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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - Melbourne
Rating: 2.99 / 5 (72 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Mar 22 - 06:24

Surfers rescue loggerhead sea turtle

Sea turtles have survived for more than 150 million years, however, marine reptiles are threatened by humans, who are competing for their natural habitat.

This is especially true in Florida, which hosts the highest number of nesting sea turtles in the continental United States.  

Recently, the Sea Turtle Preservation Society received a phone call from a surfer at Spessard Holland Park saying that a sick or injured sea turtle was on the beach.

When STPS receives a call, a trained volunteer, authorized by Florida Fish and Wildlife, to conduct stranding and salvage activities is dispatched.

If the turtle is alive, the stranding volunteer is authorized to take the turtle to one of Florida's sea turtle rehabilitation centers.

The Loggerhead stranded at Spessard Holland Park was transported to Sea World, where it will be examined, given appropriate medical treatment; and when it is well enough, will be returned to the sea. 

If you find a sea turtle on the beach that appears to be ill or injured, do not return it to the water or try to administer first aid.  If it is a hot sunny day, provide shade for the turtle or cover the turtle with a wet towel.  Sea turtles are reptiles and need to breathe air to live.  Do not place them in a bucket of water.

For sea turtle emergencies, call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society Emergency Number at (321) 206-0646.

Advisory committee volunteer needed

The District Five Commission Office is looking for a volunteer to fill an opening for the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program Recreation and Education Advisory Committee.

The program provides recommendations for public access, passive recreation and environmental education on EEL Program-managed conservation lands

Committee members need to live in District Five and should have an interest in outdoor recreational uses on public lands.

The EELs Program Recreation and Education Advisory Committee meets quarterly. A term is for one year.

Junior League accepting scholarship applications


The Junior League of Central & North Brevard, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, is currently accepting applications from high school students for its 2013 scholarship program.

The Thomas Oliver Brown Memorial Scholarship and the Junior League of Central & North Brevard Scholarship are available to high school students accepted to attend an accredited two-year or four-year college or university in the United States as a full-time student.

Applications, with supporting documents, are due March 22.

Visit the league web site at www.brevardjuniorleague.org for complete details and to download an application form.

The scholarships are awarded in the amount of $500 each and recognizes Central & North Brevard County students who demonstrate a commitment to voluntarism.

A JLCNB scholarship representative plans to attend each recipient's school award ceremony in May.

The Junior League of Central & North Brevard has been serving Brevard County since 1967.

College receives auto tech accreditation

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation has announced that Brevard Community College is the first auto technology program to achieve accreditation, under the new NATEF automobile accreditation standards.

BCC has re-certified as a master level training program and has held NATEF accreditation since 1986.

The 2012 automobile accreditation is now a three-tier accreditation model, with maintenance and light repair levels, an automobile service technology level and the master automobile service technology level.

BCC offers more than 100 two-year associate degree and certificate programs, and will soon change its name to Eastern Florida State College to reflect its expanding mission to offer four-year bachelor degrees starting in August.

Fire and rescue promotes members

Following an extensive and competitive process, Brevard County Fire Rescue has announced the promotion of six firefighters to the rank of lieutenant, and one lieutenant to the rank of district chief.

Fire Chief Larry Collins presented promotional badges and helmets to the firefighters in a formal badge pinning ceremony held at the department's headquarters in January.  

 Promoted to lieutenant were: Jeffrey Butler, Timothy Hall, James Parker, Michael Destafano, Christopher Monroe and Sean Ryan.

Promoted to district chief is: Richard Connor.

For more information, call Brevard County Fire Rescue at (321) 633-2056.

Cookbooks saving lives

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

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

For more information, call (321) 452-1044.

About the sea turtle society

The Sea Turtle Preservation Society is a registered 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization. The society relies on the donations from the public, its membership and the efforts of its dedicated volunteers.

Contributions are tax-deductible, as allowable by law.

Active volunteers are permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Bureau of Imperiled Species and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with endangered and threatened sea turtles. The STPS is not, however, an enforcement agency.

The purpose of the organization is to educate the public about marine turtles.

STPS reaches thousands of people each year through public presentations, exhibits at area events and by turtle watches during the sea turtle nesting season.

The society's goal is to help maintain the current sea turtle population and to prevent a potentially irreversible decline in that population through:

Reducing disturbances and harassment of nesting sea turtles by public education about the hazards of nighttime beach activities, habitat destruction and beach lighting.

Increasing the hatchling survival rate by educating the public about the impact of lighting, beach debris, habitat destruction and marine pollution.

Supporting the Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge Fund.

Rescuing hatchlings, post-hatchlings and adult sea turtles and transporting them to permitted rehabilitation facilities.

Contributing data to the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network.

Participating in Keep Brevard Beautiful.

Helping the animal shelters

A special event took place at the Satellite Beach Moose Lodge, No. 2367, recently.

Kitty Virnig, chairwoman for rescued/displaced animals, was in charge of the event.

Many supplies, such as food, blankets and money, were donated. Baskets of many things were auctioned off.

All proceeds were donated to the North and South Brevard Animal Shelters, Lab Rescue of Brevard and Space Coast Kibble Kitchen.

Several animals were also adopted.

The next event will take place in the spring.

Thank you, Ms. Virnig, for a job well done - from the members of the lodge and the community.

If you care to donate food, blankets, money or anything that can be used for animals, drop them off at the Moose Lodge, 1811-15 S. Patrick Drive, Indian Harbour Beach.

For more information, call (321) 779-5796.

New director of community kitchen

Aging Matters in Brevard has announced that Tom Kammerdener has been appointed the director of The Brevard Community Kitchen.

Mr. Kammerdener comes with a wealth of experience within the food services industry, having spent the last 19 years at Health First Corporation, where he was instrumental in providing food services for Holmes Regional Medical Center, including inpatient, cafeteria, employee daycare and catering.

He joins Aging Matters in Brevard as the director of The Brevard Community Kitchen to continue Aging Matters success in providing hot nutritious meals for Meals on Wheels, Seniors at Lunch, adult and child day care centers, charter schools and the parks and recreation summer lunch program.

The kitchen also operates a catering service for corporate banquets, annual picnics and community events, as well as providing meals during times of disasters for first responders and special needs shelters.

Located in Rockledge, the kitchen produces in excess of 500,000 meals a year.

Established in 1965, Aging Matters in Brevard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, recognized by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Area Agency on Aging as the lead agency for senior services in Brevard County.

Aging Matters in Brevard services is funded by federal, state, and local grants (Eligibility requirements may apply). Private pay services are also available. Aging Matters in Brevard offers a wide variety of services to enable seniors to live safely and independently in their own homes.

For more information, call (321) 806-3767, email jhakkila@agingmattersbrevard.org or visit http://agingmattersbrevard.org/.

Supermarket donates to hunger project

Winn-Dixie recently presented The Children's Hunger Project with a check, representing $2,500 to benefit the nonprofit's backpack program, which ensures that elementary school-aged children have weekend meals in order to provide a healthy foundation for the school week ahead.

