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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - Melbourne
Rating: 1.48 / 5 (40 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Dec 28 - 06:27

School office awarded learning center grant

Brevard Public Schools has announced that the Office of Adult and Community Education has become the recipient of a fifth 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, called "Explorers University."

This five-year grant has a funding total of $3 million and will serve approximately 280 students per day. The award will provide after-school services through School Age Child Care to four elementary schools in the south area: Discovery, Harbor City, Jupiter and Sunrise. The monies will provide academic support in reading, science, math and technology, while offering experiential opportunities.

For more information, call (321) 264-1276, Ext. 3020 or email Francisco.jacalyn@brevardschools.org.

Men's lacrosse assists Alzheimer's walk

 

The Florida Tech men's lacrosse team and coaching staff recently volunteered their time to assist with the "Walk To End Alzheimer's" event at Wickham Park in Melbourne.

The Panthers made a huge impact in the community, while also growing closer together as a team.

Entering into the second season of the program, the young Panther squad assisted in almost every aspect of the Alzheimer's event. They arrived prior to the event to help set up tents, stands and markers along the trail. During the event, players handed out flyers, collected donations, gathered signatures for petitions and even assisted with the event photographer.

One special moment, for not only the team and the coaching staff, but for those in the community who were there to watch, was when a group of the players walked the entire trail with a lady who was in a wheel chair.

The players also formed lines on both sides of the start and finish lines to cheer on the participants. It was something the players and those taking part in the event thoroughly enjoyed.

For information about a "Walk To End Alzheimer's" and the Alzheimer's Association, visit www.alz.org/cnfl/.

Oxygen therapy for pets is now available

The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard is now offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments for pets.

Brevard's first and only hyperbaric oxygen chamber was installed at the facility, and within 24 hours, pre-screened patients began receiving hyperbaric oxygen treatments to assist with post-surgical wound healing.

The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard, located at the southwest corner of Eau Gallie Boulevard and Croton Road, in Melbourne, offers emergency services for pets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There is always a veterinarian on the premises, using state-of-the-art imaging equipment to handle emergency and specialty care needs.

The specialty team includes board certified veterinarians, providing emergency and elective surgery and internal medical treatment, as well as neurology, cardiology, canine physical rehabilitation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

For more information call (321) 725-5365 or visit www.CentralFloridaAnimalER.com.

Car show was a huge success

 

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of North Brevard hosted its Second Annual Hot Dogs, Cool Cats and Wild Rides Car Show, which was presented by Ron Norris Ford, in October.

Despite two other competing car shows (one in New Smyrna, one at the Cape), participant turnout for this worthwhile cause exceeded expectations with 98 cars registered (compared to 60 at last year's event).

There were nearly a dozen trophies awarded to show cars, in addition to drawings for an iPod, a lotto tree and a 50/50 raffle.

The success of this event is a result of the community for its overwhelming support and turn-out and also to the massive network of volunteers supporting the SPCA, including students from the Florida Institute of Technology, whose Delta Upsilon chapter of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity attends major SPCA events to provide the "muscle power" needed to make events like this work.

For more information, visit www.spcanorthbrevard.com.

Top advocate, cop, and attorney for victims' rights awarded

Brevard Sheriff's Agent Cynthia Young's work with domestic violence victims earned the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award from State Attorney Norm Wolfinger during the office's annual observation of victims' rights recently.

The event featured former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth as the guest speaker.

Following his remarks, Mr. Butterworth announced that the annual Attorney of the Year Award would hereafter be known as the Norman R. Wolfinger Attorney of the Year Award. Assistant State Attorney Bill Respess was the recipient.

Mr. Wolfinger began the annual observation of victim rights in 1986, his second year in office. He will resign the post he has held continuously for the past 28 years on Jan. 6.

During his remarks, Mr. Butterworth spoke about how Mr. Wolfinger and his fledgling staff were leaders in the quest for a constitutional amendment, guaranteeing victims' rights to be informed, to be present, and to be heard during court hearings concerning their cases or their loved ones.

Other awards and their recipients were: The Kathy L. King Victim Advocate of the Year Award went to Christina Vinson, an advocate with the Sexual Assault Victim Services unit at the SAO, and Michelle Glover, an advocate with the Titusville Police Department.

The Outstanding Service to Victims Award went to SAO receptionist Kathy Dudley and South Brevard Women's Center volunteer receptionist Diane Reid.

