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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - Melbourne
Rating: -0.42 / 5 (231 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Jan 18 - 06:22

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.

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.

Senior club championship winners named

The Savannahs Senior Club Championship, held in early November, has announced its winners after 36 holes:

Flight: age 50-65:

Low gross: first place:

Phil Gay: 157, second

place: Ron Galbraith: 160,

third place: William

Dykowski: 165

Low net: first place: Ron

Lust: 130, second place:

Jim Ross: 141, third place:

Bernardo Beorlegui: 146

Flight: age 66-74:

Low gross: first place:

Wayne Ivan: 160, second

place: Ed Madigan: 164,

third place: Pete O'Neil:

164

Low net: first place:

Gerry Geeser: 136. second

place: Jon Windhorst: 142,

third place: Paul Kuisle:

152 and Tom Weber: 152

Flight: age 75 and older:

Low gross: first place:

John Richardson: 183,

second place: Kim

Juranek: 204

Low net: Maurice

Meisner: 148

Thirty-nine players participated in the event and were treated to an awards luncheon following the final round.

Savannahs Golf Club is at 3915 Savannahs Trail, Merritt Island.

For more information, call (321) 455-1375.

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.

  

Area transit wins awards

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

The awards included:

Print Advertising: an ad

promoting new evening

service in Titusville on

Route 2, from 6 to 8 p.m.,

Monday through Friday,

as well as a new

Searstown Mall Bus

Transfer Center.

Electronic Media: a cable

TV commercial

encouraging mobile

device users to "Think

Small" and use Space

Coast Area Transit's

mobile web site.

Signage: a billboard

Clear Channel Outdoor

placed on four digital

locations, congratulating

Space Coast Area Transit

for winning the 2011 FPTA

Outstanding Transit

System of the Year Award.

Online

Communications: Some

of the features Space

Coast Area Transit's

website, RideSCAT.com,

offers users include: an

online Google Maps trip

planner, interactive maps

and schedules, a quick

connection to Space Coast

Area Transit's Facebook,

Twitter and YouTube

pages, Vanpoool

matching, special services

information, en Espanol,

and a transit for kids

online coloring book.

Masquerade ball helps children and families

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

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

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

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

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

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

Financial services representative celebrates 20 years

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

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

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

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

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

Teacher of the Year finalists chosen

The names of six outstanding educators who have been selected as finalists for Brevard Public School 2013 Teacher of the Year have been announced.

 The finalists - three elementary and three secondary school educators - were selected from the 90 Teachers of the Year from each of the district schools and education service center areas. These individuals will now contend for the honor of being named Brevard 2013 Teacher of the Year.

The 2013 BPS Teacher of the Year will be chosen by a committee comprised of education, business and civic leaders in a formal selection process and will be announced in ceremonies at the ABC Awards Gala on Jan. 23.

The winner will be Brevard's representative in the state's 2013 Teacher of the Year competition and be the recipient of more than $3,000 in cash and prizes. Finalists for the 2013 BPS Teacher of the Year are listed below in alphabetical order.

Joanna DiPeppe -

Satellite High School

Susan French- Sherwood

Elementary School

Debra Milliken - Oak

Pak Elementary School

Jason Schack -

Melbourne High School

Amber Thibedeau -

Sunrise ElementarySchool

Jill Whitacre-West Shore

Junior/Senior High School

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.

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.

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.

Business leaders named

"Space Coast Business Magazine" honored the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast as its 2012 Business Leader of the Year at the publication's recent fifth annual awards.

More than 400 guests filled the ballroom at the Melbourne Hilton Rialto as previous award winners and local business leaders presented this year's awards to the following honorees:

Overall - Economic

Development

Commission of Florida's

Space Coast

Technology - Jim Jensen,

Satcom Direct

Manufacturing - Dr.

Robert Scaringe,

Mainstream Engineering

Marketing - Charley

Richards, Absolutely

Natural

Finance - Bill Taylor,

Community Bank of the

South

Nonproft - Sandi

Scannelli, Community

Foundation of Brevard

Transportation - Bill

Potter, Melbourne Airport

Authority

Up and Comer - Steve

Englehart, Florida

Institute of Technology;

Phil Hayes, Berman

Hopkins Wright & LaHam

CPAs; and Brenda Radke,

Brevard Physicians

Network

Tribute - Sheriff Jack

Parker

Florida Business Bank was the presenting sponsor for the evening. Other event sponsors were Cocoa Hyundai, FirstWave Financial and Willis Insurance.

