Brevard C.A.R.E.S. will present its inaugural Brevard Family Kayak Festival - Kayaking for Kids Saturday, April 13 at Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island.
This is 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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 in March.
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.
Local doctor to present research
Cardiovascular specialist Khalid Sheikh, MD, with Health First Medical Group, has been invited to present his research at the 2013 International Cardiology Symposium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The symposium will be held May 16-18 and will include speakers from all over the world.
Dr. Sheikh will present on "A personalized care approach is superior to usual care for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease events in a managed care environment."
The event will cover topics on diabetes, coronary artery diseases, interventions, heart failure and hypertension. It will highlight all areas of cardiology and will focus on everyday clinical practice.
Dr. Sheikh is board certified in echocardiography from the National Board of Echocardiography.
Dr. Sheikh's special focuses include invasive cardiology, consultative cardiology, echocardiography adult congenital heart disease, preventative cardiology and clinical research trials.
Visit www.health-first.org for more information.
College receives honor roll admission
Brevard Community College was recently admitted to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its community service-learning approach.
This annual honor highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.
A total of 690 higher education institutions were named to this year's honor roll. Combined, the honor roll awardees engaged 3.1 million students in community service, for a total of 118 million service hours. That's $2.5 billion in value to communities across the country.
NOW member receives legacy award
Stetson Law School bestowed a legacy award to Catherine Stanton at its first annual Women of Achievement Gala, held in March.
The gala was sponsored by the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, National Organization for Women Affiliate, American Bar Association and The Florida Bar YLD Law Student Division.
Ms. Stanton was one of four honorees presented with awards.
Ms. Stanton is the great, great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of the original pillars of the women's movement.
Ms. Stanton was the keynote speaker. Appearing in costume as "Elizabeth," she detailed what life was like in the 1800s, and how she formed friendships with Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony and lit the flame of women's suffrage, leading to women's equality and the 19th Amendment.
Ms. Stanton, a long-time member of the Brevard National Organization for Women, was joined by fellow NOW members: Laura Fausone, president; Terry Sanders, legislative director for Brevard and Florida NOW; and Kathy Shaffer, member of the State Attorney's Domestic Violence task force, as well as Palm Bay Victims' Advocate.
Wendy Piesco, also a Brevard NOW member and a senior at Stetson Law School, presented the award to Ms. Stanton.
Ms. Piesco is also the Secretary for the newly formed NOW Chapter at Stetson Law School.
For more information, visit www.brevardnow.org or call (321) 720-3520.
What is Florida CAN?
The Florida Cannabis Action Network is a statewide group, headquartered in Melbourne.
FLCAN has spent more than a decade affirming the value of the cannabis plant on health, economy and environment.
CAN members are concerned citizens using proven political tactics to implement sensible cannabis policies in their communities, around the state and at the federal level.
The purpose of FL CAN is to generate public support for sensible cannabis policies and to assist in the implementation thereof; to provide a forum for the public to speak out on the issue of national social concern; to educate the public regarding the consequences of cannabis prohibition; and to raise funds to promote these civic purposes.
For more information, contact FLCAN at Florida Cannabis Action Network, P.O. Bow 36053, Melbourne, FL, 32936.
Stem cell therapy treatments available
Dr. Donna Ragona and Cocoa Village Animal Wellness Center are pleased to announce that stem cell therapy treatments are now available at the clinic.
Stem cell therapy is instrumental in promoting healing and regeneration of damaged tissue.
Utilizing "adipose tissue" - which is collected from the patient - the tissue is treated to release a regenerative cell preparation. These regenerative cells have been known to form new tissue - such as bone, cartilage and tendon.
Stem cell therapy has long and short term affects. It immediately eases pain and eventually aids in repairing damaged tissue.
Cocoa Village Animal Wellness Center now has all the equipment necessary to perform this amazing treatment.
Call Dr. Ragona at the clinic to see if this cutting edge treatment is right for your pet at (321) 684-7060.
Middle school named a national demonstration school
Stone Middle School has been named an Advancement Via Individual Determination National Demonstration School by the AVID Center in San Diego.
Stone becomes only the sixth school in Florida, out of more than 400 AVID schools, to receive this honor.
