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Now browsing: Hometown News > Community > Brevard County

Community notes - north Brevard
Rating: 3.34 / 5 (29 votes)  
Posted: 2012 Jul 27 - 00:24

Brevard schools featured in the Florida Power-Library Schools Program

The statewide recognition of Florida Power-Library School is awarded to schools that involve their school faculty members in developing and implementing outstanding library media programs, focused on student achievement.

After a rigorous review, including site visits, eight Brevard Schools were among the 15 schools chosen as this year's winners of the prestigious award.

These schools provide quality library media programs that encourage students to become lifelong readers and engage students in problem solving and inquiry-based activities.

The eight awarded Brevard Public Schools are:

. Apollo Elementary (Titusville): Dr. O'Kell, principal; Melissa Slack, media specialist

. Audubon Elementary (Merritt Island): Lisa Paniale, principal; Kathy S. Crisafulli, media specialist

. Harbor City Elementary (Melbourne): Christine Moore, principal; Coleen Ward, media specialist

. Hoover Middle School (Indialantic): Mollie Vega, principal; Ana Woodbrey, media specialist

. McNair Magnet School (Rockledge): Rosette Brown, principal; Julie Wales, media specialist

. Ralph M. Williams Elementary (Rockledge): Cynthia Ford, principal; Joye Kralovec, media specialist

. Turner Elementary (Palm Bay): Tanya Knowles, principal; Sharon Justin, media specialist

. Viera High School: James Hickey, principal; Beth Harris and Eryn Worcester, media specialists

Results showed that in schools that had well-staffed, well-stocked, well-managed library media centers, student achievement improved and standardized test scores were higher.

The schools will also receive a large banner for display at the school and logo pins.

For more information, please visit www.fasmnet.org or call (321) 633-1000, Ext. 796 or email davis.christine@brevardschools.org.

FIT shortstop scooped up by Atlanta Braves

Florida Tech senior K.C. Clabough became the latest Panther selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft recently when he was chosen by the Atlanta Braves with the 869th pick in the 28th round.

He joins junior right-hander Steven Schils, who was taken by the Braves in the ninth round.

Clabough played two seasons at FIT after transferring from Daytona State.

For the Panthers, he started all 99 possible games, batting .374 with 135 hits, 29 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 66 RBIs. He drew 41 walks and swiped 61 of 74 bases over his career.

He led the Sunshine State Conference in stolen bases in both years.

As a Panther, he was selected all-America, preseason all-America twice, all-region five times and all-SSC twice. He was also named to the Tino Martinez Award Watch List prior to the 2012 season.

For more information, call (321) 674-8250 or visit www.floridatechsports.com.

Humane Society seeks volunteers

The Central Brevard Humane Society is in need of dedicated individuals or groups who care about the welfare of animals.

Volunteering opportunities are available at the shelter, the Molly Mutt Thrift Shops in Historic Downtown Melbourne, Merritt Island, Palm Bay and Rockledge, the "low cost" spay/neuter and wellness clinic or as a "Society Ambassador" during community outreach (off-site) events.

Volunteer activities in dire need are dog walkers and cat socializers. They also need help with grooming animals and shelter beautification projects, as well as retail help at the thrift shops and assisting with community education and adoption events.

Individuals who volunteer as dog walkers provide daily exercise, affection and socialization to confined dogs, thus keeping them happy, healthy and adoptable - so they may find their new "forever" home with a loving and caring family (and as a side benefit you will get fit and trim).

For more information, contact Susan Rushin, volunteer coordinator with the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343, Ext. 207, or volunteer.coordinator@crittersavers.com.

Panther Women's Tennis ranked at No. 17

Coming off its fourth consecutive NCAA Division II Championship appearance, Florida Tech Women's Tennis achieved its highest national ranking ever at No. 17 in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II Poll. The Panthers' final ranking is one spot higher than when they debuted at No. 18 entering the spring season.

Led by head coach Bill Macom, FIT posted a 16-9 overall mark in 2012, which included five wins over ranked opponents. Its last win came against then 19th-ranked Florida Southern, 6-3, in the Panthers' regular-season finale.

Katarina Huba and her sister Kristina Huba wrapped up their season as two of the top-ranked players in Division II. Katarina ended her career ranked No. 30. Kristina, meanwhile, entered the singles rankings for the first time in her two years as a Panther at No. 35.

The Huba sisters also received recognition in the national doubles poll. As FIT's top tandem, they ranked No. 13 in Division II.

For more information, call (321) 674-8250 or visit www.floridatechsports.com.

New app tracks friends, family members and employees

Mobile Office Software Solutions Inc has unveiled an amazing new app, Trackster, for iPhones and Android phones, that allows users to track their friends, parents to track their children and employers to track their employees in real time, and do it inexpensively.

