Pro golfer who withdrew from Masters has $2.9M North Palm mansion

Dustin Johnson walks off the 1st tee after deciding not to play in the opening round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, April 6, 2017. The world’s No. 1-ranked player was forced to withdraw from the Masters on Thursday because of a lower back injury suffered less than 24 hours earlier in a freak fall at the home he was renting for the week. (Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 golfer in the world who withdrew from the Masters because of a freak fall, has plenty of Northern Palm Beach County real estate where he can recuperate.

RELATED: Pro golfer Dustin Johnson buys $4.95 million house in Palm Beach Gardens

The 32-year-old golfer in December bought a $2.9 million waterfront home with a private dock in the Harbour Isles in December, reported last week. The house has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and two half-bathrooms, according to Palm Beach County property records. Its other amenities include a boat lift and dock, elevator, BBQ, pool and patio, property records show.

Johnson, who won his last three tournaments, withdrew from the Masters Thursday because of injuries he suffered in a fall down a short flight of stairs at the home he was renting in Augusta, Ga., for the week.

RELATED: 2017 Masters: It’s a royal pain but Dustin Johnson can’t play

He told reporters he was wearing socks but no shoes when he went to move his car. He landed on his left side, where his lower back took the brunt of the impact, he told reporters. Sergio Garcia went on to win the tournament at Augusta National.

Johnson owns another mansion along the Intracoastal Waterway in unincorporated Palm Beach Gardens that he bought for $4.95 million in August 2015, according to Palm Beach County property records. He has a homestead exemption on that property this year, meaning it’s his “permanent residence.”

The Palm Beach Gardens-area home has five bedrooms, six and a half bathrooms, a wine room and pool. It also has a walkway to an islet and a private boat ramp.

The real estate should help accommodate Johnson’s growing family with Paulina Gretzky (Wayne Gretzky’s daughter). The couple announced in February that they are expecting their second child, a boy, GOLF magazine reported. Their first son, Tatum, was born in January 2015, according to GOLF magazine.


Celebrate Beauty & the Beast’s tale as old as time at Gardens shop

Bookish Belle’s love story is playing out on the big screen for a second time, and all of her bibliophile fans are invited to celebrate.

The Barnes & Noble at Legacy Place, 11380 Legacy Ave. in Palm Beach Gardens, is having a celebration of the release of Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” 11 a.m. April 1. Guests are invited to dress up as their favorite character from the movie. They can enjoy a “Beauty & the Beast” story time, sing-along and cookies. The event is free.

READ: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ roars with monstrous $170M debut

The live-action version of the 1991 animated movie was released Friday in the U.S. It stars Emma Watson – you may recognize her as Hermione from the Harry Potter movies – as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Stevens played Matthew Crawley in the Downtown Abbey series.

The movie made $170 million at North American box offices and another $180 million abroad in its opening weekend. It broke the record for G- or PG-rated releases. It’s also Disney’s best opening for any of the live action movies that it has released so far: The Jungle Book, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland.

Mail-in ballots for new Gardens election now available

Rachelle Litt and Joe Russo Jr., candidates for the Group 5 Palm Beach Gardens City Council election

The March 14 election is over, but voting isn’t finished for Palm Beach Gardens residents.

The race for the Group 5 seat is down to a two-person runoff between Rachelle Litt and Joe Russo, Jr. The new election for the three-year term is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 28.

Mark Marciano and Matthew Lane were elected to the Group 1 and Group 3 seats, respectively, in the election last week. Three seats were open because of term limits that prevented three sitting Council members from seeking re-election.

Voters who want to cast their ballots by mail in the runoff need to request absentee ballots, which are available from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections as of today, March 20. According to Palm Beach Gardens, voters can request an absentee ballot by:

  • Visiting the main Supervisor of Elections office at 240 South Military Trail in West Palm Beach or calling 561-656-6200.
  • Visiting the North County Courthouse at 3188 PGA Blvd., Room 2401 in Palm Beach Gardens or calling 561-624-6555.

For instructions or to get directly to the Supervisor of Elections website, go to

Completed and signed ballots must be received at the Main Office of the Supervisor of Elections by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. They can also be returned to the Gardens office, which closes at 5 p.m. on Election Day.

Vote-by-mail ballots must be signed and cannot be returned at the polls.

READ: Nine vying for three Gardens City Council seats opened by term limits

READ: Marciano, Lane win in Gardens; third race goes to runoff in 2 weeks

Easter bunny bounces into Gardens Mall with celebrations for kids

The Easter bunny will arrive at The Gardens Mall Friday, March 17, 2017. (AJC file photo)

Yes, you can get an early start to the Easter celebrations.

