Posted on 21 July 2016 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

July 4: A woman who was intoxicated got into an argument with her fiancé. The man said he did not want her to drive because she was drunk and took her car keys. The woman then punched the man in the face. The officer asked the woman her name and she refused to give it. The woman was arrested and charged with obstructing an investigation without violence, as well as domestic violence. The incident was reported at 103 Fairway Dr.

July 5: A man reported that his neighbor’s brother threatened to kill him while he was sleeping. The man wanted to have the threat documented by law enforcement. The incident was reported at 1017 SE 3 Street.

July 5: A woman reported her car stolen at 1428 SE 4 Ave.

July 7: A woman reported that someone tried to break into her house by prying open the front door. Police found pry marks. The incident was reported at 1101 SW 8 Ave.

July 11: Criminal mischief reported at 500 Lock Rd.

Lighthouse Point

June 23: A subject failed to return a 2016 Hyundai Accent to a dealer at 3400 N. Federal Hwy. per the rental agreement.

June 24: The victim went to a McDonald’s restroom at 4830 N. Federal Hwy. and placed her wallet on a toilet paper rack and, left. The victim noticed the wallet was missing and, when she went to retrieve it, the wallet was gone. The wallet contained $20 in cash, a driver’s license and bankcards. The loss was $166.

June 24: The victim had a subject paint his house at 2367 NE 26 St. and has had an ongoing dispute with him. The victim believes the subject is not a certified contractor.

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Service for James W. Stills, 74, of Deerfield Beach

Posted on 19 July 2016 by LeslieM

stills071416James W. Stills, 74, of Deerfield Beach, FL, died Sunday, July 17, 2016, at Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, following surgery for an aneurism.

Born in 1941in Mt. Pleasant, TN, he moved to Deerfield Beach 1952 where he attended Deerfield Beach

Elementary and later graduated from Pompano Beach High School. As a youngster growing up in old Deerfield, he played on the local baseball team and worked a paper route for pocket change. After a brief stint in the National Guard, he worked as a certified general contractor in the South Florida area until his retirement. He then worked for a Boca based structural engineer doing building inspections in the Miami and Boca areas. He spent his second retirement working in the yard, fishing at the lake and visiting with his neighbors.

Jim was preceded in death by both parents and six siblings. He leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Janice, and two grown sons, James Timothy of Orlando and Christopher David of Boca Raton, a sister Barbara Jones of Deerfield Beach and various nieces and nephews.

Visitation: Thursday, July 21, 11 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. Service to follow, 12:30 p.m. Kraeer Funeral Home, 217 E. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

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Mag Chop

Posted on 15 July 2016 by LeslieM

Artist Kenneth Ruiz’s collages piece together parts of life

magchop071416By Rachel Galvin

Once a graffiti artist and gang member, Kenneth Ruiz has turned his life around to become an amazing artist.

He began his journey in life in Chicago’s Humboldt Park area before moving to South Florida and attending Deerfield Beach High School. This 1995 graduate took art classes and was voted “Most Artistic” in his senior year. Little did he know at the time that art would be so powerful in his future.

The challenges he faced in his early life were nothing compared to what would happen later.

He explained, “I have lived through some things most people only read about. None of those experiences prepared me for losing my mother. I was devastated. It completely altered my life. It changed me in a way that I wish she was here to see. It made me appreciate life and the people in it.”

He added, “Losing my mom also had a strange effect. I lost the ability to draw. I used to draw freehand very well; but when she passed away, I was no longer able to do it. It was as if something turned off.”

Luckily, his wife encouraged him to turn back to an artistic style he had tried years before making collages, which came about after speaking with a friend involved with fine art back in 2008. Ruiz asked him about art and he said that art should tell a story, what the artist is about, which inspired Ruiz to create something for his wall at home.

For 4-1/2 months, everyday, when I came home, I worked on a collage that represented things about me and my life,” he said, adding, “My second piece was not until five years later when my mother passed away.”

His collages are made the old-fashioned way, by cutting and pasting. After that, it becomes a bit more complicated.

It is quite tedious. Once the piece is done, it goes to a fine art photographer who specializes in collage art and it is shot at very high resolution. The original accompanies the image to color correction, where the only adjustments made is to the colors to make sure they match the original. The final piece is a fine art giclee on canvas or museum paper. The image is sprayed on at 300 dpi making it extremely clear. None of my pieces are created digitally, nor are they touched up. They are cut with scissors and on some of the new pieces I have used razor blades,” said Ruiz.

