Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County School District

After nearly three years leading the country's 11th-largest school district, Palm Beach County's schools superintendent says he is stepping down.

E. Wayne Gent announced today that he won't be renewing his contract when it expires at the end of June.  That means his replacement will be Palm Beach County's fourth school superintendent in as many years.

Gent was hired in 2012, after the ousting of longtime superintendent Art Johnson and a brief interim term by a retired business executive.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Creative Commons via Flickr / Michelllaurence (https://flic.kr/p/8SkJue)

Palm Beach County commissioners decided Tuesday to spend $750,000 on a new disparity study to see if a disproportionate amount of contracts have been awarded to white, male-owned businesses, as opposed to women- and minority-owned businesses.

Because of a 1989 Supreme Court ruling, cities can’t set up special programs to favor minorities until there’s evidence of discrimination.

kratomonline.org

While many Florida voters debate the wisdom of legalizing medical marijuana, a different substance is causing concern in Palm Beach County.

County officials are considering a ban on kratom, an herb that’s becoming a staple at some trendy cafes.

Kratom is grown in Southeast Asia. The herb is available in packets sold at some gas stations and also at some cafes that serve kava, a beverage growing in popularity for its calming effects.

Palm Beach County Prepares For Chikungunya

Jun 4, 2014
http://ollie4bugboard.com/florida-keys-mosquito-control-part2-waterways/

 

Palm Beach County is now joining efforts to fight the mosquito-transmitted virus known as Chikungunya, which so far has infected one person in the county and 10 people total in the state.

The virus is rarely fatal but symptoms can include chronic pain that lasts for years.

“Look at your house, environment, make sure that you don´t have any standing water," says Tim O´Connor, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County. "If you do, drain it off as much as possible.”   

freedigitalphotos.net

While the Miami Heat dribbles an orange basketball up and down the court, the South Florida Gold will dribble a red, white and blue ball.

The Gold is a professional basketball team owned by the American Basketball Association. The team started playing last year and will call Boynton Beach home this November. Mayor Jerry Taylor hopes the team will benefit the city's economy, the Sun Sentinel reports.

freedigitalphotos.net

Students in Palm Beach County now have the opportunity to pay off library fines in a rather constructive way: They can read their way out of it.

Children up to age 17 can now redeem one “Dewey dollar” for every 15 minutes they read in their local public library. They can read books, magazines, newspapers, or even on electronic devices.  As long as the reading takes place in a Palm Beach County library, students are eligible.

Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society

It's not unusual to find a Florida panther among the other "big cats" in a typical Florida zoo.  But the Palm Beach Zoo's new arrival is one with a poignant history.

The 12-year-old Florida panther named Mirasol -- nicknamed "Mira" -- is in quarantine at the Palm Beach Zoo and will be seen by visitors starting next month. 

Mira had lived virtually her entire life at the South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Homestead. But when its founder was diagnosed with a terminal illness, he contacted state wildlife officials to help him find homes for his animals.

Broward County and Palm Beach’s unemployment rates are dropping faster than it is in any other major metropolitan area, according to a new federal report.

For August, the most recent month with updated federal data, the Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area saw unemployment plunge to 5.8 percent from 7.7 percent a year before. according to data released Monday. Palm Beach also saw a drop of nearly two percentage points (from 9.7 percent to 8.4 percent), ending Seattle’s six-month run atop the list produced each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

cuatrok77 / Flickr Creative Commons

How valuable are state-managed conservation lands? It's a question the South Florida Water Management District has put to the public in a multi-month assessment of fee-owned lands throughout the state.

Storify.com/Julian Restrep

Palm Beach County's demographics and arts patrons are rapidly changing, and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts intends to keep up. 

"Palm Beach County is no longer a retirement community," says Jane Mitchell, who was recently elected as board chair for the 28-year-old cultural institution. 

Sabrina Olson Carle / WLRN

The future remains uncertain for the struggling Florida scrub jay, an endemic state species that is increasingly difficult -- but not impossible -- to find in Palm Beach County. Statewide efforts to study and document the birds' population and habitat use may help to turn the tide for this gregarious bird.

South Florida's New Science Center And Aquarium

May 17, 2013
Courtesy photo / South Florida Science Museum

What's in a name change? Plenty, when the new moniker also signals an "emotional change," as is the case with the soon-to-be-unveiled South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. The entity is a rebranding of the popular South Florida Science Museum. The longtime Palm Beach County institution hasn't received a makeover since its completion in 1969 (which represents an eternity in a region that is eager to "spruce up appearances" on the regular.) 

Tricia Woolfenden / WLRN

Several ecologically-significant tracts of public land in Palm Beach County will go under the microscope this month as a state agency continues its multi-region assessment of state-owned lands throughout South Florida. 

Volunteers Pull 57,154 Pounds Of Litter From Natural Areas

Mar 27, 2013
Courtesy photo / ERM

On a recent Sunday morning, a group of hikers paused on a heavily canopied trail to observe a bird perched high atop a tree, its body silhouetted against the rising sun. A brief hush took hold as binoculars focused in on the back-lit bird, loudly churring its morning song. Bodies shifted for a better view, until: "Yep, great crested flycatcher!"

Pages