First, the Easter bunny bounces into the Grand Court of The Gardens Mall, 3101 PGA Blvd., 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday with a party and scavenger hunt. Butterfly stilt walkers, jugglers, a DJ and magicians will accompany him, according to the mall.

RELATED: See when the Easter Bunny arrives at area malls

Kids will get an Easter basket to fill up with candy from mall stores. They can pose for photos with the Easter bunny while adults sip free, Easter-themed cocktails from BRIO Tuscan Grille, according to the mall.

Then on Saturday, a Kids Club Easter Celebration will include the following, according to the mall:

Parents can sign their kids up for the Kid’s Club for free at


MacArthur Beach State Park honors ‘environmental champions’

Kai, a young, female loggerhead turtle, greets visitors to MacArthur Beach State Park in her tank in front of the gift shop. She will be released when she grows large enough. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

A hawksbill turtle expert and a young man who’s already dedicating himself to protecting the environment received top honors from MacArthur Beach State Park.

The park named Larry Wood its 2017 Environmental Champion at its NatureScaping festival March 4, according to a news release. Wood is the founder of the Comprehensive Florida Hawksbill Research and Conservation Program focused on the long-term study and conservation of hawksbill sea turtles in Florida’s waters.

RELATED: Is it OK to assist a sea turtle hatchling in distress?

Wood’s program is now partnered with the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation of Fort Lauderdale to document the distribution and movements of the critically endangered species between Jupiter and Key West, according to the news release.

The park named Noah Kersten its first Jr. Environmental Champion. He’s been involved with the Junior Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park for six years and participated in Citizen Science projects, beach and mangrove cleanups and marine biology camps as both a camper and counselor-in-training, according to the park.

Kersten studied water management, water conservation and the global water crisis at an Eckerd College summer program. He also represented Florida at the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment, according to the park. He aspires to a career in environmental policy and environmental science.


Free rides offered at new, boutique cycle studio in Gardens

The new CycleBar boutique cycling studio in Palm Beach Gardens is offering free rides for its opening. The high-energy, 50-minute workouts are led by “CycleStars” in a cycle theater.
Photo courtesy of CycleBar

This is your chance to finally enjoy a high-energy workout in a fun atmosphere – for free.

CycleBar Palm Beach Gardens is offering free Grand Opening classes of 48 riders each at its first Palm Beach County studio in the Donald Ross Village shopping center. The rides will be offered now through March 26, according to a news release.

RELATED: Cycling studio with ‘rock concert’ atmosphere opening in Gardens

Riders can register at The studio is at 4550 Donald Ross Road, Suite 100, in Palm Beach Gardens.

A new CycleBar studio in Palm Beach Gardens is offering free rides for its opening. Photo courtesy of CycleBar

The 50-minute classes are in a theater led by CycleStar instructors who take cyclists through a high-energy ride accompanied by LED lighting, wide-screen graphics and a studio with a DJ booth, according to the news release. Riders can track their performance through data provided to them and can download music used in the class.

READ: What it takes to be a ‘CycleStar’ at new Gardens boutique spin studio

Aromatherapy helps cyclists relax, according to the news release. They can cool down with fresh fruit and enhanced water.

CycleBar offers a pay-per-class model with no membership necessary. Online booking allows cyclists to buy class packages and reserve a specific bike up to a week in advance. Free towels, lockers and shoes are available.

$50K raised to honor policeman’s teen daughter killed in car accident

A golf tournament at Palm Beach Gardens’ Sandhill Crane Golf Club raised more than $50,000 in honor of a scholarship fund for Kaitlin Kazanjian. Photo courtesy of John Kazanjian

Kaitlin Kazanjian was only 16 years old when she was killed in a horrific car accident on a rain-slicked road in PGA National in 2003.

Since then, her family has been working to make sure the Dwyer High School junior’s memory is never forgotten. A fund created in her honor has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships over the years, Kaitlin’s dad and Palm Beach County PBA President John Kazanjian said.

John Kazanjian, middle, at a fundraiser at the Sandhill Crane Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens that raised more than $50,000 for a scholarship fund in honor of his daughter, who was killed in a car accident in 2003. Photo courtesy of John Kazanjian

A golf tournament Saturday at the Sandhill Crane Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens gave the fund a $50,000 boost. About 350 people attended the event.

Kazanjian was the passenger in 17-year-old classmate Carlos Pozo’s Acura when he sped around a curve at 100 mph and crashed into a tree, according to reports. The impact tore apart the Acura and thrust Kaitlin out of her seat belt and onto the road.

Pozo was served a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence for vehicular homicide and ordered to pay $6 million to the Kazanjians after a one-day jury trial in a civil case.