They join Kennedy Middle School and Eau Gallie High School as the third Brevard County School to earn this prestigious title.
The visiting team was led by Bob Saunders, AVID director of national demonstration schools. Also on the visiting team were Gloria Cox, North and South Carolina State director; Cathy Simmons, Florida/Georgia state director; Kelly Zulueta; Florida/Georgia program manager; and Bob McLaren, Brevard District director.
Statements from the team praised Stone for being an established AVID school with a culture of trust embodied by reciprocal learning, nurturing and leadership among faculty, students, and community.
The group also recognized Stone for having "a lot of heart and sense of community," and an "urgency to learn," as well as bringing the AVID College Readiness System to life thru rigor and high expectations school-wide.
The AVID program is dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. AVID operates in 47 states and 15 foreign countries at 4891 schools.
For more information about AVID in Brevard Public Schools, contact Bob McLaren at (321) 633-1000, Ext. 364.
Viera East Ladies 9-Hole Golf 'Shamrock' Invitational
Mary Ann Ollier and her committee recently arranged the "Shamrock Invitational" tournament for 70 participants, with the assistance of the Pro Shop and Mulligan's Grill.
First-place 2-Best Ball team winners were the team of Vivian Kise and Mary King of Viera East Golf and Patty Armor of Barefoot Bay Golf and Sally Lowers of the Majors Golf.
A luncheon prepared and served by Mulligan's Grill staff, Kim and Melissa, followed at the Residence Club.
Entertainment was provided by the VE "Singing Golfers," with Sue Buttner at the piano. They received a standing ovation from the elated lady golfers.
Thank you very much.
Local students intend to enroll at Florida Tech
The following local students have announced their intent to begin studies at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne in fall 2012: Rashad Abdulla of Melbourne - physics; Salman Alenzi of Melbourne - biomedical engineering; Turki Alhaeedhal of Palm Bay - information systems; Mohammed Alkhateri of West Melbourne - environmental science; Musalam Almazrouei of Melbourne - chemical engineering; Badur Alshukaili of Melbourne - chemical engineering; Isabella Campanini of Satellite Beach - forensic psychology: Kaitlyn Crook of West Melbourne - civil engineering; Curtis Earl of Palm Bay - applied math; Daltyn Earl of Palm Bay - biomedical engineering: David Elliott of Rockledge - electrical engineering; Balder Fagerlund of Ormond Beach - mechanical engineering; Max Fischer of Merritt Island - general engineering; Amanda Irizarry of Palm Bay - interdisciplinary science; Joachim Jones of Palm Bay - software engineering; Thomas Kearns of Melbourne Beach - space sciences; Alexander Kolobov of Melbourne Beach - business administration; Connor Kroop of Satellite Beach - interdisciplinary science; Savannah Kroop of Satellite Beach - mathematics education; Christian Kurian of Palm Bay - premedical physics; Kiel Lamb of Rockledge - mechanical engineering; Eric Larochelle of West Melbourne - computer science; Lauren Lide of Palm Bay - premedical biological science; George Lopez of Melbourne - aeronautical science, flight; Luke Lorah of Melbourne - international business; Ciera Misner of Malabar - general studies; Sky Morrison of Indian Harbour Beach - communication; Nick Namba of Melbourne Beach - computer science; Draven Owens of Melbourne - biomedical engineering; Aria Patterson of Indian Harbour Beach - general studies; Karlyn Prisco of Rockledge - general studies; Daniel Rassoul of - premedical biological science; Adam Rosenfield of Melbourne - business administration; Alexander Rumsey of Melbourne - business administration; Zachary Taylor of Melbourne - psychology; Cameron Vance of Palm Bay - computer science; Ember-Leigh Wells of West Melbourne - premedical biological science; and Joy Wilkinson of Melbourne - business administration.
Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast.
The university has been named a "Barron's Guide" "Best Buy" in College Education, designated a Tier One Best National University in "U.S. News & World Report," and is one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the "2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges."
The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.
Fields of study include science, engineering, aeronautics, business, humanities, mathematics, psychology, communication and education.
Additional information is available online at www.fit.edu.
For more information contact Karen Rhine at (321) 674-8964 or email email@example.com.
