Enrolled agents - 'the tax experts'
Joseph A. Grutta of Satellite Beach recently attended the Florida Society of Enrolled Agents annual convention.
During the three-day convention, enrolled agents were updated on various "IRS Hot Topics" that many individual and small business taxpayers are facing today.
Attending professionals received updates from local and national tax experts.
Attendees earned continuing professional education hours as required by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.
Enrolled agents are federally tested and licensed tax practitioners and experts, who have demonstrated technical competence in tax law and are the only taxpayer representative licensed to represent taxpayers before the IRS, by the United Sates Government.
To find an enrolled agent in your area, contact the Florida Society of Enrolled Agents on its website at www.fseaonline.org or the national website at www.naea.org.
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.
FirstWave Financial puts local spin on celebration
Beyond celebrating the official opening of its new Satellite Beach location, FirstWave Financial turned its recent grand opening event into an opportunity to showcase and support everything from Brevard-based artists to beachside businesses.
In addition to featuring artwork from the Brevard Cultural Alliance, FirstWave Financial (formerly known as CPA Wealth Management Services) fueled the festivities with music from Chuck Van Riper.
The company also drew names from a pool of 150 guests and treated winners to gift certificates from nearby establishments, including Green Turtle Market, Long Doggers, Da Kine Diego's, Cantina Dos Amigos and Port d'Hiver Bed and Breakfast.
In addition to FirstWave Financial's client service center at 1300 Highway A1A in Satellite Beach, the company also has an office in Orlando, which opened in 2009.
For more information, please visit www.firstwavefinancial.com or call (321) 773-7773.
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.
Sheriff's aviation unit wins international award
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit was recently awarded third place in the Forward Looking Infra Red Vision Awards Ceremony, which was hosted at the 2012 Annual Airborne Law Enforcement Association Convention.
The FLIR Vision Awards are presented annually to airborne law enforcement teams with the best video of a rescue, chase, apprehension or surveillance mission. Only one video per team may be submitted for award consideration.
Cpl./pilot Chris Sands and deputy/tactical flight officer Joseph Barrera were among the top three finalists selected from video submissions from around the world. Cpl. Sands and deputy Barrera were recognized for demonstrating their outstanding coordination and quality of teamwork while assisting, tracking and apprehending a burglary suspect in the city of Cocoa in April 2012.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit has previously been awarded first-, second- and third-place and are the only airborne law enforcement unit in the world to be recognized as a finalist in six out of the last 11 years for this award.
As part of the award, a charitable donation on behalf of the Sheriff's Office, will be presented to The United Way of Brevard.
A copy of the video may be picked up at the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit, 910 Airport Road, Merritt Island.
Further information may be received by contacting chief pilot Coppola at (321) 455-1475.
Authors' group elects new leadership
The volunteer Space Coast Writers' Guild members recently elected author Donna Chesher as its president.
Ms. Chesher's previous nonprofit experience includes fundraising with the University of California.
The guild is dedicated to encouraging, instructing and developing writers, and the new leadership's goal for the guild is an emphasis on outreach.
More information on the guild is available at www.scwg.org, (321)254-8464 or email@example.com.
NASA history now available on iTunes U
Marking the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, NASA has added an extensive collection of historical video, audio, photographs and documents to iTunes U.
iTunes U is a platform for making educational resources available to a wide audience through the iTunes Store.
NASA's History Program Office iTunes U site currently contains about 300 items that represent a broad sweep of NASA history-related to important moments, activities and figures in NASA history. The site's content is free to download.
The site includes Apollo program material with a collection of items for each of the Apollo missions, as well as a special Politics of Apollo collection of key documents related to the U.S. lunar program.
The site also features eBooks from the NASA History Series.
To view all of NASA's iTunes U sites and download material, visit www.nasa.gov/connect/itunesu.html.
Police department motor unit takes top honors
The city of Satellite Beach has announced that the Satellite Beach Police Department took top honors at the annual Motor Unit Challenge Awards Ceremony, held recently in Orlando.
The Satellite Beach Police Department won first place, ahead of 106 other agencies (of various sizes) throughout the state of Florida. Some of the larger agencies had motor divisions that are 30 motors strong.