For more information, call (321) 622-5986 or email info@scbmarketing.com.

Local skin care company partners with organic market

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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," is being published by the History Publishing Company.

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.

Student-athletes graduate

Florida Tech president and chief executive officer Anthony J. Catanese presented degrees to a total of 19 student-athletes recently at the fall undergraduate and graduate ceremonies at the Clemente Center.

The graduates represented 12 of the university's 21 sports.

A list of the 19 Panthers can be found below.

Founded at the dawn of the Space Race in 1958, Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast. The university has been named a Barron's Guide "Best Buy" in College Education, designated a Tier One Best National University in U.S. News & World Report, and is one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the 2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges and recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek as the best college for return on investment in Florida.

Fall 2012 graduates:

Baseball: K.C. Clabough,

business administration;

Chris Fox, business

administration*

 Men's basketball:

DeMario Robinson,

business administration

 Women's basketball:

Katie Kingfield, business

administration

 Women's cross

country/track & field:

Brittany Reinard,

premedical biology

 Women's rowing:

Guinevere Shaw, space

sciences with a

concentration in solar,

earth and planetary

sciences

Men's soccer: Robbie

Russell, marine biology

 Women's soccer: Carly

Hunt, biology with a

concentration in

conservation biology and

ecology: Christine

Ragona, marketing

 Softball: Brianna Barth,

business administration*;

Natalie Beach,

accounting; Lauren Cole,

psychology; Emily

Densem, business

administration*; Sarah

Oram, business

administration*

 Men's tennis: Jorge

Abarca Montero,

mechanical engineering;

Kermit Strachan,

computer engineering

 Men's track & field:

Lyndon Lamott, applied

aviation safety*

 Women's track & field

Candace Lord, systems

engineering*

 Volleyball: Angie

Lassman, meteorology

 An (*) indicates a master's degree.

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

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 was 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:

 Federal eRulemaking

Portal:

http://www.regulations.

ov. Follow the instructions

for submitting comments

for Docket FWS-R4-ES

2011-0020.

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

Recently, 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!

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.

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.

Staff members honored

At its annual staff awards' luncheon, Crosswinds' president and CEO Jan Lokay recognized staff members for their outstanding achievements throughout 2012.

Six staff members also were recognized for their length of service with the nonprofit organization, which has been offering programs and services for children, youth and families in crisis since 1974.

Rosalyn Kidd, lead youth care worker in the Robert E. Lehton Children's Shelter, received the Tortoise Award in recognition of her dedication, loyalty, perseverance and commitment to quality.

Michele Gerhardt-Hagans, youth care worker, received Crosswinds' Dale Carnegie Award, given to an employee, who exemplifies the Dale Carnegie approach to professionalism and positive thinking.

Ann Fosburr received the Employee of the Year Award in recognition of her excellent work as a program assistant for Independent Living Services.

The Civil Citation program was honored by Crosswinds as its Program of the Year. The award recognizes the outstanding work of staff members Suzanne Beacham, Sam Esposito, Eric Fadely, Carolyn Goodin and Joanne Van Polanen in this program that is an alternative to arrest for youth who commit certain misdemeanors, giving them a "second chance."

Also recognized for contributing to the program's success were non-residential counseling program staff members Kristina Talbot, Patty Dunbar and Susan Cron.

The President's Award for Excellence was presented to John Weimann. Mr. Weimann has worked for the organization for 18 years and is the director of the Brief Strategic Family Therapy program at Crosswinds.

Staff members recognized for milestones reached this year in length of service with Crosswinds Youth Services were Lynn Cowart and Tammy Bousquet for 15 years; Titilope Aina for 10 years; Ken Bishop, Linda Gibson and Kristina Talbot for five years.

Regina Merlet, a counselor in the BSFT program, was recognized as the Employee of the Quarter.

