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Buccaneer talks to youth today

Buccaneer talks to youth today

Bradenton, FL -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and the Dairy Council of Florida are taking part in an assembly at Bashaw Elementary School today from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. as part of "Fuel Up to Play 60," a national in-school health and wellness program that encourages kids to eat well and exercise.

The program is designed to combat childhood obesity and help today's children develop healthy eating and physical activity habits to last a lifetime.

Students can participate in fun challenges with their classmates along the way to have the chance to unlock cool content and earn badges, and even get rcognized on the Fuel Up To Play 60 website.

Palmetto students get surreal in St. Pete

Palmetto students get surreal in St. Pete

Palmetto, Florida -- After receiving grant money for arts programming for students, Palmetto High School has been making the most of their Art Department's new resources. For starters, a portion of the $3,823 grant from the Leslie Margaret Weller Arts Education program funded a fun-filled field trip to the world-renowned Salvador Dali museum that just re-opened in St. Pete.

The surrealist painter's masterpieces fill the uniquely architectured space, allowing students to see some of the world's most celebrated art in person on their recent visit. The PHS art students will even apply his style in their own classrooms this semester, when an upper level 3-D class starts crafting a ceramic totem pole using a surrealist art style, like Dali's, that will ultimately be welded onto a fence pole permanently at the end of the project.

Class-size penalty reduced for Manatee County schools

Class-size penalty reduced for Manatee County schools

Bradenton, FL -- After an appeal by the Manatee County School District, which was penalized for exceeding the class-size limitations set by the Florida Department of Education last year, the $,117,699 fine has been reduced to $257,794. The adjusted amount "limits the District’s exposure to the proposed penalty," according to Jim Drake, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services.

The County School Board press release goes on to explain the compliance plan which the district must deliver as part of the appeal:

As part of the appeal process, the Manatee District must file a plan to become compliant with the Class-Size Amendment during the next school year. Although the compliance plan is not due until February 15, 2011, district officials intend to file a compliance plan as early as next week. Once the compliance plan is submitted, it should further reduce the Manatee District’s penalty for non-compliance this year to a total of $64,488.50.

Manatee District teachers receive funding for special projects

Manatee District teachers receive funding for special projects

Bradenton, FL -- More than 100 Manatee County teachers will receive funds today for special projects inside their classrooms and schools.

The Manatee Education Foundation will distribute more than $48,800 as part of its annual Ca$h for Cla$$room Grants program during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. at Rogers Garden Elementary School, 515 13th Ave. W., in Bradenton.

The goal of the Ca$h for Cla$$room Grants program is to provide funding for supplies and costs that tax dollars cannot provide.

Manatee County teachers awarded grants

Manatee County teachers awarded grants

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida -- Twenty Manatee County teachers and one private school teacher were among the 206 educators across the District's 16-county region awarded Splash! school grants on Dec. 20 through the Southwest Florida Management District.

Mary Margaret Hull, lead communications coordinator, attributed the effectiveness of the grant program in Manatee County to the strong partnership with Manatee County Schools, which helped get the word out to teachers. Judy Griffin, Manatee County curriculum specialist, serves as the District’s liaison to teachers.

“These teachers are receiving a small amount of money but are able to accomplish so much,” Hull said in a statement. “Grant recipients also use the District’s collection of curriculum materials and other free educational resources.”

High school coach arrested for trafficking drugs

High school coach arrested for trafficking drugs

Bradenton, Florida - A high school baseball coach in Manatee County is under arrest facing drug trafficking charges following a year-long investigation.

Detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office say 35-year-old Frankie Sanders sold prescription pills to undercover detectives on several occasions before his arrest Monday.

He was taken into custody around 8:30 Monday morning in the parking lot of the Blake Medical Center where detectives say they spotted him during a suspected drug deal, with his three-year-old son in the car.

"He was cooperative. He took us over to the house where we were able to go through the house," said Manatee Sheriff's spokesman Randy Warren.

There detectives say they seized $20,000 in cash along with 60 grams of cocaine, 92 grams of Oxycodone tablets and two grams of Xanex. The street value of drugs seized in estimated at $16,000.