Afterschool Ambassador Program
The Afterschool Alliance has announced that Jackie Francisco, assistant district coordinator of Brevard Public Schools School Age Child Care program has been selected to serve as a 2012-13 Afterschool Ambassador.
She is one of just 12 local leaders from across the country to be chosen for the honor this year.
Each Afterschool Ambassador will continue directing or supporting a local afterschool program while also serving the one-year Afterschool Ambassador term organizing public events, communicating with policy makers, and building support for afterschool programs.
Brevard Public Schools, through its School Age Child Care program, serves more than 4,000 students daily in 57 elementary schools including more than 1,000 students in fifteen 21st Century Community Learning Center grant programs.
The programs provide academic and personal enrichment including activities, such as homework help, fine arts and music, technology and fitness.
For more information, visit www.afterschoolalliance.org.
Brevard Rescue Mission new board member
Brevard Rescue Mission has announced a new board member, Beth Evander.
As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, she brings her expertise to the Brevard Rescue Mission family.
Her active work as a community volunteer has been primarily focused in the public schools and her church Preschool Ministry team.
She and her family have lived in Brevard County since 1980. Ms. Evander's experiences and knowledge will help support the continued growth and development of Brevard Rescue Mission.
Brevard Rescue Mission works to permanently break the cycle of homelessness in families by providing homeless women with children housing, access to health care, transportation, education, nutrition, job training and life skills in a safe, Christ-centered residential setting.
The 12-24 month program is designed to lovingly transform families from dependency to self-sufficiency through daily accountability, personal responsibility and goal advancement.
For more information, visit www.brevardrescuemission.org.
Space Coast Cancer Center welcomes human resources manager
Space Coast Cancer Center has hired Christina Mull as its human resources manager.
Ms. Mull has more than 12 years of experience in human resources.
She began her career working for Mercedes Homes Inc., where she continued her education with Brevard Community College onto the University of Central Florida, obtaining a Bachelors Degree in psychology.
Serving the residents of Brevard County since 1983, Space Coast Cancer Center is a hematology/oncology practice with locations in Titusville, Merritt Island and Viera.
For more information, visit www.spacecoastcancer.com or call (321) 268-4200, Ext. 3500.
Panther standout to play basketball
Last season, Florida Tech senior basketball player Simon Cummings was leading the Panthers to its first-ever outright Sunshine State Conference Regular Season Championship, earning First Team All-SSC honors, tying an NCAA Division II record for most consecutive three-pointers and appearing on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays for the feat.
This year, he is topping all of that.
Cummings has headed across the Atlantic Ocean to play professional basketball for the Essex Leopards, a member of the English Basketball League Division 1.
Cummings led the SSC in scoring (17.3 points per game) and minutes played (33.9 minutes played per game) during his final season.
In a Dec. 19 contest against Trinity, the 6-foot, 1-inch guard notched a season-high 36 points after hitting 10 consecutive three pointers to tie a Division II record.
The Essex Leopards are a member of the top division in the English Basketball League. The Leopards are coming off its best season in team history, earning the Division 1 regular season and tournament titles.
For more information, call (321) 674-7484.
Sheriff's Office earns top finishes at motorcycle competition
Recently, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Motor Unit participated in the Second Annual Space Coast Motorcycle Safety Training and Trials event, which was hosted by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Cocoa Police Department and Melbourne Police Department.
More than 50 law enforcement officers from around the state of Florida competed in the motorcycle skills competition, which was held in the parking lot of the Melbourne Square Mall, located on West New Haven Avenue.
While competing, officers demonstrated the skills and techniques necessary to safely negotiate obstacles they may expect to encounter during daily enforcement.
Several members of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Motor Unit were recognized for their outstanding performances at the event:
. Cpl. Chris Ferrante: First Place Individual Metric Division and Third Place Overall Individual
. Cpl. Chris Ferrante and Deputy Frank Santiago: First Place Overall Team Ride
. Deputy Frank Santiago: Second Place Individual Metric Division and Fourth Place Overall Individual
. Sgt. Scott Behringer: Third Place Overall in the Challenge Ride, and
. Cpl. Chris Ferrante and Deputy Bryan Kanipe: Third Place Team Slowride.
