Press Releases – Brevard County, Florida
Brevard County Courthouse, Titusville, FL

NBBD Calendar of Events


Brevard County, Florida
Press Releases 2010 - 2013

Brevard County Board of County Commissioners
Phone: 321.633.2000 • www.brevardcounty.us

www.facebook.com/BrevardCountyGovt
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December 30, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Jan. 9 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


December 23, 2013

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville Kicks 2014 Off With Full Calendar

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary invites you to Explore the Great Outdoors through a variety of activities offered throughout January. The sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd. in Titusville.

Activities in January include:

Guided Nature Hikes, every Saturday, 10 a.m.: A 45-minute, interpretive hike offered every Saturday on the trails of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP. For more information, please call (321) 264-5185.

Volunteer Orientation - Saturday, Jan. 4, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment. Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities available. For more information, please call (321) 264-5185.

Sanctuary School for Homeschoolers - Friday, Jan. 10, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Tracks and Scat - You don't always see the animal, but sometimes you find signs that it was there. Learn how to identify these signs. Designed for ages 7-10. Registration required by calling (321) 264-5185.

Volunteer Workshop -- Basic Birding - Saturday, Jan. 11, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Volunteers are encouraged to join Naturalist Joe Swingle for this exciting workshop. Observe Central Florida birds and learn basic bird identification. Please register by calling (321) 264-5185.

Friends of Enchanted Forest - Thursday, Jan. 16, 6 p.m.: Friends Annual Meeting – All members attendance requested to discuss the 2014 plans. For more info, please call (321) 264-5185.

Photography Club - Saturday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Program for all levels of photography. View photographs and learn helpful tips. This program is free and reservations are not required.

Forest Funday for children - Sunday, Jan. 19, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Program on Trees of the Forest. Come enjoy a Sanctuary Search (non-collecting scavenger hunt) and art project. This program is free and fun for all ages.

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival - Jan. 22-27: Events include guided hikes, birding, presentations and more. Register through spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.


December 23, 2013

Barrier Island Center Invites Brevard to start New Year on the Beach

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – The Barrier Island Center, South Beaches Region, kicks off New Year's 2014 with a beach cleanup followed by a calendar chock full of activities, including:

Beach Cleanup - Thursday, Jan. 2, at 1 p.m.: Start the New Year off right by giving back to the beaches that give us so much.

"Out of the Ashes" Coconut Point Sanctuary Prescribed Fire Walk - Friday, Jan. 3, at 10 a.m.: Join BIC land managers to learn how controlled burns are an essential tool for the EEL Program to renew habitat, protecting biodiversity. Meet at Juan Ponce De Leon Beach Park, 4000 South Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach. Call to enroll.

Children's Author and Touch Tank - Saturday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m.: Join award-winning children's author Kenda Swartz Pepper for a reading, song, and eco-art activity to connect children with caring for the Earth and themselves. Then, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., explore our "sea stars" touch tank. Copies of Well Earth Well Me! will be available for a cash donation of $14. Call to enroll.

Healthy Holistic Habits - Sunday, Jan. 12, at 12 p.m.: Tim Spencer Behrendt, artist, musician, and co-founder of Shawangunk Nature Preserve, will be sharing eight habits to embrace to improve your well-being.

Improving Your Beach Photography - Saturday, Jan. 11, at 3 p.m.: Vince Lamb, renowned nature photographer, will teach you how to improve your beach photography followed by a walk on the beach to practice. Beginning photographers are invited. Bring smart phones, point-and-shoot cameras or single lens reflex cameras and beach footwear. Call to enroll.

Surf Fishing 101 - Tuesday, Jan. 14, and Surf Fishing 102 - Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m.: Surf Fishing 101 is "the first step" introductory classroom clinic followed by Surf Fishing 102 "putting it all together," with a surf fishing demonstration on the beach. Cost $28 for both sessions. Call to enroll.

Oyster Mat Making - Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m.: Help the the Lagoon get into shape for the New Year by creating mats with the Brevard Zoo to restore critical oyster reef habitat.

Oyster Gardening Workshop - Saturday, Jan. 18, at 9:30 a.m.: Do you live on the Indian River Lagoon, and are you concerned about water quality? Then join the Brevard Zoo to build and deploy oyster cages from your docks. Call to enroll.

Woven Seashell Treasures Wreath - Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m.: Join Peggy Spencer Behrendt, artist, musician and co-founder of Shawangunk Nature Preserve to replace your holiday decor with a beautiful, water-themed burlap wreath. Cost $22, includes materials, but bring a few of your found seashore treasures to integrate if you like. Call to enroll.

Little Hatchlings "Migration Station" - Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m.: Learn about bird migration, take a hike to look for bird food sources and resting places, and use your creative skills to make a bird feeder. For children ages 2-5, accompanied by adult. Call to enroll.

"My Brevard Yard" Workshop - Friday, Jan. 24, from 9 a.m. to noon: Join UF extension to learn how to grow a healthy, IRL-friendly landscape. Includes hands-on lesson in applying fertilizer, taking a soil sample, and setting up a micro-irrigation system with timer. Cost $15, enroll at www.eventbrite.com.

"Birds of a Feather - Hike Together" at Maritime Hammock - Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 a.m.: Local ornithologist and Fla. Tech Assistant Professor Dr. Christin Pruett will lead you on an exploration looking for birds of prey in sprawling live oaks and listening for song birds calling from the canopy. Enroll at www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.

Star Gazing in the Sanctuary - Saturday, Jan. 25, at 6:30 p.m.: Witness the birth of distant worlds and observe our Earth's "kin" with the Melbourne Astronomical Society.

Pelican Island Kayak Paddle - Sunday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to non: Paddle around Pelican Island to view this thriving rookery! Meet at Spratt Creek launch south of Pelican Island Viewing Area on Jungle Trail. Visit www.fws.gov/pelicanisland/visiting/pi_map.html for directions. Tandem or single kayaks available. Children under 12 must paddle tandem with adult. Cost $38 per person. Limited to 20 people/10 kayaks. Call to enroll.

Eco-Film: Disney Nature's "Earth" - Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m.: Follow three of Earth's most majestic animals through migrations, seasonal changes, and human disturbances, in this beautiful film.

River Fishing - Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Single classroom clinic with local fishing pro John Detmer. Cost $23. Call to enroll.

The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Barrier Island Center is centrally located in heart of the Archie Carr Refuge in South Melbourne Beach at 8385 South Highway A1A. The Barrier Island Center operates in collaboration with the Sea Turtle Conservancy to provide hands-on educational experiences for visitors to the Refuge through interactive exhibits, nature films, special programs and a 1-mile long "dune-to-lagoon" nature trail. Admission is free to the education center, which is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.


December 23, 2013

Plans Underway for Third Annual Pioneer Day on Feb. 8

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Sams House at Pine Island and St. Luke's Episcopal Church will once again partner for Pioneer Day on Feb. 8, 2014.

Pioneer Day is a free event at Sams House at Pine Island (suggested donation of $1 per car for parking.) Events are ongoing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include:

  • Crafts Fair/Farmers Market, featuring unique hand-crafted items, fresh produce, and other food products
  • Living History Demonstrations and Educational Exhibits
  • Florida Folk Music by Chris Kahl and the Celery City String Band
  • Historic House and Cabin Tours by costumed guides
  • Display of Sams Family Artifacts (never-before seen)
  • Children's Pioneer Crafts and Games
  • Guided hikes
The Center is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile mile west of State Road 3 and 5 miles north of State Road 528. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.

This year, St. Luke's Episcopal Church will focus on "Modern Pioneers." Events are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are free, unless otherwise noted. They include:

  • 10:30 a.m. Demonstration by Highwayman artist R.L. Lewis
  • Self-guided tours of historic chapel and cemetery
  • Soup Lunch ($5 a bowl)
  • 1 p.m. Presentation by Rosemary McGill, "A Man Named Justice, a Lady Named Liberty, and a Land Called Freedom." McGill is the Multicultural and Legacy Specialist at Eastern Florida State College.
  • Afternoon chat with Molly Thomas on the Brevard County Historic Cemetery Recording Project. Thomas is an Anthropologist and Historian working with the Florida Public Archeology Network.
  • Old-Fashioned Fish Fry ($9 advanced purchase tickets for 4 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. seatings)
  • 7 p.m. Florida Folk Musicians Michael Koppy and Frank Lindamood ($10)
St. Luke's Episcopal Church is located at 5555 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, just 1.1 miles south of Sams House at Pine Island. Tickets for the Fish Fry and Florida Folk Musicians concert go on sale Jan. 8 by calling (321) 452-5260.

Pioneer Day is held near the birthday of John Sams, a citrus-grower and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. Mr. Sams built the oldest standing home in Brevard County (circa 1875). The Sams Cabin is now a museum within the 1,000-acre Pine Island Conservation Area, which is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Sams also helped to build St. Luke's Chapel in 1888 and is buried in the church cemetery. Information on events at both locations may be found by visiting www.facebook.com/pioneerdaymerrittisland.


December 20, 2013

Child Care Room Available at Cuyler Community Center in Mims

MIMS, Fla. — Child care program opportunities are available at Cuyler Community Center, located at 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims.

Anyone interested in occupying a room to operate a child care program should contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105 or terry.lane@brevardparks.com by Tuesday, Dec. 31.


December 19, 2013

Brevard County Ocean Rescue wins Beach Patrol of the Year award

Brevard County Ocean Rescue has been named the 2013 Beach Patrol of the Year by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association.

This prestigious honor, which has been awarded annually since 1993, is bestowed upon the best agencies in the lifeguard profession in the state of Florida. This is the first time Brevard County Ocean Rescue has won the award, and the department earned the honor this year due to outstanding performance and the many improvements that have been made to ensure the beaches in Brevard County are safe.

Notable achievements this year include:

  • Construction of four new enclosed lifeguard towers. These provide a better vantage point for water observation, better visible presence -- the hope is to encourage beachgoers to congregate near monitored beach areas -- while also offering the lifeguards protection from the elements.
  • Awarding of an EMS grant that allowed for the purchase of laptops that will enable the lifeguards to access a variety of online training information as well as provide the department with important medical and statistical documentation from the stations.
Brevard County Ocean Rescue Beach Patrol

James Scala, one of the FBPCA board members whose vote Wednesday helped determine the award recipient, said it was a competitive vote between agencies that were deserving of it for different reasons.

"What I observed about Brevard, there is so much visible progress and development in the last few years that it's hard not to recognize and applaud the effort," Scala said. "It's not just an award for your ocean rescue, it's an award for your entire county and the leaders who recognize the importance of what ocean lifeguards do in protecting citizens and patrons who visit your beaches."

Scala said Brevard Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi and Assistant Chief Eisen Witcher are "consummate professionals" who are contributing to the profession of ocean lifesaving.

"The main reason we won this award is all the innovative ideas we are putting forth in Brevard, from our enclosed lifeguard towers, new equipment, the ability to get the EMS grant -- all in all making strides since 2008 when we became a full-time organization and turning Brevard into what a year-round lifeguard agency should be," Scabarozi said.

"For us, it's exciting to win this award and bring credit to all the hard work that all the staff of Brevard County Ocean Rescue has done. As for the future, there's not a day that goes by that our staff does not look at how we can improve how we do business and how we can improve the safety of patrons on the beaches of Brevard County."

About the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association:
The Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association was formed in 1983 to promote professionalism within Florida's ocean lifesaving agencies. The founding members recognized the need for increased cooperation and communication among Florida's professional ocean lifeguards. For more information, visit: fbpca.com

About Brevard County Ocean Rescue:
The Brevard County Ocean Rescue Division provides for the safe swimming and beach protection to all Brevard County residents, visitors and tourists in designated areas of unincorporated Brevard County. Currently there are five full-time protected areas and 19 seasonal protected areas at various beach front parks. All ocean lifeguards are United States Lifesaving Association certified with a minimum of First Responder training. The scope of responsibility for the lifeguards include accident and drowning prevention, public education, citizen assist, search and recovery of lost children, basic life support, and swimmer rescues. The five areas protected full time have lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days a year. For more information, visit: brevardfire.com


December 18, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Jan. 13

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

This meeting will be followed from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. by a joint meeting of the Selection and Management Committee and the Procedures Committee. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an annual joint meeting of both groups for a review of the program's operations.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


December 18, 2013

Volunteer Opportunities Available at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is looking for dynamic individuals with a passion for the environment.

Come learn about the various volunteer opportunities available at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Whether you want to volunteer for a few hours a week or just a couple times a year, we have a volunteer position for you. Positions include Guide, Greeter, Gardener, and more.

Volunteer Workshops include:
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, Jan. 11, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Basic Birding with Naturalist, Joe Swingle
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Volunteer Orientation
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Volunteer Orientation
Thursday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Guide Training
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Mammals of the Enchanted Forest with Naturalist, Sarah Kraum.

For more information or to register for an orientation, please call (321) 264-5185.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd, Titusville.


December 18, 2013

January at Sams House Focuses on Local Environment, Traditional Crafts

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- What are your resolutions for 2014? If you'd like to learn more about our local environment or gain new crafting skills, then be sure to come by Sams House at Pine Island this January. All programs are free, unless otherwise indicated.

Native Plant Hike and Garden Tour - Saturday, Jan. 4, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Join our resident plant expert, Martha Pessaro on an easy one-mile hike in a beautiful shaded palm hammock and explore our native History Garden. Martha will discuss the historical uses of local plants. Close-toed shoes recommended.

Megafauna Fun! Homeschool Study Program - Thursday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. to noon: Learn about the giant animals that used to call Florida home. Sift for real fossils! This program is designed for ages 6-12. Very limited space remaining for this date. Call to reserve your space now.

Critters, Cows and Cowboys! - Saturday, Jan. 11, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Bob Montanaro, from the Pelican Island Audubon Society, illustrates the role ranches play in protecting Florida's diverse habitats. Enjoy this stunning photographic exploration in the wildlife and work of the Florida Cattle Ranch.

Sams House Bird Hike - Saturday, Jan. 18, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Join Dr. Andy Madison, Associate Professor of Conservation Biology, and his Ornithology class from Union University (Tennessee) as they conduct a bird watching hike around the grounds and trails of Sams House. Beginner bird-watchers welcome. Close-toed shoes recommended.

Handmade Wall Basket: A Highly Prized Southern Art - Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Join Instructor Master Basketweaver Becky Selman as registrants create a wall basket using native and natural materials. Prepare to get messy, wear older clothing and bring a towel and garden clippers (hand-size). The day will be devoted to crafting your 10-inch basket. Bring lunch and/or snacks and drinks. Class limited to 15 students. Cost is $25 to cover materials. Please call Sams House to register at: (321) 449-4720 by January 18th. Registrants will pay Becky (by cash or check) at the beginning of the class.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the 1875 Sams Cabin and 1888 Sams House are given every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


December 18, 2013

Pets can Run Wild at Furry Friends Of February Canine Event and Craft Show

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla.— The Furry Friends of February Canine Event & Craft Show will be held at the Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Canine lovers will have the opportunity to let their pet's skills and instincts run wild in a Dog Lure Course, Cake Walk for Canines and door prize raffles. The fee is $5 per participating canine and all owners of participating canines must provide current vaccination records. Crafters and pet-friendly vendors are invited to purchase a space at a cost of $25 plus tax per space. Please call Dan Cook or Myra Rose at (321) 633-1904 for additional information.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and is co-sponsored by FPL and the SPCA. Call (321) 264-5105 for information on other recreation programs in North Brevard.


December 17, 2013 -- CORRECTION FROM PREVIOUS RELEASE

Space Coast Area Transit Announces Holiday Bus Service Schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will make the following changes to its fixed-route bus service through the Christmas holiday:

Tuesday, Dec. 24: Fixed-route buses will operate on the Saturday service schedule until 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 25: All fixed-route bus service will NOT operate.

For more information, call the Bus Information Line at 321-633-1878 (321-952-4672 for South Mainland residents) or visit online at www.RideSCAT.com.


December 12, 2013

11th Annual Sea Oats Sale Underway; Quantities Limited

VIERA, Fla. – Attention beachside residents! It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting through the annual sea oats sale offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Department and Keep Brevard Beautiful Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48 while supplies last. Quantities are limited this year so please order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Jan. 31, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 8.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller. The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at 321-633-2016 ext. 52431, e-mail paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit the following link: www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/natural-resources-documents/2014-sea-oats-info.pdf?sfvrsn=4.


December 11, 2013

North Brevard Parks and Rec. offers Winter Day Camps during Holiday Break

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering winter day camps for children (first grade through eighth grade) in the North Brevard area from Monday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan. 6.

The camps meet Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be no camp on the following days due to holidays, Tuesday, Dec. 24; Wednesday, Dec. 25; and Wednesday, Jan. 1.

Registration for winter camp is available at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., in Titusville or Walter Butler Community Center, 4201 N. Cocoa Blvd. (US Hwy 1) in Cocoa.

The fee for the first week, which includes Dec. 23, 26, and 27, is $75 per child. The fee for the second week, which includes Dec. 30, 31, Jan. 2, 3, and 6, is $90. Each camp requires a minimum of 12 participants. A daily rate of $25 is available when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week.

Late pickup fee (15 minutes after conclusion of program) is $20 per child/per time. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Additional information on these activities can be obtained by calling Jann Faiga (Sandrift) at (321) 264-5037 or Clifford Lett (Walter Butler Community Center) at (321) 433-4448.


December 10, 2013

Cooperative effort leads to safer environment for beachgoers lifeguards, comes at cost savings

Thanks to several Brevard County departments working together, there's a new look on the beach and it translates to a safer environment for visitors to Brevard County's coast.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue lifeguards are better protected and better able to protect visitors to Brevard County beaches now that several new towers have been installed.

The towers give the lifeguards a better vantage point for water observation, better visible presence -- the hope is to encourage beachgoers to congregate near monitored beach areas -- while also offering the lifeguards protection from the elements.

Towers were placed at Minutemen Causeway and Lori Wilson Park in Cococa Beach in early December. The tower placed at Lori Wilson was a replacement of an existing one, which was more than 10 years old. The rest replaced singe-person red stands.

Lifeguards now have towers at four of the five year-round guarded areas of beach in Brevard County. Earlier this year, two towers were placed at Cocoa Beach Pier and Alan Shepard Park. Ocean Rescue also is planning to build a fifth tower at Howard E. Futch Memorial Park at Paradise Beach in Melbourne.

A cooperative effort among several Brevard County departments translated to substantial savings for the project. The new towers were made possible thanks to labor provided by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office work farm program. Ocean Rescue provided the materials and supplies. Brevard County Public Works - Road & Bridge Maintenance did the relocation and placement of the towers.

"The new addition of the two enclosed lifeguard towers provides better safety to the beachgoers of Brevard County. Through the help of Brevard County Sheriff's Office work farm and also Road and Bridge, we're able to save Brevard County money," said Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi, noting that similar sized survey towers can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

New lifeguard towers at Brevard beaches.

About Brevard County Ocean Rescue:
The Brevard County Ocean Rescue Division provides for the safe swimming and beach protection to all Brevard County residents, visitors and tourists in designated areas of unincorporated Brevard County. Currently there are five full-time protected areas and 19 seasonal protected areas at various beach front parks. All ocean lifeguards are United States Lifesaving Association certified with a minimum of First Responder training. The scope of responsibility for the lifeguards include accident and drowning prevention, public education, citizen assist, search and recovery of lost children, basic life support, and swimmer rescues. The five areas protected full time have lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days a year.


December 10, 2013

Christmas in the Park festivities to be held Dec. 21 at Cuyler Park in Mims

MIMS, Fla. — Cuyler Community Center in Mims will host a Christmas in the Park celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Come join the festivities at the center, located at 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave.This event is free. Activities will include games, prizes, live entertainment, basketball tournament, bounce house, crafts and food.

Call LaShawn Stevens at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area. This activity is co-sponsored by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, North Brevard Charities, Love Center Church and Winn Dixie.


December 09, 2013

Media invited to unique tree-top training for Brevard County Fire Rescue special operations team

Brevard Zoo and Brevard County Fire Rescue invite the media to cover a unique opportunity as BCFR's special operations team runs through the zoo's newly expanded Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures course. The first of two training sessions -- designed to get the team prepared should a rescue from the attraction be necessary -- will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13.

Media should plan to be arrive early. Transport to the new Black Diamond portion of the course is available. A limited number of media can have access to the course once outfitted with a harness and once having received safety instruction.

A second training session will follow in about a month when the special operations team will run through an actual rescue scenario. Friday, the team will get acquainted with the Black Diamond course, which opens to the public with six new challenges on Monday, Dec. 16.

Brevard County Fire Rescue's special operations team, based at Station 48 in Viera, visits the zoo several times a year to maintain familiarity with the Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures course and train for rescue scenarios.

Since opening in July, 2011, Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures at the Brevard Zoo has welcomed more than 75,000 guests. The course, which covers nearly 20 acres in and around the zoo, features zip-lines and aerial challenges up to 50 feet above the ground. As part of a comprehensive plan to ensure visitor safety, Treetop Trek has partnered with members of Brevard County Fire Rescue in an ongoing program of cooperative training. From practicing high-angle rescues to simulated emergency evacuations of the course, staff from BCFR and Treetop Trek work together to be prepared for any potential situation on the course.

"Our ongoing relationship with Brevard County Fire Rescue is crucial to the safe, successful operation of our course," said Andrew Batten, director of attractions for the zoo. "These training sessions give my staff a chance to see how Brevard County Fire Rescue handles a situation, and it allows Brevard County to see how we handle ourselves every day. It makes both teams better at their jobs and means we are all prepared for any situation."

RSVP: Media planning to attend the event, please RSVP to Andrew Batten via email abatten@brevardzoo.org or (321) 254-9453, ext. 254.


December 04, 2013

Santa plans stop in Titusville for pancake breakfast with area children

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Breakfast with Santa will be held at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

A pancake breakfast will be served and children will be given a candy-filled goodie bag, a visit with Santa, a make and take craft and hayride. Parents who want a photo of their child with Santa should bring their own cameras. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $5 for children under 12 years of age and $3 for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase of tickets at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville, is recommended. The event is limited to 150 children.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


December 04, 2013

'Arthur Christmas' Free Movie in the Park planned at Sand Point Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free Movie in the Park at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Sandpoint Park, 101 N. Washington Ave, Titusville.

The movie will be shown on a giant 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The free movie will be "Arthur Christmas" and is rated PG. Please check the movie hotline for inclement weather updates (321) 264-5109.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman (321) 264-5105 for additional information.


December 04, 2013

Parks and Recreation making a list for Santa Calls in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Special arrangements have been made for Santa to telephone preschool- through second-grade children from his headquarters at the North Pole.

Calls will be made Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., to phones in the local dialing area for Titusville. There is no charge for this service.

Request forms are available at Campbell Community Center at 701 South St. in Titusville; Cuyler Community Center at 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave. in Mims; Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Park Cultural Center at 2180 Freedom Ave. in Mims; Port St. John Community Center at 6650 Corto Road; Sandrift Community Center at 585 North Singleton Ave. in Titusville; Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park at 4201 N. US HWY 1 in Cocoa (Sharpes); and the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Ave. in Titusville.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FORM

Call (321) 264-5105 for more information about this and other activities provided by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


December 03, 2013

'Tis the Season: Adopt From Our 'Twelve Strays of Christmas'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In the spirit of the holiday season, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement has launched the "Twelve Strays of Christmas," a promotion aimed to increase adoptions and generate awareness about the pets that are currently available for adoption at its two local shelters.

"We have selected and are presenting 12 dogs and 12 cats for our 'Twelve Strays of Christmas' promotion," said Paula Hunter, the South Animal Care Center manager. "Each of these animals will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and have a county license tag, all for $12 through the month of December," she continued. Animals not on the special will be half price.

"These 'Twelve Strays,' just like the many other animals that we have at the shelters, are ready to provide loving companionship to someone," said Hunter. "So much emphasis is put on helping others during the Holiday season, and I hope that people also remember these wonderful animals."

Department Director Karla Torpy reports that her staff has done a fabulous job and worked very hard all year long on innovative programs to help place dogs and cats with loving families and educate people about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets. ";I urge anyone who is thinking of bringing a new pet home for the holidays to visit either or both of the county shelters first," she said.

The South Animal Care Center is at 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Renninger's Super Flea Market and Farmer's Market in Melbourne,); the North Animal Care Center is at 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville,). Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at 321-253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at 321-264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


December 03, 2013

Cleaning work to temporarily close Tom Statham Park in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Tom Statham Park, 7101 S U.S. Highway 1 in Titusville, will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, and Wednesday, Dec. 11, for cleaning. All park facilities will be closed. During this closure, the other parks in North Brevard are available. For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the north to State Road 528 on the south, please call (321) 264-5105.


December 02, 2013

Business Continuity Strategies Offered at Free SBA/Agility Webinar

WASHINGTON – What are the biggest and most common mistakes business owners make when dealing with a disaster? Whether it's property damage caused by a flood, or the loss of sensitive data thanks to a hacked email account, how you respond within the first few hours of the crisis can make or break your small business.

Get tips on how to avoid the costly mistakes that could put the safety of your clients and your organization at risk at a free webinar hosted by Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration on Tuesday, December 10. True stories about business owners' pre-disaster missteps, plans not followed and errors made–as well as what they learned during the recovery phase, will be discussed.

SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies through its "PrepareMyBusiness" website. Visit www.preparemybusiness.org to access previous webinars and for additional preparedness tips.

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.


November 19, 2013

Sand Point Park reopens after renovations in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.- Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave., Titusville, is now open following renovations and is available for use. Please call Sandrift Community Center to make reservations at (321)264-5037.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to State Road 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


November 19, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation cancels Dec. 12 meeting

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation has canceled its Dec. 12 meeting.

The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, in the Brevard Room, 518 South Palm Ave., Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


November 19, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management and Procedures Meeting on Dec. 5

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee and Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to provide an annual joint meeting of both groups for a review of the program's operations.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency or commission (as appropriate) with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the American Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or any interpreter to participate in the proceeding should contact Laura Clark, EEL Program Administrative secretary, no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at (321) 255-4466.


November 14, 2013

Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts to be held Nov. 16 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The 20th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Food vendors will be present, and all crafter spots have been sold.

Fox Lake Park is located at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


November 13, 2013

News You Can Use: County Press Release System Caters to Subscribers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- From parks programs to Space Coast Area Transit Services to Farmer's Markets, Brevard County Government's press release information system invites subscribers to identify and select the types of information they would like to receive.

The database-driven system, accessible at http://web.brevardcounty.us/PublicInformationReleases/, allows subscribers to sign up, change e-mail addresses, or unsubscribe, as well as select the categories of information they'd like to receive. Department-oriented categories include: Agriculture & Extension, Animal Services, Commissioners, Emergency Management Fire-Rescue, General Announcements, Human Services, Libraries, Natural Resources & EEL, and Parks & Recreation. A category called Free Stuff will provide the recipient with information about no-cost events, activities and services from any department; and a category called TV will indicate that the information has a visual aspect, appropriate for television, videographers or photographers.

"This system was first implemented in 2011, but peoples' interests change and newer county residents may not be aware they can simply subscribe to receive information about the various services and programs the county offers," said Communications Director Don Walker. "If you're a parent, looking for activities to keep your children busy, or if you're only concerned about information updates in the case of a hurricane or other emergency, you'll want to subscribe. It's free, and it allows subscribers to manage for themselves the information they want to receive."

Each e-mailed news announcement from Brevard County includes a link at the bottom of the document that allows the receiver to access the website and manage their own subscription, as well as links to the County's Facebook and Twitter accounts for those who prefer social media avenues.


November 08, 2013

Santa plans stop in Titusville for pancake breakfast with area children

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Breakfast with Santa will be held at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.

A pancake breakfast will be served and children will be given a candy-filled goodie bag, a visit with Santa, a make and take craft and hayride. Parents who want a photo of their child with Santa should bring their own cameras. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $5 for children under 12 years of age and $3 for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase of tickets at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville, is recommended. The event is limited to 150 children.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


November 06, 2013

Inaugural 'EcoLiving Jubilee" to highlight 'Green Living' in Brevard

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – 'Eco' and 'Green' are more than just buzzwords. Environmental awareness and sustainable living practices are becoming more prevalent in our society. Brevard County Parks and Recreation would like to celebrate these ideals and the local businesses that promote and embrace them during the inaugural "EcoLiving Jubilee."

This festival highlighting sustainability will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Kiwanis Island Park, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island.

Exhibitors will showcase the latest in green living technology and practices. Food trucks, farm-to-table restaurants, and local growers will be on hand to provide the freshest in seasonal, locally grown, and organic cuisine. Eco activities and live music from Jeremy Baker will be available throughout the day. The award-winning film "Gimme Green," a documentary that examines the American obsession with the residential lawn, will be shown at 6 p.m. on a large outdoor screen.

Event sponsors include Lighting Science, Bob Steele Chevrolet, Sunbay Fitness, Palm Bay Kayaks, Keep Brevard Beautiful, Riverwalk Nature Center, Recycle Brevard!, and the Reusable Resource Adventure Center.

All activities are free and open to the public. Please call (321) 433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com.


November 05, 2013

Celebrating Family Month at Sams House - Meet the Author!

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In celebration of Family Month, children's author, Kenda Swartz Pepper of Santa Cruz, Calif., will be coming to Sams House at Pine Island for a meet-the-author program from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14.

Pepper's award-winning book for children ages 4-8, "Well Earth, Well Me!" has been created to empower young people to take little steps to making big changes. Pepper will read her book, sing with the children, and have a fun discussion or art project about solutions for taking care of the Earth, themselves, and one another. She takes a positive, solutions-focused, esteem-focused approach to talking, playing, and singing with the children.

"Blending practical advice with eye-catching artwork, Kenda Swartz Pepper's "Well Earth, Well Me!" inspires children (and even many adults) to take better care of the planet," according to Angela Leeper, September 2011, Foreward Reviews. "A song-like poem, with rhyming text and a refrain that is perfect for choral response in large-group and educational settings, asks children to think about the flowers, trees, mountains, streams, sky, and other parts of nature that give Earth its beauty."

Signed copies will be available for cash purchase. Pepper will donate 40 percent of the proceeds to Sams House. A marshmallow roast will follow the program.

The Sams House at Pine Island is located at 6195 N. Tropical Trail, Merritt Islan. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is part of the Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.

Pepper will also be at the EEL Program's Barrier Island Center in Melbourne Beach at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4. For more information, call (321) 723-3231.


November 01, 2013

'Kitten transport' gives sheltered cats adoption prospects in the Northeast

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Dozens of kittens are leaving Brevard County's animal shelters this weekend.

They are headed to the Northeast to fill a shortage of adoptable kittens in the District of Columbia, Delaware and Pennsylvania areas. The kitten transport, leaving Saturday afternoon for Last Chance Animal Rescue in Waldorf, Maryland, is the culmination of a hectic week for Brevard County Animal Service's shelter staff and a number of its community partners. Last Chance Animal Rescue showcases animals in PetSmart and Petco stores in the region and provides full service in-store cat adoptions.

"Mona Motz of Purrs and Whiskers Shelter Inc. in Melbourne forwarded an email last weekend letting us know that Miami-Dade Department of Animal Services was planning to transport kittens to Last Chance this weekend and would have space for our kittens," said Mary Thompson with Brevard County Animal Services.

"We've been overwhelmed with kittens throughout the summer," Thompson said. "These kittens will have a much better chance of finding great forever homes up North. We selected over 40 kittens from our two animal care facilities that met the criteria for the trip -- they are all less than five months old, friendly and healthy."

Also joining the trip from the Melbourne area are adoptable kittens that have been at Aloha Bird and Pet Hospital and Purrs and Whiskers Shelter Inc.

Prior to departure, each kitten had to be tested and vaccinated. "This week, in addition to our staff veterinarian, veterinarians from Aloha Bird and Pet Hospital and SPCA of Brevard pitched in to assist with last-minute checkups to make sure every kitten is healthy and ready for the trip," Thompson said.

Miami-Dade County Animal Services staff will begin their northbound journey from South Florida Saturday afternoon. They'll stop when they reach Brevard County to pick up an expected 40 to 50 kittens and drive through the night to the border between North and South Carolina. Volunteers from Maryland will meet them there and transport the kitten cargo the rest of the way.

"The kittens are given food and their carrier pads can be changed along the way as needed," Thompson said.


November 01, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Nov. 18

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


October 30, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Nov. 14

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. The meeting, open to the public, will be held in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105


October 28, 2013

Temporary Foster Caregivers needed for dog/cat 'Mega Adoptions' in 2014

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Building off a successful "Super Adoption Event" in June, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and SPCA of Brevard are coordinating efforts to hold four Community Mega Adoption events in 2014, with the goal of placing 2,000 sheltered dogs and cats into forever homes.

Mega adoption events are planned locally for each quarter in 2014. The events will entail pulling 2,000 animals from county shelters who are "at risk" of being euthanized, placing them in temporary foster homes and highlighting their availability for adoption through advance advertising. Adoption cost will be $25, which includes spay/neuter and vaccinations.

"We need up to 400 temporary foster caregivers to provide a life-saving bridge for at-risk cats and dogs in the weeks prior to each event. Residents who wish to participate can go to www.SPCAMegaAdoptions.org for more information and sign up," said Fred Allen, SPCA Mega Adoption Event coordinator.

The initiative is modeled after First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville, which developed a "mega adoption" model that in 2013 led to a new national record for cat and dog adoptions in a single event with over 1,000 adoptions.

Brevard County held a similar event in June, called the "Rescue Me Super Adoption Event," sponsored in part by FLORIDA TODAY, which drew a turnout of more than 500 people and led to the adoption of 104 animals in a single day.

Brevard County is expected to have a few hundred less euthanasia deaths in 2013 compared to 2013, and this year's total euthanasia deaths may be around 5,400 compared to over 9,000 in 2007.

"With the continuing downward trend and 2,000 adoptions of at-risk animals in 2004, Brevard County could be declared 'No-Kill' in 2015," said Karla Torpy, director of Brevard County Animals Services and Enforcement.

The initial Mega Adoption event is scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 25-26 at the Azan Shriners Center on Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne.

For more information, contact Brevard County Animal Services an Enforcement at (321) 633-2105, or Fred Allen, SPCA Mega Adoption Event Coordinator, at (321) 278-9916.


October 18, 2013

Fire Rescue Chief Larry Collins announces promotions, new PIO

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Fire Rescue Fire Chief Larry Collins is pleased to announce the promotion of District Chief William Burns; Fire Lieutenant Scott Gold; and the appointment of Lee Nessel to the Brevard County Fire Rescue staff.

Burns, a 13-year veteran of the department, is being promoted from District Fire Chief to Assistant Fire Chief, where he will command the Strategic Programs Section of the department. This includes the Professional Standards, Training, Human Resources, Fire Prevention Bureau and Safety Bureau of the department. Chief Burns has won numerous awards during his service with Brevard County Fire Rescue, including Firefighter of the Year in 2002, Lieutenant Fire Officer of the Year in 2010 and Chief Officer of the Year in 2012.

Gold is a 13-year veteran of Brevard County Fire Rescue. He is currently assigned as a Company Commander to the County's Hazardous Materials Response Unit, located at Fire Station 48 in Viera. He will be assigned to command one of the department's five Fire Response Districts.

Nessel will begin Monday, Oct. 21, as Brevard County Fire Rescue's new Public Affairs & Information Manager. Lee comes to Brevard County Fire Rescue from FLORIDA TODAY, where she served as both a beat reporter and later as the editor for "Breaking News." She brings to the department 15 years of experience as a reporter, editor/manager, multimedia producer, photographer and videographer. Among Lee's numerous honors and awards, she led a team that won five awards in the 2012 Florida Society of Newspaper Editors' contest, including for coverage of the tanker truck fire on SR528.

The promotional ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. today (Friday, Oct. 18,) at the Timothy J. Mills Fire Rescue Center, 1040 S. Florida Ave., Rockledge. The ceremony is open to the public and family and friends are invited to attend. For additional information, please contact Carrie Cotter at (321) 633-2056.


October 17, 2013

BCSO-sponsored 'Jailbreak' event invites participants to 'Make A Run For It'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Make a run for it!

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey invites running enthusiasts to become rebels, to break out on your own or to run with your chain gang during the Jailbreak Brevard Adventure Race to be held Saturday, Oct. 26, sponsored by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

This race, a fundraiser that benefits Brevard United Way and the many charities under its umbrella, involves runners as "escaped inmates," with guards in pursuit and a messy adventure at the jail complex in Sharpes.

Jailbreak Brevard Adventure Race takes place on a three-mile mud course filled with a dozen or so obstacles. Participants, dressed like inmates and some chained to one another, make a run for it while Sheriff's Office guards, the SWAT team and bloodhounds make hot pursuit to track them down. Those who get caught are placed into a holding cell.

The event, which has staggered starting times, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Brevard County Jail Complex, 860 Camp Road, in Cocoa. Runners must be at least 12 years of age. Anyone ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the race. Registration/Check-in will take place next to the BCSO Fleet Maintenance Facility (Look for the signs.) While the course may be extreme, all fitness levels are welcome. Entry fee is $55.

Registration is available online at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7597619685?ref=ebtn. For more information, contact Katrina Wilson at (321) 264-7755.

After-event activities include food and drinks available for purchase, live music and more. There's also a Kids Mini Course.


October 17, 2013

Workshop tonight focuses on state of the Indian River Lagoon

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Commissioners will sponsor a workshop on the state of Indian River Lagoon from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House, 3275 Dixie Highway NE in Palm Bay.

The workshop, hosted by the Marine Resources Council, will feature a panel of local, state and federal officials as well as area environmentalists. The event is open to the public and, courtesy of FLORIDA TODAY, can be viewed live on the Brevard County web site, www.brevardcounty.us, and at www.floridatoday.com. Eastern State Florida College is also recording the event for later broadcast on Space Coast Government Television, which can be found on Bright House Channel 199 or 99-2, Comcast (North Brevard) Channel 51 and Comcast (South Brevard) Channel 13.

Limited parking is available on-site. The public is encouraged to use off-site parking along Dixie Highway (U.S. 1.) Deputies from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office will be on hand to direct traffic. Shuttle service provided by Space Coast Area Transit will also be available from Intersil, 1650 Robert J Conlan Blvd NE, Palm Bay.

This is an important opportunity for Brevard residents to engage local, state and federal elected officials in a workshop focusing on the state of the Indian River Lagoon. Panel members include Brevard County commissioners; U.S. Congressman Bill Posey; members of the state Legislature; Space Coast League of Cities leadership; Troy Rice of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program; Dr. Leesa Souto of the Marine Resources Council; Dr. Grant Gilmore of Estuarine, Coastal and Ocean Sciences Inc.; and Keith Winston, Brevard Zoo.


October 15, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit Launches Rockledge/Viera Service Route

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit, a department of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, announces the launch of new fixed-route bus service in Rockledge and Viera, Route 7.

The new route began service this week, and will provide service Monday through Friday from 7:27 a.m. to 5:51 p.m. The focus of the service will be the Murrell Road corridor from Barton Boulevard in Rockledge south to Wickham Road. The route will also serve a portion of U.S. 1. The new route will provide service to a number of community agencies such as Brevard Workforce, Goodwill Industries, One Senior Place and Space Coast Center for Independent Living.

"This route fills a need in Space Coast Area Transit's network," County Manager Howard Tipton said. "There have been requests from our citizens to access these agencies and we are pleased to offer the service."

The new route is funded through a two-year Florida Department of Transportation Service Development Grant, which provides 50 percent of the operating cost, with Brevard County providing the 50 percent local match. At the end of the grant, Space Coast Area Transit will determine whether to continue the service and provide the funding.

Space Coast Area Transit provides Fixed Route, Paratransit, Vanpool and Volunteer Transportation throughout Brevard County.

Questions or requests for more information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878, (321) 952-4672 for South Mainland residents, or access Space Coast Area Transit online at www.RideSCAT.com.


October 15, 2013

Florida Emergency Management holds statewide Mitigation Workshop Series

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Florida's Department of Emergency Management is working with Florida's 11 regional planning councils to present the full-day workshop "Get Your Mitigation On." The programs will cover Local Mitigation Strategies (LMSs), risk and vulnerability assessments, and funding opportunities.

The workshops are organized by Regional Planning Council boundaries. All workshops take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dates, locations and counties vary across the state. Brevard County will be included in an East Central Florida workshop scheduled Monday, Oct. 21, at the Emergency Operations Center in Orlando.Presentations are tailored to the areas workshops are held.

  • Mitigation topics to be discussed include:
  • Local Mitigation Strategies
  • State Hazard Mitigation
  • Risk and Vulnerability Assessments
  • Mitigation Funding
  • National Flood Insurance Program
  • Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012
To register for a workshop, sign up at SERT TRAC at trac.floridadisaster.org. Search for "390" or "Get Your Mitigation On."


October 14, 2013

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary to host annual Forest Festival on Nov. 2

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Board of County Commissioners invite the public to the annual Forest Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center in Titusville.

Activities will include Florida wildlife and reptile presentations. There will be live music, guided hikes on the trails, environmental exhibitors' booths, native plants for sale by the Florida Native Plant Society, tours of the Butterfly Gardens, Artists with displays and painting on site. There will also be a Kids Corner with crafts, children's activities, face painting and more.

The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Library and Gift Shoppe with information and sale items. Food will be available for purchase. This is a fun event for all ages and free of charge.

For further information on the Forest Festival, please call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185. The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located in Titusville on the north side of S.R. 405, a half-mile west of U.S. 1.

This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting.


October 10, 2013

The Farm at Rockledge Gardens celebrates local food growers, producers and chefs

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Join us from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, at The Farm at Rockledge Gardens for a magical candlelit evening celebrating our community's connection to local farmers, producers, and chefs who appreciate the benefits of local food.

Guest chefs from Appleseed Cafe, Cafe Unique, Palm Tree Cafe, d.i.g Bistro, Heavenly Bake Shop, and The Local Joint will transform local farm produce into course after course that will delight your taste buds. The evening begins with hors d'oeuvres, a toast, and a tour of The Farm. Then, sit down at the dinner to follow including beer, wine, and music!

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notify the University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 321-633-1702 or fax 321-633-1890.


October 10, 2013

Fall Festival at Chain of Lakes Park includes free Movie in the Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a fall festival and a free movie in the park at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Chain of Lakes Park, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, glitter tattoo's and a movie in the park. An adult coed kickball tournament will also be offered earlier in the day. The movie will be shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The free movie will be "Hotel Transylvania" and is rated PG. Please check the movie hotline for inclement weather updates at (321) 264-5109.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for more information.


October 10, 2013

Port St. John Community Center to host Projection Video Game Tournament

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. — Port St. John Community Center will host a projection video game tournament from noon to 4 p.m. on the following early release and teacher in-service days Oct. 16 and Oct. 30; Nov. 20; Jan. 15 and Jan. 29; and Feb. 12.

Both Wii and Play Station video games will be played and projected to life size, where participants will compete in a tournament of three different games. Scores will be combined to determine a winner and prizes will be awarded to the overall highest score. The fee to participate is $5 per person.

Port St. John Community Center is a Brevard County Parks and Recreation facility located at 6650 Corto Road in Port St. John. For more information, call Dan Cook at (321) 633-1904.


October 10, 2013

Native Americans Theme of November Events at Sams House at Pine Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In recognition of Native Heritage Month, Native Americans are the theme of November Events at Sams House at Pine Island, a historic site in North Merritt Island. All events are free unless otherwise noted.
  • Little Pioneers Homeschool Program - Friday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to noon: Learn what life was like for early Florida pioneers, go on a nature hike, and engage in pioneer "chores". Call (321) 449-4720 by Oct. 28 to reserve your spot. For ages 6-12.
  • Native Ways Garden Tour and Hike - Saturday, Nov. 2, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Naturalist and Native Ways expert Martha Pessaro will discuss how Native Americans used local plants for food, medicine, and tools. We will explore our native plant garden and go on a half-mile hike through the beautiful palm hammock.
  • A Cultural History of Florida - Saturday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Join Florida Public Archaeology Network's Kevin Gidusko as he discusses expeditions to discover more about the first peoples of Florida and current research being conducted in the state. Learn the life ways of these people, what archaeologists use to discern culture, and about the many cultural resources we have in the state of Florida. Participants will also have a chance to throw replica atlatls!
  • The Story of Corn - Saturday, Nov. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Native American storyteller Deborah Joyce will tell stories of corn. After storytelling, participants will have a choice of making either a corn necklace, corn husk rattle, or cornhusk doll. Cost of $2 per person to cover materials. Please call (321) 449-4720 by Nov. 18 to reserve your spot.
  • Pine Island Paddle - Saturday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to noon.: Space Coast Kayaking takes guests through a deep water canal frequented by manatees, then out to the Indian River Lagoon and down to a hiking trail that leads to the historic Sams Cabin and House. After a tour, guests will paddle back to start. Reservations required - limited to 14 participants. $30 perperson ($20 for ages 5-12). Call (321) 784-2452 or info@spacecoastkayaking.net to hold your spot.
  • Florida History Expedition - Saturday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m. to noon.: Perfect for elementary-school aged children and their families. We'll travel back in time to Florida's beginnings, sift for Ice Age fossils, learn how to throw a spear, and discover what pioneer life was like. David Celli, with Central Florida Fossils, will have a one-of-a-kind fossil display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours are given every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


October 10, 2013

Annual Fish Fry scheduled Nov. 8 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - The community is invited to enjoy a free fish fry from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South St., in Titusville.

This event is co-sponsored by the Isaac Campbell Seniors Club and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


October 08, 2013

Study: Responsive Traffic Signals save Brevard motorists time, money and fuel

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Motorists spend less time on the road and spend less money on fuel as a result of 114 traffic-responsive signal controls installed along nine major roadways in Brevard County, according to a cost-benefit analysis conducted by Lassiter Transportation Group Inc.

The Intelligent Traffic System, designed to alleviate traffic jams, cut down on environmental pollution and reduce accident rates, saves motorists in the county an estimated $24.9 million annually in time and fuel costs, according to the engineering and planning analysis of cost and benefit.

"This is a savings where we're not talking about less money being collected in taxes, but literally in terms of dollars people are keeping in their pockets as a result of fuel savings and less time on the road," said John Denninghoff, director of Public Works. "Traffic signals are a necessary evil, but when they don't work like they should it can cost you a lot of money."

In the past year, traffic-responsive signals have been installed along 40 miles of roadway throughout the county, including:

  • U.S. 192 -- between Interstate 95 and Dairy Road
  • Wickham Road – between Fountainhead and U.S. 192; Shoppes and Pineda Causeway; and Mariah and Sarno
  • Palm Bay Road – between Minton and Robert J. Conlan
  • Minton Road – between I-95 and Emerson
  • SR 520/US1 – between Clearlake and S. Banana River
  • U.S. 1 South – between Lake Washington and Babcock
  • SR50 – between I-95 and SR405
  • SR405 – between SR50 and U.S. 1
  • SR518 – between Wickham and Pineapple
Brevard County's Advanced Traffic Control System is projected to save county motorists more than one million road-time hours and $3.9 million in fuel costs. Time-saving value, based on Texas A&M University Transportation Institute's 2011 Urban Mobility Report (and assuming 1.25 occupants per vehicle,) amounts to $20.9 million, according to the report.

Denninghoff said the $9.1 million signal system, funded through federal stimulus funds, county transportation funds and grants was completed in mid-April.


October 08, 2013

Taste of the Wild Program Explores Prehistoric Food

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Indian River Anthropological Society President Elaine Williams presents "Taste of the Wild" at Sams House at Pine Island from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 12.

This unique program will focus on the food of prehistoric Native peoples of Florida, how these foods were obtained and how they were prepared. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample native foods such as hickory nuts, yaupon tea, smoked fish, and more. The program is free and reservations are not required.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


October 07, 2013

Sams House hosts Handmade Basket Workshop in North Merritt Island

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Spaces are still available for the Handmade Basket Workshop on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Sams House at Pine Island.

This all-day workshop will be taught by Master Basketweaver Becky Selman. Participants will create a melon basket using native and natural materials. Participants are asked to wear older clothing and bring a towel and lunch. Class is limited to 15 students, cost is $30 for an 8-inch basket. Registrants will pay Selman at the class. All proceeds will benefit education programs at Sams House at Pine Island. Register by Oct. 12 by calling (321) 449-4720.

The Sams House House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


October 07, 2013

Brevard County Animal Services/SPCA plan 'Mega Adoption' events in 2014

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Building off a successful "Super Adoption Event" in June, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and SPCA of Brevard are coordinating efforts to hold four Community Mega Adoption events in 2014, with the goal of placing 2,000 sheltered dogs and cats into forever homes.

The initiative is modeled after First Coast No More Homeless Pets in Jacksonville, which developed a "mega adoption" model that in 2013 led to a new national record for cat and dog adoptions in a single event with over 1,000 adoptions.

Brevard County held a similar event in June, called the "Rescue Me Super Adoption Event," that drew a turnout of more than 500 people and led to the adoption of 104 animals in a single day.

Mega adoption events are now planned locally for each quarter in 2014. The events will entail pulling 2,000 animals from county shelters who are "at risk" of being euthanized, placing them in temporary foster homes and highlighting their availability for adoption through advanced advertising. Adoption cost will be $25, which includes spay/neuter and vaccinations.

Brevard County is expected to have a few hundred less euthanasia deaths in 2013 compared to 2012, and this year's total euthanasia deaths may be around 5,400 compared to over 9,000 in 2007.

"With the continuing downward trend and 2,000 adoptions of at-risk animals in 2014, Brevard County could be declared "No-Kill" in 2015," said Karla Torpy, director of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement.

The initial Mega Adoption event is scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 25-26 at the Azan Shrine Center on Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne.

Brevard County has two animal care centers with adoptable dogs and cats available. They are open daily except Wednesday from noon until 6 p.m. South Animal Care Center, 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne 321-253-6608. North Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road, Titusville, 321-264-5119.


October 07, 2013

Registration Now Open for History-based Homeschool Series

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Registration is now open for a history-based homeschool program series at Sams House at Pine Island. Each program focuses on a different time period of Florida's history and is designed for students ages 6-12.
  • Friday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to noon: "Little Pioneers" Program. Costumed guides will engage students in what life was like for early Florida pioneers. Students will go on a nature hike and participate in pioneer "chores."
  • Thursday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: "Native American Ways" Program. Students will learn how Florida's Native Americans used the resources around them and will try their hand at "hunting" for mammoth and fish.
  • Thursday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. to noon: "Megafuana Fun" Program. Students will sift for real fossils and learn about the giant animals that once called Florida home.
Adults must accompany children. Register at least one week prior to the class you'd like to attend by calling (321) 449-4720. Spots are limited. There is a suggested donation of $1 per child to support education programs at Sams House at Pine Island.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail, one-half mile west of State Road 3 in North Merritt Island. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.



October 03, 2013

Florida Department of Health in Brevard County promotes awareness of Vibrio vulnificus

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A recent, tragic death that occurred in Volusia County has brought forth concerns of the bacteria, Vibrio vulnificus – a bacterium that normally lives in warm seawater. Vibrio vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater containing the bacteria. Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Vibrio vulnificus can also cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.

Persons who have weakened immune systems, especially those with chronic liver disease, are at risk for Vibrio vulnificus infection when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters in that oysters filter the bacteria from the water. People with these pre-existing medical conditions are 80 times more likely to develop Vibrio vulnificus blood infections than healthy people.

Tips for preventing Vibrio vulnificus infections include:

  • Do not eat raw oysters or other raw shellfish.
  • Cook shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly.
  • For shellfish in the shell, either a) boil until the shells open and continue boiling for 5 more minutes, or b) steam until the shells open and then continue cooking for 9 more minutes. Do not eat those shellfish that do not open during cooking. Boil shucked oysters at least 3 minutes, or fry them in oil at least 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • Avoid cross-contamination of cooked seafood and other foods with raw seafood and juices from raw seafood.
  • Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.
  • Avoid exposure of open wounds or broken skin to warm salt or brackish water, or to raw shellfish harvested from such waters.
  • Wear protective clothing (e.g., gloves) when handling raw shellfish.
County Health Department Director, Heidar Heshmati, MD, says, "Vibrio vulnificus bacteria naturally live in the river. Every year we have a few cases of infection in humans due to water exposure. People should be aware of their risk. Boating and other sporting activities in the Indian River Lagoon are fine. However, I recommend people not eat raw seafood and/or expose their self to the lagoon water if they have an open wound, especially if they have liver or immune system problems."


October 02, 2013

Rain Barrel Workshop Offered in Cocoa

COCOA, Fla. -- Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop on Saturday, Oct. 19, in Cocoa.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at University of Florida Brevard County Extension, 3695 Lake Drive. Participants will to learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshop is sponsored by Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, University of Florida Cooperative Extension, and Marine Resources Council.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $50, paid by cash or check at the door.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To ensure that all materials are available; open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, e-mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at http://www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshopshttp://youthflyfishing4h2013.eventbrite.com/.


September 27, 2013

Automated Garbage/Recycling Collection Starts Sept. 30 in Unincorporated Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Beginning Monday, Sept. 30, unincorporated Brevard County residents will be wheeling a new garbage and recycle cart to the curb for collection. Over the past two months, more than 180,000 carts have been delivered for the start of the county's new automated collection system for garbage and recycling.

"The cart program requires an Automated Side Loader Truck for collection so it is important to keep a few things in mind when placing your carts curbside," said Amy Boyson, community affairs manager for Waste Management. "Proper placement includes positioning the cart directly at the curb with the handle away from the street, keep a 3-foot distance between carts and mailboxes or other objects and do not park cars in front of or close to your cart."

Unincorporated Brevard County residents should refer to the top of their garbage cart for garbage and yard waste service days, and the top of their recycle cart for the recycling service day, said Hillary Arena, Brevard County Recycling Coordinator. Some service days have changed.

Yard waste service is not changing and residents should continue to use a 40-gallon or less container for yard waste and follow these guidelines for collection:
Loose materials such as pine needles, leaves and small twigs must be containerized in reusable garbage cans. Please do not bag yard waste.

Branches and limbs can be no longer than 4 feet in length, 24 inches in diameter, less than 50 pounds and must be stacked uniformly within 5 feet of the curb.

Hired landscapers, land clearing or tree trimming services must remove any vegetative waste they generate on residential or commercial properties per Brevard County Ordinance No. 94-49.

The 64-gallon recycle cart will provide a larger capacity for recyclable materials. This will keep valuable materials out of the landfill and help protect our environment. A list of acceptable recyclable items can be found on the lid of the recycle cart.

Residents are encouraged to keep their old trash containers for yard waste, or other household purposes. Unwanted containers can be placed curbside with a note directing Waste Management to take the container. Unwanted recycle bins will also be collected and recycled.

For more information about the cart program visit http://brevardthinksgreen.wm.com or contact Waste Management at (321) 636-6894 if you live in the north area of the county or (321) 723-4455 if you live in the central/south area of the county. Contact Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department at (321) 633-2042


September 24, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation Meets Oct. 10

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


September 23, 2013

Joint meeting of Brevard County Commissioners/School Board set for Sept. 25

VIERA, Fla. -- A joint board meeting between Brevard County Commissioners and Brevard Public Schools Board will be held Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the School Board's Meeting Room, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, in Viera.

This public meeting was originally scheduled for Aug. 27, but was postponed to comply with legal public noticing requirements.

The subject of the meeting is specific to issues relating to county impact fees.


September 23, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Sept. 30

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners will be held on Monday, Sept. 30.

The Regular Meeting will run from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a Gopher Tortoise Workshop from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The meeting is held at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of these meetings is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and to hold a workshop on Gopher Tortoises. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


September 20, 2013

Transportation Symposium to focus on travel in Brevard 20 years and beyond

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The public is invited to attend the Brevard 2040 Transportation Symposium, hosted by the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Brevard County Public Schools Board Room, 2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way.

Reservations for this event can be made online at www.sctpo.com/registration.

Top Reasons to Attend are:

  • FIND out how Brevard communities are planning to grow and change
  • LEARN about future plans and initiatives for rail, sea, air, and space
  • GAIN insight into what transportation improvements will be needed in the future
  • NETWORK with elected officials, government agencies, and community leaders
Who Should Attend:

Brevard residents, elected officials, business leaders, planners, engineers, consultants and anyone that plans to travel in Brevard for the next 20-plus years!


September 17, 2013

Sams House at Pine Island's October Events Celebrate Early History

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Sams House at Pine Island will present a series of programs throughout the month of October that celebrate Florida's early history.

Activities include:

Saturday, Oct. 5, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Ice Age Story and Fossil Making: Learn about prehistoric giant animals that once roamed Florida. Make your own fossil replicas to take home. Wear older clothes and expect to get messy. Suggested donation of $1 per person.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 11 a.m. to noon, Taste of the Wild: This presentation by Indian River Anthropological Society President Elaine Williams will focus on the food of prehistoric Native peoples of Florida, how these foods were obtained, and how they were prepared. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample native foods such as hickory nuts, yaupon tea, smoked fish, and more. Suggested donation of $1 per person.

Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Handmade Baskets, a Highly Prized Southern Art: The art of baskets evolved from a long history of utilitarian use and Native knowledge. Join Instructor Master Basketweaver Becky Selman as registrants create a melon basket using native and natural materials. Prepare to get messy, wear older clothing and bring a towel. The entire day will be devoted to crafting your basket - bring your lunch and snacks. Class is limited to 15 students, cost of $30 for 8-inch basket covers materials. Please call to register at (321) 449-4720 by Oct. 12. Registrants will pay Selman at the class.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the Sams Cabin, Brevard oldest standing home (1875) and the larger Sams House (1888), are offered every Thursday and Saturday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


September 17, 2013

Brevard County's Animal Care Centers Need Dog and Cat Food

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County's Animal Care Centers are in need of food donations for its hundreds of cats and dogs.

"We have over 300 animals in our care. You go through it quicker than you would expect," said Karla Torpy, Director of Animal Services and Enforcement.

Wet or dry food for puppies, kittens, dogs and cats is needed. "Purina and Pedigree brands are suggested, with all donations appreciated," Torpy said.

Donations can be dropped off at the South Animal Care Center, 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95) or the North Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville).

Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at (321) 253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


September 13, 2013

20th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts seeks food vendors

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, will accept applications for food vendors beginning Monday, Sept. 23, for the 20th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival Of Crafts.

Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com beginning Monday, Sept. 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18.

Selected vendors will be notified by Friday, Oct. 25. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The county reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product. There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable special event fee is due from selected vendors by Friday, Nov. 8.

The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. Call (321) 264-5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


September 11, 2013 Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization

Space Coast TPO 2040 Transportation Survey

The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization is conducting a survey to gather the public's opinion on how the current transportation network is functioning and to determine what type of future investments we should focus our limited resources on. Your responses will be used to set transportation policies for Brevard County and develop our 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. All surveys are anonymous.

Please visit www.spacecoast2040.com to take the survey and to learn more about the Long Range Transportation Plan.

Please pass this email on to your constituents and anyone else that would like to provide their input.

Thank You,
Carol Holden, Space Coast TPO, Executive Assistant
321-690-6890 • carol.holden@brevardcounty.us

Every five years the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) updates its Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The 2040 LRTP begins with an assessment of Brevard County's history, and then explores differing future economic development scenarios and how each scenario influences development patterns and transportation needs throughout the County. The preferred scenario will then become the basis for determining the County's transportation improvements necessary to develop the plan.

This LRTP update will also define how each of the major transportation corridors in the County functions so that the right transportation improvements are identified in the Plan to fulfill each major corridor's primary function.

The LRTP update process will provide a number of opportunities for you to participate, beginning with an online public survey that we hope you take the time to complete. You will have a chance to participate in workshops that envision the differing economic development possibilities in the County and how you think they could influence development patterns; and you will have a chance to help define the improvements that help major transportation corridors meet their intended function.


September 11, 2013

Brevard County Government employees to get "Hands On" at Grant Flatwoods

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brevard County Government employees will get "Hands On" volunteering their time and services as part of an Environmentally Endangered Lands Program workday on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The workday is scheduled to honor National Public Lands Day and will take place at the Grant Flatwoods Sanctuary. This 2,600-acre sanctuary, located within the town of Grant/Valkaria, protects a variety of habitats including cypress domes and forests, pine flatwoods, oak hammocks and depression marshes. Common wildlife species include wading birds, white-tailed deer, bobcat, gopher tortoise, and many reptiles and amphibians.

County employees and their families will be building footbridges and/or plankwalks on a new hiking trail for public use. The workday is part of a new initiative launched by the Brevard County Executive Leadership Institute called "Hands On Brevard!" The program encourages employee volunteerism through service opportunities.

"Brevard County employees are the most dedicated employees I've ever worked with", says County Manager Howard Tipton. "In addition to being public servants during their day (or night) job, they provide on-going community support to their schools, youth leagues, non-profits, and places of worship."


September 10, 2013

Annual Edible Plant Festival to highlight tasty and ornamental plants

COCOA, Fla. - Autumn gardeners are invited to join members of the Brevard Botanical Garden, Brevard County Master Gardeners and UF/IFAS Brevard County Agents at the Cocoa Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 21, for the annual Edible Plant Festival.

Edible and ornamental plants will be sold with all proceeds going to the Brevard Botanical Garden. Free classes are also offered.

Some of the herbs for sale include basil, borage, calendula, chervil, dill, and fennel. Gardeners who enjoy growing their own vegetables may purchase broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, Chinese and red cabbage, eggplant, kale, salad mix, Swiss chard, sweet and hot peppers, and heirloom tomatoes. Edible and sweet-smelling flowers for sale include Mexican mint marigold, stock, nasturtium, and sweet pea. Other plants will also be offered.

Free classes will be offered as well, including Growing Vegetables 101 at 9:30 a.m., followed by Knot Gardens 101 at 10:30 a.m., and Grow Culinary Herbs 101 at 11:30 a.m. All interested parties may sign up at Eventbrite, http://ediblegardenfestival-sale-es2.eventbrite.com/?rank=1.

The Brevard Botanical Garden (BBG) was formed in May 2010 as a 501 (c)(3) by garden enthusiasts, UF/IFAS Brevard County Agents, and environmentally concerned citizens who sought to improve the quality of life in Brevard County by opening a research-based botanical garden for demonstrations, collections, and displays. Its mission is to promote an increased appreciation of the environment.

To find out more about the Brevard Botanical garden, visit www.brevardbotanicalgarden.org.


September 10, 2013

New dates announced for Brevard County Fair

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Mark your calendars, the Brevard County Fair is moving to new dates! The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has confirmed a change from the previous March Fair calendar. The Brevard County Fair will be operating from Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, beginning in 2014.

"The Fair board explored various date ranges," said Melinda Morgan-Stowell, Brevard County Fair Manager. "We felt that the October through November dates not only allowed for more opportunities to involve our community's youth, but also offered the more traditional feel of a Fall Fair. We're really excited by all of the possibilities for new events. We would also like to extend our invitation to community groups, churches, and youth organizations to share their ideas for the activities, fund raisers, and special events in which they would like to participate as we grow and improve our Fair. Please feel free to contact the Brevard County Fair at (321) 633-1702, ext 238, with your ideas and feedback."

The Fair has been held for the past five years at Wickham Park in Melbourne, and will continue to work with Parks and Recreation partners at Wickham to bring the community a family friendly event that showcases the unique qualities of Brevard County.


September 06, 2013

Adult Coed Kickball Tourney Oct. 26 at Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will host an adult coed kickball tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex, 2110 Chain of Lakes Drive, Titusville.

The fee of $50 per team is due by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., in Titusville.

Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


September 06, 2013

Sponsors sought for Fall Festival/Movie in the Park at Chain of Lakes Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- North Area Parks Operations is seeking sponsors as part of its Fall Festival at the Park at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville on Oct. 26.

Local business sponsors are needed for the trunk n' treat portion of this event, which begins at 5 p.m. at the park, located at 2300 Truman Scarborough Way. The festival will also include a costume contest, kids games, hay ride, face painting and a free movie in the park.

Local businesses can promote their organization by providing and handing out candy to children participating in the event. For more information on sponsorship or to pre-register for this event, please contact Mike Herman by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321) 264-5105.