As a parent, wouldn't it be great if you knew where your kids were at all times? As a teen, how cool would it be if you knew where your best friends were hanging out? And employers, think how productivity could improve if you knew where your field employees were at all times during the workday? Trackster makes all that happen, and a lot more.

Trackster is a revolutionary and inexpensive GPS based application that works on iPhones and Android phones, utilizing Google Maps in real-time. Trackster allows you to track, find and follow your family, friends or employees who also download the Trackster app from either iTunes or Android Marketplace.

If you want to know where your family, friends, or employees are, find them instantly with Trackster.

Want to know where your kids are? www.phonetrackingkids.com

Want to know where your friends are? www.phonetrackingfriends.com

Want to know where your employees are? www.phonetrackingemployees.com.

Mobile Office Solutions Inc. is a software and application development company based in Vero Beach that specializes in mobile applications and solutions for businesses, and GPS tracking software for families, friends and employers.

Sheriff's Office commander receives Manager of the Year Award

Brevard County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Doug Waller has been named the 2012 Brevard County Manager of the Year by the Florida Space Coast Council.

The annual award is designed to publicize the positive impact that leadership, integrity and management skills can have on organizations and the community.

Nominations are solicited from throughout Brevard County from organizations not affiliated with the council.

Cmdr. Waller is the Criminal Investigations Division commander and has been employed with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office for the past 25 years.

He has been instrumental in the implementation of such innovative programs as the Sexual Offender Registration and Tracking Unit and co-creator of the "GAMEOVER" (Gang And Major Epidemic Of Violence Enforcement Response) Task Force.

For more information, please contact Cmdr. Mike DeMorat at (321) 403-5755.

Humane Society in need of kitten supplies

The Central Brevard Humane Society is in desperate need of Purina Kitten Chow, wet kitten food, blankets, comforters, sheets, towels, cat litter, KMR kitten formula, paper towels and small baby bottles.

All donated items can be brought to the Humane Society, 1020 Cox Road in Cocoa during regular business hours (open seven days a week at 11 a.m. daily).

Gift cards for BJ's Wholesale Club, PetsMart, Petco, Pet Supermarket, Target, Sam's Club and/or Wal-Mart are always appreciated to help with the shopping needs.

For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343.

Bronze Star presented to reserve rescue commander

U.S. Air Force Reservist Lt. Col. Timothy Davis, 920th Rescue Wing, was presented the Bronze Star Medal June 2 during a wing commander's call for his meritorious service while serving as the commander, 26th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Camp Bastion, Afghanistan from June 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2011.

During the deployment Lt. Col. Davis led 134 airmen to provide rapid personnel recovery and casualty evacuation capabilities for multinational ground forces in direct contact with the enemy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

As the busiest and most mission-tasked rescue squadron, they were credited with flying 1,032 combat flights, totaling more than 750 hours and saving more than 333 lives while providing 269 medical assists.

Forty-five of the missions were considered high-risk, while engaging enemy forces in the hotly contested Helmand Province Region.

For more information about the 920th Rescue Wing, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Information provided by Cathleen Snow, Capt., U.S. Air Force Reserve, 920 Rescue Wing Public Affairs at (321) 494-0535 or www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil.

Humane Society announces 'foster to adopt'

The Central Brevard Humane Society has launched a new "foster to adopt" program.

This is a program through which individuals or families provide temporary homes for animals who have been residents of the shelter for six months or longer.

During this time, the Humane Society will supply individuals with an "overnight bag" for their new houseguest containing a collar, flea comb and product, microchip, toys and staff support.

Once the foster period is over, you may decide to make the animal a permanent member of the family. If so, the adoption fee will be waived (must pay for rabies vaccine & county tag).

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

Another Panther goes pro

Florida Tech graduate Ryan McChesney became the third Panther from the 2012 team to break into professional baseball, signing a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. He joins former teammates K.C. Clabough and Steven Schils, who were recently drafted by the Atlanta Braves.

A May graduate with a degree in civil engineering, McChesney played four years for the Panthers.

He departs as a career .341 hitter with 225 hits, 62 doubles, six triples, 21 home runs and 161 RBIs in 191 games. In his final two years, he primarily played either catcher or first base. Before settling in, he went 4-0 in 2010 as a starting pitcher with a 1.38 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 26 innings.

Over the last three seasons, he has been named Daktronics All-America, all-region six times, Capital One Academic All-District First Team and All-Sunshine State Conference First Team twice.

For more information, call (321) 674-8250 or visit www.floridatechsports.com.

Sunflower House seeks donations for medical equipment bank

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

Wheelchairs, walkers with seats, canes and shower chairs are most needed.

