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Alachua County Extension February Programs

AC_Beyond2012E  ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following Commercial Horticulture Programs, for February 2012. These programs are offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville).

Integrated Pest Management Update – Feb. 8, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This statewide video conference is designed to provide training in Pest Management Updates for anyone working in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas.  FNGLA and FDACS Pesticide Continuing Education Units will be awarded.

Cost to attend this class is $20 (lunch is included). Pre-register by Feb. 7.

Living on a Few Acres (12 part series) – Feb. 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This is a new program for 2012, and will be held on the third Thursday of each month. This class is entitled "Alternative Enterprises."

This monthly program is designed as an introduction to basic production techniques on a wide variety of topics from pasture management and livestock production to growing vegetables and alternative enterprises. The program is designed to provide information to individuals interested in beginning or improving a small scale agricultural operation.

Cost $10 for individuals and $15 for couples for entire series (notebook and materials provided). Pre-register by February 13.

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance Workshop – Feb. 22, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

This class includes six hours of the required training for LCLM license applicants.  Participants needing recertification begin can attend the first four hours of class, but are encouraged to take the Advanced Landscape Training Workshop instead. The LCLM license exam will be given the same day as the class.  You must have all of your license application paperwork completed to sit for the exam.

Continuing Education Units will be offered in the following categories: 3 General Standard/Core, 3 Ornamental & Turf, 3 Private Applicator Ag, 3 Limited Lawn & Ornamental, 3 Limited Landscape Maintenance, 3 Commercial Lawn & Ornamental.

The registration fee is $30 includes program materials, refreshments, and lunch for the day. Pre-register at least three working days prior to the event.

For more information or to register for any of these programs, visit http://alachua.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml or call 352-337-6209 (voicemail) or 352-955-2402.

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Chamber celebrates thriving business community

AC_Beyond2012E  GAINESVILLE – Jan. 20, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Council for Economic Outreach (CEO) hosted hundreds of business leaders at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Toast to Business, an evening featuring big announcements and honors.

The event began with the announcement of the new Silver Airways facility at the Gainesville Regional Airport, a project CEO has been working on with the Gainesville Regional Airport since October.

Thomas McIntosh, 2011 Chairman of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, said: "We're thrilled that Silver Airways has chosen Gainesville as the site for its new service center, breathing new life into a state-of-the-art aviation facility.  Silver carefully selected a home where the company could grow and provide centralized service to key markets.  On behalf of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and Council for Economic Outreach, we stand poised and totally committed to helping this new company grow and thrive right here in our community."

The Chamber welcomed 2012 Chairman of the Board Mike Gallagher, president and CEO of SantaFe Healthcare, the parent company of AvMed Health Plans, and honored its top 2011 volunteers.

  • Diplomat of the Year – Steve Jeppson, Florida Credit Union
  • Volunteers of the Year – Linda McGurn, McGurn Investments and David Day, UF Office of Technology Licensing
  • Innovation Award – Community Bank and Trust
  • Chairman’s Awards – University of Florida and Tom Mallini, M&S Bank

Former University of Florida President and founder of IFAS, E.T. York, was honored with the Legacy Award for his service in Alachua County and around the world.

The Chamber also screened the top three Community Video Challenge Contest finalists. The contest challenged community members to create a video about what they think makes Gainesville special. The winning video was created by Keith Perry and Co. and can be viewed on innovationgainesville.com.

The night ended with a toast by Angela Pate, president of the evening’s presenting sponsor, Focused Management Solutions.

“Focused Management would like to toast you all for working together to build our thriving business community,” Pate said. “We would like to Toast Silver Airways and welcome you to Gainesville. I think you will find that we really do make cool things happen in this community. We raise our glasses to all of you!”

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3 Florida panthers die in early 2012, after 24 deaths, 32 births documented in 2011

AC_Beyond2012E  Florida panthers are off to a rough start in 2012, with three deaths documented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Last year, 24 Florida panther deaths were recorded, but FWC biologists also observed 11 radio-collared females giving birth to 32 panther kittens. Overall, the known number of newborn panthers in 2011 appears to have offset the known number of panther deaths.

Today, an estimated 100 to 160 adults of this federally endangered species live in Florida. Panthers almost disappeared from the wild in this state when their numbers fell to fewer than 30 in the 1970s. Since then, their population has been increasing.

Collisions with vehicles continues to be the greatest source of human-caused mortality to this long-tailed cat that can weigh up to 160 pounds and grow to 6 feet or longer.

Already, in just the first week of 2012, there were two documented deaths of panthers hit by vehicles on highways in Collier County, where the greatest concentration of panthers in the state is found. The third fatality was caused by a fight with another panther. Among the 24 documented panther deaths in 2011, nine deaths, or more than a third, were due to collisions with vehicles.

