Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society offering music camps

Everyone says it slows down to a crawl on the Treasure Coast every summer, and maybe that’s true for some, but anyone who is involved with Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society knows that summer is growing season — that’s right — growing season.

For the past few years, the professional musicians involved with Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society have proved they don’t just know how to talk the talk; they also know how to walk the walk and practice what they preach by hosting a summer jazz camp for students ages 14 to 94.

Most summer camps involve arts and crafts and maybe swimming and a game or two, but as you can imagine, Summer Jazz Camp is decidedly different and unique. For two weeks, students come to the camp from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily and jump right into the music, having a chance to play with the professionals and learning how to improvise, change keys on the fly, and even how to scat like a natural, all while having a great time and learning from musicians who’ve played with the likes of Duke Ellington, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Tormé, Johnny Mathis, Styx, Lawrence Welk, Dionne Warwick and so many more household names.

Because of the tremendous talent and passion of the participants, this year, there’s a third, advanced Summer Jazz Camp that will delve into the finer points of jazz and blues performance both instrumental and vocal. Led by the legendary Larry Brown, the Advanced Instrumental Jazz Camp will feature Brown on piano, David Einhorn on bass, Claudio Berardi on drums, JB Scott on brass and Gene Bruno on saxophone. That means your young musician — or you — could have a chance to learn from and perform with some of the country’s most accomplished musicians.

If vocal stylings are more your thing, eight-time Downbeatmagazine award-winning vocalist Lisa Kelly will be leading an intensive vocal boot camp for one week only, and what you’ll learn in that one week of individualized instruction could take you from karaoke clown to polished performer. Whether you’re 16 or 66, these camps are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn and live out your lifelong dream … and they’re surprisingly affordable, too.

The first two weeks of Summer Jazz Camp, which are slated for June 12-16 and June 19-23, run $135 per week or $250 for both weeks. The Advanced Jazz Camp, June 26-30 is $175, and the same week’s Vocal Boot Camp is $165.

If you’d like to be a star — or at least learn to perform like one, call today to save your space for this year’s jazz camps at the Sunrise Black Box Theatre and the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society’s Jazz Shack on the River. Call 772-460-JAZZ (5299) to register, or register online at www.jazzsociety.org.

Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/story/specialty-publications/luminaries/st-lucie-county/2017/04/24/fort-pierce-jazz-and-blues-society-offering-music-camps/100654774/

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Fort Pierce man killed in motorcycle crash – Palm Beach Post

A 43-year-old Fort Pierce man was killed when his motorcycle hit a fence Sunday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Article source: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/fort-pierce-man-killed-motorcycle-crash/FEwTOUNOJdmpgPDFDCtS2M/

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Treasure Coast March for Science in Fort Pierce – TCPalm.com

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Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/picture-gallery/news/local/st-lucie-county/2017/04/22/treasure-coast-march-for-science-in-fort-pierce/100785758/

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One year since Demarcus Semer’s death, Fort Pierce police prepare to implement body cameras

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Sunday will mark one year since 21-year-old Demarcus Semer was shot and killed by two Fort Pierce police officers. Friday, his loved ones gathered at the location where he died to honor his memory.

One year later, we are now seeing the changes that came about after his death.

Fort Pierce police officers underwent training Friday, preparing them to start wearing body cameras.
 
It was one of the recommendations from the grand jury decision that ultimately cleared the two officers of any criminal wrong doing in the 2016 shooting.
 
“Any time they go to a call for service, they’re going to be turning the camera on prior to getting out of the car,” said Sgt. Jason Braun with the Fort Pierce Police Department.
 
The department signed a 5-year, 450 thousand dollar contract for 100 body cameras. The cameras are expected to be in full use by the summer for all uniformed police officers, sergeants and below.

What’s unique about this system, the camera will activate as soon as the officer draws his or her weapon.

“This body camera system is attached to the holster with a cable,” explained Braun. “Which ever way you activate it, by the slide switch or the holster, there will be a 30 second pre-record of video.”

In addition to the cameras, Fort Pierce Police Department leaders said they are getting more involved in the community and are participating in specialized deescalation trainings.

“I’m glad they’re trying to find other ways in how to subdue a person,” said Demarcus Semer’s mother LaTrecia Middleton.

Middleton said she’s encouraged to see these changes. While she says this year has been hard, and she still wants justice, Middleton told me she has started to forgive.
 
“I hated the police for what they did but now I can say I forgive the police.”

The Fort Pierce Police internal investigation of the shooting is still ongoing and the two officers involved remain on paid administrative leave.

 

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/one-year-since-demarcus-semers-death-fort-pierce-police-prepare-to-implement-body-cameras

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Fort Pierce man killed in motorcycle crash

A 43-year-old Fort Pierce man was killed when his motorcycle hit a fence Sunday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Article source: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/fort-pierce-man-killed-motorcycle-crash/FEwTOUNOJdmpgPDFDCtS2M/

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22 abused dogs found near Fort Pierce, 2 in custody

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Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/picture-gallery/news/crime/st-lucie-county/2017/04/19/22-abused-dogs-found-near-fort-pierce-2-in-custody/100667854/

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Treasure Coast March for Science in Fort Pierce

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Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/picture-gallery/news/local/st-lucie-county/2017/04/22/treasure-coast-march-for-science-in-fort-pierce/100785758/

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Jennifer Trefelner: Garden Club of Fort Pierce’s annual plant sale is April 29

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Article source: http://www.tcpalm.com/story/entertainment/tcpalmsocial/2017/04/21/jennifer-trefelner-garden-club-fort-pierces-annual-plant-sale-april-29/100466200/

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Fort Pierce police practice techniques to prevent officer-involved shootings

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – We see it nationwide. We’ve seen it here.

