Locals fare well at state track meet

Posted on 19 May 2016 by LeslieM

sports051916By Gary Curreri

With 13 athletes competing at the recent Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A state track and field championships at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Highlands Christian Academy coach Jared Ebenhack couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome.

Junior Sara Carroll, who is also a standout soccer player for the school and has already committed to play soccer at FIT, won the Class 1A girls high jump, clearing 5.40 ft. She captured six total medals at the state meet this year as she placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (15.74); 7th in the 300-meter hurdles; and third in the triple jump (35-7.50). She scored 32 of her team’s 40 points in the meet.

Other top 10 finishes for Highlands included 8th grader Sydney Blackburn, who took ninth in the shot put (32-04), senior Christopher Julien placed 7th in the 100-meter dash, while sophomore Ryan Szklany was 8th in the 1,600 meters (4:41.11) and fourth in the 3,200 (9:47.04).

It was also a bittersweet moment for Ebenhack, who will be relocating his family to Lancaster, CA, on June 3. [He just was honored at Rotary Club, See Pg. 12 of the printed Observer newspaper].

I loved it at Highlands, and parting is bittersweet,” Ebenhack said. “It is very difficult. I know that it is the best thing to do for my family; but I’m definitely torn.”

Considering what an awesome team our girls will have for years to come,” added Ebenhack, who coached most of the middle school runners as elementary students for the past three years, “and considering all the great times I’ve with Ryan Szklany, especially these past four years – especially our Saturday morning long runs down A1A – it is very difficult.”

Ebenhack credited coaches Marc Veynovich and Brenda Montgomery-King for their efforts in the team’s success, especially given the fact the team doesn’t have a permanent track at the school.

Marc was the head coach for the past three years, and I was his assistant, and was in charge of the designing and executing of the distance and sprint programs. This year, he had a lot on his plate and could only come to practice once a week, but he focused a lot on the pole vaulters and high jumpers during that time. Brenda was our throws coach, and two of her athletes qualified for state in the shot and discus, one girl and one boy,” said Ebenhack.

Ely High School senior Thomas Geddis, of Pompano Beach, placed fourth in the Class 3A state finals in the 200-meter dash (22.13) and was a member of the fourth place 4×100 relay with Pierre Dupuy, Arthur Forrest and Rodger Wright (41.95) and the sixth place 4×400 relay (3:21.85) with Tremaine Brown, Roderic Wilson, and Devonte Findlay.

Geddis, 19, is headed to the University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship. Geddis, along with some other standout athletes, helped the Tigers to district and regional titles this season and a fourth place in the state competition. He said he can’t wait to start his new chapter at Cincinnati.

The pressure was tough this year with my being a senior,” Geddis said. “I had a lot of freshmen and underclassmen looking up to me that I had to carry as a team. I was the leader of the 4×100 and the 4×400 and just a captain period, so I had to push them to be comfortable and go out there, have fun, give everything and leave it all on the track.

These four years have been wonderful and meant everything to me,” Geddis added. “It was one of the best track programs I could have come to. We have outstanding coaches and it is a brotherhood and a sisterhood. We come together as one big family.”

Findlay, 18, also a Pompano Beach senior, said he is still searching for a school and hopes his track performance will help earn him a scholarship to college.

I love the sport a lot and I am just keeping busy now,” said Findlay, who overcame an injury this season to reach state. “It was frustrating to sit out, but I did all of my therapy and it was great to make it to states.”

The Tigers’ Roderic Wilson was fifth in the 800 meters (1:58.25), while junior Donnell Grant was eighth in the 110-meter hurdles. Findlay was fifth in the 300-meter hurdles (39.31). Senior Robert Williams was 10th in the discus with a 140-08 throw, while fellow Tigers’ senior Jamie Kennedy took 9th in both the long jump (21-10.50) and the triple jump (44-00.50). Blanche Ely finished fourth in the state competition.

