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This weekend, thousands of children in Brevard County will receive free school supplies

This weekend, thousands of children in Brevard County will receive free school supplies

Thousands of Brevard County children are set to receive school supplies and the tools they need to succeed — for free.

  • Back to school event to provide 2,000 students with supplies
  • Volunteers packed boxes Monday in preparation for event
  • Free supplies include pens, pencils, notebooks

Organizers say an annual school supplies giveaway this weekend is crucial to helping fight poverty in the county. Volunteers packed dozens of boxes today, preparing for the annual back-to-school giveaway.

“Here in Brevard County, we have 37,000 students that qualify for free or reduced lunches. That’s over half of our students in public school. So we want to make sure they have the supplies they need to succeed in school,” organizer and school zone manager Elizabeth Schreiber said.

Some 2,000 students will receive a backpack full of notebooks, pencils, pens and other necessary back-to-school supplies.

Even though this is an annual event, many people don’t realize how important this event is for the community.

“You think of Brevard County as this nice, middle-class community, but just this past school year, we had 2,000 students who were registered as homeless, and we have so many students who can’t even afford lunch,” Schreiber said. “That’s why we do this every year. If these families are struggling to buy food, we need to help them to get the tools they need to do well in school and break that cycle of poverty.”

The event takes place Saturday at the Clearlake Education Gym in Cocoa. They’ll start handing out backpacks at 9 a.m.

“It’s just so nice to see those students who are just so excited about getting a new pencil or backpack, something we took for granted as kids,” Schreiber said.

Students who attend the giveaway will also receive a hot lunch. Attendees must to register before the giveaway Saturday.

Article Credit Caitlin Wilson, CFNews13 – Complete Article [ HERE ]


McLEAN, Va. – July 27, 2016 – It’s entirely possible that interest rates hit all-time lows this month that will never again be seen in our lifetimes, as many are now proclaiming.

If so, since bond prices move down when rates rise, bond values will never be as high as they were a few weeks ago.

But it’s worth remembering that past major market turning points were not recognized as such at the time by the vast majority of investors. This is a general truth that applies to all investment arenas, not just the bond market.

Consider the number of declarations over the last several years that interest rates had finally hit their all-time lows – and, therefore, bond prices had hit their all-time highs. Among the several hundred advisers and market timers I monitor, for example, an enormous amount of money has been lost by those confidently arguing that the markets were at just such a juncture. True to form, rates just kept going down – and down.

When interest rates do finally hit their lows, chances are good that few will be confidently forecasting a trend reversal. So we should be taking with an appropriate grain of salt the number of current pronouncements of just such a reversal.

A walk down memory lane can be helpful in appreciating these aspects of market psychology. Take the mood in September 1981, which turned out to be the month in which interest rates hit their all-time high. That month, for example, the yield on the 10-Year Treasury Note hit 15.8 percent. Over the century prior, the 10-year yield had never gotten above 10 percent.

Not surprisingly, as that yield in the late 1970s and early 1980s started to rise above 10 percent, bond market timers fell over themselves confidently declaring that rates couldn’t go any higher. Writing just a couple of weeks before the September 1981 peak, the late Richard Russell, then-editor of the Dow Theory Letters advisory service, commented on the widespread failure of those predictions. “If it wasn’t so pathetic, so insane, it would be comical,” he wrote. “You’d think the forecaster would show some sense of embarrassment, some shame” over his continued failures. But, instead, he lamented, most just keep repeating the same forecasts.

One of the very few advisers who got it right in fall 1981 was Dan Seiver, editor of an advisory service called The PAD System Report. In October of that year he initiated a big bet on lower interest rates by investing in U.S. Treasuries within just a couple of weeks of the bond market’s all-time low. Seiver, who is an emeritus professor of economics at Miami (Ohio) University and a lecturer in economics at Cal Poly State University, tells me in an interview that his bet paid off so handsomely that it paid for his daughter’s tuition at Yale University.

Despite having that great call to his credit, Seiver today has given up trying to predict the final end of the interest rate decline that began then. He tried making just such a bet in early 2009, when the 10-year T-Note yield was below 3.0 percent. By December 2011, when that yield had fallen to 2.0 percent, he threw in the towel.

The 10-year yield today stands at 1.57 percent, having dropped to 1.37 percent this month.

