| December, 2022

Track Santa, play games & more

Posted on 24 December 2022 by JLusk


Wondering when the big guy from the North Pole is coming your way? You can track him and his sleigh with the Santa Tracker! Here is the website: noradsanta.org.

You also visit the Google Santa Tracker and do a lot of other things besides just tracking Santa. There are games, you can put together puzzles, create a jam band, get Santa ready for his big trip and more. The website is located here: Google Santa Tracker

Merry Christmas!

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Brightline Opens in Boca to Much Fanfare

Posted on 21 December 2022 by JLusk

Brightline opened in Boca Raton on Dec. 21, bringing in staff, local dignitaries, media and more. 

Congressman Carlos Gimenez and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer and City of Aventura Mayor Howard Weinburg were joined by officials from the City of Boca, the City of Aventura, Miami-Dade County and Brightline executives to officially launch the highly-anticipated opening of the two new stations. (Aventura also was scheduled to open the same day, but has had some delays).

More about Boca Station

At the Boca station, there were a few words said by Brightline’s President Patrick Goddard, City of Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer, Florida State Senator Tina Polsky and Milton Segarra of Discover The Palm Beaches. The ceremony proceeded with a tour of the completed station and the inaugural ride from Boca Raton to Aventura, where there was another ceremony.

Brightline’s Boca Raton station is located on a 1.8-acre site adjacent to the downtown library and across from Mizner Park and at 101 NW 4th St, Boca Raton, FL 33432. The 22,000 square-foot station features a 455-space parking garage which will service Brightline’s guests and visitors to the library, who will have dedicated, covered and complimentary spaces on the first floor. The station will also provide two complimentary, on-demand Brightline+ EV carts to destinations within downtown Boca Raton. Travel between Boca and MiamiCentral will be approximately 60 minutes. 

Partners in this project include the City of Boca Raton and Federal Railroad Administration that awarded Brightline and Boca $16.4 million for construction of the station.

Station Travel Times, Parking + Passes (both stations)

Brightline’s initial schedules for Aventura and Boca are designed to optimize commuter patterns and will focus on peak morning and evening weekday service. During non-peak hours and weekends, Brightline will provide service approximately every other hour. Regular hourly service will continue in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and MiamiCentral. You can view a full schedule for Boca and Aventura here

Parking options will be available at both stations upon opening with rates for Brightline guests starting at $7 and walk-up parking rates starting at $6 for up to an hour. Guests traveling from Aventura and Boca Raton stations will also have access to Brightline+ shuttle services offered to South Florida’s biggest games and events.

For guests looking to save on fares, a commuter SMART pass will be available for $229 per month. Passes for SHORT (2-leg) and LONG (4-leg) bookings will also be available for both SMART and PREMIUM. Miami-Aventura passes can be purchased in-person at the Aventura station and will become available for purchase online in early 2023 for $170 per month. To purchase tickets, visit www.gobrightline.com

At the ribbon cutting.

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Brightline opens in Boca Dec. 21

Posted on 15 December 2022 by JLusk

The much-anticipated day is arriving… Brightline will open a new train station in Boca Raton on Dec. 21.

People can jump on the train and head to Ft. Lauderdale, Miami or West Palm Beach. They also are opening an Aventura station on the same day. Soon, the Orlando station will also be open as well.

One-way tickets start as low as $10. Service runs about every other hour for now. 

There will be ribbon-cutting events the day before, on Dec. 20, with dignitaries celebrating the new station, at 9 a.m. in Boca and noon in Aventura.

The new Boca station is located at 101 NW 4 St. For more information, visit  www.gobrightline.com








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DNA Match in Cold Case in Pompano Beach

Posted on 13 December 2022 by JLusk

On a Saturday in April 1994, 89-year-old Lillian DeCloe relaxed at her Pompano Beach home and awaited a visit later that day from a niece who helped care for her. 
That visit would never happen. 
Instead, violence and rage burst into Lillian’s quiet, peaceful home that day and a killer took her life. 
For 28 years, Lillian’s family wondered who could possibly murder this harmless woman, who spent her life as a teacher and nurse, caring for others. This past August, Broward Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Homicide Unit detectives gave them the answer they’d long sought – Lillian’s killer had been identified. 
BSO’s Cold Case Homicide Unit reopened Lillian’s case after the unit formed in 2019. Their work launched a journey through old case files, through DNA databases and eventually to the grave of a former United States Marine who once lived a few houses away from Lillian’s home. 
Like an episode of “CSI”, a series of breakthroughs led to Lillian’s killer, and the first emerged from DNA evidence recovered from Lillian’s nightgown. The killer left semen on the garment after he sexually assaulted Lillian. From that evidence, BSO’s Crime Lab developed a suspect profile. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement then provided the second breakthrough. 
BSO asked FDLE to conduct a Familial Search of its State of Florida Qualifying Offender DNA Database in this case. This technique uses the forensic DNA profile to search for possible first order (parent/child or full sibling) male relatives to the contributor. That testing identified a known offender who had spent time in Florida prison and whose DNA was on file. The known offender was a possible close relative of the DNA contributor in Lillian’s murder. That lead led detectives to a man named Johnny Mack Brown. 
Detectives learned that Brown once lived a few houses away from Lillian in the 1990’s and was a Vietnam War veteran. His family said he struggled with PTSD and drug addiction. Brown had also been deceased for more than a decade. 
The final breakthrough came this past August when BSO detectives got a court order to exhume Brown’s remains from the South Florida National Cemetery in Palm Beach County. Investigators collected tissue samples from Brown’s remains, and testing by BSO’s Crime Lab showed that Brown’s DNA was consistent with the DNA left at the crime scene. The results were more than conclusive – the DNA results are 66.8 trillion times more likely that they came from Brown and DeCloe than if they came from DeCloe and another person. 
Finally, detectives presented their findings to the Broward State Attorney’s Office for review. Prosecutors agreed with BSO’s findings that Brown was involved in DeCloe’s murder. After a nearly three decades-long journey for justice, Lillian DeCloe’s family believes that she can finally rest in peace as her murder is now considered solved and exceptionally cleared. 

