2nd Annual Amelia Community Theatre’s Teen Lock-In

2nd Annual Amelia Community Theatre's Teen Lock-InYour teens are invited to the Second Annual Amelia Community Theatre’s Teen Lock-In. The Lock-In will be September 11, 2015, from 7:30 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. on September 12, in the main stage theatre at 207 Cedar Street.

Sponsored by the theatre’s teen troupe, known as ACTeen, it is an entire night of theatre activities just for teens ages 13-18.

What will they be doing?
There will be workshops on preparing for auditions, stage make-up, scene work, and more, with ample adult supervision. We will also discuss our ACTeen Troupe auditions which will be the following weekend on Sunday, September 20 at 2:30 p.m. If you have a teen or are a teen interested in theatre, this will be a fun and informative night!

What to Bring
Teens need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, and $5.00 for pizza and beverages, or they are welcome to provide their own snacks.

How to Sign Up
Space is limited; parents or guardians should call 261-6749 to register. Teens must sign up in advance in order to attend the lock-in.

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Commissioner Agenda Includes Lobbying Services and an Ice Cream Truck

Commissioner Agenda Includes Lobbying Services and an Ice Cream TruckHere is the agenda for the regular meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commissioners to be held at 6:00 pm on September 1, 2015. The meeting will be held in Commission Chambers at 201 Ash Street in Fernandina.

1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE and Invocation by Reverend Stephen Mazingo of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

4. PROCLAMATION/PRESENTATIONS
4.1. PROCLAMATION – CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Proclaims the month of September 2015, as “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month”. The proclamation will be mailed to Mr. Steven Firestein, M.A., Volunteer Director of the Kids Cancer Connection, Inc. and American Cancer Fund for Children, Inc.
4.2. PRESENTATION – MAIN STREET PROGRAM UPDATE
The City, together with the Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Development Council, submitted the Main Street Program application to the State of Florida. Community Development Director Adrienne Burke will provide an update regarding the program.
4.3. PRESENTATION – FERREIRA INSURANCE / HARDEN & ASSOCIATES
Mr. Shaun Woleshin of Ferreira Insurance / Harden & Associates will be in attendance to make a brief presentation regarding the City’s General Liability Insurance renewal and answer any questions.

5. PUBLIC COMMENT REGARDING ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA OR ITEMS ON THE CONSENT AGENDA

6. CONSENT AGENDA
6.1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Workshop Meeting – August 4, 2015; Workshop Meeting – August 4, 2015; Regular Meeting – August 4, 2015.
6.2. INSURANCE RENEWAL – PREFERRED GOVERNMENTAL INSURANCE TRUST (PGIT)
RESOLUTION 2015-120 APPROVING A TWELVE (12) MONTH RENEWAL PROGRAM WITH PREFERRED GOVERNMENTAL INSURANCE TRUST COVERING CITY PROPERTY, GENERAL LIABILITY, WORKERS’ COMPENSATION, LAW ENFORCEMENT LIABILITY, PUBLIC OFFICIALS’ LIABILITY, AND AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY AND PHYSICAL DAMAGE; APPROVING OTHER INSURANCE POLICIES COVERING MARINA, FLOOD, AIRPORT, ACCIDENTAL DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT (AD&D), YOUTH ACCIDENT, ENVIRONMENTAL AND LIQUOR LIABILITY; APPROVING THE EXERCISING OF THE TWO YEAR RATE GUARANTEE OPTION; PROVIDING FOR EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Accepts the one year renewal offer by PGIT for insurance coverage including but not limited to, City property (buildings and contents), general liability, workers’ compensation, law enforcement liability, public officials’ liability, automobile liability, and property damage.
6.3. MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT – BAKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
RESOLUTION 2015-121 AUTHORIZING A COMBINED VOLUNTARY COOPERATION AND OPERATIONAL ASSISTANCE MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT WITH BAKER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; PROVIDING FOR FILING OF THE AGREEMENT WITH THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the Mutual Aid Agreement between the City of Fernandina Beach Police Department and the Baker County Sheriff’s Department for a period of five (5) years beginning upon execution of said Agreement.
6.4. INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT – NASSAU COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER’S OFFICE
RESOLUTION 2015-122 APPROVING AN INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT WITH THE NASSAU COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER’S OFFICE AND THE CITY OF FERNANDINA BEACH FOR EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS); AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the interlocal agreement with the Nassau County Property Appraiser’s Office for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
6.5. LETTER AGREEMENT – CROWN CASTLE SOUTH, LLC
RESOLUTION 2015-123 AUTHORIZING A LETTER AGREEMENT WITH CROWN CASTLE SOUTH, LLC, ON BEHALF OF NEW CINGULAR WIRELESS, AMENDING THE CURRENT LAND LEASE AGREEMENT FOR THE CELL TOWER NEAR THE UTILITIES AND MAINTENANCE COMPLEX; EXTENDING THE TERMS TO MARCH 14, 2067; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the “Letter Agreement” with Crown Castle South, LLC for the cell tower near the Utilities and Maintenance Complex.