Recognized with certificates for training, provided by Gee Resolutions in behavioral management techniques, were youth care workers Kathleen Bailey, James Gray, Michele Hagans, Erik Hasselbeck, Mustapha Husain, Dontavious Isom, Donna James, Rosalyn Kidd, Erika King-Youmans, Kayla Larson, LaShera McDowell, Jonathan Richter, David Russell and Joanetta Waller.

For more information, visit www.crosswindsyouthservices.org or call (321) 452-0800

Republicans elect executive committee

The Brevard Republican Executive Committee held the election for officers and district chairs at a recent meeting.

Elected for two-year terms were:

Chairman: Barbara

Davis

Vice Chairman: Rick

Lacey

Secretary: Bart

Carmichael

Treasurer: Russell

Handler

District Chairs:

 1. Anthony Bertino

 2. John Weiler

 3. Joanne Solley-Hansen

 4. Cindy Roberts

 5. Dale Davis

 Incumbent chairman Barbara Davis defeated challenger Matt Nye; vice chairman Rick Lacey defeated incumbent John Weiler; secretary Bart Carmichael defeated candidate Sue Kunze; and treasurer Russell Handler defeated incumbent Clyde Thodey.

The Brevard Republican Executive Committee meets the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Temple Israel, 7350 Lake Andrew Road, Viera.

Registered Republicans are welcome. Please bring your voter registration card.

For more information, contact Barbara Davis, county chairman, at (321) 223-0808.

 A grant for childhood literacy

The Junior League of Central & North Brevard has presented Lisa Rose, doctor of family medicine at Brevard Health Alliance, with a donation (mini grant) of $800 to purchase books for the Reach Out and Read program.

Reach Out and Read provides free books to patients of Brevard Health Alliance, aged newborn through preschool.

Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families through thousands of pediatrician offices in all 50 states.

Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents.

The $800 mini grant donation will fund books for the program for one year.

For more information, visit www.ajli.org or www.brevardjuniorleague.org.

Do you have good circulation in your legs?

People have peripheral arterial disease when the arteries in their legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits or plaque.

When leg arteries harden and become clogged, blood flow to the legs and feet decreases. Less blood reaches the muscles in the legs, which makes them hurt. This is like angina, which makes the heart muscle hurt.

PAD is often ignored, since many people think the pain or aching in their legs is related to aging or arthritis.

As a result, many people with PAD do not know they have it and do not get treatment.

It is important to discuss any leg or thigh pain you may be having with your healthcare provider.

If you have PAD, your risk of suffering a heart attack can be six times higher than normal, even if you don't have leg symptoms.

Finding and treating PAD early can help keep your legs healthy, lower your risk for heart attack or stroke, and save your life and limbs.

Take a moment to answer these PAD screening questions:

Are you younger than 50 years of age, have diabetes and at least one other cardiac risk factor - history of smoking, abnormal cholesterol or high blood pressure?

Are you:

Age 50 years or older and

have diabetes?

Age 50 years or older and

a former or current

smoker?

Age 65 years or older?

Do you have one or more PAD symptoms?

Fatigue, heaviness,

tiredness or cramping in

your leg muscles (calf,

thigh or buttocks) that

occurs during activity,

such as walking, and goes

away when you stop and

rest.

Foot or toe pain at rest

that often disturbs sleep

Skin wound or ulcers on

your feet that are slow to

heal (or that do not heal

for 8-12 weeks)

If you answered yes to any of these risk factors, you are encouraged you to attend a free PAD screening at Parrish Medical Center.

The Ankle-Brachial Index test takes 30-40 minutes, and you are only required to remove your shoes and socks. You will be screened by a cardiovascular healthcare professional.

Call Parrish Medical Center at (321) 268-6150 to make an appointment.

Free ABI testing for PAD is performed on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at PMC, , 951 N. Washington Ave., Titusville; and Friday afternoons at Parrish Health & Fitness Center, 2210 Cheney Highway, Titusville.

For more information visit www.parrishmed.com or call (321) 268-6110.

New planet candidates found

NASA's Kepler mission has announced the discovery of 461 new planet candidates.

Four of the potential new planets are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun's "habitable zone," the region in the planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet.

