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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - north Brevard
Rating: 1.5 / 5 (4 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Jan 11 - 06:22

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.

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.

Donations for medical equipment bank needed

The Sunflower House is currently accepting donations for its medical equipment bank.

At this time, wheelchairs, walkers with seats, canes and shower chairs are most needed.

The medical equipment bank loans equipment to individuals, age 60 and older, and to caregivers of individuals age 60 and older who are in need.

Call (321) 452-4341 to make an appointment to donate or pick up equipment. This program is donation-based.

The Sunflower House is a senior and caregiver resource center located in the Merritt Square Mall and is a program of Aging Matters in Brevard.

The Sunflower House is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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.

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.

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.

New park, lake in north county

The North Brevard Senior Center would invites all community members to visit the newly opened Vern Jansen Park at George Van Staden Lake.

Paved walkways lead to a wooden boardwalk around the lake from the North Brevard Senior Center parking lot, wheelchair accessible.

The 1/3-mile walk provides a quiet, scenic place to practice healthy exercise, with a pavilion and barbeque area. The center offers scheduled group participation walks.

For more information, contact the North Brevard Senior Center at (321) 268-2333.

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.

Toys and breakfast bring in crowd

Merritt Island Airport was a busy place on Saturday, Dec. 8. Many of the pilots had arrived early to transform the Space Coast Aviation hangar into a Santa's Toy Shop annex.

John Lanahan and Thomas Newman fired up the grill and started cooking. Don White started making coffee and mixing pancake batter. Others set up the tables, chairs, plates, cups, utensils, etc for the pancake breakfast.

Ms. Mooney, Tony Yacono's airplane, was wheeled into the hangar and made ready to receive toys.

Soon after, other pilots, friends and neighbors started arriving carrying toys which they exchanged for breakfast.

A couple from Ohio, who spend the winter in Cape Canaveral, came by to officially start their holiday season, as they have done for several years. Radio station WGRV was there and played Holiday music for the diners. They even did some remote broadcasts from the airport in order to encourage more folks to come and join in.

By noon time, Santa's helpers had served approximately 145 pancake and sausage breakfasts and had collected a grand total of 398 toys, including six bikes and more than $200 in cash donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign.

Holiday parade winners announced

Brevard County Parks and Recreation Central Area is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Cocoa/Rockledge Holiday Parade, which was held on Saturday, Dec. 8.

JUDGES CHOICE:

Gardendale Elementary Magnet School GEMS Showstoppers

SCHOOL BAND:

First Place: Tiger Regiment Marching Band; Second Place: Clearlake Middle School Band; Third Place: Rockledge High School Band & JROTC

YOUTH CIVIC:

First Place: Cub Scout Pack No. 321; Second Place: Manatee Shores Girl Scouts; Third Place: Cub Scout Pack No. 706

ADULT/YOUTH CIVIC:

First Place: Mt. Tabor Drumline Baptist Church;

Second Place: Teen Missions International;

Third Place: Northwest Baptist Church

ADULT CIVIC:

First Place: Rotaract Club of Cocoa; Second Place: Bridges Inc.; Third Place: Impact of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps

SCHOOL:

First Place: Endeavour Elementary; Second Place: Kennedy Middle School; Third Place: McNair Magnet School

COMMERCIAL:

First Place: Cocoa Little League, sponsored by Tron's Auto and Towing; Second Place: Chaparral Mexican Grill; Third Place: Riley's Childkare

For more information, call (321) 633-1874 or email sofia.troy@brevardparks.us.

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.

School employee finalists

Three school resource officers, one media assistant, an instructional assistant and a school-age childcare coordinator are finalists for Brevard County's Employee of the Year award.

The six finalists include: Etienne Grason, a school-age child care coordinator from Ralph Williams Elementary School in Rockledge; school resource officers Charles Landmesser from West Shore Junior/Senior High School in Melbourne, Ray'Nisha Mason from Stone Middle School in Melbourne and Michael Williams from Merritt Island High School in Merritt Island; Elizabeth Thomas, instructional assistant at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School in Cocoa Beach; and Eileen Rouse, media assistant, Croton Elementary School in Melbourne.

Finalists were nominated by his or her school or department.

A selection committee reviewed the written nominations and chose those who they believed contributed most significantly to improvements at their school sites or within the district.

The district winner will be announced at an awards gala, hosted by Brevard Schools Foundation, on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

The winner's name and nomination packet will be submitted to Tallahassee to represent Brevard in the Florida School Related Employee of the Year program.