The Sen. Howard Futch Memorial Leadership Award went to community volunteer Delores Spearman.

Mr. Wolfinger also recognized Col. Danny McKnight (retired) with a special leadership award for his lifetime achievements and contributions on behalf of military personnel.

For more information, call (321) 617-7548 or email lhooper@sa18.state.fl.us.

Brevard Workforce honored with Congressional Medal

Brevard Workforce, the area authority on workforce development was recently recognized at the TechNovation Awards Banquet for excellence in supporting the growth and prosperity of technology companies.

President Lisa Rice and community resources coordinator Jan Conrad represented Brevard Workforce in accepting the Congressional Medal of Merit in Technology Cultivation.

An exclusive reception and V.I.P. awards dinner was held to kick off the exposition, hosted by Embraer, a jet aircraft manufacturer, based in Melbourne.

The dinner took place at the Hilton Rialto Melbourne, and John P. Mulholland, vice president and program manager for Commercial Programs Space Exploration at Boeing, presented the keynote address.

Congressman Bill Posey and Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce President Christine Michaels presented Brevard Workforce with a Congressional Medal in recognition of its Bizlaunch program. 

Following the dinner, Brevard Workforce was a marketing partner for the Second Annual Florida TechXpo event sponsored by the Melbourne Regional Chamber, which allowed companies with advanced technologies and innovations to display their products and services to other companies looking for resources and suppliers.

Brevard Workforce's Biz Launch is a networking, support and skill-building group for those contemplating the option of becoming an entrepreneur.

For complete details on all aspects of the event, visit www.floridatechxpo.com.

For more information about the Brevard Workforce BizLaunch program, visit http://brevardworkforce.com/businesses/starting-a-business/bizlaunch.

 

Membership drive is under way

Become a valued member of the Central Brevard Humane Society and receive additional savings, all while helping the homeless animals in the community.

You can start your membership for as little as $15 for an individual or $25 for a family membership. There are also gold, platinum and lifetime membership opportunities available. Your membership term will be good for one full year and starts the day you sign up.

Membership dues are used to care for the animals at the shelter.

Membership cards can be purchased (tax-free) at the Central Brevard Humane Society's Shelter, their "Low Cost" Spay/Neuter & Wellness Clinic (both located in Cocoa), and any of their four Molly Mutt Thrift Shops (located in Merritt Island, Melbourne, Palm Bay and Rockledge).

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

Foundation supports students

Recently, the Harris Corporation, through the Community Foundation for Brevard, presented the Brevard Schools Foundation with a check for $110,000, which will be used to fund multiple programs during the 2012-13 school year.

The donation supports Harris' primary philanthropic platform, which is for quality education, specifically in the area of STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - as these disciplines are extremely important to the future of high tech companies.

Harris employees have given significant time and talent to promote STEM in grades kindergarten through 12, volunteering almost 16,000 hours with the Brevard Public Schools.

Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 125 countries.

Headquartered in Melbourne, the company has approximately $5.5 billion of annual revenue and about 15,000 employees, including 6,000 engineers and scientists.

Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications products, systems and services.

The Brevard Schools Foundation is a direct support 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that matches community resources with the needs of teachers and students. It is ranked fifth in the nation for support to schools.

To learn more or to become a mentor or supporter, visit www.brevardschoolsfoundation.org or call (321) 633-1000, Ext. 756.

Adventures at space center scheduled

This winter, children can have an "out-of-this-world" campout at the Kennedy Space Center's Overnight Adventure.

Guests will come face-to-face with a real astronaut camp experience while camping beneath an actual moon rocket.

They will test their skills on a rocket scavenger hunt and see a larger-than-life IMAX film.

The program includes dinner, snack and a continental breakfast and is ideally designed for youth groups, Scout troops and school group's ages 7-14.

Operating hours for Overnight Adventure are 4:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. the following morning.

Tuition for the program is $99, plus tax, per participant and $79, plus tax, for each attending chaperone. One chaperone per five youth members is required.

For more information or to book an adventure, call (321) 455-7036 or email kscovernightadventure@dncinc.com.

Festival seeking sponsors

The 16th Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, set for Jan. 23-28, is seeking local sponsors, donations, new or gently used items (for silent auction) and volunteers.

The festival usually draws more than 5,000 participants in the field trips, photography field workshops and classroom presentations offered throughout the county.

For more information, call (321) 268-5224, email nata@brevardnaturealliance.org or visit www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.

