Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County may have dodged the worst of Hurricane Irma’s winds, but the storm dealt a direct hit to classrooms.

After seven days of canceled classes, the county’s public school system is weighing whether it needs to resort to makeup days to recoup lost classroom time when classes resume Monday.

No decision has been made, but Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said he was worried about the effect of missed days on students.

“Every missed hour is a missed opportunity to grow and learn,” Avossa said.

Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post

More than two dozen Palm Beach County public schools will be offering free meals to children and their families on Thursday and Friday to ensure access to nutritious meals as schools work to reopen after Hurricane Irma.

The 27 campuses will serve breakfast and lunch to anyone under 18, along with their adult caretakers, the school district said. Breakfasts will be served from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, most of Comcast's thousands and thousands of southern Palm Beach County accounts have been without Wi-Fi and cable television since Sunday afternoon as the company works on a damaged fiber line on one of its "primary hubs," spokeswoman Mindy Kramer said Monday morning. She said it's believed to be the largest outage in the county.

Kramer said engineers still don't know what caused the break but have found it and are working on repairs. She said Comcast lost power but has backup generators. 

She said some homes lost only Wi-Fi.

Share Your Hurricane Irma Story With WLRN

Sep 9, 2017

Thank you for staying with us as we covered Hurricane Irma. Our team spoke with some of you at shelters, on the streets and at your homes. You called in when we were live on the radio for 31 hours, asked us great questions and told us what you saw around you. You tweeted at us and shared your stories on Facebook.

Now, we want to hear from you again: tell us how you're doing and what you're dealing with.

Peter Haden/WLRN

Palm Beach County prosecutors have dropped a case looking into voter fraud over absentee ballots in a County Commission and state House election last August.

Investigators with the State Attorney's Office found more than 20 fake signatures forged on request forms for absentee ballots. A team of detectives looked into the case over the past year, but could not identify a suspect to accuse. 

Peter Haden / WLRN

A state investigation in Palm Beach County found clear-cut evidence of voter fraud in last year’s August primary election.

Investigators with the State Attorney’s Office found more than 20 forged signatures on request forms for absentee ballots. They investigated the case over the past year, but could not identify a suspect.

In some instances, voters said they received an absentee ballot in the mail without ever filling out a request form.

Peter Haden / WLRN


Bernard Spragg. NZ / via Flickr/Creative Commons

Delray Beach city officials have been hearing complaints from residents for years: sober homes are crowding us out.

The sober living facilities are intended to integrate recovering drug and alcohol users back into community life. But a lack of oversight coupled with widespread corruption has led to a proliferation of sober homes in some neighborhoods. A recent report estimated there are 247 sober homes operating in the city.

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

This week on The Florida Roundup...

The Florida Department of Education released the latest school grades for the 2016-17 year and the results are astounding. The percentage of schools that earned an "A" or "B" jumped from 47 percent the previous year to 57 percent and the number of failing schools decreased by more than half. 

Courtesy Morikami Museum and Gardens

Palm Beach County commissioners have given parks and recreation officials the go-ahead to start on a unique project 30 years in the making: a traditional Japanese inn, called a ryokan, slated for the Morikami Museum and Gardens in Delray Beach.

The inn was in the original master plan for the property, but it's taken years to come close to fruition. 

Peter Haden / WLRN

The overdose call comes in to Delray Beach Fire Rescue around 7:30 p.m. on a Friday.

Firefighter-paramedics — they’re trained to do both — jump into action and rush to a nearby hotel. But before they can treat this victim, another call comes in.

Wikimedia Commons

Palm Beach County is taking steps to combat South Florida's affordable housing problem. 

 

On Wednesday, county officials will host a six-hour summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center to address what some are calling "a crisis," as low- and mid-range wage workers struggle to find an affordable place to live, according to the Palm Beach Post

Ryan Kelly/flickr

Calls are mounting for Gov. Rick Scott to declare of public health emergency in the wake of an estimated 4,000 deaths in Florida last year due to heroin and opioid overdoses.


Other states struggling with the problem - including Maryland, Alaska, and Virginia - have chosen to declare an emergency, enabling the release of additional funds for law enforcement and treatment.

 

Kate Stein / WLRN

Officials from four South Florida counties are collecting public input on an updated regional plan to address climate change and related challenges.

LYNNE SLADKY / AP

This week on The Florida Roundup...

Finding statistics on officer-involved shootings is challenging because there is currently no national or even state record of these incidents. But, a Tampa Bay Times investigation has collected records from all of Florida's law enforcement agencies to create a database of police shootings between 2009 and 2014. 

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