In addition, the event also raised funds to benefit "Families of the Shield," a nonprofit organization that supports law enforcement officers and their families in times of need or in the event of an officer's death.
For more information related to this event, contact Motor Unit Sgt. Scott Behringer at (321) 863-1236.
Department reaches out to Hispanic and female farmers and ranchers
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers, who allege discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in past decades can file claims between now and March 25.
The process offers a voluntary alternative to litigation for each Hispanic or female farmer and rancher, who can prove that USDA denied their applications for loan or loan servicing assistance for discriminatory reasons for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000.
The voluntary claims process will make available at least $1.33 billion for cash awards and tax relief payments, plus up to $160 million in farm debt relief, to eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers. There are no filing fees to participate in the program.
Call-center representatives can be reached at (888) 508-4429. Claimants must register for a claims package (by calling the number or visiting the website), and the claims package will be mailed to claimants.
All those interested in learning more or receiving information about the claims process and claims packages are encouraged to attend meetings in your communities about the claims process and contact the website or claims telephone number.
Visit www.farmerclaims.gov or call (888) 508-4429.
First mobile NASA app and earthquake forecasting share software award
NASA's first mobile application and software that models the behavior of earthquake faults to improve earthquake forecasting and the understanding of earthquake processes are co-winners of NASA's 2012 Software of the Year Award.
The award recognizes innovative software technologies that significantly improve the agency's exploration of space and maximize scientific discovery on Earth.
Software engineers at NASA developed the NASA App for mobile platforms, including the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android phones and tablets.
The NASA App currently has more than 9.6 million user installations and receives more than three million hits per day on average.
For more information, visit http://icb.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov.
Brevard County Sheriff's Office promotional ceremony
Recently, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office held a promotional ceremony at the Sheriff's Office North Precinct, located in Titusville.
Sheriff Jack Parker made three sergeant promotions, eight corporal promotions, two field training officer promotions and promoted three deputy sheriffs to the assignment of agent.
The newly-promoted Sheriff's Office personnel will be assigned to work in the Uniform Patrol Division, Jail Complex and Criminal Investigations Division.
The ceremony was open to the public and was attended by family and friends of those being promoted, in addition to Sheriff's Office personnel.
The following Sheriff's Office personnel were recognized during the ceremony and promoted:
Cpl. Kurt Benfant to sergeant, Cpl. Harold Stafford to sergeant, acting Sgt. Stephen Fernez to sergeant, Field Training Officer David Scheuerer to corporal, Field Training Officer Ghayas Ahmed to corporal, Field Training Officer Shelly Gardner to corporal, Corrections Deputy James Ris to corporal, Corrections Deputy Edward Medbery to corporal, Deputy Brad Bellflower to corporal, Agent Jim Haman to corporal, Corrections Deputy Thomas Parrott to field training officer, Corrections Deputy Jason Lewis to field training officer, Deputy Sara McLennon to agent and Deputy Jack Hanigan to agent.
For more information, visit www.brevardshefiff.com.
Winners of the Florida Council of Social Studies Theron Trimble Award
Brevard Public Schools has recognized Chris Spinale and Kassie Erenstoft as the Florida Council of Social Studies Theron Trimble Award Winners.
This award is sponsored by the Florida Council for the Social Studies, a professional organization of social studies educators striving to maintain and enhance the importance of social studies in Florida education.
Mr. Spinale is a Purdue University graduate who also holds a Master in Education and Education Specialist degree from the University of Central Florida.
He began his teaching career in 1997 at Titusville High School teaching AP U.S. Government and Politics.
In 2006, he transferred to Viera High School, where he taught economics.
He served as department chair at both high schools. In 2012, he moved to the Educational Services Facility, providing services as a secondary social studies resource teacher.
