Boat with 750 pounds of marijuana intercepted off Boca Raton coast

BOCA RATON, Fla. – Six people were taken into custody Saturday after a boat with 750 pound of marijuana was intercepted by the Coast Guard off the coast of Boca Raton.

Officials said a Coast Guard cutter conducted a safety boarding of a 35-foot sport fisher about 11 miles east of Boca Raton.

As the cutter crew came alongside the vessel, they saw a package being jettisoned overboard, which was later recovered by a Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale crew.

The cutter crew discovered an additional 17 bales and three packages aboard — seizing about 750 pounds of marijuana.

Aboard the intercepted vessel were three Bahamians, two Jamaicans and one Guyanese.

“This interdiction is a direct success of our focused efforts to defeat these transnational criminal networks,” said Cmdr. Willie Carmichael, acting chief of enforcement for Seventh Coast Guard District said in a news release. “Our newest fast response cutters have proven critical in defending our maritime border, which these criminal organizations seek to exploit.”

The Coast Guard says they are constantly patrolled the waters between the Bahamas and Florida to detect, deter and stop drug smuggling.

Miami-based @USCG cutter crew intercepts suspected drug-smuggling operation. Read more here https://lnks.gd/2/3mWW6d 

 

CHRIS SALAMONE

(LEADER, AUTHOR, ATTORNEY)

 https://vimeo.com/user37757029

 

Boca Raton to open waterfront park at former Wildflower nightclub site

After a fierce six-year debate, more than 2 acres of concrete slab in downtown Boca Raton is on its way to becoming a park.

City Council members this week officially re-designated the former Wildflower nightclub site as a public park Monday. The move is the realization of a public movement that sparked a referendum in November and caused the city to scrap plans for a restaurant at the site.

“It’s a slow-turning ship to get everything done,” Boca City Council member Andrea O’Rourke said. “But it’s happening, it’s in the works and we’re looking forward to that.”

O’Rourke helped push for the referendum last year that caused the change of plans for the property at 552 E. Palmetto Park Road.

Now, the city is working on adding some upgrades before the site is completely redesigned. Plans include rebuilding the sea wall abutting the Intracoastal and putting in a walkway underneath the Palmetto Park bridge to connect the property to Silver Palm Park.

“These are elements that will be included in whatever plan comes to fruition, and the permitting takes time, about six to nine months, so we wanted to get those things in place first,” said Boca spokeswoman Chrissy Gibson.

Ariana Grande to leave Boca, return to Manchester for benefit concert

Pop star Ariana Grande, who returned home to Boca Raton after her Manchester, England concert was the site of a deadly terrorist bombing Monday night, will return to Manchester to hold a benefit concert, the singer announced on Twitter.

“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before,” Grande wrote on Twitter.

Grande, a South Florida native, returned by private jet to Boca Raton Airport following the bombing. She had just finished her set at the Manchester Arena before the explosion killed 22 people and injured 59.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Grande shared plans to return to England to spend time with fans and honor and raise money for the victims’ families. The details of the benefit concert and her return to Europe have not been shared.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Grande shared a message of unity and positivity following the tragedy, encouraging her fans to not “operate in fear.”

“We will never be able to understand why events like this take place because it is not in our nature, which is why we shouldn’t recoil. We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win.”

Grande, whose “Dangerous Woman Tour” began in February, thanked her fans and fellow celebrities who wished her well following the ordeal.

Friday’s tweet was Grande’s first since she previously shared her disbelief on Twitter shortly after the attack: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry.”

Grande had cancelled European shows through June 5, according to her website. Her next scheduled show is June 7 at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France.

It’s unclear if the benefit concert will affect the rest of her scheduled tour. The tour is not scheduled to come to the United States.

Grande, whose family lives in Boca Raton, has strong roots in South Florida. She was born in Boca, and attended schools in Broward County, The Palm Beach Post has previously reported.

She appeared in children’s theater in Boca and Fort Lauderdale, and sand with Boca Raton-based symphonies.