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

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

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

Rep. Steve Crisafulli honored

The Florida League of Cities recently honored Rep. Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) with a Legislative Appreciation Award at the Space Coast League of Cities meeting. League legislative advocates Casey Cook and David Cruz presented the award to Rep. Crisafulli.

This prestigious award is being presented to Rep. Crisafulli for his efforts during the 2012 legislative session to protect the home rule powers of Florida's cities by supporting the league's legislative agenda.

Rep. Crisafulli consistently voted in support of league positions, offered amendments to bills or worked behind the scenes to rally support for league positions.

Steve Crisafulli was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2008 and is vice chair of the Natural Resources Appropriations Committee.

He was the Orange County Delegation Chair in 2011 and was named the 2012 Associated Industries of Florida Champion for Business.

Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice for Florida's municipal governments.

Its goals are to promote local self-government and serve the needs of Florida's cities.

For more information, email mstark@flcities.com or call (850) 701-3638.

Let the Humane Society help you with the loss of your pet

While the Central Brevard Humane Society cannot take away the pain when a pet passes on, they understand the loving and unconditional relationship an individual shares with their pet and what it means to face losing that "special friend."

The passing of a pet is hard enough without having to worry about making final arrangements for them. The Humane Society provides prearranged euthanasia, cremation and chapel services to help ease the stress of a difficult moment in a person's life.

Its Rainbow Bridge Community Chapel is a private, peaceful and dignified place where someone can say their "final farewells" to their beloved animal companion. It is furnished with pew seating and soft music that provides a comforting environment for someone to remember their pet and the times they shared.

For more information about these services, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343, Ext. 208 or visit www.crittersavers.com.

New healing tool for animals

Dr. Donna Ragona and the Cocoa Village Animal Wellness Center have announced a new holistic healing modality, I-Therm technology.

Utilizing a molecular hyperthermic technique, the I-Therm system accelerates healing and rapid removal of toxins in the body.

This treatment is highly efficacious and non-invasive.

Several lectures are planned throughout the county via various kennel clubs and wellness clinics to introduce this healing tool to the community.

The Cocoa Village Animal Wellness Center is at 224 Forrest Ave., Cocoa.

For more information, call (321) 684-7060 or email cocoavillageawc.com.

Savannahs Golf Course Club Championship

The results of the 2012 Savannahs Golf Course Club Championship are:

. Championship Overall Winner : Neal Caldwell of Cocoa Beach in a 2-hole playoff defeating Don Peplow of Merritt Island on the second playoff hole. Ed Madigan of Merritt Island was eliminated on the first extra hole. All players tied with a 164 36-hole total in very wet conditions.

. Championship flight winner: Ed Madigan; runner-up: Gary Dillaman; net winner: Don Peplow; net runner-up: Ron Galbraith

. First flight winner: Neal Caldwell; runner-up: Tom Himes; net winner: Sang Hill; net runner-up: Pete Scabarozi

. Second flight winner: Michael Valley; runner-up: John Richardson; net winner: Rich Lambert; net runner-up: Marion Cheney

. Third flight winner: Kim Juranek; runner-up: John Broadstock; net winner: Tom Weber; net runner-up: Jeff Thomas

The overall net winner was Kim Juranek with a 130 36-hole total.

Everyone was treated to a prime rib awards luncheon.

Thirty-seven players competed in the four flights set up by handicap.

Exchange coordinator accepting host family applications

Audra Brown, International Exchange Coordinator for the nonprofit EF Foundation for Foreign Study, is currently accepting applications for host families for the 2012-13 school year and seeking participation from local high schools.

Host families open their homes to a 15-18-year-old from one of 25 countries around the world, and schools may offer enrollment to up to five exchange students per year. Students come for one or two semesters.

Through the exchange experience, both student and family get the chance to learn about a new culture and promote global understanding here in the community.

Host family applicants undergo a screening process to ensure that they are well suited for an exchange experience.

To host, one adult in the household must be at least 25 years old. Schools must agree to enroll the student in a full course of study with no requirements regarding the student's participation in extra-curricular activities or graduation.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., EF Foundation for Foreign Study is committed to promoting international understanding and global awareness.

To learn more about high school exchange in your local community, visit www.effoundation.org or contact Audra Brown at audra.brown@effoundation.org and/or (618) 240-1441.

'Wounded Hero Voyage' books

The book, "Wounded Hero Voyage: I Smallest Powerboat Crossing the Atlantic," is out.

Part I features the Tampa to Greenland part of the 2-part voyage to Germany.

"Wounded Hero Voyage II" picks up where book one leaves off, arriving in Greenland.

Brothers Bob and Ralph travel past thousands of icebergs in the world's smallest powerboat to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean, and they are traveling the route which passes just south of the Arctic Circle.