Based on observations conducted from May 2009 to March 2011, the findings show a steady increase in the number of smaller-size planet candidates and the number of stars with more than one candidate.

Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars. The most dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered, which grew by 43 and 21 percent respectively.

The new data increases the number of stars discovered to have more than one planet candidate from 365 to 467.

Today, 43 percent of Kepler's planet candidates are observed to have neighbor planets.

The Kepler space telescope identifies planet candidates by repeatedly measuring the change in brightness of more than 150,000 stars in search of planets that pass in front, or "transit," their host star.

At least three transits are required to verify a signal as a potential planet.

Candidates require additional follow-up observations and analyses to be confirmed as planets. At the beginning of 2012, 33 candidates in the Kepler data had been confirmed as planets. Today, there are 105.

The complete list of Kepler planet candidates is available in an interactive table at the NASA Exoplanet Archive. The archive is funded by NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program to collect and make public data to support the search for and characterization of exoplanets and their host stars.

For information about the NASA Exoplanet Archive, visit http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu/index.html.

For information about the Kepler Mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/kepler .

Vendors sought for crafts and plant sale

Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host a Spring Craft and Plant Sale at Wickham Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9. The fair will be held inside the park, 2500 Parkway Drive in Melbourne.

Wickham Park is currently seeking craft vendors, food vendors and local nurseries or novice plant propagators who wish to participate in the event.

Vendor spaces, 10-foot-by-10-foot, are available for $21.20 each. Spaces are located in an uncovered grassy area. Tables will not be provided.

To request a registration packet via email, fax or U.S. Postal Service, contact Tabitha Niemann at tabitha.niemann@brevardparks.com.

Packets are also available for pickup at the Ranger Station inside Wickham Park or can be downloaded online at www.brevardcounty.us/ParksSouth.

The deadline to register is Monday, March 4.

For more information, call Wickham Park at (321) 255-4307 or visit  www.brevardcounty.us/Wickham or www.facebook.com/BrevardWickhamPark.

Healing families - healing communities

Parrish Medical Center employees recently raised more than $113,600 in their fifth annual employee giving campaign.

Co-chaired by Ryan Hieronymus, registration and scheduling interim director, and Sheryl Shelley, who works in the clinical equipment department, the PMC Circle of Giving Committee rallied employees and selected a signature project that reaches out to the community.

The campaign supported a wellness package consisting of four projects: a new Healing in Motion van - a transportation program that helps patients get to their hospital appointments or gives them a ride home after a hospital stay; new lift equipment to safely transport patients; a third-floor fitness area upgrade for care partners; and Telehealth Monitoring equipment to remotely monitor patients to keep them healthy and prevent readmissions to the hospital.

All four projects focus on increased wellness for the community and PMC employees.

For more information, contact (321) 269-4066 or visit parrishmedfoundation.com

Beachside facilities available

The city of Satellite Beach has indoor and outdoor facilities for activities and for rent.

They include:

Pelican Beach

Clubhouse: capacity 70

Pelican Beach Park

pavilions: six, capacity 12-

70

Skatepark: soccer

and football fields

Dog Park: walking

trail

DRS Community Center:

gymnasium, game room,

meeting rooms and dance

studios

DeSoto Recreation

Comples: tennis and

racquetball courts

Samsons Island Nature

Park: 52-acre park

accessible by boat with

public transportation

Sundays

Hightower Beach Park:

educational boardwalk -

dune crossover

For more information, call the Satellite Beach Recreation Department 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at (321) 773-6458 or visit www.satellitebeachrecreation.org.

Scholarships to be awarded

The Doctors Lawyers Weekend Warriors have announced that it will be awarding three $1,000 scholarships on April 1.

The scholarships, in the name of "Mama G" (Lorraine Guthrie), will be for deserving Brevard and/or Indian River students, who intend to pursue education in fields, dear to Mama G.

Mama G was a surf photographer, a devoted mom and a supporter of surfers at Sebastian Inlet.

Applications for the scholarships must be received by March 1.

For more information, call Jack A. Kirschenbaum at (321) 727-8100 or email jack.kirschenbaum@gray-robinson.com.

- For Hometown News




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