Following the attack, an emotional Grande reportedly met boyfriend and fellow artist Mac Miller at Boca Raton Airport.

Grande tweeted that music will help heal her fans in the wake of the tragedy.

“Music is something that everyone on Earth can share,” she wrote. “Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together, to make us happy. So that is what it will continue to do for us.”

Salman Abedi, 22, was identified as the bomber and was believed to have been killed in the incident.

The bombing was another incident in which violent extremists have targeted mass entertainment venues.

Last year’s Pulse massacre in Orlando, a street-festiv

al attack in Nice and nightclub killings in Istanbul Kuala Lumpur and Tel Aviv all involved vulnerable, large gatherings of people.

The pop superstar’s worldwide fan base is primarily female and young. Ten of the 22 victims from the bombing were under 20 years old, including an 8-year-old girl. Grande, 23, broke into the national spotlight in 2009 with a powerful voice along with a four-season appearance on Nickelodian’s Victorious.

She has three American Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, three MTV Europe Music Awards and four Grammy Award nominations. All three of her albums have been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

She has close to 107 million Instagram followers, second only to Selena Gomez.

 CHRIS SALAMONE

 

Girls basketball: Boca Raton’s Hannah Pratt commits to Columbia

Boca Raton’s girls basketball team is sending another player to the Ivy League.

Rising senior forward Hannah Pratt committed to Columbia on Monday, according to Bobcats coach Nhu Nguyen.

As a junior, Pratt average 8.3 points and six rebounds per game while playing solid defense. She was a second-team All-Area pick as a junior last season as she helped Boca Raton win the Class 9A state basketball title. Her teammates, Rachel Levy and Grace Marko, were Co-Players of the Year.

Levy is also Ivy League-bound. The graduating senior will play basketball for Harvard next year — she is one of three Palm Beach County players headed to the Boston area to play women’s basketball, along with Marko and Cardinal Newman’s Milan Morris.

Boca Raton rising senior Hannah Pratt committed to Columbia. (Photo provided)

 

Boca Raton firm sees mad scramble as foreign investors attempt to beat deadline to get green cards

BOCA RATON, Fla. – From hotels to restaurants, foreign investors have made their mark in South Florida. In some cases, investors earned American citizenship through their investment.

Now leaders in Washington, D.C. are debating how to move forward with the EB-5 program as it is set to end next Friday.

Just like fresh ingredients make the perfect meal, the right pieces have to come together to form a successful investment.

When Alex Rudolph took the Tap42 concept from Fort Lauderdale to Boca Raton, foreign investors were part of his recipe.

They’re not just paying for a green card, they’re investing in the business because they have faith in the business like we do,” Rudolph pointed out, adding his has personal relationships with his investors.

The program allows foreigners to fast track their green card by investing at least $500,000 in American projects that create a minimum of 10 jobs.

Families from Vietnam, India, Argentina, and Italy have all expressed interest in partnering with Rudolph. Many of his partners frequent his restaurants. Locations in Coral Gables and Midtown Miami were also funded through the EB-5 program.

“Restaurants, hotels, assisted living facilities, you see it all over Palm Beach County,” explained Lauren Cohen. She connects investors and businesses through her Boca-based company, e-Council, Inc.

Since the program is set to expire, Cohen said there is a mad dash from investors to find out what the future holds.

“Investors want to take advantage of the opportunity while it’s there,” Cohen said.

Critics argue the EB-5 program allows foreigners to buy American citizenship for their families and skirt traditional routes.

But Cohen said she believes EB-5 kept businesses pumping and Americans employed through the Great Recession.

“Projects need money and the country needs economic stimulation, that’s not going away anytime soon,” Cohen said.

She admitted the program could use reforms. It’s basic outline hasn’t changed since 1993. She expects Congress will extend the program at the last minute. And then increase the minimum amount the government requires investors to contribute.

Rudolph hopes Congress serves the program new life so he can open new restaurants. He has plans for two more locations. Each one would employ about 75 people.

