Check out the Top 5 Gazette Stories from 2021 covering hit and runs in Wilton Manors and Oakland Park winning a train station battle.

Rosie's Field Trip Causes Furor on Fox News and Goes National

When Fox News decided to cover a benign elementary school field trip to Rosie’s Bar and Grill the story blew up on right-wing media with conservatives lashing out at the bar, the school, and the school board member who chaperoned the annual trip.

The field trip was an annual event held by Wilton Manors Elementary School. Parents had to sign permission slips to allow the children to attend.

Hit-and-Runs Cause Tragedies in Wilton Manors

hitandrunsF

The first accident occurred on April 8 when Glen Flaherty, a 55-year-old gay man, was crossing Northeast Fourth Avenue at the intersection of Northeast 16th Street, near Fort Lauderdale High School, when he was hit by a driver. The driver did not stop.

The second hit and run occurred on Dec. 27 on Powerline Road. The driver, Sean Charles Greer, drove a vehicle onto the sidewalk and hit six children. Greer confessed and was arrested the next day.

Development Debate Dominates Wilton Manors Narrative

Debate

Development was a consistent storyline throughout 2021 as Wilton Manors grappled with changes to its land use and zoning codes.

In March, the city’s planning and zoning board approved the expansion of transit-oriented corridors. The decision led to commissioners increasing density regulations in the code, ultimately settling on 60 units per square acre.

Oakland Park Wins Train Station Battle

OPtrain

A competitive theme in 2021 was the battle between Oakland Park and Wilton Manors to secure a coveted commuter rail station.

In late August, the Florida Department of Transportation recommended Oakland Park, favoring the city’s pedestrian connectivity and facilities, station visibility, street layout, on-street and public parking and planned development. The station is to be located on 12th Avenue between 36th and 38th Streets, south of the Funky Buddha Brewery. It is the only planned stop between Downtown Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. Brightline, a privately funded hi-speed train company, will provide passenger rail service at the station.

Restaurant Fund Keeps Wilton Manors Businesses Alive in 2021

Alibi

The restaurant and bar industry is a big part of the Wilton Manors economy and 13 businesses were able to keep their doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic with help from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Congress specified eligible uses for the funds to include rent and payroll. The $28.6 billion dollar fund, administered by the Small Business Administration, closed July 2, 2021. More than 100,000 restaurants received funding from the program which was part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act.


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