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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - Suntree/Rockledge/Viera
Rating: 2.72 / 5 (18 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Dec 21 - 06:23

Panthers collecting used soccer clothing and equipment

Florida Tech is teaming up with "The Give N GO Project" for the remainder of the 2012-13 academic year. The Panthers will be collecting new and used soccer equipment at the front desk of the Clemente Center on campus.

GIVE N GO, a nonprofit organization, uses sports as a means to bridge the gap of socioeconomic status by creating a team atmosphere, building self-confidence and instilling a sense of hope for abandoned kids.

GIVE N GO collects and donates used and new soccer gear, while conducting clinics at orphanages abroad and foster homes in the United States.

The women's soccer team has set up red collection bins at the front desk of the Clemente Center for those who wish to donate.

GIVE N GO will accept any of your used soccer gear, including cleats, shin guards, uniforms, socks, running shoes, workout clothes, balls and any other soccer equipment you are willing to donate.

For more information, call (321) 674-7484.

 

Area transit wins awards

Space Coast Area Transit received four first-place marketing awards during the 38th Florida Public Transportation Association Annual Conference recently held in Daytona Beach.

The awards included:

Print Advertising: an ad promoting new evening service in Titusville on Route 2, from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, as well as a new Searstown Mall Bus Transfer Center.

Electronic Media: a cable TV commercial encouraging mobile device users to "Think Small" and use Space Coast Area Transit's mobile web site.

Signage: a billboard Clear Channel Outdoor placed on four digital locations, congratulating Space Coast Area Transit for winning the 2011 FPTA Outstanding Transit System of the Year Award.

Online Communications: Some of the features Space Coast Area Transit's website, RideSCAT.com, offers users include: an online Google Maps trip planner, interactive maps and schedules, a quick connection to Space Coast Area Transit's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, Vanpoool matching, special services information, en Espanol, and a transit for kids online coloring book.

Masquerade ball helps children and families

At Club Esteem's Eighth Annual Halloween Masquerade Ball, costumed revelers enjoyed a feast prepared by Matt's Casbah, an open bar, a sample craft brew by Barrier Island Brewing, music by Blue Stone Circle, desserts by Elite Sweets and professional photography by Liz Cowie Photography.

The event took place at Mango Manor, Kim Deffebach's historic riverfront home, and more than 300 sponsors and guests attended.

The masquerade ball generated more than $93,000 for Club Esteem's programs and services.

Club Esteem's mission is to inspire children and families from economically disadvantaged communities to embrace the highest standards of academic and personal excellence - instilling in them a desire to learn, serve and accept challenges.

To view a slideshow of the 2012 Masquerade Ball or to make a tax-deductible gift, visit www.clubesteem.com.

To volunteer, contact executive director Ellena Little at (321) 409-8942 or email clubesteem@clubesteem.org.

Financial services representative celebrates 20 years

Nicki Biamonte, financial services representative, financial advisor and investment advisor representative with MetLife, recently celebrated 20 years of service with the company.

Ms. Biamonte focuses on helping individuals and businesses with insurance protection, through life, disability income, and long-term care insurance.

She also concentrates on investment strategies, retirement planning, 401k rollovers and tax saving strategies.

She can be reached at (321) 610-9906 or via email at nbiamonte@metlife.com.

Ms. Biamonte's office is located at 150 Interlachen Road, Melbourne.

Derelict vessel removal efforts continue

The Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program will kick off another phase of its ongoing efforts to remove derelict and abandoned vessels from the county's waterways in December.

Working closely with state and local law enforcement, the county staff has been able to identify approximately 25 vessels derelict or abandoned in county waters.

This continuing work will span Brevard's waterways north to south and is scheduled to remove more than 14 of the 25 identified vessels.

Project support and funding through the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Brevard Boating Improvement Program and the Florida Inland Navigation District has been crucial to the success of this project. This brings the program total to more than 140 vessels removed since 2006.

The project is intended to improve boater safety and protect water quality and submerged aquatic resources in Brevard's Intracoastal waterways.

To report derelict or abandoned vessels, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at (888) 404-3922.

For more information, contact Matt Culver at (321) 633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.

Sights, sounds and Santa at the visitor complex

Guests can celebrate the holiday sights and sounds as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex presents the second annual "Holidays in Space" now through Jan. 1.

