Three stories worth watching in 2017 in Palm Beach Gardens

Cars drive through the intersection of Military Trail and Northlake Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens on August 27, 2015.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Cars drive through the intersection of Military Trail and Northlake Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens on August 27, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Now that it’s a new year, here are three topics to keep an eye on.

  1. Central Boulevard and Northlake Boulevard interchanges: The Florida Department of Transportation’s proposed new I-95 interchange at Central Boulevard has drawn the wrath of people who live nearby. Some officials say it’s needed to handle the future growth in that area. The FHA should be reviewing the plan in 2017, according to a timeline on FDOT’s website.

    Two of three options for changes to the Northlake interchange would require homeowners or businesses to move. Acquiring the additional right-of-way will cost FDOT an estimated $90 to $132 million.

  2. Nouman Raja trial: Look for developments in the criminal case of the former Palm Beach Gardens police officer accused of manslaughter and attempted murder in the shooting death of 31-year-old stranded motorist Corey Jones. A judge in October said she wanted the trial to begin this year. However, there is still much to sort out, including interviews of witnesses, some of whom live out of the area. The next hearing in the case is next month.
  3. City Council election: Three incumbents, including the mayor and vice mayor, are out this year because of term limits. All three races are contested.

    Eye doctor Mark Marciano and former Michael Anthony Jewelers CEO and PPHI Inc. owner Michael Paolercio have filed to run for the Group 1 seat.

    Matthew Lane, a family law and divorce lawyer, and Ron Berman, the real estate broker and Quicken Loans co-founder who ran for state Senate, have filed to run for the Group 3 seat.

    Joe Russo Jr., son of the former councilman and Palm Beach Tech Association director; George Wicker, a businessman who spent 32 years with Lockheed Martin; and Rachelle Litt, a pharmacist and Democratic activist, have filed to run for the Group 5 seat.

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