For more information, about the Florida School Related Employee of the Year program, or the finalists, contact Pam Escobar, administrative assistant, district communications, at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 796, or email escobar.pam@brevardschools.org.

Preparing for 'Paws in the Park'

The Central Brevard Humane Society is inviting local businesses and rescue groups to take part in its Seventh Annual Mardi Gras Paws in the Park event that will be held in conjunction with Cocoa Village Mardi Gras on Sunday, Feb. 10, from noon to 3 p.m. at Riverfront Park in historic Cocoa Village.

Sponsorship opportunities for Mardi Gras Paws in the Park are for individuals and businesses at all levels, beginning at $100 for the "Purple" sponsorship and up to $1,000 and above for the primary sponsorship, "The Big Easy."

This annual event features extensive promotion and offers a fantastic quality "bang for your buck" for sponsors - all while having exceptionally high charitable returns for the homeless animals of Brevard.

The cost for businesses to be a part of the vendor village at Mardi Gras Paws in the Park is $50. All rescue groups may participate at "no charge" (pending space availability). Vendors and rescue groups must supply their own tables, chairs, promotional materials, display racks and setup staff.

Mardi Gras Paws in the Park is a free animal and family-friendly event for pet lovers, young and the young at heart, that will include rescue groups, a vendor village, pet contests, the crowning of the "furry" "King and Queen of the Park," a demonstration from the Brevard Sheriff Department's Paws & Stripes Cadets, a Mardi Gras "Parade of Pets" and live entertainment. All animals must be on a leash and have proof of current shots along with a county tag.

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

Holiday presents and gift cards for food items, gas

Employees at the Brevard Public School's Educational Services Facilities completed its "Giving from the Heart" campaign.

Twenty-six families, with more than 60 children, were given holiday presents and food and gas gift cards.

More than $6,000 was raised through internal fundraisers, department ice-cream socials, bake sales, jewelry sales and a silent auction.

Some families also received toys and clothing.

The mission of the campaign is to make the holidays a little brighter for some who might be struggling to make ends meet.

For more information, contact Ginny Gleason at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 389.

Wood storks no longer in danger

Wood storks in the Southeastern United States no longer face imminent danger of extinction.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to upgrade the status of the United States breeding population of wood storks from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The proposal follows a comprehensive review, conducted by service biologists, of the best available scientific and commercial information about the species' status.

The wood stork is the only true species of stork nesting in the United States.

Since its original ESA listing as endangered in 1984, the U.S. breeding population has shown substantial improvement in the numbers of nesting pairs as a whole and the expansion of its breeding range.

The proposed reclassification would not change any conservation or protection measures for the wood stork under the ESA. Rather it would recognize the stork's ongoing recovery and the positive impact that collaborative conservation efforts over the last two decades have had on breeding populations

With a continuing trend, the species could become suitable for de-listing from the ESA.

Therefore, addressing the threats associated with habitat loss, including the protection of natural wetlands through partnerships and the focused management of public lands, remains a conservation priority for the Service.

To ensure its final decision reflects the best available information, the service is soliciting comments from the public, other concerned governmental agencies, Tribal governments, the scientific community, industry and any other interested parties.

Of particular interest is information and comments concerning the historical and current status and distribution of the wood stork, its biology and ecology and ongoing conservation measures for the species and its habitat.

Anyone wishing to submit information regarding the wood stork throughout its Southeast U.S. breeding range may do so via one of the following methods once the rule has published:

 o Federal eRulemaking

Portal:

http://www.regulations.

ov. Follow the instructions

for submitting comments

for Docket FWS-R4-ES

2011-0020.

o U.S. mail or hand

delivery: Public Comments

Processing, Attn: FWS-R4

ES-2011-0020; Division of

Policy and Directives

Management; U.S. Fish

and Wildlife Service; 4401

N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 222;

Arlington, Va. 22203.

 

Satellite arrives at space center

NASA's newest tracking and data relay satellite, known as TDRS-K, arrived recently at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in preparation for a Tuesday, Jan. 29 launch.

TDRS-K arrived aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 from the Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems assembly facility in El Segundo, Calif.

For almost 30 years, the TDRS spacecraft have provided a reliable communications network for NASA, serving numerous national and international space missions.

The TDRS fleet is a space-based communication system used to provide tracking, telemetry, command and high bandwidth data return services. The satellites provide in-flight communications with spacecraft operating in low-Earth orbit. It has been 10 years since NASA's last TDRS launch.

TDRS-K will launch to geo-stationary orbit aboard an Atlas V rocket.

The spacecraft is the first of three next-generation satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the fleet

The launch of TDRS-L is scheduled for 2014 and TDRS-M in 2015.

NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance provides the Atlas V rocket launch service.

To join the online conversation about TDRS on Twitter, follow the hashtag #TDRS.

To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit http://www.nasa.gov/connect.

For more information about TDRS, visit http://tdrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/.

Rescue mission receives funds

Brevard Rescue Mission, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless women with children, recently received $3,500 in cash and supplies from the Suntree Ladies Golf Association.

Funding will be used to support program services for the families.

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

Kids club visit, sing for residents

On Sunday, Dec. 16, Knucklebones Creative Kids Club delighted senior residents of the West Melbourne Health and Rehabilitation Center with Christmas songs.

Looking like Christmas elves, club members also presented the residents with Christmas cards created by them especially for the event.

Knucklebones Creative Kids Club was designed to open a child's vision of his/her world artistically. Club members explore Brevard County by attending various venues, such as the Brevard Zoo, museums, parks, sporting events, nonprofit organizations and more.

In turn, the children create art (in an artist workshop) based on what they have experienced.

This artwork will is placed on the Knucklebones web site.

Knucklebone's mission is to offer its members the opportunity to explore, participate and create in activities, field trips and classes.

Pictures from these KCKC adventures can be seen at www.knucklebonescreativekidsclub.com. The site also features artwork created by club members, showcasing their unique talents.

Visit the website for additional information or plan to attend one of the weekly meet-and-greet sessions scheduled for the first and third Wednesday evenings of the month at 6 p.m. at McDonalds, located at the intersection of San Filippo and Malabar roads, in Palm Bay.   

Seeing under the surface of the skin

MIMA Dermatology has announced that it is incorporating the groundbreaking MelaFind device into its practice, the first in Brevard County and northeast Florida.

MelaFind, developed by medical device company MELA Sciences, is a first-of-its-kind technology that is used during a skin exam to help dermatologists see under the skin's surface.

The device collects information from 2.5 millimeters deep into the skin painlessly and non-invasively using computer vision technology.

MelaFind's safety and effectiveness were proven in the largest clinical trial in melanoma detection ever conducted. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved MelaFind for use in the United States.

For more information on MelaFind, visit www.melafind.com, email anita.saluja@Mima.com or call (321) 757-5141.

 

On the canal boat parade

The Banana River Sail and Power Squadron had an early Christmas Eve with a christmas boat parade.

The parade, led by the Satellite Beach Marine Enforcement Boat and the Banana River Sail and Power Santa Claus boat was joined by approximately 80 decorated boats of all sizes and types.

Many of the boats not only had a light display, but also Christmas carol audios.

One very special sailboat had a music and lights coordinated display that brought those viewing to their feet with applause.

The Banana River Sail and Power Squadron thanks the city of Satellite Beach for their participation and support, past commander James Merker for captaining the Santa Claus boat, executive officer Steve Woessner for organizing the parade and David Hixenbaugh, a special friend of Santa, for bringing Santa down from the North Pole.

The Squadron thanks the wonderful boaters who volunteered their time and effort to decorate their boats for everyone's enjoyment, and all the very friendly spectators up and down the Grand Canal for their applause and shouts of Merry Christmas to all the boats as they passed.

Banana River Sail and Power Squadron wishes a Merry Christmas and the very best in the new year to the boaters and citizens of Satellite Beach all of those joined us from the sounding communities and the membership of the BRSPS.  We invite all of you to join our organization and attend our classes - "Boating is Fun," and we'll show You How!

Middle schools help needy families

Clearlake Middle School of Cocoa helped supply needy families with Christmas gifts and holiday meals before Christmas.

One needy family and one student received $60 and a $50 gift cards, as well.

The school was able to help these families through the support of staff Kennedy Middle School of Rockledge, Sam's and Winn Dixie.

For more information, visit www.brevard.k12.fl.us or call (321) 633-1000.

Student survey in progress

All Brevard Public School students in grades 3-12 will be taking an anonymous computer-based survey during January to find out what the children think about Brevard Public Schools.

The survey questions focus on curriculum, instruction, bullying and school safety.

There will be no personally identifiable information in the survey, according to BPS.

If you have questions or wish to see a copy of the survey, contact the school.

The results of the survey will help the school to better serve all Brevard Public School students.

Quilters donate to cancer foundation

The local chapter of the Space Coast Moonlight Quilters Guild has donated more than 30 quilts to the cancer patients of Space Coast Cancer Center.

Sandy Sanchez, a member of the chapter having family affected by cancer, lead the group in its efforts to make the donation.

Ms. Sanchez, along with quilters Myra Ducharme, Dot Morgan and Karen Lee, donated a special "Daffodils at Work" quilt for the foundation.

