Out2News Local

The Fort Pierce Redevelopment Agency Launches its Commercial Sign Grant Program

23 Sept Commercial Sign

City of Fort Pierce - As part of its commitment to increase local business awareness, economic productivity, and overall visual appeal, the Fort Pierce Redevelopment Agency (FPRA) is launching a Commercial Sign Reimbursement Grant Program. This program encourages property owners to upgrade their signage and replace old, outdated, worn signs with new, modern, visually appealing signs. Upgraded signage is more aesthetically appealing for residents and visitors throughout our community and increases brand exposure of businesses which improves their chances of new customer acquisition and retention.

The FPRA Commercial Sign Reimbursement Program is set to launch TODAY, September 20, 2023. The program provides financial assistance by offering a reimbursable grant of up to $5,000 per property. This grant is being offered to existing businesses and can be used towards a new sign or to upgrade an existing sign.

The property must be located within the FPRA District to be eligible for this program (please see the FPRA boundary map below). The funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are expended.

For an application and a complete list of eligibility requirements, please visit: https://choosefortpierce.com/969/FPRA-Incentive-Program

For more information about the FPRA Commercial Sign Reimbursement Grant Program, please call 772-467-3786 or email fpra@cityoffortpierce.com

23 Sept Ft Pierce boundary

The Treasure Coast's Premier Food and Spirits Event Big Taste of Martin County Returns October 10th to Atlantic Aviation

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Photos by Liz McKinley

Martin County – The Big Taste of Martin County is presented by Publix Super Markets Charities as an annual fundraising event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach & Martin Counties will be Tuesday, October 10, 2023, from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at Atlantic Aviation located at 2501 SE Aviation Way.

The premier food and spirits event returns bigger than ever; guests will enjoy culinary treats from local restaurants and craft breweries and taste and sample spirits, culminating in an event like no other for a good cause. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase VIP tables for four people, including early access to the event beginning at 5 p.m., receive a goodie bag, and extra raffle tickets. VIP tables are limited, so advance purchase is encouraged. This exclusive event will include tastings from Hudsons on the River a silent auction, and guests will participate in the voting process to select their favorite menu items from area restaurants.

It will feature delicious foods from local restaurants, featuring appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. Guests will experience an array of drinks from local breweries such as Sailfish Brewing Co., Noxx & Dunn, Motorworks Brewing Co., and more. Get a taste and sampling of wines, liquor, and food from more than twenty restaurants of all cuisines throughout and surrounding Martin County. Restaurants include Ellie’s Downtown Deli, Culvers of Stuart, Berry Fresh, Stringers Tavern & Oyster Bar, and Cochõn Cafe to name a few. There will be so much to enjoy in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Guests will also enjoy a chance to win fabulous prizes in the raffle! The online auction opens October 3 through October 10 and will include incredible items and experiences, including theme park tickets such as Kennedy Space Center and a 7-night getaway to the Caribbean courtesy of Elite Island Resorts.

“The Big Taste helps us raise awareness of the mission, reach potential mentors, and reengage our alumni Bigs and Littles in the community,” said Yvette Flores, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Thanks to the Doris M. Carter Family Foundation, a $15,000 Matching Gift Campaign is officially launched. The public is invited to help Big Brothers Big Sisters raise $15,000 to gain the additional $15,000. The goal is to raise the first $15,000 by October 10. There are several ways to support this campaign: attend the Big Taste of Martin County and buy raffle tickets, bid on the silent auction items, or make a tax-deductible donation at mentorbig.org.

Sponsors Include Publix Super Markets Charities, Rehmann, Philip DeBerard Injury Attorney, Morgan Stanley Samantha Waggon, Branch Manager, Go Local Electric LLC, First Horizon, FIS Outdoor, Terrance Riley Irrigation, Bayview Construction, Good Greek Total Relocation Systems, FPL, Sunbelt Rentals, Hunter Industries, Inc., Impact Landscaping and Irrigation, Leavy Law, P.A., Salon Appearances, Southern Style Windo and Door, South Florida Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, My Living Magazine, Jupiter and Stuart Magazines, and Hubbard Radio.