A golf tournament raised more than $50,000 for a scholarship fund in memory of Kaitlin Kazanjian. Photo courtesy of John Kazanjian

Gardens couple gives $1M donation to Palm Beach State College

Jan Winkler and Hermine Drezner, of Palm Beach Gardens, were honored for their $1 million gift to Palm Beach State College.
Jan Winkler and Hermine Drezner, of Palm Beach Gardens, were honored for their $1 million gift to Palm Beach State College.

Palm Beach State College President Ava Parker had a big announcement to make during the ceremony officially installing her as the college’s leader.

A Palm Beach Gardens couple, Jan Winkler and Hermine Drezner, made a $1 million donation to the college, according to a news release. Parker announced their gift to a crowd of more than 500 people gathered in the Duncan Theatre on the college’s Lake Worth campus.

READ: Holocaust survivors connect after 50 years

The couple was surprised by a two-minute video before they were brought to the stage, teary-eyed, and presented with flowers, according to the news release. Palm Beach State College Foundation’s Charitable Gift Annuity Program has been renamed in their honor.

The married couple of 24 years also started a program in which students are awarded college scholarships in the third and fifth grades, according to the news release. They first got acquainted with Palm Beach State College bringing children to the Duncan Theatre.

“We believe in this place,” Winkler said in the news release. “We think it’s a wonderful opportunity for young people who have little prospects to suddenly have great prospects. That’s why we’re involved, and that’s why we’ll continue to be involved.

How birds popular in Palm Beach Gardens ended up on a Nebraska stamp

A Nebraska photographer captured this picture of migrating sandhill cranes.
A Nebraska photographer captured this picture of migrating sandhill cranes. Courtesy image

You may have seen them on the golf course at PGA National, or on a drive around the Mirasol community across the street.

Sandhill cranes are hard to miss, standing almost four feet tall with a 6 1/2-foot wingspan. They’re gray with a long neck and legs and a red bald spot on the tops of their heads. If you see one, you’ll know.

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But what are they doing on the Postal Service’s stamp celebrating Nebraska’s 150th anniversary? A Nebraska photographer, Michael Forsberg, camped out in prairie grasses on the riverbank between Grand Island and Kearney, Neb., to get a stunning photo of the birds, according to the Postal Service.

He didn’t want to disturb the cranes during the migration, so he entered the prairie before they arrived at sunset, the Postal Service said. Then he waited there until they flew away the next morning.

His photo shows them flying low as they look for sandbars for nighttime roosts where they will be safe from predators. More than 500,000 sandhill cranes per year stop in the Platte River Valley in March and early April for a rest during their migration, according to the Postal Service.

Nationwide, the sandhill cranes are protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In Florida, they are designated as a threatened species by the state’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

They’ve been subject to a loss of habitat because of wetland drainage, so enjoy them when you see them.

Gardens City Council approves townhouse development on Hood Road

This rendering shows the proposed Trevi Isle development on Hood Road in Palm Beach Gardens. Developer Kennedy Homes postponed plans to raise the elevation of the road in front of its property so it can create a safe driveway in and out of Trevi Isle. The work would have required Hood Road west of the bridge over the Florida Turnpike to close for at least two months. Rendering from Palm Beach Gardens
This rendering shows the future Trevi Isle development on Hood Road in Palm Beach Gardens. Courtesy rendering

A 50-townhouse project on Hood Road just west of Florida’s Turnpike got the final go-ahead from Palm Beach Gardens City Council Thursday, after years of opposition from future neighbors.

Kennedy Homes submitted plans for the Trevi Isle development on the 12.4-acre site in the summer of 2014. The three- and four-bedroom town houses will be priced around $300,000 to $400,000, planner Anne Booth, a principal with Urban Design Kilday Studios, has said.

RELATED: 50 town homes proposed next to turnpike in Palm Beach Gardens

Residents of Eastpointe Country Club next door opposed the project since the beginning. They came to planning board and City Council meetings to ask officials to withhold their approval until their concerns about sight lines for traffic in and out of Trevi Isle were adequately addressed. They did not speak at Thursday’s meeting.

The developers originally wanted to close Hood Road for two months last summer, before the project was approved, so they could raise the elevation of the road by about four feet to improve visibility from a new driveway.

READ: Hood Road to close for months, forcing more staffing at fire station 

The potential closure presented a complication for the city, which counted on emergency personnel from Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue Station 65 two miles east to have direct access down Hood Road to support Station 64. The city has since brought the station staffing up to a full complement of five, and Kennedy Homes has said the road could stay open during construction.

READ: Hood Road town home development won’t require road closure in Gardens

There will be a right-turn lane for cars to slow down as they turn into Trevi Isle. The lane should also benefit drivers turning out of the community as they look for cars coming west over the bridge, Booth has said.

Trevi Isle will have a roughly two-acre preserve with trails and a lake with a walkway.