30
Fri, Sep
566 New Articles

ALACHUA ‒ People shopping at Alachua’s Hitchcock’s grocery store may be in for a surprise. The store’s parking lot may appear typical with its marked off parking spots and cart corrals. But for those taking a closer look, an array of shiny almost sci-fi-like white structures dotting the perimeter of the store’s property along U.S. Highway 441 says otherwise.

Blame it on rising gas prices or concerns about climate change, but there is undoubtedly an increasing demand for hybrid and electric cars. With An average EV car getting about 250 miles on a full charge, and with the burgeoning sales of EV cars, a growing problem is the limited number and availability of public charging stations.

And that’s where Hitchcock’s, Tesla and the parking lot sentries enter the picture. As the largest manufacture of EV cars, Tesla has created a network of 35,000 Supercharger stations to support their vehicles. The stations are located on major routes near convenient amenities and gas stations to create a network to support longer travel and road trips.

Tesla had already built stations in Gainesville and Jacksonville, but not to the north in rural Florida, leaving drivers in North Central Florida with the only option of driving to major hubs when not charging at home.

Hitchcock’s owner Carlos Alvarez is also a Tesla owner, and he saw a need for a supercharging station in the Alachua/ High Springs area and the surrounding rural communities. Alvarez believed the location of the store, close to I-75 and along U.S. Highway 441, offered an ideal spot for a station. It took over a year of negotiations, but Tesla finally agreed to build a station at Hitchcock’s and cover all costs. The City of Alachua provided access to the City's power supply, and two months ago, 12 stations of Supercharger stalls were installed along the north perimeter of the Alachua Hitchcock's parking lot.

Daughter of Carlos Alvarez, Giselle Alvarez says, “We saw a need for the station for the community and travelers, so we made the offer to Tesla. In our opinion this was a good concept and has proven to be very successful with multiple cars there every day.”

Using the Tesla app, Tesla owners can view Supercharger stall availability, monitor their charge status or get notified when you’re ready to go after charging. For trips, they can enter a destination on the car's touchscreen and the Trip Planner app will automatically calculate the route with Superchargers along the way. However, the key to the whole system is providing stations along the way.

While Tesla provides the station for their car owners, the charging stations are not free, but offer a much lower cost than gas, especially with this year’s surge in prices. Electric vehicles are less expensive to fuel than gasoline powered vehicles. The average person drives between 10,000 and 15,000 miles and spends between $1,400 and $2,100 on gasoline per year. In comparison, the cost of electricity to power a Tesla over the same distance is up to four times lower.

Over the six-year average length of car ownership, that's between $6,600 and $9,600 in gasoline savings. The average Supercharger cost of $0.25 per KW to fully recharge a Tesla or other EV car for 250 miles of range costs approximately $22. The stations are free to any Tesla owner who bought their car before 2018.

The Supercharger network allows EV drivers to plug in at a convenient location, take a break, do a little shopping or get a bite to eat. “This station not only benefits the citizens of Alachua and High Springs, it also provides travelers on I-75 a chance to explore our community and businesses after using the station,” said Giselle Alvarez.”

#     #    #

email rcarson@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ It may be only the middle of July, but back to school is just around the corner. In Alachua County, some 28,000 public school students head back to the classroom on Wednesday, Aug. 10—only four weeks away.

With the new school year fast approaching, parents may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially if their student is moving into middle or Today Staff Report

high school. To help ease the transition and answer any questions, the Alachua County School District is inviting families of students who will be entering either 6th or 9th grade in the upcoming school year to attend special workshops with information to help them make the move to either middle or high school. Their students are also encouraged to attend.

Both workshops will be held July 21 in the Gainesville High School Auditorium at 1900 N.W. 13th Street. The middle school session will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. and the high school session from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Both sessions will feature school administrators and counselors from the relevant grade levels, who will share information and answer questions about credits, preparing for school, behavioral expectations and other important issues.

“After the pandemic and the challenging school years we’ve had, we thought it would be helpful to prepare families for what to expect before they arrive on campus,” said Dr. Anntwanique Edwards, the district’s Chief of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement. “We want students and their parents to be more familiar with the middle and high school experience and requirements.”

The sessions have been organized by the Alachua County Public Schools’ Student Services Department and Parent Academy, which have been hosting parent workshops since January on topics ranging from mental health to internet safety to job skills.

#     #   #

Email editor@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

GAINESVILLE – Alachua County Library District added 100 more WiFi2Go mobile hotspots for check out on Tuesday, July 5 thanks to another donation from the Alachua County Library District Foundation.

The Library District launched the WiFi2Go collection in April 2021 with 100 hotspots funded by a $36,000 donation from the Foundation. Alachua County library cardholders can check out a hotspot for seven days and connect up to five devices to the internet at once with no fees or data limits.

In July of last year, the Foundation’s board members donated another $36,000 to double the WiFi2Go collection.

This June, the Foundation’s board members again donated $36,000 to add 100 hotspots to the WiFi2Go collection, bringing the collection’s total to 300 WiFi2Gos.

These additional 100 hotspots will be WiFi2Go Sizzlers, items that are not holdable and are available on a first-come, first-served basis at each branch.

Alachua County library cardholders can reserve regular (non-Sizzler) hotspots using the online catalog by searching for “WiFi2Go” or by calling any branch. Patrons can return WiFi2Go hotspots to any library branch.

“We are thrilled to expand this important service and grateful for the Foundation’s support,” said Library Director Shaney T. Livingston. “The WiFi2Go program is a huge success, and these additional hotspots will allow us to connect even more patrons with reliable internet access.”

This year, Alachua County Library District is a recipient of the 2022 Wi-Fi At Work Award: Community Connectivity Superheroes for our WiFi2Go program.

