Bernese Mountain Dog’s corn cob incident sparks non-profit’s formation

Bailey and his owner pose for a photo. His family started The Bailey Project to provide money to people who have exhausted all other options for getting their pets emergency veterinary care. Courtesy photo
Bailey and his owner pose for a photo. His family started The Bailey Project to provide money to people who have exhausted all other options for getting their pets emergency veterinary care. Courtesy photo

Bailey was lucky his family could afford emergency veterinary care after he swallowed a corn cob and damaged his insides.

The Bernese Mountain Dog spent two weeks in the veterinary hospital and endured multiple procedures, but he survived the ordeal in 2012. Out of the near-tragedy, his family launched The Bailey Project. The non-profit organization provides money to families who have exhausted all other means to get their pets emergency veterinary care.

The Bailey Project will be the beneficiary of a Shop and Share fundraiser at the Lilly Pulitzer at The Gardens Mall Sunday. Ten percent of sales from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 will be donated to the organization, according to Executive Director Barbara Smoliak.

Germany uses local company’s tool for scanning immigrants’ fingerprints

Cabins are set up inside Hanger 4 of the former airport Tempelhof to be used as a temporary emergency shelter for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Berlin, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. German government says some 965,000 people were registered as asylum-seekers in Germany between January and the end of November, though the process has been chaotic at times. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Cabins are set up inside Hanger 4 of the former airport Tempelhof to be used as a temporary emergency shelter for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Berlin, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. German government says some 965,000 people were registered as asylum-seekers in Germany between January and the end of November, though the process has been chaotic at times. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Germany’s been in the news a lot lately for it’s open door policy for refugees, but it’s a local company that’s helping the government with verifying their identities.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees purchased more than 1,000 of Crossmatch’s Guardian fingerprint scanners, according to a news release. The Palm Beach Gardens company supplies identity verification devices.

The scanners are deployed at more than 36 field offices where refugees are fingerprinted and asylum applications are processed. Since many of the immigrants arrive without a valid form of ID, the fingerprinting reduces fraud and helps prevent terrorists from entering the country under false pretenses, according to the release.

Refugees’ fingerprints are checked against the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees’ database to verify identities, improve tracking and ensure accurate disbursement of benefits, the release states.

Crossmatch CEO Richard Agostinelli said the European refugee crisis and Paris attacks highlight the need to validate identities of people crossing countries’ borders.

“At Crossmatch, we have a long history of delivering reliable, rapid capture enrollment and authentication solutions…” he said.

Now open: New juice bar and healthy eating option in Palm Beach Gardens

Raw Juce uses raw and organic fruits and veggies that are locally-sourced when possible. File photo by Taylor Jones
Raw Juce uses raw and organic fruits and veggies that are locally-sourced when possible. File photo by Taylor Jones

Healthy eating never tasted so good.

RAW JUCE, which sells juices, elixirs, salads and other treats, held its grand opening in Palm Beach Gardens this week. The juice bar in the PGA Plaza, 2616 PGA Blvd., hosts yoga and cleansing classes, according to its Facebook page.

All of its offerings have clever names. Take, for example, the square root (with beets) pressed juice or the Bee Green elixir (garnished with bee pollen).

People with a sweet tooth can still be healthy, too. The solid food menu includes raw peppermint patties and almond squares for dessert.

The original RAW JUCE is in Boca Raton, where another location had a grand opening last month.

Palm Beach Gardens officials to consider Avenir plans

The edge of the former Vavrus Ranch land, now the Avenir development. It is a 4,760-acre site in Palm Beach Gardens. The developers hope to build on part of the land and conserve the other part. Brianna Soukup / Palm Beach Post)
The edge of the former Vavrus Ranch land, now the proposed Avenir development. It is a 4,760-acre site in Palm Beach Gardens. The developers hope to build on some of the land and conserve 2,426 acres. (Brianna Soukup / Palm Beach Post)

A development on Palm Beach Gardens’ western edge that’s been years in the making may be approaching the finish line in the approval process.

The planning, zoning & appeals board will consider the proposed Avenir development on the former Vavrus Ranch north of Northlake Boulevard 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers, 10500 N. Military Trail.

Representatives of the Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Council of Palm Beach County spoke in favor of the plans at a workshop in October. Residents of neighboring communities and North County Neighborhood Coalition President Sal Faso, however, said plans for additional development in the Northlake Boulevard corridor will only worsen traffic congestion.

Plans include a regional connector road from Northlake Boulevard to Beeline Highway through Avenir to allow commuters to avoid the intersection of the two. The development should reverse the flow of some cars going east for services and employment, Planner Ken Tuma said at the October workshop.

Everglades Law Center Senior Staff Counsel Lisa Interlandi has said the proposed connector road would negatively impact the environment, and traffic effects are widespread.

