The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 31, 1998 · Page 19
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March 31, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 19

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Tuesday, March 31, 1998
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Page 19
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The Palm Beach Post c SECTION B POWERFUL TIDES Dangerous rip currents along area beaches could last through the weekend. STORY, 4B PAY DOUBLES United Technologies pays its ' CEO $12 million, double what he earned in 1996. BUSINESS, 6B TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 1998 LOCAL NEWS Tough team to make r ' x. v Y J Developers must pay to exceed home limits ... ' X y . A " f I v. By Joel Engelhardt Palm Beach Post Staff Writer ' . WEST PALM BEACH Developers who want to build more homes than allowed by the county growth plan will have to pay for the right, county commissioners decided Monday. And commissioners accepted a suggestion from the environment-friendly 1000 Friends of Florida designed to help farmers sell the right to develop their land in the county's Agricultural Reserve. Commissioners voted 4-1, with Commissioner Ken Foster opposed, for the mandatory-pay approach. Developers oppose the program, viewing it as little more than extortion. They say the county will be charging for rights it now gives away. The program has been in place on a voluntary basis but seldom used since 1991. Supporters like the mandatory program because it caps the number of homes allowed in the county at the number approved now. Landowners who want to build more homes than authorized can buy rights from the county or from landowners with excess capacity. Commissioners Mary McCarty, Karen Marcus, Warren Newell and Maude Ford Lee voted for the , r Z JEAN HART HOWARDStaff Photographer Brian Kapper (center) and Ron Rowe (to right of Kapper) jog with other of SWAT team tryouts in West Palm Beach recently. The group had to run hopefuls to the Marine Corps rappel tower at the start of the second day from the police department to the tower and stay in step all the way. Two proudly joining W Palm SWAT unit Hf1 if Tj Li--0 L; j iT7. :i 'Z. By Tim Pallesen Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH Brian Kapper traces his desire to be on a SWAT team to his youth, when he watched the action TV . drama SWAT. "It goes back to being a kid, the TV shows and all," Kapper told a lieutenant and two sergeants during his March 20 interview for the West Palm Beach squad. Kapper, 27, got his wish Monday. The West Palm Beach police officer was one of two chosen to fill vacancies on the elite 25-man team that's trained to handle the most dangerous situations such as hostage standoffs in Palm Beach County's largest city. "You're the last line of defense for the police department," Lt Ron Sowers, the SWAT team commander, said as he congratulated Kapper and Ron Rowe. Only four of 10 original applicants survived the rigorous two-day physical testing that's required before the oral exams. Rowe made the team because of his "determination" after fire-rescue paramedics needed to assist him in his March 9 tryout when he threw up during the 50-minute run. "It would have been easy for him to have given up because of the weak- Flease see SWAT4B approach and Commissioners Burt Aaronson and Carol Roberts were absent. The approach, which still must undergo state and regional reviews, is called mandatory even though it allows developers to proceed under cur: rent rules, which allow for additional homes if planning criteria are met. But by pushing the mandatory label, commissioners make it clear they would not look favorably on developers who follow the current approach. The county charges $5,575 for every extra unit it allows. The amount is so low, critics say, private landowners would have a tough time competing. To give them a better chance, 1000 Friends of Florida Legal Director Terrell Arline suggested the county sell rights only for development east of Florida's Turnpike. Developers looking to add density west of the turnpike but within the county's urban service boundary could buy the rights only from private landowners. That would create a market for farmers in the Ag Reserve, who could sell the right to put homes on their land but continue farming. , Downtown projects deserve lower fees, developer argues By Rebecca Goldsmith Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH The state policymakers who dreamed up Eastward Ho! the concept of redeveloping urban coastal areas before breaking ground near the Everglades must have been thinking of places like Clematis Street and Atlantic Avenue. These downtown hubs of pedestrian-friendly entertainment in West Palm Beach and Delray Beach draw people and cars to the urban east So why are the visionaries who transformed these once sleepy, shabby downtowns slapped with hefty impact fees whenever they renovate a mom and pop furniture store to make room for The Gap? Renaissance Partners, the developer of Clematis Street, wants county