Idea results in donations for a good cause
An idea cooked up by two retired military wives has culminated in $6,702 in donations for the Veteran's Transitional Facility in Melbourne, which provides housing for homeless veterans.
Nancy Carroll and Judi Bickmore of Indian River Colony Club in Viera, produced and printed the $11 "Simply Soup" cookbook, with sponsorship by the Indian River Chapel Foundation and recipes by IRCC Sous Chef, Kathy Green.
In March, the pair presented checks from the cookbook sales and a recent golf tournament to Audra Leary, director for the Melbourne facility that has housed 40 veterans and family members so far this year.
The goal of the Veteran's Transitional Facility, which is affiliated with Vietnam & All Veterans of Brevard, is to transition homeless veterans, some with families, into a stable housing situation.
The Veteran's Transitional Facility is at 700 E. Fee Ave., Melbourne.
The phone number is (321) 409-8167.
IRCC is a fully maintained and gated golf course community of nearly 800 homes on 453 acres in Viera.
More information about Indian River Colony Club is available at www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com or by calling (877) 298-8124.
Improving student's reading skills
The Brevard Federation of Teachers recently sponsored a 32-hour class, called "Beginning Reading Instruction."
It is a research-based program that addresses specific research concepts and teaching strategies that impact reading.
The course began in January and concluded in March at the federation office.
Teachers attended on Wednesday evenings after school in order to obtain research-based information that will help them improve their students' reading skills. They chose five research concepts they have learned, implemented them in their classrooms, and submitted reports on how the strategies worked.
The instructor was Tina Newman.
For more information, call the BFT office on Florida Avenue in Rockledge, at (321) 636-3323.
Society has new doctor
The Central Brevard Humane Society has announced that Zenaida A. Agrait, D.V.M. has joined the organization as one of its veterinarians at its "Low Cost" Spay/Neuter & Wellness Clinic, located at 1020 Cox Road, in Cocoa.
Her duties will include wellness checks on Wednesdays and Fridays and performing spay/neuter surgeries on Thursdays at the clinic.
Dr. Agrait is originally from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, and speaks both English and Spanish fluently.
She obtained a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez campus, and received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Agrait relocated to Central Florida, where she has been serving as a relief veterinarian for the past 15 years at various clinics. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and World Vets.
Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities, traveling, reading and spending time with family, friends and her rescued cat, Adipo II.
For more information about the Central Brevard Humane Society, call (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.
Brevard County has reached a goal of 45 percent recycling, a milestone achieved one year early and one that puts Brevard County in a second-place tie among Florida county's with the highest recycling rates.
According to the latest recycling data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 23 counties reported a 30 percent or higher recycling rate, and Florida has maintained at least a 30 percent recycling rate for two consecutive years. Brevard County is among nine counties with a recycling rate of 40 percent or higher.
The more that is recycled means less waste generated and lower operating costs for waste management.
Residents have motivation to recycle because it allows for reuse of household products and also cuts down on the amount and cost of waste sent to local landfills.
Residents are encouraged to recycle at home and find out what recycling efforts are under way at their local schools, their workplace and their community groups.
In 2008, the Florida Legislature established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020.
To see the complete Solid Waste Management Report, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/recycling/SWreportdata/11_data.ht.
For more information about the Florida DEP Recycling Recognition Program, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.uswaste/categories/recycling/pages/recognition.htm
Health First's ball
The Health First's 31st Annual Benefit Ball festivities kicked off with a special sponsor party held March 21 at the Indialantic waterfront home of Dr. Steven and Valerie Karas.
More than 200 of the area's most generous and philanthropic people were in attendance, and enjoyed a beautiful Florida sunset, as they heard compelling stories and updates from executives, physicians and ball volunteers about the need for hospice services in the community.
For more information, call the Health First Foundation at (321) 434-7353 or log on to Health-First.org/Foundation.
Association has new leadership
The Space Coast Association has installed new leadership for its 1,400-member association.
Realtor Jesse Parrish III of Pruitt Real Estate was installed as the association's 2013 president.
Also installed were: president-elect Mitch Ribak; secretary Melissa Goldman, treasurer Lynn Jones and the following directors: Lisa Durgin, Bill Thomas, Dan Barber, Lynnette Hendricks, Steve Romano, Kaz Cisowski and Bill Kehoe.