The Visitor Complex will be adorned with an array of holiday decorations, feature daily visits and present storytelling with Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as heartwarming performances of favorite holiday songs by strolling carolers.

Santa Claus will greet guests, hear wish lists and pose for photos in Santa's Launch Control Center, located between Astronaut Encounter and Robot Scouts.

Onsite elves, i.e., Kodak representatives, will snap the perfect family photo and provide prints for sale, or guests may capture the moment with their own cameras.

Mrs. Claus will be on hand for some special space-themed story times for kids of all ages, including "The Cat in the Hat," "There's No Place Like Space" and "What the Moon is Like."

Due to their busy holiday schedules, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. through Dec. 24.

Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus will take place at 3:30 p.m. each day. At 4 p.m. daily, Santa and Mrs. Claus make special appearances in the Space Shop.

Immersing guests in the sounds of the holidays, a team of international carolers will perform traditional holiday songs.

The carolers will perform daily at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon in the Rocket Garden, at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Saturn V Center and 4:15 p.m. in the Space Shop.

A towering, 42-foot International Space Station-themed Christmas tree, located in the Rocket Garden, will be adorned with warm-white bulbs, strobe lights and 600 miniature flags from the 15 ISS partner countries.

The International Space Station mural just outside the Rocket Garden will be swathed in holiday candlelight. Decorative wreaths, garlands, lights, ribbons and bows throughout the Visitor Complex add to the holiday festival atmosphere.

"Holidays in Space" is included in admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which is $50, plus tax, for adults and $40, plus tax, for children ages 3-11. Souvenir photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus are available at an additional charge.

With the purchase of a Commander's Club Annual Pass, guests may visit an unlimited number of times for a full year from date of issue.

To celebrate the season, guests can purchase an annual pass a reduced rate of $55, plus tax, and $45, plus tax, for children.

For more information or to purchase tickets for Holidays in Space, call (877) 313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Florida Tech wins tournament championship

Behind an impressive start, Florida Tech (3-1) captured the Hooters of Melbourne Thanksgiving Tournament Championship with a 75-61 win over Morehouse (2-3) at the Clemente Center.

The Panthers won the opening tip, and Julius Reid gave his team a two-point lead four seconds into the game. Although Morehouse's Shawn Allen answered with a lay up, Jermaine Jackson found David Usic in the paint for his first two points of the game. The basket would start a 20-3 run punctuated by a trey from Chris Carter. Carter totaled 14 points during the run, which lasted five minutes and 37 seconds.

The sophomore transfer from the Air Force Academy finished with a season-high 30 points on 8-of-14 from the field, 4-of-9 from the arc and 10-of-13 from the free throw line. He also recorded five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Jackson notched his second double-double of the season with 23 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. He also tied Reid for the team lead with six assists. Reid also had 10 points, five rebounds and six steals.

With the win, Coach Mims is now three victories away from 200 wins as a college head coach. Last season, he surpassed the 500-career win plateau and earned his 100th win at FIT.

Following the game, Carter was selected tournament MVP, and Jackson was named to the all-tournament team. He was joined by Morehouse's Shawn Allen and Andrae Nelson, Rio Piedras' Angel Acevedo and Wisconsin-Parkside's Jeremy Saffold.

For more information, call (321) 674-8250.

 

Key tags for businesses and consumers

A VIP key tag discount membership business, Key Tag Deals, has been launched.

Businesses are required to offer a discount to the VIP Key Tag Members to be listed on the site.  Key Tag Deals designed a beautiful "Made-In-The-USA", biodegradable, lifetime VIP Key Tag that consumers simply need to show to any participating business listed on KeyTagDeals.com to receive a discount!  It's a win-win for both businesses and consumers.

Supporting and promoting local businesses is its only mission.

For more information, contact Bren Duncan at KeyTagDeals@cfl.rr.com, call (321) 961-1121 or visit www.KeyTagDeals.com. 

Student singers seek stardom

The Platinum Coast Chorus, Brevard's local chapter of Sweet Adelines International, a nonprofit organization, has announced its 2013 Rising Star Competition.

Groups who enter the competition must include a minimum of three full-time students, and may be all females, all males or mixed. There is no maximum limit on group members.

Groups may choose their song, but the arrangement must be performed in "a cappella" (voices only) harmony.

Auditions will be held by video DVD and must be received by Jan. 15.