“It’s a great opportunity for people from other countries to be able to live the American Dream, and also for us to get to interact and have investors from all over the world, as opposed to a bank giving us a loan, writing a check and saying, ‘We’ll see you later, good luck with your business,’ ” Rudolph said.

A spokesperson from Senator Marco Rubio’s office said Rubio supports the program, but would like to see changes to cut out abuse and fraud.

CHRIS SALAMONE

Boca Raton prepares for annual Boca Bash

On Sunday the party will be on Lake Boca. The annual Boca Bash is a grassroots gathering of people and their boats.

On Saturday boaters were busy prepping their boats for the Boca Bash event. Boca Raton Police and FWC will be out stopping boats.

Authorities will also be making sure captains have life jackets, flares and other legally required safety equipment.

Law enforcement will be out making sure people are being responsible and not boating under the influence.

The city does not control the event, however city leaders say they don’t mind if the event continues as long as people are safe.

“The city takes extra precautions to make sure that its safe. Boca Police and Boca Fire will be on hand along with the federal government. Boca has also closed down the boat ramp just to make sure that boaters can boat there just so that we don’t have people waiting to board boats to get into the lake,” says Councilman Scott Singer.

Rain is in the forecast and according to the event’s Facebook page, it could be rescheduled if the weather is too severe.

CHRIS SALAMONE

Holistic Organic Wellness in Boca Raton expands to a new location, bringing new wellness options to the community!

BOCA RATON, FL – 11 Apr, 2017 – Residents and visitors in Boca Raton now have an ideal place to go for relaxation, detoxification, skin care, and other wellness essentials. Holistic Organic Wellness (HOW) has expanded and moved to a new location in the center of the Boca Plaza on Federal Highway.

Boca Raton Florida
Boca Raton Florida

The HOW center opened three years ago to bring healing modalities and natural products to those looking for an alternative or complement to conventional medicine, and to those wanting to enhance their mind and body wellness practices.

The unique HOW center is an oasis for finding peace and healing. They offer a range of holistic services and products for women and men of all ages.

The HOW center is hosting a wellness fair on Saturday, May 6th from 1–7pm. Demonstrations, educational talks, healthy food, and organic wine samples will be offered, as well as deeply discounted services available exclusively to attendees.

“We like to show people HOW to change their lifestyles one variable at a time,” explains Adriana Guardia, co-owner of the center. “Our clients come to us for high-quality, effective products. Others come to find relief from the stress of the daily grind and relax for thirty minutes in a footbath. From our customized facials and skin care products to seasonal cleanses and homeopathic sprays, our clients choose us because we provide a variety of tools without being overwhelming.”

Visitors to the HOW Center are greeted, and often surprised with the welcoming, comfortable environment not found in many high-end spas today. Customers view the HOW Center as a home away from home, and their own personal sanctuary regularly commenting that they feel relaxed just upon arriving to Boca Plaza.

Stephanie Cimino, a second generation certified Aromatherapist and Esthetician, co-owns the center with Guardia. Cimino has a wealth of knowledge on the topics of skin care, energy healing, personal empowerment, and whole-body wellness. Both she and Guardia are extremely passionate about holistic health and self-care, and they are equally passionate about educating others on integrating these practices in an achievable way.

“We combine science with spirituality,” Cimino shares. “By using expertise and intuition we are able to address individuals on a holistic level: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and energetically.”

The Holistic Organic Wellness center is a true retreat for those looking to detoxify, beautify, purify, and pamper. Services include ionic foot baths, customized facials, energy & chakra balancing, nutritional guidance, aromatherapy workshops, yoga classes, and so much more.

The center is now offering TEN DOLLAR THURSDAYS as the perfect opportunity for new clients to “meet the HOW girls”, sample services, and learn about Holistic Organic Wellness.

Media Contact
Company Name: Holistic Organic Wellness
Contact Person: MARIA GUARDIA
Email: maguardia@holisticorganicwellness.com
Phone: 5619550099
Country: United States

Chris Salamone