Manatee's Meals on Wheels urgently needs drivers

Meals on Wheels urgently needs drivers

MANATEE -- Nonprofit Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee needs more volunteers to deliver hot meals to homebound or disabled individuals in Manatee County.

"The return of seasonal volunteers to their northern homes has left many delivery routes without drivers," said Olivia Lamar, a Meals on Wheels spokeswoman.

The time commitment for delivering meals is approximately one to one and a half hours, from one day per week up to five days, Lamar said. Meals are delivered between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays, Lamar added.

Meals are prepared at the Meals on Wheels PLUS kitchen at 811 23rd Ave. E., Bradenton.

"With over 700 hot, fresh meals going out into county each day, assistance from the community is crucial to our operations," said Maribeth Phillips, chief executive officer of Meals on Wheels PLUS.

Volunteers may be a parent with children at home, a responsible teenager in need of community service or a retired or semi-retired adult, Lamar said. Volunteering with a friend affords a chance to catch up on each other's lives, Lamar added.

Businesses are also encouraged to participate in an "Adopt a Route" program for their employees to have community engagement, Lamar said.

To volunteer: Call 941-747-4655 or got to mealsonwheelsplus.org.

Defusing volatile eviction standoff earns top honor

MANATEE -- Detective Jonathan Kruse has been named Deputy of the Month for April by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Kruse responded to a random shooting call Oct. 14, 2015. Kruse began to approach the complainant's home on foot seeing several signs advising the owner would defend his home from eviction by whatever means necessary.

Kruse requested backup, then approached the front door. The owner opened the door dressed in a ballistic body armor and holding a handgun.

Kruse was able to get the owner to put down the handgun. The owner said he was being evicted and would not leave without a fight, advising he shot out the window to draw law enforcement to his home and force them to shoot him.

He had also placed gas cans all over his home and planned to burn the house down.

Emergency services and soon hostage negotiators arrived and the owner agreed to allow the team into the home. The owner later stated he couldn't bring himself to follow through with his plan because of Kruse's professionalism and his kind face.

Bravery, skill at scene of accident earns citation

MANATEE -- Kelsey Belloise has been named Employee of the Moth for April by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

In March, Belloise witnessed a three-vehicle accident with one vehicle flipped over. She radioed emergency medical services, grabbed her CPR kit and prepared to assist.

A woman ran up and said her husband could not breathe. Belloise ran around to the passenger side of the vehicle and cut through air bags to gain access to the man.

The man was breathing and she checked on the other drivers and passengers involved.

"She went above and beyond the call of duty and was a calming force to those who were involved, according to a sheriff's office press release.

-- Herald staff reports