AIDS conference to be held in March
The Minority AIDS Network of Volusia/Flagler is hosting the “I Am My Brother/Sister’s Keeper” Conference from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. March 30. The conference will take place at Bethune-Cookman University’s L. Gale Lemerand School of Nursing, 739 W. International Speedway Blvd., in Daytona Beach.

The keynote speaker is HIV/AIDS activist and Jacksonville native Renee’ LadyByrd Burgess. The mother of three became an HIV/AIDS activist in 2008, months after being diagnosed as HIV positive. Her inspirational story is one that she enjoys sharing in an effort to educate others about how to prevent the spread of HIV. Burgess will share her shocking experience of hearing that she was infected while being in a married relationship with a partner who had knowingly infected her without telling her of his status. “It can happen to you as easily as it happened to me,” said LadyByrd Burgess.

Burgess is also the host of what has been described as one of the hottest online radio shows on Blog Talk Radio. She is currently a junior at the Florida Institute of Technology majoring in computer information systems.

“We are delighted to have Ms. Burgess as one of our conference speakers,” said Dr. Bonnie J. Sorensen, director of the Volusia County Health Department. “The purpose of this conference is to provide important information so people can make informed decisions about living healthy lifestyles, sex, stigma and faith.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African-Americans face the most severe burden of HIV of all racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Despite representing only 14 percent of the U.S. population in 2009, African-Americans accounted for 44 percent of all new HIV infections in that year. Compared with members of other races and ethnicities, African-Americans account for a higher proportion of HIV infections at all stages of disease-from new infections to deaths.

The conference is free to the public. Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, door prizes, information and more. To register for the “I Am My Brother/Sister’s Keeper” Conference, call 386-274-0500 ext.0571.

Beach passes on sale
Volusia County beach passes went on sale at all tollbooths this week. The passes, which are good for the entire year, are $20 for Volusia County residents and $40 for people who live outside the county. Daily passes are $5.

The beach is always open and free to pedestrians and bicyclists depending on tides and access ramps being opened.

Tolls are collected from February through November every year along the 17 drivable miles of Volusia County’s 50-mile coast. Last year, beach passes brought in more than $2.6 million, which was used to offset the cost of beach safety, improvements and maintenance.

The Volusia County Beach Patrol urges residents and visitors to observe the 10 mph speed limit and watch for pedestrians and wildlife.

To enhance beach safety, the Volusia County Council passed several new rules last year:

• Beach drivers must have one front window down and headlights on at all times.

• Texting while driving is prohibited, and cell phone use is discouraged.

• One-way-only traffic areas were established from Seabreeze Boulevard north to University Boulevard in Daytona Beach and from International Speedway Boulevard south to Silver Beach Avenue in Daytona Beach.

• Parking is prohibited in front of Ormond Beach’s Andy Romano Beachfront Park, Sun Splash Park in Daytona Beach, Frank Rendon Park in Daytona Beach Shores, and Flagler Avenue Park in New Smyrna Beach.

The county also offers five traffic-free zones and more than 3,000 off-beach parking spaces.

For more information about Volusia County’s beaches, visit

Free family-strengthening workshop to be offered at Daytona State College
The Center for Women and Men at Daytona State College, in partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler & Volusia and Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare, will host a free four-hour workshop to help parents strengthen their families from the inside out. Participants will learn about the protective factors that need to be present in a family in order to keep it strong and healthy.

The Strengthening Families workshop is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Daytona State’s Daytona Beach Campus, Bergengren Hall (Bldg. 110), Room 112. Participation is free and open to the public.

“The Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program provides access to affordable child-care services to eligible students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to pursue post-secondary education,” commented Anthony Deobil, workshop coordinator and CCAMPIS project director. “The aim of the Strengthening Families workshop is to educate parents about the importance of protective factors such as parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need as well as social and emotional competence of children.”

CCAMPIS is a federal funded grant through the U.S. Department of Education.
To register or for more information call, 386-506-4218. The workshop will be offered again on April 12.



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