VA Names Two New National Cemeteries in Florida

VA Names Two New National Cemeteries in FloridaWashington DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the names of two new VA national cemeteries planned in Florida, the Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Scottsmoor and the Tallahassee National Cemetery in Tallahassee. “These two new cemeteries are a priority for the growing Veterans’ community in Florida,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “As VA moves forward with these new cemeteries, Veterans, their spouses and families can have peace of mind knowing that they have a final resting place in a nearby national shrine.” The Cape Canaveral National Cemetery is planned for a 318-acre parcel located in close proximity to U. S. Route 1 in northern Brevard County in Scottsmoor, approximately two miles from Interstate 95 and 12 miles north of Titusville. The cemetery will serve more than 163,000 Veterans, spouses and their eligible dependents living in the central eastern Florida area. The initial phase of construction will provide more than 17,000 gravesites.

VA purchased the central eastern Florida property, formerly known as Acosta Groves, for $2.1 million on July 31, 2012. The Tallahassee National Cemetery is planned for a 250-acre parcel in Leon County, with frontage along U.S. Highway 27 (Apalachee Parkway) and Old St. Augustine Road near March Road east of Tallahassee. The cemetery will serve 83,000 Veterans and their eligible dependents in the Tallahassee area, as well as southwestern Georgia and southeastern Alabama. The initial phase of construction will provide more than 6,000 gravesites and an earlyturnover area so that the cemetery can begin burial operations soon after construction begins. VA purchased the Tallahassee property for $6.8 million on Aug. 14, 2012, from the St. Joe Company.

Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a VA national cemetery. Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty. Other burial benefits available for eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a government headstone or marker.

In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites. More than 3.8 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries. In 2013, NCA achieved a customer satisfaction index of 96, the highest American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score in either the private or public sector in the history of the ACSI. The score is nearly 28 points above the 68 point average for federal government agencies.

Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.

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General Lyon’s Duesenberg Comes Comes to The Amelia

General Lyon's Duesenberg Comes Comes to The Amelia Duesenberg’s name remains as potent today as it was when the powerful Indianapolis-built luxury cars ruled America’s highways and speedways during the twenties and thirties.

From the first Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 1996, Duesenbergs have won the Best of Show award four times. In 2011 Duesenberg became the only marque to win both Amelia’s Concours de Sport and Concours d’Elegance Best of Show awards in the same year.

“Duesenberg is the American classic many people come to Amelia to see,” said Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. “This year we have a real treat by Duesenberg’s most famous and prolific coachbuilder, Murphy of Pasadena.”

duesenbeg-classicThe aluminum-bodied 1930 Duesenberg Model J Speedster from the William Lyon Family collection in California wears Murphy’s signature disappearing convertible top. The design not only gave the big roadster a clean profile but allows unobstructed conversation with the passenger in the solo rumble seat. It is one of just five “short wheelbase” Model J roadsters configured in Murphy’s imaginative and graceful disappearing convertible top design.

“It was Murphy’s custom to render each design full scale on a huge blackboard to ensure the car’s dimensions could be appreciated and that the proportions were pleasing and proper,” said Warner.

The Lyon’s 1930 Model J roadster called the “disappearing top torpedo convertible roadster” was owned originally by Anne Burnett, founder of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.

About The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
Now in its second decade, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “The Amelia” draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show’s Foundation has donated over $2 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other deserving charities on Florida’s First Coast. The 19th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 7-9, 2014. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org.

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Jacksonville University Visits Rotary Sunrise

Jacksonville University Visits Rotary SunriseOn Valentine’s Day, the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise was treated to a presentation from Jacksonville University’s President Tim Cost; Director of Donor Relations, Mr. Madison Shelly; and State Senator and Jacksonville University alumni Aaron Bean.

President Cost shared his philosophy, vision and plans for the university since taking over the helm of the institution a year ago. He believes that the students are not only his customers, but his products as well, and he goes out of his way to make sure students, faculty, parents, and employees know how they are truly valued.

Jacksonville University has over 4200 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The professors do all the academic advising, not counselors, in order to work more closely with and better address the needs of the students.

The university is the proud owner of several accolades and achievements including The 14th Best Business School Value by CEO Magazine, second largest college ROTC group in the U.S., and largest orthodontics program in the U.S.

Core areas of concentration for Mr. Cost’s administration are its business school, athletics, military programs, healthcare programs and expanding its physical presence along the waterfront in the Arlington suburb of Jacksonville.