Real estate professional attends summit

Brian Lightle of Lightle Beckner Robison recently attended the brokerage owner's success summit at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

The R. David Thomas Center at Duke University hosted the commercial real estate brokerage owner's success summit.

The exclusive and intensive two-day conference was restricted to 50 commercial real estate owners and managers across North America.

Lightle Beckner Robison is a full-service, commercial real estate firm specializing in office, retail, industrial, investment properties and asset property management.

LBR serves Brevard county extending across Florida and Georgia.

For more information, visit www.TeamLBR.com.

Nursing Assistant of Year named

Life Care Centers of America's Sun States Region with its CNA of the Year award honored Carmelin Gordon, a certified nursing assistant at Life Care Center of Palm Bay.

Ms. Gordon has worked at Life Care Center of Palm Bay since 2005. She lives in West Melbourne.

Life Care Center of Palm Bay is located at 175 Villa Nueva Ave., Palm Bay. It is one of 21 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Florida operated or managed by Life Care Centers of America.

For more information about Life Care, visit lcca.com.

Group gets jackets for dogs

The Central Brevard Humane Society recently received a donation of 55 Thundershirts through a grant, valued at more than $2,100, from the Petfinder Foundation to use on the homeless dogs at the shelter in Cocoa.

The jackets are designed to reduce the stress and anxiety in shelter dogs, in turn, making them more adoptable and better able to find their new "forever" homes.

Phil Blizzard, whose 10-year-old, 50-pound mutt, Dosi, was extremely frightened by loud noises, such as thunderstorms and fireworks, founded Thundershirt in 2009. The gentle constant pressure of the Thundershirt worked to calm Dosi during those times, according to the company website, thundershirt.com.

The Petfinder Foundation saves lives through adoptions, helping shelters prepare for and recover from disaster and working to make sure animal welfare organizations are more sustainable.

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

Physician of the Year named

Zafar Sharar, on-site physician at Life Care Center of Palm Bay, was named southeast division Physician of the Year for Life Care Centers of recently.

The award was given during a ceremony held at Life Care Centers of America's headquarters in Cleveland, Tenn., as part of the company's annual physicians' symposium.

Five other divisional award winners and a company wide winner were also honored.

Dr. Sharar has the distinction of being the first physician to work for Life Care Physician Services. He took on the new role in 2010, kicking off Life Care's initiative to place physicians in each of its nursing homes.

Life Care Center of Palm Bay is located at 175 Villa Nueva Ave., Palm Bay.

For more information about Life Care, visit lcca.com.

Lacrosse tournament is continued success

 

For the second-straight year, the Florida Tech men's lacrosse program hosted a successful "Battle at the Beach" tournament. Not only did the Panthers show great promise heading into the second year of the program, they also raised money for a good cause.

All proceeds from the second annual tournament were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Melbourne Central Catholic's Hustler Stadium saw crowds supporting each of four teams competing at the event. Fan bases could be heard cheering after each goal was announced over the public address system. It didn't matter which team found the back of the net.

Joining FIT at the event were club teams from Palm Beach Atlantic University, the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida.

For the second-straight year the Panthers won all three of their games, totaling 47 goals on the day. FIT will continue to prepare for its second season in the Deep South Conference beginning in February.

Sea turtles get more help

 

In 2012 the Sea Turtle Preservation Society was awarded two grants by the Sea Turtle Conservancy from monies provided through the purchase of sea turtle license plates in Florida.

The first grant was for a boater education program designed to make boaters aware of the sea turtle population in both the ocean and the Indian River Lagoon.

The second grant was to provide equipment to the Sea Turtle Preservation Society's stranding and salvage team that responds to injured, stranded and dead sea turtles throughout Brevard County. They are the primary group that responds to such calls in the county.

Monies were used to purchase three specially designed constructed carriers or "stretchers" needed when removing a 250-pound turtle from the beach. Water and shockproof digital cameras were purchased to assist in reports on injured turtles

For more information, call (321) 392-3223 or email cheneyd@cfl.rr.com.

Lawyer joins board of governors

Andrew Pickett, an assistant state attorney in the 18th Judicial Circuit, was recently selected and sworn in to serve a two-year term on the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division board of governors for this district.

His fellow young attorneys-at-law in Brevard and Seminole counties elected Mr. Pickett to the post.

He will be one of two representatives serving a two-year term on the board of governors for the circuit.

Additionally, he serves as the president of the Brevard County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

For more information, call (321) 617-7548.