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Historic caboose gets new home

Posted on 12 May 2016 by LeslieM

caboose051216By Rachel Galvin

On the corner of Hillsboro Boulevard and Dixie Highway, a lonely red caboose sits where it has lived since 2002. Seemingly abandoned, left behind from days gone by, this lonely caboose seems to have quite a story. Passersby have wondered what mysteries lie in its past and how long it would sit on this stretch of track. Graffiti has many times marred its sides and it was painted again and again. It seems to beg for a better home. Now, its wish has been granted.

This historic caboose originally began its life as a box car, according to Bill Muenzenmaier. Its wheels are dated 1951. But it wasn’t until the 1960s when it became a caboose.

Back in the olden days, cabooses were used for many purposes, including as a place for a man to act as a lookout for the engineer in front, signaling in case of any sign of trouble or if it needed to back up, for example.

Guys could sit up high in the cupola and look for signs of smoke. Trains had friction bearings then and each time the train would go into service yard, the [workers] were supposed to check the wheels and squirt oil to keep it lubricated. If they should miss some, as they are going down the road, it can run hot and turn to smoke and then to fire. [Back then], boxcars were made out of all wood. Today, [they are not] and they use regular ball-bearing wheels. The only thing that can happen now is that you could break a coupler and the air hoses could get disconnected [so cabooses are no longer required].”

When this little caboose was no longer in service, it was purchased by a private collector, Richard Weiner, and when he needed a place to put it, he gave it to William Thies & Sons, the beer distributing company, along with four other boxcars he owned. Eventually, the company sold the property and needed to move the caboose. When they tried to give it back to Weiner, he gifted it to the Deerfield Beach Historical Society.

The railway moved it 11 miles up the track to the side track where it now resides. It was neighbors with the recently demolished Deerfield Builders Supply, which once received carloads of material on those tracks from areas as far away as Oregon or even Western Canada.

Owner of the now closed Deerfield Builders Supply, Ed Dietrich Jr., is spearheading the effort to give the caboose a new home, along with Muenzenmaier and the rest of the Deerfield Beach Historical Society.

Dietrich said, “We are going to roll the caboose about 400 ft. south for the people with the crane [Emerald Towing] to lift out and transport it to the former Deerfield Builders Supply lot [currently owned by Stor-All] to do necessary repairs. Dana Eller and Moving Waters Industries are graciously assisting with necessary welding repairs. Professional rail painter Jeff Conner [Show Paints by Conner] will prep and paint the caboose outside prior to moving its new home.”

The caboose will be painted “safety orange” the way it originally was, according to Muenzenmaier.

Its new home will be just east of the Old School House, a place suggested, said Dietrich, by City Manager Burgess Hanson.

The site will be authentic rail trackage (wood ties, steel I-flange rails, hand spikes and rock ballast),” said Dietrich. “Capital Project Engineer Charles DaBrusco will be coordinating site preparation. “When site and caboose are ready [in a few weeks], Emerald Towing will employ their high capacity cranes to load the caboose body and wheel trucks onto the low-boy trailers for the short trip from Ed Dietrich Sr. Ave. to City Hall. The wheel trucks will go down first and then the caboose body and chassis will be lowered onto them, and the caboose will be put into its permanent position. Eventually, an access ramp will be constructed, along with landscape improvements. Interior restoration will proceed onsite. [It] will include interactive educational components and various historical archives.”

Dietrich added, “This has been 15 years in the making. We appreciate the tremendous contributions and cooperation of the City of Deerfield Beach, the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Deerfield, the Florida East Coast Railway, Stor-All LLC, MWI and Emerald Towing.”

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Adopt With a Cop at Pioneer Park

Posted on 12 May 2016 by LeslieM

adoptacop051216By Rachel Galvin

Animal lovers swarmed through booths set up in Pioneer Park on Saturday, May 7, to see what animals were available for adoption from the various groups there. The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) and Broward County Animal Care hosted event was put together by Sgt. Andrea Tianga, who was on hand with her husband Lt. Ozzy Tianga. Even their son, Joshua, got into the event as DJ SoFlo. There were many vendor booths and BSO brought some K-9s.

