Page 24 article text (OCR)
2B THE PALM BEACH POST TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1997 c Badcoek gets OK for 10 -story tower Other action By Marcia Gelbart Point Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH Badcock's Economy Furniture Store received a go-ahead Monday on year-old plans to put a 10-story office tower and five-story parking garage on vacant land on the DowntownUptown site. Commissioners approved the site plan, at the northwest corner of Dixie Highway and Okeechobee Boulevard, by a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Nancy Graham casting the deciding ballot. Also voting for the plan were Commissioners Howard Warshauer and Joel Daves. Commissioner Mary Hooks was absent But the commission required that the ground floor of the garage be used for retail. The plan had to be voted on by Dec. 31 to comply with a settlement agreement between the city and Badcoek. The project, called Badcoek Plaza, could mean the relocation of the store's Clematis Street headquarters. Overall, the plan calls for 42,000-square-feet of retail and general commercial space; 20,000-square-feet of office space; and 6,552-square-feet of work-live lofts. The parking garage would have 375 spaces. But store President James C. Baber may also decide to sell the land. It is currently being marketed. Baber is in jail until Dec. 17, when he will be sentenced on a DUI manslaughter charge. He could go to prison for 17 years. According to testimony, Baber has assets of $3.87 million and liabilities of $1.67 million, for a net worth of $2.2 million. Commissioners rejected the Oct. 21 recommendation of the planning board to eliminate two planned plaza entrances on Okeechobee and Quadrille boulevards. But they agreed that Badcoek should be responsible for moving all utility lines. City officials rejected the project last year, partially in an attempt to keep the land vacant for the $375 million development of CityPlace. But after negotiations, the city in March dropped its efforts to seize the 3-acre parcel through eminent domain. WEST PALM BEACH City commissioners Monday agreed to give $59,000 to Robert McFadden, who was shot by West Palm Beach police officer John Palladino in 1992. McFadden had alleged, in part, that Palladino used excessive force. Commissioners also took the following action: POLICE BUILDING: Approved payment of $22,506 to the law firm of Steel Hector & Davis, which represented the city in a contract dispute related to work done on the police administration building and parking garage. NATURE PRESERVE: Authorized an interlocal agreement between the city and the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission to spend $652,000 in state grant money to expand the Loxahatchee Preserve Nature Center. WEEDSEED REVIEW: Agreed to pay $38,000 from the Weed and Seed Grant Fund to Thomas Blomberg of Florida State University to evaluate the Justice Department-funded anti-drug program. "2. - J r- . tnin... A N m Okeechobea Blvd. mm "7 7 I n - J 15? o :i o ; s TV? Belvedere Rd TIP!1 MARK HEMPHILLStaff Artis -Ji.- c ifyi.i Seizure caused fatal crash, attorney claims Lt'LLElte Ia1El-QI.iV f PALM BEACH INTERACTIVE Up to 20 stories from 56 area communities at www.GoPBI.comYourTown 1 w BOCA RATON Funeral services for the four members of Ewart family who died when their single-engine airplane crashed Wednesday near Florence, S.C., will begin at 11 a.m. today at the Spanish River Church, 2400 NW 51 St. Killed in the crash were West Palm Beach lawyer Mark Ewart, 41, a former county prosecutor and Broward sheriffs deputy; his wife Nancy, 36; and Mark Ewart's daughters from a previous marriage, Michelle, 16, and Catherin, 14. RIVIERA BEACH The state agreed Monday to end an $845,100 contract with an emergency shelter, where violent acts, including two stabbings within a week, plagued the center. The Henry and Rilla White Foundation, which operated the shelter, will lose its contract and license on Dec. 31, according to the Department of Children and Families. The foundation, which opened the Kurt Emmanuel Haire Shelter for Children in June, must now lay off 30 employees who staffed the shelter, said William Schossler, the foundation's president. Schossler said he will discuss with his board of directors whether to appeal the decision, an option allowed by state law. DCF continues to remove the foster children who lived at the shelter. A month after opening, a 17-year-old female resident was raped, and two girls who also lived at the shelter were charged. A third boy, with lived in the neighborhood, was also charged. Two weeks ago, there was two stabbings within seven days, prompting DCF's latest action. Regina Ann Cassera, 37, was killed in the crash in May 1996. ByVal Ellkott Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH - A man charged in a crash that killed a Delray Beach woman last year suffered an epileptic seizure and was convulsing uncontrollably just before he sped through a red light, his attorney told jurors Monday. Mark Snyder is charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence and vehicular homicide in the May 1996 death of Regina Ann Cassera, 37, at Congress and Atlantic avenues in Delray Beach. Witnesses said Snyder, heading west on Atlantic, drove his pickup truck at about 60 mph through the intersection, against a red light, colliding with a minivan driven by Cassera's husband, Joseph, who was turning left from southbound Congress onto east-bound Atlantic. Joseph Cassera, the couple's two children and Joseph Cassera's sister were injured in the accident. Snyder, 54, of Delray Beach, has a history of epilepsy and experienced two seizures in the hospital after the crash, his attorney, Mitch Beers, told jurors. "Eyes opened, rolled back arms jerking," Beers said, reading from hospital records. He said the anti-convulsive medication Snyder took the day of TV 1 I LIU XINStaff Photographer Defendant Mark Snyder of Delray Beach and his lawyer, Robin Gerstein, arrive in court Monday.1 Snyder is charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence and vehicular homicide. , witnesses saw Snyder maneuvering through traffic just before entering the intersection, which she said proves he was in control. And when paramedics