speech contest set
MANATEE -- The Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District speech contest is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 9. Entry deadline is 5 p.m. Nov. 2.
This year's topic: Why Do We All Need Trees?
The contest is open to any student regularly enrolled in any high school, middle school, home school, or virtual school in grades 6 through 12 in Manatee County.
Speech length is 6-8 minutes. Cash prizes of $150, $100, and $75 will be awarded, respectively, for first, second, and third place.
Written copy of speech must be submitted by entry deadline.
Pre-registration is required. For more information and a copy of the rules call Gail Somodi, soil conservation supervisor, at 941-907-0011, ext. 101.
56 Florida Highway Patrol troopers graduate
TALLAHASSEE -- The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles welcomed 56 new troopers to the division of the Florida Highway Patrol. More than 1,800 troopers patrol state roads each day to provide protection and assistance to Florida residents and visitors.
"Today's graduating class is my first as colonel, and I am as proud today as I was the day I graduated 22 years ago," said Col. Spaulding, FHP director. "My expectations for quality, ethical and professional law enforcement will require our troopers to be the best of the best. These graduates represent some of the best there are in law enforcement today."
Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell delivered the keynote address during the graduation ceremony.
Members of the 131st basic recruit classes went through 28 weeks of intense physical and classroom training covering topics such as human relations, law, firearms, defensive tactics, vehicle operations and first aid.
Recruits also participated in several community service activities, including blood drives and volunteering to help those living with developmental disabilities.
Trooper Juan Perez won the Executive Director Award for achieving the highest grade point average at the Academy.
The Director's Award went to new Trooper Robert Davis for demonstrating extraordinary courtesy and dedication during training.
-- Herald staff reports