Mr. Cost invited the Rotary Club to visit the campus for a field trip, including seeing the newest “floating campus” on the St. John’s River where students and professors work directly on the water to study and conduct research for marine sciences and biology.

Pictured here left to right is Director Madison Shelly, President Tim Cost, President Mark Dennis of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise, and Senator Aaron Bean.

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Avoiding the Ache and Agony of Gout

Avoiding the Ache and Agony of Gout
Sudden, painful swelling at the base of the big toe is often the first warning sign of gout. It can affect other joints as well. Without treatment, gout can lead to severe joint damage and make it hard for you to move. The good news is, most types of gout are treatable, especially if caught early.

About 4% of adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with gout. It’s a form of arthritis… in fact, the 2nd most common form after osteoarthritis, and it’s a growing problem.

“The prevalence of gout more than doubled nationwide between the 1960s and 1990s, and the increases have continued into the 1990s and 2000s,” says Dr. Hyon Choi, a physician who studies gout at Boston University School of Medicine.

Experts suspect that climbing rates of obesity and high blood pressure are partly to blame for the rise in gout. Gout has also been linked to other medical conditions, such as kidney problems, diabetes, and heart disease.

Gout is caused by tiny needle-like crystals that build up in the joints, leading to sudden inflammation and intense pain. The crystals are made of uric acid, a substance that normally dissolves in the blood and passes out of the body in urine. But in people with gout, high blood levels of uric acid allow crystals to form in the joints and sometimes in the kidneys, where they create kidney stones.

Uric acid comes from the breakdown of substances called purines. Purines are naturally found in your body’s tissues and in many foods. Eating purine-rich foods such as organ meats, mussels, and mushrooms can bring on or worsen a gout attack. Alcohol or stress can also trigger an episode.

Gout symptoms usually arise at night. It normally affects one joint at a time, often in the feet, hands, elbows, or knees.

“Gout primarily affects men who are middle aged or older,” Choi says. “Postmenopausal women are at risk too, especially if they are obese or have high blood pressure or unhealthy dietary habits, such as drinking large amounts of alcohol or sugary soda.”

The risk also rises if you have a family member with gout or if you take certain medicines, such as water pills (diuretics) or low-dose aspirin.

Early gout attacks tend to fade within a week. It may be months or even years before the next attack hits. But over time, gout may appear more often and last longer if left untreated.

Most people with gout can control their symptoms through lifestyle changes and medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can ease the swelling and pain of sudden attacks. Oral or injected steroids and a drug called colchicine can also help.

If frequent gout attacks become a problem, doctors may prescribe uric acid-lowering medicines. But once begun, these drugs often must be taken long term.

“If it’s left untreated, gout can eventually lead to damage and deformity of the joints, a condition called chronic gout,” says Choi. “In general, chronic gout arises only after many years of suffering.”

If you have repeated attacks of pain and swelling in your joints, talk to a health care provider. “If you have gout, the earlier you’re diagnosed and treated, along with making healthy lifestyle changes, the better off you’ll be,” says Choi.

To ease or prevent gout attacks:
-Eat a heart-healthy diet. Avoid foods that are high in purines (such as liver, dried beans and peas, gravy, and anchovies).
-Avoid high-fructose corn syrup-sweetened beverages and foods.
-Drink plenty of water, and limit alcohol.
-Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
-If you’re overweight, ask your doctor how to lose weight safely. Fast or extreme weight loss can raise uric acid levels.
-Tell your health care provider about all the medicines and vitamins you take.
-Take prescribed medicines as directed.

This article was written by News in Health, NIH.
Managing Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors:
Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), Dana Steinberg, and Harrison Wein.

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Farmers Market Brags About Boatright Farms

Farmers Market Brags About Boatright FarmsThe next time you shop for fresh produce, you should consider shopping at the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market in historic, downtown Fernandina, and see the difference for yourself.

Anytime I slice a tomato, dice up a cucumber or steam up a mess of fresh squash I know I’m feeding my family vegetables from one of the family farmers who set up a booth every Saturday morning on N. 7th Street on Amelia Island.

This week, I’d like to tell you a little about Boatright Farms. The Boatrights have a family farm in Pierce County, Georgia, that Al Boatright’s grandmother purchased in 1945. Al and his wife, Anna, have raised three children on their farm.

