Category Archives: News

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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