7. RESOLUTIONS
7.1. JOINT PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT (JPA) – FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
RESOLUTION 2015-124 AUTHORIZING JOINT PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT #427248-1-94-16 WITH THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (FDOT) FOR THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW TERMINAL PROJECT AT THE FERNANDINA BEACH MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Authorizes Joint Participation Agreement #427248-1-94-16 with the Florida Department of Transportation for the Design and Construction of New Terminal project at the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport.
7.2. LOBBYING SERVICES AGREEMENT – JACOBS SCHOLZ & ASSOCIATES
RESOLUTION 2015-125 APPROVING A LOBBYING SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY AND JACOBS SCHOLZ & ASSOCIATES, LLC FOR STATE AND FEDERAL LOBBYING SERVICES FOR FY 2015/2016; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the lobbying services agreement with Jacobs Scholz & Associates, LLC.
7.3. HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS / DENTAL INSURANCE COVERAGE – UNITED HEALTH CARE / METLIFE
RESOLUTION 2015-126 APPROVING HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS WITH UNITED HEALTH CARE AND DENTAL INSURANCE COVERAGE WITH METLIFE; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Authorizes the contract with United Health Care for health care insurance benefits and with MetLife for dental insurance coverage for a period of one (1) year, with one (1) year renewals at the desire of both parties.
7.4. SOLAR PANEL PURCHASE – SUNIVA, INC.
RESOLUTION 2015-127 APPROVING THE PURCHASE OF 374 MONOCRYSTALLINE SILICON PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULES FROM SUNIVA, INC.; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the purchase of 374 monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic panels from Suniva, Inc.
7.5. FRANCHISE AGREEMENT – PNS ENTERPRISES OF YULEE
RESOLUTION 2015-128 APPROVING A FRANCHISE AGREEMENT WITH PNS ENTERPRISES OF YULEE D/B/A MS. KONE AND SON, A MOBILE ICE CREAM VENDOR, AND THE CITY OF FERNANDINA BEACH FOR THE SALE OF ICEES, FROZEN TREATS, ICE CREAM, DAIRY PRODUCTS AND PREPACKAGED SNACKS; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Grants a franchise agreement for retail sale of icees, frozen treats, ice cream, dairy products and prepackaged snacks to PNS Enterprises of Yulee for a period of one (1) year.

8. ORDINANCES – FIRST READING
8.1. FUTURE LAND USE MAP AMENDMENT – CITRONA DRIVE
ORDINANCE 2015-22 CHANGING THE CITY’S FUTURE LAND USE MAP FROM LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL (LDR) TO MEDIUM DENSITY RESIDENTIAL (MDR) AND CONSERVATION (CON) FOR A PARCEL TOTALING 7.41 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED ON CITRONA DRIVE BETWEEN UNIMPROVED HICKORY AND INDIGO STREETS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Assigns a Future Land Use Map Designation of Medium Density Residential (MDR) to 7.41 acres located on Citrona Drive between unimproved Hickory and Indigo Streets.
8.2. ZONING CHANGE – CITRONA DRIVE
ORDINANCE 2015-23 CHANGING THE CITY’S ZONING MAP TO ASSIGN A ZONING CATEGORY OF MEDIUM DENSITY RESIDENTIAL (R-2) WITH A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT OVERLAY FOR A PARCEL TOTALING 7.41 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED ON CITRONA DRIVE BETWEEN UNIMPROVED HICKORY AND INDIGO STREETS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Assigns a Zoning Category of Medium Density Residential (R-2) to 7.41 acres located on Citrona Drive between unimproved Hickory and Indigo Streets.