Police sometimes have confrontations with members of the community.  And sometimes those confrontations can turn dangerous or even deadly.

But this week, police in Fort Pierce are taking action to hopefully prevent any future incidents. The Fort Pierce Police Department is hosting state-of-the-art de-escalation training to prevent situations that lead to officer-involved shootings.

Last year, a grand jury recommended changes be made in the department following the community outcry from the officer-involved shooting death of Demarcus Semner. Semner was killed nearly one year ago this week, on April 23, 2016.

“There’s so many different cultures that are clashing but one thing is true: Everybody wants to be treated with dignity by showing respect. But we wanted to provide a framework on exactly how to do that,” said Dave Young, co-founder and trainer for Vistelar.

Vistelar, a Wisconsin-based company, travels to only a handful of cities across the country teaching officers how to defuse tense situations, in hopes of reducing the need to use force. The company also provides training for hospitals, companies and any other profession where communication tactics are important.

This week’s training at the Fort Pierce police station involves four days of intense and focused workshops. Five officers from the department are training in the classes, along with other officers from as far away as Maryland and Illinois. That’s how on-demand this training is.

“The body posture and precision word choice when you meet somebody,” said Young during the session on Thursday. “That person’s in crisis, we want to bring them back to recovery.”

In class, officers role-played different scenarios, with guidance on what to do. From easy-going citizens needing directions to irate and screaming confrontations, several situations were practiced.

“What is it that you need, are you okay? Is everything alright?” said practiced one officer with another.

During the class on Thursday, Young demonstrated the “emergency time our scenario”, in which he portrayed an angry citizen who waited for police to arrive at the scene.

“Hey, you know I’ve been waiting here 10 or 15 minutes for somebody to get here!” he yelled at the person portraying the officer.  “Brother, my name is Mike,” said the officer calmly, keeping his hands raised in a non-threatening manner.

Young says it’s important to keep officers checked in to the emotions of others.

“‘She said this, so I’m feeling ever angrier’. And they get farther and farther and farther away from the problem by creating all these other obstacles and barriers,” he said of the interaction that happens sometimes between the officer and the resident. “Conflict is based off of miscommunication. Which is based off of misunderstandings. And how do we misunderstand? We fail to communicate.”

A big part of the class covers non-threatening hand techniques. Young stressed the importance of body language and the role it plays in certain responses from individuals.

“Having my hands in these positions,” he said, keeping his hands high and close to his upper-torso, “allows me to defend myself if the situation escalates.”

Fort Pierce officer Don Christman is the lead trainer at the department. He requested Vistelar to do a training session at the department.

“I want the community to know that the Fort Pierce Police Department takes this very seriously. We take our social contract with the community our commitment to the community very seriously,” he said. “Our job is to protect the community and go home at night and see our families as well,” he said.

He says with tensions still strong between law enforcement and the community — police need to evolve.

“Society changes. Technology changes. People change. And we as law enforcement had to change,” he said. “We have to evolve with society and we have to become better.”

Fort Pierce officers will take these techniques and train other departments across the area.

“We work together and help each other out,” added Christman.

The company has brought this exact type of training to departments as big as Los Angeles and New York City.

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/fort-pierce-police-practice-techniques-to-prevent-officer-involved-shootings

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One year since Demarcus Semer’s death, Fort Pierce Police prepare …

FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Sunday will mark one year since 21-year-old Demarcus Semer was shot and killed by two Fort Pierce police officers. Friday, his loved ones gathered at the location where he died to honor his memory.

One year later, we are now seeing the changes that came about after his death.

Fort Pierce police officers underwent training Friday, preparing them to start wearing body cameras.
 
It was one of the recommendations from the grand jury decision that ultimately cleared the two officers of any criminal wrong doing in the 2016 shooting.
 
“Any time they go to a call for service, they’re going to be turning the camera on prior to getting out of the car,” said Sgt. Jason Braun with the Fort Pierce Police Department.
 
The department signed a 5-year, 450 thousand dollar contract for 100 body cameras. The cameras are expected to be in full use by the summer for all uniformed police officers, sergeants and below.

What’s unique about this system, the camera will activate as soon as the officer draws his or her weapon.

“This body camera system is attached to the holster with a cable,” explained Braun. “Which ever way you activate it, by the slide switch or the holster, there will be a 30 second pre-record of video.”

In addition to the cameras, Fort Pierce Police Department leaders said they are getting more involved in the community and are participating in specialized deescalation trainings.

“I’m glad they’re trying to find other ways in how to subdue a person,” said Demarcus Semer’s mother LaTrecia Middleton.

Middleton said she’s encouraged to see these changes. While she says this year has been hard, and she still wants justice, Middleton told me she has started to forgive.
 
“I hated the police for what they did but now I can say I forgive the police.”

The Fort Pierce Police internal investigation of the shooting is still ongoing and the two officers involved remain on paid administrative leave.

 

Article source: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/one-year-since-demarcus-semers-death-fort-pierce-police-prepare-to-implement-body-cameras

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