Plans call for the dedication of 2,407 acres to conservation, according to the most recent city documents.

City Council will also hold a special meeting about the development Jan 6.

Read more about the latest version of plans for the development here.

Once homeless, Palm Beach Gardens business owner gives back

Cynthia Heathcoe, CEO of Contemporary Living furniture store, outside her store at Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, was once homeless and is now giving back. Courtesy photo
Cynthia Heathcoe, CEO of Contemporary Living furniture store, outside her store at Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, was once homeless and is now giving back. Courtesy photo

It’s been 17 years since Cynthia Heathcoe spent the holidays in a homeless shelter with her 3-week-old son, but she hasn’t forgotten what that felt like.

Now she’s the CEO of the Contemporary Living furniture store at Downtown at the Gardens. She’s using her business to help other people who find themselves in the same situation she did so many years ago.

The shop will host a holiday open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11. Heathcoe is asking people to bring one unwrapped household item to benefit The Lord’s Place supportive housing residents.

“When you are homeless, you lose sight of who you are,” Heathcoe said in a news release. “I want to surround people going through this with things that will make them feel more human.”

Suggested items include accent pillows, kitchen supplies, linens or anything that would make a transitional living space feel more like home. Everyone who donates an item will receive a Contemporary Living Showroom Gift Card, according to the news release.

To RSVP, call the store at 561-318-6014.

PEOPLE highlights local teen’s candle-making to help mentally ill

Alexis Kauchick, of North Palm Beach, was featured by PEOPLE magazine for her support of mental health agencies Courtesy photo
Alexis Kauchick, of North Palm Beach, was featured by PEOPLE magazine for her support of mental health agencies by donating proceeds from the sales of soy candles she makes. Courtesy photo

The tragedies in a North Palm Beach teen’s life have only fanned the flame of her desire to help others.

Alexis Kauchick, 17, started the Eternal Essence Candle Company in 2012. After her half-brother and best friend both died from mental illness, she decided to use the profit from the sale of her soy candles to raise awareness.

PEOPLE magazine featured Kauchick, a senior at The Benjamin School, and her efforts in a story Thursday. Her late half-brother, Todd, is the one who taught her his candle-making tips during camping trips in the Smoky Mountains, the magazine reports.

She used his hand-written notes and equipment to get started.

Todd Kauchick fought alcoholism and died of an aortic aneurysm in 2011. It wasn’t until much later that Alexis realized his addiction was likely caused by a mental health problem, PEOPLE reported. In 2014, her close friend who had bipolar disorder killed himself.

That’s when everything changed for Kauchick.

“When Asher took his own life, people talked about him like he died. But he didn’t die, he killed himself,” she told the magazine. “And that’s when it hit me. We need to have a conversation about mental illness, because people don’t understand what it is.”

She’s made more than $70,000 and last month gave $30,000 to the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, PEOPLE reported.

Read the full story here.

 

 

Corey Jones shooting: Crowd expected at Palm Beach Gardens meeting

Community leader Derrick McCray, pictured, and Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Eric Jablin addressed the media outside City Hall after community and city officials met for three hours Monday. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)
Community leader Derrick McCray, pictured, and Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Eric Jablin addressed the media outside City Hall after community and city officials met for three hours Nov. 16. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

A month after Corey Jones was laid to rest, his death continues to galvanize calls from the community for greater police accountability.

Derrick McCray, owner of McCray’s Backyard BBQ, has been part of meetings between city leaders and local clergy. He also helped organize a rally along PGA Boulevard outside the Gardens Mall in November.

While people are thankful the city fired Officer Nouman Raja, they still want answers they’ll seek at tonight’s City Council meeting, he said.

For instance, they want to know who was supervising Raja the night he shot and killed Jones, a 31-year-old drummer and property manager for the Delray Beach Housing Authority. That’s what they hope to find out during the 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, 10500 N. Military Trail, he said.

“We at least need some explanation on who else was accountable…” McCray said.

Jones car broke down on the way home from a gig and he was waiting for a tow truck on the exit ramp of I-95 southbound at PGA Boulevard in the early morning hours of Oct. 18, police have said.

Raja, who was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked van, came upon what he said he thought was an abandoned vehicle. He eventually fired at Jones six times, killing him with three gunshots, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office has said. Palm Beach Gardens police have said Raja fired after he saw Jones had a legally-purchased gun.

McCray emphasized city officials have been very hospitable, meeting with he and local clergy to discuss possible changes to the department, such as diversity training and body cameras. Their input will help with crafting the language for a proposed law in Jones’ name, he said.

“We can’t live in a lawless society. We’re not against the police, but we just feel that some reforms need to be made in order for another Corey Jones situation not to take place,” McCray said.