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Latest from Andrew Marra

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PBC school board reassigns students of soon-to-close Odyssey Middle

Posted: 58 minutes ago

The Palm Beach County School Board gave final approval Wednesday to a plan to reassign 1,900 Odyssey Middle students to new schools when the school closes this summer. The reassignment plan for the closing Boynton Beach school was approved unanimously without debate, the final procedural step in what will be the first closure of a traditional...
BREAKING: 3-vehicle crash closes stretch of Congress in Boynton
 A three-vehicle crash had a southbound stretch of Congress Avenue blocked south of Woolbright Road for hours late Saturday afternoon. UPDATE: Police report the road had been reopened by 7:30 p.m. The southbound lanes were reported closed about 5:30 p.m. in the 3600 block of S. Congress Avenue, along the entrance to Hunters Run Country Club...

Posted: 4 days ago

A three-vehicle crash had a southbound stretch of Congress Avenue blocked south of Woolbright Road for hours late Saturday afternoon. UPDATE: Police report the road had been reopened by 7:30 p.m. The southbound lanes were reported closed about 5:30 p.m. in the 3600 block of S. Congress Avenue, along the entrance to Hunters Run Country Club...
Judge rejects PBC school board request to halt payments to charters
 A judge on Friday rejected the Palm Beach County School Board’s request to temporarily block a new state law requiring the school board to give an extra $9 million to the county’s charter schools by Feb. 1. At a court hearing in Tallahassee, Leon County Circuit Judge James Shelfer denied the school board’s request, meaning...

Posted: 5 days ago

A judge on Friday rejected the Palm Beach County School Board’s request to temporarily block a new state law requiring the school board to give an extra $9 million to the county’s charter schools by Feb. 1. At a court hearing in Tallahassee, Leon County Circuit Judge James Shelfer denied the school board’s request, meaning...
JUST IN: Schools win $5 million ruling against city of West Palm
 A circuit court judge says the school district doesn’t owe West Palm Beach $5 million in stormwater drainage fees, dealing a blow to the city’s five-year-long attempt to collect. Circuit Judge Lisa Small issued an order Dec. 22, backing the School Board of Palm Beach County argument that school districts have immunity from city...

Posted: 21 days ago

A circuit court judge says the school district doesn’t owe West Palm Beach $5 million in stormwater drainage fees, dealing a blow to the city’s five-year-long attempt to collect. Circuit Judge Lisa Small issued an order Dec. 22, backing the School Board of Palm Beach County argument that school districts have immunity from city...
Students stole and trashed this teacher’s car during class. Now he has to pay the bill.
 It was bad enough when band director Quinton Peterson learned someone had broken into a room at Boynton Beach High School and stolen his car keys and loose change from his desk drawer while he taught across the hall. But then he stepped out into the parking lot and noticed something else: His Dodge Challenger had disappeared, too. By...

Posted: 26 days ago

It was bad enough when band director Quinton Peterson learned someone had broken into a room at Boynton Beach High School and stolen his car keys and loose change from his desk drawer while he taught across the hall. But then he stepped out into the parking lot and noticed something else: His Dodge Challenger had disappeared, too. By...
PBC school board to give Avossa high marks, setting up his first raise
 Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa is poised to receive high marks on his third annual evaluation Wednesday, with school board members praising his leadership and communication skills and the steady academic progress in the county’s public schools. Five board members rated Avossa as “highly effective,&rdquo...

10:17 AM Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2017

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa is poised to receive high marks on his third annual evaluation Wednesday, with school board members praising his leadership and communication skills and the steady academic progress in the county’s public schools. Five board members rated Avossa as “highly effective,&rdquo...
Schools chief making $325,000 could get first raise with good reviews
 Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa is set to officially receive his annual evaluation from school board members Wednesday, and this year money is on the line. Now midway through his third year in office, Avossa is eligible for a raise for the first time if board members give him an overall rating of “effective&rdquo...