Ms. Erenstoft is a graduate of the University of Florida, who received a Master in Education degree from the University of Central Florida.
She began her teaching career at Narcoossee Community School in 2005 and joined the Brevard family in 2006 with her current teaching assignment at Spessard L. Holland Elementary School.
In 2011, Ms. Erenstoft was a Brevard County Teacher of the Year finalist because of the way she implements engaging and thought provoking lessons within the classroom, while connecting classroom experiences to meaningful and methodical skills for other teachers to use.
For more information, call (321) 633-1000, Ext. 796.
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 and is a program of Aging Matters in Brevard.
The Sunflower House is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Elks national awards grants
Cocoa Beach Elks Lodge, No. 2387, was recently awarded $4,000 in grants from the Elks National Foundation.
A $2,000 Gratitude Grant was donated to the Cocoa Beach Kiwanis Foundation, earmarked for the Eryn Cooper Fund.
Eryn is the 11-year-old daughter of Cocoa Beach Detective Tom Cooper. At the age of 5, she lost both kidneys to a disease and is currently awaiting her third transplant.
Kiwanis has managed a fund for Eryn since 2005 that is used to offset medical and travel expenses that are not covered by insurance.
A $2,000 Promise Grant will be used to support three Y-Indian Guides ecological related projects. In September, the Y-Guides held its annual Indian River Lagoon campout/cleanup at KARS Park. Later in the year, the members will perform cleanups on the 520 Causeway and an Indian River Island.
The grant is used to provide entertainment, refreshments and supplies for these events.
The Elks also used the grant to be a major sponsor for the Sept. 29 Junior Achievement "Skate to Educate" event at the Cocoa Beach Skatepark.
Trophies, awards and refreshments were purchased from grant funds.
The Elks are also playing a major role in this year's Cocoa Beach High School Project Graduation. The members will donate $500 to the event.
The Elks National Foundation is the charitable arm of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
For more information, visit www.elks.org/enf or call Jim Dickson at (321) 543-6263.
Men's tennis wraps up Panther invitational
Florida Tech concluded its Panther Invitational with 10 victories on the final day.
The Panthers won seven singles matches and three doubles matches at the Fee Avenue Courts.
The third day opened with two rounds of doubles play.
The doubles draw was originally scheduled to begin on day one of the invitational, but was suspended due to rain and lightning.
Patrick Hernandez and Matic Leskovar won the opening doubles match in flight "A" over Palm Beach Atlantic's Mark Heimberger and Asteway Adams, 8-4.
In flight "B," Beau Fieldsend and Riley Lorenz knocked off Santiago Lobelo and Diego Garavito of Bethune-Cookman by a score of 9-8.
Barry Dylewski and Daniel Armellino collected FIT's third win in doubles play. The senior-sophomore combo defeated Palm Beach Atlantic's Nicholas Battistini and Michael Leonard, 8-6, in flight "C."
Hernandez fell in the flight "A" singles championship match to Leonardo Lima of Bethune-Cookman, 6-2, 6-2. But the Panthers went 7-1 in eight other consolation matches.
Fieldsend won his flight "A" match in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5. Dylewski and Leskovar both won their consolation matched in flight "B" in straight sets. Leskovar defeated Webber International's Marcel Schmitt, 6-0, 6-0.
Jimmy Nguyen and Lorenz both won matches in flight "C" in straight sets, and Donovan Wetterstein took a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Webber International's Tunguy Oukeo in flight "D."
For tennis results and more information, visit www.floridatechsports.com or call (321) 674-7484.
Florida Tech basketball player signs with Costa Rican professional team
Former Florida Tech guard Anthony Jackson became the second basketball player to join the ranks of a professional organization this month, signing with Ferrenteria Brenes-Barva of the Second Division League of the Costa Rican Basketball Federation.
His former teammate Simon Cummings is playing with the Essex Leopards of the English Basketball League.
Jackson joins a squad that won a record-setting five consecutive National Championships from 2006-10.
Last season, the team lost in the semifinals of the tournament.
