Last updateTue, 24 Nov 2015 12am

Fudge shop to open on High Springs corner

W_-_HS_Fudge_DSCF7081_copyHIGH SPRINGS – Donnie and Shauna Lee Smith, owners of Vintage Fudge, will be opening their doors with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by the High Springs Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 11 a.m.  The celebration will include free samples of the tasty treats.

Located at 90 North Main Street at the corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue, the new shop will bring a bit more sweetness to High Springs, offering more than a dozen types of fudge, sure to cure anyone’s sweet tooth.  The shop is expected to be open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

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Construction on Alachua Welcome Center to start

W-_ChamberGrantDSCF4592ALACHUA – Construction on the new Alachua Welcome Center, to be located in the former Alachua Police Department building on Main Street, could begin in as few as two weeks, according to Linda Chapman.

According to Chapman, the city hired BDI Construction to renovate the building over two years ago but could not get building permits authorized by the Alachua Chamber of Commerce.

City of Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper said BDI’s current price is $80,000 for the entire job, which he said the city hopes to negotiate down to around $50,000.

“We’re not happy with the prices we’ve got from the construction company,” Chapman said.  “We’re going to try to negotiate those down.  After that we’ll get our permits and we should be able to start working.”

According to Chapman, the city will pay the construction firm and be reimbursed by the Alachua County Tourist Development Council.

Coerper said members of the Alachua Chamber of Commerce met Wednesday, Aug. 15 in order to set a more concrete construction start time.

Chapman said the city has received free architectural and electrical planning work from local professionals, and she said once these plans and the building permits are prepared construction should start.

Coerper noted that he hopes more local businesses will offer in-kind donations in order to help the city construct the welcome center more efficiently.

“We’re looking for help from businesses,” Coerper said.  “We may need a few donations to help upgrade to welcome center affordably.  It all helps.”

“I think we’ll be able to start building in two weeks,” Chapman said. “We’re waiting for an electrical overlay plan,” referring to free electric planning donated by Leon Burgess.

“Once we have the electrical overlay and we have the permits, we should be able to start construction.”

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Herring honored by Turkey Creek Lions Club

W_-_BJ_Student_of_the_Quarter_copy  L-R: Club secretary AnnaMarie Martin; Bill, Debbie and BJ Herring and student awards chair Tony Stefanowicz

ALACHUA – William “BJ” Herring was recently named Student of the Quarter by Santa Fe High School and honored by the Turkey Creek Lions.

BJ and his parents were dinner guests at the Turkey Creek Lions Club meeting at Brown’s Country Buffet. He was presented a monetary gift for furthering his education and a Certificate of Achievement for fulfilling the four Lions’ Pillars: Community Service, Academic Performance, Citizenship and Behavior.

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TEAM TUMBLEMANIA earns top spots at championship competition

W_-_TEAM_TUMBLEMANIA_2012_USTA_NATIONALSFront L-R: Team members Hannah Tapia-Ruano, Austin Benkoczy and Allison Vargas. Middle L-R: Rachel Morrison, Emma Scott, Madison Weber and Kayley Halbrook. Back L-R: Katie Vaughn and Mary Jo McGrath

MADISON, Wis. – TEAM TUMBLEMANIA of High Springs brought home 12 Top Ten Trophies from the USTA National Trampoline & Tumbling Championships.  Over 2,200 athletes from throughout the United States competed in the individual events of Power Tumbling, Trampoline, Synchronized Trampoline and Double-Mini at the National Championships, held June 18-23 in Madison, Wis.

Individual highlights are as follows:

Allison Vargas (Newberry) NATIONAL CHAMPION! 1st Overall Sub-Advanced Trampoline & Double Mini;

Austin Benkoczy (Fort White) 4th Overall Sub-Advanced Trampoline, 6th Overall Novice Tumbling & Intermediate Double Mini;

Kayley Halbrook (High Springs) 1st in flight & 2nd Overall Advanced Double Mini, 2nd in flight & 7th Overall Advanced Trampoline;

Mary Jo McGrath (Fort White) 2nd in flight & 5th Overall Sub-Advanced Double Mini, 11th Overall Advanced Trampoline;

Rachel Morrison (Fort White) 5th in flight Novice Double Mini, 6th in flight Novice Trampoline;

Emma Scott (High Springs) 4th in flight Novice Tumbling, 5th in flight Intermediate Double Mini;

Hannah Tapia-Ruano (High Springs) 1st in flight & 5th Overall Novice Trampoline, 6th in flight Novice Double Mini;

Katie Vaughn (High Springs) 4th in flight & 7th Overall Intermediate Trampoline, 3rd in flight & 8th Overall Novice Tumbling;

Madison Weber (Alachua) 4th in flight Advanced Trampoline, 5th in flight Sub-Advanced Double Mini;

Mary Jo McGrath and Madison Weber 2nd Overall Advanced Synchronized Trampoline.

Team coaches at the National Championships included head coach Marci Schneider and assistant coach Josh Gillen.

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High Springs sells golf cart

HIGH SPRINGS – More than a month after the High Springs City Commission voted to sell a city-owned golf cart, it was finally sold on Wednesday, June 20, to a private individual from Alachua.

After being listed as surplus equipment, the golf cart was advertised on Craigslist and placed in front of the High Springs Fire Department with a “For Sale” sign. The City received three offers, but eventually the cart sold to Cindy Brady, a teacher at Alachua Elementary and the wife of City of Alachua employee Hal Brady. Brady bought the golf cart for the same price High Springs paid for it.

Hal Brady said he knew High Springs was currently suffering through a rough financial period and hoped to help. The cart will be used by the Brady family and by the City of Alachua for recreational events, such as Babe Ruth Softball tournaments. During the events, the cart can be used to transport seniors and concession workers.

On May 10, High Springs Commissioner Sue Weller placed an item on the agenda requesting discussion about the golf cart, which was purchased by the City under direction of Vice-Mayor Bob Barnas. According to Barnas, the golf cart was purchased for use at Poe Springs Park, at a time when the City was negotiating with the County to assume management and day-to-day operations of the park. On March 20, the day before the cart was purchased, the City opted to cease expenditure on the park because of construction delays and a cancelled deal with the County.

The golf cart was purchased from an individual for $1,700, which was $200 over the amount budgeted by the City.

“This is not about the golf cart itself,” Weller said on May 10. “This is about making a purchase knowing that we would probably not be going forward with Poe Springs.”

Commissioner Scott Jamison made the motion to sell the cart, and Weller seconded. The motion passed three to two, with Barnas and Mayor Dean Davis voting against it.

“We are pinching every penny we could possibly find, but we are going to buy a $1,700 golf cart,” Commissioner Scott Jamison said during the May 10 meeting. “That’s a toy.”

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