Immediately following the presentation, seven Winn-Dixie store directors, along with their district director, went straight to work. The donation was used to purchase necessary items for weekend food packs the Project regularly provides. Then, the directors assembled them at stations set up inside the Palm Bay Winn-Dixie location and delivered the food packs to the project's warehouse.

These efforts will help feed 625 Brevard County children in need.

This donation would not be possible without Winn-Dixie team members of 16 area stores participating in their "My Dollar Makes a Difference" campaign this past holiday season.

Winn-Dixie's partnership with The Children's Hunger Project has led to 10 stores regularly assembling and selling $5 and $10 bags of food, as a simple solution for shoppers to donate.

For more information, visit www.bi-lo.com and www.winn-dixie.com.

Economic benefit in expanding tourism


A recent TaxWatch study indicates that the Florida tourism industry reaching the milestone of 100 million annual visitors would create 121,298 jobs and increase overall personal income for Floridians by $5.3 billion.

Results from a dynamic econometric model indicate that reaching the milestone of 100 million annual visitors would create 121,298 jobs, of which 114,318 would be private non-farm jobs. Direct tourism jobs make up 50.7 percent of the total, with indirect and induced jobs accounting for the other 49.3 percent. The estimated average salary of these newly created jobs is $43,751.75. Personal income for Floridians would increase by $5.3 billion.

TaxWatch is a statewide, independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institution devoted to protecting and promoting the political and economic freedoms of Floridians.

For more information, email cbarry@floridataxwatch.org.

Volunteer at the warbird museum

The Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum has several openings for volunteers in the tour guide program.

If you have a passion for vintage warbirds, their legacy and that of the pilots who flew them, are at least 18 years old and enjoy meeting the public; we may have a terrific volunteer opportunity for you. Exhibit and display information will be provided.

This may involve considerable walking, as you lead tours around the facility during what is normally a weekly, four-hour volunteer shift.

This is a unique opportunity to not only learn about aviation history from WWI to present, but to pass that knowledge along to the public.

As a tourist destination for visitors from around the world, you are just as likely to meet a couple from Russia, as you are a family from Rockledge.

Since the museum is open seven days a week, there is plenty of flexibility for scheduling.

In addition to tour guiding, volunteers will also have the opportunity to work at the annual Warbird Airshow, as well as many other special events during the year.

If you have an aviation background, are prior military, or are just interested in history, it may be one of the best, most rewarding personal opportunities that you can find.

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

Visit www.vacwarbirds.org, call (321) 268-1941 or email vacwarbirds@bellsouth.net.

Animal guardians in the county


On behalf of Animal Guardians of Brevard, thank you: 6,000 spays and neuters and counting!

Animal Guardians of Brevard would like to express its sincerest thanks to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of North Brevard and to Brevard Community Animal Hospital for the work with Animal Guardians in providing affordable sterilization services.

Without the surgery, these outstanding clinics provide to those seeking assistance from Animal Guardians, many cats would have probably remained intact to breed uncontrollably. The sterilization of all these cats will ultimately prevent the births of hundreds or thousands of kittens doomed to die in shelters or on our streets.

Animal Guardians is the only organization in Brevard County whose primary purpose is to provide financial assistance to people who cannot afford this procedure.

For more information, visit www.animalguardiansofbrevard.org.

Gator Club gets new name, logo and website

The Space Coast Gator Club (formerly Brevard County Gator Club) has a new name, logo and website.

The club has all new contact information listed below.

The new website is www.spacecoastgatorclub.com.

The email is spacecoastgatorclub@gmail.com.

The phone number is (321) 890-7754.

Local charity distributes 10,000 packages of food

David Cohen, president of the board of directors for The Children's Hunger Project, has announced a major milestone for the local charity.

The Children's Hunger Project has distributed more than 10,000 packages of food to local elementary school children during the current school year.

The Children's Hunger Project was founded in 2010 and began operations during the 2011-12 school year. Founders include Jean-Yves Clerc, Sam Jordan and Bob Barnes.

The charity is currently providing packages of food to 700 kids each week at 18 local elementary schools.

For more information, email bob@thechildrenshungerproject.org, call (321) 373-7083 or visit http://thechildrenshungerproject.org/.

Women support veterans and soldiers


Brevard Federated Republican Women is involved in many ways to support the veterans and soldiers.

They send the troops cards and phone cards and provide them with coffee, through the program called "Cup of Joe," provided by the Green Beans Coffee Company.

The past two years, the BFRW has donated funds and items to Bridges in support of its transition home in Melbourne, called the Patriot House.

For many years, the organization has supported the Veterans Transition Facility with food, clothes, funds and gift cards.

For the past two years, it has donated to Honor Flight Society to enable veterans from WWII to go to Washington to visit the WWII memorial.

This year, on Nov. 2, The Brevard Federated Republican Women will hold a dinner honoring the veterans, and also conduct a fundraising auction to support the soldiers and veterans.

The Brevard Federated Republican Women meet the first Wednesday of each month at the Holiday Inn Hotel in north Melbourne. All registered Republicans are invited to attend.

Visit www.brevardfederatedrepublicanwomen.org or call (321) 727-1212 for more information.

Relive Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame banquet


Florida Tech celebrated the induction of four individuals and one team into its Sports Hall of Fame recently in the Hartley Room at the Denius Student Center.

The class of 2013 features former women's rower Valerie Barber, men's soccer players Eddie Enders and Fidgi Haig, men's tennis player Khalid Outaleb and the 1992 baseball team.

Phantom Productions of Florida produced highlight videos for each inductee.

The videos can now be watched at Florida Tech Athletics' YouTube page, YouTube.com/FTPanthers.

Amanda Stratford Photography snapped nearly 200 pictures of the reception and induction ceremony. The photos can be viewed and purchased at FloridaTechPhotos.com.

The Class of 2013 joined 37 individuals and four teams in the Florida Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

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

Chowder Cook-Off winners

Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar took top honors as the Judge's Choice at the 28th Annual Chowder Cook-Off with a Twist, presented by the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce's Convention & Visitors Bureau.

More than 1,000 people attended the event in Cruise Terminal No. 4 at Port Canaveral.

This year, 20 area restaurants gave the public a chance to sample their chowder and their favorite appetizers.

Also, those who attended enjoyed the performance from the steel drum band, Rhythm Steel.

The silent auction had more than 50 baskets, ranging from out-of-town hotel stays to private parties.

Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar was chosen as the "Best Chowder on the Space Coast" by a panel of celebrity judges.

Baja Tavern & Eats finished in second place, and Doubletree by Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront's 3 Wishes Restaurant took third.

Judging by a blind taste test, Port Commissioner Tom Weinberg, Mike & Mindy from Lite Rock Radio and Chef David from Ship Yard Brewery were tasked with trying more than 30 samples of chowder and "twists."

Coconuts on the Beach was presented the People's Choice Award, determined by a popular vote of the attendees.

Baja Tavern & Eats won for "Best Twist" with its lobster dip.  Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera Hotel received second place for its Rendezvous Wrap, and Florida Key Lime Pie Company took third place for its key lime pie.