10:15 AM Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2017

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa is set to officially receive his annual evaluation from school board members Wednesday, and this year money is on the line. Now midway through his third year in office, Avossa is eligible for a raise for the first time if board members give him an overall rating of “effective&rdquo...
To raise teacher pay, PBC public schools may ask voters to raise taxes
 Palm Beach County public school leaders are making plans to ask voters to approve a special property tax next year to boost teacher salaries, saying that substantial pay hikes for teachers will be impossible without a new money source. The proposal is still being mulled by school district leaders but is expected to lead to voters being asked...

10:30 AM Friday, Dec. 01, 2017

Palm Beach County public school leaders are making plans to ask voters to approve a special property tax next year to boost teacher salaries, saying that substantial pay hikes for teachers will be impossible without a new money source. The proposal is still being mulled by school district leaders but is expected to lead to voters being asked...
PBC school leaders, union agree to 3.2% average raise for teachers
 Salaries for Palm Beach County public school teachers would rise by 3.2 percent on average this year under a deal struck by school district and teachers union negotiators Wednesday evening. Under the agreement, teachers rated “highly effective” would receive 3.5 percent raises and teachers rated “effective” would receive...

4:22 PM Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

Salaries for Palm Beach County public school teachers would rise by 3.2 percent on average this year under a deal struck by school district and teachers union negotiators Wednesday evening. Under the agreement, teachers rated “highly effective” would receive 3.5 percent raises and teachers rated “effective” would receive...
UPDATE: Suspicious packages at Royal Palm Walmart deemed harmless
 Police evacuated a Walmart Supercenter in Royal Palm Beach late Thursday after two suspicious packages were discovered on the premises, turning out hundreds of shoppers who had hoped to get an early jump on Black Friday sales, authorities said. The packages were determined to be harmless, and the Walmart was expected to reopen by 11 p.m....

2:39 AM Friday, Nov. 24, 2017

Police evacuated a Walmart Supercenter in Royal Palm Beach late Thursday after two suspicious packages were discovered on the premises, turning out hundreds of shoppers who had hoped to get an early jump on Black Friday sales, authorities said. The packages were determined to be harmless, and the Walmart was expected to reopen by 11 p.m....
Rollover crash on Turnpike in Jupiter leaves 5 hurt
 A rollover crash snarled southbound traffic for about an hour this morning on Florida’s Turnpike near Jupiter, authories said. A car flipped over about 11 a.m. while traveling south on the Turnpike north of Indiantown Road. The crash shut down all southbound lanes for about an hour, according to a Florida Highway Patrol dispatcher....

4:55 PM Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017

A rollover crash snarled southbound traffic for about an hour this morning on Florida’s Turnpike near Jupiter, authories said. A car flipped over about 11 a.m. while traveling south on the Turnpike north of Indiantown Road. The crash shut down all southbound lanes for about an hour, according to a Florida Highway Patrol dispatcher....
Teachers union head says Avossa made false charge against him in critical email
 The leader of Palm Beach County’s teachers union says that Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa leveled a false accusation against him when he blasted him for “hostile tactics” in an email Wednesday. In the email, Avossa accused Justin Katz, the union’s recently elected president, of selectively editing videos...

9:07 PM Friday, Nov. 17, 2017

The leader of Palm Beach County’s teachers union says that Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa leveled a false accusation against him when he blasted him for “hostile tactics” in an email Wednesday. In the email, Avossa accused Justin Katz, the union’s recently elected president, of selectively editing videos...
Tempers flare as Avossa calls teachers union head ‘hostile’ and ‘inexperienced’
 Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa blasted the county teacher union’s first-year president Wednesday as “hostile” and “inexperienced,” accusing him of mishandling contract negotiations and misinforming teachers “in an attempt to incite your membership.” The comments, made in an...