September 05, 2013

Fall Festival at Chain of Lakes Park includes free Movie in the Park

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a fall festival and a free movie in the park at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Chain of Lakes Park, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, glitter tattoo's and a movie in the park. An adult coed kickball tournament will also be offered earlier in the day. The movie will be shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at approximately 8 p.m. The free movie will be "Hotel Transylvania" and is rated PG. Please check the movie hotline for inclement weather updates at (321) 264-5109.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for more information.


September 04, 2013

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts Florida Wildflower Foundation Symposim

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- What do wildflowers, bats, butterflies, archaeology, herbs, fire and fungus have in common? All will be featured topics at the Florida Wildflower Foundation's (FWF) 2013 Florida Wildflower Symposium and Annual Meeting this month at the Enchanted Forest Preserve, Titusville.

The symposium, presented in close partnership with Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and Friends of the Enchanted Forest, features two days of fun and learning about Florida's native ecosystems, plants, animals and organisms. It kicks off Friday, Sept. 27, with field trips to three of Brevard County's natural jewels - Sams House at Pine Island Sanctuary, Merritt Island; Dicerandra Scrub Preserve, Titusville; and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville. FWF's annual meeting and dinner that evening at Dixie Crossroads will feature keynote speaker Xavier Cortada, Florida International University's artist in residence, who will give a presentation on his FLOR 500 project, which is boosting awareness of the beauty of Florida's wildflowers throughout the state.

Workshops, presentations and walks at the Enchanted Forest Preserve in Titusville are planned for Saturday, Sept. 28. Experts will cover Florida's wildflowers, bats, butterflyscaping, use of native herbs, fire ecology, and more. Guided walks will introduce participants to the forest's wildflowers, ecosystems and archaeology. with experts or sign up for nature journaling and wildflower propagation workshops.

Friday field trips are $10 for FWF members and $15 for non-members. Saturday's activities are $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers.

Space is limited. Visit http://www.flawildflowers.org/events/2013WildflowerSymp.html to register. Each Saturday registration includes a $5 donation to the Friends of the Enchanted Forest. For more information, contact the Florida Wildflower Foundation at 407-622-1606 or mailto:Info@FlaWildflowers.org.


August 28, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit sets Labor Day Service schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit announced the following changes to its fixed route bus service for Labor Day:
  • Monday, Sept. 2: All fixed routes will not operate.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3: All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 (952-4672 for South Mainland residents) or access us online at www.RideSCAT.com.


August 28, 2013

EFSC students who ride Space Coast Area Transit buses must obtain ID sticker

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Eastern Florida State College Students who use Space Coast Area Transit fixed route bus service will be required to use student identification stickers effective Sunday, Sept. 1.

Eastern Florida State College is issuing student ID stickers for those students who use Space Coast Area Transit fixed route bus service. Students are advised to visit security, the library or a cashier to obtain a student ID sticker to ride free. The stickers must be in place by Sept. 1.

As of Sept. 1, students who do not have a sticker on their EFSC Student ID will need to pay the fare in order to board the bus.


August 26, 2013

Check This Out: September is Library Card Sign-up Month

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. -- Now that school has started again for the year, Library Card Sign-up Month is a good time to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

A free library card is a true ticket to back-to-school savings.

Resources at Brevard County libraries are available for checkout by anyone who has a library card. Every member of the family is eligible. Parents just need to sign for children under the age of 18 for them to receive their own card.

Library-card holders can come into the library for browsing and assistance as well as use their card from home to reserve books via the online catalog, download ebooks and audiobooks and search the Florida Electronic Library for databases and homework help.

And if you haven't been to the library in a while, we not only have books in a variety of formats, we have new-release DVDs and music CDs. We have public access computers with printing capability, fax and notary services and free WiFi every day.

Stop by the Port St. John library to sign up for the smartest card in your wallet.

Hours:
Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For more information, contact Nancy Garmer at Port St. John Public Library at (321) 633-1867.


August 26, 2013

Rain Barrel Workshop offered Sept. 13 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop in September.

The workshop will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, at the Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Ave., Titusville.

Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshops are sponsored by Brevard County Natural Resources Management, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, University of Florida Cooperative Extension, and Marine Resources Council.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $50, paid by cash or check at the door.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required to ensure that all materials are available; open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, e-mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshops.


August 26, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit sets up temporary bus stop at Melbourne Square Mall

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The bus stop for Routes 21, 24, 25 and 28 at the Melbourne Square Mall is moving to a temporary bus stop at the southwest side of the mall parking lot, effective Sunday, Sept. 1. This stop will be used until a permanent bus stop is built along the mall access road.

The new bus stop will include space for four buses, a shelter and a bench. The stop is moving to improve transfer times and ease of customer transferring.

Route 21 and paratransit buses will have a stop at the mall entrance next to TooJays Gourmet Deli.

Time schedules will not be affected. We apologize for any inconvenience. For additional information, call (321) 633-1878


August 23, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Sept. 12

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. The meeting will be held in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The meeting is open to the public.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center-North.

For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of this proceeding and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of this proceeding is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which any such appeal is to be based. Section 286.0105, Florida Statutes.

In accordance with the Americans and Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, Florida Statutes, persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice Parks and Recreation North Area no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting by contacting Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


August 23, 2013

EEL Program plans workdays for National Public Lands Day, Sept. 28

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program is organizing two workdays in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28. It's the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

Invasive Species Removal at Pine Island Conservation Area: Help remove invasive plants from the salt marsh at Pine Island Conservation Area. Participants should wear long pants and close-toed shoes. Work gloves, bug spray, and sunscreen are recommended. Be prepared to get a little wet. A walking tour of the site will be offered. Meet at 9:00 am at the site entrance, 2100 Pine Island Road, Merritt Island. For more information, contact Damien Keene at damien.keene@brevardparks.com or (321) 449-4720.

Trail Marking at Micco Scrub Sanctuary: Help mark and open a new trail section in Micco Scrub Sanctuary. Work will include trimming, cutting, mowing, and marking of the new trail. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Tools will be provided. Meet at the Sanctuary entrance, 500 Micco Road, Palm Bay. For more information, contact Chris O'Hara at chris.ohara@brevardparks.com or (321) 302-1773.

Throughout the month of September, the EEL Program will offer prizes to individuals who respond to questions on one or more of the Programs social media platforms. You can follow the EEL Program on Twitter @BrevardEELPrg or Facebook @eelbrevard; @samshousepineisland; @EnchantedForestSanctuary; and @BrevardCountyBarrierIsland Center.

Learn more about National Public Lands Day by visiting www.publiclandsday.org. Information on the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program is at www.eelbrevard.com.


August 21, 2013

September Events at Sams House at Pine Island Celebrate Public Lands

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In recognition of National Public Lands Day, September Events at Sams House at Pine Island focus on celebrating local public lands.

There is a suggested donation of $1 per person for each program, which includes:

Garden Helpers - Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sept. 21, 9:30 a.m. to noon: Learn about native plants as we work together to weed and beautify our gardens. No experience necessary. Bring gloves if you have them, all other tools will be supplied.

Orienteering/Scavenger Hunt - Saturday, Sept. 14, 10:30 a.m. to noon: Use a map and compass to find hidden objects in this family fun challenge. Great for all ages.

Encounters of the Wild Kind - Friday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Nancy Corona will share the wildlife and recreational adventures that can be found at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this fall.

The Legacy of Aldo Leopold: What It Means For Florida - Saturday, Sept. 21, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Vince Lamb, local Naturalist and photographer will share photos from his recent visit to conservationist Aldo Leopold's shack in the woods of Wisconsin, as well as his thoughts about how Leopold's pioneering concepts are highly relevant in 21st century Florida.

National Public Lands Workday - Saturday, Sept. 28, 9 a.m. to noon: Help us honor National Public Lands Day by removing invasive plants from the salt marsh restoration area at Pine Island Conservation Area (PICA). Wear long pants and close-toed shoes. Work gloves, bug spray, and sunscreen are recommended. Be prepared to get a little wet. Meet at PICA entrance at 2100 Pine Island Road. Call or email Damien Keene with questions: (321) 449-4720 or damien.keene@brevardparks.com.

Sams House and Cabin Tour - every Thursday and Saturday, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Tour the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin - 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home and learn about the Sams family.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


August 20, 2013

Commissioners: No Rate Hike this year for Garbage/Recycling Service

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Residents of unincorporated Brevard County will not see a rate increase this coming year for automated curbside garbage and recycling collection service.

Following a public hearing during the Commission's regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Commissioners voted 4-0 (with one commissioner absent) to keep the rates the same in the coming year. The rate will, however, increase by 2 percent in the following year and will be subject to adjustments in subsequent years depending on action taken by future commissioners.

Brevard County residents in unincorporated areas pay $125.70 annually for 2-1-1 collection service, which consists of twice weekly garbage collection and once-a-week collection both for recycling and yard waste.

By locking in this rate, the Commission adopted the second-lowest rate for curbside collection services in the county.

In April, Commissioners approved a 7-year-contract with Waste Management Inc., which will implement automated curbside garbage and recycling collection service. The company is currently delivering garbage and recycling containers to customers throughout the county that will be used as part of the automated collection program, which begins Sept. 30.


August 15, 2013

Sea Turtles highlight September calendar for Barrier Island Center

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – Sea turtles highlight a variety of events featured in September by the Barrier Island Center, South Beaches region of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Events include:

Turtle Talks - 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 and Sept. 11: Join us to explore the beach in search of sea turtle tracks and observe sea turtle biologists evaluate a nest that has recently hatched.

Dune to Lagoon Homeschool Series - 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10: Learn about sea turtles and the threats that they face. For students in grades K-12. Enrollment is limited. For availability, email jennifer.howell@brevardparks.com or call (321) 723-3556.

"Living Shorelines" Presentation - 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14: Join Marc Virgilio from the Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Preserve to learn about the importance of living shorelines like mangrove ecosystems and what you can do to help protect and restore them locally.

Oyster Mat Making - 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18: Help the Brevard Zoo create mats to restore oyster reefs in the Mosquito Lagoon.

International Coastal Cleanup - 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21: Do your part for nesting and hatchling sea turtles by keeping our beaches and ocean clean of marine debris. Record information about the trash you collect to help researchers better understand the global issue of marine debris.

National Estuaries Day Celebration With "Hands Across the Lagoon," "Sea Stars" Touch Tank, and "Naturally Central Florida" Eco-Film - 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 28: Show your support for the protection and restoration of the Indian River Lagoon, one of the most diverse estuaries in the United States, by joining hands across one of the designated Lagoon causeways, US192 or Wabasso, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Then visit the Barrier Island Center to learn more about the unique life in the Lagoon by interacting with our "Sea Stars" touch tank and watching an environmental film about our country's most diverse estuary.


August 14, 2013

Sign-up Underway for Adult Flag Football League in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla.– Sign-up is now underway for the Fall league for adult flag football teams, sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.

The adult flag football league organizational meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 N. US 1, in Sharpes.

Fees, dates and game times will be decided at the organizational meetings.

For more information on this and other athletic opportunities in North Brevard, please call (321) 264-5105.


August 14, 2013

Transportation Disadvantaged Services Board sets Aug. 26 Public Meeting

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet at 10:15 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, 2nd Floor, Space Coast Room, Viera.

Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to Jim Liesenfelt at (321) 635-7815 or e-mail at Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635-7815 ext. 601.


August 13, 2013

Brevard Botanical Gardens to hold 'State of the Garden' Party on Aug. 29

COCOA, Fla. – Charter members of the Brevard Botanical Garden are invited to attend the first State of the Garden Party at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa.

Guests will learn about the garden's progress, speak with current board members and Extension faculty, and have a chance to view progress in the pond area. The Brevard Botanical Garden (BBG) was formed in May 2010 as a 501 (c)(3) by garden enthusiasts, University of Florida/IFAS Extension faculty, and environmentally concerned citizens who want to improve the quality of life in Brevard County by opening a research-based botanical garden for demonstrations, collections and displays.

Since its inception, Master Gardeners and others who make up the BBG's Board of Directors have been busy creating and manning displays, taking cuttings to grow the garden's future displays, and researching donation and grant opportunities. Recently the BBG received one of four Viva Florida! grants awarded this year.

The mission of the Brevard Botanical Garden is to promote an increased appreciation of the environment. It seeks to inspire, support, and educate the community about horticulture through UF/IFAS research-based demonstrations, collections and displays.

The next scheduled event is the Edible Plant Festival and Sale on Sept. 21. To find out more about the garden, visit www.brevardbotanicalgarden.org.


August 13, 2013

Volunteers needed to help restore Oyster Reefs

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Volunteers are needed to help restore dead oyster reefs for the Brevard Zoo's Oyster Reef Restoration Project in the Indian River Lagoon.

Oyster mat-making workshops are held from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Wednesday of every month at Riverwalk: A Family Park, 5355 US Hwy 1, in Rockledge. The next workshop will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

To help restore oyster reefs in Mosquito Lagoon,volunteers make oyster shell mats. Each mat is made up of 36 oyster shells attached vertically with zip ties.

The mats are later transported to the Mosquito Lagoon, where they are attached to each other, forming a large quilt-like structure where new oysters can settle and grow. Efforts will aid the growth of oysters in the estuary and contribute to overall water quality in the Indian River Lagoon.

The event is free and open to anyone 12 years of age or older. Volunteers under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. All volunteers must be able to follow instructions and work with their hands.

For more information or to register,contact Jody Palmer at jpalmer@brevardzoo.org or call (321) 254-9453.


August 13, 2013

Rain Barrel Workshop offered Aug. 27 in Port St. John

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. -- Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The workshop will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John.

Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshop is sponsored by Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, University of Florida Cooperative Extension, Marine Resources Council and Community Matters Inc.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, hose bib, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $50, paid by cash or check at the door.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required to ensure that all materials are available. Open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, e-mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at http://www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Watershed/RainBarrelWorkshops.


August 13, 2013

Women's, Coed Sports Leagues announced in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla.– Fall leagues are being formed for Women's and Coed softball teams sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.

The women's softball league organizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26. The coed softball league meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28. Both meetings will be held at the Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex 4-plex softball concession building, 2111 Chain of Lakes Drive, Titusville.

Fees, dates, and game times will be decided at the organizational meetings. For more information on this and other athletic opportunities in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


August 13, 2013

Kelly Park East Boat Ramp Temporarily Closed for Renovations

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- Kelly Park East boat ramp at 2550 N. Banana River Drive in Merritt Island, is now closed for renovations that include replacement of sea walls and boat dock, installation of a new floating dock and shoreline revetment.

The boat ramp is expected to reopen by Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The following boat ramps are available for public use: Kiwanis Island Park, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island; Lee Wenner Park, 300 Riveredge Boulevard, Cocoa; and Port St. John Boat Ramp, 6650 N. Cocoa Boulevard, Cocoa.

For additional information call (321) 633-1874


August 13, 2013

North Area Parks Operations looks to fill Caretaker Positions

TITUSVILLE, Fla.– Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Park Operations, has openings for caretakers at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Blvd. in Sharpes, Stuart Park, 4260 Stuart Ave. in Titusville, and Holder Park, 2650 Glendale Blvd. in Mims.

Applications are available at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville. Law enforcement presence is desired at county parks, therefore interested law enforcement officers are encouraged to apply.

Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, Stuart Park and Holder Park do not currently have a home on site, therefore the caretaker would need to provide a mobile home.

Send completed applications to Terry Lane, Operations Manager, 475 N. Williams Ave., Titusville, FL 32796, or email to terry.lane@brevardparks.com. Applications need to be received no later than Thursday, Aug. 29. For more information, contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


August 02, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit Seeks Public Input on Possible Fare Increase

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will seek public input on a possible fare increase requested due to rising operating expenses.

The outreach will be conducted in an informal atmosphere and citizens can arrive any time between the designated times at the following locations:

  • Sears – at Bus Stop, 1050 S. Babcock St, Melbourne: Monday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Melbourne Square Mall – at Transfer Station, 1700 W. New Haven Avenue, Melbourne: Monday, Aug. 12, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Space Coast Area Transit – Cocoa Terminal, 401 S. Varr Avenue, Cocoa: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Hammock Landing – at Transfer Station, 225 Palm Bay Road, Palm Bay: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Shepard Park – at Transfer Station, 179 E. Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Searstown Mall – at Transfer Station, 3550 S. Washington Ave, Titusville: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
If you are unable to attend any of these dates, further information can be obtained by accessing www.RideSCAT.com.


August 02, 2013

Adopters have "Wheel" chance to save at Brevard County Animal Care Centers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Spin the wheel to find out how much you'll pay when you adopt a pet from Brevard County Animal Care Centers during August.

Brevard County Animal Services is offering approved adopters a chance to pay a reduced adoption fee – usually $80 for dogs and $70 for cats– throughout the month.

"This promotion, in which all adopters can participate, is a fun way to draw attention to the animals in our care," says Brevard County Animal Services Director Karla Torpy. "We'll have lucky adopters who pay $50, $30, $20, $10 or even get a Free adoption when they spin the wheel."

The fees include spay/neuter, microchipping and vaccinations. Everyone is a winner. Even if you don't get a reduced adoption fee, you can win flea control for your new pet or a T-shirt.

The county has two animal care centers. The South Animal Care Center is at 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Renninger's Super Flea Market and Farmer's Market in Melbourne.) The North Animal Care Center is at 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville.) Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at (321) 253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


August 02, 2013

Span Inspection will close traffic lane on Indian River Bridge this weekend

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The south span of Indian River Bridge (State Road 405) will be reduced to one lane, single-direction traffic from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. both on Saturday, Aug. 3, and Sunday, Aug. 4, for span inspection.

Flagman will be on site to direct traffic both days. The north span will be inspected on Monday, Aug. 5, but traffic patterns will not be affected.


August 02, 2013

Public Input Sought for 20-Year Transportation Plan

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is updating Brevard County's long-range transportation plan (LRTP) to reflect changes in the community such as population, jobs, the economy and travel demand. The plan will address all modes of transportation including, roads, transit, bicycle, pedestrian, rail and air travel.

An online survey will gather community views on travel and mobility in Brevard County and the surrounding region. The survey can be accessed electronically at www.spacecoast2040.com or at www.Facebook.com/SCTPO until Sept. 30, 2013. Paper surveys are available by mail. Call (321) 690-6890 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to request a copy.

Individuals who live and/or work in Brevard County are encouraged to participate in the survey, sharing their experiences and perceptions of the transportation system. The responses are confidential and will be used to help the SCTPO better understand the current travel patterns and future needs of the community.

The LRTP is a comprehensive plan that will detail the transportation investment needed to provide an adequate transportation system between now and the year 2040. The LRTP is a federally mandated planning process that requires the consideration of eight transportation planning factors: economic vitality, safety, security, accessibility and mobility, environmental protection, multi-modal connectivity, management and operations, and preservation of the existing system.

To learn more about the Space Coast TPO and Brevard's 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan, visit the website at www.spacecoast2040.com.










August 01, 2013

Food Supplies Run Low at Brevard County Animal Care Centers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County's animal care centers are filled to capacity and in need of food donations from the public.

"You can help out in two different ways," says Karla Torpy, director of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement. "You can donate some dry food that's, of course, high in nutrition, or you can come by and adopt a dog or cat so there will be less animals that need to be fed."

Donations can be dropped off at the South Animal Care Center, 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Renninger's Super Flea and Farmer's Market in Melbourne,) the North Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville,) or at the Animal Services and Enforcement Office at the Viera Government Center, Building A, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.

Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, call the South Animal Care Center at (321) 253-6608 or the North Animal Care Center at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


July 30, 2013

EEL Program Focuses on Transformation of Malabar Scrub Sanctuary

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Learn how management techniques have helped transform Malabar Scrub Sanctuary back in time into healthier habitats for plants and animals, such as Florida Scrub-Jays, Largeflower False Rosemary and Gopher Tortoises, in a program to be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, by the Environmentally Endangered Lands Management and Education staff.

The Restoring the Balance: Sanctuary Walk & Ride Malabar Scrub Sanctuary program will consist of a trailer ride and half-mile hike. Please bring sunscreen, water and a hat; climate will be very hot and sunny. Space is limited, must RSVP by Wednesday, Aug. 14, by calling (321) 264-5185. $1 suggested donation.

For more information, visit www.efs.eelbrevard.com or check us out on Facebook. Malabar Scrub Sanctuary is at 1501 Malabar Woods Boulevard, in Malabar.


July 24, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension offers Animal Sciences/Veterinary Technology series

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Interested in following a career into the world of animal sciences and veterinary technology? Then here's your chance!

Youth will learn about academic requirements, career options, animal behavior, first aid, animal anatomy (dissection,) and gait analysis in a four-seminar series hosted by UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension in conjunction with 4-H and Eastern Florida State College.

The series is open to youth in 9th through 12th grade. Classes will be held Aug. 20, Sept. 24, Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There will also be two field trips with dates to be determined. Cost is $15. Register at http://4hvettechcrew2013-eorg.eventbrite.com/


July 22, 2013

Vendor sign-up begins Aug. 19 for Christmas Festival of Crafts at Fox Lake

TITUSVILLE, FLA.– Registration for tables and spaces at the 20th Annual Christmas Festival of Crafts, to be held Nov. 16 at Fox Lake Park in Titusville, will begin on Aug. 19 at the North Area Parks Operations office.

Spaces under the pavilion are $30 each plus Florida state sales tax, and spaces in the outside area are $20 plus Florida state sales tax, and are limited to two per crafter. All items must be handmade or homemade.

Application forms will be available starting Aug. 19 at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville, by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope, or by email to jill.hill@brevardparks.com. The registration deadline is 4 p.m. Nov. 8.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


July 18, 2013

Animal Services' 'Health Watch' Addresses Concerns With Sheltered Pets

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Animal Services is offering a new way for the public to help keep shelter pets healthy and happy.

This week, Robbie Asher, doctor of veterinarian medicine, rolled out a new program called "Health Watch" in the South Animal Care Center at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne. "This is a low-tech method for shelter visitors to communicate health concerns they have for animals they observe while in our facility," Asher said.

This system is quick and easy. Old-fashioned mail boxes are hanging in the dog kennel area and near the cat rooms. "If a shelter visitor observes a health concern with any animal, we want them to fill out a Health Watch card that identifies the animal and the condition and put it in a mailbox," Asher said. "Then they put the flag up."

Shelter staff will collect cards from the mail boxes for the doctor and her staff, who will evaluate the information and initiate medical care as needed.

As the shelter's full-time veterinarian, Asher and her staff evaluate and treat all of the animals in the shelter. She gets lots of questions from visitors looking to adopt a new family member about various conditions they see as they meet and greet the animals.

"We are likely already treating the animal if there's an ongoing medical condition, but they don't know that and are often concerned," Asher said. "Since I'm not always available, I want the public to have the opportunity to bring their concerns to our attention and know that we will take care of it."


July 15, 2013

Celebration at Barrier Island Center to kick off of annual Tour de Turtles

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. -- A Social and Silent Auction will help kick off the annual Tour de Turtles event later this month.

Tour de Turtles Social & Silent Auction at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 27: This celebration features hors d'oeuvres, refreshments, local artists and music. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.tourdeturtles.org or at the Barrier Island Center for $20 until July 20. Tickets will be available at the door for $35. All proceeds benefit the Sea Turtle Conservancy's sea turtle education and conservation at the Barrier Island Center.

Tour de Turtles Live Sea Turtle Release at 8 a.m. Sunday, July 28. Join Sea Turtle Conservancy and University of Central Florida researchers as they attach a satellite-transmitter on a loggerhead sea turtle as part of the 2013 Tour de Turtles marathon. From 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., there will be fun family-friendly activities available, including assisting artist Pasta Pantaleo with painting a mural in our children's area. Parking is limited; carpooling is recommended.


July 15, 2013

Barrier Island Center events in August: Turtles, Indian River and Adventure

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – Turtle Talks, diversity of life on Indian River Lagoon and a Paddle Boarding Adventures highlight planned events in August at the Barrier Island Center, 8385 Florida A1A, Melbourne Beach.

Turtle Talks, every Wednesday at 8 a.m.: Join us to explore the beach in search of sea turtle tracks and watch sea turtle biologists evaluate a nest that has recently hatched.

"Sea Stars!" Touch Tank, Saturday, Aug. 3, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Come meet our "Sea Stars" and learn about the diversity of life in the Indian River Lagoon.

Little Stewards Story Time, Saturday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m.: Join Sea Turtle Advokid, Cori McWilliams, for "Happy Hermit Crab... A Tale of Shell Seekers."

Beach Clean Up, Saturday, Aug. 17, at 9 a.m. Do your part for nesting and hatchling sea turtles by keeping our beaches and ocean clean of marine debris.

Oyster Mat Making, Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m.: Help the Brevard Zoo create mats to restore oyster reefs in the Mosquito Lagoon.

Paddle Boarding Wildlife Adventure, Saturday, Aug. 24, noon to 1 p.m.: Experience the excitement of walking on water on this one hour tour of the Mullet Creek Preserve! Launch from Honest John's Fish Camp, 750 Old Florida Trail in Melbourne Beach. Wear water shoes and sunscreen. Take advantage of this special discounted rate of $27. Must be at least 12 years old.

"Home" Eco-Film, Saturday, Aug. 31, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.: Learn about how life on our planet formed and how we are influencing it today. Find out how you can lead a more sustainable lifestyle.


July 15, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on Aug. 8

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


July 10, 2013

Brevard Ranks Among State's Top Counties in Recycling Rate

Viera, Fla -- New 2012 recycling data released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection this month shows Florida's official recycling rate is 48 percent, up from 30 percent in 2011. Brevard County improved its recycling rate from 45 percent in 2011 to 47 percent in 2012.

According to the updated report, and looking at the traditional recycling rates, Alachua County remains atop the list of counties in the state for the third consecutive year. Brevard County tied for third place with Sarasota County recycling 47 percent. The Top 10 recycling rates by county are:

  1. Alachua, 54 percent
  2. Martin, 49 percent
  3. Sarasota, Brevard, 47 percent
  4. Lee, St. Lucie, 44 percent
  5. Leon, 43 percent
  6. Duval, 42 percent
  7. Orange, 41 percent
  8. Hillsborough, Collier, 40 percent
  9. Putnam, Escambia, 39 percent
  10. Broward, 37 percent
"As we get closer to the 2020 deadline for the 75 percent recycling goal, we need all Floridians to step up recycling efforts," said Division of Waste Management Director Jorge Caspary. "While we have made modest improvements, in order to reach this goal, the commercial sector must amplify its recycling efforts."

In 2008, the Florida Legislature first established a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020. In order for Florida to reach its 75 percent goal, the Department is urging all sectors, especially the commercial sector, to actively increase its recycling efforts. Commercial municipal solid waste accounts for approximately 55 percent of the total municipal solid waste stream in Florida. However, less than half of the commercial solid waste in Florida is being recycled according to the 2012 annual report. Increasing commercial recycling would have a substantial positive effect on the recycling numbers as a whole. y6

For more information on Brevard County's recycling efforts, contact Hillary Arena, Recycling Coordinator, at (321) 633-2042.


July 09, 2013

Brevard County Manager Submits 2014 'Bare Bones' Budget Proposal

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton on Tuesday proposed a yearlong series of monthly budget workshops with the Board of County Commissioners to address long-term budget issues, priorities and needs.

The proposal came as Tipton submitted a $943 million recommended "bare bones" budget proposal to Commissioners for the 2014 fiscal year. The proposed budget cuts 35 positions, leaves county employees without a pay raise for the third straight year and leaves another $4.6 million in potential cuts on the table contingent upon adjustments to the county millage rate.

At $943,184,284, the proposed budget reflects a slight increase – 0.4132 percent – over the previous year's adopted budget, yet is 4.27 percent less than the current 2012-13 amended budget. The aggregate tax rate of 7.0537 – or roughly $7.10 for every $1,000 of taxable property value – is a 1.03 percent decrease over the FY2012-13 operating millage tax rate. The fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

Commissioners will discuss the budget during a July 18 workshop and at its regular meeting on July 23, which is also when the Commission will set a tentative millage rate for the coming fiscal year. There are two public hearings on the proposed budget scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10 and Sept. 26 at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera.

"The proposed budget should be viewed as a bare bones budget for the 10th largest county in Florida, yet one that continues to provide great value for the quality of services provided," Tipton said.

If adopted, the budget as proposed will address nearly $3 million in increased expenses, most of which are mandated by the state or designed to offset a mandatory increase in Florida Retirement System rates. The budget will continue work on the $16 million 800 MHz public safety radio system upgrade; it will begin a 10-year, $130 million capital improvement program for the upgrade and repair of water and wastewater plants, pipes and related equipment; it will support the Solid Waste Department's need to issue approximately $20 million in bonds to fund needed expansion of the Central County landfill, which is projected to reach capacity in 2015; it will fund four replacement ambulances for Fire Rescue that have more than 200,000 miles each; it will cover the mandated Florida Retirement System employer increases ($460,218); and it will cover mandated costs like that of the Medicaid system ($406,685) and court technology ($412,230.)

"A key disappointment is that there are no raises for employees in this budget proposal, which means that for the sixth year in a row employee take-home pay will go down," Tipton said. "During this time, employees have endured furloughs and benefit cost shifts. The ability to attract and retain a talented workforce is critical at current staffing levels and with the Central Florida economy heating up the need to offer competitive wages and benefits is central to employee retention."

The proposed budget reduces the number of county government employees to 2,285, which reflects a staffing reduction of 35 positions – although 14 are currently vacant. Overall staffing stands at the same level as 2001 even though the county's population has grown by 65,000 residents in the past 12 years.

In presenting the budget to Commissioners on Tuesday, Tipton proposed a series of monthly budget workshops to consider a wide-range of county needs. Tipton requested the first budget workshop for Aug. 15.

"With known immediate capital and personnel needs as well as near and long term capital and personnel needs, County leadership must consider a variety of options that will correct the structural imbalance that currently exists between revenues and expenditures," Tipton said.


July 09, 2013

Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee to meet Aug. 6

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

This committee is appointed by the North Brevard Commission on Parks & Recreation.The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


July 09, 2013

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation to meet Aug. 8

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8. The meeting will be held in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North. For more information, contact Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


July 08, 2013

Brevard County schedules rollout of Curbside Cart Collection Program

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County, in partnership with its trash hauler, Waste Management, introduces a new curbside cart collection program for garbage and recycling services for unincorporated Brevard County residents.

The curbside cart collection program will start on Sept. 30. Residents of the unincorporated areas can expect delivery of the new 64-gallon garbage cart and 64-gallon recycling cart between Aug. 1 and Sept. 27. An informational brochure will be attached to the new carts as well as a listing of the items that can be recycled in the recycling cart. Garbage carts will have green lids and recycling carts will have yellow lids.

"These wheeled carts are more convenient for the customer and allow for greater service efficiency," said Hillary Arena, Recycling Coordinator for Brevard County.

Brevard's current Solid Waste Collection Contract expires Sept. 30. The Brevard County Commission decided to move forward with implementing an automated collection system for garbage and recycling after reviewing proposals for the new contract, which will run from Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2020.

"Since the new cart program requires an Automated Side Loader Truck for collection, it is important residents do not use their new carts until the program begins on Sept. 30 when the trucks will have the correct equipment," Arena said.

Brevard County is also offering presentations to homeowner's associations and other groups that may be interested in receiving more details about the program. For more information on a presentation or for any questions, contact Arena at the Brevard County Solid Waste Department at (321) 633-2042 or hillary.arena@brevardcounty.us.


UF/Brevard Extension workshops will dig into Turf Practices

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Upcoming workshops offered by University of Florida/Brevard Extension Service focus on turf.

Green Industries Best Management Practices Training: This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices (BMPs) for anyone spreading fertilizer in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. The Best Management Practices are focused on reducing non-point source pollution resulting from fertilization or pesticide application. Some cities and counties require this certification before bidding or serving commercial customers. This training will be required for all fertilizer applicators in the State of Florida by January 2014. Class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18. Lunch will be provided. CEU's available. Registration required. Cost $30.

Golf Course Superintendents Quarterly Workshop: This workshop is intended for golf course superintendents in Brevard County and surrounding counties to increase knowledge of turf management issues. This quarter, the training topic is turf diseases and management. Class will be held at Sherwood Golf Club, 4335 London Town Road., Titusville, from 8 a.m. to noon, Aug. 20. Two CEU's in Ornamental and Turf category are available for license holders. Registration is required. To register, please contact Matt Lenhardt, UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension commercial horticulturist, at (321) 633-1702, ext. 244, or email Lenhardt@ufl.edu. Lunch will be provided. Cost: $60.

Ornamental and Turf License Continuing Education Review: This workshop is intended for ornamental and turf license holders to obtain CEU's needed to maintain an active license. Four ornamental and turf CEU's are available. Class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Aug. 14. Registration is required by Aug. 12. Visit the eventBrite website to register: www.eventbrite.com/myevent?eid=7185182073. Cost: $60.


July 05, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service offers Food Handling/Preserving Courses

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Food handling and food preservation courses are available through the University of Florida/Brevard County Extension Service. Courses are:

Food Handler Certification: This class and test fulfills the requirement for food service industry managers. Call 1-888-232-8723 for registration. This class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., July 15. Cost $165.

Preserving Foods --Water Bath and Pressure Canning: Learn how to can foods. Each participant will receive hands-on experience and will take food home. Please bring a box or container to take your canned goods home as they will be warm. This class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 10 a.m. to noon, July 16, and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 20. Cost $35.


July 05, 2013

EEL's advisory group to review Public Access, Recreation requests Aug. 8

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


July 05, 2013

EEL Program to hold Procedures Committee Meeting on Aug. 1

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


July 05, 2013

North Area Parks schedule American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course

TITUSVILLE, Fla – North Area Parks Operations will offer a Lifeguard Training Course starting July 20. The swimming portion of the class will be held at Titusville High School pool and the classroom portion will be held at Sandrift Community Center.

Class dates and times are as follows: July 20, 21, 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $160 and must be paid upon successful completion of a skills test on July 19 at 6 p.m. Class size is limited to 10 and pre-registration is required.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards nonstop (freestyle and breaststroke), swim 20 yards, pick up a 10-pound object and return to the start point in 1 minute and 40 seconds and tread water with legs only for 2 minutes.

Registration for all aquatics activities is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information can be obtained by calling Mike Herman (321) 264?5105.


July 02, 2013

Enchanted Forest features Creepy Crawlers and Night Creatures in July

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- From things that slither on the ground to creatures of the night to getting in tune with nature, the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Enchanted Forest Sanctuary & Education Center, 444 Columbia Blvd. Titusville, offers a variety of nature events that invite your participation throughout the month of July. They include:

GUIDED NATURE HIKES - Saturdays, 10 a.m.: A 45-minute, interpretive hike offered every Saturday on the trails of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP. For more information, please call 321-264-5185.

CREEPY CRAWLY DAY - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13: Spiders and Snakes and Worms! Oh my! Slither, creep and crawl on over to the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary for our second Creepy Crawly Day! Spend the day discovering the world of creepy crawlies through guided walks, hands-on activities and even enjoy a buggy snack! This program is fun for all.

FRIENDS OF ENCHANTED FOREST PROGRAM - 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 18: "Creatures of the Night" program. Come discover what goes bump in the night! We will discuss nocturnal critters like owls, skunks, frogs and more, and their amazing adaptations to live in the night time world! Please register by calling 321-264-5185.

PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB - 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 20: Program for all levels of photography. View photographs and learn helpful tips. This program is free and reservations are not required. For more information, please call 321-264-5185.

NATURE SONGS & SING ALONG - 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27: Flutes & Friends, Native American style flute music; 1:30 - 2:30 Nature songs & sing along. Please join us for this fun program.

FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY, Sea Rocket Chapter - The Society does not meet in July and August. The next program will be Sept. 25. For more information, please call (321) 264-5185.


July 02, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service schedules Blue Fest/Back to Basics events

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Two events planned in July and August by the University of Florida/Brevard County Extension Service focus on area waterways and the environment.

Blue Fest Event: Join us to learn about our waterways and environment, participate in fun water activities for families, gather home irrigation information, and much more at this free educational event with classes and vendors. This event will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 13. Cost: Free.

Back to Basics Event: This event will show case the basics of canning, gardening, composting, money management, and getting outdoors, as well as featuring a variety of vendors. This event will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 10. Cost: Free.


July 02, 2013

Sign-up now for UF/Brevard Extension Service Agriculture/Farming courses

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Agriculture and Farming are the focus in July and August of a variety of courses available through the University of Florida/Brevard County Extension Service. Courses available:

Pasture Management and Farmer to Farmer Discussion: Summer Pasture Care/legume demonstration plots, at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Aug. 22. Register at Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu ./class registration/agriculture. Cost: $10.

Chickens 101 - Introduction to Raising Chickens: This class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., July 11. Register at Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu./class registration/agriculture. Cost: $10.

Beef Cattle Reproduction Management School with Artificial Insemination: This class will be held at Deseret Ranch in Deer Park, Aug. 5-9. Instructor-Joe Walter plus University professors, Extension Agents, Veterinarians, and Industry representatives. Cost: $300 includes books, supplies, meals, and breaks. Register by contacting Joe Walter (407-948-8810, jwalter@ufl.edu). This is an intense, five-day, hands-on learning experience.

Small Farms and Alternative Enterprise Conference: Aug. 2-4, Heritage Park, Kissimmee. Register on line at http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/registration.html.

Poultry Enterprise Budgeting/Financial Analysis: This class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Palm Bay, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Aug. 15. Register at Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu./class registration/agriculture. Cost: $10.


July 01, 2013

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts 2nd Annual Creepy Crawly Day, July 13

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Come meet, greet and even eat some creepy crawly critters during the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary's 2nd Annual Creepy Crawly Day on Saturday, July 13.

Bring the whole family and enjoy a fun-filled day discovering some of nature's most unique, spine-tingling, and sometimes misunderstood critters.

Try edible insects, discover the importance of bats, unearth the world of reptiles and amphibians and participate in an insect Olympics on this very special day dedicated to the creepy crawly critters of Central Florida! The day will also feature buggy crafts, insect hikes, hands-on stations, log dissections, and much more.

For more information, visit www.efs.eelbrevard.com and don't forget to check us out on Facebook!

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is at 444 Columbia Blvd. in Titusville.


June 28, 2013

Turtles and 'Mysteries of the Deep' highlight July activities for EELs Program

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program will host a variety of events throughout July, and invites you to join its beach explorations, July 15 through Sept. 15, in a search for sea turtle tracks and to watch sea turtle biologists evaluate a nest that has recently been hatched.

Other events include:

Turtle Walk Reservations - Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9 p.m.: Join a presentation and guided walk to learn about and observe threatened loggerhead sea turtles nesting on the beaches of the barrier island. Donation of $15 is nonrefundable. Reservations limited to 22 each night. Reservations can only be made online at www.seaturtlewalks.org.

"Masters of the Sea ... Myths and Truths!" Presentation - Saturday, July 6, at 1 p.m.: Ocean advocate and Master Scuba Instructor Joe Bartoszek takes you into the mysterious world of sharks with brilliant underwater images that illuminate the importance of their conservation.

"Mysteries of the Deep" Eco-Film - Saturday, July 13, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.: Dive deep into the ocean and explore the beauty and diversity that lies beneath the surface. Visit Shark Island, Bonaire, and the east coast of the U.S. in search of hammerhead, great white and sand tiger sharks.

"Sea Stars!" Touch Tank - Saturday, July 13, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Come meet our new "Sea Stars" and learn about the diversity of life living in the Indian River Lagoon.

Oyster Mat Making - Wednesday, July 17, at 10 a.m.: Help the Brevard Zoo create mats to restore oyster reefs in the Mosquito Lagoon.

Beach Clean Up - Saturday, July 20, at 10 a.m.: Create your own reusable bag for collecting marine debris. Then use it to help us keep the beach and ocean clean to protect nesting and hatching sea turtles.

Tour de Turtles Social & Silent Auction - Saturday, July 27, at 6 p.m.: Join us as we kick off Tour de Turtles with a celebration featuring hors d'oeuvres, refreshments, local artists and music. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.tourdeturtles.org or at the Barrier Island Center for $20 until July 20th. Tickets will be available at the door for $35. All proceeds benefit the Sea Turtle Conservancy's sea turtle education and conservation at the Barrier Island Center.

Tour de Turtles Live Sea Turtle Release - Sunday, July 28, at 8 a.m.: Join Sea Turtle Conservancy and University of Central Florida researchers as they attach a satellite-transmitter on a loggerhead sea turtle as part of the 2013 Tour de Turtles marathon. From 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., there will be fun family-friendly activities available, including assisting artist Pasta Pantaleo with painting a mural in our children's area. Parking is limited; carpooling is recommended.


June 27, 2013

Don't balk at UF/Brevard Extension Service 4-H Market Poultry Project

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Interested in raising chickens? The Brevard County 4-H Brevard County Market Poultry Project program is the right fit for you.

Youth ages 5-18 can join the 4-H and raise chickens in a hands-on learning project. For more information, call Vanessa Spero-Swingle, 4-H Agent, at (321) 633-1702, ext 231. Cost associated with raising animals.


June 27, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service digs in for gardening series in July/August

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- How does your garden grow? UF/Brevard Extension Service "Create your Own Piece of Paradise" gardening series in July and August focuses on landscapes, gardens and vegetables.

Create Your Own Piece of Paradise -- Gardening Series: Learn about the landscape design process and the nine Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles. Other topics covered will include adding trees to your landscape, turf alternatives, plant maintenance, and much more. If you really want to be prepared for the first class then have a plot plan of your landscape with the dimensions of the lot, house, sidewalks, driveway, and any other hardscape. This preparation will help you to get started immediately and leave the class with a landscape design to use. This series will be held on four consecutive Tuesdays from July 9-30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa. To register, go to http://cyopopcocoajuly.eventbrite.com. Cost: $75.

Preparation: Home Grown Veggies (Webinar): Learn how to grow veggies in containers or how to prepare for in-ground planting. This webinar will be held 12:10 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, and can be accessed from any computer. To sign up, visit http://preparationhgvwebinarjuly.eventbrite.com. Cost: Free.

A second webinar will be held at the same time on Wednesday. Aug. 7. To sign up, visit http://preparationhgvwebinaraugust.eventbrite.com. Cost: Free.

Veggie Growing Here in Brevard (Webinar): Learn how to grow veggies in Brevard County. If you have only grown vegetables in another state, you will want to join this webinar to find out when to plant vegetables here. Fertilization and pest control will also be covered. This webinar will be held 12:10 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Wed. July 31, and can be accessed from any computer.

To sign up, visit http://veggygrowingbrevardjuly.eventbrite.com. Cost: Free.

A second webinar will be held at the same time on Wed. Aug. 21. To sign up, visit http://veggygrowingbrevardaugust.eventbrite.com. Cost: Free.


June 27, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension courses focus on Finance/Money Management

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Finance and Money Management are the focus of classes and workshops offered in July and August through UF/Brevard County Extension Service.

Buying & Selling on Internet Venues: Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via eBay and Amazon and look at other internet buying/selling options. Class will be held at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 10 a.m. to noon, July 8; 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Aug. 16; and at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office Palm Bay, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 19; and 2 p.m.to 4 p.m., Aug. 6. Cost $10.

Budgeting and Credit Basics: Learn to prepare a budget, reconcile accounts to stretch dollars, to use credit wisely, and to pay down debt. This workshop satisfies requirements for discharge from bankruptcy. Class will be held at UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Cocoa, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., July 15; 9 a.m. to noon, Aug 19; and at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension office in Palm Bay, 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 18; and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Aug. 15. Cost: $10.


June 27, 2013

SNAP has arrived at the Brevard County Farmer's Market

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Farmers Market has received a federal grant funding EBT payments under the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP.)

Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) is an initiative by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand access to fresh produce and healthy foods to SNAP recipients at America's farmers markets.

As a result of funding provided by Congress through the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, last year USDA announced the availability of $4 million in funding to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale equipment in farmers markets not currently accepting SNAP benefits.

"These grants increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to SNAP customers and further encourage them to purchase and prepare healthy foods for their families using SNAP benefits," said Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon. "In general, research shows that about 20 cents of every SNAP dollar spent on food ends up in the pocket of American farmers. Installing wireless technology at farmers markets expands the customer base for markets and increases the share of the SNAP dollar that goes directly back to local farmers and into local economies."

USDA has made expanding SNAP recipients' access to fresh fruits and vegetables through farmers markets a priority in recent years. In 2008, about 750 farmers markets and direct marketing farmers accepted SNAP. Along with other criteria, a farmers market is defined as a multi-stall market at which farmer-producers sell agricultural products, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables (but also meat products, dairy products, and/or grains), directly to the general public at a central or fixed location.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including SNAP, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work together to form a national safety net against hunger.

Visit www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs (USDA website post, 2013.) Also, visit the Brevard County Farmer's Market each Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wickham Park in Melbourne. For more information check out the UF/Brevard Extension Service website at www.brevardcountyfarmersmarket.com.


June 25, 2013

Public Works Director John Denninghoff named Urban Engineer of the Year

VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County Public Works Director John Denninghoff has been named 2013 Urban Engineer of the Year in an award that will be presented by the Florida Association of County Engineers and Road Superintendents on Friday in Tampa during the annual conference of the Florida Association of Counties.

The statewide honor recognizes significant contributions to local public works/road departments and communities and is based on criteria that includes project timeliness, innovation, leadership, impact on budget and impact on the community. Denninghoff, who has been director of Public Works since 2004, is receiving the honor primarily for his role in the $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge project in Titusville.

"It's kind of a big deal," said Denninghoff, who steered most of the credit to area political leaders at the time, the Florida Department of Transportation and the federal government for the bridge that now spans over Indian River in North Brevard County. "What we ultimately accomplished was that we were able to replace a bridge that was about to fall in and wound up with a gorgeous bridge that is now a focal point for the whole city, which is what we envisioned it would be."

Max Brewer Bridge was a state Department of Transportation project built with federal funds, but the county helped move the project along by keeping the substandard swing span bridge it was replacing – one that had been considered for rehabilitation but was seen as a potential money pit due to its poor conditions – open long enough for the fixed span bridge project to be completed, Denninghoff said. Max Brewer Bridge opened in 2011.

In November, Max Brewer Bridge won the People's Choice Award in a national contest sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Online voters picked their favorite project among those entered by 10 states and the A. Max Brewer Bridge Project in Titusville took first place with more than 331,000 votes cast. The contest's $10,000 prize was used by FDOT to establish an engineering degree scholarship fund at Brevard Community College.


June 24, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit Announces July 4th Bus Service Schedule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit announced the following changes to its fixed-route bus service for Independence Day, July 4:
  • Thursday, July 4, – All fixed routes will not operate.
  • Friday, July 5, – All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
Questions or requests for further information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 (952-4672 for South Mainland residents) or access online at www.RideSCAT.com.


June 24, 2013

"Explore Your History" is Focus of July Activities at Sams House

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Throughout the month of July, Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of programs that focus on "Exploring Your History." Most of these programs are offered at a suggested donation of $1 per person in support of education programs at Sams House. A two-day painting workshop is offered through local artist, AnnaJo and costs $150 per person.

Friday, July 5, and Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Acrylic Painting Workshop with AnnaJo: Budding or experienced artists are invited to participate in a two-day Plein Air Acrylic Painting workshop. Cost is $150/person for two days of instruction (not including supplies). Contact AnnaJo at (321) 536-9072 or annajojo@gmail.com to reserve and get a supply list.

Saturday, July 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Fashion 1870 to 1890: A Look at How Women Tortured Themselves as Slaves to Fashion: Join Diana Sageser and Mary Morgan for this talk on historic feminine fashions. Artifacts and reproductions of actual clothing will be on display, as well as modern,period-correct patterns and catalogs of the time. Please bring a picnic lunch to enjoy during the noon hour break.

Saturday, July 20, 11 a.m. to noon - Paddles, Sails, and Steam: Early Travels on the Indian River Lagoon: From the comfort of the air-conditioned cabin,we'll explore the history of water travel on the Lagoon, as well as the impacts on natural and human resources.

Friday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Restoration of Historic Homes Illuminates Stories of the Past: Learn how the historic Sams house and Cabin were restored so that the stories they contained could be told. A tour of the homes will follow the presentation.

Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. to11 a.m. - Children's Story Hour and Craft: "Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle:" Experience the life of a bullfrog. Read by Sams staff, the story will be followed by an educational craft activity.

Every Thursday and Saturday, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Historic House and Cabin Tour: Tour the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin - 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information,call 321-449-4720.


June 19, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit offers free bus rides on 'Dump the Pump' Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 20.

Space Coast Area Transit's website, RideSCAT.com, is currently featuring a printable coupon on its home page that will allow passengers to ride the bus for free on Dump the Pump Day. Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, the one-day event encourages people to try riding public transportation and save money, instead of driving a car.

Since its conception in June 2006, when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes public transportation is a great travel option that also helps people save money.

"Public transportation is the quickest way to beat high gas prices, and Dump the Pump Day is an excellent opportunity for our residents to try transit for free," said Jim Liesenfelt, director of Space Coast Area Transit.

According to the latest APTA Transit Savings Report , individuals in a two-person household can save an average of more than $10,000 annually by downsizing to one car. For bus maps and schedules, contact Space Coast Area Transit at (321) 633-1878 or log on to RideSCAT.com on a PC, Mac, or mobile device. For vanpool information, call (321) 952-4563.


June 19, 2013

Commission Chairman Andy Anderson supports Air Show move to South Beaches

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – District 5 Brevard County Commissioner Andy Anderson is backing the City of Melbourne's efforts to support the former Cocoa Beach Air Show and host it along the south beaches. The air show is in danger of being canceled due to funding issues.

The air show, organized by the National Air, Sea and Space Foundation (NASSF), has been held the past four years in Cocoa Beach. This free admission beachfront event has grown into the largest event in the county, generating $7.6 million in annual economic impact during one of the slower tourism times of the year. In the past, the event has received underwriting from the Tourist Development Council (TDC) but with changes made recently to the TDC guidelines, the NASSF will now only receive funding for marketing support.

"This event has been great for Brevard County and I want to see it continue," said Commissioner Anderson. "I would love to see the City of Melbourne support this event and bring it down to the south beaches."

The City of Melbourne will be hearing an agenda item at its Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 25, to assume responsibilities for the air show. If passed, the city will cover the costs of support personnel for the event.


June 11, 2013

Brevard County Talking Books program draws Library of Congress Honors

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Libraries' Talking Books Department was named "Network Subregional Library of the Year" in an award from the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, during ceremonies June 6 in Washington, D.C.

The Brevard County Talking Books Library, a subregional library of the Florida Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library Services network, received the award for outstanding service to blind and disabled readers. The annual award, in its seventh year, carries a $1,000 cash prize. NLS presented the award to Brevard County Libraries Director Jeff Thompson and Talking Books Department Supervisor Debra Martin in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

The Brevard County Talking Books Library is located in the Brevard County Public Library in Cocoa. It has a full-time staff of one – Debra Martin – a part-time support-staff member, and a committed group of more than 25 volunteers. In 2012 the library served nearly 1,600 residents and institutions in Brevard County and circulated about 120,000 braille and talking books.

"This was a tremendous honor, as Brevard was recognized as the best in the nation," Thompson said. "It was so gratifying to see the work of Debra and her team nationally recognized. I could not be prouder of them."

The Talking Books Library hosts adult reading programs, assistive technology resource fairs, and film and book discussion programs. It also maintains partnerships with more than 150 agencies and keeps patrons and supporters informed through Twitter and Facebook.

"Our volunteers are integral to the daily operation of the library and without doubt are one of the main reasons the library has flourished," Martin said. "Our network of partnerships also has proven to be vital to increasing awareness of the program and boosting new-patron registration."

NLS created the Network Library Awards to recognize outstanding accomplishments of libraries serving blind and disabled individuals across the country and in U.S. territories. A committee of librarians and consumer-organization representatives chose finalists from among the nominated libraries based on mission support, creativity and innovation in providing service, and record of reader satisfaction.

The District of Columbia Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, also known as the D.C. Public Library Adaptive Services Division, received the Network Library of the Year Award. The annual award, in its ninth year, carries a $1,000 cash prize.


June 11, 2013

3 Alarm Commercial Structure Fire at the Space Coast Flea Market

(Brevard County, Fla.) - Fire crews from Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR), along with numerous other agencies, worked to extinguish a 3-alarm commercial fire early this morning at the Space Coast Flea Market in Cocoa. Brevard County Fire Rescue dispatchers received a 911 call shortly before 2:30 a.m. from a caller who stated flames were visible on the walls of the flea market. The building is located at 5605 N Highway 1 in Cocoa.

BCFR crews arrived just minutes after the alarm and found heavy fire and smoke penetrating the roof of the structure. Firefighters immediately deployed hoselines to combat the fire. Because of the intensity of the flames, a defensive strategy was initiated; meaning firefighters attacked the fire from the outside. A second and third alarm was requested by the first arriving District Chief because of the intense heat and potential for further fire spread.

Four ladder trucks, 12 fire engines, and many more support vehicles delivered more than 60 firefighters to the scene. Firefighters battled the intense blaze for nearly two hours before they were able to knockdown the main body of fire. Crews spent several more hours mopping up smoldering spots.

Fire investigators from BCFR and the State Fire Marshal's Office were on scene to complete the investigation and interview witnesses. As of now, no cause has been determined, but that information will be distributed as it is received.

No injuries or road closures were reported.


June 07, 2013

Brevard County Shelters Overwhelmed with Unwanted Pets

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Less than a week after a successful communitywide pet adoption event, Brevard County's animal shelters in Titusville and Melbourne are filled to capacity.

"We're simply overwhelmed with unwanted pets," Animal Services and Enforcement Director Karla Torpy said. "We took in almost 1,100 animals during May, which is a couple of hundred more than usual."

Torpy said about 750 of those that wound up in the shelters last month were kittens or cats.

Animals are in the shelters for a variety of reasons. Many owners surrender their pets, even after they are told that their pet may not be successfully placed into another home. Some are abandoned; some are lost. Shelter staff make attempts to reunite lost pets with their owners, including holding the animals for five days to give owners opportunity to retrieve their dog or cat.

Torpy said the number of unwanted animals illustrates the importance for pet owners to spay or neuter their pets.

Animals available for adoption can be seen in person at the shelters or on the county's website, www.brevardcounty.us, under Brevard County Animal Services. The shelter is having a BOGO special for kittens through the end of June: Buy one kitten for $70, get one free.

Brevard County shelters are open noon to 6 p.m. daily, except Wednesday. Locations are: South Animal Care Center, 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne, and North Animal Care Center, 2605 Flake Road, Titusville.


June 07, 2013

Brevard County to join celebration for 'National Garbage Man Day'

Viera, Fla. - The Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department will be celebrating the first National Garbage Man Day on June 17 to raise awareness for the garbage men and women that keep counties and cities clean.

"The idea was launched several months ago by John Arwood, CEO of Jacksonville Fla-based Arwood Waste", said Hillary Arena, Recycling Coordinator for Brevard County Solid Waste Department. Arwood invites Brevard County residents to join the nation "to celebrate trash collectors, dumpster haulers, landfill workers, transfer stations workers, recycling sorters, and just about anyone else who does the dirty jobs that no one else wants to do."

"I think a lot of people take our garbage and recycling collectors for granted", Arena said.

Residents are asked to show their appreciation by just saying "thanks," praising the worker or just thinking about how garbage gets collected and what happens to it when its set out at the curb.

"The solid waste collectors, landfill workers, transfer trailer drivers and heavy equipment operators at the landfill facilities provide a valuable service to the community," Euripides Rodriguez, director of Solid Waste Management for Brevard County, said.

The county solid waste employees and landfill workers will get cards thanking them for keeping Brevard's cities and the county clean and green.

For more information, contact Arena in the Solid Waste Management Department at (321) 633-2042.


June 05, 2013

Cuyler Park in Titusville to host free Juneteenth celebration on June 22

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — The anniversary of Juneteenth will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at Cuyler Park, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims.

The event is for all ages and will include games, hair and fashion show, Juneteenth reenactment and community service presentations as well as food and craft vendors. Admission is free.

Craft and food vendors can register by visiting Cuyler Community Center. The cost for craft vendors is $25 plus tax and the cost for food vendors is $50 plus tax.

For more information, call LaShawn Stevens (321) 264-5045.


May 31, 2013 Enchanted Forest summer programs take hands-on approach to nature studies

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Families are invited this summer to join Enchanted Forest Sanctuary naturalists for an exciting and new look into nature through hands-on science experiments and activities.

Here's what's in store:

June 14, Owl Pellet Dissection: Soar into the world of ornithology as you investigate owls, what they eat and how they digest their food.

June 28, Flower Dissection & Slides: Discover the parts of a flower through a hands-on flower dissection. Student scientists will also get the opportunity to create slides of flower parts.

July 12, Animal Grossology: Did you know vultures vomit when they are scared? Or what the scientific name for "poop" is? Discover some of the fascinating and "gross" facts about Florida animals through this hands-on program.

July 26, Genes in a Bottle: Learn about the building blocks of life through a DNA science experiment. Student scientists will have the opportunity to extract DNA from a plant living in the Enchanted Forest and store that DNA in a cool necklace.

Programs are recommended for ages 8 & up. Please register by the Wednesday prior to the day you would like to attend by calling (321) 264-5185. Spots limited. Cost: $2 suggested donation to the Friends of the Enchanted Forest for supplies.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located at 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.


May 31, 2013

Hurricane Season 2013 starts Saturday; highlights need to be prepared

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – "Make a Plan, Build a Kit and Stay Informed."

As the official start of Hurricane Season 2013 kicks off Saturday, June 1, Brevard County Emergency Management stresses these common threads of awareness and preparation to help reduce the impact of hurricane disasters.

Forecasters are anticipating a busier-than-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season, with 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher); 7 to 11 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher); and 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3,4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher.) Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

"Families, individuals, and businesses who know their vulnerability and what actions to take can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster by taking action to prepare," said Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser. "As Hurricane Season starts, it's time to prepare yourselves, your family and your pets, and to stay informed."

Emergency Management recommends:

Make a Plan: Have a place to go, and include your pet in your plan. Decide whether you'll stay with relatives, at a hotel, whether you'll utilize one of the county's 13 general population shelters or three pet-friendly shelters. If you have certain medical needs, including power-operated medical equipment or prescriptions that require refrigeration, and you plan to use a county shelter, you'll need to register for a special-needs shelter at http://web.brevardcounty.us/SpecialNeeds/Registration.aspx.

Build a Kit: You may need to survive on your own for some time after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Assemble this kit well in advance, and plan ahead for needed medications, and supplies for pets and infants. Include a cell phone charger for your car, and you'll want to have some cash and a full tank of gas.

Stay Informed: Recent severe storms highlight the importance of keeping informed about weather hazards. Here are some of the ways that you can do so:

In addition, the following services provide information and updates about severe weather as well as other incidents which could affect large numbers of people in the county: space launches, large brush fires, major road closures, as well as preparedness tips and prescribed burn notices:
  • Like "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook
  • Follow @BrevardEOC on Twitter
  • Subscribe to text messages by texting FOLLOW BREVARDEOC to telephone number 40404
  • Additional information about preparedness for hurricanes and other hazards is available at www.embrevard.com.


May 30, 2013

Boaters Reminded to Prepare for Hurricane Season

VIERA, Fla. -- Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program reminds boaters to prepare for hurricane season by having a plan to secure and protect their vessels. Hurricane season is June 1- Nov. 30.

Boaters should develop a plan for securing their boats; inspect their marinas or docks for stability and piling height; collect vessel records; check lines to ensure no weaknesses have developed; outfit their boats with chafe gear and fenders, extra cleats, appropriate anchors and chains, and exhaust pipe plugs; and check bilge pumps, batteries, exterior lights, and radio.

A guide titled "Your Boat and Hurricanes," provided by the Coast Guard, provides an extensive checklist for protection against hurricane damage. It is available by clicking on the title or on the Natural Resources Management Office website under the Boating & Waterways section.

For more information, contact Matt Culver at 321-633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


May 29, 2013

Construction project to close Sand Point Park through early November

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Avenue, Titusville, will be closed effective Monday, June 17, through early November for construction.

For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the North to State Road 528 on the South, please call (321) 264-5105.


May 28, 2013

Furry Companions highlight June 1 'Rescue Me' Community Adoption Event

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Families looking for a new furry companion are sure to find their match during "Rescue Me," a community mega pet adoption event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Viera Regional Park.

Brevard County residents can expect to see dogs and cats of all ages, sizes, colors and personalities.

"This is going to be huge," said Karla Torpy, Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement director. "We are so excited to have the opportunity to take our animals out into our community with an adoption event of this caliber. Our goal is to leave Viera Regional Park with only empty crates in tow. We've done everything we can to make sure all of Brevard knows about this so that every single animal gets to go home with the loving new family they deserve."

Brevard County Animal Services, SPCA of Brevard, Central Brevard Humane Society, and other rescue groups are participating.

Adoption fees at the mega event are $25. That includes spay/neuter surgery and age-appropriate vaccinations. To adopt, citizens must be 18 years of age with a current driver's license or photo ID and proof of current address. Those who rent are encouraged to obtain landlord approval in advance. It's also recommended that potential adopters bring the entire family (including pets) to meet the future family member. Adoption counselors from participating organizations will work with families at the event in order to finalize adoptions on the spot.

Taco City and Mr. J's Ice Cream and more food trucks will be at the event.

"Rescue Me" is sponsored by FLORIDA TODAY, URS Federal Technical Services Inc., Daphne Foundation, Brevard ASAP and FloridaNoKill.


May 24, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service hosts free 'Green Living' Expo in June

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following class during the month of June at Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive:

Green Living Expo: Join us to learn about Green Cleaning, Sustainable Landscaping, Sustainable Floridians Program, Solar and Alternative Energy and much more at this free educational event with classes and vendors. This event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 8 at Cocoa Extension Office. Please pre-register at greenlivingexpo-brevardeventbrite.com.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 24, 2013

Youth Programs highlight UF/Brevard Extension Service opportunities in June

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes in June at the Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive:

CLUE: Careers and Life Under Exploration. Youth will learn about career activities once they are hired on as a horticulturist, marine scientist, chef, or farmer for this summer program. Classes are 5:30-7 p.m. June 3, 5, 10, 12, 24, and 26. Open to youth entering 2nd through 6th grades. Please pre-register at 4hclue2013.eventbrite.com Cost: $30.

Bob Evans 4-H Day: 4-H Fundraiser. Dine at Bob Evans with an approved flier and 15 percent of the check is a donation to Brevard County 4-H. June 15 at Palm Bay and Viera Bob Evans. Find the flier at: bobevans4hdaybrevard.eventbrite.com.

4-H Family Science Day: Open to youth of all ages. Join us from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 22 for a free fun-filled day with NASA educators and learn all about science through hands-on activities. 4hfamilyscienceday.eventbrite.com.

Satellite Beach 4-H Junior Master Gardener Program: 3-4:30 p.m., June 6 through Aug. 1. Meets every Thursday for elementary age youth. Youth will participate in a summer gardening program and learn about plants, how to garden, insects, soil science, etc. Please pre-register at 4hjmgbrevard.eventbrite.com. Cost is $10.

Camp Ocala: Enjoy a true sleep away summer camp experience with campfires, kayaking, and smiles galore. Open to youth 4-H ages 8-13. June 17-21, Altoona, FL. Please pre-register at 4hcampocala2013brevard.eventbrite.com. Cost: $230.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 23, 2013

Brevard Residents Play Major Role in Preservation of Indian River Lagoon

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Dolphins, pelicans, and manatees are dying at record rates in the Indian River Lagoon. The last two summers produced the largest, densest and most damaging algae blooms ever recorded in the Lagoon. Bloom impacts included loss of 31,600 acres of seagrass, the tropical forest of the lagoon floor. As a result, commercial and recreational fisheries are suffering.

Scientists are still unsure what exactly triggered these changes, but nutrient pollution is certainly to blame for feeding the algae superblooms. Nutrient pollution comes from activities and choices made by everyone in everyday life. Therefore, Brevard County residents can help the Indian River by reducing our daily footprint on water quality.

Minimizing the use of lawn fertilizer is the simplest way for most people to significantly reduce their contribution to nutrient pollution. Excess fertilizer is washed off lawns by irrigation and/or rain, especially quick release fertilizer. It washes into the nearest ditch or street where it enters the stormwater system. From there, it flows to the nearest waterbody.