Phone company gives to United Way

For more than 60 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have been strong supporters of the United Way both at the national and local levels.

AT&T has continued this legacy of support through a contribution of $8,000 to United Way of Brevard County.

In 2012 alone, AT&T gave $5.77 million to 574 local United Ways across the country.

The United Way of Brevard County will use the contribution to support programs that create long lasting change in the local community.

Additional information about AT&T and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at www.att.com.

New NASA online science resource available

NASA has a new online science resource for teachers and students to help bring Earth, the solar system and the universe into

the schools and homes.

Called NASA Wavelength, the site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college and

out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science.

Educators at all levels can locate educational resources through information on educational standards, subjects and keywords and other relevant details, such as learning time required to carry out a lesson or an activity, cost of materials and more.

For access to NASA Wavelength, visit http://nasawavelength.org. For information on NASA's science mission directorate, visit http://science.nasa.gov/. For information about NASA education programs, visit www.nasa.gov/education.

College sophomore earns award

 

The College Sports Information Directors of America recently named Florida Tech's Drake Hillman to its Capital One Academic All-District 5 Men's Soccer Team.

Hillman, a sophomore forward, currently has a cumulative grade point average of 3.63, while working toward his degree in meteorology. He was also named to the FIT Athletic Director's Honor Roll after his first season with the Panthers.

The Plymouth, England, native was recently named to the All-Sunshine State Conference Men's Soccer Second Team. He is also a two-time SSC Men's Soccer Player of the Week.

Hillman led the Panthers for the second consecutive year in points (17) and goals (7). In two seasons, he has collected 12 goals and five assists for 29 career points. Hillman also has recorded five career game-winning goals, three this season.

For more information, visit www.cosida.com/media/documents/2012/11/Mens_Soccer_2012_Academic_All_District_Teams.pdf or call (321) 674-7484.

Spot the international space station over your backyard

On the 12th anniversary of crews continuously living and working aboard the International Space Station, NASA has announced a new service to help people see the orbiting laboratory when it passes overhead.

"Spot the Station" will send an email or text message to those who sign up for the service a few hours before they will be able to see the space station.

When the space station is visible - typically at dawn and dusk - it is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon. On a clear night, the station is visible as a fast moving point of light, similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus.

"Spot the

Station" users will have the options to receive alerts about morning, evening or both types of sightings.

The International Space Station's trajectory passes over more than 90 percent of Earth's population. The service is designed to only notify users of passes that are high enough in the sky to be easily visible over trees, buildings and other objects on the horizon.

To sign up for "Spot the Station," visit http://spotthestation.nasa.gov.

For information about the International Space Station and a full list of sightings, visit http://www.nasa.gov/station.

University qualifies for first-ever championship appearance

 

Florida Tech men's cross country used a pair of top-five finishes at the NCAA Division II South Regional at Sharon Johnston Park to rank the team in third place, good enough to qualify for its first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship.

Two All-Sunshine State Conference runners did not disappoint for the Panthers as senior Moses Kirui and graduate student Chris Cacciapaglia finished second and third, respectively, to lead the Crimson and Gray.

Another All-SSC runner David Boiywo added another top-25 finish for the Panthers with a time of 33:08.89. Ross Russell and Ezekiel Zauner rounded out the scoring for FIT with 39th and 48th place finishes, respectively.

While this is the first team qualification for the Panthers, the Crimson and Gray are no strangers to the national stage. Last year, Kirui was the top South Region runner, qualifying for the national championship in Spokane, Wash.

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

University victorious in golf tournament

 

Florida Tech men's golf finished the 2012 fall season with a victory over Brevard Community College in the Collegiate Players Cup. The Panthers earned four points in individual match play to outlast BCC in a 9-7 win.

Facing a 5-3 deficit, BCC battled back to even things at 5.5 points each. The Panthers got a much-needed victory from sophomore Brandon Lau to retake the lead at 6.5-5.5. BCC's Kyle Benson took Match 12 to even the score for a second time on the day, however junior Justin Kalanquin brought the score back in FIT's favor with a 3-and-1 win.

Holding an 8-7 lead, sophomore Ray Badenhorst took a 1-up win with a par on the final hole to bring home the overall team victory. The Panthers took victories in three of the individual matches while halving two matches to hold the two-point lead.

The Panthers conclude the fall season, but will now turn sights to the spring championship season. Last season, FIT earned a pair of victories before taking third in the Florida Blue Sunshine State Conference Championship.

