Bootcamp workout held in Fort Lauderdale to honor fallen Virginia deputy

Dozens of fitness fanatics from across South Florida gathered on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale to honor a fallen hero.

Hannah Eden, founder and owner of PumpFit Club in Fort Lauderdale, organized the free one-hour boot camp to honor the memory of Virginia deputy Curtis Bartlett, 32, who was killed in collision while pursuing a suspect in March.

“I often throw a big bootcamp event for local charities,” Eden said. “I feel it is my responsibility to spread awareness and stand up for the fallen.”

“Curtis was a hero and affected millions of lives. This is also about supporting local law enforcement, military and active duty heroes,” she said.

Supporters who came out to Holiday Park braved the heat while completing a fun, but challenging class that made sure to work every part of the human body.

In addition to the free boot camp, participants also gave generous donations that will benefit the Police Fitness Foundation.

“In the wake of his death, it has become our mission to keep his dream alive within our local community, and to raise money for officers o have vital resources they need to stay in shape,” Eden said.

Donations are being accepted at 408 N. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale or at RSPNutrition.com.

Follow this story

New luxury apartments rise in growing Fort Lauderdale

The proliferation of high-rise buildings with high-design architecture and resort-style amenities in South Florida has been heading north. While in Miami-Dade County foreign buyers dominate the condo-flipping mania, Broward County offers more stability.

Fort Lauderdale’s skyline is changing at a slower pace. Patrick Campbell, a vice president at the Related Group, said the majority of the buyers in Fort Lauderdale are end users from South Florida who are transitioning into the next stage of their lives.

“We see that the demographic is largely empty nesters, professionals and second-home buyers with ties to the community,” Campbell said.

Fort Lauderdale’s residential real estate inventory is growing in both the Las Olas and beachfront areas. Despite the rising real estate prices, the city’s luxury units remain a bargain compared to those in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Sunrise and downtown Miami.

Campbell said the Auberge Beach Residences and Spa is $1,300 per square foot versus $3,000 per square foot in Miami Beach. The 171-unit oceanfront two-tower project is breaking records in Broward County. In April, the developers announced a penthouse in the South Tower sold for $8.9 million. 

Ron Drew, of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, attributes the rising condo market to the growing job market. Drew cited that from June 2014 to March 2017, there were 77,600 jobs added in Broward County. And more jobs are coming. 

Companies like Magic Leap in Plantation, Hotwire Communications in Fort Lauderdale and Ecolab in Miramar have announced expansions in the last two years. And Fort Lauderdale Las Olas will soon have a supply of condos for young professionals who are not ready to buy real estate, but are ready for luxury living.

The Related Group will complete Fort Lauderdale’s tallest building this summer. The 45-story Icon Las Olas will debunk the 42-story Las Olas River House, built in 2004. Liz Caldwell, an agent for Premier Estate Properties, said there is a demand for the units. 

In partnership with Rabina Properties and Perella Weinberg Partners, the Icon Las Olas will have 272 units for rent from $2,500 to $7,000 a month starting in June. Residents will have access to a spa, concierge, a wine room, a movie room, a gym and two pools. 

“Why buy when you can rent? It’s all about the millennials,” Caldwell said. “They want the experience of living in downtown without the permanence and they don’t mind living from pay check to pay check.” 

The Icon Las Olas is just the beginning. There are more high-rise buildings lining along the Tarpon River. The other projects are The 42-story Residences of Las Olas, the 25-story 4 West Las Olas, the 45-story 100 Las Olas and the 45-story Las Olas Riverfront Tower 1 and 28-story Tower 2. 

The Greater for Fort Lauderdale Alliance projects a 7.7 percent population growth by 2021. Jessica Savage, of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Conventions and Visitor Bureau, said to cater to the growing population the city also has developed a more dynamic dining and restaurant scene that is attracting well-known chefs, such as Geoffrey Zakarian.

Aside from the new restaurants, there are also new brew pubs, coffee shops and ale houses that have “popped up over the past few years,” Savage said. 

The growth is not limited to the condo market. The hospitality industry is also getting an upgrade with the Hyde Resorts and Residences, Ocean Resort Residences at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, the Four Seasons and the Gale Boutique Hotel & Residences. The hotel renovations include the W Fort Lauderdale.

“The destination is attracting a more affluent demographic and developing a cooler vibe,” Savage said. 