In the Best Decorated Contestant Booth category, Wild Ocean Seafood Market took home first place.

The winner of the Best Decorated Vendor Booth went to Kennedy Space Center Credit Union.

This year's event was chaired by Jeanna Merrifield, with Wild Ocean Seafood Market, and Jane Vester, with Space Coast Dine Around and More.

Sponsors include: Wild Ocean Seafood Market - VIP Sponsor, Preston McIntyre with Spectrum Productions - production sponsor, Norman's Raw Bar & Grill - Bar Sponsor, Walk About Golf and Country Club, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Portable Air, 98.5 Beach Radio, Legendary Cocoa Beach and Space Coast Fun Guide.

For more information, call (321) 454-2036 or email dmontano@cocoabeachchamber.com.

Sponsors needed for kayak festival

Brevard C.A.R.E.S. is seeking sponsors for its inaugural Brevard Family Kayak Festival - Kayaking for Kids, a family-friendly event to raise awareness about child abuse prevention efforts on the Space Coast and to raise funds to support family-strengthening programs provided to families at risk of abuse or neglect by Brevard C.A.R.E.S.

Taking place on Saturday, April 13 at Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island, the festival will feature kayaking lessons and tours for novices, provided by A Day Away Kayak Tours and tours and games of skill for seasoned kayakers, sponsored by Space Coast Paddlers.

Those with kayaks are welcome to bring them to participate. Land-based activities include games for children and families, animal displays and education by the Brevard Zoo and local nature and conservation organizations, booths featuring information about child-serving organizations in the area, a tour of Palm Bay Police Department's new mobile emergency response command center, and displays and demonstrations by local law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies. Lunch will be provided and everyone attending will be entered to win door prizes.

Sponsorships include recognition in event promotional material and advertising, including the festival website and social media pages, and recognition and display space during the festival. Sponsorships range in price from $200 to $1,500. Brevard C.A.R.E.S. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

For more information, contact Stephanie Strodtman at (321) 752-4650, Ext. 3047, or email Stephanie.Strodtman@BrevardFP.org.

'No boundaries' emergency services agreement

Fire and emergency medical response services in Palm Bay and South Brevard County will benefit from a mutual agreement between city and county providers that will significantly improve emergency response to the public.

Under an inter-local agreement, all fire and emergency medical calls will be handled by the closest unit, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries.

The agreement creates an Automatic Aid Response Area from U.S. Highway 192 south to the county line, west to the Brevard County border, and east to the Indian River Lagoon, excluding the city of Melbourne and the town of Malabar; and allows fire-rescue personnel within this geographic boundary from both city and county jurisdictions to respond if they are the closest units to the emergency. 

The parameters of the so-called "auto-aid" agreement are defined in a six-page document that includes pre-defined unit response assignments, command structure, service standards, non-required responses, and other legal definitions that ultimately facilitate the sharing of resources between the city and county.

The geographic boundary includes five Palm Bay Fire-Rescue stations and seven Brevard County Fire Rescue stations.

It effectively doubles resource capabilities by joining 12 emergency response locations with shared resources that will maximize the use and efficiency of fire-rescue services in this area.

'DogFest' a success

Denni Burr is a dog lover and the driving force behind the recent DogFest at Indian River Colony Club in Viera.

The canine event kicked off with a dog parade, led by "Kelly," a 6-year old patrol and narcotic dog from Patrick Air Force Base. Accompanied by her military handlers, Kelly, a Belgian Malinois, later provided one of several exciting demonstrations of canine skill to the assembled crowd of onlookers.

Other activities during the recent sunny afternoon included a dog blessing and multi-class dog show.

Rescue groups, product vendors and trainers were in attendance for the "all things dog" event.

IRCC is a fully maintained and gated neighborhood of nearly 800 homes on 453 acres.

Call (877) 298-8124 for more information.

Volunteers respond to three sea turtles in distress

Recently, volunteers with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society responded to three calls involving live sea turtles that were in distress from illness and/or injury.

The first call came into the emergency number at (321) 206-0646 at 8:25 a.m. regarding a turtle in distress at Sea Gull Park in Satellite Beach. Kat Parks, a member of the stranding and salvage team, responded to the call. The turtle turned out to be a Green that was suffering from a tumor causing condition called fibropapilloma. It was transported to the store, located in Indialantic, to await transportation to a rehab facility.

Another call came in at 9:12 a.m. regarding an injured turtle in front of the Hilton Hotel in Indialantic. Standing and salvage team members Pat Rush and Debby Livingston responded to this injured Kemps Ridley turtle. Kemps Ridley turtles are not usually found in this part of the state, but could have been pushed up from the south due to strong winds. It, too, was taken to the store.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was contacted. FWC is responsible for contacting rehab facilities that can take care of injured and ill sea turtles. Because one of the turtles had fibropapilloma, there are only a few facilities in Florida that will take them. The closest one was Gumbo Limo in Palm Beach County.

A request went out to the STPS membership for a driver to make this five-hour round trip. Before noon, both turtles were on their way to rehab. Unfortunately the Green turtle died in transit.

The day was not over for the volunteers. Paul and Anne Lins, non-STPS members, contacted STPS regarding another Kemps Ridley that they had responded to at the Seashell Suites Resort in Melbourne Beach. They are volunteers with the Barrier Island Center. The turtle had been off shore for most of the day and finally beached itself at around 5:30 p.m. The Lins call the STPS emergency number and were instructed to take the turtle to the store, where they were met by Pat Rush. By this time it was too late to transport, and the turtle was transported the next day to Volusia County. The staff nicknamed this one "Valentine."

STPS, in Brevard County, reaches thousands of people each year through public presentations, exhibits at area events and via turtle watches during the sea turtle nesting season. The society's goal is to help maintain the current sea turtle population and to prevent a potentially irreversible decline in that population.

Local golfers in golf tournament

The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour ventured to Wellington to hold the Palm Beach Junior Challenge, the tour's second tournament of the month.

The tournament was hosted by the recently redesigned Binks Forest Golf Club. The weather couldn't have been better on Saturday, with a high of 79 and the sun shining throughout the day. Sunday proved to be a bit cloudier, but reached a high of 75, nonetheless. Both days saw average wind speeds of about 15 mph.

This tournament was ranked by the Junior Golf Scoreboard, and the top ten finishers in all divisions received points toward All-HJGT Teams and the Hurricane Cup. All winners also received an entry into the 2013 Tour Championship.

Jake Leffew took home the gold in the boy's 15-18 age division, after an exciting sudden-death playoff. Jake registered a 78 on Saturday, which left him two strokes ahead of his closest competitor. After shooting an 80 during the final round, he found himself in a sudden death playoff. Jake kicked it up a notch and finished the playoff after a dramatic par on the first hole. He registered the most pars among the boy's 15-18 age division with a total of 22.

Second place went to playoff runner-up, Ryan Lynch. Ryan managed to record a staggering six birdies throughout both rounds of the tournament.