Once a tobacco farm, Boatright decided to switch to more traditional crops and focus on produce, growing a variety of vegetables and a few fruits, too. For many years this family farm has continued to provide fresh produce to local stores like IGA, Piggly Wiggly, Mickey’s Food Store and the Pierce County Board of Education.

Driving past their farm you’ll see two interesting options. You can pick the vegetables and fruits yourself, or you can buy from them at a roadside fruit stand that has been there for many years.

With the You-Pick option, customers go out into the field and pick their choice of vegetables, fresh from the ground. The fruit stand sells the vegetables picked by the Boatrights. “It is open from sunrise to sunset,” said Anna, “and some days it’s open from can to can’t. But that don’t matter. We also run it on the honor system. You get what you need and if we’re not there you just put your money in the mailbox we have sitting there.”

boatrights-farm-2014The weather this year has hit the farm hard. They lost nearly all their greens and will have to plant later in the season. But they still bring a truckload of their home-grown specialities every Saturday to Amelia Island and we can expect baby Vidalia onions now, with the big ones coming in April. They will also be bringing squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, peas, beans, potatoes, cabbage, nuts and more all year long as it becomes available. Their newest addition to the farm is 29 chickens giving them a constant supply of farm fresh eggs.

We’d like you to join us on March 1, 2014, at the farmers market from 9:00 to 1:00 pm and meet Al and Anna Boatright. We will also have the Bloodmobile in attendance with members of the Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc. and Sam will be entertaining us with vocals and guitar.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market provides a family and pet friendly environment every Saturday of the year, except for the Saturday of the Shrimp Festival.

For more information about the market, how you can become a vendor, or how we can feature your Fernandina Beach brick and mortar business for FREE, please visit our website at FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com, or call (904) 557-8229.

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Do Not Miss the 2014 Festivals of Speed

Do Not Miss the 2014 Festivals of SpeedYou do not want to miss the 2014 Festivals of Speed being held at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, March 7th and 8th.

This weekend of grandeur begins on Friday evening with a Luxury Lifestyle Reception in the Plantation’s Grand Ballroom, from 8:00 to 11:00 pm. Over 40,000 sq ft of climate controlled space will hold displays of exotic cars, motorcycles, a full open bar with festive cocktails and boutique bourbons, themed food stations, a fine Cigar Lounge, music, a charity auction, fine timepieces, jewelry, art, vintage gas pumps and other assorted automotive memorabilia will be available for purchase.

Proceeds help support Communities in Schools Nassau County.

Then on Saturday it is a Display of Exotics on the 9th Fairway from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. The Amelia Island “Select” Car Auction begins on Saturday at 4:00 pm.

Below are just a few examples of what will be on display and available for purchase.
-1949 Kluge / Kish Midget Racer
-1952 194R Silver Arrow
-BUGATTI VEYRON
-WIKKED STEEL DISPLAY of MOTORCYCLES
-BACKDRAFT COBRAS

Expect to see…
-BMW Z8
-ASTON MARTIN GT4 TRG RACING DISPLAY
-LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR
-ROLLS ROYCE WRAITH
-SHREDDER

The Festivals of Speed is welcoming Sports Car Market readers to register their vehicles free of charge into the special Sports Car Market area of the 2014 Festivals of Speed Amelia Island!

To register your special vintage or exotic vehicle visit http://festivalsofspeed.com/register-your-vehicle/.

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51st Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

51st Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp FestivalAmelia Island, FL – What began as a family picnic and boat race in 1964 has evolved into a weekend celebration honoring Fernandina Beach and her deep rooted history in the shrimping industry. Join us on May 2, 3 and 4, 2014 for the 51st Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Presented by Publix Supermarkets, as we transform historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida into a festive weekend of history and art! Enjoy a fully juried art show with over 300 artisans competing for over $7,500 in cash awards. There will be fine arts and crafts, over 50 antique dealers, contests throughout the festival for kids of all ages, live musical entertainment, scores of playful pirates, and a Kids Fun zone with activities, entertainment and food, but best of all, admission is FREE for the entire festival!

Imagine the variety of dishes cooked up by our local food booths that are ALL non-profit organizations. Your taste buds will be tempted by a wide variety of white shrimp, Fernandina’s little treasures of the sea. Will you choose the Fried Shrimp, Boiled Shrimp, Shrimp Pizza, Shrimp Pie, Shrimp Quesadillas, or perhaps you are daring enough to enter the Shrimp Ice Cream Eating Contest?