The first-place prize awarded is $200, and the second-place prize awarded is $100, plus groups will have a chance to appear on a live show, Saturday, March 2, at Eau Gallie High School. In addition, winning entrants will enjoy meeting the annual show's special guest quartet, "So Divine," a Sweet Adeline student quartet, which represented at the Atlantic-Gulf Region at the International Convention in Denver in November.

For more information, visit sodivinequartet.webstarts.com for a sneak preview.

For more information contact Nancy at (321) 727-0921 or email platinumcoastchorus@gmail.com.

Bras for a cause

More than 10,000 Brevard County residents, breast cancer survivors, business and community members joined together and put on their pink bras at the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk to fight breast cancer and provide hope to all people facing the disease recently.

This noncompetitive, fundraising event united the community in celebrating breast cancer survivors, educated men and women about the importance of early detection and prevention and raised more than $300,000 to fund lifesaving research and support programs that will further the progress against this disease.

In its second year, the "Put On Your Pink Bra" campaign empowered walkers to wear pink bras in support of the fight against breast cancer.

Brevard County walkers accepted the challenge, decorating their bras with everything from lace to glitter to feathers.

This year, Brevard County's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event was one of 26 held across the state.

The American Cancer Society uses the dollars raised through Making Strides events to fund breast cancer research, provide up-to-date breast cancer information, ensure all women have access to breast cancer screening and treatments - regardless of income - and to provide services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Over time, the Society has invested more in breast cancer research than any other voluntary public health organization. Since 1972, it has invested nearly $323 million in breast cancer research grants, resulting in many of today's breast cancer treatments.

It is not too late to make a donation to Brevard County's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Visit www.putonyourpinkbra.com to help the Society continue making strides and saving lives.

For more information about breast cancer, contact the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Volunteers needed for hospital duties

The Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center and Palm Bay Hospital Auxiliary are in need of volunteers to help support important hospital duties.

Volunteers are needed to help with the information desk, admitting and discharge areas, gift shop, cheer cart, emergency department lobby, greeting services, in-hospital courier services, waiting rooms and golf-cart external transportation to and from the hospital.

After completing a special training class, volunteers are able to choose their hours and areas of interest.

To find out how to become a volunteer at one of these Health First Hospitals, call (321) 434-8519.

Donate late-model sedans, old clunkers or anything in between

St. Vincent de Paul Orlando welcomes any vehicle donation.

All proceeds from local donations are used to support the charity work of St. Vincent de Paul here in Central Florida.

Donating any used car, truck, motorcycle, boat or recreational vehicle - working or non-working - is completely hassle-free and can be easily scheduled by calling (800) 322-8284 or by visiting www.svdpusacars.com.

All donations are tax deductible, and a tax receipt can be issued, if necessary.

One of the oldest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, is a Catholic organization of more than 690,000 men and women throughout the world who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually and offer person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 142 countries on five continents.

With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, membership in the United States totals more than 146,000 in 4,600 communities.

Programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the elderly and medicine.

The organization serves more than 14 million people in need each year, performs more than 644,000 visits to people in their homes, and delivers more than seven million service hours to those in need.

America's veterans honored

Giant Recreation World, Central Florida's No. 1 recreational vehicle dealer network, has announced that on Nov. 11 and 12, the business fed complimentary meals to more than 2,500 veterans and their family members.

Many Giant Recreation World customers, employees and their family members have served in the armed forces, and the event was in recognition of their service to the country.

Veterans enjoyed this recognition at The Country House Restaurant in Winter Garden, which served more than 450 meals.

The Palm Shores Riverview Diner in Palm Shores served almost 500 meals, and at both Steve's Famous Diner locations in Daytona Beach, veterans and their families were served a combined total 1,560 meals.

This special appreciation event had all the diners filled to capacity, with veterans and their families enjoying great food.

Founded in 1976, Giant Recreation World is an industry leader in delivering quality recreation vehicles at a superior value.

The company's 90 employees provide sales and service from three Florida locations: Winter Garden, Melbourne and Ormond Beach.

The company's goal is for every customer to have an excellent consumer experience.

Visit the company's website to learn more about Giant Recreation World's new, used and rental products and customer satisfaction goal of never losing business over price at www.giantrecreationworld.com.

Proposals needed for education flights

NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston is accepting applications from teams of kindergarten, elementary and secondary school teachers to conduct scientific experiments aboard the agency's reduced gravity aircraft next year.