Seiver says the situation today is not analogous to what prevailed in September 1981.

“Then, it was clear that the Fed was going to cause a recession to bring down inflation. So interest rates would sooner or later return to ‘normal,'” he told me.

Today, in contrast, “the Fed is about as befuddled as the rest of us” and, as a result, the time frame over which interest rates will return to “normal” could be a lot longer than we think.

Mark Hulbert, founder of the Hulbert Financial Digest, has been tracking investment advisers’ performances for four decades. For more information, email him at or go to

Article Credit Mark Hulbert, USA Today, Complete Article [ HERE ]

SpaceX's Dragon capsule launches, Wednesday, May 6, 2015, from Cape Canaveral, Fla. SpaceX fired the mock-up capsule to test the new, super-streamlined launch escape system for astronauts. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP) (Red Huber / AP)

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule launches, Wednesday, May 6, 2015, from Cape Canaveral, Fla. SpaceX fired the mock-up capsule to test the new, super-streamlined launch escape system for astronauts. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP) (Red Huber / AP)

SpaceX will now handle two rotations of astronauts from the International Space Station, NASA announced Friday.

The space agency said in a release that the Hawthorne, Calif.-based space company had landed its second rotation, matching Boeing.

The multiple carriers means “reliable access to the station on American spacecraft and rockets,” said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, in a release.

Lueders said SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s  Crew Space Transportation-100 vehicles will remain at the station, serving as a “life boat” there for up to seven months.

NASA’s had previously awarded SpaceX an astronaut launch in its Commercial Crew Transportation Contract in November. Boeing, meanwhile, received its orders in May 2015 and in December.

“We’re making great progress with Crew Dragon, with qualification of our docking adapter and initial acceptance testing of the pressure vessel qualification unit completed” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and chief operating officer, in the release. “We appreciate the trust NASA has placed in SpaceX with the order of another crew mission and look forward to flying astronauts from American soil next year.”

NASA has yet to determine which provider, SpaceX or Boeing, will receive the first flight of astronauts into space from U.S. soil. However, each of the company’s contracts allow for up to six flights.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been retooling one of the launch pads on Florida’s Space Coast with necessary hardware for crewed missions.


Nine Merlin 1D engines pushing more than a million pounds of thrust set the stage for SpaceX’s first re-flying of a used first stage. Restraints kept the thundering engines from lifting the rocket off the ground.

Yep, those look a bit stronger than the restraints I use to keep my kayak from flying off my truck.

There and back again

On May 6th, the rocket seen above shot into the skies above Cape Canaveral, Florida to deliver the JCSAT 14 communications satellite into an elliptical geostationary transfer orbit more than 22,000 miles above Earth.

A couple of minutes after liftoff, the first stage detached and began SpaceX’s secondary mission – landing the rocket on a barge off the Atlantic coast.

In pitch black darkness, the first stage rocket deployed its grid fins and fired its Merlin engines.


After the landing, SpaceX engineers inspected the rocket and shipped it off to SpaceX’s Texas facility. Fast forward a couple of months and the rocket’s engines came to life once more. But this rocket won’t fly again.

Did You Know: This isn’t the first re-firing of a Falcon 9 rocket. Almost a month after SpaceX landed their first rocket, they conducted a static fire test and reported a good outcome.

SpaceX Sets Ambitious First Flight to Mars in 2018

When will a re-used Falcon 9 head up again? No word from SpaceX, but SpaceNews’ Jeff Foust tweeted this.

United Launch Alliance on Thursday celebrated its 109th successful launch, as one of its Atlas V rockets hoisted a classified payload into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office.


A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the NROL-61 satellite is poised for blastoff from the pad at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 28, 2016. Credit: Ken Kremer/

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the NROL-61 satellite is poised for blastoff from the pad at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 28, 2016. Credit: Ken Kremer/

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL — The nation’s newest surveillance satellite is all set for a brilliant breakfast blastoff on Thursday July 28 atop a powerful Atlas V rocket from the Florida Space Coast – and both the booster and weather are in excellent shape at this time!

The goal is carry the top secret NROL-61 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to an undisclosed orbit which in support of US national defense and vital to US national security.

The NROL-61 mission is set to lift off on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket on Thursday morning July 28 from Space Launch Comple-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

In an uncommon move, ULA and the military have announced the launch time is 8:37 a.m. EDT.