The criterion included driver education, the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (where concerned citizens can call about trouble areas), seatbelt enforcement waves and crash reduction efforts.
Top honors netted the department $12,000 in traffic safety equipment, which included new motorcycle helmets and microphone systems, radar units and body-worn video cameras. This award helps the city from having to pay for these necessary items out of the budget.
For more information, call (321) 773-4400.
Rotary Club installs officers and directors
The Indialantic Rotary Club has installed new officers and directors for the administrative year of 2012-13.
The new officers include president Dwan Buie, secretary Dan Liparini and treasurer Cyndie Crawford.
Directors-at-large, who will be serving for the next 12 months, include Steve Audino, Ed Baranowski, Pat Bouchard and Corinne Ishler.
The Indialantic Rotary Club is one of 15 Rotary clubs in Brevard County, along with 34,335 clubs in more than 150 countries.
The Indialantic Rotary meets at noon on Wednesdays at the Eau Gallie Yacht Club, 100 Datura Drive, Indiana Harbour Beach.
For more information, call (321) 242-1840.
Rotary Club of Indialantic awards scholarships
The Rotary Club of Indialantic recently awarded four scholarships, totaling $26,000, to four Brevard County graduating high school seniors.
Those who received funds to attend Florida Tech this fall were: Jonathan Dudley - Edgewood Junior/Senior High School, Andrew Jevitt-Rhys Ouwendijk - West Shore Junior/Senior High School and Christian Stratton - Space Coast Junior/Senior High School.
Within the past three years, Indialantic Rotary, in collaboration with Florida Tech, has raised more than $90,000 in scholarship funds over the past through is annual "Moon River, Music and Magic" events.
All monies raised were matched by Florida Tech and awarded to local graduates, who have shown high academic achievement, effective school leadership and active community involvement.
Satellite Beach: a recycling-conscious community
Check out the recycling area behind the David R. Schechter Community Center, 1089 S. Patrick Drive, Satellite Beach.
There are bins for glass, plastic, aluminum, cardboard and paper products.
Inside the lobby are regularly collected items that can be used by others, such as eyeglasses (recycled by the Satellite Beach Lions Club), coffee mugs (recycled by the Satellite Beach Woman's Club for Daily Bread), greeting card fronts, bottle caps (recycled by Brevard Montessori School, Satellite Beach) and cell phones for soldiers.
View the full list of recycling opportunities at www.satellitebeachrecreation.org.
Facilities in Satellite Beach
The city of Satellite Beach offers the following indoor facilities for various functions and activities for rent or public use:
. Pelican Beach Clubhouse: capacity 70, 1495 Highway AIA, on the ocean with outdoor deck
. Auditorium: capacity 100, 565 Cassia Blvd., has a stage and full kitchen
. Oleander room: capacity 30, 565 Cassia Blvd., great meeting room for small groups
. Meeting room: capacity 106, 1089 S. Patrick Drive, small kitchen
. Concession area: capacity 40, 1089 S. Patrick Drive, full kitchen and connects to the game room
. Game room: capacity 40, 1089 S. Patrick Drive, connects to the concession area
Picnic pavilion rentals:
. Pelican Beach Park, 1525 Highway AIA
. Pelican Pavilion: capacity 70
. Sea Grape Pavilion: capacity 30
. Turtle Pavilion: capacity 30
. Coquina Pavilion: capacity 20
. Starfish Pavilion: capacity 12
. Vista: no seating, great for small weddings
. Satellite Beach Sports & Recreation Park: 750 Jamaica Blvd. (by the Satellite Beach Library)
. Skatepark: soccer and football fields
. Dog Park: walking trail
. Schechter Community Center: 1089 S. Patrick Drive, gymnasium, game room and meeting rooms
. DeSoto Recreation Complex: 499 DeSoto Parkway, tennis and racquetball courts - multi-use field
. Samsons Island Nature Park: 52-acre park accessible by boat - public transportation each Sunday at 1 p.m. from the Satellite Beach Fire Department dock
. Hightower Beach Park: 815 Highway AIA, educational boardwalk - dune crossover
Check out all of the facilities at www.satellitebeachrecreation.org .
Community service award from Florida Health Care Coalition
Brevard County's Board of County Commissioners, Brevard County Health Department and the Brevard County Medical Society were recently named recipients of the 2012 Community Service Award presented by the Florida Health Care Coalition.