The MicroGravity experience flight program will take place July 12-20, 2013, at Johnson.

Educators selected to fly also will participate in an online professional development course centered on microgravity science in the months before and after their flights.

Interested educators are encouraged to apply at http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov/tfs.

The deadline for proposals is Jan. 9. Selections will be announced Feb. 6.

For more information on NASA's education programs, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education.

Domestic violence survivors offered services

 

Heidar Hesmati, director of the Brevard County Health Department recently received a $90,000 grant from the Shirley E. Noland Foundation. The funding will provide dental care for women, children and men survivors of domestic violence through the Hand Up Dental Clinic at the Brevard County Health Department.

The Hand Up Dental Clinic program was established through the combined efforts of the Shirley E. Noland Foundation, Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine and the Brevard County Health Department.

The Hand Up Dental Clinic will provide dental services for women, children, and men, who have suffered dental trauma as a result of domestic violence.

Individuals should call the Brevard County Health Department at (321) 383-2784 to schedule an appointment with the Hand Up Dental Clinic.

School wins prize for helping kids eat healthy, exercise

Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School in Cocoa Beach was one of only two schools in Florida to earn national recognition in the Fuel Up to Play 60 competition that helps kids exercise and eat a healthy diet that includes fat-free and low-fat dairy.

In addition, the school was one of 25 across the nationwide, which were runners-up to the grand prize winner. Each of the 25 schools received an Xbox 360 console with Kinect and a television.

The contest, FUTP 60's Casting Call Challenge, encouraged students to upload a video, photo or essay that demonstrated how the nationwide in-school program inspired fitness and better nutrition at their school.

For more information, call (321) 868-6660 or email sirounis.michelle@brevardschools.org.

Ice sheet loss at both poles increasing

An international team of experts, supported by NASA and the European Space Agency, has combined data from multiple satellites and aircraft to produce the most comprehensive and accurate assessment to date of ice sheet losses in Greenland and Antarctica and their contributions to sea level rise.

In a recently published landmark study in the journal "Science," 47 researchers from 26 laboratories report the combined rate of melting for the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has increased during the last 20 years.

Together, these ice sheets are losing more than three times as much ice each year (equivalent to sea level rise of .04 inches or .95 millimeters) as they were in the 1990s (equivalent to .01 inches or .27 millimeters).

About two-thirds of the loss is coming from Greenland, with the rest from Antarctica.

Combined, melting of these ice sheets contributed 044 inches (11.1 millimeters) to global sea levels since 1992. This accounts for one-fifth of all sea level rise within the 20-year survey period. The remainder is caused by the thermal expansion of the warming ocean, melting of mountain glaciers and small Arctic ice caps and groundwater mining.

For more information, visit http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov and http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace.

Graduation and dropout rates released

The Florida Department of Education has released the 2011-12 graduation and dropout rates, and Brevard Public Schools' students are much more likely to stay in school and earn a diploma than their counterparts in almost all other Florida public schools.

According to the Federal Uniform Graduation Rate, BPS' graduation rate, at 85.20 percent, remains among the highest in the state (for) 2011-12. The state of Florida graduation rate for 2011-12 was 74.5 percent.

Brevard has the fourth-highest graduation rate in the state, behind Nassau, St. Johns and Gilchrist counties.

Since 2007-08, BPS' graduation rate has risen from 75.90-85.20 percent.

Further evidence that Brevard students are remaining in school can also be seen in the district's dropout rate. BPS' dropout rate is .6 percent, down from .7 percent in 2010-11.

The dropout rate is the percentage of ninth- through 12th-grade dropouts compared to the ninth- through 12th-grade total, year-long membership. The state of Florida dropout rate for 2011-12 was 1.90 percent.

Buy gifts for the animal lovers in your life

Shopping for the animal lovers in your life this holiday season just got a little easier.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of North Brevard's 2013 calendars have arrived, and they make great gifts for teachers, co-workers and at only $10 each, they make great stocking stuffers!

Pick up one, or 10, at the SPCA Adoption Center, Clinic, Thrift Stores or online at www.spcanorthbrevard.com.

You can also find them at Pet Masters, 4266 S. Hopkins Ave., Titusville, or at Island Breakers Billiards Sports Bar, 950 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island. 