Tickets: Tickets are $70 for general admission, and guests wanting to buy tickets on the day of the event are $85 at the door. Reserved VIP tables will also be available. Guests may purchase VIP tables for $500. VIP tables include exclusive early entrance access for four people to our VIP Party with catered.tastings from Hudsons on the River, a reserved table with four chairs, two drinks tickets, bonus raffle items, and a complimentary gift bag. A VIP table includes four tickets, a complimentary gift bag, and bonus raffle tickets. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased online at http://mentorbig.org/events, visit http://bigtaste.givesmart.com, or TEXT Big Taste to 76278.

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Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing Earns TOP Honors at Visit Florida's 2023 Flagler Awards

23 August MC Discover

Stuart – The Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing was recently honored to win a total of five prestigious Flagler Awards during the 2023 Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held last week in Orlando, Florida.

The team won the first place Best of Show Henry Award (annual budget category between $500,000 and $2 million) for their color-changing direct mail pieces. The tactic was part of their larger “Mood for Martin” marketing campaign, which enabled potential visitors to curate custom itineraries based on their interests and proved “no matter your mood, you’re always in the mood for Martin.”

The Discover Martin team also won two coveted Silver Flagler Awards: one in the Radio Advertising category for their promotion of the Treasure Coast Songwriters Festival, and the other in the Direct Marketing category for their Mood for Martin direct mailers. They rounded out their accolades with a Bronze Flagler Award in the Niche Marketing category for their “Martin Memories” holiday campaign, and another Bronze prize in the Internet Advertising category for their “Summer of Fun” campaign developed in partnership with Atlanta Magazine.

“It’s always a tremendous honor to be recognized by VISIT FLORIDA at the Flagler Awards,” said Nerissa Okiye, Tourism Director of Martin County. “The Sunshine State boasts some of the most innovative, creative, and resilient marketing professionals in the tourism industry, so we are thrilled to see our work celebrated alongside the best of the best in Florida.”

Named for Henry Flagler, the Flagler Awards were established by VISIT FLORIDA in 2000 to recognize outstanding tourism marketing in Florida. The Flagler Awards honor the individuals and organizations that help maintain and improve Florida’s position as one of the world’s most popular travel destinations.

As in previous years, the 2023 Flagler Awards drew entries from Florida’s tourism partners, large and small. Working independently, a diverse panel of thirteen judges evaluated the creativity, innovation, production quality, and effectiveness of each entry. Based on the judges’ cumulative scores, awards were presented to the top three entries in each category.

“We are extremely proud of the work we produced over the past year and remain humbled by these accolades,” says Ian Centrone, Tourism Program Manager for Martin County. “Our destination is a very special place, and we could not have achieved these results without the ongoing support of our partners, the Martin County Tourist Development Council, and our local stakeholders.”

For a full list of the 2023 Flagler Award winners, visit the VISIT FLORIDA website here.

22 July BIG Pinders
23 Sept CCKids Toy Drive

Port St. Lucie Police Department Participates in High Visibility Enforcement Program to Improve Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

21 Nov PSL Police

Port St. Lucie - Unfortunately, St. Lucie County ranks in the top 25 counties in Florida for traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. To help reverse this trend, the Port St. Lucie Police Department is participating in the Florida Department of Transportation High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) Program aimed at educating motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on Florida’s traffic laws to improve safety on local roads.

Starting this month through May 2024, the Port St. Lucie Police Department will have additional officers on patrol at specific corridors with a high occurrence of pedestrian and bicyclist crashes.

SW Gatlin Boulevard from I95 to SW Fondura Blvd
SE Floresta Drive from Crosstown Parkway to SE Verada Avenue

Special attention will be directed towards increasing awareness of the dangerous behaviors that are contributing to serious and fatal injuries at these locations. Officers will look for drivers speeding, failing to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, conducting improper turns or signal violations, and using hand-held devices while driving.

Officers also will watch for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to motorists who have right-of-way. Bicyclists will be stopped for riding against traffic, riding at night without lights or not abiding by the same laws as motor vehicles. Officers will issue warnings and citations when appropriate.