The coalition recognized the three organizations for the Primary Access to Health Clinic partnership. The PATH Clinic was established to meet the needs of low-income, underinsured adult residents of Brevard County, who are without health care benefits, below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
The program has expanded services in central Brevard County, with outreach to north Brevard County, and established a new clinic at the Melbourne Health Department.
The Florida Health Care Coalition is a 28-year-old organization that represents nearly 2 million members of public and private sector employers. Its goal is to improve the quality of health care while reducing the rising rate of health care costs and educating consumers.
For more information, visit www.flhcc.org.
For more information on the Primary Access to Health program, visit www.doh.state.fl.us/chdbrevard/pers_hlth/path.htm.
'Blasting Off To Save More Lives'
The Central Brevard Humane Society is "Blasting Off to Save More Lives" during the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, which runs through Oct. 31.
The Humane Society will be trying to save at least 300 more lives, as its staff did the same time last year, for a chance at more than $500,000 in grant funding, including a grand prize of $100,000.
During the Humane Society's "Blasting Off" campaign, it will be offering special promotions, like 50 percent off adoption fees on all cats and dogs, and free microchipping, rabies vaccines and pet care products.
Individuals that adopt a new "fur kid" during the challenge will have an opportunity to spin the "Fuzzy Wheel of Fury" for a chance to "win" additional adoption savings!
The 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a nationwide competition for animal shelters aimed at getting more animals adopted or returned to their owners than ever before.
For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.
National Hurricane Center director visits NWS Melbourne
The Director of the National Hurricane Center, Dr. Richard Knabb, recently visited the Melbourne National Weather Service office.
Dr. Knabb and Melbourne forecasters discussed possible future enhancements to hurricane forecast and warning information, effective communication of a unified message and how detailed, local hazard information can most effectively complement NHC track and intensity forecasts. A special session was also held for emergency managers. Emergency Managers.
The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories.
For more information, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov/staff/knabb_2012.pdf or call (321) 255-0212.
American astronauts launching from U.S. soil
NASA has announced new agreements with three American commercial companies to design and develop the next generation of United States human space flight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years.
Advances made by these companies, under newly-signed Space Act agreements, through the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative, are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human space flight services for government and commercial customers.
While NASA works with U.S. industry partners to develop commercial space flight capabilities to low Earth orbit, the agency also is developing the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and the Space
Launch System, a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration.
Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS and Orion MPCV will expand human presence beyond low Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system.
For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew.
Brevard Federated Republican Women win contest
The Brevard Federated Republican Women were the winners of a contest sponsored by the Florida Federated of Republican Women.
The local club registered more new Republican voters than any other Florida Federation Club in the state of Florida during the contest period.
The Brevard Federated Republican Women meet the first Wednesday of each month and provide education and information about local and state issues.
All Republicans are invited to attend the meetings.
For more information, visit www.brevardfederatedrepublicanwomen.org.
Diagnostic center receives accreditation for scanning
The Health First Diagnostic Center at the Viera Hospital Medical Plaza has been awarded its first three-year term of Accreditation in Positron Emission Tomography Scanning by the American College of Radiology.
The ACR Gold Seal of Accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety and is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR practice guidelines and technical standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.
Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed.
The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive healthcare services.
For more information, call (321) 434-4333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grant received to advance adult literacy
Brevard Adult Literacy Volunteers, an organization that teaches adults in Brevard County to read, has been selected to receive a $4,000 grant as part of the inaugural Restaurant Community Grant Program from the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc.
The Restaurant Community Grant Program is a local grants program intended to help support nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities Darden and its restaurant brands serve.
The donation will enable Brevard Adult Literacy Volunteers to replace outdated tutoring materials used to teach literacy skills to adults at libraries in Brevard County, so they may reach their full potential in their families, jobs and communities.
Restaurants within the Darden family - Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 - are helping to award more than $1.7 million in local grants to nearly 900 exceptional nonprofit organizations nationwide.
Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden's three key focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources and hunger.
For more information about the Darden Foundation, visit www.darden.com/commitment/community.asp. For additional information about Brevard Adult Literacy Volunteers, visit www.BrevardLiteracy.org, call (321) 917-8952 or email email@example.com.
