health screenings to pregnant women and then to their newborns and connects them to other services they may need. Its work has helped to cut Florida’s infant mortality rate by 32 percent. Representatives gathered last week at the Wellington-area campus of HomeSafe, a nonprofit that helps abused children, to acknowledge the program’s success, but said they have plenty of more work to do, led by lowering the infant mortality rate for Black babies.
In South Florida, near record heat Thursday follows an October trend of above average warmth but also heralds a sweep of cooler, drier air that will last into early next week. A cold front, which was expected to bring scattered thunderstorms overnight and into Friday morning, is part of the same system that rocked eastern Texas and Louisiana with tornadoes on Wednesday but it was forecast to be more subdued by the time it reached South Florida. While high temperatures will remain in the mid-80s today (FRIDAY), they will be closer to 80 on Saturday and Sunday with noticeably cooler air as dewpoints drop from the upper 70s to lower 60s.
A little more than two months after closing down a second time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Synagogue of Palm Beach will reopen its doors today. Citing an uptick in cases caused by the delta variant, the synagogue closed in August after reopening for the first time May 7 after being closed since March 2020. Like many other houses of worship, it had held virtual services for more than a year. The synagogue will open at 6 p.m. for its traditional Friday services.
In Riviera Beach, city council has set aside $1.5 million for advance work on a sprawling municipal redevelopment plan that will include a new City Hall and could cost as much as $300 million. The money will be used for consultants, legal advisers and to develop a competitive bidding process for those hoping to win city contracts related to the project. Some of that work will be carried out by a master developer who will put together plans for the project. The council vote was the latest in an initiative city leaders have dubbed "Reimagine Riviera Beach."
In Boca Raton, the city set a new target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% during the next three years. The effort to address the root cause of climate change comes at an important time. The coastal city – which is vulnerable to many climate change impacts, including high heat, rainwater flooding, tidal flooding, and storm surge – released almost 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2018, according to its most recent Greenhouse Gas Inventory report.
Town of Palm Beach officials are asking for more than half a million dollars from a newly created state coffer aimed at preparing Florida for the rising seas that come with climate change. The so-called Resilient Florida Program, which was created by lawmakers during the 2021 legislative session, set aside $520 million for municipalities to examine flood vulnerabilities and build protection for infrastructure against water threats. For Palm Beach, an initial project list includes a $608,000 request for five climate change-related projects that were already in the capital plan.
Two boys, ages 2 and 3, drowned Wednesday in a backyard pool in Belle Glade. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office did not identify the boys, who doctors at Lakeside Medical Center declared dead. The boys had been playing in the screened-in back porch of a home near Glades Day School when the family member watching them noticed they were missing. The family member searched for them for 30 minutes, then called for help. A PBSO helicopter spotted the boys in a nearby pool. The sheriff’s office said its investigation into their deaths remains open.
While pundits speculate, law enforcement agencies appear to be planning beefed-up security around Mar-a-Lago in the event former President Donald Trump announces a political comeback campaign, The Palm Beach Post has learned. The U.S. Secret Service on Tuesday morning called a meeting with local law enforcement officials at Mar-a-Lago to discuss security arrangements in case Trump enters the 2024 presidential race. One scenario discussed was that Trump may use Mar-a-Lago as his campaign headquarters, the source said, which would result in an increased number of people coming and going from the area.
Corey Johnson’s longtime best friend testified against him at his murder trial Thursday. Prosecutors say Johnson fatally stabbed a 13-year-old boy and tried to kill two other people during a March 2018 sleepover at a Palm Beach Gardens home. Johnson has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, with his lawyers saying depression medication and video games twisted his brain. Kyle Bancroft said he slept through most of the attacks and couldn’t tell if he was dreaming when he saw the bloody body of Jovanni Sierra on the second floor of his home. The trial resumes today.
Florida has filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the Biden Administration from carrying out a measure to require vaccinations against COVID for federal employees and contractors. The policy is scheduled to take effect December 8. The lawsuit is the latest salvo in Governor Ron DeSantis’ ongoing battle with the Biden administration over federal vaccine requirements. The governor described the mandate as “heavy handed” and an overreach by the government.
The Town of Palm Beach is looking at ways to make unvaccinated employees pay more for health insurance than their vaccinated counterparts. Town Manager Kirk Blouin said that officials are working with the town's insurance broker and insurance provider to finalize a policy that he wants implemented "as soon as possible." In a town where the vaccination rate among residents is 100%, the rate for public safety workers hovers at around 45% compared with about 70% for general employees.