“Whether you are on foot, behind the wheel, or on a bike, you have a responsibility to share the road safely,” said Port St. Lucie Police Chief Richard Del Toro. “Understanding the rules of the road helps ensure we all arrive at our destination safely and makes our streets safer for everyone.”

Funding for this program is provided through a contract with the University of North Florida’s Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM), funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. The Port St. Lucie Police Department will receive funds for overtime hours for officers to conduct operations and for special training on Florida’s bicycle and pedestrian laws, procedures, and best practices.

To keep the public safe, the Port St. Lucie Police Department offers the following tips when biking, driving, or walking:

Drivers: obey speed limits, never drive impaired, and always watch for pedestrians and bicyclists
Bicyclists: obey traffic laws, ride in the direction of traffic, and use lights when riding at night
Pedestrians: cross in crosswalks or at intersections, obey pedestrian signals, and make sure you are visible to drivers when walking at night.

23 July Voters
23 Sept Community Connect 2

Roses and Rose’ to Benefit Catch the Wave of Hope

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In Photo: Roses and Rose’ committee members Sarah Marie Henry, CTWH Executive Director; Bonnie Gorman; Nicole Vosters; Fida Georges, Event Chair; Gia Skoch, Kelly Laurine - CTWH Board Chair and Michelle Campolong

Article by: Jackie Holfelder / Photo by: Catch the Wave of Hope
An upscale luncheon on November 9 at the popular Hudson’s on the River will benefit Catch the Wave of Hope (CTWH), the nonprofit with a mission to prevent the sex trafficking of children through awareness, education, restoration and legislation.
CTWH is impacting the community as it shares information, debunks myths and brings local experts into conversations with the public to better prepare everyone to recognize the inherent dangers in this heinous crime.
Roses and Rose’ will be nothing short of fabulous: a light lunch featuring Hudson’s enticing food, complimentary rose’ and no speakers, vendors, fashion show or silent or live auctions! Step into the photo booth that will be on site and take fun photos with your friends who are attending.
A handful of high-ticket items like a Louis Vuitton purse and unique staycation packages will be raffled and Catch the Wave of Hope’s knowledgeable and personable Executive Director Sarah Marie Henry will offer a short briefing on Catch the Wave of Hope.
Tickets are $125 per person and must be pre-purchased. Roses and Rose’ starts at 11 a.m. and will end at 1:30 p.m. Brunch attire is suggested and fascinators are optional. To purchase your ticket, visit www.catchthewaveofhope.org/upcoming-events. Seating is limited.
Sponsorships between $500-$5,000 are still available. Join such prestigious local businesses as Hudson's on the River, Elevate Vero Beach, Foto Fun Photobooths, Black Sheep Salon, Albany Aesthetics, Pirate Firearms LLC, Rosi Shepard Real Estate, Mi Creations & Events, DJ Louise G Entertainment, Flowers by Silvia, Pasta by Pollo, Laura Leighton Real Estate, Vosters Insurance, Circle 6 Consulting, Ship Camps, Romagosa Barron Dermatology and Stuart Periodontics who have already signed on to be part of this important event.
Hudson’s on the River is located at 351 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart.
To learn more about Catch the Wave of Hope, visit www.catchthewaveofhope.org or email Sarah Marie Henry at sarahmarie.henry@catchthewaveofhope.org

Treasure Coast Hospice Achieves National Recognition through Quality Connections Program

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In Photo: VP of Quality and Education Shannon Cooper, RN, MPH, CHPN.

Demonstrating commitment to providing the highest quality care for the hospice community

Stuart – Treasure Coast Hospice announced today that it has achieved recognition by earning four rings in the 2023 Quality Connections program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Quality Connections is the only national program designed to support hospice and palliative care providers’ delivery of high-quality, person-centered care.

