Category Archives: News

The Beacon has a new home: ReadMyBeacon.com

We are proud to announce that, after many arduous hours on Dreamweaver, a team of students has designed a new site for the Beacon.

Visit the new Web page at www.ReadMyBeacon.com.

After you check it out, send us an e-mail: Beacon@pba.edu. Let us know what you think of our new clothes.

All new Beacon content will appear on ReadMyBeacon. In the fall, it will be the place to go for news, features, opinion, sports and photo essays.

We’re excited about the opportunity to serve the school in a more contemporary format, so if you have suggestions about online features you’d like to see on ReadMyBeacon, leave us a comment and let us know.

Although the Beacon Blog won’t be updated anymore, we would like to thank everyone for making this fantastic experiment a great success.

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Big changes coming to PBA dining

By Anna Zetterberg & Kristina Webb
Assist. Managing Editor & Copy Editor

Palm Beach Atlantic University students can “eat mor’ chikin” on campus this fall as Chick-fil-A replaces Common Ground on campus.

PBA President Lu Hardin announced food service company Aramark has scored the new dining contract with the university after Sodexo’s contract runs out on July 1.

Aramark is listed in FORTUNE magazine’s 2010 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.”

“I’m truly excited when I think about where PBA’s going in the next five years,” Hardin said. Continue reading

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Bill would reduce Bright Futures awards

By Michael Noble
Contributing Writer

Florida’s “Bright Future” is beginning to dim. As the result of state budget woes, legislators have proposed restrictions that would likely reduce the number of students receiving the Bright Futures Scholarship.

“The amount of students receiving the award next year will be significantly lower,” said Joseph Bryan, a part-time counselor for Palm Beach Atlantic University.  “It’s because the state of Florida is falling into major debt, and it’s a problem.”

Bryan is a guidance counselor at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale, and previously worked with PBA Admissions.  He commented on legislation still under consideration by state lawmakers.

The Florida Senate has passed a bill containing a number of provisions to tighten the belt of the Bright Futures budget.  The House may come up with a different version.  That means the ultimate impact won’t be known until a final version makes it through a House and Senate conference.

Under the Senate plan, students could only receive the scholarship for four years, instead of the seven years currently allowed.  Students would also have to get higher SAT scores to qualify for the scholarship. Continue reading

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PBA Spring Dance: Free for students

By Michelle Kappas
Contributing Writer

Ties, tuxedos, dresses, stilettos, surprise vendors and the Harriet Himmel all have one thing in common: Spring Dance 2010.

Spring Formal has struggled with success in the past, but this year Palm Beach Atlantic University is expecting it to be a hit.

“It is my understanding that the event will be free and attract 200 to 300 students as opposed to the 160 that attended last year,” PBA president Lu Hardin said.

Hardin was teaching a Law and Society class on Tuesday nights and lecturing on the concept of promissory estoppel when the issue of Spring Formal was brought to his attention. He was informed by PBA student Kelly Stoltzfus that there wasn’t going to be one this year due to lack of funds.

Hardin was able to pull money from his discretionary fund to make the dance possible. Stoltzfus and Nu Delta Nu partnered together to research reasonable pricing for venues and other preparations.

The team chose the Harriet Himmel Theater in City Place because it is within a walking distance from campus, and set the date for April 16 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
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Happy April Fools Day!

On page 8 of our March 29 issue, we’ve played a little prank on PBA. Where you would normally find a photo essay and the Looks page, you instead have three Onion-esque takes on PBA life. These stories are fictional labors of love, each written to bring a smile to your face. Read through, leave us comments and let us know what you think. Each story is listed below in its entirety with some pretty amazing artwork (if we do say so ourselves). Continue reading

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Warren set to speak for Founders’ Day

By Anna Zetterberg
Assist. Managing Editor

Tuesday could be your last chance to soak up the wisdom of a man who has had more impact on your life than you may realize.

Dr. Donald E. Warren, one of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s founders, will address the PBA community at the Founders’ Day chapel in the Greene Complex tomorrow at 11 a.m.