Many homeowners apply more fertilizer than the fertilizer label recommends and much more than their lawn needs. Local governments are adopting fertilizer ordinances to prevent excess use and water pollution. The local UF/Brevard County Extension Service can help property owners determine how much and what kind of fertilizer a lawn needs by helping residents submit a soil test to the University of Florida. The test costs $7 plus shipping, and the Extension Service can assist with interpreting the soil test results.

Car care is another area that can make a significant difference on water quality. Treat yourself to a commercial car wash, keep tires properly inflated, and fix any fluid leaks promptly. Dirt and grime on vehicles, and the soap used to wash it off, is loaded with pollution. Commercial car washes catch the dirty wash water and filter out the pollution. Proper tire pressure means better gas mileage; and better gas mileage reduces air pollution. Air pollution is responsible for about a third of the nutrient load to the Indian River Lagoon. Oils and fluids that leak from vehicles get washed off the pavement by rain and carried to the nearest waterbody. Clean up leaks and spills with absorbent material like kitty litter and fix leaks promptly to minimize pollution.

There are many additional lawn care choices that protect water quality. Grass clippings contain nutrients that feed algae blooms, so control where grass clippings go. If the lawnmower side-casts grass clippings, make sure to mow in the direction that casts the clippings away from open water, ditches, paved surfaces and stormwater drains. Reduce the amount of yard that is dedicated to plants that need irrigation and fertilizer to thrive. Instead, landscape with Florida Friendly plants that are easy to care for when planted in the right place. Find out more about Florida Friendly Landscaping™ Principles at http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. Buffer strips of native aquatic plants installed along waterfronts require no mowing or chemicals and filter out pollution.

Taking care of the Lagoon is up to everyone and it begins at home. For more ideas and information on how to reduce your daily footprint on water quality, visit LiveBlueFL.org, BrevStorm.org, or Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. Reduce pollution now to help the Indian River forever.


May 23, 2013

Brevard County Libraries host One Book Brevard summer reading program

PALM BAY, Fla. -- Join Brevard County adults and young adults this summer in a community celebration of reading – One Book Brevard.

The Brevard County Library system is hosting One Book Brevard to encourage residents to deepen their appreciation of reading in our community by reading the same book and engaging in book discussions and associated events.

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker was chosen as the One Book Brevard selection. A crossover novel, the book resounds with both teens and adults alike. Luminous, haunting and unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is an extraordinary debut novel about a girl coming of age in a world that is radically and irrevocably altered.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the Earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life–the fissures in her parents' marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.

"It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It's possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much."

Author Karen Thompson Walker will make three appearances in Brevard County to engage in a community dialogue with residents about her book:

  • Monday, June 24, at 7 p.m. at the Eau Gallie Public Library.
  • Tuesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. at the Franklin T. DeGroodt Memorial Library.
  • Tuesday, June 25, at 7 p.m. at the Cocoa Beach Public Library.
One Book Brevard events and book discussions are taking place at most county library locations in June and July. Details of book discussions groups, special events and contests are available at all Brevard County Libraries and online www.mylibraryworld.com.

Copies of the book are available at libraries and ebooks are available to download from the library ecatalog http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com

For more information, contact Nancy Garmer at Franklin T. DeGroodt Memorial Library at (321) 952-6318.


May 22, 2013

Groundbreaking Ceremony set May 31 for Brevard Zoo Linear Park

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Brevard County District 4 Commissioner Mary Bolin-Lewis, the South Area Advisory Board and the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department invite the public to a groundbreaking ceremony for the Brevard Zoo Linear Park.

The event starts at 9 a.m. Friday, May 31, at 8215 N. Wickham Road, Trail, Melbourne.

For more information, contact South Area Parks Operations Manager Greg Minor at (321) 255-4400.


May 22, 2013

Brevard Libraries seek residents' suggestions for VIVA 500 Time Capsule

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- As part of the events marking Florida's 500th Anniversary, the Viva 500 Committee has provided each county library system with a time capsule to fill and preserve for future generations.

The time capsule, a stainless steel cylinder, will be placed on display at the Government Center in Viera, where it will remain until the year 2063.

A committee has been formed to solicit ideas and materials to include that will be representative of what Brevard County's residents feel is important in past and present day lives.

Brevard County, which was named in 1855, has a rich and varied history and has captured the world's attention numerous times with events like the archaeological discovery at Windover in Titusville and the Space Program that put the first man on the Moon. Copies of several items from the Brevard Historical Commission archives, headquartered at the Central Brevard Library, have been identified for inclusion and the committee would like to receive additional input from the community.

To submit suggestions, contact Michael Boonstra at mboonstra@brev.org or join the discussion at the Brevard County Public Libraries Facebook page.


May 21, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit ceases fixed routes for Memorial Day Holiday

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit announced the following changes to its fixed-route bus service for Memorial Day:
  • Monday, May 27 - All fixed routes will not operate.
  • Tuesday, May 28 - All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
Questions or requests for further information should be directed to our Bus Information Line at (321) 633-1878 or (321) 952-4672 for South Mainland residents) or access us online at www.RideSCAT.com.


May 20, 2013

June activities at Sams House will focus on 'Our Communty, Our Home'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of programs throughout the month of June that focus on "Our Community, Our Home." These programs are offered at a suggested donation of $1 per person in support of education programs at Sams House.

Children's Story Hour/Craft -- Box Turtles, 10-11 a.m. Saturday, June 8: Bring your child to hear staff read Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane and stay for a box turtle craft that can be taken home. This family friendly activity will be held in both the air-conditioned cabin and the screened porch.

Sounds of the Night, 3-4 p.m. Saturday, June 15: Learn to identify the sounds you hear under the cover of night! Enjoy this indoor presentation as you discover which animals make the sounds you hear at night with this fun and educational family friendly slideshow.

History Garden Tour, 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday, June 22: Join Jay Barnhart and Martha Pessaro in Sams History Garden to learn plant identification and historic uses of some interesting Florida native plants.

Indian River Lagoon Residential Guide for Pollution Prevention -- 10-11 a.m. Friday, June 29: Interested in learning practical ways to reduce personal pollution in the Indian River Lagoon? Brevard County has a population of approximately 550,000 people. Imagine if we all did our part! This indoor presentation will provide information that you can utilize in your own home and yard.

Historic House and Cabin Tour -- 3-3:30 p.m. every Thursday: Tour the inside of Brevard County's oldest standing home (Sams Cabin - 1875) and the adjacent 1888 Florida vernacular-style home and learn about the Sams family.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.



May 17, 2013

Hurricane Exercise highlights need to 'Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Stay Informed'

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – With only two weeks before the official start of the 2013 Hurricane Season, there's no better time than now for Brevard County residents to "Make a Plan, Build a Kit and Stay Informed."

Preparing a personal plan of action, stocking up on supplies like water and fresh batteries and staying tuned in to area media reports on tropical storm systems as they form in the Atlantic can help residents weather an emergency during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

"It's recommended residents stock up now with various storm supplies that includes fresh batteries, flashlights, food and water for 72 hours and a weather radio," said Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser. The Brevard County Commission, during its May 14 meeting, designated the week of May 26 through June 1 as Hurricane Preparation Week.

On Monday, May 20, area emergency agencies will also prepare for the upcoming season by taking part in a statewide Hurricane Exercise. Brevard County's Office of Emergency Management, in coordination with the State of Florida, will go into full-scale activation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge.

Brevard County plays a major role in this year's exercise, which will feature "Hurricane Lay" – a tropical cyclone event named in tribute to the late Brevard County Emergency Management Director Bob Lay.

Local emergency managers will monitor the progress of "Hurricane Lay" and respond to simulated impacts, obstacles and challenges that would face the Space Coast. Officials from various Brevard County government agencies, along with other area organizations, will respond to the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge to participate in the drill and take appropriate actions that would be necessary in a real weather emergency. The daylong exercise is used to strengthen existing partnerships, familiarize those with new or added responsibilities and identify opportunities for improvement in planning, response and recovery efforts.

Lay, who died in January 2012 at the age of 69, served as director of Brevard County Emergency Operations for nearly 15 years and was known not only in Brevard County but also statewide and nationally as an emergency management expert. He led Brevard County through countless emergency situations including hurricanes and wildfires.

Other preparations under way in Brevard County include a General Population Shelter Drill, held Friday, May 17, a Pet-Friendly Shelter Drill on Tuesday, May 21, a Special Needs Shelter Drill on Wednesday, May 22, and a Point-of-Distribution drill on Thursday, May 23.

Residents can stay informed this season by visiting www.embrevard.com, following @BrevardEOC on Twitter or via text messaging, or liking "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook.


May 15, 2013

Finance and Money Management Courses focus on Basics and Internet

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of May and June at the Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive, or Palm Bay office, 1455 Treeland Blvd. SE.

Budgeting and Credit Basics: Learn to prepare a budget, to reconcile accounts, to stretch dollars, to use credit wisely, and to pay down debt. This workshop satisfies requirements for discharge from bankruptcy. Class will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office from 1-4 p.m., May 20, and at the Palm Bay Extension Office from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., June 20. Cost: $10.

Buying & Selling on Internet Venues: Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via eBay and Amazon and look at other internet buying/selling options. Class will be held at Cocoa Extension Office from 10 a.m. - noon, May 17, or 9 a.m. - noon at the Palm Bay Extension Office, June 13. Cost: $10.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 15, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service May/June courses target Pasture Management

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of May and June:

Pasture Management and Farmer to Farmer Discussion: The topic will be Summer Pasture Care. Class will be held 7-9 p.m., May 23, at the Palm Bay Agricultural Center. Instructor will be Joe Walter. Registration required. Cost $10.

Chickens 101 - Introduction to Raising Chickens: This class will be held 7-9 p.m., May 16, at the Palm Bay Agricultural Center. Instructor will be Joe Walter. Registration required. Cost $10.

Florida Beef Cattle Short Course: This class will be held May 8-10 at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Call or email Jwalter@ufl.edu, or call (407) 948-8810 for additional information.

Tailgate Education Day and Pancake Breakfast. This event will take place June 15 at the parking lot at State Road 50/State Road 419 Bithlo. Donations go to the Junior Cattlemen's Association.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 14, 2013

Blues Legends to be featured during Black Music Month Celebration in June

MIMS, Fla. – The 2013 Black Music Month Celebration, How Sweet The Sound, will be held in June at The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park at 2180 Freedom Ave., Mims.

The music of these artists from the 1920's through 1930's will be featured and will include Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Lead Belly, and additional early blues writers and singers from 1- 4 p.m., Tuesday's and Wednesday's, throughout the month of June.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations.


May 10, 2013

Indian River Lagoon preservation is task that Begins at Home

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Dolphins, pelicans, and manatees are dying at record rates in the Indian River Lagoon. The last two summers produced the largest, densest and most damaging algae blooms ever recorded in the Lagoon. Bloom impacts included loss of 31,600 acres of seagrass, the tropical forest of the lagoon floor. As a result, commercial and recreational fisheries are suffering.

Scientists are still unsure what exactly triggered these changes, but nutrient pollution is certainly to blame for feeding the algae superblooms. Nutrient pollution comes from activities and choices made by everyone in everyday life. Therefore, Brevard County residents can help the Indian River by reducing our daily footprint on water quality.

Minimizing the use of lawn fertilizer is the simplest way for most people to significantly reduce their contribution to nutrient pollution. Excess fertilizer is washed off lawns by irrigation and/or rain, especially quick release fertilizer. It washes into the nearest ditch or street where it enters the stormwater system. From there, it flows to the nearest waterbody.

Many homeowners apply more fertilizer than the fertilizer label recommends and much more than their lawn needs. Local governments are adopting fertilizer ordinances to prevent excess use and water pollution. The local UF/Brevard County Extension Service can help property owners determine how much and what kind of fertilizer a lawn needs by helping residents submit a soil test to the University of Florida. The test costs $7 plus shipping, and the Extension Service can assist with interpreting the soil test results.

Car care is another area that can make a significant difference on water quality. Treat yourself to a commercial car wash, keep tires properly inflated, and fix any fluid leaks promptly. Dirt and grime on vehicles, and the soap used to wash it off, is loaded with pollution. Commercial car washes catch the dirty wash water and filter out the pollution. Proper tire pressure means better gas mileage; and better gas mileage reduces air pollution. Air pollution is responsible for about a third of the nutrient load to the Indian River Lagoon. Oils and fluids that leak from vehicles get washed off the pavement by rain and carried to the nearest waterbody. Clean up leaks and spills with absorbent material like kitty litter and fix leaks promptly to minimize pollution.

There are many additional lawn care choices that protect water quality. Grass clippings contain nutrients that feed algae blooms, so control where grass clippings go. If the lawnmower side-casts grass clippings, make sure to mow in the direction that casts the clippings away from open water, ditches, paved surfaces and stormwater drains. Reduce the amount of yard that is dedicated to plants that need irrigation and fertilizer to thrive. Instead, landscape with Florida Friendly plants that are easy to care for when planted in the right place. Find out more about Florida Friendly Landscaping™ Principles at http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. Buffer strips of native aquatic plants installed along waterfronts require no mowing or chemicals and filter out pollution.

Taking care of the Lagoon is up to everyone and it begins at home. For more ideas and information on how to reduce your daily footprint on water quality, visit LiveBlueFL.org, BrevStorm.org, or Brevard.ifas.ufl.edu. Reduce pollution now to help the Indian River forever.


May 09, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on May 30

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


May 09, 2013

Safety classes offered by Extension Service aim to protect Child Passengers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following Safety classes during the months of May and June 2013:

Kids and Cars: A Child Passenger Safety Seminar: Learn how to properly select, install, and use child safety seats. This seminar will also be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on May 13, from 10 a.m. to noon and June 17, from 2-4 p.m. At the Palm Bay Extension Office on May 16, 10 a.m. to noon and June 25, 2-4 p.m. There is no cost to attend this class.

Child Safety Seat Check: Bring your child and his seat to be checked for proper selection, installation and fit. Call to schedule appointment time. Class will be held at the Palm Bay Extension Office on May 16, from 2–4:30 p.m.; May 28, from 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; June11, from 2-4:30 p.m.; and June 25, from 9-11:30 a.m. The class will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on May 13, from 2-4:30 p.m.; May 29, from 9-11:30 a.m.; June 17, from 9-11 a.m.; and June 28, from 1–3:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend this class.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 09, 2013

Extension Service classes in May/June focus on Food and Nutrition

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the month of May and June at the Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive:

Food Handler Certification: Class and test fulfills the requirement for food service industry managers. Call 1-888-232-8723 for registration. The class will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 13. Cost: $165.

Preserving Foods: Jams, Jellies and Pickling: Participants will get hands-on experience and will take food home. Class will be held at Cocoa Extension Office from 6-8 p.m. May 21. Cost: $35.

Preserving Foods: Drying and Freezing: Participants will get hands-on experience and the chance to try different dried foods. This class will be held at Cocoa Extension Office from 6-8 p.m. June 18. Cost: $35.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 09, 2013

Extension Service classes focus on summertime plant growth, aromatics

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of May and June 2013 at Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive or Palm Bay office, 1455 Treeland Blvd. SE.

Grow Your Own Fruit: Learn how to grow a variety of fruit crops. Choose from ground covers, shrubs, vines and trees. Topics to be covered include selection, planting, establishment and care. Palm Bay, May 9, 10-11:30 a.m. and June 4, 10-11:30 a.m. Cocoa, May 21, 10-11:30 a.m., and June 5, 10-11:30 a.m. Cost $10.

Tropical Veggies for Summertime Growing: Learn which tropical vegetables will grow through the summer. Many of them are ornamental as well. Learn all about the planting and care of these unusual vegetables. Palm Bay, May 9, 2-3:30 p.m. and June 4, 2-3:30 p.m. Cocoa, May 21, 2-3:30 p.m. and June 6, 2-3:30 p.m. Cost $10.

Fragrance in the Landscape: Check out trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and annuals that can grow and perfume the air. Learn all about the different plants so that you can pick the right plant for the right spot – even if it is in a container! Palm Bay, May 16, 2-3:30 p.m. and June 6, 10-11:30 a.m. Cocoa, May 22, 2-3:30 p.m. and June 7, 10-11:30 a.m. Cost $10. For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


May 09, 2013

Free Lunch With Nature program May 21 to focus on the Art of Bonsai

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Art of Bonsai is the topic for the monthly Lunch With Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville. The lunch features Bonsai Hobbyist Bill Rhodes of the Enchanted Forest as guest speaker. The program will be held at noon Tuesday, May 21.

Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers that cover topics of interest for residents living along our east coast such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264-5105 for further information.


May 08, 2013

Awards Recognize Recycling Efforts by Brevard County Schools

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department and the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast are pleased to announce the School Recycling Awards for this school year. Enterprise Elementary School, Edgewood Jr. /Sr. High School and Heritage High School were named winners in their respective categories for outstanding recycling efforts during the 2012-2013 school year.

The Recycling Awards Program is the combined efforts of the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast, Brevard County Solid Waste Management and the Brevard County Public Schools as a way to recognize and encourage recycling efforts within the Brevard School System. The award is based on the amounts of materials collected and recycled, the overall effectiveness of the individual school's program and the students' involvement. In each category Enterprise Elementary, Edgewood and Heritage excelled. This year, several schools deserved Honorable Mention: St. Teresa School, Manatee Elementary, Jupiter Elementary and Space Coast Jr. /Sr. High School. Recycling teaches students the need to conserve precious natural resources.

For more information on the Recycling Awards Program, or to sign a school up for next year's contest, contact Erin LeClair, Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department, at (321) 633-2043.


May 07, 2013

5th Annual Space Coast Waterfest touts water-based activities in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Boating season is upon us and the Brevard County Marine Advisory Council and the Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program are proud to promote the 5th Annual Space Coast Waterfest.

A variety of events scheduled throughout the month of May will highlight the diversity of water-based activities available to Brevard's residents and visitors.

Scheduled activities include fishing, sailing, kayaking and general boating events along with vessel safety inspections and presentations. Events are intended to publicize and expand knowledge of the ecological, recreational and economic opportunities associated with our unique waterways.

This year's showcase event will be held at Merritt Island's Kiwanis Island Park on May 18. This free event will include a Hook Kids on Fishing Event, supported through Anglers for Conservation, a Recycled Regatta (build your own boat) race event, free kayak use around the park, boat rides, displays by the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, food and vendors. The Kiwanis Island event also kicks off National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24.

For detailed information on participating in the Recycled Regatta and to register for the Hook Kids on Fishing event contact the Natural Resources Management Department. Recycled Regatta race prizes will be awarded for fastest boat, best crew, and most imaginative boat design. A detailed schedule of events and information is available on the Boating & Waterways Program. website at www.brevardcounty.us/NaturalResources/Boating/Home or for more information, contact Matt Culver at (321) 633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


May 03, 2013

'Hurricane Lay' pays homage to late Brevard Emergency Management Director

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County will play a major role in this year's statewide Hurricane Exercise, which will feature "Hurricane Lay" – a tropical cyclone event named in tribute to the late Brevard County Emergency Management Director Bob Lay.

The start of the 2013 hurricane season is less than a month away. Brevard County's Office of Emergency Management has coordinated with the State of Florida for its annual hurricane exercise and will go into full-scale activation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge.

As part of the exercise, local emergency managers will monitor the progress of "Hurricane Lay" and respond to simulated impacts, obstacles and challenges that would face the Space Coast. Officials from various Brevard County government agencies, along with other area organizations, will respond to the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge to participate in the drill and take appropriate actions that would be necessary in a real weather emergency. The daylong exercise is used to strengthen existing partnerships, familiarize those with new or added responsibilities and identify opportunities for improvement in planning, response and recovery efforts.

Lay, who died in January 2012 at the age of 69, served as director of Brevard County Emergency Operations for nearly 15 years and was known not only in Brevard County but also statewide and nationally as an emergency management expert. He led Brevard County through countless emergency situations including hurricanes and wildfires.

"I expect Hurricane Lay to be like its namesake: significant and strong, and change the lives of everyone it touches," said Kimberly Prosser, Brevard County Emergency Management Director.

This hurricane exercise is not only the time for public and private sector agencies to coordinate, but residents should also use this time to prepare themselves. As hurricane season approaches, it's recommended residents stock up with various storm supplies that includes fresh batteries, flashlights, food and water for 72 hours and a weather radio.

"I encourage every Brevard County resident to Make a Plan, Get a Kit and Stay Informed," Prosser said.

In addition to the full-scale EOC activation scheduled for May 20, there will also be a General Population Shelter Drill on May 17, a Pet-Friendly Shelter Drill on May 21, a Special Needs Shelter Drill on May 22, and a Point-of-Distribution drill on May 23.

Residents can stay informed this season by visiting www.embrevard.com, following @BrevardEOC on Twitter or via text messaging, or liking "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook.

Hurricane season is June 1 through Nov. 30.


May 02, 2013

Brevard County sheds 'Light' on lighting rules for Sea Turtle Nesting Season

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's 'Lights Out' for sea turtles in Brevard County.

Thousands of endangered and threatened sea turtles nest on Brevard County's beaches each summer. Leatherback sea turtles begin nesting in March followed by Loggerhead and Green sea turtles. After 50 to 70 days of incubation in buried nests, hatchlings begin to emerge from the beach and dunes and orient themselves toward the brightest visible horizon in an attempt to find the sea.

Lights from beachfront structures that shine or reflect onto the beach can disrupt this instinctive process and cause hatchlings to crawl toward the upland lights instead of crawling to the sea. These disoriented hatchlings often get tangled in dune vegetation, eaten by predators, die from exhaustion or dehydration, or are occasionally run over by vehicles.

Even those who eventually find the ocean may have used up so much energy on the beach that they die before they find food. It is estimated that only 1 out of every 1,000 hatchlings manages to survive to adulthood.

To prevent hatchling disorientation, all indoor and exterior lights that are visible from the beach should be shielded, repositioned, replaced, or turned off after 9 p.m. during sea turtle season. Because adult nesting females can also be disoriented by improper lighting, lighting ordinances apply from May 1 - Oct. 31.

For questions regarding beachfront lighting, copies of educational brochures, a demonstration of turtle friendly lighting fixtures, or to discuss available lighting options, please call (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431 or email paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us.


May 01, 2013

Space Coast Area Transit seeks volunteers for Disadvantaged Services Board

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services is seeking applications for volunteer board members.

The Local Coordinating Board (LCB) was established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, to provide direction and advice to Space Coast Area Transit in the provision of Transportation Disadvantaged services in Brevard County. The LCB consists of 15 members from various State and local agencies and general interest groups. The LCB is seeking volunteer members and alternates for the following seats:

  • Representing Disabled Citizens
  • Representing Disabled Citizens (Alternate)
  • Citizen Advocate - System User (Alternate)
The term of appointment is 3 years and the LCB meets quarterly at the Viera Government Center.

Once all the applications are received, a subcommittee will review the applications and make a recommendation to the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization for approval. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, May 31. If you are interested in serving on the Board and would like an application or have any questions, contact Jim Liesenfelt from Space Coast Area Transit at (321) 635-7815 ext. 601.


April 30, 2013

Free Sea Turtle Obstacle Course provides Turtle-eye view of life

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Strap on a turtle shell and learn about the struggles sea turtles face to nest at the Brevard County-sponsored "It's Tough To Be A Turtle" Obstacle Course, held from 4-6 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Riverwalk: A Family Park, 5355 US Hwy 1, Rockledge. The program is being held in conjunction with the national Endangered Species Day to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.

Sea turtles are sighted on Brevard County beaches each summer, but they only spend a tiny fraction of their life out of the water. What do they do the rest of the time they are in the ocean? Find out the answer by becoming a sea turtle. Strap on a shell and make your migration through the multitude of ocean obstacles sea turtles face to return to the beach to nest. Will you make it to the end to lay your eggs or will you be delayed by discarding fishing line, distracted by lights, or run into many of the other hurdles sea turtles face during their cross ocean travels? This activity involves climbing, crawling, balance, and agility as participants move through an obstacle course on the Riverwalk Park grounds.

All activities are free and open to the public. Call (321)433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com for further information or to register.


April 26, 2013

'Player's Card' offers unlimited play, with cart, on Brevard Golf Courses

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's tee time in Brevard County. The Brevard County Golf Program is pleased to announce the offering of the Brevard County Player's Card.

The Player's Card is ideal for the golfer who is a frequent player and additionally provides the opportunity to enjoy Brevard County's three distinctive and outstanding golf courses -- The Savannahs in Merritt Island, The Habitat in Grant-Valkaria and Spessard Holland in Melbourne beach.

The card provides unlimited play at all three county golf courses, including daily green fees with cart and discounts on most pro-shop merchandise, all for one annual fee, paid in advance, for a full 12 months.

Please contact one of the Golf Courses for additional information:

  • Spessard Holland Golf Course, (321) 952-4529;
  • The Habitat Golf Course, (321) 952-6312;
  • The Savannahs Golf Course, (321) 455-1375.


April 23, 2013

Pet Food Donations sought for Brevard County Animal Shelters

TITUSVILLE and MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Brevard County's North Animal Care Center in Titusville and South Animal Care Center in Melbourne are in need of young and adult pet food donations. The need increases as summer months approach and the county's efforts toward "no kill" shelter status means animals are being sheltered longer while awaiting adoption.

Brevard's Animal Services and Enforcement relies on donations of pet food to help feed the animals in their care, and dry dye-free dog food are needed for young and adult pets. The shelters could also use help in feeding the animals.

Food donations can be dropped off at either of the shelters during business hours, noon to 6 p.m. daily. Closed Wednesdays.

South Animal Care Center
5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne

North Animal Care Center
2605 Flake Road, Titusville

For more information, call South Animal Care Center at (321)253-6608 or North Animal Care Center at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


April 23, 2013

EEL Program to hold Procedures Committee Meeting on May 2

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


April 23, 2013

EEL's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee meets May 9

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


April 17, 2013

Free family oriented Spring Fling set for Campbell Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Spring Fling will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South St. in Titusville. This is an all-inclusive family fun day co-sponsored by the Women's Round Table and Teen Talk.

The carnival atmosphere is to promote family time playing games and spending time together. Activities will include food, music, kickball, basketball soccer, bean bag toss and more. The event is free to attend. Please call the center for additional information and fees at (321) 264-5040.

This event is sponsored Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.


April 16, 2013

'Stars' initiative honors Volunteer contributions to Brevard Government

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County's Board of County Commissioners paid tribute Tuesday to the thousands of volunteers who help perform the day-to-day operations of County Government by adopting a resolution in honor of National Volunteer Week (April 21-27) and by inaugurating the week as Brevard County Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Volunteers are an integral part of Brevard County Government. According to volunteer statistics, 7,187 individuals have served as regular volunteers and on advisory boards throughout the county, providing more than 350,000 volunteer hours.

The resolution was read by Commissioner Robin Fisher and accepted by Margie Collins, the Brevard County Human Resource's Volunteer Coordinator for Brevardians Responding As VoluntEers (B.R.A.V.E.) County Manager Howard Tipton announced a county initiative named "Volunteer Stars Light Up Brevard" to recognize exceptional volunteers in county government. The first recipient of the award, which includes a plaque and a star pin, is Ed Becht, who is a Brevard County sheriff's deputy assigned to court security at the Viera Courthouse. On his days off, Becht volunteers for the county's Animal Services and Enforcement Department and promotes animal adoptions, has helped raise money to tend to sheltered dogs and takes dogs to PetCo on Sundays in an effort to help boost adoptions.

"Ed has a great adoption success rate not only with the dogs he brings to events but with dogs who stay behind at the shelter due to his ability to communicate with the public in a positive friendly manner and his ability to train and gain respect of the dog he is walking," said Animal Services Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Kerr, who made the presentation. Becht is one of 600 volunteers registered with Animal Services.

National Volunteer Week, sponsored by Points of Light, created in 1990 by the President George H.W. Bush Administration, is about taking action, encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.

For more information on volunteer opportunities with the Animal Services Department, please contact Jennifer Kerr at (321) 255-4379. To explore other volunteer opportunities with the County please contact Margie Collins at (321) 633-2031 or visit the Brevard County website at www.brevardcounty.us.


April 14, 2013

Get into the 'Swim of Things' with North Area Parks Aquatic Programs

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering swim lessons, private swim lessons and open swim at the Titusville High Pool, 150 S. Terrier Trail.

Swim lessons are currently being offered in four sessions beginning June 3 and ending Aug. 9. Each session runs for two weeks. Classes are offered in the morning and evening with each class lasting 45 minutes. The cost is $45 per child with additional children in the same household being $40. Private swim lessons are available at a cost of $20 per half hour and are based on availability.

Parent and child classes are $30 per session and classes are 30 minutes. Parent or guardian must be in the pool with the child at all times. Each session runs for two weeks. No discount applies to this class.

Open swim is offered from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and holidays May 25 - July 28 at a fee of $2 per person. Pool rentals are available based on availability.

Registration for all aquatics activities is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Avenue, Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information can be obtained by calling Mike Herman(321) 264 5105.


April 13, 2013

Sign-up begins for Florida Master Naturalist Program on Upland Habitats

COCOA, Fla. – If you are interested in learning more about the upland habitats in Brevard County, then a Florida Master Naturalist Program Upland Habitats Module might be right for you! This course starts on Monday, May 6, at the University of Florida IFAS Brevard County Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa. Florida Master Naturalist courses are open to everyone 18 years and older.

The objective of the Florida Master Naturalist Program is to prepare participants to share their knowledge with others, to act in a positive manner, to help others feel a greater connection to the land and to help others develop their own personal land ethic. Information on the ecology of Florida's systems is an integral part of the program, and we hope to initiate what is for many a life-long process of learning, of observation, and of sharing with others.

Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Uplands Habitats Module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Upland Habitats in Florida – Hardwood Forests, Pinelands, Scrub, Dry Prairie, Rangelands and Urban Green Spaces. The program also addresses society's role in uplands, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics. The total training consists of 40 contact hours. The only requirements of students are enthusiasm, attendance, and completion of group final projects. There is no comprehensive examination required. Classroom learning includes four instructional videos and 12 presentations.

To register and view the course schedule visit the following website: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/uh13-13.htm. For additional questions or information, contact Holly Abeels, Marine Science Extension Agent, at (321) 633-1702 ext. 235, or email habeels@ufl.edu.


April 12, 2013

Registration underway for North Area Parks Summer Day Camps

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operation is offering summer day camps for children entering first grade through eighth grade from May 23 through Aug 13.

Camp registration is being held at the following community centers during operating hours: Cuyler Community Center 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims (321) 264-5045; Isaac Campbell, Sr. Community Center, 701 South St., Titusville, (321) 264-5040; Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John (321) 633-1904; Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville (321) 264-5037; and in Sharpes at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North US 1, Cocoa (321) 433-4448.

Camp hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fee is $60 per child or $20 per day. For an additional fee, before-care starting at 6:30 a.m. and after-care until 5:45 p.m. will be available. Discounts are available to qualifying families, please call a community center in your area for further information on discounted rates.

Registration for morning and evening swim lessons is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open swim hours are on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 1 - 4 p.m., May 25 through July 28. All aquatic activities will be at Titusville High School pool. Additional information can be obtained by calling (321) 264 5105.



April 09, 2013

4th Annual Viera Wetlands Nature Festival runs April 12-14

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Utility Services and Natural Resources Management Departments announce the 4th Annual Viera Wetlands Nature Festival, organized to celebrate the beauty of the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera. This year's festival spans three days: Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14.

The festival will open Friday evening with a dinner hosted by the Friends of Viera Wetlands at the Holiday Inn Melbourne-Viera featuring keynote speaker Tim Gallagher; award-winning author, wildlife photographer, and magazine editor. Gallagher is editor-in-chief of "Living Bird," the flagship publication of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Tickets are required for the dinner.

The festival continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands. Exhibitors will include the Brevard Zoo, Space Coast Audubon Society, Florida Wildlife Hospital, Riverwalk Nature Center, local non-profit groups, nature vendors, and others. Admission is free. Experienced wildlife experts will be on hand to provide guided tours of the wetlands. Winning submissions from the second annual photography contest capturing the wetland's beauty and fascinating wildlife will be on display for auction to benefit the wetlands.

The festival will resume Sunday morning at the Brevard Zoo's Ngami River Lodge, with a continental breakfast and series of exhibits and speakers including Craig Faulhaber of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Gabe Cenker of Young Birders of Brevard, and Brevard Zoo's Conservation Staff. Tickets are required. A limited number of Saturday and Sunday sunrise guided group tours of the wetlands will be provided by volunteers free of charge, by reservation. Photography classes will also be held Saturday and Sunday mornings; pre-registration and a nominal fee are required.

Additional festival details, including registration and ticket purchase, are available at the Friends of Viera Wetlands website: www.fovw.org or by contacting raleigh.berry@brevardcounty.us. Information about the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera is available at the www.grissomwetlands.org.


April 09, 2013

Free Earth Day Festival set for April 20 at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Friends of the Enchanted Forest invite the public to the annual Earth Day Festival at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center on Saturday, April 20.

Activities for this free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include Florida wildlife, bird and reptile exhibitors, live music, guided hikes, Florida Native Plant Society gardening info and native plant sales, environmental booths and artists painting on site. There will be children's activities, crafts and face painting. The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Gift Shoppe with information and sale items, and the opening of the Environmental Lending Library.

Food will be available for purchase. This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting. For more information on the Earth Day Festival, call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185, visit our website: www.eelbrevard.com; or find us on facebook.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is in Titusville on the north side of State Road 405, a half-mile west of U.S. 1.


April 09, 2013

Sams House at Pine Island activities through May will focus on Biodiversity

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Throughout the month of May, Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of free programs that focus on our area's biodiversity.

Events include:

Biodiversity Hike, 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 4: Join a guided half-mile hike through our palm hammock and learn about the diverse plant and animal life that can be found there.

Children's Story Hour, "Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way," 3-4 p.m. Saturday, April 13: Monarch butterflies are known for their bold tiger coloring and their magnificent migrations. Staff will read the butterfly book and use puppets to teach children and their parents about these amazing creatures.

Mothers Day Hike and Picnic, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 11: Bring a picnic lunch and your mother for a leisurely 3/4 mile hike through the shady palm hammock and out to the Indian River Lagoon overlook. Engage in a mother/child questioning game and pose for pictures, which will be emailed to you electronically.

Fun Facts About Indian River Lagoon Fish, 3-4 p.m. Friday, April 26: Land Manager Scott Taylor will discuss the nearly 400 fish species in the Indian River Lagoon. Learn odd facts about common species, and discover uncommon species that are just odd!

Florida's Precious Natural Heritage, 1-2 p.m., Saturday, May 11: Florida's natural heritage is the plants, animals, natural communities, and ecosystems that comprise Florida; the wild places and exquisite inter-relationships between species and environment that form natural Florida. This presentation by Florida Natural Areas Inventory director, Gary Knight, will provide a wide-ranging overview of the species (plant and animal), ecological diversity, and landscapes that make Florida special and unique. Conservation accomplishments and challenges will also be discussed.

Pine Island Paddle, 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 18: Space Coast Kayaking will take participants through a deep water canal frequented by manatees, then out to the Indian River Lagoon. Paddle up to Sams House, hiking in through the Palm Hammock to tour the historic cabin and house. Paddle back to start. Reservations required. Limited to 14 participants. $30/person ($20 for ages 5-12). Call (321) 784-2452 or info@spacecoastkayaking.net to hold your spot. Meet at the end of Pine Island Road.

Saving Brevard's Endangered Places, 2-3 p.m., Friday, May 24: Learn how the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program is helping residents and visitors discover native plants and animals by preserving endangered habitats.

Land Turtles of Central Florida, 10-11 a.m., Saturday, May 25: Rebecca Bolt, Wildlife Ecologist from Kennedy Space Center will present interesting information on our beloved land turtles and tortoises. Come learn about the amazing habits and ecology of the gopher tortoise and Florida box turtle.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday - Saturday. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


April 08, 2013

Brevard Wildlife Corridor Expedition activities planned at Sams House

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard Wildlife Corridor Expedition, April 6-21, is a "moving festival" offering more than 80 events as it travels through the county from mainland sanctuaries and trails to backwater multi-day excursions to barrier island adventures and more. Come participate at Sams House on Tuesday, April 16. www.ExpeditionBrevard.com to register.

Salt Marsh Restoration Tour at Pine Island: 9 a.m. - noon. Enjoy a narrated hike along a salt marsh restoration area in the Pine Island Conservation Area in North Merritt Island. The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program uses a variety of land management techniques to manage the land for biodiversity. This area has a rich and diverse history, which includes Ice Age Megafauna, Native American, and Florida Pioneers. Event Leader: Dr. Scott Taylor, Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Closed-toed shoes are required. Sunscreen, hat, insect repellant and water are recommended. Start Location: Pine Island Conservation Area - 2100 Pine Island Rd, Merritt Island. No charge.

Manatee Cove to Sams House Kayak Trip: 9 a.m. - noon. Paddle from Manatee Cover Park to Sams House on Merritt Island and return. The group will walk the trail from the landing at Sams House to the historic houses. Wildlife watching should be great during this paddling trip in the Indian River Lagoon. Manatees and dolphins are frequently observed in this area. Event Leader: Vince Rondello, Manager of Village Outfitters. Bring sunscreen and insect repellant. Start Location: Manatee Cove Park, 4905 N. Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. Cost: $40 using kayak and equipment provided by Village Outfitters.

Conservation Lands Matter! 1-2 p.m. Held in Sams House Cabin, the oldest standing home in Brevard County, this slideshow presentation will explain why conservation lands are important and should matter to everyone. Event Leader: Katrina Morrell, Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Start Location: Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 N Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. No charge.

Historic Home Tour and Coastal Hammock Hike: 2-3:30 p.m. Get an inside peek at the area's oldest standing home and take a three-quarter mile loop hike through a beautiful palm hammock to an overlook at the Indian River Lagoon. No charge. Event Leaders: Martha Pessaro and Patricia Tierney, Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Closed-toed shoes are required. Sunscreen, hat, insect repellant and water are recommended. Start Location: Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 N Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. No charge.

Go Outside and Play presentation by Patty Goffinet: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Remember how much fun you had growing up? Children used to spend most of their free time outdoors. They had adventures. They explored. They got dirty. But childhood has changed. Today's children live their lives indoors. Kids are entertained and they're comfortable inside, but the excitement and enthusiasm are gone. Come to this talk and find out why this is happening, why it shouldn't be and what you can do about it. Lecture will be followed by outdoor fun. Event Leader: Patty Goffinet, Author. Start Location: Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 N Tropical Trail, Merritt Island. No charge.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday - Saturday. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given every Thursday at 3 pm. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


April 05, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on April 23

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


April 05, 2013

Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Course offered at Palm Bay Aquatic Center

PALM BAY, FL -- The Palm Bay Aquatic Center is offering an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor course beginning April 16.

The Aquatic Center is at 420 Community College Parkway, just south of the Brevard Community College Campus. Class dates and times are as follows: April 16, 18, 23, & 25 from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. and April 14 and 21 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The cost is $185. Class size is limited. Pre-registration is recommended.

Interested candidates must be at least 16 years of age and must show proficiency in 25 yards each of Freestyle, Back Crawl, Breaststroke, and 15 yards each of Butterfly and Sidestroke. This activity is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call the aquatic center at (321) 952-2232.


April 01, 2013

Army Corps Approves Project Implementation Reports for Brevard Beaches

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved Project Implementation Reports that will result in renourishment 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 (BCSPP) area. As a result of that assessment, the Army Corps on March 28 announced approval of the Project Implementation Reports (PIR's) for the North and South Reaches. That approval means the Army Corps plans to renourish the North and South Reach beaches using 100 percent federal funds. The most recent benefits cost study by the Army Corps for the BCSPP yields a B:C ration of 5.5:1, meaning 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. Funding for the North Reach will come from both the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (FCCE) Hurricane Sandy response fund and normal operation and maintenance funds.

The South Reach, which covers 3.8 miles of shoreline in Indialantic and Melbourne Beach, will be renourished with 585,000 cubic yards of sand. South Reach funding of $12.5 million will come entirely from the FCCE account to restore Hurricane Sandy damage.

The Army Corps has not released an intended construction schedule, but work on both projects is expected to take place between November 2013 and May 1, 2014.

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.


April 01, 2013

Free Earth Day Festival set for April 20 at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Friends of the Enchanted Forest invite the public to the annual Earth Day Festival at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center on Saturday, April 20.

Activities for this free event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include Florida wildlife, bird and reptile exhibitors, live music, guided hikes, Florida Native Plant Society gardening info and native plant sales, environmental booths and artists painting on site. There will be children's activities, crafts and face painting. The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Gift Shoppe with information and sale items, and the opening of the Environmental Lending Library.

Food will be available for purchase. This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting. For more information on the Earth Day Festival, call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185, visit our website: www.eelbrevard.com; or find us on facebook.

The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is in Titusville on the north side of State Road 405, a half-mile west of U.S. 1.


April 01, 2013

'Blast Off' program launches at Port St. John Community Center in April

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. -- A "Blast Off" Rocket Program for participants ages six to adult will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road in Port St. John.

Participants will build and launch a Level 1 model rocket with parachute recovery system. Any child under the age of eight will be required to have an adult present to assist them with construction of the rocket. The fee is $12 per rocket and all rockets will be launched during the afternoon on the day they are constructed. Preregistration is required by April 17 by calling (321) 633-1904.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations.


March 25, 2013

Reptiles and Amphibians topic of Lunch With Nature at Enchanted Forest

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Reptiles and Amphibians will be the topic for the monthly Lunch with Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville. Sarah Kraum of the Enchanted Forest will be guest speaker for the program, which starts at noon Tuesday, April 16.

Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers that cover topics of interest for residents living along our east coast such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264-5105 for further information.


March 25, 2013

April Activities at Sams House at Pine Island will focus on Wildlife

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Throughout the month of April, Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of free programs that focus on local wildlife.

Children's Story Hour: "Raccoon at Clear Creek Road" - 10-11 a.m. Saturday, April 6: Staff will read the story and use puppets to introduce children and their parents to a day in the life of a wild raccoon family. Participants will make and take raccoon puppets after the story.

Children's Story Hour: "Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way" - 3-4 p.m. Saturday, April 13: Monarch butterflies are known for their bold tiger coloring and their magnificent migrations. Staff will read the butterfly book and use puppets to teach children and their parents about these amazing creatures.

Bald Eagles - 10-11 a.m. Saturday, April 20: Al McKinley, volunteer with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, will give a presentation on our national bird, followed by a short hike to our active eagle nest viewing area.

Fun Facts About Indian River Lagoon Fish - 3-4 p.m. Friday, April 26: Land Manager Scott Taylor will discuss the nearly 400 fish species in the Indian River Lagoon. Learn odd facts about common species, and discover uncommon species that are just "odd!"

Animal Baby Shower - 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27: Help the Florida Wildlife Hospital celebrate 40 years with an Animal Baby Shower. Bring in donations for the Center and meet the Animal Ambassadors. Check our Facebook page for a list of items needed by the Hospital.

Guided Hike - 2-3 p.m. Saturday, April 27: Enjoy our beautiful palm hammock on this 1/2 mile guided hike where we'll look for evidence of the wildlife that abounds on Pine Island.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and operated by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The Center is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday - Saturday. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given every Thursday at 3 pm. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


March 25, 2013

EEL Program to hold Selection/Management Committee Meeting on April 23

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


March 22, 2013

Dr. Anthony Dixon guest speak at Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Park Event

MIMS, Fla. – Dr. Anthony Dixon, renowned scholar, archivist and professor at Florida A&M University, will be guest speaker for the VIVA 500 Celebration to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park, at 2180 Freedom Avenue, Mims.

Dixon will detail the role of the African Diaspora and the Origins, Cultural Characteristics and Development of Florida's first free black societies. This event is free to the public.

Call Juanita Barton (321) 264-6595 for additional information. This event is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations in conjunction with the John G. Riley House and Museum, Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex, Inc., Florida Humanities Council and VIVA Florida 500.


March 22, 2013

Spring Break Activities available at Campbell Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Spring break activities are being offered March 25-29 for school-age children at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South St., in Titusville.

Children have an opportunity to participate in bowling, skating, laser tag, fishing clinic and an Easter egg hunt. Fees vary daily based on the activity, please call the center for additional information and fees at (321) 264-5040.

This event is sponsored Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at 264-5040.


March 22, 2013

Runaway Country Event Won't Choke Off Access to Brevard County Fair

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Two events converge on Wickham Park in Melbourne this weekend: The third-annual Runaway Country Music concert and the fourth-annual Brevard County Fair.

While the park area is closed to non-concertgoers, access is still available to Brevard County Fairgoers via Wickham Road. The Fair, which is being held in the Wickham Park Pavillion, is accessible off Wickham Road adjacent to the Brevard Community College campus. And, for concertgoers who want to check out the Fair midway, there's access via a walkover path from the park, said University of Florida/Brevard Extension Service's Mel Morgan-Stowell, fair liaison.

The fair is an education and fun event for the whole family and features the Myers International Midway. The event runs through March 30. Parking is free. The entry fee, which includes rides, is $10 Monday through Thursday; $12 Friday through Sunday. Hours are 6-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6- 11 p.m. on Friday; noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday; and 1-10 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, visit online at www.brevardcountyfair.com.


March 22, 2013

Fair Housing Workshop on April 11 focuses on latest housing laws

VIERA, Fla. -- Current federal and state fair housing laws will be the focus of a Brevard County Home Consortium-sponsored workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the county Government Center in Viera.

The focus of the workshop includes prohibited discriminatory practices in the sale and rental of dwellings, advertising violations, occupancy restrictions, exemptions under the Fair Housing Act, housing for older persons, fair housing rights for persons with disabilities, fair housing design and construction requirements and other fair housing issues. The workshop is presented by Fair Housing Continuum Inc.

Admission is free, and participants will find out the difference between landlord/tenant issues and fair housing complaints.

For more information, call the Fair Housing Continuum Inc. at (321) 757-3532. To request training accomodations due to disability, please contact Brian Breslin at (321) 637-5347 at least 48 hours in advance.

The workshop will be held in the Brevard County Commission Room, first floor Building C, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.


March 22, 2013

Brevard County Recycling Efforts hit Milestone a Year Ahead of Target

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- 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 underway at their local schools, their workplace and their community groups.

"We owe a big thank you to Brevard County citizens," said Euripides Rodriguez, Director of Solid Waste Management for Brevard County. "We thank them for their efforts and their help achieving this goal. Without them we would not be able to do it."

According to DEP, Alachua County remains No. 1 in the state for recycling for the second year in a row. Gilchrist County was the most improved county in Florida, increasing its recycling rate from 17 percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2011.

The top 10 counties based on recycling rate are:

  1. Alachua County - 50 percent
  2. Lee County - 45 percent
  3. Brevard County - 45 percent
  4. Marion County - 45 percent
  5. Escambia County - 43 percent
  6. Martin County - 42 percent
  7. Sarasota County - 42 percent
  8. Leon County - 41 percent
  9. Collier County - 40 percent
  10. Madison County - 39 percent
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.htm.

For more information about the Florida DEP Recycling Recognition Program visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/recycling/pages/recognition.htm


March 22, 2013

Sea Turtle Nesting Season begins along beaches of Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Sea turtle nesting season has begun in Brevard County and will be in effect through Oct. 31.

Leatherback sea turtles, begin to come ashore in March and lay their eggs. Leatherbacks, the largest living turtles, are typically six to eight feet in length and weigh approximately 1,200 to 1,500 pounds. They are the rarest of the three sea turtle species that nest in Brevard County, and are listed as an endangered species.

Brevard County residents and visitors are reminded to shield or turn off beachside lights, limit beach walking at night, avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach, and stay away from nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or sea turtle nests. Lights that shine or reflect onto the beach disrupt the instinctive nesting process. While Brevard County and its municipalities have local lighting ordinances to protect sea turtles, the ordinances do not take effect until May 1 when Loggerhead sea turtles begin to nest in large numbers. Green sea turtles follow shortly thereafter with thousands of nests by the end of the season.

For more information about sea turtles or alternative lighting solutions, call the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department at (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431


March 21, 2013

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Open Tryouts This Saturday

(Brevard County, Fla.) - Brevard County Ocean Rescue will host open tryouts for seasonal lifeguards at Rockledge High School on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. Candidates must be at the swimming pool by 7:00 a.m. or they will not be permitted to participate.

While no lifeguarding experience is necessary, candidates must be over the age of 16 and possess strong swimming skills. Anyone wishing to try out for one of the open positions must bring with them: a valid Driver's License, Social Security card, appropriate swim attire/towel, and running shoes.

All candidates will be required to swim 500 meters in less than 10 minutes and complete a two-mile run in under 20 minutes. Advanced registration is not required; however, testing will begin promptly and anyone arriving after testing begins will not be permitted to tryout. Those wishing to participate should bring food and water with them due to the physical nature of this tryout.

All candidates selected after tryouts will be required to continue the application process at Brevard County's Fire Rescue Center until 5:00 p.m. If selected, completion of the hiring process is dependent upon the candidate's ability to pass a background test and successfully complete a paid training course. The starting pay for ocean lifeguards is $9.46/hour. Currently, Ocean Rescue is seeking to staff 50 seasonal lifeguard positions that will operate from March-October 2013.

For additional information on the tryouts and Brevard County Ocean Rescue, please visit www.brevardfire.com or contact the Ocean Rescue staff at (321) 633-2056.


March 19, 2013

Water Quality Agreement comes as 'Good News' for Brevard County

VIERA, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reached agreement on how to protect Florida's waterways from excess nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. This agreement entrusts the state as the lead for water quality rule-making in Florida, rather than creating dual state and federal standards. This agreement, with FDEP's protection criteria selected as the numeric nutrient criteria to be followed, is very good news for Brevard's treasured waterways, wildlife, residents and visitors.

FDEP's rules require protective measures that were developed individually for the Indian River Lagoon, the St Johns River, each unique creek along the Lagoon, and each major lake along the St Johns. To the contrary, EPA's broad-brush approach assigned uniform nutrient criteria for all fresh flowing waters in the Florida peninsula. EPA's approach resulted in water quality criteria for our natural streams and rivers being the same as for our flood control ditches and canals. This federal approach was less scientifically accurate than the state's approach for our naturally unique and vitally significant waterbodies and would have required devastating economic hardship for unnecessary pollution reduction in ditches.

While EPA's criteria are more protective of our ditches, the state's criteria are more protective of our St Johns River. Brevard County has 2,840 miles of mapped drainage canals and ditches, plus many more miles of smaller unmapped systems that collectively provide critical flood control for homes, businesses and streets.

FDEP's narrative criteria do not ignore ditches and canals, but more appropriately requires nutrient loading from ditches and canals to be managed at the point where they discharge to natural waterways. Under State rules, existing drainage systems can continue to be used for flood protection and can convey polluted water to regional stormwater treatment systems where harmful pollutants are removed before the flood waters discharge to a natural waterway. FDEP's criteria do not expend limited public resources on the water in the ditches, but rather focuses on natural waters. This provides better and wiser protection for the Indian River Lagoon, St Johns River, and our other natural waterways.

FDEP's water quality protection approach is far from perfect and must continue to be refined and adapted as scientific understanding of aquatic systems improves. The state already has a process for reviewing data every five years and updating standards, as needed. Florida's approach of looking at the use and function of each waterbody individually, will lead to more accurate protection of each natural waterbody from nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and protect taxpayers from unnecessary regulation of Florida's man-made flood conveyance systems.


March 18, 2013

Free Movie in the Park on March 29 features "Hop" at Cuyler Park in Mims

MIMS, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free Movie in the Park at 6 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Cuyler Park, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, in Mims.

The movie will be shown outdoors on a giant, 23-foot movie screen. In the event of inclimate weather, it will be shown in the gymnasium. The movie, "HOP," is rated PG. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Call Sammy Fairclough (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other activities in the Mims area.


March 16, 2013

Registration open now for Certified Interpretive Guide Class in June

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Certified Interpretive Guide Training program will be offered June 4-7 at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

The 32-hour program through the National Association for Interpretation is designed for anyone who delivers public programs. It combines both the theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to visitors. Cost for the training is $380, which includes instructor fees, certification, NAI membership, and refreshments.

To register, go to: http://www.interpnet.com/nai/_certification/CIG_Workshops/CIG-2013-06-FL.aspx. For more information, contact Certified Interpretive Trainer Katrina Morrell at katrina.morrell@brevardparks.com or call (321) 432-3231.

This training program is sponsored by the Friends of the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit Friends Group of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.


March 13, 2013

Sign-up underway for Men's Adult Flag Football League in Canaveral Groves

CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a Men's Flag Football League beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 24, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard.

The fee of $492.00 per team is due by 4 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call Mike Herman 264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


March 12, 2013

8th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts is March 16 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Eighth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts will be held at Fox Lake Park in Titusville from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Crafter spots are still available. Concessions will be available for purchase and admission is free.

Fox Lake Park is at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


March 11, 2013

EEL Program to hold Procedures Committee Meeting on March 21

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


March 11, 2013

EEL Program to hold Recreation & Education Advisory Committee meeting

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne. The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


March 08, 2013

High School Talent to be featured in 4H Breast Cancer Awareness Benefit

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The UF/Brevard County Extension Service along with the 4H community are working to help raise breast cancer awareness by holding a March 15 night of art and music benefit concert featuring talented area high school students.

The event will be held at Merritt Island High Auditorium, 100 Mustang Way, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

All proceeds from this charity event will be donated to the American Cancer Society to assist with breast cancer awareness, education and research. The evening will include dance numbers, solo numbers, group performances and orchestral pieces. Tickets are available in advance for $6 or at the door for $7.

For more information, contact Vanessa Spero-Swingle at (321) 633-1702 ext. 231 or Vspero@ufl.edu, or online at http://4hbenefitcnocert.eventbrite.com.


March 04, 2013

EEL's committees postpone March 7 and March 14 meetings

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Two upcoming meetings planned by the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures and Recreation & Education Advisory committees, originally scheduled for March 7 and March 14 respectively, have been postponed. New meeting times and dates have not yet been established.

The purpose of these meetings was to review policies and procedures and to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Questions regarding the Procedures Committee meetings should be directed to Laura Clark EEL Program Administrative Secretary at (321) 255-4466 or laura.clark@brevardparks.com, or for Recreation & Education to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


March 04, 2013

Egg hunts and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny planned in North Brevard

MIMS, TITUSVILLE, PORT ST. JOHN, SHARPES, Fla. -- Multiple egg hunts and even Breakfast with the Easter Bunny are among events planned by North Area Parks Operations starting Friday, March 15, and continuing through Saturday, March 30.

The egg hunts are free, but participants should bring their own egg carriers. Walter Butler Community Center, North Cocoa Civic League, Victory Worship Center and Lifepointe Ministries and Brevard County Parks and Recreation, are co-sponsoring the Third Annual Easter Day of Fun on Friday, March 15, at 3 p.m., at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes). There will be an egg hunt, face painting, crafts and other activities. Call (321) 433-4448 for more information.

There will be two egg hunts at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Road in Port St. John, on Saturday, March 23. Children ages 5 and under will hunt eggs at 6 p.m. Children ages 6 through 12 years should bring a flashlight for the egg hunt starting at 8:30 p.m. Call (321) 633-1904 for more information.

Isaac Campbell Senior Club and Brevard County Parks and Recreation are co-sponsoring an egg hunt at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville, on Friday, March 29, from 2-4 p.m. For more information, call (321) 264-5040.

Cuyler Park will host an egg hunt on Friday, March 29, from 5-7 p.m. The park is at 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave. in Mims.

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, for children 10 and under, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 30, at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave., in Titusville. There will be a pancake breakfast, crafts and an egg hunt. Participants are asked to bring an egg carrier and a camera. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and this activity is limited to the first 150 registrants. Tickets are $3 for adults and $5 for children. Pre-registration is required at Sandrift Community Center. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information.


March 04, 2013

Successful Orchid Growing subject of Lunch With Nature program March 19

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The topic for the monthly Lunch with Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville, will be Successful Orchid Growing with Jim Adamson of The Platinum Coast Orchid Society as the guest speaker. The program will be held Tuesday, March 19, at noon.

Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers that cover topics of interest for residents living along our east coast such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264-5105 for more information.


March 01, 2013

Horseback Trail Rides offered at Pine Island Conservation Area through April

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Pine Island Conservation Area Horseback Trail rides will be offered on the following Sunday afternoons at the Pine Island Conservation Area in North Merritt Island: March 10,17, and 24; April 14, 21 and 28. Reservations and prepayment are required and can be arranged through Donna Hakanson, owner and operator of Desert Acres Stables at (321)759-1605. The one-and-a-half-hour rides are $50. Long pants and close-toed shoes are recommended.

The Pine Island Conservation Area is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The 1,000-acre site is located at 2100 Pine Island Road on Merritt Island.

The Sams House at Pine Island is located at the southern end of the Pine Island Conservation Area, 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


February 28, 2013

Commissioners ask President, Congress to End Sequestration Threat

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Board of County Commissioners are weighing in on the potential local impact of sequestration, which is the March 1 anticipated across-the-board set of federal budget cuts that could threaten Brevard County aerospace and defensive industries.

Earlier this month, Commissioners voted 5-0 to send a letter requesting immediate action by the President and the Brevard County federal legislative delegation to eliminate the threat that sequestration places on national security, the local community and all Americans. The letter was drafted by Commission Chairman Andy Anderson, who said it came at the request of local defense contractors. Unless the President and Congress reach accord, Friday is the deadline in which forced cuts resulting from the sequestration would begin going into effect. The cuts will reportedly slash an estimated $85 billion from the federal budget, and cut an estimated $1.2 trillion in defense and non-defense spending over the next decade.

"This could be an impact to us locally if these cuts go through as currently constructed," Anderson said.

According to the letter approved by Commissioners, "Sequestration's indiscriminate cuts will greatly affect the aerospace and defensive industries. The greatest impact will be felt by the smaller and mid-range subcontractors and suppliers of products unique to the industry. The aerospace and defense industry supports more than 3.5 million middle-class jobs with more than 30,000 suppliers from all 50 states, including ours."

The letter also states: "The aerospace and defense industry is an important driver of our economy. It is comprised of proud, productive and patriotic citizens. Ensuring opportunities for young people to have exciting and well-paying careers will keep the industry – and our communities – strong in the future. Sequestration is already degrading the industry's ability to attract and retain these young, highly trained and skilled workers. They are vital to our industry, our national security and the economic health of our communities."

The aerospace industry has already been depleted greatly in Brevard County due to the end of the Space Shuttle program. In 2010, there were 13,600 aerospace employees and that number is now as low as 5,600, the Commission letter states.

The letter concludes: "On behalf of our constituents and businesses deeply troubled by this high-impact issue, please accept our thanks in advance for your efforts to bring attention and resolution to this matter. Allowing sequestration to occur as currently planned is neither responsible nor is it strategic."


February 28, 2013

Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to hold land acquisition meeting

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


February 27, 2013

Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center gets New Operating Hours

MIMS, Fla. – Operating hours for the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center will change effective Monday, March 4, as follows: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; and closed Saturday and Sunday, except for group appointments.

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

On Christmas night 1951, the Moores were murdered for their involvement in the civil rights movement when a bomb exploded under their home. The park is dedicated to the celebration of their lives and to promoting awareness of their unique contributions to the early civil rights movement.

This facility is managed by Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area. Call (321) 264-6595 for more information on the park, cultural center, activities, and rentals.


February 27, 2013

Brevard County animal shelters in need of food donations

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County animal shelters are in need of help in feeding all the hungry homeless pets in the county's shelters.

County residents are asked to make food donations and to consider buying an extra bag or can of pet food while at the grocery store this week to donate to the shelters.

Donations can be dropped off at the South Animal Care Center (SACC,) 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Super Flea Market in Melbourne,) the North Animal Care Center (NACC,) 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville,) or at the Animal Services and Enforcement Office at the Viera Government Center, Building A, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera. Shelter hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday. Shelters are closed on Wednesday.

For more information, contact SACC at (321) 253-6608 or NACC at (321) 264-5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


February 27, 2013

Food vendors sought for 8th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, is accepting applications for food vendors for the Eighth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival Of Crafts.

The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. Admission is free.

Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Monday, March 4.

Selected vendors will be notified by Friday, March 8. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The County reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee, is due from vendors selected by Friday, March 1.

Call (321) 264-5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


February 22, 2013

Men's Spring Softball League sign-up underway in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- A men's softball league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The fee of $264 for a 8-game schedule including a single-elimination tournament is due by 4 p.m. Monday, March 11, at the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call (321) 264-5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


February 22, 2013

Sign-up underway for Women's Spring Softball League in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- A women's softball league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The fee of $264 for a 9-game schedule including a single-elimination tournament is due by 4 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call (321) 264-5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


February 21, 2013

Chain of Lakes Coed Softball League Season to begin March 13

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A coed softball league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The fee of $342 for a 11-game schedule including a single-elimination tournament is due by 4 p.m. Friday, March 8, at the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Ave. in Titusville.

Call (321) 264-5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


February 19, 2013

Transportation Disadvantaged Services Board sets Feb. 25 public meeting

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet at 10:15 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, 2nd Floor, Space Coast Room, Viera.

Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635-7815 or e-mail at Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635-7815 ext. 601.


February 17, 2013

Softball Home Run Derby planned March 27 at Chain of Lakes

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— A softball home run derby sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m., with check-in starting at 6 p.m. The fee is $10 per person and is for ages 16 and up.

Participants can register at the North Area Parks Operations office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Deadline for registration is Monday, March 25.

Call Mike Herman at 321-264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


February 15, 2013

Sams House at Pine Island holds monthlong Celebration of Archeology

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Throughout the month of March, Sams House at Pine Island presents a series of free programs in recognition of National Archeology Month.

"Little Pioneers" Homeschool Program - Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 22, 10 a.m. to noon: Discover pioneer life in this fun, hands-on program for homeschoolers ages 5 to 12. Students will explore the 1875 Sams cabin, engage in pioneer "chores," learn the historical uses of plants, and go on a nature hike. Reservations required by calling (321) 449-4720.

Forensic Anthropology: How the Dead Died - Friday, March 8, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Florida Public Archeology Network East Central Region Director, Rachel Wentz, will explain how forensic anthropology helps solve crimes and determine "cause of death" through the analysis of human skeletal remains.

Taste of the Wild - Prehistoric Native Floridian Foodways - Saturday, March 9, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.: This presentation by Indian River Anthropological Society President Elaine Williams will focus on the food of prehistoric native peoples of Florida, how these foods were obtained, and how they were prepared. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample native foods such as hickory nuts, yaupon tea, smoked fish, and more!

Florida History Expedition - Saturday, March 16, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Perfect for elementary school-aged children and their families. We'll travel back in time to Florida's beginnings, sift for Ice Age fossils, learn how to throw a spear, and discover what pioneer life was like. Reservations required by calling (321) 449-4720.

From Ice Age Megafauna to Ancient Peoples of Pine Island - Saturday, March 23, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Did you know that mastodons and giant ground sloths once called Pine Island home? See a presentation on Ice Age Megafauna and then take a short walk to the Indian Burial Mound on site where we'll discuss the ancient people who lived here.

Orienteering/Scavenger Hunt - Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Back by popular demand! Use a map and compass to find hidden objects on this family-fun adventure. Reservations required by calling (321) 449-4720.

John Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


February 15, 2013

Spring Break Day Camp offered at Sandrift Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering spring break day camp for children in the Titusville area entering first grade through eighth grade from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Monday, March 25, through Friday, March 29.

You may register for spring break camp at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville. The weekly fee is $60 per child, with reductions for additional children in the same family. Camp requires a minimum of 12 participants. A daily rate of $20 is available when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week.

Extended care is available from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. The fee for early or late care is $15 per week or $7 per day; for early and late care, the fee is $30 per week or $12 per day. Late pickup fee (15 minutes after conclusion of program) is $20 per child/per occasion. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Additional information on these activities can be obtained by calling Jann Faiga (Sandrift) at 321-264-5037.


February 11, 2013

North Brevard Little League Opening Day Ceremonies Scheduled

PORT ST. JOHN, TITUSVILLE, MIMS, Fla. – Port St. John, Indian River City, and Mims Little Leagues will hold their opening day ceremonies in February and March to kick off the spring baseball and softball seasons.

Indian River City will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. at W.W. James Park, 330 Little League Lane, Titusville. For more information, visit www.eteamz.com/IndianRiverCity,

Port St. John will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, March 2, at 9 a.m. at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard, Sharpes. For more information please visit www.eteamz.com/psjll.