Quality Connections is structured around four fundamental pillars, which are represented by four rings: Education, Application, Measurement, and Innovation. Quality Connections participants are required to achieve milestones within defined timeframes by participating in activities such as quarterly data reporting and benchmarking, educational courses, case studies, and engagement on emerging issues; all of which serve to promote high-quality care delivery and service excellence. Achievement in the program is measured by completing activities within each of the four foundational areas, culminating in the closure of up to four rings.

Treasure Coast Hospice earned the highest achievement possible by closing four rings and enhancing its quality improvement program by incorporating the newest and best practices in serious illness and end-of-life care.

“Treasure Coast Hospice is honored to be recognized by the NHPCO’s Quality Connections program for our commitment to innovative, patient-centered care,” said VP of Quality and Education Shannon Cooper, RN, MPH, CHPN. “Receiving national recognition is a testament to our team’s dedication to clinical excellence and our mission to provide the highest-quality care to patients and families at the end of life.”

“NHPCO is committed to helping hospice and palliative care providers deliver the best care possible to patients and their loved ones. Quality Connections was created to make the ongoing journey of excellence possible," said NHPCO COO and interim CEO Ben Marcantonio. “The Quality Connections program continues to grow and include broader content and learning opportunities like compliance, palliative care, equity and inclusion that serve our patients and communities across the continuum of serious illness and end-of-life care.”

Learn more about Treasure Coast Hospice at www.TreasureHealth.org.

Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing Wings National Award for Destination Stewardship

21 Oct MC Tourism

Stuart – The Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing was recently honored with the U.S. Travel Association’s Destiny Award for Destination Stewardship, celebrating their new Explore Natural Martin ecotourism program.

Each year, the Destiny Awards recognize excellence in destination marketing on the local and regional level across America. The prestigious award was presented during the annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference, held in Savannah, Georgia.

Explore Natural Martin officially launched on Earth Day 2023. Developed in strategic partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the innovative program encompasses a range of free programming and guided eco-tours throughout Martin County’s beautiful natural areas. Each experience is focused on promoting sustainable tourism practices, environmental stewardship, and ongoing education.

“It’s an incredible honor to see Martin County recognized by the U.S. Travel Association alongside such esteemed destinations from across the country,” says Nerissa Okiye, Martin County Tourism Director. “Our ecotourism program was a passion project years in the making, so it is profoundly rewarding to see our efforts celebrated as the best of the best within the tourism industry. This achievement is a testament to the collective dedication of our team, partners, community members, and the program participants who have all worked to make the important mission of Explore Natural Martin a resounding success."

Martin County’s Mood for Martin campaign was also named a finalist in the Integrated Marketing and Messaging Campaign: Marketing Budget Less Than $1 Million category. The other finalists in the Destination Stewardship category included Destin-Fort Walton Beach in Florida and Sonoma County Tourism in California. Destinations such as the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, New York City Tourism + Conventions, and Visit Myrtle Beach were also recognized as finalists in additional 2023 Destiny Award categories.

"We extend our sincere gratitude to the U.S. Travel Association for recognizing the importance of responsible tourism and destination stewardship," added Ian Centrone, Martin County Tourism Program Manager. "Our plan is to continue growing and evolving Explore Natural Martin, allowing us to help preserve the natural wonders of Martin County for generations to come. We hope this accolade inspires other destinations to replicate our efforts and take a similar proactive approach."

For more information about Explore Natural Martin or to register for a free eco-tour, please visit www.ExploreNaturalMartin.com.

Hibiscus Children’s Center Receives Literacy Grant from United Way of Martin County

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In Photo: CEO Carol Houwaart-Diez and Board Chair Geoff Lieberman of United Way of Martin County presented the generous grant to Michelle King (center), Hibiscus CDO, at the Community Impact Grant Award Celebration.

Photo - Courtesy of Larry Skarsten with Martin Media Group

Martin County - Hibiscus Children’s Center is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a $10,000 grant awarded by United Way of Martin County. This generous grant was awarded for the Hibiscus Literacy Program at the Tilton Family Children’s Shelter and will help ensure children have the resources they need to learn to read and help foster a love of reading that will benefit their entire lives!

