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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 email@example.com or call (321) 853-5550.
Presents and gift cards for food items, gas given
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.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
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.
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 email@example.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 visit 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustained long-term climate warming
NASA scientists say 2012 was the ninth-warmest of any year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.
With the exception of 1988, the nine warmest years in the 132-year record all have occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the hottest years on record.
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, recently released an updated analysis that compares temperatures around the globe in 2012 to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century.
The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago.
The average temperature in 2012 was about 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit (14.6 Celsius), which is 1.0 F (0.6 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline. The average global temperature has risen about 1.4 degrees F (0.8 C) since 1880, according to the new analysis.
Scientists emphasize that weather patterns always will cause fluctuations in average temperature from year to year, but the continued increase in greenhouse gas levels in Earth's atmosphere assures a long-term rise in global temperatures.
Each successive year will not necessarily be warmer than the year before, but on the current course of greenhouse gas increases, scientists expect each successive decade to be warmer than the previous decade.
For images related to the data, visit http://go.nasa.gov/10wqitw.
Foundation golf tournament raises $22,000
The Jess Parrish Medical Foundation "Fran Gerrett Memorial Golf Classic 2012," held in December at Sherwood Golf Club in Titusville, raised more than $22,000.
Proceeds benefit The Children's Center in Titusville, which annually serves nearly 2,500 special needs and typically developing children.
Medline Industries was the presenting sponsor of the tournament. Other event sponsors included: Coastal Ambulance, MedFast Urgent Care Centers Inc., TeamHealth Emergency Medicine, Roche Diagnostics, Boggs Gases, Bott-Anderson Partners Inc., Carmona Pathology Associates, P.A., Florida Bracing Centers Inc., Graphic Press, KCI, La Cita Country Club, MetLife, Nabil Itani, D.O., Sego's Home Medical Equipment, Space Coast Radiology Associates,and The Watauga Company.
More than 130 golfers participated in the tournament, which was named in memory of former Parrish Medical Center materials management director Fran Gerrett.
The first-place men's team was Wayne Aills, Mike Colman, Tuffy Threlkeld and Harold Todd.
The first-place women's team was Lorna Adams, Martha Hannah, Mary Jane Thompson and Suzanne Yarbrough.
The first-place mixed team was Scott Charron, Jason Guptill, Claudine Mogg and Karen Moore.
Ryan Minthorn was the lucky winner of the ball drop hosted by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. He was presented with a check for $1,000.
Visit The Children's Center online at parrishchildrenscenter.com.
For more information about Jess Parrish Medical Foundation, call (321) 269-4066 or visit parrishmedfoundation.com.
Medical center elects officers
Parrish Medical Center's board of directors, in accordance with its bylaws, held an election of officers during its January board meeting.
The election resulted in the following office appointments:
Herman Cole Jr., Col., United States Air Force (ret.), chairman; Robert L. Jordan Jr., vice chairman; Peggy Crooks, treasurer; Billie Fitzgerald, secretary; and J.J. Parrish III, member-at-large.
In addition to the board officers, the nine-member board of directors includes Jerry Noffel, Maureen E. Rupe, and newly appointed Stanley E. Retz, CPA and Ashok Shah, MD.
Newly appointed to the Parrish Medical Center board of directors through appointment by the Brevard County Board of Commissioners and the Titusville City Council were Stanley E. Retz, CPA, and Ashok C. Shah, MD.
For more information, visit www.parrishmed.com.
Volunteer coordinators needed for program
The American Cancer Society has an urgent need for volunteer coordinators to manage the Road to Recovery program's daily drivers in Brevard County.
The Road to Recovery program is operated by volunteers who drive local cancer patients to and from lifesaving chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments.
The society needs volunteer coordinators to match patients with drivers and schedule trips to and from treatments.
An integral part of treating cancer successfully is making sure cancer patients receive their treatments, but many find making transportation arrangements is a challenge.
The American Cancer Society provided more than 3,100 cancer patients with rides to treatment in Florida last year.
If you or someone you know can help this program continue to get patients to their treatments, call Gina Becker at (407) 581-2535 or email email@example.com.
Classroom volunteers needed
Junior Achievement of Central Florida is seeking business and community members to serve as classroom volunteers for students in middle and high schools. JA mentors educate students about financial literacy, work readiness, entrepreneurship and the importance of the free enterprise system.
Volunteer opportunities are available at three levels and require approximately one-hour per week for five-to-seven sessions, depending on the program.
Training is held monthly.
For more information, contact Rachel Whitmire at (407) 898-2121, Ext. 30, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employee of the year
NASA medical and environmental services contractor InoMedic Health Applications has selected Rosemarie Wright as its Employee of the Year for 2012.
Ms. Wright is a resident of Melbourne and has worked at Kennedy Space Center for more than 20 years.
She is a recognized expert in food safety and sanitation programs and provides technical support to NASA and United States Air Force public health programs.
InoMedic Health Applications is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business with specialized employees who provide medical, occupational health and environmental support to NASA, the Department of Defense and commercial companies in the Aerospace Industries.
InoMedic Health Applications Inc. is at 6141 N. Courtenay Parkway, Suite A, Merritt Island.
For more information, call (321) 501-6503, email email@example.com or visit www.ihamedical.com.