He added, “The first piece I sold was inspirational because they were not for sale at the time. We were having dinner with a well-known person in the art world and he spotted one my pieces hanging on the wall. When he found out I made it and saw, surprisingly, that I had more, he said to me, ‘I have traveled around the world and seen collage art and I have never seen it done like this.’ He said if I decided to make it a business, he would buy the first one, and he did. I was thrilled!”

That was in 2013. He registered his business as MagChop in 2014. He has been creating a diverse collection of pieces ever since, including custom-made ones. He sells them to individuals he knows and also at events.

When people see his pieces, he gets an excited response.

He said, “A lot of my art takes them back to an era of good memories and they are thrilled about that. Some people relate right away and say, ‘This is so me!’ I have had clients call me and say, ‘I look at this everyday and I see something new!’”

When asked how he gets inspired to do his pieces, he replied, “It depends on the piece. To create, I have to relate. I have to know the inner aspects; for instance, I created “The Champions Line,” the first official fine art memorabilia for champion race car driver Ernie Francis Jr. I was never a fan of racing and didn’t know much about it, but I am an auto [and Lowrider] enthusiast so this was an exciting project. I attended the races, spoke to fans, went to the paddock with the team, stood at the pit and even helped work on a car at a race. I learned little details about racing that I otherwise would have gotten wrong. They loved it! It took about four months to complete and actually had a revision that made it remarkable.

One piece called “Ladies Touch” took seven months to complete. The influence came from different women in my life whom I have loved in different ways.”

His favorite piece is called “First Impression.”

It is my favorite piece. It is the first piece I made and it really is symbolic of aspects of my life. It is also the only piece my mother had seen,” he said.

He added, “There are “Easter Eggs” in all my pieces … little hidden things that relate to me … even in custom pieces.”

My art has opened a door for me to speak to youth through art workshops at the Boys & Girls Club in Ft. Pierce and I have spoken at youth conferences for “E.N.D. IT” at a church in Port St. Lucie. I believe in giving back to our communities,” he said.

Asked where he hopes to be in five years, he responded, “To have one of the many upcoming MagChop products in every home! It sounds wild, but think about the jobs I can give people with MagChop growing to that level. We have created movie posters and book covers and hired the assistance of local artists. The dream is more about the opportunities for my children, my community and our country.”

To find out more about this artist and his work, visit or find him on social media.

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Celebrating Shipwreck Park

Posted on 15 July 2016 by LeslieM

shipwreck071416By Rachel Galvin

Imagine playing craps with an octopus, putting on a poker face for card sharks under the sea and being served drinks by a mermaid… This fantastical concept will soon be a reality right off Pompano Beach. You will be able to stop for a selfie beneath the sea as you dive down to visit the Lady Luck, a 324 ft. historic tanker scheduled to be sunk on July 23 just 1 ½ miles off the shoreline.

The ship will be the centerpiece of what will become known as Shipwreck Park, surrounded by 16 other existing wrecks. This will be a unique underwater cultural arts park with rotating underwater art exhibits.

The Lady Luck has starfish and sand dollars on the highest level, closest to the surface where coral may grow. Down below, there are poker tables, crap tables and slot machines to explore, along with creative characters.

On July 8, many gathered inside the Pompano Marriott to celebrate the sinking of this vessel. It also served as a fundraiser toward that effort and for other events to come.

The road to creating this event was not a simple one. After attempting to purchase several boats and having the deals fall apart, they finally found a gem in New York, a tanker called Newtown Creek that had been decommissioned and was up for auction. Utilized to transport sludge in New York City since 1967, this vessel is getting a new lease on life as a tourist attraction thanks, in part, to Assistant City Manager for Pompano Beach Greg Harrison, who negotiated the deal from the original asking price of $235,000 down to $100,000.

Harrison said he was brought into the project in 2014.

They assigned me to work with the chair of the economic development committee, Tommy DiGiorgio, Jr., and the chair of the tourism committee, Rob Wyre, to figure out how to make it a reality. It was a big challenge,” said Harrison.

