Lake Worth gets ready to jam…what else is new?

Tui Avei, lead singer of The Late Ones, performs in front of hundreds of fans at Lake Worth’s Bryant Park during the Reggae Fest last year. (Palm Beach Post photo)

LAKE WORTH — Yeah, mon, almost time for the 19th Annual Reggae Fest at Bryant Park.

This year the event will be held April 21-23.

Featured performers include Maxi Priest (Saturday); Long Beach Dub Allstars (Saturday) and Collie Buddz (Sunday).

AOS Live, the event management company that took over Reggae Fest last year, produces the event with Deuterman Productions.

Organizers have said the event attracts up to 10,000 people and is one of the most popular in Lake Worth.

Lake Worth park ribbon cutting ceremony postponed

Domino Park, where residents play dominoes, checkers and host picnics, recently got $38,000 worth of improvements. (Contributed)

LAKE WORTH — Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the $38,000 in improvements to Domino Park has been postponed, the city said this afternoon.

The event is now scheduled for April 15.

The switch was made from Tuesday to a Saturday to allow for better community pariticpation, Ben Kerr, city spokesman told The Palm Beach Post.

The city cleared out a few Australian pines and native vegetation to make way for a pavilion, benches, a sidewalk and mulch at the site on South G Street between South 8th and 9th avenues where residents play dominoes, checkers and host picnics. The project took about three weeks, with the mulch and benches expected to be added this week, the city said.

Lake Worth used money from the Community Development Block Grant program for the project, with the city adding $11,000 of its own money.

This Lake Worth resident needs your vote…but for what?

South Grade Elementary school teacher Rebecca Hinson is hoping to win a $25,000 grant for her small book publishing business. (Kevin D. Thompson/The Palm Beach Post)

LAKE WORTH — The elections may be over, but they’re not for Rebecca Hinson.

No, she’s not running for office. But the South Grade Elementary school teacher is trying to win a $25,000 grant in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, a program that awards ten small businesses with grants of up to $25,000.

Hinson, owns and operates a small Lake Worth publishing company that prints a series of children’s books Hinson wrote and which are aimed at celebrating diverse cultures. She uses the books as a teaching tool.

The books have covered Guatemala, Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States. The subjects range from Mayan backstrap weaving to the art of Haiti to the Emancipation Proclamation.

“This grant will go a long way in helping my business,” Hinson said.

One winner gets $25,000. The second place winner receives $15,000. There will be eight $7,500 grant winners.

Voting ends April 5.

The top 100 finalists will be announced April 13, with the winners revealed April 25.

To get more information or vote, click here.

President Trump’s immigration ban likely to be big topic at PBSC forum

People protesting against President Trump’s ban on immigrants returning from a list of seven countries at the Palm Beach International Airport earlier this year. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)

LAKE WORTH — Since President Donald Trump was elected, the immigration issue has been in the news frequently, making Palm Beach State College’s upcoming discussion more timely than ever.

On Thursday, the college is scheduled to host “Immigration & Civil Liberties in a New Era” on the campus west of Lake Worth,  4200 S. Congress Ave.

There will be three speakers:  Nancy Abudu, director of legal operations at the Florida American Civil Liberties Union; John DeLeon, attorney and past president of the Miami-Dade ACLU and Wilfredo Ruiz, communications director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The discussion starts at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Public Safety Building, room 108.


How a nonprofit chairman is helping the homeless in Palm Beach County

The Lord’s Place Chairman Mark Montgomery (left), with his family, daughter, Madelyn; wife, Ashlyn and son, Marshal. (Contributed)

To help promote The Lord’s Place 10th Annual SleepOut, Mark Montgomery, the event’s chairman, on Friday will walk 15 miles from the group’s administrative offices in West Palm Beach to the Men’s Campus in Boynton Beach.

The SleepOut, scheduled for April 7, is where hundreds from across Palm Beach County call attention to the issue of homelessness by sleeping outside overnight. The event will be held at United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches, 900 Brandywine Road, West Palm Beach.

Montgomery will spend the night sleeping outside at The Lord’s Place Men’s Campus.

The public is invited to join Friday’s walk. Leaders from each of the five municipalities along the walk route — West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Lantana, Hypoluxo and Boynton Beach — have been invited as well.

The walk starts at 8 a.m., with the route primarily on U.S. 1, from West Palm Beach to Boynton Beach, ending about 5:45 p.m.

Progress will be posted every 30 minutes on The Lord’s Place Facebook page.






Lake Worth sees jump in overdose and opioid calls for service

LAKE WORTH — Palm Beach County Fire Rescue received 1,000 more calls for service in fiscal year 2016 in Lake Worth, mostly because of the opioid and overdose crisis that’s been sweeping the county, City Commissioners were told Tuesday night.