I have been doing animal rescue since [before I was a teenager]. I am a huge animal lover. When I heard that the sheriff is a big animal lover, I jumped at the opportunity [for us] to partner with Broward Animal Care,” said Sgt. Tianga, who added, “With Mother’s Day, the Air and Sea show, [and all the other events going on, it is great that] people are still jumping at the chance to be a part of it.”

Lt. Russo added, “It is a great thing to have out here … to give pets a forever home.”

Helen Santana, who happens to be a volunteer for C.O.P.S., adopted a terrier at the event. Adoption fees were waived this day for most of the dogs. Pet Supermarket gave her a goody basket of products to help her get started.

I think it is great,” she said of the event. “It is a good way to adopt a dog.

I have bought all of my dogs through a shelter, not a breeder. This is our third dog. I have two cats at home.”

It was not just about dogs; the nonprofit Lumen LS (www.LumenLS.org) had a booth with cats for adoption.

Our goal is to eliminate shelter euthanasia [for cats] in Broward County,” said Director Andi Kola about his organization, which opened a year ago. He brought out kittens who have FIV (or Feline immunodeficiency virus) to educate people that even these cats can go on to live healthy lives and do not have to be euthanized.

We have rescued up to 91 kittens in the last three weeks,” he said, adding that his organization offers a place for the cats to stay while they find homes.

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Deerfield Beach Bison kickoff

Posted on 12 May 2016 by LeslieM

sports051216By Rachel Galvin

May 7 was the kickoff for the Deerfield Beach Bison football team’s registration. Over 100 kids came out to run drills, featuring hurdles, knock-away dummies, ladders and halfback pads, during the Miami Dolphins Jr. Training Camp. The first 50 kids to sign up received free registration. Former players were on-hand, as well as current player Lousaka Polite. Cheerleaders Paige and Kristan taught Bison cheerleaders a cheer and gave them an opportunity to do a dance. Former Florida Atlantic University Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger even made an appearance to speak to the kids.

Following the festivities, kids could pick up information from Beauty Anatomy Institute (a cosmetology and wellness school) and get a pair of free sunglasses. FAU gave out some goodies and each child got a Deerfield Beach Bison bag.

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Bank Robbery – UPDATE 5-6-16

Posted on 05 May 2016 by LeslieM

FBI ANNOUNCES ARREST MADE IN CONNECTION WITH A BANK ROBBERY TODAY

The FBI announces the arrest of Eric John Lamb, 34, of Pompano Beach, FL, for his alleged involvement in the robbery of a TD Bank branch, 1011 S. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, FL.
The arrest was made today, without incident, by the Broward Sheriff’s Office shortly after the alleged robbery.
Lamb is in federal custody and is facing federal charges.  His initial appearance is expected to be in Fort Lauderdale Federal Court tomorrow.
The criminal complaint may be found in PACER in due course.  No picture(s)/mug shots are available.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office, the South Florida Violent Crimes Task Force and the FBI continue their investigation.
No further information will be released at this time.

Michael D. Leverock
Special Agent
FBI Miami

Jim Marshall
Public Affairs Specialist
FBI Miami


 

Posted 5-5-16

The BSO Public Information Office is currently working a developing incident regarding a Bank Robbery – Suspect in Custody located at: Southbound I-95, just south of Atlantic Boulevard.

Public Information officer Keyla Concepcion is currently gathering the details. Here’s what we know so far:

BSO Communications received information about a robbery in progress at the TD Bank at 1011 S. Federal Hwy. in Deerfield Beach. BSO units responded as the suspect fled. Deputies conducted a stop on the southbound lanes of I-95 and apprehended the suspect.

FBI is responding to the scene and will handle the case.

Traffic advisory: Please advise motorists on the southbound lanes of I-95 to expect traffic delays between Atlantic Boulevard and Cypress Creed Road due to this incident.