Next, they needed an artist and that is when Dennis MacDonald came into play. Known locally for such projects as the Rapa Nui sculptures that were sunk off Deerfield’s pier June 7, 2015, MacDonald has worked with companies like Universal Studios and Disney in the past. When given the idea from the committees to do a casino theme, he wasn’t sure what to do, but it came to him eventually.

When they gave me the concept, I was stumped at first, but then I thought, ‘Let’s have fun with this, make it whimsical.’ I started 2 ½ months ago. We used small models to create the sculptures. I had some art friends help me. Paul Costanza helped create the musculature on the sharks and helped with all the [characters’ attitudes]. I looked at the project as seven different environments, photo opportunities,” said MacDonald as he showed off a picture of his favorite slot machine, commenting, “I built it using pieces of the boat. It has a steampunk feel.”

Of course, getting sponsors was essential. Wyre is also the Regional Vice President of Operations and General Manager of the Isle of Capri Casino, so they partnered with the city on this venture, donating $312,500, which the city matched. The money goes toward cleaning up the boat to make it ready for the sinking, including removing any pollutants that may be harmful.

Wyre said, “This was the budget we thought we needed to just get it done, but we were a bit short. [This is why we are raising funds.]”

DiGiorgio understands the importance of this wreck on the community and the draw it will have from people all over the world.

I was just in Spazio, Italy. There was a guy waiting for me and he didn’t speak English, but we were next to a dive shop and the guy there came out to [translate] for us.

He asked where I was from. I said ‘Ft. Lauderdale’ and then ‘actually Pompano.’ He said, ‘Pompano? Is that where they are sinking the casino boat?’ The guy takes people out on dives. He said next year, he is scheduled to go to Mexico, but, the year after, he is coming to Broward County,” he said.

He knows the economic engine this will be and talked about the large amount of hotel rooms that will be filled, and more to be added, just to accommodate the influx of tourists.

The Vandenberg cost $9.5 million I think [sunk off the Keys in 2009]. The economic payback was less than six months. Spiegel Grove [also sunk there in 2002] cost $5 1/2 million and got a payback in less than three months.,” he said, adding, “It will take less than 20 minutes to get to [the site of the sunken Lady Luck], not a full day. In a couple of hours, people can have a great experience.”

At the July 8 event, there was a silent auction filled with nautical items, as well as a live auction with Pompano Mayor Lamar Fisher as auctioneer. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages were served. Joe West sang some oldies and speed artist Dale Henry a.k.a. “Paintman” quickly painted four pieces, which were auctioned.

DiGiorgio added that County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, who was at the event, was instrumental in getting free dockage at Port Everglades where the ship will be brought into, from its current position on the Miami River, before it sinks at 2 p.m. on July 23 off the Pompano Pier.

For more information, visit

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Posted on 15 July 2016 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

June 28: Someone attempted to break into Wholesale Granite Tops at 271 NW 1 St. The person threw a cinder block at the front door. The front door has shatterproof glass and did not break.

June 29: The Food Market manager reported that two men and a woman entered the store and caused disturbance. The incident took place at 747 S. Federal Hwy.

July 1: A man reported that golf clubs and a golf bag were stolen from his car parked at 722 NW 42 Pl.

July 3: A man reported that the left window to his car parked at 660 W. Hillsboro Blvd. was broken and several items were stolen.

Lighthouse Point

June 18: Someone entered an unlocked 2015 Volvo at 3750 NE 23 Ave. and stole sunglasses, a Thermos bag and an iPad phone charger. The loss was $875.

June 20: A subject took two steaks from the store at 4800 N. Federal Hwy. and left without paying for them and then attempted to seek a $55.36 refund without a receipt. The subject then fled the store.

June 23: The victim said the bank at 2850 N. Federal Hwy. contacted her about her account being overdrawn due to two ATM withdrawls being made. The victim believes it may have been her granddaughter’s boyfriend who may have gained access because he had taken her bankcard a year ago. The victim was still in possession of her card. The amount withdrawn was $1,080.

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Zion Lutheran becomes Somerset Academy Key, retains preschool

Posted on 08 July 2016 by LeslieM

zionsomerset070716By Rachel Galvin

The Class of 2016 was the last class to graduate from Zion Lutheran. The school that began in 1964 is in the process of being transformed into a charter school called Somerset Academy Key. During the transition, many students and teachers went elsewhere, but others remained and an influx of new students is coming in. They currently have enrolled 420 students, but expect to have 600 in total by the time school starts.