Amelia Island’s downtown merchants hold a sidewalk sale all day Friday, May 2nd until the Festival officially opens at 6:00 pm. Live music and Opening Ceremonies start the festivities at the main stage, the Kids Fun Zone opens Friday evening, and all of the food, sponsors, and exhibitor’s booths located at the waterfront will be open. The fun continues until 10:30 pm with live music suitable for dancing, the Miss Shrimp Festival winner will be crowned, and there will be a Pirate Invasion followed by a fantastic fireworks show.

Saturday the fun grows larger with the addition of all of the vendors and exhibitors booths opening all the way down the eight block length of Centre Street. From 8th Street to the waterfront, and one block out in both directions, from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm, you will be amazed at the quality and variety these vendors offer. Several contests will be held including the Little Pirate Contest and Best Beard Contest, there will be a Pirate Invasion and local, regional and national musical acts performing on the waterfront stage, as well as more entertaining acts in the Kids Fun Zone.

Sunday, the festival is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with the addition of the Best Decorated Boat Parade and the Blessing of the Fleet at the waterfront. Tasty shrimp dishes keep your lips smacking, while great live bands get those toes tapping!

Other events surrounding the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival include the local’s favorite event, the popular Pirate Parade held downtown on Thursday, May 1st, at 6:00 pm. There is also the McArthur Family YMCA 5K Fun Run on Saturday morning held at Main Beach by the Atlantic Ocean.

The easiest way to get to and from the festival is to take advantage of our shuttle service, Park and Ride. This is staffed by charitable organizations. Simply park at the Fernandina Beach High School for a nominal donation, and then catch the free, air conditioned shuttle bus to and from the festival grounds.

Always held the first weekend in May, the Southeast Tourism Society has named the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival a Top-20 event for the past twelve years! For more information please visit www.ShrimpFestival.com.

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Doggies in the Pool at the Rec Center

Atlantic Rec Center allows canines in its pool

Keeping an eye on the Pup?

Quite an unusual sight at the Atlantic Avenue’s Rec Center last Saturday when our canine friends frolicked in and around the pool. According to Kathy Russell,  Aquatics and Greenway Supervisor for the City of Fernandina Beach’s Parks and Recreation Dept., the excited bunch was invited to come and play, prior to the commencement of a pool resurfacing project this week. 20 happy dogs were admitted to the typically “off limits” pool area.    Some jumped in after balls and rubber ducks, while others preferred to simply socialize on the deck or run laps around and through the adjacent kiddie pool.

As can be seen from the underwater photo, one pooch was actually hanging down from the ledge, as if a teenager on the look-out for playmates. Very funny. A portion of the per-dog admission was shared with the Nassau Humane Society.

The Atlantic pool will be closed for the duration of this week but is scheduled to re-open on March 3rd.

Harlem Ambassadors Return to Fernandina Beach

Harlem Ambassadors Return to Fernandina BeachThe Fernandina Beach Rotary Club is proud to announce that the Harlem Ambassadors will be invading the High School gym on Friday, February 28th at 7pm! This is the club’s major fundraiser and the proceeds will be used to support our area seniors as they enter college! We have awarded over $293,000 since 1994, and we hope to award twenty NEW college scholarships with YOUR support this year!

Attached you’ll find information about how you (and/or your business) can sponsor this wonderful, FAMILY friendly event! May we count on your business to advertise to the hundreds of people who will be in attendance at this event?

Information to support this great event! (Click here.)

Thank you very much for strongly considering your contribution. All levels will receive tickets to the event and advertising in the Program. Take your kids, grandkids! Take the work team, or sponsor your youth group as an outing! It’s good, clean FUN for the whole group!

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Stop the Spread of Superbugs

Stop the Spread of SuperbugsHelp fight drug-resistant bacteria and stop the spread of superbugs!

For nearly a century, bacteria-fighting drugs known as antibiotics have helped to control and destroy many of the harmful bacteria that can make us sick. But in recent decades, antibiotics have been losing their punch against some types of bacteria. In fact, certain bacteria are now unbeatable with today’s medicines. Sadly, the way we’ve been using antibiotics is helping to create new drug-resistant superbugs.”

Superbugs are strains of bacteria that are resistant to several types of antibiotics. Each year these drug-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people nationwide and kill at least 23,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and staph infections are just a few of the dangers we now face.

Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs for people. They’re also given to livestock to prevent disease and promote growth. Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections, such as strep throat and some types of pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, and ear infections. But these drugs don’t work at all against viruses, such as those that cause colds or flu.