The Hibiscus Literacy Program provides individualized assistance and opportunities for the children to strengthen and enhance their academic and emotional development. It also helps to foster a love for reading and provide a fundamental foundation for education. The Literacy Coordinator assesses each child and determines his or her reading vocabulary and comprehension skills, learning styles, and current academic level, then an individual development strategy is implemented that will lead to success. This includes collaboration with staff, therapists, and school personnel. Last year, 100% of children who participated in the Literacy Program improved their reading proficiency.

Hibiscus Children’s Center was pleased to attend the Community Impact Grant Award Celebration and partner with our wonderful community to help improve and strengthen the lives of children and families in Martin County. Hibiscus is grateful to the United Way of Martin County for their partnership and support of the educational needs of our children. For more information about Hibiscus Children’s Center or how you can get involved, please visit us at HibiscusChildrensCenter.org or contact CDO Michelle King at mking@hcc4kids.org.

Wild Gamette Charity Supports Women in Ft. Pierce “Women Helping Women.”

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In Photo: Janelle Reid, Mary Frietas, Fulton Sykes, Quincy Noelke, Donna Qvarnstrom, Kelley Holmes, Elizabeth Privateer, Keanna Mueller, Mitzi Macias and Brittany Clyatt

Article by: Fulton Smith-Sykes / Photos by: MaryAnn Ketcham
On August 2nd at Cobb’s Landing in downtown Ft. Pierce the Wild Gamette Founders and Leadership Committee presented checks to the recipients of the 2022 Charity Fundraiser. The reception was a special occasion to award Checks to the beneficiaries. This year’s women included college bound freshmen and for the second year supporting the Pace Center for Girls and Windsor Imaging Angels. The young women received scholarship monies that will help them financially in their freshman year of college. The recipients were Ariah Hill, Ashley Buchanan and Emmanuella Alix Graduates from Fort Pierce Central High School, Nadia Barco Garcia from Lincoln Park Academy and Jornae Blackburn from St Lucie West Centennial. Each of these young women represent Academic Excellence and Superior Community Involvement. Pace Center for Girls provides a safe and supportive environment for girls to build healthy relationships, plan for their future and overcome histories of trauma. Windsor Imaging Angels provides free Mammograms, Ultrasounds and MRI’s.

“It is a wonderful way for Wild Gamette Charity to support Young Women entering the next phase of their lives and Women Charites that make a difference every day.” Donna Qvarnstrom Co-Founder of the Event.
“We have raised over $80,000 in the last two years to support women in our local community and we look forward to another successful event on October 14.” Kelley Holmes, Co-Founder

This year’s proceeds will benefit the Britney Lee Foundation, a 501c3 sharing the same morals and dedication of the Wild Gamette Committee…. Principles and Beliefs of giving back and supporting women in our community.

The 2023 and third year of the Wild Gamette Charity Event is scheduled for Saturday October 14th at Causeway Cove Marina on Seaway Drive across the south bridge on Hutchinson Island.

Wild Gamette is fully funded by ticket sales, individual donations, sponsorships, donated auction items and bidding for the incredible prizes that are donated. Wild Gamette is a rain or shine event with dancing, food, cocktails, bull riding, games, raffles. Wild Gamette is for Women only, 21 and over.

Tickets are currently on sale and Sponsorship information is available at:

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In Photo: Scholarship recipients- Emma Alix, Ashley Buchanan, Ariah Hill and Jornae Blackburn

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In Photo: Executive Director at Pace Center for Girls Maygan Johnson accepts a check for $5,000 from the Wild Gamette Committee

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In Photo: Mary Freitas and Crystal Samuel at the 2022 Wild Gamette event at Causeway Cove Marina

Gang Intelligence Unit Awards

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The Port St. Lucie Police Department’s Gang Intelligence Unit was selected as the Florida Gang Investigators Association’s “Gang Unit of the Year,” and the recipient of the “William Nealy” Gang Prevention Award.

A/Chief Del Toro, A/Assistant Chief Niemczyk, Commander Swanchak and Lieutenant Cuba were honored to attend this morning’s opening ceremonies for the FGIA annual conference in Ponte Verde, Florida where members of our Gang Unit were recognized for their dedication to the detection and prevention of gang activity.