The Space Coast Association of Realtors is a professional trade association, representing more than 1,400 Realtors and businesses.
New port authority board members announced
Cocoa Beach resident Tom Weinberg will serve as chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners for 2013.
The former chief of staff for former Florida Sen. Mel Martinez was elected unanimously to the position during the first meeting of the year for the board.
Also elected were Titusville attorney Jerry Allender as vice chairman and Cocoa citrus grower Frank Sullivan as secretary/treasurer.
Titusville attorney John H. Evans begins his first term on the board.
Also serving will be Merritt Island auto dealership owner Bruce Deardoff, the immediate past chairman of the board.
For more information, visit www.portcanaveral.com.
New vice president of managed care
Jeff Sterling has joined Health First as the vice president of managed care, reporting to Joe Felkner, chief financial officer for Health First.
In this newly created role, Mr. Sterling will direct and oversee the entire managed care function of the four Health First hospitals and the Health First Medical Group.
Mr. Sterling most recently served as regional director of Managed Care for Universal Health Services, a national, for-profit hospital system based in Pennsylvania. In that role, he was responsible for the Managed Care strategy for the UHS hospitals, physicians, and ancillaries in the Florida and South Carolina markets.
Mr. Sterling has 20 years of experience in the managed healthcare industry, with his experience equally split between hospital and health plan responsibilities.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida.
Mr. Sterling and his wife, Tamara, have relocated to Brevard from Orlando.
New director at animal services
Karla Torpy, formerly with the Melbourne law firm of Moletteire & Torpy, is the new director of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and recently received unanimous confirmation from the Brevard County Board of Commissioners.
Ms. Torpy, who spent 18 years practicing law in Brevard County, calls her new role an "essential mission to promote responsible pet ownership by promoting and protecting the health, safety and welfare of residents and animals in Brevard County."
Assistant department director Kathy Beatson served as the interim director of Animal Services and Enforcement since July 2011.
New vice president at Aging Matters
Aging Matters in Brevard has announced that Jeanne Hakkila-Wills has been appointed vice president of mission advancement.
She comes with a broad background, having spent eight years in advancement services at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, where she was instrumental in the design and implementation of its network and in raising capital to expand the program's second campus.
A former Harris program manager, her background includes broad-based experience in all phases of telecommunications and network operations.
She has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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 are 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 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government to fund new beach sand
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved Project Implementation Reports that will result in re-nourishment of north and south-reach beaches in Brevard County, with the federal government footing virtually 100 percent of the estimated $29.3 million cost to restore parts of the county's eroded shoreline.
In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused high winds and seas that damaged Brevard County beaches.
The County worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assess erosion to beaches within the federal Brevard County Shore Protection Project area.
As a result of that assessment, the Army Corps has announced approval of the Project Implementation Reports for the north and south reach beaches.
That approval means the Army Corps plans to re-nourish the north and south reach beaches using 100 percent federal funds.
The most recent benefits cost study by the Army Corps yields that for every dollar spent on the project, the county receives $5.50 in economic benefits.
The north reach, including Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, will receive about 1 million cubic yards of sand, with an estimated cost of $16.8 million.
The south reach, which covers 3.8 miles of shoreline in Indialantic and Melbourne Beach, will be re-nourished with 585,000 cubic yards of sand.
The Army Corps has not released an intended construction schedule, but work on both projects is expected to take place between November and May of next year.
Brevard County is also working to secure state beach restoration funds to repair other county beaches, where an Army Corps project has never been constructed, including the mid reach and south beaches areas.
Drowning prevention grant provided
The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County has announced it has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Florida Department of Health's Injury Prevention Program for Child Drowning Prevention services.
Annually in Florida, enough children to fill three-to-four preschool classrooms drown and do not live to see their 5th birthday. Florida overwhelmingly has the highest unintentional drowning rate in the nation for the 1 to 4 year-old age group.
The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County has partnered with Clear Channel Outdoor to display drowning prevention messaging on digital billboards throughout the county's major roadways. This messaging will be visible by Brevard County residents and thousands of tourists during the months of April through June.