Tied for third place were Andrew Chambers and Cole Sposato, who both finished only two strokes behind the leader.

Alexandra Papell won the girl's 15-18 age division in impressive fashion. Alexandra stayed consistent, firing a 78 and 79 in consecutive days to take home her second HJGT tournament win of the year. En route to her victory, she led the field in total birdies with three, and total pars with 18.

Megan Turnquest placed second, with a final score of 175. Megan scored par or better on 41.7 percent of the 36 holes she played this weekend.

Ashley Turnquest came in third, and finished only one stroke behind her sister.

Alberto Martinez was crowned champion in the boy's 15-18 division, after building a dominating lead on Saturday. Alberto shot par on Sunday, and tallied a total of five birdies throughout the tournament. He also led in par 4 and par 5 performance, registering average scores of 4.10 and 5.12, respectively.

In second place was Miles Castoro. Miles totaled a remarkable 20 pars during his tournament and led in par 3 performance with an average of 3.25.

Coming in third was Clay Gibbs, who scored par or better on 58.3 percent of his holes, including impressive birdies on the fourth and 11th holes.

Sabrina Hoskins continued, as she won her second consecutive and fourth HJGT tournament of the year in the girl's 11-14 age division. Sabrina led all players in total pars, racking up 23 in the duration of the tournament. She shot par or better on 66.7 percent of her holes and was really able to enforce her will on par 5s, where she averaged 5.12 strokes.

Sydney Jones came in second place, and did most of her damage on par 3s, where she averaged 3.25 strokes.

In third place was Sydney Hoskins, who tied for first in total birdies with three.

For more information, visit http://hjgt.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/hjgt13/event/hjgt137/index.htm.

Rescue wing office wins excellence awards

The results are in, and the 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs Office walked away with not one, but two, Air Force Reserve Command Communication Excellence Awards, the only wing in AFRC to achieve such a feat.

Each year, the reserve command evaluates public affairs offices throughout the command in 14 communication categories. The winner of each category then moves on to represent the command at the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs competition.

The 920th RQW PA Office earned the 2012 AFRC Best Integrated Communication Award for its outstanding support of the 2012 Cocoa Beach Air Show, the largest community outreach event on the Space Coast.

Additionally, the 920th RQW PA Office received the 2012 AFRC Best Innovative Communication Award for its How-to-Save-a-Life information campaign that highlighted the wing's unique combat search and rescue mission, to include a printed 100-page visual narrative of real-world lifesaving missions.

The 920th RQW has the most unique mission in the Air Force Reserve, combat search and rescue and also one of the most marketable missions.

Although, due to its overall small size in scope in relation to other military services' special operations troops, pararescue Airmen (combat rescue officers, pararescuemen and survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists) have gotten little public recognition through the years.

Many people, even within the Air Force, know little about CSAR and Pararescue Airmen. The 920th PA Team created exciting visual masterpieces to create a buzz and get people's attention.

The awards didn't stop there. Master Sgt. Luke Johnson, 943rd Rescue Group, a geographically separated unit that falls under the 920th RQW, earned the 2012 AFRC Outstanding Communication Tactical-Level Civilian.

For a full list of AFRC Communication Excellence Awards winners, visit http://www.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123335632.

For more about the unit, visit http://www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil/index.asp, follow them on http://www.facebook.com/920thRescueWing and Twitter.

321) 952-3215.

A Broadway baby finds her way

Mary Lee DeWitt Baker began her life in Atlanta, dreaming of the day that she would live a life of glitz and glamour in a big city. Her journey from dreamer to Broadway star is one that she renders with humor and heart in her newly released memoir, "All I Ever Wanted Was a B Cup."

While she was growing up in New Jersey, Ms. Baker dreams big dreams about moving to the "Big Apple." She falls hopelessly in love with theater as a high school student, and realizes that she is pretty good at it, too! With the support of family and the fire in her heart to pursue her dreams, she decided to take a stab at the stage.

After many years of paying her dues in the theater community, Ms. Baker finally makes it where she has always dreamed of being: the Broadway stage!

The only problem, she realizes, is that Broadway was not at all like she had imagined as a girl. Not everything was glamorous and glitzy. Theater people were oftentimes audacious, loud and even rude. The world of theater and the life of an actress, seem to be filled with negativity. It is the burden of the actor to be constantly rejected, something that she learns very quickly on the job.

In "All I Ever Wanted Was a B Cup," Ms. Baker spins yarn after yarn about her days on the Broadway stage.

But between all those stories, the real tale that emerges is of a young woman coming to understand that her happiness is in her own hands. When Ms. Baker understands that she doesn't need anyone else's permission to do the things that will truly make her happy, her life really begins to come to fruition.

Mary Lee DeWitt Baker was born in Atlanta and grew up in New Jersey. The youngest of five, she slowly, but surely, followed her dream of performing on Broadway. The biggest blessings of her life were born in 1993 and 1997. She happily segued from the stage to raising Garrett and Rachel, and cleaning cat litter. She is a certified theatre and dance teacher, choreographer and director turned author.

For more information, visit http://maryleedewittbaker.com/.

Grants to help sharing center, hunger project

The South Brevard Sharing Center and The Children's Hunger Project have each been awarded a $5,000 grant from the eBay Foundation Corporate Advised Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Each of these grants was recommended by eBay Foundation's employee-volunteer-led Melbourne GIVE Team at GSI Commerce, an eBay Inc. company.

The GIVE Team program empowers employees of eBay Inc. to support their communities through volunteerism and employee-sponsored grants.

The South Brevard Sharing Center provides short-term basic needs assistance to low or no income families in order to fill large gaps that exist in various similar social programs that are available from different levels of local, county, state and federal governments.

The eBay grant allows the center to further its mission of providing emergency food, clothing, utility, rent, mortgage, transportation, health and hygiene, household goods, furnishings and employment referral assistance.

The Children's Hunger Project provides packages of food to elementary school age children who are undernourished and coming to school hungry on Monday mornings.

The food packages empower a child to feed him or herself no matter the family circumstances.

The charity raises mostly local money with all funds distributed only in Brevard County schools. More than 1,200 packages of food will be provided as a direct result of the eBay grant.

Attorney honored

The Brevard County Bar Association recently honored Assistant State Attorney Wayne Holmes as its recipient of the "Judge Clarence T. Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award."

The award, the pinnacle of the professionalism award luncheon, recognized Mr. Holmes' 34 years of service in his prosecutorial role with the State Attorney's Office.

Former State Attorney Norm Wolfinger introduced Mr. Holmes to the gathering, telling them that selecting Mr. Holmes as his chief of staff nearly two decades ago was one of his wisest moves ever.

 Mr. Holmes is a is a lifelong resident of Brevard County, who graduated from Melbourne High School in 1972, followed by Florida State University, then the Cumberland School of Law in 1979. He was formerly a certified Melbourne police officer before joining the state attorney's staff in 1979.

Currently, he is continuing his duties as Chief of Staff with State Attorney Phil Archer.

