Col. Fletcher, Liberty Bell Award winner.

Compiled by Jenny Bennett

Newsome High School Teacher Receives Congressional Award

Congressman Vern Buchanan recently announced that eight teachers in the 16th Congressional District were chosen for the Congressional Teacher Awards. The awards, established in 2014, are given out annually to exceptional Suncoast teachers for their outstanding achievements on behalf of students.

This year’s award recipients include Sandra Misciasci for her accomplishments as a ninth grade reading teacher at Newsome High School. Teachers were nominated for the award by their principals, then an independent panel of judges selected the winners.

Congressman Buchanan said, “While they may not always receive the appreciation or recognition they deserve, teachers have one of the most important and difficult professions of all.”

Valrico Sunday Market Returns At Chill Cawfee

Chill Cawfee is excited to relaunch the Sunday market under its new name, Valrico Artisan Faire. It is a twice-a-month event, every second Sunday and fourth Sunday under the grandfather oaks outside Chill Cawfee at 3704 Lithia Pinecrest Rd.

Have fun in the sun as you shop local artisans and enjoy a place for families and friends to bond. Jewelry, artwork, craft food, organic soaps, health and beauty products, crafts and pet products will all be available, with the spotlight on local talent and artists.

Hillsborough County Bar Association Honors Veterans Advocate With Liberty Bell Award

The Hillsborough County Bar Association has selected a local veterans advocate and volunteer, Col. (USA Ret.) Jim Fletcher, to receive its 2020 Liberty Bell Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding non-lawyer citizens whose community service strengthens the effectiveness of the American legal system.

Col. Fletcher is an active and tireless volunteer in our community, serving with the Veterans Treatment Court and several veteran organizations. He was one of the original mentors with the Veterans Treatment Court and is the task force team leader and a senior veteran mentor with the court.

This volunteer work includes actively recruiting prospective mentors for the growing docket of veteran participants; constant follow-ups with other mentors on needs of the court; checking in with his own assigned veteran participants; serving as a liaison to judges, elected officials and other community leaders; and other administrative tasks.

Speaking about Col. Fletcher, Chief Judge Ron Ficarrotta said, “Col. Fletcher is a true patriot and hero in every sense of the word. He continues to serve with honor and distinction in our Veterans Treatment Court and has been a driving force and key to the success of the court. I am proud to have Col. Fletcher as part of our court family.”

Library Curbside Pickup Now Available

Contact-free curbside pickup is now available at Bloomingdale and Brandon Regional Libraries. It is by appointment only and available Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Simply select your items online at, wait until the library notifies you that your hold is ready and then schedule your appointment online.

Bring your library card number with you and follow the confirmation email instructions to pick up your items.

Virtual Career Services Available To Job Seekers

Career Source Tampa Bay is launching an innovative way to provide virtual services and engagement to unemployed job seekers. CSTB has contracted with a web-based platform to deliver virtual services to individuals of all ages.

The Career EDGE program consists of interactive modules with built-in virtual coaching, including a job interview simulator, resume and job application builder, guidance in developing a personal brand and essential life skills curriculum to support career seekers in preparation for finding a job or advance in employment.

Access to Career EDGE is provided at New users simply need to register for an account, and registration takes less than one minute. Once the user is registered, they will have immediate access to all modules and services.

Pack N’ Play Cribs Donated To Hurricane Shelters

The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County has recently provided 1,452 pack n’ play cribs to the Emergency Operations Center to prepare for this year’s hurricane season. The cribs will be stored at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and will be deployed to emergency centers across Hillsborough County with other emergency supplies when a hurricane threatens the Tampa Bay region.

Pack n’ play cribs are one way to prevent a child from dying from unsafe sleep by providing a place where a child can be laid down to sleep alone away from other potential hazards. The cribs will be provided at no extra cost to families seeking emergency shelter.

Aging Services Caregiver Support Group Meetings Continue

Bloomingdale Adult Day Care Center would like to remind everyone that it is still operational even though the center itself is closed to the public. The Aging Caregiver Support Group meetings are continuing to take place every Thursday via teleconference.

Go to to find out more. All sessions are free.

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