The goal of the Gang Intelligence Unit is to protect the public from criminal street crimes and violence committed by gang members/associates, through investigation, enforcement, and intelligence. The Gang Intelligence Unit has worked in collaboration with partnering agencies, citizens, and intelligence resources to suppress criminal gang membership and reduce criminal activity within the community. The Gang Intelligence Unit routinely serves search warrants, identifies new gang members/associates, and affects arrests for narcotics and firearm-related charges.

The Gang Intelligence Unit continues to do an outstanding job in protecting our community and we are so proud of their hard work and dedication!
Sergeant John Dellacroce
Public Information Officer
Port St. Lucie Police Department
Office: 772-871-5032
Cell: 772-361-0051

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Project LIFT to Offer Electrical Apprenticeship Program

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Palm City - Project LIFT has trained more than 3500 young men and women in the skilled trades using a pre-apprenticeship model since 2010, and now, the Martin County based non-profit will add a Registered Apprenticeship Program to its robust vocational offerings. The project is in partnership with the ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) Institute, using their nationally accredited program.

The program is open to anyone aged 18 and older who has a high school diploma or equivalent, a driver’s license, and reliable transportation. There is no cost to the student to participate, and in fact, they will be sponsored by an electrical employer and receive a paycheck while in the program. In addition to the hands-on work component, there is a once weekly evening class at Project LIFT Palm City. Students will obtain NCCER and OSHA 10 certifications, and will be eligible to sit for their Journeyman’s license.
“This partnership offers young people on the Treasure Coast an incredible opportunity to begin a lucrative career that does not need to include college, and that won’t incur any debt on the student’s part”, said Project LIFT CEO Bob Zaccheo. “Partnering with the ABC Institute, the construction industry’s leading provider of education, means that students will receive top quality training.”
Electrical companies can invest in the future of their workforce by participating as registered employers. Project LIFT’s access to teens and young adults with an interest in learning a trade means that employers will have a pipeline of trained workers to enhance their workforce, and fill the skills gap. Employers must have a Master Electrician or Journeyman with Contractor License to participate.
The program begins August 22nd, but there is still time for students and employers to register. For more information contact Jennifer Williams, Project LIFT Workforce Development Coordinator at 772-221-2244, or email apprentice@projectlift.org
This project has been funded in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information about Project LIFT’s Registered Apprenticeship Program, visit https://www.projectlift.org/registered-apprenticeship-program

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Treasure Coast Hospice Awarded Joint Commission Accreditation

23 July Multi Hospice

Stuart – Treasure Coast Hospice announced today that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for hospice accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.
“Earning national accreditation from The Joint Commission is an accomplishment that truly reflects our team’s unwavering commitment to providing the highest level of care to our patients,” said Treasure Coast Hospice CEO Jackie Kendrick, CHPCA. “I am extremely proud of the dedication and teamwork that our staff demonstrated in preparation for this national review of our quality and safety standards. Multiple surveyors expressed how knowledgeable the staff is, which shows the importance that Treasure Coast Hospice places on training and education. This achievement affirms our team’s efforts to prioritize patient safety and high-quality care by meeting the rigorous standards set by the most prestigious accrediting organization in healthcare.”
The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® indicates that a healthcare organization has met or exceeded federal Medicare requirements to ensure safe and high quality care for all patients. In Florida, Treasure Coast Hospice is one of 12 hospices accredited by The Joint Commission.
Treasure Coast Hospice underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite review last month. During the visit, a team of specially-trained Joint Commission surveyors evaluated compliance with hospice and health care standards spanning several areas, including medication management, emergency management, environment of care, and infection prevention and control. The surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews with staff.

The Joint Commission’s hospice standards are developed in consultation with healthcare experts, hospice providers and researchers, as well as industry experts, purchasers and consumers. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.