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

High school student selected as national scholar

Ian Chan, a junior at West Shore Junior/Senior High School, has been selected as Brevard's 2012-13 Sunshine State Scholar. Included below is a complete list of the Brevard Sunshine State Scholar finalists.

This prestigious award recognizes superior achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Selection was based upon test scores, GPA, advanced coursework, and successful participation in co-curricular and extracurricular STEM activities.

Ian and other Sunshine State Scholars from around the state will be honored in February at a two-day Sunshine State Scholars Program in Orlando.

For more information, contact Walter Christy, director of secondary programs at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 310, or Cyndi Van Meter, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction, at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 300.

The 2012-13 Brevard Sunshine State Scholar finalists are: John Garrett, Astronaut High School; Kevin Nguyen, Bayside High School; Rachel Rintelmann, Cocoa High School; Albert Halbing, Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School; Rebecca Fleeman, Eau Gallie High School; Diana Konarzewski, Edgewood Junior/Senior High School; Brian Truong, Heritage High School; Nina Li, Merritt Island High School; Ali Mata, Melbourne High School; Luis Salazar, Palm Bay High School; Coleman Hilburn, Rockledge High School; Yasmine Zubi, Satellite High School; Aaron Giles, Space Coast Junior/Senior High School; and Luke Evans, Viera High School.

Register for race

Registration is now open for the 20th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race, which challenges high school, college and university students around the world to build and race fast, lightweight "moonbuggies" of their own design.

The students' work will culminate in two days of competitive racing April 26-27, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA created the event two decades ago to complement classroom learning, provide young thinkers and builders with real-world engineering experience and inspire them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the STEM fields.

International registration for the 2013 race closes Jan. 7. Registration for U.S. teams closes Feb. 4.

Participating high schools, colleges and universities each may register up to two teams and two vehicles.

For complete rules and to register, visit http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov.

Racers compete to post the fastest vehicle assembly and race times in their divisions, while incurring the fewest penalties.

Prizes are awarded to the three teams in each division that finish with the lowest final times.

NASA and industry sponsors present additional awards for engineering ingenuity, team spirit, best debut by a rookie team and more.

To date, more than 5,000 students from around the world have participated in the races.

More than 350,000 people watched live and archived coverage of the spring 2012 race on NASA TV and on Ustream

Golf tournament a success

The Viera East Ladies 18 Hole Golfers hosted the annual combined 18/9 holers tournament in early November.

Gladys Gillette and Joyce Shorts of the 18 Holers made arrangements for the tournament, called "Make A Wish," Dottie Tauble and Beth Cowger from the 9 holers helped with the signing in.

Each hole was a surprise and the best was "skip the over the water hole on No. 14."

Elaine Ferrantelli, 18 Hole President, arranged lunch.

Placing first was the team of Sue Buttner, Elaine Ferrantelli, Gladys Gillette and Marchelle Zweber.

Two schools receive blue ribbon awards

West Melbourne Elementary School for Science and West Shore Junior/Senior High School were named 2012 National Blue Ribbon schools.

Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education's National Blue Ribbon schools program has recognized public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' levels of academic achievement.

For more information, call (321) 956-5040, email marshall.neleffra@brevardschools.org or call (321) 242-4730 or email fleming.rick@brevardschools.org.

Basketball legend/hall of famer attends local luncheon

 

Nearly every seat was occupied in the Hartley Room in the Denius Student Center on the Florida Tech campus recently, as the 2012-13 basketball season kicked off with the Florida Tech Panther Club tip-off luncheon.

National Basketball Association legend and Hall of Fame member Sam Jones recounted tales of his playing days.

Mr. Jones was the guest speaker of the luncheon and spoke for nearly half an hour to the nearly 160 people in attendance. He captivated his audience with tales of playing with his Boston Celtics teammate and superstar Bill Russell while recounting humorous stories of a budding on-court rivalry with the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson.

The 10-time NBA champion and five-time all-star concluded his speech by directly addressing the members of both the men and women's teams.

He emphasized the importance of their education over any basketball success.

Mr. Jones played NCAA Division II basketball at North Carolina Central, before becoming a first- round draft pick in 1957.

Mr. Jones was preceded in the luncheon by remarks from head men's and women's basketball coaches Billy Mims and John Reynolds.

For the 2012-13 men's basketball schedule, visit www.floridatechsports.com/mbasketball/schedule/.

For the 2012-13 women's basketball schedule, visit www.floridatechsports.com/wbasketball/schedule/.