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

Congress vs. lobbyists

Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) has reintroduced legislation aimed at stopping the revolving door between Congress and lucrative lobbying careers in order to curb influence peddling and keep members of Congress and senior Congressional Staff focused on serving the American public.  

Congressman Posey reintroduced H.R. 440, the Stop the Revolving Door in Washington Act, which extends the lobbying moratorium on members of Congress and Senators when they leave office to five years and up to two years for senior staff and other employees of the legislative branch.

The congressman also reintroduced H.R. 442 to require that any former member of Congress or senior staff that pursues a lucrative lobbying career give up federal retirement benefits if they choose to lobby. These bills would apply prospectively.

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

United Way fundraising

The single largest community fundraiser for Brevard County raised more than $6.5 million, approximately 4 percent over the goal of $6.3 million.

The campaign kicked off with the help of the Canaveral Port Authority at its new cruise terminal, topped off with a generous $10,000 gift from Carnival Cruise Lines.

The excitement carried through the fall with workplaces hosting creative activities to inspire teams and motivate giving.

Events, such as Brevard County's carnival and chili cook-off, Florida Tech's departmental Penny Wars and Parrish Medical Center's Cupcake Challenge and origami Crane Drop contest, all helped bring attention to the critical work United Way supports.

In addition to employees in 328 workplace campaigns, community leaders, retirees and others across the community pitched in to raise funds.

The largest campaign continues to be Harris Corporation, with more than $1.3 million in support this year.

Publix Supermarkets associates increased their giving by more than any other group, raising more than $840,000, a 13-percent increase over 2011.

A number of other organizations had significant increases from last year, including the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida Tech, Brevard Public Schools and the Engineering Services Contract Team (QNA, SGT, ai solutions, EASI, Craig Technologies, Sierra Lobo and Nelson).

Adrian Laffitte, the 2012 campaign chairman, and his daughter, Allie, who works for Publix, starred in the campaign video. They emphasized the message that no matter our age, income or job, we can all make a difference.

The funds raised will be invested by community volunteers this spring and are expected to touch hundreds of thousands of people in need.

United Way of Brevard mobilizes the caring power of the community by funding more than 60 programs at 43 agencies, focusing on basic needs/financial stability, childhood success, life services for persons with disabilities, and health, wellness and safety initiatives.

United Way of Brevard also facilitates tax preparation assistance, financial education, healthy families, partners in parenting, gifts in kind and the benefits connection programs.

United Way of Brevard has the lowest overhead cost of any United Way in Florida, at 8.5 percent.

'King' and 'Queen' of Mardi Gras Paws

"H.D. (Heavy Duty)," an English bulldog, owned by Kaleea Okerlind of Rockledge, was chosen "King of Mardi Gras Paws in the Park," and his "Queen" was "Ocean," a pit bull, owned by Sarah Gunther of Titusville, at the Central Brevard Humane Society's Seventh Annual Mardi Gras Paws in the Park, held recently at Riverfront Park in Cocoa Village.

More than 1,500 people attended the event.

Other awards presented were "Pet/Companion Look-a-Like." It went to "Hunter," a terrier mix, owned by Nina Richards of Cocoa. "Best Costume" was presented to "Simba,' a Bernese mountain, owned by Natalia Dougher of Cocoa; and "Best Pet Trick" was awarded to "Molly," a cockapoo, owned by Carol Terry of Minneapolis, Minn. 

All proceeds from the event will go toward the care of the abandoned and abused animals at the shelter in Cocoa.

The judges of this year's event were Deputy Mayor Tyler Furbish - District 4, Cocoa; Mike and Sherri Coppage, 2013 King & Queen of the Cocoa Village Mardi Gras; Donna Skattum, "Space Coast Living Magazine;" and Greg Pallone with Central Florida News 13 and his wife, Katie.

A special "thank you" to the major sponsors of the event: AT&T The Real Yellow Pages, Florida Today and Hometown News.

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

Department of Transportation establishes scholarship fund

The benefits of winning the People's Choice Award for the A. Max Brewer Bridge project keep paying off, which the Florida Department of Transportation was able to share with Brevard Community College in the form of a $10,000 scholarship.

The presentation was made at a recent Brevard Community College Board of Trustees meeting.

The Florida Department of Transportation "A. Max Brewer Bridge Scholarship" was established to give a yearly award to a student pursuing an engineering degree in the transportation sector, who has completed course work at Brevard Community College and is transferring to a four-year school offering a bachelor's degree in engineering.

The annual award is $1,000, which means the scholarship is awarded to different students over a 10-year period, or longer, if benefactors contribute more. Students must meet certain criteria, including taking courses at the college's Titusville or Cocoa campuses.

In November, FDOT's A. Max Brewer Bridge project won the People's Choice Award, which is a national contest sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Online voters were encouraged to pick their favorite project among those entered by 10 states.

The A. Max Brewer Bridge Project in Titusville took first place with more than 331,000 votes cast. FDOT received a $10,000 award to share with a charity of its choice.

The A. Max Brewer Bridge replaced an aging and structurally deficient swing span over the Indian River. The area also stretched across a sensitive environmental area that featured protected sea grass and manatee winter migration paths.

FDOT chose to build a new $44.8 million fixed span bridge, providing essential upgrades for both motorists and boaters.

Combined men and women's tournament

The Viera East Men's Golf Association hosted the annual combined men and women's leagues golf tournament and Luncheon recently.

Fifty-six golfers participated.

Placing first was the foursome of Fritz and Rita Showers and Gertie and Mark Guren, who received Viera East gift cards.

Gift cards were also awarded to other winning teams.

A luncheon was prepared by Kim and staff of Mulligans Grill and served at the Viera East Residence Club following golf.

It was a fun tournament, as usual, and enjoyed by all who participated.

Local doctor/director wins award

Dr. Rosemary Laird, medical director of Health First Aging Services, was recently named Clinician of the Year by the American Geriatrics Society.

The American Geriatrics Society Clinician of the Year was established to recognize the great contributions of practitioners to the delivery of quality healthcare to older people, and the importance of the geriatrics clinician in the healthcare delivery system.

Health First Aging Services is dedicated to improving the health and well being of older adults living in Brevard County by increasing the availability of high-quality geriatric care services across the care continuum.

For more information, call Health First Aging Services in Melbourne at (321) 434-7611 or in Merritt Island at (321) 868-5815 or visit www.health-first.org/aging.

Trial offers should not be automatic subscriptions

Attorney General Pam Bondi has announced that her office has entered a multi-million-dollar settlement with CCH Incorporated, a law book publisher, over allegations of automatic subscription renewals, a practice referred to as a negative option plan, without adequate disclosures.

CCH will mail approximately 5,000 consumers refund notices and provide a total refund amount up to $5 million to the consumers. The Attorney General's Office will receive $1.4 million for investigative costs, attorney fees and future enforcement efforts.

CCH Incorporated, through the brands Wolters Kluwer, Aspen Publishers, Loislaw.com, and Kluwer International, allegedly used negative option plans in the sales of their products.