“As a heath care accreditor, The Joint Commission works with health care organizations across settings to help improve patient safety and quality of care through our expert resources and tools, innovative solutions and rigorous standards,” says Deborah Ryan, MS, RN, interim executive vice president, Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “We commend Treasure Coast Hospice for its commitment to advance safety and quality for all patients.”

21 Apr New Aycock Funeral Home Logo

Mindi Fetterman Assumes Role as Board President of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

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Tallahassee – The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV) proudly announces the appointment of Mindi Fetterman, Founder & Executive Director of The Inner Truth Project, as its new Board President. This significant leadership role is a testament to Fetterman's dedication and expertise in the field of sexual violence prevention and survivor support.
As a highly respected advocate and activist, Mindi Fetterman has consistently demonstrated a deep commitment to empowering survivors and promoting social change. Her exceptional work with The Inner Truth Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and healing spaces for survivors of sexual trauma have garnered widespread recognition and commendation. Fetterman's invaluable contributions to the cause of sexual violence prevention has made her an influential figure within the community and beyond.
The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence is a state-wide organization committed to eradicating sexual violence and providing comprehensive support services to survivors. Through collaboration with various stakeholders, including sexual assault service providers, policymakers, and community members, FCASV strives to create a society free from sexual violence.
In her new role as Board President, Mindi Fetterman will leverage her extensive experience and profound understanding of the challenges faced by survivors and service providers. She will lead the FCASV Board in setting strategic goals, forging partnerships, and advocating for policies that ensure justice and support for survivors across Florida. Fetterman's visionary leadership is poised to guide the organization toward achieving its mission of ending sexual violence and empowering survivors.
Commenting on her appointment, Mindi Fetterman expressed her gratitude and enthusiasm for the opportunity to lead the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence. She said, "I am truly honored to serve as the Board President of FCASV and work alongside dedicated individuals committed to eliminating sexual violence in our communities. Together, we will continue to advocate for survivors, promote prevention efforts, and create a society that values consent, respect, and equality."
The FCASV Board is thrilled to welcome Mindi Fetterman as its new President and looks forward to the innovative strategies and initiatives she will bring to the organization. By harnessing her passion, expertise, and leadership skills, FCASV is confident in its ability to make significant strides toward a safer and more inclusive society.
For media inquiries or further information, please contact:
Jessica Bright, The Inner Truth Project, (772) 200-4599, info@innertruthproject.org

City of Fort Pierce Honored with TWO Home Rule Hero Awards in 2023

23 Jan Fort Pierce Logo

Fort Pierce – The Florida League of Cities (FLC), the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments, recently honored Mayor Linda Hudson and Commissioner Curtis Johnson, Jr. with a 2023 Home Rule Hero Award for their hard work and advocacy efforts during the 2023 Legislative Session. Mayor Hudson and Commissioner Johnson worked tirelessly throughout the session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida’s municipalities and advance the League’s legislative agenda.

“The League and its legislative team appreciate the individual advocacy efforts undertaken by municipal officials throughout the state,” said FLC Chief of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “Home Rule Heroes are some of our biggest advocates for protecting local decision-making. They are League members who stand out for their high level of participation, knowledge, and effectiveness. This year’s Home Rule Heroes continuously advocated for their communities throughout the 2023 Legislative Session.”

Home Rule is the ability for a city to address local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, both elected and nonelected, who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the Legislature and help give a local perspective on an issue.

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Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered. Do it here!

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Residential and Commercial New Construction Outpacing Last Year’s Record to More than $600 Million Market Value

21 Sept Jenny Fields MC Property Appraiser

Stuart - The Martin County Property Appraiser’s Office (MCPAO) released the 2023 estimated preliminary taxable values to the ten Martin County Taxing Authorities today. The Taxing Authorities will use the estimated taxable values to prepare their upcoming budgets and determine their proposed millage rates.

The numbers show that Martin County taxable values are at $31.6 billion, an increase of 12.23% compared to last
year’s number of more than $28.1 billion.

The market value or what a home or business is valued comparably to others increased by 19.22% to $53.4 billion,
compared to last year’s value of more than $44.8 billion.