This information should be considered preliminary, and as with any developing situation, the details may change.

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Highlands, Blanche Ely win titles

Posted on 05 May 2016 by LeslieM

sports050516By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely and Highlands Christian Academy raced to their respective regional track championships last week.

For Highlands Christian, it was the first regional track championship in school history, and, defeated defending state champion Westminster Academy. The Knights boys and girls teams will send 15 state qualifiers in 20 events.

Highlands Christian’s Ryan Szklany was a double winner as he captured the 1,600 (4:31.23) and 3,200-meter runs (10:04.18) in the Region 4-1A meet. Highlands Boys placed first with 113 points over defending state champs Westminster Academy, who finished at 88.

Highlands Christian runners that placed second included Hunter Walton (800), Delimar Martina (high jump), Scott Bush (pole vault), Chris Julien (100). Placing third for Highlands was Kenny Armstrong (shot put and discus) and Jake Petersen (110 and 300 hurdles).

On the girls’ side, Sara Carroll won four events (high jump, triple jump, 100 and 300 hurdles). Abby Simpson placed third in the 300 hurdles, while Sydney Blackburn placed third in both the shot and the discus. Highlands girls placed third (72 points) behind South Florida Heat (133 points) and Westminster Christian School (Miami) (98.5 points).

I am very proud of both the boys and the girls,” said Highlands Christian coach Jarod Ebenhack. “We knew at the end of last year that our boys would be as strong if not stronger than Westminster coming into the season, but we also knew that the athletes at Westminster are seasoned competitors and champions who would not be easy to beat.

We conditioned hard all year long to make this a reality and we faced some adversity,” added Ebenhack, who lost their top 400-meter runner, Steven Ludwig, to a collapsed lung, and then Elijah Kerr to a broken foot the weekend before regionals. “Those two represented a large amount of points to our team. The team took on the challenge of filling the holes left by the loss of these two senior leaders. Our field events, in particular, rose to the challenge, and scored more points than I was expecting.”

Host Blanche Ely ran away with the boys’ crown in the Region 4-3A meet as it finished with 118-1/2 points. The Tigers’ boys’ 4×800-meter relay set the tone early, as Sueil Foucha, James Walker, Syvenson Noel and Roderic Wilson ran an 8:02.11.

I’ve got a lot of 12th-graders that really worked hard to get to this point,” said Blanche Ely coach Anthony Jordan. “Last year a few that got to state, they got to state and didn’t do anything. This year they are focused on winning it.”

Blanche Ely senior Jacee Simon won the high jump with a leap of 6 ft., 6 in., while University of Cincinnati football signee, senior Thomas Geddis, won the 200 in 21.54. Ely senior Arthur Forrest placed second in the 100 with a time of 10.88, while Wilson also took second in the 800 (1:56.57).

The top four competitors in each event qualified for the state meet, set for May 6-7 at IMG Academy in Bradenton.

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Highlands hopes for regional title

Posted on 28 April 2016 by LeslieM

SPORTS042816By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy head track coach Jarod Ebenhack laughs at the notion that the school should invest in a track.

With the success the boys and girls varsity teams have had the past several years, at the very least, it makes for some lighthearted discussion.

It’s a matter of funding,” said Ebenhack, who has been at the school the past four years and guided the team to three boys district championships in the past four years (2014 they were second) and district titles for the girls in 2013 and 2015. The team was runner-up in 2014 and this year. The girls’ squad this year is composed mostly of middle schoolers, while the boys are made up of mostly upper classmen. “To build a basic track would cost around $300,000.

If we wanted a really good track, it would run about $700,000,” Ebenhack added. “We have everything else – shot put, pole vault and high jump pits, along with long jump and triple jump pits. We practice on various fields around campus and I actually paint a 400-meter track with all of the marks for hurdles and exchange zones around the football field. I think it makes it easier for us because we train in the grass and on the sand, that we go even faster on a track because we are running on a faster surface.”