According to the Attorney General's Office investigation, CCH marketed its print products through trial offers and then placed customers in automatic shipment and automatic subscription renewal plans without clear and conspicuous disclosures of renewal terms.

As part of the settlement, CCH will also modify its business practices to ensure that automatic shipment plans and automatic renewal of subscriptions are entered into only after all appropriate disclosures have been provided to customers and the customers have provided affirmative consent to the terms.

Treasurer of Porsche club

Tom Kirk, president and CEO of FirstWave Financial in Satellite Beach, has been re-elected treasurer for the Space Coast Region Porsche Club of America for a second year-long term.

In this capacity, the wealth management firm founder will be responsible for overseeing the management and reporting of the organization's finances.

His considerable financial expertise will aid in his duties pertaining to bank account maintenance, financial policies and transaction oversight, as well as budgets and reporting.

A long-time enthusiast of the German-made high performance automobiles, Mr. Kirk owns a 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.

For more information about FirstWave Financial, call (321) 773-7773 or visit the company website at www.FirstWaveFinancial.com.

Hours change at cultural center

Operating hours for the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center have been changed to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and closed Saturday and Sunday, except for group appointments.

Opened in April 2004, the 5,000-square-foot cultural center is located in the 11.93-acre Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park, 2180 Freedom Ave., Mims, the site of the original Moore family home.

On Christmas night 1951, the Moores were murdered for their involvement in the civil rights movement when a bomb exploded under their home.

The park is dedicated to the celebration of their lives and to promoting awareness of their unique contributions to the early civil rights movement.

The facility is managed by Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area.

Call (321) 264-6595 for more information on the park, cultural center, activities and rentals.

NASA contributes to Jupiter study

NASA has selected key contributions to a 2022 European Space Agency mission that will study Jupiter and three of its largest moons in unprecedented detail. The moons are thought to harbor vast water oceans beneath their icy surfaces.

NASA's contribution will consist of one United States-led science instrument and hardware for two European instruments to fly on ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer mission. JUICE will carry 11 experiments developed by scientific teams from 15 European countries, the United States and Japan.

The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for three years and travel past its moons, Callisto and Europa, multiple times, then orbit Ganymede, a moon larger than the planet Mercury.

'Where the Garbage Goes'

The new 2013 Recycling and Brevard County Landfill education film, "Where the Garbage Goes," used by Keep Brevard Beautiful to educate fifth-grade classes throughout Brevard about recycling, the operation and the purpose of the county landfill, debuted in February at a red carpet event hosted by Enterprise Elementary School of Cocoa.

The red carpet premier was attended by representatives of the presenting sponsors of the film: The Boeing Company Employees Community Fund of Boeing, the city of Titusville, Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department, Waste Pro, East Coast Paperstock and Richards Paints.

Professional actor J.R. Fuller played the landfill manager, while Erin LeClair and Hillary Arena from Brevard County Solid Waste Management starred with four students from Enterprise Elementary in this updated video highlighting the new practices used by the county landfill for recycling and waste to energy technology.

For more information about Keep Brevard Beautiful, or the recycling and landfill educational video, call (321) 631-0501 or visit www.keepbrevardbeautiful.org.

Grant to help children and mothers

Brevard Rescue Mission, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless women with children, was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank.

Funding will be used to establish the "Transformation Through Education Program," which meets the educational needs of both the mothers and their at-risk children by furnishing one-on-one tutoring in GED test preparation, homework assistance and reading proficiency.

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. 

New director at community kitchen

Aging Matters in Brevard has announced that Tom Kammerdener has been appointed the director of The Brevard Community Kitchen.

Mr. Kammerdener comes with a wealth of experience within the food services industry, having spent the last 19 years at Health First Corporation, where he was instrumental in providing food services for Holmes Regional Medical Center, including inpatient, cafeteria, employee daycare and catering.

He joins Aging Matters in Brevard as the director of the community kitchen to continue Aging Matters success in providing hot nutritious meals for Meals on Wheels, Seniors at Lunch, adult and child day care centers, charter schools and the parks and recreation summer lunch program.

The kitchen also operates a catering service for corporate banquets, annual picnics and community events, as well as providing meals during times of disasters for first responders and special needs shelters.

Located in Rockledge, the kitchen produces in excess of 500,000 meals a year.

For more information, call (321) 806-3767, email jhakkila@agingmattersbrevard.org or visit http://agingmattersbrevard.org/.

New head of school coming to academy

Holy Trinity of Melbourne has announced the appointment of Christopher Hayes as head of school.

Mr. Hayes currently serves as the assistant head of school for academic affairs at Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, Conn. He intends to fulfill his academic year obligations at Cheshire Academy and will assume his full responsibility at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, beginning July 1.

Catherine A. Ford will retire on June 30, as the head of school for the past 25 years.

A 1988 graduate of Williams College, Mr. Hayes earned a master's degree from Brown University in education (history). During his years as an undergraduate, he spent one year at Oxford University as a full member of Exeter College, where he studied history and economics. Mr. Hayes and his wife, Kate, are the parents of two teenage daughters, Caroline and Alice.

50 years membership

Recently, Sandra McCoy received the Golden Circle award, representing more than 50 years membership in Beta Sigma Phi.

Ms. McCoy is presently a member of Laureate Alpha Nu chapter; and, over the years, has held every office in the organization.

The celebration was held at her home in Indian Harbour Beach.

The ritual was performed by current president Sharon Mischker, assisted by Joan Coyer.

For more information, call (321) 693-2979.

United Way receives grant

Southeast Petro Distributors, one of Florida's largest wholesale motor fuels distributors recently presented a BP Fueling Communities grant donation of $20,000 to United Way of Brevard.

The funds from this grant will be used by United Way to help feed hungry families, protect children from abuse, provide shelter to those in need and more.

United Way was nominated for the grant by Mike Shah and Summit Shah of Southeast Petro Distributors.

United Way of Brevard funds more than 60 programs at 43 agencies, focusing on basic needs/financial stability, childhood success, life services for persons with disabilities, and health, wellness and safety initiatives.

United way of Brevard also facilitates tax preparation assistance, financial education, healthy families, Partners in Parenting, gifts in-kind and the benefits connection programs.

United way of Brevard has the lowest overhead cost of any United Way in Florida at 8.5 percent.

VFW receives F-16 plane

The Satellite Beach Veterans of Foreign Wars recently received a 1/4-scale F-16 Fighting Falcon jet.

The plane was restored and presented by Air Force Reserve Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing's Maintenance Group.

The small-scale jet will be used by the VFW for parades and VFW events throughout Brevard County.

The 920th RQW performs combat search and rescue as its primary mission, which includes rescuing downed pilots.

Also, the 920th RQW is responsible for civil search and rescue, humanitarian relief and support of rocket launches

For more information, call the VFW Auxiliary at (321) 243-6600.

Community resource center opens


The grand opening of the Turnquest Community Resource Center was celebrated recently at the center in Shady Oaks Village, off Aurora Road in Melbourne.

The center is a joint project of the Housing Authority of Brevard County and the Melbourne Housing Authority.