At 83 years old, Warren said it would probably be his last time addressing the public, saying there is a time to walk away and for new people to step in.

Dr. Donald and Bebe Warren, courtesy of Becky Peeling

He will share his wisdom about God’s calling in the past and future for students who believe they are being called and those that don’t think they are called.

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Cancer cluster affects animals

By Kristina Webb
Copy Editor

Acreage resident Gail Bass never expected what she saw from her window about five months ago.

The creature perched on her bird feeder looked like a squirrel, but it was covered in tumors.

“It was strange because I noticed the one and it kept getting worse,” Bass said.

Photo courtesy of Gail Bass

The tumors covering the squirrel varied in size, and the number of tumors increased over the next three months. Then, Bass said, the cold snap came and she hasn’t seen the squirrels since.

The Acreage, a pastoral community in western Palm Beach County, is the focus of a state investigation into whether or not a pediatric cancer cluster exists in the area.

Bass wonders if there is something making animals in The Acreage sick.

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Welcome Spring!

Channel 5 meteorologist explains the cold weather that plagued South Florida

By Michael Noble
Contributing Writer

Florida residents can finally put away their sweatshirts and jump into a bathing suit for a warm and welcome spring. The winter solstice ended in February, but the cold seemed to linger a bit longer than normal.

“El Nino and a stubborn high pressure system over the central U.S. contributed to the cold this winter,” said NBC’s WPTV meteorologist Steve Weagle.

The average temperature of West Palm Beach decreased 3.2 degrees this winter, making February the tenth coldest winter month on record, with an average of 64 degrees.

Photo by Christina Cernik, Photo Editor

According to Weagle, weather statistics from most main weather sites were recorded as the lowest temperatures since 1981. The reason why the temperature dropped so low is due to the increased amount of snow that accumulated in the northern hemisphere.

This caused all of the south-bound forced air from the northern hemisphere to significantly cool things down enough for Floridians to notice a big difference.

According to Rutgers University Global Science Lab, the monthly snow accumulation for North America was 18.58 million sq. km., 2 million sq. km. more than normal.


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Jupiter drug treatment center seeks funding

By Ashley Duchesneau
Contributing Writer

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reports there were 300 drug overdoses in 2008, one every 27 hours. Seeking to address that problem, Jupiter officials have approved plans for a $3.8 million substance abuse treatment facility.

With approvals in hand, SRS Development Company LLC now seeks funding for the center to help those suffering with alcohol and drug addiction as well as mood disorders. The planned facility is an expansion of Jupiter Counseling at River Place and Transformations at Jupiter Counseling.

The facility will provide detoxification services for illicit drugs, prescription medications and alcohol dependency.

Planners say the community now has no facilities to help people facing serious problems of drug addiction and mental health issues.

“We’re responding to increasing demand for alcohol and other drug treatment services, close to home,” said Sarah Sacks, CEO of SRS Development Company. Sacks is a licensed clinical social worker who is also a certified addiction professional.

Alcoholism and drug addiction need to be treated with dignity and respect, said Sacks. “These are individuals that are suffering with no treatment available.”

Some people needing treatment cannot find facilities that will accept their insurance, Sacks said.

She is committed to providing quality treatment at a reasonable cost utilizing insurance.

The proposed site for the center is 1.4 acres off Indiantown Road and Center Street.

The initial phase of the project will be a 10,000-square foot building to house a 30-bed inpatient medical detox facility with comprehensive screening for mental health issues.

SRS obtained a Small Business Administration loan, and seeks other funding as well.

“The need for additional funding is still very much a reality,” said Sacks, “and I sincerely believe the people of Jupiter are committed to being a part of the solution.”

“The Town of Jupiter has gone far too long without having this essential kind of facility,” said Dr. Philippe Martineau, a psychiatrist practicing in Jupiter. “We simply cannot let that situation remain. Sarah has been on the front lines in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction right in our community. We are grateful for her tireless efforts to shepherd this project through.”

“Treatment really does work,” said Sacks. “We’re pleased to offer a place – right here in Jupiter – where people can receive safe, quality treatment.”

For more information about the planned substance abuse facility, call (561) 575-2020.