A suburban Boca Raton man is facing vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter charges after an August crash that killed a passenger in his car. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Christopher Gallon’s blood-alcohol level was above the threshold for intoxication hours after the wreck that killed 21-year-old David Hernandez on Aug. 3. Investigators estimate Gallon was driving at 75 mph when he struck another car on Camino Del Mar west of Boca Raton. Gallon remained in custody Wednesday with his bail set at 55 thousand dollars.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua (TOO-ah) Tagovailoa (Tag-oh-vay-LOW-ah) said he isn’t worried about rumors that the team may trade for a player who would replace him. The NFL trading deadline is Tuesday, and Miami is considered a top destination for DeShaun (De-SHAWN) Watson of the Houston Texans. Watson, one of the league’s top passers in recent seasons, is not playing while his attorneys deal with reports of possible sexual misconduct involving massage therapists. The Dolphins have won only one game this season, but Tagovailoa has played well, throwing for more than 600 yards over the past three games.
Corey Johnson seemed almost happy as he fatally stabbed a 13-year-old boy and attacked two other people during a March 2018 sleepover in Palm Beach Gardens, one of his victims told jurors Wednesday. The testimony came on the first day of Johnson’s trial on murder and attempted murder charges. Defense attorneys said Johnson was insane at the time of the attacks, and that his interest in Islam drew him toward violent videos touting the Islamic State group. Dane Bancroft, one of Johnson’s victims, said he’d known Johnson for years and had never seen him injure anyone before that morning.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers outlined new plans Wednesday to manage Lake Okeechobee (Oh-key-CHOE-bee) and improve environmental conditions on South Florida’s signature inland body of water. The new plan will guide when and where to send lake water and is expected to go into effect late next year when repairs are finished to the Herbert Hoover Dike. Environmental groups praised the corps’ efforts to balance the different demands on the lake. Others feared it would release too much water into the St. Lucie Estuary, which has battled blue-green algae that has killed seagrass and fish.
Top brass at the University of Florida College of Medicine fast-tracked the hiring of Doctor Joseph Ladapo, knowing that Governor Ron DeSantis was eyeing him for the position of state surgeon general, according to emails obtained by the USA TODAY Network-Florida. They knew they needed to get it done quickly to coincide with the governor's desire to announce Ladapo's appointment the day after his predecessor stepped down. The whirlwind courtship lasted two weeks from start to finish.
The Acreage and parts of Loxahatchee would become the village of Loxahatchee under a plan residents want to present to state lawmakers. The latest incorporation proposal from Palm Beach County’s western communities would turn the lands in the Indian Trail Improvement District and the Indian Trail Groves area into a municipality that spans about 110 square miles and is home to about 45,000 people. Florida’s Legislature and governor must approve the charter, which is drawing opposition from the city of Westlake, which the new village would surround. Westlake says it fears Loxahatchee would exert too much control over area roads.
Despite a return to full in-person learning, but amid a mask-mandate, Palm Beach County's public school enrollment remains at least 6,300 short of the high-mark set pre-pandemic. The true hit came in the fall of 2020, when thousands of students first fell off the district rolls. But another year in the rearview appears to have done little to reclaim lost ground, according to a headcount taken for the state this month. In fact, when counting only the district's traditional elementary, middle and high schools, including preschoolers, enrollment fell by 518 students to 166,079. All told, the district's full enrollment, including charters, rose to 191,798, a gain of 644 over the prior year but still 6,335 short of the historic peak in the fall of 2019.
The town of Palm Beach will offer Moderna booster shots to people who received their initial vaccines through the town. Appointments are being made for Monday and Nov. 4 at St. Edward's parish hall and will be taken until 12 hours before each event. The town has sent about 1,200 invitations, through which appointments can be made. No walkups will be accepted.
Classic pre- and post-war automobiles parked on the main lawn of the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens alongside vintage art will be the backdrop for the fifth Sculpture in Motion exhibit on Nov. 13. The event honors Gold Star Families of Palm Beach and local veterans. Guests and their families can view the cars and take tours with historians in the Gardens' 2-acre outdoor property in West Palm Beach. The exhibit will include luxury midcentury models such as a Rolls Royce Henley Roadster, an Auburn Boattail Speedster, and a Maserati A6GCS.
The Miami Dolphins' running game took a hit when Malcolm Brown was placed on injured reserve Monday. Brown injured his quadriceps after playing just five snaps during Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons. His injury leaves only Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed on the roster and comes as the Dolphins rediscovered the ground game. Miami ran 29 times for 132 yards against the Falcons. The 29 attempts matched the team's total over the previous two games combined. The yardage was 1 shy of the season high set against Las Vegas. Still, the Dolphins rank 31st in the NFL with 80.1 rushing yards per game. The Dolphins have two running backs on the practice squad: Patrick Laird, in his third season as an undrafted free agent from Cal, and rookie Gerrid Doaks.