9. ORDINANCE – SECOND READING
9.1. MASTER FEE SCHEDULE
ORDINANCE 2015-19 ESTABLISHING AND AMENDING FEES FOR THE CITY CLERK’S OFFICE, GOLF COURSE, MARINA, AIRPORT, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, CEMETERY, FIRE DEPARTMENT, SANITATION, POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND IMPACT FEES FOR FY 2015/2016; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the amended Master Fee Schedule consisting of the City Clerk’s Office, Fernandina Beach Golf Club, Marina, Airport, Community Development, Cemetery, Fire Department, Sanitation, Police, and Impact Fees for Fiscal Year 2015/2016.

10. BOARD APPOINTMENTS
10.1. PLANNING ADVISORY BOARD
2 appointments.
10.2. FERNANDINA BEACH MAIN STREET BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD)
1 appointment.
10.3. CODE ENFORCEMENT & APPEALS BOARD
2 appointments.

11. DISCUSSION – DIRECTION – ACTION ITEM
11.1. CITY MANAGER PRO TEM APPOINTMENT

12. CITY MANAGER REPORTS
13. CITY ATTORNEY REPORTS
14. CITY CLERK REPORTS
15. MAYOR/COMMISSIONER COMMENTS
16. ADJOURNMENT

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Secretary Detzner Designates Two New Main Street Communities

Secretary Detzner Designates Two New Main Street CommunitiesTALLAHASSEE, FL – Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced the designation of Crystal River and Fernandina Beach as Florida Main Street communities. Main Street designation offers a comprehensive strategy from the statewide Florida Main Street Program to support local revitalization and historic preservation efforts.

“As the Florida Main Street Program celebrates its 30th anniversary, I am proud to welcome Crystal River and Fernandina Beach as the two newest Main Street communities,” said Secretary Detzner. “Crystal River, known for its beautiful springs and manatee population, and Fernandina Beach, known for its stunning coastline, are an important part of Florida’s historic legacy. Both communities will be tremendous assets to Florida Main Street.”

Secretary Detzner’s designation is based on the August 6, 2015 recommendation of the six-member ad hoc Florida Main Street Advisory Committee. Organizations represented on the Advisory Committee included the Florida Division of Historical Resources, Chattahoochee Main Street, Inc., Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, 1000 Friends of Florida, Florida Redevelopment Association, and Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.

Crystal River is located on Florida’s central west coast and today has a population of 3,100 residents. Best known as “Home of the Manatees,” Crystal River annually welcomes more than a half millions tourists who are attracted to the pristine springs and swimming with the manatees.

Fernandina Beach is located in the northern most corner of Florida on Amelia Island. The town of Fernandina Beach, named for King Ferdinand VII of Spain, celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2011. The Historic District of Fernandina Beach is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 45 communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul. Since the program’s inception in 1985, the Florida Main Street programs have cumulatively created 24,604 jobs, 7,337 new businesses and produced $2.45 billion in reinvestment.

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ALS is a Devastating Disorder

ALS is a Devastating DisorderIn the summer of 2014, social media was taken by storm with videos of people pouring ice water on themselves for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The worldwide phenomenon raised awareness, and millions of research dollars, for this fatal disease.

ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It’s also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS attacks motor neurons, the nerve cells responsible for regulating “voluntary” muscles that we’re aware of controlling, such as those in our arms, legs, and face. As these motor neurons degenerate or die, they stop sending signals to muscles. Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken and waste away.

“At first only a single limb may be affected, such as some weakness in a hand or a leg, or a person may have problems speaking or swallowing,” explains Dr. Amelie Gubitz, who oversees much of NIH’s ALS research.