“The 2022 real estate market continued forward with the incredible valuation growth that started in 2021” said Martin County Property Appraiser Jenny Fields. “Our preliminary estimated tax roll results showed broad value appreciation in most real estate sectors and specifically strong growth in residential property values which drove double digit market and taxable value increases in all taxing authorities throughout the County.”

Sales of residential properties had a 2nd consecutive year of above 20% value appreciation. Within this sector, single family homes increased roughly 20% while condominiums increased 27% on average. Overall sales volume during the 2nd half of 2022 slowed in response to higher interest rates. This shift in demand increased the average number of days it typically took a property to sell, however, sale prices stayed at their peak up to the end of the year.

A deeper look inside new construction shows a market value growth of $600 million this year. This growth is primarily led by a 69% increase in new homes being built in some of our communities such as Osprey Preserve, Ocean Cove, Canopy Creek, Seawalk, New Avonlea (Preserve), and Banyan Bay. Residential new construction for single family homes, townhomes, condominiums, cooperatives, and mobile homes accounted for $394.5 million and multi-family new
construction accounted for an additional $94.5 million. Together, these 2 categories represent roughly 80% of the total $600 million in ad valorem new construction.

Martin County continues to be a highly desirable commercial, industrial, and multi-family market as seen with the various projects being developed throughout the County. Notable projects completed prior to the January 1st date of assessment are the Harbor Grove Apartments with 324 units, the Savona at Stuart with 182 units, and the strategically located South Martin Industrial Park that includes 9 buildings with over 96,000 square feet of warehouse space.
The ten Martin County Taxing Authorities are the Children’s Service Council, the City of Stuart, the Florida Inland Navigation District, Martin County Board of County Commissioners, the Martin County School Board, the South Florida Water Management District, the Town of Jupiter Island, the Town of Sewall’s Point, the Town of Ocean Breeze and the Village of Indiantown.

23 June Property Appraiser Flyer

What You Need to Know About Getting a Rental Car After an Accident in Florida

19 Dec Zweben Logo

Getting a Rental Car Through the Insurance of the Person at Fault for the Accident
If the driver at fault for causing the accident had the insurance required by Florida law, they should have coverage to pay for at least $10,000 in property damage to others. This goes toward repairs to vehicles but also covers damage to property surrounding the accident and the expense of a rental car while the accident victim’s car is under repair.
The process begins when a claim is filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, when a collision involves multiple vehicles, it can be difficult to get a clear determination of fault, and insurers may be reluctant to provide funds for a rental car.

Getting a Rental Car Through Your Own Insurance Coverage
Most car insurance policies offer drivers the option to pay for rental coverage on their own vehicles. This would pay for a rental car to use while your vehicle is under repair regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident. Because this coverage is optional, many people skip this coverage to save money on premiums.

Seeking Reimbursement After Paying Costs on Your Own
When an accident is complicated or when the responsible driver does not have the right insurance, you may have to pay for car rental costs yourself, but that does not mean you have to bear all the costs indefinitely. You can seek reimbursement through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Even if the responsible driver has the required insurance coverage, the minimum policy amounts are quite low, so it is easily possible that the cost of your rental car and repair expenses will exceed policy limits. You can work with an attorney to file a lawsuit to recover the additional amounts to fully compensate you for the losses suffered in the accident.
To protect yourself, it is wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. An experienced legal advisor can help you determine what to say and do after the accident to preserve the best options for receiving full compensation.

Zweben Law Group Helps You Get What You Need After an Accident
Whether you need the right follow-up medical care, reimbursement for lost wages and damage to your vehicle, or reimbursement for the cost of a rental car, the team at Zweben Law Group is always ready to assist. We understand the confusion and uncertainty you face after your accident, and we work hard to help you get your life back on track. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help.


23 Jan County Projects

County projects prioritized within the CIP include roads, bridges, wastewater and stormwater systems, and other projects that serve the public good and help ensure safe and thriving communities. CLICK HERE!


23 Jan Proposed Develpment Projects

Private developer projects found in the Proposed Developments map include residential, commercial and industrial applications which are currently under review or have been approved. CLICK HERE!