Results of scramble tournament
More than $2,000 was raised for the United Way of Brevard during a recent Saturday morning scramble at Savannah's on Merritt Island.
A total of 109 players played and were treated to fantastic weather, great course conditions and a wonderful rib dinner and awards.
Winners were: Ben Mitas, Graham Lyle, Brian Spenser, Phil Gay, Frank LaBella, Al Burnett, Pat Mercer, Bernardo Beorlegui, Fred Poppe, Terry Stoms, Alan Boone, Doug Divers, Terry Lane, Dave Barnell, Denny Bates, Larry Wojciechowski, Bryan Holm,Chris McCarthy, Richard Tucce, Trish Vovcheske,
"The Most Fun Award" went to Ray Wulf, Sue Wulf, Joyce and Mike Mariansi.
Closest to the Pin No. 6 was Alex Kush.
Closest to the Pin No. 8 was Steve Andersen (made a hole-in-one) and received an Annual green fee pass.
Closest to the Pin No. 13 was Tim Carver.
Closest to the Pin No. 17 was Ben Mitas.
Longest Putt Made No. 18 was Graham Lyle.
Closest Second Shot No. 9 was Steve Kelley.
A big thank you to all who participated and especially the sponsors: Craig Technologies, Heard Construction, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center, Graham's Beachside Grill, Paradise Ford and the Causeway Diner.
The Savannahs is at 3915 Savannahs Trail, Merritt Island.
For more information, call (321) 455-1375 or (321) 631-2740.
'Valentines for Seniors' program
The aim of this program is to help develop in the youth an appreciation and respect for seniors, while at the same time, bringing a little joy and happiness into their daily lives. This kind act of service will help bridge the gap between these generations and hopefully bring both youth and seniors together for this special day.
This program began 12 years ago by the North Brevard Seniors And Law Enforcement Together Council in partnership with the North Brevard Elementary Schools.
It was such a success that the Central and South SALT Councils jumped on board seven years ago and are now delivering more than 3,000 cards countywide to nursing homes, senior assistance facilities, hospitals and day care facilities.
Brevard County TRIAD identifies and develops programs to address the needs and safety of senior citizens.
TRIAD is formed by an agreement between the
Sheriff's Office, area chiefs of police, the State Attorney's office, along
with public and private organizations.
For more information, call (321) 749-5945.
Call for visionary concepts
NASA's Space Technology Program is looking for visionary advanced concepts.
This year's annual call for NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts Program is seeking proposals for revolutionary concepts, with the potential to transform future aerospace missions.
NASA expects to fund about 15 proposals in this year's Phase I process. Those selected may receive as much as $100,000 for nine months of study to advance the innovative space technology concept and help NASA meet current operational and future mission requirements.
Selection announcements are expected this summer.
The solicitation is open to all United States citizens and researchers working in the United States, including NASA civil servants.
The number of awards will depend on the strength of proposals and availability of appropriated funds.
This NASA early investment and partnership with creative scientists, engineers and citizen inventors will pay huge technological dividends and help maintain America's leadership in the global technology economy.
To view the NASA research announcement for this solicitation and for more information about NIAC and NASA's Space Technology Program, visit www.nasa.gov/niac.
Art committee needs volunteer
The District Five Commission Office is looking for a volunteer to fill an opening for the Art in Public Places Advisory Committee.
The Art in Public Places Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners to the selection of works of applied art.
You do not need to live in District Five, and there are no specific qualifications, but an interest in art would be helpful.
The Art in Public Places Advisory Committee meets on the second Thursday of every month. A term is for one year.
If you are interested in being appointed to this board, contact the District Five Commission Office at (321) 253-6611.
Softball season announced
Introducing a challenging 51-game slate, Florida Tech head softball coach Val Silvestrini has released the 2013 schedule.
The schedule, which includes 20 home games, will feature 11 opponents, who played in the 2012 NCAA Division II tournament.
The Panthers begin the season with three straight tournaments.
The first comes in the first-ever Peach Belt Conference-Sunshine State Conference Challenge beginning Feb. 2. The Crimson and Gray will match up against four opponents in a two-day span, including three NCAA tournament teams from 2012 in Armstrong Atlantic State, Columbus State and North Georgia.
The following weekend, FIT will again hit the road, this time traveling to Clearwater, for the Eckerd College Tournament, which includes a contest against regional opponent Flagler. Flagler was a national championship participant last season after winning the Southeast Super Regional at 39-20 overall.
The Panthers will finish the three-tournament opening slate with the University of Alabama - Huntsville Charger Chillout, beginning Feb. 15 in Decatur, Ala.
In total, the Panthers will play on the road the first 15 games of the season.
The first home game will come more than 20 days into the season on Feb. 23, with a doubleheader against Webber International at Nancy Bottge Field. The squad will remain at home for a doubleheader the following day against Flagler. Three days later, the Panthers will again go on the road, this time to begin conference play against Tampa.
FIT will close out the schedule with a home series against Barry. The final game of the regular season, on April 21, will represent senior day for four seniors in Kara Dickinson, Lindsy Dugan, Kyla Palaschak and Erica Tollett.
Coach Silvestrini is now entering her fourth season at the helm of the Panthers. She is assisted by Jillian Lafrance, Caurie Miller and former Panther Sarah Oram.
For more details about the 2013 schedule, visit www.floridatechsports.com/softball/schedule/.
- For Hometown News