They are traveling unescorted - without a cabin or a keel.

The book is loaded with 92 pictures showing incredible sites and hardships with an up-close view that lets the reader experience the drama as it unfolds.

The storms are rolling in as they motor in small windows of better weather, continuing to the Faroe Islands, Shetlands, Orkneys, Scotland, England, France, Holland, and finishing the 8,312-mile voyage in a boat with less than a foot of freeboard.

They are promoting Wounded Hero Foundations in memory of three marines, John Harvey, George Holmes and Dewey Johnson.

Videos and book information is available at www.RobertBrownBooks.com. Both books are available in paperback and Kindle.

Commercial human space transportation

The Federal Aviation Administration and NASA have signed a historic agreement to coordinate standards for commercial space travel of government and non-government astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

The two agencies will collaborate to expand efforts that provide a stable framework for the U.S. space industry, avoid conflicting requirements and multiple sets of standards, and advance both public and crew safety.

The memorandum of understanding signed by the two agencies establishes policy for operational missions to the space station.

Commercial providers will be required to obtain a license from the FAA for public safety.

Crew safety and mission assurance will be NASA's responsibility.

This approach allows both agencies to incorporate experience and lessons learned as progress is made.

The FAA is responsible for regulating and licensing all U.S. private companies and individuals involved in commercial space transportation.

For details on FAA commercial space transportation responsibilities, visit www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=12179.

To view the agreement, visit http://go.nasa.gov/Lru8iQ .

For more information on NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit http://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew.

Rep. Bill Posey congratulates students bound for U.S. Service Academies

Congressman Bill Posey congratulates nine students from the 15th Congressional District on their appointments to the U.S. Service Academies.

The nation's service academies are the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

The following students from District 15 received appointments:

. U.S. Military Academy:

Rachel Greer, Melbourne High School, Cody Rothschild, Palm Bay High School and U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, Luis Vega, Palm Bay High School and USMAPS

. U.S. Naval Academy:

Rachel Griffin, Merritt Island High School, Siera Snapp, Sebastian River High School

. U.S. Air Force Academy: Vaughn Campbell, Osceola High School and U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School, Anthony Kochensparger, Sebastian River High School, Sean Ledfors, Sebastian River High School, Jacob Redito, West Shore Junior-Senior High School

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

SPCA urges pit bull 'parents' to prevent unwanted litters

With 8 million homeless pets entering U.S. shelters every year, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of North Brevard is helping to solve the problem with its "Primp Your Pit (bull)" spay/neuter promotion sponsored by PetSmart Charities.

During the month of August, the SPCA will spay/neuter pit bulls for a special rate of $20.

Today, 35 percent of dogs and cats in U.S. households are not spayed or neutered, yet the procedure is one of the most effective ways to reduce the homeless pet population

Pit bulls, in particular, end up in shelters in large numbers because of myths and negative media that impact public perceptions associated with the breed.

The American Veterinary Medical Association endorses spaying and neutering puppies as young as 8-10 weeks old, and research shows that the procedure can improve the behavior and health of the pet, including reducing the risk of certain reproductive cancers and infections.

In an effort to prevent unwanted litters of pit bulls, this special rate during the "Primp Your Pit (bull)" event applies to all residents of Brevard.

The promotion is based on availability

Please visit www.spcanorthbrevard.com or call (321) 267-8221 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Florida College Coach of the Year and the players

For the second time in three seasons, Florida Tech head men's and women's tennis coach Bill Macom has been named "United States Professional Tennis Association College Coach of the Year" for the Florida Division. Previously, he earned the award in 2010.

In his seventh season, Coach Macom guided the men's team to 14 wins, which was a seven-win improvement from 2011.

Newcomer Nicolas Clerc was a standout performer as a sophomore with a record of 18-3 overall and 17-1 at No. 1 singles. He teamed up with Jorge Abarca Montero to form a No. 1 doubles team that went 18-3 on the season.

Freshman Beau Fieldsend also excelled in his first season, posting 15 wins in singles and a 12-4 mark with D.J. Pate at No. 3 doubles.

Coach Macom's work with the women's team led the Panthers to their fourth straight NCAA Division II Championship appearance.

They ensured their fifth consecutive season of 15 or more wins by finishing at 16-9. This success translated into FIT earning its highest national ranking in the program's nine-year history at No. 17 in the last Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division II Poll.

Abigail Greif, Katarina Huba and Kristina Huba recorded 15 or more singles wins this spring. Kristina Huba, a sophomore from Ascona, Switzerland, went 17-5 and 9-1 at No. 2 singles. She and her sister Katarina played at No. 1 doubles and combined for a 15-6 record. Following the season, they both garnered All-Sunshine State Conference recognition. Also, Kristina Huba was tabbed ITA's South Region Player to Watch.