Removing gall bladder through belly button

A surgical team at Wuesthoff Health System in Rockledge recently performed a da Vinci single-site cholecystectomy. In this surgery, the patient's gallbladder is removed through one tiny incision in the belly button, making the procedure virtually scar less.

Led by H. Drexel Dobson III, general surgeon, the team removed the gallbladder using Single-Site instruments on a da Vinci System.

The minimally invasive procedure is traditionally called a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).

Using robotic assistance, surgeons removed the gallbladder through an incision of approximately 2 inch.

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the specialized single-site instruments for use with the da Vinci System in December 2011.

Dr. Dobson is one of a small group of surgeons in the country who has received training to perform the surgery.

Potential benefits of single-site gallbladder surgery may include virtually scar less results, minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, a short hospital stay and high patient satisfaction.

The surgery can be performed in about one hour with a typical hospital stay of less than 24 hours.

During the procedure, the surgeon sits comfortably at a console, viewing a 3-D, high-definition image of the patient's anatomy.

The surgeon uses controls below the viewer to move the instrument arts and camera. In real-time, the system translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into more precise movements of the miniaturized instruments inside the patient.

Unlike traditional robotic surgeries requiring three to five small incisions, this new technology allows for a single incision in the belly button where instruments are placed and the diseased gallbladder is removed.

Regatta crew performs well

Space Coast Crew recently competed against 10,000 fellow competitors at the 2012 Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Held on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, the Head of the Hooch is the second largest regatta in the nation and the largest in the south.

More than 10,000 competitors, representing thousands of teams from across the nation and Canada, raced at this year's Head of the Hooch.

Overall, the 2012 Head of the Hooch was a successful weekend for the men and women of Space Coast Crew.

All the athletes performed well, posting times and results earning of respect among a group of teams from across the U.S. and Canada.

With the end of the Head of the Hooch weekend, Space Coast Crew ends its fall season and transitions to winter conditioning.

The Brevard County rowing team will compete next at the Southern Sprints indoor rowing event on the campus of Florida Technical College in early February.

To join the youth or adult program or get more information, visit www.spacecoastcrew.org.

Ski club adventures

Brevard County has a very active snow ski club, Space Coast Ski Club, which offers wonderful prices on ski trips. Group travel is so easy, and the trips are filled with fun-filled people. The trips are planned and organized, from start to finish, and all you have to do is sign up and write your check.

The Space Coast Ski Club is part of the Florida Ski Council that consists of 17 clubs from all over Florida. The purpose of the Florida Ski Council is to promote snow skiing and to plan trips to ski destinations both in the United States and abroad.

A local Brevardian is now president of the Florida Ski Council. Clair Quenzler, a native of Merritt Island, who grew up water skiing and not snow skiing, is the president. She is enthusiastic about snow skiing, but mostly enjoys the fun and adventuresome people she has met on the Space Coast Ski Clubs trips.

The Florida Ski Council trips for 2013 are to Heavenly (Lake Tahoe) and Big Sky. The trips for 2014 are Snowmass and Park City.

For more information, visit spacecoastskiclub.com. 

 

Foundation celebrates volunteers

Recently, the Space Coast Cancer Foundation hosted a Daffodil Society volunteer luncheon to honor the time and energy donated by local community members.

The luncheon was held at the Space Coast Cancer Center Titusville office.

Daffodil volunteers were able to share testimonies in helping patients by volunteering and giving back to the community. There are many opportunities to volunteer with SCCF.

The SCCF mission is to assist cancer patients and their caregivers in the community with the financial and emotional demands that are associated with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

If you are interested in becoming a Daffodil volunteer, call (321) 264-5504.

Hospice honors volunteers

Hospice of St. Francis' purpose is to provide care, compassion and comfort for Brevard residents nearing end-of-life and their families.

Volunteers play an important part in fulfilling that mission.

Providing more volunteer hours than the national average, Hospice of St. Francis volunteers were honored for their contributions at a recent appreciation dinner.

Volunteer Tim Brown received recognition for contributing 333 patient support hours in the past year. He transports patients, provides visits, errands, respite and has even visited patients in his Santa Claus suit. He also volunteers with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Meals on Wheels and homeless veterans.

Volunteer Carl Dome was acknowledged for volunteering 495 hours in administrative support. Carl works in the office, providing administrative support to the bereavement and admissions teams, in addition to couriering.