Mims will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, March 2, at 8 a.m. at Holder Park, 2650 Glendale Blvd, Mims. For more information, visit www.rteamsite.com/league/mimslittleleague.


February 11, 2013

Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to hold land acquisition meeting

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


February 11, 2013

Men's 18-and-up Basketball League sign-up at Cuyler Community Center

MIMS, Fla. — A five-game 18-and-over men's basketball league will be held at Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims. Games will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays, starting March 7.

The league will include playoffs and a single-elimination tournament and is $210 per team.

Contact Sammy Fairclough at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


February 11, 2013

Men's Traveling Basketball Team starting at Walter Butler Community Center

COCOA (SHARPES), Fla. — A men's traveling basketball team is being formed at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, in Cocoa (Sharpes).

Try outs will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, starting March 9. Once the team is formed, players will play in scrimmage games, leagues and tournaments throughout the state. The fee is $26 per person.

Contact Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Cocoa (Sharpes) area.


February 11, 2013

Cuyler Community Center to host Men's 35-and-up Basketball League

MIMS, Fla.—A five game 35-and-over men's basketball league will be held at Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims. Games will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, starting March 5.

The league will include playoff games and a single-elimination tournament and is $210 per team.

Contact Sammy Fairclough at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


February 06, 2013

Rain Barrel Workshop offered Feb. 23 in Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshop on Saturday, Feb. 23.

The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Rockledge Gardens, 2153 U.S. Highway 1, in Rockledge.

Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands-on construction of 55-gallon rain barrels. The workshop is sponsored by University of Florida Brevard County Extension, Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, and Community Matters, Inc.

The rain barrel kit includes the 55-gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $45, paid by cash or check at the door.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To ensure that all materials are available; open-top or closed-top barrel should be specified.

To pre-register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633-2016 ext 56721, e-mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at www.brevstorm.org/calendar.cfm.


January 27, 2013

EEL's advisory group to review Public Access, Recreation requests Feb. 14

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Brad Manley, EEL Public Access / Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255-4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


February 07, 2013

A "NO BOUNDARIES" AGREEMENT MEANS BETTER EMERGENCY SERVICE FOR CITIZENS

(Palm Bay)—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. Effective February 11, 2013 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 (AARA) 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 citizen that needs helps does not care if the rescuer is from Palm Bay or Brevard County, they just want help fast," said Palm Bay Fire Chief Jim Stables. "By dropping jurisdictional restrictions we are able to deliver better service to the public that is mutually beneficial to all of the citizens."

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. "It is a mutually beneficial agreement that ensures the citizen receives the best possible response during an emergency," said Brevard County Fire Chief Larry Collins. "This demonstrates a highly efficient and effective use of government resources for the overall good of the public."

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. "Every fire-rescue response agency is having this discussion," Chief Stables added. "We are all faced with shrinking budgets and increasing demands for service. This is the best and most efficient way to continue to deliver this service."


February 05, 2013

Karla Torpy to take helm as Director of Brevard County Animal Services

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Karla Torpy, formerly with the Melbourne law firm of Moletteire & Torpy, is the new Director of Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and received unanimous confirmation Tuesday from the Brevard County Board of Commissioners.

Torpy's first day at the helm of Animal Services is Thursday.

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 County Manager Mel Scott said Torpy is a consummate professional with a track record of integrity.

"Adjectives I heard while speaking to her references were, 'well-spoken,' 'organized,' 'hard-working,' 'passionate' and 'extremely professional.' These core values will be a real asset to the organization she'll be joining," Scott said. "She will be charged with continuing to move the shelters forward and broadening and strengthening the county's investment in our community's animals. Expect to see continued re-branding of our shelters taking place and increased community outreach."

Assistant Department Director Kathy Beatson served as the Interim Director of Animal Services and Enforcement since July 2011.


February 01, 2013

Food vendors sought for 8th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, is accepting applications beginning Monday, Feb. 4, for food vendors for the Eighth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival Of Crafts.

The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. Admission is free.

Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Monday, Feb. 18.

Selected vendors will be notified by Monday, Feb. 25. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not-for-profit service organizations. The County reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non-refundable, special event fee, is due from vendors selected by Friday, March 1.

Call (321) 264-5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


January 31, 2013

Lifeguard Classes begin in March at McLarty Park in Rockledge

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- The first session of lifeguard classes will be held March 15-17 and March 22-23 at McLarty Park, 790 Barton Blvd in Rockledge.

Classes on Friday are held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday classes are held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All classes must be attended in order to obtain certification.

Interested candidates must be 15 years of age, able to swim 300 yards nonstop (freestyle and breaststroke), swim 20 yards, pick up a 10-pound object and return to the start point in 1 minute and 40 seconds and tread water with legs only for 2 minutes. Candidates, who pass the swim test, will be charged $160 to take the lifeguard classes.

Completing this course will certify you to lifeguard at any American Red Cross facility. Class size is limited. Participants must register by Friday, March 8.

For additional information or to register for lifeguard classes, contact Holly Mullen at (321) 633-1874 or holly.mullen@brevardparks.com.


January 31, 2013

Sign-up under way for Start Smart Program at Sandrift Community Center

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Start Smart, for children ages 3-5, will be offered from 1 - 2 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning Feb. 26 at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N Singleton Ave., Titusville. The fee for this class is $30 for six weeks. A parent or another adult must accompany child to the classes.

Start Smart is a proven instructional program that prepares children for the world of organized sports without the threat of competition or the fear of getting hurt. Parents work together with their children in a supportive environment to learn all of the basic skills like throwing, catching, kicking and batting.

Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for more information on this and other programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area Parks Operations.


January 25, 2013

Viera Regional Community Center to host Brevard Employment Expo March 9

VIERA, Fla. - Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host the first Brevard Employment Expo from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at the Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.

Businesses may obtain applications at the center or online at www.brevardcounty.us/ParksSouth. Vendor spaces, 10-foot by 10-foot, are $31.80 and include a 5-foot table. All spaces are indoors. Payment for table space must be made by Monday, March 4.

The mission of the Employment Expo is to provide a public service at the Viera Regional Community Center and to contribute to the economic recovery in our area by providing local employers the opportunity to advertise job openings and to interview potential qualified candidates for positions available within the community.

All activities are conducted and supervised by Brevard County Parks and Recreation staff at the Viera Regional Community Center. Call (321) 433-4891 for more information.


January 23, 2013

Sams House at Pine Island plans monthlong Florida Pioneers Celebration

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- February is Pioneer Month at Sams House at Pine Island.

All activities are free and family friendly. They include:

John H. Sams: A Pioneer Story - Saturday, Feb. 2, 3-3:30 p.m.: Learn about Merritt Island Pioneer John Hanahan Sams, who came to Florida from South Carolina in 1875. He built the Sams cabin, ran a successful orange grove, and was the first Superintendent of the Brevard County Public School System.

Pioneer Day – Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Our annual event features historic house and cabin tours, living history vendors, pioneer arts and crafts fair, educational exhibits, kids games, and live music. Don't miss it!

Pioneer Plant Talk - Friday, Feb. 15, 10-11 a.m.: Join us for a walk through our History Garden, where we'll discuss how pioneers made use of the plants around them.

Ragdoll Exhibition and Workshop - Saturday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m. to noon: Diana Sageser will present a living history exhibition of antique dolls followed by a workshop where you will create your own yarn/ragdoll. If you wish to provide your own materials, please bring cut rags or yarn in the following lengths: 12 strips 10 inches long; 20 strips 24 inches long; and an extra 3 yards.

Pioneer Pathways Hike - Friday, Feb. 22, 2-3:30 p.m.: This half-mile hike through our beautiful palm hammock is full of clues to life during pioneer times. Close-toed shoes recommended.

John Sams was born on Feb. 11, 1839, and built the oldest standing home in Brevard County in 1875. Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. The Sams House is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house are given every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


January 23, 2013

USDA: Applications for Agricultural Assistance in Florida due March 15

GAINESVILLE, Fla., -- The 2008 Farm Bill was recently extended by Congress until September. This extension has allowed the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida to add an additional chance for producers to improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.

"Adding an additional ranking date is going to give more producers time to submit their applications and help them get started with implementing the practices they need to benefit the natural resources on their operations," said NRCS acting state conservationist Roney Gutierrez.

Interested producers should visit their local NRCS service center now to receive more information on the:

  • Organic initiative -- helps producers install conservation practices on USDA certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.
  • Seasonal high tunnel initiative -- helps producers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.
  • On-farm energy initiative -- helps producers conserve energy on their operations.
  • Longleaf pine initiative -- helps private landowners improve the sustainability and profitability of Longleaf pine forest ecosystems.They can then apply for conservation technical assistance and possible cost-share funding opportunities. Applications must be filed no later than March 15, 2013, to be eligible for this year's funding.
Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, the March 15th date has been set to make FY 2013 funding decisions for these special initiatives. Producers may continue to apply for all funded programs throughout the year.

Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and available programs can be found on this website: www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA - NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to your telephone directory under "U. S. Government, Department of Agriculture", or on the web at: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).


January 23, 2013

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Tryouts This Saturday

(Brevard County, Fla.) - Brevard County Ocean Rescue will host open tryouts for seasonal lifeguards at Rockledge High School on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. Candidates must be at the swimming pool by 7:00 a.m. or they will not be permitted to participate.

While no lifeguarding experience is necessary, candidates must be over the age of 16 and possess strong swimming skills. Anyone wishing to try out for one of the open positions must bring with them: a valid Driver's License, Social Security card, appropriate swim attire/towel, and running shoes.

All candidates will be required to swim 500 meters in less than 10 minutes and complete a 2-mile run in under 20 minutes. Advanced registration is not required however, testing will begin promptly and anyone arriving after testing begins will not be permitted to tryout.

Those wishing to participate should bring food and water with them due to the physical nature of this tryout. All candidates selected after tryouts will be required to continue the application process at Brevard County's Fire Rescue Center until 5:00 p.m.

If selected, completion of the hiring process is dependant on the candidate's ability to pass a background test and successful completion of a paid training course. The starting pay for ocean lifeguards is $9.46/hour. Currently, Ocean Rescue is seeking to staff 50 seasonal lifeguard positions that will operate from March-October 2013.

For additional information on the tryouts and Brevard County Ocean Rescue, please visit www.brevardfire.com or contact the Ocean Rescue staff at (321) 633-2056.


January 22, 2013

Chain of Lakes hosts Valentine's Festival, Movie in the Park on Feb. 16

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a Valentine's Festival featuring a free Movie in the Park beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

The movie "HITCH" will be shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen. The movie is rated PG-13. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase.

A coed softball tournament will be held beginning at 9 a.m., and the fee for the tournament is $120 per team. Following the softball tournament, a couples corn hole tournament will be held at 4 p.m., with a fee of $10 per couple. Awards will be given for each tournament.

Advertising opportunities are available as local sponsors will help make this a continual event. A minimum of four movies will be shown per year. Sponsors will be advertised prior to the movie on the movie screen.

Please check the cancelation line, (321) 264-5109, before the event, which is subject to wind and weather conditions. Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105, or by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com, to become a sponsor or for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation.


January 22, 2013

Brevard County Fire Rescue Promotes Seven Members

(Brevard County, Fla.) - Following an extensive and competitive process, Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) is pround to announce the promotion of six firefighters to the rank of lieutenant and one lieutenant to the rank of District Chief.

Fire Chief Larry Collins presented promotional badges and helmets to the firefighters in a formal Badge Pinning Ceremony held at the department's headquarters on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

Promoted to lieutenant are:
Jeffrey Butler
Timothy Hall
James Parker
Michael Destafano
Christopher Monroe
Sean Ryan

Promoted to district chief is:
Richard Connor

Chief Collins said, "The promotion process is a rigorous one. I congratulate each of these individuals for this career achievement and commend them for their dedication to the citizens that they serve and to this department."

Brevard County Firemen promoted. Pictured L to R: Lt. Jeff Butler, Lt. Chris Monroe, Lt. Timothy Hall,
District Chief Richard Connor, Lt. Michael Destafano, Lt. James Parker, Lt. Sean Ryan


January 20, 2013

Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to meet on Policies/Procedures

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Procedures Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of the meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com


January 20, 2013

Sams House/St. Luke's Episcopal to Celebrate Life of Pioneer John Sams

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 9, to attend a Pioneer Day celebration at Sams House at Pine Island and St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Both locations celebrate the life of Pioneer John Sams with historic tours, games, and festivities throughout the day.

Activities at the Sams House run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include tours of the 1875 cabin and 1888 house built by John Sams. Living History Demonstrations put on by the Confederate Sons Association, and educational exhibits with information provided by the Florida Gourd Society, Florida Honey Queen Association, University of Florida Brevard County Extension offices, and the Florida Public Archaeology Network will be ongoing. Pioneer-related games for the children will run throughout the day and singer/songwriter Chris Kahl will perform from noon to 2 p.m.

An Arts & Crafts Fair will also be set up on the grounds. Participating vendors include Better By Candlelight, Gourds by Jackie, Hise Farms, Mrs. Mango & Company, Naturewise Plants, Sacred Space Creations, Spade & Trowel Club, and The Silhouette Lady. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the Pine Island Preservation Society to benefit educational projects for the Sams House Nature Center.

St. Luke's will kick off with a luncheon of stews and soups ($5 donation). Ongoing events include a Boy Scout Dutch Oven Cooking Demonstration and an exhibit by The Florida Historical Society. Features include a film by Brevard native Jeff Thompson entitled "The Florida Suite" (1:30 p.m.), a presentation on John H. Sams: A Pioneer Story (3 p.m.), and an historic chapel tour (4 p.m.). A fish fry (limited seatings at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. - $7 donation - call (321) 452-5260 to reserve a spot), and a play by the Brevard Theatrical Ensemble entitled "Mosquitoes, Alligators, and Determination" (7 p.m. - $5 donation) will end the evening.

John Sams was born Feb. 11, 1839, and built the oldest standing home in Brevard County in 1875. Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools. He was instrumental in the founding and construction of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and, along with several other prominent pioneers, is buried in the church cemetery.

The Sams House is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church is at 5555 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island. For more information, call (321) 452-5260.


January 19, 2013

Public Workshops scheduled on Space Coast Area Transit services

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Space Coast Area Transit will be hosting public workshops to consider possible bus service changes for fiscal year 2013-2014. These workshops will be conducted in an informal atmosphere and citizens can arrive any time between the designated times. The times and locations for these public workshops are as follows:
  • Tuesday, Jan. 22, 9 - 11 a.m., at Palm Bay West Shopping Center, at Bus Stop. 190 Malabar Road SW, Palm Bay.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 22, 12:15-1:45 p.m., Brevard Community College, Palm Bay Campus, at Bus Stop, 250 Community College Parkway SE, Palm Bay.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2-4 p.m., Searstown Mall, at Transfer Station, 3550 S. Washington. Ave., Titusville.
  • Thursday, Jan. 24, 9-11 a.m., Merritt Square Mall, at Bus Stop, 777 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island.
  • Thursday, Jan. 24, 2-4 p.m., Shepard Park, at Transfer Station, 179 Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach.
  • Friday, Jan. 25, 9-11 a.m., Space Coast Area Transit, Cocoa Terminal, 401 S. Varr Ave., Cocoa.


January 18, 2013

Commissioner Andy Anderson to honor Guardian ad Litem Program

MELBOURNE, Fla.---Brevard County Commissioner Andy Anderson will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Brevard County Guardian ad Litem Program with a special reception at the District Five office at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.

The Guardian ad Litem Program is made up of volunteers who serve as advocates for children who are removed from their homes because of abuse, abandonment and neglect. Over 700 children in Brevard County are currently represented by 200 volunteers. Volunteers act as the voice for the child in both the courts and the community to ensure that all actions are taken in the child's best interest. Over 25 years, the number of hours provided by hundreds of volunteers is estimated at 75,000, equal to over $16 million in tax dollars saved.

"It saddens me to know that so many children in Brevard County suffer from abuse and neglect," Anderson said. "Thankfully, we have the Guardian ad Litem Program here to guide these children through these awful situations."

Volunteers are still needed, especially in the north and south parts of the county. Hundreds of children are still waiting for representation. You can contact Patricia Williams, the volunteer coordinator for Guardian ad Litem, to become a volunteer at 321-690-6823. For more information on the reception, please call the District Five Commission Office at (321)253-6611.


January 17, 2013

Spring Adult Sports Leagues Forming in North Brevard

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Spring leagues are forming for adult Men's, Women's and Coed softball teams as well as Men's and Women's flag football teams, sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations.

The men's and women's softball league organizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, and the co-ed softball league meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12. Both meetings are at the Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex 4-plex softball concession building, 2111 Chain of Lakes Drive in Titusville.

The organizational meeting for adult men's and women's flag football will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice Jackson Park, 4201 N. US 1 in Sharpes.

Fees, dates, and game times will be decided at the organizational meetings. For more information on this and other athletic opportunities in North Brevard, please call (321) 264-5105.


January 16, 2013

Adult All-Passing Flag Football Tournament on Feb. 10 in Canaveral Groves

CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting an all-passing men's flag football tournament at 9 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Blvd.

The fee of $150 per team is due by 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., in Titusville.

Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 to register and for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


January 16, 2013

Commissioner Andy Anderson Seeks Volunteer for Arts Advisory Committee

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- The District Five Commission Office is looking for a volunteer to fill an opening for the Art in Public Places Advisory Committee.

The Art in Public Places Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners to the selection of works of applied art. You do not need to live in District Five and there are no specific qualifications, but an interest in art would be helpful.

The Art in Public Places Advisory Committee meets on the second Thursday of every month. A term is for one year.

If you are interested in being appointed to this board, please contact the District Five Commission Office at (321)253-6611.


January 15, 2013

Isaac Campbell to host free Sowing the Seeds of Life Reading Program

TITUSVILLE, Fla.- Sowing the Seeds of Life reading program for adults will be held at 701 South St. in Titusville beginning Feb. 6. Meetings will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

This program will focus on adult readers who want to make a change in the community. Participants will read literature and discuss the socal impact the book expressed, followed by journaling the impact the book made in the reader's life. Movies may be viewed in place of books if available, and the program is free to attend.

The event is cosponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners North Area Parks Operations and S&T Health consulting Group Inc. For more information, call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


January 13, 2013

Cuyler Community Center in Mims to hold Gentlemen In Training Program

MIMS, Fla.— A program for at-risk youths, ages 7-15, will be held at the Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave. in Mims, on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning Jan. 23, from 6-7 p.m. The program is free.

This program will help children develop new attitudes, behavior and social skills.

Call Darryll Gamon at (321) 264-5045 for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


January 10, 2013

Registration starts Jan. 25 for 8th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Eighth Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

Applications will be available starting Jan. 25 at the North Area Parks Operations office. For an application to be mailed to you, please send a SSE envelope to North Area Parks Operations, 475 North Williams Ave., Titusville, 32796, or email jill.hill@brevardparks.com. Registration begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, With a deadline of 4 p.m. on Friday, March 8.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations.

Fox Lake Park is at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


January 09, 2013

4th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade & Festival to be held Jan. 21

TITUSVILLE, Fla.- Residents of Titusville and surrounding areas are invited to take part in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade & Festival starting at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center and Park, 701 South St., in Titusville. This year's theme is "The Strength of a Healthy Village."

This annual event celebrates the life of one of America's most influential civil rights, political, and social icons and is becoming an event to honor not only Dr. King, but to pay homage to others continuing his legacy. There will be a parade, food and craft vendors, entertainment and educational exhibits. Prizes will be given for the best float, Battle of the Bands and the Rap Battle. The parade line up will begin at 9:30 a.m., at Walgreen's, 2605 Barna Ave., in Titusville. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park, with festivities immediately following in the park. The event is free to attend. If you would like to enter a float in the parade, please contact Patricia Diggs at (321) 269-3645 for an application and waiver.

The event is co-sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations, NAACP, St. James AME Church and North Brevard Ministerial Alliance. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


January 09, 2013

Activities abundant for 16th Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard Nature Alliance is partnering with Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department and the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to offer special programs and activities during the 16th Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival. Closed-toe shoes, insect repellent and bottled water advised for most of these activities. Preregistration and registration is also advised due to limited space for some activities:
  • Little Hatchlings "Migration Station," 10 a.m. - noon, Jan. 24. Free. Learn about bird migration, bird food and resting places. Barrier Island Center. To register, (321) 723-3556 by Jan. 22.
  • Interpretive Canoe Trip, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., Jan. 25. $15. A canoe trip in the Thousand Islands of Cocoa Beach. Tours launch at Ramp Road Park. To register, (321) 455-1385.
  • Owl Program, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Jan. 24. $2. Learn about these fascinating birds. At Mims/Scottsmoor Library , 3615 Lionel Road, Mims, and 3-4 p.m., Jan. 28, at Port St. John Library, 6500 Carole Ave. To register, (321) 455-1385.
  • Nocturnal Nature Hike, 6:30 p.m.-TBD, Jan. 25. Free. Join Naturalists on a night of discovery and exploration. Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. To register, (321) 264-5185.
  • Gopher Tortoises, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Jan. 26. Free. Plants and animals in Florida rely on gopher tortoises, as do many Floridians. Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. To register, (321) 264-5185.
  • Habitats, 10 a.m. - noon, Jan. 23. $4. A look at basic habitat types and healthy habitats. Includes boardwalk tour and meet and greet with animals. Erna Nixon Park. To register, (321) 952-4525.
  • Owls, 10 a.m. - noon, Jan. 24. $4. A look at Florida's native owls followed by Owl pellet dissection, a boardwalk tour and meet and greet with animals. Erna Nixon Sanctuary. To register, (321) 952-4525.
  • Making Tracks: How to Read & Interpret Wildlife Signs, 8-10 a.m., Jan. 25. Free. Early morning hike at Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary. Parrish Park, Scottsmoor. To register, (321) 264-5058.
  • Intro to Kayaking for kids, 10 a.m.-TBD, Jan. 26. $20. Introduction to kayaking on shallow waters of Fox Lake Park. Instruction and equipment provided. Pre-registration required, (321) 268-2655 or www.ADayAwayKayakTours.com
  • Nature Walk at the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center, 8-10 a.m., Jan. 25. Free. A morning walk down the Moore Center's path of native trees and plants followed by a plant discussion in the pavilion, 10:30-11:30 a.m. To register, (321) 264-6595 by Jan. 24.
  • "Bird of a Feather - Hike Together," 8-11 a.m. (meet at 7:45 a.m.,) Jan. 26. Free. Explore the barrier island's on a 2.5-mile forest hike. Maritime Hammock. To register, (321) 723-3556 by Jan. 24.
  • Evening Owl Prowl, 6-8 p.m., Jan. 24. Free. Discover the wonder of Owls on a nocturnal observation journey. Sams House at Pine Island. To register, (321) 449-4720.
  • Enjoying Life on the Indian River Lagoon Coast, 3-4 p.m., Jan. 25. Free. A PowerPoint slideshow in the circa 1875 Sams Cabin. Sam's House at Pine Island. To register, (321) 449-4720.
  • Orienteering/Scavenger Hunt, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Jan. 26. Free. A hike of the Sam's loop trail. Sams House at Pine Island. To register, (321) 449-4720.
  • Nature Nite, 7-8 p.m., Jan. 24. Free. Learn more about the marine world by participating in an interactive presentation and hands on crafts. Riverwalk Park. To register, (321) 433-4490.
  • Celebrate Urban Birds, 4-6 p.m., Jan. 25. Free. Learn to identify the most common birds at your feeder and how to help track bird migrations. Riverwalk Park. To register, (321) 433-4490.


January 07, 2013

Nature Photography Workshop in North Merritt Island to Focus on Skills

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. -- Would you like to increase the impact of your nature photography? Photography instructor Vince Lamb is leading an outdoor photography workshop from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, and from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 23 at the Pine Island Conservation Area.

This workshop is intended for photographers who have digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and basic photography skills. The cost is $25 per person as a contribution to the Friends of Ulumay to benefit Sams House at Pine Island educational programs. Attendance is limited to 10 persons. Register at: http://naturephotography.eventbrite.com

The workshop will begin with a presentation at Sams House at Pine Island from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. Presentation topics will include light, camera settings, composition, and special considerations for photographing wildlife.

A field session will start in the parking area at Pine Island Conservation Area at 7 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. Participants will explore Pine Island to find subjects for photography, focusing on three image types – wildlife, natural area landscapes, and people in nature. The field session is expected to last 2.5 hours and will include walking about two miles of trails. Please bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

The Sams House at Pine Island is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.

The Pine Island Conservation Area is at 2100 Pine Island Road in Merritt Island. Gates are open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. October to April and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May to September.


January 07, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service plans Aquaculture Workshop in February

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will hold an Aquaculture Workshop in February 2013 at its Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive, in Cocoa:

Introduction to Aquaculture Workshop is open to the public, and is specifically intended for individuals who have an interest in development or growth of aquaculture–related businesses. Aquaculture extension specialists from around the state, and a representative of the FDACS Division of Aquaculture, will present current information on the status of aquaculture in Florida, pros and cons of specific business ventures, an overview of state regulations, and a discussion of resources available to support these businesses.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension Office in Cocoa. Cost of the workshop is $10 and lunch is provided. Pre-registration is required at http://aquacultureintro-cocoa.eventbrite.com. For additional information, contact Holly Abeels, Marine Science Extension Agent, at (321) 633-1702 or habeels@ufl.edu.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu


January 04, 2013

Sign-up under way for Start Smart Program at Sandrift Community Center

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Start Smart, for children ages 3-5, will be offered from 1 - 2 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 29 at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N Singleton Ave., Titusville. The fee for this class is $30 for six weeks. A parent or another adult must accompany child to the classes.

Start Smart is a proven instructional program that prepares children for the world of organized sports without the threat of competition or the fear of getting hurt. Parents work together with their children in a supportive environment to learn all of the basic skills like throwing, catching, kicking and batting.

Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for more information on this and other programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area Parks Operations.


January 04, 2013

UF/Brevard Extension Service offers free Aquaculture Workshop in February

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will hold a free Aquaculture Workshop in February 2013 at its Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive, in Cocoa:

Introduction to Aquaculture Workshop is open to the public, and is specifically intended for individuals who have an interest in development or growth of aquaculture-related businesses. Aquaculture extension specialists from around the state, and a representative of the FDACS Division of Aquaculture, will present current information on the status of aquaculture in Florida, pros and cons of specific business ventures, an overview of state regulations, and a discussion of resources available to support these businesses.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the UF/IFAS Brevard County Extension Office in Cocoa. The workshop is free and lunch is provided. Pre-registration is required at http://aquacultureintro-cocoa.eventbrite.com. For additional information, contact Holly Abeels, Marine Science Extension Agent, at (321) 633-1702 or habeels@ufl.edu.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu



December 31, 2012

Birding & Wildlife Festival highlights Enchanted Forest January Calendar

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival activities highlight a month of fun-filled events with nature in January at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia, Blvd., in Titusville.

Here's a look at what's in store:

GUIDED NATURE HIKES, 10 a.m. on Saturdays: A 45-minute interpretive hike offered every Saturday at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP.
TRAIL RUN, 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 6: Join us for the 5K or 10K Trail Run or a 5K fun hike at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. This event is to benefit Brevard County Trail Development and Maintenance. For more info, please call 255-4466. You may register at: www.eelbrevard.com.
SANCTUARY SCHOOL for Homeschoolers: A free program for Homeschoolers ages 6 to 10 and their families. Jan. 10 or 11, Birding for Beginners; Feb. 7 or 8, Nocturnal Nature; March 14 or 15, Reptiles & Amphibians. Programs are 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. To register or for more info, call 264-5185.
LUNCH with NATURE, noon to 1 p.m., Jan. 15: Please join us for nature programs during your lunch break. You may bring your lunch to enjoy during the talk. For more info, please call 321-264-5185.
PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Jan. 19: Educational and fun program for all levels of photography. Field trips also take place at different locations on different dates. For more info, call 264-5185. No registration required.
FOREST FUNDAY for children, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 20: Nature program for children and families to help them enjoy the outdoors. Please join us anytime between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to do a Sanctuary Search (a non-collecting scavenger hunt) and plant a tree for Arbor Day. This is free and fun for all.
FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY, 6:30 p.m., Jan. 23: Presentation on the benefits of native wetland plants around ponds and waterways, their function in wetlands, and the various species of plants in Florida, by Holly Abeels with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Services.
SPACE COAST BIRDING AND WILDLIFE FESTIVAL activities at the Enchanted Forest: 1:30 p.m., Jan. 23, Nature Journaling; 6:30 p.m., Jan. 25, Nocturnal Nature Hike; 8 a.m., Jan. 26, Beginning Birding; 9 a.m. - Biodiversity Hike; 11 a.m. - Gopher Tortoises; noon - Plants and their uses through History; 2:30 p.m. - Gopher Tortoises; 2:30 p.m. - Biodiversity Hike.

For more details about these programs, please call (321) 264-5185.


December 28, 2012

Solid Waste Department issues Holiday recycling reminder, offers free mulch

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - The Brevard County Solid Waste Department would like to remind everyone that the following items may be added to your recycling containers or carts as part of the county's single stream recycling program: Wrapping paper, cardboard boxes (flattened), greeting cards, gift boxes, aluminum foil & foil cooking pans (clean).

The stream of waste materials into the landfill increases by about 15 to 20 percent from the Thanksgiving holiday through New Year's week. "We hope to see those numbers decrease over the Christmas holiday since residents can now recycle their wrapping paper, greeting cards, and gift boxes," says Hillary Arena, Brevard County Recycling Coordinator. "We do expect a decrease in the waste coming into the landfills due in part to the single stream recycling efforts of our residents."

The landfill typically receives about 8,000 tons of yard debris a month. Around the holidays, live Christmas trees add to those monthly tons. In an effort to divert those trees from the landfill, the trees are collected at the curb and mulched. Residents can set out Christmas trees with their yard waste on their regular yard waste pickup day. The trees are then ground up and mulched. The free mulch is available at three locations – Mockingbird Mulching Facility in Titusville; the Central Disposal Facility (CDF) in Cocoa; and the Sarno landfill.

The county offers a fine-ground mulch that can be added to potting soils and a coarser lasting mulch that stay on the ground longer during the spring's heavy rains. Residents are encouraged to call the Central Disposal Facility at (321) 633-1888, Mockingbird Mulching Facility (Titusville) at (321) 264-5048, or the Sarno Landfill at (321) 255-4366 for information and to check the availability of the free mulch. Residents also need to bring their own containers, bags and shovels for the mulch.

Don't forget to remove the ornaments, tinsel, garland, and tree stands from the trees. In addition, remove any plastic tree bags since the plastic bags cannot be mulched.

For more information on recycling, call the Solid Waste Management Department at (321) 633-2042.


December 26, 2012

Low-to no-cost programs offered for Space Coast Birding/Wildlife Festival

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department and Environmentally Endangered Lands Program have partnered with the Brevard Nature Alliance to hold special family programs and activities during the 16th Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan. 23-28.

These activities highlight community area parks and sanctuaries throughout the county. An adult must accompany children. For a full list of activities, visit http://www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org/activities/


December 26, 2012

Riverwalk Park's 'Celebrate Urban Birds' event focuses on real Snow Birds

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Relatives are not the only visitors this winter! Learn about bird migration and conservation at the Brevard County-sponsored Winter Bird Festival, held from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, at Riverwalk: A Family Park, 5355 US Hwy 1, Rockledge. The program is being held in conjunction with the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.

Have you ever wondered what birds are visiting your back yard? Learn how to not only identify the most common birds at your feeder, but also how to report that information to help track bird migrations. Park naturalists will give a short bird presentation in Riverwalk Nature Center, followed by a quarter-mile guided hike through Riverwalk's various habitats used by migrating and resident populations of birds. Participants will receive a free Urban Bird Kit from Cornell University that includes information on how they can be a part of citizen science through Cornell's Urban Bird Project. Families can spend time identifying birds in their own back yard while helping scientists track bird populations.

All activities are free and open to the public but space is limited. Please call (321)433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com for further information or to register.


December 18, 2012

Off-duty Animal Services Officer Struck by Vehicle, Seriously Injured

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Kim Barlet, a Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement Officer, remained in critical condition at Holmes Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, two days after she was struck by a motor vehicle while off duty as she walked her dog on Tropical Trail on Merritt Island.

Barlet suffered serious injuries in the accident, which reportedly occurred in an S-curve on Tropical Trail just before 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene. There was no arrest.

Barlet, who initially started as a Care Tech at the North Animal Care Center in Titusville, is an Animal Enforcement Officer and has been with the county since 2010. Co-workers said Barlet was walking her dog, Ino, at the time of the accident. Ino is a former shelter dog Barlet adopted and helped rehabilitate through costly surgery.

Robert Brown, captain of enforcement, said Ino disappeared at the time of Sunday evening's accident, prompting an overnight search on Merritt Island that involved at least 15 people.

"Ino was found this morning sitting on Kim's back porch, waiting for its breakfast," Brown said.

"We are all pulling for Kim," he said. "She's part of our family."

Barlet remained Tuesday in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

"Kim is in our thoughts and prayers," said Assistant County Manager Mel Scott. "Her enthusiasm and love for her job is infectious to us all. She literally bounces into work. We're all praying for a speedy recovery."


December 16, 2012

Free Sea Turtle Obstacle Course lets participants see life as a Turtle

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Strap on a turtle shell and get ready to lay your eggs! Learn about the struggles sea turtles face to nest at the Brevard County sponsored "It's Tough To Be A Turtle" Obstacle Course, held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at Riverwalk: A Family Park, 5355 US Hwy 1, Rockledge, FL 32955. The program is being held in conjunction with the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.

Sea turtles are sighted on Brevard County beaches each summer, but they only spend a tiny fraction of their life out of the water. What do they do the rest of the time they are in the ocean? Find out the answer by becoming a sea turtle. Strap on a shell and make your migration through the multitude of ocean obstacles sea turtles face to return to the beach to nest. Will you make it to the end to lay your eggs or will you be delayed by discarding fishing line, distracted by lights, or run into many of the other hurdles sea turtles face during their cross ocean travels? This activity involves climbing, crawling, balance, and agility as participants move through an obstacle course on the Riverwalk Park grounds.

All activities are free and open to the public. Call (321)433-4490 or email riverwalk@brevardparks.com for further information or to register.


December 14, 2012

Natural Resources Management kicks off 10th annual Sea Oats Sale

VIERA, Fla. – Attention beachside residents: It is time again to pre-purchase sea oats for dune planting through the annual sea oats sale offered by Brevard County's Natural Resources Management Office and Keep Brevard Beautiful, Inc.

Liner size sea oats are for sale in trays of 96 for $48 while supplies last. Quantities may be limited this year, so please order early. Sea oats must be ordered and paid for by Friday, Feb. 1, and will be available for pickup on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Sea oats are native to Brevard's coastal communities and stabilize sand quickly by developing an extensive root and rhizome system that holds onto sand and slows erosion. Sea oats also have the ability to build dunes, as the grassy foliage and tall seed plumes trap windblown sand, which builds up at the plant base and stimulates the plants to grow taller. The dunes that are formed are an important feature of our coastal ecosystem, as they provide habitat for wildlife and protect upland property during wind and storm events.

For more information, call Paula Berntson at (321) 633-2016 ext. 52431, e-mail paula.berntson@brevardcounty.us or visit the following link: http://ww3.brevardcounty.us/natres/documents/2013_sea_oats_info_and_order_form.pdf


December 12, 2012

North Area Parks plan Winter Day Camps

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering winter day camps for children entering first grade through eighth grade from Thursday, Dec. 20, through Monday, Jan. 7.

The camps meet 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be no camp on the following days due to holidays, Monday, Dec. 24; Tuesday, Dec. 25; and Tuesday, Jan. 1.

You may register for winter camp at the follow locations: Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John; Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville; and Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes).

Port St. John Community Center will offer early and late care at the center and the campers will be transported to Walter Butler Community Center in Sharpes for regular camp hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The weekly fee is $60 per child, with reductions for additional children in the same family. Each camp requires a minimum of 12 participants. A daily rate of $20 is available when the child is attending three or fewer days during the week.

Extended care is available from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. The fee for early or late care is $15 per week or $7 per time; for early and late care, the fee is $30 per week or $12 per day. Late pickup fee (15 minutes after conclusion of program) is $20 per child/per time. Fees are due at the time of registration or on the first day a child attends.

Additional information on these activities can be obtained by calling Jann Faiga (Sandrift) at (321) 264-5037, Dan Cook (Port St. John) at (321) 633-1904 or Clifford Lett (Walter Butler) (321) 433-4448.


December 12, 2012

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Unveils New Lifeguard Towers

(Brevard County, Fla.) - To boost public safety and provide better protection for its staff against the elements, Brevard County Ocean Rescue unveiled two new lifeguard towers on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. The two new towers are set up at the Cocoa Beach Pier and at Shepherd's Park.

Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi believes the new towers increase visibility for both lifeguards and visitors to Space Coast beaches.

"Cocoa Beach is one of the busiest stretches of coastline that we protect," said Scabarozi. "We want our guests to swim near lifeguards and with these new towers, it is much easier to locate lifeguards on the crowded beach. Visibility for our lifeguards has also been improved. It's truly a win-win."

Materials for the towers were purchased by Ocean Rescue and construction was completed at at no cost by workers at the Brevard County Sheriff's Work Farm. The towers were transported from the work farm and set up at their new locations with assistance from Brevard County Road and Bridge.

Two more towers are under construction and have an aticipated completion date of Spring 2013. The new towers will be positioned at Lori Wilson Park and at the end of Minuteman Causeway.

For more information about Brevard County Ocean Rescue, including lifeguard locations and hours, visit www.brevardfire.com


December 12, 2012

Brevard Homeless Coalition Collects Socks, T-shirts for Homeless

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In an effort to support the upcoming homeless census, the Brevard Homeless Coalition is asking for donations of new adult-size socks and men's white undershirts.

Socks and T-shirt donations can be delivered until Jan. 18 to the Harry T. Moore Center, 725 S. Deleon Avenue, Titusville; American Red Cross, 1700 Cedar Street, Rockledge; or Daily Bread, 815 E. Fee Avenue in Melbourne.

The Coalition volunteers will give out the donated items as they survey homeless men, women and children throughout Brevard County. The information gathered is used to request federal, state, and local funding to help bring about an end of homelessness in Brevard. The homeless census will take place in January.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Tammy Harris at Brevard County Housing and Human Services Department at (321) 633-2076, tammy.harris@brevardcounty.us, or Keith Heinly at United Way of Brevard at (321) 631-2740, kheinly@uwbrevard.org.


December 10, 2012

Holly Woolsey new Legislative Aide for Dist. 1 Commissioner Robin Fisher

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Holly Woolsey, who most currently served as the Interim Director for Jess Parrish Medical Foundation, has accepted a position as the new legislative aide for District 1 Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher.

Woolsey, a resident of Brevard County for 23 years, will replace Mary Lackovich, who is retiring after 22 years with the county. Her background includes over 15 years serving local not-for-profit/service organizations, including United Way of Brevard, AMI Kids Space Coast and Brevard County Sheriff's Office. She is a graduate of LEAD Brevard 2011 and was a 2010 finalist in the 4 under 40 nominations. Woolsey currently serves as the co-chair of the communications committee for Greater Titusville Renaissance, a North Brevard volunteer movement focused on revitalization and initiated by Commissioner Robin Fisher with Titusville Mayor Jim Tulley.

"My career in non-profit has allowed me to witness first hand both the needs in our community as well as the inspiring process of finding solutions. It's exciting to take on a role that is dedicated to that process," Woolsey said. "I'm honored to have been appointed by Commissioner Fisher and I look forward to serving our community in this capacity."

Among Woolsey's duties will be assisting the Commissioner in directing and coordinating a variety of administrative activities including managing agendas, coordinating special projects, maintaining citizen board appointments and interacting with the community.

District 1 boundaries are from the Volusia County Line to State Road 520 to the center of Lake Poinsett. Communities include Scottsmoor, Mims, unincorporated Titusville, City of Titusville, Port St. John, Bellwood, Sharpes, Hardeeville, Canaveral Groves, West Canaveral Groves and West Cocoa.

Lackovich and District 1 Administrative Aide, Kathy England who worked 27 years with the county, announced their retirements in October.

The District 1 Commission office is at 400 South Street, Suite 1-A, in Titusville. (321) 264-6750.


December 10, 2012

Memorial Services for Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore this Saturday in Mims

MIMS, Fla. – The Annual Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Service will be held beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, with a graveside service at LaGrange Cemetary, 1575 Old Dixie Highway, Titusville. A Memorial Program will follow at Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, Mims, at 3:30 p.m. There will be a reception at the Moore Memorial Park, located at 2180 Freedom Avenue, Mims, at 5 p.m.

In 1951, on Christmas night and the Moore's 25th wedding anniversary, a bomb exploded under their home fatally injuring Harry and Harriette Moore. Harry Moore died on the way to the hospital and Harriette Moore died nine days later, Jan. 3, 1952, two days after Harry Moore's funeral. The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center promotes awareness of their unique contributions to the early civil rights movement. Dedicated to the preservation of African American history, it is a repository of the Moore family artifacts and historical America. Tours of the museum are available during open hours.

Call (321) 264-6595 for additional information. This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex, Inc. This event is free and open to the public.


December 01, 2012

Golf Tourney Continues Despite Fire at Sherwood Golf Club

(Brevard County, Fla.) - A golf tournament planned for Saturday at the Sherwood Golf Club in Titusville will continue as scheduled despite an electrical fire that has forced the closure of the course's clubhouse and banquet facilities.

Brevard County firefighters were dispatched to 4335 London Town Road at 10:21 p.m. for reports of a fire on an upper level of the clubhouse. Firefighters reported seeing light smoke coming from the third floor of the 3-story building when they arrived minutes later.

Crews quickly stretched a hand lines inside the structure and located a small fire that originated at an electrical outlet. The main body of fire was quickly extinguished but not before flames spread vertically inside the walls and made their way to the attic space of the building. Damages to the building are estimated at $10,000.

Despite the setback, Sherwood Golf Club representatives say the golf course will remain open for business and the tournament will continue as planned. The clubhouse will remain closed pending inspections by both the Building and Health Departments. The building is insured and plans to repair the damage are underway.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported. BCFR crews were assisted at the scene by personnel from Titusville Fire & Emergency Services.


November 30, 2012

Public Input sought on Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary Land Managment Plan

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program is soliciting citizen input on the draft Land Management Plan for Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary.

Copies are available to review at the Central Brevard, Titusville, and Mims/Scottsmoor Libraries, the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, the Cocoa Agricultural Extension and the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive in Melbourne. The plan is also available on-line at http://www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/eel-documents/scottsmoor-flatwoods-sanctuary-public-review.pdf?sfvrsn=2 Public input may be provided through Dec. 30 by submitting written comments to:

Xavier de Seguin des Hons
Enchanted Forest Sanctuary
444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville, FL 32780
Fax # (321) 264-5190
E-mail – xavier.deseguin@brevardparks.com
For questions, please call (321) 264-5185.


November 30, 2012

Enchanted Forest to host first-ever Trail Run Jan. 6

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The 1st Annual Enchanted Forest Trail run will be held Jan. 6 at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

Runners can participate in either the 5K or 10K race. There will also be a Fun Hike. Registered runners and hikers will receive a race shirt. Awards will be given to the top runners in each age group.

Registration begins at 1 p.m., and the race start time is 2 p.m.

For more information and to register online, go to: http://www.brevardcounty.us/EELProgram/RecreationGuide#Race.

All proceeds go to supporting trail development and maintenance projects on County conservation lands.

Call (321)-264-5185 for more information about this and other activities provided by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.


November 30, 2012

'American Pickers' lets Commissioners know reality show is Florida-bound

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- It's time to be "picked" Brevard.

Brevard County Commissioners have been alerted the HISTORY Channel's "American Pickers," which features antique pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz scouring the national landscape, rural barns, back yards and attics for antiques, is heading to Florida in January.

The notification from show Producer Jodi Friedman does not necessarily say they're coming to Brevard County, but seeks commissioners' help in spreading the word.

"We're looking for leads, specifically interesting characters with interesting items and lots of them," Friedman says in the notice. "Word-of-mouth is a great way of finding avid collectors."

Friedman's notice also indicates the show is contacting local media, chambers of commerce and various individuals about the pending visit. Only private collections are considered, so stores, malls, flea markets, museums, auctions and, in general, public sales will not be considered.

To contact the show, call (646) 493-2184 or AmericanPickers@Cineflix.com


November 29, 2012

Hurricane Season ends, but not without leaving mark on Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Hurricane season officially ends Friday, Nov. 30, but not without leaving its mark along Brevard County's beaches.

Historical tracking maps from the National Hurricane Center in Miami indicate the state had four brushes with tropical cyclone events this hurricane season. One of those events, Hurricane Sandy, led to a local state of emergency declaration in Brevard County after causing an estimated $25 million in beach erosion along the county's 72 miles of coastline.

According to the National Weather Service's North Atlantic Hurricane Tracking Chart:

  • In May, Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall near Jacksonville, but posed no threat to Brevard County.
  • In June, Tropical Storm Debby entered the state near the Big Bend area and exited near Jacksonville, but had little impact on the Space Coast.
  • In August, Tropical Storm Isaac impacted the Keys and South Florida before making landfall in Louisiana.
  • In October, Hurricane Sandy sideswiped the East Coast of Florida causing widespread beach erosion before making landfall in the northeastern United States.
In all, there were 19 named storm events, according to the National Hurricane Center. The impact on Brevard came primarily from Hurricane Sandy, which stayed 200 miles offshore but generated winds and waves that resulted in beach erosion from north to south.

"People can mistakenly think that if a tropical storm or hurricane doesn't make landfall in their city or county, they have nothing to worry about," said Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser. "But that's just not the case. Storms can be hundreds of miles wide, and the effects can be far-reaching."

Approximately 18 cubic yards of shoreline were lost along 14 miles of North Reach nourishment projects in the Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach area and South Reach projects in the Indialantic/Melbourne Beach area, with an estimated replacement cost of $15 million. In addition, along the 18 miles of Mid Reach shoreline in the Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach and South Beaches area, where Brevard County has constructed and maintained an engineered dune/beach project for the last 8 years, losses averaged roughly 3-4 cubic yards per foot of shoreline. Rebuilding the engineered beach/dune in these areas will cost roughly $10.5 million.

Erosion from Sandy extended into Indian River, Martin, St Lucie, Palm Beach, and Broward counties, leading to a request from Gov. Rick Scott for a major disaster declaration from FEMA. Today, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate denied the State of Florida's request. It is unknown yet whether the governor plans to appeal the decision.

So far, states who have received major disaster declarations for Hurricane Sandy include New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and New Hampshire.

Though hurricane season is over, history has shown hurricanes have occurred in December and later. As always, Brevard County Emergency Management encourages residents to be prepared. That includes preparing a kit with ample water, food, flashlights, batteries and other essential items for pets and children; to stay informed; and to develop an emergency plan for how and where you will evacuate if instructed by your emergency management officials.

"Yes, hurricane season is ending, but that's no reason to avoid being prepared," said Prosser. "Wildfire season is just around the corner."

Brevard County Emergency Management provides information and updates throughout the year on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BrevardEOC), via its Twitter feed (@BrevardEOC), and through text message (Text FOLLOW BREVARDEOC to 40404).


November 28, 2012

Environmentally Endangered Lands Program to hold land acquisition meeting

BREVARD COUNTY -- A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee, established by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive, in Melbourne.

The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Any questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255-4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


November 26, 2012

Breakfast With Santa event scheduled Dec. 8 in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Breakfast with Santa will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Fox Lake Park main pavilion, 4400 Fox Lake Road, in Titusville.

A pancake breakfast will be served and children will be given a candy-filled goodie bag, a visit with Santa, a make-and-take craft and hayride. Parents who want a photo of their child with Santa should bring their own cameras. Santa will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $5 for children under 12 years of age and $3 for adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance purchase of tickets at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue, Titusville, is recommended. The event is limited to 150 children.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264-5037 for more information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


November 26, 2012

'Diaper Derby Dash' to be held Dec. 1 at Port St. John Community Center

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla.— A Diaper Derby Dash for children ages 6-18 months old will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, in Port St. John.

The "Kiddy Crawl" consists of crawling 25 feet to the finish line (ages 6months). The "Teddy Bear Trot" is a 40-foot walk/run to the finish line (ages 7 –18 months) with their favorite stuffed toy. There will be prizes for the winners and fastest times. Please note that a birth certificate may be required to assure fair play.

There will be an arts and crafts project, "Ready Your Teddy" (stuff your own bear), for the first 40 contestants. There will be a kid train ride for contestants, free cotton candy and/or snow cone while supplies last. There is a $5 fee per participant.

This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. For more information or to pre-register, call (321) 633-1904.


November 18, 2012

Max Brewer Bridge wins 'People's Choice' in national transportation contest

BREVARD COUNTY -- The A. Max Brewer Bridge project in Titusville was named the top vote-getter Sunday in a nationwide contest to determine which transportation project would be selected for the People's Choice Award presented by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

The award was announced Sunday during the AASHTO's annual conference in Pittsburgh.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, Max Brewer Bridge received 331,198 votes out of more than 710,000 cast in the national competition. Votes were submitted during a month-long online voting poll. The $44.8 million Max Brewer Bridge project was among 10 transportation projects from across the nation picked as finalists. The winner receives a $10,000 prize, which the state Department of Transportation will present at a later date to the state agency's charity of choice.

Max Brewer Bridge's closest competitor was California's I-405/Sepulveda Pass Project -- Mulholland Bridge Demolition, or "Carmageddon" as it became known.

Brevard County Public Works Director John Denninghoff said Brevard County initiated the project to replace the swing span Max Brewer Bridge, named in honor of Albert "Max" Brewer, a Titusville attorney in the 1950s who was killed in a private plane crash in 1966, with local funding to start the planning process, but credited legislators who were successful in getting state and federal funding to build it.

"We had a vision for that bridge 11 years ago to have it replaced and save the taxpayers a lot of money for maintenance, but also to create something special for the north end of the county," Denninghoff said Sunday. "That movable bridge was special on its own, so we wanted something special to replace it with and we felt like we did it. It turned out extremely well. It's been wonderful to see the people out there adopting that bridge as part of their exercise and recreational activities, and it's also important as a reliable means to getting out to the commercial area and the Kennedy Space Center."


November 20, 2012

County Commissioner Robin Fisher announces new Administrative Aide

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Lydia Jackson, who worked for 6-plus years as a planner with Brevard County Planning & Development at the Government Center in Viera, has accepted a position as the new administrative aide for District 1 Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher.

Jackson, a resident of Brevard County for 7 years, formerly lived in Cleveland, Ohio. She will replace Kathie England, who is retiring after 27 years with the county.

Among Jackson's duties will be analyzing and responding to constituent complaints and requests and developing recommendations and solutions, attending meetings as the Commissioner's representative, serving on the Employee Benefits Insurance Advisory Committee, attending meetings of the North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation Board, Art in Public Places Advisory Committee, maintaining the District 1 Commission Office "Report Card," and other administrative duties or projects as assigned.

Jackson has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Cleveland State University.

District 1 boundaries are from the Volusia County Line to State Road 520 to the center of Lake Poinsett. Communities include Scottsmoor, Mims, unincorporated Titusville, City of Titusville, Port St. John, Bellwood, Sharpes, Hardeeville, Canaveral Groves, West Canaveral Groves and West Cocoa.

England and District 1 Administrative Aide Mary Lackovich, who worked 22 years with the county, announced their retirements in October.

The District 1 Commission office is at 400 South Street, Suite 1-A, in Titusville. (321) 264-6750.


November 20, 2012

Brevard County Seeks Citizen Recommendations Through "Speak Up Brevard"

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Once again it's time to "Speak Up Brevard."

In an effort to provide a formal process for citizens to submit recommendations to Brevard County government, and as a result of charter amendment, Brevard County is implementing a web-based application called "Speak Up Brevard."

The online form will be available at www.brevardcounty.us beginning Dec. 1. It allows people to submit ideas which would assist county government in conserving energy, saving costs, eliminating duplication, generating revenue, increasing productivity, or preventing waste. A hard-copy version of the form may also be submitted, and is available through the County Manager's office.

The process requires submissions to meet a deadline of Jan. 1, after which the County Manager's office has 45 days to evaluate and comment on the recommendation, and then forward it to the Board of County Commissioners for review. The Board of County Commissioner must take a final vote to either approve, reject, or revise and accept the recommendation within 120 days. The sponsor of the recommendation will be given at least a week's notice prior to it being heard and voted on by the Board. A listing of all recommendations, including disposition, will be posted on the County website.

Effective Dec. 1, citizens can visit www.brevardcounty.us, click on the e-Government tab and then, in the category labeled "Provide Feedback," recommendations can be posted under the heading "Speak Up Brevard."


November 20, 2012

Canvassing Board Certifies Election, Marks End to Successful Year

VIERA, Fla. — The Brevard County Canvassing Board met on Friday, Nov.16, to certify the official results from the Nov. 6 General Election. The official results include all ballots cast early, by absentee, provisional, and on Election Day.

Of the 380,469 eligible Brevard County voters, 287,546 or 75.6% participated in the General Election. By comparison, the 2008 Presidential Election drew 82.45% turnout.

  • Ballots Cast - Total: 287,546
  • Ballots Cast - Absentee: 90,493
  • Ballots Cast - Early Voting: 51,342
  • Ballots Cast - Election Day: 144,149
  • Ballots Cast - Provisional: 444
Pursuant to Florida Law, the Brevard County Canvassing Board conducted a manual audit of election results on Monday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m. The manual audit, which requires the random selection of a race and a precinct, was successful and the Canvassing Board reported the election's accuracy as "excellent" to the Florida Division of Elections.

The Canvassing Board, comprised of Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott, County Judge Kelly McKibben, and County Commissioner Chuck Nelson, also conducted two recounts following the General Election: Viera East Group 5 and Titusville City Council.

"The certification of official results from the General Election ends an extraordinary and successful year for this office," said Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott.

The year included January's Presidential Preference Primary, Redistricting and Reapportionment, the Primary Election, and the November 6th Presidential Election. Once every 20 years these events fall in the same calendar year.

For more information please call (321) 633-2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com


November 20, 2012

Brevard County derelict vessel removal efforts continue

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program will kick-off another phase of its ongoing efforts to remove derelict and abandoned vessels from the county's waterways in December. Working closely with state and local law enforcement, county staff has been able to identify approximately 25 vessels derelict or abandoned in county waters.

This continuing work will span Brevard's waterways north to south and is scheduled to remove over 14 of the 25 identified vessels. Project support and funding through the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Brevard Boating Improvement Program and the Florida Inland Navigation District has been crucial to the success of this project. This brings the program total to over 140 vessels removed since 2006.

The project is intended to improve boater safety and protect water quality and submerged aquatic resources in Brevard's Intracoastal Waterways.

To report derelict or abandoned vessels please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922.

For more information, contact Matt Culver at 321-633-2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


November 16, 2012

Free Family activities offered at Sams House at Pine Island in December

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free family activities throughout December. Pioneer Picnic and Nature Crafts - noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1: Bring the family and a picnic lunch while "Sister" and "Sarah" Sams delight you with pioneer tales and old-fashioned nature crafts.

John H. Sams: A Pioneer Story - 3 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8: Get the inside scoop on the heritage and life of Merritt Island pioneer John Sams. Sams was the first Superintendent of Brevard County Schools and built the oldest standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams cabin.

Sounds of the Night Marshmallow Roast - 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15: Discover what animals make the sounds you at hear at night with a special family-friendly slideshow, then listen for those sounds while roasting marshmallows around the campfire.

Pioneer Pathways Hike - 10 - 11:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 21: Learn what life was like for early pioneers and what plants and animals they used in this informative half-mile nature hike.

Family Nature Hike - 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22: Enjoy some family bonding time while exploring the beauty of Pine Island. This short nature hike is good for all ages.

Family Tree Craft - 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27: Using our template and your family pictures, we'll create a family tree worthy of framing.

Florida History Expedition - 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Dec. 28: Perfect for elementary school-aged children and their families. We'll travel back in time to Florida's beginnings, sift for Ice Age fossils, practice throwing a spear, and learn about pioneer life.

The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449-4720.


November 15, 2012

Brevard County Race Series has Fund-Raising Opportunities for Non-profits

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation announces a new program which allows charities and non-profits to use the 5k Races/Walks in the Second Annual Run Brevard ReCreate Your Life Race Series to raise donations for their organization.

The Add Meaning to Your Miles program allows non-profit organizations to use any of the six existing races in the series as a means of raising funds by recruiting a group of supporters to run or walk in a race. Individuals interested in Adding Meaning to their Miles can join one of the current charity teams or start a fundraiser for a new organization. For more information on adding a charity to the program or for a current list of participating organizations, call Gustavo Vergara at (321) 255-4400.

The six races in the series, presented by Health First and Brevard County Parks & Recreation, include the Reindeer Dash on Dec. 1 at the Viera Regional Community Center in Viera; the Shiver Me Timbers 5K and Walk on Jan. 19 at the South Beach Community Center in Melbourne Beach; the Forever Hearts 5K and Walk on Feb. 16 at the Rodes Park Community Center in West Melbourne; the 5K at the Bay and Fun Walk on March 2 at Barefoot Bay in Micco; the Earth, Wind, and Fire 5K Race and Fun Walk on April 20 at the Ted Whitlock Community Center in Palm Bay; and the Space Coast Mud Run and Kids 1K Challenge on May 25 at Wickham Park in Melbourne.

More information and registration forms for each race can be found on the new Brevard County race series website, www.brevardcounty.us/RunBrevard.


November 15, 2012

Brevard County Legislative Delegation to hold meeting on Dec. 12

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Representative Steve Crisafulli, Chairman of the Brevard County Legislative Delegation, has announced that the delegation will meet from 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the Brevard County Commission Chambers, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way (Building C) in Viera.

The primary purpose of this meeting is to discuss local issues to be presented before the Legislature in 2013. Please note that this is the only scheduled meeting of the delegation prior to the 2013 Legislative Session, which begins on March 5, 2013. The first portion of the meeting will be limited to presentations by local government entities and those requesting local bill submissions. The second portion of the meeting is for organizations and citizen presentations.

Anyone wishing to be placed on the meeting agenda should contact Ashley Guinn in Representative Crisafulli's Office in writing, at 2460 N. Courtenay Pkwy., Merritt Island, FL 32953 by mail: Ashley.guinn@myfloridahouse.gov by email: or (321) 449-5113 by fax no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. Telephone inquires may be directed to Representative Crisafulli's Office at (321) 449-5111.


November 13, 2012

Santa to make holiday calls to children in preschool through second grade

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Special arrangements have been made for Santa to telephone preschool through second-grade children from his headquarters at the North Pole.

Calls will be made between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 to phones in the local dialing area for Titusville. There is no charge for this service.

Request forms are available at Campbell Community Center at 701 South Street in Titusville, Cuyler Community Center at 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue in Mims; Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Park Cultural Center at 2180 Freedom Avenue in Mims; Port St. John Community Center at 6650 Corto Road and Sandrift Community Center at 585 North Singleton Avenue in Titusville; Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park at 4201 N. US HWY 1 in Cocoa (Sharpes); and the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

Call (321) 264-5105 for more information about this and other activities provided by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations.


November 13, 2012

Home School P.E. and art classes available at Walter Butler

COCOA (SHARPES), Fla.— Physical Education and art classes for home school students will be offered as an ongoing activity at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes.)

P.E. and art classes begin Dec. 3, and will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. The cost is $2 per class and additional fees may apply.

Call Perry Cusmano at (321) 433-4448 to register or for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Sharpes area.


November 13, 2012

'Madagascar 3' featured Movie in The Park at Chain of Lakes in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a free movie in the park at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

"Madagascar 3" will be shown on a giant, 23-foot outdoor movie screen beginning at 7 p.m. The movie is rated PG. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase.

Advertising opportunities are available as local sponsors will help make this a continual event. A minimum of four movies will be shown per year. Sponsors will be advertised on the screen prior to the movie.

Wind and weather conditions can cause this event to be canceled or postponed, so please check our cancellation line at (321) 264-5109. Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105, or by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com to become a sponsor or for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation.


November 13, 2012

Youth Coed Basketball League sign-up under way in North Brevard

COCOA (SHARPES,) Fla.—North Area Parks Operations is forming a coed basketball League's for children ages 5-7, at Walter Butler Community Center located at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes).

The fee is $15 per player for a six-game season. Games will be played on Mondays from 5:30-7 p.m., beginning Dec. 3.

This event is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. Contact Clifford Lett at (321) 433-4448 for further information on this Brevard County Parks and Recreation-sponsored program.


November 09, 2012

19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts to be held Nov. 17

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. There is a limited number of crafter spots still available. Concessions will be available for purchase, and admission is free.

Fox Lake Park is at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


November 06, 2012

Holiday Light Spectacular to begin with Grand Ceremony

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- The 2012 Space Coast Light Fest will begin with a Grand Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at Wickham Park.

The Boys Scouts of Brevard County have teamed with Brevard County Parks and Recreation to bring Brevard families this well-loved holiday tradition.

County Commissioner Andy Anderson, Chairman of Riverside District for the Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, will host a reception for local officials and dignitaries that will begin at 6 p.m. The lights are scheduled to be turned on at 6:30 p.m., officially opening the lighted drive through the park.

The Space Coast Light Fest in its 12th season will begin at 6:30 p.m. and run nightly through New Year's Eve. Prices are $10 per car Sunday through Thursday and $15 Friday and Saturday. Check out our website www.Spacecoastlightfest.com for discount and special event information.

For additional information, call scouting executive Shanna Michel at (321) 576-7556.


November 06, 2012

Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott issues Election Day reminders

VIERA, Fla. – Supervisor Lori Scott would like to remind Election Day voters of the following:
  1. Polls are open until 7 p.m. All voters in line by 7 p.m. will be permitted to cast their ballot;
  2. Voters must cast their ballot in the precinct in which they legally reside;
  3. Voters can find their designated polling location on their Official Voter Information Card, their Sample Ballot, by calling (321) 633-2124, or by visiting the VoteBrevard.com website, which includes maps and addresses for polling locations;
  4. Voters who arrive at the polls without a valid photo and signature I.D. or who have not completed their out-of-county address change into Brevard County prior to arriving at the polls will be allowed to vote a Provisional Ballot;
  5. Pursuant to Florida Law, Mail/Absentee Ballots must be returned to any one of the five Supervisor of Elections offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day; and
  6. Election night returns can be viewed at www.VoteBrevard.com.
For additional information about the November 6th General Election, please call (321) 633-2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com.


November 02, 2012

Space Coast Area Transit sees record daily boarding numbers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – October was a record-setting month for Space Coast Area Transit, which also this week was listed among a federal reporting system as eighth in the state of Florida for ridership, with 22.87 passenger boardings per hour.

Gainesville leads the state with 36.58 boardings per hour, followed closely by Broward County with 36.50.

Miami-Dade, 31.24; Palm Beach Co., 27.56; Lynx, 26.22; Hillsborough, 24.23; and Volusia, 23.36, also lead Brevard in the National Transit Database rankings, which reflect 2011 ridership numbers. Brevard leads Pinellas County, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Lee and Sarasota counties and fifteen other transit agencies.

"Our 2012 boardings per hour is 25.52, so we could jump up the listing even further next year," said Space Coast Area Transit Director Jim Liesenfelt. "Half our routes have seen boardings per hour increase by 60 percent over the past three years. Route 25 (operates between Melbourne and Palm Bay) carries 41 boardings per hour and our Route 4 (SR520 between Cocoa and Cocoa Beach) has 37 boardings per hour. Both of those would fit right in Miami-Dade system and still be an above-average performer."

Daily boardings, which for the past year have averaged in the 7,000-plus range, have steadily climbed since April to nearly 8,000 daily boardings in October. Three daily boarding records were set in October, including Monday which saw 8,783 boardings, beating the daily records set on Oct. 1 and Oct.3. Liesenfelt said the size of the recent surge in ridership is unexpected, and it's not known how long it will last, and where it will settle.

"We added evening service in Titusville on Oct. 1. That expansion has contributed to the daily increase," Liesenfelt said.

Space Coast Area Transit started fixed routes in fiscal year 1991-1992 and has never recorded a year-to-year ridership decrease.