The number of opioid-related and overdose calls in Lake Worth increased from 442 in fiscal year 2015 to 644 in 2016, Matt Gafney, Fire Rescue’s district chief, said.

“That’s one of the things we’re working on with the Heroin Task Force,” Gafney said, noting how the rescue office is expanding.

A social worker was recently hired to reach out to residents who need it the most.

“We can’t continue to run the same calls on the same people, bring them to the hospital because they just go right back into the system,” Gafney said. “They have other needs and that’s what we’re trying to bridge.”

Although the number of calls increased, Gafney said response times got better in Lake Worth, dropping 13 seconds.

“That’s the best time in the past five years,” Gafney said. “It’s something we’re seeing across the board.”






New Lake Worth commissioners stress working for all residents

New City Commissioners Omari Hardy (second from left) and Herman Robinson (second from right) were sworn in Tuesday afternoon. (Kevin D. Thompson/The Palm Beach Post)

LAKE WORTH — It’s official: Omari Hardy and Herman Robinson are city commissioners.

Hardy, 27, who will serve District 2 and Robinson, 71, a District 4 commissioner, were sworn in today by City Attorney Glen Torcivia  at a special meeting at City Hall.

Hardy, a civics teacher at Roosevelt Middle School, thanked his parents and sister and pledged to serve all residents.

“I believe it’s my job to represent this whole city,” Hardy said. “If you find I’m dismissive…or not listening, please let me know.”

He also thanked former Christopher McVoy for his service.

Hardy, who moved to Lake Worth three years ago, said his motivation to serve started about a year ago when he went to a Tropical Ridge Neighborhood Association meeting and heard residents’ frustrations.

“I wasn’t sure how I was going to give voice to those frustrations.,” he said. “I hope to solve some of those problems that gave rise to those frustrations.”

He added that many city residents, especially those who live west of Dixie Highway, feel the government doesn’t work for them.

“It’s the responsibility of everybody on this dias to inspire trust and to bring information to the people,” Hardy said.

Robinson, a long-time community organizer who has served on several city boards, echoed Hardy’s comments, saying it’s important for the commission to work for all resisdents.

Building trust is one of the keys to doing that, Robinson said.

Robinson also stressed he wants to see the Gulfstream Hotel renovation project move forward.

“I’m just ready to get to work,” Robinson said.






Road closings in Lake Worth for PrideFest parade

LAKE WORTH — To make room for PrideFest of the Palm Beaches‘ parade Sunday, the city said certain roads will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Those roads are: Lake Avenue from Dixie Highway to Golfview; Lucerne Avenue from Federal Highway to J Street and J Street between Lake and Lucerne avenues.

PrideFest, voted the best LGBT event of the year in 2014 and 2015 by readers of South Florida Gay News, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. in downtown Lake Worth at Bryant Park.




Looking for a spring break event in Lake Worth?

LAKE WORTH — Looking for a spring break event for the family this week?

The city has one.

It’s hosting a “Spring Break Beach Concert” Saturday at Lake Worth Beach Casino and Beach Complex. The concert is free and starts at noon and is for all ages. Featured performers include Guavatron; Bron Burbank Band; The Holidazed Spidercherry and Chemradery.

New Lake Worth community center for recovering addicts set to open

Maeva Renaud, executive director of Common Ground Community Development, is in charge of launching a new community center that will open April 8 the South J Street site where Bx Beer Depot used to be. (Kevin D. Thompson/The Palm Beach Post)

LAKE WORTH — Common Ground Church’s Community Development Center is scheduled to have its grand opening April 8 where Bx Beer Depot once stood on South J Street.

Common Ground Church Pastor Mike Olive is leasing the 1,784-square-foot space where the center will serve as an incubator for artists and budding entrepreneurs who are in recovery.

“We want to help entrepreneurs and artists develop their gift,” Olive, who has been managing the famed Bamboo Room since May 1, told The Palm Beach Post in January. “We want to help the city become everything it’s meant to be.”

Bx Beer Depot, the home brew supply store and brewpub, closed in January after seven months in business.

Maeva Renaud, executive director of Common Ground Community Development, a nonprofit that promotes artists and entrepreneurs, has said the center will offer a safe space for those trying to get their lives back on track.

There will be a stage, a reading center and a coffee bar.

“We want to make this space available for family friendly events,” Renaud said earlier this year.

City Commissioner Andy Amoroso has been critical of the center’s location.

“Recovery in a downtown entertainment business district where there is alcohol should not be,” Amoroso said in January. “It’s not conducive to what recovery is.”