The men's and women's tennis teams continued to impress in the classroom.

The men finished the 2011-12 academic year with a cumulative grade point average above a 3.0, and the women won FIT's Team GPA Award for the highest cumulative GPA among all of the institution's women's sports at 3.65.

For more information, call (321) 674-8250 or visit www.floridatechsports.com.

NASA offers web, mobile links to follow space station and mission control

NASA is using the Internet and smart phones to provide the public with a new inside look at what happens aboard the International Space Station and in the Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Log onto the agency's "Space Station Live!" web page or download the companion "ISSLive!" mobile application to get up-to-the-minute information.

Groundbreaking research and technology development work is going on every day in the microgravity environment of space, and Space Station Live! allows users to see what the expedition astronauts do minute by minute.

Space Station Live! includes a web experience and free mobile ISSLive! app for smart phones and tablet computers accessible on NASA's website. The app also is available through the Google Play and iTunes app stores.

Special features of the Space Station Live! web and mobile app experience include: live streaming data from various space station systems, live streaming data from actual crew and science timelines with social media links, descriptions and educational material that describe how the space station works, educational lessons using the live content, 3-D virtual mission control, 3-D virtual space station using live streaming data to correctly position the sun, Earth, moon and the station's solar arrays, 3-D model of the space station with labels and colored by the international partner contributions to its assembly and links to NASA's five international partner space agencies' mission information.

To use Space Station Live!, visit http://spacestationlive.nasa.gov.

To download ISSLive! and other NASA mobile apps, visit http://www.nasa.gov/connect/apps.html.

For information about the International Space Station, visit http://www.nasa.gov/station.

'Get some Summer Loving'

"Get some Summer Loving" when you adopt a shelter pet this summer and all year 'round.

Every month, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of North Brevard features different animals that are available at its shelter and promotes them with special reduced adoption fees.

The SPCA is extending its "Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month" promotion.

July is when "Patriotic Pit Bulls" get their chance to show what great, devoted pets pit bulls can be.

"Black Friday" doesn't just come once a year at the SPCA. Every Friday, black dogs and cats (and select black-and-white dogs and cats), have reduced adoption fees.

For more information, stop by the Dog Adoption Building, 455 Cheney Highway, Titusville, or the Cat Adoption Building, 425 Cheney Highway, Titusville, or visit www.spcanorthbrevard.com to see a list of all animals available for adoption at the SPCA of North Brevard.

Grants offered to promote beautification of public spaces

Citizens and groups that would like to complete beautification projects to improve the appearance of public spaces, medians and rights-of-way in Melbourne are eligible to seek grants to support their projects. Grant applications are currently being accepted.

Steven Graham, the city's parks administrator, explained that the program developed by the Beautification & Environmental Advisory Committee is to provide grants of $500 to $2,500 for landscaping improvements, with the project applicant providing an in-kind match of 50 percent.

Those interested in seeking a grant must complete an application form that is available at www.melbourneflorida.org/leisure/parks.htm and must agree to maintain the landscaped area for a year. Grants are to be provided as reimbursements after work is complete, with up to $12,000 in projects to be funded in coming months.

Applications are to be evaluated by the Beautification & Environmental Advisory Committee. The evaluations are to be based on the "Florida Friendly Landscape Principles" developed by the University of Florida's Cooperative Extension Service.

Applications are to be submitted to the City of Melbourne Parks Division, 2895 Harper Road, Melbourne, FL 32904, or sent via email to sgraham@melbourneflorida.org.

Interested parties can also request additional information via e-mail, or by calling (321) 953-6230.

Former Panther hit .429 in two games for Gulf Coast League Braves

It took only two games in the Gulf Coast League for former Florida Tech shortstop K.C. Clabough to be called up to the Single-A Rome Braves.

The Atlanta Braves' 28th-round selection in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft hit .429 with an RBI and a run scored in seven at-bats. He notched his first RBI of his professional career in his Minor League Baseball debut Tuesday against the GCL Yankees. Two days later against the GCL Phillies, he went 3-for-4 and scored one run.

In two seasons for the Panthers, the Cocoa Beach native started all 99 possible games at shortstop. He batted .374 with 135 hits, 29 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 66 RBIs. He drew 41 walks and swiped 61 of 74 bases in his FIT career.

To view Clabough's MILB bio page and his stats, visit http://atmilb.com/Mh6ymy.

Sheriff's jail accreditation manager selected as the finest in the state of Florida

Jail accreditation manager Jeff Jarvis was recently selected as the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission's "2011 Distinguished Service Award" recipient for the state of Florida.

Mr. Jarvis was presented this award at the Florida Police Accreditation Commission Conference in Bonita Springs in June.