There no longer will be a Christian curriculum and, since it is turning from a private to public school, students will be subject to testing and requirements they have never experienced before, but new principal Dennis Mulrooney said the changes are a good thing.

[The students] haven’t had those rigors before. I believe it is a step above. We are pushing higher education and setting them up for secondary success, putting them in a position to get into college. We are there to help them along the way.”

Mulrooney began his work in education in schools in Miami-Dade County. He has worked in administration and as a curriculum coach. He worked as an Assistant Principal at Somerset Academy in Miramar at an elementary level for two years. Looking to gain high school experience, he transferred to another charter school, Mater Academy, where he became Assistant Principal for two more years. When the call came asking him if he wanted to come to Deerfield and open Somerset Academy Key, he jumped at the chance.

Getting the call was a blessing. It is everything I have ever wanted,” he said.

The school is being freshened up to have a more Somerset feel. They will be retaining the colors and the lion mascot from Zion, but the lion may change a little.

They are updating the computers, installing new software. They have about 200 computer stations and plan to increase it up to 400-450 stations once they reach their intended enrollment.

In addition to already instituted extracurricular activities, including sports, students will be able to create their own clubs.

Students will create and drive the activity [programming]. If there is enough interest, they can get a sponsor and fundraise,” said Mulrooney, adding, “I want students to feel this is a second home for them.

The school, which will now only serve grades 6 to 12, currently has open enrollment. But the process to get in is not as easy as a regular school.

There is only a certain amount of seats at each level. Once we hit that, students go on a wait list. It is not a simple process. The later students register, the less likelihood they will get in,” he said.

Meanwhile Zion’s pre-school, now called Zion Early Learning Center, and the church is still operational.

The preschool serves ages six weeks to Pre-K. Kids here tackle STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) from day one. They follow the WEE curriculum, which is Christian-based. The staff is all CDA certified (with the Childcare Development Association). Over the summer, students learn a different fairy tale every week and incorporate it into their studies.

They also have a Vacation Bible School and a Summer Camp. The camp, which runs through August, includes traveling to fun adventures like the park, movies and elsewhere.

Both Somerset and the preschool are seeking students. For more information on Somerset Academy Key, call 954-481-0602 or visit For more information on the preschool and their programs, call 954-421-3146.

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Posted on 07 July 2016 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

June 24: Someone attempted to steal $22.09 worth of groceries from ALDI Food Market at 747 S. Federal Hwy. The subject dropped the items and fled.

June 24: A man was observed stealing $300 worth of items from Winn Dixie at 1019 S. Federal Hwy.

June 25: A woman reported her car was stolen from 4344 NW 9 Ave.

June 26: A woman reported her cell phone stolen from her car at 4330 NE 6 Ave.

Lighthouse Point

June 13: A male subject attempted to pay with a counterfeit $10 bill. When confronted, he fled the store at 4830 N. Federal Hwy.

June 13: A 45ft. flat screen TV and a pool remote were stolen from a rental property at 2611 NE 49 St.

June 14: Someone stole four sets of hair clippers and a bag valued at $131.96 from a store at 3580 N. Federal Hwy.

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Posted on 30 June 2016 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

June 14: Two men burglarized about 20 cars. They smashed car windows and pried open car doors. They stole a car to escape. The incident was reported at 1062 S. Military Tr.

June 16: A woman reported her purse stolen at 210 Federal Hwy.

June 16: A man was refused service at a Texaco station at 4517 N. Dixie Hwy. He stole a bottle of soda.

June 20: A man reported that someone broke into his car parked at 2301 W. Sample Rd. and stole a computer, U.S. Passport and social security card.

June 20: An armed robbery took place at 7-Eleven at 1156 E. Hillsboro Blvd. A man working at the 7-Eleven said that two men were involved in the robbery. The employee said one man hit him with a handgun and ordered him to the ground. The other man took two cash register drawers containing $125. Both men ran out of the store and escaped in a car.

June 25: Deputies responded to calls of a male wearing a mask and carrying a knife near the movie theater in Deerfield Mall. Subject was detained. The investigation is ongoing.

Lighthouse Point

June 6: Someone vandalized a vending machine at 4521 NE 22 Ave. causing $1,000 in damage. A 60 lb. rock was found nearby.