Other symptoms may include stiff muscles, cramps, or stumbling. It may become hard to turn a key, lift a coffee pot, or button a shirt.

Eventually, all muscles under voluntary control are affected, and people lose the ability to move different parts of their body. When breathing-related muscles fail, ventilation support can help people breathe. Most people with ALS die from respiratory failure, usually within 3 to 5 years after symptoms first appeared. However, about 10% of people with ALS survive for 10 or more years.

Nationwide, more than 12,000 people have ALS. It affects people of all races and ethnicities. ALS most commonly strikes between the ages of 40 and 60, but younger and older people also can develop the disorder. Men are more likely than women to be affected.

In most ALS cases, the underlying causes are unknown. “The reasons why you get it are not really understood,” Gubitz says. “Even a healthy young person can get this disease out of the blue.”

About 10%, are inherited. In 1993, scientists discovered that mutations, or alterations, in a certain gene were associated with some cases of ALS. Since then, mutations in over a dozen genes have been found to cause familial ALS. These discoveries provide new information about the disease that will help guide future research.

Although ALS has no cure, it can be managed to some extent with medication and therapy. In 1995, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a medication called riluzole (Rilutek) as the first drug treatment for ALS. The drug prolongs life by several months, and it can extend the time before someone needs ventilation support. Riluzole doesn’t reverse the damage already done, and patients must be closely watched for possible side effects.

Other treatments for ALS aim to ease symptoms and improve quality of life. For example, an FDA-approved drug combination of dextromethorphan and quinidine (Nuedexta) helps manage intense emotional changes, such as uncontrollable laughing or crying, that are often seen with ALS.

Because the mind remains relatively intact, people with ALS may be keenly aware of their continued loss of function. They may become anxious and depressed. Health care professionals can tailor plans for therapy and equipment to keep people as mobile and comfortable as possible.

While much is still unknown, scientists are working to gain new insights into ALS. “I believe potentially promising approaches for treatment are in the pipeline,” Gubitz says. “Researchers are trying to attack the disease from many different angles, which brings much hope for progress.”

Article written by the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), Christen Sandoval, Carol Torgan, Samantha Watters, and Harrison Wein

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Amelia Island Booms with Record-Breaking July 2015

Amelia Island Booms with Record-Breaking July 2015Amelia Island, FL – The Amelia Island Tourist Development Council (AITDC) has reported record-shattering numbers from its lodging partners for the month of July. According to new research, the record-breaking month saw hotels and resorts running at 86.3 percent occupancy – an almost 4 percent (3.6) increase over 2014 figures. Total revenue generated by those stays exceeded $12 million, representing a nearly 11 percent (10.8) increase over the same month last year.

“We’re having a very good year on Amelia Island,” said Gil Langley, managing director of the AITDC. “The numbers we’re generating are what you would expect in larger destinations such as Key West or Miami. And these figures don’t even include vacation home rentals or bed-and-breakfast inns, which are some of our most popular accommodators. We’re anxious to see how well those entities performed in July.”

The July performance follows a record-setting June, in which Amelia Island outperformed major tourism destinations in Florida based on reported occupancy and revenue per available room (REVPAR) figures. For the year-to-date figures, lodging on Amelia Island is at 76.3 percent occupancy, at an average room charge of $227 per night. Revenues are up nearly 10 percent (9.8) over 2014, with $68.1 million being generated in just seven months. REVPAR, an industry standard that indicates the health of the local hotel industry, is among the highest in the southeast at $173.

The AITDC also released their Second Quarter Visitor Profile, which showed 162,500 unique visitors stayed overnight on Amelia Island between April and June. A 5.9 percent increase over the previous year, those visitors had an economic impact on the community of almost $158 million. Most of the overnight traffic was from Georgia, followed by Florida and New York, with Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Orlando as the top three markets.

For the year to date, almost 313,000 overnight guests have visited Amelia Island, a 7.5 percent increase over 2014, generating $295 million in economic impact. That spending supported one in four private-sector jobs in Nassau County and generated 38 percent of the total sales tax collected.

“Tourism is clearly the economic anchor for Nassau County. We’re the largest private sector employer and generate a significant portion of state and county sales taxes,” Langley said.