He has been involved with the accreditation process for several years and has provided unique insight and expertise for improvements to the commission's process and standards.

For more information, visit www.BrevardSheriff.com.

United Way of Brevard funding achieves local impact of more than $17 million

Sixty-one local health and human service programs at 43 Brevard agencies will benefit from nearly $4 million in funding, thanks to United Way donors.

United Way of Brevard's Board of Directors recently approved the funding recommendations of more than 100 volunteers who spent more than 2,000 hours reviewing agency financials and funding requests, as well as touring agencies.

Besides the funding from the Community Care Fund, another million dollars will be distributed - both here in Brevard and outside of our community - at the direction of donor-designated gifts, thanks to the successful 2011 United Way Community Campaign.

This, along with the grants that United Way of Brevard manages for the community, increases United Way's total financial impact on the community to more than $17 million.

For more information, call (321) 631-2740.

Health First Health Plans receives highest accreditation

Health First Health Plans has been awarded an Accreditation status of Excellent - the highest possible level - from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Health First Health Plans has received this top rating for both its commercial and Medicare plans for the third consecutive three-year accreditation period.

The accreditation survey process includes on-site and off-site evaluations of more than 60 standards and selected performance measures conducted by a team of physicians and managed care experts.

Information from health plan records, consumer surveys and interviews with health plan staff are collected.

For more information, visit www.ncqa.org, call (321) 434-4333 or email jackie.oconnell@health-first.org.

Gator Club seeks sponsors for kickoff party and golf event

The Brevard County Gator Club is looking for sponsors and vendors with Florida Gator-related items for its annual kickoff party and golf challenge.

This year's event will be Saturday, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the Duran Golf Club, 7030 Stadium Parkway, Viera.

There will also be a nine-hole par-three golf challenge at 4 p.m. before the kickoff party, which begins at 5:30 p.m. A free children's golf clinic will begin at 3 p.m., with two live alligators in attendance.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the children's golf clinic, two live alligators event, kid's fun zone, golf holes and program sponsorships. Sponsorship donations range between $25 and $250.

The club is also trying to contact all ex-Florida Gator football players who reside in Brevard County for the golf outing and to attend the event.

For more information or to become a sponsor or vendor, please call (321) 890-7754 or email rcr228@cfl.rr.com.

New officers of the Titusville Sunrise Rotary Club

Els van Engelenburg was sworn in as president, Kate Chiodini as president-elect, John King as secretary, Anne Fraser as treasurer, Jack Griesbaum as sergeant-at-arms and Jo Lynn Nelson as Rotary Foundation chairwoman.

The Titusville Sunrise Rotary Club meets for breakfast at 7:15 a.m. every Tuesday at the La Cita Country Club in Titusville.

Local business people are invited to visit the club on any Tuesday. Please contact president van Engelenburg for further information.

She can be reached at global2@cfl.rr.com.

Health First Health Plans receives highest accreditation

Health First Health Plans has been awarded an accreditation status of "Excellent" - the highest possible level - from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Health First Health Plans has received this top rating for both its commercial and Medicare plans for the third consecutive three-year accreditation period.

The accreditation survey process includes on-site and off-site evaluations of more than 60 standards and selected performance measures conducted by a team of physicians and managed care experts.

Information from health plan records, consumer surveys, and interviews with health plan staff are collected.

A national oversight committee of physicians analyzes the team's findings and assigns an accreditation level based on the plan's performance.

For more information, visit www.HealthFirstHealthPlans.org, call (321) 434-5665 or call toll-free at (800) 716-7737.

New law waiving fees for military veterans in effect

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation encourages military veterans, who have been honorably discharged within the past 24 months, to apply for a new licensure fee waiver available through the department.

The department now has the ability to waive initial licensure fees for military veterans under a new law that passed during the 2012 Legislative session. The waivers could save veterans anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars, depending on the license type.

Through House Bill No. 517, the initial license fee, initial application fee and initial unlicensed activity fee will be waived for veterans returning from service, provided the veteran applies for licensure within 24 months of being honorably discharged

The law will apply to new licenses granted for more than 20 professions under the department's jurisdiction, including construction, real estate, certified public accountants and cosmetologists.

The waiver can be downloaded from the department's military services webpage at www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/dbprmilitary.html and should be included in applications for professional licensure.

For more information, visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.

Federal and Junior Duck Stamps help protect wetland habitats

The 2012-13 Federal Duck Stamp is on sale across the United States, giving hunters, stamp collectors and anyone with an interest in migratory birds and other wildlife an easy way to help conserve habitats.

Ninety-eight percent of proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to acquire and protect vital wetlands supports hundreds of species of migratory birds, wildlife and plants.

Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe joined representatives of the U.S. Postal Service, Bass Pro Shops and other conservation partners at the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail store in Virginia recently to celebrate the first day of sale of both the $15 Federal Duck Stamp and $5 Junior Duck Stamp.

The new stamps are now available at thousands of post offices, Bass Pro Shops and other sporting goods stores and retail locations across the country, and can also be purchased online at www.duckstamp.com.

The electronic validation may be used to hunt or obtain free admission to a refuge immediately, while a physical stamp is mailed to each customer.

Learn more about the Federal Duck Stamp Program online at www.fws.gov/duckstamps, or on Facebook at USFWS_Federal Duck Stamp. Learn more about the Junior Duck Stamp at www.fws.gov/juniorduck, or on Facebook at Federal Junior Duck Stamp.

Temporary homes for pets without long-term commitment

There has been an influx of pregnant dogs and dogs with very young litters of puppies relinquished to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of North Brevard in the past several weeks.

Some of these moms and puppies are currently in temporary foster homes until the puppies are old enough to be weaned from their mothers, but some aren't.

To find out more about the SPCA's foster program, to make a contribution to its medical fund or to donate supplies for the care of homeless pets, please call the SPCA's dog adoption at (321) 267-8221, Option 3, or for cat adoption, Option 4.

Parrish Medical Center earns 'National Hospital of Choice' award

Parrish Medical Center has been recognized as one of America's most customer-friendly hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers for the spring quarter of 2012.

PMC is one of only 10 hospitals nationwide to earn the alliance's "Hospital of Choice" award.

It marks the second time PMC has been recognized for this honor. PMC earned this recognition in 2009 and again in 2012.

Winning hospitals are selected based on a secret review of a facility's performance in customer service, public communication and good citizenship.

Parrish Medical Center is at 951 N. Washington Ave., Titusville.

For more information, please contact Simone Peterson at (703) 655-1381, or email choiceawards@aahcp.com or call (321) 268-6110 or visit www.parrishmed.com.

Crosswinds Youth Services recognizes staff members

Crosswinds Youth Services recently gave special recognition to several of its outstanding staff members.

Ann Fosburr, program assistant, received the Dale Carnegie Award for her professionalism and positive attitude in her work with the Independent living services program.

Michele Cassel, independent living specialist, was recognized with the Tortoise Award for her perseverance and commitment to quality.

Michael Burgess, youth care worker, received the Employee of the Quarter Award for his excellent work in the Robert E. Lehton Children's Shelter.

Crosswinds Youth Services Inc. is a nonprofit organization with its campus in Cocoa. It provides a variety of services for youth and families in crisis throughout Brevard County.

For more information about Crosswinds and its programs, call (321) 452-0800 or visit www.crosswindsyouthservices.org.

The Performance Academy at Harmony Golf Preserve

Under the leadership of the Harmony Golf Preserve director of instruction and community outreach, Spencer Graham III, Harmony has designed an academy specific to coaching clients to become exceptional players in golf and ambassadors for the game.

It is called the Performance Academy at Harmony Golf Preserve & Junior Golf Performance Academy.

The academy emphasizes measurable progress in every aspect, with a major focus on short game, golf course management and tournament preparation.

Mr. Graham has been coaching golf full-time for 19 years.

In addition to the performance academy's curriculum, in 2013 Harmony will also offer a unique full-time residential and commuter program for worldwide elite level junior golfers.

The Junior Golf Performance Academy blends remarkable, full-time golf training with academics and college preparation.

The headquarters for the JGPA will be located in the Town of Harmony.

For more information, call (407) 891-8525, email sagraham@troongolf.com or visit www.harmonygolfpreserve.com.

Recruiting Mosquito Lagoon boaters

The University of Central Florida and the University of Florida professors are working on a Florida Sea Grant-funded project which involves developing an outreach campaign to increase environmentally-responsible recreational boating in Mosquito Lagoon and help protect crucial marine species and their habitats.

To help direct the campaign, the researchers are conducting focus group interviews with boaters to better understand their experiences and views.

The Stakeholder Consultation Committee is recruiting boaters for the focus groups. These are planned to begin in late July with dates and times to be scheduled based on the availabilities of participants, but recruiting is going on now in order to gather a substantial pool of interested candidates for follow-up contact and screening.

If you know of any adult registered Brevard County or Volusia County recreational boaters who visit Mosquito Lagoon regularly (at least four times in the past year), who would be willing to help this project by participating in one of the confidential 90-minute focus groups, please have them volunteer by contacting the project's lead researcher, Denise DeLorme, at denise.delorme@ucf.edu or research assistant Kamra Bowerman at K.Bowerman@knights.ucf.edu for more information.