"In fact, we've only had five years with an increase of less than 10 percent," Liesenfelt said. "In our latest survey, we asked if a car was available for the riders' trip, and 84 percent said no. So, our customers are very transit dependent. But our most common trip purpose is home to work. The ridership gain is part economy, BCC student passes, and that we have reached a level of service that helps get the transit-dependent to and from work, school and shopping."



November 02, 2012

Ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 9 to mark Truman Scarborough Way

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation announces a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Truman Scarborough Way, a new entrance road to Chain of Lakes, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way in Titusville, at the intersection of Dairy Road and U.S. Highway 1. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

The park is managed by Brevard County. For more information, call (321) 264-5105.


November 02, 2012

Register now for Holiday Parades/Tropical Parade Pace 2-mile Run/Walk

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla – Brevard County Parks & Recreation is accepting applications for the Merritt Island and Cocoa/Rockledge Holiday Parades.

This year, the theme for the parades is "Celebrate the Season." Mindy from "Mike & Mindy in the Morning" on Lite Rock 99.3, a Clear Channel Radio Station, will be hosting both parades.

The Merritt Island Holiday Parade will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The parade will go from Grove Boulevard at Merritt Island High School south on Courtenay Parkway (SR3) to Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School on Merritt Avenue. Prior to the parade, the Tropical Parade Pacer 2-Mile Run/Walk will start at 9:15 a.m. at Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School. The race will run north on Courtenay (SR3) to Catalina Isles Boulevard and back. The race proceeds will benefit the Habitat for Humanity Women's Build.

The Cocoa/Rockledge Holiday Parade will be held starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The parade will go south from the Central Area Reference Library on Forrest Avenue to Florida Avenue and end at Rockledge High School.

Applications for the parades and race are available on the website www.brevardcounty.us/parkscentral. For additional information about the parades or race, call (321) 633-1874.


November 01, 2012

Emergency declaration will help expedite repair of beachside properties

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – In an effort to expedite the permitting and repair process for beachside property owners, Brevard County has declared a local state of emergency in response to Hurricane Sandy's impact on its beaches.

Permitting is further streamlined by a State of Florida Emergency Final Order. In most cases, the repair and replacement of dune crossovers damaged during Hurricane Sandy will not require a Brevard County or Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) permit. However, unincorporated Brevard County residents must obtain a no-cost Exemption Letter from the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, and are required to observe the following guidelines:

  • Repairs and replacements must restore the crossover to its pre-storm configuration only. Any expansions will require both County and FDEP approval. Please contact Wesley Cich, FDEP, at (321) 474 1627 for information regarding State permit requirements for crossover expansions.
  • If the east terminus of the crossover is overhanging the eroded beach, you may also obtain a no-cost Letter of Consistency from the Natural Resources Management Office to restore your dune with beach quality sand at your own expense. It is unknown at this time when, or if, Brevard County will conduct any dune restoration in response to Hurricane Sandy. If you do not wish to purchase sand, repaired crossovers should be reconstructed in such a manner that does not extend the structure further seaward than the original structure. Extending a crossover further east to intersect the lower beach profile will require an FDEP permit and is not authorized by the County's Exemption Letter.
  • Reconstruction of dune crossovers that were initially built without the benefit of the proper permit(s) will require a permit. However, this will legitimize the crossover without the applicant having to pay for an after-the-fact permit fee (triple fee).
  • Unless previously permitted by the County, non-conforming portions of crossovers (e.g., sitting areas/decks that are too large, or too close to the dune) cannot be reconstructed. The exemption letter process will allow staff to evaluate whether the proposed project is consistent with County ordinances.
  • Non-conforming, previously unpermitted crossovers constructed prior to September 1988 (with or without non-conforming attachments) can be repaired with an Exemption Letter; no permit will be required.
  • Please take before and after photographs.
  • Crossovers repairs must start after Nov. 1, 2012, and be complete by Jan. 31, 2013.
  • For a Brevard County Exemption Letter, please contact Darcie McGee at (321) 633-2016.
  • It is the owner's responsibility to obtain required State permits as applicable. The Natural Resources Management Office will forward all exemption letters to FDEP per their request. In some cases you may be referred to FDEP prior to issuing an exemption letter from Brevard County.


October 31, 2012

4th annual Native Rhythms Festival to be held Nov. 9-11 at Wickham Park

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the Native Heritage Gathering Inc. and the Indian River Flute Circle will host a Native American music, arts and crafts festival at the Wickham Park amphitheater the weekend of Nov. 9 - 11.

This event celebrates the culture and heritage of the indigenous peoples of North America through the appreciation of the music of the Native American style flutes and drums, with over 40 vendors selling native style and environmental arts and crafts and food. The festival will also be hosting a free educational workshop series that focuses on flute playing, history, beading, guitar playing, drumming and much more.

Admission to the festival is free. Musical performances are scheduled throughout each day, with headliner performances starting in the late afternoon through 10 p.m. Multiple award-winning musicians from all over the United States will be performing throughout the weekend, including Saturday and Sunday performances by two-time Grammy Award-winning Native American flutist and performer Robert Mirabal. Other headliner performers include Arvel Bird, Mark Holland, Michael Graham Allen (Coyote Oldman), Scott August, Jan Seiden, Dock Green Silverhawk, Jonny Lipford, and Ed Wind Dancer.

A full description of the event, including a list of headlining entertainer performance times and vendors currently on board can be found at: http://nativerhythmsfestival.com.


October 30, 2012

Repairs completed on collapsed culvert on Windover Way in Titusville

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Work to replace a collapsed metal culvert on Windover Way, between Quail Trail and Canal Ridge Drive in Titusville, will be completed Wednesday, one week ahead of schedule, Public Works Director John Denninghoff said Tuesday.

In September, a metal culvert estimated between 20 to 30 years old collapsed under the weight of a Public Works mower. The culvert has been replaced with a concrete culvert that has a life expectancy of 50-plus years, Denninghoff said. The project was estimated to cost about $150,000.

Windover Way crosses Addison Canal in unincorporated Titusville. Both lanes of Windover Way at that location have been closed while the replacement project was under way. Denninghoff said the road will reopen to traffic before the end of the day Wednesday.


October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy beach impact leads to emergency declaration in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County has declared a local state of emergency in response to Hurricane Sandy's impact on its beaches, in an effort to expedite the permitting and repair process for beachside property owners. Permitting is anticipated to be streamlined further when the State of Florida executes an Emergency Final Order for counties damaged by Hurricane Sandy to authorize specific emergency protective measures seaward of the Coastal Construction Control Line.

Some private homes and structures have been damaged by erosion or are in immediate danger from bluff collapse. There is evidence of impact to crossovers and decks and, in some cases, the dune has retreated to only a few feet from residential foundations.

Citizens should be aware that if they have a deck or dune crossover that has been undermined, it is likely a safety hazard and not stable. If the dune has receded to within 10 feet of a home, property owners should have the home assessed for stability and to determine whether it is safe to occupy. Finally, if a property owner wants to take immediate action by restoring the dune with beach-quality sand, the county's Natural Resources Management Office can facilitate the permitting process and provide guidance. The State Emergency Order is likely to delegate authority to the County to authorize debris removal from the beach and dunes, repair of the seaward end of surviving beach access structures or repair of walkovers to conform with current codes, and placement of beach-quality sand to restore damaged dunes. To reach Brevard County Natural Resources, call (321) 633-2016.

The county's Natural Resources Management Office and Emergency Management Office are working to ensure that all damage is identified. An initial damage assessment has been completed, and those numbers have been submitted to the State, along with a request for a joint Preliminary Damage Assessment from the state and FEMA. This is the first step in determining whether federal assistance for public infrastructure will be available as a result of Hurricane Sandy's impacts.

Beach erosion along Brevard's 72 miles of coast has been preliminarily estimated at $25 million. Losses from 14 miles of shoreline in the North and South Reach nourishment projects are approximately 18 cubic yards per foot of shoreline which will cost roughly $15 million to replace. Along the 18 miles of Mid Reach and South Beaches shoreline, where Brevard County has constructed and maintained an engineered dune/beach project for the last 8 years, losses averaged roughly 3-4 cubic yards per foot of shoreline. Rebuilding the engineered beach/dune in these areas will cost roughly $10.5 million.

The full assessment of the beach condition and actual damage is expected to take several days.


October 29, 2012

Child safety instruction courses to be held by UF/Brevard Extension Service

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of November and December at the UF/Cocoa Extension office, 3695 Lake Drive and/or at the UF/Palm Bay Extension office, 1455 Treeland Blvd.

Kids and Cars: A Child Passenger Safety Seminar: Learn how to properly select, install and use child safety seats. Held at the UF/Palm Bay Ext. Office on Nov. 8, 1-3 p.m., and Dec. 13, 10 a.m. - noon. Held at the UF/Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 14, 3-5 p.m. and Dec. 14, 10 a.m. - noon. Cost: Free.

Child Safety Seat Check: Bring child & child's seat to be checked for proper selection, installation and fit. Call to schedule appointment time. Held at the UF/Palm Bay Ext. Office on Nov. 8, 9-11:30 a.m.; Nov. 19, 1:30-4 p.m.; Dec. 6th, 9:30 a.m.-noon; and Dec. 13, 2–4:30 p.m. Held at the UF/Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 9, 9:30 a.m.-noon; Nov. 30, 9:30 a.m.-noon; and Dec. 14, 2-4:30 p.m. Cost: Free.

For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


October 29, 2012

Farm & Pasture Management among upcoming Extension Service courses

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of November and December:

Small Ruminant Production Conference: The program will be focused on goat and sheep production topics and forage resource management and marketing alternatives for your farm. Topics include: Small Farm Pasture Management, Sheep and Goat Health and Parasite Control, Manure Management and its Benefits, Marketing Alternatives for Small Ruminants, Legumes for your Farm, Forage for Goats: Planting for Browsing, On-Farm Small Ruminant Demonstrations. Being held at the Marion County 4H Farm, 4931 Baseline Road, Ocala. Registration fee: $15.00 Registration ends on Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. If paying by check, make payable to UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Advisory Committee and mail with completed form to Donna Redner, UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Service, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala, FL 34470. To register and pay by credit card go to CFLAG.ifas.ufl.edu or for more information call (352)671-8400. To register contact Joe Walter, jwalter@ufl.edu or (407) 948-8810.

Mosquito Control – Identification of possible chemical damage on flora and fauna: This class is focused on those individuals applying chemical control measures and those monitoring ecosystems where mosquito control measure are implemented to ensure a understanding of and recognition of any possible negative effects to the environment as a result of the use of chemicals. Held at the UF/Palm Bay office on Nov. 9 at 8 a.m. Instructors - Holly Abeels and Joe Walter. Contact Joe Walter, jwalter@ufl.edu or 407-948-8810 for further information. Cost $25. Register at brevard.ifas.ufl.edu./class registration/agriculture.

Pasture Management and Farmer to Farmer Discussion: Discussion of Cool Season Pasture Fertilization, grazing systems to stretch you available forage, insect and disease associated with cool season pastures. At the UF/Palm Bay Ext. office, Thursday, Nov. 15, 7 -9 p.m. Cost $10. Instructor-Joe Walter. Register at brevard.ifas.ufl.edu./class registration/agriculture.

Poultry and Egg Products and Marketing: This is part one of a three part series on identification of poultry and egg products, quality grading of these products, and marketing of the products. The program is open to the public and will be presented during the Brevard 4-H Poultry Club meeting, at the UF/Cocoa Extension on Nov. 13, 7 p.m. There is no charge for this program. Poultry

and Egg Products and Marketing: This is part two of a three part series on identification of poultry and egg products, quality grading of these products, and marketing of the products. The program is open to the public and will be presented during the Brevard 4-H Poultry Club meeting at the UF/Cocoa Extension, Dec. 11, 7 p.m. There is no charge for this program. For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.

Equine Infectious Diseases and Parasites: Learn about some of the diseases and parasites that horses can be exposed to. Dec. 12, 7-8:30pm, UF/Cocoa Extension office. Cost: Free. Register at: http://brevardequineseminars-eorg.eventbrite.com.

Exploring Careers in the Equine Industry: Geared toward youth interested in pursuing a career with horses, learn about different options available. Led by UF Faculty Instructors. Geared toward youth ages 14 and up but open to all. Free. Nov. 28, 7-8:30pm, Cocoa. Register at: http://brevardequineseminars-eorg.eventbrite.com/


October 29, 2012

Extension Service offers Finance & Money Management Courses in November

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes during the months of November and December at the Cocoa Ext. office, 3695 Lake Drive and/or at the UF/Palm Bay Ext. office, 1455 Treeland Blvd.

Become Captain of Your Financial Ship: Financial management program, meets bankruptcy debtor education requirements. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 7; 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office on Dec. 5; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cost: $20.

Foreclosure Prevention: For families facing foreclosure. Learn to prepare a budget, foreclosure options, and the foreclosure process. Required for one-on-one counseling. Held at the Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 5; 6-8 p.m. Held at the Palm Bay Ext. Office on Dec. 3; 6 -8 p.m. Cost: $10.

Budgeting Basics: Learn to prepare a budget, reconcile accounts and stretch dollars. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 5; 3 – 5 p.m. Cost: $10.

Credit Basics: Learn how to use credit wisely and pay down debt. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on Nov. 16; 3–5 p.m. Cost: $10.

Buying & Selling on Internet Venues: Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via Ebay and Amazon & look at other internet buying/selling options. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on November 16th; 10 a.m. -12 p.m. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office on Dec. 4; 3-5 p.m. Cost: $10 For more information or to register call (321) 633-1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


October 29, 2012

Sams House at Pine Island celebrates Native American Heritage Month

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities throughout November in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.

Native Ways Hike -- Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to noon, and Friday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to noon: Enjoy a guided one-mile hike through the beautiful palm hammock as we explore how Native Americans used the abundant resources around them. Close-toed shoes are recommended.

Farmers, Fishers, and Traders, the First Floridians -- Saturday, Nov. 3, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Join local archaeologist and Indian River Anthropological Society president Elaine Williams for a slide presentation and talk on the rich cultures of Florida's Native Peoples before the Spanish conquest and how the natural resources in different parts of the state shaped the ways they lived.

Lost Indian Nations of Florida -- Saturday, Nov. 10, 10:30 a.m. to noon: Local historian and author Ray Osborne will give a slideshow presentation on the ancient Indians of Florida, featuring special guest Arthur Tarratus, who just returned from a research trip to the Archives of Indies in Seville, Spain.

Prehistoric Toolbox: Examination of Native American Tools and Weapons -- Saturday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m. to noon: Native Americans in Florida were extremely resourceful, using all elements of their environment for survival. This presentation by Kevin Gidusko with the Florida Public Archeology Network introduces the tools and weapons used in prehistoric life ranging from shark tooth-fixed atlatls to whelk-shelled hammers.

Pine Island Paddle -- Saturday, Nov. 24, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Paddle through a deep-water canal frequented by manatees and out to the Indian River Lagoon. Includes a hike in to the Sams House and Cabin, then back to the Lagoon to paddle back to the start. Reservations required. Limited to 14 participants. $30 per person ($20 for ages 5-12). Call 321-784-2452 or email info@spacecoastkayaking.net to hold your spot. Meet at Conservation Area gate at end of Pine Island Road.

Please note that the Center will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 22, for Thanksgiving. The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half-mile west of State Road 3. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call 321-449-4720.


October 29, 2012

Subcommittee meets Nov. 6 to review Transportation Disadvantaged Services

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) Review Subcommittee of the Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services will be meeting to discuss the CTC Review at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the Cocoa Terminal Conference Room, 401 South Varr Avenue, in Cocoa.

Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635-7815 or e-mail at Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.

If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635-7815 ext. 601.


October 27, 2012

Rough surf, rip currents and boating hazards to linger into mid-week

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Tropical storm warnings and watches were discontinued this morning as Hurricane Sandy's trek continued to move northeast in the Atlantic, however the threat of rough surf, dangerous rip currents and hazardous boating conditions will continue in Brevard County into mid-week, according to the National Weather Service-Melbourne.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi said double red flags are posted along the beach as a warning to beachgoers of unsafe conditions. Entering the water is not advised. Scabarozi warned of dangerous rip currents and unsafe surf conditions and advised all beachgoers to stay near lifeguards. The rip current threat will not subside until at least mid-week. A high surf advisory is in effect and will remain in place through Sunday.

A high wind advisory was also issued by the National Weather Service-Melbourne and will remain in effect until 8 p.m. Saturday. Winds estimated at 25-30 mph are expected throughout the day with occasional wind gusts of 35-40 mph. These strong winds make boating conditions unsafe on area waterways and can also pose dangerous driving conditions, down tree limbs and blow loose outdoor objects around. Caution is advised on roadways.

No additional rainfall is expected.

Related updates:

Florida Power & Light: Reported 11,210 power outages resulting from Hurricane Sandy. By noon Saturday, 10,900 outages had been restored and the remaining outages were expected to be restored some time later in the day.

Early Voting: Continues at Supervisor of Elections sites in Viera, Titusville, Melbourne, Palm Bay and Merritt Island, and at these public libraries: Franklin T. DeGroodt in Palm Bay, Melbourne Public Library and Melbourne Beach Public Library.

Waste Management: Normal operations, including yard waste and commercial collection countywide. Starting Monday, additional equipment will be brought in from other regional WM facilities to expedite yard waste cleanup countywide. Customers can contact Waste Management with any questions at 636-6894 in North Brevard or 723-4455 in South Brevard, or may email Waste Management at CentralFloridaService@wm.com.

Causeways: High wind gusts can pose driving hazards for high-profile vehicles like SUVs, trucks and buses, so caution is advised.


October 26, 2012

Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher receives EDC honor

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – District 1 Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher, who represents North Brevard, has been awarded the 2012 Gary R. Cunningham Distinguished Service Award presented by the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast.

The EDC created the Gary R. Cunningham award in 2006 to recognize exceptional business leaders and their efforts in support of economic development. Fisher received the award Wednesday night during the EDC's 2012 Annual Meeting, attended by more than 350 EDC investors, community leaders, politicians and guests at the King Center in Melbourne.

Fisher was recognized for turning "discussions with business leaders into action," according to the EDC.

In naming Fisher as this year's award recipient, incoming EDC Chairman Paul Hanson described Fisher as a successful entrepreneur and dedicated public servant.

"In the wake of the Shuttle retirement, he partnered with the City of Titusville to create the greater Titusville Renaissance, creating an arts and cultural district and city beautification initiative," Hanson said. "Robin made the redevelopment of Miracle City Mall his personal mission, securing a national developer to facilitate the sale and redevelopment of this site."

Fisher, an EDC Executive Committee and Board of Directors member, was touted for his contributions to business development projects and for his efforts to assist in retaining and expanding Professional Aircraft Accessories in Titusville and other economic development projects from around the county. Hanson said Fisher championed the establishment of the North Brevard Economic Development Zone to support economic development and job creation in the post-Shuttle economy.

Fisher was also recognized for his services as a community volunteer, serving as a Brevard County YMCA Campaign Chairman and Central Florida YMCA Board Chair. He has also served on various other boards, including United Way, Brevard Community College Board of Trustees, Brevard County Tourism Development Council and the Titusville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The Gary R. Cunningham award is named after the former chief executive officer of Cunningham, Ingram and Anderson Developers, a commercial and industrial property development and leasing firm based in Melbourne. Cunningham began with a background in petroleum distribution, auto parts wholesaling and economic development. In 1974, Cunningham's efforts turned to industrial facility development. He developed and leased more than 500,000 square feet of predominately high-tech facilities in less than a decade on the Space Coast.


October 26, 2012

North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation to meet Nov. 8

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims-Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The public is invited to attend.

The Brevard Room is in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy-related service changes planned in Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The following Brevard County services may be affected by Hurricane Sandy:
  • Most Space Coast Area Transit buses will run as normally scheduled on Friday unless conditions deteriorate throughout the day as a result of the movement of Hurricane Sandy off the east coast of Brevard County. "Customers need to be aware that fixed route service could be disrupted due to deteriorating weather conditions," said Jim Liesenfelt, Director of Space Coast Area Transit. Space Coast Area Transit has canceled all contract routes, which include developmentally disabled adult service to Brevard Achievement Center, Bridges, Easter Seals and Seniors at Lunch bus service. All Volunteers in Motion service is also canceled. All non-dialysis paratransit customers were being contacted to check trip reservations for Friday/Saturday.
  • Brevard Public Schools will be closed Friday. Child care and afterschool activities area canceled and will be rescheduled by individual schools. Questions have arisen concerning Saturday activities, such as ACT testing, field trips, training and athletic activities. Students scheduled to take the ACT at any Brevard school are encouraged to contact ACT for directions about test taking when weather conditions are poor. ACT can be reached at www.actstudent.org or (319) 337-1510. Brevard Public Schools will update the community Friday afternoon regarding any proposed changes to scheduled Saturday events.
  • A Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program Selection and Management Committee meeting scheduled for Friday has been postponed. A new meeting date has not been announced.
  • Brevard Community College will be open for classes Friday and Saturday; however, daycare centers will be closed.
  • Waste Management will be operating a normal pickup schedule Friday, but disruptions may result as a result of conditions stemming from Hurricane Sandy. Routes that are not completed on Friday will be finished on Saturday, according to Waste Management. Additional equipment will be used Saturday for yard waste collection and will be continued into next week.
  • Kennedy Space Center is open on Friday.
  • Brevard County Courts are open.


October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy poses beach, road and wind hazards in Brevard

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Dangerous rip currents, rough surf and anticipated blustery conditions, with wind gusts as high as 45 to 50 mph on Friday into Saturday, have prompted advisories from Brevard County Emergency Management for county residents, beachgoers and motorists to be extremely cautious during the next 48-hour period.

Due to high wind conditions and the danger that poses to school buses, particularly when crossing causeways, Brevard County Public Schools will not open for classes on Friday. After-school football games and activities for Friday are also canceled.

Motorists are warned to use caution while crossing over area causeways and while driving on local roadways. Avoid downed power lines. Assume downed power lines are live and contact the utility company.

Homeowners should secure patio furniture, plants, garbage cans and other loose outdoor items. Breezy conditions Thursday afternoon will give way to prolonged periods of strong winds expected to begin by mid-day Friday and lingering into Saturday.

Strong beach erosion, rip currents, pounding surf and hazardous boating conditions are also expected. Beachgoers are advised to follow beach warning flags. Tropical storms and hurricanes increase the risk of dangerous rip currents. Due to deteriorating conditions, Brevard County Ocean Beach Patrol Chief Jeff Scabarozi said beaches are at double red flag, meaning conditions are extremely dangerous. Lifeguards will be advising beachgoers to stay out of the water.

The eye of Hurricane Sandy is expected to remain off the the Brevard County coastline, however, strong winds are expected along the beaches and barrier islands. According to the National Weather Service Melbourne, rainfall amounts could range from 1-3 inches with isolated areas as high as 3 to 5 inches.


October 19, 2012

Biannual Fish Fry to be held Nov. 9 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- The community is invited to enjoy a free fish fry from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville.

This event is co-sponsored by the Isaac Campbell Seniors Club and Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. For more information, please call Tommy Myers at (321) 264-5040.


October 18, 2012

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts 10th Annual Forest Festival

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and the Board of County Commissioners invite the public to the 10th annual Forest Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center.

Events and activities include Florida wildlife and reptile presentations, live music, guided hikes on the trails, plants for sale by the Florida Native Plant Society, tours of the Butterfly Gardens, artists with displays and painting on site. There will also be a Kids Corner with crafts, face painting and puppets. This is a good opportunity to capture photographs of wildlife and people interacting.

The Friends of the Enchanted Forest will be in the Library and Gift Shoppe with information and sale items. Food will be available for purchase. This is a fun event for all ages and free of charge.

For more information on the Forest Festival, call the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264-5185. The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located in Titusville on the north side of S.R. 405, one-half mile west of U.S. 1.


October 18, 2012

Free Movie in the Park, 'Monster House,' part of Chain of Lakes Fall Festival

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will host a fall festival, including a free Movie in the Park, at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Chain of Lakes Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, face painting and a movie in the park. The movie, 'Monster House' rated PG, will be shown on a giant, 23-foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at 8 p.m. There will be a minimal fee for the hay ride.

Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman at (321) 264-5105 for additional information.


October 17, 2012

County road paving effort in North Brevard hits milestone on Friday

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Brevard County Public Works street repaving initiative in North Brevard begun in January 2011 will reach a milestone Friday morning with a resurfacing project on Devon Street in Port St. John.

One-time funding of $10 million provided through gas tax bond proceeds has allowed the county to conduct resurfacing projects at an unprecedented pace. In less than two years, the county has conducted resurfacing work on 300 roads in North Brevard, with the 100-mile mark set to be hit before noon Friday on Devon Street, according to Public Works Director John Denninghoff.

Of the money received, an estimated $9 million was spent for resurfacing.

"We tried to identify two years ago a lot of roads that needed repaving and, as you know, we have 93 miles of dirt roads and 83 of those miles of dirt road are in my district -- not to mention a bunch of other roads that had not been resurfaced in 25-30 years," said county Commissioner Robin Fisher, who represents District 1 in North Brevard.

"We set out to change the landscape a little bit and get some dollars in my district to repave some roads, and we gave Roads and Bridges people a huge goal -- 50 miles this year and 50 miles in 2011. That had never been done in history of the county," Fisher said. "This is a huge accomplishment and I take my hat off to John Denninghoff and his group for understanding my goal and accomplishing it."


October 16, 2012

Recreation Partner proposals sought at Tom Statham Center in Titusville

TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Park Operations is requesting proposals from non-profit organizations to become a recreation partner through agreement to operate and run community programs at the Tom Statham Center at 7101 South US Highway 1 in Titusville.

Interested organizations should submit written proposals – outlining organizational information to include, but not limited to: history, funding/financial, total numbers served, ages served and a vision for programs within this community.

Send proposals to Terry Lane, Operations Manager, 475 N. Williams Avenue, Titusville, FL 32796, or email to terry.lane@brevardparks.com. Proposals need to be received no later than Thursday, Nov. 1. To be considered for this opportunity, organizations will need to appear at the North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. and is held in the Brevard Room at the Brevard County Government Center, North, 518 South Palm Ave., in Titusville.

For more information, call Terry Lane at (321) 264-5105.


October 16, 2012

Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival seeks sponsors, donations, volunteers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The 16th Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, set for Jan. 23-28, is seeking local sponsors, donations, items (new or gently used) for the silent auction and volunteers.

The festival is a community event that draws over 5,000 participants during the six days of activities. Headquartered at Brevard Community College, Titusville Campus, field trips, photography field workshops and classroom presentations are offered throughout the county. The Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival is the largest such festival in the United States attracting local participants and those from all over Florida, nationally and internationally. Attendees spend an estimated $1 million in Brevard County during each festival as well as paying local and state taxes of near $130,000, utilizing over 4,000 hotel beds nights and long stays at local RV parks.

The 2013 Festival is partnering with Brevard County Parks & Recreation to spotlight how important recreation programs are to the area's quality of life. Each county park, sanctuary and the Moore Center will have special activities during the festival week.

The festival is also partnering with Promise in Brevard to promote their first Scrub Jay 5k Fun Run/Walk and Duathlon, with activities being held at Chain of Lakes Park. Promise in Brevard and the Festival are mutually raising awareness of individuals in our community with special needs and making an effort to ensure that the festival and other events in Brevard County are accessible to everyone.

Contact Neta Harris at neta@brevardnaturealliance.org or (321) 268-5224 to become involved with this community event. Visit the festival web site for more information, www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org.


October 15, 2012

Ceremony to mark widening of I-95 in north Brevard to Voluisia County line

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- District One County Commissioner Robin Fisher, the North Brevard Economic Development Zone, and the Space Coast Infrastructure Agency with the Florida Department of Transportation will host a public ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 30, to mark the beginning of construction on a major project to widen nearly 30 miles of Interstate 95 in Brevard and Volusia counties.

This event will be held at 10 a.m. at the northbound visitors' rest area on I-95, just north of Titusville, at mile marker 225.

I-95 serves as a vital artery for Brevard County and Volusia County, as well the entire State of Florida, by moving goods, services and people up and down the East Coast. It's important to commerce, to tourism and to economic development, all things critical to the area's dynamic and changing economy.

The public is invited to to attend this exciting and important occasion.

Fast facts about this project:

  • Covers nearly 30 miles, and widens I-95 from four lanes to six lanes
  • Project limits are from State Road (SR) 406 in Titusville to SR 44 in New Smyrna Beach
  • Cost is $118.3 million
  • Lane Construction Corporation and DRMP are the design-build team
  • Financial agreement with the design-build team extends the project's payment timeline, which allows this entire project to get built now.

  • October 15, 2012

    Voting deadline looms: Max Brewer Bridge now in 2nd for national award

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The competition for "Best in the Nation" transportation project, which includes A. Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville as a Top 10 Finalist, now has California in first place by a 7,000-vote margin, according to the latest numbers provided by the Florida Department of Transportation.

    Max Brewer Bridge has led the competition until this past weekend. According to the latest stats, the Max Brewer Bridge replacement project has collected 130,706 votes, but trails a bridge project with 137,363 votes in California. The online voting deadline ends at midnight Friday, Oct. 19, so there's still plenty of time to vote in the national contest sponsored by American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

    Brevard County residents can vote online as many as 10 times a day at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org. The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville was named among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the "Best in the Nation" title.

    The finalists also include Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.


    October 12, 2012

    Video Game Competitors to Square Off Nov. 21 at Cuyler Community Center

    MIMS, Fla.— A video game tournament for youths ages 9-15 will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at the Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., in Mims.

    The entry fee is $3. This fun and enjoyable activity offers participants an opportunity to compete with the latest video games.

    Call Darryll Gamon at (321) 264-5045 to pre-register or for more information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


    October 11, 2012

    Free Fall Health Festival set for Nov. 3 at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.—A Fall Health Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Isaac Campbell Sr. Park, 701 South Street, in Titusville.

    The event is for all ages and will include health screenings, information and education, as well as food and craft vendors, North Brevard's Best Choir, Youth Praise Dance, a 3-point shoot-out contest, door prizes and donation baskets. Admission is free.

    Crafters and food vendors can register by visiting Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center. The cost for craft vendors is $15 plus tax, and the cost for food vendors is $25 plus tax.

    This program is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations and OUR Community Health Care. For information about this event, call (321) 264-5040.


    October 11, 2012

    Thanksgiving Luncheon to be held Nov. 15 at Walter Butler Community Center

    COCOA (SHARPES), Fla. — The North Cocoa Civic League, Victory Worship, Lifepointe Ministries, The United Way and Walter Butler Community Center staff and volunteers invite the community to a Thanksgiving luncheon at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa.

    The event is free. Reservations are required.

    Call the center at (321) 433-4448 for reservations or for additional information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Sharpes area.


    October 11, 2012

    Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts to be held Nov. 17 in Titusville

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Fox Lake Park in Titusville.

    Only handmade and homemade crafts will be offered for sale at the event, which is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Food vendors will be present.

    Fox Lake Park is at 4400 Fox Lake Road in Titusville. For more information about this and other recreation programs in North Brevard, call (321) 264-5105.


    October 10, 2012

    First-ever Viva Brevard Festival celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Parks and Recreation is among sponsors helping kick off the first Viva Brevard Festival on Saturday, Oct. 13.

    Viva Brevard will be a day full of Latin American cuisine, culture and entertainment. It is the first event held in Brevard County to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. Viva Brevard will take place near the Ted Whitlock Community Center in Palm Bay Regional Park. Festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) will welcome attendees and present certificates to recognize four local Hispanic leaders for their contributions and service to the community.

    "This is an opportunity to celebrate the spirit and accomplishments of Hispanic Americans everywhere," said Congressman Posey, who also entered a statement honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month into the Congressional Record. "Events like the Viva Brevard festival provide an opportunity to share and experience the diversity of cultures from Latin American countries and bring us all closer together as a community."

    Javier Molinares of Al Dia Today, a prime sponsor of Viva Brevard, said the event is a celebration of contributions made by Hispanic Americans to the nation and the Brevard County community."It's also a chance to share the rich and diverse cultures of Latin America."

    The City of Palm Bay issued an official proclamation recognizing Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 the Hispanic Heritage Month and the contributions made by Hispanic Americans.

    The Brevard County Commission unanimously adopted a resolution commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month.

    "It's really important that we recognize and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month," said Commissioner Andy Anderson, vice-chairman of the Commission and sponsor of the Hispanic Heritage Resolution. "We've always had heroes in our ranks of Hispanic descent serving and making sacrifices for our communities and our nation – that needs to be recognized.

    Viva Brevard is sponsored by local organizations and businesses that also include WellCare, State Farm, Cancer Care Centers of Brevard, VITAS, Law Office of David Stoller, The Gallery, Moore, Eavenson & Baughan, PLC., Magic Lion, Andretti, Remax Elite, Bogin, Munns & Munns, P.A., Glad Eyecare & Surgery Center, PIP Printing and la Placita.


    October 10, 2012

    Cuyler Community Center in Mims to host free Thanksgiving Celebration

    MIMS, Fla.— A free "Giving Thanks" Thanksgiving celebration will be held from 5-7 p.m., Nov. 7, at the Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, in Mims.

    This event is free and includes dinner and a musical celebration.

    Call LaShawn Stevens at (321) 264-5045 to pre-register or for additional information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


    October 10, 2012

    Brevard County Fair announces online release of 2013 Premium Book

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Bring your cookies, quilts and potted plants to the 2013 Brevard County Fair! Each year, more than $6,000 in premiums are awarded to the top entries in Brevard County Fair competitions. And, although County Fair competitions are traditionally rooted in agriculture, premiums are awarded in areas as diverse as crocheting, photography, fishing lures, mini-aquatic habitat dioramas and oddest vegetable shape.

    The Fair is March 21-30 at Wickham Park, 3845 Wickham Road, in Melbourne.

    The 2013 Premium Book, which is now available online at www.brevardcountyfair.com, is the how-to guide to all of the fair's competitions. It details the rules, deadlines, cash prizes, and judging criteria associated with each contest. Hardcopy books will be available in mid-November in the lobby of the UF Brevard County Extension Service, 3695 Lake Drive in Cocoa.

    Originally, premiums were designed to highlight advances in agriculture and to encourage the production of specific crops and livestock. Over the years, the Fair added premiums for arts and crafts, canning and baking.

    "We would like to invite all Brevard County residents to share their passion and creativity with the community," said Melinda (Mel) Morgan-Stowell, coordinator of competitive exhibits. "We appreciate the talent and dedication displayed by competitors each year at the Fair, and we have continued to grow and improve because of their efforts." Co

    mpetitions are open to the public, and all information about the competitions can be found on the Brevard County Fair website: www.brevardcountyfair.com.


    October 10, 2012

    Brevard Commission on Aging Member Honored for Elder Falls Prevention Initiatives

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Commission on Aging member Dr. Mark Brimer has been awarded the initial Florida Senior Falls Prevention Award. The recognition is sponsored by the Florida Injury Prevention Program and the Florida Department of Health in conjunction with the Florida Senior Falls Prevention Coalition and is presented to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to Senior Falls Prevention.

    In 2008, Brimer successfully launched The Elder Falls Prevention Program in conjunction with Brevard County Housing and Human Services Department and the Commission on Aging. This program has become a primary initiative of Brevard County and also includes the cities of Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Palm Bay, Satellite Beach and Titusville.

    The Elder Falls Prevention program is a unique opportunity for communities to work together to address this elder healthcare problem. This program allows each municipality to customize the fall prevention topic to meet the specific needs of their community. Within each community, fire and emergency medical services can easily use the program and make operational adjustments based upon the housing and demographic needs of their community, Brimer said.

    The Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Florida Council on Aging recognized the Brevard Commission on Aging as a state "Best Practice" model in Elder Falls Prevention, and in 2011, Brimer was inducted into the National Council on Aging - Falls Prevention "Hall of Fame" for the many contributions he has made to the field of falls prevention.

    Brimer was nominated for this award, the first year of the Florida Elder Falls Prevention Award, on behalf of the Housing and Human Services Department and the Commission on Aging. Brimer is recognized as a leader in the state for Senior Falls Prevention Initiatives. Brimer is known as an advocate for seniors citizens, and a leader in the cause that seniors should be able to age-in-place, in their homes "safely" for as long as they choose.


    October 05, 2012

    A. Max Brewer Bridge lead for national transportation award in jeopardy

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The competition for "Best in the Nation" transportation project, which includes A. Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville as a Top 10 Finalist, just got a lot closer with a project in California pulling to within about 2,000 votes of the lead. But there's still time to vote.

    According to the latest figures provided by Florida's Department of Transportation, Max Brewer Bridge leads the competition with 62,341 votes, but California has now closed the gap with 60,475 votes.

    Less than two weeks remains before a winner is declared, and Brevard County residents can vote as many as 10 times a day. The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville was named among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the "Best in the Nation" title.

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the bridge among 10 finalists in its 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition. The finalists also include Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    Here's how the other state projects stack up in the vote count: Kentucky, 14,356; Missouri, 11,233; Iowa, 7,844; Virginia, 5,157; Maryland, 3,847; Massachusetts, 3,031; Louisiana, 2,310; and Nevada, 2,217.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Brevard County residents are encouraged to vote, and can do so up to 10 times a day. Online voting is under way and continues through Friday, Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.

    The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.


    September 25, 2012

    Enrollment under way for Naturalist Program focused on Thousand Islands

    COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Enrollment is now open for "Learn About the Thousand Islands," the fourth installment of the Brevard Naturalist Program, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Cocoa Beach Public Library.

    Classroom presentations by subject experts will be followed by a paddling trip through Thousand Islands led by biologist Tim Kozusko and naturalist/paddling guide Jim Durocher.

    This workshop is offered to build knowledge of the Thousand Islands, the Indian River Lagoon and the environmental work at Port Canaveral. Cost is $50 if a kayak is needed or $35 if you bring a kayak or canoe. Entry fees will be treated as donations to the Friends of the Thousand Islands to benefit land conservation and passive recreation. Limited to 25 persons. Please register at www.1000Islands.eventbrite.com.

    For more information, contact Program Coordinator Vince Lamb at (321) 258-5168 or vince@vincelamb.com.


    October 05, 2012

    UF/Brevard County Extension Service hosts Youth Science Day Events

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will host 4-H Youth Engineer Environmental Robotic Solutions on 4-H National Youth Science Day this month at Patrick Air Force Base and Walter Butler Community Center.

    On Wednesday, Oct. 10, millions of young people across the nation will become scientists for the day during the fifth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). This event seeks to spark an early youth interest in science and future science careers, and to reclaim the nation's position of leadership in scientific exploration. Youths will participate in the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge: the 2012 National Science Experiment.

    Two sites in Brevard County will be hosting this experiment -- Patrick Air Force Base on Oct. 10, and Walter Butler Community Center on Oct. 15 and 16. For more information, contact Vanessa Spero-Swingle at (321) 633-1702, ext 231.

    Designed by The Ohio State University Extension, this year's experiment will introduce youths to robotic engineering concepts as they program a robot to clean up a simulated environmental spill. 4-H'ers will assemble their own Eco-Bots and surface controls to manage an environmental clean-up. Youth will then test the interaction between the Eco-Bot's design features and various surface control configurations to determine the most effective clean-up solution for the simulated spill.

    About 4-H National Youth Science Day: For more than 100 years, 4-H has been at the forefront of teaching youth about science, engineering and technology. Created to combat a shortage of American young people pursuing science college majors and careers, 4-H National Youth Science Day seeks to spark an early youth interest and leadership in science.

    This year's 4-H National Youth Science Day is jointly sponsored Lockheed Martin, Toyota, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, Motorola, Walmart and John Deere.


    October 04, 2012

    USDA: Conservation Assistance and Funding Opportunities Available

    COCOA, Fla. — If you are in commercial agriculture (rancher / grower) you may qualify for funding assistance through our programs listed below.

    The application process for 2008 Farm Bill conservation programs is continuous, but funding selections are only made once a year. The Florida NRCS application cutoff date for consideration for Federal Fiscal Year 2013 funds is Nov. 16. Cost share funding is available to eligible applicants for the following Farm Bill programs:

    • The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Through EQIP, NRCS develops contracts with agricultural producers to voluntarily implement conservation practices. Persons engaged in livestock or agricultural production and owners of non–industrial private forestland are eligible for the program. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non–industrial forestland, and other farm or ranch lands.
    • The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and Tribes to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands in exchange for retiring eligible land from agriculture.
    Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and programs is available on its website at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at the Cocoa Field Office, phone David Millard at (321) 633–1702 ext.241 or send me an email at david.millard@fl.usda.gov.

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250–9410 or call (800) 795–3272 (voice) or (202) 720–6382 (TDD).


    October 04, 2012

    Brevard County Fire Rescue Urges Residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" During Fire Prevention Week

    (Brevard County, FL) – If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety? According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one–third of Americans households who made and estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less.

    That's why Brevard County Fire Rescue is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 7–13, 2012, to urge residents to "Have Two Ways Out!" This year's theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

    In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

    "One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010," says Fire Marshal Frank Scates. "Fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize. Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways is essential to ensuring your family's safety should fire break out in your home."

    Brevard County Fire Rescue recommends the following tips for planning your family's escape:

    • Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
    • Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they've escaped.
    Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
    • Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
    • Have a grown–up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
    • Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown–ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.
    BCFR fire prevention experts will be hosting activities at two locations during Fire Prevention Week to promote "Have Two Ways Out!" Through these educational, family–oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention.

    Locations and times for the exhibits are:

    Merritt Square Mall (near the food court), 777 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island

    • Friday, October 5th 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM
    • Saturday, October 6th 10:00 AM to 8:30 PM
    • Sunday, October 7th 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM
    Super Flea and Farmer's Market, 4835 W. Eau Gallie Boulevard, Melbourne
    • Saturday, October 20th 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    • Sunday, October 21st 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    In addition to static displays and giveaways, fire prevention experts will conduct live fire demonstrations at each location. The demonstrations will give onlookers the opportunity to see a fire how quickly a fire can develop from its beginning stage to total room involvement. A second fire, ignited in an identical room equipped with fire sprinklers, will illustrate the advantages of home and commercial sprinkler systems in preventing fire development and damage, as well as providing valuable time for occupants to escape to safety.

    Live fire burns will take place at both locations listed above at the following times:

    • Merritt Square Mall (near the Cobb Theater entrance) – Saturday, October 6th, 1:00 PM
    • Super Flea and Farmer's Market – Saturday, October 20th, 1:00 PM
    To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Brevard County, please contact the BCFR Fire Prevention Bureau at 321–633–2056. To learn more about "Have Two Ways Out!", visit NFPA's Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.


    October 03, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit Sets Ridership Record

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Preliminary ridership numbers for Space Coast Area Transit, Brevard's Public Transportation System, indicate 2,060,000 passenger boardings occurred on its fixed–route buses for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2012. That represents a 12 percent increase in ridership over Fiscal Year 2011, and the 20th consecutive year of ridership gains. Fiscal Year 2012 productivity of 25.52 passengers per hour of service is also a record.

    Both the State Road 520 and A1A corridors remain as the service areas with the most passenger boardings. The Palm Bay/Melbourne area shows the largest growth in the system, along with the most productive route in the County between US192 and Palm Bay Road.

    "It's quite an amazing accomplishment," said Transit Services Director Jim Liesenfelt, "especially when you realize that we passed the one–million boarding plateau just five years ago. It shows you how hard our employees work every day to provide needed transportation to our customers."

    Space Coast Area Transit's fixed route service operates 23 buses on 16 routes Monday through Friday, 14 routes on Saturday and 3 routes operating on Sunday. All transit buses are wheelchair–lift equipped.

    For more detailed information and exact time schedules, visit www.RideSCAT.com or contact customer service representatives at (321) 633–1878. Space Coast Area Transit has a trip planner on its RideSCAT.com website to assist passengers with transportation needs. Passengers can access a map and text directions from their front door, to the closest bus stop, to their final destination and back again.


    October 03, 2012

    Brevard County Fire Rescue Open House Announcement for National Fire Prevention Week

    (Brevard County, FL)– In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) will once again host county–wide open houses at each of its fire stations from Sunday, October 7th through Saturday, October 13th. Each station will be open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day.

    This year's National Fire Prevention Week safety message is "Have 2 Ways Out!" and focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

    During the open houses, the public will have an opportunity to create an escape plan for their home, tour their local BCFR fire/EMS station, get an up–close look at apparatus and equipment, and meet the crews that serve their community.

    For the location of your local BCFR station or for additional information, please contact Brevard County Fire Rescue's Fire Prevention Bureau at 321–633–2056 or visit our website at www.brevardfire.com.


    October 02, 2012

    Gap narrows, but A. Max Brewer Bridge leads in transportation award votes

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– A. Max Brewer Bridge, a Top 10 Finalist in a "Best in the Nation" transportation project competition, continues its stronghold in the national vote count, but a project in California has collected 17,000 votes in the past week to narrow the gap, according to the latest figures provided by Florida's Department of Transportation.

    Less than two weeks remains before a winner is declared, and Brevard County residents can vote as many as 10 times a day. The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville was named among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the "Best in the Nation" title.

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the bridge among 10 finalists in its 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition. The finalists included projects in California, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    According to the latest vote county, A. Max Brewer Bridge has collected 42,401 votes. Here's how other state projects are stacking up in the vote count: California, 30,691; Kentucky, 10,555; Missouri, 9,311; Iowa, 7,390; Virginia, 4,655; Massachusetts, 2,243; Louisiana, 2,145; Nevada, 1,957; and Maryland, 1,509.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Brevard County residents are encouraged to vote, and can do so up to 10 times a day. Online voting is under way and continues through Friday, Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.

    The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

    In its recognition of the A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project, AASHTO wrote: "Florida Department of Transportation spent $44.8 million to replace the aging, structurally deficient A. Max Brewer Bridge while paying special attention to the environmental impacts and cutting down on congestion for drivers by installing a higher fixed span bridge instead of the swing bridge."


    October 02, 2012

    Free Movie in the Park, 'Monster House,' part of Chain of Lakes Fall Festival

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will host a fall festival, including a free Movie in the Park, at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Chain of Lakes Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

    Activities will include a costume contest, children's games, trunk n' treat, hay ride, face painting and a movie in the park. The movie, 'Monster House' rated PG, will be shown on a giant, 23–foot, outdoor movie screen beginning at 8 p.m. There will be a minimal fee for the hay ride.

    Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Call Mike Herman at (321) 264–5105 for additional information.


    October 02, 2012

    Reminder: Voter Registration Deadline for General Election is Oct. 9

    VIERA, Fla. — Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 6 General Election. Voter Registration Applications received after Oct. 9 will be processed, but those voters will not be eligible to vote on Nov. 6. The General Election is open to all voters regardless of their political party affiliation.

    "The General Election ballot is a lengthy two–page (4–sided) ballot that includes 11 proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution," Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott said. "Voters may wish to make their mail box their ballot box and vote by mail."

    Mail/Absentee Ballots can be requested by calling (321) 633–2127 or by visiting www.VoteBrevard.com.

    Voter Registration Applications are available at all five Election Offices and on the VoteBrevard.com website. For more information on registering to vote or the General Election, call (321) 633–2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com. Information is also available via Twitter at www.twitter.com/VoteBrevard.


    October 01, 2012

    Brevard County Firefighters Wear Pink to Promote Breast Cancer Awareness

    Cancer awareness – Brevard firefighters
    Brevard County firefighters are trading in their blue shirts for pink
    in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
    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 (BCFR) has teamed with the Brevard County Professional Firefighters (BCPFF) 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 (IAFF) which is once again working with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to offer the "Passionately Pink for the Cure" program for October 2012.

    According to www.breastcancer.org, about 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non–invasive breast cancer. In men the number of new cases of invasive breast cancer was expected to be about 2,140.


    October 01, 2012

    Business sponsors sought for Fall Festival events at Chain of Lakes Park

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host a Fall Festival in north Brevard beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Chain of Lakes Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville. The festival will include a costume contest, kids games, hay ride, face painting, trunk n' treat and a movie in the park.

    North Area Parks Operations is seeking sponsorship from local businesses to take part in the trunk n' treat portion of this event. Local businesses can promote their organization by providing and handing out candy to children participating in the event.

    For more information on sponsorship or to preregister for this event, contact Mike Herman by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com or by phone at (321) 264–5105.


    September 28, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit starts evening service Oct. 1 on Titusville Route 2

    COCOA, Fla. – Thanks to a monetary contribution from the City of Titusville and a 100 percent match in federal operating funds, Space Coast Area Transit will begin providing evening service on Route 2 in North Brevard until 8 p.m. on weekdays and until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, beginning Monday, Oct.1. The Titusville Wal–Mart is already a popular stop on the route, and now the Target on State Road 405 has been added.

    Searstown Mall on U.S. 1 and Country Club Drive have been established as a new transfer point, allowing Route 2 passengers to connect with Route 5, which provides service to locations such as Parrish Medical Center, Brevard Community College's Titusville campus, Mims and Scottsmoor. Passengers can also connect at Searstown Mall to countywide Route 1, which travels between Titusville and Melbourne.

    "The extended hours allow Route 2 to transport employees to and from work," said Jim Liesenfelt, director of Space Coast Area Transit. "Additionally, we are confident that adding Searstown Mall as a transfer point will increase the on–time performance of Route 1. Searstown Mall has been very welcoming and we're excited to be there," he said.

    Updated maps and schedules for Routes 1, 2 and 5 can be printed from RideSCAT.com starting Saturday, Sept. 29. For personalized service or maps by mail, call (321) 633–1878.


    September 28, 2012

    Free Kid's Wetland Festival to be held Oct. 6 in Viera

    VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County Natural Resources Management will hold its first Kid's Wetland Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, also known as the Viera Wetland, 10000 West Wickham Road.

    Children will learn about the value of wetlands while enjoying hands–on activities. Activities offered include archeology, invasive species, butterfly host plants, feeding habits of birds, snakes, turtles and alligators, Japanese fish printing (Gyotaku), a pirate treasure hunt, boat building and a special tour of the South Central Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. Most activities are one–half hour in duration.

    The event is sponsored by the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, Utility Services Department and the Friends of Viera Wetlands.

    Music will entertain attendees as they progress through the activity stations and food will be available for purchase. The event is free to the public.


    September 26, 2012

    Voter Registration Deadline for General Election is Oct. 9

    VIERA, Fla. –– Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 6 General Election. Voter Registration Applications received after Oct. 9 will be processed, but those voters will not be eligible to vote on Nov. 6. The General Election is open to all voters regardless of their political party affiliation.

    "The General Election ballot is a lengthy two–page (4–sided) ballot that includes 11 proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution," Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott said. "Voters may wish to make their mail box their ballot box and vote by mail."

    Mail/Absentee Ballots can be requested by calling (321) 633–2127 or by visiting www.VoteBrevard.com.

    Voter Registration Applications are available at all five Election Offices and on the VoteBrevard.com website. For more information on registering to vote or the General Election, call (321) 633–2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com. Information is also available via Twitter at www.twitter.com/VoteBrevard.


    September 25, 2012

    A. Max Brewer Bridge leads in votes for nationwide transportation award

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– A. Max Brewer Bridge, a Top 10 Finalist in a "Best in the Nation" transportation project competition, is leading in the national vote count by an impressive 5–to–1 margin, according to Florida's Department of Transportation.

    But the voting is far from over. The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville was recently named among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the title of "Best in the Nation."

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the bridge among 10 finalists in its 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition. The finalists included projects in California, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    According to the latest vote county, A. Max Brewer Bridge has collected 29,699 votes. It's closest competitor is Missouri with 6,452 votes.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule;" "Under Budget;" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Brevard County residents are encouraged to vote, and can do so up to 10 times a day. Online voting is under way and continues through Friday, Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.

    The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

    "This is a project that we fought for long and hard and which is saving us a lot of money now. It has become a significant feature in the Titusville downtown area attracting tourists, birders, joggers, fisherman, shrimpers, etc.," said John Denninghoff, director of Brevard County Public Works. "It is impressive that the project has resulted in the recognition it has and regardless of any other honors it might get, this was and is a great project and all involved should be proud of the lasting outcome of this service to the public."

    In its recognition of the A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project, AASHTO wrote: "Florida Department of Transportation spent $44.8 million to replace the aging, structurally deficient A. Max Brewer Bridge while paying special attention to the environmental impacts and cutting down on congestion for drivers by installing a higher fixed span bridge instead of the swing bridge."


    September 25, 2012

    North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Oct. 11

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.––The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Brevard Room at 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

    One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims–Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The public is invited.

    The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

    For questions, call Terry Lane at (321) 264–5105.


    September 25, 2012

    'Cheersnastics' classes start Oct. 10 at Port St. John Community Center

    PORT ST. JOHN, Fla.––Cheernastics classes are beginning Oct. 10 at Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, in Port St. John.

    These cheerleading and gymnastics classes will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays for participants ages 5–12 years. The cost is $20 per month.

    This class is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. For more information, call (321) 633–1904.


    September 25, 2012

    Lunch with Nature program focuses on 'The World of Waste'

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.–– Learn what's new and what happens to your garbage after it's picked up during the monthly Lunch with Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville.

    The topic for the luncheon will be "The World of Waste," presented by Hillary Arena of Brevard County's Department of Solid Waste Management.

    The program will be held at noon Tuesday, Oct. 16. Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers who cover topics of interest for residents living along the East Coast. Topics include conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no fee for this program and participants provide their own lunch.

    This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264–5105 for more information.


    September 19, 2012

    American Kenpo Karate classes offered at Sandrift Community Center

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.—American Kenpo Karate classes are being offered at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue in Titusville.

    Classes, beginning on Oct. 3, will be held on Wednesday afternoons. The cost is $30 per month for four sessions.

    This classes are sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. To register or for further information, call (321) 264–5037. September 19, 2012

    Food vendors sought for 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, is accepting applications for food vendors for the 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival Of Crafts.

    Vendors can obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., in Titusville, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com beginning Monday, Sept. 24. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19.

    Selected vendors will be notified by Friday, Oct. 26. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not–for–profit service organizations. The county reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

    There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non–refundable, special event fee, is due from selected vendors by Friday, Nov. 9. The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. Call (321) 264–5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


    September 18, 2012

    October is 'Fossil Month' at Sams House at Pine Island

    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities throughout October as part of "Fossil Month."
    • Ice Age Hike, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 6: Enjoy a two–mile guided hike along one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the county. Hikers must be prepared for uneven terrain. Discover where Ice Age fossils were found and discuss what Florida was like 20,000 years ago.
    • Owl Prowl, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12: Back by popular demand. Join the search for resident barred owls and other creatures of the night along the 1/2–mile hammock loop trail. Limited to 20 participants. Reservations required. Call Katrina at (321) 432–3231 or email katrina.morrell@brevardparks.com.
    • Fossil Fish, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 13: Sturgeons have changed little over the past 200 million years. Mike Randall with the U.S. Geological Survey will discuss the biology of these unique fish and how Native Americans, pioneers, and commercial fisheries have historically exploited them.
    • Florida Fossils Display, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13: Central Florida Fossils owner David Celli will set up a display of Florida fossils spanning the past 10 million years.
    • From Ice Age Megafauna to Ancient Peoples of Pine Island, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20: Mastodons and giant ground sloths once called Pine Island home. See a presentation on these Ice Age megafauna and then take a short walk to the Indian Burial mound on site where we'll discuss the ancient people who lived here.
    • Appalachian Trails and Tales, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27: Rex and Colleen Derin will share their gear and many humorous stories from their adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail. Don't miss the return of this fantastic presentation.
    The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half–mile west of State Road 3. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449–4720.


    September 18, 2012

    Repairs to begin next week on collapsed culvert on Windover Way in Titusville

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Work to replace a collapsed metal culvert on Windover Way, between Quail Trail and Canal Ridge Drive in Titusville, is targeted to begin next week and should take about a month to complete, Public Works Director John Denninghoff said Tuesday.

    Denninghoff said the collapsed metal culvert, estimated between 20 to 30 years old, will be replaced with a concrete culvert that has a life expectancy of 50–plus years. The project will cost an estimated $150,000, he said.

    Windover Way crosses Addison Canal in unincorporated Titusville. The culvert caved under the weight of a Public Works mower just before noon on Monday. There were no injuries reported.

    Both lanes of Windover Way at that location will remain closed until the project is completed. All residents of Windover Titusville can still gain access to their property. Residents located on or south of Quail Trail (south of the road closure) can gain access utilizing State Road 50 and Windover Way. Traffic control signs will be installed to assist the motoring public.


    September 11, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit expands service hours in Titusville

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Effective Monday, Oct. 1, Space Coast Area Transit will begin extended hours for Route 2 in Titusville, starting at 6:17 a.m. and operating until 7:55 p.m. The extended service is made possible by funding from the City of Titusville and the Federal Transit Administration.

    Other enhancements to Route 2 include moving the transfer point from the Titusville Government Center to Searstown Mall, where it will connect with Route 1 and Route 5.

    For more detailed information and exact time schedule changes, visit www.RideSCAT.com or contact customer service representatives at (321) 633–1878. Space Coast Area Transit has a trip planner on its RideSCAT.com website to assist passengers with their transportation needs. Passengers can access a map and text directions from their front door to the closest bus stop, to their final destination, and back again.


    September 11, 2012

    A. Max Brewer Bridge project finalist for nationwide transportation award

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The $44.8 million A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project in Titusville is among 10 top highway transportation projects across the nation going head to head in a competition to determine which projects earn the title of "Best in the Nation."

    The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the bridge among 10 finalists in its 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition. The finalists included projects in California, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.

    The 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. In all, 49 projects from a record 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget" and "Best Use of Innovation."

    The finalists are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.The People's Choice Award will be decided by popular vote of the general public. Brevard County residents are encouraged to vote, and can do so up to 10 times a day. Online voting is under way and continues through Friday, Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.

    The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice awards will each receive $10,000, which will be donated by state Departments of Transportation to a charity or scholarship of their choice. Winners will be announced Nov. 18 at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' annual meeting in Pittsburgh.

    "This is a project that we fought for long and hard and which is saving us a lot of money now. It has become a significant feature in the Titusville downtown area attracting tourists, birders, joggers, fisherman, shrimpers, etc.," said John Denninghoff, director of Brevard County Public Works. "It is impressive that the project has resulted in the recognition it has and regardless of any other honors it might get, this was and is a great project and all involved should be proud of the lasting outcome of this service to the public."

    In its recognition of the A. Max Brewer Bridge replacement project, AASHTO wrote: "Florida Department of Transportation spent $44.8 million to replace the aging, structurally deficient A. Max Brewer Bridge while paying special attention to the environmental impacts and cutting down on congestion for drivers by installing a higher fixed span bridge instead of the swing bridge."


    September 11, 2012

    Sponsors sought for Movies in the Park series in North Brevard

    COCOA, MIMS, TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Advertising opportunities are available for Brevard County Parks and Recreation's free Movies in the Park series in North Brevard.

    Sponsorship is open to non–profit, public and private organizations. A minimum of four movies will be shown per year. Sponsors will be advertised prior to the movie on a giant, 23–foot movie screen. The outdoor movies begin at dusk in a selected north area park.

    The events are for all ages and admission is free. For more information on sponsorships and vending, contact Mike Herman at mike.herman@brevardparks.com or (321) 264–5105.


    September 10, 2012

    Florida National Guard conducts joint training exercises in Cocoa Beach

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The Florida National Guard's 44th Civil Support Team–Weapons of Mass Destruction, based out of Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in Starke, Fla., is conducting training and capability orientation with local and state Emergency Response partners this week in Cocoa Beach.

    The 44th CST, fresh off support to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, will host a myriad of response agencies that include NASA Protective Services Office, Department of Health Environmental Health Strike Team, Patrick Air Force Base Readiness and Emergency Management, Brevard County Emergency Management, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Brevard County Fire Rescue and Cape Canaveral Air Force Emergency Management.

    The relationships forged during these training opportunities are the exact ones that these collective teams will depend on should a weapons of mass destruction event occur in Florida. This training event will focus on techniques, tactics and procedures conducted during a WMD event, but will also provide opportunity for these various teams to exchange best practices, understand strengths and capability gaps and overlaps. Most importantly, the training will plant seeds for long–lasting relationships.

    The 44th Civil Support Team is a 22–person full–time National Guard unit comprised of both Army and Air Guard personnel. The team remains postured to support local, state and federal partners in the state, FEMA region and nationally. Its mission is to identify unknown hazards, assess their effects, advise on protective measures and assist in the request for follow on forces. Its mantra is "always ready."


    September 07, 2012

    Food vendors sought for 'Movie Night In The Park' series in North Brevard

    COCOA, MIMS, TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, is accepting applications for food vendors for the Movie Night in the Park series.

    Vendors will be chosen for the entire movie series, which runs from October through April, and will be expected to attend all movie events. Movies will be shown on a giant 23–foot movie screen.

    Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave., in Titusville beginning Monday, Sept. 10. Applications are accepted 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.

    Selected vendors will be notified by Monday, Oct. 8. Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submission date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not–for–profit service organizations. The county reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

    There is no cost to submit an application. Upon selection as a vendor of this series, a non–refundable $50 plus tax fee per movie event is required. Fees are due for the first movie event by Friday, Oct. 19.

    The first movie in the series will be held on Oct. 27, with remaining movie dates to be announced. Contact Mike Herman at (321) 264–5105, or by email at mike.herman@brevardparks.com for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


    September 07, 2012

    SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans deadline looms

    ATLANTA, Ga. – The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non–profit organizations of all sizes that Oct. 9 is the application deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans available in Florida as a result of excessive rain, flooding and high winds on Oct. 7–9, 2011.

    The SBA's disaster declaration includes the following counties: Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola and Saint Lucie in Florida. "When the Sec

    retary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration help to eligible entities affected by the same disaster," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

    Under this declaration, the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm–related and nonfarm–related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquacultural enterprises, agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA.

    The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for private non–profit organizations of all sizes and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

    Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

    Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800–659–2955 (800–877–8339 for the deaf and hard–of–hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than Oct. 9, 2012.


    September 07, 2012

    Registration under way for Men's Flag Football League in North Brevard

    CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a Men's Flag Football League beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard.

    The fee of $492 per team is due by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave. in Titusville.

    To register or for information on other athletic activities in North Brevard, contact Mike Herman at (321) 264–5105.


    September 05, 2012

    Commissioners OK new director appointments for Libraries, Extension Service

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Jeff Thompson, who has worked in Brevard County libraries since 1994, has been promoted to Brevard County's new Director of Library Services, and Linda Seal, who joined the county extension service in 2006, has been named director of the University of Florida/Brevard County Extension Service.

    Both appointments were confirmed this week by unanimous vote of the Board of County Commissioners.

    Thompson, formerly area director for Brevard County north libraries, was promoted following a nationwide search for a replacement for Cathy Schweinsberg, who is retiring later this month after 14 years as Library Services Director. Thompson will oversee 17 libraries and a staff of more than 260 full– and part–time employees.

    Seals joined the extension service six years ago as a commercial horticultural extension agent. As director of the UF/Brevard Extension Service, she'll oversee a staff of 15 employees.


    September 05, 2012

    County residents urged to protect themselves against mosquito–borne illness

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– West Nile Virus has been reported in some areas of the United States. A few human cases of West Nile infection and several positive sentinel chickens have been reported in North and West Florida. Currently, no human cases have been reported in Brevard County this year. Our Sentinel Chicken Flocks have tested negative for the West Nile Virus.

    Brevard County Health Department and Brevard County Mosquito Control are urging residents to protect themselves against mosquito–borne illness.

    Stop mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business. Protect yourself from mosquito's bites and the diseases they carry by following the below recommendations:

    Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

    • DRAIN: water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
    • DISCARD: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.
    • EMPTY and CLEAN: Birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
    • PROTECT: Boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
    • MAINTAIN: The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
    Cover your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.
    • CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves
    • REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
    Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.
    • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
    For more information see the: CDC's guidelines: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile.


    September 04, 2012

    Brevard County animal shelters in need of food donations

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County animal shelters are in need of help in feeding all the hungry homeless pets in the county's shelters.

    Both the North and South Animal Care Centers are filled to capacity. County residents are asked to make food donations and to consider buying an extra bag or can of pet food while at the grocery store this week to donate to the shelters.