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Families seek federal assistance for cancer cluster

By Kristina Webb
Copy Editor

A map covered the wall of a guest bedroom on the first floor of Jennifer Dunsford’s house.

Although not updated since December, the map looked as though it had a horrible case of the chicken pox. Blue, red and yellow dots were scattered across the expanse, representing different types of cancer diagnosed in The Acreage, a rural community in western Palm Beach County.

“We are bombarded,” Dunsford said, adding the cause may come from an abundance of factors surrounding her neighborhood, also home to several Palm Beach Atlantic University students.
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How great is our God

By Michele Kappas
Contributing Writer

Psalm 46:1-4: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.”

Jan. 12 is a day that Haitians will never forget as their foundation was literally shaken. Before the earthquake, 80 percent of the population lived below the poverty line. The devastation surrounding this country is unfathomable, and one can only cringe at the increase in death and destruction.

But on Feb. 12 things started to change.

Photo by Amanda Ulik

For many around the world this weekend kicked off the celebration of Mardi Gras, a huge event in Haiti. On the one month anniversary of the quake, President Rene Preval stated on national television he was canceling Mardi Gras and called Haiti to three days of fasting and prayer to God.

This statement shocked many in Haiti, a nation with many practitioners of voodoo. Preval spent time praying himself from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in a church for those three days. Continue reading

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Supercar Experience rolls into West Palm

The Palm Beach Supercar Experience rolled onto Flagler Drive on Saturday. Even with the rain, the event drew huge crowds to the downtown area.

Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other luxurious, powerful vehicles were displayed. Each privately owned automobile was selected for its unique qualities. Many are one-of-a-kind productions.

Several students from one of PBA’s advanced production classes attended the media event last week at Palm Beach International Raceway, and the Supercar Experience on Saturday.

Click here to view a slideshow of images and audio from both events.

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New West Palm Beach Waterfront opens with a bang

By Evelyn Ticona
Managing Editor

An estimated 80,000 people attended the inauguration of West Palm Beach’s new downtown waterfront on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Palm Beach Atlantic University students were part of the evening’s entertainment along with live music, a Cirque Majik performance and fireworks.

Mayor Lois J. Frankel first envisioned the waterfront project six years ago. The city tore down its old library and built docks, gardens and a waterfront pavilion. The project cost $30 million.

Click here to view a slideshow of images from the Waterfront opening

Click above for a slideshow of images, with photos by Evelyn Ticona and presentation by Casey Elia.

Frankel has seen this project as a key to drawing more people downtown.

The events Saturday included PBA’s improvisational comedy showcase, A Live Improv Comedy Experience (A.L.I.C.E.) and a performance by the PBA Dance Ensemble.

The spectacle of the night was Cirque Majik’s performance, with more than 30 acrobats suspended from ropes and wearing multicolored costumes.

Following the performance, a spectacular fireworks display lit up the sky.

At the end of the night, a disc jockey gathered people from different ages together around the stage to dance and enjoy music until 11 p.m.

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Correction on article ‘Acreage seeks resolution in court’

In an article in today’s edition of the Beacon, an article describes how four families in The Acreage filed a lawsuit against defense contractor Pratt & Whitney.

On Friday, after the issue had gone to print, the lawsuit was dismissed by the plaintiffs. For more information, you can read the Palm Beach Post article here.

We will have continuing coverage of the investigation into the cancer cluster in The Acreage, including an in-depth look at possible causes in our next issue on March 22.

If you are a PBA student living in The Acreage, let us know. We’d like to hear what you have to say about the investigation.

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Technology inspires new major

By Kristina Webb
Copy Editor

Palm Beach Atlantic University’s School of Music and Fine Arts has given its church music major a fresh make-over to keep up with modern worship.

Unlike church music, the new worship leadership major gives students the opportunity to learn about worship in a contemporary setting.

Roget Pontbriand is the founding director of popular music at PBA, and designer of the new program.