Local 10 News Kerry Weston contributed to this report. 

360 DEGREE RENDERING | 100 Las Olas

Follow this story

Man arrested in attack on homeowner during burglary, police say

A Fort Lauderdale man was arrested last week after he attacked a homeowner during a  burglary, authorities said.

The incident was reported shortly before 9:30 a.m. May 17 at a home in the 1100 block of Southwest 19th Avenue.

Fort Lauderdale police said the homeowner arrived home to find that his house had been broken into.

He armed himself for protection and found the burglar in his home while he was walking through it, detectives said.

Police said the burglar, Darrell Rice, 33, attacked the homeowner and snatched his cellphone away so the victim couldn’t call 911.

Police said Rice tried to disarm the victim and put him in a chokehold.

The victim stabbed Rice in the leg and Rice armed himself with a broomstick, striking the homeowner with it before running out of the house, police said.

The victim suffered a cut on his hand during the struggle.

Officers recovered fingerprints from the broomstick and identified Rice as the suspect.

Rice was arrested the next day on charges of burglary involving a battery, aggravated battery on a person 65 or older and hindering communication with law enforcement.

Follow this story

Young at Art Museum runs Sunland Park Academy’s art programs

The walls at Sunland Park Academy in Fort Lauderdale are bursting with color. Thanks to the school’s art program the students’ paintings will remain on display until the end of the school year. 

Mindy Shrago, the founder of the Young at Art Museum, said she and her team started to work at the school five years ago. 

“We know how important it is to teach through the arts,” Shrago said. 

The museum based in Davie established the school’s art program and continues to run it with Penny Phillips, the school’s art teacher.  

“Art makes no mistakes. You can’t fix art,” Phillips said.  “They have a good time. It’s fun. They can laugh.”

Aside from the day-time art program, the museum also hosts a night-school program for children who are homeless.

 

Follow this story

South Florida prosecutor appears on ‘The Bachelorette’

On the season premiere of ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” Fort Lauderdale attorney Josiah Graham played up the legal-eagle connection with bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.

“I’m not a cheesy guy, but I am the type of guy (who) is going to give her what she wants,” he said. 

On Monday night, at American Social in Fort Lauderdale, friends and family were glued to the televisions at the restaurant to watch Graham make his first impression.

“I know knowing Josiah’s personality, he’s going to be the star of the show,” said college friend Victor Demesmin.

Graham, 28, recently joined the law firm of Kelley/Uustal as a trial attorney and previously served at the state attorney’s office.

He said his brother’s suicide was part of what made him turn to the streets at a young age. He was arrested at age 12 for burglary.

“I went through a diversion program through the state attorney’s office in Broward County and 14 years later I started working for that same office that granted me that second opportunity,” Graham said. 

Graham made the first round of eliminations Monday night, but would not divulge whether he becomes Mister Right.

“That’s a strong possibility, you have to watch and see,” he said.

Follow this story

Man who claimed girlfriend accidentally choked during oral sex found not guilty of murder

A South Florida man who was on trial in the 2015 choking death of his girlfriend has been found not guilty of murder.

Richard Patterson, 65, of Margate, was acquitted Monday of second-degree murder. His attorney, Ken Padowitz, argued during trial that his client accidentally choked Francisca Marquinez, 60, during oral sex.

The jury heard closing arguments in the morning and deliberated for a few hours in the afternoon before returning the verdict.

Patterson did not testify. Instead, the defense called on Dr. Ronald Wright, a former Broward County medical examiner, who said it was possible that Marquinez could have choked during oral sex.

Padowitz told jurors that the medical examiner’s autopsy report said the manner of death was undetermined.

Assistant state attorney Peter Sapak questioned why Patterson didn’t call 911 right away and reminded jurors of testimony from an ex-girlfriend, who said he told her that he choked Marquinez. He also re-read a text message that Patterson’s daughter said she sent him to him the day after Marquinez was killed.

“Your dad did something really bad last night,” Sapak said, reading the text message Amanda Schneider said Patterson sent to her. “I’m so, so sorry.”

Before the trial began, Padowitz filed a motion asking that the jury be allowed to see Patterson’s penis, but the defense rested before Broward County Judge Lisa Porter made a decision.

Patterson hugged Padowitz after the verdict was announced.

Follow this story