CF Foundation receives $20,000
from Duke Energy
for STEM education


Seen here are (from left) College of Central Florida President Dr. James Henningsen, Duke Energy Florida Government and Community Relations Manager Dorothy Pernu, CF Foundation Board Chairman Fred Roberts Jr. and CF Foundation Executive Director Chris Knife.

Photo and Text Provided by CF
 
Published July 17, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.
     OCALA —
The College of Central Florida Foundation has received a $20,000 grant from Duke Energy Foundation to fund high school dual enrollment courses for women and minorities.


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     During the summer of 2018, six credit hours of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses will be offered through the college’s Digital Media program, which Duke Energy has supported in the past. 
     “This is an exciting opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and interest in STEM careers,” said Dr. Jennifer Fryns, CF dean of Arts and Education.
     Despite a variety of initiatives in secondary and postsecondary education, women and minorities remain largely underrepresented in the STEM workforce.

 

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     The $20,000 contribution will provide an opportunity for 36 high school dual enrolled students in Citrus and Marion counties. Special enrollment information will be available at www.CF.edu/dual.
     “Supporting educational initiatives is an integral mission of the Duke Energy Foundation,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida president. “This grant provides College of Central Florida students with the opportunity to realize their full potential and create models of success that will have implications for years to come.”
     The CF Foundation, founded in 1959, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that enhances the college’s programs and services through the development and management of private contributions and community partnerships. To learn more, visit CF.edu/foundation.
     The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

 



Match Short- & Long-Term Goals
With the Right Investments

Published July 17, 2017 at 3:07 p.m.
     Not all investments are created equal. Some are better suited for short-term goals, while others can help you build resources for objectives far in the future.

     As an investor, then, one of your biggest challenges will be to match your short- and long-term goals with the appropriate investment vehicles. How should you proceed?
     For starters, identify your short- and long-term goals. Your shorter-term goals will change throughout your life. When you are starting out in your career, for example, you might aspire to purchase a home in the next three to five years. Later on, though, your biggest short-term objective might be to save enough money for a long tour of Europe – without racking up credit card debt.
     As for long-term goals, your biggest one likely will be to enjoy a comfortable retirement.  But you may well have other long-term plans, too, such as sending your kids to college in 10 or 15 years. 

     After you have a clear sense of your short- and long-term goals, you can choose the right investments to help you meet them. Let’s start with the shorter-term ones. When you’re saving for a down payment on a home or for an expensive European vacation, you want to make sure that a certain amount of money will be available to you at a certain time. Consequently, you may want to avoid stocks or stock-based vehicles, which will constantly fluctuate in price, because you don’t want the value of your investment to be down at the moment you need the money. Instead, for short-term goals, you may want to consider a fixed-income vehicle, such as a bond, which is designed to provide regular interest payments and return your full principal upon the bond’s maturity (providing the issuer doesn’t default, which, with investment-grade bonds, is generally unlikely).
     For longer-term goals, such as college for your kids and a comfortable retirement for yourself, it’s a different story. To achieve these goals – and especially for retirement – you generally need to accumulate as much as you can. As a result, you need investments with growth potential, which means you will need to consider stocks and stock-based instruments. As mentioned above, stocks will always fluctuate in value, and they may be worth more or less than your original investment when sold.
     However, building a portfolio with an investment mix that’s appropriate for your risk tolerance, and that contains a reasonable amount of growth-oriented vehicles, can potentially help you overcome short-term volatility and continue making progress toward your long-term goals.
     Plus, you have some attractive long-term options available. With a 529 college savings plan, you can save for college and possibly achieve tax benefits, too. And by contributing regularly to your IRA and 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan, you can defer taxes while spreading your dollars among a wide range of investments. But there’s one thing all long-term investments have in common: You need patience and discipline to stick with them.
     So, there you have some ideas on short- and long-term investing. Keeping this distinction in mind when you invest can help boost your confidence that you’re making appropriate moves for all your goals.
     PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This article was written by Edward Jones for use by the local Edward Jones Financial Advisor -- Kathryn Lancaster, 220-2 N. Main St., in Chiefland.


CF to offer 5-day warehouse,
forklift & OSHA training course

Published July 15, 2017 at 6:47 a.m.
     OCALA --
The College of Central Florida will offer a five-day Warehouse, Forklift and Occupational Safety and Health Administration training course beginning Sept. 15 at its Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road.

     Students will learn about basic warehouse processes such as shipping and receiving, inventory control systems, basic forklift operations, and will receive OSHA 10-hour certification.
     OSHA training with instructor Tony Vazquez will be held Sept.15 and 22, from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
     Forklift training with instructor B.J. Price will be held Sept. 16 and 23, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Students must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for this hands-on instruction.
     Warehouse process with instructor Mark Davis will be held Sept. 18, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
     Students will receive a certificate of completion from CF, a forklift certification card, plus an OSHA 10-hour certification card.
     The cost is $340 per student. Tuition assistance may be available.
     For more information or to register, please contact Bonnie Hays at 352-854-2322, ext. 1855, or haysb@cf.edu.



 

City Searches For Finance Worker

Laurie Copeland, city of Chiefland accounting specialist (left), accepts a 10-year plaque from City Manager Mary Ellzey on Monday night (July 10). City Manager Ellzey, who was deputy city clerk when Copeland started, said Copeland has served the residents and visitors of Chiefland very well during her tenure with this city. Copeland has moved to the Green Cove Springs area. She was the Chiefland project and finance coordinator before becoming the city's accounting specialist. Seth Sache is now the city of Chiefland project and finance coordinator. When Ellzey presented the plaque to Copeland, she mentioned how Copeland as the former project and finance coordinator had applied for and obtained significant monetary grants for the city's benefit. Also Monday night, the Chiefland City Commission voted 4-1, with Commissioner Teresa Barron dissenting, to buy a new software program for city finances. Barron is an accountant. Now City Manager Ellzey is seeking a replacement for Copeland. Ellzey indicated she has placed advertisements in publications where a person with this level of expertise may notice the ad. Interested parties might want to call the city Monday through Thursday at 352-493-6711 to learn more about the mandatory minimum qualifications to apply to replace Copeland. An excellent source for employers and people seeking jobs is CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © July 14, 2017 at 9:27 a.m.