The SPCA is the largest private no-kill animal rescue group in Brevard County, and the sales of these calendars will help us find loving homes for even more animals in the coming year.

The SPCA of North Brevard is at 455 Cheney Highway, Titusville.

For more information, call (321) 267-8221, Ext. 256, or visit www.spcanorthbrevard.com.

Local skin care company partners with organic market

Beach Organics Skin Care, a local, organic bath and body company, has announced its new partnership with The Jungle Organic in Indialantic on Highway A1A.

An organic market, Jungle Organics boasts the only organic restaurant in Brevard County, and offers the finest quality of natural and organic foods, produce, supplements and health and beauty products for the whole family.

Beach Organics Skin Care is a local company that manufactures a full range of bath and body products, handmade in small batches, using natural, organic ingredients.

The full product range is available at its headquarters in Cocoa, The Bath Cottage in Cocoa Village, Dr. Rochelle's office in Satellite Beach, Island Therapeutic Massage in Merritt Island, Wellspring Medical in Suntree, Nature's Market in Melbourne and now at Jungle Organic in Indialantic.

Women's tennis schedule announced

Head women's tennis coach Bill Macom has announced Florida Tech's upcoming 2013 schedule.

The 18th-ranked Panthers will open the season on Feb. 2 with four consecutive home games, all against nationally ranked opponents.

Florida Tech will face 14 preseason nationally ranked teams in its 20-match season. Seven of those competitors reside in the Sunshine State Conference, with all of them ranking in the top 26 - eight including the Panthers. FIT will also face the likes of 12 nationally ranked singles players and six ranked doubles teams.

FIT opens the season with conference foe and No. 5 Barry University on Feb. 2 at the Fee Avenue Courts at noon. The Buccaneers enter the season with the No. 9, No. 19 and No. 50 ranked singles players in Division II. The Panthers' own Kristina Huba, who is ranked No. 4, after finishing third at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Small College Nationals this fall, defeated all three of Barry's top singles players on her way to FIT's first-ever ITA South Region Singles Championship.

The Panthers will then host No. 27 Palm Beach Atlantic (2/8), No. 16 Nova Southeastern (2/10) and No. 26 Tampa (2/15) in their opening four-game homestand.

FIT will close out the month of February on the road at Eckerd (2/17), No. 12 Saint Leo (2/18), against No. 46 Chestnut Hill in Tampa and at No. 39 Flagler (2/28). Seven of the eight opponents the Panthers will face in February are preseason nationally ranked.

For more information, visit www.floridatechsports.com/wtennis/roster/ or call (321) 674-7484.

Dog and cat food and supplies needed

The Central Brevard Humane Society is in desperate need of Purina Kitten & Puppy Chow, canned food (kittens, puppies, cats and dogs), dish soap, blankets, comforters, sheets, towels, dog and cat toys, laundry soap, paper towels, rubbing alcohol, Clorox bleach, distilled water and Fabuloso.

All donated items can be brought to the Humane Society, 1020 Cox Road, Cocoa during regular business hours (open seven days a week at 11 a.m. daily).

Gift cards for BJ's Wholesale Club, Home Depot, Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Office Depot, PetsMart, Petco, Pet Supermarket, Target, Sam's Club, Staples and/or WalMart are always appreciated to help with shopping needs.

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

Volunteers needed on island

The Samsons Island volunteer program recruits individuals, families and local organizations to help with park duties that suit the volunteers' ability levels.

Samsons Island is a 52-acre island owned by the city of Satellite Beach. It is located on the Indian River Lagoon.

City volunteers and staff work to re-vegetate the island.

Volunteer any Sunday, from 1-4 p.m. during the regular park workday.

Call Kerry Stoms at (321) 773-6458 or email kstoms@satellitebeach.org.

Beach festival was success

On Dec. 1, a tradition was born with the resounding success of the first Ocean Reef Beach Festival in Satellite Beach.

Pelican Beach Park was filled with 57 exhibits and vendors, ranging from eminent coastal scientists to displays of coastal art from local senior citizens and just about everything in between.

The estimated 2,000 attendees experienced a mix of education, live music, great art, conservation, activities, demonstrations and clinics in a fun, relaxed and festive atmosphere.

There were a group of volunteers that made the event run smoothly. Positive feedback from attendees and vendors almost always mentioned the volunteers as one of the key factors in their enjoyment of the day.