questioned Snyder after the crash, he did not tell them he had suffered a seizure, the crash didn't work, a defense he promised to back up with testimony from an expert on epilepsy and driving. "You will hear that this is excusable," Beers told jurors. Prosecutor Ellen Roberts said Roberts said. ; "The question is, did he drive recklessly, did he expose others to great harm, was his negligence gross?" she said. "He should have known he was going to kill some-i body." ; JUPITER Nicole Cooper, 8, of 1590 62nd St. South, West Palm Beach, remained in serious condition Monday at St. Mary's Medical Center, following a crash Sunday on Interstate 95 at Indiantown Road. Her brother, Robert, 7, died in the wreck, which occurred at 4:30 p.m. when their grandmother, Maureen Quarento, lost control of her 1990 Ford because of wet conditions, the Florida Highway Patrol reported. A tractor-trailer driven by Robert Holmes, 53, of Plant City, struck the car. Quarento, 48, of 1913 Montague St., Lake Worth, received minor injuries. Holmes was not injured. Ml 5 m e aw Kim mtw r i ti ms n mm if J warn WEST PALM BEACH A judge on Monday delayed a hearing for the only man who has been arrested in connection with the Oct. 14 shooting of a Boca Raton couple. After the state attorney's office said it was unprepared, Circuit Judge Paul Moyle postponed the arraignment of Eddie Stafford, who was arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit attempted murder. Stafford, 43, of Hollywood, Fla., appeared in court, but was sent back to his jail cell when prosecutor Frank Castor asked for an extra day. Stafford was arrested by Boca Raton police on Oct. 30, more than two weeks after John and Heather Grossman were shot while stopped at a light at Federal Highway and Yamato Road. John Grossman was shot in the chin, but Heather Grossman, who was shot in the neck, spent weeks recovering at Delray Medical Center. The state was scheduled to file formal charges against Stafford on Monday, 30 days after his arrest. Moyle asked: "The state hasn't filed on these kinds of charges?" The state attorney's office refused to comment on why it requested the delay. (Well, almost nobody.) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will speak at the Dec. 19 noon luncheon of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches at the Helen Wilkes Hotel, 201 N. Flagler Dr., West Palm Beach. Thomas, a justice since since 1991, was nominated by former President George Bush. Public tickets are $20 and must be purchased in advance by calling the Forum Club at 688-2247. 1 Pahokee group loses bid for vote By Jennifer Peltz Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PAHOKEE Protesters came up short in their campaign to restructure city government, but they say they won't take "not enough" for an answer. The group needed 243 signatures 10 percent of the city's registered voters on a petition for a vote on its suggestion. The group gathered 401 signatures in 1995, but county elections officials recently found that only 222 were valid. "It's a dead issue, as far as we're concerned," City Manager Ken Schenck said. But leader Larry Wright said Monday that the group, now called Save the Town of Pahokee, plans to circulate the petition again, this time making sure the signers are eligible. Commissioners made rules last week for such petitions: At least five backers must make a presentation about their ideas and vouch that no signatures have been forged. Wright said his group mostly wants an elected police chief and a more hands-on mayor elected directly by residents instead of chosen by city commissioners. "What we want is, absolutely, someone we can go to and say, 'this isn't working,' " he said. Store owner: Lotto winner Svas shaking' He may or may not have sold it, but M.A. Kahn said he saw the $26 million Lotto ticket and the man holding it. Kahn recognized the man who entered his Texaco station on U.S. 1 at Lantana Road Monday morning as a regular customer. The man, whom Kahn said is from Jamaica, buys gasoline and Lotto tickets there, he said. And just after 7:30 a.m., the man found out he was a winner a $26 million winner, to be precise. "He was shaking," store employee Anees Rahman said. "He couldn't believe that he was the The city council on Monday night: ANNEXATION: Unanimously approved on final reading the annexation of 3.5 acres of land on the north side of 10th Avenue North between Broward and Walker avenues. Two office buildings, three single-family homes and five duplexes are planned for the vacant property. RIVER BRIDGE: Endorsed a resolution asking Palm Beach County commissioners to convey a parcel of land just west of the final portion of the River Bridge development to the city so that the developer can use the land to meet Greenacres' 25-foot setback requirement. Clematis Street vendors reduced WEST PALM BEACH Week after week, during bad For last-minute gifts, delivered on time and for a great price, choose Express Mail from your post office. Overnight delivery to most locations. Even on Christmas Day. For as little as $10.75. All major credit and most debit cards now accepted at most locations. For more holidsy help, visitusonthe Internet at: www.usps.goWholijay97 weather and empty nights, almost 20 street artists have stood together each Thursday on Clematis Street selling their hand-made goods. Now, after three years, a dozen have been banned, just as the holiday season begins and tourism picks up. "In no small part, it's the original vendors who've been there from the beginning who have contributed to the revi-talization," said Jeffery Croucher, a single- 5 f l-vf UNITEDSTATES 8 I . POSTAL SERVICE,. parent and full-time student. Mary Pinak, head of the city's community events department, said the artists are chosen by a panel of judges every 15 weeks. Most recently, they received 46 application for 24 spots. "We do encourage them to reapply," Pinak said of the dozen rejected. Commissioner Jeff Koons suggested staff re-examine the review process. Meanwhile, the artists are stuck with their goods. "Christmas season is here. We have people people coming and looking for us," said Ellen Pasahow. "It's going to hurt my Christmas. This is what I do." Marcia Gelbart 'At no extra charge v? winner.