officials to answer that question, and in the process, to reduce impact fees in community redevelopment agency areas. David Frisbie, the managing principal of Renaissance, thinks the county should give investors an incentive to make downtown improvements. Hease see IMPACT FEE43 JEAN HART HOWARDStaff Photographer Officers Ron Rowe (left) and Brian Kapper hear the news that they made the SWAT team from team commander Lt. Ron Sowers on Monday. School district computer system aims to end overspending Miltenberger, who is now on probation. The new system will be able to track bids spanning more than a budget year and give a warning when purchases get close to bid limits. Meanwhile, Swan said she may ask the board to allow buyers to go a set percentage over the bid limits, if deemed necessary, before returning to the board to ask for more money. "Right now, I don't have the authority to go one penny over," she said. place to assure that overspending didn't occur. The first time the need for a tracking system became apparent was at the start of 1997, when the food service department spent three times more than approved on printing. At the time, there was an unwritten policy that allowed purchases to exceed board approval. The investigation into food service overspending led to findings that produced unrelated criminal charges against former food service chief Joy "Well track everything we spend this way," Swan said Monday during a demonstration. The program was created after the school district spent hundreds of thousands of dollars more than approved on cleaning supplies last year. Superintendent Joan Kowal shut down the department for several days and put Gus Lopez, the purchasing manager, on paid leave and later said she would not renew his contract That was months after a computer system was said to have been put in By Stephanie Desmon Palm Beach Post Staff Writer ' This computer program won't let school staffers spend money they don't have. It won't let them spend more than authorized by the school board. And it keeps track of how much they've spent over the years for specific items. At least that's what's supposed to happen once the Palm Beach County School District's computerized bid-tracking system is running full time in mid- to late-April, predicts Sharon Swan, director of procurement. ySA Donald Ross Rd. . N 1 Palm Beach Gardens nPr.A Blvd. Turnpike ; Areas where crimes occurred 1. Cadillac stolen from Sam's Club parking lot. 2. Credit Union Center robbed. 3. Stolen car dumped. Police say the suspects drive away in maroon Mitsubishi. 4. Mitsubishi dumped. Toyota Corolla carjacked. .5 1 i II V v-j i uj ... imuiu iiorcz uiiu Diuiara C rVirrlla rrachpc nn diiarrlrail on south. VVIVHU 1 " ' ' O " ' w I'll ! neacn Y f Blue Herpii Blvd. 6. Two suspects caught by West Palm Beach police. 7. Gun found behind Days Inn. . M I ..if f M V -v V - 1 v ?- . K - ' west 8. Third suspect caught on foot. Palm Beach i1 0; .y : Three arrested in carjacking, armed robbery A credit union teller was pistol-whipped by a masked men. Two women were were forced out of their car at gunpoint. By Kristin Vaughan Palm Beach Post Staff Writer A group of bandits robbed a credit union and pistol-whipped a teller Monday in a crime spree from West Palm Beach to Palm Beach Gardens and back that included a carjacking in w hich the driver was assaulted, police said. It started about 10:30 a.m. when the men allegedly stole an older model blue and white Cadillac from the parking lot of Sam's Club on 45th Street in West Palm Beach, police said. Fifteen minutes later the group four or five men wearing masks and sheets over their clothing brandished handguns as they entered the lobby of the Credit Union Center, 4060 UNA LAWSON Staff Artist onto the eastbound Blue Heron Boulevard exit Driving on a flat tire, the men abandoned the Mitsubishi and the stolen money underneath the 1-95 overpass. Police said two women in a gold Toyota Corolla were the next targets. Joanne Oliphant, 30, of West Palm Beach, said she was stopped at the light on Blue Heron and 1-95 when she saw the Mitsubishi run the light and stop. She said three people ran toward her, one was brandishing a gun. Please see CRMU2B E.A. KENNEDY IllStaff Photographer PGA Blvd. They demanded money, pistol-whipped a teller, then took off with a cash register drawer and bags filled with an undisclosed amount of money. Palm Beach Gardens SgL Robert Artola said. The teller, who was not identified, was treated for head injuries. The men ditched the Cadillac in the parking lot of the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott about a block away, got into a maroon Mitsubishi Galant and headed south, police said. Talm Beach Gardens police spotted the car on Interstate 95 and followed it Woman convicted of masterminding hit for beau WEST PALM BEACH - Misti Ehriich weeps as she is fingerprinted Monday at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. Ehriich, 21, was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder. Sentencing is set for May 14. STORY, 4B

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