 
 

Williston City Council
overrules its P&Z Board


This is a view of Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat (left) and Williston City Council President Charles Goodman as seen from behind the podium where people stand to address the City Council. This picture was taken Tuesday night (July 11).

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © July 13, 2017 at 8:37 p.m.
     WILLISTON --
The five members of the Williston City Council -- President Charles Goodman, Vice President Nancy Wininger, and councilmen Elihu Ross, Kory Lamb and Tim Hass chose to allow variances from Land Development Regulations after the Planning and Zoning Board ruled to not allow them.

     The overturning of the P&Z Board's decision occurred in a quasi-judicial hearing Tuesday night (July 11).
     The appeal of denial for variance by Planning and Zoning for Covington Development (Front Porch Community) was brought by its developer John Curtis.


Williston City Manager Scott Lippmann (left) and City Attorney Frederick L. Koberlein Jr.are present Tuesday night to help the city leaders.


City Council Vice President Nancy Wininger, Councilman Elihu Ross and City Manager Scott Lippmann (left) forcus on the issue of the moment.


Councilman Tim Hass (left) and Councilman Kori Lamb ponder some of the important issues of the evening. This night was the last meeting for Councilman Hass because his family is moving away from Williston. A special election is scheduled and qualifying to be a candidate hopefully is on the agenda for at least one person.

 
     The 70 pages of notes in the agenda packet for City Council members, and the 45 minutes of discussion boil down to the P&Z Board seeing city ordinances and land development regulations requiring them to reject the application for three of the five variances sought by Curtis.
     All three of those denials relate to density of structures to lot space. Curtis said for more than two years now he has consistently told planners and the City Council that he wants to create an "affordable" development (houses less than $200,000 or so), that is relatively near to Williston Middle High School.
     This "front porch community" centers, according to Curtis, on the idea that relatively small houses that are close to each other, and to the street and sidewalk, will lead to a stronger likelihood of neighbors speaking with each other more often, and forming a more close-knit neighborhood.
     Three P&Z Board members explained why they voted as they did to deny the request for the variances from the law, and to recommend that the developer simply rezone the property to a higher density zoning designation.
     Curtis argued, in part, that he did not own every lot in the proposed subdivision. Another reason to not abide by the law without variance, Curtis contended, is to create this different neighborhood in contrast with the others that are in areas with that zoning designation.
     He was granted the right to build on smaller lots with houses closer to each other. He was granted the right to use 15 feet as the setback from sidewalks rather than 35 feet as the setback from sidewalks.
     P&Z Vice Chairman Matthew Marino, and P&Z members Debra Jones and Cara Fortney explained how they saw the land development regulations as mandating a denial of Curtis’ requests for variances.
     Hence the quasi-judicial hearing happened.
     Far into the discussion, Curtis said there will be about 100 developable lots with the whole subdivision having 289 10,000 square-feet lots. The other space is needed for stormwater management and the like.
     Williston Planner and Project Manager Josie Lodder recommended approval of the variances, despite what the P&Z Board saw as law requiring a denial of the request.
     After several City Council members, and Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat, spoke in favor of the development, President Goodman gave his endorsement.
     Goodman said the City Council, in his opinion, could legally grant the variances.
     “In my opinion,” Goodman said, “this is the right development, at the right spot, at the right time. We have just put in a new school, and the proximity to that school is absolutely wonderful.
     “The idea of not having our children being bused is an excellent concept,” he continued. “The fact is, I have worked on (as a general contractor) these types of communities, and certainly Haile Plantation jumps out at you.”
     Goodman said some people do not like to mow big yards of grass.
     It is his opinion that this is a legal action that the City Council can take and it is one these leaders should take.
     On a motion by Wininger, seconded by Ross, the City Council voted 5-0 to grant the request for variances from the land development regulations.
 

SRWMD names Hugh Thomas
as executive director


(from left) District Governing Board Members: Kevin Brown, Bradley Williams, Charles Keith, Virginia Johns, Don Quincey Jr., Executive Director Hugh Thomas, Alphonas Alexander, Virginia Sanchez, Gary Jones and Richard Schwab.

 

Published July 11, 2017 at 11:17 p.m.
     LIVE OAK –
At their board meeting today (Tuesday, July 11) members of the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) Governing Board appointed Hugh Thomas as the new executive director of the District, effective July 17.

     Thomas has an extensive 25-year background in agriculture and environmental resource management including one year as senior project manager in the District’s Agriculture and Environmental Projects Division, 14 years as an environmental administrator in the Agriculture and Water Policy Division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and 10 years as an environmental manager for Mactec Environmental, Inc. This appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.
     Governing Board President Don Quincey Jr. remarked on Thomas’ qualifications for the position, stating the Board looks forward to growing and expanding resource protection efforts over the next decade under Thomas’ leadership. Upon acceptance of the position, Thomas remarked that he shares the Board’s passion for north Florida’s water resources and their vision of expanding resource protection efforts throughout the District.
     Thomas succeeds Noah Valenstein who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott and confirmed by the Florida Cabinet to the position of Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in May. Director of Agriculture and Environmental Projects Darrell Smith will continue to serve as interim executive director until July 17. 
     The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties.

--UPDATED--
THURSDAY  JULY 18  7:37 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties



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