Head Coach Warren Espinosa will take the reins for his first season as coach of Ferrenteria Brenes-Barva. The season will run from October through May.
For more information, call (321) 674-7484.
Brevard County Fire Rescue promotion
Brevard County Fire Rescue has promoted firefighter/paramedic Kenny Appling to the rank of lieutenant.
The promotion was made official recently during a brief ceremony at Fire Rescue's headquarters in Rockledge.
The ceremony was attended by Fire Rescue officials, as well as friends and family of Lieutenant Appling and was presided over by Deputy Fire Chief Dennis Neterer.
After being sworn in, Lt. Appling was presented with his lieutenant helmet, bugles and badge.
Lt. Appling is an 11-year veteran of the department and most recently served at Station 48 in West Viera as a member of the department's Special Operations Team.
He has been re-assigned to a floating lieutenant position.
For more information, call (321) 633.2056 or visit www.brevardfire.com.
Medication drop box
The Cocoa Police Department has a new permanent drop box for disposal of medications.
The Prescription Drug Drop Box will be available Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the lobby of the Cocoa Police Department.
Medication turn-in is always anonymous. Prescription and over-the-counter solid-dosage medications, such as tablets and capsules, will be accepted.
The Cocoa Police Department accepted the box from the Venice Police Department when that agency secured one and then was awarded one in a grant from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigations. The Cocoa Police Department coordinated with Venice PD and NADDI to relocate the grant funded box to Cocoa.
For more information, call (321) 637-6304 or visit www.saferxflorida.org.
Kristina Huba wins FIT's first-ever ITA South Regional Championship
Florida Tech junior Kristina Huba took the Intercollegiate Tennis Association South Regional Singles Championship Match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, to claim Florida Tech's first-ever ITA South Regional Championship recently at Wynee Warden Complex on the campus of Florida Southern.
Ms. Huba faced Olivia Matuszak of Barry in the singles final. The two met previously in the doubles round of 16, where Ms. Huba and Stephanie Dohner eliminated Ms. Matuszak and Mona Mansour, 8-5.
Ms. Huba, who was named the ITA South Region Player to Watch at the end of last season, is now 8-0 in singles play this fall. She was also crowned Flight "A" Singles Champion at the Panther Invitational.
The junior went 5-0 on her run to the ITA South Regional Championship. After a first-round bye, Ms. Huba swept West Alabama's Jill Furlong 6-0, 6-0 in the round of 32. She then swept a second-straight opponent in Mona Mansour of Barry, 6-0, 6-0, in the round of 16.
In the quarterfinal round, she eliminated a second-straight Barry player, Linda Fritschken, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the semifinals.
Ms. Huba won a three-set match in the semifinals, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, against Lynn's Val Confalonieri.
For more results and information, visit www.floridatechsports.com or call (321) 674-7484.
Donations needed for Humane Society's Thrift Shops
The Central Brevard Humane Society's four Molly Mutt Thrift Shops (located in Downtown Melbourne, Merritt Island, Palm Bay and Rockledge) are in need of donations.
The donated items can be sofas (couches), dining sets, love seats, recliners, vanity sets, dresser drawers, beds (any size) with frames, headboards, dinette sets, ottomans, patio sets, sectionals, coffee and end tables and bedroom sets.
For more information, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636-3343, Ext. 203.
Firefighters wear pink to promote breast cancer awareness
Brevard County firefighters are trading in their blue shirts for pink in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For the entire month of October, Brevard County Fire Rescue has teamed with the Brevard County Professional Firefighters Benevolent Association to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer by allowing members to purchase and wear the pink shirts in place of their normal duty shirts.
The shirts feature the benevolent logo on the front with "Brevard Fire- We Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month" on the back.
The BCPFF will donate all funds raised by the sale of the shirts to the International Association of Firefighters, which is once again working with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to offer the "Passionately Pink for the Cure" program for October.
For more information, visit www.breastcancer.org, call (321) 633.2056 or visit www.brevardfire.com.
- For Hometown News