The Wi-Fi At Work Awards were created by WifiForward to highlight the good that Wi-Fi does across the country and honor individuals and organizations who use Wi-Fi to bring connectivity to their communities during the pandemic.

In addition to WiFi2Go, the Library District offers computers with Internet access for public use for free at all 12 locations. Free WiFi is also available at all library locations.

#     #     #

Email editor@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

ORLANDO – A Gilchrist County teacher has been named a finalist in Florida’s Teacher of the Year. Trinity Whittington, a fourth-grade English language arts and social studies teacher at Bell Elementary School in Gilchrist County, is among five finalists vying for the award.

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis attended Florida’s annual Teacher of the Year Conference in Orlando to recognize the best educators in the state. At the event, Governor DeSantis highlighted five teacher of the year finalists and awarded each one with a $15,000 bonus. Governor DeSantis also highlighted Florida’s continuing education achievements over the past year, including Florida’s ranking as third in the nation for K-12 achievement according to the latest Quality Counts report.

“Florida is the education state not just because we have good policies, but because we have great teachers who go above and beyond for their students,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “It was great to join some amazing teachers today and to show our appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice. We will continue to invest in our schools and educators, while putting policies in place that improve outcomes for students.”

The five teachers who are finalists for Teacher of the Year and were awarded $15,000 bonuses by Governor DeSantis are:

  • Melissa Matz, a seventh-grade math teacher at Lakeside Junior High School in Clay County.
  • Trinity Whittington, a fourth-grade English language arts and social studies teacher at Bell Elementary School in Gilchrist County.
  • Jennifer Jaso, a social studies teacher at Sarasota Middle School. 
  • Deelah Jackson, a fourth-grade teacher at Samoset Elementary School in Manatee County.
  • Seema Naik, a fourth-grade teacher at Eagle Ridge Elementary School in Broward County.

The five finalists were chosen for 2023 Teacher of the Year from nearly 185,000 public school teachers throughout the state. After each school district selects its teacher of the year, a selection committee representing teachers, principals, parents, and the business community reviews each district application on the basis of outstanding ability to teach and communicate knowledge of the subject taught, professional development, philosophy of teaching, and outstanding school and community service. The winner will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education, promoting the positive aspects of teaching as a career.

#     #     #

Email editor@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

ALACHUA COUNTY - Anyone interested in a job with competitive pay, excellent benefits and other perks is encouraged to attend a career fair this week hosted by Alachua County Public Schools. Qualified applicants can be hired on the spot.

The district is looking to fill a wide variety of full- and part-time positions at schools and district offices, including teachers, counselors and social workers, carpenters, plumbers, bus drivers, custodians, food service and after school workers and others. Many of the jobs require no experience and some include paid training.

Potential applicants are welcome to bring resumes, although they are not required. Registration for the fair is also not required.

The Fair is scheduled for Thursday, July 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the school district’s main office at 620 E. University Avenue, Gainesville.

For more information, email Tonya Nunn at nunntm@gm.sbac.edu or call (352) 955-7039.

#     #     #

Email editor@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

ARCHER ‒ On Saturday, June 25, at approximately 1:21 a.m., Alachua County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to Southwest 169th Drive and Southwest 170th Street, the Holly Hills area in Archer, regarding a person being shot.

Several deputies were already in the area due to a large block party that was happening. They located a 28-year-old female suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and were able to provide treatment until she was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

Law enforcement personnel are asking citizens who may have any information about this incident to call 352-955-1818. They stress that callers can also remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward by contacting Alachua County Crime Stoppers Inc at 352-372-STOP (7867) or by downloading the Crime Stoppers P3 Tips app.

#     #     #

Email cwalker@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

GAINESVILLE ‒ A LaCrosse man has been arrested and charged with indecent exposure.  John Wesley Mosley, Jr., 28, of LaCrosse, was arrested on Wednesday, June 29, and charged with two counts of indecent exposure after two residents of Lexington Crossing apartments in Gainesville reported a man masturbating in a stairwell.

On the evening of June 28, Gainesville Police Department (GPD) Detective Hall organized a detail of plain vehicles and plain clothes detectives to track a suspected indecent exposure suspect who is likely linked to approximately 15 cases this year.  

According to the GPD, within an hour of starting, the detail spotted and followed the suspected vehicle occupied by John Wesley Mosley.  GPD Detectives believe he is a suspect in a series of indecent exposure incidents in Gainesville since January.

For hours Mosley took the detectives on an erratic drive throughout southwest Gainesville, in and out of multiple student complexes.  Finally, he parked and exited his vehicle in Lexington Crossing.  Several detectives got out on foot to follow him as he lingered in different breezeways by apartment doors.

The GPD stated that at one point, detectives presented themselves as unsuspecting students in an effort to draw Mosley out, however, he did not act.  Finally, as two innocent victims approached their doorway, Mosley exposed himself, got the reaction he was looking for and ran back to his vehicle.

Detectives followed Mosley out of the complex as he sped away from the scene.  Patrol was called in and directed to stop the vehicle.  Shortly afterward, the victims identified Mosley for his act, resulting in Mosley being charged with two felonies due to his prior misdemeanor conviction on the same charge.

Post Miranda, Mosley denied being at Lexington Crossing or exposing himself.

Mosley has a previous conviction of indecent exposure from 2017, resulting in one year of probation.  He is currently facing four counts of indecent exposure in two cases.  He has been released from custody.

As GPD detectives further investigate this case and Mosley’s potential past incidents, GPD asks that anyone with any information about Mosley or more possible incidents to contact Det. Hall at 352-393-7663.

#     #     #

Email cwalker@

alachuatoday.com

Add a comment

More Articles ...