June 6: Someone used the victim’s card at 2700 N. Federal Hwy. and made a purchase amounting to $127.14.

June 6: A vehicle was found at 4000 NE 31 Ave. and was not registered nor had a tag assigned to it.

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Posted on 23 June 2016 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

June 7: A woman serving as property manager reported that a home at 616 Hibiscus Dr. in her development had a broken window. She believes someone tried to break into the home but was unable to do so.

June 7: A woman serving as property manager reported that a home at 702 Hibiscus Dr. was broken into. The front door was open and a window was broken. A television was stolen.

June 7: A bicycle was reported stolen from 5 Guys at 296 S. Federal Hwy.

June 9: It was reported that three entered Aldi’s food store at 7 NE 45 St. and stole three air conditioning units.

June 10: Burglary of business at 150 S Powerline Rd. Unknown suspect(s) attempted to gain entry by prying the lock and handle to a storage unit located at Public Storage. No entry was made.

June 10: Shoplifting reported at 3825 W Hillsboro Blvd.

June 11: A man parked his trailer in the rear of a business at 1801 Green Rd. on June 10 and noticed it was missing on June 11.

June 11: Two suspects entered 3599 W. Hillsboro Blvd., took items and left without paying.

Lighthouse Point

June 1: The victim said someone stole a tag off the 2016 Buick Endure while it was parked at 2800 N. Federal Hwy.

June 5: The victim said someone used her American Express Card and charged $500 at a business at 2450 block of N. Federal Hwy. Police were unable to verify the use.

June 6: Someone stole a hand mixer, blender and foot file from packages that were delivered to a residence at 2560 NE 44 St. The loss was $120.70.

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Pat Anderson Paints in plein air

Posted on 18 June 2016 by LeslieM

anderson061616-1By Rachel Galvin

Pavilion One, just south of Pompano pier, has a perfect view of sea grapes, Palm trees, sunny skies and crystal blue waters, and it serves as the perfect inspiration for art. This is the latest location for artist Pat Anderson’s Plein Air painting class. Here, her students set up their leaf bars (easels that wrap around a column or a tree) and await instruction.

On this day, June 13 (session two of a four-week class), she has them prepare their palette with the right colors. Next, she does an outline of a shape of their choosing – either a palm tree, conch shell or turtle — with liquid rubber, which will dry and create interesting white lines in the finished product. Next, she has students “warm up” with the No. 20 brush, showing them how to move their arm while keeping their hand perfectly still as they practice their thin and thick brush strokes. Today, they will be making puffy clouds with blues and grays, softening the edges with a Q-tip. She showed them how they could paint blades of grass in quick upward strokes.

In order to save paint, which can be expensive, they do “speed painting,” working on two paintings at once. One painting is an abstract using the pigments of their paper palette

and the other one is the landscape they are creating.

Lynn Radtke came with her 13-year-old daughter Olivia.

I usually order Pat’s ornaments [which she creates every year for Christmas] and I got to an e-mail about the class and signed up. I was looking for something my daughter and I could do together. She likes art but prefers acrylics. I thought this would get her out of her comfort zone. If she wants to stick with art, it’s a perfect thing to do,” said Lynn, who has worked in fashion design for awhile.

Ramona Myrick also has a fashion background and went to school for fashion merchandise.

I thought it would be fun to do. I haven’t done it for awhile,” said Myrick, who has worked with mixed media in the past.

She added, “In the first class, last week, we had homework to paint the alphabet and we did a picture of a leaf”.

This month is on Pompano Beach, next month’s classes (July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1) will be in Harbor’s Edge Park (1240 NE 28 Ave.). She tries to change up the location. She also has classes using acrylics as well.

I want to get more use of our parks. These posts [columns on pavilion] are not used. We are making use of them. I introduced this art program for parks, to paint in plein air, outdoors. The students are learning the different elements of the painting. I give them a rough sketch of where the sea grapes are, where the trees are, etc. In the end, they will paint a picture of the park they are in and will get a T-shirt with the picture and a certificate for participation.”

Interested in joining her classes? Each two-hour class includes some supplies and access to a leaf bar easel. Cost is $200 for four weeks. Thirty percent of proceeds benefit the Parks & Recreation Dept. You must register in advance at Emma Lou Olson Civic Center, 1801 NE 6 St. in Pompano. For more information, call 954-786-4111, visit


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