Virtually everything about the clandestine payload, its mission, purpose and goals are classified top secret.

The NRO is the government agency that runs a vast fleet of powerful orbital assets hosting a multitude of the most advanced, wide ranging and top secret capabilities.

The most recent NRO payload, known as NROL 37, was just launched by ULA last month on their Delta IV Heavy – the most powerful rocket in the world on June 11 – read my story here.

The excitement is building with the launch just a day away and visitors are checking into local area hotels hoping for a magnificent show from the venerable Atlas rocket with a perfect record of launch performance.

ULA managers completed the Launch Readiness Review and everything “is on track for launch.”

So you can now plan your day and watch Thursday’s launch live via a ULA broadcast which starts 20 minutes prior to the given launch time at 8:17 a.m. EDT.

Webcast links:


Better yet if you are free and mobile you can watch this truly impressive feat with your own eyes by making your way to the many excellent viewing locations surrounding Cape Canaveral in every direction.

Here’s the rather cool ULA mission art with a webcast link.

ULA Webcast info for launch of Atlas V NROL-61 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on July 28, 2016. Credit: ULA/NRO

ULA Webcast info for launch of Atlas V NROL-61 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on July 28, 2016. Credit: ULA/NRO

The NROL-61 patch depicts a green lizard, Spike, riding an Atlas V launch vehicle from CCAFS

The Florida weather outlook is looking quite promising at this time rather favorable. Air Force meteorologists are predicting an 80 percent chance of ‘GO’ with favorable weather conditions for Thursdays breakfast time blastoff.

The primary weather concern is for Cumulus Clouds.

In the event of a scrub delay for any reason, a backup launch opportunity exists on Friday, July 29. The weather odds are the same at 80% GO!

The rocket should put on a spectacular sky show since it is equipped with a pair of powerful solid rocket boosters spewing fire and an expanding plume of smoke and ash as is soars to orbit!

The Atlas rocket and payload were rolled put to launch pad 41 as planned Tuesday morning, July 26 – for a distance of about 1800 feet from the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) where the rocket and payload were assembled, out to the pad.

It is now visibly erect at the pad from a number of viewing locations including Titusville and Playalinda Beach – positioned in between four lightning masts for protection from lightening.

Here’s a detailed mission profile video describing the launch events:

The NROL-61 mission counts as ULA’s sixth launch of 2016 and the 109th overall since the company was founded in 2006.

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the NROL-61 satellite is poised for blastoff from the pad at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 28, 2016. Credit: Ken Kremer/

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the NROL-61 satellite is poised for blastoff from the pad at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 28, 2016. Credit: Ken Kremer/

The 20 story tall Atlas V will launch in its 421 configuration – the same as what will be used for manned launches with the crewed Boeing ‘Starliner’ space taxi carrying astronaut crews to the International Space Station.

This will be the sixth Atlas V to launch in the 421 configuration.

The Atlas 421 vehicle includes a 4-meter diameter payload fairing and two solid rocket boosters that augment the first stage. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine.

The RD-180 burns RP-1 (Rocket Propellant-1 or highly purified kerosene) and liquid oxygen and delivers 860,200 lb of thrust at sea level.

The strap on solids deliver approximately 500,000 pounds of thrust.

The solids will be jettisoned about 2 minutes after liftoff

The possible roles for the reconnaissance payload include signals intelligence, eavesdropping, imaging and spectroscopic observations, early missile warnings and much more.

The NRO was formed in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik and secretly created on September 6, 1961.

“The purpose is overseeing all satellite and overflight reconnaissance projects whether overt or covert. The existence of the organization is no longer classified today, but we’re still pressing to perform the functions necessary to keep American citizens safe,” according to the official NRO website.

Watch for Ken’s continuing on site reports direct from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Kennedy Space Center and the ULA Atlas launch pad.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Ken Kremer

Article Credit Ken Kremer, Via Universe Today – Complete Article [ HERE ]

Florida Tech

Florida Tech


Florida Tech’s Scott Center for Autism Treatment is partnering with local law enforcement on how to better respond to calls involving autistic people.

That four-hour training session, which begins next month, will be just a start.

The Scott Center for Autism Treatment plans to allow law enforcement around the state to access the same training online.

“Individuals with autism have communications deficits, language deficits, they may not understand what they’re being told, or the importance of the situation,” said Dr. Michael Kelley, the center’s executive director.