“Florida panther deaths are most often the result of one of two things:  collisions with vehicles or aggression from other panthers,” said Kipp Frohlich, head of the Imperiled Species Management Section at the FWC. “We can’t control panthers fighting when they are defending their territory; that is a part of nature. But we can do something about human-caused panther mortalities.”

“People who slow down and drive carefully in rural areas, especially where panther crossings are identified, can make a difference in conservation of this endangered species. It is especially important to slow down and keep a careful lookout at dawn or dusk, when panthers are most likely to be on the move,” Frohlich said.

The FWC continues to work with many partners to conserve and increase habitat available to panthers on both public and private lands. This is a critical step to ensuring the survival of panthers, the official state animal of Florida.

People are encouraged to report sightings of an injured or dead panther by calling the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone. Another option is texting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (standard usage fees may apply).

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Road and Lane Closures for January 21 - 27, 2012

AC_Beyond2012E  LAKE CITY – The following is a list of roadwork underway by the Florida Department of Transportation that may impact traffic.

ALACHUA COUNTY:

Archer Road (State Road 24) Nighttime lane closures at Southwest 40th Avenue to extend the left turn lane.

 Archer Road (State Road 24) The sidewalks are closed in areas between Southwest 44th and 78th streets, west of Interstate 75, for repairs prior to the road being resurfaced. Pedestrians are directed to use the sidewalks on the opposite side of the road.

 East University Avenue (State Road 26) Daytime lane closures to repaint the roadway markings from Waldo Road (State Road 24) to Main Street (State Road 329).

 Interstate 75 at Newberry Road (Exit 387) Traffic is scheduled to be switched to the new northbound ramp Wednesday night. The ramp may be closed for up to four hours after 9 p.m. on Wednesday night to finalize the new traffic pattern and shift. Traffic will be detoured to either Archer Road (Exit 384) or Northwest 39th Avenue (Exit 390). The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph on I-75 and semi-trucks are allowed to use the northbound inside lane approaching the Newberry Road interchange. The sidewalk on the south side of the overpass between the northbound and southbound exit ramps remains closed. Pedestrians are directed to use the sidewalk on the north side of the road.

 Interstate 75 frontage road (April Boulevard) Daytime lane closures from US 441 to the end of the road for drainage and shoulder work.

 Newberry Road (State Road 26) Daytime and nighttime lane closures at the I-75 northbound exit ramp for repaving the ramp.

 North Main Street (State Road 329) Daytime lane closures to repaint the roadway markings from East University Avenue to Northwest Eighth Avenue.

 Northwest Sixth Street (State Road 20) Daytime lane closures to repaint the roadway markings from Northwest Eighth Avenue to US 441.

 Northwest Eighth Avenue (State Road 20) Daytime lane closures to repaint the roadway markings from North Main Street to Northwest Sixth Street.

 Southwest 13th Street (US 441) Daytime lane closures south of Archer Road (State Road 24) to modify sidewalk and driveways on both sides of the road to make improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists. The work is being overseen by the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).

Southwest 34th Street (State Road 121) Crews will be repainting the roadway lines between Williston Road (State Road 331) and West University Avenue (State Road 26) which is a moving operation.

 State Road 24 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines from the Levy County line to US 27/41 in Archer which is a moving operation.

 State Road 235 Daytime and nighttime lane closures between County Road 241 and the Bradford County line near Brooker to resurface.

 US 27/41 Daytime lane closures from the Levy County line to US 441 in High Springs to repaint the roadway markings. Also, crews will be repainting the roadway lines which is a moving operation.

 US 301 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines between the Bradford and Marion county lines which is a moving operation.

 US 441 Daytime lane closures to repaint the roadway markings from Northwest Sixth Street to the Columbia County line.

 Waldo Road (State Road 24) Daytime lane closures just north of Northeast 39th Avenue for construction of a driveway and a right turn lane.

 BAKER COUNTY:

County Road 125 (Manntown Bridge) The Manntown Bridge, just south of Interstate 10,  is closed to all traffic for four months to accommodate bridge replacement. Traffic is detoured to Mud Lake Road (County Road 130), State Road 121, I-10 and back to CR 125.

 County Road 250A (Forest Road 42) Work has begun on a project to resurface from US 90 to Interstate 10. No lane closures are expected.

 BRADFORD COUNTY:

Pratt Street No traffic impacts expected between State Road 100 and Myrtle Street in Starke. The sidewalk is in place.

 US 301 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines between the Alachua and Clay county lines which is a moving operation.

COLUMBIA COUNTY:

Branford Highway (SR 247) Work to add a northbound right turn lane onto Bascom Norris Road is underway and utility companies are moving their utility lines off the east side of the road which should not impact traffic.

 Branford Highway (State Road 247) Daytime lane closures north of Bascom Norris Road between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. to repave a small section of the road.

 Interstate 10 The westbound on and off ramps at US 41 (Exit 301) will be closed Sunday and Monday nights to repave. The closures will begin at 8 p.m. and will conclude by 6 a.m. each day. Traffic will be detoured to US 441, County Road 100A and back to US 41. Law enforcement officers will be posted at the closures and the detour route will be marked.