“Education has to change with the times,” Pontbriand said. “You can’t really teach antiquated practices. You can do that in a classical music program, but you can’t do that with worship. It’s a living, breathing situation.”
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SIFE seeks to help migrant farmworkers

By Kyle Beck
Contributing Writer

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) at Palm Beach Atlantic University has teamed up with the Farmworker Coordinating Council (FWCC) to help migrant workers with their finances.

They plan to assist a few migrant workers in starting and maintaining their own businesses.

The Farmworker Coordinating Council, a non-profit organization, began in 1978 to assist farm workers caught without jobs during an especially difficult winter. Today it is a social services agency addressing the barriers to basic needs faced by farmers in Palm Beach County.

The council serves over 30,000 migrant farm workers and their families in the community. FWCC’s mission is to promote self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of migrant and seasonal farm workers through education, advocacy and access to services.
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Musicians unite for Haiti relief

By Evelyn Ticona & Jen Rodino
Managing Editor & Features Editor

Singer-songwriter Shaun Groves urged the Palm Beach Atlantic University family to support Haiti relief by watching the upcoming “Help Haiti Live” concert Saturday.

DeSantis Family Chapel served as the stage to host Groves last week.

Groves also offered a free concert in chapel Tuesday night where, along with his performance, Groves sent a message about salvation and God’s purpose for us in life.

The relief concert will take place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville at 8:30 p.m., and can be seen live online at www.helphaitilive.com.

Groves is a partner of Compassion International, a child development organization that sponsors children from third world countries.

He said it took Compassion International longer than expected to put the concert together, leaving little time to promote.

Photo by Christina Cernik, Photo Editor

“We want you to help us spread the word,” Groves told the crowd.

Big Kenny will host the concert and singers like Mat Kearney, Brandon Heath, Dave Barnes and Matt West will perform for free to raise funds for the earthquake relief.

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Lynn inspired by lives of service

By Collier Rice
Contributing Writer

On Jan. 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the island of Haiti. The total destruction was covered by local and national media outlets.

The loss of life was staggering and far-reaching. In such close proximity, South Florida felt the aftershocks.

While many are scrambling to rebuild the nation, let us remember those who ventured to Haiti before the tragedy, to spread education, hope and love.

Lynn University in Boca Raton is a private school of approximately 2,400 students. A team of 14 students and faculty was in Haiti as part of “Journey of Hope” mission at the time of the earthquake. Eight were evacuated shortly after the quake and returned to campus. However, six were left unaccounted for.

Weeks went by as the search continued, each day becoming more difficult. As rescue workers sifted through the rubble of the Hotel Montana where Lynn students and faculty were staying, South Florida held its collective breath, waiting for answers.

On Jan. 27, Lynn University president Kevin Ross said it was time to grieve.
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Palm Beach debuts cruise

By Anna Zetterberg
Assist. Managing Editor

For the first time in 14 years, the Port of Palm Beach opens its doors to international cruises.

via Orlando Sentinel

Students looking for a vacation on a budget won’t have to look far anymore since the Bahamas Celebration, owned by Celebration Cruise Lines, will call the Port of Palm Beach home beginning March 15. It previously sailed out of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, the largest cruise terminal in the world.

The much smaller Port of Palm Beach has offered only gambling day cruises since 1996.
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Police provide sketch of rapist

By Jen Rodino
Features Editor

Local authorities continue searching for the man they believe has committed three separate brutal sexual assaults in the past nine months. Many are concerned and fear that the man will attack again in the near future.

The first assault took place in Jupiter on April 9. The other two occurred in the West Palm Beach-Lake Worth area on Aug. 7 and Jan. 16.

Capt. Carol Gregg, head of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office’s special investigations division, told the Palm Beach Post, “all three women were seriously injured and the ones attacked in August and January required hospitalization.”

Sketch courtesy of PBSO

The three women were alone when attacked. It appears that the rapist chooses his victims based on their isolation.

The rapist violently attacks the victim and beats them about the head and face for a few minutes, then leaves.

Palm Beach County detectives refuse to comment any further than what has been reported in the Feb. 4 issue of the Palm Beach Post, but indicated that no new attacks have been reported.

However, agencies across the West Palm Beach and Lake Worth areas are still alert and following the open case.

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