“Our efforts to expand our reach into major northern markets such as New York, Boston and Chicago are clearly paying dividends,” Langley continued. “With the support of the Nassau County Commission, we’ve been able to expand our marketing efforts targeting visitors who stay longer and spend more. We’re excited about the growth of our industry, but want to move forward cautiously to insure that we can sustain this performance.”

Langley explained that while visitation in the second quarter has increased by 35 percent since 2011, economic impact over the same five years has increased by 60 percent. “We’ve been able to generate more revenue without an exponential growth in the number of visitors. Our goals are longer stays with greater expenditures by the travel party and obviously it seems to be generating good results.”

About Amelia Island
Northeast Florida’s coastal treasure, Amelia Island is a barrier island rich in colorful history and breath-taking natural beauty. Amelia Island offers long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and pristine waters. Upscale resorts with world-class spas, championship golf and exclusive dining blend effortlessly with a captivating collection of bed and breakfast inns and historic districts. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. Forget the everyday getaway; come make memories on Amelia Island.

For visitor information and online planning, visit www.ameliaisland.com.

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Theatre Director Visits Rotary Sunrise

Theatre Director Visits Rotary SunriseAmelia Island, FL – Executive Director Linda McClane, of the Amelia Community Theatre, spoke on the heels of opening night for ACT’s 35th season which opened August 13th with a production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

This small-cast musical comedy is a celebration of the mating game, what it involves, and what it may lead to: dating, love, marriage, in-laws, and children. Presented in a revue style, it pays tribute to those who have found the courage to ask, “What are you doing on Saturday night?”

Ms. McClane spoke of the many programs offered by ACT including summer camp for kids, Studio 209 for smaller “edgier” productions, and the Peppermint Players, to name just a few. Volunteers for productions and other theatre tasks at hand are always needed!

Linda McClane referenced a quote by a long time stage director, and paraphrased with this comment, “Theatre enriches lives, changes lives and often, also saves lives.”

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets weekly at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club at 7:30am. For more information about the club or to attend a breakfast meeting, please contact President, Cindy Jackson, at bijouxamelia@comcast.net, or go to www.ameliaislandrotary.com.

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Fernandina Beach Designated Florida Main Street Community

Fernandina Beach Designated Florida Main Street Community The City is proud to announce that Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner has awarded Fernandina Beach the prestigious designation as a Florida Main Street community!

A healthy vibrant town builds its future on the past. The program promotes sensible, sustained economic growth and enhancements based on local assets, especially historic resources and buildings. Being a Florida Main Street will enable us to maintain a focus on downtown to create greater economic stability, revitalization, sustainability, vitality, quality of life and civic pride.

Fernandina Beach Main Street is a partnership between the City of Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce and the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. All partners are thankful for the overwhelming support of the community for the Main Street program and are excited to get started.

Stay tuned for updates as the program develops, and be sure to like the “Fernandina Beach Main Street” page on Facebook.

For more information on the Florida Main Street program at the Department of State, visit http://dos.myflorida.com/historical/preservation/main-street-program/ and the National Main Street site at http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street/.

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Join the Fight Against Superbugs

Join the Fight Against SuperbugsCan you imagine a world where antibiotics didn’t work anymore? You shouldn’t have to. But over the past few decades, they’ve been losing their punch. Bacterial strains that are resistant to many types of antibiotics are called superbugs. Sadly, our excessive use of antibiotics is partly to blame. A new video from NIH, Fighting Superbugs, can help you learn more about what you can do to help win this battle.

Superbugs infect over 2 million people across the U.S. each year and kill more than 23,000. Common forms of superbugs include types of tuberculosis, staph infections like MRSA, and gonorrhea.

You can help in the fight against superbugs. First, there’s prevention. Try not to spread infectious bacteria. Wash your hands often. Promote healthy bacteria in your body through exercise and healthy eating.

Your second line of defense is using antibiotics properly. Don’t ask for antibiotics if your doctor doesn’t recommend them—they should only be taken when necessary. Be sure to take them exactly as directed and finish all your medication, even if you feel better.