Several volunteers celebrated milestone anniversaries: Lisa Aaron, Frank Ballistreri, Martha Hyde, Pat Widick and Joyce Wilson with five years of service; Amy Boland, Loretta Kerr and Bonnie Thompson with 10 years of service; and Betty Kitchens with 15 years of service.

In addition to honoring the specially trained volunteers, community crafters were recognized for donating Alzheimer's activity aprons, lap robes, clothes protectors and handcrafted cards for hospice patients.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, call (321) 269-4240 and ask for volunteer coordinator Vicky Hamilton at the Titusville Office or Mary Larson at the Melbourne Office.

Hospice of St. Francis, Brevard County's first hospice, is an independent, non-sectarian, nonprofit organization providing care for patients and support for loved ones.

For more information about programs and services, call (321) 269-4240, (866) 269-4240 toll free or visit www.hospiceofstfrancis.com.

  

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Lab equipment donated to program

 

The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard recently donated a vet lab station and an assortment of lab-related items to Brevard Community College's Veterinary Technology Program.

Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center has had a longstanding relationship with the BCC veterinary technician program to include not only donating equipment to the program, but also offering students the opportunity to work their required clinical rotations.

The Animal Emergency and Critical Care Center of Brevard, located at the southwest corner of Eau Gallie Boulevard and Croton Road in Melbourne, offers emergency services for pets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There is always a veterinarian on the premises, using state-of-the-art imaging equipment to handle emergency and specialty care needs.

Its specialty team includes board certified veterinarians, providing emergency and elective surgery and internal medical treatment, as well as neurology, cardiology, canine physical rehabilitation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

For more information, call (321) 725-5365 or visit www.CentralFloridaAnimalER.com.

Boating class offered

The Banana River Sail and Power Squadron will offer the Basic Boating Course, with a two-session class scheduled on consecutive Saturdays.

The classes will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16 and 23, from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at West Marine, 1001 W. New Haven Ave., (U.S. Highway 192), West Melbourne.

The fee for the class is $50. Bring your lunch. Refreshments will be served.

This course covers must-know topics: types of boats, hulls and propulsion methods, rules of the road, required safety equipment, navigation aids, lights and sounds, anchoring, communications afloat, adverse conditions, water sports safety, trailering and personal water craft safety.

Additionally, an on-the-water session will also be held demonstrating trailer launching and retrieval; and hands-on basic boat handling, anchoring and docking.

For more information, contact Ernst G. Hofmann at hofmanneg@juno.com or call (321) 220-7776.

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.

Engine maintenance course offered

 

The Banana River Sail & Power Squadron is offering its very popular marine maintenance course again in January.  The number of student slots is limited due to the individual attention given to attendees and the classroom setting in a marine engine repair shop.

The first class will be held on Jan. 17; however, registration closes on Thursday, Jan. 3.

The course will be held at the repair facility of Lew Rivers and Associates, 355 Tortoise View Drive, Satellite Beach.

This course is all about the maintenance and diagnosis of modern systems and gasoline inboards, outboards and diesel engines. This is a "must have" class for all who wish to maintain and extend the life of their marine engines.

Go to www.BRSPS.org to register online with PayPal; or send a check, payable to BRSPS, to Ernst Hofmann, 290 Paradise Blvd., No. 36, Indialantic, FL, 32903.

For more information, call (321) 777-9462.

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.

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.

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.

General inducted into alumni society, writes book

Lt.  Gen. Clarence McKnight, retired U.S. Army general, was inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Society at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn., on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

The award rendered to graduates of the War College for their work following military service, was for his work in civilian education centering on the use of computer technology in the classroom.

General McKnight became a prominent leader in digitalization during his military service and carried that knowledge into education.

His military career spanning the Korean Conflict to Desert Storm is chronicled in his forthcoming book "From Pigeons to Tweets."

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the University of Michigan Graduate School of Engineering, Gen. McKnight is also a Distinguished Graduate of West Point who rose to command the Army's Signal Corps and  introduced computer directed warfare during Desert Storm. He concluded his career as Director of Command, Control and Communications Systems for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington D.C.

Gen. McKnight is a native of Memphis, Tenn., and currently resides in the Capital District.

His book, "From Pigeons to Tweets," will be published by the History Publishing Company on Jan. 14.

For more information, contact Don Bracken, History Publishing Company LLC, at djb@historypublishingco.com.

Agency named in 'best place to work' survey

NASA was named the best place to work in the federal government, among large agencies in a survey recently released by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization.