It is named for Kathy Turnquest, an authority employee, who has distinguished herself in work with residents and community resources.  

The center houses the family self-sufficiency programs and includes resources, such as a computer lab and classes in various life skills, including computer proficiency, nutrition, managing money and home ownership.

It also will offer help in preparing for and finding employment through a partnership with Brevard Workforce.

Other partners include Action Youth Mentoring, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida Inc. and University of Florida-IFAS Extension.

Downward shift in kids going fishing

Every five years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Census Bureau conduct a survey of the nation's anglers, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.

Recently published results from the 2011 survey show there are less kids fishing in America.

Angling involvement among 16-17 year olds, the youngest ages to participate in the survey, is down almost 15 percent in the last five years.

The survey included interviews with heads of households, who provided data on fishing activities for 6-15 year olds.

Although the Fish and Wildlife Service cautions there is not strong statistical correlation due to variations in data collection methods, the results still suggest a general downward shift since 1995 in the number of kids who go fishing.

 The data shows a disturbing trend. Fishing is up against an ever-increasing array of activities competing for a child's time.

The latest USFWS survey confirms the need for youth fishing programs, like Hook Kids on Fishing. It's also a rallying cry for all of us to do our part to introduce the next generation to the joys of fishing.

Cancer center chosen to pilot breast cancer program

Space Coast Cancer Center was selected to collaborate with the American Society of Clinical Oncology in developing CancerLinQ, a ground-breaking information technology initiative that aims to achieve higher quality, higher value cancer care with better outcomes for patients.

Space Coast Cancer Center is one of four cancer centers in the United States, helping ASCO to pilot the breast cancer-specific prototype of the CancerLinQ system.

CancerLinQ is supported by the Cancer Care Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Susan G. Komen "For the Cure," Helsinn Group and Genentech.

Space Coast Cancer Center is the first practice in Florida, and the only cancer center in Brevard County, certified for quality by the ASCO's Quality Oncology Practice Initiative.

For more information regarding Space Coast Cancer Center, call toll-free (800) 894-HOPE (4673) or visit www.spacecoastcancer.com.

Hospice adds three directors

Hospice of Health First has announced the addition of three new associate medical directors to its staff.

Joining the Hospice of Health First team, led by Dr. Ruddy Ruiz, will be Dr. Mario E. Ruberte, Dr. Chris Cobbold and Dr. Govind Sriramineni.

Mario Ruberte, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine physician with Health First Medical Group. He is also associate professor at the University of Central Florida School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine. He is a graduate of Catholic University of Puerto Rico, the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara Medical School and the Fifth Pathway Program at New York Medical College. His residency was spent at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and he spent one year as a hospitalist at Sentara Health Systems in Virginia Beach.

Chris Cobbold, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine physician with Health First Medical Group. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His residency was completed in internal medicine at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.

Govind Sriramineni, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine physician with Health First Medical Group. He came to Brevard from Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, N.J., where he performed his residency in internal medicine. Before coming to the United States and gaining his citizenship, he worked in India as a primary care physician. He also attended medical school in India at Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College.

For more information, call (321) 952-0494 or visit www.health-first.org/hospice.

Local business donates to new Boy Scout troop

Boy Scout Troop No. 348 held its annual spaghetti dinner summer camp fundraising event recently at St. David's by the Sea Church in Cocoa Beach.

Vicky Zawadzki, a representative from Bob Dance Automotive Group/Bob Dance Kia/Payless Car Rental, presented Troop 348 Boy Scouts a check for $1,300 to assist the troop in its quest for a troop trailer.

Other local businesses that donated items for the dinner were: Branos Italian Grill and Sufrinista Cafe, both of Cocoa Beach; Publix Supermarket, Merritt Island; SYSCO Foods; and BJ's Wholesale Club on Merritt Island.

Attorney general helps consumers

During the recent Consumer Protection Week, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi encouraged Florida's consumers to know their rights under Florida's motor vehicle "Lemon Law."

The law protects consumers by covering defects or conditions that substantially impair the use, value or safety of a new or demonstrator vehicle.

Florida law provides protection for Floridians, who buy a new or demonstrator vehicle and get stuck with a "lemon."

Consumers must report defects to the manufacturer or its authorized service agent during the first 24 months after the date of delivery of the vehicle. If the manufacturer fails to conform the vehicle to the warranty after a reasonable number of attempts to repair these defects, the law requires the manufacturer to buy back the defective vehicle and give the consumer a purchase price refund or a replacement vehicle.

Florida's "Lemon Law" applies to new or demonstrator vehicles sold or long-term leased in Florida.

Dealers are required by law to give consumers the "Consumer Guide to the Florida Lemon Law."

The publication, published by the Attorney General's office, explains consumer rights, gives steps to follow to resolve problems and contains contact information for the Lemon Law Hotline and a form the consumer can use to notify the manufacturer of the failure to repair chronic defects or time out of service for repairs.

To obtain a "Consumer Guide to the Florida Lemon Law," or to speak with someone about the Lemon Law, consumers can call the Lemon Law Hotline at (800) 321-5366.

Consumers can also visit myfloridalegal.com for more information on Florida's Lemon Law.

Schools recognized as 'model' schools

For the second consecutive year, schools in Brevard County have been recognized by the University of South Florida's Positive Behavior Support/Multi-Tiered System of Support Project as "Model Schools."

Two schools were named Gold Schools: Cape View Elementary in Cape Canaveral, and for the second consecutive year, Sabal Elementary in Melbourne.

Atlantis Elementary in Port St. John and Cambridge Elementary Magnet School in Cocoa both obtained Silver Model School Awards for the second year.

University Park Elementary Magnet School in Melbourne was awarded with a Bronze Model School for the first time.

These schools received these distinctions for their work during the 2011-12 school year. This marked the second full year of implementation of Positive Behavior Support in Brevard schools.

Model schools undergo a rigorous process in order to achieve one of these prestigious awards.

These schools will be receiving banners and certificates from the University of South Florida's Positive Behavior Support/Multi-Tiered System of Support Project and will be recognized at a School Board meeting this spring.

Positive Behavior Support is being implemented nationally in more than 18,000 schools and in approximately 1,500 schools across the state.

During the 2011-12 school year, only 144 Model School Awards were given out to schools in Florida.

Presently, there are 15 Brevard schools trained in positive behavior support. 

For more information about positive behavior support or these awards, contact Jayson Lobley, district coordinator for positive behavior support at lobley.jayson@brevardschools.org.

Humane Society receives award

The Central Chapter of Keep Brevard Beautiful recently presented the Central Brevard Humane Society with the "We Noticed" Award for its contribution to the beautification of the community at the organization's main location, 1020 Cox Road, in Cocoa.

During the last few years, the Humane Society has made various improvements to the shelter (inside and outside); built the Rainbow Bridge Chapel, that includes a memorial walkway and garden area, along with a "low cost" spay/neuter and wellness clinic; and created Ella's Walk, a beautiful and private walking area for individuals and their pets to come and enjoy a calming and tranquil place, while being surrounded by the natural beauty of Florida.