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Construction to close part of Eller Street Dec. 19-23 for Brightline in Deerfield

Posted on 13 December 2022 by JLusk

The construction continues for Brightlines extension to Orlando, the opening of certain stops, like in Boca Raton, and more. In Deerfield Beach, in particular, on Eller Street, there will be daily flagging operations and full closure from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in areas, from Dec. 19-23.

Detour Information:
Eastbound Eller St. traffic will be directed to travel north on NW 2nd Ave. to W. Hillsboro Blvd., travel east on W. Hillsboro Blvd. to NE 2nd Ave. and travel south on NE 2nd Ave. to access Eller St.
Westbound Eller St. traffic will be directed to travel north on NE 2nd Ave. to W. Hillsboro Blvd., travel west on W. Hillsboro Blvd. to NW 2nd Ave. and travel south on NW 2nd Ave. to access Eller St.

For more info. on Brightline, visit  www.gobrightline.com.

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BSO Makes Arrest in Fatal Shooting–Pompano

Posted on 13 December 2022 by JLusk

Broward Sheriff’s Office V.I.P.E.R. (Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response) detectives arrested a suspect wanted for a fatal shooting that occurred last November in Pompano Beach.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., on Nov. 16, BSO deputies responded to a call reporting a shooting near the 300 block of West Copans Road in Pompano Beach. On scene, deputies located the victim, Michael Walters, suffering from a gunshot wound. Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue also responded and transported Walters to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced deceased. 
BSO’s Homicide Unit detectives were notified and responded to the scene to investigate. Through their investigation, detectives determined Austin Henry was the suspect responsible for the homicide and obtained an arrest warrant for his capture.  
On Thursday, Dec. 8, V.I.P.E.R. detectives located and arrested Henry in Palm Beach County. Henry was booked at the Palm Beach County Jail and later transferred to BSO’s Main Jail. He faces one count of second-degree murder. 

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Cocktails with Santa–Thursday, Dec. 8

Posted on 08 December 2022 by JLusk

Come join the community in Deerfield for some light fare, spirits and good cheer… and even Santa! Bring your pooch for a picture! Event is at the Deerfield Beach Museum & Cultural Center at 84 SE 4 Ave.

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Deerfield Ice Cream Social with Santa

Posted on 08 December 2022 by JLusk

Saturday, December 10, from 6-8 p.m.
Oveta McKeithen Recreational Center
445 SW 2 St., Deerfield Beach.

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Former VP of Deerfield Historical Society Passes Away

Posted on 05 December 2022 by JLusk

Former Deerfield Historical Society VP Ron LaVergne passed away on Dec. 2.
LaVergne was well known in town and many commented on his passing, including former president for the historical society, Emily Lilly, who said, “Ron was one of our best cheerleaders for the Deerfield Beach Historical Society. Along with his many connections to non-profits, he always had the Society’s best interests at heart and he never missed an opportunity to share his time and wealth of experience with the Society. His commitment will be sorely missed by us and the entire non-profit community.”
Current president T.J. Eagen added, “He was such a wonderful man and did so much for our city. His memory will live on and he will be remembered as an important part of Deerfield Beach History.
According to his family, as posted on Facebook, his service will be held this Saturday, December 10 at 11 a.m. at:
Advent Church Boca
300 East Yamato Rd
Boca Raton, FL
Lunch will be served in Fellowship Hall immediately following the Service.
Photo above cropped from family photo found on Facebook. Below: More photos of Ron at The Butler House with his family for Breakfast with Santa a few years ago, at another Historical Society event with his wife,  Mary Louise, and with Santa and Mrs. Claus and Mary Louise again at The Butler House for Breakfast with Santa. Taken by Rachel Galvin:

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Celebrate the Holidays at Sample-McDougald House

Posted on 02 December 2022 by JLusk

Join the Sample-McDougald historic home staff for a Night of Caroling. This family event will take place on Dec. 14 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the home, located at 450 NE 10 St. in Pompano. In addition to caroling, there will be arts and crafts for the kids, gifts provided by Miss Christmas Joy, lite bites, open bar and even a visit from Santa. This is a great time to tour the home. You also can get holiday family photo sessions. Admission is $15 or free for those who become members or renew at the door. Free for kids under 12. For more info., visit www.samplemcdougald.org.

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