We can win this fight with prevention, proper antibiotic use, and research. NIH is doing its part by supporting studies of new antibiotics. To learn more about what you can do, watch the video.

Article and video by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), Christen Sandoval, Carol Torgan, Samantha Watters, and Harrison Wein

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Amelia Island Book Festival Announces Steve Berry as 2016 Honorary Chairman

Amelia Island Book Festival Announces Steve Berry as 2016 Honorary ChairmanAmelia Island, FL – With a new format and new venues, there are exciting changes in store for attendees at the upcoming 15th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival, biggest of which is Steve Berry as honorary festival chairman. With more than 15 international best sellers, Berry’s books have been translated into 40 languages with 19 million copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York Times, USA Today, and Indie bestseller lists.

“I’ve been coming to Amelia Island and its many book festivals for a long time. This year I’m honored to serve in an advisory role and work with the board to make this the best event in the history of the festival,” said Berry.

Berry is no stranger to Nassau County. In 2005, he was awarded the Stellar Award for his outstanding contributions to literacy by the Amelia Island Book Festival.

History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It’s his passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, which led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Berry will appear in Nassau County at several events throughout the three-day Festival slated for Thursday, February 18 through Saturday, February 20, 2016, along with several other New York Times best-selling headliners.

“His guidance in crafting our offerings and helping to entice other well-known authors to appear at our Festival has been invaluable,” said 2015-2016 Festival Chairperson Raffaela Marie Fenn. “He and Elizabeth have graciously offered to run their Master Writers Workshop to help us raise money for our literacy program, Authors in Schools. Replacing our usual Writers’ Workshop this year, the intense four-hour offering has been a huge boon to other communities. We are so very grateful for their generosity.”

With this year’s captivating theme, An Amelia Island Encounter—Action, Thrills and Mystery, the Festival takes on an exciting new format. Residents and visitors alike will have plenty of new attractions and new venues to revel in.

All proceeds from ticketed events go to support the Authors in Schools program, which for more than 11 years has been bringing an author to each school in the county, and buying those authors’ books for the students to create a memorable, engaging, full-circle experience highlighting the importance of the written word.

“We invite everyone to be a part of this endeavor, to support the Authors in Schools Program, as well as all the opportunities for the entire community and our visitors to celebrate life-long learning through books,” says 2015-2016 Festival Vice Chair Shiela Fountain.

Mark your calendars, check out the website www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org, and stay tuned for more exciting news and improvements.

The Amelia Island Book Festival is a not for profit 501(c)3 Corporation seeking to open up the world for people of all ages by promoting and celebrating literacy through books. With a mission to promote life-long learning though fostering an appreciation for books, we provide quality events featuring authors in engaging venues.

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Local Edward Jones Office Accepting Supplies for Nassau County Schools

Local Edward Jones Office Accepting Supplies for Nassau County SchoolsNassau County, FL – Brian Henning, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Fernandina Beach/Yulee, is supporting the teachers and students of Nassau County by using his office as a drop-off location for a school supplies drive.

Local residents and businesses may help by bringing in items to the Edward Jones branch office during regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“As our world becomes more global, competition within our younger generations continues to rise, emphasizing the importance of a quality education,” said Henning. “We’re proud to support the academic development of young minds in this community through this school supply donation program.

The items needed for the school supply drive include: copy paper, hand sanitizer, facial tissues, dry erase markers, index cards, band-aids, pencils, white board cleaner, letter size file folders, ziploc storage bags (quart and gallon size) and 3 prong pocket folders.

The branch address is 95766 Amelia Concourse, Fernandina Beach (before you reach North Hampton).

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 14,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015, is headquartered in St. Louis.

FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with and do not endorse products or services of Edward Jones.

The Edward Jones website is located at www.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

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Man Found Dead by early Morning Dog Walker

Man Found Dead by early Morning Dog Walker Fernandina Beach, FL – The Fernandina Beach Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement all responded to a report of a deceased person found by an early morning dog walker in the 2300 block of Sadler Road. The scene has now been examined by investigators and processed for forensic evidence, although no investigative conclusions have been reached and the case is pending additional procedural steps, to include an autopsy scheduled for tomorrow.