Keep Brevard Beautiful's "We Noticed" Award is a monthly recognition program for businesses and/or residences that have shown exceptional maintenance or beautification of their property.

Recipients of this award receive a "We Noticed" certificate and a sign to temporarily display on their property.

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

Have you been screened?


March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and Health First wants you to get screened, because the life you save may be your own.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, but Colon Cancer is 90 percent preventable through screening.

Colon cancer screening helps your physician find polyps or cancer before you have symptoms. This early detection can prevent polyps from becoming cancer and help you start treatment early when it's most effective.

It is recommended that men and women get screened at age 50, but there may be factors in your family history that could create a higher risk of colon cancer that may suggest you get screened earlier.

Health First Medical Group has highly-trained gastroenterologists, who can help you get the screening that's right for you.

Health First is at 6450 U.S. Highway 1, Rockledge.

For a Health First Medical Group physician, visit www.healthfirstmedicalgroup.org or call (321) 434-4335 for a physician referral.

Nominate a local senior volunteer

Time is running out to nominate a deserving local senior for an opportunity to be recognized as a Florida Outstanding Senior Volunteer.

Nominations will be accepted through Sunday, March 31. The winner in each state will receive $500, and one national winner will receive $5,000 to donate to the winners' charities of choice.

Sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care, the annual recognition is part of the Salute to Senior Service program, which recognizes senior volunteers for the many contributions they make in their local communities.

For more information, visit http://alberscommunications.com/media-center/home-instead-senior-care/.

State winners then will be selected by popular vote at SalutetoSeniorService.com.

Online voting will take place from April 15-30. From those state winners, a panel of senior care experts will pick the national Salute to Senior Service honoree. 

Senior care professionals and those who work at hospitals, senior care facilities and other places where seniors volunteer are encouraged to nominate older adults. So, too, are family caregivers and the adult children of aging parents. Older adults also may self-nominate.

To complete and submit a nomination form online for a senior, age 65 or older, who volunteers at least 15 hours a month, and to view the contest's official rules, visit SalutetoSeniorService.com. Completed nomination forms also can be mailed to Salute to Senior Service, P.O. Box 285, Bellevue, Neb., 68005.

For more information about Salute to Senior Service or the Home Instead Senior Care network's services, call (321) 751-1003.

Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine

This faith inspired program has been providing free medical, dental and chiropractic care to the uninsured of Brevard County.

Funding comes from grants, donations and fundraising events.

Without the generosity of the folks in Brevard and the volunteers SCVIM could not continue to help "the least of my brethern."

For more information, visit www.spacecoastvolunteersinmedicine.org.

Republican Women leaders attend event

Members of the Brevard Federated Republican Women recently attended the Florida Federation of Republican Women Conference in Tallahassee.

Those attending were president Beth Young; treasurer Barbara Davis; fourth vice president Terri Nieves; recording secretary Marlene Frye; legislative chair Carol Buchert; chaplain Patti Warner; state committeewoman Carlie Rogers; and Helen Franta, executive secretary to speaker designate Rep. Steve Crisafulli.

The conference featured Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam, as well as Speaker of the House Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz.

Several members also attended the nomination and election of Brevard Rep. Steve Crisafulli as speaker designate.

The Brevard Federated Republican Women are the largest political club in Brevard and welcome all Republicans.

Visit www.brevardfederatedrepublicanwomen.org or phone (321) 727-1212 for meeting times and more details. 

Samsons Island open house


The sun was shining, the breeze refreshing, as Banana River Sail and Power Squadron joined in the Samsons Island Open House, Saturday, March 9.

Satellite Beach has one of the more unusual civic recreational areas anywhere - an entire island.

The Banana River Sail and Power Squadron is a partner with the city of Satellite Beach to help maintain, support and promote this very unique recreational area.

The power squadron was one of several organizations to provide an information stand for the public, as they walked and wandered through the maze of pathways, picnic areas and observation points. Visitors could have lessons on kayaking, go birding, see birds maintained and hear informal lectures by the Wildlife Hospital, and learn more about many organizations.

The squadron's booth provided "I promise to wear a PDF" sticker for all the kids; and booklets, boating information, automated radio check information and membership information to all the adults.

Single vessel monofilament waste containers were passed out. A number of the squadron members were on-site to answer questions and discuss the organization.

BRSPS considers civic duties with the city of Satellite Beach, such as this open house and participating in the Founders Day Parade, a privilege.  It hopes to soon expand these activities with new signage at the boat ramps and any number of special activities related to Safe Boating Week.


 'Beyond Breakfast' fundraising event

In March, Club Esteem hosted its inaugural spring fundraising event, "Beyond Breakfast."

This year's keynote speaker was retired National Football League player and Super Bowl Champion, Ricky Watters.

Mr. Watters enjoyed a college national championship with Notre Dame in 1988, then a long and successful 10-year NFL career, which included a Super Bowl Championship with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.

Executive director Ellena Little reported on the many achievements of the 147 students who currently attend Club Esteem.

Three of Club Esteem's high school students, Kayrol Leslie, Daisha Washington, and Shanaika Grandoit, shared brief testimonials on how Club Esteem has helped to prepare them for college and beyond.

Mr. Watters gave his keynote address, in which he shared about being adopted and growing up in an inner-city neighborhood as a latchkey child. Mr. Watters emphasized to the room of businessmen, women and community supporters, the importance of after-school programming for economically disadvantaged children. He provided all guests with a copy of his book, "For Who, For What:  A Warrior's Journey." 

Event sponsors, who donated $1,000 or more, were invited to a private cocktail reception, given by Mr. Watters the evening before the breakfast event. Mr. Watters shared with this intimate group of 30 attendees very personal information about his exciting life and career and provided opportunities for casual photos. Several guests had the opportunity to try on Mr. Watters' national championship and Super Bowl rings.

Beyond Breakfast generated more than $20,000 in revenue from sponsorships and ticket sales for Club Esteem's after school programming.

The Grand Slam sponsor for the event was Tupperware Brands Charitable Foundation.

Other event sponsors included: Scott and Monica Mikuen, Dave and Anne Davis, Craig Technologies, Gelman Hair Restoration, From Above Foundation, Florida Institute of Technology, Winslow Retina and Vision Center, Miller and Hurt Financial Group, Brett and Cindy Schuster, and Jim and Mary Clamons.

In kind, donations were provided by: CK Communications, Liz Cowie Photography, Coalter Digital, Brevard Business News, and WFIT 89.5 FM.

The event was held at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place.

For more information about Club Esteem, visit www.clubesteem.com.

Club Esteem is busy preparing for its next fundraising event, "Rock the Casbah," which will be held Sept. 28.

New chairman, officers at commission

Joseph R. Morgan, former mayor of Cocoa Beach, has been re-elected chairman of the Brevard County Historical Commission.

Also elected were Bob Swenson, first vice chairman; and Roz Foster, second vice chairman.

Dan Reiter was also appointed tot he Historical Commission by County Commissioner Chuck Nelson.

For more information, call (321) 205-6065.

- For Hometown News

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