Unfortunately, many antibiotics prescribed to people and to animals are unnecessary. And the overuse and misuse of antibiotics helps to create drug-resistant bacteria.

Here’s how that might happen. When used properly, antibiotics can help destroy disease-causing bacteria. But if you take an antibiotic when you have a viral infection like the flu, the drug won’t affect the viruses making you sick. Instead, it’ll destroy a wide variety of bacteria in your body, including some of the “good” bacteria that help you digest food, fight infection, and stay healthy. Bacteria that are tough enough to survive the drug will have a chance to grow and quickly multiply. These drug-resistant strains may even spread to other people.

Over time, if more and more people take antibiotics when not necessary, drug-resistant bacteria can continue to thrive and spread. They may even share their drug-resistant traits with other bacteria. Drugs may become less effective or not work at all against certain disease-causing bacteria.

“Bacterial infections that were treatable for decades are no longer responding to antibiotics, even the newer ones,” says Dr. Dennis Dixon, an NIH expert in bacterial and fungal diseases. Scientists have been trying to keep ahead of newly emerging drug-resistant bacteria by developing new drugs, but it’s a tough task.

“We need to make the best use of the drugs we have, as there aren’t many in the antibiotic development pipeline,” says Dr. Jane Knisely, who oversees studies of drug-resistant bacteria at NIH. “It’s important to understand the best way to use these drugs to increase their effectiveness and decrease the chances of resistance to emerge.”

You can help slow the spread of drug-resistant bacteria by taking antibiotics properly and only when needed. Don’t insist on an antibiotic if your health care provider advises otherwise. For example, many parents expect doctors to prescribe antibiotics for a child’s ear infection. But experts recommend delaying for a time in certain situations, as many ear infections get better without antibiotics.

NIH researchers have been looking at whether antibiotics are effective for treating certain conditions in the first place. One recent study showed that antibiotics may be less effective than previously thought for treating a common type of sinus infection. This kind of research can help prevent the misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

“Treating infections with antibiotics is something we want to preserve for generations to come, so we shouldn’t misuse them,” says Dr. Julie Segre, a senior investigator at NIH.

In the past, some of the most dangerous superbugs have been confined to health care settings. That’s because people who are sick or in a weakened state are more susceptible to picking up infections. But superbug infections aren’t limited to hospitals. Some strains are out in the community and anyone, even healthy people, can become infected.

One common superbug increasingly seen outside hospitals is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These bacteria don’t respond to methicillin and related antibiotics. MRSA can cause skin infections and, in more serious cases, pneumonia or bloodstream infections.

A MRSA skin infection can appear as one or more pimples or boils that are swollen, painful, or hot to the touch. The infection can spread through even a tiny cut or scrape that comes into contact with these bacteria. Many people recover from MRSA infections, but some cases can be life-threatening. The CDC estimates that more than 80,000 aggressive MRSA infections and 11,000 related deaths occur each year in the United States.

When antibiotics are needed, doctors usually prescribe a mild one before trying something more aggressive like vancomycin. Such newer antibiotics can be more toxic and more expensive than older ones. Eventually, bacteria will develop resistance to even the new drugs. In recent years, some superbugs, such as vancomycin-resistant Enterococci bacteria, remain unaffected by even this antibiotic of last resort.

“We rely on antibiotics to deliver modern health care,” Segre says. But with the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, “we’e running out of new antibiotics to treat bacterial infections,” and some of the more potent ones aren’t working as well.

Ideally, doctors would be able to quickly identify the right antibiotic to treat a particular infection. But labs need days or even weeks to test and identify the bacteria strain. Until the lab results come in, antibiotic treatment is often an educated guess.

“We need to know how to treat for a favorable outcome, but knowledge about the infection can be several days away,” explains Dr. Vance Fowler, an infectious disease expert at Duke University School of Medicine.

Fowler says faster diagnostic testing offers one of the best hopes for treating infectious diseases. Technology is catching up, he says, and new research in this area looks promising.

Genetic studies by NIH-supported researchers such as Segre and Fowler are also helping us understand the unique characteristics of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Their findings could point the way to innovative new treatments.

While scientists search for ways to beat back these stubborn bacteria, you can help by preventing the spread of germs so we depend less on antibiotics in the first place.

