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October 24, 2014

North Broward readies for Howl-O-Ween Week

Everyone just seemed to know about the haunted house in Lighthouse Point. Each year, on Halloween, the regular single-family house on the end of 40th Street would be transformed into something out of a nightmare. Halloween enthusiasts from as far away as Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach lined up into the street and, says Lighthouse Point Police Chief Ross Licata, that became a bit of a problem.
“They were walking. They were driving. They were parking in the area -- it was a traffic hazard,” he said. “So we had a conversation with him and articulated our concerns about getting emergency vehicles through, for example.”
This year, the haunted house everyone has come to know and love is in Pompano Beach, instead. Rotary Club of Pompano Beach has transformed the 98-year-old Sample-McDougald House, one of South Florida’s oldest existing homes, into a historic site to remember.
The 17-room replica of the Georgia Colonial home on Fridays and Saturdays through Halloween offers the stuff of nightmares. The $10 admission supports Rotary-chosen charities, including college scholarships for local students; local charities including Broward Children’s Center, Special Olympics, Sawgrass Nature Center; Crystal Lakes Middle School’s Robotics program and clean water in Africa.
As for the children of Lighthouse Point? Those 12 and under are invited October 30 for a two-hour Halloween party to Dan Witt Park, 4400 N.E. 21st Terrace. Featuring a bungee jump, bounce houses, entertainment, a costume contest – and candy for everyone, it starts at 6 p.m.
Deerfield Beach’s two-day Halloween celebration kicks off October 30 as well, with the Family Halloween Hoe-Down at Villages of Hillsboro Park. Kids of all ages are invited to 4111 N.W. Sixth St. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the city has organized an old-fashioned family gathering with a costume contest, pie-eating and pumpkin-carving contests and a petting zoo. Those are free. Hayrides, take-home pumpkins for Jack-o-Lanterns and refreshments are available to buy. For information, call Constitution Park, 954-480-4494.
On Halloween night, Deerfield Beach hosts a second Halloween celebration, this one complete with a Silly Magic Stage Show and music by Extra Extra Entertainment. The free event runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Westside Park, 445 S.W. Second St.There will be balloon artists, bounce houses, a costume contest, haystack candy find, crafts and Halloween games. For information, call Westside Park, 954-480-4481.


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October 22, 2014

Calling all Rock Stars!

On Saturday, November 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Constitution Park will rock with the city's own version of American Idol, and it is just for 'Tweens. On November 15th, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Deerfield Beach's In Be "Tween" Time program invites youth between the ages of 10 and 12 to Constitution Park, 2841 W Hillsboro Blvd. There, they are invited to participate in Rockstar 101's version of American Idol.
Registraiton for the $20 program has begun, and ends November 12.To register, go to or visit any of the city's park facilities. For information, call Constitution Park at (954) 480-4494.


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September 30, 2014

Be Warned: Beach Roads dedicated to Dunn's Run Morning of October 5

Best time to go to the beach on Sunday? Some time after noon.
That's because from 4 a.m. until noon much of the beach area of Deerfield Beach will be closed to anyone without running shoes and a number.

It's the 18th Annual Dunn's Run to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County and it begins 7:30 a.m. October 5 in the Main Beach Parking Lot, 149 S.E. 21st Ave.

From 4 a.m. to noon the following roads are closed:

Federal Highway northbound, from Southeast Tenth Street to Hillsboro Boulevard;
Hillsboro Boulevard in both directions, between Federal Highway and A1A;
A1A and Ocean Way from Northeast Second Street to Southeast Ninth Street.

Sign up for the 5K or for the Five-Mile Run/walk. Billy the Marlin and Stanley C. Panther will be on hand to cheer runners on, and the post-race festivities include a bounce house and a paintable fire truck.

The entry fee is $35 or less depending on age. For information, or to register, see


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September 25, 2014

Film Producer Debuts Boutique Hotel on Deerfield's Blue Wave Beach

The wine cellar could serve as a metaphor for Royal Blues Hotel. It is comprised of between 1,500 and 1,800 bottles of craft wine, each of which comes with a pedigree.
"These wines are not made in great quantities," explains General Manager Maja Kilgore.Instead, they are selected from craft wineries to pair with plates of local ingredients that could double for art, where that title not already claimed by the original pieces displayed throughout the restaurant.
As for the business model behind a 12-room hotel occupying some of Deerfield Beach's priciest real estate, think ``a dedication to quality without regard to expense.'
Waterfalls discretely screen restaurant windows. A uniformed doorman answers the secured glass door.
Every room, from the $410 studio to the $1,100 per night suite, has a king-sized bed, teak paneling, Venetian plaster, \closet doors comprised of real leather, bowl-shapedVictoria-and-Albert tubs and basins, and a balcony looking out onto the sea .
Even the toilet commands respect."The lid closes at the touch of a button and it plays music," Kilgore explained, demonstrating, "and it lights up at night at the base so you can see it."
A single couple drinking wine inside was the only evidence that a soft opening was under way Monday, at Royal Blues Hotel, the first boutique hotel to open on the newly rebranded beach.

According to the hotel web site, it is owned by film and Broadway Producer Edward Walson, and hotel staff say that is reflected in the one-of-a-kind fish tank that serves as a floor to the pool deck and a vista for restaurant diners.
"Mr. Walson chose Deerfield Beach for its timeless qualities of 1960’s surf culture, low rise building landscape and its devotion to natural beauty," reports a story in Robb Report, which touts itself as "a publication dedicated to lifestyle and luxury." "
Hospitality web sites describe boutique hotels as, typically, small, luxurious, and offering a higher price point justified by a story that involves an authentic experience for guests --ranging from local food to seamless service, to locally relevant interiors and free experiences.
Royal Blues Hotel advertises itself as "adventure of Florida’s Gold Coast, an area of America steeped in rich cultural history and boasting local attractions like beautiful white sand beaches or the adjacent fishing pier."
It offers just 12 units, ranging in price from $410 to $1,100 per night, and it includes luxurious touches like a pool deck overlooking the ocean, a locked entrance with doorman, and original art in every guest room.
As for the story? Deerfield Beach couldn't look better.
"This quiet and comfortable town allows visitors to experience the beautiful beaches of South Florida without the chaos and crowds of Miami. Deerfield Beach is Blue Wave certified - awarded for excellent standards in clean water, safety, beach conditions, and turtle habitat conservation," it says. "....with world class fishing available at the nearby International Fishing Pier (designed by the same architect of Royal Blues)."
It is slated to open for business October 1. Reservations are being taken now.


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September 24, 2014

At last....

Florida Department of Transportation staff today installed a crossing signal at the spot where, for lack of one, 22-year-old Thetus Fleming was struck and killed in February of 2012, crossing the dark intersection near McDonald's on Hillsboro Boulevard.


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About the Reporter

Elizabeth Roberts has covered Deerfield Beach, Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro... < More >

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