    Donations can be dropped off at the South Animal Care Center (SACC,) 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. (just west of Interstate 95 and the Super Flea Market in Melbourne) or the North Animal Care Center (NACC,) 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville).

    For more information, contact SACC at (321) 253–6608 or NACC at (321) 264–5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


    September 04, 2012

    Transportation Disadvantaged Services Board sets Sept. 10 public meeting

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at the Merritt Island Library Meeting Room, 1195 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island.

    This meeting was rescheduled from Aug. 27. Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635–7815 or e–mail at Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.

    If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

    In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635–7815 ext. 601.


    Wildfire preparedness checklist.
    Wildfire Survival Checklist
    Click for printable list.
    August 30, 2012

    Rain Barrel Workshops offered in Rockledge in September

    ROCKLEDGE, Fla. –– Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at workshops in September.

    The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 21, and Saturday, Sept. 29, at Rockledge Gardens, 2153 U.S. Highway 1, in Rockledge.

    Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands–on construction of 55–gallon rain barrels. The workshop is sponsored by University of Florida Brevard County Extension, Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, and Community Matters, Inc.

    The rain barrel kit includes the 55–gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $45, paid by cash or check at the door.

    Seating is limited and pre–registration is required. To ensure that all materials are available; open–top or closed–top barrel should be specified.

    To pre–register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633–2016 ext 56721, e–mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at www.brevstorm.org/calendar.cfm.


    August 30, 2012

    NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick competition to be held Sept. 23 in Merritt Island

    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick competition, hosted by Brevard County Central Area Parks and Recreation, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 23, at Kelly Park West, 2455 North Banana River Drive, Merritt Island.

    Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. and the competition begins at 10 a.m. The NFL Pump, Pass, and Kick is a free competition open to boys and girls ages 6–15. Birth certificate is required to compete. Sneakers must be worn; no cleats allowed.

    For more information visit www.nfl.ppk.com or contact Don Ingram (321) 455–1380.


    August 30, 2012

    North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets Sept. 13

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.—The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its next monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, in the Brevard Room, 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

    One or more members of Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims–Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The meeting is open to the public.

    The Brevard Room is located in a building on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

    For questions call Terry Lane at (321) 264–5105.


    August 29, 2012

    Brevard residents can 'zone in' on Parks and Recreation programs

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Government is going "hyper local" in its efforts to provide county residents with the latest Parks and Recreation programs available in your area.

    The Parks and Recreation public information release category has been updated to include three subcategories: North Area, Central Area, and South Area.

    The North Area encompasses Scottsmoor, Mims, Titusville, Sharpes, Port St. John and Cocoa north of State Road 528.

    The Central Area includes Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach and Rockledge.

    The South Area is comprised of Viera, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, West Melbourne, Palm Bay, Malabar, Grant–Valkaria and Micco.

    If you would like to begin receiving Parks and Recreation press releases, simply click on the subscribe button at the bottom of the web page www.brevardcounty.us and subscribe with your email address. For more information, please call (321) 633–2046.


    August 28, 2012

    Sanctuary School part of September activities at the Enchanted Forest

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Music in the Forest and a new Sanctuary School for children and their families are among the many free events planned in September at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

    MUSIC IN THE FOREST, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, invites families to bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest along with Florida folk music played live on the screened porch.

    SANCTUARY SCHOOL, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., will be held every second of the month through November. The free Sanctuary School program, for home schoolers ages 6 to 10, includes journaling for beginning naturalists, Sept. 14; hands–on activities focusing on amazing arachnids, Oct. 12; and wild edibles, a look at nature's secret medicines and tasty treats, Nov. 9. Spots are limited and registration is required by the Wednesday prior to the class by calling (321) 264–5185. Adults must accompany children. For more information, contact naturalist Sarah Kraum at sarah.kraum@brevardparks.com.

    Other events in September at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville, include:

    • GUIDED NATURE HIKES, 10 a.m. Saturdays: A 45–minute interpretive hike offered every Saturday at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of five or more, please RSVP.
    • PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Sept. 15: Program for all levels of photography. Reservations are not required.
    • FOREST FUNDAY for children, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 16: Nature program for children and families to help them enjoy the outdoors. Includes a Sanctuary Search (a non–collecting scavenger hunt), an activity and an art project.
    • LUNCH with NATURE, noon to 1 p.m., Sept. 18: Nature program presentation. You may bring your lunch to enjoy during the talk.
    • OYSTER MAT MAKING, noon to 2 p.m., Sept. 26: Come help make oyster mats to restore the oyster beds in the Indian River Lagoon.
    • FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 26.


    August 27, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit services altered for Labor Day holiday

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit is changing its fixed route bus service for the upcoming Labor Day holiday:
    • Monday, Sept. 3: All fixed routes will not operate.
    • Tuesday, Sept. 4: All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
    Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633–1878 (952–4672 for South Mainland residents) or online at www.RideSCAT.com.


    August 26, 2012

    Brevard schools to stay open; caution advised on roadways

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– At this time there are no plans to cancel schools in Brevard County on Monday, a decision based on the latest weather forecasts and the shift west–northwest of Tropical Storm Isaac.

    All drivers, including bus drivers, are encouraged to use caution when traveling today and tomorrow as they may pass through gusty squalls. Extra caution is advised when crossing causeways.

    According to the National Weather Service, it is anticipated Brevard County will experience sustained winds of 20 to 35 mph, and gusts as high as 50 to 55 mph. Rainfall of 3 to 5 inches is expected, but significant flooding is not anticipated.

    Along the coast, rough surf, beach erosion and rip currents are expected.


    August 23, 2012

    Free Movie in the Park on Saturday moved to Walter Butler Community Center

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Dr. Seuss' 'The Lorax' will be featured at a free Movie in the Park at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave. in Titusville.

    The event is hosted by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area. The movie, which is rated PG, will be shown on a giant, 23–foot, outdoor movie screen. In the event of inclement weather, the movie will be shown at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26.

    Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. HOPE of North Brevard will have concessions available for purchase. Call Mike Herman (321) 264–5105 for additional information.


    August 23, 2012

    Waste Management, county landfill operating on normal schedules this week

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– In preparation for the first possible storm impact in Brevard County this year, Waste Management announces that all solid waste services are operating on their normal schedules this week. The Brevard County landfill, mulching facilities, and transfer stations are also operating on normal schedules this week.

    Residents who have concerns about trees or limbs that could potentially threaten persons or property are advised to place their trimmings at the curb on their regular collection day only and that residents only trim where it could pose an imminent threat in a high wind situation.

    Residents are also advised that commercial landscape and tree trimming contractors are required, by Brevard County and municipal ordinances, to haul away any trimmings they generate. It is critically important in periods where high volumes of yard waste are likely that residents ensure their licensed contractor abides by the ordinance requirements.

    Trimmings placed at the curb are required to be cut to the following limits: four feet in length, 24 inches in diameter and no more than 50 pounds in weight. These requirements are necessary to protect collection crews from injury during the collection process.

    Waste Management's Customer Service Center is available during regular business hours at (321) 636–6894 (north Brevard), (321) 723–4455 (south Brevard), and via live chat online at WM.com. Inquiries can also be emailed to CentralFloridaService@wm.com.

    Residents who live in a city that is not serviced by Waste Management should contact their city for more information.


    August 22, 2012

    Sign–up under way for Coed Fall Softball League in North Brevard

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– A coed softball league, sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Chain of Lakes Recreational Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

    The fee of $368 for a 12–game schedule, including a single–elimination tournament, is due by 4 p.m. Monday, Sept 10, at the North Area Parks Operations office at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

    Call (321) 264–5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


    August 21, 2012

    Free events planned throughout Brevard for National Public Lands Day

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program has planned a number of free events for National Public Lands Day – a nationwide event that encourages people to explore, volunteer, and help support public lands. This year's event takes place on Saturday, Sept. 29.

    Fox Lake Sanctuary Trail Fun Run, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.: Join EEL staff for guided 4.5–mile trail run. Participants should be comfortable running on a trail with unstable footing and plenty of trip hazards. Don't bring your new running shoes unless you're OK with getting them dirty! Meet at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, in Titusville.

    Indian Mound Station Sanctuary Workday, 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Help pick up trash at this unique and beautiful site. Suitable for ages 10 and up. Meet at Indian Mound Station Sanctuary, 4001 Parrish Road, in Mims.

    Interpretive Hikes at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary: Two hikes, one at 10 a.m. and another at 2 p.m. Each hike focuses on geology and biodiversity. Meet at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville.

    Scrub Jay Walk and Talk at Cruickshank Sanctuary, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.: Meet our resident Florida Scrub Jays as we hike a one–mile loop through Cruickshank Sanctuary. Limited to 15 participants. Call 321–449–4720 or email katrina.morrell@brevardparks.com to reserve a spot.

    Why Conservation Lands Matter slideshow, 11 a.m. to noon: In this presentation, we'll explore the benefits conservation lands provide to animals, plants, and people. At the Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 North Tropical Trail, in Merritt Island.

    Malabar Scrub Sanctuary Trail Mountain Bike Ride, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Two bicycle rides available, an easy, guided 3–mile ride and a more difficult 8–10 mile ride on new single–track trails. Guided ride is limited to 15 people. Participants must bring their own fat–tire bike suitable for off–road riding. To RSVP, call or email Brad Manley at (321) 255–4466 ext. 32 or brad.manley@brevardparks.com.

    Barrier Island Sanctuary Seining, 10 a.m. to noon: Assist Barrier Island Center biologists in using large nets to catch and identify Indian River Lagoon species. All children (ages 5 and up) must be with an adult. Water shoes required. Meet on the Barrier Island Center oceanfront deck at 9:30 a.m. to prepare for departure to the waterfront, 8385 South Highway A1A, Melbourne Beach.

    Barrier Island Sanctuary Kayak Paddle: Two sessions: 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. Paddle and explore with a free, guided kayak tour. Enrollment is limited. Children (ages 5 and up) must paddle tandem with an adult. Call 321–723–3556 to make your reservation by Thursday, Sept. 27.

    To learn more about National Public Lands Day, visit: www.publiclandsday.org. For more about the EEL Program, visit: www.eelbrevard.com.


    August 17, 2012

    Sign–up under way for Women's Fall Softball League in North Brevard

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– A women's softball league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at Chain of Lakes Recreational Complex, 2300 Truman Scarborough Way, in Titusville.

    The fee of $290 for a nine–game schedule, including a single–elimination tournament, is due by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

    Call (321)264–5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


    August 17, 2012

    North Area Parks to kick off Fall Adult 6v6 Soccer League

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– An adult 6 v 6 soccer league sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard in Sharpes.

    A fee of $318 for an eight–game schedule, including a single–elimination tournament, is due by 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at the North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

    Call (321) 264–5105 for information on this and other athletic activities in North Brevard.


    August 16, 2012

    Sams House at Pine Island invites residents to Celebrate Public Lands

    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities in September in celebration of public lands.

    Sounds of the Night: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 1: Can you identify the creatures you hear at night? Discover the sounds of the night with this family–friendly slideshow presentation.

    Up From the Ashes: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7.: Why is prescribed fire needed? What equipment is used? Get the answers to these questions and more with this slideshow presentation given by EEL Program Fire Manager, Steve McGuffey.

    Brevard's Best Hiking Trails: 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8: Take a virtual tour of the best trails in Brevard, including a sneak peak at some of the newest trails in the EEL Sanctuary network.

    Sea Turtles Dig the Dark: 11 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Sept. 15: Nichole Perna, EEL Program Assistant Land Manager for the South Beaches, will give a presentation on the threatened and endangered sea turtles of Brevard County.

    History Garden Tour and Garden Workday: 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Sept. 22: Discover how Native Americans and pioneers used native plants for food, medicine, and fiber by Native Americans and pioneers. Then stick around and help weed the garden!

    Historical Monument Tour: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28: This tour includes late 1800s and early 1900s sites throughout Central Brevard, including historic churches, cemeteries, homes, and the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Transportation provided. Reservations required. Limited to the first 13 adult US citizens to register. Call 321–449–4720 or email patricia.tierney@brevardparks.com.

    Scrub Jay Walk and Talk: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29: Join Land Manager Scott Taylor in looking at Florida Scrub–Jays as we hike a one–mile loop through Cruickshank Sanctuary, 360 Barnes Blvd, Rockledge. Reservations required. Limited to 15 people. Call 321–449–4720 or email katrina.morrell@brevardparks.com.

    Why Conservation Lands Matter: 11 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Sept. 29: We all know that conservation lands are good for animals and plants, but what about people? In this slideshow, we'll explore the benefits conservation lands provide all of us.

    The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half–mile west of State Road 3. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered at 3 p.m. every Thursday For more information, call (321) 449–4720.


    August 16, 2012

    Cape Canaveral resident, author appointed Oral History Chair

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Dianne Marcum, who was recently appointed to the Brevard Historical Commission by County Commissioner Chuck Nelson, has been named by that group as chair of its oral history program.

    A Cape Canaveral resident, Marcum is a nonfiction writer who works in print, photography and video and is the author of the popular travel guide, "Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Florida's Space Coast."

    The Brevard County Historical Commission, chaired by Joe Morgan of Cocoa Beach, is charged by county ordinance to "collect, arrange, record, and preserve historical materials," part of which is accomplished by obtaining oral histories of residents involved with various aspects of our county's past. The Commission, which has converted its 84 oral histories from various media forms into DVD's is looking at making its collection more accessible to a wider audience and through a partnership with Space Coast Government TV, would like to interview more local experts. The DVD's, which cover a wide range of topics from stories of the citrus industry to the space race, are available to be checked out at the Central Brevard Library in Cocoa.

    The Historical Commission is headquartered at the Central Brevard Library in Cocoa and holds its meetings there at 6:15 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month. The public is encouraged to attend. Call the Historical Commission's office at (321) 633–1794 if you would like to address the commission on a specific issue.


    August 16, 2012

    Brevard Historical Commission donates history books to School Board

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The Brevard County Historical Commission, a division of Library Services, has donated 28 sets of its popular three–volume History of Brevard County to each of the county's middle and high schools.

    These books, which cover the county's history from its earliest times to the 1980s, will be placed in the media centers of each school so that students can be informed about the rich history of our area. The donation, which is valued at $2,630, will be recognized at the Brevard County School Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11. Anyone interested in purchasing a set of books for themselves may contact the Historical Commission at (321) 633–1794 or check out the commission's website at ww3.brevardcounty.us/history.


    August 14, 2012

    Tables available for 19th Annual Fox Lake Christmas Festival of Crafts

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Registration begins Monday, Aug. 27, for tables and spaces at the 19th Annual Christmas Festival of Crafts at Fox Lake Park in Titusville. The event will be held Nov. 17.

    Spaces under the pavilion are $30 each plus Florida state sales tax and spaces in the outside area are $20 plus Florida state sales tax and are limited to two per crafter. All items must be handmade or homemade.

    Application forms will be available at the North Area Parks Office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville, or by sending a self–addressed stamped envelope, or by email to jill.hill@brevardparks.com. The registration deadline is 4 p.m. on Nov. 9.

    This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264–5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


    August 13, 2012

    Men's Basketball League starting at Walter Butler Community Center

    COCOA (SHARPES), Fla.— Sign–up is under way for a men's basketball league at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park.

    Games for men ages 18 and up will be held at the park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1 in Cocoa (Sharpes,) at 3 p.m. Sunday evenings starting Sept. 2. The $325 nine–game team fee is due by Aug. 28.

    Contact Donovan Gilbert at (321) 433–4448 for additional information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Cocoa (Sharpes) area.


    August 09, 2012

    Commission workshop Aug. 16 to address issues, concerns of aging population

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Issues that concern an aging population in Brevard County, where more than a quarter of the population is 65 years and older, will be the focus of a 9 a.m. workshop hosted Thursday, Aug. 16, by the Board of County Commissioners.

    The public workshop will be held in Building C of the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera. It will include presentations from area organizations, county departments and local service agencies that directly address issues ranging from long–term care, nutrition, transportation, abuse, crimes and rights and legislative action related to seniors. The workshop is being coordinated by the Brevard Commission on Aging.

    In Brevard County, seniors 65 years and older make up 27 percent of the population, which is 10 percent higher than the state average. Those 85 and older make up the fastest growing population in Brevard, and 13 percent of residents in the county today are 85–plus. By 2015, one in five people in Brevard County will be 65 or older.

    "This is an issue I'm passionate about and am dealing with it, as many are, on a personal level," said Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton. "When it comes to age today, you hear people say, '60 is the new 40.' Well, 80 is the new 60 and 100 is the new 80. We are dealing with aging issues that have only been realized over the past century. When we stop to think that the U.S. average life expectancy in 1800 was 36, the average in 1900 was 47 and the average today is 80, we are faced with pressing aging issues never before experienced in history."

    Brevard County works with seniors through a number of different avenues, including Space Coast Area Transit for transportation needs, Parks & Recreation for senior centers and various classes/activities through the library system and Agricultural/Extension Service. But, Tipton said, there are growing challenges being faced as the population ages, including increased EMS calls for seniors who have fallen, emergency management special needs shelters and evacuation of older residents who no longer can drive, and the need for planning and development codes that ensure the county is designing better/smarter communities that are close to the services seniors need to access and in homes that are senior friendly.

    However, the issues go beyond county interactions.

    The health care industry needs to be well positioned for greater geriatric services. Nursing and assisted living facilities need to be properly positioned and affordable. Senior safety must be a priority for state and local agencies. Caregivers for seniors need training, support and assistance," Tipton said. "As we become a more diverse community, addressing the different language and cultural issues will also be important. Non–profit coordination and cooperation to eliminate duplication of senior services is a must."


    August 06, 2012

    Motorists advised to use extra caution as school season begins

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– As the start of the new school season approaches on Wednesday, Aug. 8, motorists are asked to be cautious because children see, hear and react differently to traffic situations than adults.

    The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization and the Brevard County Community Traffic Safety urge motorists to slow down and watch for children. Until children are at least 10 or 11 years old, they have limited developmental skills to handle complex traffic situations.

    • Children tend to overestimate their own abilities.
    • They are impulsive and tend to do things without thinking.
    • They are easily distracted and tend to focus on one thing at a time.
    • Children are short, which makes it difficult for them to see motorists and for motorists to see them. This is especially true when there are others obstructions in the way, such as parked or moving cars, buses and bushes.
    • Children have underdeveloped peripheral vision, about one–third narrower than an adult's. A child won't see a motorist approaching from the right or left as easily as an adult will.
    • Children lack the ability to understand how much time and distance is needed for a vehicle to stop.
    • Children are unable to determine direction of sounds.
    • Children often think that if they can see a car then the driver can see them.
    • Children often do not recognize or react to unsafe situations.


    August 06, 2012

    SR46 dedication Aug. 24 for Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore

    MIMS, Fla.— A ribbon–cutting ceremony for the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park Community Pavilion/Heritage Walking Trail and dedication of State Road 46 as the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Highway will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.

    The event will be held at the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park, 2180 Freedom Ave. in Mims.

    The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex Inc. was organized in 2002 as a non–profit support organization for the park. It is through their efforts that grant funding was secured to design and construct the Community Pavilion/Heritage Walking Trail. Additionally the dedication of SR46 as the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Highway project.

    The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park, location of the original Moore family home site, was purchased by Brevard County in 1994, and the Cultural Center was dedicated in April 2004. The park honors the legacy of the Moore's, who were parents, educators, and leading local and national civil rights activists. The Moore's legacy is now scheduled to be displayed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture which opens in Washington, D.C. in 2015.

    Harry T. Moore organized the first Brevard County Branch of the NAACP in 1934 and later organized more than 50 branches statewide. On Christmas night, 1951, which was the Moore's 25th wedding anniversary, a bomb exploded under their Mims home. Harry T. Moore died on the way to the hospital and Harriette V. Moore died Jan. 3, 1952, one day after Harry T. Moore's funeral. The park is dedicated to the commemoration of their lives, to promoting awareness of their contributions to the early civil rights movement, and to preserving African American history. The Cultural Center is a repository of Moore family artifacts and historical documents featuring strategic events beginning with the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in America.

    The park is operated by Brevard County, through Parks & Recreation Department's North Area parks Operations. For more information, call (321) 264–6595.


    August 06, 2012

    Dogs held in attack on Titusville Police officer await fate

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The two pit–bull dogs involved in an attack that injured a Titusville Police Officer remain in the custody of Brevard County Animal Services and are being held until an investigation into the incident is completed.

    The officer was responding to a 9–1–1 hang–up call when two chained by untethered pit–bull dogs came from around a house and began to attack the officer. She managed to fight them off, get to her vehicle and call for help.

    An Animal Services Officer, aided by Titusville Fire Rescue and other Titusville Police officers, secured the dogs as they continued attempts to attack officials at the scene.

    The investigation is ongoing. The dogs will be held until a determination is made on their status and while the 10–day rabies quarantine is completed.


    August 06, 2012

    Extra caution urged around school zones as students head to school Aug. 8

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard students will begin a new school year Wednesday, Aug. 8. The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization and Brevard Community Traffic Safety Team reminds everyone to take extra care around school zones. Here are some things for drivers to remember when driving around school zones.
    • Drivers should slow down and obey all traffic laws and speed limits, slower speeds make it easier to stop
    • Be alert and ready to stop
    • Motorist should always expect a child to dart out in front of them without looking for traffic
    • Children are usually in a hurry and are not thinking about safety when traveling to school
    • Watch for children walking in the street, especially where there are no sidewalks
    • Do not pass other vehicles in a school zone
    • Yield the right–of–way to students in the crosswalk
    • As a motorist be respectful to School Crossing Guards. They are there for the protection of the children.
    Reminder: Law enforcement will be watching. Fines for speeding in school zones are doubled and increased points on your license depending on your speed.


    August 06, 2012

    School season reminder: Prepare to stop for school buses

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Back to school sales are a sure sign that the school year is right around the corner.

    However, new backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies are not the only things to think about this time of year. The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization and the Brevard County Community Traffic Safety Team wants all Brevard County residents to be concerned about the safety of students as they make their journey to and from school. Motorists should obey state traffic laws put in place to protect students. One such law is Florida State Statute 316.172 governing the passing of stopped school buses. The law states that any vehicle approaching a school bus from either direction must stop when the bus is stopped and displaying its red flashing lights and stop sign(s).

    There are exceptions to the law. If one of these conditions exists, vehicles are not required to stop:

    • If a vehicle is traveling on a divided highway, approaching the bus from the opposite direction
    • The highway has an unpaved divider of more than 5 feet or
    • A raised median or
    • A physical barrier in the middle
    Ignoring the law could lead to stiff penalties from local law enforcement. School bus infractions carry enhanced fines and additional points against your license.

    Each year about 10 students nationwide loose their lives because of someone passing a stopped school bus. So remember, pay extra attention around school zones, watch for children and stop for school buses loading or unloading children.


    August 03, 2012

    Free Movie in the Park features Dr. Seuss' 'The Lorax' at Sand Point Park

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.–– Dr. Seuss' 'The Lorax' will be featured at a free Movie in the Park at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Sand Point Park, 101 N. Washington Ave. in Titusville.

    The event is hosted by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area. The movie, which is rated PG, will be shown on a giant, 23–foot, outdoor movie screen. In the event of inclement weather, the movie will be shown at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26.

    Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, food and drinks to enjoy during the movie. HOPE of North Brevard will have concessions available for purchase. Call Mike Herman (321) 264–5105 for additional information.


    August 03, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit to hold public meetings on transit development plan

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit will hold two public meetings this month as part of its 2013/2022 Transit Development Plan Major Update initiative.

    The public is invited to these open house–style workshops to learn about various area transportation plans and to provide input on how to make public transportation work better in Brevard County communities.

    The meetings are Friday, Aug. 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Space Coast Area Transit, 4001 S. Varr Ave., in Cocoa, and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Searstown Mall (kiosk near theater,) 3550 S. Washington Ave., Titusville.

    Those who would like to offer comments, but are unable to attend a workshop, may do so by submitting written comments to the attention of Patricia Whitton at Tindale–Oliver & Associates, Inc., 135 W Central Boulevard, Suite 450, Orlando, FL., 32801.

    In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, persons needing a special accommodation at a workshop because of disability or physical impairment should contact Carmen Baez at Space Coast Area Transit, 401 South Varr Avenue, Cocoa, FL., 32922 or (321) 635–7815 ext. 201, not later than 48 hours before the workshop.


    August 02, 2012

    Early Voting for the Aug. 14 Primary Election begins Saturday

    VIERA, FL – Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott reminds voters that Early Voting for the Aug. 14, 2012, Primary Election begins Saturday, Aug. 4, and ends on Saturday, Aug. 11.

    "The law governing Early Voting changed last year," Scott said. "Due to the reduction of the number of days I can conduct Early Voting and Brevard's historical Early Voting turnout, I have expanded our Early Voting locations outside the five Election Offices to include the Melbourne, DeGroodt, and Melbourne Beach Libraries."

    Voters can take advantage of Early Voting at any of the eight locations throughout Brevard County; Weekdays 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Weekends 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. As a reminder, voters are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and to carry water as Early Voting wait times can fluctuate. For a list of wait times, please visit the www.VoteBrevard.com website.

    For additional information about Early Voting or the upcoming Primary Election, contact the Elections Office at (321) 633–2124 or visit the www.VoteBrevard.com website.


    August 02, 2012

    Adult Sports Leagues forming in North Brevard

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.–– Fall leagues for adult softball, men's and women's flag football leagues and 6v6 soccer, sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations, are now forming.

    The women's softball league organizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13; Men's softball league at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14; and the co–ed softball league meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15. All three meetings are at the Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex 4–plex softball concession building, 2111 Chain of Lakes Drive in Titusville.

    The adult 6v6 soccer, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, and the men's and women's flag football organizational meeting, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, will be held at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice Jackson Park, 4201 N. US 1 in Sharpes.

    Fees, dates, and game times will be decided at the organizational meetings.

    For more information on these and other athletic opportunities in North Brevard, call (321) 264–5105.


    August 01, 2012

    Hikes, trails and tales among August activities at Enchanted Forest Sanctuary

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Guided nature hikes, Forest Funday and tales from the trail are among the many free activities planned in August at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary.

    The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center, 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville, is part of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program through the Brevard County parks and Recreation Department. Here's a look at events in August:

    Guided Nature Hikes: 10 a.m. Saturdays. A 45–minute interpretive hike offered every Saturday. Bring hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of five or more, please RSVP.

    Recreation & Education Advisory Committee: 6 p.m., Aug. 9. Meeting to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation, and environmental education plans on EEL Program managed conservation lands. An opportunity to visit the proposed Addison Canal Trail site will be provided at the beginning of the meeting. For more information, call Brad Manley at (321) 255–4466.

    Friends of Enchanted Forest: 6:30 p.m., Aug. 16. DerinDuo Adventures and Tales from the Appalachian Trail.Come listen to the entertaining and exciting tales from the trail with Rex and Colleen Derin, the DerinDuo. This adventurous couple hiked the trail from Maine to Georgia and have a wonderful presentation complete with their gear setups, photos, answers to the most often asked questions, and Trail Magic. Light refreshments provided.

    Photography Club: 9 a.m.– 11 a.m., Aug. 18. Program for all levels of photography. Topics of discussion are photographs,equipment, displaying your work and more. All are welcome and reservations not required.

    Forest Funday for children: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., Aug. 19. Nature program for children and families to enjoy the outdoors. Please join us anytime between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to do a Sanctuary Search (a non–collecting scavenger hunt), an activity and an art project.

    For more information on these and other activities, call Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, (321) 264–5185.


    August 01, 2012

    Celebrate 'Lagoon Month' at Sams House at Pine Island

    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. –– The Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities this month in celebration of the Indian River Lagoon.

    Pine Island Paddle: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 4. Space Coast Kayaking leads this new excursion through a deep–water canal frequented by manatees and out to the Indian River Lagoon. It also includes a hike to the Sams House and Cabin. Reservations required. Limited to 14 participants. $30 per person ($20 for ages 5–12). Call (321) 784–2452 or email info@spacecoastkayaking.net to hold a spot. Meet at Conservation Area gate at end of Pine Island Road.

    Indian River Lagoon Fun Day: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 4. For ages 4 and up (with adult). Celebrate the Indian River Lagoon with educational crafts and games. Includes a walk to the Lagoon overlook. Bring good walking shoes.

    Miracles in the Mangroves: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m., Friday, Aug. 10. D. Scott Taylor, EEL Central Region Land Manager takes participants deep into the mangrove swamp where there are Great Land Crabs, Mangrove Rivulus Fish, and Mosquitoes. Come meet three favorite mangrove residents!

    Understanding TEs (Turtle Excluder Devices): 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 11. Federal Agents with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) will educate attendees about the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs). Federal law requires TEDs on most shrimp vessels to protect endangered sea turtles. TEDs allow sea turtles to escape yet shrimpers are still able to achieve high shrimp retention rates. The agents will demonstrate how shrimp trawl gear harvest shrimp and the proper way to check a TED.

    Lagoon Restoration: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 18. Interim Director Beth McMillen will discuss the Marine Resources Council's role in restoring the Indian River Lagoon.

    The Thousand Islands: Past, Present and Future: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 25. Tim Kozusko of the Friends of the Thousand Islands will look at the formation, history, present ecology, and future of the Thousand Islands in Cocoa Beach.

    The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half–mile west of State Road 3. The Center is open Thursdays to Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered every Thursday at 3 p.m. For more information, call (321) 449–4720.


    July 30, 2012

    Brevard Voting Equipment Test Successful, Ready for Election

    VIERA, Fla. –– Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott announced this afternoon the successful completion of voting system testing in preparation for the Primary Election on Aug. 14.

    Florida Law requires this system review, known as Logic and Accuracy Testing, for all machines utilized during the canvass of Mail/Absentee Ballots, Early Voting, and in use at precincts on election day.

    The test includes optical scan units and the ADA–compliant touch–screen voting devices. Testing lasted approximately five hours and was conducted under the supervision of the Brevard County Canvassing Board, comprised of Judge Kelly McKibben, Commissioner Chuck Nelson, and Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott.

    "The machines have been tested and are ready for deployment on Election Day," said Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott.

    Logic and Accuracy Testing is open to the public. Testing for the General Election on Nov. 6 will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22 at the Supervisor of Elections Office at the Viera Government Center.

    For more information on Logic and Accuracy Testing or the Primary Election, call (321) 633–2124 or visit www.VoteBrevard.com.


    July 30, 2012

    Brevard County health clinic partnership program earns state recognition

    VIERA, Fla. –– Brevard County's Board of County Commissioners, Brevard County Health Department and the Brevard County Medical Society were named recipients of the 2012 Community Service Award presented by the Florida Health Care Coalition.

    The FHCC recognized the three organizations for their Primary Access to Health Clinic (PATH) 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 in January 2011. Health department employees, volunteer primary and specialty physicians provide health care for non–emergency, acute/chronic health conditions, limited disease management, education, diagnosis, treatment, follow–up care, basic laboratory services, EKG testing and in–house ultrasound. The program provides a medical home for eligible residents.

    "We are fortunate to have the support of our county commissioners, volunteer physicians and area hospitals for us to be able to provide thousands of free services to needy patients through our PATH clinic," said Dr. Heidar Heshmati, director of Brevard County Health Department. Heshmati accepted the award at the FHCC's annual awards event in Orlando. The event recognizes community leadership, community quality and community services related to health care.

    The Florida Health Care Coalition is a 28–year–old organization that represents nearly two 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. Visit FHCC online at www.flhcc.org.

    For more information on the Primary Access to Health (PATH) program, visit www.doh.state.fl.us/chdbrevard/pers_hlth/path.htm.


    July 20, 2012

    Brevard among counties eligible for SBA economic injury disaster loans

    ATLANTA, Ga. –– The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non–profit organizations of all sizes located in Florida as a result of the drought that began on Jan. 1.

    This SBA's disaster declaration includes the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Holmes, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami–Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okalossa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Saint Lucie, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton and Washington in Florida.

    "When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to eligible entities affected by the same disaster," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

    Under this declaration, the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm–related and nonfarm–related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquacultural enterprises, agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers are not eligible to apply to SBA. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.

    The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for private non–profit organizations of all sizes and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

    Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

    Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800–659–2955 (800–877–8339 for the deaf and hard–of–hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than March 12, 2013.


    July 18, 2012

    Emergency Management hosts class on sheltering small animals in a disaster

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– An Awareness Level Small Animal Emergency Sheltering class, targeted to those in the animal rescue and animal welfare community, will be held by the Florida State Animal Response Coalition and Brevard County Office of Emergency Management from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.

    Registration is under way for the free class, which will be held at the Brevard County Office of Emergency Management, 1746 Cedar St., in Rockledge.

    When disaster strikes, a team of volunteer animal disaster responders are there to shelter and protect Florida's companion animals. This Awareness Level class provides information, expertise and practical experience needed for working in an emergency animal shelter during a disaster. The Awareness Level Small Animal Emergency Sheltering class is certified by the Florida Department of Emergency Management and is required to respond to help companion animals in disaster situations.

    Class topics include personal preparedness, an overview of the Incident Command system, deployment preparedness, assisting in shelter set up, daily care and feeding, proper cage cleaning and disinfection, animal behavior, stress management, code of conduct for response, personal safety, post–traumatic stress and more.

    Florida SARC team members must complete the following Federal Emergency Management Agency courses before they are eligible to deploy statewide or nationwide in response to a disaster. These courses are self–study online courses and are free of charge, and can be found at http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp:
    • IS–100.b Introduction to Incident Command System
    • IS–200.b ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
    • IS–700.a NIMS an Introduction

    Those who complete ICS 100, 200 & 700 courses before attending the Awareness Level class, and bring their completion certificates to class, will receive a free Florida SARC uniform T–shirt. Florida SARC uniform T–shirts will also be available for purchase during the class.

    To register, visit http://flsarc.org/Training.html. For more information, contact Consie von Gontard, Director of Training Florida State Animal Response Coalition, at training@flsarc.org or (352) 658–1224.


    July 17, 2012

    Brevard County Budget Available Online

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Four budget meetings, including two public hearings, are scheduled on Brevard County's proposed $936,778,125 budget for Fiscal Year 2012–2013.

    The Board of County Commissioners will discuss the budget at Commission meetings July 24 and July 31. Public Hearings on the budget are scheduled Sept. 11 and Sept. 25.

    The proposed budget for 2012–2013 represents a decrease in spending of 6.23%, or $62,219,719, from the Fiscal Year 2011–2012 amended budget of $998,997,844. The FY 2012–2013 Budget is balanced and represents another year of tremendous value for the citizens of Brevard County. It focuses on maintaining core services while also making critical investments to ensure the future viability of the County's vital public safety, roadway and communications infrastructure.

    The budget is now online at www.brevardcounty.us. Click on the "County Budget" link, then on "Recommended Budget" to see how various dollar amounts will be allocated in the coming year.


    July 17, 2012

    Environmentally Endangered Lands Program schedules review meeting

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Recreation & Education Advisory Committee will meet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9., to review proposed recommendations for public access, passive recreation and environmental education plans on EEL Program–managed conservation lands.

    The meeting will be held at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive in Melbourne. For more information, contact Brad Manley, EEL Public Access/Volunteer Coordinator at (321) 255–4466 or bmanley@brevardparks.com.


    July 17, 2012

    North Animal Care and Adoption Center plans 'Dog Days of Summer' event

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– The North Animal Care and Adoption Center in Titusville will celebrate the "Dog Days of Summer" with watery fun, games, food and prizes, and dog and cat adoptions from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 28.

    Dog and cat adoptions will be at a special rate of $40, which includes spaying/neutering, rabies vaccinations, heartworm tests, initial vaccinations, flea treatment and county license tags.

    The event will be held at Stonefire Art Studio, 2500 South Washington Ave. in Titusville. For more information, call the North Animal Care Center at (321) 264–5119.


    July 16, 2012

    Public Workshops to Focus on Future Space Coast Area Transit Services

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit will hold two open house–style public workshops next week as part of its effort to develop an update for its 2013/2022 Transit Development Plan.

    The workshops will look at area transportation plans and will invite public comment on how to make public transportation work better in communities throughout Brevard County.

    Workshops will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 pm. Monday, July, 23, at Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C in the second–floor Space Coast Room, and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, at Hammock Landing Transfer Station, 225 Palm Bay Road, in West Melbourne.

    Monday's workshop will be hosted in coordination with the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization (TPO).

    People who would like to offer comments, but are unable to attend the workshop, may do so by submitting written comments to the attention of Patricia Whitton at Tindale–Oliver & Associates, Inc., 135 W Central Boulevard, Suite 450, Orlando, Fla., 32801.


    July 13, 2012

    Brevard EELs committee to review program's policies and procedures Aug. 16

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee and Procedures Committee will be held from 2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive in Melbourne.

    The purpose of this meeting is to review policies and procedures of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

    For more information on this meeting, contact to Laura Clark (321) 255–4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


    July 13, 2012

    Adult All–Passing Flag Football Tourney Aug. 19 in North Brevard

    CANAVERAL GROVES, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting an all–passing flag football tournament at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard.

    The fee of $150 per team is due by 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

    To register, and for more information on this event and other athletic activities in North Brevard, contact Mike Herman at (321) 264–5105.


    July 13, 2012

    Brevard County EEL Program sets public meeting on land acquisitions

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive in Melbourne.

    The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255–4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


    July 13, 2012

    Sign–up under way for Coed Kickball Tournament in North Brevard

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area, is hosting a coed kickball tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at Chain of Lakes Recreation Complex, 2110 Chain of Lakes Drive, Titusville.

    The fee of $75.00 per team is due by 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville.

    To register, and for more information on this tournament and other athletic activities in North Brevard, call Mike Herman, (321) 264–5105.


    July 11, 2012

    Meet, greet and eat: Enchanted Forest Sanctuary presents Creepy Crawly Day

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Enchanted Forest Sanctuary invites families to meet, greet and even eat some creepy crawly critters during its Creepy Crawly Day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 14.

    Try edible insects, discover the importance of bats, unearth the world of reptiles and amphibians, and participate in an insect Olympics on this special day dedicated to nature's most unique, spine–tingling and sometimes misunderstood critters. The day will also feature buggy crafts, insect hikes, including a special caterpillars & butterflies walk & talk, log dissections, and much more.

    For more information please visit www.efs.eelbrevard.com. The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is at 444 Columbia Blvd. in Titusville.

    For flyer and schedule of events, visit www.nbbd.com/godo/ef/events/


    July 10, 2012

    Brevard County Manager Submits 2013 Budget Proposal

    Brevard County Manager Howard Tipton today submitted his recommended budget proposal to the Board of County Commissioners for the 2013 fiscal year that balances keeping the tax rate the same while maintaining current service levels.

    The $936,778,128 budget represents a reduction of $62.2 million from the current year budget. The reductions are primarily a result of capital projects being completed, grant dollar reductions mainly in the areas of housing and human services, stormwater improvement, transit capital, and reductions to reserves. From 2009 to 2013, the total County budget has been reduced by $268.8 million for an overall reduction of 22.3%.

    Current services are maintained for the next fiscal year, although it is important to remember that many services were reduced over the past 5 years due to financial pressures. For the coming year, 15 vacant positions have been eliminated with no layoffs or personnel impacts. These reductions are across the board (except for public safety) and from 2006 to 2013 the total number of positions cut stands at 452. Staffing now stands at 2001 levels.

    There are several areas where the County is making critical investments for our future. They include financial support for job creation in the form of cash incentives, tax abatements, and continued support of the EDC of Florida's Space Coast, Inc.

    Critical capital investments in equipment include the overhaul and expansion of the County's 800 MHz public safety radio system. This radio system is the backbone of law enforcement, fire rescue, emergency medical services, and emergency management communications for the County and its municipalities. The current system is 25 years old and needs to be replaced before it reaches the point of failure. The second major capital expense is a helicopter for Mosquito Control that will replace a 44–year–old helicopter that is no longer functional. Brevard has the largest spray area on the eastern seaboard and utilizes 3 helicopters as part of a coordinated land/air assault.

    As part of the Board of County Commissioners' focus and funding of critical government services, a number of capital improvement programs (CIPs) are scheduled that will have significant impacts to the community. There are 225 capital projects with a total value of $121,616,783; the majority of these are roads and infrastructure improvements.

    The proposed aggregate tax rate of 7.1271, or $7.13 for every $1,000 of taxable property value, is a decrease of 2.41 percent below the current aggregate roll–back rate. The fiscal year runs Oct.1 through Nov. 30.

    "Looking at the data, we have found the bottom of this recession and started the slow climb up," Tipton said. "Property values dropped approximately 1% this year and while it is a decline, it is a marked improvement over the more than 14% decline from last year."

    Brevard County has one of the least expensive tax environments in Florida. In a report issued in 2011, the non–partisan organization Tax Watch noted that Brevard was 57th out of 67 counties in terms of the County's total tax burden. Brevard County is 10th largest by population and 10th cheapest in taxes.

    "It's impressive to me to think about the results and value this community has seen from Brevard County government," Tipton said. "The resourcefulness and efficiency of County employees and our community partners coupled with positive outcomes like low crime rates, job creation and investment, reduced flooding and greater property protection, record levels of riders on Space Coast Area Transit, record level of road miles paved – I'm not aware of any local government in the State achieving better results for their community."


    June 25, 2012

    Enchanted Forest Sanctuary wants to help you explore nature in July

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Get in tune with nature through a variety of free events planned in July at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

    Among activities planned at the sanctuary, located at 444 Columbia Blvd. in Titusville, include:

    • Every Saturday at 10 a.m., a 45–minute interpretive hike is offered. Bring a hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of five or more, please RSVP.
    • Join Naturalists every Friday, 11 a.m. to noon, to explore different plants, animals and themes found outdoors. July 6, Feathered Friends; July 13, Small & Spineless; July 20, Nature Detectives; and July 27, Wild About Water.
    • July 6, 10 a.m., a walk and talk about nature with children ages 3 to 5.
    • July 14, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., is Creepy Crawly Day. Visitors of all ages can spend the day discovering the world of creepy crawlies through guided walks, hands–on activities and even enjoy a buggy snack!
    • July 15, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., is Forest Funday. From 12:30 to 4 p.m., musicians performing with Mark Nathan, Flutes & Friends and a kid–friendly rhythm jam session and sing–along. And from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., there's a Nature Program with Sanctuary Search, musical activities and crafts.
    • July 19, 6:30 p.m., Friends of the Enchanted Forest offers a family friendly event with refreshments.
    • July 21, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Photography Club, which is a program for all levels of photography.


    June 25, 2012

    UF/Brevard Extension serves up food classes in July and August

    BREVARD COUJNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following programs in July and August:
    • Cooking with Herbs: Participants will learn how to season foods with herbs and spices. Participants will also be able to taste different dishes. Held at Cocoa Ext. office, 3695 Lake Drive, on Aug, 23, 10 a.m. to noon. Cost: $25.
    • Preserving Foods: Water Bath and Pressure Canning. Learn how to can foods, hands on experience. Participants will be able to take home the foods that they have made in class. Held at Cocoa Ext. office, Aug. 16, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cost: $35.
    • Preserving Foods: Jams, Jellies and Pickling. Participants will learn how to preserve foods through hands–on experience. Participants will be able to take home the foods that they have made in class. Held at Cocoa Ext. office, Aug. 20., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cost: $35.
    • Preserving Foods: Drying and Freezing. Participants will learn how to preserve foods through hands–on experience. There will also be taste testing. Held at Cocoa Ext office, Aug. 21, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.Cost :$35.
    • Pressure Cooking: Participants will learn and use pressure cookers to prepare a healthy meal quickly. Held at Cocoa Ext. office, Sept. 6, 10 a.m. to noon. Cost $25.
    • Make and Sell Homemade Foods: Understanding the Cottage Food Laws: Participants will learn what is required to make and sell homemade foods. Held at Cocoa Ext. office, July 10, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cost $10.
    For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


    June 25, 2012

    UF/Brevard Extension Service invites you to get 'Back to the Basics'

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences invites you to take part in its "Back to the Basics" event in August.

    This event, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Cocoa Extension Office, 3695 Lake Drive, will showcase what you can do to get "Back to Basics." There will be talks on gardening and composting basics, canning basics, basics of fishing, basics of home repair, and much more. Vendors will help you get the basics you need for your home, life and enjoyment of the great outdoors in Brevard County. Visit http://backtobasicsbrevard.eventbrite.com to learn more and to pre–register.

    For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


    June 25, 2012

    UF/Brevard Extension Service courses help you deal with finance concerns

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following finance–related programs in July and August:
    • Become Captain of Your Financial Ship/Financial management program, meets bankruptcy debtor education requirements. Held at Cocoa Extension Office, 3695 Lake Drive, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., July 23, and at Palm Bay Extension Office, 1455 Treeland Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 14. Cost: $20.
    • Foreclosure Prevention/For families facing foreclosure. Learn to prepare a budget, foreclosure options, and the foreclosure process. Required for one–on–one counseling. Held at the Cocoa Ext. Office, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Aug. 6, and at the Palm Bay Ext. Office, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., July 2. Cost: $10.
    • Budgeting Basics/Learn to prepare a budget, reconcile accounts and stretch dollars. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., July 23, and at Palm Bay Ext. Office, 10 a.m. to noon, Aug. 21. Cost: $10.
    • Credit Basics/ Learn how to use credit wisely and pay down debt. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., July 27, and at Palm Bay Ext. Office, 10 a.m. to noon, Aug. 23. Cost: $10.
    • Buying & Selling on Internet Venues/ Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via eBay and Amazon and look at other internet buying/selling options. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office, 10 a.m. to noon, July 27, and at Palm Bay Ext. Office, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 7. Cost: $10.
    For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


    June 25, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit services altered for Independence Day holiday

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit is changing its fixed route bus service for the upcoming Independence Day holiday:
    • Wednesday, July 4: All fixed routes will not operate.
    • Thursday, July 5: All fixed route bus service will return to regular schedule.
    Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at (321) 633–1878 (952–4672 for South Mainland residents) or online at www.RideSCAT.com.


    June 25, 2012

    Extension Service focuses on keeping kids safe in cars and around pools

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following programs in July and August:
    • Kids and Cars: A Child Passenger Safety Primer: Learn how to properly select, install and use child safety seats. Held 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., July 26, and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 22, at the Palm Bay Ext. Office, 1455 Treeland Blvd.; and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 24 and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Aug. 22, at the Cocoa Ext. Office, 3695 Lake Drive. Cost: Free.
    • Child Safety Seat Check: Bring child and child's seat to be checked for proper selection, installation and fit. Call to schedule appointment time. Held at the Palm Bay Ext. Office, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., July 3; 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., July 26; 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Aug 6; and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 28. Held at the Cocoa Ext. Office 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., July 2; 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., July 25; 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 9; and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 22. Cost: Free.
    • Home Pool Safety: Learn ways to protect children around family pools. Held at Cocoa Ext., 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 13; Held at Palm Bay Ext. office, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., July 24. Cost $10.
    For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


    June 25, 2012

    Pesticide review, seafood class available through Extension Service in July

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer these classes in July and August:
    • July 10, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Right of Way Pesticide Review Class: The class is a review for anyone needing to add right of way category to the Pesticide Applicator License under Chapter 487, Florida Statutes. Exam will be offered after class. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office, 3695 Lake Drive. Cost: $25.
    • July 14, 10 a.m. to noon: Local Seafood Class: This program discusses local seafood products, when they're available, why you should buy local seafood, and how to prepare and cook as well as get to taste. Held at Wild Ocean Seafood Market, Port Canaveral. Cost: $15.
    For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


    June 25, 2012

    Sams House on Pine Island invites you to 'Explore Our History'

    MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. –– The Sams House at Pine Island is offering a variety of free activities in July to encourage residents to "Explore our History."
    • Saturday, July 7, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Join local travel writer and historian Dianne Marcum on a journey through the History of Travel and Tourism in Brevard County. For centuries, nomadic tribes, adventurers, entrepreneurs, and vacationers have been drawn to Brevard's extraordinary mix of natural resources, wildlife, and space–age technology.
    • Saturday, July 14, 10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Learn about John H. Sams: A Pioneer Story. Sams was a citrus farmer and built the oldest standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams cabin. He also served as Brevard County's first Superintendent of Schools.
    • Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Using the British Royal Family Pedigree as a template, families will build their own family tree, which will be worthy of display. Bring photos of your grandparents, parents, siblings, and yourself. If you are missing some photos of family members, bring pictures from magazines as a placeholder. All craft materials are provided.
    • Thursday, July 26, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: In His Story, Her Story, Your Story ... Getting Started with Genealogy, Vera Zimmerman, Education Chairman with the Brevard Genealogical Society, will teach the basics of Genealogy.
    • Saturday, July 28, 10 a.m. to noon: Did you know there were towns and communities where the Space Center is now? Who were the people that lived here and what was life like prior to the Space Program? In Lost Communities of North Merritt Island, Roz Foster will unveil these stories as well as history from past to present. Foster is president of the North Brevard Heritage Foundation.
    The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half–mile west of State Road 3. The Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered at 3 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call (321) 449–4720.


    June 18, 2012

    Brevard takes part in National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Looking for the latest buzzword on mosquitoes? Brevard County's Mosquito Control Department wants to help county residents learn how to protect themselves, their pets and property against this pesky insect during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, June 24–30.

    In recognition of the week designated by the American Mosquito Control Association, Brevard Mosquito Control Department staff will be on site at six locations throughout the county to help educate the public about mosquitoes and how to control and prevent the insect's transmitted diseases from affecting you, your family, pets and livestock.

    Between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents are invited to stop by any of these locations to speak with staff members about what can be done collectively to assist in your protection.

    • Lowes,Titusville.
    • Home Depot, Titusville.
    • Home Depot, Merritt Island.
    • Lowes, Rockledge.
    • Lowes, Indialantic.
    • Lowes, Palm Bay.
    The Brevard County Board of Commissioners has adopted a resolution recognizing the important designation of a National Mosquito Control Awareness Week for the county. For more information on Brevard County Mosquito Control, visit www.brevardcounty.us/mosquito.


    June 14, 2012

    Marina Park closings planned for Fourth of July fireworks

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Fourth of July fireworks will close Marina Park in Titusville starting at 8 p.m. July 3 and ending at 11 p.m. July 4.

    The closings include the boat ramp, skate park, dog park and all park facilities. Marina Park is at 501 Marina Road in Titusville.

    The following boat ramps in Titusville will be open: Kennedy Point Park, 4915 S Washington Ave., and Parrish Park, 1 A. Max Brewer Memorial Parkway.

    For information on North Area parks owned or operated by Brevard County call (321) 264–5105.


    June 08, 2012

    Brevard Animal Care Centers join in nationwide 'Just One Day' event

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Animal Services will join animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide in support of the "Just One Day" campaign on Monday, June 11.

    As part of this daylong effort, the county shelters are pledging to work toward the campaign goal of getting family friendly pets adopted and to reduce the number of homeless animals in the county's vastly populated shelters.

    "On this day, the shelters will be focusing on getting shelter animals adopted and no euthanasia will be done," said Kathy Beatson, interim director of Brevard Animal Services and Enforcement.

    Special adoption rates for the day will be $30 for dogs over six months old; $15 for cats over six months old. All adoptions include spaying/neutering, rabies shots, county licenses and micro–chipping.

    The South Animal Care Center is at 5100 West Eau Gallie Blvd. in Melbourne, (321) 253–6608; the North Animal Care Center is at 2605 Flake Road in Titusville, (321) 264–5119. The shelters are open from noon until 6:00 p.m.

    For additional shelter information or to view adoptable animals you can visit www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices/.

    For more information on "Just One Day" and updates via Facebook the day of the event visit www.justoneday.ws.


    June 08, 2012

    Brevard County EEL Program sets public meeting on land acquisitions

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Friday, June 22, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive in Melbourne.

    The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Questions regarding this meeting should be directed to Laura Clark (321) 255–4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


    June 08, 2012

    Brevard EELs committee to review land acquisition/management

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– A meeting of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program's Selection and Management Committee and Procedures Committee will be held from 2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Friday, June 22, at the EEL Program Office, 91 East Drive in Melbourne.

    The purpose of this meeting is to review lands under consideration for public acquisition and management by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and to review policies and procedures for land acquisition conducted under the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

    For more information on this meeting, contact to Laura Clark (321) 255–4466 or Laura.Clark@brevardparks.com.


    June 08, 2012

    Get into the 'swim of things' with North Area Parks aquatic programs

    TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations is offering swim lessons, private swim lessons and open swim at the Titusville High Pool, 150 S. Terrier Trail.

    Swim lessons are currently being offered in four sessions ending July 29. Each session runs for two weeks. Classes are offered in the morning and evening with each class lasting 45 minutes. The cost is $45 per child with additional children in the same household being $40. Private swim lessons are available at a cost of $20 per half hour and are based on availability.

    Parent and child classes are $30 per session and classes are 30 minutes. Parent or guardian must be in the pool with the child at all times. Each session runs for two weeks. No discount applies to this class.

    Open swim is offered on Saturday, Sunday and holidays, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at a fee of $2 per person. Pool rentals are available based on availability.

    Registration for all aquatics activities is available at North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Avenue, Titusville, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information can be obtained by calling Mike Herman(321) 264 5105.


    June 08, 2012

    Space Coast Area Transit offers free bus rides on 'Dump the Pump' Day

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Come on and take a free ride: Space Coast Area Transit will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the 7th annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 21.

    Space Coast Area Transit's website, RideSCAT.com, is currently featuring a printable coupon on its home page that will allow passengers to ride the bus for free on Dump the Pump Day. Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, the one–day event encourages people to try riding public transportation and save money, instead of driving a car.

    Since its conception in June 2006, when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes public transportation is a great travel option that also helps people save money.

    "With the high price of gasoline, saving money is on everyone's minds," said Jim Liesenfelt, director of Space Coast Area Transit. "Public transportation is the quickest way to beat high gas prices, and Dump the Pump Day is an excellent opportunity for our residents to try transit for free."

    According to the latest APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two–person household can save an average of more than $10,000 annually by downsizing to one car. For bus maps and schedules, contact Space Coast Area Transit at (321) 633–1878 or log on to RideSCAT.com on a PC, Mac, or mobile device. For vanpool information, call (321) 952–4563.


    June 05, 2012

    North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation meets June 14

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– The North Brevard Commission on Parks and Recreation will hold its monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 14, in the Brevard Room, 518 South Palm Ave. in Titusville.

    One or more members of the Titusville City Council and the following committees may be present: Causeway Improvements Referendum Committee, Equestrian Trails & Facilities Referendum Committee, and the Mims–Scottsmoor Community Center Referendum Committee. The meeting is open to the public.

    The Brevard Room is on the north side of the parking lot behind the Brevard County Government Center–North.

    For more information, contact Terry Lane at (321) 264–5105.


    June 04, 2012

    Former Brevard County Commissioner Randy O'Brien dies at 66

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Former Brevard County Commissioner Randy O'Brien, who served from 1994 to 2002, passed away Saturday morning following a lengthy illness. He was 66.

    O'Brien, of Merritt Island, represented District 2. He also served 11 years on the Brevard County Tourist Development council, made an unsuccessful bid for the state Legislature in 2004 and came up short in a six–man race for Port Canaveral Commission in 2010.

    O'Brien, who was owner and chief executive of ABBCO equipment manufacturing in Cape Canaveral, is survived by his wife Sharon O'Brien, five children and eight grandchildren.

    Commission Chairman Chuck Nelson, who was county Parks and Recreation director during O'Brien's tenure as commissioner, credited O'Brien as being instrumental in his own election campaign in 2006.

    "I had a good relationship with him," Nelson said. "I enjoyed working with Commissioner O'Brien as a county staff person, and I'll miss him as a friend."

    Said Rob Varley, director of the Brevard County Tourism Development office: "Randy served on my Tourism Development Council for many years and always had some good things to say. We appreciated his sense of humor."

    Funeral arrangements are pending.


    May 31, 2012

    Brevard Students Read To Ride For Free During Summer

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– School may be out for the summer, but Space Coast Area Transit and Brevard County Libraries have continued educating students on the benefits of reading and using transit as an economical and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Space Coast Area Transit is offering free rides all summer to youth under the age of 18 who show their free–of–charge Brevard County Library Card.

    Since its inception in 2001, the Read to Ride program has offered public transportation to thousands of Brevard County students from the day after school lets out until the day before school begins. This year, FLORIDA TODAY Communications sponsored the program by inserting promotional flyers in daily and weekly newspapers.

    Read to Ride emphasizes the importance of using Brevard County Libraries as a resource to enhance reading skills during the summer months, as well as encouraging transit as a choice mode of transportation. According to Jim Liesenfelt, the Director of Space Coast Area Transit, FLORIDA TODAY's decision to sponsor the program was critical to its success. "We all know how important it is to keep kids reading over the summer. The question was, how do we let parents and their kids know that they can get to the libraries for free while mom and dad are working? Fortunately for all involved, FLORIDA TODAY viewed this as an opportunity to help educate the youth in our community and stepped up to the plate in a big way."

    For many of the youth, taking the bus is an alternative to being homebound during the summer. Students can ride their bike to a bus stop, load the bike on the bike rack located on the front of the bus, and have it available to use when they arrive at their destination. Surfboards are also welcome, based on space availability. Read to Ride participants can speak with a customer service representative to help them access bus transportation and answer questions. For further information, call 633–1878. Printable maps and schedules and a Google Transit trip planner are also available on RideSCAT.com.


    May 31, 2012

    Are you prepared? Hurricane season begins Friday

    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– History teaches that hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads that can reduce the impact of hurricane disasters. Families, individuals, and businesses who know their vulnerability and what actions to take can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster by taking action to prepare.

    In support of this call to prepare, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have partnered again to promote 2012 National Hurricane Preparedness Week, and are calling upon Americans in areas of the country vulnerable to hurricanes and severe weather to Be a Force of Nature.

    Brevard County Emergency Management is proud to join and promote the 2012 National Hurricane Preparedness Week and to Be a Force of Nature to help spread the word and make its employees and members of the community better prepared. Brevard County Emergency Management is committed to being a leader for weather–readiness by knowing the risk, taking action and being an example. Hurricane season is June 1 to Nov. 30.

    "With two named storms already occurring this year, before Hurricane Season even starts, it's a good reminder to prepare yourselves, your family and your pets, and to stay informed," said Kimberly Prosser, director of Brevard County Emergency Management.

    Recent studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others.

    "Brevard County Emergency Management has been active in social media since 2009, with a presence on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/BrevardEOC) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BrevardEOC)," Prosser said.

    Social media provides the perfect platform to model preparedness actions for others. For this reason, Brevard County residents are asked to pledge and take the following steps:

    Know your risk: The first step to Be a Force of Nature is to understand how hurricanes can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly and sign up for local alerts from emergency management officials and obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.

    Take action: Pledge to develop an emergency plan and practice how and where you will evacuate if instructed by your emergency management officials. Post your plan in your home where visitors can see it. Learn how to strengthen your home and business against hurricanes. Download FEMA's mobile app so you can access important safety tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane. Understand the National Hurricane Center warning and alerts.

    Be an Example: Once you have taken action and pledged, share your story with your family and friends. Create a YouTube video, post your story on Facebook, comment on a blog, or send a tweet. Post the Be a Force of Nature widget on your social media profiles.

    More information and ideas on how you can be a Force of Nature can be found at www.embrevard.com or www.ready.gov/hurricanes. Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and floods is available at www.weather.gov and www.ready.gov/hurricanes or the Spanish–language web site www.listo.gov.

    You can also go to http://www.floridadisaster.org/family/ and create your own family disaster plan, print it out and save it.


    June 01, 2012

    Brevard County Fire Rescue Offers 2012 Hurricane Tips

    (Brevard County, FL)– Brevard County Fire Rescue reminds residents that Friday, June 1st is the official start to the 2012 hurricane season. This year, Brevard County is joining local, state and federal agencies to promote the 2012 National Hurricane Preparedness Week and to be a "Force of Nature" to help spread the word and make members of our community better prepared.

    Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. The NOAA Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast calls for 9 to 15 named storms, 4 to 8 hurricanes, and 1 to 3 major hurricanes.

    BCFR offers the following safety tips to ensure that your family is prepared before a hurricane strikes, during the storm, and in the aftermath of the event.

    • Before a storm:
      • Understand how hurricanes can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family.
      • Develop an emergency plan and practice how and where you will evacuate if instructed by local emergency management officials.
      • Create and maintain a disaster supply kit complete with enough water, non–perishable food, and medications to last several days.
      • Learn how to properly secure your home against hurricanes. If your home is equipped with hurricane shutters, ensure that they are in proper working order before a storm threatens to strike.
      • Monitor local weather forecasts and obtain a NOAA Weather Radio.
    • During a storm:
      • Stay inside your home away from windows and glass doors. Find a safe area inside your home such as an interior room, a closet, or bathroom on a lower level.
      • If flooding threatens your home, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
      • If your home loses power, turn off major appliances such as the air conditioner and water heater to reduce damage.
      • Do not go outside. Weather conditions can change rapidly and lightning, wind, and a multitude of other hazards exist.
    • After a storm:
      • Remain indoors until an official "all clear" is given.
      • Do not touch fallen or low–hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Call police or utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken water or gas mains, and overturned gas tanks.
      • Once power is restored, ensure refrigerated food has not spoiled. Spoiled food is the cause of much sickness two days to a week after the storm.
      • Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves, or generators indoors for any reason. This includes inside garages, screened enclosures, or near open doors and/or windows.
      • When it is safe to do so, remove hurricane shutters from windows and doors. These should not be left in place for any reason. Doing so may prevent early detection of the presence of a fire, hinder firefighting efforts, or prevent your family from escaping the home in the event of a fire.

      More information and ideas on how you can be a Force of Nature can be found at www.embrevard.com or www.ready.gov/hurricanes. Information on the different types of severe weather such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and floods is available at www.weather.gov and www.ready.gov/hurricanes or the Spanish–language web site www.listo.gov.

      You can also go to http://www.floridadisaster.org/family/ and create your own family disaster plan, print it out and save it.


      May 30, 2012

      Enchanted Forest Sanctuary serves up a weekend of fun and free activities

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– There's something for everyone to enjoy this weekend at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, which will feature fun for the little ones, a native plant sale, music, hikes and other nature events starting Friday.

      On Friday, June 1, starting at 10 a.m., there's Nature for Little Ones for children ages 3 to 5. The event features a walk and talk about Birds.

      On Fridays throughout June and July, the sanctuary presents its Summer Fun program that invites you to come discover Central Florida's environmental wonders. Join Naturalists for a free program as they explore different plants, animals and themes found outdoors. Programs include Butterflies; Happenin's Herps; Tracks & Scat; Gopher Tortoises; Scrub Explorers; Feathered Friends; Small & Spineless; Nature Detectives; and Wild About Water.

      There are two events this Saturday, June 2:

      From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pond Tour & Native Plant Sale, which features gardening tips and Florida native plants for sale for use in garden ponds conducted by the Florida Native Plant Sale, Searocket chapter.

      Then, on Saturday from 5 – 8 p.m., there's Music in the Forest, which features musicians performing on the screened porch and fun for all. Bring a picnic dinner or purchase refreshments while you enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest.

      The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center is at 444 Columbia Blvd. in Titusville. For more information on these and other events planned for the summer, call 321–264–5185.


      May 30, 2012

      Sign up now for summer junior tennis clinics in Titusville

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Registration is now under way for Summer Junior Tennis Clinics being offered at Singleton Courts, 665 North Singleton Ave., in Titusville.

      Clinics for beginners and advanced beginners, ages 8 and older, will be offered beginning Monday, June 4. The clinics meet 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. The fee is $50 per week. Instruction is by United States Professional Tennis Association Teaching Professional Mary Ann Frederick. Pre–registration is required by calling 321–267–1178.

      These clinics are sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, North Area. Call 321–264–5037 for other recreation opportunities in North Brevard.


      May 28, 2012

      Brevard County libraries return "Fifty Shades of Grey" to its shelves

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla –– The Brevard County Library System will return "Fifty Shades of Grey" to its library shelves.

      The decision is in response to public demand, but also comes after considerable review and consideration by the library system. In all, 19 books from the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy that were previously available will once again be available through the library system, according to Library Services Director Cathy Schweinsberg.