To obtain more information about drowning prevention, visit www.brevardeh.com and click on "Public Swimming Pools and Bathing Places." You may also contact Cynthia Leckey or Melissa Brock at (321) 633-2100 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NASA screening of space program artifacts
NASA is inviting eligible educational institutions, museums and other organizations to screen and request historical space artifacts.
The artifacts represent significant human spaceflight technologies, processes and the accomplishments of NASA's many programs.
NASA and the General Services Administration worked together to ensure broad access to space artifacts and to provide a web-based electronic artifacts viewing capability. This is the 17th time since 2009 NASA has made this opportunity available.
The web-based artifacts module is located at http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm.
Eligible participants may view the artifacts and request specific items at the website through May 6. Only schools and museums are eligible to receive artifacts.
For more about NASA and agency programs, visit http://www.nasa.gov.
Small spacecraft technology project proposals
Small spacecraft, or smallsats, represent a growing field of space research and operations, in which universities often have led the way in technology development. Smallsats, some of which are as small as a 4-inch cube, are not expected to replace conventional spacecraft, but sometimes can provide an alternative to larger, more costly spacecraft.
NASA expects to competitively select approximately 10 proposals. Each team will form proposal partnerships with researchers from any of NASA's field centers.
Awards for each project will include as much as $100,000 ($150,000 for teams of more than one school).
Proposals submitted in response to this NASA cooperative agreement notice are due June 5.
Details are provided in a Cooperative Agreement Notice that is available online at http://tinyurl.com/cb3mqdw.
For additional information on the Small Spacecraft Technology Program, visit http://www.nasa.gov/smallsats.
Brevard Zoo honors military children in April
April is the Month of the Military Child, a time to recognize and appreciate military children for their service.
In celebration of the Month of the Military Child, during April at Brevard Zoo, when service members visit the zoo, they will receive a free child's admission to the Art of Sand exhibit, with each paid adult admission to the Art of Sand exhibit (discount is not applicable to zoo admission). In addition, every day of the year, Brevard Zoo offers a military discount of $1 off general zoo admission for service members and their dependents.
Proof of military service is required, and one adult ticket for Art of Sand must be purchased to receive the free child's admission to Art of Sand.
In the case of a parent being deployed, the zoo will honor the discount when the spouse or guardian of the child purchases the adult ticket.
For more information, call the Brevard Zoo at (321) 254-9453.
NASA asks for early stage innovation proposals
NASA is seeking innovative, early-stage space technology proposals from accredited United States' universities that will enable NASA's future missions and America's leadership in space.
Proposals are sought for science instruments, cryogenic propellant storage for long-duration space exploration, optical coatings for astrophysical pursuits, oxygen recovery for life support systems and to improve the understanding of and protection from near-Earth asteroids.
NASA expects to make approximately 10 awards this fall, based on the merit of proposals received. Each award will be made for one year, with an additional year of research possible. The typical annual award value is expected to be approximately $250,000. Second-year funding will be contingent on the availability of appropriated funds and technical progress.
Only accredited U.S. universities may submit proposals to this solicitation. Notices of intent are due by April 29, with proposals due May 21.
To view the Early Stage Innovation NASA Research Announcement and information for submitting proposals, visit http://go.usa.gov/25De.
For more information about NASA's investment in space technology, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.
New CFO at medical group
Thomas M. Matenaer, CPA, has been named chief financial officer of the Health First Medical Group, Brevard County's largest multi-specialty physician group.
The creation of the Health First Medical Group follows the successful acquisition of certain assets of Melbourne Internal Medicine Associates in February. The medical group is a combination of Health First's existing Health First Physicians and MIMA physicians, and now includes 246 physicians and more than 1,040 associates.
In his role as CFO, Mr. Matenaer will be responsible for the overall financial operation and strategic financial planning for Health First Medical Group.
He has more than 30 years of experience in finance within the healthcare field.
Mr. Matenaer received a bachelor's degree in business administration in accounting and a master's degree in business administration in management from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, in Whitewater, Wisc. He is a CPA and is married with three children.
Health First employs more than 7,500 people and has four hospitals, including Holmes Regional Medical Center, Palm Bay Hospital, Cape Canaveral Hospital and Viera Hospital.
Visit www.Health-First.org for more information.
- For Hometown News