The 'Connecticut Club'

The "Connecticut Club" is being formed by former Connecticut residents who now live in the North Brevard area of the Space Coast.

You are invited and welcome to join this newly-formed social club.

If you are interested, email connecticutclub@yahoo.com or call (321) 868-6765.

NASA and Craig Technologies sign agreement

NASA has signed a new partnership with Craig Technologies of Melbourne to maintain an inventory of unique processing and manufacturing equipment for future mission support at the agency's Kennedy Space Center.

Under a five-year, non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement, NASA will loan 1,600 pieces of equipment to Craig Technologies.

The equipment supported Space Shuttle Program capabilities, such as flight hardware and cable fabrication. It was used in manufacturing, repair and inspection processes necessary for space flight hardware, avionics and ground processing.

Craig Technologies will be able to use the equipment for five years beginning in January or until NASA requires use of it, whichever comes first.

Craig will be required to operate, maintain and store the property at a single location within a 50-mile radius of Kennedy.

The equipment currently is located in the NASA Shuttle Logistics Depot in Cape Canaveral, and is managed by United Space Alliance.

The equipment will remain there through the end of the year when the current USA lease expires.

For more information about Kennedy, visit www.nasa.gov/kennedy.

Brevard Rescue Mission awarded grant

Brevard Rescue Mission, which provides transitional housing and support services for homeless women with children, was recently awarded a $1,000 grant from the Boeing Employee Community Fund.

The "Transporting Families to Financial Independence Grant" will be used to support transportation service for the families to get to jobs, school and medical appointments.

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.

For more information, call (321) 480-9100 or visit www.BrevardRescueMission.org.

Cocoa Rotary wins literacy award

The Cocoa Rotary Club was presented the Rotary Zone Literacy Award at its recent installation banquet.

The club's literacy projects included donating dictionaries to all third grade area school children, new books to the Brevard County Library Foundation and presentation of a water safety program to all kindergarten children in the Cocoa area. More than 1,000 "Josh the Baby Otter" books were given to the students, as well as a CD about water safety.

Backpacks were distributed to elementary schools at the beginning of the year.

Another community project this year was the purchase and donation of the land and building that will house The Boys and Girls Club on Dixon Boulevard in Cocoa.

The Club's International Rotary Project was the donation of water filters to Honduras. Four Club members will travel to Honduras to install the filters this fall.

Schools continue to earn high marks

School grades have been announced, and out of Brevard's 69 elementary and middle schools that received their annual state grades, 64 percent received an A, with 94 percent of schools receiving an A or B (does not include charter schools).

According to data released by the Florida Department of Education, 38 Brevard public elementary schools received an A, 16 received a B, two received a C, and one received a D.

Six of BPS middle schools received an A, five received a B and one received a C.

Out of 1,811 elementary schools statewide, Brevard has three of the top 10 elementary schools based on points earned for the school grade: No. 2 is Freedom 7 Elementary School of International Studies; No. 8 is Robert Louis Stevenson School of the Arts and No. 10 is West Melbourne Elementary School for Science.

Every BPS Middle School increased in total accountability points.

For more information, call (321) 633-1000, Ext. 796.

Space Coast Cancer Center offers clinical trials

Richard Levine, MD, principle investigator of the Clinical Trials Department at Space Coast Cancer Center, is a co-author on the recent publication, "Effects of a Brief Multimedia Psycho Educational Intervention on the Attitudes and Interests of Patients with Cancer Regarding Clinical Trial Participation: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial."

The article was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology July 10.

The purpose of the study was to determine if a brief discussion with patients regarding clinical trials has a positive impact in their willingness to participate in clinical trials.

The center offers clinical trials to cancer patients as an affiliate of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, the largest research network in the United States.

For more information or questions, contact Linda Perez, clinical research regulatory coordinator, at (855) 894-HOPE (4673), Ext. 3510.

Brevard County Health Department honored

Heidar Heshmati, M.D., director of the Brevard County Health Department, was honored at the 2012 annual conference of the National Association of County and city health officials, a body of peers, for developing and implementing a program that demonstrates exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a local public health need.

The Sexual Assault Examination Response Program was one of 39 public health programs developed by a local health department selected from across the nation to receive the official's Model Practice Award.

The Sexual Assault Examination Response Program was implemented in partnership with the State's Attorney Office, Sexual Assault Victim Services, Salvation Army and Serene Harbour Domestic Violence Shelters, law enforcement agencies, and the Brevard County Health Department.

This award puts Brevard County Health Department into special company - a select group of health departments that exemplify a forward thinking, proactive attitude toward protecting and promoting the health of communities across the nation.

For more information about the Model Practice Awards and to view a list of other award winners, visit www.naccho.org.

- For Hometown News

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