      Earlier this month, a decision was made to pull "Fifty Shades of Grey" from our libraries as a result of published reviews and our own initial analysis of the book and its controversial content. Since then, we have begun a review of our selection criteria and that review continues even as the decision has been made to supply the book in response to requests by county residents.

      "We have always stood against censorship," Schweinsberg said. "We have a long history of standing against censorship and that continues to be a priority for this library system."

      The books are available effective immediately.


      May 24, 2012

      Boaters Reminded to Prepare for Hurricane Season

      VIERA, Fla. – As hurricane season approaches, the Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program reminds boaters to prepare by having a plan to secure and protect their vessels. Hurricane season is June 1– Nov. 30.

      Boaters should develop a plan for securing their boats; inspect their marinas or docks for stability and piling height; collect vessel records; check lines to ensure no weaknesses have developed; outfit their boats with chafe gear and fenders, extra cleats, appropriate anchors and chains, and exhaust pipe plugs; and check bilge pumps, batteries, exterior lights, and radio.

      A guide titled "Your Boat and Hurricanes," provided by the Coast Guard, provides an extensive checklist for protection against hurricane damage. It is available on the Natural Resources Management Office website under the Boating & Waterways section.

      For more information, contact Matt Culver at 321–633–2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


      May 22, 2012

      Space Coast Area Transit Bus Routes Will Not Operate on Memorial Day

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit has announced that its fixed route bus service will not operate on Monday, May 28, which is the Memorial Day holiday.

      On Tuesday, May 29, all fixed route bus service will operate on the regular service schedule.

      Questions or requests for further information should be directed to the Bus Information Line at 321–633–1878 (321–952–4672 for South Mainland residents) or online at www.RideSCAT.com.


      May 16, 2012

      UF/Brevard County Extension Service offers Financial Management Classes

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following Financial Management programs in May and June:
      • Become Captain of Your Financial Ship: Financial management program, meets bankruptcy debtor education requirements. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office, 1455 Treeland Blvd., June 19; 1– 5 p.m. Cost:$20
      • Foreclosure Prevention: For families facing foreclosure. Learn to prepare a budget, foreclosure options, and the foreclosure process. Required for one–on–one counseling. Held at the Palm Bay Ext. Office on June 18; 6 –8 p.m. Cost: $10.
      • Budgeting Basics: Learn to prepare a budget, reconcile accounts and stretch dollars. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office, 3695 Lake Drive, on May 23; 10 a.m. – noon. Held at Palm Bay Extension Office June 26; 2 – 4 p.m. Cost: $10.
      • Credit 101: Learn how to use credit wisely and pay down debt. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on June 20; 1 – 3 p.m. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office May 24; 10 a.m.– noon. Cost: $10.
      • Saving and Investing: Learn how to get on the path to financial security. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on June 20; 10 – 11:30 a.m.; Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office May 24; 2 – 3:30 p.m.. Cost: $10.
      • Buying & Selling on Internet Venues: Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via Ebay and Amazon & look at other internet buying/selling options. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on May 23; 2 4 p.m. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office on June 26; 10 a.m. – noon. Cost: $10.
      For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


      May 16, 2012

      UF/Brevard County Extension Service offers Financial Management Classes

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following Financial Management programs in May and June:

      • Become Captain of Your Financial Ship: Financial management program, meets bankruptcy debtor education requirements. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office, 1455 Treeland Blvd., June 19; 1– 5 p.m. Cost:$20
      • Foreclosure Prevention: For families facing foreclosure. Learn to prepare a budget, foreclosure options, and the foreclosure process. Required for one–on–one counseling. Held at the Palm Bay Ext. Office on June 18; 6 –8 p.m. Cost: $10.
      • Budgeting Basics: Learn to prepare a budget, reconcile accounts and stretch dollars. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office, 3695 Lake Drive, on May 23; 10 a.m. – noon. Held at Palm Bay Extension Office June 26; 2 – 4 p.m. Cost: $10.
      • Credit 101: Learn how to use credit wisely and pay down debt. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on June 20; 1 – 3 p.m. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office May 24; 10 a.m.– noon. Cost: $10.
      • Saving and Investing: Learn how to get on the path to financial security. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on June 20; 10 – 11:30 a.m.; Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office May 24; 2 – 3:30 p.m.. Cost: $10.
      • Buying & Selling on Internet Venues: Learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via Ebay and Amazon & look at other internet buying/selling options. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on May 23; 2 4 p.m. Held at Palm Bay Ext. Office on June 26; 10 a.m. – noon. Cost: $10.
      For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


      May 16, 2012

      Gardening/Plant programs offered through UF/Brevard Extension Service

      BREAVRD COUNTY, Fla. –– University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer these Gardening/Plant programs in May and June:
      • Attract Wildlife: Learn how to attract butterflies, birds and hummingbirds. Thursday, May 17, from 2–3:30 p.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office, 3695 Lake Drive. Cost: $10.
      • Grow Native Plants: Every yard benefits from the addition of some native plants, so come learn about a number of plants that you can choose from. Three separate classes will be held at the following locations and times: Wednesday, June 20, from 6–7:30 p.m. and Tuesday, June 26, from 10–11:30 a.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office; Thursday, June 28, from 10–11:30 a.m. at our Palm Bay office, 1455 Treeland Blvd. Cost: $10.
      For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or go to our website: http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


      May 16, 2012

      UF/Brevard County Extension Service offers Marine Science instruction

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer the following classes in May and June:
      • Aquatic Pesticide Review Class: The class is a review for anyone needing to add an aquatic category to the Pesticide Applicator License under Chapter 487, Florida Statutes. Exam will be offered after class. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office, 3695 Lake Drive, on May 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $25.
      • Natural Areas Weed Management Review Class: The class is a review for anyone needing to add a natural area category to the Pesticide Applicator License under Chapter 487, Florida Statutes. Exam will be offered after class. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office on June 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $25.
      • Florida Master Naturalist Coastal Module: Through classroom, field trips, and practical experience, this module provides instruction on general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife and conservation issues of Coastal Systems in Florida.
      The total training is 40 contact hours. Held at Cocoa Ext. Office starting June 4 at 6 p.m. Cost $225. Visit http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/cs12–19.htm to register and view schedule.

      For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


      May 16, 2012

      Programs focus on Fox Lake Sanctuary restoration

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Learn about the Florida scrub habitat and the scrub restoration project at Fox Lake Sanctuary starting Thursday, May 17, in a series of programs offered through Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

      Join Mike Knight, EEL Program Manager, and Xavier de Seguin des Hons, North District Land Manager on hikes and riding and walking tours that run from 9 a.m. to noon. The events are: three–mile hike, Thursday, May 17; ride and walk tour, Sunday, May 20; ride and walk tour, Thursday, May 24; and three–mile hike, Saturday, May 26.

      Please bring water, sunscreen, a hat, comfortable walking shoes and insect repellent. Please park at the Fox Lake Park entrance.

      Please RSVP in advance to ensure adequate transportation is available. Contact the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at (321) 264–5185.


      May 16, 2012

      Brevard County schools recognized for outstanding recycling efforts

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Jupiter Elementary, Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School and Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School have all been named winners of School Recycling Awards for their outstanding recycling efforts during the 2011–2012 school year.

      The Recycling Awards Program is the combined effort of the League of Women Voters of the Space Coast, Brevard County Solid Waste Management and the Brevard County Public Schools as a way to recognize and encourage recycling within the Brevard School System. The award is based on the amounts of materials collected and recycled, the overall effectiveness of the individual school's program and the students' involvement. In each category Jupiter Elementary, Edgewood and Space Coast excelled. Manatee Elementary School and Heritage High School received Honorable Mentions. Each school that participated in the program was a winner for it taught students the need to conserve precious natural resources.

      If you have any questions, or to sign your school up for next year's contest, contact Erin LeClair, Brevard County Solid Waste Management Department at (321) 633–2043.


      May 16, 2012

      Brevard County Homeless Coalition hosts IDignity event

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– The Brevard County Homeless Coalition will be holding its first IDignity event at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 22, at The House of Hope, 345 Magnolia Ave., Merritt Island.

      IDignity provides support throughout the community, by assisting the disadvantaged in obtaining Florida ID cards and licenses, birth certificates, Social Security cards, VA records and other documents with the assistance of legal counsel. The Coalition is planning to hold future events throughout Brevard in an effort to assist residents in overcoming the difficulties of obtaining the personal identification that is crucial to reaching self–sufficiency.

      In order to obtain or replace a Florida ID, a client will need to bring the following to the event: proof of identity, Social Security number and proof of residency. IDignity can assist with obtaining lost or missing documents, but this process may require multiple event visits. For more information on the types of documents that will serve as proofs, visit http://www.idignity.org/documents.

      If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please register online at http://www.idignity.org/volunteer. All volunteers will be provided an assignment, T–shirt, light breakfast, and lunch. Volunteers are asked to arrive at The House of Hope by 7:30 a.m. and serve until 4 p.m. Orientation and training are from 8–9 a.m.

      The event flyer and parking map are available at http://www.idignity.org/brevard.

      If you have any questions or comments, please contact IDignity Brevard Volunteer Coordinator Mick Rineer at mick.rineer@gmail.com or Tammy Harris, Brevard County Housing and Human Services, at (321) 633–2007.


      May 14, 2012

      UF/Brevard County Extension sets 4–H youth classes for June–July

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer these youth programs in June–July:
      • 4–H Outdoor Adventures Camp: Youth entering 6th–8th grades will learn about the environment through hands–on outdoor activities, including kayaking, seining, fishing, outdoor cooking, etc. Cost: $135. Camp meets in Palm Bay, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 5–8.
      • 4–H Budding Gardener Nutritional Camp: Youth entering 4th–6th grades will learn about gardening, plants, entomology, eating healthy and nutrition. Cost: $135. Camp meets in Cocoa, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 18–22.
      • 4–H Marine Sciences Camp: Youth entering 2nd–3rd grades will learn about the marine environment through seining, fishing, dipnetting, etc. Cost: $85. Camp meets in Cocoa, 8 a.m. to noon, July 16–20.
      • Money Venture: Can You Survive?: Youth entering 10th–12th grade will learn about financial management topics through a weeklong real–life simulation. Cost: $135. Held at Cocoa Extension office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 11 – 15.
      For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


      May 14, 2012

      UF/Brevard County Extension Service to conduct child safety seat checks

      Cocoa, Fla. – Brevard County Agriculture and Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will conduct child passenger safety instruction and child safety seat checks in May and June:

      • Kids and Cars: A Child Passenger Safety Primer/Learn how to properly select, install and use child safety seats. Held at the Palm Bay Extension Office, 1455 Treeland Blvd., 2–4 p.m., May 22; and 9–11 a.m. June 21; Held at the Cocoa Extension Office, 3695 Lake Drive, 9–11 a.m. on May 21; and 2–4 p.m. June 22. Cost: Free.
      • Child Safety Seat Check/Bring child & child's seat to be checked for proper selection, installation and fit. Call to schedule appointment. Held at the Palm Bay Extension Office 9–11:30 a.m., May 22; and 2–4:30 p.m., June 21. Held at the Cocoa Extension Office 1:30–4 p.m., May 21; and 9–11:30 a.m. June 22. Cost: Free.
      For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu


      May 14, 2012

      Sams House at Pine Island invites you to 'Get Out and Get Fit'

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Sams House at Pine Island is offering a variety of free activities in June in recognition of National Get Outdoors Month.

      Events kickoff at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 2, with a National Trails Day Hike. The half–mile hike goes through a cabbage palm hammock to an Indian River Lagoon overlook.

      Discover "Brevard's Best Hiking Trails" with a slideshow at 3 p.m. Friday, June 8. This presentation will be repeated at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 30.

      Get up close and personal with Florida Scrub Jays at the "Scrub Jay Walk and Talk" at Cruickshank Sanctuary at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9. The program is limited to 15 participants and reservations are required. Call Vince at (321) 258–5168 or email vince@vincelamb.com. Meet at Cruickshank Sanctuary parking lot, 360 Barnes Blvd., in Rockledge.

      On Saturday, June 9th, come on an "Owl Prowl" night hike. This event is limited to 20 participants and reservations are required. Call Katrina at (321)432–3231 or email katrina.morrell@brevardparks.com.

      "Appalachian Trails and Tales" will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16. Rex and Colleen Derin will share their experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail.

      Be the first to experience a new excursion, "Pine Island Paddle," at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23. Space Coast Kayaking will lead a three–hour tour including paddling through a deep–water canal frequented by manatees, along the lagoon shoreline, and then hiking over to the Sams House and cabin. This program is limited to 14 participants and reservations are required. Cost is $30 per person ($20 for ages 5–12). Call (321) 784–2452 or email info@spacecoastkayaking.net. Participants will meet at the Conservation Area gate at the end of Pine Island Road.

      Also on Saturday, June 23, the Lamb family will share their experiences volunteering with the Sea Turtle Conservancy in Costa Rica. The event, "Getting Close to Nature in Costa Rica," starts at 3 p.m.

      John Sams built the oldest–standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams cabin. Sams was a citrus grower, businessman, and the first superintendent of Brevard Public Schools. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered every Thursday at 3 pm.

      The Sams House at Pine Island is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. It is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half–mile west of State Road 3. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays. For more information, call (321) 449–4720.


      May 14, 2012

      Enchanted Forest Sanctuary program looks at benefits of prescribed fires

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The importance of fire ecology and how prescribed fires protect our forests and homes are the topics Thursday, May 17, of an informative program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Titusville.

      The program, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and hosted by Friends of the Enchanted Forest, features a presentation by Xavier de Seguin des Hons, North Region Land Manager of the Environmentally Endangered Lands program. He'll talk about how our homes are made safer through fire management. This family friendly event is free.

      The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management and Education Center is at 444 Columbia Blvd. (State Road 405), a half–mile west of U.S. 1 in Titusville. For more information call (321) 264–5185.


      May 14, 2012

      Brevard County Emergency Management to participate May 23 in State Hurricane Exercise

      ROCKLEDGE, Fla. –– The Brevard County Office of Emergency Management will participate in a statewide hurricane exercise Wednesday, May 23, to gear up for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins June 1.

      As part of the exercise, local emergency managers will monitor the progress of "Hurricane Rowan" and respond to simulated impacts, obstacles and challenges that would face the Space Coast.

      Officials from various Brevard County government agencies, along with other area organizations, will respond to the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge to participate in the drill and take appropriate actions that would be necessary in a real weather emergency. The daylong exercise is used to strengthen existing partnerships, familiarize those with new or added responsibilities and identify opportunities for improvement.

      "This exercise is not only the time for public and private sector agencies to coordinate, but residents should also use this time to prepare themselves," said Kimberly Prosser, Brevard County Emergency Management Director.

      As hurricane season approaches, it's recommended residents stock up with various storm supplies that includes fresh batteries, flashlights, food and water for 72 hours and a weather radio.

      "I encourage every Brevard County resident to Make a Plan, Get a Kit and Stay Informed," Prosser said.

      Residents can stay informed this season by visiting www.embrevard.com, following @BrevardEOC on Twitter or via text messaging, or liking "Brevard County Emergency Management" on Facebook.

      Hurricane season is June 1 through Nov. 31.


      May 11, 2012 — UPDATE

      Pet Food Donations Needed at Brevard County Animal Shelters

      TITUSVILLE and MELBOURNE, Fla. –– Brevard County's North Animal Care Center in Titusville and South Animal Care Center in Melbourne are in need of young and adult pet food donations, as both county shelters are running extremely low on food as the summer months approach.

      Brevard's Animal Services and Enforcement relies on donations of pet food to help feed the animals in their care, and dry dye–free dog food are needed for young and adult pets.

      Food donations can be dropped off at either of the shelters during business hours, noon to 6 p.m. daily. Closed Wednesdays.

      South Animal Care Center
      5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne

      North Animal Care Center
      2605 Flake Road, Titusville

      For more information, call South Animal Care Center at (321)253–6608 or North Animal Care Center at (321) 264–5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


      May 08, 2012

      Be a "happy camper" this weekend during Brevard's Community Campout

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Grab the tent, but leave the rest of the hassles to Brevard County Parks & Recreation, which is hosting a Community Campout this weekend, May 11–12, at F. Burton Smith Regional Park in Cocoa.

      You're invited to bring the family for a memory–making campout, starting at 5 p.m. Friday and ending at 9 a.m. Saturday. The park is located at 7575 West State Road 520 in Cocoa. Cost is $35 per family and pre–registration is required.

      The event includes a hot dog roast, hayride, nature programs, Astronomy 101, a campfire complete with stories, songs and s'mores and a light breakfast the next morning.

      For more information call (321) 455–1385.


      May 08, 2012

      Brevard County announces low–cost free spaying/neutering program

      VIERA, Fla. –– Brevard County residents can now have their felines spayed or neutered at low– to no cost through the Florida Animal Friends grant program.

      Applications for the program are available through Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and online at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices/Home. Financial eligibility information will be required. In some cases, a $20 co–pay will be assessed.

      For more information or an appointment, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 636–3343.


      May 08, 2012

      Sign up underway for north area summer day camps and aquatic programs

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Summer day camps offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation's North Area Parks Operations will be held May 29 through Aug. 7 for children entering first grade through eighth grade.

      The camps meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with before and after care available from 6:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

      Camp registration is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the North Area Parks Operations office, 475 North Williams Ave. in Titusville, and at the following community centers during normal operating hours: Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave., Mims; Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South St., Titusville; Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John; Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Ave., Titusville; and at the Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North Cocoa Blvd., Cocoa. Starting May 29, registration will be held at the day camp locations during camp hours.

      Registration for morning and evening swim lessons is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Ave. in Titusville. Open swim hours are on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., May 26 – July 29. All aquatic activities will be at the Titusville High School pool.

      For more information, call (321) 264–5105. Flyer and schedules are downloadable here.


      May 08, 2012

      Florida alligators subject of Lunch With Nature program

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– "Gator Bill Robb," former trapper for the Florida Wildlife Commission, will discuss Florida alligators during the monthly Lunch With Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary at noon Tuesday, May 15.

      Lunch With Nature is held the third Tuesday of the month with speakers that cover a variety of topics, including conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest for residents on the East Coast. The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is at 444 Columbia Blvd., in Titusville. There is no fee for the program, but participants provide their own lunch.

      The program is offered through Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and the Environmentally Endangered Lands program. For more information, contact Recreation Program Coordinator Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264–5105.


      May 1, 2012

      May 02, 2012

      Brevard County announces free spaying/neutering program for cats

      VIERA, Fla. –– Brevard County residents, regardless of income, can now have their felines spayed or neutered for free through the Florida Animal Friends grant program.

      Applications for the program are available through Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement and online at www.brevardcounty.us/AnimalServices/Home.

      For more information or an appointment, contact the Central Brevard Humane Society at (321) 633–3343.


      From: Heidar Heshmati, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., Director Brevard County Health Department

      NATIONAL DROWNING PREVENTION MONTH

      The month of May is the beginning of warmer weather which brings a larger number of people to the water. This brings an increase in drowning tragedies; therefore May is officially National Drowning Prevention Month. The Brevard County Health Department's Environmental Public Health Services has teamed up with the Florida Department of health's Office of Injury Prevention in participating in this year's WaterproofFL Campaign to help educate families on drowning prevention. Unfortunately, Florida leads the nation in drowning deaths in children between the ages of one and four and Brevard County ranks 8th in the state. It takes less than thirty seconds for a child to drown.

      Simple water safety steps can save lives. You should stay close, always be alert and watch your children at all times. You should learn and practice water safety skills, CPR and have life saving equipment such as life rings available for use. You should use barriers such as fencing, pool alarms, or covers. It is also important to avoid drain entrapments. Do not let your children play or swim near drains or suction outlets.

      Since door alarms are considered one form of barrier; our department has the opportunity to distribute free door alarms to the susceptible population. If you have a small child and your home opens to a body of water, contact our office at 321–633–2100 ext 52216.

      To obtain more information on drowning prevention, please visit our website at www.brevardeh.com and click on Public Swimming Pools and Bathing Places. You may also contact Cynthia Leckey at 321–633–2100 ext 52305 or at cynthia_leckey@doh.state.fl.us.

      Gail Morrison, RN
      Assistant Community Health Nursing Director
      Primary Access to Health (PATH) Coordinator
      PIO Brevard County Health Department
      Brevard County Health Department
      2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
      Viera, FL 32940
      Phone: 321–639–5804
      Fax: 321–637–7314


      April 26, 2012

      Sams House plays host to Species Month and National Kids to Parks Day

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. –– In recognition of National Endangered Species Month and National Kids to Parks Day, the Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities in May.

      Friday, May 4: Donna Oddy of Innovative Health Applications presents "The Beach Mouse That Helps Protect Your House," 2 to 3:30 p.m. The southeastern beach mouse is a threatened species that lives in coastal dunes, strand and scrub.

      Saturday, May 5: "Lagoon Art," 10 a.m. to noon, focuses on animals of the Indian River Lagoon.

      Saturday, May 12: "Beneficial Bats," 10 a.m. to noon, features live bats and looks at their importance and threats they face.

      Saturday, May 12: "Young Birders Brevard," 2 to 3:30 p.m., celebrates International Migratory Bird Day.

      Saturday, May 19: A family friendly presentation on the North Atlantic Right Whale, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

      Saturday, May 19: National Kids to Parks Day encourages kids to visit parks. The first 10 visitors between the ages of 2–17 to Sams House will receive a free gift.

      Saturday, May 26: Al McKinley with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge gives a presentation on "The Bald Eagle in Florida" 10 to 11:30 a.m., plus a hike to an eagles nest viewing area.

      The Sams House at Pine Island, 6195 North Tropical Trail on Merritt Island, is owned and managed by the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. The center is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 321–449–4720.


      April 25, 2012

      Health & Wellness Expo planned at Viera Regional Park Community Center

      VIERA, Fla. –– Brevard County Parks and Recreation is hosting a Health & Wellness Expo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, at the Viera Regional Community Center.

      Interested vendors can obtain applications at the Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera. Vendor spaces, 10–foot–by–10–foot, are available for $31.80, and include a 5–foot table and a chair. Indoor spaces are limited, so vendors are encouraged to register early. Once all indoor spaces are filled, vendors will be placed under a tent outside the center. Payment for tables must be made by Wednesday, May 2.

      The Health & Wellness Expo is for the whole family and admission is free. For more infromation, call (321) 433–4891.


      April 20, 2012

      Fair Housing Workshop focuses on latest housing laws

      VIERA, Fla. –– Current federal and state fair housing laws will be the focus of a Brevard County Home Consortium–sponsored workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 24, at the county Government Center in Viera.

      The focus of the workshop includes prohibited discriminatory practices in the sale and rental of dwellings, advertising violations, occupancy restrictions, exemptions under the Fair Housing Act, housing for older persons, fair housing rights for persons with disabilities, fair housing design and construction requirements and other fair housing issues. The workshop is presented by Fair Housing Continuum Inc.

      Admission is free, and participants will find out the difference between landlord/tenant issues and fair housing complaints.

      For more information, call the Fair Housing Continuum Inc. at (321) 757–3532. To request training accomodations due to disability, please notify the Brevard County ADA Coordinator at (321) 637–5347 at least 48 hours in advance.

      The workshop will be held in the Atlantic Room, third floor of Building C at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.


      April 18, 2012

      4th Annual Space Coast Waterfest in May celebrates all things water

      VIERA, Fla. – Water is the featured attraction in May during the 4th Annual Space Coast Waterfest, sponsored by the Brevard County Marine Advisory Council and the Brevard County Boating & Waterways Program.

      A variety of events are scheduled throughout the month of May to highlight the diversity of water–based activities available to Brevard's residents and visitors. Scheduled activities include fishing, sailing, kayaking and general boating events along with vessel safety inspections and presentations. Events are intended to publicize and expand knowledge of the ecological, recreational and economic opportunities associated with Brevard County's unique waterways.

      Waterfest events this year are scheduled for Goode Park in Palm Bay on May 5, Sebastian Inlet Marina on May 12, and at Merritt Island's Kiwanis Island Park on May 19. The Kiwanis Island event also kicks–off National Safe Boating Week, May 19–25.

      A detailed schedule of events and information is available on the Natural Resources Management Office website at http://natres.brevardcounty.us/boating/ or for more information, contact Matt Culver at 321–633–2016 or email matt.culver@brevardcounty.us.


      April 17, 2012

      Greater Titusville Renaissance event to focus on year's accomplishments

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– The Greater Titusville Renaissance will reflect on its numerous first–year accomplishments and look toward the future at a meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the Holiday Inn Titusville.

      A "meet and greet" with hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar kicks off the meeting at 5:30 p.m. The Holiday Inn Titusville is at 4714 Helen Hauser Blvd, just west of Interstate 95 off State Road 50.

      From 6 to 7:30 p.m., Brevard County Commissioner Robin Fisher and Titusville Mayor Jim Tulley will present the accomplishments of the first year; Neil Levine, the executive director of the Brevard Cultural Alliance will discuss a major cultural event planned for Titusville; and Commissioner Fisher and Erick Callazo, the managing partner of MBA Development, will update the organization on the planned redevelopment of Miracle City Mall.

      Robin Smythe, vice president and general manager of News 13, will give the keynote speech, appropriately titled, "Think Big."

      "Robin Smythe was the perfect choice for our first–year anniversary celebration, "Commissioner Fisher said. "With the same type of drive and ambition that our community is using to direct their own destiny, Robin Smythe built a news department from scratch for the 1997 launch of Central Florida News 13, and today she oversees Central Florida's premier 24–hour local news channel."

      North Brevard residents interested in being part of a renaissance effort that focuses on commerce, culture and corridors are encouraged to attend. To RSVP, call 321–264–6750 or e–mail Liz.Lackovich@brevardcounty.us. For additional information, log on to GreaterTitusville.com.


      April 17, 2012

      Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island reopens to the public

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. –– Kiwanis Island Park off State Road 520 on Merritt Island is back open to the public this morning after being closed since Saturday in the wake of two reported raccoon attacks on park patrons. Parks Director Jack Masson made the announcement this morning after assessing the park for safety. Nearly a dozen raccoons have been trapped by the county's Animal Services Department and a contracted wildlife trapper since Saturday, when the park was closed in response to two incidents involving raccoons that injured parkgoers, including a child who was reportedly bitten by a raccoon this past Friday.


      April 16, 2012

      Kiwanis Island Park remains closed following reports of raccoon attacks

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. –– Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island will remain closed until Tuesday in the wake of reports of raccoon attacks on parkgoers, officials said Monday.

      Parks Director Jack Masson chose Monday morning to keep the park closed for activities at least until another assessment can be made on when the park is safe to reopen. That assessment will be made Tuesday morning, he said.

      The park was closed Saturday after two reported incidents in which parkgoers were either bitten or injured by raccoons. So far, the county's Animal Services agency and a trapper hired by the county have captured eight raccoons at Kiwanis Island Park, which is located off State Road 520 on Merritt Island.

      It is not known what prompted the raccoon attacks. One park patron required medical attention, and in another incident a child was reportedly bitten while on the playground.


      April 16, 2012

      Brevard County golf courses announce summer rate reduction

      The Brevard County Parks & Recreation Department is reducing rates for the Summer Season for county residents who tee it up at the three county golf courses –– Habitat Golf Course in Valkaria, The Savannahs Golf Course in Merritt Island and Spessard Holland Golf Course in Melbourne Beach.

      County residents may play 18 holes with cart for $29 before noon and $25 after noon. Discount cards will be available for purchase at a reduced rate starting May 1. Special Twilight rates are also available after 3 pm.

      For more information, please inquire at the course of your choice.


      April 15, 2012

      Raccoon concerns prompt closure of Kiwanis Island Park

      Brevard County Parks and Recreation has closed Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island to the public until further notice after two apparent raccoon attacks, one that was reported this past Wednesday and a separate incident reported Friday afternoon.

      Brevard County Animal Services trapped two raccoons on Saturday, and another trapper contracted by Parks and Recreation trapped two more raccoons at the park Sunday morning.

      It is not known what prompted the altercations between the raccoons and park patrons, said Parks and Recreation Director Jack Masson.

      Masson said he will make an assessment Monday morning on when to reopen the park.

      "We will err on the safe side," Masson said Sunday.

      Masson said the first altercation was reported Wednesday by a woman who was eating lunch under a park pavilion. She was transported for medical treatment, but the extent of her injuries was unknown. Then, on Friday, a mother and child were on the playground when the child was reportedly bitten by a raccoon. The county Health Department was notified, which is procedure anytime a bite is reported, Masson said.

      Kiwanis Island Park is located on State Road 520 on Merritt Island.


      April 09, 2012

      North Animal Care Center plans pet adoption event Saturday in Titusville

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– The North Animal Care Center invites you to spring into fun this Saturday, April 14, for an adoptable pets event hosted with community partner The Stonefire Studio.

      The event includes live music, kids art, food, raffles and adoptable best friends for life. It starts at 11 a.m. and runs to 3 p.m. at 2500 S. Washington Ave. in Titusville.

      NACC will have special adoption rates of $40 for cats or dogs at the event. This fee includes, spay/neuter, rabies vaccinations, heartworm test (over 6 month of age), initial vaccinations, first deworming, Frontline© flea and tick treatment as well as county tags.

      For more information, contact the North Animal Care Center 2605 Flake Road (north end of Dunn Airport in Titusville) at (321) 264–5119 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/animalservices.


      April 09, 2012

      Brevard County volunteers SHINE in statewide awards ceremony

      VIERA, Fla. –– Brevard County volunteers received second–place honors during the Florida Department of Elder Affairs' SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) annual awards ceremony, which celebrated the contributions of more than 450 statewide volunteers.

      The award was based on the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries served by volunteers in counties with populations between 250,000 to 999,999 people.

      Last year, SHINE volunteers in Brevard County had nearly 6,000 contacts with Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers, which is a 35 percent increase from the previous year. Additionally, volunteers assisted or reached almost 9,000 clients at events in the community, including health fairs and presentations. Of the nearly 6,000 client contacts, more than 1,100 were with clients that are on Medicare due to a disability and over 2,700 were clients with low incomes.

      SHINE is a program of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and is operated throughout the state in partnership with the Area Agencies on Aging. The program provides free and unbiased education and counseling for Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers. Trained SHINE volunteers help elders understand and receive the health insurance coverage they need through Medicare, Medicaid, prescription assistance, Long–Term Care planning and insurance, and other health care issues.

      If you are interested in volunteering for the SHINE program, please contact Tammy Harris at Brevard County Housing and Human Services Department (321) 633–2007 or tammy.harris@brevardcounty.us or Lynne Meagher, Area Volunteer Coordinator at 321–752–8080.


      March 27, 2012

      Bob Lay receives posthumous award recognition during National Hurricane Conference in Orlando

      Bob Lay, director of Brevard County Emergency Operations for nearly 15 years, was recognized posthumously Tuesday and named recipient of the Neil Frank award by Max Mayfield, former director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, during the 2012 National Hurricane Conference in Orlando.

      Lay's photo was displayed on a projection screen as Mayfield cited Lay for "a lifetime of dedicated military and government service, during which you directly impacted the lives of millions of Americans and created standards for exceptional emergency management performance."

      The Neil Frank award honors those who make significant national or international impacts in hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

      Lay, 69, who died of a heart attack in January, was known not only in Brevard County but also statewide and nationally as an emergency management expert. He led Brevard County through countless emergency situations including hurricanes and wildfires.

      Lay's widow Patti, and their son, Branden, accepted the award. Officials with the Brevard Emergency Operations Center were also on hand, including interim Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser. The National Hurricane Conference is a forum for federal, state and local officials to exchange ideas and recommend new policies to improve emergency management. The conference, held this week at the Hilton Orlando, concludes Thursday.

      Neil Frank was director of the National Hurricane Center in Florida for 13 years and directed severe tropical weather information to meteorologists and media across the country. Frank trained as a weather officer while serving in the U.S. Air Force. He joined the staff of the National Hurricane Center as a forecaster in 1961 and was named director in 1974.

      Prior to his employment with Brevard County, Lay was employed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and served as the manager of the Disaster Field Office in Albany, Ga., during the floods of 1994.

      Lay, a native of Mississippi, served three tours in Vietnam as an Army helicopter pilot, retiring as a colonel in August 1994. During his last assignment, while serving as the Commander of the U.S. Army Readiness Group, Patrick, he also served as the Department of Defense Coordinating Officer, responsible for disaster response and recovery missions assigned to the Department of Defense in wildfires in Georgia, and in Hurricane Andrew in south Florida.

      Lay was appointed to the Governor's Wildfire Response and Mitigation Review Committee following wildfires in 1998, and he represented the Central Florida Region as Emergency Management Co–Chair for Central Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force since 1999. He served on the Regional Local Emergency Planning Committee and on the Joint Toxic Hazard Control Team representing the public surrounding Kennedy Space Center and Canaveral Air Force Station. He was instrumental in establishing unity of effort and regionalization of resources within the Central Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force area.

      Lay was recognized by the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association as the Emergency Management Professional of the Year for 2003 and received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Hurricane Conference 2004 for outstanding leadership in response to hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Jeanne.

      Mayfield, who became director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami in January 2000, led the coastal regions of the United States through the record–setting hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, which included catastrophic Hurricane Katrina. He retired as director of the National Hurricane Center in January 2007.


      April 06, 2012

      Viera Wetlands Nature Festival slated for Saturday, April 14

      VIERA, Fla. –– The Friends of Viera Wetlands Inc., a non–profit group in partnership with Brevard County, will host the 2012 Viera Wetlands Nature Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 14.

      The festival features fun and ecologically–based events, including interactive nature activities for children, guided tours of the Wetlands, live music, food vendors, and nature–based exhibitors. Entry to the festival is free.

      This year's event will feature a photography exhibition sponsored by Viera Voice. All the participants from the Viera Wetlands Photography Contest will be showcased. Members of the community are encouraged to enter their photographs of the Viera Wetlands. Prizes will be awarded. Winners will be announced on stage at the festival, and photos will be exhibited at the Holiday Inn Viera after the contest. Entry forms, along with contest rules, can be found at www.friendsofviera.org.

      The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, more commonly known as "The Viera Wetlands," is one of Central Florida's top birding and wildlife hotspots and a popular site for birders, photographers, and eco–tourists. The wetlands are home to dozens of different species of birds, plants, and animals – from alligators to crested caracara; dragonflies to woodpeckers; and wildflowers and water lilies.

      The Wetlands are located behind the Water Reclamation Plant at 10001 Wickham Road, Melbourne – west of the new Viera Hospital, and two miles from the Wickham Road I–95 Exit.

      The Friends of Viera Wetlands is a 501(c)3 non–profit organization of dedicated volunteers who work with Brevard County's staff to promote, maintain, and improve the Viera Wetlands. New volunteers are always welcome. Visit www.friendsofviera.org and look for the 'VOLUNTEER NOW' button.


      March 27, 2012

      Sandrift Community Center announces new operating hours

      TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Sandrift Community Center will be changing its operating hours effective Sunday, April 1.

      The community center will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend rental of the community center is available by reservation.

      For more information, contact Jann Faiga at (321) 264–5037.


      March 27, 2012

      Tai Chi classes for seniors offered at Sandrift Community Center

      TITUSVILLE, Fla.— Tai Chi classes are being offered for seniors at Sandrift Community Center, 585 North Singleton Avenue in Titusville.

      Classes are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4–5 p.m., beginning Tuesday, April 3. The cost is $3 per class.

      Tai Chi students will focus on preventing falls through practicing Tai Chi.

      This class is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations.

      For more information, call (321) 264–5037.


      March 23, 2012

      Canoe Trip of The Thousand Islands of Cocoa Beach

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. –– Brevard County Parks and Recreation is offering an interpretive canoe trip of the Thousand Islands of Cocoa Beach on Friday, March 30.

      The event, which offers participants an easy–paddle opportunity to explore the wildlife and environment of the Thousand Islands, will depart from Ramp Road Park in Cocoa Beach at 9:30 a.m. and return at 11:30 a.m.

      The cost is $10 and pre–registration is required. For more information, contact Susan Boorse at (321) 455–1385.


      Egg hunts and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny planned in North Brevard

      Multiple egg hunts and even Breakfast with the Easter Bunny are among events planned by North Area Parks Operations starting Saturday, March 31, and continuing through Saturday, April 7.

      The egg hunts are free, but participants should bring their own egg carriers.

      The Mims Civic League and Brevard County Parks and Recreation are co–sponsoring an egghunt and basketball tournament on Sunday, April 8, from 5–8 p.m., at Cuyler Park, 2329 Harry T. Moore Ave. in Mims. There will be a parade, gospel music and a car and motorcycle show. Call (321) 264–5045 for more information.

      Walter Butler Community Center, North Cocoa Civic League, Victory Baptist Church Lifepointe Ministries and Brevard County Parks and Recreation, are co–sponsoring the Second Annual Easter Day of Fun on Saturday, March 31, from 1–6 p.m., at Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes). There will be an egg hunt, face painting, crafts and other activities. Call (321) 433–4448 for more information.

      There will be two egg hunts at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Road in Port St. John, on March 31. Children ages 5 and under will hunt eggs at 6 p.m. Children ages 6 through 12 years should bring a flashlight for the egg hunt starting at 8:15 p.m. Call (321) 633–1904 for more information.

      Isaac Campbell Senior Club and Brevard County Parks and Recreation are co–sponsoring an egg hunt at Isaac Campbell Sr. Community Center, 701 South Street in Titusville, on Friday, April 6, at 2 p.m., for children 3 through 12. For more information, call (321) 264–5040.

      Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, for children 6 and under, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 7, at Sandrift Community Center, 585 N Singleton Ave., in Titusville. There will be a pancake breakfast, egg coloring, crafts and an egg hunt. Participants are asked to bring an egg carrier and a camera. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and this activity is limited to the first 100 registrants. Tickets are $2 for adults and $3 for children. Pre–registration is required at Sandrift Community Center. Call (321) 264–5037 for more information.


      March 22, 2012

      Space Coast Communities Sports Complex Closed

      Sharpes, Fla –– Space Coast Communities Complex, located at 662 Canaveral Groves Blvd in Sharpes, will be closed Tuesday, March 27, through 6 a.m. Friday, March 30, for maintenance.

      All fields at the park will be closed. Signs are posted and gates will be locked.

      For more information on North Area parks operated by Brevard County, from the Volusia County line on the north to State Road 528 on the south, call (321) 264–5105.


      March 22, 2012

      Big Kid Adventures to visit Forever Florida

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Brevard County Parks and Recreation's Big Kid Adventures has scheduled an outing to Leu Gardens in Orlando on Tuesday, April 10.

      Participants will visit the 50–acre botanical oasis located near downtown Orlando. The site includes paths filled with lush greenery and blossoms, and the visit will include an on–site historic home and a trip to Lake Eola with a ride on Swan paddle boats.

      Participants will meet in the parking lot at Kiwanis Island Park, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Rd., Merritt Island, with departure at 9 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. The fee is $40, which includes transportation.

      For additional information, and to pre–register, call the Rotary Park Nature Center at (321) 455–1385.


      March 22, 2012

      Easter activities in North Brevard

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Two Easter egg hunts and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny are among activities planned by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.

      Two egg hunts will be held Saturday, March 31, at Fay Park, 6315 Depot Road, in Port St. John. At 6 p.m., children ages 5 and under will hunt eggs. Then, starting at 8:15 p.m., children ages 6 to 12 should bring a flashlight for a nighttime egg hunt. The fee is $2 per child, and participants should bring their own baskets or egg carriers. Call (321) 633–1904 for more information on these events and other activities in the Port St. John area.

      At 9 a.m. Saturday, April 7, children 6 years old and younger can have Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at the Sandrift Community Center, 585 N. Singleton Avenue, in Titusville. There will be a pancake breakfast, egg coloring, crafts and an egg hunt. Children are asked to bring their own egg carriers. Tickets are $2. Pre–registration is required at Sandrift Community Center, and children must be accompanied by an adult. Call (321) 264–5037 for more information on this and other recreational activities in the Titusville area.


      March 21, 2012

      Partnership Program Leads to Ribbon–cutting for New Home

      MIMS, FLA –– A ribbon–cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday marks completion and celebration of a new home for a Mims resident, courtesy of a project funded through the federal HOME Investment Partnership Program.

      The 10 a.m. event will be held at a residence at 2602 Mitchell Avenue that was rebuilt through the program, which is designed to create affordable homes for low–income households. The home replaces a structure originally built in 1959, and its new occupant is related to the original homeowner, accordnig to Brevard County's Housing & Human Services Department.

      The 1,500 square–foot three–bedroom, two–bath house was built at a cost of $86,200. The homeowner applied for home replacement through the program in December 2008. It was approved in 2010.


      March 21, 2012

      Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services Seeks Volunteer Members

      VIERA, Fla. –– The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services is seeking applications for volunteer board members.

      The board, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, consists of 15 members from various state and local agencies and general interest groups. The LCB provides direction and advice on Transportation Disadvantaged Services in Brevard County to Space Coast Area Transit.

      The LCB is seeking volunteer members and alternates for these seats: Citizen Advocate, Citizen Advocate – System User; Representing Disabled Citizens (Alternate); Citizen Advocate (Alternate); and Citizen Advocate – System User (Alternate.)

      The term of appointment is three years. The LCB meets quarterly at the Viera Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, 2nd Floor, Space Coast Room, Viera.

      Once applications are received, a subcommittee will review all applicants and make recommendations to the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization for approval.

      The deadline to submit applications is April 7. For an application, contact Jim Liesenfelt from Space Coast Area transit at (321) 635–7815, ext 601.


      March 21, 2012

      Brevard Naturalist Program focused on Indian River Lagoon now enrolling

      MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. – Enrollment is now open for the third installment of the Brevard Naturalist Program.

      "Bordering the Indian River lagoon – Ecosystems Past and Present" will be held on Saturday, April 14, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Sam's House at Pine Island in Merritt Island.

      Classroom presentations by subject experts will be followed by a field trip through the natural communities of the Pine Island Conservation Area.

      The workshop is a fund–raiser for the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Cost is $40. Space is limited.

      Register online at www.samshouseeventbrite.com. For more information or to enroll, please call Vince Lamb at (321) 258–5168 or email vince@vincelamb.com.


      March 21, 2012

      Rain Barrel Workshops offered in April

      ROCKLEDGE, Fla. –– Residents interested in putting rainwater to use in their landscapes and gardens will have the opportunity to create their own rain barrels at a workshops in April in Melbourne Beach and Merritt Island.

      Workshops will be held Thursday, April 12, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Barrier Island Sanctuary, 8385 S. Highway A1A in Melbourne Beach, and Friday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Sam's House at Pine island, 6195 N. Tropical Trail, in Merritt Island.

      Participants will learn about the benefits of collecting rain while enjoying hands–on construction of 55–gallon rain barrels. The workshops are sponsored by Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office, University of Central Florida Stormwater Academy, University of Florida Cooperative Extension, and Community Matters, Inc.

      The rain barrel kit includes the 55–gallon barrel, faucet, flexible downspout extender, leaf filter, and a DVD of instructions for building, installing, and painting the barrel. Cost for the rain barrel kit is $45, paid by cash or check at the door.

      Seating is limited and pre–registration is required to ensure that all materials are available; open–top or closed–top barrel should be specified.

      To pre–register for the workshop, call Elizabeth Melvin at (321) 633–2016 ext 56721, e–mail elizabeth.melvin@brevardcounty.us, or register online at www.brevstorm.org/calendar.cfm.


      March 16, 2012

      Extension Service Offers Youth Programs

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer these youth programs in March and April:

      • 4–H Embryology independent study. This chick–hatching project teaches students about biology and the life cycle.

      • 4–H Environmental Education school enrichment programs. These programs teach students about topics such as entomology, camouflage, and plant biology.

      Cost is $1 per student.

      Call Vanessa Spero–Swingle at 321–633–1702 ext 231 or email at Vspero@ufl.edu for more information.


      March 09, 2012

      Brevard County government wins third Sunny Award for website transparency

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County was one of 214 winners of the Sunshine Review's 3rd annual "Sunny Awards", announced this week. The 2012 awards, which more than double last year's number, recognize the best state and local government websites in America that exceeded transparency standards.

      "The Sunny Awards recognizes governments that are doing an exemplary job at proactively disclosing information to taxpayers," said Michael Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review."We would like to congratulate Brevard County for being a champion for transparency and serving as a leader to every state and local government around the nation."

      For the 2012 awards, Editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 6,000 government websites and graded each on a 10–point transparency checklist. Editors looked at content available on government websites against what should be provided. They sought information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes. The winners of the Sunny Award all received an "A" grade during the extensive grading process.

      Six states earned nearly half of the Sunny Awards given. The leading states were Florida (28), Texas (21), Illinois (19), Virginia (14), Ohio (10) and Pennsylvania (10). In addition, ten states earned an "A" grade for their state government website, including Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New York, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington and West Virginia. The winners also included school districts and city and county governments.

      Sunshine Review is a non–profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. The Sunshine Review wiki collects and shares transparency information and uses a "10–point Transparency Checklist" to evaluate the content of every state and more than 6,000 local government websites. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and an accountable government.

      The Sunny Awards announcement preludes the launch of "Sunshine Week," a period nationally recognized by hundreds of media and civic organizations, that celebrates the efforts of activists and the strides taken towards open government.


      March 09, 2012

      Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins

      VIERA, Fla. – Sea turtle nesting season has begun in Brevard County and will be in effect through October 31. Leatherback sea turtles begin to come ashore in March and lay their eggs. Leatherbacks, the largest living turtles, are typically six to eight feet in length and weigh approximately 1,200 to 1,500 pounds. They are the rarest of the three sea turtle species that nest in Brevard County, and are listed as an endangered species.

      Brevard County residents and visitors are reminded to shield or turn off beachside lights, limit beach walking at night, avoid using flashlights or flash photography on the beach, and stay away from nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or sea turtle nests. Lights that shine or reflect onto the beach disrupt the instinctive nesting process. While Brevard County and its municipalities have local lighting ordinances to protect sea turtles, the ordinances do not take effect until May 1 when Loggerhead sea turtles begin to nest in large numbers. Green sea turtles follow shortly thereafter, with thousands of nests by the end of the season.

      For more information about sea turtles or alternative lighting solutions, call the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office at (321) 633–2016 ext. 52431


      March 01, 2012

      Extension Service Offers Financial Education Classes

      PALM BAY and COCOA, Fla. – Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer classes on credit and financial management, budgeting, saving, purchasing and selling in March and April.

      "Buying & Selling on Internet Venues" will be held on Tuesday, March 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Palm Bay Extension Office, and on Wednesday, April 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cocoa Extension Office. Students will learn the basics of setting up an account to purchase or sell items via Ebay and Amazon, and look at other internet buying/selling options. The cost to attend is $10.

      "Budgeting Basics" teaches participants how to prepare a budget, the importance and how–to of reconciling accounts, and how to stretch dollars using coupons, rebate and sales. The class will be held on Wednesday, March 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office, and on Thursday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Palm Bay Extension Office. The cost to attend is $10.

      "Credit 101" teaches participants how to use credit wisely and how to pay down debt. The class will be offered on Monday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cocoa Extension Office, and on Tuesday, April 3 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Palm Bay Extension Office. The cost to attend is $10.

      "Foreclosure Prevention" will be held on Monday, March 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office and on Monday, April 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Palm Bay Extension Office. This class is for families facing a foreclosure, and will explain how to prepare a budget, foreclosure options, and the foreclosure process. The cost is $10.

      "Become Captain of Your Financial Ship" will be held on Tuesday, March 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Palm Bay Extension Office; on Wednesday, March 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office; on Wednesday, April 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office; and on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Palm Bay Extension Office. This four–hour financial management program, which meets bankruptcy debtor education requirements, is designed to provide information to participants to help them better manage their available resources. The cost to attend is $20 per person or couple.

      "Saving and Investing" will be held on Wednesday, March 14 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office, and on Tuesday, April 17 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Palm Bay Extension Office. Participants will learn how to get on the path to financial security through the accumulation of wealth and compound interest. The cost to attend is $10.

      For more information, or to pre–register, visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu or call (321) 633–1702.


      March 01, 2012

      Pesticide Classes Offered

      COCOA, Fla. – University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer pesticide training classes in March and April.

      Landscape Palm Care and Maintenance will be offered on Thursday, March 8 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Florida Institute of Technology. Participants will learn how to manage landscape palms: identification, nutrient deficiencies, pest management, and general care and maintenance. Four Continuing Education Units are available for pesticide applicators. The cost is $60.

      A Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance Certification Workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office. This class is mandatory for anyone needing to obtain certification to apply pesticides to ornamental beds. This license is also known as the "Roundup® License." Exam will be offered after the class. The cost is $90.

      A Green Industries Short Course will be held April 24 through 26 at the Cocoa Extension Office. This three–day seminar is for pesticide applicators needing CEUs for the Ornamental & Turf category. 16 CEUs are available. The cost is $210 for the entire seminar or $15 per CEU.

      Pre–registration is required. To register, or for more information, call the Cocoa Extension office at (321) 633–1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


      February 24, 2012

      Wind Mitigation Workshop Offered for Local Governments

      VIERA, Fla. –– A free regional workshop on wind mitigation is being held at the Brevard County Government Center in Viera on Wednesday, February 29.

      The goal of this workshop is to provide elected officials, county, city and government staff with a better understanding of:

      • Evaluating and measuring a community's risk and vulnerability to high wind events, with a particular emphasis on hurricanes;
      • Estimating the potential costs and economic loss to a community if impacted by a major wind storm event;
      • How changes to the Florida Building Code reduce a community's vulnerability to wind storms – and the costs to implement;
      • What types of wind mitigation measures are utilized in other communities – their costs and effectiveness;
      • What state and federal resources (i.e., grants) are available to a community to implement wind mitigation measures; and
      • Measuring the costs and benefits of implementing wind mitigation measures in a community.
      The workshop will be held on Wednesday, February 29 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, Building C, Florida Room, 3rd Floor.

      The program is sponsored by the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida's Foundation.

      The mission of the nonprofit Florida's Foundation is to strengthen Florida by making positive changes in the lives of Florida's families through initiatives developed under the leadership of the State of Florida and its citizens.

      For more information or to register for this event, go to www.floridasfoundation.org or call 1–800–825–3786.


      February 16, 2012

      Food Vendors Sought for 7th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival of Crafts

      TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Brevard County Parks and Recreation, North Area, will be accepting applications for food vendors for the 7th Annual Fox Lake Spring Festival Of Crafts beginning Monday, February 20.

      Vendor selection is based on, but not limited to, application submittal date, price of product(s) to the public, proper licensing, and appropriateness of the product(s) to the nature of the event. Special consideration is given to not–for–profit service organizations. The County reserves the right to limit vendors to one or two vendors per product.

      There is no cost to submit an application. A $50 plus tax, non–refundable, special event fee is due from selected vendors by Monday, March 19.

      The festival will be held April 14 at Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville. The hours for the public are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free.

      Vendors may obtain applications at the North Area Parks Operations Office, 475 North Williams Avenue, Titusville, Florida 32796, or by email at jill.hill@brevardparks.com. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 p.m., Monday, March 19. Selected vendors will be notified by Monday, March 26.

      Call (321) 264–5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in North Brevard.


      February 16, 2012

      Brevard Animal Services Offers New "Pajama Pups" Program

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– In an effort to improve the adoptability and well–being of dogs housed in Brevard County's animal shelters, Brevard Animal Services & Enforcement is offering a new program called "Pajama Pups."

      After completing a foster application, approved individuals will have the opportunity to host a shelter dog overnight, allowing the animal a chance to de–stress, unwind and socialize.

      Because dogs have little interaction with people after shelter hours, many of them can become depressed, withdrawn, or excitable. The Pajama Pups program enables the dogs to eat and sleep better, and may reduce stress, disease, and behavior changes. It also gives a potential adopter an opportunity to find a forever friend.

      The goal is to help these pets put their best paw forward when the chance for adoption presents itself.

      Only one dog per household may be taken home through the program; the dogs are to be picked up between 5:30 and 6 p.m., and returned between 11:30 a.m. and noon the following day.

      All dogs available for adoption at the North and South Animal Care Centers are eligible for the program. For more information, contact the north shelter at 2506 Flake Road in Titusville (321–264–5119) or the south shelter at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne (321–253–6608).


      February 16, 2012

      Sams House at Pine Island to Celebrate Archeology Month with Free Activities

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – In recognition of Archeology Month, the Sams House at Pine Island will offer a variety of free activities throughout the month of March.

      On Saturday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., visitors can learn about the Ice Age megafuana and ancient peoples who once called Pine Island home. A presentation in the cabin will be followed by a short walk to the burial mound located onsite. This event will be repeated on Saturday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

      On Friday, March 16 at noon, Florida Public Archeology Network Regional Director Rachel Wentz will give a presentation on what life was like for the earliest Native Americans in Florida.

      Visitors can learn how plants have been important for people throughout time with a History Garden Tour on Saturday, March 17 at 2 p.m.

      On Saturday, March 30, Florida Public Archeology Network Outreach Coordinator Gregg Harding will lead two hands–on archeology activities perfect for elementary and middle school children. In the "Chocolate Chip Cookie Excavation", participants will learn the basics of archeology by using cookies. In "Atlatl Antics", participants will practice a primitive form of hunting.

      Two hikes along the half–mile nature trail showcase the unique history and ecology of Pine Island. The Pine Island Nature Walk will be on Friday, March 23 at 1 p.m. and the Pioneer Pathways Nature Walk will be on Saturday, March 31 at 3 p.m.

      John Sams built the oldest standing home in Brevard County, the 1875 Sams cabin. Sams was a citrus grower, businessmen, and the first Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools. Tours of the cabin and the adjacent 1888 home are offered every Thursday at 3 p.m.

      The Sams House at Pine Island is located at 6195 North Tropical Trail in Merritt Island, a half–mile west of State Road 3. It is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 321–449–4720.


      February 16, 2012

      SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available Following Secretary of Agriculture Disaster Declaration

      ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non–profit organizations of all sizes located in Florida as a result of excessive rain, flooding and high winds that occurred on Oct. 7–9, 2011.

      These loans are available in the counties of Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola and Saint Lucie in Florida.

      "When the Secretary of Agriculture issues a disaster declaration to help farmers recover from damages and losses to crops, the Small Business Administration issues a declaration to eligible entities affected by the same disaster," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.

      Under this declaration, the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm–related and nonfarm–related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

      The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for private non–profit organizations of all sizes and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

      Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800–659–2955 (800–877–8339 for the deaf and hard–of–hearing) or by sending an e–mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

      Those affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA's website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

      Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than October 9, 2012.


      February 10, 2012

      Karen Rood Memorial Stroll–n–Roll for Special Olympics Scheduled

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – The 8th annual Karen Rood Memorial Stroll–n–Roll for Special Olympics – Brevard will be held Saturday, March 31 at Kiwanis Island Park, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road in Merritt Island. Registration will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the one–mile stroll will start at 11 a.m.

      This annual event is in honor of a woman, Karen Stallard Rood, whose devotion to children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities in Brevard County was unparalleled. Participants turn out to walk, and push in wheelchairs those who cannot walk, to raise money to give these young adults the opportunity to participate in Special Olympics.

      This fundraiser is a family–friendly event, and all monies collected go directly to Brevard County Special Olympic athletes for bus transportation, uniforms and equipment. All participants who raise a minimum of $20 in pledges will receive an event t–shirt and lunch.

      Pledge forms are available online under Events at www.brevardparks.com/central. For more information, call 321–455–1380.


      Thursday, February 09, 2012

      North Brevard Little League Opening Day Ceremonies Scheduled

      PORT ST. JOHN, TITUSVILLE, and MIMS, Fla. – Port St. John, Indian River City, and Mims Little Leagues will hold their opening day ceremonies in February and March to kick off the spring baseball and softball seasons.

      Port St. John will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, February 25 at 9 a.m. at Space Coast Communities Sports Complex, 662 Canaveral Groves Boulevard, Sharpes. For more information please visit www.eteamz.com/psjll.

      Indian River City will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m. at W.W. James Park, 330 Little League Lane, Titusville. For more information, visit www.eteamz.com/IndianRiverCity/.

      Mims will hold opening day ceremonies on Saturday, March 3 at 8 a.m. at Holder Park, 2650 Glendale Blvd, Mims. For more information, visit www.rteamsite.com/league/mimslittleleague/.


      Thursday, February 09, 2012

      Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services to Meet

      VIERA, Fla. –– The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet on Monday, February 27 at 10:15 a.m. at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, 2nd Floor, Space Coast Room, in Viera.

      If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

      In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635–7815 ext. 601.

      Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635–7815 or Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.


      Thursday, February 09, 2012

      Registration Open for Sykes Creek Adventure Paddling Challenge

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – All types of paddlers are invited to participate in the Sykes Creek Adventures Paddling Challenge on Saturday, February 18 at Kiwanis Island Park on Merritt Island.

      Paddlers may use stand–up paddleboards, kayaks, or canoes, and will complete a seven–mile course in Sykes Creek from Kiwanis Island to the Barge Canal and back.

      Times will be recorded and provided to participants, but no prizes will be awarded. Event t–shirts will be provided to advance entries and the first 12 to register at the event. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and paddling begins at 9 am.

      Entry fees are $25 in advance and $30 at the event. Register at http://sykescreek.eventbrite.com

      The Sykes Creek Adventure Paddling Challenge is hosted by the Friends of Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary with assistance from the Cocoa Beach Surf Museum.

      For more information, contact Vince Lamb at 321–258–5168 or vince@vincelamb.com.


      January 27, 2012

      Crafters Sought for Spring Festival of Crafts at Fox Lake Park

      TITUSVILLE, FLA.—Registration for tables and spaces at the Seventh Annual Spring Festival of Crafts at Fox Lake Park in Titusville, to be held April 14, will begin on February 6, at the North Area Parks Operations office.

      Spaces under the pavilion are $30 each plus Florida state sales tax, and spaces in the outside area are $20 plus Florida state sales tax. They are limited to two per crafter, and all items must be handmade or homemade.

      Application forms will be available starting February 6 at 475 North Williams Avenue in Titusville, by sending a self–addressed stamped envelope, at www.brevardparks.com, or by email to jill.hill@brevardparks.com. The registration deadline is 4 p.m. on April 6.

      This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations. Call (321) 264–5105 for additional information on this and other recreation programs in North Brevard.


      January 27, 2012

      Lifeguard & CPR Certification Challenge Classes to be held at Palm Bay Aquatic Center

      PALM BAY, Fla. – The Palm Bay Aquatic Center will offer an American Red Cross CPR for Lifeguards Challenge course on Tuesday, February 7, and an American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Challenge on Wednesday, March 7.

      The CPR challenge course is for individuals with current lifeguard training certification who need to renew their CPR certification. Class will run from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Participants can watch videos and review from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and testing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost for this course is $50 and must be paid by February 2. Class size is limited. Interested candidates must have prior knowledge of professional rescuer CPR skills, and will be asked to demonstrate proficiency in CPR and AED skills, and pass a written test. Participants are asked to bring their own pocket masks.

      The lifeguard challenge course is for individuals with current lifeguard training certification which needs to be renewed. Class will run from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Practice and review will be from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and testing will begin at 5:30 p.m. The cost for this course is $50 and must be paid by February 28. Class size is limited. Interested candidates must bring a copy of current certification in lifeguarding and CPR/FPR, and will be asked to demonstrate proficiency in lifeguarding, first aid, CPR and AED skills, and pass a written test. Participants are asked to bring their own pocket mask.

      The center is located at 420 Community College Parkway just south of the Brevard Community College Campus. This activity is sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, call the aquatic center at (321) 952–2232.


      January 26, 2012

      Cuyler Community Center to host Free "Let's Get Movin'" Event

      MIMS, Fla.— Cuyler Community Center will host a free "Let's Get Movin'" event for American Heart Month on Saturday, February 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

      The event will include jump–roping, soul line dancing, a kids' fun run, zumba and more. Participants are encouraged to wear red. The benefits of physical exercise are many, and there is no age limit.

      The Cuyler Community Center is located at 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, Mims.

      Call LaShawn Stevens at (321) 264–5045 for further information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


      January 26, 2012

      Native Edible Plants to be topic at Lunch with Nature

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Native Edible Plants in Your Yard will be the topic, with Kari Ruder of Naturewise Nursery as the guest speaker, at the monthly Lunch with Nature program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary on Tuesday, February 21 at noon.

      Lunch with Nature is held the third Tuesday of each month with speakers that cover topics of interest for residents living along the east coast, such as conservation, water management, historical sites, plants, sea turtles and other areas of interest. There is no cost to attend, and participants provide their own lunch.

      This program is offered by Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department's North Area Parks Operations and The Environmentally Endangered Lands Program at the Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, 444 Columbia Boulevard, Titusville. Contact Andrea Chestnut at (321) 264–5105 for further information.


      January 26, 2012

      Sykes Creek Adventures Eco–Festival to be held February 18

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Brevard County Parks and Recreation and Friends of Ulumay will host Sykes Creek Adventures on Saturday, February 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Kiwanis Island Park, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island.

      Sykes Creek Adventures is a family eco–festival featuring opportunities to explore and enjoy the natural resources of Brevard County. Attendees will be able to meet people and organizations involved with environmental aspects of the county, delve into the history and archaeology of the Indian River Lagoon, attend workshops, make oyster mats and try geocaching. There will also be guided river boat tours on Sykes Creek for an additional fee. There will be baskets raffled with proceeds benefiting the Hook Kids on Fishing Program.

      The cost to attend is $1 per person; children 2 years and under will be admitted free. A wristband for the kid's area is $2 which includes unlimited use of inflatable games. There will be food & beverages for sale.

      In conjunction with Sykes Creek Adventures, the Anglers for Conservation will host a free Hook Kids on Fishing program for kids ages 6 to 16 with their parents starting at 9 a.m. There will be clinics on casting, conservation, habitat restoration, fishing safety, knot tying, and catch and release tactics. The program is limited to the first 50 registrants.

      Enter the Sykes Creek Adventures Paddling Challenge, a seven–mile course in the relatively protected waters of Sykes Creek. All types of paddling crafts are invited. The challenge goes from Kiwanis Island Park up to the Barge Canal and back. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and paddling starts at 9 a.m. The cost to enter is $25 in advance or $30 at the event. Register at sykescreek.eventbrite.com.

      For additional event information or to pre–register for the Hook Kids on Fishing Program please call (321) 455–1385 or visit www.brevardparks.com/central.


      January 25, 2012

      New Flood Zone Maps May Mean Changes to Insurance Requirements for Home & Business Owners

      Home and business owners in Brevard County may be able to save money on their flood insurance, based on new preliminary flood zone maps being presented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local government floodplain administrators at open houses next month.

      Open houses will be held:

      • Monday, February 6 at the Brevard County Government Complex, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera, in the Space Coast room on the second floor of Building C;
      • Tuesday, February 7 at the Palm Bay City Hall, 120 Malabar Road in Palm Bay, in the City Council Chambers; and
      • Wednesday, February 8 at the Titusville Fire Headquarters, 550 S. Washington Avenue in Titusville, in the multi–purpose room on the second floor.
      Each open house will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., and FEMA representatives from Atlanta will be there to answer flood insurance–related questions.

      The old system of paper–based flood zone maps will be replaced with new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps, created with modern aerial mapping methods, user laser measurements and computer modeling. This means that the maps are much more accurate, and thousands of properties have been removed from Special Flood Zone Hazard Areas.

      Homeowners and business owners should review the new maps, as they may include changes in flood risk classification and in mortgage loan requirements. Home owners could qualify for a Preferred Risk Flood Insurance Policy. Mortgage lenders are not required to notify their customers of these changes.

      Changes presented on the new maps are based on a study FEMA recently completed using updated flood models and flood elevation data. However, the maps are regarded as "preliminary" until the appeal process concludes and the adoption process is completed, in approximately 6 to 9 months.

      For more information, contact Brevard County Floodplain Administrator Frank Skarvelis at (321) 617–7340 or frank.skarvelis@brevardcounty.us.



      January 23, 2012

      Birding Tour Offered at Riverwalk Nature Center

      ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Riverwalk Nature Center is hosting an event for those interested in learning some basic bird–watching. On Friday, February 17 at 4:30 pm, the staff of Riverwalk will offer a free presentation and guided tour on bird–watching. Those attending will also receive birding posters and other material from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

      The talk is for birders of any experience level and is a perfect opportunity for those motivated to try the hobby for the first time. This is done as part of the annual Great Backyard Bird Count event, hosted by Audubon, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Canadian partner Bird Studies Canada. The results provide a snapshot of the whereabouts of more than 600 bird species.