The working theory continues to focus on the likelihood that thirty-five year old William Ragsdale was struck while walking near the roadway, although it remains unclear if he was struck by a vehicle, struck by a vehicle mirror or something protruding from the vehicle, or if he simply fell and struck his head on the roadway or curb. Although his shoes were found tied and near the roadway, the victim apparently survived and was able to travel some fifty feet into a nearby parking lot. Foul play has not been ruled out at this time. Ragsdale had been reportedly drinking heavily and may have been walking home from an area bar at the time of this incident.

Investigators would like to hear from those that may have been in the company of William Ragsdale last night or those that may have pertinent information regarding this case. Ragsdale recently gave his local address as 2195 Drury Road in unincorporated Nassau County, although he has reportedly only been in Florida for about four months, having moved to Florida from Dover, DE. Next of kin have been notified of his death.

Fernandina Death and Burial Records Presentation

Fernandina Death and Burial Records PresentationAmelia Island Museum of History’s 3rd on 3rd Presentation, Fernandina Death & Burial Records, with Joshua Goodman, will be held on August 21, 2015, at 6:00 PM in the Peck Auditorium.

Join the museum as special guest Joshua Goodman, an Archives Historian at the State Archives of Florida, will discuss the value of Fernandina’s Death and Burial Records for studying genealogy, and the history of public health in Florida at the turn of the 20th century.

This program is free and open to the public.

The Peck Center’s Willie Mae Ashley Auditorium is located at 516 S 10th Street.

Seating is first-come/first-served. For more information contact Gray at 261-7378 ext 102, or gray@ameliamuseum.org.

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Florida Foster Care Discussed at Rotary Sunrise

Florida Foster Care Amelia Island, FL – Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise welcomes Mollie Garrett and Ashanta Albury to discuss Florida Support Services’ Foster Care Program.

Local attorney Mollie Garrett and Florida Support Services counselor of 18 years, Ashanta Albury, visited the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise to discuss the foster care system in Nassau County.

While reconnecting with birth parents is the ultimate goal, perhaps more important, and desperately needed here on Amelia Island is having families available to serve as “respite” or temporary homes for children in need. Ms. Garrett described her personal experiences with fostering children.

Said Mrs. Garrett about her many experiences with FSS, “My husband and I had a desire to have more children and realized the room in our home and our hearts could be used to serve those children with an immediate need. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Ms. Albury stressed the importance of further strengthening the bonds with the children and the child’s natural family once the foster care need has been fulfilled. This can be achieved by keeping that connection going by becoming an aunt or uncle, godparent, or mentor which benefits all concerned. Ideally this is the best case scenario, and one that FSS strongly encourages and attempts to facilitate.

Of the twenty-three children in the foster care system, only six are with families here in Fernandina. The reminder of the children must go to foster families in Jacksonville.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets weekly at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club at 7:30am. For more information about the club or to attend a breakfast meeting, please contact President, Cindy Jackson, at bijouxamelia@comcast.net, or go to www.ameliaislandrotary.com.

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Get Discounts on Business Class Flights to Bangkok

Get Discounts on Business Class Flights to BangkokBangkok, the capital and the most populous city in Thailand, also known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, is not only a visitors’ paradise, but also renowned to be the centre for the investment boom of Asia in the 1980’s and 1990’s. As such, many multinational houses have located their regional headquarters to Bangkok making it a very important regional force in finance and business. Thus, there is always a never ending search in the reputed search engines for first class flight deals and for discounted business class tickets to Bangkok. It has become one of the most visited tourist spots – not only in Asia, but also around the world.

A very important question, from a tourist’s point of view, might be what to expect when planning a visit to Bangkok. Basically, a visit to Bangkok will be colorfully crowded, exciting, and full of ambience with an abundance of modern shopping malls. Apart from that, with a bit of time in hand, it also serves as a gateway to other important tourist spots like Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, to mention only a few.