The boys’ team suffered a tough blow this weekend as soccer standout Elijah Kerr, who runs the leadoff leg for the region’s second ranked 4×100 relay and is the anchor leg for the top-ranked 4×800 relay, broke his foot playing soccer and is out.

We have good replacements, but it definitely affects the certainty of our performance when you are putting two guys in there who haven’t practiced it regularly,” Ebenhack said. Until 2013, the boys had never won a district championship in track before.

Sophomore Ryan Szklany is the school’s top distance runner with school records in both the 1,600-meter run (4:28) and the 3,200-meter run (9:44). Senior Hunter Walton just eclipsed the school record in the 800-meter dash (2:03).

Senior Chris Julien, the school record holder in the 100-meter dash (11.07) who finished seventh at state last year after winning the regional title in the 100, could win both the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the regional meet.

Junior Justin Ebenhack is on three relays that have school records and is the district champion in the 400-meter dash; Senior Kenny Armstrong won the district titles in both shot put and discus.

Junior Sara Carroll qualified in four events for states the past two years and is hoping to do the same this year. She is also the school record holder in those events – 100-meter hurdles (15.9), 300-meter hurdles (47.99), triple jump (35-10) and high jump (5-4).

I think the future is really bright for the girls and they can really be dominant for years to come if they stick together,” said Ebenhack, who had started an elementary school track program a couple of years ago. “The majority of our girls team is middle schoolers.

We have a lot of really good young athletes. We are just going to get better.”

The boys were the top-ranked team headed in the regional. The other teams expected to contend for a regional title are Westminster Academy and the South Florida Heat. The girls were expected to finish in the top 5.

It’s awesome to see them perform,” said Ebenhack, whose boys cross country team has won four consecutive district titles. “They have caught the vision of what kind of work ethic it takes to do it.

Originally, I really had to push them,” Ebenhack said. “In the past I really had to push them. I am at the point now where I just give them a workout for the day and they will push each other. They will be cheering on each other. It is exciting to see.”

The team has about 70 athletes in the overall program, including middle school and high schools. They are taking 26 to the regionals. Last year the team took 14 to state, which represented about 10 percent of the student body. There are about 160 students at the school this year.

I’d like to take most everybody to state this year,” Ebenhack said. “Everything will have to fall into place.”

 

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Cohn wins inaugural triathlon event

Posted on 21 April 2016 by LeslieM

sports042116By Gary Curreri

When Gus Cohn tells his friends that he competes in triathlons, he gets strange looks.

First,” said the freshman at Pompano Beach High School, “they ask me what it is. Then, I guess they dismiss the idea. “I prefer to be on my bike. I guess they find it strange, a little bit.”

Cohn recently placed first in the Boys 15-17 Division of the inaugural Boca Raton Youth Triathlon with a time of 19:29. The event featured 123 athletes ranging in age from 5 to15 and took place at the Peter Blum Family YMCA in Boca Raton. Cohn used to play basketball and football and eventually turned to triathlons.

I think it’s fun,” he said. “It’s three sports in one and you don’t get bored too much. Seeing yourself get faster is probably the most fun out of everything.”

There are simple goals when he competes, and considering he has only been racing for 2-1/2 years, he has been pleased with his progress. Cohn said he is not surprised at his success because he trains a lot and gets faster each time he goes out.

First, I am trying to beat everyone on the team,” said Cohn, who is a member of the South Florida Lightning Youth and Junior Triathlon Team, which trains locally. “I just give it all that I’ve got and see what my time is.

I think I am going to do this as a side hobby and an amateur sport,” Cohn said. “I am not looking to do this as a living. If I really, really enjoy it, maybe I will go to Ironman. I think the best part of the sport is that it builds character, and I like the biking.”

Youth and Juniors Triathlon is a rapid growing sport,” said South Florida Lightning Youth and Junior Triathlon Team coach Racheal Wood, of Deerfield Beach, who started the program in 2011. “It is perfect for young athletes, providing them with the chance to be well-rounded and develop a high level of physical fitness.”