 Interstate 75 The on and off ramps at the I-10 interchange may be closed for resurfacing beginning Wednesday night from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. each day. Traffic will be detoured to State Road 136 (Exit 439) and County Road 137, back to I-10 at Exit 292. Law enforcement officers will assist with the detours. Signs will be posted.   No work is allowed from Friday at 6 a.m. until Sunday at 9 p.m.

 Interstate 75 Two lanes will be closed northbound from the Alachua County line north beginning Sunday night at 8 p.m. and continuing until noon Monday to place the final layer of asphalt on the center lane. From noon Monday, only one lane will be closed northbound. The double lane closures northbound will resume Monday night at 8 p.m. and continue until Tuesday morning. Also, daytime lane closures Monday through Thursday for southbound traffic from south of US 41/441 (Exit 414) to the Alachua County line to place the final layer of asphalt on the outside lane. The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph during lane closures. No lane closures allowed from Friday at 6 a.m. through Sunday at 9 p.m.

State Road 47 Daytime lane closures between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the Santa Fe River Bridge at the Gilchrist County line to install a chain link fence on top of the bridge railing.

 US 41/441 Daytime lane closures from US 90 to the Alachua County line to repaint the roadway markings.

 US 441 Daytime lane closures from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. north of Deep Creek to the Georgia line to repave 11 small sections of the road.

 US 90 Daytime lane closures between the Baker and Suwannee counties to repaint the roadway markings.

 GILCHRIST COUNTY:

US 129 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines between the Levy and Suwannee county lines which is a moving operation.

 HAMILTON COUNTY:

Interstate 75 Crews will be placing signs for the upcoming resurfacing and may be working on a drainage structure between the Suwannee River Bridge and US 129 (Exit 451). No lane closures expected. No lane closures are expected.

 Interstate 75 Daytime lane closures between US 129 (Exit 451) and State Road 6 (Exit 460) to finish the resurfacing project which is scheduled for the latter part of the week.

Interstate 75 The southbound agricultural inspection station at mile marker 446 is closed until February while a new station is built.  All livestock is redirected to the FDOT weigh station at mile marker 451 which is north of the closed agricultural inspection station.

 

LEVY COUNTY:

US 19 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines between State Road 320 and US 129 in Chiefland which is a moving operation.

US 19 Daytime lane closures for northbound and southbound traffic in Fanning Springs for shoulder repairs.

 State Road 24 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines between US 19 and the Alachua County line which is a moving operation.

 MADISON COUNTY:

State Road 6 Daytime lane closures from US 90 to the Hamilton County line to trim trees.

State Road 53 Daytime lane closures from US 90 to the Georgia line to repair the asphalt.

State Road 145 Daytime lane closures to place sod on the shoulders and install guardrail in areas between Hanson and the Georgia line.

 SUWANNEE COUNTY:

Interstate 10 Daytime lane closures between US 90 (Exit 275) and US 129 (Exit 283) to place guardrail in the median and work on the motorist aid call boxes. The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph during lane closures. No lane closures allowed Friday through Sunday and lane closures are restricted to two miles.

 TAYLOR COUNTY:

US 27 Daytime lane closures from Jefferson Street to County Road 30 to make asphalt repairs.

US 98 Possible daytime lane closures Monday through Friday as work continues to build a temporary bridge across the Aucilla River at the Jefferson County line. No detours will be required for this project.

 UNION COUNTY:

State Road 100 Work continues on the multi-use trail that follows the old Norfolk Southern rail corridor adjacent to SR 100 from State Road 238 to County Road 237. Motorists should watch for construction equipment and workers in the area Monday through Friday.

 State Road 121 Crews will be repainting the roadway lines between the Alachua and Baker county lines which is a moving operation.

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FloridaWorks receives $5 million healthcare and biomanufacturing training grant

AC_Beyond2012E  GAINESVILLE – FloridaWorks is partnering with local businesses to provide on-the-job-training (OJT) opportunities through a new Healthcare and Biomanufacturing Occupations Training Program (HBOT).

The program, which can be implemented over the next four years, is made possible through a $5 million grant from the United States Department of Labor.

Funding for the program comes from H1B visa fees collected from employers hiring foreign workers. HBOT encourages employers to hire and train for the employer’s specific needs, and are required to hire and train unemployed adults and retain them in employment after the HBOT funded on-the-job training period ends. It is anticipated that this program will provide over 200 unemployed people in the region with new employment opportunities.

The HBOT program is specifically designed to assist the healthcare and biomanufacturing companies in Alachua and Bradford counties, by reimbursing them with up to 90 percent of salaries to train local workers on the job. FloridaWorks will accept applications from employers to hire workers under the program.

FloridaWorks, the Alachua Bradford Regional Workforce Board, is a workforce investment board comprised of 37 local community leader board members.

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