      Even if not attending the presentation at Riverwalk, anyone can still participate in this free event and no registration is needed. People can watch and count birds for at least 15 minutes on any day of the count, February 17–20, enter their results at www.birdcount.org, and watch as the tallies grow across the continent. The four–day count typically records more than 10 million observations.

      "When thousands of people all tell us what they're seeing, we can detect patterns in how birds are faring from year to year," said Janis Dickinson, director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

      "The Great Backyard Bird Count is a perfect example of Citizen Science," says Audubon Chief Scientist, Gary Langham. "Like Audubon's Christmas Bird Count, volunteers help us with data year after year, providing scientific support that is the envy of many institutions. It's also a lot of fun."

      "We're finding that more people are taking part in our bird count programs every year––and the more that take part, the better it is for the birds," says Richard Cannings, Senior Projects Officer for Bird Studies Canada.

      The 2011 GBBC brought in more than 92,000 bird checklists submitted by participants from across the United States and Canada. Altogether, bird watchers identified 596 species with 11.4 million bird observations. Results from the 2011 GBBC included:

      • Increased reports of Evening Grosbeaks, a species that has been declining;
      • A modest seasonal movement of winter finches farther south in their search for food;
      • The Eurasian Collared–Dove was reported from Alaska for the first time, more evidence of an introduced species rapidly expanding its range.
      Although it's called the Great "Backyard" Bird Count, the count extends well beyond backyards. Lots of participants choose to head for national parks, nature centers, urban parks, nature trails, or nearby sanctuaries. For more information, including bird–ID tips, instructions, and past results, visit www.birdcount.org.

      The count also includes a photo contest and a prize drawing for participants who enter their bird checklists online.

      The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible in part by sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.


      January 20, 2012

      Lifeguard Training Course Offered at Palm Bay Aquatic Center

      PALM BAY, Fla. – The Palm Bay Aquatic Center will offer a lifeguard training course in February.

      Classes will be held February 14, 16, 21, & 23 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., and February 18 & 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $160, which includes books and a CPR mask.

      The course will certify participants in lifeguarding, CPR, and first aid. Participants must be 15 years of age and pass a swim test consisting of a 300–yard swim and brick retrieval at a depth of 10 feet.

      The aquatic center is located at 420 Community College Parkway, just south of the Brevard Community College Campus. This activity is sponsored by the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department.

      For more information, call the aquatic center at (321) 952–2232.


      January 20, 2012

      Extension Service Offers "Edible Gardening Without the Garden"

      COCOA, Fla. ––The University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer "Edible Gardening Without the Garden" next month.

      This two–class series teaches participants how to grow vegetables in places other than the ground. Students will receive a hanging basket, garden table, rain barrel, and other materials to make edible gardening possible for those who do not have sufficient property to allow for a garden.

      It will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on Tuesdays, February 14 and 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $100.

      For more information or to register call (321) 633–1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


      January 18, 2012

      Applicants Sought for Brevard's Animal Advisory Board

      VIERA, Fla. –– The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applicants for its Animal Advisory Board, which serves as a way for citizens to provide input into animal issues and matters of animal welfare, such as shelter programs.

      Other tasks for the advisory board include developing goals and objectives for the Animal Services & Enforcement department, and recommending potential public information and education programs.

      The Animal Advisory Board consists of ten citizens selected by the Brevard County Commission. Two members will represent non–profit incorporated animal shelter or placement organizations, one must be a members of a non–profit incorporated animal rights group, one must be a member of a non–profit incorporated animal enthusiast or rescue group, and one a Florida certified veterinarian or veterinary technician. Members serve two–year terms, and meet on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

      To apply, interested parties should complete the attached application and/or send a letter including qualifications to Kathy Beatson, Interim Director of Animal Services & Enforcement, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, FL 32940 or via e–mail to kathy.beatson@BrevardCounty.us. Information must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31.


      January 11, 2012

      Brevard County Mourns the Passing of Emergency Management Director Bob Lay

      With great sadness, Brevard County announces the passing of Emergency Management Director Bob Lay.

      Lay, who was 69 years old, suffered an apparent heart attack this morning.

      A beloved member of the community and a well–respected emergency management expert across the state and nation, he served as the Director of Emergency Management for Brevard County since April 1997 and led the county through countless emergency situations including hurricanes and wildfires.

      "I can think of no other single person who impacted more lives in such a positive way here in Brevard County. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob's wife Patti, his family, and all those who are missing him right now," said County Manager Howard Tipton.

      Prior to his employment with Brevard County, Lay was employed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and served as the manager of the Disaster Field Office in Albany, Georgia during the floods of 1994.

      After an Army career as a helicopter pilot in which he served three tours in Vietnam, he retired from the United States Army as a colonel in August 1994. During his last assignment, while serving as the Commander of the United States Army Readiness Group, Patrick, he also served as the Department of Defense Coordinating Officer, responsible for coordination of all disaster response and recovery missions assigned to the Department of Defense in wildfires in Georgia, and in Hurricane Andrew in south Florida.

      Former Governor Lawton Childs appointed Lay to the Governor's Wildfire Response and Mitigation Review Committee following wildfires in 1998, and he represented the Central Florida Region as Emergency Management Co–Chair for Central Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force since 1999. He served on the Regional Local Emergency Planning Committee and on the Joint Toxic Hazard Control Team representing the public surrounding Kennedy Space Center and Canaveral Air Force Station. He was instrumental in establishing unity of effort and regionalization of resources within the Central Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force area.

      Lay was recognized by the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association as the Emergency Management Professional of the Year for 2003 and received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Hurricane Conference 2004 for outstanding leadership in response to hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Jeanne.

      He was the President of Ascension Lutheran Church's Congregational Council and served on the Board of Directors of the Community Service Council and the Eastern Florida Maritime Area Security Committee, as well as representing Emergency Management on FEMA's National Advisory Council.

      He is survived by his wife Patti, two sons, a daughter, and three grandchildren.


      January 10, 2012

      Brevard County Sets Winter Golf Rates

      VIERA, Fla. – The Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department has implemented its golf rates for the winter season, effective through April 14.

      Before 1 p.m. daily, Brevard County residents can play 18 holes of golf with a cart at the Savannahs Golf Course in Merritt Island or the Habitat Golf Course in Grant–Valkaria for $45, or at Spessard Holland Golf Course in Melbourne Beach for $43. Non–residents will pay $10 more, and discount card holders will pay $10 less.

      Discount cards are available to residents for $40 and to non–residents for $95. Annual green fee cards are available for $682.38.

      Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department operates three excellent courses. Spessard Holland, located in Melbourne Beach, is an exceptional stretch executive beachside golf course noted for its year–round breezes. The Savannahs, located on Merritt Island, is a challenging 18–hole, par 72 championship golf course with Champion ultra–dwarf greens. The Habitat golf course, featuring refurbished and expanded Champion ultra–dwarf greens, is a championship course located in the midst of a wildlife sanctuary in Grant–Valkaria.

      All courses offer professional instruction, practice ranges, pro shops, outings, leagues and special events.

      For more information, discounts, specials, or to book a tee time, call the Savannahs at (321) 455–1375, the Habitat at (321) 952–6912, or Spessard Holland at (321) 952–4529.


      January 09, 2012

      Extension Service Offers 4–H Clubs and Workshops

      COCOA, Fla. –– University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences will offer these 4–H youth programs in January and February:
      • 4–H Horse Club in Palm Bay: a new 4–H club for horse lovers is forming in the Palm Bay area, and 5– to 18–year–olds are invited to join. Cost to join 4–H is $10.
      • 4–H Cooking Club Kickoff: The 4–H Cooking Club is looking for new members ages 5 through 18. Next meeting is tonight, January 9, at 6 p.m. at the Cocoa Extension Office. Cost to join 4–H is $10.
      • 4–H/Tropicana Public Speaking Program: This program is open to all 4th– through 6th–grade classes. Registration is due by January 17. Cost is $1 per student.
      • 4–H Sewing Workshop: Children ares 5 though 18 can learn how to make a pillowcase. Beginners are welcome, and parents are encouraged to attend. Parental attendance is mandatory for children aged 7 and younger. Pre–registration deadline is today, January 9. The workshop will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on January 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. Suggested donation is $15.
      • 4–H Buyer Seminar: This workshop is open to youth exhibiting animals in the Brevard County Fair. it will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on January 17, from 6 to 7 p.m.
      • 4–H Public Speaking Workshop: Youth ages 8 to 18 are invited to learn how to conquer their fear and speak in public. This will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on January 25, from 6 to 7 p.m. Cost is $1.
      • 4–H Resume Building Workshop: Youth ages 14 to 18 are invited to learn how to write a winning resume for a job or college application. This workshop will be held at the Cocoa Extension Office on February 1, from 6 to 7 p.m. Cost is $1.
      • 4–H Interviewing Tips for Teens Workshop: 14– to 18–year–olds are invited to learn how to market themselves in an interview. This workshop will be held at Cocoa Extension Office on February 8, from 6 to 7 p.m. Cost is $1.
      Call Vanessa Spero–Swingle at 321–633–1702 ext 231, email Vspero@ufl.edu, or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu for more information.


      January 6, 2012

      Supervisor of Elections Designates Moore Center a Polling Location

      VIERA, FL – Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott announced today the designation of The Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Center as a new polling location. The Center, located at 2180 Freedom Avenue, in Mims, serves as a memorial and educational site honoring the Moore's contribution to civil rights—particularly the right to vote.

      "The selection of the Moore Center as a polling location is a fitting tribute to the courage and vision of these two Civil Rights pioneers," said Supervisor Scott. "This beautiful 5,000 sq ft facility is a celebration of the Moore's efforts to register and empower voters."

      "It is entirely appropriate because the right to vote is one of the things Dad worked so hard to have happen for African Americans," explained Juanita Moore. "My Dad led the way in getting more than 100,000 new African American voters on the rolls. This made African Americans an integral part of the political process."

      For additional information, contact the Supervisor of Elections office at 321–633–2124, or visit the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections website at www.VoteBrevard.com.


      Wednesday, January 04, 2012

      Extension Service Offers Shooting Sports Classes

      PALM BAY, COCOA & MIMS, Fla. – University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences offer 4–Hers basic instruction in archery, gun safety and marksmanship.

      An introductory archery course for 8– to 18–year–olds will be held on the first and third Thursdays of January and February, at 5:30 p.m. at Travis Park in Cocoa. The cost is $4 per session or $50 for the entire year.

      An introductory air rifle course for 8– to 18–year–olds will be held on the first and third Thursdays of January and February at 5 p.m. at the Titusville Rifle and Pistol Club in Mims; and on the first and second Saturdays at the Port Malabar Rifle & Pistol Club in Palm Bay. The cost is $3 per session.

      An introductory trap and skeet shooting class for 10– to 18–year–olds is offered on the second and fourth Saturdays of January and February at the Port Malabar Rifle & Pistol Club. The cost is $5 per session.

      An introductory black powder shooting, air rifle, shotgun, archery and primitive sports class will be held at the Titusville Rifle & Pistol Club in Mims on the second and fourth Wednesdays of January and February at 5 p.m. The cost is $3 per session.

      Students will learn the fundamentals in a fun, supportive and safe environment. They do not have to be current 4–H members to participate. All equipment is provided for the first four sessions, and parents or guardians are required to attend and participate.

      To register or for more information, call Gus Koerner at (321) 633–1702 or visit http://brevard.ifas.ufl.edu.


      Thursday, December 22, 2011

      Adult Men's Basketball League Forming in Mims

      MIMS, Fla. – Brevard County North Area Parks and Recreation is forming an adult men's basketball league for ages 18 and older at the Cuyler Community Center, 2329 Harry T. Moore Avenue, Mims.

      Games will be played on Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m., beginning January 22. The team fee is $325, which includes a 9–game regular season and a single–elimination playoff tournament.

      Contact Lenora Lett at (321) 264–5045 for information on this and other recreation activities sponsored by Brevard County Parks and Recreation in the Mims area.


      Thursday, December 22, 2011

      CORRECTED: Youth Basketball League to Play in North Brevard

      SHARPES, Fla.— A non–competitive co–ed youth basketball league for children ages 7–12 is being formed at the Walter Butler Community Center located at Bernice G. Jackson Park, 4201 North U.S. Highway 1, Cocoa (Sharpes).

      The fee is $10 per player for a six–game season and sites will be alternated weekly. Games will be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5 to 8 p.m.

      This is sponsored by Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, Parks & Recreation Department, North Area Parks Operations. Contact Clifford Lett at (321) 433–4448 for further information.


      Thursday, December 15, 2011

      StoneFire Studios Grand Opening Rescheduled for December 20

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– StoneFire Studios, a professional community gallery, art studio and educational facility, will hold its grand opening on Tuesday, December 20 from 5 to 8 p.m.

      The studio is operated by internationally known artist Maxine Trainer and is sponsored in part by Greater Titusville Renaissance. Her trained eye knew the empty Firestone building next to Miracle City Mall would be perfect for cultivating the arts in North Brevard, and found that County Commissioner Robin Fisher was willing to listen to her ideas.

      "Maxine and the arts community told me that Titusville has never supported the arts, so I set out to change that perception. I met with Nick Karantinos, the owner of Miracle City Mall, and he generously allowed Maxine and other North Brevard artists temporary use of the old Firestone building while the Greater Titusville Renaissance was developing long–term plans for the mall," he reported.

      For the last month, Trainer has worked twenty–hour days, seven days a week, transforming the old Firestone Tire building on U.S. 1 into StoneFire Studios and Gallery. Trainer claims the studio will be a vibrant art and culture center, where artists of all genres can have the freedom to create.

      "Visitors and tourists alike will be exposed to art, poetry and music in this dynamic setting. If you have creative talent, this is the place where you can develop that talent," she said.

      StoneFire will feature an eclectic mix of abstract, realist and contemporary, clay, metal, ceramics, jewelry, photography and more. Spaces are $125 per month and artists are required to fill out an application, show samples of their work, and be formally accepted to become part of the working studio. Additionally, ten different community artists will be featured in the gallery once a month, along with poetry readings and live music.

      The former auto bay areas have been turned into working art studios with areas where workshops and classes will be held. Budding artists are encouraged to uncork their creativity with the "Sip and Stroke" classes the last Friday of every month, stained glass classes the last Saturday evening of every month and classes for children on Saturday mornings, just to name a few. Regular gallery hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

      Part of the core mission of Greater Titusville Renaissance is to recruit local citizens to invest their time and talent to move forward with proactive, evidence–based activities. Fisher stated, "an investment in the arts reaps economic benefits and helps create increases in property values, revenues and jobs. Maxine Trainer has stepped up to the plate in a huge way to help us fulfill our mission."

      Trainer was amazed at the deluge of community support received from the volunteer network. "Loyd Contracting provided lumber and paint. Barn Light Electric Company donated lighting, WINVET volunteers appeared daily to take part in the renovation—all of which is being accomplished with recycled materials—and the list goes on and on."

      Titusville Chamber President Marcia Gaedcke also donated her time, reasoning, "This volunteer initiative is all about creating a diverse destination of artistic and cultural activity. Even as we strategize to bring in national and international events, supporting local talent is a huge focus of the Arts and Culture committee."

      Many local artists will be exhibiting at the December 20 grand opening and live music and refreshments will be provided. The opening is free and the general public is encouraged to attend.

      "Greater Titusville Renaissance is proud to provide Maxine and other local artists a high–visibility location that shows we are serious about changing the direction of North Brevard," said Fisher.

      For further information, contact Maxine Trainer at 321–652–6363.


      Wednesday, December 14, 2011

      "Field of Hope" Dedicated at Brevard County's North Animal Shelter

      In a simple ceremony that did not indicate how large an impact it will have on shelter dogs' lives, the "Field of Hope" was dedicated at Brevard County's North Animal Care Center (NACC) on Flake Road in Titusville on December 6.

      Through the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers, an unused section of the adjoining property was fenced off and a gate installed, giving the public an area that they can use to have off–leash interaction with dogs they are interested in adopting.

      The area provides an open secure location where dogs can get exercise, feel the breeze and chase a ball tossed by a potential adopter.

      Paula Hunter, NACC Supervisor, said, " It's wonderful. The pets and people can get to know each other in a real–world way. Before, it was either inside the facility, or being walked on a leash. And if you are a shelter dog who gets to go outside for the first time in a while, being on a leash is not the best way for you to show people what a great dog you are."

      The field was dedicated as a memorial to Glenda Hanchy and her dog "Casey Jay." The volunteers responsible for all the hard work are Mike and Dawn Jay, Jen and Wally Kohler, Melanie Ray, Diane Longella, and Sabrina Etter. The "Field of Hope" cost almost $5,000 and was built and funded entirely by the volunteers to give shelter dogs a better chance to find a forever home.


      Tuesday, December 13, 2011

      Brevard County Unveils New Website

      While the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners website was already filled with information that citizens want and need from their local government – in fact, the site has won Sunny Awards for the past two years from the national Sunshine Review for its transparency – the website has now been revamped to include beautiful photos of the area; a more user–friendly interface; and a calendar with easily viewable differences between meetings and events.

      "It's not only a new design, but in fact a whole new approach," said County Manager Howard Tipton at the Board of County Commissioners meeting this afternoon. "The idea is to make the website user–driven, with a more service–oriented experience for the citizen, rather than the traditional department–driven model. In our research of best practices for government websites, across the country, we found that consistently this "looking from the outside in" approach was winning awards for user–friendliness and information access. We've learned that citizens don't necessarily know, nor do they care, which agency or department provides a service… they just want to be able to access it."

      When users first arrive at the website, they will see the tabs across the top that let them select which category they belong to. If they are Brevard County residents, the topics and services that they are likely seeking will be listed under that tab. If they are visitors, whether tourists or someone seeking to relocate, the common topics of interest to that group are listed under that section. Business representatives will find the services and information most appropriate to them under that category. The e–Government tab provides access to services which can be requested, paid for, or reserved online; as well as opportunities to provide feedback or report a problem. The Contact tab offers the traditional list of departments, for those who are familiar with the previous website, as well as links to various ways to communicate with the County: email, telephone numbers, Facebook and Twitter.

      This is Phase One of the new website, as just a half–dozen County departments have been upgraded to the new look. Phase Two, moving the remaining departments to the new design as quickly as resources allow, will be completed next year.

      The design and development was all done in–house by Information Technology department employees using a database–driven content management software, Sitefinity by Telerik.

      Library Services had an immediate need to move their externally hosted website at www.brev.org because it was outdated and difficult to maintain, so they assisted with the purchase of an upgrade to the software, at a cost of $20,000, enabling the entire County to transition more quickly and easily. The website URL is www.brevardcounty.us.


      November 30, 2011

      Brevard County Seeks Citizen Recommendations Through "Speak Up Brevard"

      To provide a formal process for citizens to submit recommendation to Brevard County government, and as a result of charter amendment, Brevard County has implemented a web–based application called "Speak Up Brevard."

      The online form will be available at www.brevardcounty.us beginning December 1. It allows people to submit ideas which would assist county government in conserving energy, saving costs, eliminating duplication, generating revenue, increasing productivity, or preventing waste. A hard–copy version of the form may also be submitted, and is available through the County Manager's office.

      The process requires submissions to meet a deadline of January 1, after which the County Manager's office has 45 days to evaluate and comment on the recommendation, and then forward it to the Board of County Commissioners for their review. The Board of County Commissioner must take a final vote to either approve, reject, or revise and accept the recommendation within 120 days. The sponsor of the recommendation will be given at least a week's notice prior to it being heard and voted on by the Board. A listing of all recommendations, including disposition, will be posted on the County website.

      For more information, call the County Manager's Office at (321) 633–2001.


      November 30, 2011

      Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services to Meet

      VIERA, Fla. –– The Brevard County Local Coordinating Board for Transportation Disadvantaged Services, established by Chapter 427 of the Florida Statutes, will meet on Monday, December 12 at 10:15 a.m. at the Brevard County Government Center, 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, 2nd Floor, Space Coast Room, Viera.

      If a person desires to appeal any decision made by this board, agency, or commission with respect to any matter considered at this meeting or hearing, such a person will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purposes, such person may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, at his/her own expense, which record includes testimony and evidence upon which such appeal is to be based.

      In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notice the Transit Services Department no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting at 635–7815 ext. 601.

      Questions pertaining to this meeting should be directed to James Liesenfelt at (321) 635–7815 or Jim.Liesenfelt@brevardcounty.us.


      November 09, 2011

      Brevard's EEL Program Receives National Stewardship Award

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL) has received a national award for its excellence in managing natural resources.

      The Natural Areas Association (NAA) has awarded the Carl N. Becker Stewardship Award, one of the highest honors it bestows, to Brevard's EEL Program in recognition of excellence and achievement in managing the natural resources of reserves, parks, wilderness, and other protected areas.

      According to the NAA, the Brevard EEL Program is recognized as one of the true leaders of the conservation and restoration of natural areas at a regional level, as well as an organization that made significant contributions that will effect conservation on a global scale.

      NAA Awards Chairperson Vickie Larson stated,"The Program's accomplishments in protecting this country's natural habitats, educating and mentoring professionals and the general public, and the promotion of others in the field of natural resource protection epitomizes the Becker Award."

      The award is given in honor of Carl N. Becker, former NAA president, a great conservation leader whose skills benefited natural area conservation locally, regionally and nationally.

      The mission of the NAA is to advance the preservation of natural diversity. The Association works to inform, unite, and support persons engaged in identifying, protecting, managing, and studying natural areas and biological diversity across landscapes and ecosystems.

      The EEL Program was established in 1990 to protect the natural habitats of Brevard County by acquiring environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, passive recreation, and environmental education.


      November 03, 2011

      Brevard County Retains Class 7 CRS Rating

      VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County has been notified by FEMA headquarters of the successful completion of its 5–year cycle verification for continued participation in the Community Rating System program, saving citizens 5 or 15 percent off the cost of flood insurance policies.

      Through the contributions of various departments, Brevard County has been recognized by the National Flood Insurance Program as retaining its Class 7 rating under their Community Rating System.

      As a Class 7 community, residents of unincorporated Brevard County who carry mandatory flood insurance to satisfy mortgage lenders receive a 15 percent discount on their yearly flood insurance premium. Those who carry flood insurance policies voluntarily for properties in flood hazard zones receive a 5 percent discount. Based on the latest figures for the number of policies in force and premiums paid, the total savings countywide is estimated at $900,000 annually.

      The Community Rating System is a voluntary program administered by the Insurance Services Office on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It rewards communities for upholding higher standards of floodplain management and flood hazard mitigation than mandated by FEMA.

      Brevard County has participated in the CRS program since 1991, beginning with the baseline Class 10 rating and advancing in class during its tenure in the program, through higher regulatory standards, flood plain protection measures, and public information activities.

      Brevard's rating class represents the best rating of all participating CRS municipalities within Brevard County.


      November 02, 2011

      Brevard Animal Shelters in Need of Kitten Food

      TITUSVILLE and MELBOURNE, Fla. –– Brevard County's North Animal Care and Adoption Center in Titusville, and South Animal Care and Adoption Center in Melbourne, are in need of kitten food donations due to increased numbers of owner–surrendered animals and animal abandonments.

      Due to the constant population of animals being housed at the animal shelters, additional assistance is requested. Those who can spare an extra bag, box or can of kitten food are asked to drop it off at the North Animal Care and Adoption Center, 2605 Flake Road in Titusville or the South Animal Care and Adoption Center, 5100 West Eau Gallie Bouelvard in Melbourne.

      Any donation, food or otherwise, is greatly appreciated and would help the four–legged friends that can't help themselves. Givers may just may find a new best friend waiting to go home with them.

      For more information, call 321–253–6608 (SACC) or 321–264–5119 (NACC), or visit www.brevardanimalservices.com.


      October 27, 2011

      FPTA Names Space Coast Area Transit Outstanding Public Transportation System for 2011

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit was named the 2011 Outstanding Public Transportation System and received the 2011 Judges' Choice Award for marketing, as well as three other first place awards, at the 37th Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) Annual Conference recently held in Tampa, Florida.

      Operations of transit systems throughout the state of Florida were compared in order to determine the Outstanding Public Transportation System award winner. Quantitative measures, comprising two–thirds of the scoring system, included an analysis of functions such as the number of passenger trips, vehicles operated and hours of service in comparison to overall operating expenses. Qualitative measures, such as safety, customer service, and community relations comprised the other one–third of the score.

      Wes Watson, FPTA's executive director, stated, "Many transit agencies in our state are doing an outstanding job, especially in light of the tight economy generating a need for increased services while simultaneously creating a decrease in the revenue from which those services are derived. However, when we analyzed the comparative data, it was clear that Space Coast Area Transit was truly deserving of this award."

      Jim Liesenfelt, director of Space Coast Area Transit, said he felt both humbled and gratified. "To be recognized as the most efficient transit agency when compared with all your peers throughout the state is very humbling. At the same time, to have our County Commission and the outstanding employees in our department recognized on a state–wide level as good stewards of the trust that the citizens of Brevard County have placed in us—from both a financial and a customer service standpoint—is a badge of honor that all of us are very proud to wear."

      Space Coast Area Transit also won the 2011 Judges' Choice Award for a marketing campaign entitled "We've Gone Google" which features social media, a mobile website and signage with a QR code that sends you to the agency's Google Maps Trip Planner. Additionally, Space Coast Area Transit received awards for their website RideSCAT.com, signage, and internal employee communications. Space Coast Area Transit is represented by Titusville–based Space Coast Advertising Consortium. For maps and schedules call 633–1878 or log on to RideSCAT.com on your PC, Mac, or mobile device.


      October 25, 2011

      Space Coast Area Transit Named 2011 Outstanding Transit System in Florida

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit has received the 2011 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award for the state of Florida, out of 32 transit systems in the state, by the Florida Public Transportation Association.

      The annual Florida Public Transportation Association organizational awards program recognizes excellence in the public transportation industry in the state of Florida at the organization level, honoring a public transportation system who has demonstrated achievement in efficiency and effectiveness.

      Despite cuts in operating revenue, Space Coast Area Transit was successful in increasing fixed route ridership each year by a double–digit percentage over the year prior: FY 2007/08 – 19.7%, FY 2008/09 – 16%, FY 2009/10 – 13%.

      The criteria for the award also included achievements in safety, operations, customer service, financial management, attendance and employee costs, staff development, marketing, policy and administration, and community relations.

      Examples included:

      • The installation of digital video systems for all 61 buses in the fleet. Video cameras have shown their worth in accidents, customer complaints, and missing person's investigations.
      • The 2007 launch of greatly expanded evening and weekend service hours had an immediate positive impact on system–wide ridership, including operating the popular beach trolley until 11:30 at night, to accommodate tourists and residents.
      • The operation of approximately 100 vanpools, one of the largest vanpool fleets in the State of Florida.
      • Being one of the first transit system in Florida to place a "trip planner" on their website, and now available on Google Transit.
      • A contract with Brevard Community College for reimbursement for student rides, enabling BCC students from all four campuses to ride all Space Coast Area Transit routes for free.
      • Obtaining ARRA stimulus funding of $6,897,726 to purchase new transit buses and to renovate the hurricane–damaged south terminal in Melbourne.
      • The award–winning website RideSCAT.com features an Interactive System Map and printable maps and schedules in English and Spanish.
      The selection panel for the award was made up of representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Public Transportation Association, and Center for Urban Transportation Research. This is the third year for the award.

      Space Coast Area Transit was previously named best in the nation (2003) and best urban transit system in Florida (1989).


      October 19, 2011

      How Does Brevard County Compare?

      VIERA, Fla. – On October 6, the Tallahassee–based nonprofit group, Florida Tax Watch, released "How Does Your County Compare?", an 85–page report that analyzes government spending across the state. It is based on data collected from 2009 and 2010.

      Based on the report, residents of Brevard County, Florida pay some of the lowest property taxes in the State of Florida. Brevard County is ranked 57th out of 67 counties in county government property tax millage rates. Counties' ad valorem property rates are set by county commissions. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of taxable property value.

      "As the 10th largest county in the state and given the geographic challenges of being 72 miles long, Brevard's ability to deliver services at such a low cost is a great value for our citizens. It's a remarkable story and we've done it by reducing the budget by over $300 million and cutting 530 positions over the last four years," Brevard County Manager Howard N. Tipton said. "A County Commission that expects strong value for our tax dollars and a dedicated workforce that squeezes efficiency at every turn is really responsible for Brevard County being able to keep property taxes low while still maintaining minimum service levels."

      Some other notable rankings for Brevard County, Florida:

      • Per Capita County Government Property Tax Levies – ranked 60th
      • Per Capita Total County Government Revenue – ranked 55th
      • Per Capita Total County Government Tax Revenue – ranked 48th
      • Per Capita Total County Government Expenditures – ranked 55th
      Tax Watch's report also measures total taxation — the sum of municipal, county, schools and special district levies — in Florida counties.

      According to the report, Brevard County (sum of municipal, county, schools and special districts) is ranked 31st at an average millage at 18.18, which is below the state average of 19.01. The report also illustrates that Brevard County government does not supplement property taxes with additional taxes like the Public Service Tax, Optional Sales Tax or additional Gas Tax.

      The Tax Watch report also examines total property tax levies per $1,000 of personal income. Brevard County (includes all taxing jurisdictions in the county) is ranked 49th out of 67 counties with $26 in taxes levied for every $1,000 of personal income.

      Oct 2011 countys comparison table

      The table illustrates how Brevard County compares against counties with a larger population base. Since Duval County is a consolidated government, some of its data is not represented on a county level.

      Based on the data compiled by Florida Tax Watch, Brevard County is the lowest in 6 of the 7 categories presented.

      "We compete against the largest counties in the state for jobs and economic development. These indicators show that Brevard County continues to have one of the lowest taxing structures compared to other counties in the State of Florida," Tipton said. "When you look at all the data, Brevard County continues to enjoy a highly competitive regional and statewide tax position for job development."

      For more information on this data or on the County's budget, please contact Brevard County's Budget Office at 321.633.2153 or by email at budget.office@brevardcounty.us.


      Friday, October 14, 2011

      Brevard County Mosquito Control Battles Mosquitoes Emerging from Storm

      Mosquitoes are beginning to emerge from the standing water left by the unnamed storm which hit Brevard County last weekend, and Brevard County Mosquito Control has already taken proactive steps to minimize the mosquito influx, which includes some natural control as well as chemical control of the aquatic mosquito larvae.

      The adult mosquito emergence will be countywide, ranging from moderate to severe, and should increase from Saturday through Monday.

      As Mosquito Control will use both aerial and truck–based chemical control methods, weather permitting, the mosquitoes should be adequately suppressed within 8 to 10 days. Mosquito treatments cannot take place if it is raining or winds exceed 10 to 15 mph.

      BCMC's surveillance network will determine which areas receive priority. The hardest–hit areas will be treated first and the rest will follow.

      If citizens are experiencing mosquito problems, they can access the website at www.brevardcounty.us/mosquito for daily locations to be treated and for other general mosquito prevention tactics. They can also contact mosquito control for further information at the below contact numbers for north and south county.

      From the Wickham Road exit on I–95 southward to Indian River County, call 321–952–4523.

      For all areas north of Wickham Road to Volusia County, call 321–264–5032.

      The 2011 mosquito season in Brevard County has seen mosquito activity more than double than what has been experienced in this region over the past few years, and Brevard County Mosquito Control has treated more acres this year than in 2009 and 2010 combined.


      Monday, October 10, 2011

      Public Asked to Report Flooding on Brevard County Website

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County residents who experienced street, yard, or structural flooding during this weekend's storm are asked to complete a short on–line survey at www.brevstorm.org.

      The purpose of the six–question survey is to document the location and extent of flooding and the costs incurred as a result. This information will help the county to identify needs, prioritize future drainage improvement areas and develop grant funding requests.

      "One of the best sources for that information is eyewitness accounts," said Watershed Program Manager Virginia Barker. "If we can document repetitive flooding problems, it increases the likelihood of receiving grant funds to help resolve these issues."

      Pictures of flooding can be uploaded with the survey to document the drainage needs to funding agencies.

      While widespread street and yard flooding has been seen across the county and in the media, specific information about water levels and address locations is needed.

      As they have throughout the weekend, Public Works crews are continuing to repair washouts, clear blocked drainage systems and operate pumps to keep the stormwater flowing and out of structures. Pumps are still in operation at Hall Road in north Merritt Island, Cox Road in west Cocoa, and the Deer Run subdivision near Micco.

      "So far, the only reports of residential flooding are a few of houses on Victor Drive off of Range Road in west Cocoa, and that's due to the topography of those lots, not maintenance of the County's drainage system," said Public Works Director John Denninghoff. Commercial facilities along Cox Road also suffered interior flooding, but drainage improvements for that area are scheduled for construction in 2012, pending permit approval from the Florida Department of Transportation.

      Although this weekend's storm was unnamed, it dumped more rainfall on the county than Hurricane Wilma did in 2005. Fortunately, the St. Johns River, where much of west Cocoa drains to, was not at a high level during the rain event. This allowed western portions of the County to drain quickly to the river. However, the river is now rising due to heavy rainfall upstream, so residents who live in areas that flood when the St Johns River crests should be vigilant for the next few weeks.


      Friday, October 07, 2011

      MBA Development Partners Show Interest In Titusville Mall

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Earlier this summer, the Space Coast Economic Development Commission (SEDC) executed a contract for the purchase of Miracle City Mall for $5.5 million, contingent on securing public/private investors by a deadline of November 30, 2011. Led by Robin Fisher, Chairman of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, the Greater Titusville Renaissance (GTR) Mall Committee has been hard at work, creating partnerships and securing investors in order to meet the deadline.

      "We realize time is of the essence. It's the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep at night," said Fisher.

      In August, on his own dime, the Commissioner attended the International Council of Shopping Centers along with Matt Chesnut, Director of the SEDC. Fisher spoke with many developers and narrowed down the field to a few serious contenders, those who could see the potential and grasp the passionate mission of Greater Titusville Renaissance. Of those few, one has paid particular interest to Titusville and the Miracle City Mall property: Eric Collazo, an owner and managing director of MBA Development Partners.

      MBA is a real estate, acquisition and Investment firm with 25 plus years of real estate experience, and over $2 billion of developed retail, residential and commercial projects. With successful national and international business experience, Collazo has worked in the most challenging of development environments. Some of MBA's award winning projects include: Sawgrass Mills in Ft. Lauderdale, Grapevine Mills in Dallas, Discover Mills in Atlanta, Madrid Xanadu in Spain and Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Orlando.

      Collazo has visited Titusville numerous times to meet with District 1 Commissioner Fisher, touring the site, meeting potential partners and community leaders, and discussing a potential investment in depth. In the meantime, Fisher has been diligent in bringing together local partners in order to continue the negotiations. Potential tenants such as JC Penney, Darden Restaurants, and Parrish Medical Center—who is considering placing medical offices on a portion of the mall site— are all paying close attention to this deal.

      Parrish Medical Center's Board of Directors recently conducted a feasibility study to determine if it made financial and logistical sense to consolidate medical offices in a central location. The study determined that a strategy of consolidating in a central area of the city did indeed make sense, although a particular site was not specified.

      Fisher and Collazo have been invited to a meeting next week with top executives for a major retail store to discuss concepts for a new retail outlet on the Titusville site. MBA sketches that were submitted to the GTR Mall Committee for preliminary review included a site plan detailing 150,000 square feet of retail space, 25,000 square feet of medical office space and a 200–unit high–end apartment complex to help support the retail and medical. Activity would most likely start with the construction of potential anchors, JC Penney's and Parrish Medical Center offices, followed by demolition of the current site. The apartments would come later with the identification of an appropriate developer.

      "We have the attention of some national players. This deal would have a huge economic impact on the Titusville market, as well creating new jobs," Fisher said.

      The next Greater Titusville Renaissance general membership meeting will be held at Parrish Medical Conference Center on Wednesday, October 26 at 5:30 PM with Commissioner Fisher and Titusville Mayor, Jim Tulley presiding. North Brevard residents interested in being a part of the renaissance are encouraged to attend. For further information, log on to GreaterTitusville.com.


      September 29, 2011

      Brevard County Library eBooks are Now Available for Kindle

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County Library System is excited to announce that its eBook collection is now compatible with the world's bestselling eBook reader, the Amazon Kindle. Patrons can now download popular and classic eBooks to a Kindle device or any mobile device running the free Kindle app, such as iPhone, iPad, Android, and more. To get started, visit http://brevard.lib.overdrive.com.

      Brevard County Libraries also offer eBooks and audiobooks for use on a PC or Mac computer and popular mobile devices such as a Smartphone, MP3 player, and eBook reader like the Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony Reader.

      Kindle users can browse the Brevard County Library System's collection of bestselling and classic eBooks from a PC or Mac computer, check out titles using a library card, and select "Get for Kindle" to deliver eBooks to their Kindle device or any device running the free Kindle app. Users who enjoy eBooks on Kindle will benefit from Amazon's Whispersync technology that synchronizes notes, highlights and last page read between their Kindle and free Kindle apps.

      The Brevard County Library System will continue to build its eBook collection, so keep checking back for more titles.

      Brevard County Libraries partners with OverDrive, Inc. (www.overdrive.com), a global leader in eBook distribution for libraries and schools, to offer this service.


      Monday, September 26, 2011

      Brevard Animal Services Features "Certified Pre–Owned Pets" Adoption Special

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– Brevard County Animal Care Centers will have an adoption special for "Certified Pre–Owned Pets" starting Wednesday, September 28 through Saturday, October 1. The adoption fee for all dogs will be $60 and for all cats, $40. Adoption fees include spay/neuter, microchip, initial vaccinations, and a county tag.

      Brevard County Animal Service and Enforcement is trying to increase adoptions at their shelters by offering reduced adoption fees.

      "We are hoping that offering these specials will help get more of these homeless animals out of the shelter and into loving homes," says Volunteer Coordinator Jill Mollohan.

      The adoptable animals can be seen during business hours:
      Monday – 10am to 5pm;
      Tuesday – 12pm to 7pm;
      Wednesday – 10 am to 5pm;
      Thursday – 12pm to 7pm;
      Friday – 10am to 5pm;
      Saturday – 10am to 5pm.

      The North Animal Care Center is located at 2605 Flake Road, Titusville, and the South Animal Care Center is located at 5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne.


      Monday, September 26, 2011

      Protest Zone Designated at Brevard County Government Center

      VIERA, Fla. –– In light of the need to ensure safe ingress and egress, ensure adequate fire lanes, and address safety concerns from citizens who attended the September 13 budget hearing, a protest zone has been designated at the Viera Government Center.

      The protest zone allows citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech at any location within the County complex at 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, with the exception of the following:

      • The covered area on the west side of Building C
      • Building C itself
      • The sidewalk and small parking lot closest to the east side of Building C (similar to election code requirements)
      • The corners at the intersection of Judge Fran Jamieson Way and the parking lot entrance road
      • The U–shaped access road and fire lane abutting the reflection pond to the west of Building C.
      [Map with designated area shown is attached]

      The protest zone will go into effect today.


      September 21, 2011

      Sams House at Pine Island Features New Exhibits, To Hold Volunteer Open House

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. –– Brevard's newest nature center, Sams House at the Pine Island Conservation Area, will be holding a volunteer open house on Saturday, October 15. Prospective volunteers are invited to visit between 9 a.m. and noon to meet the staff, tour the buildings and exhibits, and complete a volunteer application.

      The Sams House at Pine Island has added new exhibits highlighting the Ice Age, Native Americans, and early pioneers who made Pine Island their home. Visitors can come face–to–face with a 15–foot tall sloth, walk inside a replica Native American hut, and learn about the Sams family who homesteaded there.

      The Center features the Sams cabin, which is the oldest standing home in Brevard County. John H. Sams, who was a citrus grower, businessmen, and the first Superintendent of Brevard Public Schools, built the cabin in 1875.

      The Sams House is part of the 900–acre Pine Island Conservation Area and is managed by the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Volunteers are needed to greet visitors, maintain the history garden and trails, assist with public programs, and perform general office duties.

      The nature center entrance is at 6195 North Tropical Trail, approximately a half–mile west from the intersection of North Tropical Trail and SR 3. The center is currently open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. Beginning in November, the Center will be open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Private tours are available; call 321–449–4720 for more information.



      Tuesday, August 30, 2011

      Henry Parrish III appointed to Brevard Historical Commission

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. –– County Commissioner Mary Bolin has appointed Henry Parrish III to be the newest member of the Brevard County Historical Commission, replacing Tom Breen in District 4.

      As owner of Parrish Redevelopment, he is perhaps best known for renovating and preserving two classic grand Queen Ann homes: the Parrish House built in 1885 as a hunting lodge and moved in 2002, and the Sheppard House, built in 1890 and moved in 2004 by barge on the Indian River from Rockledge to Cocoa Village. His bed–and–breakfast The Parrish Grove Inn is open for business, with the Parrish House opening sometime in the near future.

      Parrish is a graduate of Rockledge High School, formerly owned Parrish Properties & Investments, and developed Riverside Landing Condo in Cocoa Village. Appointed by Governor Jeb Bush, he served on the Technological Research and Development Authority of Brevard County from 2003 to 2008.

      Henry Parrish III is the son of the late Ada Parrish, an enthusiastic and revered local historian who played a major role in charting Brevard County's past as a 45–year member of the Brevard County Historical Commission, and Henry "Hugh" Parrish Jr., a descendant of one of Brevard County's pioneer families.


      Wednesday, August 17, 2011

      Brevard Mosquito Control Fights Historic Levels of Mosquito Breeding Activity in Merritt Island

      MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. –– While Brevard County as a whole is experiencing extremely heavy mosquito breeding activity countywide, the Central Brevard area, particularly Merritt Island, is being impacted the most, with breeding being recorded at historic levels.

      The salt marsh mosquitoes are the main culprit, and are aggressive daytime and nighttime biters. They are also prolific breeders that hatch in broods with tens of millions of mosquitoes going to wing at one time.

      The 2011 mosquito season in Brevard County has seen mosquito activity more than double than what has been experienced in this region over the past few years. The Mosquito Control District anticipates treating more acres this year than that treated in 2009 and 2010 combined. Mosquito treatments have increased over 250% from this time last year.

      Mosquito Control field staff is working seven days a week throughout the county, from 6:30 a.m. to nearly 2 a.m., conducting field counts, monitoring traps, dipping for larvae, and killing adult mosquitoes and mosquito larvae.

      Due to the vast amount of salt marshes that exist in Merritt Island and other areas of the county, in addition to chemical control for mosquitoes, the District relies on mosquito impoundments to control the salt marsh mosquito. Unlike fresh water mosquitoes, salt marsh mosquitoes lay their eggs in moist to dry soil just above the current water level and wait for rain, tidal fluctuations or other water rise events to submerge the eggs so they can hatch. A square inch of salt marsh soil has been known to hold over 20,000 mosquito eggs.

      Due to drought conditions experienced earlier this year, the mosquito impoundments were not fully operational in Brevard until the last week in July and have only been 60% functional this year. As the average salt marsh mosquito lives 30 days, the controlling effect of the impoundments will not be fully felt until the third/fourth week in August. Until that time, every rain causes mosquitoes to hatch in any area that holds water for a 5–to–7 day period. In addition, mosquito treatments cannot take place if it is raining or if winds exceed 10 to 15 mph by truck and air.

      Although the Mosquito Control District is scheduling adult mosquito treatments nightly and have a kill effect of 90% on the specific targeted brood, new broods can hatch the following day, and it may appear that no treatments have taken place or that mosquito populations have increased.

      The salt marsh mosquito is not a disease–carrying insect for mosquito–to–human–transmitted disease, and there is no virus activity in Brevard County from fresh water mosquitoes.

      For information on the areas scheduled to be treated, or those areas which were successfully treated, visit www.brevardcounty.us/mosquito. Call 321–264–5032, extension 1 for a list of those spray areas scheduled for treatment each evening. The phone message is updated daily by 2 p.m.


      Monday, August 15, 2011

      E–books Debut at Brevard County Libraries Tomorrow

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – As of tomorrow, the Brevard County Library System's services have expanded, with the addition of eBooks and audiobooks available to download for free from the library system's website. Brevard County library card holders will now be able to check out and download digital media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere, by visiting www.brev.org.

      Users may browse the library's website, check out with a valid library card, and download to PC, Mac, and many mobile devices. Users will need to install free software, depending on their device. Titles can be enjoyed immediately via iPhone or iPad, or transferred to a variety of devices, including iPod, Sony Reader™, and many others. Some audio titles can also be burned to CD to listen on–the–go. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the 14–day lending period, so there are no late fees.

      "We are thrilled to be able to offer reading material to our patrons through the latest technology," said Library Services Director Cathy Schweinsberg. "EBooks are becoming more and more popular, as people transition to smartphones and other mobile devices, and it's a great way to always have a book with you."

      Best–selling novels and well–known classics are available through the Brevard County Library System, with thousands of popular fiction and non–fiction titles to choose from.

      When a patron visits the website, they log in to the system with their library card number, and then can browse by category and subcategory, or search for specific books. Categories include eBook fiction, eBook nonfiction, audiobook fiction, audiobook nonfiction, teen eBooks, teen audiobooks, children's eBooks, and children's audiobooks. Clicking on a book's title brings up a short description of its content, as well as a brief excerpt and reviews. Upon selecting a book, the patron clicks "Add to Cart" and then is offered the choice of continuing to browse or proceeding to checkout. The number of eBooks that can be checked out at one time is limited to three per patron. When all selections are added to the cart, the patron then clicks on "Confirm check out" and is taken to the download page. Each eBook is then downloaded separately.

      Brevard County Libraries enable people of all ages to improve their quality of life by providing information and enrichment through traditional resources and new technology.


      Thursday, August 11, 2011

      Dog Food Donations Needed at Brevard County Animal Shelters

      TITUSVILLE and MELBOURNE, Fla. –– Brevard County's North Animal Care Center in Titusville and South Animal Care Center in Melbourne are in need of adult dry dog food donations, as both county shelters are running extremely low on food.

      Brevard's Animal Services and Enforcement relies on donations of pet food to help feed the animals in their care, and dry dye–free dog food are needed.

      Dog food donations can be dropped off at either of the shelters during business hours:

      South Animal Care Center
      5100 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne
      Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10am to 5pm
      Tuesday and Thursday: 12pm to 7pm

      North Animal Care Center
      2605 Flake Road, Titusville
      Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10am to 5pm
      Tuesday and Thursday: 11am to 6pm

      For more information, call Volunteer Coordinator Jill Mollohan at (321) 255–4379.


      Monday, August 01, 2011

      Volunteers Needed at North Animal Care and Adoption Center

      TITUSVILLE, Fla. –– Brevard County Animal Services and Enforcement is in need of dedicated volunteers at the North Animal Care and Adoption Center in Titusville. Available volunteer positions include Animal Care Assistant, Dog Walkers, Clerical Assistant, and Animal Transport Volunteers.

      "This is a great opportunity to help the homeless animals in our community," said Volunteer Coordinator Jill Mollohan.

      For information on how to volunteer, visit www.brevardanimalservices.com, call 321–255–4379 or email jill.mollohan@brevardcounty.us.


      Thursday, July 21, 2011

      Brevard 4–H to Start New Animal Club

      COCOA, Fla. – The University of Florida/IFAS – Brevard County Extension Service is starting a new 4–H club geared toward youth ages 5–18 interested in learning about and raising a variety of different animals. The club will focus on the animal interests of the participating youth, including livestock and companion animals. Youth can learn about raising animals for show, care, and maintenance.

      The club will meet monthly, with the first orientation session on Tuesday, August 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Brevard County Extension Office, 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa.

      For more information, call Vanessa Spero–Swingle, 4–H Agent, Brevard County Extension, at 321–633–1702 ext 231 or email Vspero@ufl.edu.


      June 20, 2011

      Brevard County Fire Rescue Training Facility Up and Burning

      (Brevard County, FL)– After more than 1 ½ years of planning, Brevard County Fire Rescue held trainings exercise in the department's new live–fire training facility on June 16, 2011. The facility is located on Eau Gallie Boulevard west of Interstate 95 on what was once the department's emergency vehicle driving course.

      The two–story training facility allows firefighters to hone their skills fighting various types of blazes within a controlled environment. The facility is designed, amongst other things, to provide lessons in fire behavior. The building can also be used to train crews on search & rescue operations, firefighter survival, and a wide variety of other firefighting scenarios.

      "Citizens expect a well–trained, well–equipped fire rescue service," said Fire Chief Larry Collins. "Live fire training has been proven to have a profound and positive impact on firefighter safety and a department's overall efficiency and effectiveness when serving the public it is charged to protect." The facility was purchased from Draeger Safety, Inc. based in Encinitas, California for $225,000. The cost included construction, delivery and set–up of the building, as well as on–site training on the proper use of the facility for qualified instructors.

      Very few live fire training facilities exist in the Brevard County region and those that do are frequently booked and are expensive to rent, especially for a large department like Brevard County Fire Rescue which has 33 stations and more than 500 active firefighters.

      "Rental of some of the area training facilities can be costly and tough to get," said Collins. "I would anticipate that the facility will pay for itself in the first year or two and our crews will receive better, more realistic training than ever before."


      Date: April 16, 2011

      BREVARD COUNTY FIRE RESCUE 2011 AWARDS CEREMONY

      2011 Brevard County Fire Rescue Annual Awards
      Pictured (L to R):
      • Chief Officer of the Year– District Chief Geanine Dotson
      • Company Officer of the Year– District Chief William Burns
      • Firefighter of the Year– Firefighter/Paramedic Steven Royer
      • Fire Chief Larry Collins
      (Brevard County, FL) – Brevard County Fire Rescue firefighters and employees who went above and beyond the call of duty in 2010 were honored at the department's Annual Awards Ceremony held April 15th at Viera High School.

      The event was hosted by Fire Chief Larry Collins and attended by community leaders, co–workers, family and friends. More than 60 personnel, who were nominated by their peers, were recognized for their outstanding service.

      "This year's award recipients truly represent the best Brevard County Fire Rescue has to offer the citizens it serves," said Chief Collins. "It is always an honor to have the opportunity to recognize those who are committed to public service."

      The department also recognized eleven BCFR retirees whose combined service to the department and the community totaled 237 years.

      For more information on this event, please contact Lt. Jeff Taylor at 321–412–1433.


      February 17, 2011

      Space Coast Area Transit Now on Google Transit

      Space Coast Area Transit now provides an opportunity to plan a public transportation trip on–line at Google Maps. According to Jessica Wei, Strategic Partner Development Manager at Google, "As part of Google's commitment to develop useful public–private partnerships, we are pleased to welcome Space Coast Area Transit to Google Transit. This partnership shows Space Coast Area Transit's commitment to innovating, serving their riders, and attracting new riders."

      To access the Google Transit trip planner, go to Maps.Google.com and click on "Get Directions". Place a starting destination in "A", an ending destination in "B" and choose "By Public Transit" from the drop down list. View upcoming departures, see a route on the map, and plan ahead by setting a departure time. Step by step directions for the entire route, including transfers and travel times, are available in text and on the map. View travel times and transfers for each leg of the trip, plan a return trip, and print out a map and text directions.

      "Being placed on Google Transit is a huge accomplishment for us. It required a lot of effort and planning, but the end result was certainly worth it," said Jim Liesenfelt, Director of Space Coast Area Transit. "Google Transit is the best trip planner available on the market; there's no charge to Space Coast Area Transit and there's no charge to the user. Customers can access our schedules from anywhere on their mobile devices," he said. The Google Transit link can also be accessed on RideSCAT.com, where printable maps and schedules for each route are also available. For personalized assistance in trip planning, contact Space Coast Area Transit at 321–633–1878.

      Space Coast Area Transit Expands Service Area in Mims
      Route 5 MapRoute 5 Schedule


      Brevard County Now Offers Electronics Recycling Curbside

      VIERA, Fla. – Residents in unincorporated Brevard County now have the ability to recycle household electronics at curbside through Brevard County's Solid Waste Management program and vendor Waste Management.

      Through the county's newest recycling contract, residents may now contact Waste Management's customer service department to schedule curbside pickups for computer equipment, laptops, scanners, printers, fax machines, stereos, VCRs, or televisions. Printer cartridges can be placed in a clear bag and placed on top of the items in the regular recycling bin.

      "Because household electronics contain toxic materials, they should not be going to landfills," said Pam Shoemaker, Brevard recycling coordinator. "They are classified as hazardous by the federal government, because cathode ray tubes have a significant amount of lead."

      Household electronics can also be recycled at the county's Central Disposal Facility Household Electronics Recycling Center in west Cocoa.

      To request a curbside pickup, customers north of Viera Boulevard and Patrick Air Force Base should call (321) 636–6894. Customers south of Viera Boulevard and Patrick Air Force Base should call (321) 723–4455.


      November 15, 2010

      Space Coast Area Transit Wins Six State Transit Awards

      VIERA, Fla. –– Space Coast Area Transit received four first–place marketing awards and was awarded best of show for their social media marketing efforts at the 36th Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA) Annual Conference. The awards were split into two categories, those with less than 100 buses in their fleet and those with more than 100 buses. The best–of–show award encompassed both categories. Space Coast Area Transit won First Runner Up for safety in a medium size system, a coveted award issued by FPTA to recognize the best transit safety record in the State.

      The awards for marketing included signage and a cable television commercial that was funded by the Florida Department of Transportation to increase transit ridership on the congested 520 and A1A corridors. Using play on words, the campaign featured a medieval "knight" to promote "night service" on the two routes serving the 520 and A1A corridors, Route 4—520 Connector and Route 9—Beach Trolley. Another first–place award was given for a campaign honoring Space Coast Area Transit's ten–millionth transit rider. Elements focused on the significance of how many people ten million really is, by comparing the number of riders to the entire population of LA, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia being loaded into buses. Space Coast Area Transit vendors donated a prize package for the ten–millionth rider that included a 60" flat screen HDTV, an i–Phone, flip video camera, and a behind the scenes tour and VIP luncheon at News 13. The last first–place award that went on to win best of show was for Space Coast Area Transit's Facebook and Twitter social media marketing. By using FBML, their Facebook account acts as a mini website, featuring schedules and maps in both English and Spanish, as well as vanpool and Park & Ride lot information. Riders can also receive Tweets from the local transit service by following their Twitter account, SCATBus.

      Space Coast Area Transit is represented by Titusville–based Space Coast Advertising Consortium. Wendy Ellis, the agency's president stated, "it's an honor and a pleasure to be a part of their public outreach efforts. Anytime you have an organization whose reputation for customer service is outstanding as Space Coast Area Transit's is, it creates an effective partnership. Jim Liesenfelt, the Director of Space Coast Area Transit said that "being recognized for having effective community outreach was very gratifying, however, passenger safety has always been the number one priority. To be acknowledged as having one of the top safety records in all of Florida is a tribute to all the Space Coast Area Transit employees who work hard every day to provide mobility to our residents, in the safest possible manner," he said.

      For printable maps and schedules, log on to RideSCAT.com or for further information, call 633–1878.


      October 8, 2010
      Dr. Heidar Heshmati, Director of Brevard County Health Department Issues Mosquito–Borne Disease Alert for Brevard County

      Alert for Mosquito–borne Diseases

      BREVARD COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT ISSUES ALERT FOR MOSQUITO–BORNE ILLNESS

      Brevard County has one blood and CSF confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in a 48 year old female. The female displayed West Nile Virus symptoms. Symptoms of West Nile infection may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. The patient has shown some improvement, however remains in ICU. She has been in the hospital since October 11, 2010 The risk of transmission to humans has increased. We continue to have an increase in mosquito–borne disease activity in Brevard County. Our sentinel chicken flocks continue to test positive for West Nile virus.

      Although temperatures have been cooler, the potential for West Nile virus transmission remains. While mosquito activity slows with cool temperatures, it does not stop the risk of disease transmission to humans. Physicians should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual may meet the case definition for a mosquito–borne illness. Department of Health Laboratories provides testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito–borne disease.

      Brevard County Health Department reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that may cause encephalitis disease. Brevard County Mosquito Control is stepping up its mosquito control prevention efforts. Everyone is encouraged to take basic precautions to limit exposure by following the recommendations of the Department of Health.

      To protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember the "5Ds":

      • Dusk and Dawn –– Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
      • Dress –– Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
      • DEET –– When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET (N,N–diethyl–meta–toluamide, or N,N–diethyl–3–methylbenzamide) are recommended. Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are other repellent options. Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
      • Drainage –– Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

      Elimination of breeding sites is one of the keys to prevention.
      Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites

      • Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
      • Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain.
      • Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
      • Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
      • Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water.
      • Pump out bilges on boats.
      • Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
      • Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
      • Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.

      CONTACT: Heidar Heshmati, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
      PHONE: (321) 454–7111


      May 10, 2010

      Brevard Animal Shelters Seek Volunteer Dog Walkers

      TITUSVILLE & MELBOURNE, Fla. –– Brevard County Animal Services & Enforcement is seeking volunteers to walk dogs at the Titusville and Melbourne shelters.

      Volunteer dog walkers provide the daily exercise, affection and socialization that confined dogs need to stay healthy, happy and adoptable. Because dogs that enter the shelters have to be confined to cages, the isolation and restricted activity can cause health and behavior problems that affect the dogs' quality of life, behavior, and chances for adoption.

      Applicants interested in becoming volunteer dog walkers must attend a few basic animal handling classes which will be provided. Orientation and training classes will be announced. Applications can be picked up at either one of the animal shelters or downloaded from http://www.brevardanimalservices.com (volunteer program).

      Schedules for walking dogs are extremely flexible during regular business hours. Volunteers can help make a difference in the lives of homeless dogs in their community.

      For more information please contact volunteer coordinator Mary Thompson at 321–633–2024 or at m.thompson@brevardcounty.us


      March 31, 2011

      Brevard County Libraries offer Notary Services

      BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Due to increasing demand, Brevard County libraries will offer notary services at all public libraries throughout the county beginning April 1.

      The charge for witnessing signatures on documents is $2 per seal; the service is available to both patrons and visitors. A library card is not required.

      To use the service, inquire at the library's reference desk.

      Notary services are expected to generate nearly $100,000 to help fund library budgets.


      November 23, 2010

      Thanksgiving Safety Tips From Brevard County Fire Rescue

      (Brevard County, FL) –– Thanksgiving Day has more than double the number of home cooking fires than an average day according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). In fact, each year more than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day.

      Brevard County Fire Rescue would like to urge residents to be cautious in the kitchen and to take action to prevent a home fire this holiday season.

      It is easy to become wrapped up in entertaining guests, but it is important to remember to monitor meal preparation closely as most cooking fires start because cooking has been left unattended.

      Here are some tips from Brevard County Fire Rescue to keep your kitchen safe on Thanksgiving and every other day.

      • Safety first when deep frying your turkey. According to Underwriters Laboratories, "nearly 1,450 residential structure fires in the U.S. occur on Thanksgiving, causing an average of 15 fatalities, about 40 injuries and nearly $21 million in residential property damage." If you plan to use a turkey fryer this season, Brevard County Fire Rescue strongly recommends that you follow all manufacturer guidelines regarding the use of these appliances.
      • Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking. Most fires in the kitchen occur because food is left unattended. While it's difficult to stay in the kitchen the whole time the turkey's in the oven, if you've got burners or the broiler going, you should be there.
      • Keep the range free of clutter. Don't overload a range top with too many pots and pans. Turn the handles of pots and pans in, but away from hot burners.
      • Use thick, dry, flame–resistant potholders when handling lids and pans. Not dish towels, not sweatshirt sleeves pulled down over your hand. When removing pot and pan lids, tilt them away from you to protect your face and hands from steam.
      • Never wear loose fitting clothing when cooking. Long, open sleeves could ignite and catch fire from a gas flame or a hot burner. Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. If you have long hair, be sure to tie it back.
      • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area. If possible, it's best to keep them out of the kitchen altogether while you're cooking.
      • Never disconnect a smoke alarm while cooking. Remember that smoke alarms save lives, but only if used correctly.

      In The Event of a Fire:

      • With small fires, prevent flame spread. For a small range–top fire, turn off the burner, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid onto the pan. Leave the lid in place until the pot or pan is cooled. Never pour water on a grease fire. That can cause it to spread. Never carry the pan outside—you could spread flames throughout the house. If you have an oven fire, immediately turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
      • Call for help. If you can't immediately extinguish the fire yourself, leave your home, call 9–1–1 and wait in a safe place until emergency personnel arrive.


      October 22, 2010

      Brevard County Expands Use of Social Media

      VIERA, Fla. – In an effort to reach more citizens with Brevard County government's news, information and events, the County has expanded its use of social media to include a new Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BrevardCountyGovt.

      The County's Communications department has used social media since early 2009, beginning with a Twitter account (@BrevardEOC) for emergency management announcements and updates.

      Additional Brevard County department– and topic–specific Facebook and Twitter accounts have been created and utilized, and a social media policy was approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

      "This is another tool in our toolbox to help connect local government with citizens," said Communications Director Kimberly Prosser. "The average person is not going to visit the County website on a daily basis, to see what's new. But if they are already on Facebook or Twitter, they can easily see those little updates that are being posted, and read further if they're interested."

      The use of social media figured significantly in a recent national award the County received from the City–County Communications & Marketing Association for "Most Creative Activity with Least Dollars Spent." The SaveSpace effort has more than 450 Twitter followers and nearly 19,000 Facebook fans.

      According to the Pew Research Center, 79% of American adults use the internet, 67% have visited a government website, and 61% participate in online social networking sites. [http://www.pewinternet.org/Trend–Data/Online–Activites–Total.aspx]


      October 21, 2010

      Brevard's Recycling Program Expands to Include Cardboard, Aerosol Cans, Aluminum Foil & Printer Cartridges

      VIERA, Fla. – Residents in unincorporated Brevard County now have the ability to recycle an expanded number of items, including cardboard, via their curbside recycling bins.

      Through the county's newest recycling contract, residents may now recycle milk and juice cartons, paper towel and toilet tissue rolls, paperboard food boxes, corrugated cardboard boxes, empty aerosol cans, aluminum foil and food pans.

      These products join the list of currently collected items: newspapers, magazines, catalogs, office paper, junk mail, envelopes of all types, telephone books, brown paper bags, aluminum and steel cans, glass bottles and jars, and plastic bottles (including caps and pumps). All of these items can be mixed together in one container, saving both time and recycling bins.

      In addition, printer cartridges can be placed in a clear bag and placed on top of the items in the recycling bin for collection.

      "Recycling is the most convenient way for residents to help preserve not only landfill space, but also our planet," said Pam Shoemaker, Brevard recycling coordinator. "All you have to do is carry your bin to the curb."

      For more information, or to request a free recycling bin, visit www.brevardcounty.us/swr or call the Recycling Hotline at (321) 633–2043.


      July 1, 2010

      Guardian ad Litem Training Offered

      VIERA, Fla. –– Brevard County's Guardian ad Litem program will offer training for new volunteers next month in Viera.

      Guardian ad Litems are volunteers who speak in the best interest of children in dependency court. When a child is removed from their home for allegations of abuse, abandonment or neglect, within 24 hours the claim is taken in front of a judge and if the concern is valid, the court assigns a Guardian ad Litem. The program has 30 days to find a trained, certified volunteer who will oversee the case.

      Guardian ad Litems are not foster parents; they cannot transport the children or families. They must visit the children a minimum of once a month and will go to court to speak on the child's behalf, on average every 90 to 120 days.

      The Guardian ad Litem will talk with parents, caregivers, friends, schools, or anyone else who can tell them what is going on with the child. It is not a time–consuming position, and most of the time, working on the case can be done at their leisure.

      Volunteers must be 19 years of age, never have had a felony, pass the background screens and take the training of 30 hours for certification. This free volunteer training is offered four times per year.

      For more information, call (321) 690–6823 or visit www.brevardcounty.us/guardian–ad–litem.


      January 19, 2010

      Transportation Planning Organization Offers E–News

      VIERA, Fla. – The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization is pleased to announce E–News, a free electronic e–mail flyer designed to keep citizens informed of transportation issues, upcoming meetings and other transportation–related information on the Space Coast.

      To receive free Transportation E–News editions, sign up at www.spacecoasttpo.com. For more information, call the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization office at (321)690–6890.






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