8:13 PM Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa blasted the county teacher union’s first-year president Wednesday as “hostile” and “inexperienced,” accusing him of mishandling contract negotiations and misinforming teachers “in an attempt to incite your membership.” The comments, made in an...
Former PBC teacher loses license after telling student her ‘curves are spicy’
 A former Seminole Ridge High School math teacher has been stripped of his teaching license after telling a 15-year-old student three years ago that he fantasized about her and that her “curves are spicy.” Samuel Fiore was a math teacher at the Westlake school in 2014 when police concluded he passed a series of notes to a...

10:33 AM Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017

A former Seminole Ridge High School math teacher has been stripped of his teaching license after telling a 15-year-old student three years ago that he fantasized about her and that her “curves are spicy.” Samuel Fiore was a math teacher at the Westlake school in 2014 when police concluded he passed a series of notes to a...
Her school soared from F to B. Now a decorated PBC principal is back on top
 Few principals know better than Sandra Edwards the dizzying effect of leading a small, poor elementary school through the zigs and zags of Florida’s school-grading system. In her first four years at the helm of Washington Elementary, the state labeled the Riviera Beach school a C school, an A school, an A school again, and a D...

10:35 AM Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

Few principals know better than Sandra Edwards the dizzying effect of leading a small, poor elementary school through the zigs and zags of Florida’s school-grading system. In her first four years at the helm of Washington Elementary, the state labeled the Riviera Beach school a C school, an A school, an A school again, and a D...
A bus aide inflicted prolonged pain on a young boy. Prosecutors called it ‘permissible’
 Over the course of more than 30 minutes, a Palm Beach County school bus aide twisted, squeezed and drove his elbow into the body of an autistic 8-year-old boy, vowing to make him cry as the boy screamed in pain. “It hurt? It’s supposed to,” the aide said at one point as the boy moaned.  “You try me, it’s...

4:45 PM Wednesday, Nov. 08, 2017

Over the course of more than 30 minutes, a Palm Beach County school bus aide twisted, squeezed and drove his elbow into the body of an autistic 8-year-old boy, vowing to make him cry as the boy screamed in pain. “It hurt? It’s supposed to,” the aide said at one point as the boy moaned.  “You try me, it’s...
How a parent’s Facebook post sent a Boynton charter into damage control
 A popular parenting website called a Boynton Beach-area charter school’s new bathroom policy “truly absurd.” A Yahoo news article said the school’s move raised questions about potential “child abuse.” The problem: Franklin Academy says both articles were inaccurate and based on an erroneous claim...

7:31 PM Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017

A popular parenting website called a Boynton Beach-area charter school’s new bathroom policy “truly absurd.” A Yahoo news article said the school’s move raised questions about potential “child abuse.” The problem: Franklin Academy says both articles were inaccurate and based on an erroneous claim...
NEW: Man who fled cops dies after being pulled from water
 Update: A man who jumped into a canal Friday evening while fleeing sheriff’s deputies died after being pulled from the water, authorities announced. The man, identified as Edgar Velez, 32, had jumped into a canal Friday evening while trying to run away from deputies, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff&rsquo...

1:41 AM Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017

Update: A man who jumped into a canal Friday evening while fleeing sheriff’s deputies died after being pulled from the water, authorities announced. The man, identified as Edgar Velez, 32, had jumped into a canal Friday evening while trying to run away from deputies, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff&rsquo...
Former Bak Middle treasurer pleads guilty to falsifying records
 A former treasurer at Bak Middle School of the Arts pleaded guilty Thursday to falsifying records in a case stemming from an investigation into the disappearance of $66,000 from the school. Cathleen Spring is expected to spend six months on house arrest and five years on probation under the plea deal, her attorney said. The misdemeanor conviction...

9:30 AM Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

A former treasurer at Bak Middle School of the Arts pleaded guilty Thursday to falsifying records in a case stemming from an investigation into the disappearance of $66,000 from the school. Cathleen Spring is expected to spend six months on house arrest and five years on probation under the plea deal, her attorney said. The misdemeanor conviction...
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