The best way to prevent bacterial infections is by washing your hands frequently with soap and water. It’s also a good idea not to share personal items such as towels or razors. And use antibiotics only as directed. We can all do our part to fight drug-resistant bacteria.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If you’re sick, make sure your doctor has a clear understanding of your symptoms. Discuss whether an antibiotic or a different type of treatment is appropriate for your illness.

If antibiotics are needed, take the full course exactly as directed. Don’t save the medicine for a future illness, and don’t share with others.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, exercise, and good hygiene, to help prevent illness, thereby helping to prevent the overuse or misuse of medications.

Written by the NIH News in Health Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Managing Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), Dana Steinberg, and Harrison Wein.

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2014 Spring Book Sale Needs Books and Volunteers

2014 Spring Book Sale Needs Books and VolunteersBooks and volunteers are needed for the Friends of the spring Library Book Sale of 2014.

Fernandina Beach, FL – Volunteers are already busy at the Peck Center sorting stacks and crates of books for the Fernandina Beach Friends of the Library (FOL) Spring Book Sale being held April 3 – 5, 2014. But more donations are needed to reach the record sales achieved in the last few sales.

“We urge everyone to drop off their donations soon so we can sort, alphabetize and showcase them properly during the sale,” says Annie Sparkle, FOL book sale chairman. “The preparation makes all the difference in the results.” The sale will feature a broad assortment of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books in dozens of categories, as well as hundreds of CDs and DVDs.

If you have items to donate, leave them in the red collection box under the covered walkway in front of Peck Head Start on 11th Street, between Elm and Fir Streets in Fernandina Beach. Larger donations can be dropped off at the Peck School, 516 South 10th Street: Go in the front entrance (Fir Street between S. 10th and S. 11th Streets), turn right and look for the Friends of the Library sign on your left, next to the stairwell.

Children’s books are always very popular and will be greatly appreciated.

For questions regarding donations contact Annie Sparkle at (904) 310-9290.

To volunteer during the sale, contact FOL volunteer chair, Gigi Feazell at (904) 277-3510.

Even with most items priced at $2.00 or less, Friends of the Library’s spring and fall sales generate approximately $20,000 annually for specialized databases, network access, books, e-books, periodicals, and other materials to keep our Library current.

FOL is also conducting a capital campaign to improve the Library facility on 4th St. For more information on FOL, visit FernandinaFOL.org.

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Fernandina Library Ground Breaking

Fernandina Library Ground BreakingThere will be a groundbreaking celebration for construction of a new wing and renovation of the Fernandina Beach Library.

This has been a labor of love for many in our community, epecially the Friends of the Library, and the exciting event is scheduled for Thursday, February 27th, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm at the Fernandina Beach Branch located on 25 North 4th Street.

The Library Campaign Council works hand in hand with the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library board. The Better Library Campaign is a critical extension of this non-profit’s organization’s core mission to promote lifelong learning and inspire readers of all ages through events, programs and raising funds for the library our community deserves.

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Maserati Celebrates 100th Anniversary at The Amelia

Maserati Celebrates 100th Anniversary at The AmeliaAmelia Island, FL – In celebration of Maserati’s 100th anniversary, the unique and rarely seen Maserati 450S Le Mans “Costin Coupe” will be the competition centerpiece at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Created as a secret weapon to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1957, the 450S’s exterior design and brutish exhaust note made it the star of the French race 57 years ago. Maserati mechanics referred to it as “Il Monstro,” Italian for “the monster.”

Stirling Moss was assigned to race the V-8-powered red coupe, following his idea to create an aerodynamic coupe that would outrun the field on the Sarthe Circuit’s 3.4-mile Mulsanne Straight.

Moss suggested an aerodynamic coupe version of the potent Sebring-winning Maserati 450S sports car, asserting that such a car would offer a significant advantage on the high-speed Le Mans road circuit.

A slippery, aerodynamic body on the fastest and most powerful car in the 1957 World Sports Car Championship seemed like an idea too good to ignore, especially coming from a winning professional such as Moss.

Accordingly, Maserati commissioned Frank Costin, the English designer of the Grand Prix-winning Vanwalls and the svelte Lotus 11, to create the design. Carrozzeria Zagato, the Milano coachbuilder, worked overtime to ready the new coupe ready for the 1957 running of the world’s most famous endurance race.

Sadly, the short deadlines and a relentless calendar caused the coupe to be delivered without the full aerodynamic under-tray mandated by the designer.

