Congratulations to Southcoast Health for achieving gold-level recognition from the American Heart Association Workplace Health Achievement Index for taking significant steps to build a culture of health in the workplace.

“We are very proud and honored to be recognized as a leader in workplace health promotion. This is a true testament to the effectiveness of our employee well-being program, HealthQuest, to the wellness committee and leadership, who actively support and promote it, and to our employees who engage and participate in it,” said Kris Aimone, Wellness Coordinator at Southcoast Health, in a press release.

The American Heart Association created the Index with its CEO Roundtable members, a leadership collaborative of more than 30 CEOs from some of America’s largest companies who are committed to applying evidence-based approaches to improve their employees’ overall health.

New Directions Southcoast will be making 2018 summer job applications available, starting Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 2-4 p.m. at the New Directions Youth Annex, 5 Dover St., second floor in downtown New Bedford. The applications are for New Bedford youth ages 14-21. Only hard copies are available until March 9. All youth are required to be present to receive an application, attend scheduled appointments, return completed application and supportive documents and meet eligibility requirements to be considered for this youth program. The program is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation.

For more information, please contact the New Directions Youth Annex, (508) 979-1700 or on Facebook at Greater New Bedford Youth Annex (New Directions).

Recruitment for the winter jobs program for out-of-school youth is ongoing. Youth age 17-24 who are not attending high school may pick up an application at the Youth Annex Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The winter jobs program offers free pre-employment training and a four-week paid work experience with potential for permanent employment.

Have you been to New Bedford's newest downtown bar, grille and entertainment center? The Last Round is a welcomed addition to the South Coast scene! Their half-pound burgers are over-the-top gourmet grade and very reasonably priced starting at only $7. I surprised my wife, Celeste. for Valentine's Day.

I had Chef Mike Fermino's English style Fish and Chips and I was in love. Check out their ping pong, billiards and other games in a really beautiful setting! Go to They're on the corner of 908 Purchase and Middle Streets, behind Bank of America. Highly recommended!!

And finally, there's a benefit concert taking place at Greasy Luck on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 5 -8 p.m. by 4 siblings, ranging in ages 11 to 17, who've been horrified by the DACA debate. All the monies raised go to the Immigrants' Assistance Center to support the increased demand for their services.