Already there is increased awareness of the dynamic, living coast and the Space Coast reef as a result of the ORBFEST.

Primary sponsors of the event were: Pure Ocean TV, Anglers for Conservation and Surfrider Foundation's Sebastian Inlet Chapter.

For more information, visit www.anglersforconservation.org, call (321) 750-3374 or donate to: Anglers For Conservation, P.O. Box 372423, Satellite Beach, FL, 32937.

High-resolution field maps generated from moon

Twin NASA probes orbiting the moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body.

The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in detail.

Data from the two washing machine-size spacecraft also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

The gravity field map reveals an abundance of features never before seen in detail, such as tectonic structures, volcanic landforms, basin rings, crater central peaks and numerous simple, bowl-shaped craters.

Data also show the moon's gravity field is unlike that of any terrestrial planet in the solar system.

For more information, visit www.nasa.gov.

Warehouse space needed for project ministry

Prison Book Project will lose its Miracle City Mall warehouse on Feb. 2.

Miracle City Mall in Titusville has provided the project with warehouse space since 2001.

It provided the space free of charge. Its generosity has enabled Prison Book Project to expand its ministry to become one of the largest prison/jail ministries in the world, serving more than 1,848 facilities in 50 states, plus 35 countries.

The project has also supplied more than six tons of material to military chaplains in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To continue this ministry, the project must find at least 5,000 square feet of warehouse space very quickly. Since this space will be used to process books, it must be fairly clean and well lit.

For more information, call (321) 269-4100.

New satellite reveals planet at night

Scientists have unveiled an unprecedented new look of the planet at night.

A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before.

Many satellites are equipped to look at Earth during the day, when they can observe the planet fully illuminated by the sun. With a new sensor onboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite launched last year, scientists now can observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours.

For more information, visit www.nasa.gov or www.noah.gov.

New cookbook published

United Order of True Sisters Cancer Service No. 66 has published its first cookbook to help pay for more mammograms for medically uninsured women and men.

Cookbooks are available at the following locations: Creative Energy Salon, 2137 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island; Touch of Class Dry Cleaners, 351 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Cocoa Beach or Precision Hair Salon, Winn-Dixie/Wal-Mart Plaza, Indian Harbour Beach.

Call (321) 452-1044 for more information.

Coat drive is in progress

Led by volunteer Florida coat drive team leader Michael Orlando, in association with local members of the Titusville and Melbourne chambers of commerce, an effort is on to collect as many donated gently used or new coats as possible to be shipped to the New York Cares warehouse and immediately distributed to disadvantaged men, women and children at schools, homeless shelters and community organizations throughout the city.

By the middle of January, all the coats collected will be warming New Yorkers in need. All donations are tax deductible and a donation can be given at the request of donor.

There are more than 47,000 homeless men women and children in the New York area alone. That is more then any city in the United States.

In a normal year, 90 percent of homeless adults need a new, warm coat each winter because they have no place to keep one over the summer months.

But this year, it's not just homeless people who need help.

Thousands of New Yorkers were displaced and left out in the cold or in shelters as a result of the Hurricane Sandy, creating unprecedented demand for warm coats.

Anyone interested in donating a coat or jacket can do so at either one of the drop box locations at the Titusville Chamber of Commerce, 2000 S. Washington Ave., Milliken's Reef, 683 Dave Nisbet Drive, Cape Canaveral or the Melbourne regional chamber, 1005 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne.

Email NewyorkcoatdriveFL@gmail.com for more information.

Scholarship available

Oceanside Charter Chapter of the American Business Women's Association is offering a $2,000 scholarship to a deserving area student.

Each year, local chapters of ABWA provide Stephen Bufton memorial scholarships to female students who will be attending accredited United States colleges, universities and community/vocational schools.

Applicants must be citizens of the United States, residents of Brevard  County and attending college in August 2013 with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Eligible women interested in applying for the scholarship should contact Anita Carbone at acarbone@cfl.rr.com.

  Applications can be found at www.sbmef.org. and must be completed by March 29.

  Money raised for homeless animals

 Bright House Networks 26th Space Coast State Fair raised more than $7,100 for homeless animals at the Central Brevard Humane Society.

The fair was held from Nov. 8-18 on the grounds of Space Coast Stadium in Viera. Thousands of people attended the 11-day event.

Proceeds will go to help pay for food, shelter and medical care for thousands of homeless animals at the Humane Society in Cocoa.