Athletes on both teams are expected to attend practices on a regular basis. If you are interested in being a part of the team, contact Wood at rachealwood@gmail.com or 954-263-4588. You can also visit the website at www.sflightning.com.

Pompano hosts day at Marlins game

The City of Pompano Beach Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department has planned an event to see the Miami Marlins Baseball Team take on the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, June 21.

The all-inclusive event includes a pre-game BBQ party beginning at 4 p.m., tickets, and transportation to and from the game. The bus will depart from the Herb Skolnick Community Center at 5 p.m. All ages are welcome and an adult must accompany children.

Tickets are only $50 per person and include the food party, round trip transportation and a home plate box seat (handicapped accessible).

Tickets can be purchased at the Herb Skolnick Community Center located at 800 SW 36 Ave., Pompano Beach, FL 33069. Tickets must be purchased by May 13. For more information, call 954-786-4590.

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37th Annual LHP Library Volunteer’s Luncheon

Posted on 15 April 2016 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

top

Luncheon was held at the LHP Yacht & Racquet Club April 7.

Usually, they are the ones giving to others. On April 7, volunteers at the Doreen Gauthier Lighthouse Point Library had a chance to receive. They were honored at a special luncheon held at the Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club. Library director Christy Keyes summed up the theme of the day with a Cicero quote: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” On each table sat a centerpiece made from individual flower-filled vases the guests could take home. And the library, well, it is not just about the books, but really about the people who take the time to care for those who come in and read them, the people who were honored this day.

 

left

Doreen Gauthier and Christy Keyes.

The event began with a prayer from Rev. Mark Andrews. Mayor Glenn Troast also spoke, saying that the library, which now celebrates its 50th year, has offered something for everybody, but the most important part of the library is the volunteers.

 

 

“As we say over and over again, we couldn’t run the library without you,” he said, noting some of the great events the library has held year-long, and commenting that they are in the process of installing a new air-conditioning system.

In addition to Christy speaking, Doreen Gauthier got up and said a few words. They both outlined some of the accomplishments, including the money raised through events and book sales.

Christy said, “We raised $10,000 from two book sales. This helps pay for events like this and goes to special programming at the library.”

3 (3)

Christy Keyes honors Nicholas Louis for his service.

3 (2)

Susie Gordon is recognized for her work with Friends of the Library by Christy Keyes,

She added, “We always need books. We go through the donations and if we can, we add it to the collection. If it is the same as something we have, but in better condition, we swap it out. If it is something we can’t add, it will go to the book sale. The volunteers run the whole thing. We have a sale twice a year.”

Nicholas Louis was honored for being 15 years on the board and Susie Gordon was recognized for serving for 20 years at Friends of the Library.

Christy also recognized the teen volunteers, who were able to get out of school and attend for the first time at this event. There were a few in attendance this day, but 18 teens volunteer overall. They created bookmarks for all the guests to keep and recycled old children’s books by creating cut outs for a special wreath and other décor.

The volunteers work at the library because they love it.

Ron Lavergne, who volunteers for many groups in the area, said, “No other place has had so many volunteers. I love going there, doing research and enjoying the quiet.”

Janice Larit said, “The library is a wonderful resource for the Lighthouse Point people.  I decided to become a volunteer. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet the neighbors. It is run so great. Christy does a fabulous job. I can’t say enough about it.”

6

Kyle Van Buskirk and Earl Maucker attended from the commission, along with their wives.

4 (2)

Betty Hammond and Laura Verde run the library’s Italian Club.

 

 

 

 

IMG_9863IMG_9857Teen and Special Project volunteers.IMG_9855IMG_9856group 1IMG_9858

 

 

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THRIFT STORE CLOSING

Posted on 14 April 2016 by LeslieM

Everything must go!

313 SE 15th Terr.

Deerfield Beach. (Cove Shopping Ctr.)

Thurs., Apr. 14-Sat. Apr. 16, 9 am to 3 pm.

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