Medical Practitioners For Affordable Care LLC
Medical Practitioners For Affordable Care has been selected to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization, a multifaceted new emerging model of care sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and intended to ensure high quality care while addressing healthcare costs and problems created by existing fragmented care delivery.
Medical Practitioners For Affordable Care, based in Melbourne and comprised of 145 participating local physicians, is the only Brevard County Accountable Care Organization.
For more information, call (321) 323-4460.
NASA selects contract for employee relocation services
NASA has selected Franconia Real Estate Services of Woodbridge, Va., for agency-wide employee relocation services, effective Oct. 1.
The firm-fixed price Blanket Purchase Agreement with delivery/task orders includes a one-year base period with four, one-year options.
The maximum value of the Blanket Purchase Agreement (base plus options) is approximately $35 million.
The contractor also will provide home marketing assistance, counseling, destination area services and property management for NASA employees who are relocating.
Relocation services are available at all NASA centers and associated facilities.
The contract will be managed by the NASA Shared Services Center, located near Bay St. Louis, Miss.
For information about NASA and agency programs, visit http://www.nasa.gov
American Correctional Association recognizes jail supervisors
Fifteen Brevard County Jail supervisors recently took up the challenge to exceed standards by further testing and demonstrating their level of professionalism and expertise in the field of corrections.
By preparing for this certification testing in management, it required an enormous amount of dedication and commitment by each participant to achieve this level.
. ACA certified corrections executives are Maj. Gregory Robertson and Maj. Darrell Hibbs
. ACA Certified Corrections Managers are Lt. George Fayson, Lt. Ronald Tomblin and Lt. James Dodson
. ACA Certified Corrections Supervisors are Sgt. Beldon Ferguson, Sgt. Clifford Ferguson, Lt. Kelly Haman, Sgt. Darryl McCullough, Sgt. Edward, Ostrom, Sgt. Alan Rainey, Sgt. Rodney Richter, Sgt. Michelle Patrick, Sgt. Robbie Stokes and Sgt. Brian Seeley
Certification by the American Correctional Association improves staff training and development and establishes measurable criteria for upgrading operations, morale and professionalism.
These standards provide a safer environment for staff as well as those who are in the custody of the sheriff.
For more information, visit www.BrevardSheriff.com.
Partners in Crisis leader to serve
Gail Cordial, executive director of Florida Partners in Crisis, will serve another two years on a substance abuse and mental health task force reporting to the state Supreme Court.
The group was created in 2010 and recently was extended until 2014 by order of Chief Justice Ricky Polston.
Among the tasks Justice Polston assigned the group, relating to people with substance abuse or mental health issues are:
. Develop a resource guide for judges and others for helping veterans.
. Help develop recommendations on training for judges.
. Offer guidance on the continuation of the expansion of the "post-adjudication drug court."
. Study how to best focus programs and resources.
. Promote recommendations from the "Transforming Florida's Mental Health System" report.
More than two dozen people are serving on the task force, including judges, law enforcement and experts statewide in mental health and substance abuse treatment and veterans issues.
For more information, call Belinda Stewart at (321) 750-3547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humane Society in need of donated items
The Central Brevard Humane Society is in desperate need of Purina Kitten & Puppy Chow, canned food (kittens, puppies, cats and dogs), dish soap, blankets, comforters, sheets, towels, dog toys, laundry soap, paper towels, rubbing alcohol and Clorox bleach.
All donated items can be brought to the Humane Society, 1020 Cox Road, Cocoa, during regular business hours (open seven days a week at 11 a.m. daily).
For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343 or visit www.crittersavers.com.
Kennedy Space Center Safety and Mission Support Services
NASA has selected A-P-T Research Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., to provide mission assurance, engineering and risk assessment services at the agency's Kennedy Space Center.
The maximum potential value for the four-year, cost-plus-award-fee Safety and Mission Support Services II contract is $36 million.
A-P-T Research Inc. will perform the mission assurance, engineering and risk assessment services in the disciplines of safety, reliability and quality at Kennedy and all Kennedy-assigned facilities at sites that include Vandenberg Air Force Base and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California.
For more information about NASA programs and missions, visit www.nasa.gov.
- For Hometown News