Kelley said part of the mission here is to help those who don’t know about autism to understand it better. That includes members of law enforcement.

“They might encounter a situation with an individual with autism that might be very ambiguous. And the more prepared officers are, the more safe interaction may be,” said Kelley.

Kelley said he saw a prime example of that in North Miami, where a caregiver was recently shot trying to assist an autistic man. Rockledge police officers went through training involving autism 18 months ago.

The department is partnering with the center to offer similar training at the law enforcement academy on the campus of Eastern Florida State College.

“The best that we can do is hope (that) by recognizing some of the symptoms, we know to approach it differently,” said Lt. Donna Seyferth, of the Rockledge Police Department.

Richard Michael and his wife have 4-year-old triplets with autism. They’re developing better communication skills at the Scott Center, but still run the spectrum.

“But if you could have it on the other end with law enforcement across the state becoming more sensitized to understand there may be things they don’t come across, but may have to deal with because of autism,” Michael said.

The first session is scheduled for August 24.

Article by Cox Media Group, via WFTV 9 Orlando – Complete article [ HERE ]

Royal Caribbean announced some major changes in ship deployment including the arrival of Oasis of the Seas to Port Canaveral in 2016.

It will be the first time an Oasis-class ship has used a U.S. home port other than Port Everglades. Oasis of the Seas and sister ship Allure of the Seas have called the Fort Lauderdale port home since their debuts in 2008 and 2009.

“It’s great for Canaveral. There’s no doubt that as an organization they worked very hard to earn Royal Caribbean’s business,” said cruise expert Stewart Chiron, also known as The Cruise Guy. “That ship is a prize. That ship has global bragging rights.”

The ships are the largest in the world, at 225,000 gross tons. The line is building two more Oasis-class ships, and the newest, the Harmony of the Seas, will be taking Oasis’ place at Port Everglades alongside Allure of the Seas.

Article By Orlando Sentinel, Complete Article [ HERE ]

Live long, prosper and go to Mars. That was the message Saturday night at the Apollo 11 anniversary gala hosted by iconic “Star Trek” actor George Takei and legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Held underneath the rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V center, some of the biggest names in space and space culture challenged a crowd of about 250 people to “boldly go where no one’s gone.” Wochit

An ailing 2-year-old Palm Bay boy got a big assist from the community on Saturday at a fundraiser held at the El Sombrero restaurant in Palm Bay.

Anderson Jet Joseph Demarest, better known as A.J., suffers from a rare disease called Multi-minicore Congenital Myopathy, which impacts the muscles and developmental parts of a child. In addition, he has an immunodeficiency disease and he’ll soon have to visit doctors in an attempt to help with recent issues involving his kidneys.

Nonetheless, A.J. has proven to be a fighter, looking and acting like any boy his age.

“He is doing tremendous,” said his mother, Courtney Marie-Ruth Bemis-Warner.

Still, the treatment is proving to be expensive, which is where the money raised at Saturday’s fundraiser helps so much. At the event, bounce houses, face painting and Manny the Manatee, mascot of the Brevard County Manatees, provided the entertainment. Raffles were also held, which she said had raised nearly $200.

In addition, personnel from Be The Match and One Blood were also on hand to solicit donors of bone marrow and blood. A.J. may need a bone marrow transplant in the future but Bemis-Warner says she’s hoping that if A.J. doesn’t need it, someone else can benefit. She added that he also could need platelets and “different kinds of blood materials” and portable blood from people they know in the event of surgeries.

Ron Hempel, a volunteer with Be The Match and A.J.’s neighbor, said there were at least six who signed up to be bone marrow donors.

He also noted the success of the blood drive.

“The blood drive was awesome,” added Hempel. “They actually had a long wait. I was in the bus for almost two hours waiting for my turn to go in, too.”

“We didn’t have to recruit,” said Janet Sitkowski, team leader in donor services with OneBlood. “People come out, they see an event, that’s what brings the donors out, especially ones that benefit for a child. The community wants to step up, especially for a child, a sick child.”

Those interested in helping out A.J. should visit A.J.’s Platoon page on Facebook.

Contact Bonanno at 321-242-3662, or follow Chris on Twitter @FTChrisBonanno

Article by Florida Today, Complete Article [ HERE ]