This ranking, which reflects NASA's highest results since the index was developed, makes clear that the agency's workforce is focused on carrying out the nation's new and ambitious space program.

The rankings are based on responses from nearly 700,000 federal workers. The Best Places to Work rankings are based on data from the Office of Personnel Management's annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, conducted from April through June 2012 and additional survey data from nine agencies, plus the Intelligence Community.

This is the seventh edition of the Best Places to Work rankings since the first in 2003.

NASA's Stennis Space Center was ranked second in the sub-agency component category.

For more about NASA, visit http://www.nasa.gov.

Congressman appointed to space committee

Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) has been appointed to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, which has jurisdiction over NASA, space exploration, aerospace, energy research and development and marine research.

Congressman Posey's newly redrawn Congressional District 8 now includes the Kennedy Space Center and is home to the many of the nation's leading aerospace firms and research facilities.

As a young man, Bill Posey worked on the nation's Apollo Space Program until being laid-off with thousands of other space workers, following the successful Moon landing in 1969.

Having lived much of his childhood and all of his adult life in Brevard County, he has remained an active leader in space policy for many years, serving as a member of the Florida Space Authority Board of Supervisors, the Florida Commercial Space Finance Corporation and as a member of the Board of Directors for Space Florida.

In Congress, Posey has worked across the aisle to introduce legislation to strengthen America's space program. He was the lead sponsor of the American Space Access Act, a bipartisan bill to close the space gap between the Shuttle and Constellation program, the REAL Space Act, bipartisan legislation directing NASA to plan a return to the Moon, and the Race for Space Act, which passed the House last May.

Congressman Posey is also a prime co-sponsor of the Space Leadership Preservation Act, legislation to create a longer term for the NASA administrator to insulate the agency from political changes and to ensure that our nation's long-term space programs have the continuity that is needed to see them through to completion.

For more information, call (202) 225-3671 or visit www.posey.house.gov.

Fly in a vintage plane

The Valiant Air Command has announced that one of its most venerable warbirds is now flying in the local area; the C-47 "TiCo Belle." From the Normandy invasion to Cherbourg, to Arnhem, to Bastogne, to the Berlin Airlift and more, this aircraft was there, more than 65 years ago.

Now, you can experience all this history as a special and unique present for yourself, or someone you love.

Email vacwarbirds@bellsouth.net for more information, or to get on a reserve list to schedule a flight schedule.

When the Tico Belle flies, with you aboard - complete with Normandy invasion identification stripes - you will be able to look out and truly imagine what it must have been like on that fateful June 6, 1944, a day when the freedom of a world hung in the balance as she made her way in the pre-dawn darkness towards the beaches of Normandy; part of the largest aerial invasion armada the world has ever seen.

The Valiant Air Command Museum is located at the Space Coast Regional Airport at 6600 Tico Road, in Titusville.

For more information, visit www.vacwarbirds.org or call (321) 268-1941.

Order sea oats today

It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting, through the annual sea oats sale, offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Office and Keep Brevard Beautiful Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48, while supplies last.

Quantities may be limited this year, so order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Feb. 1, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller.

The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at (321) 633-2016, Ext. 52431, email paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit http://ww3.brevardcounty.us/natres/documents/2013_sea_oats_info_and_order_form.pdf.

Speech contests planned

Can your high school daughter or son talk for 4-6 minutes? Would they like the chance to earn more than $4,000 in cash?

The National Management Association is sponsoring the American Enterprise Speech Contest.

The first level of competition is February through March, and the second level is in April.

Any student in Brevard County in grades ninth-12th is eligible to participate.

The primary purpose of the contest is to promote and strengthen leadership skills in our leaders of tomorrow, by involving youth in research, writing and delivering a speech on that subject.

Also, the contest enhances the development of communication skills that are vital to those entering the workforce. The financial rewards are an additional boost to the winning students to achieving their dreams.

Four different chapter contests will be conducted in February through March. Students can only compete in one.

Winners of those competitions will complete at the council level in April.

The winner of that competition will win a trip to compete in the east area competition sometime in May or June.

The winner of the area contest will win a trip to compete in the national contest in September.

Those interested in competing must start eligibility process by Jan. 25.

Contest rules and information can be found at http://nma1.org/Speech_Contest/Speech_Contest.html.

For more information or to get applications to start eligibility, contact Violet Smith at violet.e.smith@lmco.com or call (321) 853-5550.

- For Hometown News




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