Some tourist attractions in Bangkok can never be ignored. A few are listed below:
1. Grand Palace: If one needs to select one historical tourist spot in Bangkok, this must be it. Built in 1782, the name itself suggests the grandeur of the place as it has enough ammunitions to put the modern monarchs to shame.
2. Wat Pho: Thailand’s first University and treated as the home of pharmacy centuries ago, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, as it is known in the contemporary times, is located immediately to the south of the Grand Palace. Here, one of the biggest statues of Lord Buddha can be found.
3. Wat Traimit, Temple of the Golden Buddha: The East Asiatic society purchased the land around the temple in 1950 with the removal of a plaster statue of Lord Buddha being one of the conditions of the sale. But the statue proved too heavy for the cranes to lift it, and finally the cable broke, dropping the statue. After an overnight rain it was found out that the statue was actually made of 5.5 tons of pure gold and its height was to be 3.5 meters.
4. Wat Suthat: Situated adjacent to the great swing, this is one of the oldest and the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Bangkok. It is famous for its exceptionally interesting wall paintings.
These are only a few places out of many that make Bangkok a famous destination in the world.

If you are planning a trip to Bangkok you can consult the Skylux Business Experts’ first class flight deals for interesting offers regarding discounted business class airfare and start packing for one of the most memorable trips of your life.

Author Bio: This content has been developed by Alex Brain to provide an overview of Bangkok as a travel destination and helping people out with the interesting deals offered in http://www.skyluxtravel.com/special-offers.

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Feeling Low, Change your lifestyle

Feeling Low, Change your lifestyleThere must have been a time when you, or someone you know, was feeling low or down in the dumps. It could have been because of heartbreak, or maybe because you were unable to achieve your goals, because you could not get that job you had an eye for, or even simply for no apparent reason. You probably felt that you are fighting some kind of a battle, and your days were heavy and pointless. If so, that is perfectly okay. There is no rule that says you have to be happy 24/7 and everyone goes through such zombie days. The important thing, however, is to not remain in that state for long. You have to fight it off and regulate your life rather than shutting off everything and everyone and agonizing over it. Yet that does not mean medication and anti-depressants are the only way out.

Talk it out
Your situation demands that you stop bottling up your feelings and share your problems with someone you trust. A close friend, your sibling or parent, a neighbor maybe? Whomever you are comfortable with. While they may not always have suggestions for you to improve your life, opening up to someone will make you feel better.

Stop pressurizing yourself
We tend to pressurize ourselves, a lot. We are never satisfied with the results we get. Of course, one should be ambitious and aspire greatness, but certainly not to the point of making yourself feel worthless. Sit back, relax, and reflect on your life. Remind yourself of every success you have attained and every good thing you have done. Focus on your achievements, not your failures. Be content with yourself.

Exercise
Exercising as little as 30 minutes, three times per week can bring about tremendous improvement. It has been proved through some studies that exercising helps people who have mild or moderate depression. The reason exercise is a great way to feel better is that the activity releases “feel good” chemicals in the brain that improve your mood. Besides, you feel better physically as well which, again, means better emotional well being.

Eat well
It is common knowledge that the kind of food you eat makes a difference to your physical health, but the effects are on your emotional well being too. Yet, when people feel depressed they tend to turn to junk foods. Fatty meals and highly processed carbohydrates cause you to feel sluggish while a balanced diet, low in processed carbs,helps improve your mood.

Sleep well
While this may seem to be a chore to you in this condition, it is important to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep makes anyone feel upbeat and extreme sleep deprivation causes depression. But that also does not mean that you sleep away your days.

Yoga/Meditation
Performing yoga or meditation helps combat stress. It relaxes you and the results last long after the session.

Meet up with people
Cocooning yourself in your room certainly does not help and that is what people usually do when they feel low. Isolation only worsens it rather than helping with recovery.Get out of your house. Indulge in sociable activities. Meet your family. Plan a casual outing for the coming weekend. While you are at it,ladies, pick out your favorite dress, throw in some make up and accessories and doll up. Looking good will definitely make you feel confident about yourself.

Spend time with animals
While it may seem farfetched to some, animals are therapeutic and really smart. They can sense your depression. Having a pet and spendingtime with them lifts up your spirits. Ever wondered why so many dentists have a fish aquarium at their clinics? It is because simply watching fish lowers blood pressure and muscle tension in those about to undergo oral surgery.

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