Manatee dispatcher awarded for her skills in 2 pursuits

March 31, 2014 

Manatee dispatcher awarded for two pursuits

BRADENTON -- A Manatee County Sheriff's Office dispatcher has been named Employee of the Month for March for her calm and professional manner in handling a vehicle pursuit.

Jessica Littler was on the job March 3 during a vehicle pursuit by patrol units relating to a burglary, according to a news release.

The 90-minute pursuit ended in Hillsborough County. Littler handled numerous requests made by the units involved while continuing to monitor and document all radio traffic in the computer.

The pursuit ended in the arrest of three suspects, according to the release.

"Throughout the incident, Jessica maintained a calm demeanor and managed all tasks attached to her duties," said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube.

The next day, a stolen vehicle pursuit came up on Littler's radio. That incident involved several traffic crashes caused by the fleeing driver across several jurisdictions before he was arrested.

"Jessica ensured all crash locations were covered and EMS was summoned as needed," Steube said. "Again, Jessica remained calm and professional in the course of her duties."

SCF juried student exhibit comes to Bradenton April 11

BRADENTON -- Annual juried SCF Student Art Exhibitions, featuring the best artwork produced by State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota students in the 2013-14 academic year, will be featured at opening receptions noon-2 p.m. Thursday in the library at SCF Venice, 8000 S. Tamiami Trail, building 300, and 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 11, in the Fine Art Gallery at SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. W.

Receptions are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The exhibit at SCF Bradenton will display artwork including the Best in Show, SCF President's Award, Keeton's Honorable Mention Awards and first place in the following categories: photography, graphic design, two-dimensional design and three-dimensional design. Cash prizes will be awarded.

The juror for the exhibition will be Richard Herzog, assistant professor of sculpture at New College of Florida. The exhibition runs through April 23. Artwork will be available for viewing 10 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays at the SCF Fine Art Gallery.

Local church schedules next 'Important Speaker'

BRADENTON -- Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and a frequent guest on the "PBS News Hour," "Today Show," "Nightline" and "60 Minutes," will speak at the Congregational United Church of Christ at 3 p.m. Saturday as part of the "One People -- Many Voices" Important Speakers Series.

Lynn is a long-time civil liberties activist and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

"I've never thought of inclusiveness as a progressive thing," said the Rev. Dr. Bob Sichta of the Congregational United Church of Christ. "I've only always thought of it as a normal thing. In Rev. Lynn, we have the chance to hear one of the nation's foremost authorities on social issues that impact us all, and we owe it to ourselves and our grandchildren to better understand what those issues are all about., particularly as a people who are finally showing healthier signs of embracing our diversity."

The Congregational United Church of Christ is in West Bradenton at 3700 26th St. W., one traffic signal north of Cortez Road. Public invited free of charge.

-- Herald staff reports

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