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

Wood bat baseball league to start

A Brevard County winter wood bat baseball division will start Sunday, Jan. 22 and run through March 15. The team fee is $1,285 payable to Brevard County Parks & Recreation.

For more information, contact Troy Cox, recreation coordinator-athletics, Brevard County Parks & Recreation South Area, 1515 Sarno Road; building A. Melbourne, call (321) 255-4400, fax (321) 255-4422 or email troy.cox@brevardparks.com or visit www.brevardcounty.us/south.

Deadline approaches for admission to academy

The Brevard Community College's basic law enforcement academy at the Institute of Public Safety is scheduled to start on Feb. 25.

Those wishing to be considered for admission to the academy must complete all eligibility testing and screening requirements by Jan. 24.

For more information, contact Nann Dragonette at (321) 433-5638 or email dragonetten@brevardcc.edu.

Keeping teens safe on road

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office has partnered with Brevard County State Farm insurance agents supporting the "Celebrate My Drive" initiative to keep teens safe on the road.

State Farm has awarded the sheriff's office a $2,500 grant associated with the campaign, in support of the sheriff's office teen driver education and safety programs.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office offers the teen driver challenge, Brevard STOPPED and sheriff's driving simulators to local teens to promote driver education, awareness and hands-on driver training.

Throughout Florida, State Farm has funded more than $50,000 in similar grants.

Additional information about the sheriff's office teen driving programs can be obtained at www.BrevardSheriff.com (click teen driving programs) or by email at TeenDriver@bcso.us.

Mission awarded grant

Brevard Rescue Mission, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless women with children, was recently awarded a $3,500 grant from the Margaret Binz Foundation.

The funding will be used to support the "A Fresh Start "project, which will supply all paper and hygiene supplies, toiletries, cleaning supplies, basic first aid necessities and over-the-counter medications for six months, for families participating in the program.

Brevard Rescue Mission is privately funded by donations from individuals, civic organizations, foundations, churches and area businesses.

The mission provides housing, education, transportation, counseling, medical care, parent training, household budgeting, tutoring, job training, food and clothing and case-manager support services.

Call (321) 480-9100 or visit www.BrevardRescueMission.org for more information. 

'King,' 'queen' crowned

A basset hound owned by Debbie Wood of Port St. Lucie was chosen king of the park and his queen was Darla, a chihuahua owned by Suzanne Leichtling of Cape Canaveral, at the Central Brevard Humane Society's 10th annual Paws in the Park at the Wickham Park Main Pavilion in Melbourne.

Several hundred people attended the event.

Other awards presented were pet/companion look-alike," awarded to Callie Lou, a border collie/Australian shepherd mix, owned by Cindy Derouen of Cocoa.

Best pet trick went to Sadie, an Australian shepherd, owned by Becky Street of Indialantic. Panzer, a Rottweiler, owned by Ellen and Del Fox of Cocoa, was the winner of the "Jingle Bell Rock" costume contest.

This fun, interactive pet fundraiser included a pooch parade dog walk around the pavilion area, educational and rescue group booths, animal-related vendors and pet contests.

Event sponsors included: Hometown News, AT&T The Real Yellow Pages, Florida Today, Southeastern Honda, Animal Emergency & Critical Care Center of Brevard, Ash Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, Beach Animal Hospital, BJ's Wholesale Club, VeinCare of Brevard and sthorpe.com.

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

Register for technology programs

Brevard Community College is opening registration for three new technology programs as BCC expands areas of study in rapidly expanding job fields.

The programs are cyber security, engineering technology support specialist and 911 public safety telecommunications operator.

The cyber security and engineering technology support specialist programs will be offered for the first time in the 2013 spring term, which begins Jan. 14. The 911 operator program will be launched in February. Students can earn an associate in science degree in cyber security, which includes coursework leading to preparation for the following industry credentials: CompTIA A+; CompTIA network+; CompTIA security+; Cisco certified networking associate; Cisco certified network associate security and Microsoft office systems bundle.

The engineering technology support specialist is a 20-credit hour certificate program that can lead to an associate of science degree in engineering technology.

The program allows graduates to work in areas such as engineering design, manufacturing, processes and production, and testing and maintaining product quality.

The 911 public safety telecommunications operator is an eight vocational credit certificate program.