The quilt will be displayed at the Titusville Cancer Center.

The Moonlight Quilters Guilt just celebrated its 20th anniversary as an organization.

The patients and staff are very appreciative of the quilts donated by the local chapter.  

Call (321) 268-4200, Ext. 3500 or email shannonsi@spacecoastcancer.com for more information.

Elementary students learn thankfulness, gratitude

The sixth-grade students of Enterprise Elementary School in Cocoa recently organized a school-wide food drive that re-supplied the local food band at the First United Methodist Church in Port St. John.

More than 2,000 pounds of food were donated for the families of Port St. John by the children for the holiday season.

For more information, email escobar.pam@brevardschools.org.

Humane Society board announced

The Central Brevard Humane Society has announced its board of directors for 2013.

Sandi Trudeau of Sunny Beach Rentals will serve as president; Robert Smith of SGT Inc., will serve as vice president; Dianne George of Brevard Nature Alliance Inc., will serve as treasurer; and Jodi Levesque (engineering consultant) will serve as secretary.

Additional members of the 2013 CBHS Board of Directors include Michelle Earltinez, Brevard Community College's Veterinary Technology Program; Dennis Gollehon, Hartung Real Estate Inc.; Sheriff-elect Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff's Office; Karen Lee (community volunteer); Cindy Perrone, Perrone Properties; Jennifer Tharpe, NASA; and Justin Ward, Lockheed Martin.

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

Accreditation team invites public comments

 

The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation is conducting an assessment for re-accreditation of the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco's Bureau of Law Enforcement.

The CFA assessment team will examine all aspects of the bureau's policies and procedures, management, operations and support services. The re-accreditation process is voluntary and occurs every three years.

The CFA assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from other Florida law enforcement agencies.

The assessors will review written materials, interview agency members and visit offices and other facilities where standards compliance can be observed.

The division is required to comply with more than 190 accreditation standards in order to maintain accredited status.

A copy of the accreditation standards may be requested by contacting the division's accreditation manager, Jennifer Jacques, at (850) 717-1111.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency members and the general public are invited to offer comments to the assessment team.

Comments must be in writing and must address the agency's ability to comply with CFA standards.

Members of the public seeking more information regarding the CFA or wishing to offer written comments about the division's ability to meet the standards of accredidation, may contact the CFA at P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, FL, 32302, or via email at info@flaccreditation.org.

New Year's resolutions for you

The Titusville YMCA is ready to partner with you to make positive changes that strengthen you and the North Brevard community.

Below are four resolutions determined to help you in 2013:

1. Set Specific Goals To Live Healthier - Start by stepping into the YMCA this January to meet with a wellness coach for "The Coach Approach." Participate in one of 65 weekly group exercise classes in the recently renovated Group Ex room. Join an Adult Sports League, such as tennis, racquetball, indoor soccer, volleyball or basketball. Test-drive the new treadmills, ellipticals, stair-steppers, resistance machines and spin bikes.

2. Volunteer - Volunteering provides opportunities to improve the community, meet new people and develop new relationships. At the Titusville YMCA, volunteers make a big difference in the community. The Y is currently seeking volunteers to coach youth sports or to serve on a volunteer committee. There are several unique committees to choose from based on your interests. For more information, visit the welcome desk staff.  

3. Learn Something New - Step out of your comfort zone, have fun and grow by exploring personal interests. Are you interested in tennis, racquetball, Zumba, swimming, spinning or karate? These are just a few examples of beginner classes that the Titusville YMCA is providing in 2013. Try something new to build your spirit, mind and body. For class information and times, please visit with the welcome desk staff.

4. Spent more time with family and friends - Socializing in a healthy environment like the Y strengthens the well-being. It is always helpful to have a community of people you can reach out to during times of need. So, carve out time each day to connect with family and friends, and get your loved ones more involved with community organizations, such as your Titusville Y. 

On behalf of the Titusville YMCA staff and board of directors, we wish you a safe, healthy, prosperous and blessed 2013.

Teachers receive high honors

Jenora Duprey, theatre teacher at Merritt Island High School, was recently chosen by theatre teachers in Brevard County to be the "2012 Brevard Theatre Teacher of the Year."

Rodney Savickis, theatre at Melbourne High School, received the honor of "2012 District 11 Theatre Teacher of the Year" from all the theatre teachers in the district.

District 11 includes Brevard, Indian River and Osceola counties.

For more information, email dupery.jenora@brevardschools.org or savickis.rodney@brevardschools.org.

- For Hometown News




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