Further complicating matters, no time remained for testing or development. Despite this, by the race’s second hour, Moss lashed the potent 450S coupe into second place behind the team’s 450S roadster. The one-two Maserati show didn’t last, however. By dark both red cars were parked.

Its brief racing career over, Il Monstro languished in Italy for more than a year. The factory removed the components and sat the chassis and coachwork aside. In April of 1958, American enthusiast Byron Staver convinced Maserati to convert the abandoned coupe into a very special and exotic road car.

The car was reconfigured by Maserati’s Mendardo Fantuzzi (later an independent coachbuilder) reconfigured the car, extending the wheelbase by 10 inches to accommodate its American owner. Staver kept the car until 1960.

Following several changes of ownership, Il Monstro was displayed at the Rosso Bianco Museum in Germany from 1978 through 2002. Maserati collector Alfredo Brener then acquired the car and carried out a thorough restoration.

Today, Moss’s 450S coupe remains the rarest of all Maseratis and is considered by experts and insiders to be the first true “supercar.”

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Targeting Innovations in Veteran Mental Health

Targeting Innovations in Veteran Mental HealthWashington DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the first of multiple Industry Innovation Competitions in 2014, which identifies, tests, and evaluates promising innovations that enhance the accessibility and quality of mental health care and services delivered to Veterans.

“VA has established a track record as an innovative organization that welcomes new ideas,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “This competition represents an important way for us to tap the significant pool of talent and expertise inside and outside of government to improve mental health care and services for our Nation’s Veterans, their families, and survivors.”

The innovations from this competition will add to VA’s already extensive mental health programs, which can be found at www.mentalhealth.va.gov.

The competition is part of the VA Center for Innovation (VACI), a department-wide program that seeks the most promising innovations from employees, the private sector, non-profits, and academia to increase Veterans’ access to VA services, improve the quality of services delivered, enhance the performance of VA operations, and reduce or control the cost of delivering those services.

“With this competition we are focused on challenges that affect a population much larger than our Veterans; these are challenges facing our entire nation as we rethink our approaches to mental health care and services,” said Patrick Littlefield, Acting Director, VA Center for Innovation. “We anticipate these efforts will benefit a very large community of providers and customers. Here at VA, we continue to be focused on bringing to bear the best-of-breed solutions to serve our Veterans and their mentally healthy futures.”

This Industry Innovation Competition seeks creative solutions in three areas of significant importance to VA. Public and private companies, entrepreneurs, universities and non-profits are encouraged to propose new ways to respond to Veteran mental health challenges specific to the topics:
-Upstream Suicide Intervention
-Improving Veterans Receptivity to Mental Health Care to Promote Treatment, Engagement, and Participation
-Innovative Methods of Incentivizing Behavior to Improve Mental Wellness

These topics and processes are detailed in the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) and can be found at www.fbo.gov (RFP No. VA118-14-R-0077) and at: www.innovation.va.gov/.

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Wolfson Children’s Hospital Updates Sunrise Rotarians

Wolfson Children's Hospital Updates Sunrise RotariansThe Chief Medical Officer of Wolfson Children’s Hospital recently updated Sunrise Rotarians in Fernandina Beach.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise is gearing up for its 2nd Annual Amelia Island International Wine and Food Tasting fundraiser whereby proceeds will go to Wolfson Children’s Hospital. As part of the planning, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jerry Bridgham visited the Rotary meeting on Friday, February 7th to give the group an update on all the events happening at Wolfson. In addition, Dr. Bridgham provided an overview of all the services that Wolfson Children’s Hospital provides to all children in need, particularly in the counties of Nassau, Baker, Clay, Duval, and St. John’s Counties.

Wolfson has been very successful in its growth and breadth of services in part due to its various affiliations with other medical organizations such as NE Florida Pediatric Society, Nemours Childrens Clinic, University of Florida College of Medicine Jacksonville, and the Mayo Clinic.

A non-profit organization, Wolfson Children’s Hospital relies on charitable donations to provide world-class care for all children in the region. With the aid of an initial $500,000 donation from the Wolfson Family Foundation, the hospital opened in 1955 as a place for all children to be admitted and treated without regard to creed, religion, race or financial position. That original mission remains today.

Pictured here is Dr. Bridgham with Mark Dennis, president of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more information about the club or to attend a morning breakfast meeting, please contact president, Mark Dennis, at mark@A1Awealthmanagement.com or go to www.ameliaislandrotary.com.

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