Successful completion will allow graduates to take the Florida Department of Health exam, which is required to receive a state license to serve as a 911 operator.

For more information, contact Ashley Becker, career and technical programs specialist, at (321) 433-7742 or becketa@brevardcc.edu.

For information, contact 911 program coordinator Tonia Graham at (321) 433-5695 or grahamt@brevardcc.edu.

Next step completed to launch astronauts from home soil

NASA has announced the next step in its plan to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil, selecting three companies to conduct activities under contracts that will enable future certification of commercial spacecraft as safe to carry humans to the International Space Station.

Advances made by these companies during the first contract phase, known as the certification products contracts, will begin the process of ensuring integrated crew transportation systems will meet agency safety requirements and standards to launch American astronauts to the International Space Station from the United States, ending the agency's reliance on Russia for these transportation services.

The second phase of certification will result in a separately competed contract.

The second, expected to begin in mid-2014, will involve a full and open competition. It will include the final development, testing and verifications necessary to allow crewed demonstration flights to the space station.

While NASA works with U.S. industry partners to develop these capabilities, the agency also is developing the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System, a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration.

For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew.

Alliance is accredited

The Brevard Health Alliance has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation, as a result of a recent survey conducted by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

Included in Brevard Health Alliance's award is AAAHC medical home accreditation.

Accreditation distinguishes Brevard Health Alliance from other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by the association's independent, external process of evaluation.

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors, physicians, nurses and administrators, who are actively involved in ambulatory health care.

Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation and not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

Martini voted best on coast twice

The "love martini" a clear, crisp white cranberry concoction made by The Melting Pot in Viera, was the winner for the second year in a row in the Melbourne regional chamber's best martini on the Melbourne Coast competition.

The honor was bestowed on the restaurant at the recent "Martini & Mistletoe" event, sponsored by Twin Rivers Insurance and held at Rosner Chevrolet in Melbourne.

The drink also captured the title last year in people's-choice voting.

Fifteen bars and restaurants were vying for the title, which was sponsored by Florida Today.

Also competing were: Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront with the dark and fluffy marshmallow martini; Rendezvous Restaurant (Holiday Inn Viera) with the flor-ange martini; Outback Steakhouse with the gingerbread martini; The Broken Barrel Tavern with mint chocolate chip;" Atlantic Blue Beach Bar (Hilton Melbourne Beach) with lemon frost; Uno Chicago Grill with the skinny blood orange cosmo; The Dock at River Rocks Restaurant with Santa's sunburn; Island Pasta & Calilou Tapas Bar with naughty and nice; Lafitte's (Hilton Melbourne Rialto) with Rudolph's red nose; Neptune's Bar and Grill with the Greek goddess; Runaway Country Music Festival/ Grills Riverside Seafood Restaurant with Runaway's just a kiss; Longhorn Steakhouse with the goldrush" martini and Victory Casino Cruise Lines with Kirby's blue martini.

Best-decorated bar honors went to Lafitte's at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto.

About 300 attendees voted for their favorites at the event, which ran from 6-9 p.m. Winning bars each got a $250 cash prize and the best martini winner was given a plaque to display acknowledging their win.

The event featured a buffet, dessert bar and live DJ. Ashes Cigar Tavern offered a special smoking area, and discounted rides home were provided by Hollywood Limousine and Taxi.

College rowing coach, team recognized

Florida Tech head coach Jim Granger received the Joy of Sculling's College Coaches award for the 2012 season at the organization's annual conference recently.

University of Virginia head coach Frank Biller presented the award to the Panthers' sixth-year coach in front of approximately 300 coaches.

Coach Biller, who has more than 20 years of rowing experience, won the award last season.

Under Coach Granger's guidance, FIT's men's varsity eight has won the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship three times. When the Panthers hoisted the trophy in 2009, it marked the first time they had won the event in 17 years.

Their success has carried over to the prestigious Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta. In the last three seasons, the varsity eight has raced to two second-place finishes and a third-place finish.

Last season, FIT came in second by a mere 34-hundredths of a second to defending champion University of Michigan.

The Panthers were invited to compete in the world- renowned Henley Royal Regatta for the first time since 1996, following the 2010 Dad Vail Regatta.

On the historic River Thames, they went up against the likes of Cambridge University and Yale University.

FIT will begin its spring schedule in March.

 For more information, call (321) 674-8250.

- For Hometown News




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